Tag Archives: Washington DC Live Entertainment Spring

Look Both Ways for an Invasion of Street Art this Week

Bring me to my (cheer)leader!


I knew it was going to be happening. I’d read (and posted) about Look Both Ways: Street Art Across America, a week-long series of free pop-up performances and events taking place around DC today through next weekend. I just didn’t know exactly what to expect.

And it was probably better that way. Because the mini-extravaganza that we caught at Eastern Market earlier today was one of the wackiest, most wonderful things I have ever seen in the many, many years I’ve been going there.

It was a performance by Mucca Pazza, described as “a collection of shameless band nerds wielding instruments of incongruous traditions, sometimes in competition, often in cooperation.”  (You really have to see it to understand it.) The show they put on right out on the sidewalk in front of Port City Java was fantastic — eccentric, energetic, and downright hilarious. The crowd, young and old, was captivated. And when I looked around, every face held some kind of amused expression, from tickled surprise to full-on laughter.

Mucca Pazza, the circus-punk marching band

It’s like the geek version of “Fame”!

This show was just one of a few roaming spectacles at the Market today as part of LOOK OUT! Lunchtime Invasion, the bigger series’ daily showcase of street performances.  They will be taking place in a couple of locations around the city this week, so check the schedule to see where you can catch one, and I strongly recommend you do. Besides the acts being entertaining and unique, their seeming spontaneous emergence in everyday situations makes viewing one feel auspicious, like you were in just the right place at the right time to be part of the impromptu party.

A really high-five

Along with the Lunchtime Invasions, there will be “Street to Stage” performances every evening at 6pm on the Millennium Stage (including tonight), LOOK UP! Night Street Fair on Friday from 8-10pm, and “Street Arts in the Park” on Saturday from 12-6pm.

We may just go for an encore tonight.

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Filed under All ages, Art, DC, Free, Live Entertainment, Music, Outdoor, Spring, Theatre, Weekdays, Weekend

Put a Little Spring in Your Step…with Some Entertainment in Your Spring

Alice and the Mad Hatter from Septime Weber's "Alice (in wonderland).


There’s a whole new crop of live entertainment sprouting up on local stages. Whether your kids are seasoned theatre goers or budding entertainment enthusiasts, there’s sure to be a performance (or several) that will have them blooming with applause.  Here’s where the shows are, ordered by opening date, with most descriptions pulled straight from the websites.

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.

Where: The Puppet Co.
When: March 15 – April 7
Tickets: $10
A“bewitching” adaptation of the Grimm’s fairytale featuring the music of Jacques Ibert. Witch Wartsmith wants a baby, and after bargaining for little Rapunzel, must go to great lengths to keep the growing girl out of the hands of a handsome prince. The Puppet Co. uses the charm and simplicity of hand puppets, created by Puppetmaster Allan Stevens, and performed by Eric Brooks, in a production designed to delight its younger audiences. Recommended for Pre-K and up.

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.

Boogie Babes
Where: Eastern Market & Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: Thursdays & Fridays, 10:30am
Tickets: $5/child, free for siblings 6 months and under
Little ones can boogie along with their favorite local musicians in Eastern Market’s North Hall every Thursday morning AND at The Atlas Performing Arts Center on Fridays. Go for the show, then grab lunch in the Market and stay to play, or hit one of the many eateries on the H Street Corridor. Check the schedule to find out who’s playing when.

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 be sure to check the schedule to see what’s playing when you go.

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 groups perform every Monday through Friday and touring performers drop by on many weekends. Check the calendar often to see when your favorite act is performing, and for other venue updates.

Basil Twist’s Petrushka
Where: Lansburgh Theatre
When: March 16-25
Tickets: $22.50 – $50
Petrushka tells the touching love story of three puppets at a Russian Carnival. Petrushka, the clown, falls in love with the charming Ballerina at first sight. The scheming and rich Moor loves the Ballerina as well, and seduces her with beautiful things. She rejects the earnest advances of Petrushka, who, upset and lonely, confronts the Moor. In order to make this story come to life, Twist sets it against the backdrop of a specially created two-piano version of Stravinsky’s original ballet score. Nine hidden puppeteers use a combination of Czech and Japanese techniques to bring the puppets to life while live pianists play the intricate Stravinsky score.

The Revenge of the Space Pandas
Where: Alden Theatre
When: March 17-18 & 24-25
Tickets: $10, $8/McLean district residents
In this comedy for young people by David Mamet, Binky Rudich’s latest invention, the two-speed clock, sends him, his friend Viv and their sheep Bob hurling into space. They land on a planet ruled by pandas deep within the Goolagong system. Making their way through a maze of interesting characters, these three friends try to find their way home. Featuring a cast of young McLean actors. Recommended for ages 6+.

Out of the Box
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: March 20-25
Tickets: $8
Follow a young girl and her best friend as they find out just how much can be created using their imagination. Our young heroine discovers a large box. “What’s inside? I’ll open it!” Each exploration leads to another, one door opens another door. There are dancing bits of light to chase and catch, explosions of color from the least likely sources, and other magic that could only come from the ability to let down your guard, open your heart and PLAY. Using music, sounds, and gentle interaction, our young friend and her buddy will engage children and parents in crafting this delightful and fun-filled world together.

Bash the Trash
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: March 23-24
Tickets: $8/Friday, $12/Saturday
What do you get when you combine music, storytelling, science and environmental awareness? The raucous, percussive group Bash the Trash, playing a Friday and a Saturday matinee at BlackRock! Children and adults can expect to rock with the most creative instruments ever and have a musical blast while learning about the environment. The talented artists of Bash the Trash will transform recycled and reused stuff into cool and weird musical instruments such as the “styrolin,” “balloon flute,” and the notorious “straw oboe.” The Saturday show includes a hands-on workshop in which kids will make instruments from recycled materials and play them in a parade. Enjoyed by 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! And as a special thank you their fans, the Globetrotters’ have partnered with the National Children’s Museum on an event at the Launch Zone on March 18 and have also created a $5 off discount code good for each ticket purchased for one of their upcoming games. To take advantage, go to: www.ticketmaster.com/promo/8v2pmu and use the code NCM.

Beauty and the Beast on Ice
Where: Gardens Figure Skating Club
When: March 24-25
Tickets: $10-15
The Gardens Figure Skating Club presents its eighth annual spring show. A figure skating portrayal of the classic French fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast on Ice features over 60 skaters performing to music from the 1991 Disney hit movie and the long running Broadway musical adaptation depicting a prince transformed into a beast who risks staying a beast forever unless he receives reciprocated love from a young woman named Belle. The cast includes local skaters from as young as age 3 to adult, with skill levels ranging from beginner to advanced, creating a visually exciting theatrical experience.

Maryland Youth Ballet Spring Concert
Where: Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center
When: March 24-25
Tickets: $18-25
Maryland Youth Ballet’s Spring Concert will feature three diverse ballets offering something for all audiences. The performance will include the exuberant children’s ballet Caroline Goes to the Seashore, choreographed by Michelle Lees and Harriet Fellows; the company premier of Christopher Doyle’s Empyrean Skies, an abstract contemporary ballet; and the popular classical ballet Paquita, restaged by Michelle Lees.

Wicked of Oz
Where: Columbia Ice Rink
When: March 24-25
Tickets: $12, free for ages 2 and under
Follow the Yellow Brick Road and meet all of your favorite characters from the Muppets, Tangled, Peter and the Wolf, The Wiz, Wicked and Wizard of Oz! “Wicked of Oz” is a delightfully entertaining ice skating show presented by the Columbia Figure Skating Club in Columbia, Maryland. This show is a special event for families and people of all ages, featuring over 90 performers ranging in age from 3 thru adult, including many talented skaters, including advanced, competitive skaters.

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
Where: Discovery Theater
When: March 29
Tickets: $3-6
Tot Rock: Jammin at the Smithsonian presents Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, the King of Kid Hop! With witty lyrics, fat beats and magnetic stories, 23 Skidoo introduces kids to hip hop without compromising either one. Entertainment and education strike a perfect balance in this classic hip hop show, with high energy party rocking and amazing stories. There’s plenty of interaction with back and forth choruses that keep the kids singing and enough dancing and moving to keep all attention focused, from the hyper to the diapered. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo bumps up both the volume and the self esteem, and sets the family music bar higher than a hidden cookie jar.

The Gift
Where: Round House Theatre – Silver Spring
When: April 6-14
Tickets: $10-15
Inspired by the classic tale The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, The Gift tells the story of a boy and a tree, and the intricate relationship that develops throughout the boy’s life. Their friendship naturally ebbs & flows, finally resting in a moment of mutual appreciation. Blending dance and theatre, The Kelly Mayfield Dance Company brings this magical story to life with their physical expression of the struggle to discover, and subsequently appreciate, unconditional love. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Septime Weber’s Alice (In Wonderland)
Where: Kennedy Center
When: April 11-15
Tickets: $50-155
Never before has The Washington Ballet combined such forces to create a new ballet. From the revolutionary vision of artistic director Septime Webre, designer Liz Vandal (Cirque du Soliel’s OVO), and composer Matthew Pierce comes a spectacularly reimagined take on Lewis Carroll’s classic story. Enter the magical world of Alice’s adventures, splendidly costumed, and gloriously danced… an unforgettable journey down the rabbit hole and the season’s grandest production!

Where: The Puppet Co.
When: April 12 – June 3
Tickets: $10
Half life-size rod puppets, performed in the Italian “Comedia del Arte” style, tell Carlo Collodi’s story of what it means to be “real”. Share the trials and tribulations of the little live puppet as he finds in one adventure after another that the “easy way” isn’t always the right way. Pinocchio sets out for school with the best of intentions, but somehow something more interesting leads him off the straight and narrow path. A Fox and Cat, a puppet show, a coach ride to a land too good to be true, all distract little Pinocchio from his quest to become a real boy. Recommended for K- Grade 6.

Gustafer Yellowgold’s Year in the Day
Where: Jammin’ Java
When: April 14
Tickets: $10/ages 1 and up
In Gustafer Yellowgold’s Year In The Day, we find former Sun resident Gustafer Yellowgold experiencing his unique take on a year’s worth of Earth holidays, both classic and unusual. New Year’s Day, Groundhog Day, Pancake Day/Fat Tuesday, St. Patrick’s Day and many more receive the one-of-a-kind Gustafer blend of blissful pop-music, lyrical poignancy, and cartoon absurdity.

Where: Imagination Stage
When: April 4 – May 20
Tickets: $11-22
Rapunzel is a typical 16-year-old girl, with a couple small exceptions: she was stolen from her real parents by a wicked witch who pretends to be her mother, and her home is a high-security tower in the middle of nowhere. She’s content, and as far as she knows, hers is a great life…if a little boring. Excitement finds Rapunzel when the charming and handsome Prince Brian stumbles upon her remote abode, and she realizes how much she has been missing! Brian dodges the witch to visit his new friend regularly, and the two plot an escape. But the witch is crafty and casts a spell that sets the young couple on a difficult journey to happily ever after. Recommended for Ages 4+.

NSO Kinderkonzert: Musical Opposites
Where: Kennedy Center
When: April 14-15
Tickets: $18
Sometimes you’re left with two puzzle pieces that just don’t seem to fit. But then with a little squinting and a lot of imagination, you find that they go together perfectly! In this fast-paced program, the Kennedy String Quartet demonstrates many types of musical contrasts that work together, from the technical to the emotional, exploring such simple musical building blocks as high and low, loud and soft, fast and slow. Then, playing excerpts by string quartet masters Haydn, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, and Shostakovich, the quartet shows how composers use opposites to express a stunning variety of musical moods and emotions. For age 4 and up.

Sleeping Beauty
Where: Kennedy Center
When: April 14-15
Tickets: $18
Some puzzles remain unsolved for 100 years…until the right person comes along. Master storyteller David Gonzalez (2006 Drama Desk nominee) returns to the Kennedy Center and puts a new, rhymed verse spin on the classic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty. Live music, image projections, and exquisite lighting create a magical multimedia world in which a beautiful (and funky) princess is awakened by true love’s kiss…or not. For age 6 and up.

Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: April 16-22
Tickets: $8
In the last production of the this season’s Theatre for the Very Young series, audiences will enter a world where giant jellyfish fly through the air, sheep graze in the grass, and lemons create the sun in a “let’s pretend” sky. Mild music, beautiful puppets, and imaginative props welcome both children and adults into the magical, interactive realm.

Trout Fishing in America
Where: Blackrock Center for the Arts
When: April 21, 11am & 1pm
Tickets: $12
This eclectic folk/rock duo is best known for writing and performing whimsical songs for kids like “My Hair Had a Party Last Night” and “When I Was a Dinosaur.” If you like the titles, you’ll love the songs! They have received four Grammy-nominations and won multiple Parents’ Choice and Indie awards. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Five Little Monkeys
Where:  Adventure Theatre
When:  April 27 – June 3
Tickets: $18
Going shopping…baking cakes…sitting in trees…JUMPING ON BEDS!!! In this zany play, all in cumulative verse, five silly simian siblings insist on doing things their own way and, heedless of admonitions, much more monkey mayhem ensues. And maybe a call from a doctor. Recommended for all ages.


Filed under All ages, Babies, DC, Free, Gradeschoolers, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Ongoing, Preschoolers, Preteens, Seasonal, Spring, Theatre, Toddlers, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend