“Hardball” host Chris Matthews reads from “Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero” this week. (Matt McClain for the Washington Post)


‘The Man Who Came to Dinner’

National Theatre’s three-film holiday cinema series kicks off with the 1942 farce “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” starring the inimitable Bette Davis. Free tickets are distributed 30 minutes before showtime.


Chris Matthews reads from ‘Jack Kennedy’

Most people know Chris Matthews as the straight-talking anchor behind MSNBC’s “Hardball,” but the pundit will be wearing a different hat at Politics and Prose, reading from his biography of the 35th president.


Beckett Shorts

While John Hurt is starring in “Krapp’s Last Tape” at the Lansburgh Theatre, the Shakespeare Theatre Company is offering another, more budget-friendly glimpse of playwright extraordinaire Samuel Beckett through a selection of short works, co-hosted by Forum Theatre.


Holiday Open House

Say “aloha” to the holiday season with the Torpedo Factory’s annual celebration, which has a Hawaiian theme this year. Don your most outrageous shirt while listening to a performance by the Aloha Boys and snacking on treats from Bittersweet Cafe. Then do some holiday shopping at the galleries, which stay open until 9 p.m.


The Psychic Paramount

The next installment in the Capital Punishment music series, hosted by radio station WVAU, features the instrumental hard rock of this New York-based trio.


Bethesda Winter Wonderland

This two-day spectacle, which begins Friday evening with a free concert, promises an afternoon of ice-sculpture crafting, music and a visit from Santa.


Wolf Trap Holiday Singalong

It’s time to belt it out when the U.S. Marine Band provides accompaniment to Christmas and Hanukkah songs. Participants should bring a candle, because after the performance, the audience — er, performers — will exit the Filene Center in a procession while “Silent Night” plays.