- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 28, 2002

Nuts about 'Nutcracker'

Start your holiday season off properly with a Christmas season classic. The Washington Ballet will perform "The Nutcracker" at the George Mason University Center for the Arts at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday. If you have to miss it, don't worry. The Washington Ballet will also perform at the Warner Theatre later in the season, but here's your chance to take the family to see the performance at a reduced price. The ballet will be at the Concert Hall, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. Tickets are $22 to $43. 703/218-6500.

All the world's a creche

There's a Santa on every corner and reindeers adorn your Christmas china. But if you want to reflect on a different aspect of the holiday season, check out the international collection of creches on display at the Washington National Cathedral. The exhibit features a variety of Nativity displays made from everything from clay to wood to more traditional materials that hail from places such as Kenya, France, Peru, Sri Lanka and Alaska. The cathedral is at the intersection of Wisconsin and Madison avenues NW, and is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. 202/537-2198.

Irish pops

Eileen Ivers joins the National Symphony Orchestra this weekend for a Celtic music and dance reverie. Miss Ivers has established a reputation as the Irish fiddler of note with her Irish-based fusion sound, and many members of her dance troupe have performed in "Riverdance." "A Celtic Evening" is an Irish celebration for the family. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Friday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. at the Kennedy Center's Concert Hall, F Street and New Hampshire Avenue NW. Tickets are $20 to $72. 202/467-4700.

A 'Hairspray' Christmas

Artificial pines and evergreens take their inspiration from Broadway musical hits this year at the Kennedy Krieger Institute's annual Festival of Trees. More than 300 trees, wreaths, stockings and gingerbread houses created by local artisans display their Christmas cheer. (There are eight "Hairspray" theme trees alone.) Proceeds benefit children with developmental disabilities being treated by the Institute. At the Cow Palace, Maryland State Fairgrounds, Timonium, Md., from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $4 to $8. 443/923-7300.

Cats, hats and R&B

Dr. Seuss' whimsical stories come alive through song and dance in the traveling Broadway musical "Seussical." Cathy Rigby, who earned a Tony nomination for her portrayal of Peter Pan in the early '90s, plays the "Cat in the Hat." Adults and children alike can appreciate this take on the popular bedtime tales, and a score that blends pop, gospel, blues and R&B. The show will be at the Mechanic Theatre, 25 Hopkins Plaza, Baltimore, from Dec. 3 to 8. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15 to $35. 202/432-SEAT.

Bulgaria at Marymount

If you're looking for an event unrelated to the holiday, visit the Contemporary Bulgarian Art Exhibition at Marymount University. The show features the work of four diverse Bulgarian artists Tzvetomir Assenov, Anna Boyadgieva, Dimitar Hinkov and Christo Kostov who all have received attention from the European art world. Their language may be different, but art transcends the world of spoken communication, so see what the exhibit has to offer. Marymount University is located at 2807 North Glebe Road. The Barry Art Gallery is in the Reinsch Library at the university and is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The exhibit is free and the art is available for purchase.

Toys from the Colonial past

Children woke up to toys under the tree on Christmas morning long before Mattel. Colonial Williamsburg's "Holiday Favorites" exhibition pays homage to the carefully crafted toys of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Children and antique lovers alike can see the jumping jacks, ships and dollhouses of the past and even play with the reproductions of some of the toys. The exhibit is located at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum on South England Street at Colonial Williamsburg, and will be on view through Jan. 1. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is included in the price of any Colonial Williamsburg ticket. 757/220-7286.

Stephanie K.Taylor

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