Boost your holiday spirit at these performances around the District

Media Credit: Max Wang | Staff Photographer

Come listen to traditional seasonal tunes with a jazzy flair at the newly renovated Terrace Theater at The Kennedy Center this winter.

Holiday spirits may be low in Foggy Bottom from the lack of snowfall and an excess of final exams.

But they don’t have to be. To get excited for the upcoming holidays, take a study break and boost your excitement for the season at a holiday show. From conventional Christmas orchestra performances to twists on the traditional, here are some of the top holiday performances around the District this year.

The Hip Hop Nutcracker
The Nutcracker is normally an elegant Tchaikovsky ballet performance, but a group of hip-hop dancers decided to turn the show on its head – literally. The show features a dozen acclaimed international hip-hop dancers from Norway to Puerto Rico, a DJ spinning on stage and electric violinist Emily Simone. Instead of going to The Lemonade Sea or Clara’s living room, the audience will be transported to contemporary New York City, where the show is set. Lively musical performances replace slow orchestra tunes helping the cast breathe new, modern life into the timeless show. Take the 30-minute trip on the Metro’s Red Line to the Strathmore Performing Arts Center – a brief break during final exam week.

Strathmore Performing Arts Center, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, Md. Dec. 12 to 13. Tickets from $28 to $58.

NPR’s A Jazz Piano Christmas
Come listen to traditional seasonal tunes with a jazzy flair at the newly renovated Terrace Theater in The Kennedy Center. Seating 513 people, the Terrace Theater provides an intimate night with four famous jazz pianists from around the world like Joanne Brackeen, Abelita Mateus and Marcia Ball. All of these highly decorated performers will come together for the 27th annual holiday jazz show hosted by NPR. Get tickets fast for Dec. 9 because this holiday show is a D.C. classic and tickets sell out fast.

The Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW. Dec. 9. Tickets $55 to $70.

National Symphony Orchestra Pop’s: A Holiday Pops! Featuring Megan Hilty
Megan Hilty, the star of NBC’s “Smash,” joins the National Symphony Orchestra Pops group for their holiday performance of comforting holiday classics. Hilty, who is known off screen for her broadway voice, is sure to pair well with the orchestra’s traditional big band sound on classic holiday shows. The orchestra will be offering weekend shows to get you in the holiday spirit. Steven Reineke, music director for the New York Pops, will join the show as the composer for all three performances.

The Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW. Dec. 8 to Dec. 9. Tickets from $24 to $99.

Gay Men’s Chorus Holiday Show
The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, D.C. will return to the spotlight this season to present their annual holiday show at Lincoln Theatre. Spice up your holiday celebration with mashups of popular Christmas songs, tap dancers and a chorus line with Santa Claus featuring hundreds of men in strappy, kinky leather outfits. This year the performance will include their rendition of scenes from The Nutcracker and songs like “Sleigh Ride,” “The Christmas Song” and “I Should Have Been a North Pole Elf.” The pageantry with costumes, makeup, set and choreography will make you feel like you’re in the North Pole. In addition, a holiday toy drive for Community Family Life Services, a local organization that houses low-income and homeless people as they deal with short-term crises, will be in the lobby of the Lincoln Theatre.

Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Dec. 9, 16, 17. Tickets from $25 to $65.

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