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WETA Movie Night: May 3

Begin the night with lots of drama as WETA TV26 & HD airs the musical Cabaret (1972) at 9:30pm. Then ease into non-fiction but keep the drama with Journey of the Bonesetter’s Daughter at 11:30pm. To finish off the night, go fully into documentary form as P.O.V. Last Train Home airs at 12:30am.

WETA Movie: Cabaret (1972) airs on Saturday at 9:30pm

This film is set in 1931 Berlin as young dancer American Sally Bowles has a whirlwind love triangle with a Brit and wealthy bachelor. Stars Liza Minnelli, Michael York, and Joel Grey.

Journey of the Bonesetter’s Daughter airs Saturday at 11:30pm
Follow the creation of the San Francisco Opera's celebrated production of The Bonesetter's Daughter, composed by Stewart Wallace with a libretto by Amy Tan, based on her bestselling book of the same name. .

P.O.V. Last Train Home airs on Sunday at 12:30am
Every spring, China’s cities are plunged into chaos as 130 million migrant workers journey to their home villages for the New Year in the world’s largest human migration. Last Train Home takes viewers on a heart-stopping journey with the Zhangs, a couple who left infant children behind for factory jobs 16 years ago, hoping their wages would lift their children to a better life.


 

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WETA Movie Night: April 26

This weekend, tune into WETA TV26 & HD for the 1962 Broadway drama Gypsy. Music, dance, family drama, and the drive to make it big are the themes that have made this movie such a hit. Starring Rosalind Russell, Natalie Wood, and Karl Malden. Watch a preview of the film below.

Set during the 1920s in the vaudeville era, Rose is an aggressive and domineering woman who desires above all to make her two daughters June and Louise big entertainment stars. Herbie Sommers is an entertainment agent who falls in love with Rose. The two lock-in big circuit bookings for daughter June while the apparently less talented Louise is pushed into the background. Over time, June decides to break away from Rose and Herbie leaving pushy stage mother Rose to work on Louise’s career. Consequently, the trio winds up at a third-rate burlesque house in Wichita. Will Rose step aside and let her daughter rise to the top on her own true talent?
The musical classic Gypsy airs on WETA TV26 & HD Saturday April 26 at 9:30pm and Sunday April 27 at 11am.

 


 

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WETA Movie Night: April 19

This weekend, celebrate spring-time with a classic musical and two nature documentaries. Saturday beginning at 9:30pm on WETA TV26 & HD, catch the incredibly successful musical Easter Parade (1948), then two environmental documentaries at 11:30pm and 1am.

 

Easter Parade (1948) - Saturday at 9:30pm
A vaudeville nightclub performer hires a naive chorus girl to become his new dance partner and make his former partner jealous. He's determined to prove that he can make any partner a star and finds love along the way. Stars Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Peter Lawford, and Ann Miller.

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front – Saturday 11:30pm
Explore two of America’s most pressing issues:  environmentalism and terrorism as this film reveals a radical environmental group, the Earth Liberation Front which the FBI calls America’s “number one domestic terrorism threat”. Daniel McGowan is a former member of the Earth Liberation Front and faces life in prison for two multimillion-dollar arsons against Oregon timber companies. Learn of the environmental group and McGowan’s story on POV’s If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front.

Facing the Storm: Story of the American Bison – Sunday 1am
This documentary shows the history of human relations with the largest land mammal on the continent. There have been many different threats to wild bison throughout the centuries. Learn how this rich history of human sustenance, exploitation, conservation, and spiritual relations with an icon of wild America shows us that the bison is not only a symbol of a lost world, but may also show us the path to a more sustainable future.


 

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WETA Presents In Performance at the White House | Women Of Soul

Monday April 7 is a night of music on WETA TV26 & HD as WETA presents In Performance at the White House: Women of Soul at 9pm, and In Performance at the White House: The Motown Sound at 10pm. In Performance at the White House shows are music specials in the East Room of the White House hosted by the President of the United States.

In Performance at the White House: Women of Soul at 9pm
This program honors music legends and contemporary major female artists and celebrates the great “foremothers” of American music with songs expressing the struggles and achievements of women. Performers include: Tessanne Chin, Melissa Etheridge, Aretha Franklin, Ariana Grande, Patti LaBelle, Janelle Monáe and Jill Scott.

In Performance at the White House: The Motown Sound at 10pm
This program celebrates the legacy of Motown, the distinctive soul-infused pop music sound, style, and presentation that was born in Detroit and embodied by the Motown Records label. Performers include: Jamie Foxx (who hosts), Smokey Robinson, Natasha Bedingfield, Sheryl Crow, John Legend, Nick Jonas, the country group Gloriana, singer Ledisi, Amber Riley, Mark Salling, Seal and Jordin Sparks.

Don’t forget Antiques Roadshow goes to Kansas City at 8pm every Monday night on WETA TV26 & HD!


 

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Free Movies in DC | WETA Movies September 21

This weekend on WETA TV26 & HD, tune in for the classic musical Fiddler on the Roof and two moving documentaries presented by PBS' P.O.V.

WETA Movie: Fiddler on the Roof (1971) - Saturday September 21 at 9:30pm
Fiddler on the Roof centers on a Jewish family’s struggle with poverty in Tsarist Russia, in 1905. This musical masterpiece conveys the difficulty of providing for one’s family while living in constant fear of harassment from those of different beliefs. Explore the hardships of poverty and Jewish discrimination in the early 1900s through compelling musical numbers in Fiddler on the Roof. Watch a preview here!

POV: Granito: How to Nail a Dictator - Sunday September 22 at 12:30am

In the 1980s, Central American dictator Efrain Rios Montt waged a brutal genocide against the Mayan population of Guatemala. Pamela Yates’ 1983 documentary, When the Mountains Tremble, provided a new generation of human rights activists with the information and added motivation to bring this dictator to justice. Granito tells the story of how Yates’s film became the catalyst in a benchmark victory for the Central American justice system in this official selection of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Watch a preview here!

POV: Biblioburro, the Donkey Library - Sunday September 22 at 2:00am
Luis Humberto Soriano, a unique librarian living in a remote area in northern Colombia, is passionate about education and believes in a better future for his country. With the help of his two donkeys Alpha and Bet, Soriano brings a library of books to school children in violent and drug riddled areas of Colombia. Witness one man’s dedication towards providing the youth of his country with the power of literature in Biblioburro, the Donkey Library. Watch a preview here!


 

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The Rhythm of June on WETA

One thing that has remained constant throughout time is our love of music. Music can transcend culture and generations, and we can all appreciate a catchy tune. In June, WETA TV26 & HD presents a wide range of musical programs that will transport you to the front row of some of the greatest performances in history!
 
Jewish songwriters have been an important part in the creation of some of the most well-known musicals in the history of theatre. West Side Story, Wicked, and Bye, Bye Birdie are only a few of the award-winning musicals featured in an in-depth look at how Jewish ideals helped shape today’s musicals. Watch breathtaking performances and interviews with some of the pioneers of Broadway. Watch a preview here! Airs Sunday, June 2 at 7:00pm
 
In 2009 Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto, and Gianluca Ginoble entered Ti lascio una canzone, an Italian music competition. As fate would have it, they were chosen to sing together during the competition, and 4 years later they are still singing together as Il Volo. From performing on American Idol to guest starring on HBO’s Entourage, they’ve certainly made a name for themselves in America. Watch a performance of their second album, We Are Love, at the Filmore Miami Beach. Airs Monday, June 3 at 8:00pm.
 
The 1950s and 1960s are remembered fondly for many things, but for many people these decades are all about the music. The radio had become a booming success, and for many families, it became tradition to huddle together and listen to hit singles by artists like Patti Page and Frankie Lane. Watch performances by some of these all-time musical greats and relive the wonder of the golden era. Airs Thursday, June 6 at 8:00pm.
 
Portofino is a spectacular village on the shores of Italy, and a beautiful place for authentic Italian culture. Portofino is a popular destination for famous celebrities worldwide, and the Italian village was chosen as the backdrop for Andrea Bocelli’s grand performance. Love in Portofino features Grammy-winning musicians, famous love songs, and Bocelli singing songs in six different languages, all under the starry sky of Italy. Watch the trailer here! Airs Friday, June 7 at 9:00pm.
 
In the 1960s, music started becoming a powerful tool for spreading peace and reform. Many of the classic pop songs that we all know and love originally carried heavy messages about serious issues. Return to the era of psychedelic “groovy” music with Peter Noone and Davy Jones, two Manchester musicians who had a huge influence on this new wave. See hit singles performed by classic bands from the decade of love. Airs Saturday, June 8 at 8:00pm.
 
The 1970s and 1980s are arguably the most fondly remembered decades of the 1900s. Even today the music and fashion that these decades produced are celebrated and mimicked by admirers. There was never a better time for soulful music, and some of the greatest songs from the era are highlighted. Music from Marvin Gaye, The Jackson Five, and many others are all presented by celebrity host Whoopi Goldberg. Watch the trailer here! Airs Sunday, June 9 at 9:30pm.
 
Carole King and James Taylor have a combined total of 9 Grammy awards and are both members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Originally, Carole King was only a songwriter and pianist, but James Taylor knew she could be a star if she started singing her own songs. Flash forward 40 years later, and Carole King and James Taylor are performing together at the 50th Anniversary of the Troubadour Nightclub in Los Angeles. This performance features some of the most popular hits of their storied careers. Watch a compilation of their music here! Airs Friday, June 14 at 9:00pm.
 
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WETA Around Town Events: May 24 - 26

This Memorial Day weekend there’s plenty to do in the Washington, DC area besides going to the National Mall. Check out some of these DMV events this weekend.

 
Sometimes the best way to unwind after a long week is to discover or revisit a good movie. On Friday, The Alden Theatre of McLean Community Center is presenting E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial during their free Family Movie Night. This 1982 sci-fi film, directed by Steven Spielberg, is about a young boy named Elliott who finds a stranded extraterrestrial. Through trials and tribulations, he must find the courage to defy the authorities to help the alien return to its home planet. Watch the E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial trailer!
Friday, 7:30pm
Cost: Free
The Alden Theatre McLean Community Center 1234 Ingleside Ave. McLean, VA 22101
 
The school year is coming to an end and that means white sandy beaches and palm trees are on everyone’s mind. Just in time for summer vacation and in honor of Asian Pacific Heritage Month, the National Museum of the American Indian will be holding Eia Hawai’i: Celebrating Native Hawaiian Culture this Saturday and Sunday. This year, visitors can celebrate wayfinding, or navigation, and the Polynesian seafarers who discovered the Hawaiian Islands by watching and learning about hula, taking in a cooking demonstration, watching films and presentations, and meeting and greeting Hawaiian guests. There will also be a concert at 5pm on Saturday in the Welcome Plaza, featuring Amy Hanaiali’I Gilliom with opening act The Aloha BoysWatch a preview of Amy Hanaiali'l Gilliom perform!
Saturday and Sunday, 10:30am to 5pm
Cost: Free
National Museum of the American Indian 4th Street and Independence Ave. SW Washington, DC 20013

Led by its iconic host and founder Garrison Keillor, A Prairie Home Companion has influenced popular culture since its first live radio broadcast in 1974. The program, listened to by millions each week, is performing live this weekend from Wolf Trap’s Filene Center in Vienna, Virginia. Special guests include harmonica player Howard Levy, singer Aoife O’Donovan, and folk music group The Milk Carton Kids. Discover the program’s signature brand of humor and storytelling through iconic segments like “The News from Lake Wobegon,” read by Keillor himself.
Friday, 8:00pm and Saturday, 5:45pm
Wolf Trap’s Filene Center 1551 Trap Rd. Vienna, VA 22182
 
 
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In Performance at the White House: Memphis Soul

In Performance at the White House: Memphis Soul airs on WETA tonight at 8:00pm! This show honors the soul-infused music from the mid-to late-1960s that came from Memphis, Tennessee and renowned labels such as Stax-Volt Records, which featured artists like Al Green, Ben Harper, Alabama Shakes, Mavis Stables, and more.  This exciting evening in the White 

House’s East Room pays tribute to Memphis.  Though Memphis was a segregated city in the 1960s, blacks and whites came together to make soulful music with a mix of gospel and rhythmic grooves, which is known today as “Memphis Soul.”   

In Performance at the White House: Memphis Soul is the tenth In Performance at the White House program during President Barack Obama’s administration.  This edition features a wide array of classic songs performed by impressive artists: “I’ll Take You There” performed by Mavis Staples, “Soul Man” performed by Sam Moore and Joshua Ledet, “(Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay” performed by Justin Timberlake and Steve Cropper, “Knock on Wood” performed by Eddie Floyd, “Born Under a Bad Sign” performed by Alabama Shakes, Steve Cropper, and Booker T, “You Don’t Miss Your Water” performed by William Bell, “I Can’t Stand the Rain” performed by Queen Latifah, “I’m In I’m Out And I’m Gone” performed by Charlie Musselwhite and Ben Harper, “Try A Little Tenderness” performed by Cyndi Lauper and Charlie Musselwhite, and “In the Midnight Hour” performed by the full cast.  

In Performance at the White House: Memphis Soul airs on WETA Tuesday, April 16 at 8:00pm, Wednesday at 4:00pm, Thursdays at 1:00pm, and Friday at 9:00pm.  Don’t miss out on these fantastic, soulful performances!

Don't forget! Ken Burns' new documentary Central Park Five airs after In Performance at the White House: Memphis Soul at 9:00pm!

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DC, MD, VA Events: WETA Around Town February 22 - 24

Looking for something to do this weekend in DC, Maryland, and Virginia?  Check out our selection of a tropical flower exhibition, mysterious Slavonic music, and an epic viola serenade right in your own backyard!

 
 
Living in or near a big city like DC, you can sometimes find yourself disconnected from the natural world.  This weekend, the National Museum of Natural History will have an opportunity for museum-goers of all ages to see a major collection of Latin American orchids close to home.  Attend the Fiesta de las Or-Kid-eas Family Festival for a variety of orchid related activities, such as orchid face painting, orchid tattooing, orchid mosaic-making, and plant discussions.  Want to learn how to pot an orchid?  Orchid experts will also be giving patrons an orchid-potting demonstration and will even allow them to take an orchid home with them.
Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Cost: Free
National Museum of Natural History Exhibit Gallery, 1st Floor, West Wing 
10th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, DC
 
 
The best way to relax after an exciting weekend is with an afternoon classical music in a beautiful setting.  This Sunday, enjoy the Cathedral Choral Society’s performance of Rachmaninoff's “Solemn Vespers, Op. 37” at the impressive Washington National Cathedral.  To make this concert even more interesting, the Choral Society will perform the piece in the original Old Church Slavonic, which is a Slavonic language dating back to 9th century Byzantine missionaries.  With a talented chorus and historic location, this concert will take you back in time and in peace.
Sunday, 4pm
Cost: Ticket prices start at $31
Washington National Cathedral Massachusetts & Wisconsin Aves NW, Washington, DC 20016
 
 

Two concerts are better than one!  If the Cathedral Choral Society’s performance wasn’t enough, indulge in a special collaboration between the National Symphony Orchestra’s Tsuna Sakamoto and the American Youth Symphonic Orchestra at the Hylton Performing Arts Center.  The musicians will be performing “Symphonic Serenade” and Bartók’s Concerto for Viola and Orchestra.  Don’t miss out on this spectacular performance!          
Sunday, 8pm
Cost: $15 for adults, $10 for seniors (65+)/students, free for music teachers 
Hylton Performing Arts Center 10960 George Mason Cir., Manassas, VA 20109
 
Time is of the essence if you’ve been longing to catch Lalla Essaydi: Revisions at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art.  See what our critics have to say about the 

 
 
 
DARK SKIES (PG-13)
Kerri Russell and Josh Hamilton star in Scott Stewart’s story of the Barrett family’s reckoning with a dark and terrible force.
 
 
SNITCH (PG-13)
Dwayne Johnson, Susan Sarandon, and John Bernthal star in Ric Roman Waugh’s story of a father who goes undercover for the DEA so his son can finally be released from prison after getting set up in a drug deal.
 
 
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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!

 

SPARKLES FROM THE STAGE

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

 

TWIRLING LIKE A SUGAR PLUM FAIRY

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

 

MUSICAL MERRIMENT

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

 

STIRRING SIGHTS

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

 

STRICTLY G-RATED

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