Things to Do

Things to Do in DC This Week (November 19-25): DC Brau’s Holiday Market, ZooLights, and Thanksgiving Fun

Visit ZooLights at the National Zoo from November 23 to January 1. Photograph by Mehgan Murphy, Smithsonian’s National Zoo.


DANCE For the eighth consecutive year, Strathmore is hosting the annual MCPS Latin Dance Competition for Montgomery County High School students. Dancers will perform in eight categories—including salsa and chacha, parent/student, Jack and Jill, and senior—paying homage to traditions of the countries that are represented in many Montgomery County schools. $25, 7 PM.

LECTURE Monday’s Profs and Pints lecture at the Bier Baron, “Force vs. First Amendment,” will focus on how the first amendment affects far-right extremist or white nationalist groups. Mary McCord, a visiting professor at Georgetown Law’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection, will speak about the extremist rallies in Berkeley, Portland, and Charlottesville and how they’ve provoked counter-protesters. Professor McCord led a lawsuit that banned individuals who participated in Charlottesville’s Unite the Right rally from participating in any future protest or demonstration in the city while armed; she will discuss how almost all states have laws that prevent paramilitary activity and how they are consistent with the First and Second Amendments. $12 in advance or $15 at the door, 6 PM.


THEATRE The Shakespeare Theatre Company presents Stephen Daldry’s production of J.B. Priestley’s An Inspector Calls. Priestley’s play, written in 1945 and set in 1912, follows an inspector who questions a well-to-do British family about the alleged suicide of a young woman. This iteration of the production will be Daldry’s 1992 revival, in which the story is set both in the original 1912 timeframe and in the post-war era in which it was written, and makes a harsh statement about the injustices in British society.  Through December 23. $44-$125.

MUSIC The Choir of Man is a high-energy performance that features the music of Paul Simon, Adele, Queen, and more, sung by an all-male cast. The small group—there are only nine performers—dominate the stage with harmonies and choreography to pop songs, classic rock numbers, and musical theater in an uptempo, feel-good performance. This show is making its first U.S. tour with a stop at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater, running through November 25. $59-$99.


COMEDY Wizards power forward Markieff Morris started the Family Over Everything (F.O.E.) Foundation with fellow players Marcus Morris (Markieff’s twin brother) and Thomas Robinson to provide assistance to families in underserved communities. Markieff is also quite the standup comedy fan and has adapted his F.O.E. branding to “Funny Over Everything” for a show at Drafthouse Comedy.  Wednesday’s show features local comics Rob Gordon and Davy Ruffin, plus out-of-towners Keith Henry and Joclown, and will be hosted by Scooter Wilkerson. Morris will be there too, as a special guest. $20, 8 PM.

KIDS The Kennedy Center presents its world premiere of How to Catch a Star, a play based on Oliver Jeffers‘s book about chasing your dreams. The play follows a boy who climbs trees in hopes of catching a star. It runs at the Kennedy Center’s Family Theater through December 16; best for ages 3 and up. $20.


RUN Preemptively burn off those Thanksgiving calories at So Others Might Eat (SOME)’s 17th Thanksgiving Day Trot for Hunger, a 5K run or walk to raise funds for SOME to end homelessness and hunger in DC. Over 10,000 people receive assistance from SOME every year. In addition to the 5K, youngsters can participate in the Little Turkey One Mile Fun Run. Both start and end near Freedom Plaza. $45, 9 AM.

DANCE The Kennedy Center hosts shows every day on its Millennium Stage, even on Thanksgiving. Every year, this free show features the DC swing dance group Gottaswing and this year’s music will be from Pittsburgh’s Dr. Zoot. Dance alongside Jean Veloz and Irene Thomas, who danced in MGM films in the 1940s and beyond, plus, Los Angeles-based Rusty Frank. Free, 6 PM.

FOOD If turkey isn’t your jam, join the Thanksgiving Gala hosted by the Veg Society for DC at the Grand Hyatt in DC. This vegan Thanksgiving meal features multiple courses and—if you were worried—there’s nothing even resembling a tofurkey on the menu. Enjoy spicy spinach and artichoke dip, a rosemary-braised lentil stew, and a quinoa pilaf with sweet bell peppers, topped off with mini pumpkin pies and poached pears for dessert. $85, noon.


ZOO Visit the National Zoo after dark for the annual ZooLights display, which includes 500,000 LED lights, live music performances every night, and winter treats. The Elephant Outpost will be transformed into a gingerbread village and Lion-Tiger Hill will have “Reindeer Games” including inflatable slides and a holiday-themed obstacle course. Make sure to stop by the Conservation Pavilion to roast s’mores over fire pits. Through January 1 (except December 24, 25, and 31). Free, 5 PM to 9 PM.

SHOPPING Support local and regional artisans and find unique gifts for your holiday shopping list at the Downtown Holiday Market, which runs for a month in Chinatown at 8th and F Streets NW. There are over 180 exhibitors who will rotate throughout the market’s run; check out the day-by-day schedule to see who’s selling when. Warm up with coffee and hot mini donuts from some of the market’s food vendors while you browse. Through December 23. Noon to 8 PM daily.

THEATRE The 2015 play Indecent recounts the 1923 Broadway production of God of Vengeance, a Yiddish drama that was both praised and criticized for its presentation of censorship and anti-Semitism. Indecent tells the behind-the-scenes story of the artists who risked everything to perform this “indecent” theatrical work. Indecent runs at Arena Stage through December 30. $41-$115.


SHOPPING DC Brau will turn into a local artisan marketplace for “Small Business Saturday” at its fifth annual Holiday Market. Check out over 40 different vendors while enjoying two special new Brau beers and nosh from multiple food trucks. There will be leather goods and t-shirts from DC Brau’s artist-in-residence Jon Wye, tasty jerky from Jerkface, smoked maple syrup from Langdon Wood, and chocolates from Brau’s neighbors Harper Macaw, and more. Free to attend, 2-6 PM (VIP tickets are available for $10 and allow one hour early entry).

MUSIC Holiday weekends are typically a great time to see local bands. Catch Reston trio RDGLDGRN with New York hip-hop group Oxymorrons at Union Stage. RDGLDGRN blends go-go, indie-rock, and hip-hop for a very DC sound. The group is usually touring out-of-town, so this is a rare moment to see them at home. $20, 8 PM.


MUSEUMS “Black Friday” and “Small Business Saturday” are followed by “Museum Store Sunday,” a day to patronize gift shops at local museums. While it is getting a bit ridiculous to have a day for absolutely everything (don’t forget about “Cyber Monday” and “Giving Tuesday”), the National Gallery of Art is making the day a full celebration, featuring a children’s book reading with local author Megan Wagner Lloyd (11:15 AM), children’s film screenings (11:45 AM), drop-in art projects (noon to 12 PM), and a concert with the quintet M5 Mexican Brass (3:30 PM).

MUSIC A cappella quintet Home Free won the fourth season of NBC’s The Sing-Off in 2013; the Minnesota group will perform “A Country Christmas” at Strathmore. Expect to hear some of the group’s Nashville standards as well as country-tinged Christmas tunes. $34-$78, 8 PM.

LAST CALL: Here’s what’s closing this week


OUR PARTY Sip the night away at Washingtonian’s Winter Wine Classic at AJAX. The Après Ski-themed event features live music, light bites, and varietals from an array of winemakers including local favorites like City Winery, Summer Sessions, District Winery, and Grape Intentions. Get tickets here.