- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 13, 2006

“Nutcracker” revised

Septime Webre’s “Nutcracker” for the Washington Ballet may use Tchaikovsky’s elaborate score and plot, but it’s finely tuned to its D.C. surroundings. Replacing the Nutcracker with George Washington and the Rat King with King George III, Mr. Webre’s version unfolds on a custom-made set complete with cherry blossoms on the Potomac. Performances are Wednesday through Sunday through Dec. 23 at the Warner Theatre. Showtimes vary. Tickets range from $29 to $85. 513 13th St., NW. 202/397-SEAT.

No more jingle bells

Gypsy punk rock band Gogol Bordello offers a break from the almost non-stop Christmas music on Tuesday at the 9:30 Club. The multicultural rockers — band members hail from Russia, Ukraine, Israel and the United States — are known for their fast-paced, entertaining live show, very unlike any holiday performance you’ll find here. Tickets are $20. Showtime is 8 p.m. 815 V St. NW. 202/393-0930.

A divine reading

Dante’s “Divine Comedy” takes center stage at the American Enterprise Institute’s “Cultural Evenings” on Tuesday. Dana Gioia, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts and award-winning poet, will read some of his favorite passages from one of literature’s most celebrated works. The reading begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Wohlstetter Conference Center at the American Enterprise Institute. Registration is required. 1150 17th St. NW. 202/862-5839.

Through the windows

See more than 75 holiday-themed light displays from the cozy confines of your car at Columbia’s annual Symphony of Lights. The animated displays are scattered along a 1½-mile course that includes a “winter wonderland,” a Victorian village and much more. Admission is $15 per car, $25 per van or $100 per bus. Hours are 6 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, Saturday and holidays through Jan. 7. 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Md. 410/740-7666.

Holidays pops

The New Sigmund Romberg Orchestra and soloists travel to the Music Center at Strathmore tonight to perform a collection of seasonal favorites and selections from Romberg’s operettas. “A Viennese Christmas” starts at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $18 to $48. 5301 Tuckerman Lane, Bethesda. 301/581-5100.

Celtic Christmas

Fiddle champion Eileen Ivers returns to the George Mason University Center for the Arts tomorrow with an all-new Christmas program, “An Nollaig — An Irish Christmas.” The performance features traditional Christmas tunes from Miss Ivers and her lively band along with some authentic Irish dancing. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets range from $21 to $42. 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. 888/945-2468.

Sing along with Handel

Warm up your vocal chords: The Kennedy Center’s annual “Messiah” singalong is Sunday night. For one night only, patrons are encouraged to sing with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra and Choir as they perform Handel’s masterpiece. Admission is free, but tickets are required. The performance starts at 8 p.m. Take your seat by 7:45 p.m., since unfilled seats will be taken by unticketed patrons. F Street and New Hampshire Avenue Northwest. 202/467-4600.

Thomas Walter

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