Before you head home for the holidays, check out an expert New Orleans jazz trumpeter, see a film about a (supposedly) mad king, or sing along to Christmas carols—in English and in Dutch. Scroll to the bottom for arts news and reviews and to see the latest in ticket sales. —Kayla Randall


Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton MarsalisIt’s now closing in on 40 years that Wynton Marsalis has been performing in Washington at Christmas time: first at Blues Alley with his quintet and quartet, then at the Warner Theatre, Kennedy Center, and Strathmore with his Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Yes, the context and the venue change, but at this point Wynton’s D.C. Christmas concerts can safely be called a tradition. Read more>>> The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis performs at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. $58–$108. (301) 581-5100. (Michael J. West)

Classically trained violinist and dancer Lindsey Stirling performs at The Anthem. 8 p.m. at 901 Wharf St. SW. $45–$349.

Harry and the Potters, a punk rock mashup of pop culture and performance art, perform at Black Cat. 6 p.m. at 1811 14th St. NW. $20.

The Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater welcomes Puddles Pity Party, the clown-costumed singer with a golden voice. 8 p.m. at 2700 F St. NW. $29–$55.


LudwigThe majestic Neuschwanstein Castle looks like something out of a fairytale, and its grandeur has been featured in such disparate films as the classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Mel Brooks farce Spaceballs. And we have 19th century monarch “Mad” King Ludwig II of Bavaria to thank for it. Read more>>> The film screens at 2 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art East Building Auditorium, 4th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Free. (202) 737-4215. (Pat Padua)

Boston indie folk and Americana band Darlingside performs at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 8 p.m. at 600 I St. NW. $22–$25.

Canadian rock group Born Ruffians performs at DC9. 7:30 p.m. at 1940 9th St. NW. $15.

The Birchmere welcomes heartland rock group Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. 7:30 p.m. at 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. $45.


Songs of the Season: Christmas With Choral ArtsAll of D.C.’s good little carol singers are putting out their wooden shoes and hoping for a visit from Sinterklaas this afternoon at the Choral Arts Society of Washington’s annual Songs of the Season concert. Each December, the chorus partners with an embassy and presents carols with ties to that country at the Kennedy Center. This year it’s the Kingdom of the Netherlands’ turn to contribute seasonal tunes and customs… Read more>>> The show runs to Dec. 24 at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, 2700 F St. NW. $15–$69. (202) 244-3669. (Rebecca J. Ritzel)

The Embassy of Haiti hosts a holiday pop-up shop, featuring Haitian gifts and hot chocolate. 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 2311 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Free.

Cat Power, a singer-songwriter who combines punk, folk, and blues, performs at 9:30 Club. 7 p.m. at 815 V St. NW. $40.

The Washington Ballet presents its D.C.-themed version of The Nutcracker at the Warner Theatre. 5:30 p.m. at 513 13th St. NW. $56–$130.


The Muppet Christmas CarolHoliday movies are not a fertile area for innovation. Take the sound of sleigh bells jingling, add some cliché sentimentality and a bunch of plot contrivances, and you have cracked the code. The best one can hope for when it comes to holiday entertainment is a bit of humor and a minimal amount of maudlin sentimentality. It is in the spirit of my establishing these very low standards that I resolutely recommend The Muppet Christmas Carol, a familiar take on the Dickens classic but one that hits all of the requisite notes in the right way. Read more>>> The film screens at 5:15 p.m. at the AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $5–$13. (301) 495-6700. (Matt Siblo)

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden continues its run of Charline von Heyl: Snake Eyes, the largest museum survey of German painter Charline von Heyl to date. 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Independence Avenue at 7th Street SW. Free.

Suns Cinema screens Wigstock, a 1995 documentary centered on a drag music festival, for its Monday night queer film series. 8 p.m. at 3107 Mt. Pleasant St. NW. $15.

New Nature, an interactive exhibition of nature-inspired creatures and plant life, runs at ARTECHOUSE. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 1238 Maryland Ave. SW. $8–$15. 


Sea Monsters Unearthed: Life in Angola’s Ancient SeasHey, do y’all know about sea monsters? Allow me to introduce you to them. So, after the South Atlantic Ocean basin formed 120 million years ago, giant marine reptiles ruled. These reptiles—mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, and sea turtles—lived and thrived along Africa’s southwest coast, near what is now modern Angola. Scientists unearthed the monster fossils, and a new exhibition at the National Museum of Natural History, aptly titled Sea Monsters Unearthed, allows visitors to discover insights into what this monster-filled time in Earth’s history was like, and learn about how that relates to today’s oceans. Read more>>> The exhibition is on view to 2020 at the National Museum of Natural History, 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 633-1000. (Kayla Randall)

Jazz pianist Benjie Porecki performs at Blues Alley. 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. at 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. $22.

Songbyrd Music House hosts a screening of the Bruce Lee classic The Big Boss as part of Shaolin Jazz’s innovative film experience Can I Kick It? 7 p.m. at 2477 18th St. NW. Free.

Bossa Bistro welcomes world music stars Cheick Hamala’s Griot Street. 9:30 p.m. at 2463 18th St. NW. Free.


The Play That Goes WrongAfter a typical Broadway season, only one or two plays succeed in launching cross-country tours. You would think that to join musicals out on the road, those plays would have to get everything right. However, this year the play dropping by the Kennedy Center is The Play That Goes Wrong. Read more>>> The show runs to Jan. 6, 2019 at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater, 2700 F St. NW. $49–$149. (202) 467-4600. (Rebecca J. Ritzel)

Chef José Andrés signs copies of his book, We Fed An Island, about how he dropped everything to help feed the people of Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria, at Politics and Prose. 10 a.m. at 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free.

R&B legend Charlie Wilson performs at MGM National Harbor. 8 p.m. at 101 MGM National Ave., Oxon Hill. $72.28–$122.73.

Tony-winning play An Inspector Calls, centered on a British family being visited by a grim inspector about the death of a young woman, nears the end of its run at Sidney Harman Hall. 7:30 p.m. at 610 F St. NW. $44–$102.


Raheem DeVaughnRaheem DeVaughn describes himself as “the Love King of R&B.” While he may have some competition for the title in this contemporary R&B-dominated era, the D.C.-raised artist has a claim to the throne. Since debuting in 2005, DeVaughn has been a reliable source of loverboy R&B, cooing dance floor odes and bedroom promises over lush slow jam productions with mid-tempo grooves. Read more>>> Raheem DeVaughn performs at 8 p.m. at the Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. $35–$65. (202) 803-2899. (Chris Kelly)

Rambunctious rapper CupcakKe performs at the Fillmore Silver Spring. 8 p.m. at 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $12.50–$25.

Cult filmmaker John Waters brings holiday tunes with A John Waters Christmas to the Birchmere. 7:30 p.m. at 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. $55.

Country singer Chely Wright performs at City Winery. 8:30 p.m. at 1350 Okie St. NE. $24–$28.


News: An affordable housing complex houses one of the District’s most ambitious maker spaces.

Film: Ben is Back is every parent’s worst nightmare—and that’s the point.

Film: Shoplifters is a small-scale film that’s close to perfect.

Museums and Galleries: At Dupont Underground, Brandon Morse offers a taut essay on borders.

Books: Elliot Ackerman’s Waiting for Eden interrogates death and war.

Theater: See middle class foibles play out in Shakespeare Theatre Company’s The Panties, The Partner and The Profit.

Music: The latest from The Sleigher—here, here, and here.


Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. for Phish lead vocalist and guitarist Trey Anastasio, performing at The Anthem on April 6, 2019. 8 p.m. at 901 Wharf St. SW. $49.50–$75.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. for pop star Ariana Grande, performing at Capital One Arena on June 21, 2019. 7:30 p.m. at 601 F St. NW. Pricing to be released at time of sale.

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