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'Art Beat' With Sean Rameswaram

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(Dec. 30) SECOND CITY IN CHARM CITY Charm City gets some laughs courtesy of Second City Thursday night through late February. Chicago's seminal improvisational comedy institution has churned out some of the biggest names in laughter. They bring a Baltimore-specific production to Center Stage on North Calvert Street.

(Dec. 31) NYE@KC If you're ready to ring in 2011, but still lacking the right place for the celebration, there's New Year's Eve at the Kennedy Center Friday at 8:30 p.m. For the 16th year, The Kennedy Center switches out calendars with classical compositions courtesy of the National Symphony Orchestra and some dancing in the grand foyer well into the morning.

(Dec. 30-Jan. 9) MYSTERY MOUSTRAP If you like to close out the year or begin new ones with mystery, there's "The Mousetrap" at 1st Stage in McLean, Va., through Jan. 9. All the usual ingredients are present in Agatha Christie's whodunit: a well-intentioned couple with a guesthouse, a number of guests, a crippling storm and a murder.

Music: "Boyd's Journey" by Damon Albarn and Michael Nyman

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