Live Entertainment Around DC During Spring 2018

Thrills galore under the Big Top at the Big Apple Circus!

With a new season comes a whole new line-up of live entertainment. Here’s a go-to list of shows on stages now around the area or coming to local venues this spring. They’re listed in order of start date and include a few KidFree recommendations, too. Happy viewing!

Big Apple Circus
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Through April 1
Tickets: $25-59 (look for a discount)

The Big Apple Circus is in town and celebrating its 40th Anniversary Season, featuring stunts never before seen under the big top. Known for its one-ring, artistic, European-style, no seat is more than 50 feet from the performers. That’s perfect for viewing some first-ever feats for the Circus along with fan favorites. Hire wire acts, contortionists, bicycle acrobatics, hilarious clowns, and doggie dances are some of thrills and fun you can expect. Read a review of one of our past experiences at a Big Apple Circus show.

Beauty and the Beast
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo,MD
When: Through March 25
Tickets: $12

A romantic tale of a handsome prince, and his love, Beauty, set in a great forest in old Russia. There are curses, conflicts, hopes, wishes, dreams, and exciting adventures, all the things that make a happy ending that much sweeter. Imaginative settings and beautiful costumes support this large-scale marionette version of the classic love story. Recommended for ages 5+.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Through March 31
Tickets: $19.50

Alexander is having a bad day. A terrible day. A horrible day. To be quite honest, it’s a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. But then, everybody has bad days, sometimes. Not only does Alexander wake up with gum in his hair, but his mother forgets to pack him dessert, and his best friend decides he’s not his best friend anymore. And if that’s not bad enough, Alexander’s brothers don’t have any cavities but—he does. And just when it can’t get any worse, there are lima beans for supper and —yuck!—kissing on TV. It is enough to make anyone want to go to Australia. Uuuugggghhh. Recommneded for all ages.

Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through April 8
Tickets: $12

The story of a lonely man who is revived by a visit from a red balloon is reminiscent of the silent films of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. The playwright has imagined the man as an older version of the boy in the movie The Red Balloon, now grown up and grown old, having forgotten his youthful adventure. The red balloon returns to rescue its boy! Recommended for ages 1-5.

Peter and the Wolf
Where: THEARC | Anacostia, DC
When: March 24-25
Tickets: $30+

The children’s orchestral classic comes to life in an engaging artistic collaboration with The Washington Ballet Studio Company and the DC Youth Orchestra Program. Best known as a children’s introduction to music and instruments, the addition of dance enriches the story as the tale of Peter comes to life in a tantalizing visual and musical tale that will inspire and enchant those of all ages. The program will also include a performance by The Washington Ballet @THEARC Performance Ensemble.

Waves, all that Glows Sees
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: March 24 – April 1
Tickets: $15

Experience the joy of theater in this carefully crafted experience for the very young, written by Véronique Côté! Adults with their little ones follow a pathway of shells and stones into a warm, serene tent on the stage, where a gentle seaside scene awaits. One man makes music, while another dreams of the ocean. Through sand shaping, shadow puppetry, and inventive sound effects, the two performers create tender, magical moments of sea turtles, seagulls, fish, dune grass, ships, and sky. As time passes, one of the men plays at diving into the water in search of treasure, bringing a poetic undersea adventure to life before your eyes. Recommended for ages 18 months – 4 years.

Little Red & the Pigs
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo,MD
When: March 29 – May 12
Tickets: $12

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 is one of our funniest productions and includes lots of audience participation.

Saturday Morning at the National
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: Most Saturdays
Tickets: FREE!

The free theatre program runs on select Saturdays with performances at 9:30am and 11:30am. 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 a first-come, first-served basis. Everyone must be in line to receive a ticket.

Tot Rock
Where: Jammin’ Java | Vienna, VA
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, and for other calendar updates.

Boogie Babes
Where: Eastern Market | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Thursdays, 10:30am
Tickets: $5/child, free for sibling 6 months and under

Little ones can boogie along with their favorite local musicians at Eastern Market’s North Hall on Wednesday and Thursday mornings. Even better, proceeds from all shows benefit DC Diaper Bank! Go for the entertainment, then grab lunch in the market or at one of many nearby eateries after.

Tiny Tots
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
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.

Millennium Stage
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Ongoing daily, 6pm
Tickets: Free

The Kennedy Center presents these free, no-tickets-required performances every day at 6pm, and the public is welcome to enjoy them. The acts span the genres — you can see everything from contemporary dance to folk music to puppetry to comedy shows to opera scenes. Millennium Stage showcases everyone from local youth choirs to internationally known bands (They Might Be Giants performed there a few years ago). This is a great series to keep in mind for whenever you’re looking for some free, easy entertainment.

Two Trains Running
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: March 30 – April 29
Tickets: $56-81

It’s 1969 and the Civil Rights Movement is sending tremors through Pittsburgh’s Hill District. At the center of the community is Memphis Lee’s diner, slated to be demolished — a casualty of the city’s renovation project. Confronted with a rapidly changing world, Memphis and his regular customers struggle to maintain their solidarity and sense of pride. From Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson comes this masterpiece about everyday lives in the shadow of great events, and of unsung citizens who are anything but ordinary.

Potted Potter
Where: Sidney Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: April 3-15
Tickets: $59-95 (look for a discount)

Potted Potter takes on the ultimate challenge of condensing all seven Harry Potter books (and a real life game of Quidditch) into seventy hilarious minutes. This fantastically funny show features all your favorite characters, a special appearance from a fire-breathing dragon, endless costumes, brilliant songs, ridiculous props and a generous helping of Hogwarts magic! Even if you don’t know the difference between a Horcrux and a Hufflepuff, Potted Potter will make you roar with laughter. This brilliant family entertainment is perfect for ages six to Dumbledore (who is very old indeed).

NSO Pops: Black Violin
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 4-5
Tickets: $39-79

Violinist Kevin Sylvester (“Kev Marcus”) and violist Wilner Baptiste (“Wil B”) have shared the stage with such top names as Kanye West and Aerosmith, and collaborated with the likes of Wu-Tang Clan, Wyclef Jean, and Alicia Keys. Now they join the NSO to showcase their dynamic performance style, bridging infectious Hip Hop beats and lyrical melodies with classical instrumentation and searing technique in a unique blend that defies expectations and shatters stereotypes. Recommended for ages 5+.

James & the Giant Peach
Where: Gunston Arts Center | Arlington, VA
When: April 6-15
Tickets: $10

Encore’s Musical Theatre Intensive (MTI) presents James and the Giant Peach. When James is sent by his aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion that results in a tremendous peach and launches a journey of enormous proportions. Suddenly, James finds himself in the center of the gigantic peach – among human-sized insects with equally over-sized personalities – but, after it falls from the tree and rolls into the ocean, the group faces a series of mishaps and adventures. Thanks to James’ quick wit and creative thinking, the residents learn to live and work together as a family. We recommend this musical for ages 6 and older.

Bubble Guppies Live!
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: April 8, 2pm & 6pm
Tickets: $29-59

What time is it? It’s time for Bubble Guppies! Jump into a bubbly world of learning and laughter with Nickelodeon’s Bubble Guppies Live! – “Ready to Rock.” Put on your water-wings and dive in to a swimsational musical underwater adventure! The Bubble Guppies are getting ready to rock n’ roll with everyone’s favorite tunes, but when a special band member goes missing, the show can’t go on! With help from Mr. Grouper and giggly little fish, Molly, Gil, and the whole gang embark on a musical expedition as they search every corner of their bubbly world for their friend!

Mother Earth and Me
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: April 10-13
Tickets: $3-8

The magic of earth science takes center stage in this fun, interactive Discovery Theater original as we explore the origins of our planet, the water cycle, and our important role in protecting the ecosystem, as well as folklore about the “big blue marble” we call home. Kick off Earth Month by pledging to become an Earth Warrior—and find out some great ways to start right away! Recommended for ages 5+

Theatre for the Very Young: Balloonacy
Where: Atlas Perfroming Arts Center | H Street NE, DC
When: April 11-16
Tickets: $12

Balloonacy tells the story of a lonely old man who discovers an unlikely friendship that floats into his life unexpectedly through the window: a red balloon. Set in his solitary ways, the old man begrudgingly encounters the friendly balloon that seems intent on becoming his friend. Packed with physical comedy that will charm and delight young audiences of all ages, this award-winning play shows how with a little imagination and acceptance, companionship can come from the most unlikely of places. Recommended for ages 1-5.

Disney on Ice: Follow Your Heart
Where: Eagle Bank Arena | Fairfax, VA
When: April 12- 15
Tickets: $15-80 (look for a discount)

Follow your heart straight to adventure at Disney On Ice! Just keep swimming with Dory and new pal Hank from Disney Pixar’s Finding Dory as they set out to find her parents and discover the devotion of family. Cheer with Joy, Sadness, and the rest of the Emotions from Disney Pixar’s Inside Out as they work together to boost Riley’s spirit and win the big hockey game. Venture to wintery Arendelle where Olaf and Kristoff help reunite royal sisters Anna and Elsa from Disney’s Frozen and learn love is the most powerful magic of all. See Cinderella, Rapunzel, Ariel and the Disney Princesses make their dreams possible through virtues of bravery, kindness and perseverance. And celebrate true friendship with Buzz Lightyear, Woody and the Toy Story gang.

Outside the Lines
Where: The Lab at Convergence | Arlington, VA
When: April 12-28
Tickets: $9

Arts on the Horizon presents this show about two pen pals, Bud and Vi, who brighten each other’s lives from afar. Bud lives in a straight-line world of tall, tall buildings. Vi lives in a curvy-line world of rolly, rolly hills. Bud and Vi have never met, but they create a world together by exchanging lines…through the mail. Recommended for ages 2-5.

Snow Child
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: April 13 – May 20
Tickets: $65-100

Eowyn Ivey’s debut novel The Snow Child, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, is reborn as a magical new musical featuring a score that combines Alaskan string-band traditions and contemporary musical theater. The 1920 Alaskan wilderness is a brutal place to try to save a marriage. Reeling from the loss of an unborn child, Mabel and Jack struggle to rebuild their lives even as the fissures between them continue to widen. But everything changes suddenly when they are visited by a wild, mysterious girl who embodies the dark woods that surround their cabin. In this beautiful and violent land, things are rarely as they appear, and what the snow child teaches them will ultimately transform them all.

Robin Hood
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: April 14 – May 20
Tickets: $12-30

In this story from the traditional English folklore, Chris Dinolfo (JACK and Phil, Slayers of Giants-INC) plays the title role! Our hero sides with the townsfolk against the cruel Sheriff of Nottingham and the even crueler, greedier King John. With his band of Merry Men and the lovely Maid Marian, Robin robs the rich to help the poor. Experience all the fun in Sherwood Forest—sword fighting, bows and arrows, and miraculous escapes! Recommended for ages 4+.

Waiting for Godot (KidFree Suggestion!)
Where: Sidney Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: April 17 – May
Tickets: $59-118

Lingering by the side of the road, killing time with hat tricks and half-remembered stories, Estragon and Vladimir dawdle through one of the greatest dramas of the 20th century. In Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett’s absurd, anarchic exploration of time, life is vaudeville and tragedy, philosophy and confusion, teetering on the edge of despair, yet tuned with Beckett’s unique blend of poetry and humor.

Tot Rock: Alex & the Kaleidoscope
Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: April 19-20
Tickets: $3-8

Take a new look at our beautiful world through the kaleidoscope of Emmy Award-winning children’s arts educator Alex Mitnick, your musical guide for an Earth Day celebration of the treasures of the planet. Clap along, sing, dance, and improvise with Alex in this delightful interactive concert of original songs about nature and all its creatures—including us. Recommended for ages 2-6.

PJ Masks LIVE! Time To Be A Hero
Where: Warner Theatre | Downtown DC
When: April 19
Tickets: $27-57+

PJ Masks Live: Time to Be a Hero is a super-heroic, brand new live show, featuring the heroic trio from your favorite series: The PJ Masks! Watch Catboy, Owlette and Gekko as they try to save the day from their sneaky villains – Romeo, Night Ninja and Luna Girl! Fluttering Feathers! Leaping Lizards! What a CAT-tastrophe! You’ve NEVER seen the PJ Masks like this before – leaping, flipping and climbing – live on stage! Complete with your favorite music and brand new songs you’ve never heard before! Don’t sleep through it – watch the PJ Masks save the day, live on stage!

Judy Moody & Stink: The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: April 20 – June 3
Tickets: $19.50

Third grade has put Judy Moody in a mood. She’s got to figure out what to include in her “Me” collage, and her know-it-all little brother Stink keeps getting in the way. When the Moody family drops anchor on “Artichoke” Island, they meet Cap’n Weevil with a secret treasure map, launching them on a mad dash across the island in search of gold. But they’re not the only salty dogs lookin’ for loot! Can Judy Moody and Stink outwit their competition in time? Will Judy finish her project? Come aboard as we launch this world premiere and find out! Recommended for ages 4+.

Wild Kratts LIVE!
Where: DAR Constitution Hall | Downtown DC
When: April 21
Tickets: $32-52+

Animated Kratt Brothers Martin and Chris “come to real life” in a classically Wild Kratts story. The Emmy nominated duo will activate some fan favorite Creature Power Suits to confront a comic villain. Through hilarious pratfalls and amazing animal “wow facts,” the Wild Kratts team rescues their favorite invention from Zach’s clutches so the animals of the creature world are safe once again.

NSO Music for Young Audiences: The String Thing
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 21-22
Tickets: $20

Attention: kids, parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, rubber chickens—but especially kids and rubber chickens—step right up to this daring double act of classical fun! Bassist Paul DeNola and violinist Heather LeDoux Green take a break from the NSO to introduce young audiences to some of the greatest music ever written. You’ll never hear a word out of them during the concert, but with instruments in hand and a trunk full of gags, this “silent” comedic tag-team presents a hilarious program of music and mayhem. Recommended for ages 3+.

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site
Where: Hylton Performing Arts Center | Manassas, VA
When: April 22
Tickets: $15/adult, $5/child

Bedtime is approaching, and this team of construction vehicles needs to get their rest. But Crane Truck is getting cranky, Cement Mixer takes too long with bath time, and Dump Truck just isn’t sleepy! Excavator and Bulldozer find that preparing for bed is a job in itself! Will they ever get some shut-eye before tomorrow’s day of work? A world premiere musical based upon the New York Times best-selling picture book about construction vehicles by author Sherri Duskey Rinker and illustrator Tom Lichtenheld demonstrates the importance of teamwork, follow-through, hard work, and bedtime rituals. Founded in 2004, the Bay Area Children’s Theatre works to enrich children’s lives, inspire their imagination, and introduce them to lifelong enjoyment of theater.

Happy Habitats
Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: April 24-25
Tickets: $3-8

In order to survive, animals need air, food, water, and shelter, all of which create a habitat—nature’s home for creatures of the air, earth, and water. Follow a horticulturist from Smithsonian Gardens through the paths of the beautiful Enid A. Haupt Garden to discover habitat stations and learn how plants, animals and humans live together and support each other. Leave with new insights about what makes successful habitats and how you can help protect them. Recommended for ages 5-10.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid
Where: Hylton Performing Arts Center | Manassas, VA
When: April 28-29
Tickets: $15-20/adult, $12-15/child

Pied Piper Theatre’s production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid follows the beautiful young mermaid, Ariel, who longs to leave the ocean and walk in the world above the sea. Against the wishes of her father, King Triton, she makes a deal with the evil sea witch, Ursula, and meets Prince Eric on her first adventure on land. With the help of her best friends Flounder, Sebastian the crab, and Scuttle the seagull, Ariel attempts to break the curse of the sea witch.

Theatre for the Very Young: Outside the Lines
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center | H Street NE, DC
When: May 2-6
Tickets: $12

Two pen pals from different parts of the world brighten each other’s lives from afar, but when they magically switch places one day, an amazing adventure begins! This vibrant, nonverbal performance uses movement, tango music and projected images to celebrate our interconnected world. Recommended for ages 2-5.

Under the Baobab Tree with Iya: Tales of Africa and the Caribbean
Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: May 3-4
Tickets: $3-8

The smash-hit show from last year is back! Gather round the iconic tree of life for traditional, songs, stories, and dances from “Iya” Bashea Imana and her talented troupe of Kuumba Kids. This highly participatory show features puppets, movement, and motivational music that rouses the spirit and moves the heart. Recommended for ages 3-7.

Snow White
Where: Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center | Rockville, MD
When: May 12
Tickets: $24/adult, $19/child

This Mother’s Day weekend, experience the exciting adventures of Snow White! Scared and lost in the forest Snow White takes refuge in the house of the seven dwarfs to hide from her stepmother, the wicked Queen. Filled with forest friends and creatures, MYB’s adaptation of the classic fairy-tale is perfect for audiences of all ages!

Waitress (KidFree Suggestion!)
Where: National Theater | Downtown DC
When: May 15 – June 3
Tickets: $48-93

Inspired by Adrienne Shelly’s beloved film, WAITRESS tells the story of Jenna – a waitress and expert pie maker – who dreams of a way out of her small town and loveless marriage. A baking contest in a nearby county and the town’s new doctor may offer her a chance at a fresh start, while her fellow waitresses offer their own recipes for happiness. But Jenna must summon the strength and courage to rebuild her own life.

Jojo’s Trip to the Zoo
Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: May 3-4
Tickets: $3-8

It’s field-trip day and Jojo can’t wait to get to the zoo! But when he finds a little lost furball, what can he do? Asking for help for his new animal friend leads to a behind-the-scenes adventure, meeting some favorite animals, and learning about our wonderful Earth and its creatures. Recommended for ages 3-7.

Sleeping Beauty
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo,MD
When: May 17 – June 24
Tickets: $12

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!

NSO Music for Young Audiences: The String Thing
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: May 19
Tickets: $20

Brass instruments make a BIG sound! But when Brass of Peace takes the stage, children might be surprised to see that these musicians behind this powerful playing aren’t much bigger than they are. Comprised of 13 D.C.-area high school students, this ensemble plays a selection of pieces that just might blow the roof off the Kennedy Center. Retired NSO hornist Sylvia Alimena conducts these concerts that bring together the city’s finest young brass musicians to teach audiences all about how this family of instruments makes music out of metal and wind. Recommended for ages 3+.

The Doubtful Sprout with Liz Joyce
Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: May 31 – June 1
Tickets: $3-8

Get ready to explore the world under your feet in this underground puppet adventure. Tunnel down with Worm and Sprout as they discover the mysterious life found in soil. Along the way, kids help figure out the secrets that help Sprout grow. Acclaimed master Puppeteer Liz Joyce, brings this ecological wonderland to life with several styles of puppets, projections and song. Recommended for ages 4-8.

Where: Gunston Arts Center | Arlington, VA
When: June 1-10
Tickets: $15/adult, $10/child

Travel with Pinocchio on his road of misadventures, meeting many kooky characters along the way. From Pleasure Isle, to his showdown with the Great Fish, Pinocchio tries to find his way back to his father, Geppetto. Will he learn to choose truth and kindness on his quest to become a “real boy?” Come and see! Recommended for ages 4+.

Ever in the Glades
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: June 8-10
Tickets: $20

On an isolated island deep in the heart of the Everglades, five teenagers struggle to survive in a land where the adults are as dangerous as the gators. When one of the kids returns from juvenile detention to help the rest escape to the mainland, it seems their prayers have been answered. There’s only one problem: they need a boat, and they need it before the adults catch wind of their plan and end it—or end them. Recommended for ages 12+.

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