Dinner and a show can mean different things to different people. When you have kids, anytime you can enjoy a live performance—albeit with an appetizer sampler of goldfish, raisins and carrot sticks and maybe a couple of cold ones (juice boxes, that is)—that’s a night out (or a matinee) worth telling your friends about. Whether everybody’s buzzing about the latest kindie rock artist in concert at AMP in Rockville, or a classic story brought to life by Synetic Theatre in Rosslyn, we’ve got your entertainment calendar set. Bring the Ziploc of snacks for intermission and enjoy one of these shows everybody can get excited about at a DMV area stage near you this season.


photo: Great Wolf Lodge via Yelp

The Jungle Book
Where: Creative Cauldron
When: Nov. 8 – 24

A musical based on the classic Rudyard Kipling story, this show features all the human and animal characters kids and adults will find familiar demonstrating the rules of the jungle covering everything from respect for the natural world to overcoming prejudice. Also, your kids can take inspiration from some performers close in age, in this production by Creative Cauldron’s Learning Theater program.

Kid Prince and Pablo at the Kennedy Center
Where: The Kennedy Center
When: Oct. 19 – Nov. 3

Author Mark Twain enjoyed a good twist and so it’s probably safe to say he’d be interested to see this re-imagined hip-hop performance based on his tale, The Prince and The Pauper. Set in the Capital City, it’s a perfect show to bring your political sense and your pint-sized commentators (recommended for ages 9 and up).

The Pop Ups
Where: The Alden
When: Oct. 19

Fresh from their Lollapalooza appearance this summer and featuring original music with a pop-savvy sound the whole family will not want to miss, the three-time GRAMMY nominated duo The Pop Ups tell stories, have conversations with puppets and turn pretend time on its hilarious head. Look out too for The Pop Ups, theme-song writers for NPR’s Wow in the World, when they join the hosts of this popular kids radio show for a live podcast at Strathmore on February 29, 2020.

photo: Kids at The Creek Preschool via Yelp

Gustafer Yellowgold
Where: AMP by Strathmore
When: Oct. 20

Most often compared to worldwide icons The Beatles, the music of Gustafer Yellowgold accompanied by quirky videos by creator Morgan Taylor, is iconic in its own right. Beloved by legions of littles and adults alike, Gustafer’s songs about pine cones, cake, robots, and bacon (yes, bacon) are irresistible. AMP’s Pajama Jam series hosts where even if you forget the goldfish to go with your bacon, you’re covered.

The Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe
Where: Imagination Stage
When: Nov. 23 – Jan. 5

Expect a stunner of a performance from the folks at Imagination Stage who in their 40th Anniversary season still seem magically to fit all the wonderment and surprise of stories we know and love onto a stage, this time transporting you and the young ones to the land of Narnia. Through music, modern dance, and puppetry this beloved C.S. Lewis story comes to life.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus-The Musical
Where: The Kennedy Center
When: Nov. 23 – Jan. 5

Mo Willems beloved fine feathered friend and all the characters from his book come to life with an innovative mix of actors, puppets, and songs when creator Mo Willems collaborates wih Deborah Wicks La Puma, the composer behind Elephant & Piggie’s We Are in a Play!

photo: Brian Hoffman Magic via Yelp

The Snow Queen
Where: Synetic Theatre
When: Dec. 4-29

A family-friendly, and by the way dialogue-free, adaptation of the timeless Hans Christian Anderson tale, Synetic’s production is a holiday treat starring “America’s New Favorite Princess.” Vaguely reminiscent of a princess story from another winter wonderland, this one features a girl, a magic mirror and a special journey all done with striking visuals and movement-driven storytelling set to wow.

The Velveteen Rabbit
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: November 15 – January 1

This story is for anyone with a special place in their heart for their favorite stuffy, and what toddler (even adult) do you know who does not? Adventure Theatre’s tradition of great holiday-time shows is sure to please all ages as promised this year. Don’t forget to check out the whole season too featuring more storybook dramatizations, including Lyle the Crocodile this Spring and what looks to be a sure Summer hit–Madagascar-A Musical Adventure!

—Carolyn Ross


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