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DC, MD, VA Events: WETA Around Town February 15 - 17

Looking for something to do this weekend in DC, Maryland, and Virginia?  Check out our selection of anti-gravity splendor, heroic music, and honest Presidential fun right in your own backyard!

 

 
 
 
If you love magic tricks, go to Artisphere this weekend for the ultimate mind-bending spectacle.  The production LEO: The Anti-Gravity Show, directed by Daniel Briére, uses acrobatic performance and video projection to create illusions that will test your perception of reality and leave you wondering which way is up.  The show, reminiscent of Cirque de Soleil, is sure to entertain children and adults alike.  LEO has won awards internationally and has gone on to mesmerize the rest of the world. 
 
Friday and Saturday at 8pm
Cost: $30 for adults / $25 for kids and students
Artisphere 1101 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington VA 22209
 
 
A weekend dedicated to remembering some of the most important people in our nation’s history only comes once a year, so why not celebrate with some family fun and entertainment?  Kick off your Presidents' Day weekend with Presidents' Family Day at the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum.  Enjoy performances by the Federal City Brass Band, build with Lincoln Logs, create a White House china pattern, and meet George and Martha Washington, along with Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln.  You can even dress up like George Washington and get your photo taken, take pictures with presidential figures, and more!
 
Saturday, 11:30am-3pm
Cost: Free
American Art Museum, National Portrait Gallery    Eighth and F Streets NW, Washington, DC 20001
 
 
What could be better than enjoying a concert while supporting veterans and their families?  This Sunday, The Code of Support Foundation and many other nonprofits present VETStravaganza, a free event to raise awareness for the Chamber of Commerce's "Hiring Our Heroes" program.  Performers include country music artists Mark Wills and David Kroll, along with military ensembles like the West Point Cadet Glee Club, the West Point Alumni Glee Club and others.  Enjoy a variety of talented musicians while celebrating our troops and President’s Day weekend all at once.
 
Sunday, 3pm
Cost: Free, tickets required (reserve them at www.lisner.org or by phone at 202- 994-6851)
George Washington University, Lisner Auditorium    21st and H streets NW, Washington, D.C.
 
 
 
Ever wanted to put yourself in the shoes of the President of the United States?  This weekend Ford’s Theatre celebrates Presidents’ Day with a variety of special programs.  Attend performances of “One Destiny,” a play about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, investigate the Ford’s Theatre Museum and partake in Ranger Talks from the National Park Service.  Several other programs include stories from master storyteller, Jon Spelman and a performance from the Ford’s Theatre Youth Leaders Ensemble.  Last but not least, a special one-night performance from Mark Twain Award winner and political satirist Mark Russell will also be in the mix of events for those who want to end their Presidents’ Day with a little political humor. Still need convincing?  Take a tour with WETA Around Town’s Trey Graham, as he shows us the beauty and uniqueness of the historical landmark that is, Ford's Theatre. 
 
Monday, campus open 9am – 5pm; performance at 7pm
Cost: Daytime programs free; performance tickets range from $20 - $64. 
Ford’s Theatre    511 Tenth St. NW, Washington, DC
 
 
By the way, scrambling for a last-minute Valentine’s Day date idea? This is the second-to-last weekend of Ai Wei Wei: According to What? at the Hirshhorn. It’s a breath-taking multimedia show. See what our critics had to say about it. 
 
Looking for something less contemporary? Bring your Valentine to Roads of Arabia at Sackler Gallery for some ancient beauty. It’s only there through February 24. Our critics have a few words about it, too.

 
 
Select films opening today:
 
Directed by Richard LaGravenese, this tale adds Southern legend and dark family secrets to the mysterious love story of long-time local Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich) and new girl Lena (Alice Englert). Like Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson? They’re in this, too. 
 
 
Here’s another tale about love in the South, this time directed by Lasse Hallström. Katie (Julianne Hough) lands in Southport, North Carolina, falls in love with a widower (Josh Duhamel), and faces the dark past she was hoping to forget.
 

 

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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:

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

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.

 

HYDE PARK ON HUDSON  (R)

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.

 

THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE   (NR)

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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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