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Vitale traveled to Kenya last year and photographed endangered black rhinos with their caretakers. Photograph by Ami Vitale.

1. Ami Vitale: “Rhinos, Rickshaws & Revolutions: My Search for Truth”

National Geographic, December 8

Photograph by Ami Vitale.

Photojournalists tell unforgettable stories through images, but rarely do they tell their own. Photographer Ami Vitale shares the journey behind an astonishing career that has taken her to more than 90 countries, covering events such as the Kosovo war and the fight to save Kenyan rhinos. $25.

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Posted at 05:00 PM/ET, 11/30/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
The festival runs from December 1 to 20 at AFI Silver Theatre. By Dean Essner
A floating corpse in a water well befuddles Benicio Del Toro and company in the dark, post-war dramedy A Perfect Day . Photo courtesy of AFI Silver.

A Perfect Day

Fernando León de Aranoa's A Perfect Day—based on the Paula Farias novel Dejarse llovergives a darkly comedic look at the end of a Balkan war zone in 1995, following four aid workers (Benicio Del Toro, Tim Robbins, Olga Kurylenko, and Mélanie Thierry) who are tasked with removing a dead body from a water well.

December 1, 7:15 PM, $20, AFI Silver Theatre (also includes a Q&A with de Aranoa and a post-screening reception).

December 5, 3:05 PM, $14, AFI Silver Theatre.

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Posted at 04:28 PM/ET, 11/30/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
30 Rock's Judah Friedlander will visit Politics & Prose to talk about his new book of drawings and cartoons. Photo courtesy of Melina Mara.


MARKET: With Hanukkah kicking off on Sunday and Christmas drawing ever-nearer, now is crunch time for those who still have yet to figure out the perfect gifts for friends and family. Luckily, the holiday miracle known as the Downtown Holiday Market opened over Thanksgiving weekend. Swing by after work or on your lunch break to check out local vendors and artisans, and listen to live music or grab a bite to eat while you shop. Free, 12 PM.

READING: Over the last decade Judah Friedlander has made a name for himself as a stand-up comedian and actor, but he’s also been an avid artist since childhood. Friedlander’s latest book, If The Raindrops United, is a collection of his drawing and cartoons, giving you a visual glimpse at his sense of humor that’s quite different from the in-your-face trucker hats Friedlander would don as Frank Rossitano on 30 Rock. Catch him at Politics & Prose. Free, 7 PM.

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Posted at 10:12 AM/ET, 11/30/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
December events that range from off-the-beaten path to totally WTF. By Elizabeth Elving, Dean Essner, Talia Mindich
Last year's Norwegian Christmas ceremony at Union Station. Photo courtesy of Roth PR.

Listen to Aimee Mann and Ted Leo shred their way through Christmas classics

Aimee Mann has toured on-and-off with a Christmas-themed show for a few years (bringing recent songwriting partner Ted Leo into the fold last winter), but this gig at Birchmere is special because it also features cult favorites Jonathan Coulton and Liz Phair. In the past, Mann’s show has been a nice mix of the sincere and the snarky (check this recent Boston setlist), but with Coulton and Phair on board, expect more Yuletide snark.

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Posted at 10:10 AM/ET, 11/27/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Plus, day one of the Downtown Holiday Market By Philip Garrity
Celebrate Thanksgiving with a free, fried version of this guy. Photo by Flickr user Ruocaled.


Charm City Junction at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage

If you've never heard a button accordion played live, here's your chance. Baltimore-based Charm City Junction brings their eclectic, acoustic-roots sound to DC. 6 PM.

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Posted at 04:34 PM/ET, 11/24/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Get your dose of nightlife fun before Thanksgiving. By Heather Rudow
Internet sensation Ryn Weaver performs at the 9:30 Club on Monday. Photo by Luis Ruiz.


READING: Kramerbooks offers an evening of fiction featuring writers from Chicago-based indie publishing company Curbside Splendor. On Monday, author Vanessa Blakeslee will read from her novel Juventud and Dave Reidy will read from The Voiceover Artist. Free to attend, 6:30 PM.

MUSIC: Ryn Weaver is truly internet famous. Within a week putting her first single "OctaHate" on Soundcloud, she had (literally) a million listens and the attention of big-name musicians and blogs everywhere. The electro-pop songstress’ first studio full-length, The Fool, keeps that momentum going and then some. She’ll be playing it at the 9:30 Club on Monday. $25, 7 PM.

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Posted at 10:30 AM/ET, 11/23/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Darth Vader in front of the Death Star. Photograph by Flickr user Andrew Turner.

If you thought the Smithsonian Institution's decision to show Star Wars: The Force Awakens for a whole month (psst...tickets are still available for some of those screenings) was an unusual display of affection toward the film series, you're wrong. Unbeknown to many, DC is actually a Star Wars shrine, perhaps more in love with the George Lucas mega-franchise than Philadelphia is with Rocky. In honor of the upcoming J.J. Abrams-helmed sequel, here are some of the ways that Washington has proved its fandom.

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Posted at 03:47 PM/ET, 11/20/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Photograph via iStock.

In Thursday's edition of the Washington Post, drama critic Peter Marks got to write what so many writers who cover DC's theater scene have longed to: Shear Madness, the audience-participation, pop-reference-heavy comedy that has been the sole occupant of the Kennedy Center's so-called Theater Lab since 1987, is finally going to have to share the space, and maybe even leave for good.

The Kennedy Center's decision to finally reassess Shear Madness's perch comes with the announcement of an ambitious comedy lineup planned for 2016 that will include shows by big-name standups including Tracy Morgan, Jane Lynch, Norm Macdonald, and Dick Gregory, as well as newer acts like Colleen Ballinger, who is taking her YouTube character Miranda Sings live.

While the individual comedians will perform on the Kennedy Center's other stages, Marks reports, Shear Madness will get bumped next summer for a production by Chicago's Second City. And he also reports that Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter is considering evicting the show entirely.

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Posted at 12:50 PM/ET, 11/19/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Here's what you should be doing this weekend. By Heather Rudow
ManneqART SHOW: Sculptures on Human Form, at Art Soiree on Friday, is like an artsy, avant-garde version of Project Runway . Photo by Irvin Simon Photographers and ManneqART.


MARKET: The holidays can be stressful, especially for those who crack under the pressure of buying the perfect gift. Luckily, the Union Kitchen Holiday Market is the perfect remedy. Sip on some cocktails and eat some light appetizers as you survey potential presents from Union Kitchen members and Room & Board. Free, 6:30 PM.

FILM: Max and the Junkmen comes to the AFI Silver Theater and Cultural Center. The 70s French crime—never before been released in American theatres—stars famed French actor Michel Piccoli as a hardened, Parisian detective named Max whose plans for justice are foiled when he falls in love. $12, 9:15 PM.

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Posted at 11:12 AM/ET, 11/19/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
T-Pain comes back to NPR for round two. Photograph by Flickr user Eva Rinaldi.

A little more than a year after his internet-shattering Tiny Desk Concert, T-Pain is coming back to NPR on Thursday night for another intimate performance. The show will honor the tenth anniversary of his debut release Rappa Ternt Sanga—which includes hits like "I'm N Luv (Wit a Stripper)" and "I'm Sprung"—as well as feature brand new cuts from his currently in-the-works record Stoicville: The Phoenix.

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Posted at 04:03 PM/ET, 11/18/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()