- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 15, 2005

Baltimore’s best

One of Baltimore’s top up-and-coming bands, Lake Trout, makes its way to the District tomorrow night for a headlining gig at the Black Cat. The five-piece rock band has gained plenty of attention in the past year with the release of its CD “Not Them, You.” The disc is highlighted by the band’s driving rhythm section and the atmospheric vocals of lead singer Woody Ranere. Showtime is 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $12. 1811 14th St. NW. 202/397-SEAT.

Folger Christmas

The Folger Consort takes over the Folger Elizabethan Theatre starting tomorrow night for a week of Christmas-inspired performances. This year the group focuses on the work of two baroque masters, Arcangelo Corelli and Marc-Antoine Charpentier. Soprano Rosa Lamoreaux joins in for several pieces. Showtimes are 8 p.m. tomorrow, 5 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22 and 8 p.m. Dec. 23. Tickets are $40. 201 East Capitol St. SE. 202/544-7077.

The NSO’s take

Conductor Emil de Cou takes up the wand tonight through the weekend for the always popular Handel’s “Messiah” performance with the National Symphony Orchestra. The Washington Chorus lends its majestic voices to the Christmas classic. Performance times are 7 tonight; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $20 to $79. Kennedy Center Concert Hall, F Street and New Hampshire Avenue Northwest. 202/467-4600.

They’re so excited

After 30 years of rocking R&B; fans all over the world, the Pointer Sisters know a thing or two about entertaining people. The singing and dancing trio heads to Strathmore Music Center tomorrow and Saturday to perform a collection of big hits, including “I’m So Excited,” “Slow Hand” and “Fire.” Showtime is 8 p.m. both nights. Tickets are $23 to $65. 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. 301/581-5100

Jazzing up the holiday

Blues Alley embraces the Christmas season this week with a string of jazzy Christmas shows. The Eric Felten Jazz orchestra kicks things off tonight with Mr. Felten’s rendition of “The Duke Ellington Nutcracker Suite.” On Tuesday, the five-piece Brazilian jazz group Travessia puts its spin on some holiday classics. Then on Wednesday, the Capitol Bones Big Band performs “A Stan Kenton Christmas.” All performances have two shows, at 8 and 10 p.m. Reservations are suggested. Call for ticket prices. Wisconsin Avenue, south of M Street Northwest. 202/337-4141.

Picks not included

African slaves introduced Americans to the banjo in the late 1700s. After more than 250 years, the banjo remains a mainstay of American folk and country music. The Corcoran Gallery of Art highlights the stringed instrument with its new exhibit, “Picturing the Banjo,” which looks at famous works of art that feature the banjo. The exhibit runs through March 5. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, until 9 p.m. Thursday. Closed Tuesday. Admission is $3 to $6.75, $12 family; pay what you can all day Monday, after 5 p.m. Thursday. 17th Street and New York Avenue Northwest. 202/639-1700.

Unplugged

Carbon Leaf is leaving the electric guitars at home and going all-acoustic for its shows on Sunday at the 9:30 Club. The pop-rock quartet, which is quite popular on local and national college campuses, finally has broken out of the indie mold and made the leap to the big time with its latest release, “Indian Summer.” Showtimes are 7:30 and 10 p.m. Tickets are $15. 815 V St. NW. 202/393-0930.

— Thomas Walter

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