- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The American Film Institute Silver Theatre has set aside two weeks, starting tomorrow, for a big-screen revival of Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life, a sentimental classic that remains the favorite Christmas picture of countless moviegoers and a movie James Agee pegged correctly as a potent successor to Dickens’ “Christmas Carol.” Both Mr. Capra and James Stewart were returning from distinguished military service in World War II, so the uncertainties of Mr. Stewart’s small-town paragon, George Bailey, reflected a certain amount of professional anxiety at the top. When George, facing business failure and disgrace on Christmas Eve, contemplates suicide, a wistful angel played by Henry Travers is sent to his rescue. Behind the scenes, George’s wife Mary, played by Donna Reed, seems to have been extremely busy organizing a grass-roots recovery. 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $8.50 for the general public and $7.50 for AFI members, students and seniors (65 and over). 301/495-6720.

— Gary Arnold

Run, don’t walk, to catch the Twyla Tharp-Billy Joel musical Movin’ Out at the National Theatre before it closes Sunday. The Tony-winning musical melds the driving rhythms and provocative words of Mr. Joel’s songs with the demanding, intricate routines of Miss Tharp’s choreography, then adds some razzle-dazzle staging to tell a sometimes heroic, sometimes bitter story of war and its aftermath. It’s a multifaceted feat. Through Sunday at 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Tickets are $41.25 to $86.25. 800/447-7400.

— Jean Battey Lewis

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