Tag Archives: DC Live Entertainment

KFDC Review: Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Romeo and Juliet

Photo courtesy of Shakespeare Theatre Company

Photo courtesy of Shakespeare Theatre Company



If a production of the classic Shakespearean tragedy Romeo and Juliet could be deemed fun, the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s current version of the story of star-crossed lovers is it. This modern day take on the play is loaded with LOL moments and an edgy flare that gives it a playful yet still dramatic tone. And at a show where we all know what happens, it’s this unique presentation that makes it so appealing.

From the opening scene when servants of both the Capulets and Montagues have a confrontational encounter, a contemporary aesthetic and air is established. The characters are dressed in modern clothes with accents that sound more New York than Renaissance. And the set is a deep red with mod furnishings, giving it all a loungy club feel. This vibe is at its peak during the Capulet’s party, where Romeo and Juliet have their love-at-first-sight moment amidst a partying crowd dancing to DJ-spun techno, a fantastically choreographed scene that is mesmerizing to watch.

Photo courtesy of Shakespeare Theatre Company

Photo courtesy of Shakespeare Theatre Company

As for the laughs, most are elicited from Juliet’s nurse, played by Inga Ballard, who injects sass and humor into the role. And Mercutio, played by Jeffrey Carolson, delivers his lines with such a dude-like cynicism, you can’t help but chuckle when he speaks.

And speaking of characters, I have to note the main ones, played by Andrew Veenstra and Ayana Workman, were perfectly cast. His Romeo was earnest and endearing (not to mention quite handsome!), and her Juliet unjaded and exuberant. They have great chemistry and convey the drama of lovestruck teens exceptionally well.

Most of the “lighter” parts of the production occur in the first act and are balanced by darker drama in the second as the familiar plot unfolds. But the turn of the mood in no way deflects from the performance on stage, which is thoroughly captivating.

So, we all know how it ends (though on the chance you don’t, beware the spoilers in the image below), but it’s the execution of the play leading up to the finale that makes this production special. It also makes it one I’d recommend for kids, mature tweens and up. (I discussed this with the friend who joined me, and she agreed.) Of course, it would make for a great KidFree outing, too.

A little fun in the lobby during intermission

A little fun in the lobby during intermission

Romeo and Juliet is running at Lansburgh Theatre through November 6. The show is about 2.5 hours long with a 15-minute intermission. Tickets are $44-102.

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets from Shakespeare Theatre Company to see Romeo and Juliet, however, all opinions expressed here are entirely my own.


Leave a Comment

Filed under Date Night, DC, Fall, Live Entertainment, Parents, Teens, Theatre, Tweens, Weekdays, Weekend

Where to Play on the Weekdays: May 31 – June 3

Enjoy story hour and browse the inventory at East City Bookshop (Photo by my friend Jody)

Enjoy story hour and browse the inventory at East City Bookshop (Photo by my friend Jody)



Tuesday – Take your toddlers to story hour at the new East City Bookshop on Capitol Hill, where they’re kicking off weekly children’s book readings for little ones. The session starts at 11am, and admission is free. After, stay to browse the inventory, then head next door to Labyrinth to check out their great selection of games and puzzles or grab a bite at one of many nearby eateries.

Wednesday – Head to the National Zoo to get a close-up view of a 12-foot shark, 16-foot parrot fish, an 8-foot octopus, and a 20-foot-lcoral reef — all made completely of plastic debris collected from beaches for Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea. The collection of colorful and dramatic sculptures of marine animals representing more than 315 billion pounds of plastic in oceans today and underscoring the need for wildlife conservation will be on view at the Zoo through September 5. And visit the live animals while you’re there, of course.

Thursday – Be among the first audiences to see Little Red Riding Hood and the 3 Little Pigs as it opens at The Puppet Co. There are performances at 10am and 11:30am, and tickets are $12. Read a KFDC review of the production from a few years back.

Friday – Go bowling at Pinstripes in Georgetown. From 10am – 12pm most weekdays, Tots Playtime welcomes kids to bowl for just $5 (plus $5 shoe rental), and parents are free (limit 4 kids per adult). Stay after for lunch — they have a good kids menu and a pretty extensive main menu, too. Or if the weather is nice, head to Georgetown Waterfront Park to play in the sprays (free)!


Leave a Comment

Filed under All ages, Animals, Art, Babies, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Spring, Theatre, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: May 23-27

Hike and take in the beautiful scenery at Great Falls

Hike and take in the beautiful scenery at Great Falls





Monday – See the special installations and an evening show at the Kennedy Center, where IRELAND 100 celebrates Irish culture and arts through June 5. View exhibits in the Hall of Nations and Hall of States starting at 10am, or for Millennium Stage at 6pm as The Gothard Sisters infuse Irish rhythms into their dance, music, and storytelling performance.

Tuesday – Hit the trail at Great Falls. Whether you opt for the Maryland or Virginia side, you can’t go wrong. Enjoy spectacular views of the falls and rapids from several overlooks, hike easy trails along the river or through the woods, and stop in the Visitor Center — there’s one on each side — to learn more about the area’s history and wildlife. The park is open 7am until dark, the Visitors Centers 10am – 4pm. Admission is $10/car, $5/person walking in.

Wednesday – Take advantage of free family activities at National Harbor. From 10-10:30am enjoy Family Fitness classes brought to you by certified instructors from No Excuses Workout. At 10:30am, there will be cartoons on the jumbo screen and a rotation of weekly activities provided by the Prince George’s County Fire & Police Departments and story time by the Urban Pirates. Enjoy this on the plaza every Wednesday through September 28th. Also, rounds two and three of the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee will be taking place nearby at the Gaylord National Resort, and the public is invited to spectate!

Thursday – Let the kids splash in the sprays and wading pool at Yards Park! The lovely recreational space in the Navy Yard is a perfect place to spend the day as the temps rise. Hang out in the grassy areas, stroll the boardwalk, take in the views, and have a picnic by the water. Or grab some lunch at one of the many new nearby eateries. Admission to the park is free.

Friday – Go to the Glen Echo Aquarium to discover the Chesapeake Bay through hands-on exhibits and adventure areas designed with kids in mind. Touch aquatic animals, play on a pirate ship, and explore through all kinds of fun activities. Hours are 11am – 4pm. Admission is $6.


Leave a Comment

Filed under All ages, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Spring, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays

Enter to Win Tickets to Annie at The National Theatre!

Annie-the-Musical

A childhood favorite of children and many adults alike is coming to the DC stage… Annie, the Tony Award-winning production, will be at The National Theatre in March — and you have a chance to win a pair of tickets to see it!

Leapin’ Lizards! The world’s best-loved musical returns in time-honored form. Directed by original lyricist and director Martin Charnin and choreographed by Liza Gennaro, this production of ANNIE will be a brand new incarnation of the iconic original.

Featuring book and score by Tony Award®-winners Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, ANNIE includes such unforgettable songs as “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” “Easy Street,” “I Don’t Need Anything But You,” plus the eternal anthem of optimism, “Tomorrow.”

Annie will run at The National Theatre from March 15 to March 20 with both evening and matinee performances available. Tickets start at $48, and run time is 2 hours 15 minutes including intermission. The show is recommended for all ages.

Giveaway: For a chance to win a pair of tickets to see Annie at The National Theatre, simply leave a comment below telling me your or your child’s favorite Annie tune (because we all have one, right?). To be eligible, you must follow KidFriendly DC on Facebook and subscribe to the KFDC blog (sign up is on the left). This giveaway will run for two weeks, through Tuesday, February 23. Then, a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!


Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to Annie 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.


138 Comments

Filed under All ages, DC, Giveaway, Live Entertainment, Theatre, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

Potted Potter is Pure Comical Magic

logo pp

I’m just going to get to the gist of this review of Potted Potter, the Harry Potter parody that condenses all seven books into a 70-minute show. I mean, if the creators can do that, then it seems apropos that I keep this short and sweet, too.

So, in a nutshell: Potted Potter is hilarious! If, like me, you’re a big Harry Potter fan, you likely will love the show. If you don’t know much about the series, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll still enjoy it. (You’re getting a whole synopsis, anyway, right?)

I didn’t know much about the show going into it, just the basic premise that all of the books would be summarized for the stage production, and I was quite curious to see how it would all play out. Turns out the whole thing essentially is a two-man comedy act that does cover the Harry Potter story from book one to book seven, but in a fun, wacky, cheeky (hey, they’re British), unique way. Puppets, masks, Quidditch (with audience participation!), dancing (with a disco ball!), lots of physical comedy, and fantastic improvised moments factored into the show. And the theater was full of laughter the entire time, both in the audience and on stage (I think those guys were cracking each other up, too).

It’s one of those shows you really have to go see for yourself. I promise, it’s worth it. Oh, and Owen and his friend enjoyed it just as much as me. When I asked how they liked it after the show, they practically said in unison, “It was AWESOME!”

Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Potter Experience is on stage at the Landsburgh Theatre through June 21. Tickets range from $39.95 – $99.95. Look for a deal on select seats here. Potter Potter is recommended for ages 6 to Dumbledore.


Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to see Potted Potter, however, all opinions expressed here are entirely my own.


1 Comment

Filed under DC, Live Entertainment, Theatre, Weekdays, Weekend