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30+ Things to Do This January in Washington, DC

The new year kicks off with a packed list of can’t-miss things to do this month, including Winter Restaurant Week, action-packed sporting events, new museum exhibits and so much more.

We’ve picked out the best events, festivals, museum exhibits, theater performances, concerts and more happening this month in Washington, DC. Check out the best things to do in the nation's capital and plan your visit today.

 Things to Do This Month in Washington, DC - Events Things to Do This Month in Washington, DC - Museum Exhibits

 Things to Do This Month in Washington, DC - Theater Things to Do This Month in Washington, DC - Music

Events

@jackie.bird - Women viewing art at the National Museum of Women in the Arts - Women-focused attractions in Washington, DC

Free Community Day at National Museum of Women in the Arts – Jan. 6
One of DC’s premier art museums opens its doors for free every first Sunday of the month. Visitors are granted access to NMWA’s extensive collection of seminal work by female artists, which includes pieces by Frida Kahlo, Amy Sherman, Judy Chicago and many more. Current exhibitions that can be explored without spending a dime include Rodarte and Ambreen Butt: Mark My Words. The museum will also host a fascinating tour entitled “Fierce Women” from 1-2 p.m.
12-5 p.m. |  Free admission
National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005

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Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals with the Stanley Cup - NHL Hockey in Washington, DC

Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers – Jan. 8
The defending Stanley Cup champions will continue their quest for back-to-back titles with an early January matchup against the rival Philadelphia Flyers. Alex Ovechkin, on a searing goal-scoring pace again this year, will look to light the lamp along with fellow star forwards Evgeny Kuznetsov, Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson. Goalie Braden Holtby will look to stop Claude Giroux and a potent Flyers offense. Make sure to rock the red to this one.
7:30 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

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Iliza stand-up comedy at Warner Theatre - Comedy this January in Washington, DC

Iliza: Elder Millennial – Jan. 10
This stand-up comedy star has already sold out Friday night’s show, so grab tickets to this Thursday performance as soon as you can. Iliza rose to fame by being the only female and youngest comedian to win NBC’s Last Comic Standing. She had great success with the Truth & Iliza podcast, which gave way to a late-night show on Freeform. Now, Iliza has an acclaimed Netflix special and headlines comedy festivals. Don’t miss her unique brand of hilarity at Warner Theatre.
7 p.m. |  Tickets
Warner Theatre, 513 13th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

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Jay Pharoah at the 9:30 Club - Comedy in Washington, DC

Jay Pharoah – Jan. 11
You know Jay Pharoah. He spent six years on Saturday Night Live and did absolutely unforgettable impressions of President Barack Obama, Jay-Z and Kanye West. He’s also done head-turning voice work on Bojack Horseman and Family Guy. The riveting stand-up performer will bring his immense talents to a special sit-down show at 9:30 Club, the legendary DC venue.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

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Momofuku at CityCenterDC - Where to Eat in Downtown Washington, DC

Winter Restaurant Week – Jan. 14-20
Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) curates two Restaurant Week promotions per year, and you’re in luck: one is right around the corner. Dozens of DC restaurants will participate, offering up multiple-course and prix fixe meals ($22 for lunch and brunch, $35 for dinner). Sign up for RAMW’s Restaurant Week mailing list to stay in-the-know on participants, deals, booking a table and chances to win special diner rewards.

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@rickysanch - Washington Wizards NBA basketball game at Capital One Arena - Pro sports events in Washington, DC

Washington Wizards vs. Detroit Pistons – Jan. 21
The Wizards’ Martin Luther King, Jr. Day game is a holiday tradition, presenting a great opportunity to enjoy some matinee basketball inside Capital One Arena. John Wall, Bradley Beal and the rest of the Wiz will take on stars Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond and the Detroit Pistons. Each team is battling for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, making for an exciting afternoon matchup.
2 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

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Annual MLK Parade in Washington, DC - Things to do this winter in DC

38th Annual MLK Parade – Jan. 21
DC honors the late, great Martin Luther King, Jr. with this annual parade that brings the entire community together on the holiday that celebrates the Civil Rights leader. Community activists, performers and civic leaders will all be on-hand for this event that aims to prolong Dr. King’s legacy and everlasting message of peace. The parade concludes with a community fair at the Gateway Pavilion.
11:30 a.m. | Free admission
Parade begins at Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue SE & Good Hope Road SE, concludes at 2700 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue SE

Museum Exhibits

@h4sn41n - Women at cherry blossom ARTECHOUSE installation - Unique date ideas in Washington, DC

‘New Nature’ by Marpi – Through Jan. 13
ARTECHOUSE presents this interactive exhibition that will have you viewing nature in an entirely different light. New Nature features digital and nature-like creatures and plants that respond to your gestures and actions, as well as insects, landscapes and planets. The responsive technology combines with music to create a full-on sensory experience. This is the first large-scale solo exhibition for the artist Marpi.
Bookings available from 10 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. |  Tickets
ARTECHOUSE, 1238 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

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‘The Wiedmann Bible’ – Through April 28
The Wiedmann Bible is the longest illustrated Bible in the world, featuring 3,333 images. German artist Willy Wiedmann wanted to provide a visual narrative of the Bible, using the distinctive style of Polycon to communicate the book’s many stories. You will see the influence of other styles in Wiedmann’s work as well, including Cubism, Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. |  Tickets
Museum of the Bible, 400 4th Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

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Everything in Existence interactive art installation at ARTECHOUSE - The best things to do in Washington, DC

‘Everything in Existence’ – Jan. 17 – March 10
Italian artist studio fuse* brings this interactive, mind-bending exhibit to ARTECHOUSE. Everything in Existence concerns infinity and eternity, using four separate multimedia experiences to draw in audiences. The formation of the art you see in these installations is based on different elements – “Snowfall” changes based on your motions while “Amygdala” sources social media for its designs. Needless to say, this exhibition must be seen to be believed.
Tickets
ARTECHOUSE, 1238 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

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@classyandkate - Woman at United States Botanic Garden on the National Mall - Free museum attraction in Washington, DC

‘Celebrating New American Gardens’ – Jan. 31 – Oct. 15
The U.S. Botanic Garden, the oldest continually operating botanic garden in the country, celebrates new American gardens in this fascinating exhibit. Experience the latest and greatest in public gardens, which showcase plant collections, provide beautiful public spaces and highlight the changing of the seasons. Gardens created and renovated in the last five years are the focus, which means you will see only the height of creativity and innovation.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. |  Free admission
U.S. Botanic Garden, 100 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20001

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Child at United States Botanic Garden on Capitol Hill - Free living museum in Washington, DC

‘It’s Hip to Be Square: The Mint Family’ – Jan. 31 – Nov. 23
The mint family of plants is larger than you think. While Mentha (peppermint and spearmint) and Salvia (sage) get a majority of the attention, rosemary and coleus are also prevalent members of the species. In total, more than 230 genera and 7,000 species make up the mint family, which means you have a whole lot of plant-learning to do at this new U.S. Botanic Garden exhibit that opens at the end of the month.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. |  Free admission
U.S. Botanic Garden, 100 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20001

Theater

Signature Theatre - Performing Arts Center in Virginia

‘Judy Garland: A Star is Born’ – Jan. 8-26
One of the biggest Hollywood stars in history receives a musical tribute at Signature Theatre in Arlington, Va. Judy Garland was a queen of the Golden Age in Hollywood, known for her beautiful voice and unforgettable roles in The Wizard of Oz and A Star is Born. Signature Theatre favorites will sing some of her most famous songs, including “Get Happy” and “Over the Rainbow,” during this two-and-half-week engagement.
Tickets
Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Avenue, Arlington, VA 22206

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Washington Improv Theater at the Atlas Performing Arts Center - Things to do in Washington, DC

WIT Road Show – Jan. 10-27
The Atlas Performing Arts Center hosts the Washington Improv Theater (WIT) for three weeks of special programming. WIT will perform company ensembles filled with improvised brilliance in the form of comedy and stirring musical numbers. The company will also debut a new production entitled, “Fourth Estate,” a comedy that centers on the much-maligned media.
Tickets
Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

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Cartography at the Kennedy Center - Winter theater in Washington, DC

‘Cartography’ – Jan. 11-13
The subject of migration is artistically rendered through dance, film, map-making and sound sensor technology in this groundbreaking production from author and illustrator Christopher Myers, director Kaneza Schaal and New York-based company Arktype. Cartography will take you from rafts on the Mediterranean to cargo trucks to border checkpoints, revealing the trials and tribulations of youth migrants that face uncertain futures while constantly in motion.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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@endave - John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Foggy Bottom - Theater in Washington, DC

Washington National Opera: ‘Taking Up Serpents’ – Jan. 11 & 13
As part of the American Opera Initiative Festival, the Kennedy Center presents this new hour-long opera born from a collaboration between composer Kamala Sankaram and award-winning librettist Jerre Dye. Taking Up Serpents details the story of Kayla, who’s been estranged from her preacher father and bitten by one of his snakes. Kayla’s subsequent journey causes her to reflect on her upbringing, her faith, her family and her destiny. Soaring compositions weave the 25-year-old’s epic tale.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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Washington National Opera: Three New 20-Minute Operas - Theater and performing arts in Washington, DC

Washington National Opera: Three New 20-Minute Operas – Jan. 12
This additional offering of the American Opera Initiative Festival features three world premiere, 20-minute operas staged in a concert performance with a small chamber orchestra. You will be able to glimpse the future of opera through these short but endearing compositions from rising stars. A Q&A with the artists and creative teams of each piece will follow the performances.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures: ‘Cinderella’ – Jan. 15-20
After a sterling adaptation of The Red Shoes in 2017, Matthew Bourne returns to the Kennedy Center with an inventive take on a classic fairy tale. Bourne’s Cinderella is set in London during World War II, where Cinderella falls in love with a handsome RAF pilot before the two are separated by the Blitz. You’ll have to see the show to find out how the rest unfolds, but you’re sure to see jaw-dropping production design and video projections in this vivid telling of an essential story.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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School of Rock at National Theatre - Winter performing arts in Washington, DC

‘School of Rock’ – Jan. 16-27
Based on director Richard Linklater’s classic 2003 film starring Jack Black, this acclaimed musical production will capture the imagination of the entire family at the National Theatre this January. Wannabe rock star Dewey Finn’s hilarious foray into substitute teaching at a prestigious school sees him turn his class into an earth-shattering rock band. The play will feature every song from the movie, 14 new songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber and musical theater’s very first kids rock band playing their instruments live on stage.
Tickets
The National Theatre, 1621 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004

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Admissions production at Studio Theatre - Winter theater in Washington, DC

‘Admissions’ – Jan. 16 – Feb. 17
From the same writer of the best-selling play in Studio Theatre history comes this compelling tale that satirizes white privilege in America. Bill and Sherri are headmaster and dean at Hillcrest, a New Hampshire boarding school they’ve spent 15 years working to diversify. However, morals are put to the test when their son, Charlie, is denied entry to an Ivy League school. Charlie’s drastic response puts Sherri in the unenviable position of publicly breaking down an oppressive system while privately working to secure its privileges. This thought-provoking production promises to be a highlight of the season.
Tickets
Studio Theatre, 1501 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

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‘Kleptocracy’ – Jan. 18 – Feb. 24
The seeds of troubling current events are planted in this world premiere drama at Arena Stage. A collapsed Soviet Union is ruled by the Oligarchs, hyper capitalists who want to ruthlessly reform Russian markets and open them to the world. The group’s leader is confronted by a young Vladimir Putin, who has his own plans for securing unquestionable power. Find out how modern Russia came to be in this of-the-moment production.
Tickets
Arena Stage, 1101 6th Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

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'Ain't Misbehavin' at Signature Theatre - Winter theater productions in Washington, DC

‘Ain’t Misbehavin’’ – Jan. 23 – March 10
The Fats Waller Musical Show is going to bring a whole lot of boogie-woogie to Arlington’s Signature Theatre. You’ll be transported into the Harlem of yesteryear for an energetic, feet-moving celebration of big band music through the songs of Thomas “Fats” Waller. The Tony Award-winning musical production will feature songs like “Honeysuckle Rose” and “The Joint is Jumpin’”. Performers will include Signature regulars such as Nova Y. Payton and Iyona Blake.
Tickets
Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Avenue, Arlington, VA 22206

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American Ballet Theatre: Harlequinade at the Kennedy Center - Performing arts this January in Washington, DC

American Ballet Theatre: ‘Harlequinade’ – Jan. 29 – Feb. 3
Marius Pepita’s 19th-century ballet, filled with rollicking comedy, is retold by American Ballet Theatre’s Artist in Residence, Alexei Ratmansky. Co-produced with Australian Ballet and featuring music from the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, the production offers two acts, as Harlequin battles for his love, Columbine. Expect world-class dancing, fun costumes, colorful sets and plenty of slapstick laughs.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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Neil Gwynn at Folger Theatre - Things to do this January in Washington, DC

‘Nell Gwynn’ – Jan. 29 – Feb. 10
Nell Gwynn emerges from the streets of Drury Lane into the king’s court. The quiet orange seller steps onto the stage of the Restoration theater and dazzles none other than Charles II. Nell is then brought to court as one of Charles’ favorite mistresses, leading to a dazzling and funny tale of a woman discovering how amazing she truly is. The play was adored in London last season and the Folger Theatre is the perfect setting for its Shakespearean zaniness.
Tickets
Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003

Music

Wale and Friends 8th Annual New Year's Day Show - Concerts in Washington, DC

Wale & Friends 8th Annual New Year’s Day Show – Jan. 1
DC’s favorite son likes to celebrate the new year in his hometown and we’re quite grateful for it. Wale will liven up New Year’s Day at the Fillmore Silver Spring, which is technically in Maryland, but lies just outside of city lines. The energy in the building will be transformative as the rapper tears through a set list that the crowd will likely know every word of.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
The Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910

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@mysteryfriends - Concert at Union Stage on The Wharf - The best things to do at Washington, DC's Wharf

Free Bluegrass Festival & Tap Takeover – Jan. 3-4
Union Stage hosts back-to-back days of free bluegrass music accompanied by tap takeovers. Thursday, Jan. 3 features The Plate Scrapers, who hail from western Maryland, and Two Ton Twig, a string quintet that takes on classic bluegrass. Friday, Jan. 4 showcases Hollertown, who call DC home, as well as Split String Soup, who fuse Americana and bluegrass. Doors open at 5 p.m. both days, so you can sip on some suds before the shows start at 8 p.m.
8 p.m. |  Free admission | RSVP for Jan. 3 | RSVP for Jan. 4
Union Stage, 740 Water Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

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Justin Timberlake at Capital One Arena - Best things to do this January in Washington, DC

Justin Timberlake – Jan. 4
Superstar talent Justin Timberlake makes a stop in DC on his current Man of the Woods tour through North America. Capital One Arena will be in a frenzy as one of the world’s biggest pop stars sings and dances his way through one of modern music’s catchiest collections of songs. Brush off the new year’s hangover and get on your feet and dance at one of DC’s best venues.
7:30 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

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Echostage - Live Music Venues in Washington, DC

Diplo – Jan. 17
One of the most dynamic forces in modern music, Diplo is an international superstar who has worked with the likes of M.I.A., Lil’ Jon, Gucci Mane, Santigold and many, many more. He’s the founder of the famous Mad Decent block parties, has multiple Grammy nominations, garners millions of streams per year and starts a dance party as well as anyone on the face of the planet. Echostage is the ideal venue for Diplo’s talents.
9 p.m. |  Tickets
Echostage, 2135 Queens Chapel Road NE, Washington, DC 20018

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Bobby Sanabria MultiVerse Big Band: West Side Story Reimagined - Events at the Kennedy Center this month

Bobby Sanabria MultiVerse Big Band: ‘West Side Story Reimagined’ – Jan. 18
The illustrious score of West Side Story, one of the most successful plays and films of all-time, is beautifully reimagined by percussionist Bobby Sanabria and his acclaimed MultiVerse Big Band. The jazzy, adventurous and touching music of Leonard Bernstein’s tale is brilliantly interpreted through Sanabria’s vibrant take on Latin jazz.
7 p.m. & 9 p.m. |  Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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National Symphony Orchestra: Renee Fleming sings Schubert - Concerts in Washington, DC

National Symphony Orchestra: Renée Fleming sings Schubert – Jan. 18 & 20
Renée Fleming is one of the world’s most celebrated sopranos and she’ll return to the renowned Kennedy Center to pay tribute to Franz Schubert and some of his most esteemed compositions. Among the highlights: orchestrations of Schubert classics, music from Rosamunde and Berio’s Rendering, a piece based on Schubert’s uncompleted 10th Symphony.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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Panic! at the Disco at Capital One Arena - Best concerts this January in Washington, DC

Panic! at the Disco – Jan. 20
Panic! at the Disco is led by singer/songwriter Brendon Urie, who formed the band with childhood friends in Las Vegas in 2004. Urie is now the only official member of the band, which has been churning out hits since it rose to fame in 2005. This year’s Pray for the Wicked is one of the project’s most successful releases yet, featuring the smash hit, “High Hopes”. Capital One Arena should be packed for this one.
7 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

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@wwwchris - Concert at The Anthem on the Southwest Waterfront - Events at The Wharf in Washington, DC

A$AP Rocky – Jan. 20
A$AP Rocky is one of the best rap artists of the decade, a performer who has garnered critical adulation while maintaining a loyal fan base. Whether it’s releasing his own albums, like this year’s acclaimed Testing, or guesting on another artist’s track, A$AP Rocky always leaves an impression. He’ll bring his lively stage show to the state-of-the-art The Anthem.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
The Anthem, 901 Wharf Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

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@jim_malone - Balcony at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts - Theater and performing arts in Washington, DC

NSO Pops: ‘Star Wars: Return of the Jedi’ (film with live orchestra) – Jan. 22-24
John Williams’ epic and treasured score will be performed live as the second installment of George Lucas’ initial Star Wars trilogy is screened at the Kennedy Center. Return of the Jedi is considered by many Star Wars fans to be one of the best of the series, and the experience of watching the movie while its powerful score is performed in front of you makes for an incredible evening.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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NSO Pops: An Evening with Brandy - Concerts at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC

NSO Pops: An Evening with Brandy – Jan. 25-26
Fresh off an acclaimed turn as Roxie Hart in the Tony Award-winning revival of Chicago, Brandy will unite R&B and symphony music in enthralling fashion at the Kennedy Center. The performances will mark the first time that the singer has collaborated with a live orchestra. The Grammy Award winner will sing numerous hits from her illustrious career.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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Music for Young Audiences: Banda Magda – Jan. 26-27
The whole family can take a trip around the globe with Banda Magda, an award-winning group that combines jazz improvisation and South American rhythms. Songs will be sung in six different languages as the band zooms through a set list that will include selections from their new album, Tigre. Audience participation is also on the docket, so get ready to groove.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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Neko Case – Jan. 27
Indie rock singer-songwriter Neko Case released one of her most acclaimed albums this year, Hell-On, and now brings her irresistible voice and songs to the stage of the Lincoln Theatre. Case’s solo career now stretches more than 20 years, and she is one of the founding members of The New Pornographers, one of the most critically adored rock groups of the same time period. Saturday night’s show sold out, so grab tickets to this Sunday night performance as soon as possible.
6:30 p.m. |  Tickets
Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U Street NW, Washington, DC 20009• • •

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The Best Events and Festivals Happening in Washington, DC