THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21
THEATER Playwright Ken Ludwig found inspiration from his parents’ story for his newest play, Dear Jack, Dear Louise, which has its world premiere at Arena Stage. Two faraway strangers—a U.S. Army Captain physician stationed in Oregon and an aspiring dancer and actress in New York City—exchange love letters during World War II. Through December 29. $41-$95.
MUSIC Though Blues-rock singer/songwriter Stephen Ray Vaughan died in a helicopter crash in 1990, you can still hear his tunes live. Blues band Moonshine Society will perform his 1984 Couldn’t Stand the Weather in its entirety at Pearl Street Warehouse; the album mixes Vaughan’s originals with covers such as Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child.” Free, 8 PM.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22
MUSEUMS Learn more about Jane Goodall’s work with chimpanzees at the National Geographic Museum’s hands-on exhibit “Becoming Jane: The Evolution of Dr. Jane Goodall.” See images from Goodall’s work and venture into a replica of her research tent. The exhibit also includes aa life-size hologram of Dr. Goodall and a 3D exploration of the park in Tanzania where she did her research. Through Summer 2020. $15.
SHOPPING Now in its 15th year, Downtown Holiday Market has been a staple of Chinatown with a rotating group of exhibitors. Find a unique handmade gift—from paintings and photography to jewelry, ceramics, and candles—or just enjoy the mini-donuts and other foods as you browse. Through December 23. Free to attend, 12 PM to 8 PM.
EXPERIENCE Walk through a Christmas light maze at Nationals Park in search of a missing reindeer. The maze is 90,000 square feet with a 100 foot tall lighted pine tree as the centerpiece. The event also includes a Christmas market and ice skating trail. Through December 29. $19.99-$33.99.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23
MUSEUMS Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai is best known for his renown painting Great Wave Off the Coast of Kanagawa, but he was extremely prolific beyond just that piece. Charles Lang Freer gathered the world’s largest collection of Hokusai’s works, which will be on display at the Freer|Sackler Galleries for close to a year. In addition to Hokusai’s paintings, see the artist’s drawings for woodblock prints (hanshita-e), folding screens, and hanging scrolls in the exhibit “Hokusai: Mad About Painting.” Through November 8, 2020.
DANCE The Nutcracker is a holiday staple; The Washington Ballet takes the Tchaikovsky score and re-sets the story in 1882 Georgetown with George Washington as the nutcracker and houseguests such as Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman. November 23-24 at THEARC, $30-$55. November 30 – December 29 at the Warner Theatre, $31-$200.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24
LECTURE The National Gallery of Art’s current exhibit “The Eye of the Sun: Nineteenth-Century Photographs from the National Gallery of Art” shows the development of photography in its first 50 years. The gallery is hosting a lecture on Sunday that specifically explores the roles that women played in those early years; hear about the types of jobs women had in the field and how photography changed throughout the 1800s up to the advent of the “Kodak Girl” as a marketing campaign in the 1890s. Free, 2 PM.
SHOPPING Get a jump start on your holiday shopping while sipping beer at Port City Brewing’s first Alexandria Makers Market. In addition to goods from Alexandria-based crafters and designers, there will be a few DIY workshops where visitors can get hands-on and crafty themselves. Learn how to brew bath bombs and make hand-letter ornaments. Free to attend (workshops require tickets, $25-$48), noon to 6 PM.