Holiday performances this weekend include: Handel’s “Messiah,” “A Motown Christmas,” the Cathedral Choral Society’s “Joy of Christmas” and a Celtic Christmas concert at Palisades Community Church. The World Squash Cup finals will take place on Saturday and the official lighting of the National Menorah on Sunday (the first night of Hanukkah). For more December events, visit The Georgetowner’s online calendar.
Final Performances: ‘Amadeus’
In “Amadeus,” set in 18th-century Vienna, mediocre composer Antonio Salieri — played by Helen Hayes Award winner Ian Merrill Peakes — does everything in his power to destroy his musical rival, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Final performances at Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE, are: Thursday, Dec. 19, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, Dec. 20, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 21, at 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 22, at 2 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $27 to $85. For details, visit folger.edu or call 202-544-7077.
National Symphony Orchestra: Handel’s ‘Messiah’
Sir Andrew Davis conducts the NSO and the Washington Chorus in his must-hear orchestration of the beloved classic, featuring soprano Andriana Chuchman, mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack, tenor Alek Shrader and bass Sidney Outlaw. Performances in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall are: Thursday, Dec. 19, at 7 p.m.; Friday, Dec. 20, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 21, at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 22, at 1 p.m. Tickets are $15 to $99. For details, visit kennedy-center.org or call 202-467-4600.
Final Performances: ‘A Motown Christmas’
The holidays get a smooth new groove at Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave. in Arlington, Virginia, when delivered Motown style in a fun, upbeat and soulful yuletide treat. Final performances are: Thursday, Dec. 19, at 8 p.m.; Friday, Dec. 20, at 8 p.m.; and Saturday, Dec. 21, at 2 and 8 p.m. Tickets are $38. For details, visit sigtheatre.org or call 703-820-9771.
Winter Concert at Ellington
On Thursday, Dec. 19, at 7:30 p.m., the Instrumental Music Department at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, 3500 R St. NW, will present its 2019 Winter Concert, including performances by the String Orchestra, the Orchestra and the Wind Ensemble, in the Ellington Theatre. Tickets are $10, $5 for students. For details, visit ellingtonschool.org.
Frederick Douglass in Capitol Hill
Journalist John Muller, author of “Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia,” will lead a Douglass-themed walking tour of Capitol Hill on Friday, Dec. 20, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. The tour, which includes Douglass’s Capitol Hill home, will begin outside the Library of Congress’s Jefferson Building, First Street and Independence Avenue SE, and conclude in Lincoln Park, where Douglass delivered an address at the 1876 unveiling of the Freedman’s Memorial to Abraham Lincoln. Tickets are $17.50 ($12.50 for students, veterans, U.S. senators and representatives and Supreme Court justices). For details, visit eventbrite.com.
American Art/Portrait Gallery Tour
This private, two-hour guided tour of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, on Friday, Dec. 20, at 5 p.m., will focus on permanent collection highlights and the magnificent architecture of the Old Patent Office Building, 8th and F Streets NW, which the two museums share. Tickets are $10. For details, visit eventbrite.com.
World Squash Cup Finals
For the first time in its 50-year history, the World Squash Federation Men’s World Team Championship is being held in the United States, in the nation’s capital. The finals will take place on Saturday, Dec. 21, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Squash On Fire, 2233 M St. NW. General admission is $25 to $40; reserved seating is $60 to $125; and admission to the VIP Lounge is $50 to $150. For details, visit worldteamsquashdc.com.
Winter Solstice Heal & Release
On Saturday, Dec. 21, from 4 to 11 p.m., Eaton Wellness in Eaton DC, 1201 K St. NW, will host Winter Solstice Heal & Release, a free mini retreat featuring a solstice ceremony, immersive reiki, guided and sound bath meditation, deep house yoga, qigong and a capoeira exhibition, culminating in a free-form dance party. To register (required), visit eventbrite.com.
Cathedral Choral Society: Joy of Christmas
This festive program, presented by the Cathedral Choral Society at Washington National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Ave. NW, features Christmas favorites, a newly commissioned carol and a carol sing-along. Performances are Saturday, Dec. 21, at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 22, at 5 p.m. Tickets are $25 to $83. For details, visit cathedralchoralsociety.org.
National Menorah Lighting
At the annual lighting of the world’s largest menorah on the Ellipse, celebrating the start of Hanukkah, the Three Cantors and the U.S. Marine Band “The President’s Own” will perform. Dreidelman will be on hand and latkes and donuts will be served. The event, just south of the White House, will take place on Sunday, Dec. 22, at 4 p.m. Admission is free. For tickets, visit nationalmenorah.org.
Celtic Christmas Concert
Palisades Community Church, 5200 Cathedral Ave. NW, invites area residents to celebrate the Christmas season with a free concert of Celtic music on Sunday, Dec. 22, at 5 p.m. At the concert, Harper Denhard and Connie Rhodes will sing songs evoking the joy of Christmas and Jared Denhard will perform on Celtic harp and Scottish and Northumbrian small bagpipes. A reception with Christmas treats will follow. Donations will be accepted at the door to benefit Friendship Place, an organization serving the homeless in Northwest D.C. For details, visit eventbrite.com.