Tag Archives: December 2023

Live Entertainment on DC Area Stages this Spring

Lots of great entertainment at the Kennedy Center, including FREE Millennium Stage events

 

Ready for a new season of entertainment?  Here is what’s currently on and coming to local stages this spring, plus links to any discount tickets.  Happy Show-Going!

Inside Out and Backwards
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through March 31
Tickets: $19.50

It’s bedtime, and two children use their imaginations to turn their room inside out, into a wonderland of mess! While playing dress-up, a glove becomes a dancing fish, a shirt becomes a fantastical creature, and a sock dance rocks the closet! Recommended for ages 1-4.

Junie B. Jones, The Musical
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Through March 30
Tickets: $25

It is Junie B.’s first day of first grade, and a lot of things have changed for her: Junie’s friend, Lucille, does not want to be her best pal anymore and, on the bus, Junie B. makes friends with Herb, the new kid at school. Also, Junie has trouble reading the blackboard and her teacher, Mr. Scary, thinks she may need glasses. Throw in a friendly cafeteria lady, a kickball tournament and a “Top-Secret Personal Beeswax Journal,” and first grade has never been more exciting. Featuring a tremendously loveable character and fun-filled songs, Junie B. Jones will capture your audience members’ hearts just as the books captivated an entire generation of students.

Cinderella: A Salsa Fairytale
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through April 5
Tickets: $12+
A bilingual Cinderella with a twist that kids will love! What will happen to Cinderella at the ball … game? That’s the surprising question in this contemporary Latin-American Cinderella musical that weaves subtle lessons on empathy, sportsmanship, and respect into an exciting, high-stakes story. An Imagination Stage original that broke new ground in bilingual children’s theatre. Recommended for ages 5+.

Little Shop of Horrors
Where: Ford’s Theatre | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through May 18
Tickets: $41-77 (find discount)
Come down to Skid Row for a non-stop blast, sci-fi horror comedy, love story and rock musical that has become one of the most treasured pieces of American musical theatre. Recommended for ages 13+.

Millennium Stage
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Wednesdays – Sundays, 6pm
Tickets: Free

The Kennedy Center presents these free performances Wednesday – Sunday 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 film screenings to comedy shows to opera scenes. This is a great series to keep in mind for whenever you’re looking for some free, easy entertainment. Just be sure to reserve tickets in advance!

Unknown Soldier
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: March 29 – May 5
Tickets: $56-95 (look for discount)

Cleaning out her grandmother’s home, Ellen Rabinowitz discovers a mysterious photograph of a soldier, tucked away in a box of keepsakes. And so begins this sweeping, heartfelt musical about one woman’s journey to unearth the secrets buried in her family’s past. Spanning three generations, Unknown Soldier unravels a delicate tangle of family lore, as Ellen chases the extraordinary story that unlocks her history—and charts her future.

Romeo & Juliet (Synetic Teen Production
Where: Synetic Theater | Crystal City, VA
When: April 3-6
Tickets: $30-50

Since its initial production in 2008, Synetic Theater’s wordless retelling of Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ has entranced audiences throughout the DC Metro region with its sinewy grace and heartbreaking expressiveness. The production has also served as wonderful trading ground for the teen company to learn Synetic’s unique art form through performing one of its seminal pieces. This has the added benefit of lending a true authenticity to the play, as Shakespeare’s original characters are themselves adolescents. So even without words, with Synetic’s Romeo and Juliet, you’re seeing Shakespeare’s play in a way it was truly meant to be seen.

Off the Page
Where: Theater on the Run | Arlington, VA
Where: The Lyceum | Alexandria, VA
When: April 5 – May 11
Tickets: $10

Arts on the Horizon presentsthis show for little theatre goers… The magic of books can transport us to new worlds! When an imaginative young child dives into a book, the stories come to life around them. Through dance, music, puppetry, and vibrant imagery, this world premiere production will use an immersive design to unfold around the audience. Watch a new world come to life right before your eyes! Catch at two theatres, plus other locations as it tours the area.

Star Wars: The Force Awaken in Concert
Where: Strathmore | Bethesda, MD
When: April 5
Tickets: $23-100

Experience the film on the big screen as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs the score live on stage. Thirty years after the defeat of the Empire, Luke Skywalker has vanished and a new threat has risen: The First Order, led by the mysterious Supreme Leader Snoke and his dark side enforcer, Kylo Ren. General Leia Organa’s military force, the Resistance—and unlikely heroes brought together by fate—are the galaxy’s only hope at thwarting a new reign of evil. The film features a new score composed by five-time Academy Award-winning composer John Williams.

NSO Music for Young Audiences: String Thing
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 6-7
Tickets: $20

This daring double act of classical fun is BACK. National Symphony Orchestra musicians—bassist Paul DeNola and violinist Heather LeDoux Green—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+.

Mutts Gone Nuts
Where: Hylton Center for Performing Arts | VA
When: April 6 & 7, 11am & 2pm
Tickets: $15

Canines and comedy collide in Mutts Gone Nuts in a show that includes some of the most talented dogs in the world doing barrel tricks, dancing, magic, and jump rope routines! The talented lineup even includes a Guinness World Record holder for the highest jump by a dog, a world champion frisbee dog, comedian Jonathan Burns, and more! Recommended for all ages.

Peter Pan
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: April 9-21
Tickets: $44-139 (look for a deal)
This high-flying musical has been thrilling audiences of all ages for close to 70 years and is now being brought back to life in a new adaptation. The adventure begins when Peter Pan and his mischievous sidekick, Tinker Bell, visit the bedroom of the Darling children late one night. With a sprinkle of fairy dust and a few happy thoughts, the children are taken on a magical journey they will never forget.

Macbeth
Where: Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: April 9 – May 5
Tickets: Mostly sold out, look for resale tix

Shakespeare Theatre Company present this classic starring Ralph Fiennes… Blood will have blood. Unbridled ambition, supernatural forces, and murderous desires reign supreme in Shakespeare’s most poetic examination of evil. When three witches tell Macbeth that he will become King of Scotland, he plots with his wife to attain the title through an assassination; a bloody act that gives him his crown and sends him careening down the path of his own undoing. A thrilling account of how our minds deceive us and how a guilty conscience can undo us all. Recommended for teens and older.

Message In A Bottle
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 9-21
Tickets: $45-105 (look for discount)

Message In A Bottle is a spectacular new dance-theatre show inspired by and set to the iconic hits of Sting.The peaceful village of Bebko is alive with joyous celebrations. Suddenly, under attack, everything changes forever. Three siblings, Leto, Mati, and Tana, must embark on perilous journeys in order to survive. Recommended for ages 12+.

Mother Earth & Me
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: April 9, 11, 12, 25, 26
Tickets: $3-8

The magic of earth science takes center stage in this fun, interactive Discovery Theater original. Explore the origins of our planet, sing about the water cycle, and understand our vital role to protect the ecosystem. Science and folklore about the “big blue marble” we call home kick off Earth Month, and audiences become Earth Superheroes and take home some great ideas to start right away! Recommended for ages 5-10.

Islander: A New Musical
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: April 11-28
Tickets: $55-91

Islander tells a modern myth featuring two actors who use live mixing and looping technology to create a sonic landscape as dramatic as the Scottish coastline. Eilidh is the only child on Kinnan Island, where most of the dwindling population has moved to the “Big Land.” The government has proposed to resettle the rest, and the town must vote soon on whether or not to accept the offer. But the day after a baby whale beaches itself, Eilidh discovers a young girl named Arran along the shore, who seems straight out of Scottish folklore. As the two form a friendship, Islander takes audiences on a magical journey to transcend loss, recover hope, and find community. Rated G for all families.

Chicks in Heaven
Where: Creative Cauldron | Falls Church, VA
When: April 11-28
Tickets: $20-45

When four friends come together in a rural southwest Virginia town for a reunion, it’s a happy gathering filled with remembrance and ritual. But when some religious crusaders stage a book-burning, and a local boy sets fire to one of the friend’s van, their friendship is tested. Can the same magical activism that forged their early feminist bonds bring them together now to fight patriarchy and racism, at a time when the fight is needed most? A “Bold New Voices” premiere that celebrates the resilient power of the feminine spirit. Recommended for teens and older.

Love and Information
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: April 12-14
Tickets: $12

Someone shares a forbidden secret, someone confronts their best friend, someone admires a snail. In this kaleidoscopic play, over fifty unrelated scenes flash by faster than a doomscroll as over a hundred characters strive to connect with each other, learn from one another, and look for love. Love and Information, written to be transformed into it’s own unique vision by every company that performs it, makes this production a once in a lifetime theatrical experience. Recommended for ages 11+.

Alice in Wonderland
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: April 13 – May 12
Tickets: $15

This brand new adaptation based on the beloved children’s novel by Lewis Carroll will take the audience on a delightful journey into wonderland using rod puppets. This one-of-a-kind performance blends music and humor to create a new version of a familiar story. Recommended for ages 4+.

Swing Makes You Sing!
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 13, 11am & 1:30pm
Tickets: $20

On a mission to uplift, connect, and spread the joy of jazz, Swing Makes You Sing! is an award-winning jazz concert for kids ages 2 to 102 by Svetlana & the New York Collective. The critically acclaimed ensemble explores key elements of jazz in an engaging, historically grounded way, featuring virtuoso musical performance, exciting storytelling, and energizing movement. Recommended for ages 7+.

Jacqueline Woodson’s Block Party!
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 13, 1-4pm
Tickets: Free

This Kennedy Center Block Party is hosted by Education Artist-in-Residence and award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson! Free performances, fun-filled games, and various activities will take place on the REACH grounds all afternoon, featuring artists with roots in the DC area.

The Okee Dokee Brothers
Where: GMU Center for the Arts | Fairfax, VA
When: April 21, 10:30am & 1pm
Tickets: $15

The Okee Dokee Brothers infuse bluegrass music and playful lyrics with an interest in the great outdoors, hoping to spark a desire in children to explore their surroundings and imaginations. Recommended for ages 3-8.

Tot Rock: Groovy Nate
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: April 23-25
Tickets: $3-8

Get your young ones ready to dance with Groovy Nate and his interactive mix of comedy, music, and puppets. This performance encourages kids and families to move, sing, and play together creatively with many instruments and musical genres. Recommended for ages 3-6.

The Illusionists
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 23-28, 1-4pm
Tickets: $45-149 (look for discount)

The world’s biggest-selling magic show has played hundreds of cities, spawned two TV specials, and shattered box office records across the globe, dazzling audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever seen on stage. This nonstop show is packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions featuring the jaw-dropping talents of the most incredible illusionists on earth. Recommended for ages 7+.

Sing Down the Moon: Appalachian Wonder Tales
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: April 26 – May 26
Tickets: $25
Journey into the Appalachian Mountains in this award-winning musical that deftly weaves four traditional tales and original music into a keepsake quilt of mountain lore and wisdom for the whole family. Jack who lands himself a job despite his foolishness. “Catskins” is a spunky Appalachian Cinderella. “The Enchanted Tree” is a beauty-and-the-beast love story between a lost girl and a frightening crow. And in a zany, sung-through “Sow and Her Three Pigs” plucky Nancy the pig outsmarts the hungry fox. This play with music incorporates singing, mountain dances, music, and puppets to create a highly theatrical storytelling style. The score, which interweaves music throughout the tales, is inspired by “Old Time” Appalachian music featuring fiddle and banjo that drives the play’s action and makes music itself a character in the play.

Saturday Morning Live!: Off the Page
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: April 27, 9:30am & 11am
Tickets: FREE!

The National Theatre’s free program presents shows for children on select Saturday mornings, from interactive performances, puppets, dance, and music – all designed to light up imaginations and celebrate a world of wonder. This month celebrates the magic of books… they can transport us to new worlds; illustrations and entire adventures can lift right off the page. When an imaginative young child dives into a book, the stories come to life around them. Through dance, music, puppetry, and vibrant imagery, this world premiere production will literally unfold before your eyes!

Family Funday with The Great ZucchiniWhere: Hook Hall | Petworth, DC
When: April 28, 10:30am
Tickets: $5

Select Sundays at Hook Hall are all about FAMILY FUN! Bring the kiddos for entertainment in late April as The Great Zucchini, the DMV’s funniest and most magical entertainer, performs a magic show where every child is a star! Coffee and hot drinks available for purchase for the parents.

Divinity Roxx
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: May 3-5
Tickets: $20

Celebrate self-love and positivity in Divinity Roxx’s fun and empowering live show. The upbeat and sunny music is filled with powerful messages that encourage young people to become the best versions of themselves. A Grammy®-nominated musician, recording artist, and composer who has toured with Beyoncé, Divinity is praised for her ability to inspire others with her infectious grooves and memorable lyrics. Recommended for ages 5+.

Taiko Drumming
Where: Natural History Museum | National Mall, DC
When: May 9
Tickets: $3-8

BOOM! Taiko drum artist Mark Rooney mixes the traditional power of this huge instrument with a modern vibe. His interactive performance rocks the house with massive sound and energy as participants learn some fascinating musical history and Japanese vocabulary—and have a chance to try their hand at playing these big drums! Recommended for ages 5+.

Jesus Christ Superstar
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: May 17-19
Tickets: $44-139 (find discount)

Celebrating its 50th Anniversary, a new mesmerizing production of the iconic musical phenomenon returns to the stage. Jesus Christ Superstar is set against the backdrop of an extraordinary series of events during the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of Judas. Appealing to both theater audiences and concert music fans, this production pays tribute to the historic 1971 Billboard Album of the Year while creating a modern, theatrical world that is uniquely fresh and inspiring. Recommended for ages 10+.

Cirque du Soleil – Corteo
Where: Eagle Bank Arena | Fairfax, VA
When: May 17-25
Tickets: $49-169 (look for discount)

The clown Mauro envisions that his own burial will take place amid a carnival atmosphere and be attended by tender angels. The show contrasts the grand with the intimate, the silly with the tragic, and the beauty of perfection with the appeal of imperfection. It also emphasizes the strength and vulnerability of the clown as well as his knowledge and generosity to represent the aspect of humanity that exists in each of us. Corteo is guided through a timeless ceremony in which fantasy teases reality with music, which is both poetic and mischievous.

The Matchbox Magic Flute
Where: Klein Theatre | Penn Quarter, DC
When: May 21 – June 16
Tickets: $35-119

A brand new theatrical adaptation of Mozart’s beloved opera. Playful and imaginative, it’s big music in a small space. This “matchbox” presentation of The Matchbox Magic Flute features a cast of 10 and an orchestra of five following the fantastic adventures of Prince Tamino and Princess Pamina. With dragons, a man who is a bird, trials by fire and water, and underground corridors, Day and Night do battle.

Long Way Down
Where: Olney Theatre
When: May 22 – June 23
Tickets: $40-70

Based o the award-winning novel by local author Jason Reynolds… Growing up, Will’s big brother taught him three iron-clad rules of how to behave when gun violence claims someone close: Don’t cry. Don’t snitch. Get revenge. So when his brother is himself gunned down, Will is determined to follow the code and gets in the elevator on the top floor of his apartment building, armed and ready to hit the streets in search of vengeance. What happens on the way down is an emotional hip-hop journey through the cycles of violence that have plagued Will’s family and too many others. Rated PG.

Pinocchio
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: May 25 – June 23
Tickets: $15

Celebrate 50 years of Allan Steven’s Pinocchio! A young puppet goes on a journey to become a real boy. First seen on stage at the Smithsonian Puppet Theater, we are delighted to bring the original rod-puppets back to the stage to tell Carlo Collodi’s tale. Run time approximately 50 minutes. Recommended for ages 4+.

Galapagos George with Barefoot Puppets
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: May 30-31
Tickets: $3-8

The true story of “Lonesome George,” the last tortoise to be found on Pinta Island in the Galapagos archipelago, delightfully unfolds as you watch him grow up among sea turtles, lizards, hungry goats, sea lions, and dancing birds with blue feet. This engaging and uplifting eco-fable shares an important lesson about human impact on the environment. Recommended for ages 4-8.

Rapunzel
Where: TJ Community Center | Arlington, VA
When: May 31 – June 9
Tickets: $15/adult, $12/child (look for discount)

Encore Stage and Studio presents its signature theatre by kids for kids… When Rene Schwartzbuckle spots rapunzel, a turnip-like vegetable, in Witch Izwitch’s garden, she sends her husband Walt out to ‘borrow’ some. Using her diabolical henchmen, the Glumpwarts, Witch Izwitch terrorizes Walt into promising her his first-born child in exchange for his freedom. Jumping ahead to Rapunzel Schwartzbuckle’s 18th birthday, the witch and her henchmen show up and whisk poor innocent Rapunzel away to a tower deep in the forest. Can prince Llwellyn persevere over the power of evil? Join to find out in Encore’s production of Rapunzel!

International School of Music Honors Concert
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: June 14
Tickets: $58

Immerse yourself in an evening of jubilation, embracing the themes of community, unity, and the profound influence of music on their lives, as the International School of Music celebrates two decades of excellence. Experience the brilliance and remarkable talent of ISM’s students as they present an eclectic program, spanning from classical masterpieces to contemporary gems. Through solo and ensemble performances, these musicians will share their passion and skill, creating a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation.

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Filed under 2024, DC, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Theatre, Virginia

The Weekend:
December 29 – January 1

 

I’m keeping it simple again as we wind down 2023 and kick off 2024 this weekend. While this post doesn’t contain the usual round-up of event listings, these links will still lead you to ideas galore to help fill the next few days with as much (or little) activity as you want.

Happy Weekend…and a very Happy New Year to all!

Family New Year’s Eve Celebrations to Ring in 2024

Where to Go and What to Do Around DC During Winter Break 2023

KFDC Picks for Kid Friendly DC Restaurants (think New Year’s Day brunch!)

The 2023 KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season Around DC

5 Ideas for a Fun Family Evening Out in DC During the Holiday Season

Live Entertainment Around the DC Area this Winter

The Great Indoors

Off the Beaten Path Museums Around DC

The Best Places in the DC Area to Spend A Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids

The KFDC Guide to Exploring Baltimore with Kids

Walks in the Woods

Serenity Now: 10 Places to Find Peace and Calm in DC

Ride On: Bike Routes for Everyone Around the DC Area

 

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* New Year’s Eve dinner ideas for kids that make it fun to stay home with them.
* Always great “Best of” lists: Books and movies.
* Common Sense Media’s 21 best family films of 2023
* An excellent new film for adults.
* Such a pretty blouse (and on super sale)!
* Another always amazing sale with plenty for the whole fam.
* McSweeney’s Top 20 of 2023.
* What’s Out & In for 2024, the annual list from the Washington Post.

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Filed under 2023, 2024, DC, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

The Weekend: December 22-25

 

It’s become a KFDC tradition to keep things simple this time of year over the big holiday weekends.  Hence, the simplified title of this post.  But just because you don’t see the detailed listings of weekend happenings, that doesn’t mean you won’t still find plenty of things to do.  The links below include loads of ideas for family activities, both holiday-inspired and just straight-up fun. You can also check KFDC on Instagram and Facebook for any updates or extra recommendations.

Merry Christmas to all…and to all, a Happy Weekend!

The 2023 KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season Around DC

Where to Go and What to Do Around DC During Winter Break 2023

5 Ideas for a Fun Family Evening Out in DC During the Holiday Season

Fun Places to Encounter Santa During the Rest of the Holiday Season

The Great Indoors

Off the Beaten Path Museums Around DC

The Best Places in the DC Area to Spend A Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids

Live Entertainment Around the DC Area this Winter

The KFDC Guide to Exploring Baltimore with Kids

Walks in the Woods

Serenity Now: 10 Places to Find Peace and Calm in DC

Ride On: Bike Routes for Everyone Around the DC Area

 

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* The Essential Chinese Restaurants Around DC (and a tradition for some of us this weekend…IYKYK).
* Washington Post’s 10 best DC-area casual restaurants of 2023.
* A great listen from The Daily.
* Find a perfect holiday family movie to watch!
* Excited for this movie to start streaming this weekend. (Not for kids.)
* Need last minute gift ideas? This for kiddos, this for a cook, this for athletes/fitness buffs, this for snackers, this for readers.
* Christmas breakfast recipes.
* 20 Things That Happened for the First Time in 2023.
* Travel & Leisure’s 50 best places to travel in 2024.

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Filed under 2023, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

Live Entertainment Around the DC Area this Winter

Photo: Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade (National Theatre)

 

As winter officially begins and cold weather sets in, plan to warm up with some entertainment indoors. There are all kinds of shows and performances to enjoy through the season, and this round-up has details on what you can see on stages and in arenas around the area.  (And keep in mind that tickets to these make for great holiday gifts!) Happy Viewing!

Holiday Entertainment
Where: Around the DC area
When: Through the holiday season
Tickets: Vary by show

If you’re looking for holiday-inspired entertainment to get into the spirit of the season, there’s plenty of it! There are several versions of The Nutcracker, storybook classics like The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe at Adventure Theatre and A Year with Frog and Toad at Imagination Stage. You can also catch An Irish Carol at Keegan Theatre, and enjoy Fiddler on the Roof at Olney Theatre. Get details on these shows and many, many more in the 2023 Guide to the Holiday Season.

Swept Away
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Through January 14
Tickets:
$79-149 (find discount)
When a violent storm sinks their whaling ship off the coast of New Bedford, Mass., the four survivors face a reckoning: how far will they go to stay alive? And can they live with the consequences? With music and lyrics from The Avett Brothers (“America’s Biggest Roots Band,” Rolling Stone), whose 2004 “Mignonette” was inspired by an 1884 shipwreck and the struggle of four men to survive, Swept Away is an electrifying, soul-stirring new musical exploring how facing tragedy can open the door to forgiveness…if only we’ll let it. Recommended for teens and older.

The Tale of the Fisherman and the Golden Fish
Where: Synetic Theater | Crystal City, VA
When: Through January 7
Tickets: $25-35 (find discount)

When a kind, poor fisherman discovers a wish-granting fish, he selflessly releases the creature back into the ocean. While content with his simple life, his wife’s extravagant desires soon drive him to re-capture the magical fish and make her dreams a reality– but not without cost. Based on Alexander Pushkin’s tale, The Tale of the Fisherman and the Golden Fish weaves together themes of greed, love, and selflessness, told through Synetic’s striking imagery and expressive movement. Recommended for all ages.

Girl From The North Country
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: December 20 – January 21
Tickets: $35-185 (find discount)

Girl From The North Country is the Tony Award®–winning new musical that the Chicago Tribune declares is “a Broadway revelation!” It’s 1934 in Duluth, Minnesota. We meet a group of wayward travelers whose lives intersect in a guesthouse filled with music, life, and hope. Experience this “profoundly beautiful” production (The New York Times) brought to vivid life by an extraordinary company of actors and musicians.

Disney’s Frozen
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: December 20 – January 21
Tickets: $35-185 (find discount)

The Tony Award–nominated Broadway musical is now on tour across North America. Frozen features the songs you know and love from the original film, plus an expanded score with a dozen new numbers by the film’s songwriters. It’s everything you want in a musical: It’s moving. It’s spectacular. And above all, it’s pure Broadway joy. Recommended for ages 6+.

As You Like It
Where: Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through January 14
Tickets: $35-119 (find discount)

Shakespeare Theatre Company presents this production of the bard’s classic… It’s the 1960s and flower power, peace, and love are in the air. The free-spirited Rosalind is exiled from court and escapes to an alternative community, where everything is possible. Mistaken identities and mixed signals come together, melding the Bard’s verse with the beloved music of The Beatles in what Vancouver Presents calls “one of the clearest renderings of As You Like It that you will ever see.” This tuneful take on Shakespeare’s romantic classic will be “a total blast” (Chicago Tribune) for the holiday season, reminding us that in times of trouble, all you need is love. Recommended for teens and older.

Jungle Discovery
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: December 26 – January 16
Tickets: $19.50

Jungle Discovery is an engaging and immersive interactive experience for children ages 3-6 and their adults. Participants enter a fantastical jungle world where they may dress up as exotic creatures and explore the beautiful flora and fauna. Led by Jungle Guides, participants may choose to play in the jungle leaves, add flowers, play with sound using a rain stick, draw on the Mirror Mural, and make a warm nest to hide in. There will be plenty of fun surprises in this multi-sensory environment. Recommended for ages 1-6.

The Other Side
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: January 13-14
Tickets: $20

Education Artist-in-Residence Jacqueline Woodson’s simple yet powerful book comes to life in an evening-length dance piece from choreographer and Kennedy Center Artistic Advisor for Dance Education Hope Boykin. Don’t miss this special return engagement of the April 2022 Kennedy Center world premiere! Recommended for ages 5+.

Batman Live in Concert
Where: Warner Theatre | Downtown DC
When: January 19
Tickets: $38-115
This is a one-of-a-kind experience that is a mixture of going to the movie theater and a concert.  Watch the film projected onto a larger-than-life screen while an orchestra plays the film score live on stage in front of you.The Dark Knight of Gotham City begins his war on crime with his first major enemy being Jack Napier, a criminal who becomes a clownishly homicidal villain known as The Joker.

Mindplay
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: January 19 – March 3
Tickets: $41-95

Drama Desk Award–nominated theatermaker and mentalist Vinny DePonto guides the audience on an entirely new theatrical event in which your thoughts play a leading role. A “warmly inviting, nostalgia-ridden, gem of a performance” (BroadwayWorld), Mindplay masterfully blurs the line between illusion and reality. Escape into the expansive beauty of imagination and bask in the ephemeral and surprising nature of memory. Recommended for tweens and older.

Hansel & Gretel
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: January 20 – February 18
Tickets: $15

Join the Puppet Co. this classic German fairy tale about two kids who get lost in the woods and encounter a witch. Written by Len, Patricia, and Chrisopher Piper, this version of Hansel and Gretel is over 50 years old. Our musical tale, performed using marionettes, is sure to charm you and your little ones. Directed by Danny Pushkin. Recommended for ages 4+. Run time approximately 45 minutes.

Elena Moon Park and Friends
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: January 20, 11am & 1:30pm
Tickets: $20

Take an “unhurried journey” around the globe through song! Elena Moon Park and Friends performs folk and children’s music from East and Southeast Asia, reimagined to celebrate various musical traditions, languages, styles, and stories. Recommended for ages 7+.

Books Alive
Where: Highland Elementary School | Wheaton, MD
When: January 20, 11am & January 21, 2pm
Tickets: Free

Interact Story Theatre’s continues its Family Theatre Series in the new year, kicking it off with a Family Literacy Fiesta. Artistic Director Ali Oliver-Krueger will lead kids and adults in exploring a favorite folk tale together through movement, drama, and song. Everyone’s a part of the story in this Family Arts Workshop! Best for ages 3 and up.

Finding Nemo Jr. The Musical
Where: Thomas Jeffereson Community Theatre | Arlington, VA
When: January 21 – 29
Tickets: $12-15

Encore Stage & Studio presents its signature theatre by kids for kids… This beloved story follows Marlin, an anxious and over-protective clownfish, who lives in the Great Barrier Reef with his child Nemo, who longs to explore the world beyond their anemone home. But when Nemo is captured, Marlin decides to face his fears and sets off on an epic adventure across the ocean. With the help of lovable characters such as the optimistic Dory, laid-back sea turtle Crush, and the Tank Gang, Marlin and Nemo both overcome challenges on their journey to find each other and themselves. Recommended for all ages.

Annie
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: January 23-28
Tickets: $44-139 (find discount)
Holding onto hope when times are tough can take an awful lot of determination, and sometimes, an awful lot of determination comes in a surprisingly small package. Little Orphan Annie has reminded generations of theatergoers that sunshine is always right around the corner, and now the best-loved musical of all time is set to return in a new production – just as you remember it and just when we need it most.

tick, tick…BOOM
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: January 26 – February 4
Tickets: $59-349
Before there was RENT… there was tick, tick… BOOM!, Jonathan Larson’s explosive musical about life, death, and the necessity of art. The semi-autobiographical story follows Jon, a composer struggling to break into New York City’s theater scene. Recommended for teens and older.

Monster Jam
Where: Capitol One Arena | Downtown DC
When: January 27-28
Tickets: $25+
The world’s largest and most famous monster truck tour featuring the biggest names in monster trucks will thunder its way into DC.  Gravedigger, Magolodon, Dragon, EL Toro Loco, Raminator, Rammunition, Over Bored, and Wild Side are among the vehicular beasts that will be tearing up the indoor terrain this year.

Lions of Industry, Mothers of Invention
Where: Discovery Theatre | National Mall, DC
When: February 1-2 & 27-29, 10:15am & 11:30am
Tickets: $3-8

Beauty magnate Madame C.J. Walker, agricultural chemist and “peanut man” George Washington Carver, education pioneer Booker T. Washington, and even cranky chef George Crum, who accidentally created the potato chip, all take center stage in this vibrant living-history production. This original, interactive play, written by Jacqueline E. Lawton, honors the creativity and genius of African American entrepreneurs and inventors – and inspires the achiever in all of us. Come and join a science fair of Carver’s inventions using the peanut, hear Washington’s great oratory, and be inspired by the story of the world’s first female, self-made millionaire! Recommended for ages 7-11.

Junie B. Jones, The Musical
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: February 2 – March 30
Tickets: $25

It is Junie B.’s first day of first grade, and a lot of things have changed for her: Junie’s friend, Lucille, does not want to be her best pal anymore and, on the bus, Junie B. makes friends with Herb, the new kid at school. Also, Junie has trouble reading the blackboard and her teacher, Mr. Scary, thinks she may need glasses. Throw in a friendly cafeteria lady, a kickball tournament and a “Top-Secret Personal Beeswax Journal,” and first grade has never been more exciting. Featuring a tremendously loveable character and fun-filled songs, Junie B. Jones will capture your audience members’ hearts just as the books captivated an entire generation of students.

Paw Patrol
Where: EagleBank Arena | Fairfax, VA
When: February 2-4
Tickets: $25-185  (find discount)
X barks the spot in PAW Patrol Live! “The Great Pirate Adventure”! It’s Pirate Day in Adventure Bay, and Mayor Goodway is getting ready for a big celebration! But first, Ryder and his team of pirate pups must rescue Cap’n Turbot from a mysterious cavern. When they do, they also discover a secret pirate treasure map! The PAW Patrol set out over land and sea to find the treasure for Mayor Goodway’s celebration before Mayor Humdinger finds it first! The pups will need all paws on deck for this pirate adventure, including some help from the newest pup … Tracker!

The Girl Who Became Legend
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: February 2-11
Tickets: $20

The town of Dustbin is known for two things: rules and dust. But one day, Raina spies a cloud in the sky—and adventure ensues with Calamity Jane, Johnny Appleseed… and a thunderstorm! Coming to the Center from ZACH Theatre in Austin, TX, this charming new folktale takes the stage, packed with spirited tunes. Recommended for ages &+.

Dancing Our Way Through Books
Where: Highland Elementary School | Wheaton, MD
When: February 10, 11am & February 11, 2pm
Tickets: Free

Join Kelly King, InterAct Story Theatre teaching artist and founder of Contradiction Dance Theatre and The Movement Movement as you explore a kid-friendly folk tale through creative movement and dance. Kids get to practice reading skills while moving, dancing, and sharing stories with families and friends. No prior dance training needed…just bring your body and get ready to move. What a fun way to dance away the winter blues! Best for ages 3 and up.

Laurie Berkner Band
Where: Gordon Center for Performing Arts | Owings Mills, MD
When: February 18, 10am & 3pm
Tickets: $$45-70

Best selling children’s music artist Laurie Berkner is returning to the DC area for two shows. A true pioneer in children’s music, beloved by generations of children and parents for over twenty years, she’ll be playing well-loved hits like “We Are the Dinosaurs” and “Victor Vito,” plus popular newer songs, like “Chipmunk At The Gas Pump” and “Waiting For The Elevator,” and even some brand new singles! Kids should plan to bring their dancing shoes and a stuffed animal (for their heads). FYI: We took a toddler Owen to one of Laurie’s shows years ago, and it was a blast!

Romeo and Juliet
Where: Synetic Theater | Crystal City, VA
When: February 10 – March 4
Tickets: $35-65 (find discount)
Set amidst the whirring gears of a giant clock, Shakespeare’s timeless tale of star-crossed lovers unfolds as a bitter family feud sends the pair on a race against an ill-fated destiny. With masterful physicality and choreography, Synetic Theater’s Romeo and Juliet presents a unique and stunningly visual interpretation of a classic story, capturing emotion with every movement. Recommended for ages 8+.

Cinderella: A Salsa Fairytale
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: February 15 – April 5
Tickets: $12+
A bilingual Cinderella with a twist that kids will love! What will happen to Cinderella at the ball … game? That’s the surprising question in this contemporary Latin-American Cinderella musical that weaves subtle lessons on empathy, sportsmanship, and respect into an exciting, high-stakes story. An Imagination Stage original that broke new ground in bilingual children’s theatre. Recommended for ages 5+.

Kofi’s African Village
Where: Discovery Theatre | National Mall, DC
When: February 21-23, 10:15am & 11:30am
Tickets: $3-8

Drummer Kofi Dennis brings the vibrant life of a West African village to the Discovery Theater stage though music, storytelling, and dance. Playing authentic instruments, the Ghanaian native leads lively call-and-response songs and games to get audiences up on their feet in a vibrant exploration of African cultural traditions. Recommended for ages 3-6.

Omnium Circus Presents I’mPossible
Where: Capitol One Center | Tysons, VA
When: February 24
Tickets: Start at $39

Aerial artists soar over the stage making your heart pound with excitement. Hilarious antics make you laugh till you cry! Featuring a diverse mosaic of brilliant performers including gravity-defying aerial acts, mind blowing contortion, unbelievable acrobatics, hysterical comedy, dazzling dancers and much more. Fun for the entire family!

Magic Mirror
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: March 2-24
Tickets: $15

Magic Mirror is back after its special 40th Anniversary run in 2023! This production was the first show founders Christopher Piper and Allan Stevens worked on as the Puppet Co. Meet Toad, a young person destined for greatness in this mash-up story with lots of familiar fairy tales! Join us on this journey of dragons, monsters, and spirits of the woods. Recommended for ages 5+. Run time approximately 50 minutes.

Through the Sunken Lands
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: March 2-17
Tickets: $20

Tim J. Lord’s radio play transforms into a heartening world premiere musical that amplifies the voice of a commonly overlooked community. Follow Artemis—a young wheelchair user who’s determined to fight to save her dying town with the help of Aunt Maggie… and a talking heron! Recommended for ages 9+.

Inside Out and Backwards
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: March 2-31
Tickets: $19.50

It’s bedtime, and two children use their imaginations to turn their room inside out, into a wonderland of mess! While playing dress-up, a glove becomes a dancing fish, a shirt becomes a fantastical creature, and a sock dance rocks the closet! Recommended for ages 1-4.

The Monster at the End of this Play
Where: Highland Elementary School | Wheaton, MD
When: March 2, 11am & March 3, 2pm
Tickets: Free

A spooky forest. A mysterious letter. The worst villains in all of Fairytale Land. What could possibly go wrong? “The Monster at the End of This Play” is a lighthearted and humorous exploration of how the things we don’t understand are not always as scary as they seem. Best for ages 4 and up.

The Book of Mormon
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: March 5-17
Tickets: $89-219 (find discount)

This outrageous musical comedy follows the adventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries, sent halfway across the world to spread the Good Word. With standing room only productions in London, on Broadway, and across North America, THE BOOK OF MORMON has truly become an international sensation. Contains explicit language. Recommended for teens and older.

An Electromagnetic Adventure
Where: Discovery Theatre | National Mall, DC
When: March 7-8, 10:15am & 11:30am
Tickets: $3-8

The Science Guys of Baltimore explore what brings us together and what keeps us apart—what scientists call the laws of attraction and repulsion—through the force of electromagnetism! Launch rings into the air with an electromagnetic pulse generator, test your strength in an electromagnet tug of war, and watch sparks fly with a Van de Graaff generator! This promises to be a truly shocking science show! Recommended for ages 6-11.

Little Shop of Horrors
Where: Ford’s Theatre | Pen Quarter, DC
When: March 15 – May 18
Tickets: $41-77 (find discount)
Come down to Skid Row for a non-stop blast, sci-fi horror comedy, love story and rock musical that has become one of the most treasured pieces of American musical theatre. Recommended for ages 13+.

NSO Family Concert: Music of Duke Ellington
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: March 17
Tickets: $20
Take the A-Train to a special afternoon of music paying tribute to the beloved jazz composer and bandleader! Conducted by Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, the National Symphony Orchestra performs this swinging session as part of the Kennedy Center’s season-wide Ellington 125 celebration. Recommended for ages 5+.

 

Do you know of any good shows coming to town that you don’t see listed here?  Let us know in the comments!

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Filed under 2023, 2024, DC, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Virginia, Winter

Five Things: December 19, 2023

 

1.  Enchant the kids for free!  Enchant, the world’s largest Christmas light maze and village, is teaming up with Washington Gas to give away 10,000 junior tickets to the DC area community, giving more families the opportunity to experience the holiday light event. Tickets are available for ages 3-17, for admission now through December 21. All minors must be accompanied by an adult, there is a maximum of two complimentary junior tickets per order, and they are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Use the promo code FREEJR23redeem here.   You can view scenes here from last year’s event and read a KFDC review (from the first season it was here in 2019) of the holiday attraction.

 

2. Three immersive experiences recently opened in the area:  I already shared details about Disney Encanto x CAMP and the Hot Wheels Champion Experience, both at Tysons and great for young kids.  And last week Dopamine Land, a walk-through, multisensory experience full of colorful, interactive installations, opened at Friendship Center in  Friendship Heights.  All ages are welcome, and tickets start at $17/child, $23/adults.

 

3. If you want to leave the cooking to someone else or just like to celebrate the holidays with a festive feast out, Eater has a round-up of restaurants offering Christmas and Christmas Eve dinner (and brunch), with options for for both dine-in and take-out.

 

4. Last minute gift ideas and stocking stuffers that will arrive in time for Christmas:  This super fun group game (we’ve played with multiple families), string lights that display photos, the best inexpensive sunglasses, and bike lights.

 

5.  Sweet fancy Moses! Some inspiration for your holiday parties. 🙂

 

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Filed under 2023, DC, Five Things, Winter