"Dogwood Branches," by Karen Ching, whose works go on exhibit Jan. 4. (From Karen Ching)
Thursday, December 21, 2006

Daily 'Nutcracker'

"The Nutcracker" will be performed at 2 and 7 p.m. every day from Wednesday to Dec. 29 by the Virginia Ballet Company and School at Northern Virginia Community College's Ernst Community Cultural Center Theater, 8333 Little River Tpk., Annandale.

The longest-running classical ballet production in Northern Virginia, "The Nutcracker" features more than 100 students and professional dancers.

Tickets are $25; students, $20; seniors and children under 12, $15. Group discounts are available. All seating is reserved. For tickets, call 703-249-8227.

For information about the Virginia Ballet Company and School, visit

Puppets at Frying Pan Park

Bob Brown brings his puppets for two sessions at Frying Pan Farm Park, 2717 West Ox Rd., Herndon, on Dec. 28.

The first, from 10 to 10:40 a.m., features a winter wonderland. The second, featuring marionettes crafted from recycled materials, is from 11:30 a.m. to 12:10 p.m.

Admission is $3 for each show; prepaid registration is recommended. Call 703-437-9101.

Bringing the Outdoors In

A solo exhibition of landscapes, seascapes and gardens by Karen Ching will be featured in "Art in the Gardens," at Green Spring Gardens Park's historic Manor House starting Jan. 4.

The show runs through Feb. 25, with an artist's reception from noon to 3 p.m. Jan. 7. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and noon to 4:30 p.m. Sundays.

The park is at 4603 Green Spring Rd., in the Alexandria section of the county.

Ching, a Fairfax Station artist, uses outdoor spaces in a series of watercolors on paper and in large acrylics on canvas.

Ching welcomes interviews; call her at 703-495-0358 or e-mail

For information on the show, call Green Spring Gardens at 703-642-5173.

Capitol Steps in McLean

The Capitol Steps, in their long-standing tradition of satirizing politics inside and outside the Beltway, perform at 8 p.m. Jan. 5 and 6 at the Alden Theatre, 1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean.

Tickets are $30; for McLean district residents, $25. They are available at the box office or through Ticketmaster at 703-573-SEAT or For more information, call 703-790-0123, or visit

-- Compiled by BOB SAMSOT

© 2006 The Washington Post Company