Friday, Dec. 14
‘The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me’ at Kennedy Center: Just like the classic Christmas song “The Friendly Beasts,” this holiday family opera focuses on the animals in the nativity story. In this tale, a young angel ponders which animal should lead Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, and a unicorn, flamingo and the humble donkey are all in the running. The Washington National Opera originally premiered composer Jeanine Tesori’s opera based on an award-winning children’s book in 2013. This year’s cast includes members of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program and the WNO Children’s Chorus. Through Sunday. 7:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday, and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $49-$79.
Lindsey Stirling at the Anthem: Lindsey Stirling is the perfect artist for the pop culture moment, where remix-mashup covers often outpace originals on YouTube and reality-competition TV shows still proliferate. The 32-year-old veteran of “America’s Got Talent” and “Dancing with the Stars” is an accomplished mixer. She dances while playing violin, adds classical strings to electronic beats and gives her own spin to pop hits and classic cover fare. Whatever’s in the mix, it’s working: Three of her albums have topped both the classical and dance charts, and her latest, 2017’s holiday album “Warmer in the Winter,” is the focus of her current tour. 8 p.m. $75-$229.
‘A Christmas Messe’ at Folger Theater: In 1619, students at Oxford University wrote “A Christmas Messe,” a holiday play in which the characters were components of a Christmas dinner — Trencher and Tablecloth, Bread and Salt, and King Beef and King Brawn — arguing over who should be served first, framed by soliloquies from the hungry Belly and ended by intervention from the Cooke. The Folger Consort is using this text — preserved as a manuscript in the Folger Library — as the backbone of a concert of English holiday music, from early medieval carols through Tallis and Byrd and all the way up to the Vaughan Williams arrangement of “Greensleeves.” Through Dec. 23. $52.
Puddles Pity Party at the Kennedy Center: The nearly 7-foot-tall sad clown known as Puddles has been a YouTube sensation since his melancholy, low-baritone cover of Lorde’s “Royals” went viral five years ago. Created in 1998 by his alter ego, Atlanta-based musician Mike Geier, Puddles performs torch-song-style covers of pop hits and standards for his videos and live show, “Puddles Pity Party.” Puddles’ live show is all about audience participation. If your guard is down, you might end up singing with him onstage, joining him in an embrace or handing over your phone. 8 p.m. $29-$55.
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars’ viewing party at Nellie’s Sports Bar: The U Street staple, known for its raucous drag brunch, will host a viewing party for every episode of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars.’ For this week’s season premiere, queens Brooklyn Heights and Iyana Deschanel will host the party along with special guest Jasmine Masters — one of this season’s contestants — who will meet and greet the public, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Cheer on your favorite queen while sipping on an all-night special of $6 Stoli cocktails. 8 p.m. Free admission.
Thievery Corporation After-party at Gaslight Tavern: More than two decades after releasing its first album, D.C. electronic lounge act Thievery Corporation remains wildly popular in its hometown. After sold-out shows at the 9:30 Club on Friday and Saturday night, the band is hosting an after-party at the Gaslight Tavern, a bar around the corner from the 9:30 that Thievery co-founder Eric Hilton owns with his brother Ian. Chill by the fireplaces with one of the special $12 cocktails named after Thievery songs, such as the Lebanese Blonde or Samba Tranquille, or head to the back bar, where the glass walls make it feel like a patio, and hang out. Open until 3 a.m. Free.
Saturday, Dec. 15
Rhizome 3rd anniversary fundraiser at Rhizome: For nearly three years, Rhizome has been the District’s preeminent DIY space, a Takoma house turned into a music venue, community center, classroom, workshop, laboratory and more. As a performance space, Rhizome is fixated on the experimental fringes of music, hosting noisemakers, improvisers, sound samplers and deconstructionists from the Washington area and beyond. To celebrate the nonprofit’s third anniversary and raise funds for the future, the venue will host collaborative sets by some of its favorite artists. Along with one from musician and “scholar in residence” Thomas Stanley and painter Khalid Thompson, expect plenty of drone, noise and other postcards from the edge. 8 p.m. $20.
Aslin Beer Company Pop-Up at District Space: Over the summer, Herndon’s buzz-worthy Aslin Brewing Company ran a pop-up beer garden outside Nationals Park, offering D.C. craft beer lovers a rare chance to enjoy Aslin’s juicy IPAs, crisp Pilseners and fruity sours. With the end of baseball season, it became much harder to find Aslin’s beers, especially if you don’t have a car. This weekend, Aslin returns to Brookland’s District Space for a four-day pop-up. It’s open Thursday through Sunday, but Saturday is the day to try to find a seat in the one-room bar, since the beer will flow from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The full beer list hasn’t been released yet, but when Aslin took over the same space for a similar event in March, they brought a half-dozen beers in cans, plus “a few special bottles.” Important note: For legal reasons, they’re not able to sell beers to go. Thursday and Friday from 4 to 10 p.m.; Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free; beers priced individually.
Sunday, Dec. 16
Give a Can, Get a Can at Pizzeria Paradiso Hyattsville: Helping others is second nature this time of year, and bars are happy to get in on the action. Since 2011, Pizzeria Paradiso has hosted a fundraiser for the local charity Martha’s Table called Give a Can, Get a Can. It’s what it sounds like: Bring a food that’s on the organization’s wish list, such as pasta sauce or low-sodium vegetables, and you can trade it in to a bartender for a craft beer. Bring two cans of food, and you’ll get two cans of beer. Philanthropy never tasted so good. (The same deal will be offered Monday at the new Pizzeria Paradiso location in Spring Valley, and Tuesday in Dupont Circle.) Free; food and drink prices vary.
Rock-n-Shop at the Black Cat: A long-running holiday tradition for D.C. punks and weirdos keeps on chugging along, even if the venue is undergoing renovations. If you’re looking for vintage shirts and vinyl, this is the holiday market for you. Local record stores — Smash Records and Som, and others — will set up shop in the main stage of Black Cat for your crate-digging pleasure. You can also pick up unique mixed-media art by Rania Hassan, or Ruth Bader Ginsburg onesies by Hero Heads. 7 p.m. Free.
Cat Power at the 9:30 Club: Cat Power has been a reliable presence on the softer side of the rock world for more than two decades. The singer-songwriter has a knack for the somber but has never been afraid to experiment, brightening 2012’s “Sun” with electronic touches. But when she stripped things down for this year’s “Wanderer,” her longtime label balked and told her to do it over. Nevertheless, she persisted, releasing the haunting, folky album elsewhere and launching it with an empowered lead single. “I’m a woman of my word, now haven’t you heard?” she sings on “Woman.” “My word’s the only thing I’ve ever needed.” 7 p.m. $40.
Meshell Ndegeocello at the Kennedy Center: This revised version of Ndegeocello’s 2016 stage musical, “Can I Get a Witness? The Gospel of James Baldwin” will be a concert, forgoing the costumes, blocking and sets of the original production but including the spoken narration drawn from Baldwin’s book, “The Fire Next Time,” and the songs written by Ndegeocello, Toshi Reagon, Justin Hicks and Staceyann Chin. “When I was younger,” Ndegeocello says, “I couldn’t understand why people looked down on my mother just because she didn’t have much education, why my father was so bitter about not advancing in the military the way his white colleagues did, why I loved the music in church but disliked the fire-and-brimstone sermons. When I read ‘The Fire Next Time,’ it all started to make sense. Baldwin was a game changer in creating a language for the marginalized.” 8 p.m. $49-$89.
— Hau Chu, Adele Chapin, Sadie Dingfelder, Fritz Hahn, Geoffrey Himes, Chris Kelly and Anne Midgette