As the weather heats up, stay cool — and entertained — with a variety of live productions around the DC-metro this summer. Here’s where the shows are…
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: June 8 – July 15
The porridge has been eaten and Baby Bear’s chair is broken. But who is really responsible? Is it Goldilocks, the cute little blond found hiding upstairs, or could someone – or something – else be responsible? Goldilocks and Papa Bear meet face-to-face in a makeshift courtroom in the woods to settle once and for all whether or not Goldilocks is the criminal the storybooks make her out to be. The audience gets to decide where the truth lies. Fur will fly! Recommended for children in Pre-K to Grade 4.
The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe
Where: Imagination Stage
When: June 20 – August 12
Admission: Tickets start at $11
Told through a dazzling fusion of dance, acting, and puppetry, our story begins when Lucy, Edmund, Susan, and Peter are sent off to the countryside to avoid the Blitz. Lucy discovers a magical wardrobe that leads them into the fantastical world of Narnia. The four siblings become embroiled in an epic battle between the White Witch and the great lion Aslan. It’s an epic adventure with terrible betrayals, great battles, heroic deeds, and noble kings and queens! Recommended for ages 5 and up.
If You Give a Moose a Muffin
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: June 22 – September 2
What if a moose came to your house and asked for a muffin? Yikes. In this sequel to If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, a moose will almost always be a bigger problem than a mouse. If you give him some jam…you may wind up in a jam! Recommended for all ages.
Saturday Morning at the National
Where: National Theatre
When: Saturdays, 9:30am & 11am, through July 21
Tickets: Free, but required
The free theatre program began runs on select Saturdays through the spring. Musicals, plays, storytelling, and comedy shows are all part of the live entertainment line-up. See the complete schedule of performances here. Tickets are distributed day of performances on first-come, first-served basis. Everyone must be in line to receive a ticket.
Where: Wolf Trap
When: June 26 – August 10
From late June through early August, Wolf Trap presents Children’s Theater-in-the-Woods, over 70 family-friendly performances at 10:30am Tuesdays through Saturdays. Amidst 117 rolling wooded acres and nestled in a shady grove, the stage is set for lively adventures in music, dance, storytelling, puppetry, and theater. All of the productions are recommended for children between Kindergarten and 6th grade. The full schedule of shows in available of the Wolf Trap website. And you can read a KFDC review of the series from last summer here.
Serenade Festival Celebration
When: July 1, 4pm
Savor the glory of the human voice in this spectacular celebration that gathers international choir participants in the 2012 Serenade! Washington D.C. Choral Festival. Hear South African freedom songs with the historic Imilonji KaNtu Choral Society; the pure vocal sounds of the Minnetonka Chamber Choir; Canada’s upbeat Countermeasure a capella; the amazing harmonies of the Voices of Namibia; the beautifully blended sound of Australia’s Young Adelaide Voices; and extraordinary children’s choirs including Colombia’s Verata E Liberia, the Czech Republic’s Zvonky Praha, Boston’s home-grown, Boston City Singers, and Canada’s award-winning Cantaré Children’s Choir. This year’s festival focuses on new music, with each choir bringing new music or music from their home country. Strathmore audiences can hear a pair of premieres performed by all 325 singers: one by Stephen Paulus, and the world premiere of “We Are as One” by Aaron Jensen.
Various Performances for Children
Where: Discovery Theater
Tickets: $3 – $6
Tot Rock at the Smithsonian, a talking tortoise puppet, live animal encounters, and science presented in hip hop fashion are all on the entertainment line-up at Discovery Theatre this fall. Performances take place at the Smithsonian’s Ripley Center. See the complete schedule of shows on the theater’s website for more info and to purchase tickets online.
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Most Wednesdays, Saturdays, & Sundays at 10am
The series presents puppet shows designed for the youngest theater patrons (ages 0-4). They are shorter, the lights stay on, and the doors stay open. They have an arsenal of shows that they switch up every performance, so be sure to check the schedule to see what’s playing when you go.
Where: Jammin’ Java
Tickets: $5/weekdays, $10/weekends
Tot Rock is Jammin’ Java’s super-popular kids music concert series, providing wholesome family entertainment at one of the DC Metro area’s finest music clubs. Local groups perform every Monday through Friday and touring performers drop by on many weekends. Check the calendar often to see when your favorite act is performing, and for other calendar updates.
The Prince and the Troubador
Where: 1st Stage Theatre
When: June 30 – July 29
The Prince and the Troubadour brings medieval-ish hijinks to 1st Stage! Children will be captivated by the hilarious adventures of a misfit Prince attempting to rescue his ne’er-do-well friend, the Troubadour, from the clutches of a witch who wishes to have him “FOR DINNER”! To save his friend, the Prince teams up with Princess Mary, the martial arts extraordinaire, to overcome bandits, trolls, and bad-hair days to reach the tower where the witch holds the Troubadour captive and is busy making dinner reservations. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Show times are Saturdays and Sundays at 12pm and 2pm. 1st Stage Theatre is located at 1524 Spring Hill Road in Tyson’s Corner.
Bari Koral Family Rock Band
Where: Kennedy Center Millennium Stage
When: July 7, 6pm
The New York–based group brings its infectious melodies, entertaining lyrics, and foot-stomping beats. Dubbed the “‘IT girl’ in kids/family music” by New York Magazine and the “Sheryl Crow for kids” by the New York Post, Bari Koral Family Rock Band’s songs are a huge hit with both children and adults. Bari’s catchy tunes, interactive live shows & radio play have resulted in thousands of young (and not so young!) fans. Their debut full length album Rock and Roll Garden won the Nappa Gold and Parents’ Choice Award and was picked as Top 10 Kids Album of the Year by Time Out Kids. On her new album Anna and the Cupcakes, Bari and band deliver 10 songs of infectious melodies. At the band’s popular live shows, children pop like popcorn, run like the gingerbread man and even learn to “jam with the band.
Backyard Theater for Children
When: July 12 – August 2
Admission: $8, free for ages 2 and under
Strathmore’s summer theater series brings music and mystery of exotic locales from around the world to kids – all outdoors under a big tent. Weekly performances take place every Thursday at 9:30am and 11:30am.
How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular
Where: Verizon Center
When: July 19-22
Admission: $29.50 – $69.50 (see discount below)
The live version of the hit movie that transports kids to the mythical world of Dragons and Vikings comes from DreamWorks Animation and Global Creatures, the masterminds behind the “Walking with Dinosaurs” phenomenon that has wowed audiences around the world. How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular breaks every rule of theatrical entertainment to fully immerse audiences into the show in ways that have not been attempted before. Barely contained within the arena, How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular utilizes the full venue, maximizing every dimension of the performance space to transport audiences into a mythical world of fire-breathing dragons who soar overhead at great speeds. The state-of-the-art animatronic technology and large-scale cinematic projections interact seamlessly with the live actors, who bring DreamWorks Animation’s heart-warming story to life through theatrical storytelling, martial arts and acrobatics. Get a 25% discount on weekday shows using the code MOM in the promo box that says “Mommy Blog.” You can also enter for a chance to win a family four-pack of tickets here.
The Pirates of Penzance
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre
When: July 19-29
Admission: $15/adults, $10/children & seniors
Encore Stage & Studio presents the production about handsome young Frederic, who has just finished an apprenticeship with a band of silly pirates. When he falls in love with the beautiful Mabel Stanley, however, he discovers that he must stay with the pirates until his 21st birthday—but he was born on Leap Day! This classic Gilbert and Sullivan musical, the first ever produced by Encore, features plenty of swashbuckling and is sure to delight the whole family! Get a discount on tickets to select shows here.
Snow White and the 7 Dwarves
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: July 21 – September 2
When Snow White meets seven vertically challenged bachelors, she discovers that everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses; and that friendship and teamwork make any challenge smaller. Based on the Grimm fairytale, this production takes the Puppet Co.’s usual sideways view of the popular story, giving it timeliness and humor for adults, as well as kids. Read a KFDC review of the show from last year here.
Sing-A-Long Sound of Music
Where: Wolf Trap
When: August 25
The Wolf Trap hills are alive with the sound of music and this Oscar-winning movie, which will be shown on huge screens. A hilarious host leads the audience through various sing-a-longs, a costume contest, and other fun activities. This annual event is a popular one at the venue every summer!
The Fresh Beat Band
Where: Wolf Trap
When: August 28
Tickets: $25/lawn, $40/in-house
Nick Jr.’s brand of high-energy pop is sure to have kids and their families alike dancing to hits like “Great Day” and “Here We Go.” The band’s live performances feature the musicians from the TV series: spunky drummer Marina, beat-boxing DJ Twist, energetic dancer and violinist Kiki, and spirited keyboardist Shout. (We caught the show during the spring, and Owen and his friend had a blast!)