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'Art Beat' With Sean Rameswaram

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The region has countless ways to transition into 2011 Friday night.

(Dec. 31-Feb. 13) LET ME DOWN EASY If you like a big production there's Anna Deavere Smith's "Let Me Down Easy" making its district debut at Arena Stage in Southwest. Smith wrote the play after interviewing 300 people about health care. She chose to portray 20 of them, including a governor, a boxer and Lance Armstrong. The end result is an exploration of the power of the human body and a testament to the human spirit.

(Dec. 31) ALEXANDRIA FOR AULD LAN SYNE For some more traditional New Year's Eve fare there's First Night Alexandria. You can close out 2010 and welcome 2011 with music, magic and a midnight finale that promises lasers, video and fireworks at the George Washington Masonic Memorial. The family-friendly fun gets underway in Old Town Alexandria Friday at 7 p.m.

(Dec. 31) HAVE A BALL If you're hoping to get into the swing of things, there's the New Year's Eve Ball at Northwest Washington's Black Cat. Local throwback Peaches O'Dell & Her Orchestra headline a night of swing, rumba, tango and jazz.

Music: "Møljekalas" by Bjørn Torske

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