11 Must-See Spring Shows for Kids

Even the most royal of drama kings and queens will forget their troubles this season at DMV area shows, hosted by dedicated children’s theaters and all ages venues. Travel the world with Imagination Stage’s The Princess and the Pauper: Bollywood Style, or visit one of the country’s top Latino performing arts centers, D.C.’s GALA Theater, and see VolcanO: El Salvadorean Folktales. Smithsonian’s Discovery Theater welcomes back Seattle grunge band for the minis, The Not-Its!, and Jammin Java has musician Matthew Heaton whose album “Toddlerbilly Riot” must be some kind of familiar. Finally, ease on down the road with your little munchkin to Ford’s Theater for the blockbuster musical, The Wiz.

Photo: Not-Its!


The Princess and the Pauper: A Bollywood Tale at Imagination Stage
Don’t be fooled by the title, this is Mark Twain’s classic bait and switch story, but in the hands of Imagination Stage‘s diverse cast and creative team, it is a princess heroine and a shy daughter of a seamstress who crash the coronation, and bring a little Bollywood flair to learning what is just and right.

When: Feb. 10-Mar. 18
4950 Auburn Ave. (Bethesda, Md)
Online: imaginationstage.org 

The Lion King, Jr. at Encore Stage and Studio
Ascribe to the philosophy of Hakuna Matata with the students of Encore Stage in their version of the Broadway favorite about a lion who learns to take his place of leadership in his community. Complete with colorful costumes and puppets, this one hour adaptation is perfect for the youngest in the Jungle.

When: Feb. 16-18, and Feb. 23-25
200 South Carlin Springs Rd. (Arlington)
Online: encorestageva.org


The Not-Its! at Smithsonian‘s Discovery Theater
While kids will love the fun-filled rock anthems about avoiding haircuts, science fair blues, and trips to the dentist, The Not It’s! take action message from the track titled Washington, D.C. off their latest release Are You Listening?!, makes this concert-going experience meaningful for VIPS of all ages.

When: Mar. 1-2
Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr., S.W.
Online: discoverytheater.org

Alexander and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day at Adventure Theater
Remember Alexander, the little boy who just never seemed to catch a lucky break, so announced he is moving to Australia? Find out what drives him to this point, in D.C. resident author Judith Viorst’s 1972 book, now set to music, and as fresh today as it was when she wrote it as a young mom.

Feb. 9 – Mar. 31
7300 MacArthur Blvd. (Glen Echo)
Online: adventuretheatre-mtc.org

VolcanO: Tales of El Salvador at GALA Theater
Learn Mayan history and more about Central American culture in this show described as a fun-filled musical spectacle recommended for children ages 5 – 10. Located in the historic and revitalized Tivoli Theatre in Columbia Heights, a trip to GALA is a special excursion for the littles.

Mar. 3-17
3333 14th St., NW
Online: galatheatre.org


Matthew Heaton at Jammin Java
Don’t miss the chance to see this guy in concert with a playlist every family member can get down to—and underneath, over top of, and around the back. Drawing on his Irish heritage and other musical genres, Heaton has forged a path with a title all his own as in his first album, Toddlerbilly Riot.

Apr. 14
227 Maple Ave. E. (Vienna, Va)
Online: jamminjava.com

Air Play at Strathmore
This circus-style performance by the married duo Acrobuffos, returns to Strathmore for one show only. Described as perfect for families featuring flying umbrellas, larger-than-life balloons, giant kites, and the biggest snow globe you’ve ever seen—maybe the only snow we will see this season!

Apr. 22
5301 Tuckerman Ln. (Bethesda, Md)
Online: strathmore.org

The Wiz at Ford’s Theater
Historic Ford’s Theater promises all the glitz and glamour of this bluesy, jazzy trip, a twist on The Wizard of Oz, that is simply put, nothing like Kansas. Made famous by the movie version starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson, The Wiz is required travel for all the Broadway babes over age 8 in your crew.

Mar. 9-May 12
511 10th St., N.W.
Online: fords.org


Judy Moody and Stink: The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt at Adventure Theatre
If you don’t know Judy Moody (or her little brother Stink), then surely this nationally respected children’s theater is the place to meet her, in a world premiere show based on the book by Megan McDonald, and commissioned by seven children’s performance organizations from around the country.

Apr. 20-Jun. 3
MacArthur Blvd. (Glen Echo, Md)
Online: adventuretheatre-mtc.org

Dragons Love Tacos at Olney Theater Center
The last in a series of Theater for Young Audiences productions this season, Dragons Love Tacos is recommended for K – 5 and brought to Olney by Theaterworks USA. The show is about, well, dragons that like to eat tacos, of course, and the trouble that ensues when a boy throws them a party.

May 19-20
2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Rd. (Olney, Md)
Online: olneytheatre.org

Charlotte’s Web at Creative Cauldron
Bring the whole gang to see Charlotte, Wilbur and the rest of the barn in a musical version of this now 60 year old story so many hold dear. With its lessons of friendship, loyalty and truth, Charlotte’s Web is a gift for audiences of all ages.

May 24-Jun 17
410 S. Maple Ave. (Falls Church, Va)
Online: creativecauldron.org

Which show are you most looking forward to seeing? Tell us in the comments below. 

—Carolyn Ross


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