Live Entertainment Around the DC Area this Summer

The UniverSoul Circus will be back at National Harbor this summer

 

Summer might bring the heat, but the line-up of live family entertainment coming to the DC area is pretty cool. Here are details on what you can catch on local stages, listed in order of start date,  with discounts noted where available. Happy Viewing!

Outdoor Summer Concert Series
Where: Throughout the area
When: Various day and times
Tickets: Almost always FREE

Free music in the fresh air has become a staple of the season, and there are opportunities to enjoy just about every genre regularly at outdoor venues all around the DC-Metro. From Jazz on the National Mall to riverside entertainment to music amid the nature of local parks to shows in local shopping centers, the 2022 KFDC Summer Guide has a round-up of where and when you can enjoy the sounds of summer.

Drumfolk
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Through June 26
Tickets: $36-75

Electrifying percussive dance fused with contemporary art forms fuels StepAfrika!’s latest production, Drumfolk, inspired by the Stono Rebellion of 1739 in South Carolina. As a result, state laws mandated that enslaved Africans could not assemble or use their drums which were used to signal the uprising. They took away the drums, but they could not stop the beat. This is the rich and “inspiring” (The New York Times) story of a movement that could not be stopped and transformed African American culture from then to the present day.

Little Red Riding Hood & the 3 Little Pigs
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: June 2 – July 3
Tickets: $15 (look for discount)

We all think we know the Big Bad Wolf from the classic fairytales, but what if it’s the same Wolf in both stories? What if there’s been a big mistake? What if the Wolf isn’t so big or so bad? Recommended for ages 4+. Run time is approximately 45 minutes. Read a KFDC review of the show from a bunch of years back.

Tiny Tots
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Most Wednesdays, Saturdays, & Sundays at 10am
Tickets: $8 (look for discount)

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.

Birds of a Feather
Where: Leonadus K. Plenty Amphitheater | Alexandria, VA
When: June 8-26
Tickets: $10

Arts on the horizon presents this show esepcially for little ones… It’s a beautiful summer day when Fiddle, a camper, and Beeker, a birdwatcher, meet in a national park. One is adventurous ​and the other is a bit more reserved, but they quickly discover how to share the outdoor space. With Fiddle’s knowledge of the great outdoors and Beeker’s bird expertise, they work together to build a home for a bird… but will any birds come to visit? This whimsical outdoor adventure celebrates the joy of making new friends and the wonders of nature. Join us and discover what amazing things can be accomplished through friendship and collaboration! Recommended for ages 3-6.

Fantastagirl and the Math Monster
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: June 19 – August 21
Tickets: $25 (look for discount)

Fantastagirl, a second-grade superhero who uses words to save the day, comes face to face with her worst nightmare: the Math Monster! When confronted with problems too big for words alone to solve, Fantastagirl must accept help from her friendly, furry, fraction-loving foe. While Fantastagirl and Math Monster use words and numbers to help her friends and scientist moms, something far more sinister than Math brews on the horizon.

Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods
Where: Wolf Trap
When: June 21 – August 6
Tickets: $12

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. The productions welcome all ages, though most are geared toward younger children. The full schedule of shows is available on the Wolf Trap website. And you can read a KFDC review of the series from a past summer here (it’s an old post, but the series is still very much the same).

To Kill a Mockingbird
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: June 21 – July 10
Tickets: $49-199

All rise for Academy Award winner Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterwork. The New York Times Critic’s Pick To Kill A Mockingbird is “the most successful American play in Broadway history” (60 Minutes).

Mr. Poppers Penguins
Where: Imagination Stage
When: June 22 – August 7
Tickets: $14

Mr. Popper, a painter of modest means, dreams of taking an Antarctic adventure. So he’s thrilled when a penguin named Captain Cook waddles out of a mysterious box left on his doorstep. The zookeeper donates a female companion and soon…the patter of 20 baby penguin feet! To feed all of these mouths, the imaginative Mr. Popper and his wife turn his talented penguins into a must-see traveling vaudeville act full of song and dance. But the rigors of performing take a toll on them all, and they must make a difficult decision. This musical play, featuring expert puppetry, depicts a wild and witty way to follow your dreams — and your convictions. Recommended for ages 3-10.

Blippi The Musical
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: June 25
Tickets: $35-55 (look for discount)

Blippi The Musical brings the energetic and loveable character Blippi off the screen and onto the stage with world-class production, audience engagement and amazing music. Children across the world have quickly taken to Blippi’s charismatic personality and innovative teaching lessons. In the live show they will continue to learn about the world around them while singing and dancing along with this one of a kind show.

Potted Potter
Where: Sidney Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: June 29 – July 11
Tickets: $49-100 (look for 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, 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.  Read a KFDC review of the show!

UniverSoul Circus
Where: National Harbor at the Plateau
When: June 30 – July 21
Tickets: $27.50

A big top spectacle of global proportions, the 2016 production of UniverSoul Circus takes fans of all ages on an unforgettable journey of light, sound and soul. Get ready for electrifying, edge-of-your-seat performances, including extreme motorsports, back-flipping canines, twirling bicycles, disco-dancing pachyderms, free-flying aerial acts and much much more.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Where: Synetic Theatre | Crystal City, VA
When: July 1-24
Tickets: $20-60

Synetic Theater, the home of American Physical Theater, presents this playful adaptation of Shakespeare’s timeless comedy. This fantastical, darkly playful game of love, mistaken identity, and the supernatural was honored with nine Helen Hayes Award Nominations when it was first produced in 2010, taking home the award for Outstanding Ensemble and Outstanding Resident Play. Since then, the production has performed to great acclaim in 2013 and 2015, and toured Mexico for the 2014 Festival Internacional.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Where: National Building Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: July 12 – September 5
Tickets: $20-50
The Folger Shakespeare Library and the National Building Museum are teaming up this year for the museum’s annual Summer Block Party:  The Playhouse will feature an Elizabethan-inspired festival stage in the cool comfort of the Great Hall. Guests will be able to enjoy Shakespearean activities like stage combat demos and hands-on fun during the day, and in the evenings, there will be performances of the enchanting A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Always a Shakespeare favorite…young lovers lost, the intrigues of fairies, and the hilarious machinations of mechanical players enchant through a delightful, romantic dream. (PS: If you think Shakespeare and kids don’t mix, think again! Read about some of our experiences with it here and here.)

Six
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: July 5 – September 4
Tickets: $65-150

From Tudor Queens to Pop Princesses, the SIX wives of Henry VIII take the mic to remix five hundred years of historical heartbreak into an exuberant celebration of 21st century girl power! This new original musical is the global sensation that everyone is losing their head over.

CHEER Live
Where: EagleBank Arena | Fairfax, VA
When: July 16
Tickets: $24-99
(look for discount)
The hit Netflix series is going on tour! CHEER Live features 14-time national champion coach, Monica Aldama alongside many cheer stars. The premiere athletes all make mat for the Ultimate Pop Concert for Cheer. Watch never-before-seen stunts, plus pyramids and dance performances that are sure to have fans on the edge of their seats. Without the restraints of score cards, judges and time limits, CHEER Live will transform the nail-biting sport of competitive cheerleading into a first-of-its-kind premiere athletic event staged with the epic production value of a live concert.

Sound of Music Sing-a-long
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: July 18
Tickets: $27

Sing-A-Long Sound of Music is a screening of the classic Julie Andrews film in glorious technicolor, complete with on-screen lyrics so everyone can sing along to “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Maria,” and more! A preshow costume contest invites audience members in costume on stage to show off their fantastic tailoring skills. Fancy dress is not obligatory but highly recommended.

Blue Man Group
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: July 19-31
Tickets: $49-129 (look for discount)

More than 35 million people around the world have experienced the smash hit phenomenon that is Blue Man Group, and now it’s your turn! It’s everything you know and love about Blue Man Group—signature drumming, colorful moments of creativity, and quirky comedy—the men are still blue but the rest is all new!

Cinderella
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: July 21 – August 28
Tickets: $15 (look for discount)

Rod puppets convey the classic tale of rags to riches, love at first sight (twice!), and getting what we all deserve. Don’t miss this fan favorite production, or your magical midnight curfew! Recommended for ages 5+. Run time is approximately 45 minutes.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in Concert
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: July 22-23
Tickets: $37+

Relive the magic of year six in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in Concert. With this film, based on the sixth installment of J.K. Rowling’s classic saga, fans of all ages can now experience the thrilling tale of Harry’s obsession with a mysterious potions book accompanied by the music of a live symphony orchestra as Harry soars across the big screen in HD!

Kidz Bop Live 2022
Where: Jiffy Lube Live | Bristow, VA
When: July 24
Tickets: $36-69 (look for discount)

Kidz Bop Live 2022 is back and bigger than ever! The ultimate pop concert for kids (and grown ups, too!) is coming, and it’s all new for 2022. Sing and dance along with the Kidz Bop Kids as they perform today’s biggest hits, live on stage, including “Good 4 U” and “Dance Monkey.”

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in Concert
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: July 29
Tickets: $42+

“You must feel the Force around you…” The battle for the galaxy intensifies in this thrilling fifth episode of the unfolding saga. The National Symphony Orchestra presents John Williams’s iconic Oscar-nominated score from The Empire Strikes Back performed live along with the full feature film.

Hamilton
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: August 2 – October 9
Tickets: $59-379

Hamilton is the story of America then, told by America now. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B, and Broadway, Hamilton has taken the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton and created a revolutionary moment in theatre—a musical that has had a profound impact on culture, politics, and education. With book, music, and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, and musical supervision and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton is based on Ron Chernow’s acclaimed biography. Recommended for ages 10+.

ABBA The Concert
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: August 7
Tickets: $37+

Sweden’s ABBA The Concert continues to be the top ABBA tribute group in the world, dazzling audiences with fantastic performances of ABBA’s iconic hits including “Mamma Mia,” “S.O.S,” “Money, Money, Money,” “The Winner Takes It All,” “Waterloo,” “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme,” and “Dancing Queen.”

Encanto: The Sing Along Film Concert
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: August 8
Tickets: $29+

Bring the whole crew to sing along with a family movie fave! Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Academy Award-winning film comes to life in a one-of-a-kind concert event, featuring the entire feature-length film and an on-stage band celebrating all the record-breaking hit songs from the beloved soundtrack.

Dear Evan Hansen
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: August 30 – September 26
Tickets: $79-199

A letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, a life he never dreamed he could have. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted: a chance to finally fit in. Dear Evan Hansen is the deeply personal and profoundly contemporary musical about life and the way we live it. Recommended for age 12+. (This is one of my favorite shows of all time! Read a KFDC review from when it debuted at Arena Stage several years ago.)

2 Comments

Filed under 2022, DC, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Summer, Virginia

2 Responses to Live Entertainment Around the DC Area this Summer

  1. Andrew Martin

    You forgot the Midsummer Night’s Dream by the Folger, performed at the Building Museum in an Elizabethan Playhouse!

    https://www.folger.edu/events/midsummer-nights-dream-2022

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