$5 – $10 – $20: An entertainment guide for the cash-strapped college student

If you have $5

Put it in the Christmas (or Chanukah or Kwanzaa or Winter Solstice) gift fund and go to the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center, your go-to source for free entertainment, for a Merry Tuba Christmas. You’ll get to hear holiday favorites interpreted by local tuba, euphonium and sousaphone players. You really can’t lose here – it’ll get you in the spirit of the season and you’ll get to hear songs you’re used to hearing as muzak on Sears commercials in beautiful, rich brass blasts. Also, “sousaphone” is fun to say. Go ahead – try it. Sousaphone. Sousaphone. See?

If you have $10

Borrow $5 from your stoned roommate and go to see the Machine at the State Theatre located near the East Falls Church Metro. Who is the Machine, you ask? Only “America’s premier live Pink Floyd experience.” And yes, that’s from the Machine’s Web site, and yes, that means they’re a cover band. But come on, you missed out on the laser light shows and the honest belief that “Dark Side of the Moon” was trying to tell you something back in the 1970s, so you might as well go for an approximation of it now.

If you have $20

Go to Love at 1250 Okie St., N.E. to see original “Nigga With Attitude” Ice Cube. With myriad rappers appropriating the style without the talent, now seems a good time to be reminded where gangsta rap came from. Seriously, someone needs to beat Rick Ross and Young Jeezy with a copy of “Straight Outta Compton.” Would anyone be opposed to this? Anyone? And yes, we’re aware that, at this point, someone probably needs to beat Ice Cube with a copy of “Straight Outta Compton,” but we’re willing to make exceptions.

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