- - Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pick of the Pack

Ballet: ‘Dracula’

Bram Stoker’s 1897 Gothic novel “Dracula,” starring the famed nocturnal count from Transylvania, has inspired many adaptations in pop culture through the decades. From 1992’s “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” starring Gary Oldman and Winona Ryder, to this year’s animated flick “Hotel Transylvania” — not to mention the countless television shows, comic books and even a chocolate breakfast cereal — Count Dracula is one of the leading men of the horror genre. Starting Wednesday, feed your desire for more vampire drama at the opening of the Washington Ballet’s premiere of “Dracula,” which resurrects the horror and romance of the original novel. Choreographed by Michael Pink, the artistic director of the Milwaukee Ballet Company, the ballet is pegged as a fresh interpretation of the classic story. With macabre choreography, sets and music, this version of “Dracula” is certain to make for a sophisticated Halloween.

Through Nov. 4 at the Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW

Phone: 800/444-1324

Web: kennedy-center.org

Concert: The Jacksons: The Unity Tour

If you don’t have weekend plans, don’t worry. It’s as easy as 1-2-3, or simple as do, re, mi. The Jacksons — as in, Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and Tito — will be in the District on Friday for their Unity Tour, the legendary musical family’s first tour since 1984. Sadly, the tour is missing a vital member: Michael, whose death in June 2009 shook the world. Three years later, the four remaining members of the original Jackson 5 — renamed the Jacksons in 1976 as Michael’s solo career took off — launched the Unity Tour, which has been traveling the world since the early summer. If they follow previous concerts’ set lists, the audience can expect renditions of some of the group’s biggest hits, including “ABC,” as well as a few of Michael Jackson’s solo numbers and tributes to their star brother. If the tour doesn’t heal the world, it at least will be a thrilling musical event.

Friday at the Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW

Phone: 202/803-2899

Web: thehowardtheatre.com

Culture: Poems & Stories of Edgar Allan Poe

The horror genre today is fraught with guts and gore or, if you’re lucky, the unbelievably supernatural. This Halloween, forget the tired plots involving dim-witted college students getting chopped to pieces and return to the days of Edgar Allan Poe’s inventive storylines and suspense heightened by the rhythm of his words. This month, which marks the 163rd anniversary of his death, Poe’s works are worth revisiting by those in the mood to be truly terrified while enjoying their candy corn. Actors from the Georgetown Theatre Company will take the stage at Alexandria’s Athenaeum on Friday to read some of Poe’s creepiest stories and poems, including “The Black Cat,” “The Cask of Amontillado” and, of course, “The Raven” (“Nevermore!”), featuring frightening murderers (and omniscient critters). Adding to the mood set by Poe’s unnerving words, the Athenaeum is rumored to be haunted.

Friday at the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association Athenaeum, 201 Prince St., Alexandria, Va.

Phone: 703/548-0035

Web: nvfaa.org

Film: Noir City D.C.: The 2012 Noir Film Festival

The Film Noir Foundation, founded by San Francisco writer and film noir specialist Eddie Muller, is dedicated to finding and preserving the iconic melodramas of 1940s and 1950s Hollywood, arguably the most chic decades in American film. For the past 10 years, the foundation has hosted Noir City festivals in San Francisco and elsewhere to raise money for its film preservation work, and Noir City D.C. returns to the Washington area with a new lineup of familiar and rare noir titles. Fans won’t want to miss the often-forgotten 1949 version of “The Great Gatsby” starring Alan Ladd in the title role, or the screening of the 1927 silent gangster film “Underworld,” which will feature live musical accompaniment from the Alloy Orchestra. Throughout the festival, Film Noir Foundation specialists, including Mr. Muller, will provide introductions and post-show discussions.

Saturday through Nov. 1 at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, Md.

301/495-6700. Web: afi.com/silver/films/2012/v9i4/dcnoir.aspx

Children: How ‘Ten Timid Ghosts’ Came to Be

Children’s author Jennifer O’Connell’s best-selling book, “Ten Timid Ghosts,” is a Halloween story that’s both eerie and educational. It’s Halloween, and a wicked witch has just moved into a new house, but she has a big problem: 10 timid ghosts already live there. Readers will learn to count as the 10 ghosts flee, one by one, frightened by the witch’s various costumes and tricks. Will the ghosts overcome their fears and frighten away the witch for their biggest night of the year? The story not only helps young readers learn to count, but also can provoke important discussions with older children about bullying and the importance of being yourself. Ms. O’Connell will be on hand this weekend at the National Theatre to read her book and host an interactive workshop with young audience members on storytelling and imagination. Complimentary tickets are required, and will be distributed 30 minutes before the performance on a first-come, first-served basis.

Saturday at the National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

Phone: 202/783-3372

Web: nationaltheatre.org

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