Pick of the Pack
Edgar & Annabel
After a long year of debates about government surveillance and secrets in Washington, the Studio Theatre's latest play debuts Wednesday with impeccable timing. "Edgar and Annabel," written by the young, critically acclaimed British playwright Sam Holcroft, received rave reviews following its premiere at London's National Theatre. The Orwellian political thriller follows American couple Edgar and Annabel, two undercover agents in what is seemingly a dystopian United States in the not-so-distant future - and will have audiences questioning what is truth and what is fiction. Director Holly Twyford worked with Miss Holcroft to adapt the play for U.S. audiences - primarily by giving the characters American, rather than British, accents and slang. Through Jan. 5 at the Studio Theatre, 1501 14th St. NW. 202/332-3300. Web: studiotheatre.org.
The Pajama Men
Washington has a number of holiday performing arts traditions, ranging from "The Nutcracker" to "A Christmas Carol" and now, performances by the Pajama Men, as the acclaimed comedy duo returns to the Woolly Mammoth following last year's sold-out holiday season run. New Mexico natives Mark Chavez and Shenoah Allen began performing their signature blend of witty improv and physical comedy at fringe festivals in Canada and the U.K., and quickly rose to fame. They developed their latest show, "Just the Two of Each of Us," during their stay in D.C. last year, and it received wonderful reviews during its recent run in London. The show, which opens Tuesday with a pay-what-you-can performance, introduces a number of hilarious caricatures - all played by Mr. Chavez and Mr. Allen, who wear button-up pajamas the entire time. And if you can't decide between champagne or pajamas on New Year's Eve, choose both and book tickets for the New Year's Eve performance, which includes an open bar and post-show dance party. Through Jan. 5 at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, 641 D Street NW. 202/393-3939. Web: woollymammoth.net.
The Dying Gaul
Washingtonians welcome a very important visitor from Italy this week: the "Dying Gaul," a sculpture dating to the first or second century that has not left its home in Rome since 1816 (when the French returned the piece, which Napoleon had taken to Paris in 1797). Found in the gardens of a Roman villa in the 1600s, the marble sculpture portrays a Gallic warrior about to succumb to a chest wound. Starting Dec. 12, the sculpture will be on view in the National Gallery of Art's West Building Rotunda. Organized with the Embassy of Italy in Washington and the Musei Capitolini in Rome, the display is part of the Year of Italian Culture in the United States. Thursday through March 16 at the National Gallery of Art West Building Rotunda, 6th & Constitution Ave. NW. 202/737-4215. Web: nga.gov.
Steve Winwood with Cris Jacobs
Admit it: You've danced around your house (possibly in your underwear) with a makeshift microphone to Steve Winwood's 1986 hit "Higher Love." On Thursday, the British pop singer comes to the Washington area for one night. Though best known as a solo artist thanks to chart-topping hits "Higher Love" and "Back in the High Life," Mr. Winwood has had a long career that began as a young student, when he played organ and guitar for American blues artists visiting the United Kingdom. In the 1960s and 1970s, he was in a number of bands, including the Spencer Davis Group ("Gimme Some Lovin'"), Traffic and Blind Faith with Eric Clapton. After a brief hiatus, Mr. Winwood released his first solo album in 1977 and became a 1980s superstar with two Grammy Awards. Cris Jacobs, a singer, songwriter and guitarist from Baltimore, opens the show. Thursday at the Fillmore, 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, Md. 301/960- 9999. Web: fillmoresilverspring.com.
NSO Pops' Happy Holidays
The holiday season seems to begin earlier and earlier each year, but there's no denying that Washington is now in full carols and cookies mode. And if you aren't yet in the holiday spirit, the National Symphony Orchestra can help you get there this week with the NSO Pops annual holiday concert series. Brian Stokes Mitchell, the Broadway musical performer who won the 2000 Tony Award for best actor ("Kiss Me Kate") and played the title role in "Sweeney Todd" at the Kennedy Center, will join the orchestra to sing favorite holiday tunes. The Kennedy Center's halls will be decked with festive decorations, and Santa Claus is expected to make an appearance at the concert, as well. Thursday through Dec. 14 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F St. NW. 800/ 444-1324. Web: kennedy-center.org.
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