THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6
BOOKS The cakes and treats from Red Truck Bakery in Marshall, Virginia, are legendary and have famous fans like Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama. If ordering from the bakery’s online store is no longer cutting it (we get it—we dream about their Shenandoah apple cake), try making your own with the new Red Truck Bakery Cookbook: Gold-Standard Recipes from America’s Favorite Rural Bakery. Red Truck head honcho (and former Washington Post art director) Brian Noyes will be at One More Page Books to talk food and sign the book; of course, there will also be baked goods to taste. Free, 6:30 PM.
MUSIC New Zealand singer Kimbra may not be a well-known name in the US on her own; her biggest hit was contributing guest vocals to Gotye’s Grammy-winning single “Somebody That I Used To Know.” But her three solo albums are a strong showing of her R&B/jazz style, and while it’s a shame that songs such as “Settle Down” and “Miracle” haven’t caught on here, her anonymity means that she performs smaller, more intimate shows. Hear her at Sixth & I. $25 (in advance) or $30 (day of), 8 PM.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7
THEATRE Theater J’s production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Talley’s Folly runs this month at GALA Hispanic Theatre. Set in mid-1940s Missouri, this rom-com follows a Jewish accountant as he pursues a Protestant woman from a bigoted family. Through December 30. $35-$69.
LIGHTS The fourth annual Light Yards features two Insta-worthy interactive light installations at Yards Park. The Pool by New York’s Jen Lewin Studio will have 106 circular pads of light that visitors can jump across, creating patterns of changing colors. Angels of Freedom by Israel’s OGE Group pairs lit-up wings and white halos that will make a heavenly new profile picture. Through January 4. Free, 6 PM – 10 PM.
THEATRE Check out seven short plays written by local playwrights that have LGBTQIA+ themes at the DC Queer Theatre Festival this weekend at DC Arts Center. These plays—each no longer than 10 minutes—tackle plots such as bringing a same-sex date to a family wedding and the murders of indigenous trans womxn. Through December 8. $20.
MUSIC Enjoy holiday music performed by The Washington Chorus at the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall. This “A Candlelight Christmas” performance will include traditional carols, contemporary songs, and audience sing-alongs, plus the chorus’s traditional candlelight procession. Through December 22. $18-$75.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8
MUSIC Indie-pop singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright is celebrating the 20th anniversary of his debut album on his current tour. He’ll play songs from his 1998 self-titled debut and from 2001’s Poses at Strathmore; both albums won Juno Awards for “Best Alternative Album.” While these works predominantly feature Wainwright’s own compositions, such as “April Fools” and “Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk,” they also include his tributes to songwriters who inspired him, such as his father Loudon Wainwright III (“One Man Guy”) and The Beatles (“Across the Universe”). $39-$89, 8 PM.
PARTY Enjoy French wines, desserts, and dancing at the French Embassy‘s Viennese Ball & Holiday Gala. Bring your dancing shoes and waltz along to the Salon Orchestra of Washington. But you don’t have to be a ballroom connoisseur; local dancers Herbert and Carol Traxler will lead the group in traditional Viennese dances the Grand March and Quadrille. Note that the event does not include dinner. $115 (entry at 7 PM, includes a Viennese waltz lesson) or $85 (8:30 PM admission).
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9
FILM The National Gallery of Art will screen Luchino Visconti’s adaptation of Thomas Mann’s novella Death in Venice. In the film, a musician becomes passionately obsessed with a 14-year-old schoolboy, although they never actually speak. The entire soundtrack is by Gustav Mahler. Free, 4 PM.
LIGHTS King Farm Village Center in Rockville is celebrating the holidays with its third annual Holiday Laser Light Show. Watch laser light animations sparkle while classic holiday tunes play; Coffee Republic will offer free hot cocoa to warm you up. Free, 6 PM.