Natalie MacMaster is playing at Strathmore on Thursday. (Columbia Artists Management Inc/NATALIE MACMASTER)
THU 06

Natalie MacMaster In her “Christmas in Cape Breton” show, the world-famous fiddler performs traditional tunes and step dances from her native Canada. Food donations will be collected for Manna Food Center. 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. 301-581-5100. $28-$58.

“With a Tug and a Hold” Magnolia Laurie’s abstract paintings and sculptures focus on the acts of building and assembling. Opens Thursday; opening reception Friday at 7 p.m. Through Jan. 9. VisArts at Rockville, 155 Gibbs St., Rockville. Free.

FRI 07

American Dance Institute Students from the institute perform “The Nutcracker.” Opens Friday at 7:30 p.m., continues Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m., Sunday at 5 p.m. Through Dec. 16. American Dance Institute, 1570 E. Jefferson St., Rockville. 301-984-3003. $30, seniors $20, students $15.

SAT 08

Holly Trolleyfest Visit Santa, ride the trolleys and see the Christmas garden and toy train display. Continues Saturday-Sunday noon-5 p.m. Through Dec. 23. National Capital Trolley Museum, Northwest Branch Park, 1313 Bonifant Rd., Colesville. 301-384-6088. $7, seniors and ages 2 to 17 $5.

“The Butterfingers Angel, Mary, Joseph, Herod the Nut and the Slaughter of 12 Hit Carols in a Pear Tree.” The Christmas story gets a humorous twist in William Gibson’s play. Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Closes Saturday. North Bethesda United Methodist Church, 10100 Old Georgetown Rd., Bethesda. 301-530-4342. $12.

NIH Philharmonia The orchestra performs Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.1 (“Winter Dreams”) and Symphony No.6 (“Pathetique”). A portion of the proceeds will benefit National Institutes of Health Charities. 7:30 p.m. St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, 917 Montrose Rd., Rockville. 240-888-6781. Free, donations suggested.

The Klezmatics The Grammy-winning klezmer band presents a Hanukkah concert. Doors at 8 p.m., concert at 8:30 p.m. Cultural Arts Center at Silver Spring, 7995 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring. $25, seniors and students $20, Montgomery College staff and students $15.

National Philharmonic Led by Stan Engebretson, the orchestra performs Handel’s “Messiah,” featuring soprano Danielle Talamantes, mezzo-soprano Magdalena Wor, tenor Matthew Smith, bass Kevin Deas and the National Philharmonic Chorale. Saturday at 8 p.m., concert repeats Dec. 22-23. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. 301-581-5100. $28-$84, children free.

SUN 09

Countryside Artisans’ Studio Tour The 20th annual self-guided holiday studio tour offers a glimpse at handmade fine art, furniture, pottery, knitted and woven apparel, yarn, jewelry and more. Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard is also on the tour. Friday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday noon-5 p.m. Closes Sunday. See Web site for locations. 301-972-8089. Free.

Metropolitan Ballet Theatre and Academy Since 1989, this ballet has staged a full-length version of “The Nutcracker” featuring students and professional dancers. Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday-Sunday at 1 and 5 p.m. Closes Sunday. Montgomery College, Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center, 51 Mannakee St., Rockville. 301-762-1757. $17-$22.

Rockville Civic Ballet Claudia Mangan directs a traditional performance of “The Nutcracker.” Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m., closes Sunday at 2 p.m. Rockville Civic Center Park, F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre, 603 Edmonston Dr., Rockville. 240-314-8690. $16, seniors and children 12 and younger $12.

Glenview Mansion Holiday Concerts Children’s Sunday with Santa and Mrs. Claus features Heavenly Handbells of Trinity Lutheran Church at 1 p.m. and Harmony Express, a men’s a cappella chorus, at 2:30 p.m. 1-4 p.m. Glenview Mansion, 603 Edmonston Dr., Rockville. 240-314-8660. 240-314-8682. Free.

Potomac River Jazz Club’s Holiday Big Band Bash Guitarist Matt Trimboli leads the 18-piece band Swing Shift. 2-5 p.m. Knights of Columbus Rosensteel Hall, 9707 Rosensteel Ave., Silver Spring. 703-323-0314. 301-588-3303. $25, $20 in advance, students and youth free.

Frosty & Friends Bring the kids for crafts, holiday music, refreshments, a kids-only shop, a silent auction and photo ops with Frosty, Rudolph and Santa. Boxwood wreaths, trees and centerpieces made by the Sandy Spring Museum Garden Club will be available for purchase. 3-6 p.m. Sandy Spring Museum, 17901 Bentley Rd., Sandy Spring. 301-774-0022. $5 per family.

Georgetown Chorale For Glenn McClure’s “Caribbean Christmas Mass for Chorus and Steel Pan Orchestra,” the chorale is joined by Positive Vibrations Steel Drum Youth Orchestra from the Cultural Academy of Excellence. 3 p.m. Christ Lutheran Church, 8011 Old Georgetown Rd., Bethesda. 202-832-3210. $20, youth $10.

Chanukah Balloonarama Chabad of Bethesda-Chevy Chase presents a family-friendly event with a giant balloon menorah and a balloon show by Katie Balloons, with hot latkes and chocolate gelt. 5:30 p.m. Bethesda Row, 4801 Bethesda Ave., Bethesda. 240-370-8819. 301-215-6660. Free.

Fresh FM Holiday Show Gavin DeGraw, the singer behind “One Tree Hill” theme song “I Don’t Want to Be,” performs with the multi-platinum-selling All-American Rejects. 8 p.m. The Fillmore, 8656 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring. 301-960-9999. $25.

MON 10

Crowfoot The members of this folk trio met nine years ago at a festival in Boston and have gone on to tour the United States, Canada and United Kingdom. 7:30 p.m. St. Mark Presbyterian Church, 10701 Old Georgetown Rd., Rockville. 301-754-3611. $15, $12 in advance; students $12, $9 in advance.

TUE 11

“A Quiet Field of Surfaces” Jessica Drenk’s sculptures are created from, among other things, cotton swabs and coffee filters, while Brie Husted’s minimalist sculptures are inspired by music. Continues through Dec. 16. Adah Rose Gallery, 3766 Howard Ave., Kensington. 301-922-0162. Free.

WED 12

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Led by Robert Bernhardt and joined by the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, the orchestra performs classic holiday songs, complete with singalongs and a visit from Santa. 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. 301-581-5100. $28-$88.

— Compiled by Carrie Donovan from staff reports