Tag Archives: Date Night DC

Rent is at an All Time High at National Theatre


I first saw Rent at National Theatre about 22 years ago, just over a year after it debuted on Broadway and was an instant hit. It was one of those powerful theatre experiences that sticks with you, something greater than the beautiful story told on stage through sensational performances and stirring music.

Rent pushed boundaries in a way that no other Broadway show had before as it explored themes of life and love and friendship. The story follows the lives of seven artists over a year in the 1990’s struggling to achieve their dreams and navigate their relationships — in the shadow of the AIDS crisis. It was raw and edgy and unapologetic as the storyline included addiction, homosexuality (and homophobia), and a disease associated with panic and fear. It was also hopeful, inspiring, and joyous as it celebrated life and love and friendship, and prompted audiences to ponder what matters, how they measure a year in the life.

Fast forward 20+ years, and Rent is back in DC at the National Theatre on the 20th Anniversary Tour. When I was invited to see the show to review for KFDC, I jumped at the opportunity. But I would have gone to see it, anyway, having loved it so much the first time. I wondered, though, would it hold up after all these years? Was it just the timing that made it strike the chord it did back in the 90’s, when AIDS angst was intense and incorporating it into a musical a novel idea?

Well, as the title of this post indicates, Rent holds up — and then some. The show was just as phenomenal, if not more, than it was all those years ago. Perhaps it has to do with my perspective and seeing the characters from a maternal point of view more than as a peer (amazing what changes in 20+ years). Or maybe this time I was processing less and just enjoying more. Regardless, I loved it. All of the performances were brilliant, delivered with passion and grit, but I have to note that Joshua Taveres as Angel, Kelsee Sweigard as Maureen, and Shafiq Hicks as Tom Collins were especially wonderful.

The score is still soul stirring, and this time I had to hold myself back from bursting into song along with the cast. The story, while viewed a bit differently as the AIDS situation has changed, captures that period of time in a powerfully evocative way. And the heart of the show, its themes of life and love and friendship, remain steadfastly universal.

I highly recommend seeing Rent during its run at National Theatre. And when you do and hear the question “How do you measure, measure a year?”… I think the answer will be easy.

RENT – 20th Anniverary Tour
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: November 12-17, 2019
Tickets: $54 – $117 (look for discounts)
Run time: 2 hours, 35 minutes, including one intermission
Recommended for ages 13 and up.


Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to see and review Rent, however, all opinions expressed here are entirely my own.


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Filed under 2019, Date Night, DC, Fall, Live Entertainment, Teens, Theatre, Weekdays, Weekend

Giveaway: RENT, the 20th Anniversary Tour, is Coming to National Theatre!


“How do you measure, measure a year?”

If that line makes you want to start singing about 525,600 minutes (or if you haven’t heard it but are intrigued), then you’ll be excited about this: RENT, the hit Broadway musical, is coming to National Theatre in November on its 20th Anniversary Tour! And I have a pair of tickets up for grabs for the opening night performance.

In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway…and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson’s RENT continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. Now, this Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production.

A reimagining of Puccini’s La Bohème, RENT follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters — love.

RENT – 20th Anniverary Tour
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: November 12-17, 2019
Tickets: $54 – $117
Run time: 2 hours, 35 minutes, including one intermission
Recommended for ages 13 and up

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Giveaway: For a chance to win a pair of tickets to see RENT at National Theatre on November 12, 2019, at 7:30pm, simply leave a comment below telling me your favorite song from a musical. Get an extra chance to win by entering on the KidFriendly DC Facebook Page, too. This giveaway will run through Friday, November 1, 2019, then a winner will be picked at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!


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Filed under 2019, DC, Fall, Giveaway, Live Entertainment, Music, Theatre, Ticket Giveaway, Weekdays, Weekend

Review: Mike Birbiglia’s The New One at National Theatre


Last night, Levi and I went to Mike Birbiglia’s The New One at National Theatre. I was invited to see the show in exchange for doing a review, so here we are.

I wasn’t very familiar with Mike Birbiglia before this, but when I learned more about him and his comedy, it seemed like it would make for a fun date night. The show was mostly a story about his parenting journey, from his pre-kids perspective to becoming a dad. From the get-go, it was evident that Mike is a talented storyteller. In fact, much of the audience was laughing for the entire show.

However, Levi and I were not among them. I’m not sure exactly what it was (though reading this over, it seems that maybe I do), but I just wasn’t super into it. Perhaps it’s that I’m a more seasoned parent and my head is in a totally different phase of parenthood. Hearing the pre-kids view of how children take away all the joy bothered me, even if he was being facetious; I was especially annoyed at younger people in the audience who clapped vigorously at that part. And the jokes about how the house becomes such a mess, and there’s so much baby stuff everywhere are kind of tired and cliché. As was the stereotype that dads don’t help at all…a bit about his wife wanting to have sex with him because he did the dishes once was like a meme that keeps popping up, but wasn’t even funny the first time.

As Levi said afterward, “Louis CK did all that years ago, but it was funnier and raunchier.” [And here I must be clear that by mentioning LCK, I in no way condone his “Me Too” actions, I’m just relaying what Levi said.] Hey, maybe Levi and I are just old and boring. (I don’t think we are, but I could be too old and boring to be a good judge of that.)

But as I mentioned, Mike Birbiglia is a good storyteller, and I appreciated the structure of his show. Loads of audience members seemed to love it. This is just my review.

Mike Birbiglia’s The New One is running at National Theatre through September 29. Tickets are $39-114, and run time is approximately 1 hour, 20 minutes with no intermission. The official description says it’s recommended for ages 13 and up, but I’d recommend this for adults.


Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to see the show, but all views expressed here are quite obviously my own.


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Filed under 2019, Date Night, DC, Fall, Live Entertainment, Parents, Theatre, Weekdays, Weekend

Giveaway: Mike Birbiglia’s The New One is Coming to National Theatre


Here’s one for the grown-ups! Mike Birbiglia, the stand-up comedian/actor/writer/director is coming to National Theatre next Tuesday, September 24 through Sunday, September 29. And I’ve got a pair of tickets for it to giveaway to one lucky KFDC reader!

Here’s more about Mike Birbiglia’s The New One:

He’s made you laugh in Sleepwalk With Me (it was a play presented by Nathan Lane, then a movie, THEN a book), My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend and “Thank God for Jokes.” (He was also really funny in that one season of “Orange is the New Black.” And in “Billions.” And “Broad City.”) Now he’s direct from Broadway, telling a new story in a new way with the same heart and humor we’ve come to expect. Lin-Manuel Miranda called THE NEW ONE “as perfect a night as you’re gonna get.” Do not miss THE NEW ONE. Some people say it’s his best one. (It was John Mulaney. Also Vogue.)

Run time is approximately 1 hour, 20 minutes with no intermission. It’s recommended for ages 13 and up, but I recommend making this a date night or evening out with friends. 🙂

Mike Birbiglia’s The New One
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: September 24-29
Tickets: $39 – $114

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Giveaway: For a chance to win a pair of tickets to Mike Birbiglia’s The New One at National Theatre on Tuesday, September 24 at 7:30pm, simply leave a comment below naming the funniest movie you’ve watched in the last six months. Get an extra chance to win by entering on the KidFriendly DC Facebook Page, too. This giveaway will run through 8pm on Wednesday, September 18, 2019, then a winner will be picked at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!


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Filed under 2019, Date Night, DC, Giveaway, Live Entertainment, Ticket Giveaway, Weekdays, Weekend