Things to See and Do in the Bethesda Area in November and December

Our picks for holiday events, music, shows and other entertainment



Nov. 2 | Songs of Love and Loveless

Singer-songwriter Lydia Loveless has a big voice that she can amplify to sound tough and angry, or tone down to sound raw and tender. Either way, Loveless, who’s been compared to greats such as Stevie Nicks and Loretta Lynn, always sounds Real, which is the title of her 2016 album. Her honest, emotional songwriting and roots-rock musical style, which mixes country swagger with pop melodies and a bit of punk rock toughness, has earned praise from Rolling Stone and NPR. Her covers of songs by pop artists, including Justin Bieber, Kesha and Prince, highlight her talent and, ironically, her authenticity. Catch her when her tour comes to North Bethesda. 

8 p.m., $15-$20, Amp by Strathmore, ampbystrathmore.com


Courtesy of Montgomery County

Nov. 18 | Festive Floats

While it’s not as long-running as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, which started in 1924, the Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade in Silver Spring may be almost as dazzling. Marking its 20th anniversary this year, the local spectacle includes 12-foot-tall balloons, marching bands, dance performances, police on horses and motorcycles, beauty queens, fire engines, antique cars, clowns and performing dogs. Thanksgiving and Christmas-themed floats herald the start of the holiday season, along with an appearance by Santa. Looking for a holiday photo op? Head to Veterans Plaza, where you can pose with inflatable turkeys and penguins, or with Elsa from Frozen. Pictures with the hashtag #MoCoThanksParade will be broadcast on a large video screen along the parade route.

10 a.m. to noon, free, route starts at the Silver Spring Civic Building on Ellsworth Drive and moves to Georgia Avenue, then south to Silver Spring Avenue, silverspringdowntown.com


Courtesy of Strathmore

Nov. 19 | Piece of Her Heart

With her unmistakable voice, flower-child look and hard-living ways, Janis Joplin became an icon of the late 1960s hippie movement and the powerful rock ’n’ roll music that defined the era. In A Night with Janis Joplin, actress Mary Bridget Davies is supported by a band and a group of backup singers as she performs Joplin’s signature songs, along with the blues and soul music that influenced and inspired her.

8 p.m., $45-$95, The Music Center at Strathmore, strathmore.org

Nov. 17-Dec. 31 | Do you Want to Build a Snowman?

Remember when snow days brought excitement and wonder, rather than the hassle of backbreaking shoveling and icy roads? Adventure Theatre’s production of Frosty the Snowman, directed by Jason Schlafstein of local theater company Flying V, aims to capture the sense of magic and possibility of an unexpected snow day, embodied in the famous and mischievous snowman. The show in Glen Echo celebrates the joy of winter with songs and laughs in a story for all ages.

$19.50, Adventure Theatre, adventuretheatre-mtc.org


Courtesy of Strathmore

Dec. 9 | Tea With Mrs. C

What could be cozier than a tea party with Mrs. Claus at the Strathmore Mansion? With the building decked out for the holidays, the Mrs. Claus Tea features seasonal music, a kid-friendly menu, story time with Mrs. Claus and a visit from the big man in red himself.

10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., $28, The Mansion at Strathmore, strathmore.org 


 Photo by Stephen Baranovics

Dec. 15-26 | Visions of Sugar Plums

The Maryland Youth Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker is a traditional take on the holiday favorite, choreographed by Artistic Director Michelle Lees. It features lavish sets and costumes, a shooting cannon and a growing Christmas tree. Some of the dancers who have performed the leading roles of Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Queen and Flower Queen in past seasons have gone on to professional dance careers. Could the next Misty Copeland be among the more than 100 dancers performing in this year’s production in Rockville?

$26-$33 in advance, $31-$38 at the door, Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center, marylandyouthballet.org


Photo by Danny Fowler

Dec. 31 | Party Like It’s 1929

If the events of 2017 have you wishing for the glamour and glitz of a bygone era, the New Year’s Eve party featuring Doc Scantlin and His Imperial Palms Orchestra at Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club offers a night of retro revelry. It’s a throwback to the Jazz Age, with the debonair Scantlin—a crooner with a pencil mustache—leading an 18-piece ensemble as it plays swing and jazz music of the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s while his wife, Chou Chou, lends some showgirl-style flair. Welcome 2018 with a champagne toast at midnight.

9 p.m., $75 for performance only, $150 for dinner and performance, Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, bethesdabluesjazz.com

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