There’s a whole new crop of live entertainment for kids coming to area stages this spring. From puppet shows for tiny ones to plays for the preschool set to family symphonies to concerts for young rockers, there’s something to indulge every age and interest. Here’s info on what’s coming to venues near us (most descriptions pulled straight from the websites).
Wake Up, Brother Bear!
Where: Imagination Stage
When: March 8 – April 10
Tickets: $5 – $10
Sitting on the floor around a circular playing area, children watch as Brother and Sister Bear discover a year in the wild. Together we see a waterfall melt, meet a butterfly, chase an elusive fish and skate on an icy pond. Children are invited to join in the action throughout the show with a big bag of small props that help to create magical moments. Themes of the cycle of the seasons, sibling relationships, and the dreams that we pursue from day to day and year to year underpin the story and offer a delightful exploration for young imaginations. Recommended for ages 1-5.
If You Give a Cat a Cupcake
Where: Adventure Theatre
If you give a cat a cupcake, he’ll ask for some sprinkles to go with it. When you give him the sprinkles, he might spill some on the floor. Cleaning up will make him hot, so you’ll give him a bathing suit… and that’s just the beginning! From the author of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie!
Where: The Puppet Co. at Glen Echo
When: Ongoing – Wednesdays, Saturdays, & Sundays at 10am
The Tiny Tots series continues the tradition of shows designed for the youngest theater patrons — ages 0-4. Productions are shorter, the lights stay on, the doors stay open, and the show is set up on the floor. A different show is presented every performance, so check the schedule to see what’s playing.
The Vanishing Viola, The Triumphant Trumpet, & Potions for Piano
Where: Glen Echo Recital Hall, South Arcade Building
When: Many Saturdays at 3pm, starting March 12
The Washington Conservatory of Music presents a new series of Family Music and Magic Shows, The Magic of Music, featuring Musico the Magnificent and musical guests. The shows are designed as a fun introduction to music. Drew Owen, cellist and magician, is Musico the Magnificent. Owen, a cello faculty member at the Washington Conservatory who performs with the National Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony and the Washington National Opera, is also a popular local magician. Owen will be joined by musical guests for each show.
Alice in Wonderland On Ice
Where: Gardens Figure Skating Club, Gardens Ice House
When: March 26-27, 1:30pm & 3pm
Tickets: $10 – $15, children 2 and under are free
The Gardens Figure Skating Club in Laurel will hold its seventh annual spring show, Alice in Wonderland on Ice. Young audiences will enjoy watching the cast, all ages 14 and under, glide, leap, and twirl across the frozen stage as the perform the beloved children’s story. The Gardens Ice House is located at 13800 Old Gunpowder Road in Laurel.
Let Freedom Sing: The Story of Marian Anderson
Where: THEARC Theater
When: March 27, 3pm & 5pm
The story of the great African American singer whose performances at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939 helped launch the civil rights movement. This is a one-hour opera for all ages and appropriate for middle and high school students. Reserve your tickets online. Availability is limited.
Imago Theater: ZooZoo
When: March 27
Tickets: $15 – $35
Imago Theatre makes its Strathmore debut in ZooZoo. This one-of-a-kind company conjures up one surprise after another, including a menagerie of a giant dinosaur, hungry anteaters, hitch-hiking rabbits, introverted frogs, insomniac hippos and cantankerous polar bears. Mixing deftly designed costumes, brilliant physical comedy, illusion and audience participation, Imago Theatre is simply “captivating.” (The New York Times)
NSO Family Concert: The Trumpet of the Swan: A Novel Symphony
Where: The Kennedy Center
When: March 27
Tickets: $15 – $18
Starring John Lithgow, the Kennedy Center commission based on E.B. White’s classic, The Trumpet of the Swan, returns. Though Louis is a trumpeter swan, he was born without a voice. Will a brass trumpet bring freedom, fame, fortune, and love? Recommended for ages 7 and up.
There will also be one “petting zoo” from 3-4:45pm, in between the two performances of The Trumpet of the Swan. Young concertgoers can get up close and hands-on with the instruments they’ll see played on the stage — from violins, trumpets, and oboes to trombones and percussion — in the Kennedy Center Atrium.
Various Weekend Concerts
Where: Jammin’ Java
When: Nearly every weekend
Tickets: $8 – $10
Kids can jam as some of their favorite musicians play live shows at the venue in Vienna. Family concerts are on the schedule almost every weekend for the next two months, starting with a Rocknoceros happy hour show this Friday, March 11, at 7pm. Most of the other concerts are on Saturdays and Sundays. Check the schedule for your kids’ fave – there’s a good chance they’re playing soon!
Where: The Kennedy Center
When: April 1 – 10
Scientific logic usually doesn’t have much use for words like magic or wonder. But Doktor Kaboom knows the value of these unscientific terms. Join him for a sidesplitting journey of increasingly spectacular, and often successful, experiments and demonstrations that will keep you riveted with interest and rolling with laughter. Doktor Kaboom! is an amazing educational tour of the modern scientific method, using humor and comedy while demonstrating spectacular applications of the physical sciences. Recommended for ages 7 and up.
Cinderella, The World’s Favorite Fairytale
Where: Alden Theatre
When: April 2, 3, 9, 10
Tickets: $8/McLean residents, $10/non-residents
The heroine we all know and love brings to the stage three of her counterparts in other cultures. This is a charming retelling of the Cinderella story featuring the legends of Plum Blossom (China), Vasilisa (Russia) and Broken Wing (Native America). Recommended for ages 6+.
George and Martha – Tons of Fun
Where: Imagination Stage
When: April 9 – May 29
Tickets: $11 – $22
The two endearing hippos from the James Marshall picture books stomp onto stage in this warm and funny musical adaptation. George and Martha are best friends. They play music together and share meals, presents, picnics, and exciting adventures like flying a balloon. Sometimes they have differences as all friends do. But it cannot last. Like all good friends George and Martha just can’t stay angry for long! This simple story says much about our relationships at any age. Geared for our youngest theatre-goers but enjoyable for all, this new musical by Joan Cushing sparkles with clever lyrics and laughter. Enjoyed by ages 3+
Where: Discovery Theater (Smithsonian’s Ripley Center)
When: April 19–22, 10:15am and 11:30am
Tickets: $3 – $6
Ahoy, ye mateys! Meet puppet pirates created from recyclables, who discover that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure in an eco-adventure by Michelle and Ingrid of DinoRock Productions. Nettie the Recycler explains that a pirate’s favorite letter (“ARRRRRRR!”) stands for Reduce, Reuse, Repair, and Recycle. This musical lesson in ecology and recycling features songs like “Reduce the Use,” “More Trees, Please,” and “You Don’t Have to Throw It Away.” Recommended for ages 3-10.
PLAY! A Video Game Symphony
Where: Wolf Trap
When: July 8, 8:30pm
Tickets: $20 – $52
Award-winning music from Super Mario Brothers, World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy, the Legend of Zelda, Halo, Battlefield 1942, and many more. Outstanding visuals on huge screens in-house and on the lawn highlight memorable moments from these blockbuster video games.