Tag Archives: Synetic Theater

Pixie Dust Aplenty in ‘The Adventures of Peter Pan’ at Synetic Theater



When Synetic Theater announced their new season a few months ago, I was happy to hear they would be kicking it off with a family-friendly show, The Adventures of Peter Pan. The company is known for its innovative approach to theater, often infusing classics with beautiful movement and sometimes even eliminating dialogue. (In fact, it was there that I saw my favorite adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, a wordless version that was absolutely mesmerizing.) However, many of their productions are too sophisticated for kids, so it had been awhile since I’d brought mine to a performance there.

The familiar tale about the boy who wouldn’t grow up is now on stage at the venue in Crystal City. And though they may have a younger audience in mind, Synetic doesn’t skimp one bit on their unique, artistic style. Captivating dance numbers, both spirited and subtle performances by the cast, dazzling costumes, and gorgeous use of light and props make an already magical story even more enchanting.

It’s an adventure, for sure, as Peter Pan journeys to Neverland with the Darling children and, along with the Lost Boys, battles Captain Hook and his crew. Scenes are full of energy and amazing choreography. The blend of dancing, sword fights, and some moving, emotional moments keeps all eyes on stage and the audience on the edge of seats. Although most of us know what ultimately happens, we’re still absorbed by the action and want to see it play out — especially in Synetic’s signature, physically dramatic style.

The show strays from the original, but the elements that make it different are some of the best parts. Peter’s shadow is a main character — he’s in just about every scene with him — and their dances together are so fantastic. (I realized later that the actor who played him, Zana Gankhuyag, was Romeo in the production I loved so much.) Also, Tinker Bell is Peter’s sister in this version, and she sparkles as much as her delightful fairy costume.

A post-show photo-op with Tinker Bell

Sasha said her favorite part of the show was a mermaid dance, a beautiful ballet among rippling sheets of fabric lit with blue to create a scene of water. When I asked what she liked best, though, she did have to think about it because “there were so many good parts!” I couldn’t agree more.

The Adventures of Peter Pan is running at Synetic Theater through November 19. Tickets are $15-55. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

* On Sunday, October 29 at 2pm, Synetic Theater is hosting a Pirate’s Ball, a family-friendly version of its annual Vampire’s Ball. Tickets include the 2pm performance of ‘Peter Pan,’ post-show family activities, light appetizers, and a meet-and-greet with some of the cast! All attendees are encouraged to wear costumes and bring a trick-or-treat bag! More info here.

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets from Synetic Theater to see The Adventures of Peter Pan, however, all opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

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Hot Tickets for Winter Entertainment

Get out of the cold and into the theatres (or, in at least one case, basketball arena) this winter!  From children’s plays and puppet shows to symphonies for kids to classic tales on ice to acrobatic hoops, there’s live entertainment to indulge every interest.  Here are details on what you can see on local stages, with most descriptions pulled straight from the websites.

Dr. Doo-Little
Where: Imagination Stage
When: Through January 8
Tickets: $10-22
Hugh Lofting is a Lieutenant in the British Army. In his letters to his son, he tells exciting stories about an eccentric doctor who can talk to animals! Dr. Dolittle has abandoned his traditional medical practice in favor of feathered, four legged, furry, ferocious, and in some cases, fantastical beasts. His profession leads him to Africa where he and his young apprentice encounter clever monkeys, giant elephants, lion cubs and even the wicked pirate Ben Ali! Through his unconventional methods, Dr. Dolittle must bring peace to all the warring creatures.

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Through January 8
Tickets: $20
Chock full of adventure, song, and gigantic dancing laundry, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical tells a tale of firsts: a stuffed animal’s first trip to the laundry, a little girl’s first words, and a Daddy’s first time dealing with his child going “boneless.” Based on his beloved Caldecott Honor–winning picture book, six-time Emmy Award winner Mo Willems joins Grammy Award(r)–winning composer Michael Silversher to lovingly celebrate the heart and heartache that can only come from a family visit to the local Laundromat. Praised as “a suds-related yarn with such wit and sprightliness that you’re half-inclined to swing by the nearest coin-operated front loader and feed it all your quarters, just for the fun of it,” by the Washington Post following its 2010 premiere, this fun musical is back by popular demand. Recommended for age 4 and up.

Mouse on the Move
Where: Imagination Stage
When: January 5 – February 5
Tickets: $10
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. In this world premiere interactive play, there are many opportunities for audience participation. Join as they all try to reach beyond the stars. Recommended for ages 1-5.

Darius the Dragon & Rap-Punzel
Where: Encore Stage
When: January 6-15
Tickets: $12/adults, $10/children
What happens when the tale of a goofy dragon is paired with the story of an imprisoned princess? An afternoon at the theatre guaranteed to entertain the whole family! For the first time ever, Encore is thrilled to offer you two shows in one afternoon! First, Darius the Dragon enjoys his home in a quiet, peaceful cave — until it is destroyed by a bulldozer! Homeless and frightened, Darius must brave the noise and pollution of the 21st century and lead his new friends in a crusade to find the king of this strange new land. Next up, when a loving husband is caught stealing from a garden, he and his wife are forced to give their daughter to the witch next door. The witch raises the girl high in a tower where she yearns for life beyond her window sill. Join us for the classic tale of Rapunzel — told entirely in a rhythmic rhyming style! Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Airborne Comedians
Where: Alden Theatre
When: January 7
Tickets: $15/McLean residents, $20/non-residents

Enjoy gravity defying entertainment as the Airborne Comedians juggle electric guitars, lawn chairs and other seemingly non-juggleables. This pair is a sure bet to make you laugh.

Saturday Mornings at the National
Where: National Theatre
When: Most Saturdays through April 28
Tickets: Free, but required. Distributed day of on first-come, first-served basis.
The free theatre program began runs on select Saturdays through the spring. Musicals, plays, storytelling, and comedy shows are all part of the live entertainment line-up. See the complete schedule of performances here.

Peter & The Wolf
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: January 13 – February 19
Tickets: $10
One of The Puppet Co.’s best loved stories, this performance starts with an introduction to musical instruments used to signify each of the character, then blends into the story of Peter and his animal friends’ attempts to capture wily wolf “Old Lupus.” The one-man show, performed by puppetmaster Christopher Piper, is based on Russia’s popular tale of good versus evil and staged with half life-size marionettes. This production is a new approach to the old tale, using character dialogue rather than narrative to develop the plot. Recommended for pre-K and up.

Alladin, Jr.
Where: Burke Community Church
When: January 13, 14, 20, & 21
Tickets: $10

Welcome to Agrabah, City of Enchantment, where every beggar has a story and every camel has a tail! The Northern Virginia Players is pleased to announce their next show Aladdin, Jr. Filled with magic, mayhem, and flying carpet rides, audiences’ spirits will soar with excitement. This Academy award-winning show will thrill audiences of all ages. Northern Virginia Players and the cast of Aladdin Jr will make this musical a favorite for many years to come.

NSO Teddy Bear Concert: Teddy and the Ten Hats
Where: Kennedy Center
When: January 14
Tickets: $18
What’s a bear to wear when he has ten hats but only one head? The answer to that puzzle is in the music of this cute Teddy Bear Concert about a fuzzy fella with a zany collection of hats that represent a wide variety of music from Haydn to Sousa and beyond. Part dress-up party, part musical travelogue, kids can travel across styles and borders in these concerts presented by NSO musicians Aaron Goldman on flute, William Wielgus on oboe, and Janet Frank on cello. Recommended for ages 3 to 5, kids can bring their favorite stuffed animal to these interactive programs and have their teddy bear friend join in all the fun. And get there early for “Musical Playtime.” Starting 45 minutes before each Teddy Bear Concert, enjoy music and movement activities especially designed for small children.

Tiny Tots
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Starting 1/18 – 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.

How Old is a Hero?
Where: Discovery Theater
When: January 20 & 25
Tickets: $3-8
See this terrific touring show before it goes on the road. Meet Ernest Green of the Little Rock Nine, the first black student to graduate from an integrated high school; Claudette Colvin, who refused to give up her bus seat before Rosa Parks; and Ruby Bridges, who won equal rights before she could read. Learn about their compelling experiences and be inspired by the courage and hope of our youngest citizens The show features moving archival Civil Rights recordings.

The Snowy Day
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: January 20 – February 12
Tickets: $18
Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the first American picture book that featured an African-American child as the main character. The simple tale of a boy waking up to discover that snow has fallen during the night is brought to life in the magical world premiere. Peter celebrates the snow-draped inner city with a day of adventures-experimenting with footprints, knocking snow from a tree, creating snow angels, and trying to save a snowball for the next day.

The Wright Brothers: A Musical Play With Rainbow Puppet Productions
Where: Discovery Theater
When: January 26-27
Tickets: $3-8
Experience the fun of man’s first powered flight, presented by Rainbow Puppet Productions. This inspirational story about hard work and determination is told through lively songs and a variety of puppetry styles: hand, rod, and shadow. Recommended for ages 2-10.

P. Nokio
Where: Imagination Stage
When: February 1 – March 11
Tickets: $10-22
G.Petto is an ingenious designer of computer games who works for the evil Machine Master. One day he discovers that his new character, P.Nokio, can escape the computer! G.Petto is delighted at the prospect of having a “son.” With the help of the Graffiti Fairy, he sets out to teach P.Nokio how to become a real boy by attending the Old School and studying the art of rhyme. Unfortunately, P.Nokio is tempted by The Way of Fun and Trouble and The Land of Fools. He finds himself in the company of con artists and in a tangle of lies that endanger his newfound father. To save G.Petto from Machine Master, P.Nokio must wise up, keep it real and learn that words and truth are the mightiest. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Teen Ensemble: Romeo and Juliet
Where: Synetic Theater
When: February 3-4
Tickets: $15
The teens of Synetic Studio will perform the Shakespearean classic in the Synetic style under the direction of Senior Company Member Ryan Sellers and assisted by Alex Mills and Ben Cunis.

The Wings of Ikarus Jackson
Where: Kennedy Center
When: February 4-19
Tickets: $18
There is something puzzling about the new boy at school. Instead of a backpack, Ikarus Jackson has a feathery white set of wings and can fly. To get away from the kids who are taunting him for his uniquely feathered look, Ikarus soars through the city, over rooftops and playgrounds, like a slow-motion instant replay. Just when he thinks he’s all alone, a brave schoolgirl tells him what someone should have from the start: “your flying is beautiful.” Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Honor winner Christopher Myers’s colorful and lovingly assembled collage-illustrated children’s book comes to life as an all-new dance-theater piece. For ages 8 and up.

Three Bears
Where: 1st Stage Theatre
When: February 9 – March 4
Tickets: $15
This brand-new play offers a comedic twist on the classic fairy tale and sends the Three Bears and a golden-haired friend on an all-new, a cappella musical adventure. The show is fast-paced, furry fun for the families. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic
Where: Verizon Center
When: February 15-20
Tickets: $20-75

Join the celebration as 65 of Disney’s unforgettable characters from 18 beloved stories come to life in Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic! You’ll be captivated by the one and only Mickey Mouse, the irresistible Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio and many of the Disney Princesses. Be thrilled by exciting moments from The Lion King; Mulan; and Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, and Toy Story films; in a skating spectacular filled with magical Disney moments you’ll remember forever as Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic!

Tot Rock: Jammin’ at the Smithsonian presents Rocknoceros
Where: Discovery Theater
When: February 23
Tickets: $3-6

Discovery Theater favorites Coach, Williebob, and Boogie Woogie Bennie return to party with us and sing brand new songs from their recently released album, Colonel Purple Turtle. Don’t worry, they’ll also sing some of your old favorites, and we’ll have fun together like we always do when these great kids’ musicians visit us on The Mall. Their new CD and companion book will be on sale after the show.

Intersections: A New America Arts Festival
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: February 23 – March 11
Tickets: Vary by Performance
The Atlas Performing Art Center’s celebration of art as a form of connection and communication will include several family-friendly performances through it’s two and a half week run, including an interactive play, a jazz show, canine entertainment, drumming performances, and more.

The Magic Flute
Where: The Puppet Co. Playhouse
When: February 24 – March 11
Tickets: $10
The Puppet Co.’s most elaborate full marionette production. Christopher Piper’s adaptation of Mozart’s fantasy opera is a clear, understandable hour of beautiful music, dazzling special effects, and exquisite marionettes in fantastic animal shapes. Sung on tape in English by a talented local group of professional singers, this is the perfect introduction for children to great music. In this version of the story, the hero, Prince Tamino, is lost in a strange land. He meets a birdcatcher called Papageno. Together they are confronted by the Queen of the Night who begs Tamino to rescue her daughter Pamina who is being held captive by the evil Sarastro.
Tamino and Papageno travel to Sarastro’s realm and find Pamino. Then they meet Sarastro and discover that he is not evil, but a kindly ruler. Sarastro senses that Tamino and Pamino love each other and tells Tamino that if he can survive three trials that the couple will rule in harmony over the realm in his place. Recommended for grades 1 and up.

Culkin School of Irish Dance
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: March 3, 1pm & 3pm
Tickets: $12
Families will thrill to the athletic and artistic dancing by the talented students of this beloved Washington area institution. Culkin dancers have performed at the White House, the Kennedy Center and many local festivals. You’ll want to tap along in your seat! Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Out of the Box
Where: Landmark Mall & Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: March 1-18 (Landmark) & March 20-25 (Atlas)
Tickets: $8, free for 12 months and under
Follow an energetic young girl named PJ, as she discovers the possibilities one box can hold. With the everyday items she finds in the box, PJ transports the audience into her imaginary world filled with new places and sounds to explore. One room can hold an entire ocean; one box, an entire cave; 3 stuffed animals can be friends and fellow adventurers; and home takes on a new meaning. Out of the Box is infused with magic that comes from the young audience’s willingness to use their imaginations and play. Using music, sounds, and gentle interaction, PJ will engage children and adults in crafting this delightful and fun-filled world together.This world premiere production is a 30-minute, interactive, non-verbal show featuring an adult actor and musical accompaniment by an upright bass player.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: March 2 – April 9
Tickets: $18
Alexander is having a bad day. A terrible day. A horrible day. To be quite honest, it’s a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. But then, everybody has bad days, sometimes. Not only does Alexander wake up with gum in his hair, but his mother forgets to pack him dessert, and his best friend decides he’s not his best friend anymore. And if that’s not bad enough, Alexander’s brothers don’t have any cavities but—he does. And just when it can’t get any worse, there are lima beans for supper and —yuck!—kissing on TV. It is enough to make anyone want to go to Australia. Uuuugggghhh. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

NSO Family Concert: The Mozart Experience with Magic Circle Mime Company
Where: Kennedy Center
When: March 4
Tickets: $15-18
See the life of Mozart come together–one piece at a time–when Magic Circle Mime Company rejoins the NSO to perform The Mozart Experience. When a mischievous street musician is caught playing the orchestra’s grand piano, she is surprised to not receive a scolding from the conductor, but instead an invitation to “be Mozart” in this program about one of the most famous composers of all time. The street musician and her prankster companion must now confront dilemmas and opportunities similar to those faced by Mozart himself. In doing so, the audience experiences Mozart’s life as a very human story–as well as a great musical adventure! Recommended for ages 5 and up.

The Magic Lamp of Alladin
Where: By Encore Stage at Kenmore Middle School
When: March 9-18
Tickets: $12/adults, $10/children
In this thrilling tale, the adventurous Aladdin crosses paths with the evil magician Jammal and his wicked sister Halima. Only with the help of his clever monkey, Alakazam, the crafty Princess Jasmine and, not one, but three comical genies, can Aladdin prevent his magic lamp from falling into the wrong hands. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Harlem Globetrotters
Where: Verizon Center & Patriot Center
When: March 24-25
Tickets: $19.95-144.50

The World Famous Harlem Globetrotters bring their ridiculous basketball skills and amazing athletes to the Washington, DC-Metro area for three fun family shows!

 

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The Weekend Round-Up: November 11-13

The Bright Beneath, an exhibit inspired by bioluminescence, at the Museum of Natural History

 

With Veterans Day conveniently falling on a Friday this year, we get to start the weekend a little early. While most of the activities listed here are happening Saturday and Sunday, they may spark some ideas for things to do today. Or you can check this post from a few days ago for suggestions on where to spend the day off from school. Whatever you and the kids do, enjoy the extra time together. Happy Weekend!

LEGO® Robots!See the classic toys come to life and solve problems of food safety at the Smithsonian American Museum of Art, where the First LEGO® League Tournament is being held on Saturday from 11:30am – 5pm. Cheer on your favorite team and their student-designed robots, built from LEGOS, as they complete various tasks and tackle real-world engineering challenges.  There will also be music, demos, and more activities, all in the museum’s Kogod Courtyard.

Light PaintingOn Saturday from 1-3pm, learn about light in the ocean depths at the National Museum of Natural History’s monthly Second Saturday Arts & Sciences program. Using glow sticks, guests will create a deep-sea organisms as they discover the process of bioluminescence. Afterward, explore the related exhibit, “The Bright Beneath: The Luminous Art of Shih Shieh Huang.”

Stage Time – You have your pick of kids shows this weekend. Encore Studios presents Robin Hood for its second and final weekend at Artisphere’s Sprectrum Theatre. The Rough-Faced Girl: A Native American Cinderella Story opens at Synetic Family Theater. This is the last weekend of The Three Billy Goats Gruff at The Puppet Co. And Imagination Stage presents What Does Red Do on Thursdays?, a new theater experience for ages 3 and up. Visit the websites for more info and to purchase tickets.

Saturday Morning at the National – Trick shot artist Spencer “Spinn” Johnson takes to the Helen Hayes stage at the National Theatre’s weekly series. Kids are invited to step up and participate in dazzling fast-action tricks that teach inspiring lessons in confidence, goal-setting, and self-respect. Performances take place at 9:30am and 11am, and tickets are required for admission. Free tickets are distributed half an hour prior to the start of shows on a first-come first-served basis. Only one ticket per person, and all attendees must be standing in line to receive a ticket. Children must be accompanied by an adult, who remains present for the entire performance. Seating is limited, so get there early!

Georgetown Story TownGet lost in a good book and let the imagination run wild on at Georgetown’s “Social” Safeway as they partner with the Georgetown Library for the first-ever “Georgetown Story Town.” From 10:30-11:30am on Saturday, kids can experience the fun and excitement that books have to offer. Recommended for ages 4-11.  Refreshments from the Georgetown Safeway Bakery will follow.

The Moon & BeyondIt’s Super Science Saturday at the Air & Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. During this session of the monthly program, visitors of all ages will become immersed in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics topics related to aviation and space exploration through demonstrations and hands-on activities. Drop in between 10am and 3pm. Admission is free, though parking is $15.

A Day of Building StoriesVisitors can activate their imaginations at the National Building Museum by creating their own book with author Isabel Hill as she shares her stories, technique, and experience as an architectural photographer. Guests will discover the stories behind our local Judiciary Square buildings and the museum, then sketch and bring out their inner artists. The $15/member, $20/non-member registration fee includes a signed copy of Ms. Hill’s newest book, Building Stories.  Recommended for ages 7 and up, and all children must be accompanied by an adult. The workshops place on Sunday from 10:30am – 12pm.

Free ParkingThere’s no entrance fee to national parks that usually charge admission this weekend, so it’s a good time to hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, take a ride on Skyline Drive to see the mountains covered in autumn colors, or visit Harpers Ferry. See the full list of participating parks here.

Happy Birthday, Pizza Paradiso!The popular pizza place is turning 20, and among the week’s celebration is a Family Day on Sunday at their Alexandria location. From 1-4pm, kids can participate in a Make Your Own Pizza demonstration with Chef Ruth Gresser, and the first 20 kids’ pizzas are free.

And these posts are always chock full of ideas for more family fun, both outdoors and in:

The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids

Rainy Day Recreation (ie, Indoor Fun)

 

 

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Washington (and Lincoln’s) Weekend

Celebrate our former Presidents, sharpen the science and engineering skills, take a cinematic tour of Arabia, catch some live entertainment.  There’s plenty to enjoy with the family this weekend — and you have an extra day to do it.  Happy Weekend!

Happy Birthday, Mr. Presidents From museum events to special activities at Washington’s old digs to a parade through Old Town, there are several family-friendly ways you can celebrate George and Abe’s big days.  See this post from yesterday for a round-up of area events.

Family Science DaysBrowse interactive tabletop exhibits, learn about cool science jobs, and have questions answered by experts convened by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). This free event is open to all, but organized especially for middle- and high-school students.  All Family Science Days events will take place on Saturday and Sunday, February 19-20, in Exhibit Hall D of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.  Visit the AAAS website for the program schedule.

Arabia 3DJourney through the Arabian Peninsula and its rich culture and history in the Smithsonian’s IMAX Johnson Theater’s newest film.  For a full review of the movie, see this post from yesterday.

Discover Engineering Family DayThe National Building Museum and the National Engineers Week Foundation invite you to debunk the myths of engineering and discover how professional engineers turn an idea into reality.  Celebrate National Engineers Week by participating in this free, hands-on and fun-filled festival.  Discover Engineering Family Day is a FREE, drop-in program, though a $5 donation is suggested. Recommended for children ages 5 to 13 with adult supervision.

Centennial of Airmail Family Festival – Games and activities at the National Postal Museum bring the first airmail flight to life on Saturday. Learn about daredevil pilot Fred Wiseman, the woman who received the first mail by airplane, and the differences between the Wright Brothers’ planes and the one Wiseman flew. This free event runs from 11am – 3pm.

Theater Time – At least two new shows opened this week – The Magic Paintbrush at Synetic Family Theater and Jack and the Beanstalk at The Puppet Co.  Check out this post for details and to see what else is playing on our local stages.

Billy Kelly & the Blah Bah Blahs in ConcertWith jaunty aplomb and a giddy inclination to rock out, Billy Kelly and his band The Blahblahblahs will bring The Billy Kelly Show to Café Nola in Frederick on Sunday, February 20.  Says Billy, “Our family show is all about dancing, shouting and laughing, both on stage and off.  It’s loose, it’s a hodgepodge, it’s friendly, comfortable, and just about anything goes!”  For  more information about the show, visit Billy’s website.

Discover StrathmoreLooking for something to do on the day off from school? This event on Monday, February 21, promises family fun in a terrific showcase featuring performers, music, workshops, sample classes, fine art and roving entertainment throughout the Mansion and Music Center.  This is part of Strathmore’s season-long Guitar Festival, celebrating the most influential instrument of the century.  No tickets are required for this free event. Open at 11am. Strollers are not allowed inside the buildings. Free parking in the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Garage.

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