Tag Archives: The Wizard of Oz

Enter to Win Tickets to The Wizard of Oz at National Theatre!


There’s no place like… the theatre. Especially when one of the most classic films of all time is brought to life on stage. You can experience it for yourself this May as The Wizard of Oz comes to the National Theatre. Even better, you have a chance to win a pair of tickets to see it!

“We’re off to see…”

The most magical adventure of them all.

This new production of The Wizard of Oz is an enchanting adaptation of the all-time classic, totally reconceived for the stage. Developed from the ever popular MGM screenplay, this production contains the beloved songs from the Oscar® – winning movie score, all the favorite characters and iconic moments, plus a few surprises along the way, including new songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Click your heels together and join Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion, Dorothy and her little dog Toto, as they journey through the magical land of Oz to meet the Wizard and obtain their hearts’ desires. Watch out for the Wicked Witch of the West and her winged monkeys as you rediscover the real story of Oz in this fantastic musical treat for the whole family.

The Wizard of Oz is running at National Theatre May 3-15. Tickets start at $48, and you can look for a discount here. Run time is 2 hours, 18 minutes with a 20-minute intermission. The National Theatre is located at 1321 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

Giveaway: For a chance to win a pair of tickets to The Wizard of Oz Opening Night performance at National Theatre on May 3 at 7:30pm, simply leave a comment telling me your favorite character from the story. To be eligible, you must like KidFriendly DC on Facebook and subscribe to the blog (see sign-up to the left). This giveaway will run through Friday, April 15, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to The Wizard of Oz in exchange for this post. However, I only promote programs, products, and services that I truly believe in and/or think would appeal to KFDC readers.


Filed under All ages, DC, Live Entertainment, Spring, Theatre, Weekdays, Weekend

Weekend in Washington

Peachy keen on the farm

The title of this post might seem obvious, but the distinction makes sense from my vacationing perspective. I must note that we’re missing out on some fun stuff while we’re out of town.  Hope those of you at home enjoy it.  Happy Weekend!

Swim in Nature’s MidstAdd some adventure to your next swimming experience by seeking out a natural spot to submerge. The Natural Capital blog has a fantastic list of places where you can take a dip and enjoy the great outdoors in one fell swoop.

The Wizard of Oz x 2You can catch two different productions of the classic show this weekend. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are the last chances to see the play performed by the talented young cast of the Act III Theatre Company. And The Puppet Co. presents their own fun version through September 4 with several show times over the weekend. Tickets are still available for all of performances. Read the KFDC review of both productions.

Shark Weekend On Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 4pm, celebrate Shark Weekend at DC’s National Aquarium by getting up-close and personal with several shark species. Learn from leading experts on the history, lives, and habits of one of the world’s most fascinating ocean dwellers. Visitors can participate in a scavenger hunt, touch an actual shark tooth and other artifacts, make arts and crafts, and more.  Admission to the Aquarium is $9.95/ages 11 and up, $4.95/ages 3-11, free for children 2 and under. There is no fee beyond that for the event.

Gonna Eat a Lot of Peaches – It’s peach picking time at many local farms; the summer fruits are at their ripest from late July to early August. If you want to get them at their peak, check out this list of local farms that offer pick-your-owns.  (Note: the post is about blueberry picking, but many of the same places are harvesting peaches now. But it’s always a good idea to check the website for updates.)

Classic TennisSee some exciting sports action served up at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic. The annual tournament begins on Saturday at 10am , and continues through August 7.  Tickets for the first round of matches this weekend are still available ranging from $10-45. 

Art for Families: Design a Button BraceletBe your own jewelry designer at the Textile Museum on Saturday while recycling grandma’s buttons into something fashionably hip.  Participants will create a bracelet with buttons of all sizes, colors and textures and walk away wearing their new work of art.  The free activity takes place from 2-4pm.

Family Fest at the Postal Museum Hop on board for a rail-riding good time with Owney the dog, the subject of one of the Postal Museum’s most popular exhibits.  This celebration includes such fun activities as designing an Owney tag, sorting mail in the Railway Post Office, making a stamp collection, and more. Enjoy the free event on Friday and Saturday from 12-3pm.

Livin’ Large Kids ArtOn Saturday from 11am – 1pm, children are invited to render their own abstractions influenced by artist Tory Cowles’ work, which is currently on exhibit at the Torpedo Factory. With inspiration her imagery, kids have an opportunity to experience the same thrill from the act of painting that Cowles’ herself does and has portrayed in her own bold canvases.

Jump on the Park Wagon  – I’ve recommended Riverbend Park in Fairfax as a great place to spend a day outdoors with the kids, and now there’s one more reason why:  Visitors can board a tractor-pulled wagon for a naturalist-led tour of the park. Rides are offered every Saturday and Sunday at 12:30pm, 2pm, and 3:30pm. Cost is $4/person, children 2 and under ride free. Rides run approximately 30-45 minutes.

Get Up and Go! –  On Friday and Saturday at 11am, the National Children’s Museum Launch Zone invites families to discover fun summer activities to make them healthy and strong. Activities like spoon and “egg” relays, freeze dancing, Simon Says, and jumping jack contests will take place throughout the day. And, weather permitting, guests can also enjoy a Hippity Hop Course. This free event runs from 11am – 6pm.

For even more ideas for fun with the kids, check out these popular KFDC posts:

Joys of Summer

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

Rainy Day Recreation (ie, Indoor Fun)

Stay Entertained Through Summer

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Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Farm, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Sports, Summer, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

A Tale of Two Wizards (of Oz)

Dorothy and crew from The Puppet Co.'s "The Wizard of Oz"


It might seem kind of odd to see the same story performed on stage twice in one weekend. But with two productions of “The Wizard of Oz” opening simultaneously and a family vacation looming, it was my only chance to catch both to post timely reviews.

Turns out, it couldn’t have worked out better.  The hot weekend was a great time to be in the cool AC of the theatres. And the productions, a play by Encore Stage’s Act III division and The Puppet Co.’s handmade version, were vastly different, which actually added a neat twist to the theatre experience for both Owen, my trusty theatre review partner, and me.

Viewing two versions of the tale so close together was a rare opportunity to compare the unique interpretations and performances of the story.  (Sasha tried to join us for the puppet show, but at two and a half, she was more focused on having a snack — a no-no in the theater — than on the stage, so my husband took her to the Glen Echo playground instead.)

First up was Encore Stage’s performance on Saturday afternoon. I won’t beat around the bush:  This play was fantastic!  Performed mostly by young actors, some possibly as young as five-year-old Owen, the production showcased some truly wonderful talent.  The acting, singing, and dancing of the cast was remarkably impressive, commanding the attention of the audience for the entire show.

On the way there, I’d given Owen some background on the story just in case it was hard to follow on stage. It only took minutes into the show to realize that wasn’t necessary, as Encore Stage lived up to its “Theatre by kids, for kids of all ages” motto. The show catered to the audience of both children and adults with fun musical numbers (Dorothy’s welcome to Emerald City was a brilliant start), a creative set, and fun (and funny) “theatre magic” to pull off some of the special effects (the melting witch was a riot). And I have to give a virtual standing ovation to the Cowardly Lion, who gave an outstanding performance.

The entire production is about two hours long, with two approximately 50-minute acts and a 20-minute intermission in between.  The show only runs for one more weekend, July 29-31, with performances Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm & 8pm, and Sunday at 2pm. Kids ages four and up would probably enjoy it most. Tickets are $15/adult, $10/children and can be purchased online.

Preparing for The Puppet Co.’s show on Sunday was a little different than the day before.  Now a veteran viewer of “The Wizard of Oz,” Owen was excited to bring his  expert perspective to the show.  We’ve seen many productions at the Glen Echo theatre, and I always appreciate their quirky way of presenting classic stories (though I guess any show that includes characters who are part puppet-part person can’t be anything but). This time they do it with live actors “telling a story within a story” using an array of mediums–table top puppets, masks, marionettes, and moving-mouth puppets.  And those puppet-human hybrids make appearances, too, with terrifically amusing renditions of the much adored munchkins.

While I found the production easy to follow, Owen needed a quick explanation about the “story within a story.”  In this version, Dorothy and Toto visit the Kansas State Fair, but Dorothy gets lost amidst the crowd. While her parents are being located, a few festival workers care for her and tell a fascinating story about a girl, a scarecrow, a tin man and a lion venturing together to see the wizard — the story of The Wizard of Oz.  Once Owen understood the roles of the narrators, he was able to follow along fine, and was thoroughly engaged in the singing, puppet dancing, and imaginatively presented cast of characters. After the show when I asked him if he liked it, I got a very enthusiastic, “Yes!” And when I asked what he like best, he told me, “When the lion jumped across the stage!”  Sounds like the lion stole the show once again.

“The Wizard of Oz” will be at The Puppet Co. through September 4, with showtimes on Thursdays and Fridays at 10am & 11:30am and Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30am & 1pm. It’s recommended for kids of Kindergarten age and up, and running time is 55 minutes.  Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online.


Filed under Gradeschoolers, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Preschoolers, Preteens, Teens, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Where to Play on the Weekdays: July 25-29

A river vista at Great Falls

Temps are still high, but the code red days seem to be behind us for now. Thus, both indoor and outdoor activities are among the recommendations this week. Water and shade get special mention, too.

Here’s what’s happening this week, July 25-29:

MondayGet Up and Go! to the National Children’s Museum’s Launch Zone where families are invited to discover fun summer activities to make them healthy and strong. The program will run several more days through August 6.

Tuesday –  Put a little bounce in the day!  The Pump it Up Lanham location is hosting “Open Camp Jump” from 1-3pm. Registration is not required, and they will accept campers until space fills up.  Admission is $8/camper. (FYI – Camp will also run on Wednesday 1-3pm, Thursday 12-2pm, and Friday 1-3pm).

Wednesday –  Take the kids for a hike at Great Falls Park, where there are lots of shaded areas, easy hiking trails, overlooks with stunning vistas of the waterfalls, and picnic tables for lunch amid nature. Admission is $5/car.

ThursdaySwim, slide, and play in sprays at Ocean Dunes Waterpark in Upton Hill Regional Park. An all-day (11am – 7pm) daily pass is $6.75 for individuals under 42″, $8 for those taller than 42″, and free for children under 2. Go after 4pm for the $5 rate.

Friday – As of now, temps are predicted to near 100, so  it’ll be a great day for some indoor theatre. Catch The Puppet Co.’s latest production, The Wizard of Oz, at 10am or 11:30am.  Tickets are $10 and available for purchase online or at the box office.

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Filed under All ages, DC, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Museums, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Summer, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays

Stay Entertained Through Summer

There’s no lack of live entertainment to enjoy around the DC area this summer. Here’s what you can catch the rest of the season, from currently running shows and series, to productions opening today, to performances coming up over the next few weeks. Most descriptions are pulled straight from the websites, and just about all tickets can be purchase online.

The Wind in the Willows
Where: Imagination Stage
When: June 22 – August 15
Tickets: $10 – $22 (Use the code Willows25 for a 25% discount)
Go on a wild ride with Mr. Toad! It’s early in the twentieth century, and Mr. Toad embraces the motor car with reckless abandon. When it is clear that he is on a road to disaster, Toad’s friends Mole, Ratty and Mr. Badger decide to intervene. Can they save Toad from himself? In an adventure with police chases, prison breaks and bandits, Mr. Toad learns the true meaning of friendship. This musical event is faithful to the classic, enchanting novel. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Charlotte’s Web
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: June 24 – September 5
Tickets: $17
E. B. White’s popular tale of love and devotion, takes theatergoers to Zuckerman’s Farm, where the delightful runt pig Wilbur appears headed for the dinner table — as main course, not as guest. Yet he is saved by the remarkably crafty spider, Charlotte, and the whole town begins talking about it. Some pig! Recommended for ages 3 and up, the show runs about 1 hour.

Children’s Theater in the Woods
Where: Wolf Trap
When: June 28 – August 13
Tickets: $8 for a day pass – two shows in one
With 70 performances from late June through early August, Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods presents family-friendly shows at 10am and 11:15am on 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. All performances are recommended for children between Kindergarten and 6th grade. The full schedule of shows in available of the Wolf Trap website.

Where: Arena Stage
When: July 14 – October 2
Tickets: $61-106
The classic show is back by popular demand, remounting its fall production after receiving numerous accolades, including 4 Helen Hayes Awards. Inspired by the toughness of the prairie, Artistic Director Molly Smith sets her production in the robust world of territory life filled with a dynamic cast as rich and complex as the great tapestry of America itself. With Rodgers and Hammerstein’s timeless music, Oklahoma! celebrates the vigor of America’s pioneering spirit with athletic dance and boot-stomping energy that will thrill audiences young and old. Oklahoma! runs approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes, including a 15-minute intermission. Every Saturday afternoon, free family-friendly events will be held in and around the Mead Center from 12:30-1:30pm., prior to the 2:00pm matinee. Enjoy pony rides and a petting zoo, learn some of the award-winning dance moves, or share a box social lunch with your friends and family.

Where: Jammin’ Java
When: July 16, 11am & 7pm
Tickets: $10
The local band adored by kids is doubling up the entertainment with two shows in one day. It’s the hometown debut of their new album “Colonel Purple Turtle,” which tells tales through song of the Colonel and his friends in their make-believe home of Soggy Bog. Families can opt for a mid-morning performance at 11am or rock out at the 7pm happy hour show.

Boogie Babes
Where: North Hall of Eastern Market
When: Thursdays at 10:30am through August 25
Tickets: $5/child, free for siblings 6 months and under
Make a weekly date with the Boogie Babes all summer long! Little ones can boogie along with their favorite local musicians in the cool, open space of Eastern Market’s North Hall every Thursday morning. Go for the show, then grab lunch in the Market and stay to play. See the line-up of performers on the Boogie Babes website.

Backyard Theatre for Children
Where: Strathmore
When: July 21 & July 28 ,9:30am & 11:30am
Tickets: $8, free for ages 2 and under
This theatre series brings children the music and mystery of exotic locales from around the world – all outdoors under a big tent! In the two weeks of the season, travel to India and Russia through these performances. Bring blankets or low chairs to sit on and a bag lunch for a picnic after show.

The Wizard of Oz
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: July 22 – September 4
Tickets: $10
This new version of L. Frank Baum’s “Great American Fairy Tale, “ recreates the characters illustrated by W.W. Denslow in a wide variety of puppet styles. Based on Baum’s first, best known, and best-loved of the classic Oz tales, rather than the 1939 MGM movie, the “wicked witch” is a minor character, dispatched easily with humor, and adventures never seen in the movie are brought to fore.

Tiny Tots
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Ongoing – 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.

Reptiles Alive!
Where: Discovery Theatre, Ripley Center, Smithsonian
When: July 20-22, 10:15am & 11:30am
Tickets: $6/adult, $5/child, $3/under 2
Reptiles Alive! is the most popular traveling wildlife education program based in the Washington Metropolitan area. We are very pleased to be welcoming them back to Discovery Theater to present Snakes Alive! Uncover the secret life of snakes during this spectacular show. Myths will be debunked about these misunderstood animals. You might see pythons, boa constrictors, legless lizards, milk snakes and more sssuper sssnakes! Recommended for ages 6 and up.

The Wizard of Oz
Where: Encore Stage
When: July 22 – 31
Tickets: $15/adults, $10/children
After a tornado whisks her away to the magical land of Oz, Dorothy and her new friends, a scarecrow, a tin man, and a cowardly lion, set off to find the powerful Wizard who can send her home. Based on the books by L. Frank Baum, this production will be performed by the Act III Theatre Company, an Arlington group presenting musical productions that are ideal for children and adults of all ages.

Just a Dream: The Green Play
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: July 25, 7pm
Tickets: FREE, RSVP to cmorrison@adventuretheatre.org by July 22
Adventure Theatre will make its international debut with Just a Dream: The Green Play, which in the Spring of 2011 took the message of environmentalism to over 50 Washington, DC-area schools and organizations. Based on the book by Chris Van Allsburgtt, the play will be presented in Singapore and Malaysia, but you have a chance to see it first. Adventure Theatre will also be hosting a free open rehearsal and kick-off party of this earth-friendly show at Glen Echo Park.

Urban Artistry
Where: Discovery Theater, Ripley Center, Smithsonian
When: July 26-29, 10:15am & 11:30am, July 27 & 29, 1:00
Tickets: $6/adult, $5/child, $3/under 2
They are guided by the origins of the drum, the energy of the underground dance movement and the art that documents all of our histories. Urban Artistry illuminates the counterculture styles of urban dance (often referred to as hip-hop), and their calling to create a diverse community of people with whom to share the experience. Returning to Discovery Theater this summer after a sold out run in 2009, this award-winning dance troupe will inspire you to get up on your feet! For ages 2 and up.

Disney in Concert: Magical Music from the Movies
Where: Wolf Trap
When: August 4, 8:30pm
Tickets: $20-52
Hear National Symphony Orchestra perform music from Disney’s hit movies at Wolf Trap’s Filene Center. The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Lion King, and more come to life with video clips and songs from your favorite Disney movies on giant screens in-house and on the lawn.

Fox and Branch
Where: Jammin’ Java
When: August 20, 10:30am
Tickets: $10
Dave Fox and Will Branch play a timeless kind of music. Their crowd-pleasing mix of old blues, jug band songs, fiddle tunes, New Orleans-flavored numbers and Cajun tunes makes people stop and smile. The duo has played to appreciative audiences at clubs, festivals, schools and libraries all over the Midwest, as well as on the east coast and south to Louisiana. Their music has been played on folk radio across the United States and Canada.

Peter Pan
Where: Wolf Trap
When: September 1-4
Tickets: $55-70
Tony Award-nominee Cathy Rigby takes flight in an all-new production of Peter Pan, filled with timeless magical moments and a captivating hook. The legend you thought you knew is now the adventure you never dreamed possible…Cathy Rigby is Peter Pan!


Filed under All ages, DC, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Summer, Theatre