“The City Is a Balancing Act,” from Elyse Harrison’s bird-themed pop-up art exhibition “Aviary.” (Elyse Harrison)
THU 18

“The Nutcracker” Marionettes, hand puppets and costumed characters are used to tell the classic holiday story. Thursday-Friday at 10 and 11:30 a.m., Saturday-Sunday at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., Monday-Tuesday at 10 and 11:30 a.m. Through Dec. 30. Glen Echo Park, Puppet Co. Playhouse, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo. 301-634-5380. www.thepuppetco.org. $10.

“Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol” Tiny Tim attempts to save the day when Mr. Scrooge insists that Tim’s father, Bob Cratchit, work on Christmas. Thursday-Friday at 10:30 a.m.; Saturday at 11 a.m., 2 and 4:30 p.m.; Sunday-Wednesday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Through Jan. 1. Glen Echo Park, Adventure Theatre MTC, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo. 301-634-2270. www.adventuretheatre-mtc.org. $19.

“White Christmas” The musical starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen is screened for its 60th anniversary. 3:15 p.m. AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring. 301-495-6720. www.afi.com/silver. $9, children $7.

Holiday swing dance party Daryl Davis plays live boogie-woogie at this party with dance lessons from Gotta Swing. 7:30 p.m. BlackRock Center for the Arts, 12901 Town Commons Dr., Germantown. 301-528-2260. www.blackrockcenter.org. $15.

FRI 19

“For Some Inexplicable Reason” Filmmaker Gabor Reisz will attend the U.S. premiere of his film about a down-on-his-luck Hungarian man who buys a one-way ticket to Portugal on a whim, screened as part of the European Film Fesival, which closes Sunday. In Hungarian with English subtitles. 7:30 p.m. AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring. 301-495-6720. www.afi.com/silver. $13.

Peabo Bryson: The Colors of Christmas Bryson, a Grammy Award-winning R&B singer, performs pop and Christmas favorites alongside Tony Award-winning singer Jennifer Holliday, pop singer Taylor Dayne and “American Idol” winner Ruben Studdard. 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. 301-581-5100. www.strathmore.org. $35-$100.

“Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge” Silver Spring Stage presents Christopher Durang’s parody of Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” from the point of view of a stressed-out wife with more children than she can handle. Nonperishable food items will be collected for Manna Food Center to support residents of Montgomery County. Friday-Saturday at 8 p.m., closes Sunday at 2 p.m. Silver Spring Stage, 10145 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring. 301-593-6036. www.ssstage.org. $20, seniors $18, children $15.

SAT 20

Lloyd Dobler Effect Holiday Extravaganza The Silver Spring rock-and-roll band plays two shows of holiday songs, original material and covers. Santa makes an appearance at the early show. 5 and 8:30 p.m. BlackRock Center for the Arts, 12901 Town Commons Dr., Germantown. 301-528-2260. www.blackrockcenter.org. $18, youth $15.

Snowday The a cappella group presents an evening of holiday favorites and popular music. With the Pritchard Music Powerhouse Brass. Reception at 6 p.m., show starts at 7 p.m. Church in Bethesda, 5033 Wilson Lane, Bethesda. 301-654-4159. www.churchinbethesda.org. Free.

Bach Sinfonia The group performs an all-Bach holiday concert on period instruments. 8 p.m. Cultural Arts Center at Silver Spring, 7995 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring. 301-362-6525. www.bachsinfonia.org. $35, seniors $30, students $15, age 14 and younger free.

National Philharmonic Led by conductor Stan Engebretson, the orchestra, the National Philharmonic Chorale and soloists including soprano Rosa Lamoreaux perform Handel’s “Messiah.” Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. 301-581-5100. www.strathmore.org. $28-$89, ages 7 to 17 free.

Ugly Sweater Singalong Lara Supan joins South Rail, an alternative country band, for a holiday singalong, with an ugly sweater contest and specialty drinks including eggnog variations, mulled wine and beer. 10 p.m. Republic, 6939 Laurel Ave., Takoma Park. 301-270-3000. www.republictakoma.com. Free.

SUN 21

Holly TrolleyFest Santa takes passengers on street car rides through Sunday. A winter-themed model train display continues through Dec. 28. Saturday-Sunday noon-5 p.m. National Capital Trolley Museum, Northwest Branch Park, 1313 Bonifant Rd., Colesville. 301-384-6088. www.dctrolley.org. $7, ages 2-17 $5.

Glenview Mansion’s Holiday Open House Series Glenview Mansion and Art Gallery’s event runs from 1 to 4 p.m. through Dec. 28. Sunday’s open house features musical performances by the Richard Montgomery High School Madrigals at 1:15 p.m., the Encore Singers at 2:15 p.m. and Harmony Express at 3:15 p.m. Glenview Mansion, 603 Edmonston Dr., Rockville. 240-314-8660. www.rockvillemd.gov/glenview. Free.

“Artsy Holiday Boutique and Craft Show” The show and sale feature Israeli and beaded jewelry, fused glass, ceramics, Judaica, fiber art, painted clothes and furniture. Continues with a Hanukkah reception Sunday 2-4 p.m. Closes Tuesday. Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, 6125 Montrose Rd., Rockville. 301-881-0100. www.jccgw.org. Free.

“Sherlock Holmes and the Christmas Goose” Sherlock Holmes learns the meaning of Christmas while solving the case of a missing diamond in this Montgomery Playhouse production. Friday-Saturday at 8 p.m., closes Sunday at 2 p.m. Arts Barn, 311 Kent Square Rd., Gaithersburg. 301-258-6394. www.gaithersburgmd.gov/leisure/arts/theater-at-the-arts-barn. $20, age 14 and younger $12.

Cherish the Ladies: Celtic Christmas The traditional Irish band performs Christmas selections. 3 and 7 p.m. BlackRock Center for the Arts, 12901 Town Commons Dr., Germantown. 240-912-1058. www.blackrockcenter.org. $36, seniors $34, age 25 and younger $15.

Rockville Concert Band Led by John Saint Amour, the band performs “Holiday en Point,” a program of ballets and marches. 3 p.m. Rockville Civic Center Park, F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre, 603 Edmonston Dr., Rockville. 240-314-8681. www.rockvilleconcertband.org. Free.

Chanukah Family Spectacular Bethesda Row and Chabad Center of Bethesda host the seventh annual celebration, featuring a techno-menorah adorned with thousands of colored LED lights, Hasidic rapper Mor-to-Life, hot latkes, jelly doughnuts, chocolate gelt and a glow-in-the-dark gift for children. 5:30 p.m. Bethesda Row, 4950 Elm St., Bethesda. 301-998-8176. www.bethesdarow.com. Free.

MON 22

“A Christmas Story” The comedy about a boy’s wish for a Red Ryder BB gun is shown as part of AFI’s Holiday Classics series. Monday-Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring. 301-495-6720. www.afi.com/silver. $9, children $5.

Olney Ballet Theatre Students and guest professionals perform “The Nutcracker” with choreography by Washington Ballet founder Mary Day. Thursday-Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m., Monday-Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., closes Wednesday at 2 p.m. Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Rd., Olney. 301-774-9850. www.olneyballettheatre.org. $45, seniors $40, military $35, students and children $20, military children $15.

TUE 23

“A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas” Paul Morella stars in the one-man show that uses only the words from Charles Dickens’s novella. Thursday-Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday and Tuesday at 3 and 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m., Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. Through Dec. 28. Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Rd., Olney. 301-924-3400. www.olneytheatre.org. $36, students $18.

“The Nutcracker” This newish “Nutcracker” is a musical, not a ballet, and it’s making its area premiere at Bethesda’s Round House Theatre. The cast boasts 33 Helen Hayes Awards and reunites some of last winter’s “Gypsy” gang from Signature Theatre. Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m., Monday-Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Through Dec. 28. Round House Theatre, 4545 East-West Hwy., Bethesda. 240-644-1100. www.roundhousetheatre.org. $25-$50.

WED 24

“101 Dalmatians” Imagination Stage puts on a musical based on the 1956 novel by Dodie Smith in which two dogs embark on a quest to save their puppies. Saturday at 11 a.m., 1:30 and 4 p.m.; Sunday at 1:30 and 4 p.m.; Wednesday at 11 a.m. Through Jan. 11. Imagination Stage, 4908 Auburn Ave., Bethesda. 301-280-1660. www.imaginationstage.org. $12-$35.

“Disney’s the Little Mermaid” Drawing from the Hans Christian Andersen fable and the animated Disney film, the play follows the adventures of a mermaid who falls in love with a prince. Thursday-Friday at 7 p.m.; Saturday at 1:30 and 7 p.m.; Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. Through Jan. 11. Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Rd., Olney. 301-924-3400. www.olneytheatre.org. $32-$65.

“Aviary” Elyse Harrison’s bird-themed paintings and mixed media wall sculptures are installed in this pop up exhibit. Closes Wednesday. Peripoint Building, 5001 Wilson Lane, Bethesda. 301-718-0809. www.aviarybyelyseharrison.com. Free.

— Compiled by Carrie Donovan

from staff reports