- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 6, 2006

A White House Christmas

The White House gets into the Christmas spirit tonight with the lighting of the national Christmas tree on the Ellipse. The annual ceremony this year features music from Eartha Kitt and the U.S. Army Concert Band and kicks off the “Christmas Pageant of Peace” festival. Beginning tomorrow night, choruses and bands from the mid-Atlantic region will play free concerts each night at 6 p.m. through Dec. 23. The lighting ceremony starts at 5 p.m. See www.nps.gov/whho or call 202/208-1631.

Music for laughs

Part stand-up musical comedy, part cover band, the Dan Band has entertained millions through its nationwide concert tours and film appearances in “Old School” and “Starsky & Hutch.” The touring comedy group pulls in to the 9:30 Club tonight in support of its new Christmas CD, “Ho: A Dan Band Christmas.” Tickets are $25. Showtime is 8 p.m. 815 V St. NW. 202/393-0930.

Handel at the Cathedral

The Washington National Cathedral Choir and Baroque Orchestra present Handel’s Christmas standard, “Messiah,” tomorrow and Sunday at the Washington National Cathedral. Michael McCarthy takes up the baton as Elizabeth Weigle, Yvette Smith, Rufus Muller and William Sharp handle the solos. Performance times are 7:30 p.m. tomorrow and 4 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets range from $20 to $65. Massachusetts and Wisconsin avenues Northwest. 202/537-6200.

Early Hanukkah

Can’t wait until Dec. 16 for Hanukkah to begin? The Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington offers a preview on Saturday with “Hands-on Chanukah.” The family event features an afternoon of arts and crafts along with an archaeological dig, a treasure hunt, and an olive-oil-press demonstration. The event runs from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Tickets range from $7 to $20 (maximum per family). 6125 Montrose Road, Rockville. 301/348-3760.

We are rockers

After wide-ranging success with its debut album, “With Love and Squalor,” the indie-rock trio We Are Scientists rewards fans with a new collection of B-sides, rarities, remixes and videos. The Brooklyn-based band will play hits from the new disc along with tracks from its debut at the Black Cat on Tuesday . Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $15. 1811 14th St. NW. 202/397-SEAT.

Irish Christmas

Hear how the Irish celebrate Christmas tonight and tomorrow at National Geographic Live’s “An Irish Christmas in America.” One of Ireland’s top bands, Teada, will be joined by vocalist Cathie Ryan, harpist Grainne Hambly and Tommy Martin on uilleann pipes. The group will showcase some of Ireland’s festive tunes and share some of its favorite Christmas traditions. Showtimes are 6 and 8:30 p.m. both nights. Tickets range from $23 to $27. 1600 M St. NW. 202/857-7700.

Tribute to Lady Day

The Ronald K. Brown/Evidence dance company comes to the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater tonight through Saturday with one new program and a best-of collection of dances. Tonight, the company offers the Washington premiere of “Blueprint of a Lady: The Once and Future Life of Billie Holiday.” The multimedia dance performance pays tribute to the celebrated singer through live music and spoken word. Tomorrow and Saturday, the company performs an All-Evidence dance program featuring three works choreographed by Mr. Brown. Showtime is 8 each night. Tickets are $14 to $38. F Street and New Hampshire Avenue Northwest. 202/467-4600.

Thomas Walter

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