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Posted at 7:00 AM ET, 08/ 5/2010

Getting Up Guide: Improvapalooza!, Leela James

By Alex Baldinger

What are your plans tonight? The Getting Up Guide is here to help you answer that question. Here's what's happening on Thursday:


Over the next three days, the Washington Improv Theater will host more than 19 hours of comedy performances at the Source. It sounds like a marathon, but it's more like a set of three sprints, and with individual performances running only 10-15 minutes, you won't have very long to catch your breath. Improvapalooza! gets underway tonight at 8 p.m. and continues Friday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at noon.

Leela James

When the diminutive Leela James takes the microphone tonight at the Black Cat, the husky, deep and powerful voice that comes out can be surprising, revealing equal amounts of gospel, brown liquor, heartache and inner strength. James's timbre is more than a little bit similar to Mavis Staples's, whose Staple Singers classic "Let's Do It Again" was covered by James on her 2009 album of the same name. James is an artist who looks backward to move forward, and in her case it's a welcome reminder of the enduring power of true soul music.

"The Music of James Bond"

The name's Bond. James Bond. There: Now you've got John Barry's ubiquitous "James Bond Theme" stuck in your head. Hear the National Symphony Orchestra take on the franchise's enduring theme song, as well as others that have become associated with the films mythology -- like Paul McCartney's "Live And Let Die," Shirley Bassey's "Diamonds Are Forever" and, most recently, "Another Way To Die" by Alicia Keys and Jack White -- when the orchestra performs with vocalist Mary Carewe at 8:15 p.m.

-- Alex Baldinger and Rhome Anderson

By Alex Baldinger  | August 5, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
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