Tag Archives: Maryland Children’s Theatre

Live Entertainment to Enhance Your Spring

See Superman 2050 at the Kennedy Center Family Theater April 1-3

See Superman 2050 at the Kennedy Center Family Theater April 1-3



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Warmer weather, cherry blossoms, and extra daylight aren’t the only things to look forward to this spring. Along with the seasonal delights, there’s also a whole new crop of live entertainment coming to local venues. Here’s what you can see on stages in the upcoming months.

James and the Giant Peach
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: Through April 4
Tickets: $19.50 (look for a discount)

When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion which results in a tremendous peach – and launches a journey of enormous proportions. Featuring a wickedly tuneful score by the TONY Award-nominated team of Pasek and Paul and a curiously quirky book by Timothy Allen McDonald. We just caught a performance, and it’s a delight for all ages!

Beauty and the Beast
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Through April 10
Tickets: $10

A romantic tale of a handsome prince, and his love, Beauty, set in a great forest in old Russia. There are curses, conflicts, hopes, wishes, dreams, and exciting adventures, all the things that make a happy ending that much sweeter. Imaginative settings and beautiful costumes support this large-scale marionette version of the classic love story. Winner of a Citation of Excellence from the American Center of the Union Internationale de la Marionette, it has played successfully to children and families nationwide. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Boxes, Boxes, Boxes!
Where: Imagination Stage
When: Through April 10
Tickets: $14

Two friends use their imaginations to build bridges, birds, a train, a plane, and even a castle from cardboard boxes. Jump inside the world of a child’s imagination! Performances are followed by a “free play” session, allowing the audience to build their own creations, using props from the show! Recommended for ages 1-5.

Romeo & Juliet
Where: Synetic Theatre
When: Through March 27
Tickets: $20-50

It’s probably hard to imagine a wordless Shakespeare production, but Synetic Theater’s version of Romeo and Juliet is just that, and it’s phenomenal. Innovative, fluid choreography set against dramatic scenery of gears in a clock, all to a unique soundtrack of ticks, tocks, and chimes makes for a gorgeous, mesmerizing production. Words aren’t necessary when a familiar story is told in such a beautifully expressive way. If you’re a fan of the bard or just appreciate superb theatre, I highly recommend this show. Teens and up could enjoy it, but it makes for a great grown-up night out.

Hamlet
Where: Kennedy Center
When: March 23 – April 3
Tickets: $32.25 – $130.00

Sleek and elegant with contemporary staging and performed by The Washington Ballet to the spellbinding music of Philip Glass, Stephen Mills’ Hamlet redefines this tragic masterwork and the limits of dance in a modern production that presents Hamlet’s internal struggle over avenging his father’s murder in an innovative and riveting reinvention of this literary classic. Recommended for teens and up.

Superman 2050
Where: Kennedy Center
When: April 1-3
Tickets: $20-25

Seven performers on a tiny platform act out the Man of Steel’s latest adventure at hilarious breakneck speed using only their bodies and voices to create every prop, scene, character, and sound effect in the story. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

Saturday Morning at the National
Where: National Theatre
When: Most Saturdays
Tickets: FREE!

The free theatre program runs on select Saturdays with performances at 9:30am and 11:30am. Musicals, plays, storytelling, and comedy shows are all part of the live entertainment line-up. See the complete schedule of performances here. Tickets are distributed day of performances on a first-come, first-served basis. Everyone must be in line to receive a ticket.

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 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.

Boogie Babes
Where: Angelika Pop-Up, Eastern Market, & The Atlas
When: Wednesdays, Thursdays, & Fridays, 10:30am
Tickets: $5/child, free for sibling 6 months and under

Little ones can boogie along with their favorite local musicians at the Angelika Pop-Up (behind Union Market) on Wednesdays, in Eastern Market’s North Hall every Thursday, AND at The Atlas Performing Arts Center on Fridays. Go for the show, then grab lunch in the Markets or hit one of the many eateries on the H Street Corridor.

Tiny Tots
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Most 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.

Saturday Family Jazz Session
Where: Strathmore
When: Select Saturdays, 11am
Tickets: $10

Jumpstart a love for jazz with classes that nurture talent and spark musicality! Junior jazz aficionados can spend Saturday mornings singing, playing, and preparing for a lifetime of jazz appreciation at this fun, creative, kid-friendly series featuring classes with multi-instrumentalist and local jazz legend Seth Kibel and renowned jazz singer Rochelle Rice. Children under 7 must be accompanied by an adult. All attendees, regardless of age, must have a ticket.

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.

Mother Earth and Me
Where: Discovery Theater
When: April 6-8 & 12-15
Tickets: $3-6

The magic of earth science takes center stage in this fun, interactive Discovery Theater original as we explore the origins of our planet, the water cycle, and our important role in the ecosystem, as well as folklore about the “big blue marble” we call home. Kick off Earth Month by pledging to become an Earth Warrior—and find out some great ways to start right away! Recommended for ages 5-10.

Love that Dog
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: April 9
Tickets: $15-21

Jack hates poetry. Only girls write it and every time he tries to, his brain feels empty. But his teacher, Ms. Stretchberry, won’t stop giving her class poetry assignments – and Jack can’t avoid them. But then something amazing happens. The more he writes, the more he learns he does have something to say. With a fresh and deceptively simple style, acclaimed author Sharon Creech tells a story with enormous heart. Written as a series of free-verse poems from Jack’s point of view, Love That Dog shows how one boy finds his own voice with the help of a teacher, a writer, a pencil, some yellow paper, and of course, a dog. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

Snow White
Where: NextStop Theatre
When: April 9-24
Tickets: $20/adult, $16/child

This is not your mother’s Snow White! Join the feisty heroine as she defies the path set before her to live out her story, her way. A spin on the classic Brothers Grimm tale, this new princess adventure will reaffirm your belief in the power of following your dreams.

Looking for Roberto Clemente
Where: Imagination Stage
When: April 13 – May 22
Tickets: $10 and up

Sam and Charlie are best friends and baseball fanatics in Pittsburgh, PA, in the year 1972. Puerto Rican superstar Roberto Clemente is the hero of the Pittsburgh Pirates, having led the team to victory after years of losing. When a mysterious fly ball transforms Sam into a Little League Superstar pitcher, he is invited onto the most prestigious Little League team in town, while Charlie is rejected for being a girl. Charlie forms her own team with the less athletic kids and her new friend Tommy, a boy with a disability. Sam and Charlie ultimately discover what it truly means to be a “hero” when their final game coincides with Clemente’s fateful decision to deliver supplies to hurricane victims in Nicaragua.

Performances for Children
Where: Publick Playhouse
When: Ongoing
Tickets: Vary by show

The Playhouse in Riverdale, MD regularly presents plays, concerts, puppet shows, and more live entertainment for young audiences, often on weekday morning and at lunchtime — perfect activity for little ones and caregivers! Visit the website for the full calendar.

Teatro Hugo e Ines
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: April 17
Tickets: $18-22

Crafted from a lifetime of creating characters through exceptional artistry and imagination, the Peruvian-based Teatro Hugo e Ines bring their Short Stories tour to BlackRock. Founded in 1986, the duo combines mime, dance, and puppetry in creative pieces that play out the poetic moments of daily life. Recommended for ages 10 and up.

Sleeping Beauty
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: April 19 – May 29
Tickets: $10

Yet another elegant production created by the Puppet Co., “Sleeping Beauty” combines romance and adventure in a story of fairies, frogs, kings and queens, and of course, a sleeping princess and the gallant prince destined to find her. Told with rod puppets and wonderful special effects, the show is a real treat for princesses and princes, big and small! Recommended for ages 3.5 and up

Emperor’s Nightingale
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: April 22 – May 30
Tickets: $19.50

The sweet song of a Nightingale saves an Empire. This brand new adaptation set in eighteenth century China, brings to light the younger days of Emperor Qianlong, who would become one of the greatest rulers of the Middle Kingdom. It takes a magical bird to help the headstrong and aimless Prince to become a King. Recommended for all ages.

The 20th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Where: Gunston Arts Center
When: April 22-24
Tickets: $10

Encore Stage and Studio, theatre by kids for kids, present the show about six young spellers who come together at a local school to use their talents to decide who will represent Putnam County in the national bee. Their zany personalities shine as they take on words that most people have never heard of, let alone can spell. Words fly as this fun, modern musical tells a tale of growing up while competing for prestige and bragging rights. Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Shrek the Musical JR.
Where: Burke Community Church
When: April 22-23 & 29-30
Tickets: $14

Everyone’s favorite upside down fairy tale comes to life with Northern Virginia Players’ newest production: Shrek the Musical JR! Join them as they travel Far Far Away with a cantankerous ogre, a wise-cracking donkey, and a crazy cast of misfit characters that embark on a quest to find freedom and acceptance. However, the road to happiness is fraught with monstrous danger, short-tempered lords with tall expectations, and a princess with an alter ego. Part romance and part crooked fairy tale, this show has enough twists and turns and zany antics to entertain the whole family. What could be better than the ultimate discovery that we are all unique, we are all important, and we are all worthy of love? The phenomenal cast of 60 youth aged 8-18, is excited to bring another classic tale to life.

Boxes, Boxes, Boxes!
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: April 23 – May 1
Tickets: $9

Two friends use their imaginations to build bridges, birds, a train, a plane, and even a castle from cardboard boxes. Jump inside the world of a child’s imagination! Performances are followed by a “free play” session, allowing the audience to build their own creations, using props from the show! Recommended for ages 1-5.

Moby Dick
Where: Kennedy Center
When: April 23-24
Tickets: $20

he courageous crew of the Pequod sets out to find a legendary whale in this inventive production featuring three actors who use their bodies, ever-switching hats, and a variety of musical instruments to create excitement and suspense. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

NSO Family Concert: Lights! Canvas! Music!
Where: Kennedy Center
When: April 24
Tickets: $15-18

In this new program unlike any other NSO Family Concert, internationally acclaimed “speed painter” Dan Dunn joins the orchestra to turn your favorite music into amazing visual artwork in a matter of musical measures!

NSO Kinderclassics: Fancy That!
Where: Kennedy Center
When: April 24
Tickets: $20

Sometimes it’s fun to look fancy, but did you know that you can make music sound fancy, too? Graphic artist Marie Cheek joins NSO violinist Marissa Regni onstage to help illustrate the idea of “decorating” your music in a unique, visual way.

Kingman Island Bluegrass and Folk Festival
Where: Kingman Island
When: April 30
Tickets: $15 and up

The annual music festival will feature bluegrass entertainment and plenty more revelry. The celebration of local music, food, and culture as well as the revitalization of the Anacostia River includes eight hours of performances by local bluegrass and folk acts on six stages. Fuel up with DC’s favorite food trucks and Sierra Nevada beer. Entertain little ones in the kids area with music and arts & crafts, especially for them. There will also be giveaways and sponsored activities for all to enjoy.

The Wizard of Oz
Where: National Theatre
When: May 3-17
Tickets: Start at $48 (look for a discount)

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. This new production of The Wizard of Oz is an enchanting adaptation of the all-time classic, totally reconceived for the stage.

Make Way for the Lion Dance
Where: Discovery Theater
When: May 5
Tickets: $3-8

The excitement of an authentic Chinese parade marches onto the Discovery Theater stage! The lion, said to be the ninth son of the mythic dragon, is a symbol of power, majesty, and courage and dances to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck to all. As performed by the Wong People Association, the lion dance offers a thrilling spectacle (including traditional drumming and a martial arts demonstration) that introduces and interprets an integral element of Chinese and Southeastern Asian culture. Malevolent spirits are guaranteed to be banished!

Air Play
Where: Strathmore
When: May 6
Tickets: $22-52

Come along on a comic adventure that is fun for the whole family! Air Play is an innovative and spectacular show that merges the high art of Daniel Wurtzel’s air sculptures with crowd-pleasing comedy. Flying umbrellas, larger-than-life balloons, kites that float over the audience, and the biggest snow globe you’ve ever seen will make you gasp in wonder, laugh until it hurts, and be touched by the affection and the rivalry between a sister and brother on a life-changing and surreal journey.

Tigers, Dragons and Other Wise ‘Tails’
Where: Discovery Theater
When: May 10-13
Tickets: $3-8

Last season’s all-star cast returns in this delightful Discovery Theater original hit, in which three freshly imagined folk tales reveal nuggets of traditional Asian wisdom. The Tiger, the Thief, and the Dried Persimmon (Korea) features a trickster tiger whose antics recall the teachings of Anansi. The natural innocence of childhood outwits the villain in The Boy and the Fly (Vietnam). In The Wise Mole (Japan) true love takes charge, complete with cell phones and iPods. The sumptuous and mythic creation story The Four Dragon Rivers of China features beautiful flying dragon puppets.

Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre
When: May 13-22
Tickets: $10

A production by Encore Stage & Studio. During a fierce storm and devastating ship wreck, twins Viola and Sebastian are separated. Viola surfaces on the island of Illyria, and, believing her brother drowned, finds employment by disguising herself as a man named Casario. In a classic case of mistaken identity and unexpected love, hilarity ensues as we meet the island’s colorful cast of characters. Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Chicken Dance
Where: Alden Theatre
When: May 14
Tickets: $15 ($10 MCC district residents)

ArtsPower’s newest musical portrays the colorful story of Marge and Lola, two barnyard chickens on a mission to win the barnyard talent contest first prize of two tickets to see the great Elvis Poultry in concert! But first, they must present a performance that will score higher than a flock of very talented ducks who seem to have the contest locked up. Can Marge and Lola face their challengers, against all odds, and win the talent contest? Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Jammin’ at the Smithsonian: The Pop Ups
Where: Discovery Theater
When: May 19-20
Tickets: $3-8

You’ll go crazy for a California musical duo who mix puppets, flashy dances, huge collages, a talking banana, drawing, surprise costume changes, and giant beach balls into their act. The Grammy-nominated Jason Rabinowitz and Jacob Stein zoom in from Brooklyn with plenty of great songs, including several from their latest CD, Appetite for Construction. Don’t miss the final Tot Rock concert of the season! Recommended for ages 2-6.

The Nextival
Where: Anne Arundel Fairgrounds
When: May 21
Tickets: $30/adult, free for 14 and under with adult

This new music festival from Juice Box Jams Corporation will introduce music fans to the next big names in music now. The diverse lineup offers something for everyone: Three stages of music (a main stage, local stage, and a kid’s stage), 15+ food trucks, children’s entertainment and activities, arts and craft vendors, and more. A portion of proceeds from the event will benefit Juice Box Jams Corporation’s (501c3) mission to help kids and musicians in need. Tickets are currently 50% off!

IRELAND 100: The Girl Who Forgot to Sing Badly
Where: Kennedy Center
When: May 20-21
Tickets: $20

A brave Irish lass crosses snow-capped mountains and treacherous seas to unleash her true voice in this one-man show from storyteller Louis Lovett, who unfolds his mysterious crate of delights to lead audiences on an epic adventure. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

Coppélia: The Magical Toy Shop
Where: THEARC Theatre
When: May 21-22
Tickets: $25-50

Part of the The Washington Ballet’s Family Series. The Studio Company performs this charming and amusing ballet about an eccentric dollmaker, Dr. Coppelius, and his yearning to create a doll with a soul.

Little Red Riding Hood & the 3 Little Pigs
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: June 2 – July 17
Tickets: $10

What’s so bad about the Big Bad Wolf? At last B.B. (Big Bad) Wolfe tells his side of the story, in rap, no less. Has the notorious pork poacher and grandma impersonator gotten a bum rap, or is he truly deserving of his moniker? You be the judge! This is one of our funniest productions and includes lots of audience participation. Recommended for ages 3 and up.

The Wind in the Willows
Where: ArtSpace Falls Church
When: June 3-19
Tickets: $16

Generations of children have roamed the English countryside in the company of Rat, Mole, Toad, and Badger, the immortal animal friends of The Wind in the Willows. Now Creative Cauldron’s Learning Theater Ensemble brings these timeless tales of friendship to life!

Cul de Sac
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre
When: June 3-12
Tickets: $15/adult, $10/child

Encore Stage & Studio, theatre by kids for kids, presents this show about four-year-old Alice Otterloop and her older brother, Petey, learn about friendship and the importance of being yourself in this world premier play adaptation of Richard Thompson’s nationally syndicated Cul De Sac comic strip. When Alice decides to help Petey become more exciting she risks sending Petey further into his shell. With the help other their parents, teachers, and new and old friends the Otterloop children just might be able to learn something from each other. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Strathmore Children’s Chorus Meets The Beatles
Where: Strathmore
When: June 8
Tickets: $20-25

Meet the Beatles all over again in a unique presentation of Fab Four favorites performed by a new generation of soloists, choirs, and orchestra. From “Twist and Shout” to Sgt. Pepper, you’ll need “Help!” to keep from dancing in the aisles!

Gustafer Yellowgold
Where: Alden Theatre
When: June 12
Tickets: $15 ($10 MCC district residents)

Gustafer Yellowgold is a friendly fellow who came from the Sun and landed in the Minnesota woods. Gustafer Yellowgold’s Show is a multi-media performance of live music, animated illustrations and storytelling. Recommended for ages 4 and up.


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Fall into Winter with a Cool Line-Up of Live Entertainment

Audiences will be "spellbound" by Akeelah and the Bee at Arena Stage

Audiences will be “spellbound” by Akeelah and the Bee at Arena Stage



The weather might be cooling down, but local venues are heating up with all kinds of productions for young audiences. Dramatic plays, concerts, musicals, superhero stories, monster truck battles, ice skating extravaganzas, puppet shows, dance performances, and basketball magic are among the amazing line-up of entertainment currently on stages or coming soon. (And I’ve included a couple of grown-up recommendations!) Which ones will you be saving seats for?

Oliver!
Where: Arena Stage
When: Through January 3
Tickets: $64 and up (look for discount tickets)

Charles Dickens’ unforgettable characters burst to life in this Tony Award-winning musical. Artistic Director Molly Smith’s new in-the-round staging blends the chaotic worlds of 19th-century Victorian London with 2015 London and infuses a modern edge to the classic story about an innocent orphan thrown into the dark world of double-dealing thieves and conmen. Bursting with jubilant songs, including “You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two,” “Consider Yourself,” “Where is Love?” and the scrumptious “Food, Glorious Food,” the show will serve up a musical feast for the eyes and ears that will have every theater-lover calling out for “More!”

Akeelah and the Bee
Where: Arena Stage
When: Through December 27
Tickets: $40 and up (look for discount tickets)

Based on the beloved film, Akeelah and the Bee tells the story of an independent 11-year-old girl whose razor-sharp mind just might take her all the way from the Chicago projects to the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Owen and I saw this show, and we both thought it was fantastic! The performances are so good, you’ll be on the edge of your seat waiting to find out what happens. School-aged kids and older (including adults) will love it.

A Year with Frog and Toad
Where: Imagination Stage
When: Through January 10
Tickets: $15-35

The hit Broadway and Tony Award-nominated musical inspired by the acclaimed children’s books, Frog and Toad, is a holiday classic! Two best friends with completely opposite personalities wake up from hibernation, and enjoy hilarious and heartwarming adventures through the seasons. When Frog learns that Toad doesn’t receive mail, he quickly writes him a letter and asks the Snail to deliver it. Several uproarious Vaudeville vignettes ensue in which the friends go swimming, fly a kite, bake cookies, tell scary stories, and go sledding down a steep hill. Will the Snail successfully complete his journey to deliver the letter and a smile to Toad?

Kiss Me, Kate (grown-up suggestion!)
Where: Sidney Harman Hall
When: Through January 3
Tickets: $20-118 (look for discount tickets)

It’s “another opening of another show” with Kiss Me, Kate, American musical theatre’s greatest tribute to the Bard. As they try to stage a musical version of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, sparks fly on and off stage between Fred Graham, the show’s director and star, and Lilli Vanessi, his leading lady—and ex-wife. Add to the mix passionate young lovers, ingénue Lois Lane and her gambler boyfriend Bill, plus a few musically inclined gangsters’ heavies, and the result is a sharp and witty night with some of Cole Porter’s most immortal tunes. (I saw this recently, and thought it was immensely clever and entertaining!)

Elephant & Piggie’s We Are in a Play!
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Through January 3
Tickets: $20

This adorable production brings many children’s (and adults’!) favorite books to life on stage! In Elephant & Piggie’s We Are in a Play!, a vaudevillian romp of a musical, Elephant Gerald and Piggie sing and dance their way through plenty of pachydermal peril and swiney suspense facing fundamental questions like what do you wear to a fancy pool costume party? Should you share your ice cream? And how can two friends play with one toy? Backed by nutty backup singers, The Squirrelles, our duo even gets the audience involved in the action. So get ready for a musical experience ripped from the pages of your favorite books! Recommended for ages 3 and up.

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.

Boogie Babes
Where: Angelika Pop-Up, Eastern Market, & The Atlas
When: Wednesdays, Thursdays, & Fridays, 10:30am
Tickets: $5/child, free for siblings 6 months and under

Little ones can boogie along with their favorite local musicians at the Angelika Pop-Up (behind Union Market) on Wednesdays, in Eastern Market’s North Hall every Thursday, AND at The Atlas Performing Arts Center on Fridays. Go for the show, then grab lunch in the Markets or hit one of the many eateries on the H Street Corridor.

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 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.

Tiny Tots
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Most 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.

Saturday Morning at the National
Where: National Theatre
When: Most Saturdays
Tickets: FREE!

The free theatre program runs on select Saturdays with performances at 9:30am and 11:30am. Musicals, plays, storytelling, and comedy shows are all part of the live entertainment line-up. See the complete schedule of performances here. Tickets are distributed day of performances on a first-come, first-served basis. Everyone must be in line to receive a ticket.

Performances for Children
Where: Publick Playhouse
When: Ongoing
Tickets: Vary by show

The Playhouse in Riverdale, MD regularly presents plays, concerts, puppet shows, and more live entertainment for young audiences, often on weekday morning and at lunchtime — perfect activity for little ones and caregivers! Visit the website for the full calendar.

Pinocchio!
Where: Capitol Hill Arts Workshop
When: Through December 29
Tickets: $10-20

This new adaptation for young audiences follows a marionette’s wild adventures in becoming a real boy. Five actors bring Carlo Collodi’s classic tale to life is a flurry of masks, music and merriment! Our hero is always getting himself in and out of scrapes, running into colorful characters, and trying his best even at his worst. Bring the whole family as the Faction of Fools Theatre Company combines bold theatricality with this fantastical story of foxes, fairies, high-strung puppet-masters and underwater beasts.

Bright Star (grown-up suggestion!)
Where: Kennedy Center
When: December 2 – January 10
Tickets: $45-175 (look for discount tickets)

From Grammy and Emmy winner Steve Martin and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Edie Brickell comes a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and ’40s. (I already have my tickets for this — Steve and Edie’s musical collaborations are so good!)

Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer’s 30th Annual Winter Family Concert
Where: Seekers Church, – 276 Carroll St. NW
When: December 5, 11am & 1pm
Tickets: $12/advance, $15/at door

Join GRAMMY award winning duo Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer for their 30th Annual Winter Family Concert. Master Storyteller and Grammy® winning songwriter Bill Harley will share the show with the dynamic duo. Bring the whole family and get ready for silliness and full out musical fun! Cathy & Marcy are also teaming up with Comfort Cases, a local non-profit that helps foster kids in transition. Bring a cool new pair of pajamas for kids 6-10 and receive a refund for 1 ticket per family to the show.

Seussical the Musical
Where: NextStop Theatre
When: December 4-20
Tickets: $25

Bring the whole family along for this musical spectacular featuring all your favorite Dr. Seuss characters! Oh the thinks you will think when you see the Cat in the Hat’s magical tale of Horton the Elephant on his journey to protect the Whos and guard an abandoned egg. Featuring a cast of young actors in 3rd through 11th grades plus artists from NextStop’s professional company, Seussical will entertain adults and kids of all ages.

Marvel Universe Live
Where: Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore
When: December 10-13
Tickets: $10-15

This live Superhero story is framed around the battle over the Cosmic Cube, the source of ultimate power and one of the most feared and coveted treasures in the Marvel Universe. The Cosmic Cube has been shattered into pieces by the Mighty Thor in order to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.

How to Catch a Leprechan
Where: The Keegan Theatre
When: December 12-27
Tickets: $15 (look for discount tickets)

Based on the familiar Irish folktale, How To Catch a Leprechaun follows the comical adventures of the wistful minstrel Riley O’Really, who really wants to catch a leprechaun. He’s got everything he needs for his trap: a pair of sharp eyes, a good Irish folk song in his heart and, most importantly, an irresistible pitcher of green lemonade. The wee leprechaun who Riley catches seems more than willing to give up his pot of gold – but is his offer a leprechaun trick or a leprechaun treat? Recommended for ages 3 and up.

Wheaton Family Theatre Series
Where: Wheaton Public Library
When: Select Saturdays
Tickets: FREE!

Wheaton-based educational theatre company InterAct Story Theatre is launching the new Wheaton Family Theatre Series this fall! The first season of the series, running from October 2015 through February 2016, features five performances and includes children’s theatre, storytelling, world music, and family literacy programs. Each program is followed by a post-performance arts and literacy workshop for kids and families.

Matilda the Musical
Where: Kennedy Center
When: December 15 – January 10
Tickets: $30-204

Based on the beloved novel by Roald Dahl, Matilda The Musical is the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny.

Wake Up, Brother Bear
Where: Imagination Stage
When: December 19 – January 31
Tickets: $14

This audience-favorite show is back from hibernation! Watch as Brother and Sister Bear experience a full year of glorious seasons. Together we see a waterfall melt, meet a butterfly, chase an elusive fish, and skate on an icy pond. Children are invited to join the action with a small bag of props that help create magical moments. Best for ages 1-5.

Harlem Globetrotters
Where: Royal Farm Arena in Baltimore
When: December 26
Tickets: $23 and up

The iconic Harlem Globetrotters are coming to the Verizon Center in Washington, DC with their unrivaled family show, featuring some of the greatest athletes on the planet. With incredible ball handling wizardry, amazing rim-rattling dunks and trick shots, side-splitting comedy and unequaled on-court fan interaction, this must-see event is guaranteed to entertain the whole family creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Snow White
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre
When: January 8-17
Tickets: $15/adult, $10/child

Encore Stage & Studio theatre by kids for kids brings a fairytale classic to the stage. Snow White is a young princess who lives with her jealous evil step mother, the Queen. When the Queen discovers that Snow White is the fairest of them all, the Queen devises a plan to continue her reign permanently. After being banished in the woods, Snow White happens upon seven new friends that give her a place to call home. The Queen disguises herself and brings a poisoned apple to Snow White. Will the Queen stop there? Find out in this musical adaptation of a bedtime classic. Recommended for ages 4 and older.

NSO Kinderclassics: Break it Down
Where: Kennedy Center
When: January 9
Tickets: $20

If you love to tinker, you won’t want to miss this high-energy concert, where they delight in dissecting the pieces and parts of music and instruments! Go early for the Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” Starting one hour before each Kinderclassic, this hands-on activity in theHall of States gives children a chance to get up close with the instruments they’ll see played on stage, from violins and trumpets to oboes and flutes.

Planet Hopping
Where: National Air & Space Museum
When: January 14-15
Tickets: $3-6

Puppetry duo Belle et Bête and kindie rock powerhouse Lunch Money are your intergalactic guides for a one-of-a-kind adventure in space science. Original music, puppets, and elaborate video projections featuring real NASA footage help tell the tale of a young pilot and her robot sidekick as they travel the solar system. Soar among the stars as you explore the mysteries of the planets and the importance of friendship and family. Recommended for ages 3-7.

A Wrinkle in Time
Where: Alden Theatre
When: January 16
Tickets: $15 ($10 for MCC district residents)

On a dark and stormy night, the eccentric Mrs. Whatsit arrives at the home of Meg Murray, a tomboy who doesn’t fit in at her high school. Meg’s scientist father vanished over two years ago, under mysterious circumstances. Aided by Mrs. Whatsit and her friends, Meg and her gifted brother Charles Wallace are transported through time and space on a mission to rescue their father from the frightening forces that hold him prisoner on another planet. John Glore’s delightful, wildly theatrical adaptation brings this acclaimed story magically to life. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

Step Afrika! Step Xplosion
Where: Strathmore
When: January 17
Tickets: $25-40

Step up and enjoy the rhythm and artistry of Step Afrika! The percussive dance troupe puts on an electrifying show that unites music, dance, and storytelling to put forward an often overlooked aspect of American history.

Marmalade
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: January 21 – 24
Tickets: $9

What is marmalade? Can it be cherry, figs, mint, upside down, together or inside out? Marmalade is a delicious, sensory performance about meeting, mixing and blending. Mira and Viktor taste and feel in poetic movements and circus actions in an exquisite and visual experience where the audience is invited to join in the experience. Marmalade looks at the world through body, eye, feeling and taste in a room with fluffy skirts, soft circus and Fellini music. Perfect for ages 2-6.

Pinnocchio
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: January 21 – February 21
Tickets: $10

A life-size marionette version of Carlo Collodi’s classic children’s tale, created in the 1960s by the father of the Puppet Co.’s co-founder, Christopher Piper. This production has been completely refurbished and adapted for the Puppet Co. stage. Performed in Hollywood and Hawaii, critics hailed the production as “A Masterpiece!” and raved, “The underwater ballet alone is worth the price of admission!” Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Succotash Tales
Where: Discovery Theater, Ripley Center
When: January 27-28
Tickets: $3-6

With her captivating voice and dancing hands, master storyteller Diane Macklin draws inspiration from the heritage of West African storytelling. From trickster tales to fables of friendship, her delightful performances celebrate the richness of traditions and folklore. Recommended for ages 5-10.

OLIVÉRio: A Brazilian Twist
Where: Kennedy Center
When: January 30 – February 21
Tickets: $20

A spunky girl on the streets of Rio masquerades as a boy to look for her mother, only to discover a new kind of family, in this world premiere musical inspired by Charles Dickens’s classic novel and featuring original songs and music. Recommended for ages 9 and up.

Jack and Phil, Giant-Slayers, INC.
Where: Imagination Stage
When: February 3 – March 13
Tickets: $12-30

In this contemporary, tongue-in-cheek adaptation of the classic fairy tale, Jack is a sporty, popular kid whose mother is facing foreclosure on their house. Jack enlists Phil, his smart yet nerdy neighbor, to accompany him to a pawnbroker to trade in his Grandfather’s gold watch for quick cash. Instead, the boys are paid in magic beans, and soon enough, a beanstalk grows tall with golden eggs, a harp, and a Giant’s home waiting at the top! After discovering the treasures, Jack becomes an overnight TV sensation, but his failure to acknowledge Phil’s help threatens the boys’ friendship, and very nearly leads to disaster when the Giant decides to come down from the beanstalk. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Disney on Ice: Treasure Trove
Where: Verizon Center
When: February 10-15
Tickets: $15 and up

Get tangled up in Disney’s 50th animated feature with Rapunzel and Flynn and enter the worlds of your favorite Disney princesses; set sail on an adventure beyond Never Land; trek the wilds of Africa with Simba and friends as they discover the true meaning of the ‘Circle of Life.’ And don’t be late to a very important date with Alice & the Mad Hatter. It’s a show full of Disney treasures to remember.

James and the Giant Peach
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: February 12 – April 4
Tickets: $19.50

When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion which results in a tremendous peach – and launches a journey of enormous proportions. Featuring a wickedly tuneful score by the TONY Award-nominated team of Pasek and Paul and a curiously quirky book by Timothy Allen McDonald.

Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage
Where: Warner Theatre
When: February 13
Tickets: $42 and up

Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage brings 50 years of Star Trek to concert halls for the first time ever. This lavish production includes an impressive live symphony orchestra and international special solo instruments. Experience the franchise’s groundbreaking and wildly popular musical achievements while the most iconic Star Trek film and TV footage is simultaneously beamed in high definition to a 40-foot wide screen.

The Uncle Devin Show
Where: Discovery Theater, Ripley Center
When: February 18-19
Tickets: $3-6

Are you ready to make some noise? Everybody’s favorite musical uncle returns and invites young audiences to hear and play a world of percussion instruments in this show. Through all the bang-up interactive fun, kids also learn why percussion is the easiest, oldest, and most diverse form of musical creativity. Recommended for ages 2-6.

Mary Poppins
Where: CenterStage at the Reston Community Center
When: February 19 – March 12
Tickets: $25/adult, $20/student

Look who’s flying in to the CenterStage! You won’t need a Spoonful of Sugar when Mary Poppins arrives! Lovable chimney-sweep, Bert, introduces us to the troubled Banks family in 1910. Young Jane and Michael have sent many a nanny packing before the Practically-Perfect Mary Poppins teaches the children how to value each other again with a little common sense and their magical adventures! Even grown-ups can learn a lesson or two from the nanny who advises that Anything Can Happen If You Let It. Mary Poppins is an enchanting mixture of irresistible story, unforgettable songs, breathtaking dance numbers, and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious stagecraft!

Beauty and the Beast
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: February 25 – April 10
Tickets: $10

A romantic tale of a handsome prince, and his love, Beauty, set in a great forest in old Russia. There are curses, conflicts, hopes, wishes, dreams, and exciting adventures, all the things that make a happy ending that much sweeter. Imaginative settings and beautiful costumes support this large-scale marionette version of the classic love story. Winner of a Citation of Excellence from the American Center of the Union Internationale de la Marionette, it has played successfully to children and families nationwide. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Atlas INTERSECTIONS Festival
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: February 26 – March 6
Tickets: Vary by performance

Kicking off the Atlas Performing Arts Center 10th Anniversary, the Atlas Intersections Festival 2016 brings the best of DC arts and artists to the stage and H Street with performances, experiences and happenings in theatre, dance, music, vocal, choral, opera, visual arts, video, film, writing, sculpture, photography, circus, spoken word, public art, community art, and art space activation. And this includes entertainment that all ages will enjoy. See the schedule for details.

Monster Jam
Where: Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore
When: February 26
Tickets: Start at $20/adult, $10/child

The world’s largest and most famous monster truck tour featuring the biggest names in monster trucks will thunder its way into Baltimore. Grave Digger, Max-D, Monster Mutt Dalmatian, Scooby-Doo, Zombie, El Toro Loco, NEA, and Monster Mutt Rottweiler are among the vehicular beasts you’ll see tearing up the indoor terrain this year.

Treasure Island
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre
When: February 27 – March 6
Tickets: $15/adult, $10/child

What starts as a mystery turns into an adventure in an Encore adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel. Young Jim Hawkins leaves a dull life to search for where “X” marks the spot on a treasure map left behind by an old sea captain. Jim meets a slew of thrill seeking sea farers as he hopes to find the treasure before any pirates do. Recommended for ages 6 and up.

The Laurie Berkner Band
Where: Lincoln Theatre
When: February 28
Tickets:

The Laurie Berkner Band was Owen’s first concert when he was about two years old, and the show was just as fun as her catchy songs. A legend in the kiddie rock world, she’s bringing the good time to the U Street venue, and it’s bound to sell out, so get your tickets soon!

NSO Family Concert: Let’s Remix the Classix!
Where: Kennedy Center
When: February 28
Tickets: $15-18

What would the classics sound like with a hip-hop beat? Join Grammy-nominated beatboxer and multi-instrumentalist Christylez Bacon and electric cellist/composer Wytold for a crash course in the fundamentals of remixing! Go early for a Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo,” when young concertgoers can get up close and hands-on with the instruments they’ll see played on the stage. Stay after for Kids’ Chat to ask question and hear stories from the concert artists.

Space Bop
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: March 5-12
Tickets: $9

Journey to the musical cosmos in Arts on the Horizon’s world-premiere piece for babies and toddlers, Space-Bop! Drawing on a little one’s early love of light and vocal play, Space-Bop takes place under the starry sky and features a GRAMMY®-nominated hip-hop artist and beatboxer, a Chaplinesque hero, and the endearing denizens of outer space, like a pinwheel comet and a glowing star. In Arts on the Horizon’s signature multi-sensory, nonverbal style, Space-Bop invites our youngest audience to look up at the stars, have a giggle, and dream along with the hip-hop beat. Best for ages 0-2 and their families.

Boxes, Boxes, Boxes!
Where: Imagination Stage
When: March 8 – April 10, 2016
Tickets: $14

Originally Written and Directed by Natasha Holmes, Tell Tale Hearts Company, UK
Two friends use their imaginations to build bridges, birds, a train, a plane, and even a castle from cardboard boxes. Jump inside the world of a child’s imagination! Performances are followed by a “free play” session, allowing the audience to build their own creations, using props from the show!

Josh and the Jamtones: Jammin’ at the Smithsonian
Where: Discovery Theater, Ripley Center
When: March 10-11
Tickets: $3-6

This Boston-based trio serves up a full-of-fun show that’s jam-packed with energy. You’re guaranteed to be dancing and singing along as they blend roots/reggae/ska stylings, feel-good pop, folk punk, country ballads, New Orleans-style street music, and family-friendly improv comedy into a sensational ball of kids’-music awesomeness!

NSO Teddy Bear Concert: The String Thing
Where: Kennedy Center
When: March 12-13
Tickets: $15-18

Ladies and gents, tots and teddy bears, step right up to this daring double act of classical fun! Bassist Paul DeNola and violinist Heather LeDoux Green take a break from the NSO to introduce young audiences to some of the greatest music ever written. Go early for “Musical Playtime.” Starting 45 minutes before each Teddy Bear Concert, enjoy music and movement activities especially designed for small children.

Harlem Globetrotters
Where: Verizon Center & Eagle Bank Arena
When: March 18-20
Tickets: $23 and up

The iconic Harlem Globetrotters are coming to the Verizon Center in Washington, DC with their unrivaled family show, featuring some of the greatest athletes on the planet. With incredible ball handling wizardry, amazing rim-rattling dunks and trick shots, side-splitting comedy and unequaled on-court fan interaction, this must-see event is guaranteed to entertain the whole family creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Annie
Where: National Theatre
When: March 15-20
Tickets: $48-93

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.”

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Filed under All ages, Date Night, DC, Discount, Fall, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

Let Them Entertain You this Fall

Adventure Theatre's "Caps for Sale" runs September 12-27

Adventure Theatre’s “Caps for Sale” runs September 12-27



Are you and the kids ready to be entertained this fall? If so, you’re in luck. There’s a great line-up of shows coming to area stages this season — lots of them that are bound to be big hits with young audiences. This list has all the details you need to reserve your seats!

Caps for Sale
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: September 11-27
Tickets: $19.50 (look for discount tickets)

“Caps! Caps for sale! Fifty cents a cap!” The cap peddler wears a huge stack of caps, balanced carefully on top of his head. Brown caps, blue caps, gray caps, and red caps. When no one buys a cap, he takes a nap under a shady tree. But, when he wakes up, the caps are gone! Was it bears, pirates, one thousand thieves or a band of merry mischievous monkeys? Recommended for all ages.

The Hero of EVERYTHING
Where: Black Box Silver Spring
When: September 12-27
Tickets: $12 (look for discount tickets)

A fresh, fun, and interactive way for kids and families to explore the importance of teamwork and the perils of trying to do everything yourself, all by being part of the action of a superhero play for heroes of all ages. … Who needs a sidekick or a team when you can do everything yourself, and do it just the way it should be? Captain Everything, everyone’s favorite superhero, loves saving the day and doesn’t need anyone’s help to do it. Sure, she has an Alliance of superheroes, but no one minds if she just handles everything herself. Or do they? What happens when everyone else gets tired of being left out of everything and quits? And what happens when Captain Everything faces something she can’t do? Can she face her fears and cooperate with her team to save Citytown City? Or will it be too late?

The Cerulean Time Capsule
Where: U.S. Botanic Garden
When: September 12 – October 25
Tickets: $2 ($1 USBG members)

This interactive theatrical adventure is performed inside and throughout the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory. The Cerulean Time Capsule is about Benjamin Peale, a botanist who claims to be a time traveler from the year 2041. Benjamin needs help from the audience to stop a critical discovery from happening in the U.S. Botanic Garden—one that will bring catastrophe and destruction to the world as we know it! Audiences must help Benjamin find the mythic Cerulean Time Capsule before it’s too late. The production is performed nine shows per day on weekends. Due to its small-group nature, the performance can accommodate up to 12 audience members at one time. Show times occur every half-hour from 10:30am – 12:30pm and 2-4pm.

Millennium Stage
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Ongoing daily, 6pm
Admission: 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.

Boogie Babes
Where: Union Market, Eastern Market, & The Atlas
When: Wednesdays, Thursdays, & Fridays, 10:30am
Tickets: $5/child, free for sibling 6 months and under

Little ones can boogie along with their favorite local musicians at Union Market on Wednesdays, in Eastern Market’s North Hall every Thursday, AND at The Atlas Performing Arts Center on Fridays. Go for the show, then grab lunch in the Markets or hit one of the many eateries on the H Street Corridor.

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 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.

Puss in Boots
Where: Oatlands
When: September 12-27
Tickets: $12/adult, $10/child

Once upon a time a miller lived deep in the wood. Upon this man’s passing, he left one thing to his only son Tom: a cat. But Tom soon learned that Puss was no ordinary cat. Puss could talk, he was intelligent, and he had a plan to change Tom’s life around. All he asked in return was a nice pair of boots. And so begins a fun-filled adventure as Puss and Tom help a Princess, battle an Ogre, and more, in StageCoach Theatre’s musical, magical version of the Charles Perrault classic “Puss in Boots”. The whole family will be laughing, cheering, and singing along in this superb fairy tale. With a fun-filled cast of colorful characters and plenty of original songs, it’s an afternoon of can’t-miss entertainment. Bring a picnic and your lawn chairs to for this outdoor production! Recommended for ages 2-12.

Jammin Juniors: Two of a Kind
Where: McLean Central Park Gazebo
When: September 16, 12:30pm
Tickets: FREE!

Bring your lunch and listen to some tunes! Join the McLean Community Center’s Alden Theatre for this free lunchtime concert for children ages 2-5 and their families.

Tiny Tots Workshop
Where: Publick Playhouse
When: September 17, 9:30am & 11:15am
Tickets: $5

Children can learn to play a variety of drums and get an introduction to rhythm, dynamics, and how to play in a group. All instruments are provided. Space is limited, reserve early. Recommended for grades Pre K–1.

J.A.M 5th Element
Where: Joe’s Movement Emporium
When: September 18-19, 8pm
Tickets: $20 online, $25 at door

See a showcase of Washington-area performers celebrate the two-year anniversary of J.A.M Revue, an exciting song and dance revue in DC. This year they’ll pay tribute to some of the hottest songs from across the years that are “J.A.M.ed” into one show-stopping production, high kicking its way to the sexy songs of Broadway, and ending with an electrifying finale honoring the artists that have created some of today’s greatest pop hits. These dance-floor favorites are sure leave audiences dancing in their seats!

The Velveteen Rabbit
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: September 18 – October 18
Tickets: $10

Applause Unlimited returns with Margery Williams’ gentle tale of how toys become real. Told with hand puppets, storytelling and song, solo puppeteer Christopher Hudert takes children through this classic story of friendship, changes, and magic. The popular tale is of particular interest to youngsters learning to read, and to anyone who has ever had a favorite stuffed toy. Recommended for ages 3-9.

Tiny Tots
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Most 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.

The Story Thief and the Princess of Dreams
Where: Georgetown Lutheran Church
When: September 19
Tickets: $15 (use code FIRSTSHOW for $5 off)

In this production, City Kids Theatre a group of children at a family reunion gather to hear their venerable great-grandfather spin one of his legendary bedtime stories. When he’s unable to tell even one, they begin to worry that something’s amiss. Something is also worrying the Prince of Dreams, from his distant, slumbery realm, he notices that no children in the world are dreaming! He enlists the aid of our group of young heroes to find out where the dreams have gone, and it starts them on a trial that leads to the terrible Dream-Thief, who is bent on stealing all the bedtime stories in the world. And with them, the contented sleep of millions of children. Will the Prince of Dreams and the children be able to stop the Story-Thief in time for bed?

Saturday Morning at the National
Where: National Theatre
When: Saturdays starting September 19
Tickets: FREE!

The free theatre program runs on select Saturdays with performances at 9:30am and 11:30am. Musicals, plays, storytelling, and comedy shows are all part of the live entertainment line-up. See the complete schedule of performances here. Tickets are distributed day of performances on a first-come, first-served basis. Everyone must be in line to receive a ticket.

When She Had Wings
Where: Imagination Stage
When: September 23 – November 1
Tickets: $10-25

A nine year old girl named B fantasizes about flying in a makeshift cockpit she has built in a tree. The morning after a storm, B awakes to find A, a peculiar, elderly woman who “squawks” rather than talks, sharing her airplane. B believes that A is actually her heroine Amelia Earhart, who was never seen again after taking off across the Pacific Ocean. In exchange for B helping A finish her famous last flight, A promises B that she can and will fly! This story about using your imagination and making the impossible possible combines live sound and puppetry to create striking images and theatrical magic. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

The Lightening Thief
Where: Publick Payhouse
When: September 25
Tickets: $8

Characters from Percy Jackson’s Greek Mythology textbook come to life as Percy tries to find Zeus’s stolen lightning bolt, settle a conflict on Mount Olympus, and solve the riddle of the Oracle. Recommended for grades 2-6.

Flowers Stink
Where: U.S. Botanic Garden
When: September 26 – October 25
Tickets: FREE!

This world premiere musical production will be performed outdoors on the USBG’s Amphitheatre. Mixing singing and dancing with folk, bluegrass, blues, and gospel, the musical tells the story of how one middle school girl learns to appreciate nature by opening her eyes, ears, and mind to the beauty around her, unleashing the very best of her imagination and creativity. The show teaches that, with a close eye, one can find the best of nature in the most unlikely places. The production will be performed to the public on select Saturdays, and on weekday mornings for school groups by reservation.

Mariko’s Magical Mix: A Dance Adventure
Where: Kennedy Center
When: October 2-11
Tickets: $20

It’s the not-too-distant future, and the tedium of everyday life is making Mariko restless — until one day when she discovers a crate in her attic, filled with vinyl records that her mother collected. Armed only with a pair of headphones, Mariko is suddenly transported to a vibrant world of music and shadow. Far from the monotony of home, she encounters new friends, navigates inscrutable machines, and evades capture by strange creatures, allowing her to build the inner strength to confront her own demons and discover the extraordinary rhythms of her “ordinary” life. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Fábulas Fairytales
Where: Smithsonian Ripley Center
When: October 2 & 14-16
Tickets: $3-8

Start with three bears, three pigs, and three billy goats gruff. Add two languages, and what do you get? The perfect combination for a fresh and fun introduction to Spanish, literacy through storytelling, math, music and more —and a fábulas new take on a trio of familiar stories in this interactive Discovery Theater original. Children will find our “found” costumes, puppets, and set pieces crafted from recycled materials pretty fabulous, too. Recommended for ages 3-7.

Wheaton Family Theatre Series
Where: Wheaton Public Library
When: Saturdays starting October 3
Tickets: FREE!

Wheaton-based educational theatre company InterAct Story Theatre is launching the new Wheaton Family Theatre Series this fall! The first season of the series, running from October 2015 through February 2016, features five performances and includes children’s theatre, storytelling, world music, and family literacy programs. Each program is followed by a post-performance arts and literacy workshop for kids and families.

Sleeping Beauty
Where: Alden Theatre, McLean Community Center
When: October 3, 2pm
Tickets: $15, $10/MCC district residents

This musical adaptation from the original story by Charles Perrault follows the plot of the traditional fairy tale, but adds delightful surprises and comic situations. The fairies’ wondrous gifts to the child are given until one disgruntled fairy arrives to announce that her invitation was overlooked. A prick on the spinning wheel will take its toll on the kingdom. Will destroying all the spinning wheels be enough to save the king’s daughter? Find out as this tale illustrates that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and true goodness is found only in a loving heart. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Jammin’ at the Smithsonian: Ben Rudnick & Friends
Where: Air & Space Museum
When: October 8-9
Tickets: $3-8

Start the countdown! Fun, facts, and fantasy—and the most impressive museum setting ever—are all part of a rockin’ morning of music. Launch into outer space through the snappy songs of Ben Rudnick and Friends, who boast seven Parents’ Choice Awards for their infectiously delightful recordings. It’s the perfect way to begin a day of exploration at the National Air and Space Museum. Recommended for ages 2-6.

Felix Pitre: Stories & Songs of Latin America
Where: Publick Playhouse
When: October 8
Tickets:$8

Felix Pitre brings to life the culture of Latin America with puppetry, stories, songs, instruments and dance, performed in English interwoven with Spanish words and phrases. Recommended for grades K-3.

Bob Brown Puppets: Panda-monium
Where: Publick Playhouse
When: October 15, 9:30am & 11:15am
Tickets:$5

Master Puppeteer Bob Brown’s enchanting new production presents a delightful cast of adorable, multi-talented pandas and other Chinese circus performers in a 45-minute extravaganza of skill and daring. Recommended for Pre-K –1.

Shrek The Musical
Where: CenterStage at the Reston Community Center
When: October 16 – November 17
Tickets: $74/adult, $64/student

A talking donkey, a singing ogre, a feisty princess, a sassy cookie, tap dancing rats, and a striking band of misfit fairytale characters will be working their magic for children of all ages when Reston Community Players opens its 49th season with the Tony Award-winning fairytale adventure Shrek The Musical. The show transports the audience to the kingdom of Duloc, where a green ogre named Shrek finds himself on a life-changing journey alongside a wise-cracking donkey, a feisty princess, a “short”-tempered villain, a cookie with attitude, and dozens of misfit fairytale characters who prove that “what makes us special makes us strong.”

NSO Teddy Bear Concert: Fiddlin’ Around
Where: Kennedy Center
When: October 17
Tickets: $20

Calling all fiddle fanatics! From Bach to the blues, the spotlight is on the string instruments — the smallest and the largest — in this lively program presented by two zany NSO musicians. Learn how these instruments work together using melody and accompaniment, and watch counterpoint come to life just like a conversation between two best friends. With a pillow fight, a musical choo-choo ride, and silliness in spades, you’ll find out how much music you can make–and how much fun you can make music — just by fiddlin’ around! Children can bring their favorite stuffed animals and go early for “Musical Playtime.” Starting 45 minutes before each Teddy Bear Concert, enjoy music and movement activities especially designed for little ones.

Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic
Where: EagleBank Arena
When: October 21-25
Tickets: $20 and up (look for discount tickets)

Grab your Mickey ears and get ready for the ultimate Disney experience at Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic. Be charmed by a cast of over 50, with Mouse-ter of Ceremonies Mickey Mouse, sweetheart Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and Disney Princesses including Cinderella, Rapunzel, Ariel, Snow White and Tiana. Relive the magic of Disney’s Frozen with Anna, Elsa and the hilarious Olaf as they discover that true love is the greatest magic of all. Sing-along to over 30 unforgettable songs including “Let It Go,” “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” and “Hakuna Matata.”

Aladdin (& his wonderful lamp)
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: October 22 – November 20
Tickets: $10

Back by popular demand! After all sold out houses and too many snow days, we had to bring back this incredible production. From ancient Persia comes this lavish and entrancing tale, true to the original “one thousand and one Arabian nights,” full of genies, wizards, magic caves, exotic princesses, and an elephant! Half life-size rod puppets and exciting special effects make this production exciting theater. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

NSO Family Concert: Sleepy Hollow-een
Where: Kennedy Center
When: October 25
Tickets: $15-18

All Hallows’ Eve has arrived for Ichabod Crane! Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke leads all the ghoulishly attired orchestra members in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, his riveting reimagining of Washington Irving’s classic ghost story about the fabled Headless Horseman, complete with an engaging narrator and spine-tingling sounds. Be sure to don your own costume and come early for trick-or-treating in our special Haunted Hall Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” Then, take your seats for a frightfully fun adventure through the classics.

Oliver!
Where: Arena Stage
When: October 30 – January 3
Tickets: $64 and up (look for discount tickets

Charles Dickens’ unforgettable characters burst to life in this Tony Award-winning musical. Artistic Director Molly Smith’s new in-the-round staging blends the chaotic worlds of 19th-century Victorian London with 2015 London and infuses a modern edge to the classic story about an innocent orphan thrown into the dark world of double-dealing thieves and conmen. Bursting with jubilant songs, including “You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two,” “Consider Yourself,” “Where is Love?” and the scrumptious “Food, Glorious Food,” the show will serve up a musical feast for the eyes and ears that will have every theater-lover calling out for “More!”

Darius & Twig
Where: Kennedy Center
When: October 30
Tickets: $20

On Harlem’s 145th Street, teenage best friends Darius and Twig dream of a world beyond the confines of their daily lives. Darius is a writer, whose latest story might be published in a magazine–if only he can keep his alter ego, a fierce falcon, in check. And Twig is a runner, whose speed and endurance might bring him a scholarship–if only he can impress college scouts at an upcoming meet. But with Darius’s mother barely scraping by, pressure from Twig’s uncle to give up racing, and bullies Midnight and Tall Boy constantly on their case, these true-blue allies may not truly be free to use their gifts. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Playing by Air
Where: Alden Theatre, McLean Community Center
When: November 1, 2pm
Tickets: $20, $15/MCC district residents

Playing By Air captivates audiences with a joyful fusion of music, juggling and circus in which traditional theatricality meets absurd comedy. The award-winning performers of Playing By Air share their sense of playfulness and breathtaking feats in a production enjoyed equally by adults, families and children. Audiences are drawn into the performance with a contagious attitude of expressive play and creativity.

http://arts.pgparks.com” target=”_blank”>Madeline and the Bad Hat
Where: Publick Playhouse
When: November 5, 10:15am & 12pm
Tickets: $8

Madeline doesn’t like her new next door neighbor, Pepito, but she eventually discovers that Pepito’s father is rarely at home and that her new neighbor is misbehaving because he is desperate for attention. When Madeline rescues Pepito from danger, they become friends and Madeline learns that first impressions aren’t everything. Recommended for grades K-2.

Outside the Box: Beatboxing with Mr. Max
Where: Smithsonian Ripley Center
When: November 6
Tickets: $3-8

Rhythm and cool! Mr. Max takes us with him as he takes the mike 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 5-10.

Hansel & Gretel
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre
When: November 6-15
Tickets: $15/adult, $10/child

Encore Stage & Studio’s “theatre by kids, for kids” production presents a classic tale… Deep in a German forest awaits the Gingerbread Witch and her hobgoblin henchmen ready to transform children into tasty treats. Siblings Hansel, Gretel and friends go into the woods and find themselves in the path of the witch. To return home to their parents, this brother and sister duo will have to use their smarts to outwit the evil Witch. Spooky and full of action, we recommend this production for ages 6 and older.

https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?ticketing=ess

So You Think You Can Dance
Where: Warner Theatre
When: November 6
Tickets: $60 and up

So You Think You Can Dance, the 13-time Primetime Emmy® Award-winning show that sparked America’s fascination with dance, is set to captivate audiences again this fall — live on tour. Celebrating its momentous 12th season and its exciting new Stage v. Street format, So You Think You Can Dance’s Top 10 finalists will make their way across North America performing in 70 cities as part of the So You Think You Can Dance Season 12 Tour.

Ailey II: Family Show
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: November 8, 4pm
Tickets: $18-30

Ailey II is universally renowned for merging the spirit and energy of the country’s best young dance talent with the passion and creative vision of today’s most outstanding emerging choreographers. Founded in 1974, the company embodies Alvin Ailey’s pioneering mission to establish an extended cultural community that provides dance performances, training, and community programs for all people.

Elska
Where: Alden Theatre, McLean Community Center
When: November 8, 2pm
Tickets: $15, $10/MCC district residents

Hiddi Hiddi! That’s how to say hello on the Island of Elska, the imaginary volcanic island off the coast of Iceland that is home to the singer Elska and a small population that includes her two-foot-tall best friend the Goobler, an arctic fox and a colony of lost socks. “Middle of Nowhere,” her award-winning debut album, is packed with kid-friendly electronic pop songs about life on the island. During her live show, a blend of theater, storytelling, and musical performance, Elska whisks away children and families on a musical tour of her Arctic home and introduces them to the island’s wonderful inhabitants. The performance is a spellbinding blend of bells, beats, twinkling synthesizers and one of the most endearing and lovely voices in family entertainment. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Native Pride Dancers
Where: Publick Playhouse
When: November 10, 10:15am & 12pm
Tickets: $8

Experience the excitement of a Native American powwow when the Native Pride Dancers share their rich cultural heritage of dance, music, stories, and costumes. Enhanced by indigenous vocal and flute music, pulsating drumming and intricate footwork, the performance features award-wining dancer Larry Yazzie of the Meskwaki Nation. Recommended for all ages.

¡Ratón en Movimiento!
Where: Imagination Stage
When: November 10-29
Tickets: $14

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.

Simple Space
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: November 15, 4pm
Tickets: $22-40

BlackRock’s MainStage as you’ve never seen it before! For this unique performance, the stage will be extended and you will have a chance to be a part of the action with special onstage seating. In A Simple Space seven acrobats from the multi-award winning Australian acrobatics ensemble Gravity & Other Myths push their physical limits without reserve in a performance that’s simultaneously raw, frantic and delicate.

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Where: National Theatre
When: November 18-29
Tickets: $48 and up

With its fresh new take on the beloved tale of a young woman who is transformed from a chambermaid into a princess, this hilarious and romantic Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA combines the story’s classic elements – glass slippers, pumpkin, and a beautiful ball along with some surprising twists. More than just a pretty face with the right shoe size, this Cinderella is a contemporary figure living in a fairytale setting. She is a spirited young woman with savvy and soul who doesn’t let her rags or her gowns trip her up in her quest for kindness, compassion and forgiveness. She longs to escape the drudgery of her work at home and instead work to make the world a better place. She not only fights for her own dreams, but forces the prince to open his eyes to the world around him and realize his dreams too.

Family Concert: Let’s Make Music
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: November 22, 2:30-3:30pm
Tickets: $25, free for children

The Capitol City Symphony’s annual fun, educational, and participatory family concert is a hit with kids of all ages. Bruce Adolphe’s Three Pieces for Kids and Chamber Orchestra is an interactive journey through the orchestra that is sure to be fun for all the family. The concert also includes an Instrument Petting Zoo for 30 minutes before each performance, where guests might discover their new favorite instrument!

Sister Rain and Brother Sun
Where: Smithsonian Ripley Center
When: November 23-27
Tickets: $3-8

When glistening Sister Rain becomes jealous of shining Brother Sun and stops watering the Earth, wise Mother Nature must step in to save the day—and she needs your help! This interactive musical nature tale from the award-winning Catskill Puppet Theatre is told with large, beautifully crafted rod puppets (Brother Sun is a sizzling seven feet in diameter) and colorful sets and costumes. Young audiences have fun as they discover that we all must work together to help our Earth thrive. Recommended for ages 4-8.

Elephant & Piggie’s We Are in a Play!
Where: Kennedy Center
When: November 25 – January 3
Tickets: $20

In Elephant & Piggie’s We Are in a Play!, a vaudevillian romp of a musical, Elephant Gerald and Piggie sing and dance their way through plenty of pachydermal peril and swiney suspense facing fundamental questions like what do you wear to a fancy pool costume party? Should you share your ice cream? And how can two friends play with one toy? Backed by nutty backup singers, The Squirrelles, our duo even gets the audience involved in the action. So get ready for a musical experience ripped from the pages of your favorite books! Recommended for ages 3 and up.

Peppa Pig
Where: Warner Theatre
When: November 27
Tickets: $25.50 and up

More fun than a muddy puddle! Peppa Pig is hitting the road for her first-ever U.S. theatrical tour, Peppa Pig’s Big Splash! The original production features Peppa, George, and all their friends in an all-singing, all-dancing adventure full of songs, games, and muddy puddles!


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Enter to Win Tickets to InterAct Story Theatre’s “The Hero of EVERYTHING”

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As we soar into September, InterAct Story Theatre has a new production to make the trip even more fun for children — and I have two Family 4-Packs of tickets to see it for two lucky winners!

The Hero of EVERYTHING is a fresh, fun, and interactive way for kids and families to explore the importance of teamwork and the perils of trying to do everything yourself, all by being part of the action of a superhero play for heroes of all ages. The experience of the performance begins at the top of the show, with a brainstorming session among the actors and the audience — let’s come up with some ideas for some brand new superheroes for today’s play, superheroes no one has ever seen before! — and continues after the performance with opportunities for autographs and photographs with the actors.

Parents come away with a discussion guide they can use to explore the ideas in the play with their children and continue the theatrical experience at home. Kids come away with an amazing superhero adventure, and an invitation to create some of their own to share with InterAct!

The Hero of EVERYTHING premiered as a touring production last fall and instantly became one of the company’s most popular plays, having been performed for nearly 20,000 children and adults throughout Maryland. The production also incorporates STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) learning in a fun and accessible way.

The Hero of EVERYTHING will run September 12-27 at the Silver Spring Black Box Theatre located at 8641 Colesville Road in Silver Spring, MD. Performances are on Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30am and 1:30pm. Recommended for ages 4 and up, tickets are $12 (free for ages 2 and under). There is free weekend parking in the Wayne Avenue Garage (921 Wayne Avenue), a short walk from the theatre.

Giveaway: For a chance to win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to see The Hero of EVERYTHING at 11:30am on Saturday, September 12, simply leave a comment telling me your (or your child’s) super power. To be eligible, you must like InterAct Story Theatre on Facebook and subscribe to KidFriendly DC (see sign-up on left sidebar). This giveaway will run through Sunday, September 6, then two winners will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by InterAct Story Theatre, however, I only promote programs, events, and services that I truly believe in and/or think would appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under All ages, Fall, Giveaway, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Sponsored Post, Summer, Theatre, Weekend

Adventure Theatre Presents OLIVER! at Round House Theatre

Franco Cabanas as Oliver

Franco Cabanas as Oliver



I always love an opportunity to bring my children to see stage productions of books they enjoy. It’s a chance to watch a story that was once just on pages and in their heads come to life, to see imagination and interpretation at work. So, as Owen is finishing up Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, the timing of this new production couldn’t be better.

Adventure Theatre MTC is bringing OLIVER! to Round House Theatre in Bethesda. Opening Friday, July 24, and running through August 16, the show is ATMTC’s first full-length musical production. And if their trove of wonderful children’s productions on the Glen Echo stage is any indication, this one is sure to be a hit.

Felicia-Curry-as-Nancy

This steampunk-inspired OLIVER! features an extraordinary team of Helen Hayes Award Recognized local performers and Adventure Theatre MTC veterans, accompanied by a chamber orchestra as this version of the classic story is performed.

A young orphan who arrives on the streets of London with no friends, no money, and nowhere to live. He meets a cheeky pickpocket who shows him a whole new way of life. But as chance would have it, Oliver stumbles upon a gentleman who might just hold the key to his mysterious past. Packed full of joyful songs, including Consider Yourself, You’ve Got To Pick a Pocket or Two, Oom-Pah-Pah! and the exuberant Food Glorious Food, this will be the theatrical highlight of your year.

Director Joseph Ritsch speaks to the heart this production, “As a director I always ask, why this play now? Why OLIVER! now? … I was so taken by Oliver’s continual ability to find the joy in life even in the most dire of circumstances. There is a light in this young man that shines bright no matter how dark his world gets. There is something so beautifully hopeful in that, and in today’s complicated world of 2015, such hope is indeed a welcomed necessity.”

It sounds like a show that will have many of us wanting more.

OLIVER! will be on stage July 24 – August 16. Tickets are $35/students and $45/adults and can be purchased on Adventure Theatre MTC’s website or by calling the box office at 301.634.2270. All performances will take place at Round House Theatre in Bethesda, MD.

*Important for parents to note: This is a two-act show, so it runs two hours long with a 15 intermission approximately. It is also faithful to the stage version and may be too violent for very young children. Recommended for around ages 7 and up, but parents should use their best judgement.


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Adventure Theatre MTC, however, I only promote programs, events, and services that I truly believe in and/or think would appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under Gradeschoolers, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Preteens, Seasonal, Sponsored Post, Summer, Teens, Theatre, Tweens, Weekend