1. Ami Vitale: “Rhinos, Rickshaws & Revolutions: My Search for Truth”
National Geographic, December 8
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.
A Perfect Day
Fernando León de Aranoa's A Perfect Day—based on the Paula Farias novel Dejarse llover—gives 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.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 30
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.
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.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 25
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.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 23
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.
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.
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.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19
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.
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.