This sort-of-based-on-fact tale of the 1970s Abscam scandal is all good fun. David O. Russell, following last year’s “The Silver Linings Playbook,” has made a glittery disco ball of a movie, with Jennifer Lawrence as its unexpectedly shining star. Now playing at several theaters. For showtimes, see Page H6. For Seattle Times movie critic Moira Macdonald’s 3.5-star review, go to seattletimes.com/movies.
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‘Hollywood Game Night’
A holiday episode of the fun game show (hosted by Jane Lynch) airs Monday at 10 p.m. on NBC.
‘A Christmas Story” marathon
The annual 24-hour marathon airing of Bob Clark’s 1983 holiday comedy begins at 8 p.m. on Tuesday on TBS.
Model Train Festival
Enjoy the world of model trains at the Washington State History Museum’s 18th annual Model Train Festival, featuring displays designed and created by enthusiasts from throughout the state. The displays occupy every floor of the museum and include the largest permanent model train layout in the state. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Sunday and Monday with Santa visits 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (the museum will be closed Christmas eve and Christmas Day); and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday through Jan. 1. Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma; $7-$9.50, ages 5 and younger free (253-272-9747 or washingtonhistory.org).
Wondering About Wildlife
Join the staff at the Cedar River Watershed Education Center for their annual Wondering about Wildlife all-age fun day, Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Activities include wildlife presentations, crafts, nature walks and more. The Cedar River Watershed Education Center, 19901 Cedar Falls Road S.E., North Bend; free (206-722-9421 or seattle.gov/util/crwec).
Built to Spill
The mellifluous, guitar-surfing Idaho indie rockers headline three nights at Neumos for a between-holiday mini-festival. On Thursday, they are joined by Erik Blood, Apostrophes and Bankrobber; Friday and Saturday up-and-coming Seattle band La Luz replaces Blood. Earlier this year, drummer Steve Gere and bass player Jason Abertini joined leader/vocalist/guitarist Doug Martsch in Built to Spill. Doors open at 7 p.m. Thursday and 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., Seattle; $25 advance (206-709-9467 or neumos.com).
Seattle by way of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, guitar sensation Jordan Cook calls himself Reignwolf and plays as ferociously as the name sounds. Every show is full of surprises. Ravenna Woods and Hobosexual open. 9 p.m. Saturday at the Neptune Theatre 1303 N.E. 45th St., Seattle.; $20 (877-784-4849 or stgpresents.org).
‘The Santaland Diaries’
Patrick Lennon reprises his one-man performance in David Sedaris’ nontraditional holiday tale about a cash-strapped New York artist forced to take a job in Macy’s Santaland. For “mature elves only.” Through Tuesday, Seattle Public Theater at the Bathhouse, 7312 W. Greenlake Drive, Seattle; $20-$30 (206-524-1300 or seattlepublictheater.org).
‘A(n Improvised) Christmas Carol’
The audience helps out in this take on the Charles Dickens classic. Through Saturday, Market Theatre, 1428 Post Alley, Seattle; $12-$15 (800-838-3006 or unexpectedproductions.org).
Tudor Choir and Players
The early-music ensemble wraps up the year with “English Christmas: Traditional Carols for Christmas and the New Year,” a program that includes Holst’s “Christmas Day” and Williams’ “Fantasia on Christmas Carols” and the lighting of a 30-foot tree. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Blessed Sacrament Church, 5041 Ninth Ave. Ave. N.E., Seattle; $20-$30 (206-323-9415 or tudorchoir.org).
‘Festival of Lessons and Carols’
Joseph Crnko leads Northwest Boychoir/Vocalpoint! Seattle and members of the Northwest Sinfonia in the 35th annual presentation, patterned after the Christmas Eve observance at King’s College in Cambridge, England. 7:30 p.m. Monday, Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle; $19-$80. Note: tickets available only at Benaroya box office (206-215-4747 or seattlesymphony.org).
Seattle Symphony Orchestra
Beethoven’s Ninth will take its traditional place amid the orchestra’s year-end programming, as well as Brahms’ Variations on a Theme by Haydn. Carlos Kalmar is guest conductor, and will lead the SSO, the orchestra’s chorale and guests Nathalie Paulin, Angela Niederloh, Brendan Tuohy and Charles Robert Stephens. 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Dec. 29, Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle; tickets from $28 (206-215-4747 or seattlesymphony.org).
‘Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker’
Ward off the winter chill with Lily Verlaine and Jasper McCann’s ever-popular jazz-flavored burlesque spin on Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker.” Former dancers from Spectrum Dance Theater and Ballet Bellevue join old favorites Waxie Moon, Miss Indigo Blue and, of course, Verlaine herself, who will warm the cockles of your heart — and maybe something else — with her “Countess of Coffee” routine where, after disrobing, she slips into a giant steaming latte. Various times through Dec. 28, Triple Door, 216 Union St., Seattle; $32.50-$57.50 (206-838-4333 or landofthesweets.com).
Linda Hodges Gallery
All the things that the suburbs conjure up is on show in “Suburbia: Dream or Nightmare?” For Jennifer Beedon Snow, it’s a wobbly molded Jell-O salad. For Rachel Maxi, it’s a tarp protecting a car from the bright rays of Malibu. Thirteen artists attempt to answer the question, and the results tie in escape, boredom and environmental destruction. 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays through Saturday, 316 First Ave. S., Seattle (206-624-3034 or lindahodgesgallery.com).