- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Festival of lights

Every afternoon through Saturday, a new candle will be lit on the world’s largest menorah on the Ellipse in recognition of Hanukkah. The ceremony takes place each afternoon at 4 o’clock. Free tickets are required to attend the ceremony. Call 202/332-5600 for more information. 15th and E streets Northwest.

Country Christmas

Christmas comes to the Verizon Center tonight, when Martina McBride presents her multimedia songfest, “The Joy of Christmas.” The award-winning country singer celebrates all aspects of the Christmas season in a production with multiple sets, elaborate lighting, a cast of actors and a story line that travels from Bethlehem to present-day USA. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $52.75 to $72.75. 601 F St. NW. 202/397-SEAT.

Going solo

Luke Brindley, one-half of the local acoustic/rock duo Brindley Brothers, releases his self-titled debut album with a two-night showcase at Jammin’ Java. The stripped-down, mostly acoustic album features Mr. Brindley’s scruffy vocals and straight-forward lyrics, part of the Brindley Brothers’ music since their start. Showtimes are 8 p.m. tomorrow and 2 p.m. on Saturday . Tickets are $12. 227 Maple Ave., Vienna. 703/255-1566.

Electronic pioneers

Electronic musician Brian Transeau, better known as BT, was born and raised in Rockville and returns to the area tomorrow night to headline a dance show at the Birchmere with fellow electronic legend Thomas Dolby. A pioneer in the electronic music genre, BT has scored music for films and video games and has made five albums, the latest of which — “This Binary Universe” — was released earlier this year. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $27.50. 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. 202/397-SEAT.

On a string

While the Washington Ballet spins and jumps its way through the “Nutcracker,” the five puppeteers at the Puppet Company use only their hands to control dozens of puppets and marionettes, recreating Tchaikovsky’s tale from behind a curtain. The 50-minute show is geared to children 5 and older. Showtimes are 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. daily from Tuesday through Dec. 31. Tickets are $8. 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo. 301/320-6668.

Comedic Christmas

Sean Altman first made a name for himself when he released the comedy CD “What I Like About Jew.” This year the singing comedian is back with a new touring variety show called “Jewmongous.” He brings along fellow comedians Steve Goodie and Cynthia Kaplan. “Jewmongous” plays the Rams Head Tavern on Christmas Day. Showtime is 7 p.m. Tickets are $20. 33 West St., Annapolis. 410/268-4545.

‘Messiah’ weekend

After thousands sang their hearts out at the “Messiah” singalong on Sunday, the National Symphony Orchestra and the Cathedral Choral Society are next on the schedule with Handel’s classic, tonight through Sunday. Kenneth Slowik conducts the orchestra while J. Reilly Lewis leads the chorus. Performance times in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall are 7 tonight and tomorrow, 8 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range from $20 to $80. F Street and New Hampshire Avenue Northwest. 202/467-4600.

Thomas Walter

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