This week in D.C., there’s no limit to what you can do. See a Japanese political drama from 1972 or check out Cirque du Soleil’s first ice show. Explore the world of superheroes at the National Museum of American History or see an exhibition combining art and science. Also, The Sleigher is back! Be sure to read our very special takes on this year’s new holiday music at the end of the newsletter. —Kayla Randall


Ecstasy of AngelsDirector Koji Wakamatsu begins the 1972 film Ecstasy of the Angels much like a typical “pink” or adult Japanese movie, with sultry scenes of a nightclub singer and of lovers sharing (admittedly strange) pillow talk. But the movie quickly shifts to something far more radical in terms of both politics and cinema. Read more>>> The film screens at 7 p.m. at the Freer Gallery of Art, Jefferson Drive and 12th Street SW. Free. (202) 633-1000. Padua)

Honfleur Gallery hosts Poetic Vibes DC, an open mic night for creatives and poetry and spoken word lovers, featuring poet Jeff Young. 8 p.m. at 1241 Good Hope Road SE. $10.

The Lincoln Theatre presents a night of conversation with journalist and author Bob Woodward, moderated by WAMU radio host Kojo Nnamdi. 8 p.m. at 1215 U St. NW. $55–$75. 

Brazilian bossa nova singer Bebel Gilberto performs at The Birchmere. 7:30 p.m. at 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. $45.


Cloud NothingsCloud Nothings frontman Dylan Baldi doesn’t care what you think about his band’s new album, Last Building Burning. This creative nonchalance has liberated the Cleveland-based indie band to create its heaviest, most brutal album yet—a sonic heel turn from 2017’s pop-punk Life Without Sound. Read more>>> Cloud Nothings perform with The Courtneys and Radiator Greys at 8 p.m. at Union Stage, 740 Water St. SW. $20–$30. (877) 987-6487. Embert)

Twelve-piece Afro-funk orchestra Chopteeth performs at Pearl Street Warehouse. 8 p.m. at 33 Pearl St. SW. $20.

The National Gallery of Art presents The Chiaroscuro Woodcut in Renaissance Italy, an exhibition exploring the colorful prints made from the successive printing of multiple blocks. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. between 3rd and 9th streets along Constitution Avenue NW. Free.

Momentum Dance Theatre performs its long-running original holiday show, Jazz Hip-Hop Nutcracker, at the Anacostia Arts Center. 3 p.m. at 1231 Good Hope Road SE. $10–$18.


Crystal: A Breakthrough Ice ExperienceFalling through the ice is not the paralyzing fear facing performers in Cirque du Soleil’s new touring extravaganza, Crystal. But crashing down on it from three stories above the cold, hard surface might be. Acrobats jump, trapeze artists swing, and “extreme skaters” go sliding down ramps and flying up into the air, hoping to land on 1/4 inch blades. Read more>>> The show runs to Dec. 9 at Capital One Arena, 601 F St. NW. $90–$130. (202) 628-3200. J. Ritzel)

Union Stage hosts a music-filled Winter Arts Fest, presented by An Indivisible Art Collective, a local arts community composed of artists, poets, storytellers, and musicians. 2 p.m. at 740 Water St. SW. $10–$15.

Kramerbooks hosts a brunch for Freelancing Females, a community for women to meet up, share job opportunities, and provide support and mentorship. 9 a.m. at 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW. $20.

Ballet company Ballet West performs its new production of The Nutcracker at the Kennedy Center Opera House. 7:30 p.m. at 2700 F St. NW. $79–$235.


SuperheroesThe display of the rich legacy of superheroes in America couldn’t be more timely. From the recent passing of Marvel great Stan Lee to the superhero films based on his and Jack Kirby’s creations dominating the box office year after year, Superheroes at the National Museum of American History is the perfect way to commemorate and celebrate our favorite caped crusaders. Read more>>> The exhibition is on view to Sept. 2, 2019 at the National Museum of American History, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 633-1000. T. Benton)

Australian indie rock group Gang of Youths performs at 9:30 Club. 7 p.m. at 815 V St. NW. $20.

Georgetown Library hosts a short fiction workshop with author Ingrid Anders. 7 p.m. at 3260 R St. NW. Free.

Capital One Arena hosts Hot 99.5’s Jingle Ball, featuring pop artists like Shawn Mendes, Meghan Trainor, and The Chainsmokers. 7:30 p.m. at 601 F St. NW. $60–$200.


EyedressAs Eyedress, Idris Vicuña makes music like someone building a contraption out of a jumble of LEGO sets. The 28-year-old musician, who was born in the Philippines and raised in the U.S. before returning to Manila as a teenager, is prolific, and his steady stream of releases charts an odds-and-ends course through influences and inspirations. Read more>>> Eyedress performs at 7 p.m. at U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. $15. (202) 588-1889. Kelly)

The National Portrait Gallery showcases recent acquisitions to its collection on the first floor, including a bright photo of Cuban singer Celia Cruz. 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 8th and F streets NW. Free.

Pop-punk band Bayside performs acoustic tunes at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 8:30 p.m. at 600 I St. NW. $22–$26.

D.C.-based experimental rock ensemble Boat Burning performs at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. 6 p.m. at 2700 F St. NW. Free.


Duality: Art + ScienceAt times in the scientific-based art works of Jody Rasch and Betsy Stewart, it’s hard to grasp a sense of scale. Does a painting depict microscopic organisms, or distant arrays of stars? Is another painting a snapshot of galaxies, or a radar map of a hurricane? Does a third piece feature a fiery depiction of the sun, or a floating cell from an organism? Such tensions suffuse this American Association for the Advancement of Science dual show featuring works by New York-based Rasch, and Stewart… Read more>>> The exhibition is on view to Feb. 1 at the AAAS Headquarters Art Gallery, 1200 New York Ave. NW. Free. (202) 326-6400. (Louis Jacobson)

Delta Heavy, a British electronic music duo, perform at U Street Music Hall. 10:30 p.m. at 1115 U St. NW. $15–$20.

The Ingrid Michaelson Trio perform songs from Michaelson’s new holiday album Songs for the Season at the Lincoln Theatre. 8 p.m. at 1215 U St. NW. $60–$235.

The National Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Nicholas Hersh, performs holiday jams—from “Carol of the Bells” to “Here Comes Santa Claus”—at The Anthem. 8 p.m. at 901 Wharf St. SW. $15–$35.


SeaSea-and-skyscapes are hardly the most original genre of photography, but EJ Camp’s contributions, now on display in a nine-image exhibition at the Leica Store DC, are welcome nonetheless. Camp, a celebrity and advertising photographer with a sideline in fine art, returns often to the moody shores of Long Island, a locale also mined effectively in the photographs of Renate Aller. Read more>>> The exhibition is on view to Feb. 15 at the Leica Store DC, 977 F St. NW. Free. (202) 787-5900. Jacobson)

At the Betts Theatre at George Washington University, authors John Prendergast and Fidel Bafilemba discuss their book Congo Stories, which reveals how the people of Congo are fighting back against international exploitation and oppression in their nation, along with actor Ryan Gosling, who took photos for the book, and Congolese journalist Chouchou Namegabe. 7 p.m. at 800 21st St. NW. $20–$35.

Power pop band Washington Social Club performs at Black Cat. 7:30 p.m. at 1811 14th St. NW. $12–$15.

Join a group of music enthusiasts in discussion of the graphic novel series exploring the creation of music, Hip Hop Family Tree, at Solid State Books. 7:30 p.m. at 600 H St. NE. Free.


Film: Roma is a masterpiece.

Film: Vox Lux is a sobering look at pop stardom and gun violence.

Museums and Galleries: The best photo exhibits of 2018.

Museums and Galleries: Rodarte graces the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ runway.

Theater: Arena’s Indecent is a small story that feels huge.

Music: The Scene Report—What’s new in the local hip-hop world.

Music: The Sleigher—Our annual reviews of new holiday music are back! Read the new reviews here, here, here, here, and here.


Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. for actor and singer Hugh Jackman, performing at Capital One Arena on July 1, 2019. 7 p.m. at 601 F St. NW. Prices will be released at time of sale.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. for legendary rock band Queen with singer Adam Lambert, performing at Capital One Arena on July 30, 2019. 8 p.m. at 601 F St. NW. Prices will be released at time of sale.

Reserved seats tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. for English singer-songwriter and producer James Blake, performing at The Anthem on Feb. 21, 2019. 8 p.m. at 901 Wharf St. SW. $48.50–$78.50.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. for heavy metal band Judas Priest, performing at The Anthem on May 12, 2019. 8 p.m. at 901 Wharf St. SW. $75–$125.

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