It’s Showtime all Winter Long

See "Aquarium" at Imagination Stage through January 26 or at the Atlas from January 28 - February 2

See “Aquarium” at Imagination Stage through Jan 26 or at the Atlas from Jan 28 – Feb 2

Get out of the cold and into the theatre, concert hall, or arena — our local live entertainment venues are presenting a dynamic lineup of shows all winter long! Here’s where you can see them, listed in order of opening date. And if you know of a great production that you don’t see here, feel free to mention it in the comments.

The Little Mermaid, Jr.
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theater
When: Through January 19
Tickets: $12/adult, $10/child

Encore Stage and Studio’s newest “theatre by kids for kids” splashes into the classic story of Ariel, the mermaid princess, who wishes to live in the world above rather than the ocean floor. To explore life on land, Ariel disobeys her father, King Triton, and makes a deal with the evil sea witch Ursula. Ransoming her singing voice, she must convince Prince Eric that she is indeed the girl who rescued him or risk losing her voice forever. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Where: Imagination Stage
When: Through January 26
Tickets: $10-12

The Bethesda theater has brought back its popular production for its youngest patrons. With gentle music, beautiful puppets, and props, friends Jack and Calypso lead children and caregivers to a magical, interactive world where giant jellyfish fly through the air, sheep graze in the grass, and lemons become the sun in a “let’s pretend” sky. Appropriate for children ages 1-5.

Grey Seal Puppets on Parade
Where: Publick Playhouse
When: January 16
Tickets: $4

Enjoy this hilarious parade of adorable puppets featuring Mr.  Crabcake and Humpty Dumpty as host Stubbs McGee brings you laughs and limericks. Recommended for grades pre-K-2. Publick Playhouse is located at 5445 Landover Road in Cheverly, Md.

Tales of Beatrix Potter
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: January 17 – February 9
Admission: $10

Applause Unlimited of Richmond, VA is back at the Playhouse, and presenting three of Potter’s favorites, “Two Bad Mice,” “Jemima Puddle-Duck,” and “Jeremy Fisher,”  Christopher Hudert tells the stories, which come to life through the everyday activities of a young girl as she dreams and plays alone in her room. Recommended for PreK – Grade 4.

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 check the schedule to see what’s playing when you plan to go.

Miss Nelson is Missing
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: January 17 – March 9
Tickets: $19 (look for a discount on the opening night show here)

Miss Nelson’s class is the worst!  Spitballs flying and paper airplanes sailing across the room send the gentle, long-suffering teacher over the edge.  Surprise…Miss Nelson turns up missing, only to be replaced by Viola Swamp, a petrifying substitute teacher.  Will the students of Room 207 ever get Miss Nelson back? Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Mouse in the House
Where: Theatre on the Run
When: January 18
Tickets: (look for a discount here)

Adapted from the book The Mouse of Amherst by Elizabeth Spires, this dance performance tells the story of an unlikely friendship between a lively mouse and reclusive 19th-century poet Emily Dickinson, with video backdrop animation by Bryan Leister. The mouse’s life changes forever when a gust of wind blows one of Emily’s poems her way. Moved by Emily’s evocative words that capture her own feelings, the mouse becomes determined to be a poet herself. Young audience members learn that everyone can write about their feelings and that even a common mouse is capable of creating beautiful poetry.

NSO Ensemble Concert: Connections: Music Matters
Where: Kennedy Center
When: January 19
Tickets: $20 (look for half-price tickets here)

What do earthquakes, sports cars, and memories have in common? Did you immediately say “music”? If you didn’t, you’ll want to come to this new multimedia program to find out what’s going on in research labs around the world. Cellist Yvonne Caruthers is joined by three of her NSO colleagues to take you deep into the world of music and illustrate why music matters–and how it makes you smarter! Recommended for ages 9 and up.

Tot Rock
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 every Thursday and Friday, and touring performers drop by on many weekends. Check the calendar often to see when your favorite act is performing.

Where: Kennedy Center
When: January 24-25
Tickets: $20 (look for half-price tickets here)

Canada’s Cas Public dance ensemble uses everyday sounds and objects in to explore the joy, humor, and mischief of childhood–all performed to Canadian pianist Glenn Gould’s famous recording of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Monster Jam
Where: Verizon Center
When: January 24-25
Tickets: $10-65 (look for a discount here)

The world’s largest and most famous monster truck tour featuring the biggest names in monster trucks will thunder its way into the Verizon Center this month. Grave Digger, Bounty Hunter, Team Survivor, Crushstation and Illuminator are among the vehicular beasts you’ll see tearing up the indoor terrain this year.

Penelope’s Pesky Pen
Where: Theatre on the Run
When: January 25-26
Tickets: $10-15 (look for a discount here)

This lighthearted musical dance performance tells the story of a magical pen with a mind of its own. Inspired by a children’s book by Frank Dormer, the 30-minute performance finds Aunt Pearl and young Penelope setting off on a fun adventure, as they try to figure out what to do with such an amazing and interesting writing instrument. Penelope’s Pesky Pen is the latest all-new children’s production from the multi-award-winning talents at the Jane Franklin Dance Company.

The Amazing Magic of Louis
Where: Old Town Theater
When: January 25, 11am
Tickets: $10

Enjoy a morning of Family-Friendly Magic by Louis the Magician : Nickelodeon’s Award Winner for Best Entertainer in Washington, DC. The Old Town Theater is located at 815-1/2 King Street in Alexandria.

Peter and the Starcatcher
Where: Kennedy Center
When: January 28 – February 16
Tickets: $55-135 (look for a discount here)

A most magical evening of madcap fun, Peter and the Starcatcher is a hilarious romp through the Neverland you never knew! This swashbuckling prequel to Peter Pan will have you hooked from the moment you let your imagination take flight. Peter and the Starcatcher is the innovative and imaginative musical play based on the best-selling novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. A company of twelve actors plays more than a hundred unforgettable characters, all on a journey to answer the century-old question: How did Peter Pan become The Boy Who Never Grew Up? This epic origin story of one of popular culture’s most enduring and beloved characters proves that your imagination is the most captivating place in the world. Suitable for younger audiences, but most enjoyable for ages 10 and up

Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: January 28 – February 2
Tickets: $8

The production from Imagination Stage returns to the Atlas stage for a weeklong run. Young audiences will enter a world where giant jellyfish fly through the air, sheep graze in the grass, and lemons create the sun in a “let’s pretend” sky.

Archimedes & the Power of Math
Where: Publick Playhouse
When: January 28, 10:15am & 12pm
Tickets: $6

The ancient world’s greatest mathematician is brought to life in this entertaining performance that shows kids that math is cool, fun, and powerful.  With audience participation and fun factoids (Archimedes held of the Roman Army for 3 years using nothing but math) kids will come away inspired and ready to learn math.  Recommended for grades 3-5. Publick Playhouse is located at 5445 Landover Road in Cheverly, Md.

Dream Carver
Where: Publick Playhouse
When: January 31, 10:15 & 12pm & February 1, 11am
Tickets: $6

Mateo is a young Mexican boy whose father has taught him traditional wood carving.  But when Mateo has an inspiring dream of colorful singing animals, he wants to carve new things in new ways.  This bilingual musical explores creativity, generational differences, and the importance of following your dreams.  Recommended for grades K-6. Publick Playhouse is located at 5445 Landover Road in Cheverly, Md.

Where: National Theatre
When: February 4-9
Tickets: Start at $40

The unique combination of percussion, movement and visual comedy, STOMP has created its own inimitable, contemporary form of rhythmic expression: both household and industrial objects find new life as musical instruments in the hands of an idiosyncratic band of body percussionists. It is a journey through sound, a celebration of the everyday and a comic interplay of characters wordlessly communicating through dance and drum. Synchronized stiff-bristle brooms become a sweeping orchestra, eight Zippo lighters flip open and closed to create a fiery fugue; wooden poles thump and clack in a rhythmic explosion. STOMP uses everything but conventional percussion instruments – dustbins, tea chests, radiator hoses, boots, hub caps – to fill the stage with a compelling and unique act that is often imitated but never duplicated.

Lions of Industry, Mothers of Invention
Where: Discovery Theater
When: February 4-6
Tickets: $3-8

Discovery Theater’s original interactive play honors the creativity and genius of African American entrepreneurs and inventors including beauty-product magnate Madame C.J. Walker; agricultural chemist and “peanut man” George Washington Carver; education giant Booker T. Washington; and George Crum, the cranky chef who accidentally created the potato chip. The production inspires the dreamer and achiever in all of us.

Where: Imagination Stage
When: February 5 – March 16
Tickets: $10-25

“This is a story that’s old as old, of how a girl turned straw into gold.” When a poor miller brags that his daughter has a talent for spinning straw into gold, a greedy and zany king commands her to make gold for his coffers. Unable to perform this feat, the miller’s daughter enlists the help of a rotten riddling fairy named Rumpelstiltskin…but his price for helping is high. Will she be able to solve Rumpelstiltskin’s mystery in time to save her family? Best for Ages 5-10.

Raisin’ Cane: A Harlem Renaissance Odyssey
Where: Publick Playhouse
When: February 7, 10:15am & 12pm
Tickets: $6

Celebrate Black History Month and the renaissance of artistic expression in post-World War I Harlem in this production that weaves poetry, fiction, art and music and creates a multi-media window into a critical point in cultural history. Recommended for all ages. Publick Playhouse is located at 5445 Landover Road in Cheverly, Md.

Orphie and the Book of Heroes
Where: Kennedy Center
When: February 8-23
Tickets: $20 (look for a discount here

Spunky and curious Orphie, a young girl in Ancient Greece, sets out to save storyteller Homer and his Book of Heroes in this humorous world premiere musical–a quest that takes her from the heights of Mt. Olympus to the depths of the underworld. Recommended for ages 9 and up.

Songs of Freedom
Where: Publick Playhouse
When: February 11, 10:15am & 12pm
Tickets: $6
Experience Black History through the music of our past. Spirituals that carried secret messages, the blues of Beale Street, and the anthems of the Civil Rights Movement spanned both centuries and continents and made a lasting impact on our culture today.  Hear the songs and the stories behind them in this energetic and entertaining performance. Recommended for grades 3 and up. Publick Playhouse is located at 5445 Landover Road in Cheverly, Md.

Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic
Where: Verizon Center
When: February 12-17
Tickets: $20-80 (look for a discount here)

Join the celebration as more than 60 of Disney’s unforgettable characters from 18 beloved stories come to life in Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic coming to Barclays Center January 22 through January 26. You’ll be captivated by the one and only Mickey Mouse, the irresistible Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio, and many Disney Princesses. Be thrilled by exciting moments from The Lion King, Mulan and Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and Toy Story films; in a skating spectacular you’ll remember forever!

Under the Canopy
Where: The Athenaeum & The Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: February 12 – 23 & February 28 – March 8
Tickets: $5

Arts on the Horizon’s World Premiere show wants you to imagine a theatrical world designed especially for babies and young toddlers to explore – a world inspired by the wonders of the rainforest! That’s what’s in store for the very youngest audiences and their caregivers when the innovative, nonverbal style of Arts on the Horizon targets their littlest fans. Best for children ages 2 and under (and their 3-4 year old pals).  The show will be performed at The Athenaeum in Alexandria February 12-13, then as part of the INTERSECTIONS Festival at The Atlas Performing Arts Center February 28 – March 8.

Sleeping Beauty
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: February 13 – March 23
Tickets: $10

Yet another elegant production created by the Puppet Co., “Sleeping Beauty” combines romance and adventure in a story of fairies, frogs, kings and queens, and of course, a sleeping princess and the gallant prince destined to find her. Told with rod puppets and wonderful special effects, the show is a real treat for princesses and princes, big and small! Recommended for PreK- Grade 4

Bessie and Bill – Black Wings in Flight
Where: Discovery Theater
When: February 19-21 & 25-26
Tickets $3-8:

Daredevil Bessie Coleman barnstormed the country as the first licensed African American woman pilot. Inspired by her grit and perseverance, Bill Powell became a pilot and trained the famous Tuskegee Airmen of World War II. Meet these spunky pioneers of the air in a powerful show that speaks to even the youngest dreamer.

William’s Adventure in Black History
Where: Publick Playhouse
When: February 19, 10:15am & 12pm
Tickets: $6

Enjoy this brisk panorama of 400 years of Black History in America, and meet some of the remarkable people who shaped our country.  Audience members join historical figures onstage and experience important events and decisions as they travel into space with Mae Jemison and encourage Rosa Parks to stay in her seat. Recommended for grades pre K – 5. Publick Playhouse is located at 5445 Landover Road in Cheverly, Md.

NSO Family Concert: Peter and the Wolf
Where: Kennedy Center
When: February 23
Tickets: $15-18

Prokofiev’s timeless musical tale of boy vs. wolf comes roaring to life with the NSO and a vaudeville-inspired performance by actor Michael Boudewyns from theater ensemble Really Inventive Stuff. Recommended for ages 5 and up. Go early for an Instrument Petting Zoo, where 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.

Mammoth Follies& Dinosaur Friends
Where: Publick Playhouse
When: February 25, 10:15am & 12pm
Tickets: $6

Explore the wonders of evolution and learn the facts and myths about the great age of dinosaurs as host Willie Mammoth takes you through a musical revue of songs, jokes, and dance, performed by Smiley the Saber-Toothed Tiger, Bessie the lovable 27-foot long Apatosaurus, Terry the Pterodactyl, and many more lovable dino-puppets. Recommended for grades 2-5. Publick Playhouse is located at 5445 Landover Road in Cheverly, Md.

All the Way Live! with Paige Hernandez and Baye Harrell
Where: Discovery Theater
When: February 27-28
Tickets: $3-8

Rising hip-hop star Paige Hernandez and master beat-box artist Baye Harrell can make anything—from the alphabet to folktales—come to life with a simple beat, a rhythm, and a rhyme. They’ll collaborate on the spot to create some incredible remixes that unfold through dance, poetry, rap, and tracks by DJ Nick Tha 1da in this production created just for Discovery Theater. Recommended for ages 5-12.

Sunjata Kamalenya
Where: Publick Playhouse
When: February 28, 12pm & March 1, 11am
Tickets: $10

Thirteenth century Mali comes to life as both actors and audience tell the story of Sunjata Keita, a young boy who is destined to save his people.  Traditional music, costumes, and scenery create a fascinating world where this timeless tale of personal struggle, family love, and community is depicted.  Recommended for grades 6 and up. Publick Playhouse is located at 5445 Landover Road in Cheverly, Md.

Cashore Marionettes
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: March 1
Tickets: $14

This puppet company, acclaimed for their artistry, grace and refinement brings two shows to BlackRock. Both are a series of vignettes set to music by such composers as Vivaldi, Strauss and Beethoven. “Simple Gifts,” at 1:00, is shorter and light-hearted with subjects that engage a family audience. “Life in Motion,” at 8:00, is longer and has more varying tones and themes appropriate for a wider range of ages. Following the 1:00 show, the puppeteers will demonstrate how the marionettes work. Following the 8:00 show, enjoy a Q&A with the puppeteers.

NSO Teddy Bear Concert: Imagination Duo
Where: Kennedy Center
When: March 8-9
Tickets: $20

Join husband-and-wife violin duo–Glenn Donnellan of the NSO and Jan Chong–as they use stories, sound effects, children’s songs, and gems from the classical repertoire to make your imagination come alive!Kids can bring their favorite stuffed animal to these interactive programs and have their teddy bear friend join in all the fun! Lasting approximately 45 minutes, they’re perfect for even the youngest music lovers in your family. Go early for “Musical Playtime” – starting 45 minutes before each Teddy Bear Concert, enjoy music and movement activities especially designed for small children. Recommended for ages 3 to 5.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Where: Ford’s Theatre
When: March 14 – May 17
Tickets: Start at $18

Six pubescent students navigate their county’s spelling tournament with anxiety, angst and determination. As the competitors progress with the help of definitions, mnemonic devises and toe-tapping tricks, they discover a new sense of belonging and learn that there is more to life than winning a trophy. This charming coming-of-age tale also invites four volunteers from the audience to participate in each performance, ensuring new and unexpected comedy every night.

Harlem Globetrotters 2014 “Fans Rule” World Tour
Where: Verizon Center
When: March 15
Tickets: $16-150 (look for a discount here)

The world famous Harlem Globetrotters have been thrilling families and millions of fans for 88 years, all the while innovating the game in exciting new ways. Last year, the Globetrotters did something unparalleled in the history of sports and entertainment, letting fans vote on new rules to be used in actual games. It was so much fun, they are doing it again, and there are cool new rules to choose from on this one!

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