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DC, MD, VA Events: WETA Around Town December 14 - 16

Looking for something to do this weekend in DC, Maryland, and Virginia? Check out our selection of cultural events right in your own backyard!


Be inspired by art in Bethesda

The second Friday of the month can only mean one thing: art lovers will descend upon Bethesda for the Art Walk taking place at seven galleries and studios.  Enjoy free refreshments and a chance to discover original artwork by local, regional and national artists.  If you need to rest your legs between galleries, the free Bethesda Circulator bus run continuously with stops within a few blocks from each art space.

Friday, 6pm-9pm

Cost: Free

Various locations in Downtown Bethesda, MD

Click here for more information!



An Ideal Afternoon for Your Family

If you’re looking for a casual Sunday afternoon, stroll on over to Dumbarton House for The Picnic Theatre’s holiday encore performance of An Ideal Husband. 

Sunday, 2pm

The Dumbarton House

2715 Q Street NW, Washington, DC

Cost: $12 ($15 at the door)

Click here for tickets and more information!


Select films opening today:


From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes the first installment of a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien.  The three films tell a continuous story set in Middle-earth 60 years before THE LORD OF THE RINGS, which Jackson and his filmmaking team brought to the big screen in the blockbuster trilogy that culminated with the Oscar®-winning THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING.



In June 1939 the King and Queen of England (Samuel West and Olivia Colman) were invited to stay overnight at President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's (Bill Murray) country estate Hyde Park in upstate New York (actually, it's his mother's—he just lives there). This was the first-ever visit of a reigning English monarch to America. With Britain facing imminent war with Germany, the Royals are desperately looking to FDR for support. But international affairs must be juggled with the complexities of FDR's domestic establishment, as wife Eleanor (Olivia Williams), mother, and mistresses all conspire to make the royal weekend an unforgettable one. Seen through the eyes of Daisy (Laura Linney), Franklin's neighbor and intimate, the weekend will produce not only a special relationship between two great nations, but, for Daisy—and through her, for us all—a deeper understanding of the mysteries of love and friendship.

Check out the WETA Around Town Reveiw on our YouTube page!


ANY DAY NOW                   (NR)

Set in the 1970s, this drama is about Rudy (Alan Cumming), a drag queen whose outrageous exterior hides a lonely but lovable interior. Going to the apartment next door to complain about noise, he finds Marco (Isaac Leyva), a mentally handicapped teenager, abandoned by his mother who has been arrested for prostitution and drugs. Rudy reluctantly and temporarily takes care of Marco, but soon finds himself wanting to turn his guardianship into something more permanent. Meanwhile, Rudy meets attractive, straight-arrow, closeted Paul (Garrett Dillahunt), who attends his show and likes what he sees. Paul works in the DA's office, which comes in handy when Rudy gets into a fight with social services over Marco. As Rudy and Paul are drawn together and become a couple, they seek to adopt Marco, but meet with prejudice and overwhelming obstacles.



In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested for brutally beating and raping a white woman in New York City's Central Park. The policed announced to a press hungry for sensational crime stories that the young men had been part of a gang of teenagers who were out "wilding," assaulting joggers and bicyclists that evening. The ensuing media frenzy was met with a public outcry for justice. New York Mayor Ed Koch called it the "crime of the century" and it remains to date one of the biggest media stories of our time. Each of the five suspects spent 6 to 13 years in prison before a shocking confession from a serial rapist and DNA evidence proved their innocence. Set against a backdrop of a decaying city beset by violence and racial tension, THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE tells the story of how five lives were upended by the rush to judgment by police, a sensationalist media and a devastating miscarriage of justice. Written and directed by Ken Burns (The Civil War, Prohibition, Jazz, Baseball), David McMahon and Sarah Burns.

Watch the trailer here!


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An English Holiday in DC | British Christmas Shows on WETA UK

What can compare to a British Christmas? DC, Maryland, and Virginia are in the spirit this December with the best British holiday TV specials on WETA UK December 21 – 25! So finish eating your pudding and mince pies, get your prize from a Christmas cracker, grab a glass of mulled wine, and settle in for a marathon of WETA UK Christmas shows!


Outnumbered Christmas Special 2011 Can’t a family go on a holiday vacation without some kind of mishap ruining it? The Brockmans are planning to fly out to the Canaries on Christmas day but thanks to a dentist, Grandpa, an immature house-sitter, traffic, and two fighting Santas, this family might not make it to the islands after all.

Airs Friday December 21 at 9:30pm.



Last of the Summer Wine Five back-to-back Christmas specials from one of the longest running British telly shows to date!

Saturday, December 22 – Last of the Summer Wine Episodes
10:00am     Christmas 2008 - I Was a Hit Man for Primrose Dairies
10:30am     Christmas 1977 - A Merry Heat Wave
11:00am     Christmas 1979 - And A Dewhurst Up A Fir Tree
11:30am     Christmas 1981 - Whoops
12:00pm     Christmas 1982 - All Mod Conned
Tuesday, December 25 – Last of the Summer Wine Episodes
10:00am     Christmas 2008 - I Was a Hit Man for Primrose Dairies
10:30am     Christmas 1977 - A Merry Heat Wave
11:00am     Christmas 1979 - And A Dewhurst Up A Fir Tree
11:30am     Christmas 1981 - Whoops
12:00pm     Christmas 1982 - All Mod Conned



To the Manor Born In this special seasonal episode, it is Audrey’s first Christmas away from the manor but she is not going to let deVere take away her one remaining duty. So when she cannot find the Holy Crib for the Church, she decides to make one of her own, with the help of Marjory and Ned. Meanwhile, Richard plans to do his duty in style. The poor Rector has to choose between Audrey’s home-made monstrosity or Richard’s crassly commercial model.

Airs Saturday, December 22 at 12:30pm and Tuesday, December 25 at 7:30pm.


Vicar of Dibley Catch four back-to-back Christmas specials on December 22 and December 25! Geraldine Granger is not your run-of-the-mill village vicar. She is a bubbly, young reverend overseeing an eccentric congregation in a rural community. She and her off-the-wall parishioners have returned for these Christmas specials to bring us unconventional laughs during the holiday season.

Saturday, December 22 – Vicar of Dibley Episodes
1:00pm     Christmas 1996 
2:00pm     Christmas 1997 
3:00pm     Christmas 2004 
5:00pm     Christmas 2006 
Tuesday, December 25 – Vicar of Dibley Episodes
1:00pm     Christmas 1996 
2:00pm     Christmas 1997 
3:00pm     Christmas 2004 
5:00pm     Christmas 2006 


Mr. Bean celebrates the holidays in Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean! Mr. Bean is very excited that it is Christmas so he befriends a Salvation Army band then drives home with the tallest tree he can find. On Christmas Day there are plenty of surprises under the tree but the gift he gives to his girlfriend is not what she had hoped for, and she leaves him all alone. Even so, Mr. Bean's holiday season ends with a bang. Airs Sunday, December 23 at 9:30pm.


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This Week on WETA UK | WETA UK Schedule December 10 – 16

Every Monday, you can find highlights of the coming week’s schedule right here on the Programmer’s Choice blog! Continue reading for more about information, photos, and video on the fantastic British shows we have in store for you. SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG so you have all the latest WETA Television news including schedule information, video previews of shows, and more!

Monday at 12:00pm Antiques Roadshow BBC season 30 discovers those valuable and not-quite-so-valuable antiques tucked away at the backs of cupboards in Hereford, UK. Always filmed on location, thousands of local residents pour in, clutching personal treasures to be examined, commented on, and valued by the Roadshow experts. Repeats December 18 at 8:30am.


Wednesday at 9:30am begin watching the series everyone is talking about as Outnumbered restarts from the very first episode! The Brockmans are your average British family: a house in London, two loving parents, and three children overflowing with personality. Their personalities are great until the parents feel outnumbered causing partially improvised and entirely hilarious situations. Watch this series from the very beginning and return for more laughs every week on Wednesdays at 9:30am and Fridays at 9:30pm.


Wednesday at 10:00am catch the first episode of To The Manor Born season 2! Lady Audrey fforbes-Hamilton’s husband died and left huge debts which forced her to sell Grantleigh Manor, which had been in her family for 400 years. Now she lives in a small house on the edge of the estate. It is not what she is used to, but Audrey is made of stern stuff. Grantleigh’s new master is offended by her snobbish instincts but Audrey finds him intriguing. Will these two hit it off or will one drive the other way in madness? Repeats this Friday at 2:30pm & 5:00pm, this Saturday at 6:30am, this Sunday at 7:00am, and next week: December 18 at 10:00am & 7:30am, December 21 at 12:30pm.



Wednesday at 7:30pm don’t miss season 3 episode 1 of Yes, Minister! As the last season of this iconic series, enjoy the beginning of the end and prepare for the WETA UK premiere of Yes, Prime Minister in February! Download our WETA UK YES, MINISTER SEASON 3 EPISODE GUIDE here! Repeats Thursday at 10:30am, Friday at noon, Saturday at 4:00pm, Sunday at 7:30am, and next week: December 17 at 10:00am, December 19 at 10:30am, and December 22 at 10:00am.


Thursday beginning at 8:00pm get your mystery fix with Rosemary & Thyme at 8:00pm, Waking the Dead at 9:00pm, and New Tricks at 10:00pm. Our Thursday night line-up provides a mix of crime drama mysteries which are sure to make you a British television fan in no time.


Friday at 6:00pm watch the first episode of season 4, Waiting For God! Take a visit to the Bayview Retirement Village where the food is appalling, the staff treat residents like idiot children, and any show of independence is strictly frowned upon. But two elderly eccentric residents refuse to give in and grow old gracefully just yet. Tom Ballard is a retired accountant and Diana Trent is a no-nonsense ex-journalist. When these two get together, they do more than just wait for their time to pass. Download and print our WETA UK WAITING FOR GOD SEASON 4 EPISODE GUIDE! Repeats December 18 at 10:30am, December 20 at 9:30am, and December 21 at 1:30pm.


Friday at 7:30pm start watching the classic British comedy As Time Goes By from the very beginning. In the early 1950s, a young Army officer and a student nurse fell in love. It was a whirlwind romance, but the young Lionel and Jean were separated when he was posted to Korea. His letter went astray and they lost touch. In the early 1990s, Lionel (now divorced) is in England to work on his autobiography, My Life In Kenya. He needs a secretary and Jean (a widow) owns a secretarial agency. She sends her feisty daughter Judith who makes such a good impression that Lionel invites her out to dinner. And, as mother and daughter share a house, the inevitable happens – Lionel and Jean are reunited. Don’t expect them to jump into each other’s arms; Third Age romance takes time. Can they recapture the old magic, orare they too old and set in their ways? Download and print our WETA UK AS TIME GOES BY SEASON 1 EPISODE GUIDE!



Saturday at 8:00pm finish off season 1 of The WETA UK Event: The Complete Wallander with the episode, One Step Behind. Then at 9:30pm see the first episode of season 2, Faceless Killers.



Sunday is a great day on WETA UK to try out some new shows. With a variety of genres, characters, and lengths, we’re sure you’ll find the perfect British TV show to get hooked on. Let us know which is your favorite and what you’d like to see more of!

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Holiday TV Shows All Month Long | December Holiday Programming

There’s something magical about December in DC: Monuments towering in the grey, snow-flecked sky; holiday lights lining the busy streets; and a frozen glaze over the Potomac River. What’s more, WETA TV26 and WETA HD are delivering musical, traditional, and local holiday shows straight to your home all month long! The hustle and bustle of the season may still haunt you like the Ghost of Christmas Past but WETA hopes to bring your tidings of comfort and joy this holiday season.

The National Christmas Tree Lighting

Tickets to this event are sparse but no need to fret because WETA Presents The National Christmas Tree Lighting December 7!  Celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, well-known entertainers and the United States Military Band will perform and the President will deliver a holiday message of peace to all. Watch the statuesque National Christmas Tree, along with 56 smaller trees (representing the 50 states, five territories, and the District of Columbia) as they are magically lit and illuminate the White House. Check out this interactive Christmas Tree Lighting timeline!

Watch The National Christmas Tree Lighting on Friday, December 7 at 9:00pm on WETA TV26 and WETA HD.


Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: King Singers

Through the years, audiences have been enchanted by the melodious sounds of the Mormon Tabernacle choir and this year, we invite you to join us for Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle: King Singers. The King’s Singers is a vocal group highly sought-after worldwide and they’re right here on WETA for you to enjoy this holiday season. The program features holiday songs from the past and present as dancers accompany the harmonious and inspirational singing for a perfect Christmas experience.

Watch Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: King Singers on Sunday, December 16 at 7:00pm on WETA TV26 and WETA HD.   


Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: Jane Seymour & Nathan Gunn

British actress Jane Seymour and Opera singer Nathan Gunn join the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Salt Lake City for this holiday event. Listen to the season’s most-loved songs at this annual concert, attracting thousands to Temple Square each December. As usual, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir showcases a perfect pairing of classical holiday songs and modern Christmas tunes.

Watch Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: Jane Seymour & Nathan Gunn on Monday, December 17 at 10:00pm on WETA TV26 and WETA HD.


WETA Guide to Christmas

Let WETA TV be your guide to Christmas in DC! In the one-hour special, the WETA Guide to Christmas, WETA TV presents an enticing list of ideas of how Washingtonians and visitors can celebrate the holiday season well before Santa slides down the chimney. What makes the holidays so much brighter in the nation’s capital? Get the inside scoop on Christmas festivities, activities, and traditions specific to the Washington area. Let us do the investigating, so you can enjoy every moment. We’ll tell you where the best neighborhood light displays are that will bring out the child in anyone. Explore historic locations and iconic destinations with the most elaborate and beautiful holiday décor.  And what would the holiday season be without taking some time to help those in need? We’ll highlight organizations, people, and volunteer opportunities tailored toward this time of giving right in your own backyard.

Watch WETA Guide to Christmas on WETA TV26 and WETA HD at the following dates and times below:

Tuesday, December 18 at 5:00pm

Wednesday, December 19 at 8:00pm

Thursday, December 20 at 2:00pm

Sunday, December 23 at 1:30pm

Monday, December 24 at 8:30am


Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: Natalie Cole

Multi-faceted singer Natalie Cole has tackled R&B, jazz, and pop, and now she takes the stage with the Mormon Tabernacle choir where she will headline the event, Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: Natalie Cole. Natalie Cole’s signature vocal style fused with the sounds of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir-who annually perform for over 85,000 audience members-will surely put you in the Christmas spirit.

Watch Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: Natalie Cole on Monday, December 24 at 9:00pm on WETA TV26 and WETA HD.                          


Christmas at Luther: Tidings of Comfort and Joy

Straight from the state of Iowa, the highly talented choirs of Luther College bring you an unforgettable holiday concert with 500 choir members, complete with a symphony orchestra. Thousands line up each year to be part of the audience privileged enough to be exposed to the musical and vocal talents of Luther College’s world-renowned musicians. Give yourself the gift of sweet music this year, as the Luther College choir celebrates another year performing their traditional Christmas concert.

Watch Christmas at Luther: Tidings of Comfort and Joy on Monday, December 24 at 10:00pm on WETA TV26 and WETA HD.


Christmas on Christmas! 

Only on WETA, enjoy children’s Christmas programs and musical performances featuring world-renowned choirs, orchestras and singers alike all day long on December 25, Christmas Day.  Sustain that warm, jolly feeling with WETA’s Christmas programming.

Tuesday, December 25 from 7:30am to 6:00pm on WETA TV26 and WETA HD.


7:00am             Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas

8:00am             Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas!

9:00am             Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: Brian Stokes Mitchell & Edward Herman

10:00am          Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: David Archuleta & Michael York

11:00am          Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: Natalie Cole

12:00pm          Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: Jane Seymour & Nathan Gunn

1:00pm            Christmas at St. Olaf  

2:00pm            Christmas at Belmont

3:00pm            Christmas at Luther: Tidings of Comfort & Joy

4:00pm            WETA Guide to Christmas

5:00pm            Lidia Celebrates: Holiday Tables & Traditions

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DC, MD, VA Events: WETA Around Town Holiday Events


With such a plethora of holiday events in our region, it’s quite a task to choose the best ones for your already hectic schedule!  Luckily, this is the season of giving and we’re feeling particularly generous.  Take a peek under your cyber Christmas tree.  Our gift to you? A carefully curated directory of our favorite things to do this December in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia.  Now hurry off and have fun — this special time comes but once a year.  


                                               Happy holidays from WETA Around Town!



Theatre’s always magical, but something about the holidays makes the stage shine a little brighter after Thanksgiving.  We covered many here in our recent Holiday Theatre Roundup: 


Here are a few more performances you shouldn’t tuck away in your stocking; see one now!


          Holiday Guys featuring Marc Kudisch and Jeffry Denman

          December 11-16; Cost: Tickets starting at $41

          Signature Theatre – Arlington, VA


          It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play

          December 6-30, Thursday-Sunday; Cost: $25.50 for adults; $21.50 for seniors/students

          Maryland Ensemble Theatre – Frederick, MD


          My So-Called Jewish Life: Holiday Time Storytelling

          December 15, 8pm; Cost: $17 in advance $20 at the door

          Sixth & I Historic Synagogue – Washington, DC


          Seasonal Disorder by Washington Improv Theater

          December 6-22, 8 & 10pm; Cost: $10 in advance, $15 at the door

          Source – Washington, DC


          Rep Stage presents David Sedaris’ Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk

          December 20 – 23; Cost: $15

          The Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center - Columbia, MD


           ‘Tis the Season: A concert by the American Youth String Ensemble

          December 7, 7pm; Cost: $15 for adults, $10 for seniors/students

          Vienna Presbyterian Church – Vienna, VA


          Yes, Virginia: The Musical produced by Oxon Hill Middle School

          December 6 & 7, 6:30pm; Cost $5

          Oxon Hill Middle School – Fort Washington, MD



Grace and elegance—don’t we all wish we had more of that, especially as the year comes to a hectic close? Maybe a dancer’s poise will rub off on us. There’s only one way to find out and that means going to a holiday dance performance!


          Kwanzaa Celebration with Dance Place

          December 14 & 15, 8pm; Cost: $22 general admission

          Dance Place – Washington, DC


          Step Afrika! Magical, Musical Holiday Step Show

          December 12-23; Cost: $35 for adults, $20 for seniors/students

          Atlas Performing Arts Center – Washington, DC


          The Nutcracker by Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore School of the Arts,                   Maryland Institute College of Art & Modell Lyric

          December 21 & 22, 2 & 7:30pm; Cost: Starting at $28

          Modell Lyric – Baltimore, MD



With carols and orchestral celebrations, ‘tis the season of music!  We’ve narrowed down the list of holiday concerts galore.  And, yes, there’s something about the holidays that makes us feel lyrical.


          Florence: Christmas Music of the Trecento

          December 14 – 23, Cost: $50

          Folger Shakespeare Library – Washington, DC


          Holiday Pops Celebration with BSO SuperPops

          December 12 – December 16; Cost: Tickets start at $17

          The Music Center at Strathmore – N. Bethesda, MD

          and Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall – Baltimore, MD


          Joy of Christmas Concert by the Cathedral Choral Society

          December 15 & 16; Cost: $25

          Washington National Cathedral – Washington, DC


          Mount Vernon Flutes Holiday Music

          December 9, 2pm; Cost: Free

          Athenaeum - Alexandria, VA


          National Chamber Ensemble Annual Holiday Concert

          December 16, 4:30pm; Cost: $28 for adults, $15 for students

          Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre at Artisphere – Arlington, VA


          Take 5! A Cool Yule with the Brad Linde Quartet plus Brass

          December 20, 5-7pm; Cost: Free

          Smithsonian American Art Museum Washington, DC


          Washington Symphonic Brass presents Holiday Concert

          December 18, 7:30pm; Cost: Tickets between $28-48

          The Music Center at Strathmore – Bethesda, Maryland


          World Holiday Celebrations by Children’s Chorus of Washington

          December 15 & 16, 4pm; Cost: $25 for adults, $10 for children

          National City Christian Church – Washington, DC



Glitter, lights, and numerous other decorations put the winter holidays in the running for the most beautiful time of year.  Honor the spirit of the season (and the visual arts) by strolling out to one of these shows:


          Holiday Ornament Emporium

          December 7 – 23; Cost: Free with admission

          Montpelier Mansion - Laurel, MD


          ICE!™ Featuring Dreamworks’ Shrek the Halls

          Through January 6; Cost: Starting at $22.99, discount for Military, Seniors and Kids

          The Gaylord Hotel – National Harbor, MD


          Joys of the Season All-media Exhibition

          Through January 20; Cost: Free

          Torpedo Factory Art Center – Alexandria, VA



The holidays can be fun for the whole family.  Here are a few events that are sure to delight the young and young at heart. 


          Baktun 13: A Guatemalan Cultural Festival

          December 15 & 16, 10am-5pm; Cost: Free

          National Museum of the American Indian – Washington, DC


          Drumming with Dishes – The Holiday Edition

          December 11-16; Cost: $8

          Atlas Performing Arts Center – Washington, DC


          Holiday Films at AFI Silver: It’s a Wonderful Life, The Muppet Christmas Carol, A Christmas     Story, The Nutcracker, Miracle on 34th Street, Holiday Affair, etc.

          Starting December 7; $11.50 for general admission, $7 per child

          AFI Silver Theatre & Cultural Center – Silver Spring, MD


          Israeli-style Family Chanukah Celebration

          December 8, 6:30-8:30pm; Cost: $7 per person, $20 max. per family

          JCC of Greater Washington - Rockville, MD


          Kwanzaa: A Musical Celebration

          December 28, 10am; Cost: Free

          Anacostia Community Museum – Washington, DC


          Kwanzaa Celebration: And a Child Shall Lead Them

          December 29, 12-4pm; Cost: $5

          Reginald F. Lewis Museum – Baltimore, MD


          Oh Tannenbaum! Christmas Festival

          December 8-9; Cost: Free

          Goethe-Institut – Washington, DC


And for more holiday cheer around Washington, watch our WETA Guide to Christmas online or on air!

Tuesday, December 18    at 5:00pm 

Wednesday, December 19 at 8:00pm

Thursday, December 20   at 2:00pm

Sunday, December 23      at 1:30pm

Monday, December 24    at 8:30am