Tag Archives: Family Theater

Review: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (The Musical!) at the Kennedy Center

(Photo credit: The Kennedy Center – Jeremy Daniel)

[Note: This review was written by KFDC contributor Emily Moise, who is helping cover activities geared toward younger children as mine have aged out of them.]

Spoiler alert: the Pigeon may not get to drive the bus, but he does fly to new Kennedy Center-worthy heights. What a treat for Washington, DC, area families and holiday season visitors to experience the world premiere of Mo Willems’ and Mr. Warburton’s Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (The Musical!), running now through January 5, 2020, at the renowned performing arts center. After that, the Pigeon flies off on tour.

Willems’ simple tale of a tantrum-prone pigeon with a see-it, need-to-have-it affliction is elevated with a thicker plot, toe-tapping musical score, seamlessly choreographed dance and puppetry, and a highly-talented ensemble. Not sure who stole the show more, the personified bus engine getting all the laughs or the surprise tongue-wagging character getting all the wide-eyed stares. And this children’s show is made complete with obligatory, city-themed one-liners for the adults.

If you’re familiar with Willems’ engaging writing style that makes his award-winning books (and readers) come to life, you may be expecting lots of audience interaction. I was anticipating direct solicitation of kids reactions or conversations with the characters — but the Pigeon only veered off-stage once to engage with the audience. Despite this, the one-hour show kept everyone, toddler to adult, captivated. The mostly elementary school-aged audience and their parents were enthralled in the non-stop action, quickly escalating story, and life message-carrying ending.

KFDC Tip: Get some energy out before showtime with a Pigeon-guided, augmented reality tour of The Kennedy Center. You can download the “Tour the Kennedy Center” app on your smartphone, in which you are instructed to scan various kiosks throughout the center. Complete the tour to receive a few cute mementos at the Information Booth. Show memorabilia is also available for purchase in the Family Theater lobby and Gift Shop.

And if your kids are yearning for more, they’ll be happy to learn that Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (The Musical!) is part of The Kennedy Center’s new Education Artist-in-Residence program, Willems being the very first resident. He has developed a series of multidisciplinary programming that lets kids experience the traditional arts in non-traditional ways. Next up from Willems is “Jazz Doodle Jam!” where kids are actually instructed to doodle during the live jazz concert, the band improvising based on the artwork.

Learn more and find tickets to all of Mo Willems’ upcoming events at the Kennedy Center, including sensory-friendly showings of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (The Musical!) here.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (The Musical!)
Where: The Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Through January 5, 2020
Tickets: $20


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Filed under 2019, All ages, DC, Fall, Live Entertainment, Theatre, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

Giveaway: Get Ready to Jam at School of Rock, Coming to National Theatre!



As you’re planning for winter entertainment (or maybe even looking for a last minute Christmas gift), check out School of Rock. The hit Broadway show is coming to National Theatre in January — and you have a chance to win tickets to see it!

Based on the hit film starring Jack Black, this hilarious new musical follows Dewey Finn, a wannabe rock star posing as a substitute teacher who turns a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. This high-octane smash features 14 new songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber, all the original songs from the movie, and musical theater’s first-ever kids rock band playing their instruments live on stage. View a preview of it here.

School of Rock is running at National Theatre January 16-27. Recommended for ages 8 and up, run time is approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes, including one intermission. Tickets are $54-129 and can be purchased online. Of course, you can also try to win them through the giveaway below.

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Giveaway: For a chance to win two (2) tickets to see School of Rock at National Theatre on January 17, 2019, at 7:30pm, simply leave a comment below naming your kid’s (or your) favorite rock band. Get an extra chance to win by entering on the KFDC Facebook Page, too! This giveaway will run through December 31, 2018, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!


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Filed under 2019, DC, Giveaway, Gradeschoolers, Live Entertainment, Teens, Theatre, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

“How I Became a Pirate” at Adventure Theatre — Ticket Giveaway!



Adventure Theatre is kicking off its 2017-18 season with fun, swashbuckling entertainment! How I Became a Pirate will sail onto the stage this fall with a production recommended for all ages. And you have a chance to win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to see a performance!

Based on the book by Melinda Long and directed by Jenny Male, the show follows the journey of a boy named Jeremy as he becomes an honorary pirate after a ship comes ashore while he’s building sandcastles on the beach. Jeremy learns the ropes of what it really means to be a swashbuckling (but smelly!) pirate — and the pirates just might learn how to play soccer, too.

How I Became a Pirate is running at Adventure Theatre September 22 – October 22, with both weekend and weekday performances. Tickets are $19.50 and can be purchased in advance online, at the Box Office, or by calling 301.634.2270. You can also try to win them through the giveaway below!

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Giveaway: For a chance to win a Family 4-Pack of Tickets to see How I Became a Pirate at Adventure Theatre, simply leave a comment below letting me know which performance — date and time — you would want to attend. Get an extra entry by also liking and commenting on the KidFriendly DC Facebook page. This giveaway will run through Wednesday, September 20, 2017, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!


This post is sponsored by Adventure Theatre, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under Sponsored Post, Theatre, Ticket Giveaway

Enter to Win Tickets to ‘Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook’ at Adventure Theatre!

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Adventure Theatre’s summer production and the last of their 2016/17 season opens in just a few weeks. Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook begins June 23 for a nearly two-month run. And one lucky KFDC reader can win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to see it!

Based on the book series by Barbara Park and directed by Rick Hammerly, this stage version presents a tale for all ages to enjoy: When Junie B. Jones, with her two bestest friends in the world, loses her new furry mittens to some “stealers,” she has to investigate. But Junie B. might have something she forgot to return, too…

There’s more to enjoy than just a performance — patrons can also partake in a pre-show scavenger hunt to earn a prize. Participants who find all of the items will receive a Junie B. Jones set of five trading cards for our 65th season.

Adventure Theatre is also partnering with a local nonprofit to collect school supplies for underprivileged kids throughout the run of the show. When you go see it, consider bringing donations of new backpacks, notebooks, colored pencils, crayons, kid-friendly scissors, paper, glue sticks, markers, and activity books to help out children in need.

So, are you ready for summer entertainment and then some? Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook will run at Adventure Theatre in Glen Echo Park from June 23 – August 14, 2017. Performances are Saturday through Monday at varying times, and occasional Friday evenings, too. Tickets are $19.50 and can be purchased in advance online or by calling the Box Office at 301.634.2270. You can also try winning them through the giveaway below.

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Giveaway: For a chance to win a Family 4-Pack of Tickets to see Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook at Adventure Theatre, simply leave a comment below letting me know which performance — date and time — you would want to attend. Get an extra entry by also liking and commenting on the KidFriendly DC Facebook page. This giveaway will run through Sunday, June 11, 2017 then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Adventure Theatre, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under 2017, All ages, Giveaway, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Seasonal, Summer, Theatre, Ticket Giveaway, Weekdays, Weekend