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(Dec. 16) LOTS OF HALLELUJAHS With Christmas nine days away, you'll have no trouble finding a choir standing by with a rapturous performance of Handel's Messiah. The National Symphony Orchestra handles the oratorio Thursday through Sunday at The Kennedy Center's Concert Hall with the help of the University of Maryland's Concert Choir. And there's more: Messiah in Maryland, the Annapolis Chorale, has a weekend of performances at St. Anne's Parish in Annapolis.

(Dec. 16-23) MERRY HAPPY...WHAT? Merry Happy...What? tells Molly's story. She feels left out every December when all the other kids are busy gearing up for Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. The Hub Theatre in Fairfax helps Molly get into winter, snow days and the spirit of the season Thursday through Dec. 23.

(Dec. 17-19) MEN IN TIGHTS: PINK NUTCRACKER For a highly unorthodox take on a seasonal favorite there's Men in Tights: The Pink Nutcracker this weekend at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium in Northwest. The Gay Men's Chorus of Washington gets campy with Tchaikovsky.

Background music: Georg Friedrich Händel's Messiah by The English Concert & Choir

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