Plays, Musicals, and Theater Events in December

See John Malkovich direct in French at Shakespeare, a Million-Dollar Quartet at the Kennedy Center, “Les Misérables,” and much more.

By: Sophie Gilbert

Opening This Month

John Malkovich, who starred as the immoral Vicomte de Valmont in the movie Dangerous Liaisons, directs a French-language version of Les Liaisons Dangereuses presented by the Théâtre de l’Atelier at Shakespeare Theatre. December 6 through 9.

Georgetown professor and playwright Natsu Onoda Power, whose acclaimed Astro Boy and the God of Comics was produced this year at Studio Theatre, directs A Trip to the Moon at Synetic Theater. The play is based on a 1902 silent film by Georges Méliès featuring six astronomers who head to the moon, where they encounter comets, aliens, and the moon goddess Phoebe. December 6 through January 6.

The Hub Theatre presents How I Paid for College, Marc Acito’s world premiere about a Bueller-esque teen who turns to crime to pay for acting school. December 7 through 30.

Woolly Mammoth welcomes comedy duo the Pajama Men and their show In the Middle of No One. The Guardian described the surreal fusion of improv and theater—sold out in London and at the Edinburgh Fringe—as “comic bliss.” December 11 through January 6.

Just in time for the movie adaptation, the 25th-anniversary tour of Les Misérables returns to DC, playing at the National Theatre. Peter Lockyer stars as Jean Valjean, with Genevieve Leclerc as Fantine. December 12 through 30.

Apples from the Desert, Savyon Liebrecht’s Isreali hit, gets its Washington premiere at Theater J. The show, about a religious teenager who flees her Orthodox upbringing to follow the man she loves, was adapted by Liebrecht from her 2000 short story. December 15 through January 6.

Million Dollar Quartet, the Broadway hit about a legendary recording session by Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash, comes to the Kennedy Center December 18 through January 6. Signature Theatre’s Eric Schaeffer directs.

At Studio Theatre, artistic director David Muse directs An Iliad, Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare’s contemporary spin on Homer’s epic. The one-man, 100-minute adaptation stars Scott Parkinson as the poet. December 21 through January 13.


Holiday-Themed Shows

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas moves into the Kennedy Center’s opera house for the season. Based on the 1950s film starring Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney, the musical features all the standards: “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm,” “Sisters,” and “White Christmas,” of course. December 11 through January 6.

Edward Gero reprises his role as Scrooge in Ford’s Theatre’s annual production of A Christmas Carol. Through December 30.

Paul Morella also reprises his (multiple) roles in A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas, which returns to Olney Theatre. The pared-down one-man show is based more heavily on Dickens’s original story. Through December 30.

And once again, MetroStage presents its annual production of A Broadway Christmas Carol by Kathy Feininger. Through December 23.

Faction of Fools stages A Commedia Christmas Carol, giving the classic, oft-produced tale a commedia dell’arte spin. Through December 23.

Opening December 14 at Keegan Theatre is An Irish Carol, Matthew Keenan’s homage to Dickens tale—set in an Irish pub, of course. Through December 31.

Rep Stage presents staged readings of humorist David Sedaris’s Holidays on Ice, December 20 through 23.

Theater Alliance presents The Night Before Christmas, a Scottish black comedy, through December 29; and Wonderful Life, a Hub Theatre co-production, through December 20.

Washington Improv Theater brings back Seasonal Disorder, its holiday-themed improv show. December 6 through 29.


Ongoing/Last Chance

The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, presented by the National Theatre of Scotland and Shakespeare Theatre at the Bier Baron Tavern, closes December 9. Read our earlier review.

WSC Avant Bard’s production of Six Characters in Search of an Author also closes December 9.

The Aliens plays at Studio Theatre through December 23. Read our earlier review.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream plays at Shakespeare Theatre through December 30. Read our earlier review.

Also playing through December 30 is Cinderella at Olney Theatre. Read our earlier review.

My Fair Lady is at Arena Stage through January 6. Read our earlier review.

Pullman Porter Blues also plays at Arena Stage through January 6. Read our earlier review.

Dreamgirls is at Signature Theatre through January 13. Read our earlier review.


For the Kids

The Kennedy Center-commissioned The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg plays through December 9 in the Family Theater.

Jon Klein, head of the MFA playwriting program at Catholic University, presents the premiere of his Young Robin Hood at Round House Theatre. Through December 30.

At Adventure Theatre through December 31 is A Little House Christmas, adapted from a Laura Ingalls Wilder story about a storm that interrupts the Ingalls family’s Christmas dinner.

The Puppet Co. stages The Nutcracker through December 30 in Glen Echo.

At Imagination Stage through January 6 is Seussical, which is loosely based on Dr. Seuss’s Horton Hears a Who! but also incorporates characters from The Cat in the Hat, The Lorax, and more.