The DC Holiday Guide to Dance, Music, and Theater
Christmas Edition! | One Season | Seven Selected Performances
I. The Washington Ballet’s The Nutcracker
To feel nostalgic
“The Nutcracker is an easy one — the title gives it away,” wrote illustrious dance critic Edwin Denby, as he claimed that the appeal of this beloved Christmas dance arises from the unconscious sexual symbolism and satisfaction. Critical perspectives aside, the Washington Ballet’s The Nutcracker invites you into the dream world of Clara of the magic of Christmas.
II. Handel’s Messiah with DC Strings
To find space for both the longing of Advent and the joy of Christmas
Messiah is the performance to see if the jolliness of Christmas feels like too much this year. “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God,” are the mellifluous lines that open this musical narrative of longing and sorrows and pain, starlight and answers and rest.
III. Holiday Pops: Songs of the Season
To get in the spirit
A cheerful, family friendly holiday show. Attend Holiday Pops: Songs of the Season to hear favorite Christmas carols and tunes performed by a professional orchestra and be prepared to sing along.
IV. NPR’s A Jazz Piano Christmas
To reinvigorate your perspective on Christmas
Four acclaimed jazz pianists offer revitalized holiday favorites like sparklers at a candlelight service. NPR’s A Jazz Piano Christmas often sells out, so buy your tickets soon or stream online.
V. The Hip Hop Nutcracker
To shock your mom
The traditional Tchaikovsky music you remember plus the modern choreography you don’t. The Hip Hop Nutcracker reimagines the traditional Nutcracker on the streets of today’s New York City, complete with break dancing and an electric violin.
VI. Vienna Boys Choir: Christmas in Vienna
To feel simultaneously awed and behind in life
A choral ensemble of phenomenal young boys with baby voices perform carols, hymns, and holiday hits in Christmas in Vienna.
VII. A Christmas Carol
To “remember the reason” when you’re just sick of the holiday hustle
A solo performance of a classic holiday tale. Paul Morella’s critically acclaimed A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas takes you back to Victorian England for another look at the scenes of Christmases past.