25 Can’t-Miss Shows
The season ahead offers lots of blockbuster plays, musicals, and much-loved classics
There’ll be lots of great performances this season on area stages and in music clubs and concert halls. Some are destined to be sold out, so think about getting tickets now for those you don’t want to miss.
Black Cat, October 19
A recent appearance on Late Night With Conan O’Brien made this indie-pop singer the hottest Swedish import since Abba. $15; 202-397-7328; ticketmaster.com.
Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt
Warner Theatre, October 19
An acoustic evening with two alt-country masters. $69.50; 800-551-7328; livenation.com.
The Black Crowes
9:30 Club, October 23 through 25
This band’s mix of rock, folk, and blues has sold more than 20 million albums. $45; 800-955-5566; tickets.com.
“Modern Masters” Dance Series
Kennedy Center beginning October 29, with performances through March 28
An exceptional lineup of modern-dance companies—including the Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, and José Limón companies. $22 to $89; 202-467-4600; kennedy-center.org.
Carmen, Washington National Opera
Kennedy Center Opera House, November 8 through 19
Washington native Denyce Graves is famous worldwide for her performance of the fiery Carmen, and Bizet’s music is dazzling. $45 to $300; 202-467-4600; kennedy-center.org.
Cheetah Girls One World Tour
Verizon Center, November 9
If you’ve got a tween girl, you may already have tickets to see this sassy and sparkly Disney-created girl group. If not, hurry before they become as coveted as Hannah Montana tickets. $35 to $45; 202-397-7328; ticketmaster.com.
Conductor Gustavo Dudamel
Kennedy Center Concert Hall; conducting the Israeli Philharmonic November 18; conducting his old orchestra, the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, April 6.
The 27-year-old maestro—who’ll take over the Los Angeles Philharmonic next year—is considered the hottest ticket in the concert world. Washington has two chances to see the Venezuelan dubbed “the golden boy of classical music.” $28 to $175; 202-467-4600; kennedy-center.org.
San Francisco Ballet
Kennedy Center Opera House, November 25 through 30
The nation’s oldest professional ballet company comes to the area for the first time in six years, bringing works from its New Works Festival, commissioned for its 75th anniversary. $29 to $99; 202-467-4600; kennedy-center.org.
Christmas With Aaron Neville and His Quintet
Birchmere, November 30
Neville has the sweetest tenor voice ever to leave New Orleans. His appearances are always popular, especially concerts like this one with brother Charles. $45; 202-397-7328; ticketmaster.com.
Signature Theatre, December 2 through February 22
The first regional theater production of Les Miz as only artistic director Eric Schaeffer would dare to do it: The audience will be onstage behind the barricades. $49 to $77; 703-820-9771; signature-theatre.org.
West Side Story
National Theatre, December 15 through January 17
This pre-Broadway production is a restaged version directed by the original librettist, Arthur Laurents. Leonard Bernstein’s music and Stephen Sondheim’s lyrics still soar, but the characters have a modern edge. $46.50 to $176.50; 800-447-7400; telecharge.com.
NSO Kinderkonzert: “String and Stories”
Kennedy Center Theater Lab, January 10 (two performances)
Kennedy String Quartet musicians use animals and slapstick to bring classical music to life. $18; 202-467-4600; kennedy-center.org.
Studio Theatre, January 14 through February 22
Conor McPherson’s play about prison inmates who play poker with the devil on Christmas Eve. When actors Edward Gero, Philip Goodwin, and Floyd King get together, magic happens. $34 to $61; 202-332-3300; studiotheatre.org.
Sweet Honey in the Rock Annual Children’s Concert
People’s Congregational Church, January 17 (two performances)
The a cappella group’s blend of folk, gospel, jazz, and percussion is a treat for kids and adults alike. The local group’s children’s CD Experience … 101 was nominated for a Grammy last year. $12; 202-785-9727; wpas.org.
Round House Theatre, February 4 through March 1
This retelling of the Orpheus myth is an early work by Sarah Ruhl, author of Dead Man’s Cell Phone, a New York hit that premiered at Woolly Mammoth last year. She’s a MacArthur “genius grant” recipient and a favorite of local audiences. $50 to $60; 240-644-1100; roundousetheatre.org.
Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra With Tap Dancer Savion Glover
Music Center at Strathmore, February 13
“Symphony With a Twist” combines classical music, pop, jazz, and Glover’s choreography and improvisation. $25 to $80; 301-581-5100; strathmore.org.
Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra
George Mason Center for the Arts, February 21
These top-notch local musicians, led by Jim Carroll, will blow the house down with classics from jazz greats such as Duke Ellington. $19 to $38; 888-945-2468; gmu.edu/cfa.
Second City National Touring Company
Barns at Wolf Trap, February 21 and 22
Tina Fey, Mike Myers, and Steve Carell started with the renowned improv group from Chicago. Expect the politically incorrect. $20; 877-938-2404; wolf-trap.org.
Pianist Evgeny Kissin
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, March 1
The Russian classical pianist and former child prodigy is always a big draw. At his last area recital, the crowd refused to leave and he played eight encores. $47 to $127; 202-467-4600; kennedy-center.org.
BeauSoleil With Michael Doucet
Barns at Wolf Trap, March 5
It’s always time for Mardi Gras beads and dancing shoes when this Louisiana band comes to town with its feel-good Cajun/zydeco mix. $25; 877-938-2404; wolf-trap.org.
A Chorus Line
National Theatre, March 10 through 22
The Pultizer Prize– and Tony Award–winning musical about dancers auditioning for a Broadway show is still “one singular sensation.” Tickets ($46.50 to $151.50) go on sale in January; 800-447-7400; telecharge.com.
Bach’s Great Organ Mass
National Presbyterian Church, March 22
The Washington Bach Consort celebrates the composer’s birthday with J. Reilly Lewis at the organ and splendid voices singing. $20 to $55; 202-429-2121; bachconsort.org.
Arena Stage at the Lincoln Theatre, March 27 through April 26
This joyful musical about Southern black matriarchs and their church hats always sells out. The new version stars E. Faye Butler, who stopped the show in Signature Theatre’s Saving Aimee. $57 to $76; 202-488-3300; arenastage.org.
Signature Theatre, April 28 through May 31
This world premiere is based on Edna Ferber’s novel. The musical won a grant from the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays. $49 to $77; 703-820-9771; signature-theatre.org.
Shakespeare Theatre Company, Sidney Harman Hall, June 16 through July 19
Stacy Keach plays Lear in a production by Tony Award–winning director Robert Falls. $20 to $67.50; 202-547-1122; shakespearetheatre.org.