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'Art Beat' With Sean Rameswaram

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(Dec. 24) CHRISTMAS AND THE RELUCTANT DRAGON Nothing says Christmas like The Reluctant Dragon at The Kennedy Center's Concert Hall Friday afternoon. The Choral Arts Society of Washington rings in the holiday with a full orchestra and a mystical tale about a boy with a seasonally apt undertaking: He has to save Christmas. Expect holiday standards, sing-alongs and a couple of Belgian carols thrown in for good measure.

(Dec. 26) A SEASON FOR GIVING If you like to celebrate the season by giving, there's a chance Sunday night at Arlington's Iota Club and Cafe on Wilson Blvd. The venue throws a benefit show to save Arlington's insolvent, but totally awesome, David M. Brown Planetarium. Iota enlists an army of local musicians to help the cause.

(Dec. 26-31) PUPPETCRACKER If you haven't yet had a chance to catch a presentation of The Nutcracker, you're in luck. The region's premiere puppet interpretation of the perennial holiday favorite is playing at The Puppet Company Playhouse in Glen Echo Park Sunday through New Year's Eve with larger-than-life, but smaller-than-human characters and marionettes.

Music bed: "The Winter Solstice" by Sufjan Stevens

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