D.C. Christmas and holiday shows 2010: Nutcrackers, concerts, tree-lightings

Men in Tights: A Pink Nutcracker

On this page, TBD will list as many holiday arts events as we possibly can. As we move through the season, we'll review and preview a lot of them, too. Are we missing yours? Submit it using our events form or e-mail events@tbd.com. For an even more up-to-date list, go to our events calendar.


Long story short

Every D.C. area holiday arts event TBD could possibly find.



Nutcrackers. Christmas Carols. Children's theater. Tree lightings. Holiday events. Lights. Parties. Hanukkah. Kwanzaa. Pop music concerts. Classical music concerts. Film. Comedy.


For traditionalists:

The Nutcracker — The Joffrey Ballet at the Kennedy Center, Nov. 24-28. $45-$150. 

The Nutcracker — The Moscow Ballet at Strathmore, Dec. 8-9. $27.50-$87.50

For lifelong Washingtonians:

Septime Webre's The Nutcracker — The Washington Ballet. The regional company offers a Washington-themed storyline. Warner Theatre. Dec. 2-26. $43-$106

For kids: 

Nutcracker Fantasy — The Puppet Co. Features costumed performers and hand puppets. Nov. 26-Dec. 31. $10.

The Nutcracker — Synetic Family Theater. This version adds costume masks, puppets, original choreography and additional composers to the story. Crystal City Theater. Dec. 11-Jan. 16. $17.50.

Rocknocerous Holiday Happy Hour. Parents and kids can enjoy this holiday rock concert at Jammin' Java. Buy a drink, get a juice box. Dec. 18 at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. $10.

For gays:

Men in Tights: A Pink Nutcracker — The Gay Men's Chorus of Washington. If you like your sugarplum fairies with Adam's apples and body glitter, this is the Nutcracker for you. Lisner Auditorium. Dec. 17-19. $20-$50.


Paul Morella
Paul Morella in "A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas"

For traditionalists:

A Christmas Carol — Ford's Theatre. Starring Edward Gero as Scrooge. Nov. 20-Jan. 2. $18-$67.

A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas — Paul Morella's one-man adaptation, faithful to the original Dickens. Olney Theater, Dec. 16-Jan. 1. $26.

A Christmas Carol — The Little Theatre of Alexandria. Dec. 3-12. $15.

For hungry theatergoers:

A Christmas Carol — Lazy Susan Dinner Theater. An original adaptation by director Hans Bachman. Dec. 1-30. $25-$42.

For Broadway musical fans:

A Broadway Christmas Carol — MetroStage. Dickens' tale to the tune of classic Broadway hits.

For harried holiday planners:

Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge — The Little Theatre of Alexandria. A modern update, featuring Mrs. Cratchit as a stressed-out crank. Nov. 26-Dec. 18. $15.


The Happy Elf — Adventure Theatre at Montgomery College's Robert Parilla Performing Arts Center. An elf must bring Christmas joy to Bluesville in this musical with songs by Harry Connick Jr.. Nov. 18-28. $15-$20.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer — Adventure Theatre. Based on the animated television special. Nov, 19-Jan. 2. $15.

Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! — Imagination Stage. Nov. 24-Jan. 9. $11-$22.

Merry, Happy... What? — The HUB Theatre. A girl feels left out out of the holiday season. The John Swayze Theatre. Dec. 15-23. $10.

Snow Show. A winter puppet show for kids 1-4. At the Puppet Company Playhouse January 22-26. $5.


"Cirque Dreams Holidaze"

iMusical for the Holidays — The Washington Improv Theater. A fully improvised holiday musical. The Source. Saturdays, Nov. 27- Dec. 31. $15.

Black Nativity — Theater Alliance. A gospel-themed nativity. The H Street Playhouse, Dec. 8-Jan. 2. $25-$35.

The Kinsey Sicks in Oy Vey in a Manger. A barbershop quartet in drag sings original holiday songs. Theater J. Dec. 18 — Jan. 2. $15-$60.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze — Ornaments and toys come to life and perform acrobatic feats. The Kennedy Center. Dec. 7-12. $31-$82.

Holiday Cabaret — The December Divas and the Swingin' Santas ring in the holiday season. Signature Theatre. Dec. 20-23. $40.

It's a Wonderful Life — The musical adaptation of Frank Capra's beloved film. Riverside Dinner Theater. Dec. 1-Jan. 2. $37-$58.

The Seafarer — Quotidian Theater. A mysterious stranger joins a card game on Christmas Eve in Dublin. The Writer's Center. Nov. 12-Dec. 12. $20-25

The Christmas Revels — The Washington Revels’ annual Christmas program features traditional carols and country dancing. Lisner Auditorium. Dec 4-12. $12-$45.

Irish Christmas — Traditional Irish dance, music, and storytelling at National Geographic. Dec. 10. $25 (sold out).



The National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony — Maroon 5, Sara Bareilles, and and B.B. King help flip the switch. Dec. 9, 5 p.m. The White House Ellipse. Tickets are required. (202) 208-1631.

Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony — Nancy Pelosi will light the tree, in one of her last acts as Speaker of the House. West Lawn of the U. S. Capitol. Dec. 7, 5 p.m. Free.

Norwegian Christmas at Union Station — The Children's Chorus of Washington will perform. Dec. 3, 6 p.m. Free.

Christmas Tree Lighting at the Fairmont — Entertainment will be provided by Georgetown Visitation and the U.S. Marine Corps Service Color Guard, and the event benefits Toys for Tots. The Fairmont at 2401 M Street, N.W. Dec. 1, 5:00 — 6:30 p.m. Free; toy donations encouraged.


National Harbor Christmas Tree Lighting — The Gaylord National Resort. Nov. 28, 5-7 p.m. Free.

Rockville Town Square Holiday Open House — Dec. 2, 6:30-9 p.m. Free.

Gaithersburg Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony — City Hall Concert Pavilion, 31 South Summit Ave, Gaithersburg. Dec. 4, 6 p.m. Free.


City of Alexandria's Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony — Market Square, 301 King Street. Nov. 26, 7 p.m. Free.

Reston Parade, Holiday Tree Lighting and Sing Along — Market Street & Fountain Square, Reston. Nov. 26, 11 a.m. parade, 6 p.m. tree lighting. Free.

Manassas Christmas Tree Lighting — Manssas Visitor's Center, 9431 West Street. Dec. 3, 5:30-8 p.m. Free.

Leesburg Christmas Tree Lighting — Town Green, 25 W Market St. Dec. 3, 6 p.m. Free.

Washington Ballet Nutcracker
Washington Ballet's "Nutcracker"


Gaylord National's Ice! — Hand sculpted ice displays with a "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" theme. Gaylord National Resort at National Harbor, Nov. 18-Jan. 9. $13-$29.

Manassas Christmas Parade — Mathis Ave through Center Street, Old Town Manassas. Dec. 4, 10 a.m. Free.

Christmas at Mount Vernon — Festive decorations and children's activities. Nov. 26 — Jan. 6, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. $7-$15.

Scottish Walk Weekend — George Washington Masonic Memorial. Dec. 3-4, Bagpipers take over the streets of Old Town for the Scottish Walk Parade on Saturday, Dec. 4, at 10:30 a.m. Free.

Old Town Candlelight Tours — Tour the festively-decorated Gadsby's Tavern Museum, Carlyle House, Lee-Fendall House and the Athenaeum. Dec. 11-12, $5-$20.

Seasons Greenings — Replicas of Washington landmarks made out of plants. ALSO: a model railroad. United States Botanic Garden. Regular hours 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Open until 8 p.m. with live music on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout December. Free.

Waterskiing Santa — National Harbor, Dec. 24 at 1 p.m.

Holly TrollyFest — A trolley bonanza at the National Capital Trolley Museum. Weekends through Dec. 19.


ZooLights at the National Zoo — Rock Creek Park. Dec. 3-12 Fridays and Saturdays, Dec. 17-Jan. 1 nightly, 6-8:30 p.m. Free, but parking is $8-$15.

Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights — Old Town Alexandria Marina and Washington Harbour. Dec. 4, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Free.

Festival of Lights at the Mormon Temple — 9900 Stoneybrook Dr., Kensington. Dec. 3-Jan. 1. Dusk to 10 p.m. nightly. Free.

Garden of Lights at Brookside Gardens — 1800 Glenallen Avenue, Wheaton. Nov. 26, through Jan. 9. (Closed Dec. 24 and 25, Jan. 3-6) 5:30 to 9 p.m., last car admitted 8:30 p.m. $25 per car Fri-Sun, $20 Mon-Thu.

Gaithersburg Winter Lights — Seneca Creek State Park, 11950 Clopper Rd., Gaithersburg. Nov. 26 & 27, Dec. 3-Jan. 1. Sun-Thu 6-9 p.m. (closed Mondays), Fri. & Sat. 6-10 p.m. $12-$15 per car.


Brightest Young Things Holiday Party — After-hours access to Newseum exhibits, cash bar, photo installation, disco room, mistletoe. Newseum, Dec. 3. 8-11 p.m. $15 advance, $20 door.

Capital Club Santa Soiree. Live funk music from the Answer. Black tie. Saturday, Dec. 5, 9 p.m.-2 a.m. City Tavern Club, 3206 M Street NW. $80 women, $120 men. http://santasoiree.eventbrite.com

Jete Society Nutcracker Party. Tickets include one orchestra seat at the Washington Ballet's Nutcracker plus admission to open-bar afterparty and a gift bag. Warner Theatre, Nov. 17. Afterparty at George, 3251 Prospect St. NW. $85-$95.

Young Benefactors’ Jolly Holiday 2010. The annual holiday party of the Smithsonian’s philanthropic organization of young professionals. Smithsonian Castle, Dec. 3, 8 p.m.-12 a.m. $70-$95.

Funbags: Pharmacy Bar Holiday Party. The best dive on 18th St. NW serves up spiked nog, cider, sweets, a photo booth, and rock n roll from DJs Jennder and Du Jour. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Free.

Slalom II: Bunny Hill Boogaloo. An 80s ski lodge-themed holiday party at Dahlak in Adams Morgan. Dec. 11, 11 p.m. - 3 a.m. Free.

The Kinsey Sicks in Oy Vey in a Manger.


National Menorah Lighting — Featuring a performance by Itzhak Perlman. The Ellipse, Dec. 1, 4 p.m. Free tickets required: Call 202-332-5600 or visit http://www.nationalmenorah.org/

A Jewmongous Chanukah Party — Musician and comedian Sean Altman owns the fourth night of Hanukkah. Dec. 4, 9 p.m. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. $15-$20.

24th Annual Matzo Ball — A night of networking and matchmaking sponsored by the Society of Young Jewish Professionals. Eden and Café Asia. Dec. 24. $30.

Gefilte Fish Gala — A mixer for Jewish singles and young professionals and fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Muse Lounge. Dec. 25. $5 suggested donation.


Family Kwanzaa Adventure — Drumming and traditional singing and skits. Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, Dec. 28, 10:30 a.m. Free.

Kwanzaa Celebration at the Alexandria Black History Museum — Children's workshops, and a screening of "The Black Candle: A Kwanzaa Celebration." Dec. 11, 11 a.m. workshop, 4:30 p.m. screening. Free.

Dave Koz
Dave Koz


Kenny Rogers — A night of down-home Christmas songs from the only man whose snowy white beard rivals Santa’s. Strathmore Music Center. Dec. 19. $49.50 - $77.50

Tommy Lepson Band — The local act shares its holiday blues. Blues Alley. Dec. 1. $20.

A Peter White Christmas — A holiday show from the UK smooth jazz guitarist. Birchmere. Dec. 1. $59.10.

Kenny G Holiday Show — Smooth jazz from Kenny G will help soothe anyone dreading the upcoming season’s shopping, cooking, and influx of annoying relatives. Strathmore Music Center. Dec. 2. $38-$125.

A Smooth Jazz Christmas — If you like the music played over the sound system of your local mall every December, you’re going to love this special seasonal show from Dave Koz. Strathmore Music Center. Dec. 6. $35-$65.

Victor — D.C.-based classically trained pianist and vocalist Victor Lopez gives his annual holiday concert. Jammin’ Java. Dec. 11. $15.

Christmas with Aaron Neville and His Quintet — The Neville Brother, whose rendition of “Ave Maria” routinely brings people to tears, gives a special seasonal show. Ram’s Head Tavern. Dec. 16. $69.50.

Ivri Lider — One of Israel’s biggest rock stars gives a free performance on the first night of Chanukah. Sixth and I Historic Synagogue. Dec. 1. Free (tickets required).

The Roches’ Holiday Show — This ‘70s trio of singing sisters, known to tear up “The Hallelujah Chorus,” comes to town. Dec. 17. Birchmere. $44.20.

Last Train Home  — The roots rock band plays three days of holiday shows at IOTA in Clarendon. Dec. 16-19. $12-13.

Bill Kirchen — A honky tonk holiday show with the rockabilly guitarist. Dec. 17 at Jammin' Java, 8 p.m. $20.

Baltimore Bass Connection Xmas Party — A bumpin' hip hop and bass show with Spank Rock, Ninjasonik, and others at the U Street Music Hall. Dec. 22 at 9 p.m. $10 in advance ($15 at door).

BB King
BB King

Capital City Symphony Holiday Concert — Featuring the Congressional Chorus and the American Youth Chorus. Atlas Performing Arts Center. Dec. 5. Free.

U.S. Air Force Band Holiday Concert — DAR Constitution Hall. Dec. 4-5. Free (tickets required).

National Symphony Orchestra Pops: Happy Holidays! — John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Dec. 9-12. $20-$85.

The Waverly Consort: The Christmas Story — The biblical Christmas story, set to music played on reproductions of medieval instruments. George Mason University Center for the Arts. Dec. 10. $21-42.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band: Creole Christmas — A program of music that is the next best thing to actually spending the holidays on the bayou. John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Dec. 17. $45.

National Cathedral Christmas: Handel's Messiah — A Baroque orchestra and the Cathedral's combined boy, girl and men's choirs perform the oratorio. National Cathedral. Dec. 3-5. $25-85.

Anonymous 4 — The a capella singing quartet performs Noël: Carols & Chants for Christmas. John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Dec. 16. $38.

Encore Chorale — A free performance of holiday music from the Northern Virginia senior’s chorus. Harman Center for the Arts. Dec. 15. Free.

The Folger Consort – Sacred and secular Renaissance Christmas music by Purcell, Taverner, Byrd, and others, with the choral group performance with guest choir The Tallis Scholars. Georgetown University, Gaston Hall. Dec. 10-12. $30-50.

Christmas In Brass. Handel's Messiah, Bach's choral works, and Christmas carols performed by the Synergy Brass Quintet. George Mason University Center for the Arts, Dec. 11. $44.

Vienna Boys Choir. The world famous Austrian choir performs a mixed holiday program. George Mason University Center for the Arts, Dec, 18-19. $48.


“Holiday Classics.” Of these three films, I bet you can guess two. That’s correct: It’s a Wonderful Life (“Kids?”) and A Christmas Story (kids!). But the third one is for kids: 1992’s The Muppet Christmas Carol, starring Michael Caine during a curious point in his career (um, Blue Ice? Bullseye!?). AFI Silver Theatre, Silver Spring. Dec. 17-23. $7.50-$10.

Ciné-Concert: A Christmas Carol — In the event you’re not sick of the many theater adaptations, or perhaps hate theater altogether, this 1923 adaptation is a mere 45 minutes long and features the premiere of a musical score by Kim Allen Kluge. National Gallery of Art. Dec. 18 at 1 p.m. Free.

A John Waters Christmas — The iconic director returns with his one-man show, about which Baltimore Magazine wrote last year, “He gave new meaning to ‘cruising’ past a local creche/nativity scene.” The Birchmere, Alexandria. Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m. $45.

It's a Wonderful Life — A grown-up screening of the iconic holiday film. Loads of beer and a party afterward, with proceeds going toward Children's Hospital. Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse, Dec. 17 at 6:15 p.m.


Tim and Eric — Even if you don’t know this duo from Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, the cult Comedy Central show, you still probably know who they are. Ever seen that Absolut vodka short on YouTube? The one in which Zach Galifianakis, wearing a bathrobe, throws a hissy fit? Those other two guys are Tim and Eric, and now, suddenly, you’re very interested in getting tickets to this show. State Theatre, Falls Church. Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. $25.

Good for the Jews: Putting The Ha! In Hanukkah Tour — Musical duo from NYC sings “about Passover, Jewish girls, and relatives who live in Florida.” Jammin' Java, Vienna. Dec. 24 at 7 p.m. $20.

Seasonal Disorder — “The perfect holiday entertainment for people who don't like dancing rodents or adorable orphans.” The Source. Nov. 20-Dec. 19. $15.

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