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Stay Entertained Through Spring

Imagination Stage presents "Inside Out" through April 6

Imagination Stage presents “Inside Out” through April 6

Warmer weather, cherry blossoms, and extra daylight aren’t the only things to look forward to this spring. Along with the seasonal delights, there’s also a whole new crop of live entertainment coming to local venues. Here’s what you can see on stages over the upcoming months. Tickets are on sale for all shows.

Inside Out
Where: Imagination Stage
When: Through April 6
Tickets: $10-12, $5/children under 1 on laps

It’s bedtime in Inside Out, but instead of getting ready for bed, two children use their imaginations to turn their room into a wonderland of mess. While playing dress-up, a glove becomes a dancing fish, a shirt becomes a fantastical creature, and a sock dance rocks the closet. This interactive show includes a free play session, encouraging audience members to use their own creativity with some of the items from the show.  Recommended for ages 1-5

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

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

Tiny Tots
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Most Wednesdays, Saturdays, & Sundays at 10am
Tickets: $5

The series presents puppet shows designed for the youngest theater patrons (ages 0-4). They are shorter, the lights stay on, and the doors stay open. They have an arsenal of shows that they switch up every performance, so check the schedule to see what’s playing when you plan to go.

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

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee follows six awkward adolescents through their daunting and hilarious championship quest. As they navigate the tournament’s pressures, the eccentric coterie finds a new sense of belonging.  Along the way, they learn that there is more to life than winning a trophy. This charming coming-of-age tale also invites four volunteers from the audience to participate in each performance, ensuring new and unexpected comedy every night. Peter Flynn (1776) returns to direct this heartwarmingly quirky Tony-winning musical comedy. Recommended for ages 12 and up.

Tot Rock
Where: Jammin’ Java
When: Ongoing
Tickets: $5/weekdays, $10/weekends

Tot Rock is Jammin’ Java’s super-popular kids music concert series, providing wholesome family entertainment at one of the DC Metro area’s finest music clubs. Local acts perform every Thursday and Friday, and touring performers drop by on many weekends. Check the calendar often to see when your favorite act is performing.

Anne of Green Gables
Where: Aldersgate Church Community Theater
When: March 21, 8pm
Tickets: $15/adult, $12/youth & seniors

Anne, a young orphan is sent to Prince Edward Island after a childhood spent in strangers’ homes and orphanages. Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, siblings in their fifties and sixties, had decided to adopt a boy from the orphanage to help Matthew run their farm. They live at Green Gables, their Avonlea farmhouse on Prince Edward Island. Through a misunderstanding, the orphanage sends Anne Shirley. As a child of imagination, Anne takes much joy in life and adapts quickly, thriving in the close-knit farming village. Her talkativeness initially drives the prim, duty-driven Marilla to distraction, although Matthew falls for her charm immediately. Anne says that they are ‘kindred spirits’.

Reptiles Alive: Live Animal Show
Where: Old Town Theatre
When: March 22
Tickets: $9

This wildly entertaining educational animal show is fun for the whole family! See snakes, crocodiles, and more, and learn loads of fascinating reptile facts.

Scooby-Doo Live!: Musical Mysteries
Where: Warner Theatre
When: March 26
Tickets: $27-46

In this exciting new musical theatre show, Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc. Gang have been called upon to help solve an epic mystery. A trouble-making ghost is haunting a local theatre and Shaggy, Fred, Daphne, Velma, and Scooby-Doo are on their way in the Mystery Machine to help solve it!

Hansel & Gretel
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: March 27 – April 27
Tickets: $10

Humperdink’s children’s opera, full of magic, music and dazzling special effects. The puppets, lights, music and effects, are all operated by Christopher Piper, who also performs all the live vocal characterizations.  The production has long been a favorite of children and their parents, and is an excellent introduction to musical story for children. Recommended for children in K – 6th Grade.

World Stages: The Adventures of Robin Hood
Where: Kennedy Center
When: March 28 – April 6
Tickets: $20

He robs the rich and gives to the poor. He sneaks around Sherwood Forest with his band of merry men. And his spiffy green tights are all the rage in medieval fashion! Last seen at the Kennedy Center with their wacky spin on Jason and the Argonauts using action figures, Scotland’s acclaimed theater company Visible Fictions returns with this inventive and humorous adaptation of the folk legend Robin Hood. From our valiant hero and his sidekick Little John, to Friar Tuck and Maid Marian, to the Sheriff of Nottingham hot on their heels, two actors take on multiple roles in a madcap production where nothing is as it appears. Look out mean greedy folks–your piggy banks may never be safe again! Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Ballet Hispanico Family Matinee
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: March 30
Tickets: $14-32

Celebrating 43 years of dance and culture and led by Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro and founded by National Medal of the Arts recipient, Tina Ramirez, Ballet Hispanico’s work fuses Latin dance with classical and contemporary techniques to create a new style of concert dance in which theatricality and passion propel every move. Choreographers represent a multitude of nationalities including Venezuela, Cuba, Trinidad, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Spain, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia. The Company has offered over 3,350 performances to an audience of over 3 million, throughout 11 countries, on 3 continents. This family matinee is suitable for all ages and especially beneficial for dance students!

The Jungle Book
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: April 4 – May 26
Tickets: $19

Based on the adventures collected by Rudyard Kipling. Orphaned in the jungle as an infant and adopted by a wolf pack, young Mowgli the man-cub is taught the Laws of the Jungle by Baloo, the bear, and Bagheera, the panther. As Mowgli discovers himself and his place as a human, the jungle’s greatest menace, the Bengal Tiger Shere Khan, prepares to finish the kill he abandoned years ago. With a multi-ethnic cast and crew creating a vibrant India-inspired jungle, this production showcases the best of D.C. area talent.

Once on this Island
Where: Olney Theatre
When: April 9 – May 4
Tickets: $31-43

From the Tony Award©-winning creators of Ragtime and Seussical comes a glorious, Caribbean-infused family musical of enormous heart and magical wisdom. In almost non-stop song and dance, Once on this Island, follows the story’s young heroine, Ti Moune, on her quest to prove love is more powerful than the forces of prejudice, hatred and death. Full of capricious gods, island magic, and joyous dance numbers, Olney’s production is directed by Alan Muraoka, proprietor of Sesame Street’s Hooper’s Store since 1997.  Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Cinderella: The Remix
Where: Imagination Stage
When: April 9 – May 26
Tickets: $10 and up

Don’t expect any glass slippers in this remixed version of a popular fairy tale. Instead, get ready to be immersed into the world of Hip-Hop Hollywood, where being a DJ is a dream come true – especially for a girl. Directed and written by Psalmayene 24 (Psalm) with hip-hop beats by Nick Hernandez, Cinderella: the Remix is the final production of The Hip-Hop Children’s Trilogy and teaches an extraordinary lesson in girl power. Recommended for ages 5-10.

Jammin’ at the Smithsonian: Gustafer Yellowgold
Where: Discovery Theater
When: April 10-11
Tickets: $3-6

Get ready for sunny, funny Gustafer! In a show that the New York Times describes as “a cross between Yellow Submarine and Dr. Seuss,” meet the cute cartoon alien who landed on earth from his home on the sun. Gustafer Yellowgolds’s adventures as an explorer in a slightly psychedelic version of the Minnesota woods are brought to life by singer-songwriter-illustrator Morgan Taylor in a bubbly mix of music, animation, and storytelling.

TreeHouse Shakers-Hatched
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: April 12, 10am & 1pm
Tickets: $14

BlackRock’s first-ever show for very young children, is performed through movement, music, handcrafted puppets, and very little human dialogue. Set on a family farm, a newborn chick emerges from her shell at sunrise to a strange and busy world. Audience members interact and play with the characters on stage; they give the chicks their feed, milk bottles to the lamb and are licked by the cow. A beautiful introduction to theater, Hatched will charm and engage babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. 

One Mic: Fresh Noise: A Mashup of Youth Voices–Game On!
Where: Kennedy Center
When: April 12-13
Tickets: $20

Eighth grader Ella Jackson just can’t win. At school, she’s harassed by bullies. At home, her mother’s on her case. All she wants to do is hang out and play video games. One day, when Ella says five magic words–“this game is my LIFE!”–her secret wish comes true, and she ends up inside the game! With just 45 minutes to clear three new levels, Ella must move quickly or be stuck in the game forever. She soon learns that virtual reality is no match for real life, while discovering some of her hidden talents along the way. Middle school students in Washington, D.C., have helped create this world premiere hip-hop theater work using their growing understanding of hip-hop culture and personal connections to the art form. Their imaginative stories and characters now come to life on stage through talented adult performers and hip-hop artists, including special guest appearances by DJ Reborn, Rokafella & Kwikstep, and DC Youth Poets.

Peter Pan
Where: Kennedy Center
When: April 16-27
Tickets: $25-125

Take a high-flying adventure to Neverland with the The Washington Ballet’s NEW Production of Septime Webre’s dazzling Peter Pan. A swashbuckling coming of age tale that pits Peter and the Lost Boys against Captain Hook and his outrageous band of pirates, this whimsical adventure is told through vibrant dance. Peter Pan is a story about growing up that never seems to grow old.

The Odyssey
Where: Olney Theatre
When: April 25
Tickets: $10/member, $15/non-members

Victorious on his departure from Troy, Odysseus heads home, embarking on a ten-year voyage that will test his wits and perseverance far more than war-time duty ever did. Upon his ultimate arrival, Odysseus learns that home is far different than what he expected; and that his greatest battle has yet to be fought. Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Me and My Shadow
Where: Kennedy Center
When: April 26-27
Tickets: $20

Shadows–they’re mysterious, they’re goofy, and they can do some pretty remarkable things. That’s exactly why children love to play with them! But making friends with your shadow can be tricky. There are things to sort out, frustrations to overcome, adventures to be had, and laughter to be shared. Presented in the form of a visual poem, this new show from Australia’s renowned Patch Theatre Company (2012’s Emily Loves to Bounce) uses a combination of light and shadow, paper and water, fantastical imagery, and intriguing sounds to reveal the perplexities and pleasures of friendship. Australia’s Db Review calls Me and My Shadow “a feast for the eyes that reaches straight, crystal clear to the hearts of all ages!” Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Shisa Dogs and Taiko Drums: A Japanese Journey
Where: Natural History Museum
When: May 1
Tickets: $3-8

Nothing is more exciting than the sound of a big Japanese drum. And a huge, purple dancing lion-dog is a must for every festival. Musicians and colorfully costumed dancers from the Chin Hamaya Daiko Culture Center use drums, chant, song, and dance to sweep you into the spirit of celebrations from Japan’s Ryukyu Islands. Presented by Discovery Theatre, the show is recommended for ages 5 and up.

Dali Quartet – Latin Fiesta Family Concert
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: May 3
Tickets: $14

Hello, Dalí! The Dalí Quartet is today’s freshest voice in Classical and Latin-American music. Their popular Latin Fiesta Family Concert features an interactive program that takes the whole family on a journey of different rhythms and melodies including Argentinean Tangos, Cuban Boleros, Caribbean Rumbas, and Venezuelan Joropos and ensures dancing in the aisles. Audiences learn various rhythmic patterns, dance steps and the origin of many of these genres and how they relate to and influence Western classical music. Dali’s inspiring and fun presentations make chamber music accessible and fun for the whole family.

NSO Kinderclassics: Bears, Bear, Everywhere!
Where: Kennedy Center
When: May 3
Tickets: $20

Back by popular demand and all grown up from a Teddy Bear Concert! It’s a big bear world out there, and every sort of bear has its own look and growl. This concert takes a peek at these adorable creatures and the sounds of their homelands–music that’s as unique as they are. With NSO musicians Elisabeth Adkins and Paula Akbar, violins; Lewis Lipnick, bassoon and contrabassoon; guest percussionist Joseph Connell; and storyteller Lynn-Jane Foreman, this performance assembles a wild combination of instruments to create music from around the world. Children will also be introduced to the theremin, an instrument used to create the crazy sounds in a lot of classic films. Get there early for the Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” Starting one hour before each Kinderkonzert, this hands-on activity in the Kennedy Center Hall of States gives children a chance to get up close with the instruments they’ll see played on stage–from violins and trumpets to oboes and flutes. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Tigers, Dragons, and Other Wise Tails
Where: Discovery Theater
When: May 6-9 & May 13-16
Tickets: $3-8

This delightful Discovery Theater original reimagines folk tales from Asia with a modern touch and plenty of fresh fun. The Tiger, the Thief, and the Dried Persimmon (Korea) puts a new spin on mistaken identity with a very silly tiger, a babysitting grandma, and dried fruit. The Boy and the Fly (Vietnam) is a sweetly silly slapstick romp with a little lesson thrown in. The Wise Mole (Japan) updates an ancient story of young love, complete with cell phones and iPods. The mythic Four Dragon Rivers of China features beautiful flying dragon puppets. Recommended for ages 5-10.

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