Tag Archives: Family Friendly Theater

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.)

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

Spring Entertainment Coming to Local Stages

The Puppet Co. is one of many venues presenting family entertainment this spring!

 

With the new season comes a whole new line-up of live entertainment!  There are shows for all ages and interests — plays, puppet theatre, musicals, singalongs, and more — to enjoy at venues all around the area. Here’s what you and the kids can see on local stages this spring, listed in order of opening date.

P.Nokio – A Hip-Hop Musical
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through March 30
Tickets: Coming soon!

G.Petto is an ingenious computer games designer who one day discovers that his newest game character, P.Nokio, can live outside the computer! G.Petto is thrilled at the prospect of having a “son,” and with the help of the Graffiti Fairy, he teaches P.Nokio how to become a real boy. But, P.Nokio falls in with con artists and finds himself in a web of lies that endangers his father. To save G.Petto, P.Nokio must wise up, keep it real, and learn that words and truth are the mightiest weapons of all. Recommended for age 5-11.

Make Way for Ducklings 
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Eco Park, MD
When: Through March 27
Tickets: $25
Mr. and Mrs. Mallard are exhausted from their search for a starter home when they land in the Boston Public Garden as a potential home. Surprised by a few conditions in the Garden, the Mallards move on to continue their search until their baby ducklings are born. When the ducklings begin to explore the world around them. The challenges of parenthood in the busy Boston environment create a fun bit of family drama. A classic story for all ages, this world premiere musical celebrates family, Boston, children, and the beings who make an unfamiliar place a home. Recommended for all ages.

Riverdance – The 25th Anniversary Show
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Through March 27
Tickets: $39-155 (find discount)

Riverdance, as you’ve never seen it before! This powerful and stirring reinvention of a beloved favorite is celebrated the world over for its Grammy Award-winning score and the thrilling energy and passion of Irish and international dance. Recommended for all ages.

The Adventures of Mr. Toad
Where: Creative Cauldron | Falls Church, VA
When: Through April 3
Tickets: $20/adult, $18/child

Generations of children have roamed the countryside in the company of Rat, Mole, Toad, and Badger, the immortal animal friends in The Wind and the Willows. Once again, the Learning Theater ensemble brings this heartwarming and hilarious tales to life in a show that will capture the imaginations of young and old.

Mother Goose
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through April 10
Tickets: $12

A brand new, music-filled piece by the creators of Wake Up, Brother Bear and Mouse on the Move! Mother Goose leads the audience through some of her most beloved nursery rhymes, using puppets and props to bring to life Humpty Dumpty, Old King Cole, the Eensy Weensy Spider, and more. The magical Mother Goose invites your little ones to join in with each rhyme’s story – teaching them that the very best way to do what needs to be done is to do it together.

Catch Me If You Can
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Through April 17
Tickets: $66-105 (find discount)
Owen and I saw a performance of this show… it’s  vibrant and clever and bursting with talent!  Needless to say, we both loved it. Here’s the official description:  Humor, music and dance drive this rousing musical based on true events and a critically acclaimed film. See how a charming, young con man posed as an airline pilot, a lawyer and then escaped police custody all before he turned 22.  Where else, but Washington, D.C., could a musical about con men and being conned be the perfect story we need right now? Recommended for tweens and up. KFDC readers can get a 15% discount with code FANTIX!

Grace
Where: Ford’s Theatre | Downtown DC
When: Through May 14
Tickets: $40-81

Packed with an eclectic mix of styles including jazz, R&B, rousing up-tempos and raise-the-roof ballads, Grace is an electrifying musical celebrating the perseverance of family and the power of traditions. Created by Washington, DC,’s own celebrated composer Nolan Williams, Jr., with a book by Nolan Williams, Jr. and actress and writer Nikkole Salter, Grace examines the little-told history of African-American culinary tradition and the challenges faced by Black-owned businesses. The musical captures a day in the life of the Mintons, a Philadelphia family who gather to mourn the loss of their matriarch and deal with the future of their family restaurant in a changing neighborhood. Heartfelt and hopeful, timely and timeless, Grace is the new American musical where, although family comes first, everyone has a seat at the table. Recommended for ages 10+.

RENT – The 25th Anniversary Farewell Tour
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: March 25-27
Tickets: $50-110

RENT follows a year in the lives of a diverse group of artists and friends struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. This powerfully resonant phenomenon has become more than a musical – it’s a cultural touchstone, a rite of passage and a source of joy and strength for millions. The extraordinary RENT fan community spans every continent and every generation – including many born over a decade after the show opened on Broadway. Read of A KFDC review from the last time it toured here (note that there are changes to the cast).

Tiny Tots: Tree Songs
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: March 25, 26, & 30 (More dates coming soon!)
Tickets: $15

The Puppet Co.’s sweet Tony Tots series is back! At these shows especially for little ones (2-4 years old). lights remain on, doors stay open, and running times are short (30 minutes) to accommodate smaller attention spans. In Tree Songs, Jasper and his puppet friends take you on an interactive, musical adventure. Sing and dance to your favorite tree songs, while exploring pre-school science.

The Fantastic Tale of Rumpelstiltskin
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: March 31 – May 15
Tickets: $15

In a brand new production, the Puppet Co. gives you the full story of what happens after the gold has been spun and the day has been saved. This hilarious and smart comedy will be a great romp for adults and kids alike. Can you guess Rumpelstiltskin’s new name?! Recommended ages 4+. Run time approximately 50 minutes.

Pippin
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: April 1-3
Tickets: $60

A concert performance of the Broadway favorite. This classic musical about a young man in search of his purpose features some of music-theater’s best-loved songs and most theatrical moments. From the battlefield to the bedroom, from intrigues political to intrigues romantical, Pippin just can’t figure out how to be extraordinary.

Mean Girls
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 5-24
Tickets: $45-199 (find discount)

Direct from Broadway, Mean Girls is the hilarious hit musical based on Tina Fey’s movie. Cady Heron may have grown up on an African savanna, but nothing prepared her for the vicious ways of her strange new home: suburban Illinois. Soon, this naïve newbie falls prey to a trio of lionized frenemies led by the charming but ruthless Regina George. But when Cady devises a plan to end Regina’s reign, she learns the hard way that you can’t cross a Queen Bee without getting stung. Recommended for age 10+.

Oklahoma!
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 5-10
Tickets: $49-159

This is Oklahoma! as you’ve never seen or heard it before — reimagined for the 21st century, and now the Tony winner for Best Revival of a Musical. Funny and sexy, provocative and probing, “this production shocked me and moved me. This is the OKLAHOMA! that was there all along,” raves New York Magazine. Direct from an acclaimed run on Broadway, OKLAHOMA! “lets us experience Rodgers and Hammerstein’s greatness anew” (The New Yorker). Note that the show contains fog, loud gunshot effects, moments of total darkness, and violence. Recommended for ages 12+.

The Servant of Two Masters
Where: Synetic Theatre | Crystal City, VA
When: April 6-24
Tickets: $20-50

Mistaken identities, wily servants, and madcap antics abound in this laugh-a-minute tale of the ultimate trickster. Helmed by Vato Tsikurishvili and the Helen Hayes Award-nominated team from the 2019 hit Cyrano de Bergerac, The Servant of Two Masters is a raucous adaptation of Carlo Goldoni’s classic farce.

Beastgirl
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 7-22
Tickets: $20

This exciting world premiere for young adults is based on the chapbook Beastgirl and Other Origin Myths by New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo. The collection of folkloric poems is brought to the stage with music as the play explores the mythological and geographic identities of three first generation American sisters. From the border in the Dominican Republic to an apartment rooftop in New York City, Beastgirl considers what it means to walk the world as “beastly” beings and how the myths that make us can be both blessing and birthright.
Recommended for ages 12+

NSO Music for Young Audiences: Super Cello!
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 9-11
Tickets: $20

The city is safe with the help of a unique cellist: professional musician by day, superhero by night. SCOTTIE ROWELL of Atlanta’s TELLER PRODUCTIONS and NSO cellist DAVID TEIE unite to tell a fantastic story using puppets, props, and plenty of music to help a very super musician save the day. Recommended for ages 3+. Following select performances, young audience members can ask questions and hear stories in an up-close-and-personal talk with some of the artists.

Brigadoon
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: April 8-10
Tickets: $60 (find discount)

A concert performance of the Broadway classic. New Yorker Tommy Albright unexpectedly arrives at mysterious Scottish Highland village of Brigadoon, which only appears for one day every 100 years. When Tommy meets and falls in love with Fiona, a beautiful villager in this magical hamlet, he must decide whether to return to his old life, or stay in Brigadoon — forever. Featuring such standards as “Almost Life Being in Love”, “Come to Me, Bend to Me”, and “Heather on a Hill.”

Come From Away
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: April 12-17
Tickets: $50-95+ (find discount)

I saw this show a few years ago, and it is incredibly emotional (in the best way possible) and entertaining… Broadway’s Come From Away takes you into the heart of the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships. Recommended for ages 10+.

The Other Side
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 21-30
Tickets: $20

Adapted from the book by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis. Clover’s mom says it isn’t safe to cross the fence that segregates their African-American side of town from the white side where Anna lives. But when the two girls strike up a friendship, they’ll find a clever way to get around the grown-up rules together. Recommended for ages 5+.

Poop the Musical
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: April 22 – May 30
Tickets: $25

Taro, a young Asian American boy, faces the ridicule and bullying of his classmates when he accidentally “poops in his pants”. Too ashamed to talk to anyone or return to school, Taro can only confide in his “best friend”—a stuffed toy rabbit named Blackberry, who invites three special friends to visit Taro to help him overcome his shame by taking him on a “magical” journey through space and time. Each of the three visitors—Thomas Crapper, the real-life 19th century British inventor known as the “father of the modern toilet”, Zhi Yan, the beautiful Chinese goddess of the toilet, and Cheddar, a toy mouse with performance issues—helps Taro learn that only by letting go of our societal disgust with poop can we take our first steps to make positive change for the billions of people whose lives are impacted because of this issue. Recommended for all ages.

Mother Goose
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: April 23-24
Tickets: $15

Imagination Stage presents their show on the Olney Theatre stage!  Mother Goose leads the audience through some of her most beloved nursery rhymes, using puppets and props to bring to life Humpty Dumpty, Old King Cole, the Eensy Weensy Spider, and more. The magical Mother Goose invites your little ones to join in with each rhyme’s story – teaching them that the very best way to do what needs to be done is to do it together.

NSO Family: Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 30
Tickets: $20-55

Once upon a time, there were three hungry Dinosaurs: Papa Dinosaur, Mama Dinosaur…and a dinosaur who happened to be visiting from Norway! That’s just the beginning of this hilarious, fractured, symphonic take on “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” as retold by Mo Willems. This new classic is presented by favorite performers and the National Symphony Orchestra, featuring original music by indie pop icon and NSO Artistic Advisor Ben Folds.

Wu Fei
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 30
Tickets: $20

WU FEI is a renowned master of the guzheng, the 21-string Chinese zither. She plays in the guzheng’s language—almost 2,000 years old—by mixing Western classical and Chinese traditions with a contemporary sound. The classically trained composer and vocalist has taken her music around the world to venues such as the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing and New York’s MoMA, and collaborated with renowned artists across disciplines and genres. Recommended for ages 8+.

Into the Woods
Where: Creative Cauldron | Falls Church, VA
When: May 5-29
Tickets: $40/adult, $25/child

With an imaginative book by James Lapine that skillfully intertwines the stories and characters from Grimm fairy tales, and a luscious score by Stephen Sondheim, this Tony Award-winning musical has become a timeless masterpiece. A baker and his wife wish for a child, Cinderella wishes to go to the King’s Festival and Jack wishes to sell his cow, so into the woods they must go in search of their prize. Happily ever after eludes them, however, as they soon learn the tangled consequences of getting exactly what you wished for.

Hairspray
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: May 10-15
Tickets: $50-95+

You Can’t Stop the Beat! HAIRSPRAY, Broadway’s Tony Award-winning musical comedy phenomenon is back on tour! Join 16-year-old Tracy Turnblad in 1960’s Baltimore as she sets out to dance her way onto TV’s most popular show. Can a girl with big dreams (and even bigger hair) change the world? Recommended for ages 8+.

Freestyle Love Supreme
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: May 10-15
Tickets: $45-135

Before Hamilton, before In the Heights, there was Freestyle Love Supreme. Now—direct from Broadway—the original hip hop musical phenomenon from Thomas Kail, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Anthony Veneziale. The subject of the recently released Hulu documentary We are Freestyle Love Supreme, every performance of this Grammy®-nominated show brings the unexpected, as the crew takes the crowd on a freestyle, hip hop, improvisational comedy ride. The performers take suggestions from the audience and spin them into instantaneous riffs and full-length musical numbers. See it for the first time each time—as no two shows are ever the same. Recommended for ages 14+.

Show Way the Musical
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: May 13 – 29
Tickets: $20

Soonie’s great-grandma was just seven years old when she was sold to a big plantation without her ma and pa, with only some fabric and needles to call her own. She began to stitch a Show Way, a quilt with secret meanings to show enslaved people the way to freedom. As each generation passes, the Show Way shines a light on the past and paves a road to the future, stitching together possibility and promise. Education Artist-in-Residence Jacqueline Woodson’s book of history, love, and resilience becomes a world premiere stage adaptation. This moving, lyrical account based on Woodson’s own family pays tribute to women whose strength and knowledge illuminate their daughters’ lives—from enslavement to freedom, through segregation, freedom marches, and the fight for literacy. Recommended for ages 7+.

Our Town
Where: Sidney Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: May 12 – June 11
Tickets: $49-112

Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Our Town continues to leave audiences awestruck with wonder and a shared sense of our humanity. Guided by an amiable stage manager, the theatre becomes turn-of-the-century Grover’s Corners, where the occurrences of everyday life reveal universal truths about community and love, life, and death.

Disney Singalong
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: May 14-15
Tickets: $15

Three of Olney Theatre’s favorite performers, Patricia Hurley Carpenter (Mary Poppins herself!), Ashleigh King (Elf the Musical), and Matt Schleigh (Ken Ludwig’s A Comedy of Tenors) lead kids of all ages in their favorite Disney songs from stage and screen.

NSO Family Concert: Philharmonia Fantastique
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: May 15
Tickets: $18-20

Dynamic concerto meets animated film! Through a mesmerizing hybrid of animated and live action filming, follow a magical Sprite as it embarks on a musical journey through the inner workings of an orchestra. Violin strings vibrate, brass valves slice air, and drum heads resonate like you’ve never seen before—all set to live music from members of the NSO. By the film’s end, the orchestra comes together in a spectacular finale! Recommended for all ages.

2022 Teen Twelfth Night
Where: Synetic Theatre | Crystal City, VA
When: May 20-29
Tickets: $20-60

If music be the food of love, play on! The brilliant young artists of the Teen Company present Synetic’s celebrated 1920s take on Shakespeare’s whirlwind of romance and slapstick.

A Monster Calls
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: May 25 – June 12
Tickets: $45-139

Patrick Ness’s piercing novel A Monster Calls is brought to the stage in a powerful new adaptation by visionary director Sally Cookson. Thirteen-year-old Conor and his mum have managed just fine since his dad moved to America. But now his mum’s very sick and she’s not getting any better. His grandmother won’t stop interfering and the kids at school won’t look him in the eye. Then, one night, at seven minutes past midnight, Conor is woken by something at his window. A monster has come walking. It’s come to tell Conor tales from when it walked before. And when it’s finished, Conor must tell his own story and face his deepest fears. Recommended for ages 10+.

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

Live Entertainment Around the DC Area in Late Fall & Winter

Join the Wheaton Family Theater Series for a FREE Urban Artistry performance!

 

As we head into the cold season, you may be starting to think about indoor options for activities, especially now that younger kids are getting vaccinated — and good timing as more and more live entertainment is returning to local venues!   Plays, musicals, concerts, puppet shows, basketball magic, and even monster truck battles are among the line-up coming to stages and arenas soon. Even better, tickets to see them make for great holiday gifts!   Here’s a round-up of all the entertainment, listed in order of start date, and most descriptions from theatre websites. Be sure to check Covid policies, as many venues require proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test.  (And note that this round-up does not include holidays shows — you can find those in the Holiday Guide).  Happy viewing!

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
Where: Olney Theater | Olney, MD
When: Through January 2
Tickets: $42-79

Be their guest this holiday season as the classic animated story comes to life on the Olney Theatre Mainstage. It’s a tale as old as time, but it gets a new look from Tony-nominated director Marcia Milgrom Dodge.  Olney’s biggest show of the year brings the whole family together for a magical and memorable musical about the redemptive power of love. Join Belle, Lumiere, Cogsworth, and the rest of the gang in the Beast’s cursed castle for an escape to a world where beauty is more than skin deep and happily ever after is just a rose petal away. Rated G.

Rent
Where: Signature Theatre | Arlington, VA
When: November 2 – January 2
Tickets: $40-108 | Find Discount

La Vie Boheme! The iconic rock musical’s pure rush of adrenaline, passion, energy, and joy is boldly and immersively reimagined in Signature style for a triumphant reopening. At the end of the millennium, a group of bohemians in the East Village of New York City struggle with gentrification, love, loss, and legacies amidst the HIV/AIDS crisis. Through songs such as “Seasons of Love,” “One Song Glory,” “I’ll Cover You,” “Out Tonight” and more, they embrace hope, find strength and survive. Recommended for teen ages and up.

Aesop’s Fables
Where: Creative Cauldron | Falls Church, VA
When: Through November 21
Tickets: $20/adult, $18/student | Find Discount

The lessons learned in Aesop’s simple fables like The Ant and the Grasshopper, The Tortoise and the Hare, and the The Lion and the Mouse, have weathered the test of time. The Learning Theater crew brings them to life with a 21st century twist and their classic heart. Great for the whole family! Music by Conner & Smith.

Urban Artistry: Let the Rhythm Hit Em
Where: Highland Elementary | Wheaton, MD
When: November 13, 11am & November 14, 2pm
Tickets: Free!

InterAct Story Theatre presents FREE performances and events for kids and families with the Wheaton Family Theatre Series! This session welcomes Urban Artistry: Celebrate the diverse communities and influences that contribute to urban dance culture through music and dance. The emcee, DHG and dancers tell the story of where, when and how these dance styles were developed through storytelling, dance demonstrations, call-and-response games and interactive dance workshops. Recommended for all ages.

Acoustic Rooster’s Barnyard Boogie: Starring Indigo Blume
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: November 18-27
Tickets: $20 | Find Discount

Best-selling author Kwame Alexandr brings two of his beloved children’s books, Acoustic Rooster and Indigo Blume, to the stage in a world premiere Kennedy Center commission. The show tells a story about being scared, being brave, and believing in yourself. With special guests like Duck Ellington and Ms. Dairy Parton—plus Preston appearing as Acoustic Rooster—this musical adaptation will have children (and families) dancing in their seats. Recommended for ages 5+. Following shows on November 18 & 19 at 7pm and November 20 at 1:30pm, audience members can ask questions and hear stories with Kwame Alexander, writing partner Mary Rand Hess, and more of the show’s artists.

NSO Pops: Disney & Pixar’s Up in Concert
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy bottom, DC
When: November 26-27
Tickets: $29+ | Find Discount

The unforgettable animated classic returns to the big screen with Michael Giacchino’s Oscar®- and Grammy Award®-winning score performed live to the film! Follow the unlikely duo of a curmudgeonly 78-year-old balloon salesman and his 8-year-old stowaway on this hilarious, heartwarming journey to a lost world filled with danger and surprises.

Seven Guitars
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: November 26 – December 26
Tickets: $56-95

The 1940s Pittsburgh is the backdrop for August Wilson’s fifth cycle play and the second production in the August Wilson Festival. Seven lives are interconnected when old friend and blues singer Floyd Barton vows to turn his life around after a surprise windfall leaves him hopeful for a second chance. Infused with deep and soaring blues rhythms, this “rich and exceptionally vivid” (Variety) play pits the desire for a better future against the harsh realities ultimately leading to heartbreaking and inescapable circumstances.

Cinderella
Where: Synetic Theatre | Crystal City, VA
When: November 27 – December 26
Tickets: $15-30

Cinderella is joining the Synetic our family series repertoire and stepping into her own shoes! Led by an all-female team of Syneticons, this innovative take on the classic fairytale is a perfect fit for audiences of all ages.

Once Upon a One More Time
Where: Sidney Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: November 30 – January 2
Tickets: $82-145 | Find Discount
In this highly anticipated world premiere of the Broadway-bound musical, beloved classic fairytale princesses gather for their fortnightly book club, longing for a new story. When a rogue fairy godmother drops The Feminine Mystique into their corseted laps, it spurs a royal revelation: there is more to life than bird-made dresses and true love’s kiss! Powered by the chart-topping anthems of the Princess of Pop herself, Britney Spears—including “Oops!… I Did It Again,” “Lucky,” “Stronger,” and “Toxic”—Once Upon a One More Time sends audiences on a heartwarming and uproarious musical adventure about smashing the glass slipper and reclaiming your own happily ever after.

The Miraculous Magical Balloon
Where: Highland Elementary | Wheaton, MD
When: December 4-5
Tickets: Free!

InterAct Story Theatre presents FREE performances and events for kids and families with the Wheaton Family Theatre Series! This session welcomes Synetic Theatre: A series of hilarious pantomime sketches incorporates music, ballet, clowning, and audience participation in this theatre assembly. In The Miraculous Magical Balloon, students will discover the art of acting without words, opening the door to their imaginations. Expressed through body and facial masks, pantomime illusions, and unique choreography, The Miraculous Magical Balloon tells a wonderful story of a traveling actor and his magical trunk of tricks and toys.

Tootsie
Where:National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: December 7-12
Tickets: $50-95+ | Find Discount
Call it “musical comedy heaven” (Rolling Stone). Call it “the most uproarious new musical in years!” (The Hollywood Reporter). Call it TOOTSIE! This laugh-out-loud love letter to the theater tells the story of Michael Dorsey, a talented but difficult actor who struggles to find work until one show-stopping act of desperation lands him the role of a lifetime.

Corduroy
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: December 11 – January 24
Tickets: $28

We all need a friend, and Lisa is instantly drawn to the perfectly imperfect teddy bear on display at the department store. If only she can convince her stressed-out mother to buy Corduroy for her! Meanwhile, Corduroy is determined to find his missing button and become worthy of going to a real home. After the store has closed, he goes on a hilariously destructive search–with the Night Watchman in comical pursuit. Full of mischief and clowning, this story of unconditional love captures both the humanity and the merriment of the holiday season. Recommended for ages 3-9.

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: December 14 – January 2
Tickets: $49-149 | Find Discount
Long before she was Carole King, chart-topping music legend and 2015 Kennedy Center Honoree, she was Carol Klein, Brooklyn girl with passion and chutzpah. She fought her way into the record business as a teenager and, by the time she reached her 20s, had the husband of her dreams and a flourishing career writing hits for the biggest acts in rock ’n roll. But it wasn’t until her personal life began to crack that she finally managed to find her true voice. Recommended for ages 11+.

Pretty Woman: The Musical
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: December 28 – January 2
Tickets: $50-95+ | Find Discount
Based on one of Hollywood’s most beloved romantic stories of all time, Pretty Woman: The Musical stars Broadway superstar and Tony Award®-nominee Adam Pascal as Edward Lewis and rising star Olivia Valli as the charming and charismatic Vivian Ward.  The show springs to life with a powerhouse creative team led by two-time Tony Award®-winning director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell (Hairspray, Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde).

The Prom
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: January 4 – 16
Tickets: $49-139 | Find Discount
Everyone’s invited to the joyous Broadway musical that inspired the hit Netflix adaptation. New York Magazine calls it “smart and big-hearted” and The New York Times says the show “makes you believe in musical comedy again!” The Prom is a new musical comedy about big Broadway stars on a mission to change the world and the love they discover that unites them all. You belong at The Prom! Recommended for ages 10+.

Dinosaur World Live
Where: Strathmore | Bethesda, MD
When: January 9
Tickets: $24-58

When is the last time you took a t. rex for a walk or got to groom a microraptor? Never? Well, now is your chance! Dinosaur World Live takes your family on an adventure across unchartered territories to discover a prehistoric world of astonishing (and remarkably life-like) dinosaurs. Meet a host of impressive creatures, including every child’s favorite flesh-eating giant, the tyrannosaurus rex! Plus, special appearances by triceratops, giraffatitan, segnosaurus, and more. Stick around after the show for the dino meet and greet!

Show Way
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: January 27 – February 20
Tickets: $20

Soonie’s great-grandma was just seven years old when she was sold to a big plantation without her ma and pa, with only some fabric and needles to call her own. She began to stitch a Show Way, a quilt with secret meanings to show enslaved people the way to freedom. As each generation passes, the Show Way shines a light on the past and paves a road to the future, stitching together possibility and promise.

Monster Jam
Where: Capitol One Arena | Downtown DC
When: January 29-30
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.  El Toro Loco, Grave Digger, and Hooked are confirmed for the event, and more soon-to-be-announced vehicular beasts  will be tearing up the indoor terrain this year.

The Simon & Garfunkel Story
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: January 29-30
Tickets: $55-95+
The immersive concert-style theater show chronicles the amazing journey shared by the folk-rock duo, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. It tells the story from their humble beginnings as Tom & Jerry to their incredible success as one of the best-selling music groups of the ‘60’s to their dramatic split in 1970. It culminates with the famous “The Concert in Central Park” reunion in 1981 with more than half a million fans in attendance.

Disney on Ice: Let’s Celebrate
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: February 17-21
Tickets: Coming soon!

Grab your Mickey ears and get ready for non-stop fun when 50 of your favorite Disney friends come to life through world-class ice skating.

Balloonacy
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: February 5-20
Tickets: $12

Written by the same person who adapted Corduroy for the stage, Balloonacy returns to the Imagination Stage for a limited 3-weekend run and is filled with physical humor. The beautiful, movement-based show revisits the classic film The Red Balloon. Nothing can go right for the character of the old man, whose days are gray and dreary–until he is visited by a friendly red balloon. In the playful physical style of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, the old man–an adult version of the boy in the film–regains his youthful spirit, with the help of the red balloon! Best for ages 1-11

Our Town
Where: Sidney Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: February 17 – March 20
Tickets: $35-110
Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Our Town continues to leave audiences awestruck with wonder and a shared sense of our humanity. Guided by an amiable stage manager, the theatre becomes turn-of-the-century Grover’s Corners, where the occurrences of everyday life reveal universal truths about community and love, life and death.

Make Way for Ducklings 
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Eco Park, MD
When: February 18 – March 27
Tickets: $25
Mr. and Mrs. Mallard are exhausted from their search for a starter home when they land in the Boston Public Garden as a potential home. Surprised by a few conditions in the Garden, the Mallards move on to continue their search until their baby ducklings are born. When the ducklings begin to explore the world around them. The challenges of parenthood in the busy Boston environment create a fun bit of family drama. A classic story for all ages, this world premiere musical celebrates family, Boston, children, and the beings who make an unfamiliar place a home. Recommended for all ages.

Jesus Christ Superstar
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: February 22 – March 13
Tickets: $49-159 | Find Discount
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. Reflecting the rock roots that defined a generation, the legendary score includes “I Don’t Know How to Love.” Recommended for ages 10+.

INTERSECTIONS Festival
Where: Atlas Center for Performing Arts | H Street NE, DC
When: February 26 – March 4
Tickets: TBA

The Atlas’ signature event, this performing arts festival presents work that impacts our society, culture, and world by informing, inspiring, educating, and entertaining. INTERSECTIONS is about presenting excellent art that inspires a connected community, engages artists and audiences alike, and creates a vibrant neighborhood, city, and world. More details about the festival to come!

P.Nokio – A Hip-Hop Musical
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: February 26 – April 10
Tickets: Coming soon!

G.Petto is an ingenious computer games designer who one day discovers that his newest game character, P.Nokio, can live outside the computer! G.Petto is thrilled at the prospect of having a “son,” and with the help of the Graffiti Fairy, he teaches P.Nokio how to become a real boy. But, P.Nokio falls in with con artists and finds himself in a web of lies that endangers his father. To save G.Petto, P.Nokio must wise up, keep it real, and learn that words and truth are the mightiest weapons of all. Recommended for age 5-11.

Catch Me If You Can
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: March 4 – April 17
Tickets: $66-105
Humor, music and dance drive this rousing musical based on true events and a critically acclaimed film. See how a charming, young con man posed as an airline pilot, a lawyer and then escaped police custody all before he turned 22. Helen Hayes Award-winning actor Corbin Bleu returns to Arena Stage to take on the role of this young con man Frank Abagnale Jr. The Tony-nominated musical comedy is jam-packed with dynamic numbers such as “Don’t Break the Rules,” “Live in Living Color” and “Doctor’s Orders.” Catch Me If You Can is “a high-flying musical comedy” (The Hollywood Reporter) packed with glamour and delight for the entire family. Where else, but Washington, D.C., could a musical about con men and being conned be the perfect story we need right now? Recommended for tweens and up. KFDC readers can get a 15% discount with code FANTIX!

NSO Music for Young Audiences: I Dream of the Moon & Xavier’s New Friends
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: March 5-6
Tickets: $20

Discover the range of percussion instruments through two imaginative stories featuring assistant principal timpanist of the NSO, Scott Christian. I Dream of the Moon (A Young Boy’s Adventure Through Space) by Keeghan Fountain tells the story of a young boy’s journey from his own backyard to the furthest reaches of the moon in a non-verbal performance on the vibraphone with projected images of original artwork by Nehemiah Russell. Xavier’s New Friends by Peter Gilbert introduces the main percussion family instruments through Xavier the Xylophone as he searches for percussion friends to join his band. Local musicians will join Scott and other NSO percussionists to tell this story and highlight the rhythmic and melodic facets of the percussion section. Recommended for ages 5+.

Mother Goose
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: March 11 – April 10
Tickets: $12

A brand new, music-filled piece by the creators of Wake Up, Brother Bear and Mouse on the Move! Mother Goose leads the audience through some of her most beloved nursery rhymes, using puppets and props to bring to life Humpty Dumpty, Old King Cole, the Eensy Weensy Spider, and more. The magical Mother Goose invites your little ones to join in with each rhyme’s story – teaching them that the very best way to do what needs to be done is to do it together.

Harlem Globetrotters
Where: Capitol One Arena | Downtown DC
When: March 19
Tickets: $25+
The Original Harlem Globetrotters are on the road for their action packed tour! A star-studded roster will have fans on the edge of their seats to witness the ball handling wizardry, basketball artistry and one-of-a-kind family entertainment that thrills fans of all ages. There will be new high-flying dunks, hilarious stunts, a new record-breaking attempt and unforgettable family moments.

NSO Family Concert: Because
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: March 20
Tickets: $20-35

Because Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence Mo Willems wrote a powerful story of how chance, discovery, and persistence changed the Amber Ren related to the hero of the story, she created magical illustrations. Because the book moved them, the NSO wanted to turn it into an orchestral piece. Because acclaimed composer and violinist Jessie Montgomery was also changed by music as a young person, she composed the score. Because is a world premiere symphonic exploration that you and your loved ones want to see and hear to become part of the story. Recommended for ages 5+.

 

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Filed under 2021, 2022, All ages, DC, Fall, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Theatre, Virginia, Winter

Live, In-Person Entertainment to Enjoy Around DC this Fall

The NSO at the Kennedy Center…enjoy their free performances around DC and MD this month!

 

I don’t know about everyone else, but I am so excited for the return of live, in-person entertainment!  Most local theatres are easing back into it with fewer shows in the line-up for now (more planned come winter and spring🤞), but this round-up includes entertainment for everyone — children’s shows, family concerts, teen-appropriate plays, KidFree suggestions, community programs for all, and more.  Note that many venues require proof of vaccination from audience members ages 12 and up, and some ask for negative Covid tests from children, so be sure to check on this.  Shows are listed in order of start date (beginning early September, even though it’s technically not yet fall) with most descriptions coming from websites. Happy Viewing!

 

DC Jazz Festival
Where: Venues around DC
When: Through September 5
Tickets: Vary by performance

The annual DC Jazz Fest is back with in-person performances during the first week of September. Shows are taking place at several venues around DC, including the Wharf, The Hamilton, and Phillips Collections (unfortunately, the fantastic Jazz ‘n Fun Family Days is not happening this year, but you can still enjoy performances at the museum). See the website for the schedule of shows.

A Wind in the Door
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: September 2-11
Tickets: $20

A cosmic mission is unfolding! Don’t miss the onstage debut of the exciting sequel to Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved A Wrinkle in Time. Recommended for ages 9+, this one-hour show takes place indoors in the Family Theatre. Patrons 12 and older must show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 – with a physical or digital copy of their vaccination card and government-issued ID with the same name. Children under 12 must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before performance time. Recommended for ages 9+.

A Raisin in the Sun
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: September 2-4
Tickets: Pay-What-You-Can

The members of the Younger family dream bigger than the small house where they live on the south side of Chicago in the 1950s. When their deceased father’s insurance money comes through, those dreams might actually become reality. Walter Lee wants to run his own business and earn financial independence, but his sister Beneatha dreams of attending medical school. Meanwhile, their mother Lena wants to move them all to a bigger home in a white neighborhood. What will finally allow the Youngers to move up in the world, and who will have their dreams deferred? National Players is honored to portray this award-winning drama with a universal story about an African American family dealing with prejudice, history, and a world where everything changes. Common sense media recommends this for ages 12 and up.

NSO in Your Neighborhood
Where: Several communities in DC & MD
When: September 3-22
Tickets: Free

The National Symphony Orchestra’s annual program is back! Over three weeks in September, NSO musicians will perform free concerts within the uptown DC neighborhoods of Ward 4, Takoma Park, and downtown Silver Spring. This year’s IYN has 17 events, including two full NSO performances. Events will be offered both indoors and outdoors — at parks, coffee shops, taverns, schools, and more local venues. All concerts and events are free to the public with first-come, first-served seating. See the website for the full schedule.

Broadway in the Park
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: September 3
Tickets: $32+ (look for discount0

Signature Theatre and Wolf Trap present this celebration of the return of live musical theater with a joyous evening of Broadway’s greatest hits under the stars. Starring Broadway’s Renée Elise Goldsberry (Hamilton, The Color Purple) and Brian Stokes Mitchell (Ragtime, Man of La Mancha) and a cast of Signature Theatre favorites, enjoy tunes such as “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” “I Am What I Am,” “The Schuyler Sisters,” “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” and many more.

Toni Stone
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: September 3 – October 3
Tickets: $64+ (look for discount)

History is filled with trailblazers and Toni Stone was one of them. Considered a pioneer, Toni Stone is the first woman to play baseball in the Negro Leagues, also making her the first woman to play professionally in a men’s league in the 1950s. Against all odds, Stone shattered expectations and created her own set of rules in the male-dominated sports world. Based on Martha Ackmann’s book Curveball: The Remarkable Story of Toni Stone, award-winning playwright Lydia R. Diamond (Smart People, The Bluest Eye) tells the dynamic story of Stone’s journey of perseverance and resilience just to do what she loved the most — play baseball. This production is rated PG-13. It contains coarse and mature language that may not be appropriate for younger audiences.

Rosslyn Jazz Fest
Where: Locales around Rosslyn, VA
When: Through September 18
Tickets: Free

Jazz is back in Rosslyn with a three-week celebration of music, food, and fun! The Rosslyn BID’s annual Jazz Fest has been reimagined with live performances around the neighborhood (mostly pop-ups on Wednesdays), culminating in an all-day event in Gateway Park on September 18, featuring Three Man Soul Machine, Aaron Myers and Sin Miedo. Enjoy the soulful sounds of local musicians, including Crush Funk Brass Band, Akua Allrich, Kingman Island Orchestra, and Cristian Perez, live from some of Rosslyn’s favorite outdoor venues. Attendees can expect themed giveaways, prizes and restaurant deals throughout.

Kids Concert & Family Happy Hour
Where: The Hill Center | Capitol Hill, DC
When: September 10, 5-7pm
Admission: $5/adult, $10/child
Join us for a casual, outdoor happy hour for parents and tots!  Favorite local kids band, King Bullfrog, will hit the stage with high-energy original, folk and blues songs carefully tailored to get children dancing and delight grownups. This is a great opportunity to meet new friends and gather with old. Kids under 2 are free. Register in advance. A *quiet space* will be provided for those who need a break.

Come From Away: In Concert at the Lincoln Memorial
Where: Lincoln Memorial | National Mall, DC
When: September 10, 6pm
Tickets: Free

In honor of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, Ford’s Theatre presents a free one-night-only concert version of the Tony and Olivier Award-winning musical Come From Away on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The show tells the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers on September 11, 2001, and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them — spurring unexpected camaraderie in extraordinary circumstances. Featuring a rousing score of folk and rock, Come From Away honors the better angels of our nature, revealing hope and humanity in a time of darkness. Members of the Come From Away company will star in this 100-minute concert. Recommended for ages 10+.

By the Seashore
Where: Lee District Park | Alexandria, VA
When: September 10-18
Tickets: $10

Art on the Horizon’s By the Seashore takes you on a magical journey to a place children love to visit – the beach! Young audience members are invited to explore all the amazing things we find on the shore, in the ocean, and in the sky; from birds and fish, to sand and water, and everything in-between! Using an imaginative mix of puppetry, movement, and sound, this sensory-filled production is specifically designed for our youngest audience members ages 0-3. It takes place outdoors at Leonadus K. Plenty Amphitheater in Lee District Park.

Luchadora!
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: September 17 – October 31
Tickets: $20.50

The discovery of a worn pink wrestling mask prompts Nana Lupita, a Wisconsin grandmother, to share her tale about growing up in 1960s Texas. As her tale unfolds, Lupita’s life as a teen tomboy comes alive—bike riding with her friends Leopold and Liesl, working at her father’s flower stand and lucha libre. When a World Championship match is announced, Lupita anticipates seeing it until she discovers her ailing father is one of the wrestlers. With the help of a magical mask maker, Lupita secretly trains to take her father’s place. She soon finds it difficult keeping her secret from her friends and, most importantly, her father. This production will take place outdoors in the grassy field next to ATMTC and the Irish Inn (BYO blanket!), and strict COVID protocols will still be followed — see website for details.

Dueling Piano Kids’ Day Shows
Where: Bobby McKee’s | National Harbor, MD
When: September 25 & October 30
Tickets: $25/age 3+

An afternoon family activity, where kids are actually encouraged to wiggle in their seats and dance in the aisles! Kids’ Day at Bobby McKey’s is a perfect outing for the whole crew with two hours of all request live music, plus lunch and unlimited fountain drinks.

Celia and Fidel ((KidFree Suggestion!)
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: October 8 – November 21
Tickets: $72+

It’s 1980s Cuba and the revolution has reached a crazed tipping point. Fueled by a stagnant economy, 10,000 citizens have fled to the Peruvian Embassy in Cuba seeking asylum. As Fidel Castro grapples between his desire to maintain power and do what is best for his country, he turns to his closest confidant and political partner, Celia Sánchez for answers. What kind of a leader is he? Merciful or mighty? Imbued with magical realism, Eduardo Machado’s Celia and Fidel — Arena Stage’s seventh Power Play — imagines a fight between Cuba’s most influential female revolutionary and its most notorious political leader.

The Madness of Poe
Where: Synetic Theatre | Crystal City, VA
When: October 11-31
Tickets: $20-60

Join Syentic back in the theater for an evening Edgar Allan Poe’s classic stories envisioned as a kaleidoscopic tapestry of terror. Featuring a re-imagining of the theatre’s 2007 hit adaptation of “The Fall of the House of Usher” plus other tales from the inventor of American horror, “The Madness of Poe” is suspenseful, sinister, sensual – classic Synetic in every way. Recommended for teen ages and up.

Hadestown
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: October 13-28
Tickets: $45-175 (look for a discount)

Welcome to Hadestown, where a song can change your fate. Intertwining two mythic tales—that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone—Hadestown is a haunting and hopeful theatrical experience that grabs you and never lets go. Winner of eight 2019 Tony Awards® including Best Musical and the 2020 Grammy Award® for Best Musical Theater Album, this acclaimed new show by celebrated singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell and innovative director Rachel Chavkin (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812) is a love story for today…and always. Recommended for age 8+.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
Where: Olney Theater | Olney, MD
When: November 5 – January 2
Tickets: Currently part of membership package

Be their guest this holiday season as the classic animated story comes to life on the Olney Theatre Mainstage. It’s a tale as old as time, but it gets a new look from Tony-nominated director Marcia Milgrom Dodge.  Olney’s biggest show of the year brings the whole family together for a magical and memorable musical about the redemptive power of love. Join Belle, Lumiere, Cogsworth, and the rest of the gang in the Beast’s cursed castle for an escape to a world where beauty is more than skin deep and happily ever after is just a rose petal away. Rated G.

Witch Wartsmith’s Halloween Spooktacular
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: September 30 – October 31
Tickets: Coming soon!

Performances return to The Puppet Co. just in time to get ready for Halloween! Witch Wartsmith (the sister of Witch Wartsmith from our Legacy show “Rapunzel”,) hosts the annual Halloween Spooktacular and you get to vote on the winner! Part contemporary competition show, part vintage telethon, and part punpalooza, this spooky variety show will tickle your funny bone. Don’t miss this year’s performances, because some of the contestants will change year to year!

My Lord, What a Night
Where: Ford’s Theater | Downtown DC
When: October 1-24
Tickets: $20-35

Ford’s presents this new drama based on the real-life friendship between contralto Marian Anderson and physicist Albert Einstein. After performing in Princeton, NJ, acclaimed contralto Marian Anderson is denied lodging at the Nassau Inn because she is Black. Physicist Albert Einstein invites her to stay at his home, and the two form a profound friendship based on their love for music and their commitment to human rights. This production takes the audience into Einstein’s home and imagines the conversations and circumstances that led to Anderson’s historic concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Recommended for ages 12+.

Rent
Where: Signature Theatre | Arlington, VA
When: November 2 – January 2
Tickets: Coming soon!

La Vie Boheme! The iconic rock musical’s pure rush of adrenaline, passion, energy, and joy is boldly and immersively reimagined in Signature style for a triumphant reopening. At the end of the millennium, a group of bohemians in the East Village of New York City struggle with gentrification, love, loss, and legacies amidst the HIV/AIDS crisis. Through songs such as “Seasons of Love,” “One Song Glory,” “I’ll Cover You,” “Out Tonight” and more, they embrace hope, find strength and survive. Recommended for teen ages and up.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live: Time Bubble Tour
Where: Warner Theatre | Downtown DC
When: November 7, 7:30pm
Tickets: 35+
The “Time Bubble Tour” features the beloved returning cast of the 2019 “Great Cheesy Movie Circus Tour,” Emily Marsh, Conor McGiffin, Nate Begle, and Yvonne Freese, along with the world’s only movie-riffing robots, Tom Servo, Crow, and GPC. The show features the film Making Contact and will include all the tour signatures: hilarious riffing, wisecracking robots, and silly sketches. Recommended for ages 10 and up.

Various Concerts
Where: Several music venues in DC & MD
When: Throughout fall
Tickets: Vary by show

For a bigger line-up of concerts coming to the area, check out the IMP website, which covers shows at 9:30 Club, The Anthem, Merriweather Post Pavilion, and Lincoln Theatre. Whether you want to go sans kids or bring them along (kids welcome at many concerts!), there’s a lot of great live music to enjoy over the next few months.

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Filed under 2021, DC, Fall, Live Entertainment, Music, Theatre, Weekdays, Weekend

Live Entertainment for Families Around DC this Winter

The set of Shakespeare Theatre Company’s “Peter Pan and Wendy” is as magical and creative as the classic story


As it gets cold outside, plan to warm up with some entertainment indoors. There are all kinds of shows and performances to enjoy through the season. Here are details on what you can see on area stages, starting with currently running shows, then listed by start date, with most production descriptions coming straight from the sources. (KFDC Tip: Tickets to these could make for great holiday gifts!) . Happy Viewing!

Holidays on the Stage
Where: Around the DMV
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 Velveteen Rabbit at Adventure Theatre and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe at Imagination Stage. You can stomp along with Step Akrika!, catch An Irish Carol at Keegan Theatre, and enjoy a Candlelight Christmas at the Kennedy Center. Get details on these shows and many, many more in the 2019 Guide to the Holiday Season.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (The Musical)
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Through January 5
Tickets: $20

Whatever you do, don’t let the Pigeon star in his own musical production! Starring an innovative mix of actors, puppets, songs, and feathers, this world premiere Kennedy Center commission features a script by Mo Willems, creator of the best-selling “Pigeon” picture books, along with Muppet Babies executive producer Mr. Warburton, plus music by Deborah Wicks La Puma, the composer of Elephant & Piggie’s We Are in a Play! Recommended for ages 5+.

Singin’ in the Rain
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: Through January 5
Tickets: $54-$99 (find discounts)

The greatest movie musical of all time comes to life on the Mainstage and for once, rain during the holidays is guaranteed to make you smile. Comden and Green’s ingenious tale of Hollywood’s transition from the silent era is buoyed by the thrill of live singing and dancing to some of the greatest songs in the American canon including “Good Mornin’,” “Make ‘em Laugh,” and “Moses Supposes.” Our biggest production of the year is certain to impress Broadway regulars and enchant kids meeting this musical for the first time. If this were a film it would be rated G.

Newsies
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Through December 29
Tickets: Start at $66

In the summer of 1899, the newsboys of New York City took on two of the most powerful men in the country — Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst — and won. Inspired by true events, the Broadway smash hit is a testament to the power of standing up and speaking out. The Tony Award-winning musical features fan-favorites like “Carrying the Banner,” “King of New York” and “Seize the Day.” Newsies is “a winning, high-energy musical” (Entertainment Weekly) just in time for the holidays and perfect for the whole family.

Peter Pan and Wendy
Where: Sidney Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through January 11
Tickets: $35-120/adult, $35/14 & under (find discounts)

Bold, budding scientist Wendy Darling dreams of earning a Nobel Prize. When Peter Pan arrives at her bedroom window, she takes a leap and leaves finishing school behind, chasing adventure among the stars. Facing down fairies, mermaids, and the dastardly Captain Hook, Wendy, Peter, and their friends discover the power of standing up together for what’s right. J.M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan is reimagined for a new generation of theatregoers.
This beloved tale of adventure and wonder is sure to delight adults and children alike this holiday season. Recommended for ages 5+.

Squeakers & Mr. Gumdrop
Where: Lab at Convergence | Alexandria, VA
When: December 5-21
Tickets: $10

Arts on the Horizon’s show is recommended for ages 2-5… One snowy winter morning, Mr. Gumdrop prepares for his annual holiday party! When an unexpected and curious mouse appears, Mr. Gumdrop’s routine is thrown for a loop. Can these two wildly different characters work together to get the holiday preparations done in time? This nonverbal, imaginative production captures the magic of making new friends and sharing ideas to accomplish big goals.​

Jersey Boys
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: December 17 – January 5
Tickets: $39-99 (find discounts)

They were just four guys from Jersey, until they sang their very first note. They had a sound nobody had ever heard… and the radio just couldn’t get enough of. But while their harmonies were perfect on stage, off stage it was a very different story — a story that has made them an international sensation all over again. Go behind the music and inside the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons in the Tony and Grammy Award®-winning true-life musical phenomenon, Jersey Boys. From the streets of New Jersey to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this is the musical that’s just too good to be true. Recommended for ages 12+.

My Fair Lady
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: December 17 – January 19
Tickets: $39-159 (find discounts)

From Lincoln Center Theater comes “a sumptuous new production of the most perfect musical of all time” (Entertainment Weekly), Lerner & Loewe’s My Fair Lady. Director Bartlett Sher’s glowing production is “thrilling, glorious and better than it ever was” (The New York Times). Boasting such classic songs as “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “The Rain in Spain,” and “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly,” My Fair Lady tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a “proper lady.” But who is really being transformed?

Squeakers & Mr. Gumdrop
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center | H Street NE
When: December 27-31
Tickets: $15

Atlas presents Arts on the Horizon’s show… One snowy winter morning, Mr. Gumdrop prepares for his annual holiday party! When an unexpected and curious mouse appears, Mr. Gumdrop’s routine is thrown for a loop. Can these two wildly different characters work together to get the holiday preparations done in time? This nonverbal, imaginative production captures the magic of making new friends and sharing ideas to accomplish big goals.​ Recommended for ages 2-5.

Pete the Cat
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: January 11-12
Tickets: $20

For Pete the Cat, life is an adventure no matter where you wind up. So the minute the groovy blue cat meets The Biddles, he gets the whole family rocking. That is, except for young Jimmy Biddle, the most organized second grader on planet Earth. But when Jimmy draws a blank in art class during the last week of school, it turns out Pete is the perfect pal to help him out. Recommended for K – 5th grade.

Narnia
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre | Arlington, VA
When: January 10-19
Tickets: $15/adult, $12/child (find discounts)

Encore Stage & Studio presents its signature theatre By Kids For Kids… When the four Pevensie children stumble upon an old wardrobe, little do they know they will discover the magical world of Narnia. Full of mystical creatures, talking animals, and great escapes, this action-packed story by C.S. Lewis depicts the triumph of Aslan, the great lion and ruler of Narnia, over the White Witch. Join the adventure as four brave kids, one great lion, and an entire kingdom fight for what is right. We recommend this musical for ages 4 and older.

Mouse on the Move
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: January 11 – February 16
Tickets: $12

Nellie and Amelia are two adventurous mice ready to explore the world beyond their little mouse-hole. They decide to go to the moon, since it is cat-free and made entirely of delicious, mouth-watering cheese (so they have heard). In this interactive play, the audience becomes part of the story through multi-sensory activities. Join us as we all try to reach beyond the stars. Recommended for ages 1-5.

Step Afrika! Step Xplosion
Where: Strathmore | Bethesda, MD
When: January 12
Tickets: $35-75

Strathmore is proud to welcome back Step Afrika!, the first professional organization dedicated to the African American tradition of stepping. This performance begins with a showcase of the region’s finest step squads featuring lightning-fast footwork, percussive chants, and incredible synchronicity. In addition to Step Xplosion, Step Afrika! showcase a portion of their new work, Drumfolk, commissioned by Strathmore. Drumfolk honors the heritage of step and places the evolution of this vibrant art form in its historical context. Tracing step’s roots to the African American percussive traditions of patting juba, hambone, ring shout, and tap, Drumfolk reflects on the harsh realities of the American South and celebrates the fortitude of enslaved Africans who practiced these transcendent musical forms. Recommended for ages 8+.

The Merry Wives of Windsor (KidFree Suggestion!)
Where: Folger Theatre | Capitol Hill, DC
When: January 14 – March 1
Tickets: $27-85

Some appetites never go out of style. The pursuit of money is bound to backfire when the targets are smarter than their gold-digging schemer. Falstaff’s dubious plan to woo Windsor’s wealthy housewives is met with hilarious retaliation, when the ladies devise a plot to teach him a lesson he won’t soon forget. The comedic comeuppance is an absolute treat in Shakespeare’s delightful comedy on love, money, deception, and the power of women.

Once Upon a Moon at Udvar-Hazy
Where: Udvay-Hazy Center | Chantilly, VA
When: January 16-17
Tickets: $3-9

Let’s go to the moon! Celebrate the spirit of the Apollo landing in this exciting, interactive show for our youngest audiences. Performers and exquisite puppets spin new and old stories about the moon’s magic, create a “living exhibit” of its phases, and introduce the amazing science that brought us to its surface. You might even get the chance to be a moonwalking astronaut. Recommended for ages 3-7.

Rapunzel
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: January 17 – February 16
Tickets: $12

A “bewitching” tale by Duane T. Bowers, adapted from the Brothers Grimm fairytale. Witch Wartsmith wants a baby, and after bargaining for little Rapunzel, must go to great lengths to keep her out of the hands of a handsome prince. The Puppet Co. uses “coloring- book” charm and the simplicity of hand puppets in a production designed to delight its younger audiences. Recommended for ages 3.5-9.

The Pied Piper
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: January 18,
Tickets: $32 (find discount)

American Pop Orchestra’s The Pied Piper will add a musical element to the classic story by placing the Piper in a town where music and dancing aren’t allowed. Piper, reimagined as a woman in this production, will have a tricky time convincing the locals that music can solve their rat problem, but if they keep their promise of a hefty reward, things just might work out!

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
Where: Warner Theatre | Downtown DC
When: January 19, 2pm & 5:30pm
Tickets:

Daniel Tiger and all his friends from the beloved Emmy Award winning PBS KIDS television series are hopping back aboard Trolley for Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Neighbor Day. Daniel Tiger and his family along with O the Owl, Miss Elaina, Katerina Kittycat, Prince Wednesday, and more familiar friends will take audiences on an interactive adventure to the Neighborhood of Make Believe, sharing stories of friendship, helping others and celebrating new experiences. The live show features new songs and fan favorites series, including the beloved Wont You Be My Neighbor? The live theatrical production is filled with music, dancing, and wonderful surprises.

Here We Go, Team!
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: January 22-23
Tickets: $3-9

This Discovery Theater original scores big with a musical play about sharing and taking turns, the importance of personal space, and the awesome power of teamwork. Five-year-old Bobby and Casey are aspiring soccer stars and best friends—but they’ve ended up on separate teams! Through a mishap on the field, they discover that helping people is cool, thanks to another kind of team—their favorite teacher and coach who make it all OK.

Monster Jam
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: January 25-26
Tickets: $29-110

The world’s largest and most famous monster truck tour featuring the biggest names in monster trucks will thunder its way into DC. Alien Invasion, El Toro Loco, Grave Digger, Max-D, Megalodon, Monster Mutt, Soldier Fortune, and Zombie are among the vehicular beasts you’ll see tearing up the indoor terrain this year.

Happy Theater: Five Spoons
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts | Gaithersburg, MD
When: January 25 – February 2
Tickets: $15-20

Interactive community building theater piece for adults and children alike. Five miniature stories are creatively told and woven together into a greater story about our personal connection to the world and to each other. Through physical theater, storytelling, audience interaction and object-based theater we meet five people who live next to us – people who may be living without vision, or hearing, who have movement limitations, or are lonely, angry, sad…. How do they see, hear or feel the world, and how do we see, hear or feel them? Recommended for ages 10+.

Capital City Symphony’s Symphonic Dancing
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center | H Street NE, DC
When: January 26
Tickets: $15-20

This fun, interactive family concert will have every family member on their feet! The program explores the expressive, dance-like melodies of William Grant Still’s Danzas de Panama, and Scott Joplin’s The Entertainer and Maple Leaf Rag. Come enjoy this energetic concert for all ages! Join 30 minutes before the performance for an Instrument Petting Zoo!

Glimpse
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: January 11-12
Tickets: $20

What do colors sound like? Who can understand the moon? How do you sing a tree? This concert presented by Dutch music company Oorkaan transports young audiences to an enchanted world in which music, artists, images, and technology interact with one another. Jazzy melodies mix with bright visuals, forming a captivating new way to relate to music and sounds. Recommended for ages 2–4.

A Thousand Splendid Suns (KidFree Suggestion!)
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: January 17 – March 1
Tickets: $56+

Adapted from the New York Times bestselling novel by Khaled Hosseini (Kite Runner), the lives of two Afghan women are inextricably bound together. In the war-ravaged Kabul, Miriam and Laila become unlikely allies in the face of the insurmountable odds of a brutal and oppressive way of life. Hopes of a new life lead to an unselfish and shocking decision, changing the course of their futures forever. Called “emotionally stirring” (Los Angeles Times), this gripping and heart-rending fight for survival will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

NSO Music for Young Audiences: Beauty and the Beat
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: January 18-26
Tickets: $20

See NSO principal second violinist Marissa Regni and NSO principal percussionist Eric Shin in an exciting new program exploring the magic created when the violin and percussion join together. Eric may have a vast array of percussion instruments, but Marissa shows how versatile the violin can be. This melodic and rhythmic ride for families proves that no matter how different the instruments are, they can come together to make some beautiful music. Recommended for ages 3+.

The Big Meow
Where: Theatre on the Run | Arlington, VA
When: January 25, February 1 & 8
Tickets: $15/adult, $10/child, $45/family of 4 (find discount)

Presented by the Jane Franklin Dance Company… Little Cat is an ever-hopeful fluff ball who desperately wants to belong to the band of neighborhood cats. The Big Meow is a story of a Little Cat’s hope, disappointment, courage and need for belonging. These simple themes are part of every neighborhood, but in this wonderful tale told through the experiences of Little Cat, a potential weakness is a unique strength. The performance incorporates spoken word, movement, music, and an interactive participatory introduction for young children.

The Simon & Garfunkel Story
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: January 31 – February 1
Tickets: $59-99

This immersive concert-style theater show chronicles the amazing journey shared by folk-rock duo Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. It tells the story from their humble beginnings as Tom & Jerry to their incredible success as one of the best-selling music groups of the ‘60s to their dramatic split in 1970. It culminates with the famous “The Concert in Central Park” reunion in 1981 with more than half a million fans in attendance. Using huge projection photos and original film footage, the show also features a full live band performing all of their hits, including “Mrs. Robinson,” “Cecilia,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Homeward Bound,” and many more. Recommended for ages 4+.

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 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.

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.

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

This weekly sessions of musical fun were started by two friends of mine back when all our our babes were, well, babes. While it’s changed hands since then, it still brings entertainment especially for little ones to Capitol Hill, and children can boogie along with their favorite local musicians. Plan on grabbing lunch after at one of the many nearby eateries or Eastern Market.

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.

Rise+Rhyme
Where: BusBoys & Poets | Brookland, DC & Hyattsville/Takoma Park, MD
When: Mondays
Tickets: $5

The weekly series welcomes children 5 and under with their caregivers to enjoy a morning of performances and stories from 9:30-11am. Go to one of three locations: Brookland in DC or Takoma Park or Hyattsville in MD. Plan on breakfast, too — full service is available while the little ones are grooving.

Children’s Arts & Entertainment
Where: BloomBars | Columbia Heights, DC
When: Ongoing
Tickets: Varies by show/activity

The arts center in Columbia Heights offers a variety of enriching, entertaining, and cultural activities and performances for children. From Harambe sessions to puppet shows to musical theatre to sing-a-longs, there’s something going on for little ones just about every day of the week.

Phantom of the Opera
Where: Synetic Theatre | Crystal City, VA
When: February 5 – March 1
Tickets: $35+, $15-25/under 30

Gaston Leroux’s timeless supernatural classic gets a fresh update as Irina Tsikurishvili brings her captivating presence and virtuosic skill sets to the title character of The Phantom of the Opera. When tragedy strikes, a talented but now scarred ballerina takes refuge deep beneath the Paris Opera House. Years later, she becomes enraptured with the ingenue Christine in the corp de ballet. Known only as the Phantom, she terrorizes the opera house and manipulates Christine, cultivating her talent and demanding she be cast in more prominent roles. Synetic’s adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera will honor the pathos and beauty of this classic French tale while examining longing, legacy, and the tragedy of unrealized dreams.

The ABC’s of Percussion with Uncle Devin
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: February 6-7
Tickets: $3-9

Join Uncle Devin on a musical journey through the wide, wonderful, and boisterous world of percussion instruments. From West African agogo bells to a Chinese lithophone (made of stone!) to Brazil’s zabumba drum, learn how each unique instrument brings global beats to vibrant life. Uncle Devin makes the sounds and rhythms of percussion the perfect way to reinforce the alphabet for the youngest learners.

Zomo the Rabbit: A Hip-Hop Creation Myth
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: February 8 – March 22
Tickets: $25-35

Zomo — one hip-hoppity rabbit — is taking on Washington, DC. When Zomo is dissed and dismissed by the other tricksters in town, he turns to the Sky God for more power. The Sky God sends him on an impossible quest taking him from the breakdancing fish on the DC Waterfront, to the graffiti artist cow at the National Zoo, and finally to the DJ Leopard in Adams Morgan. Will Zomo find the power he’s seeking? Or will he wise up? This high-energy hip-hop adaptation of a Nigerian folktale, originally commissioned by Imagination Stage in 2009 (Helen Hayes-Nominated Outstanding Production- Theatre for Young Audiences), puts a local spin and lots of silly humor on the global tradition of trickster tales. Recommended for ages 4+.

Into the Great Unknown: African American Adventurers and Explorers
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: February 11-13
Tickets: $3-9

Leadership, courage, and adventure take center stage in this inspiring Discovery Theater original. From Matthew Henson, co-discoverer of the North Pole, to astronaut Mae Jemison, meet a century’s worth of bold men and women who challenged the Western frontier, the highest of mountains, and the vastness of outer space—and triumphed. In the histories and heroism of these explorers and adventurers, young audiences find models to help them reach their own highest goals. Recommended for ages 6-12.

The King’s Speech
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: February 11-16
Tickets: $54-114 (find discounts)

The King’s Speech is based on the true story of King George VI’s struggle with a speech impediment and the friendship he formed with his unconventional speech therapist, Lionel Logue. With the Nazi threat looming and civil unrest at home, royal secrets explode around the King as he’s thrust onto the world stage. David Seidler’s original play – which inspired the 2010 Oscar-winning film starring Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush – will make its long-awaited U.S. debut in a production The Mail proclaims “A right royal treat.” Recommended for ages 13+.

Disney on Ice: Celebrate Memories
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: February 13-17
Tickets: Start at $15 (find discounts)

Your favorite Disney stories come to life at Disney On Ice presents Celebrate Memories. Sail along with Moana on her high-seas adventure and dance with Woody, Buzz and all the Toy Story friends. Feel inspired when love wins in Frozen and dreams come true for the Disney Princesses. Share the excitement and make new memories the whole family will treasure forever!

The Snowy Day & Other Stories by Ezra Jack Keats
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: February 14 – April 1
Tickets: $23 (find discount)

This beautiful show follows the character of Peter and his friend Archie around the neighborhood in four of Ezra Jack Keats’ beloved tales, The Snowy Day, Whistle for Willie, Goggles!, and A Letter to Amy. Renowned for his tender personality, the character of Peter faces relatable everyday challenges to which children of all ages will find delightfully entertaining. Recommended for all ages.

NSO Family Concert: Girl Power! Celebrating Women in Music
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: February 16
Tickets: $15-18 (find discounts)

Don’t miss a special showcase of female composers, conductors, and performers to mark 100 years since the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote. The program is to include works by Florence Price, Joan Tower, Gabriela Lena Frank, and Jessie Montgomery. Recommended for ages 5+.

Going the Distance
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: February 20-21 & 26-28
Tickets: $3-9

Race to the finish line with two black Olympians who changed history! Soaring music and the exhilaration of world-class sorts motivate us to greatness in this vivid portrayal of the lives of Jesse Owens and Wilma Rudolph. Join them as they them overcome childhood illness, infirmity, and poverty to become the world’s fastest man and woman, winning the greatest honor in all athletics: the Olympic gold medal. The John Cornelius II score speaks to the heart and soul of the winner in all of us.

Beauty and the Beast
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, DC
When: February 20 – March 29
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. Winner of a Citation of Excellence from the American Center of the Union Internationale de la Marionette, it has played successfully to children and families nationwide. Recommended for ages 5+.

Imagination Stage’s Mouse on the Move
Where:Atlas Performing Arts Center | H Street NE, DC
When: February 21 – March 1
Tickets: $15

Nellie and Amelia are two adventurous mice ready to explore the world beyond their little mouse-hole. They decide to go to the moon since it is cat-free and made entirely of delicious, mouth-watering cheese (so they have heard). In this interactive play, the audience becomes part of the story through multi-sensory activities. Join us as we all try to reach beyond the stars.

Mark Nizer 4D
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts | Gaithersburg, MD
When: February 22
Tickets: $20

The only live 3D show in the world! Okay, technically any on-stage performance is a live 3D show, but this world-champion juggler uses lights, music, special effects and his own incredible skill to put on a dazzling performance with thrills and outrageous laughs. Special 3D glasses available to the audience give a surreal sensation of depth that take this family-friendly show beyond anything you’ve ever seen on stage before!

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NSO Music for Young Audiences: Mozart Mash-Up
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: February 22-23
Tickets: $20

Share the magic and music of Mozart in a special family concert! A string quartet featuring members of the National Symphony Orchestra plays its favorites from the prolific composer. At age 3, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart could be found observing his big sister Nannerl at the keyboard. By 4 or 5, he had written his first compositions, and by age 7 his first symphony. Mozart continues to inspire audiences and performers today—some of whom experienced his music when they were just as young as the composer! Recommended for ages 7+.

Celia and Fidel (KidFree Suggestion!)
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: February 28 – April 12
Tickets: $72+

Can one woman change the mind of a man and the fate of a nation? Fidel Castro’s most trusted confidant and political partner, Celia Sánchez, is never far from his side as he grapples with how to move his country forward. It’s 1980 and a failing economy has led 10,000 Cuban citizens to seek asylum at the Peruvian Embassy in Cuba. Castro must decide what kind of a leader he wants to be: merciful or mighty. Imbued with magical realism, Arena Stage’s seventh Power Play imagines a conversation between Cuba’s most influential female revolutionary and its most notorious political leader in a contest between morality and power.

YAO YAO
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: February 29 – March 1
Tickets: $20

Yao is a mischievous little girl who loves to play, but hates when her Daddy picks up his briefcase and goes off to work. One day, Yao grabs Daddy’s overcoat and accidentally pulls a thread that leads to the start of a magical world. South Korea’s Brush Theatre uses interactive screen art technology and live music to capture the whimsical adventure that follows. What Yao finds at the end of the thread playfully blurs reality and imagination. Recommended for ages 3-7.

Laurie Berkner Band
Where: Gordon Center for Performing Arts | Owings Mills, MD
When: March 1, 11am & 3pm
Tickets: $36-65

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 “Bumblebee (Buzz Buzz)” and “We Are the Dinosaurs” along with newer songs. 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!

Hot Peas ‘N Butter
Where: Center for the Arts | George Mason University, VA
When: March 1, 1pm & 4pm
Tickets:$15/adult, $10/child

Praised by the Los Angeles Times for their “hot and mellow multicultural groove,” Hot Peas ‘n Butter will have you and your whole family on their feet dancing with their infectiously fun global music celebration. This Parent Choice Award-winning, family music ensemble blends together traditional Latin music, Afro-Caribbean rhythms, jazz, bluegrass, country, and rock to create a “rainbow of color and sound.” (NY 1 TV). Singing in English, Spanish, French, Korean and Hebrew, Hot Peas ‘n Butter aims to show multi-cultural interconnectedness. Their repertoire of songs like “Number 1” and their signature Latin beat tracks “Somos Familia,” “Amistad,” “Que Llueva,” and “Round the World” enjoy radio play nationwide. Recommended for ages 2-6.

The Magic of Bill Blagg Live!
Where: Center for the Arts | George Mason University, VA
When: March 1, 1pm & 4pm
Tickets: $15/adult, $10/child

Witness the impossible with top illusionist Bill Blagg in his new mind-bending and hilarious magic show The Magic of Bill Blagg Live! “Unbelievable!” raves USA Today, and “Absolutely Incredible!” echoes The Chicago Tribune. The whole family will rub their eyes in disbelief as the “Houdini Times Ten” (NBC), makes objects disappear, teleports across the theater, levitates in mid-air, and so much more. Don’t miss your chance to experience this thrilling, action-packed, and interactive show that will leave you and your family breathless. Bill Blagg is changing reality one city at a time, and Fairfax is next! Recommended ages 8+.

Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: March 4-6
Tickets: $3-9

Meet the grocer, the baker, the pizza-dough maker, and all of the friendly people who make our neighborhoods terrific places to live every day. Recycled crafting, interactive songs, literacy and numeracy elements make this community day the perfect blend of learning and just plain fun.

Story Tapestries: The Fastest Plane
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts | Gaithersburg, MD
When: March 5-7
Tickets: $10-15

Travel the World with Story Tapestries’ Family Artists and The Giggling, Wiggling Bookworm. Dive into the ocean, soar above the mountains and fly through the jungle. Leave the program swinging like a monkey, singing like a bird and eager to celebrate stories from around the world!

NSO Music for Young Audiences: 123 Andrés
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: March 7-8
Tickets: $20

Andrés and Christina are Latin Grammy Award®–winning teaching artists who get kids and families excited about learning and moving together in Spanish and English! Join Andrés on an exciting cultural exploration of Latin America through an introduction of language, music, and dance. Families sing, shake, and sound out. Children can use their imaginations to ride an imaginary airplane and join in singing and dancing while practicing new vocabulary. Recommended for ages 3-6.

Science Tellers: Escape from Earth
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: March 12-13
Tickets: $3-9

Two curious kids venture into the forest to investigate a meteor shower and find themselves mixed up with a family of visitors from another planet. They risk everything to rescue their new friends and get them to their spaceship before it’s too late. Audiences get to learn the science behind the show’s out-of-this-world special effects.

Arts on the Horizon’s Drumming with Dishes
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center | H Street NE, DC
When: March 11-15
Tickets: $15

What happens when you invite someone very different from you to come over to play? Such an adventure awaits an energetic child when she introduces her shy imaginary friend to a very special kitchen. But instead of food, they’ll cook up beautiful music! This gentle, whimsical adventure celebrates friendship and turning the ordinary into the extraordinary. Join us and discover what wonders can be accomplished through friendship! Recommended for ages 2-5.

Jazz Doodle Jam! Jason Moran & Bandwagon + Mo Willems
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: March 13-14
Tickets: $20

Jazz Doodle Jam! is an intimate jazz concert where you collaborate with the band! Sit down at a table covered with paper, grab a marker or crayon, and join host Mo Willems for a new kind of participatory musical experience. Kids and grown-ups doodle to music played onstage by Jason Moran and The Bandwagon. The band reacts and improvises to the audience’s explorations, jamming together with pictures and music, blurring the lines between artists and audience. All ages welcome!

St. Paddy’s Day with Pete Moss and the Bog Band
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: March 12-13
Tickets: $3-9

Join Pete (aka Mitch Fanning) and his troupe of talented young musicians as they pick up their fiddles and bodhran drums to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. Spirited music, lively step dancing, and a dash of Irish musical history guarantee “a rattlin’ good time!” Recommended for ages 5-12.

Happy Theater: Nest
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts | Gaithersburg, MD
When: March 14, 21, & 28
Tickets: $25-45

An interactive, multi-sensory show about the life cycle of a bird for families with children from 6 months to 4 years old… In a nest in a tree, an egg is kept warm. Then a Baby Bird hatches! The Baby is fed and nurtured by the Tree Fairy, and both the Baby and the Fairy begin to explore what it means to grow up, and to learn how to fly, and what it means to be a parent. They feel sunshine and rain, smell flowers, taste berries, and see butterflies. There are surprises. One day, the Baby learns to spread its wings and fly. Where will it go? Will it leave the Tree Fairy?

Once Upon a Moon
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: March 19-20
Tickets: $3-9

Let’s go to the moon! Celebrate the spirit of the Apollo landing in this exciting, interactive show for our youngest audiences. Performers and exquisite puppets spin new and old stories about the moon’s magic, create a “living exhibit” of its phases, and introduce the amazing science that brought us to its surface. You might even get the chance to be a moonwalking astronaut.

Harlem Globetrotters
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: March 21
Tickets: $25 and up (find discounts)

The Original Harlem Globetrotters are on the road for their action packed tour! A star-studded roster will have fans on the edge of their seats to witness the ball handling wizardry, basketball artistry and one-of-a-kind family entertainment that thrills fans of all ages. There will be new high-flying dunks, hilarious stunts, a new record-breaking attempt and unforgettable family moments.

Is there a great show running soon that you don’t see listed here? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll add it!


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Filed under 2019, 2020, All ages, Date Night, DC, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Seasonal, Special Event, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter