Start off Spring on an Entertaining Note

Martha Speaks, based on the books & PBS Kids series, will be at BlackRock March 23

Martha Speaks, based on the books & PBS Kids series, will be at BlackRock March 23



Spring is on its way and, with it, a new line-up of live entertainment. Here’s what’s playing in theatres around the area throughout the season. Shows are listed in order by opening date, and most descriptions come straight from the theatres.

Anime Momotaro
Where: Imagination Stage
When: Through March 10
Tickets: $10-25 (look for a deal)
An old couple in ancient Japan long for a child. They have their wish granted when a huge peach floats down the river and breaks open to reveal a baby boy. They name him Momotaro, and he grows up to be the strongest young man in all of Japan. But Momotaro’s village has a tiny problem… GIANT OGRES! Ogres have been bullying the villagers for years, and Momotaro decides he must make a stand. With the help of friends-the dog Inu, the monkey Saru, and the bird Kiki-Momotaro meets his foes face-to-face. Performed in the style of popular anime cartoons with traditional Japanese influences, this action-packed staging of Japan’s most famous folktale teaches powerful lessons about inner strength and how creativity, kindness, and cooperation win out over brute force. Recommended for ages 5-10

Intersections Festival
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: Through March 10
Tickets: Vary by performance

For the second year, the Atlas aims to create connections through innovative as they present the Intersections Festival, and their final weekend will include many family-friendly performances. Sing Down the Moon: Appalachian Wonder Tales is wonderful, putting an Appalachian twist on classic fairy tales (we loved it!). There will also be performances and workshops, and activities from Imagination Stage, Boogie Babes, Arts on the Horizon, BodyWise Dance, and more. Be sure to visit the website for the full schedule.

Peter Pan & Wendy
Where: Creative Cauldron
When: Through March 24
Tickets: $15/adults, $12/students & seniors

Rediscover J.M. Barrie’s classic novel in this delightful adaptation brought to life with the magical large puppets of Margie Jervis and the original music of acclaimed composer Matt Conner. When boy extraordinaire Peter Pan flies into the nursery of the Darling home, Wendy is captivated by his promise of adventure in Neverland. With the help of some of Peter’s fairy dust Wendy and her brothers are on their way. Second to the right and then straight on till morning! The magical address that brings them face to face with mermaids, Indians and the notorious Captain Hook and his pirate crew. With exciting adventures and fun like this, it’s no wonder Peter refuses to grow up! Presented by Creative Cauldron’s Learning Theater an ensemble of student and professional performers.

Pinot & Augustine
Where: Discovery Theatre
When: March 8
Tickets:
$3-8
Master artists Mark Jaster and Sabrina Mandell of Happenstance Theater re-create the charm of the golden age of the French circus in this endearing duet for clowns. The sweetly silly show bubbles over with physical comedy and surprises sublime and ridiculous—from lyrical melodies on a musical saw to classic pratfalls to un coussin de whoopee. Recommended for ages 5-10.

Little King Mattias
Where: Kennedy Center
When: March 9-10
Tickets: $18 (look for a deal)

What if an 11-year-old became king? Would he be so bold as to give his ministers the boot and transfer power to the children of his kingdom? He does when Sweden’s Backa Teater tells the tale of Little King Mattias in its US premiere. Performances are part of the Nordic Cool 2013 festival running through March 17.

Tale of a Tiger
Where: Theatre on the Run
When: March 9
Tickets: $8 (look for a deal)

Encore Stage & Studio presents Tale of A Tiger, a vital hybrid of captivating storytelling and physical drama about the journey from childhood to adulthood. Created and performed by Rachel Hynes with an unconventional musical score by Ethan Foote, this fairytale tells the story of a solitary young girl who, abandoned by her mother and raised by her cold, embittered father, goes out into the forest and becomes a tiger. Recommended for ages 10 and older.

Jack and the Beanstalk
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: March 14 – April 21
Tickets: $10

What’s so bad about the Big Bad Wolf?  At last B.B. (Big Bad) Wolfe tells his side of the story, in rap, no less.  Has the notorious pork poacher and grandma impersonator gotten a bum rap, or is he truly deserving of his moniker?  You be the judge!  This tongue-in-cheek version of two children’s favorites uses humor  and music to explore our fear of things we don’t understand.  This is one of The Puppet Co.’s most popular and funniest productions, and includes lots of audience participation.

Hello Dolly!
Where: Ford’s Theatre
When: March 15 – May 18
Tickets: $25-90

In this beloved musical classic, the cantankerous half-a-millionaire Horace Vandergelder hires matchmaker Dolly Levi to find him a wife. Dolly soon hatches a plan to woo and win Vandergelder’s hand herself, while simultaneously arranging romantic prospects for his niece, his clerks and two of Manhattan’s most eligible shop girls.“’Hello, Dolly!’ is a delectable treat for the whole family, filled with some of musical theatre’s all-time greatest showstoppers,” says director Eric Schaeffer.

Clifford the Big Red Dog Live
Where: Warner Theatre
When: March 16
Tickets: $35 (look for a deal)

Join Clifford and his friends Emily Elizabeth, Cleo and T-Bone LIVE as they embark on exciting adventures in this all-new musical celebrating Clifford’s 50th anniversary! There will be two performances, at 1pm & 4pm.

Tiny Tots

Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Most Wednesdays, Saturdays, & Sundays at 10am
Tickets: $5
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.

Tot Rock and More
Where: Jammin’ Java
When: Ongoing
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 acts perform regularly on Thursday and Friday mornings and afternoons, and touring artists drop by on most weekends. Check the calendar often to see when your favorite act is performing, and for other schedule updates.

Saturday Morning at the National
Where: National Theatre
When: Saturday morning starting in February
Tickets: Free, but required

The free theatre program will run on select Saturdays through the spring. Musicals, plays, storytelling, and comedy shows are all part of the live entertainment line-up. Tickets are distributed the day of performances on a first-come, first-served basis. Everyone must be in line to receive a ticket.

Martha Speaks
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: Saturday, March 23 at 1:00 and 3:00 PM
Tickets: $14

BlackRock presents a doggone funny new musical based on the popular books by Susan Meddaugh and the PBS Kids series.  Martha was an ordinary dog until she ate a bowl of alphabet soup.  Something unusual happened: all those letters went up to Martha’s brain instead of down to her stomach.  And she became very outspoken!  Life with a talking dog is very eventful in this Theatreworks USA musical, enjoyed by ages 4 and up. 

Three Little Birds
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: March 15 – April 14
Tickets: $19 (look for a deal here)

Ah…yasso nice!  Three little birds sing their sweet songs to Ziggy, a very shy child who is happy to see the world from the T.V. in his room.  But his tricky friend, Nansi wants him to get out and enjoy the Island of Jamaica.  But, Ziggy is afraid of hurricane, mongoose and evil spirits.   Their worldly adventure is enlivened by the fantastic songs of renowned Reggae artist, Bob Marley.  Roots, Rock, Reggae! Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Cinderella
Where: Kennedy Center
When: March 20-24
Tickets: $25-125

The Washington Ballet presents a spectacle for all ages as Septime Webre’s Cinderella combines magnificent beauty, ravishing costumes and Prokofiev’s ultra-lush score in the retelling of this popular romance of a poor girl whose fairy godmother helps her win the love of a Prince. Storytelling at its finest—magic pumpkins, evil step-sisters and handsome courtiers in a swirling mirrored ballroom scene from Versailles. Crackling with wit, lavish costumes and dazzling dancing, Cinderella will sweep you off your feet.

Professor Wingnut Wants to Fly
Where: National Air & Space Museum
When: March 21-22
Tickets: $3-8

Little aviators take off with wacky Professor Wingnut and Seymour the Seagull to find the secrets that make birds—and airplanes—fly. Master arts educator and crazy guy Oran Sandel and puppeteer Dan Mori get everyone singing, dancing, and soaring in this lively interactive musical show in the Air & Space Museum. After the show, zoom down to the How Things Fly exhibit for more facts and fun. Recommended for ages 4-8.

The Big Meow
Where: Woolly Mammoth Theatre & Artisphere
When: March 23 – April 5
Tickets: $15/adults, $10/children (look for a deal)

Specially adapted for young audiences, Jane Franklin Dance offers a family-friendly performance of “The Big Meow!” where Little Cat is taunted by neighborhood felines because his meow is just too darn loud. The dance is adapted from the children’s book by Baltimore author Elizabeth Spires and tells the story of an ever-hopeful orange fluffball who desperately wants to belong to the band of neighborhood cats, but is ostracized for his “loud as a lion’s roar” meow. Kids and parents alike will enjoy the imaginative retelling of this story through dance. The April 6 performance will take place at Artisphere.

Jason Invisible
Where: Kennedy Center
When: March 23 – April 7
Tickets: $18 (look for a deal here)

Based on a novel by National Book Award winner Han Nolan, this interactive world premiere play celebrates the awesome power of friendship and humanizes young people dealing with less than perfect families. The play is about a teenage boy named Jason, who cares for a sick parent. It makes Jason feel like he’s going a little bonkers. What makes things tougher are the “sidekicks” in his head – Dream Girl, Smart Guy, and Crazy Glue – who bear a striking resemblance to the kids in his new support group. But Jason doesn’t want to talk to anyone. He’d rather just be invisible, until his anonymous letter in the school paper leads other students with troubled home lives to seek HIS words of wisdom. Suddenly, Jason’s advice column is helping him face down his own problems – and find new friends in the most unlikely of places. Recommended for ages 11 and up.

From Here to There
Where: Imagination Stage
When: March 6 – April 14
Tickets: $10-12

From Here to There, a play about building bridges, is a highly imaginative, visual, and creative piece of theatre involving puppetry, comedy, live music, and poetry. Using simple boxes, sonic tubes, and construction paper, two actors, who enjoy doing very different things, create a make believe world that bridges together their opposite interests. Performances are followed by a “free play” session, in which the actors invite the children to join them onstage to explore some of the materials and build their own bridges or towers. Appropriate for ages 2-5.

NSO Family Concert: Tchaikovsky Discovers America
Where: Kennedy Center
When:March 24
Tickets: $15-18

Based on the actual historical event, this poignant concert event tells of Tchaikovsky’s arrival in New York for the grand opening of Carnegie Hall in 1891 and his famous trip to Niagara Falls with more than 25 excerpts of his music. Go early for the Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” An hour before each NSO Family Concert, young concertgoers can get up close and hands-on with the instruments they’ll see played on the stage–from violins, trumpets, and oboes to trombones and percussion–in the Kennedy Center Atrium.

James and the Giant Peach
Where: Imagination Stage
When: April 3 – May 26
Tickets: $12-25

aEngland’s Tell Tale Hearts Company travels to Imagination Stage to present the North American premiere of From Here to There, a show all about play! Watch as two friends fashion objects out of construction paper, build bridges from cardboard boxes, and use rhythm and vocal play to create a catchy tune. It’s like jumping inside the world of a child’s imagination! Performances are followed by a “free play” session, giving the children an opportunity to explore some of the materials and create their own stories!

The Magic Finger
Where: Imagination Stage
When: April 12 – May 24
Tickets: $12-25

Lucy is an influential 8-year old with a passion for righting wrongs and a “magic” index finger that doles out justice. When Lucy sees something she thinks is unfair, she points her magic finger at the problem, and it causes all sorts of mischief! One day, when visiting her friend William Gregg on his family’s farm, Lucy discovers the Gregg family enjoys hunting ducks. Horrified, she points her magic finger at the family and oh, boy that little finger makes things topsy turvey! Overnight the tables are turned. The Gregg family is transformed into miniature people with duck wings while the members of the hunted duck family become human sized and sprout arms. The ducks are adjusting to TV, telephones, and even the bathtub while the Greggs must nest in a tree and learn to survive in the air. Can Lucy make things right? Best for ages 5-10.

Cinderella: The True Story
Where: Workhouse Arts
When: March/April
Tickets: $12/adults, $8/kids

Cinderella: The True Story is an adaptation of the original fairy tale Cinderella. Cinderella’s sneaky step-sisters and evil step-mother will do all that they can to stop The Prince from finding Cinderella! This performance is approximately one hour with one intermission and is appropriate for all ages.

Laura Ingalls Wilder
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: April 20
Tickets: $14

Based on the beloved author’s life and writing. Laura and her family travel across America in search of a place they can call home. Facing obstacles such as scarlet fever and eviction from their land, their pioneering spirit, passion for the outdoors and family bonds are tested but never broken. When Laura’s sister Mary contracts scarlet fever, causing her to lose her sight, Laura becomes her eyes to the world, and Mary in turn shows Laura how to face life with strength and courage. This uplifting story is one of ArtsPower’s popular musicals. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Gustafer Yellowgold’s Rock Melon Tour
Where: Alden Theatre
When: April 20, 2pm
Tickets: $15 or $10/McLean district residents

Groovy Gustafer Yellowgold is a small, yellow, cone-headed fellow, who came to Earth from the Sun and has a knack for finding himself neck-deep in absurd situations as he explores his new life in the Minnesota woods. Equal parts pop rock concert and animated storybook, Gustafer Yellowgold concerts are a truly different multimedia experience that entrances children and adults alike.

NSO Kinderkonzert: Viva Violins: From Baby Talk to Mozart
Where: Kennedy Center
When: April 28
Tickets: $18

The violin grows up in the spotlight in this new program which tells the tale of three little violins and how their mother teaches them to “sing.” Recommended for ages 4 and up. Go early for the Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” An hour before each NSO Family Concert, young concertgoers can get up close and hands-on with the instruments they’ll see played on the stage–from violins, trumpets, and oboes to trombones and percussion–in the Kennedy Center Atrium.

NSO Teddy Bear Concert: Teddy and the Ten Hats
Where: Kennedy Center
When: May 4
Tickets: $18

What’s a bear to wear when he has 10 hats but only one head? Little kids dress-up alongside playful NSO musicians in this story about a bear whose zany collection of hats represents a variety of music from Haydn to Sousa and beyond. Recommended for ages 3-5.

Peter and the Wolf
Where: THEARC Theatre
When: May 18-19
Tickets: $35-50, $15 for residents of Wards 7 & 8

Based on the Russian children’s tale and set to Prokofiev’s famous score, this family series production showcases The Washington Ballet’s Studio Company.Peter lives on the edge of a vast Russian forest with his Grandfather, who will not let him go outside for fear of the wolves roaming there. One day Peter and his friend Duck rescue a little bird and decide to return him to the forest. Peter has the time of his life playing in the forest with his animal friends. Grandfather awakes and sees Peter is in the forest. Angry, he grabs his gun and rushes to rescue Peter and Fat Cat, who has fallen through the ice. Suddenly, the forest grows quiet and Peter sees the Wolf. Moments later, Wolf grabs Duck, tosses her into the air and swallows her in single gulp. Peter grabs a net and sets out to capture the Wolf. Eventually, after a fierce struggle, Peter catches the Wolf. Later Peter stands triumphantly on top of the Wolf’s cage to the amazement of his Grandfather and the village. As part of The Washington Ballet’s Community Engagement, the company is offering specially-priced $15 tickets to all performances to residents of Wards 7 and 8.

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