Things to Do

Editor’s Picks: December Theater Openings and Closings in Washington

“Porgy and Bess” at the National, the Pajama Men at Woolly, Sondheim at Shakespeare and Signature, and much more for the holiday season.

See Elf the Musical at the Kennedy Center starting December 17. Photograph by Joan Marcus.


December 5 through 22, Mikhail Baryshnikov comes to Shakespeare Theatre with Man in a Case, an experimental work adapted from two short stories by Anton Chekhov. Read our interview with Baryshnikov about the show.

December 6, Patina Miller, who recently won a Tony Award for her performance in the revival of Pippin on Broadway, comes to the Kennedy Center for the Barbara Cook Spotlight series.

December 10 through January 5, manic and unpredictable comedy duo the Pajama Men returns to Woolly Mammoth with Just the Two of Each of Us. The show follows In the Middle of No One, a hit at Woolly last year.

December 11 through January 5, Studio Theatre kicks off its New British Invasion Festival with Edgar and Annabel, a dark comedy about life in a surveillance state by 30-year-old playwright Sam Holcroft.

December 13 through 29, Keegan Theatre reprises An Irish Carol, its annual staging of Matthew Keenan’s riff on the classic Dickens tale.

December 14 through 22, the Washington National Opera presents The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me, a new work based on Jeanette Winterson’s children’s book about the nativity, narrated by the donkey. Music is by Jeanine Tesori (Caroline, or Change).

December 17 through January 5, Elf the Musical sets up shop in the Kennedy Center Opera House. The show is a musical adaptation of the Will Ferrell movie about a well-meaning oversize elf named Buddy.

December 17 through January 19, Joe Calarco directs Gypsy , Stephen Sondheim and Jule Styne’s 1959 musical about Gypsy Rose Lee, at Signature Theatre.

December 19 through January 12, Theater J presents Our Suburb, a world premiere by Darrah Cloud about an interfaith teenage romance in 1970s Illinois directed by two-time Tony-winner Judith Ivey.

December 25 through January 19, Flashdance comes to the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Thirty years after the movie about a dancing steelworker in Pittsburgh, the musical revives hits such as “What a Feeling” and “Maniac.”

December 25 through 29, the Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess stops by the National Theatre. The production is a new adaptation by director Diane Paulus and playwright Suzan Lori-Parks.


If/Then is at the National Theatre through December 8. Read our review.

Pride in the Falls of Autrey Mill is at Signature Theatre through December 8. Read our review.

Woody Sez is at Theater J through December 14. Read our review of last year’s run.

A Christmas Carol is at Ford’s Theatre through January 1.

The Lyons is at Round House Theatre Bethesda through December 22. Stay tuned for our review later this week.

Faction of Fools’ A Commedia Christmas Carol is at Gallaudet Theatre through December 22.

A Broadway Christmas Carol is at Metrostage through December 22.

A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas is at Olney Theatre through December 29.

Maurice Hines Is Tappin’ Thru Life is at Arena Stage through December 29. Read our review.

Richard Nelson’s Apple Family Plays are at Studio Theatre through December 29. Read our review of That Hopey Changey Thing.

The King and I is at Olney Theatre through December 19.

The Twelve Days of Christmas is at Adventure Theatre through December 30.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? is at Arena Stage through January 5. Read our interview with star Malcolm-Jamal Warner.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is at Shakespeare Theatre through January 5.

Lyle the Crocodile is at Imagination Stage through January 10.