Washington Area Events Dec. 12-18

This week: Watch Ron Foster in the ring, listen to heavy-metal GWAR, experience a Trans-Siberian Christmas, catch home-towner Roberta Flack and make Kwanzaa crafts.
This week: Watch Ron Foster in the ring, listen to heavy-metal GWAR, experience a Trans-Siberian Christmas, catch home-towner Roberta Flack and make Kwanzaa crafts. (Photos, From Left: District Combat Sports; Drt Entertainment; Trans-siberian Orchestra; 2007 Photo By Amy Sancetta; Alexandria Black History Museum)
Friday, December 12, 2008

If you are an avid fan of HGTV's "I Want That!," then chances are you know about the cool things available at the Washington Glass School. Items made at the school were featured on the show, and now you can buy them and even meet the artist who created them at the Washington Glass School Holiday Open House on Saturday from 2 to 6 p.m. The Washington Glass School, 3400 Otis St., Mount Rainier. 202-744-8222 or http://www.washglass.com. FREE

In Town

If I were a rich man, I would buy a ticket to every showing of "Sholom Aleichem: Laughter Through Tears." The world premiere play about the Jewish writer, written by and starring Theodore Bikel (best known for playing Tvye in "Fiddler on the Roof"), opens Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. and runs through Jan. 11. Theater J, 1529 16th St. NW (Metro: Dupont Circle). 800-494-8497 or http://www.washingtondcjcc.org. Wednesday's show is pay-what-you-can. Other tickets are $30, $15 age 25 and younger.

Upon hearing the words "battle at the nation's capital," it is easy to think of Democrats and Republicans verbally sparring, but the title is actually for a night of mixed martial arts. On Saturday at 8 p.m., an eight-card fight features several fighters with ties to the area. D.C. Armory, 2001 E. Capitol St. SE (Metro: Stadium-Armory). 202-397-7328 or http://www.districtcombatproductions.com. $30-$125.

Do you love theater but have the attention span of a gnat? How does 30 plays in 60 minutes sound? The Chicago-based Neo-Futurists are returning to Woolly Mammoth Theatre with "Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind." The assortment of plays opens Monday at 8 p.m. and runs through Jan. 4. Woolly Mammoth Theatre, 641 D St. NW (Metro: Archives-Navy Memorial). 202-393-3939 or http://www.woollymammoth.net. Thursday's show is pay-what-you-can; Dec. 31 tickets are $50; other tickets are $30.

There are plenty of fun, wholesome things to do this weekend. Seeing metal bands GWAR, Kingdom of Sorrow and Toxic Holocaust at the 9:30 club Sunday at 7 p.m. is not one of them. Still, checking out GWAR, the planet's only self-proclaimed "openly extra-terrestrial rock band," promises to be an entertaining diversion. 9:30 club, 815 V St. NW (Metro: U Street-Cardozo). 202-393-0930, 800-955-5566 or http://www.930.com. $20.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra is perhaps the only band that makes holiday music tolerable, even (dare we say it?) enjoyable for parents and teens alike. Their ability to infuse dusty carols with electric guitars make them the stuff of Christmas legend. They perform Sunday at 3 and 7:30 p.m. Verizon Center, 601 F St. NW (Metro: Gallery Place/Chinatown). 202-628-3200, 202-397-7328 or http://www.verizoncenter.com. $39-$59.

Roberta Flack has performed all over the world. This week the pop and R&B legend returns to the city where she got her start. She will introduce and sing with pianist Davell Crawford on Friday and Saturday at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. and Sunday at 8 and 10 p.m. Bohemian Caverns, 2003 11th St. NW (Metro: U Street-Cardozo). 202-299-0800 or http://www.bohemiancaverns.com. $30.

Around Town

Kwanzaa is fast approaching. Do you have your zawadi ready to give? Zawadi is a word for Kwanzaa gifts. Children can make zawadi and learn about the holiday during a workshop Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 Wythe St., Alexandria. 703-838-4356 or http://oha.alexandriava.gov/bhrc. FREE

If you like your Christmas carols with a jazz twist, don't miss Grammy-nominated trumpeter Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra tonight at 8 for an evening of songs by Duke Ellington, Charles Brown and Louis Armstrong. George Mason University, Center for the Arts Concert Hall, 4400 University Dr., Fairfax. 888-945-2468 or http://www.tickets.com. $22-$44; children 12 and younger, half-price.

Believe it or not: Even with bitterly cold temperatures, it is still fall. Winter doesn't officially start until Dec. 21, but Glen Echo Park is celebrating winter's eve a bit early. Spend Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m. listening to performances by the Capital Accord Chorus, creating holiday crafts for kids and watching a puppet version of "The Nutcracker." If you are looking for gifts, browse the holiday art show in the Popcorn Gallery. Glen Echo Park, Photoworks, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo. 301-634-2222 or http://www.glenechopark.org. FREE ("The Nutcracker" tickets are $25.)

-- By Amy Orndorff

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