Do you know D.C.?
Get our free newsletter to stay in the know about local D.C.
If you depend on this list to plan your weekends and know the coolest goings-on, consider becoming a City Paper member. We depend on contributions from readers like you to assemble our in-depth, well-sourced arts section. And until the end of the year, your gift, no matter the amount, will be doubled thanks to a generous matching fund. (We’re giving away mini-newspaper lapel pins to members who join at The Paper Route level.)
Speaking of lapel pins: They have long been used visually to denote affiliation or political beliefs, whether that’s a Gen Z teen covering her jean jacket or backpack in pins or a 1930s member of the Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform calling for the repeal of the 18th Amendment. There are plenty of these pins on display in the National Museum of American History, but the WONPR pin, a mock Liberty Bell made of enamel on brass with the words “REPEAL 18TH AMENDMENT” prominently displayed, reminds us of two things—first, that women were a driving political force behind both Prohibition’s passage and its repeal, and second, that fashion and politics have been intertwined for centuries. —Emma Sarappo
Most Savage GentlemenMost Savage Gentlemen, a D.C.-area band, are a quartet that plays a mix of originals and covers, hitting the classics (The Beatles, The Backstreet Boys) and their contemporaries (The Black Keys, Dropkick Murphys). All four band members share credit for writing their original songs, and it shows. Their debut album sounds like a compilation of funk, rock, go-go, blues, and country bands whose only common denominator is that they all go for broke. Mostly, though, Most Savage Gentlemen deliver a polished version of music you already like. Read more >>> Most Savage Gentlemen perform at 8 p.m. at DC9, 1940 9th St. NW. $10. (202) 483-5000. dc9.club. (Will Lennon)
Mister Goblin celebrates his new album’s release. 8 p.m. at Pie Shop DC, 1339 H St. NE. $10–$12.
Catch a show by Raheem DeVaughn, a local legend who got the key to the city from then-Mayor Vince Gray in 2011. 8 p.m. at The Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. $35–$40.
Time Capsule: Photographs by Frank StewartPhotographer Frank Stewart is not a household name, but the aptly titled retrospective Time Capsule makes a strong case that he should be. Stewart, who cut his teeth as an assistant to artist Romare Bearden, has proven his mettle in all types of settings—smoky café booths occupied by furtive lovers, streets populated with whitewall tires and overstuffed clotheslines, dimly lit jazz sessions, and dusty African roads. Read more >>>The exhibition runs to Jan. 4 at Gallery Neptune & Brown, 1530 14th St. NW. Free. (202) 986-1200. galleryneptunebrown.com. (Louis Jacobson)
There are still tickets for The Crystal Method‘s DJ set with Ken Lazee. 10 p.m. at U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. $15–$30.
The National Philharmonic performs Handel‘s Messiah. 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Free–$79.
A stripped-down Wild Child set should mean Kelsey Wilson and Alex Beggins calm down a bit. 8 p.m. at The Hamilton, 600 I St. NW. $20–$39.75.
Los Carpinteros: Cuba Va!Fresh off the heels of its magnificent survey of Havana-born surrealist painter Zilia Sánchez, the Phillips Collection returns to Cuba with a presentation of the work of the collective known as Los Carpinteros. Since the 1990s, Marco Castillo and Dagoberto Rodríguez—along with Alexandre Arrechea, until his departure in 2003—have executed some of the more stunning visual metaphors in contemporary sculpture. Read more >>> The exhibition runs to Jan. 12, 2020 at The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st St. NW. $10–$12. (202) 387-2151. phillipscollection.org. (Kriston Capps)
The last music program in front of the National Christmas Tree features singers from Gaithersburg. 1 p.m. at the National Christmas Tree, 1450 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Free.
Stick around after the carols to see the National Menorah lit for the first night of Hanukkah. 4 p.m. at 1450 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Free.
The D.C. Holiday Hoops Fest continues with St. Francis vs. William and Mary and Radford vs. Richmond matchups. 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. at Entertainment & Sports Arena, 1100 Oak Drive SE. $25–$65.
ZooLightsIf you are looking for a holiday event on the 23rd that’s relaxing, fun, and conducive to artsy Instagram posts, ZooLights at the National Zoo is the place to be. Illuminated by 500,000 eco-friendly LED lights, the event combines a litany of activities—art exhibits, bright lights, a holiday market, snow tubing, train rides—into one giant exhibition for a complete holiday experience. This year, the Zoo has also installed the Entre Les Rangs exhibit, a field of shimmering, billowing lights that transfixes audiences. Read more >>> The exhibition runs to Jan. 1, 2020 at the National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 633-3045. nationalzoo.si.edu. (Tristan Jung)
Vybe Band‘s holiday show is sure to be full of groovy covers. 7:30 p.m. at City Winery, 1350 Okie St. NE. $22–$25.
Trans-genre rockers Trans-Siberian Orchestra do what they do best: shredding performances of holiday jams. 7:30 p.m. at Capital One Arena, 601 F St. NW.
We’re a bit too far south to see the aurora, but luckily, the northern lights have come to us in a rippling holiday installation. 10 a.m. at ARTECHOUSE, 1238 Maryland Ave. SW. $8–$20.
The NutcrackerThere’s hardly a Christmas melody more recognizable than the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. It conjures up images of gossamer gowns, snow flurries, and reflective sheets of ice. This year, the ethereal dance of the fairy and the stately march of the wooden soldiers are yet again coming to the Warner Theatre, this time performed by the Washington Ballet. But since we’re in D.C., there’s a twist to this performance: Expect a more Americanized version of the Russian ballet, set in 1882 Georgetown. Read more >>> The ballet runs to Dec. 29 at the Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW. $65–$150. (202) 783-4000. warnertheatredc.com. (Chelsea Cirruzzo)
Changamiré plays seasonally appropriate jazz among the plants and sculptures of Season’s Greenings. 6 p.m. at the United States Botanic Garden, 100 Maryland Ave. SW. Free.
The Kennedy Center’s Moonshot Studio, full of kid-friendly art and music stations, is open until 4 p.m. 10 a.m. at the Kennedy Center REACH, 2700 F St. NW. Free.
The Mansion on O is running a holiday-specific breakfast and tour to fuel your search for secret doors. 10 a.m. at The Mansion on O, 2020 O St. NW. $46.80.
Season’s Greenings: America’s GardensWhat’s better (and less expensive) than packing a suitcase to jet around the country this holiday season? Take a trip to the United States Botanic Garden for the 2019 Season’s Greenings exhibit, a plant-based tour of conservatories and sculptures around America. You’ll find plant-based models of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Japanese torii gate, the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens’ flamingo topiaries, and the Huntsville Botanical Garden’s Rocket Garden. Season’s Greenings also features special holiday model trains, including one that circles a fully decorated Christmas tree (make sure to check out the tree’s destination-specific ornaments). Read more >>> The exhibition is on view to Jan. 5 at the United States Botanic Garden, 100 Maryland Avenue SW. Free. (202) 225-8333. usbg.gov. (Sarah Smith)
The KenCen is running an evening jazz jam for those who are tired of tinsel. 6 p.m. at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, 2700 F St. NW. Free.
Enchant Christmas at Nationals Park is open if you need to soak in the seasonal magic. 4:30 p.m. at Nationals Park, 1500 South Capitol St. SE. $14.99–$33.99.
Ben WilliamsThis year marks a decade since Ben Williams won what was then the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Bass competition. It catapulted the D.C. native to major-player status, a highly in-demand musician in New York City and around the jazz world who’s also recorded two acclaimed albums. Although he’s based in New York, he’s remained a Washingtonian at heart—our city’s rhythm plays out on his instrument. As such, it’s become a tradition to celebrate his late-December birthday with a hometown concert. Read more >>> Ben Williams performs at 8 p.m. at The Hamilton, 600 14th Street NW. $20–$45. (202) 769-0122. thehamiltondc.com. (Michael J. West)
Columbus, Ohio, punks New Bomb Turks are an electric and eclectic group. 8 p.m. at City Winery, 1350 Okie St. NE. $20–$24.
Black Nativity continues its run retelling the birth of Christ through gospel music and modern dance. 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. at Anacostia Playhouse, 2020 Shannon Place SE. $40–$50.
Rezz and i_o are in Northeast thanks to Club GLOW. 9 p.m. at Echostage, 2135 Queens Chapel Road NE. $40–$50.
NEWS AND REVIEWS YOU CAN USE
News: Georgetown Glow includes the incandescent work of two local artists.
News: Here are six independent, local presses putting out books you should know.
Theater: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a joyful, charming look into a neurodivergent teen’s head.
Theater: Dear Jack, Dear Louise is a love letter to love letters.
Cartoon: Liz at Large, “Best”
OFFICE OF FUTURE PLANNING
Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Friday for “The Last Book Tour on the Left” at the Lincoln Theatre on April 10. 8 p.m. at 1215 U St. NW. $35–$150.
Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Friday for Kurt Vile at the Lincoln Theatre on April 24. 8 p.m. at 1215 U St. NW. $36.