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Why does Wicked continue to entertain and thrill audiences more than a decade after its Broadway opening? Because it offers several hours of pure theatrical escapism that both cynics and optimists can relate to. Based on Gregory Maguire’s novel, which Maguire wrote to address some of his lingering Wizard of Oz questions, the musical follows Oz’s main villain, Elphaba, who becomes the Wicked Witch of the West over the course of the play. An imaginative score by Tony-winning composer Stephen Schwartz and a warm book by Winnie Holzman tie the story together. Read more >>> The musical runs Dec. 14 to Jan. 8 at the Kennedy Center Opera House, 2700 F St. NW. $99–$359. (202) 467-4600. kennedy-center.org. (Jackson Sinnenberg)

EAT THIS

Visit Roofers Union tonight for the bar’s third annual ugly sweater Christmas party starting at 6 p.m. There will beers from close to 20 local breweries, supplying everything from sours to barrel-aged stouts. Prizes will be awarded for various ugly sweater categories and there will also be live music. No tickets necessary, just show up. The bar will collect unwrapped toys and donations for the Mary’s Center Toy Drive. Roofers Union, 2446 18th St. NW. (202) 232-7663. roofersuniondc.com. (Laura Hayes)

OH AND ALSO

Comedian and storyteller Jeff Simmermon records his first comedy album over the course of two shows tonight at the Black Cat Backstage. Before heading out, check out our profile of Simmermon online. 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. at 1811 14th St. NW. $15.

Brooklyn-based songwriter Allen Tate, known for his work as the lead singer of San Fermin, plays a solo show at DC9 with opening act Pavo Pavo. 9 p.m. at 1940 9th St. NW. $10–$12.

Reggae-funk band Spiritual Rez celebrates the release of its new album with a show at Gypsy Sally’s. 8:30 p.m. at 3401 K St. NW. $14.

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