November 21, 2012 at 3:05 pm EST | by Keith Loria
In the spirit

A dancer from Washington Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker.’ (Photo by Steve Vaccariello; courtesy Washington Ballet)

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington presents “Winter Nights,” Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at the Lisner Auditorium, (730 21st Street NW), featuring a pageant of glittering winter “Rockettes,” a Bollywood number and even a visit from Mrs. Claus with the song “Santa Won’t You Please Come Back.” Tickets range from $13 to $35 and can be purchased at

Wolf Trap (1645 Trap Rd.) in Vienna presents its free annual holiday sing-a-long on Dec. 1, featuring Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs by choir and vocal groups and the United States Marine Band.

The Kennedy Center (2700 F St., N.W.) has several holiday performances and events coming up in December. First, Utah’s preeminent ballet company, Ballet West, brings America’ oldest complete “Nutcracker” to the center from Dec. 5-9. The beloved ballet features the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra and National Cathedral School Lower School Singers. Tickets range from $45-$150.

The Kennedy Center teams with National Public Radio for the annual “A Jazz Piano Christmas” on Dec. 8, featuring top jazz pianists such as Master Ellis Marsalis, Jason Moran, Geri Allen and Taylor Eigsti performing their favorite holiday songs. Tickets are $65.

Also at the Kennedy Center, the National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Rolf Beck, will be performing Handel’s “Messiah” Dec. 20-23. Featured singers will be soprano Katherine Whyte, countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, tenor Sunnyboy Vincent Diadia and bass-baritone Panajotis Iconmou. Tickets range from $10 to $85.

The National Philharmonic will perform the “Messiah” on Dec. 8 and Dec. 22-23 with Stan Engebretson conducting at the Music Center at Strathmore (5301 Tuckerman Lane) in North Bethesda. Tickets range from $30 to $85.

Washington Symphonic Brass (Photo courtesy the company)

On Dec. 18, the National Philharmonic’s associate Conductor Victoria Gau will lead the Washington Symphonic Brass and National Philharmonic Chorale in a holiday concert at the Music Center. The critically acclaimed 17-member brass and percussion ensemble will ring in the holidays with arrangements of holiday favorites, including a medley by WSB Director Phil Snedecor called “Christmas Memories,” an arrangement by Tony DiLorenzo of “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” and an exuberant version of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” with the National Philharmonic Chorale. Tickets range from $28 to $48.

The National Philharmonic Singers, under the direction of conductors Stan Engebretson and Victoria Gau, will present a free holiday concert on Dec. 15 at Christ Episcopal Church (107 South Washington St.) in Rockville. The concert will feature famous carols, including the “Hallelujah Chorus,” Benjamin Britten’s “A Ceremony of Carols” with harp and “The Blessed Son of God from Hodie” by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Other highlights include music from various periods, with a special audience sing along.

Washington Ballet welcomes the holiday season by presenting “The Nutcracker” Nov. 30 through Dec. 23 at the historic Warner Theatre (3515 Wisconsin Ave, NW). Septime Webre’s critically acclaimed ballet transports audiences back in time to historic Washington in a one-of-a-kind production set in 1882 Georgetown and starring George Washington as the heroic Nutcracker, King George III as the villainous Rat King, Anacostia Indians, frontiersmen and many other all-American delights. Tickets range from $34-$99.

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs its “Holiday Pops Celebration” from Dec. 12-16 at the Music Center at Strathmore under the baton of Robert Bernhardt. Daniel Narducci serves as host and guest vocalist. Tickets range from $25-$85.

For those looking for some non-traditional entertainment, they won’t be disappointed.

Town (2009 8th St. NW) will present “A Nightmare Before Xmas” with Sharon Needles, a drag queen famous for winning “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” on Dec. 15. The club will also feature DJ Summer Camp (aka Shea Van Horn in a fabulously slutty dress).  The night begins at 10 p.m., but a private meet-and-greet cocktail party is available with Needles for $50. A limited amount of tickets are available at

Coyaba Dance Theater (3225 8th St NE) welcomes the young performers of the Coyaba Dance Academy and special guests Soul in Motion and Cheick Hamala Diabaté for its annual multi-generational Kwanzaa Celebration Dec. 14-16. The performance includes traditional dance and drumming. Tickets begin at $22.

Gay filmmaker John Waters will offer his take on the holiday season with his show “A John Waters Christmas” playing the Birchmere (3701 Mount Vernon Ave.) in Alexandria on Dec. 10. Delving into his passion for lunatic exploitation Christmas movies and the unhealthy urge to remake all his own films into seasonal children’s classics, “The Pope of Trash” will give you a Joyeaux Noel like no other. Tickets are $49.50.

Also at the Birchmere, The Four Bitchin Babes, combining humor with music, will be presenting its “Jingle Babes” celebration Dec.14-15. The four women play their own guitars, bass, piano, Irish Bodhran, mandolin and ukulele as they entertain for the holidays. Tickets are $35.

Looking for a little theater this holiday season? There are plenty of offerings to whet any theatrical appetite.

‘White Christmas.’ (Photo courtesy the Kennedy Center)

The Kennedy Center will stage Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas,” based on the popular movie, in its Opera House from Dec. 11 to Jan. 6. Tickets start at $25.

The National Theatre (1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW) stages Cameron Mackintosh’s new 25th anniversary production of “Les Misérables” from Dec. 13-30. The new production features glorious new staging and spectacular reimagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo. Ticket prices start at $40.

The Olney Theater (2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Rd.) in Olney is bringing back storyteller Paul Morella in a one-man performance of “A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas.” Tickets for all shows at Olney start at $26 and can be purchased by calling the box office at 301-924-3400.

Olney will also stage Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic musical “Cinderella” from now until Dec. 30. The musical includes memorable songs such as “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible” and “Ten Minutes Ago.” Tickets are $26-$54.

The BlackRock Center for the Arts (12901 Town Commons Drive) in Germantown is getting into the holiday spirit with a theatrical performance of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on Dec. 8 and “It’s a Wonderful Life” on Dec. 15. Tickets range from $15-$29.

BlackRock also hosts “A Ceremony of Carols,” with the National Philharmonic Singers and harpist Rebecca Smith on Dec. 16. Tickets are $23-$25 and can be purchased at

Signature Theatre (4200 Campbell Ave.) in Arlington will present “Holiday Guys,” a two-man cabaret starring three-time Tony Award nominee and Signature favorite Marc Kudisch and Astaire Award nominee Jeffry Denman. The non-traditional holiday show is complete with song, dance and silliness and will play Dec. 11-16.

Back by popular demand to Signature is the festive series “Holiday Follies,” featuring a wonderful wintry line-up of special guest performers, along with a host of Signature’s closest friends and artists. Performances are scheduled from Dec. 18-23. Tickets for both Signature shows are $41.

Whether a fan of jazz, pop or classical, music lovers can get their fix all holiday season.

The Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra (2001 Eleventh Street NW) performs its holiday concert, “A Bohemian Christmas,” featuring holiday classics from the libraries of Claude Thornhill, Count Basie, Stan Kenton and the entire Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn adaptation of “The Nutcracker Suite” on Dec. 10. Tickets are $10.

On Dec.8, Saxophonist Tim Warfield returns to Bohemian Caverns to host his annual Jazzy Christmas Show. Tickets are $25.

Saxophone extraordinaire Dave Koz, who’s openly gay, is celebrating his 15th annual “Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Concert” at the Music Center at Strathmore (5301 Tuckerman Lane) in North Bethesda on Dec. 3. Special guests include David Benoit, Javier Colon and Sheila E. The concert begins at 8 p.m. and tickets range from $38 to $72.

The Christ Church Episcopal (118 N. Washington St.) in Alexandria is presenting “A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” on Dec. 2 at 5 p.m. The Christ Church Choir, the Canterbury Choir, the Cherub Choir, guest organist Daniel Aune and a brass quintet will join to offer music for the Advent season. A wine-and-cheese reception will follow the free performance.

DC Swing!, with its new conductor, Matt Leonhardt, will perform a holiday benefit gala with live holiday music, hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar on Dec. 15th, at Nage Bistro (1600 Rhode Island Ave NW), from 7-10 p.m. The LGBT-friendly group is part of D.C. Different Drummers. Tickets start at $30.

Metropolitan Community Church of Washington (474 Ridge St. NW), D.C.’s largest mostly gay church, presents its annual Christmas concert “Christmas Miracles” Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at 7:30 both nights. The church will also offer a special Christmas concert and community dinner on Dec. 7 and a family Christmas concert on Dec. 8. Visit for more information.

The Philadelphia Brass Quintet will perform a world premier-commissioned work for Candlelight Concert Society’s 40th anniversary on Nov. 24 at the Horowitz Performing Arts Center, Smith Theatre, on the campus of Howard Community College (10901 Little Patuxent Parkway) in Columbia. The concert features an array of classical and contemporary music by Susato, Bach, Durufle, Ewazn, Weill, Elgar, Lichtenberger, Van Heusen and Duke Ellington. Tickets range from $12-$30.


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