Live Entertainment on Stages Around the DMV this Summer

Catch a rockin'

Catch a rockin’ “Wonderland” production at Imagination Stage



Summer is arriving and bringing a whole new lineup of live entertainment to local stages. The best part: There are shows to indulge all ages and interests, from musicals to puppetry to dramatic plays to concerts to dance performances to acrobatics to magic. This round-up, in order of opening date, has details of all of them. Now go save your seats!

One Destiny
Where: Ford’s Theatre | Penn Quarter, DC
When: June 7 – July 1
Tickets: $5 with tour

In this one-act play learn about President Lincoln’s assassination from two men who were there. Actor Harry Hawk and Ford’s Theatre co-owner Harry Ford revisit the events of April 14, 1865. As they reconstruct the sequence of events, they grapple with the question: Could John Wilkes Booth have been stopped? This 35-minute performance explores the key facts of the assassination while capturing the emotions of that fateful night. The production also has been featured in local schools and at the White House. Be sure to check the schedule for days and times, as it’s not performed every day. Recommended for ages 8 and up.

The Wizard of Oz
Where: Creative Cauldron | Falls Church, VA
When: June 8-25 (look for a ticket deal)
Tickets: $60/family 4-pack, $30/adult, $20/student, $15/child

Bring your imagination and get swept away to the wonderful Land of Oz as Creative Cauldron tackles one of the most iconic musicals of all time. All your favorite characters, Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and Cowardly Lion, will be brought to life by talented local professionals. They will be joined by an ensemble cast drawn from a new Professional Musical Theater Workshop. Enjoy all of those memorable songs from the MGM classic (Over the Rainbow, If I Only Had a Brain/A Heart/The Nerve and We’re Off to See The Wizard) that have made this show an American treasure.

The School for Lies (KidFree Suggestion)
Where: Lansburgh Theatre | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through July 7
Tickets: $44-102

From the comic imagination of Shakespeare Theatre Company favorite David Ives comes a timely take on Molière’s ruthless satire. A gleeful truth-teller, Frank is a French aristocrat who despises his society of liars and doesn’t mind telling them so. His well-aimed barbs wreak havoc in a world of pompous suitors and extravagant ladies, until rumors ricochet and alternative facts become reality.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: June 13 – July 2
Tickets: $59-159

Brilliantly innovative, heartbreaking, and wickedly funny, Hedwig and the Angry Inch is the landmark American musical by John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask that is “shamelessly enjoyable and furiously funny” (The New York Times). This genre-bending musical sensation, with a pulsing score and electrifying performances, tells the story of one of the most unique characters to ever hit the stage. It’s about finding your other half; it’s the story of the origin of love. Recommended for ages 12 and up.

The Sound of Music
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: June 13 – July 16
Tickets: $49-169 (look for a ticket deal)

The hills are alive! A brand new production of The Sound of Music is coming to Washington. The spirited, romantic, and beloved musical story of Maria and the von Trapp Family will once again thrill audiences with its award–winning score by Rodgers & Hammerstein, including “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “Edelweiss,” and the title song. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

The Wizard of Oz
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: June 13 – July 20
Tickets: $10

Funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the tale follows closely the original story in L. Frank Baum’s first, best known and best-loved of the classic Oz tales: There are more adventures than included in the film: more of Baum’s original dialogue is included: and, the witch plays only a minor (less scary) role. Recommended for Pre-K – Grade 6.

Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: June 16 – August 14
Tickets: $19.50

When Junie B. Jones, with her two bestest friends in the world, loses her new furry mittens to some “stealers,” she has to investigate. But Junie B. might have something she forgot to return, too. Recommended for all ages.

The Tempest (KidFree Suggestion)
Where: Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park | Ellicot City, MD
When: June 16 – July 23
Tickets: $42.50/adult, $15.50/student, free for 18 and under

Plan a picnic as you see Shakespeare in the park! Shakespeare’s magnificent final play of storm and shipwreck, mystery and magic, and profound redemption is perfect for a summer’s eve in the PFI Historic Park. “We are such stuff as dreams are made on.”

Wonderland: Alice’s Rock & Roll Adventure
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: June 21 – August 13
Tickets: $15-30

Alice follows the White Rabbit into Wonderland where all of the familiar characters have been transformed into live guitar-toting Rock ‘n’ Roll musicians! She takes advice from a Zen Caterpillar and a wise Cheshire Cat. She has tea with the unwelcoming Mad Hatter, and argues with the childish Tweedledee and Tweedledum. When the vicious diva Red Queen tries to destroy her, Alice fights back only to find herself in a battle of the bands with the Jabberwocky, a many-headed monster who embodies all her fears and insecurities. Alice ultimately outperforms him on keyboard and drums; she is crowned at last, and returns home, a stronger and happier girl. The writers have successfully translated Carroll’s irrational Wonderland to our own times and added lyrics and a beat that will make you want to twist and shout! Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: June 20 – August 5
Tickets: $10

For much of the summer, Wolf Trap presents Children’s Theater-in-the-Woods, a varying lineup of family-friendly performances on Tuesday through Saturday at 10:30am. 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 of the productions are recommended for children between Kindergarten and 6th grade. The full schedule of shows is available on the Wolf Trap website. And you can read a KFDC review of the series from a past summer here.

Tiny Tots
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: Most Wednesdays, Saturdays, & Sundays at 10am
Tickets: $6

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 | Vienna, VA
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, and for other calendar updates.

Millennium Stage
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Ongoing daily, 6pm
Tickets: Free

The Kennedy Center presents these free, no-tickets-required performances every day at 6pm, and the public is welcome to enjoy them. The acts span the genres — you can see everything from contemporary dance to folk music to puppetry to comedy shows to opera scenes. Millennium Stage showcases everyone from local youth choirs to internationally known bands (They Might Be Giants performed there a few years ago). This is a great series to keep in mind for whenever you’re looking for some free, easy entertainment.

Rent: 20th Anniversary Tour (KidFree Suggestion)
Where: The National Theatre | Downtown, DC
When: June 20-25
Tickets: $28-128

In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway… and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson’s RENT continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. And now, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®-winning masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production. A re-imagining of Puccini’s La Bohème, RENT follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters—love.

My Fair Lady
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: June 21 – July 18
Tickets: $33-65

One of the most romantic scores of all time, featuring standards like “I Could Have Danced All Night” and “The Street Where You Live,” takes on new life in an intimate reimagining of the classic My Fair Lady. Flower-seller Eliza Doolittle wages a romantic battle with uppercrust Henry Higgins, with surprising results in this production. Recommended for ages 10 and up.

UniverSoul Circus
Where: FedEx Field | Landover, MD
When: June 22 – July 23
Tickets: $17-40 (look for a ticket deal)

The world-class, live entertainment attraction that has captured the hearts and imaginations of a new generation of families is celebrating its 23rd year of FUN. UniverSoul connects with progressive, upwardly mobile, urban pop cultures from around the world, embracing and celebrating the unique and familiar aspects of global cultures and ethnicities into a stellar production that blends circus arts, theater and music. A fresh, cool, and hip approach to live family entertainment!

Raton en Movimiento!
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: June 24 – July 30
Tickets:

Nellie and Amelia are two adventurous mice ready to explore the world beyond their little mouse-hole. They decide to go to the La Luna, since it is cat-free and made entirely of delicious, mouth-watering queso (so they have heard). In this interactive play, the audience becomes part of the story through multi-sensory activities. This production is now performed in both Spanish and English. Recommended for ages 1-5.

Company | E Presents Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Books
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: June 25
Tickets: $35

The timeless tale of a boy and friends (who happen to be a bear, a snake, and a whole lot of wolves, to name a few) becomes a celebration of movement and music in Company | E’s celebrated family classic. A fun-filled family adventure for the young and the young-at-heart!

The Science of Sound
Where: Hylton Performing Arts Center | Manassas, VA
When: June 27, 11am & 12:30pm
Tickets: $15/adult, $5/child

Come hear and “see” what sound is all about! Sound waves become visible in this exciting performance that uses technology to transform sound into a multisensory experience. Caryn Lin uses her five-string electric violin, loop recorder, oscilloscope (a device that displays electronic signals and waveforms), and other special effect tools to create amazing soundscapes.

Galapagos George with Barefoot Puppets
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: June 28-30
Tickets: $3-8

Based on the true story of “Lonesome George,” this show tells the tale of a truly one-on-a-kind tortoise from the Galapagos Islands. Described as “an uplifting eco-fable,” this engaging theatrical piece shares an important lesson about man’s impact upon the environment.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: June 29 – July 2
Tickets: $29-90

With music by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken, this beautiful Broadway hit is based on your favorite Disney film! Come fall in love with the magic for the first time–or all over again! “One of the most ravishing things I have ever seen on a Broadway stage” – Time Magazine

Finding Neverland
Where: Hippodrome | Baltimore, MD
When: June 27 – July 2
Tickets: $42-132 (Look for a ticket deal)

Directed by visionary Tony winner Diane Paulus, Finding Neverland tells the incredible story behind one of the world’s most beloved characters: Peter Pan. Playwright J.M. Barrie struggles to find inspiration until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. Spellbound by the boys’ enchanting make-believe adventures, he sets out to write a play that will astound London theatergoers. With a little bit of pixie dust and a lot of faith, Barrie takes this monumental leap, leaving his old world behind for Neverland where nothing is impossible and the wonder of childhood lasts forever.

Taratibu
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: July 5-7
Tickets: $3-8

The Taratibu Youth Association (TYA) is a sensational ensemble of young artists representing the performing arts of the African diaspora. With eclectic and diverse musical influences, TYA performs percussive dance styles from stepping to traditional South African Gumboot. They also perform modern dance and hip hop. TYA sings in Zulu and Sotho from South Africa, Kiswahili from Tanzania, Creole from Haiti, and Yoruba from Cuba. Their performances are educational and inspirational; telling stories of empowerment and cultural history from several different countries. You may learn a song in Zulu, steps from Taratibu; a Pan African drill or learn the history of ‘Ti Zwezo,’ the traditional song of Haiti. Recommended for ages 5-16.

Backyard Theater for Kids
Where: Strathmore | North Bethesda, MD
When: Thursdays, July 6-27
Tickets: $8/ages 3 and up

A summertime favorite, Backyard Theater for Children returns with enough music and magic to thrill kids and parents alike – all outdoors under a big tent! Feel free to bring blankets or low beach chairs along with a bag lunch then grab a patch of grass after the applause.

Capital Fringe Festival
Where: Venues throughout DC
When: July 6-30
Tickets: Varies by show

Filling the city with non-stop theater, dance, music, visual art, and everything in-between, the annual Fringe Festival presents an eclectic mix of performances from all genres, for all ages. Family-friendly shows are always among the lineup; other acts would make for a great date night or adult evening out. Check out the calendar to plan your Fringe experience. Festival tickets go on sale June 19.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – In Concert
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: July 7-8
Tickets: $35-58

The Harry Potter™ film series is one of those once-in-a-lifetime cultural phenomena that continues to delight millions of fans around the world. This concert will feature the National Symphony Orchestra performing every note from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone™. Audiences will be able to relive the magic of the film in high-definition on a giant screen while hearing the orchestra perform John Williams’ unforgettable score.

The Originalist (KidFree Suggestion)
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: July 7-30
Tickets: $56-91

When a bright, liberal, Harvard Law School graduate embarks on a nerve-wracking clerkship with the conservative Justice, she discovers him to be both an infuriating sparring partner and an unexpected mentor. How will their relationship affect one of the most incendiary cases ever to reach the nation’s highest court? Don’t miss your opportunity to experience the show afresh with a brand-new staging for the Kreeger Theater.

KidSpy Performance- The Magic of Spying: Tradecraft Trickery
Where: I nternational Spy Museum
When:July 8, 11am – 12pm
Tickets: $10, $9/members

In the real-life world of espionage, spies often call upon the art of magic and illusion to distract the enemy, make evidence disappear, and escape unnoticed. Join professional magician, Peter Wood, as he demonstrates the art of misdirection, sleight of hand, and other illusions used by skilled spies. This one of a kind performance, custom-designed for the Spy Museum, is guaranteed to fascinate children and adults alike. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

Rhythm & Beats with Max Bent
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: July 11-14
Tickets: $3-8

Max takes the audience with him as he takes the mic to make some crazy-good mouth music. This astounding human beatbox introduces kids to the most powerful musical instrument ever: their own bodies. With lots of audience participation and exciting on-the-spot improvisations, Max covers themes in hip-hop culture, language, math, and music. Get ready to make some truly hip beats! Recommended for ages 5-12.

Cabaret (KidFree Suggestion)
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: July 11 – August 6
Tickets: $59-149

Welcome to the infamous Kit Kat Klub, where the Emcee, Sally Bowles, and a raucous ensemble take the stage nightly to tantalize the crowd and leave their troubles outside. But as life in pre-WWII Germany grows more and more uncertain, will the decadent allure of Berlin nightlife be enough to get them through their dangerous times? Recommended for ages 16 and up.

Latin Ballet of Virginia: Alma Latina
Where: Hylton Performing Arts Center | Manassas, VA
When: July 12, 11am
Tickets: $15/adult, $5/child

Embark on a tour of Latin American dance with the Latin Ballet of Virginia. Learn more about the steps and history of dances like the Salsa, Merengue, and Bachata along with Flamenco and Capoeira. Discover the origin of these popular dances in this lively celebration of Latin America’s rich cultural heritage that is steeped in tradition, rhythm, music, and dance.

By the Seashore
Where: The Lab at Convergence | Alexandria, VA
When: July 13- 30
Tickets: $6

Art on the Horizon’s summer production takes tiny theatre-goers on a magical journey to a place children love to visit — the beach! From birds and fish, to sand and water, and everything in-between, young audience members are invited to explore all the amazing things we find on the shore, in the ocean, and in the sky (with no need for wings or scuba gear!). Using an imaginative mix of puppetry, movement, and sound, this sensory-filled production is specifically designed for babies and young toddlers. Recommended for ages 0-2.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Where: Vinson Hall Community Ballroom | McLean, VA
When: July 14-30
Tickets: $25

An eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming “ding” of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box. REcommended for ages 13 and up.

Summer Magic with Dave Thomen
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: July 18-21
Tickets: $3-8

Celebrate an American summer on the National Mall with D’s Magic. You won’t believe your eyes when Mr. Dave performs illusions with boxes, hoops and maybe even a rabbit and magic hat! D’s Magic will surprise and astound you. This Discovery Theater favorite is back for another summer of magic and entertainment! Recommended for ages 5-12.

MAMMA MIA!
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: July 18-19
Tickets: $25-75 (look for a ticket deal)

MAMMA MIA! is the ultimate feel-good show that has audiences coming back again and again to relive the thrill. It’s your turn to have the time of your life at this smash-hit musical now on its farewell North American tour! MAMMA MIA! combines ABBA’s greatest hits, including “Dancing Queen,” “S.O.S.,” “Super Trouper,” “Take A Chance on Me,” and “The Winner Takes It All,” with an enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship. Whether it’s your first visit or your fourteenth, see the show that has the whole world coming back for more, because every time feels like the first time at MAMMA MIA!.

An Octoroon (KidFree Suggestion)
Where: Woolly Mammoth | Penn Quarter, DC
When: July 18 – August 6
Tickets: $34-44 (look for a ticket deal)

A plantation on the brink of foreclosure. A young gentleman falling for the part-black daughter of the estate’s owner. An evil swindler plotting to buy her for himself. Meanwhile, the slaves are trying to keep things drama-free, because everybody else is acting crazy.

Thurgood
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: July 19 – August 20
Tickets: $45-70

“You do what you think is right and let the law catch up.” So said Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, who changed the face of American jurisprudence. He argued and won the Brown v. Board of Education decision, ending racial segregation in the schools, after a long and strategic journey that began with ending the “separate but equal” mandate in Maryland law schools. Spend an evening with the late Justice at this one-man show, and consider just how far we’ve come… or have we? Recommended for ages 13 and up.

The Music Man
Where: Kenmore Middle School | Arlington, VA
When: July 21-30
Tickets: $15/adult, $12/child (look for a ticket deal)

Encore Stage & Studio’s theatre by kids for kids presents the story of con man Harold Hill as he makes his next stop at River City, Iowa to start a band, despite his lack of musical knowledge. After tricking the citizens of River city into buying instruments and uniforms he plans on leaving town with all of the money. In the midst of his scheme, he accidentally falls in love with the local librarian, Marian. Will she help Harold see the error of his ways before it’s too late? Enjoy Meredith Willson’s six-time Tony Award-winning musical comedy that has been entertaining audiences since 1957. Recommended for ages 6 and older.

SOLE Defined
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: July 25-28
Tickets: $3-8

SOLE Defined puts an exciting twist on percussive dance by turning their bodies into human drums. In one word, SOLE Defined creates a “Percussical,” an innovative twist on the traditional musical with its integration of percussive dance and multi-media with acting, singing. Each show is a power-packed performance to create a free flowing conversation through music and movement. Recommended for ages 5-16.

Circus!
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: July 27 – August 27
Tickets: $12

In grand circus tradition, the “Greatest Show on Strings” features a collection of clowns, death-defying acrobats, and an amazing menagerie of fauna from the farthest reaches of the globe. Many of the acts were built more than 50 years ago by Christopher’s parents for “Len Piper’s International Marionette Circus.”

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: July 18 – August 20
Tickets: $49-159

Set in 1860s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher whom the modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children. Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Cello Fury: Melodies, Moods, and Movies
Where: Hylton Performing Arts Center | Manassas, VA
When: August 2, 11am
Tickets: $15/adult, $5/child

This cello rock powerhouse featuring three cellists and a rock and roll drummer brings movie themes to life in a lively performance designed for children that fuses symphonic sounds with driving rock beats to create an unforgettable musical experience.

Jurassic Park – In Concert
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: August 5
Tickets: $35-58

An adventure 65 million years in the making comes back to the big screen. Watch Steven Spielberg’s original Oscar-winning dinosaur classic in high definition as the National Symphony Orchestra brings John Williams’ iconic music to soaring, scaly life.

KIDZ BOP Best Time Ever Summer Tour
Where: Hippodrome | Baltimore, VA
When: August 12
Tickets: $48-168

Catch The KIDZ BOP Kids live, when they hit the stage in 2017 to perform kid-friendly versions of today’s biggest hits. The ALL-NEW “Best Time Ever” tour will hit Baltimore this August!

BON VOYAGE! A Happenstance Escapade (KidFree Suggestion)
Where: Round House Theatre | Bethesda, MD
When: July 14-30
Tickets: $26

BON VOYAGE! A Happenstance Escapade is the story of a hilarious collection of 19th century dreamers who meet on the way to Paris, the obstacles and surprises they encounter, and their comic misadventures at the Moulin Rouge, the Metro, the Catacombs, and the Grand Universal Exposition of 1889. This show reminds us of the beautiful values of Liberty, Equality and Camaraderie.

Othello
Where: Sidney Harman Hall
When: August 15-23
Tickets: FREE!

Shakespeare Theatre Company’s annual Free For All will presents Othello this summer. This Washington tradition offers free performances of a Shakespearean classic to the public. Tickets are available through an online lottery or by waiting in line day-of when a limited number available.

Cirque de Soleil: OVO
Where: Eagle Bank & Royal Farms Arenas | Fairfax, VA & Baltimore, MD
When: August 16-27
Tickets: $30-156+ (look for a ticket deal)

OVO is teeming with life. Insects work, play, fight, and look for love in a non-stop riot of energy in motion. Their home is filled with biodiversity, beauty, action and moments of quiet emotion. The awestruck insects are intensely curious when a mysterious egg appears, representing the enigma and cycles of their lives.

Live from the Lawn: Uke Fest
Where: Strathmore | North Bethesda, MD
When: August 23, 7pm
Tickets: Free

It’s back and better than ever! Strathmore’s Uke & Guitar Summit celebrates its 7th year with a grand finale featuring Benny Chong, Craig Chee, Sarah Maisel, Sam Marchuk, Maureen Andary, Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, and the Strathmore Uke Orchestra. Don’t miss this all-star celebration of the little instrument that brings people together in harmony.

Know of anymore great shows that you don’t see listed here? Feel free to mention them in the comments!

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