Things to Do

December Theater in Washington

Celebrate the Virginia Opera’s 40th anniversary, see American Idol alums at the Kennedy Center, and more.

Diane Paulus directs Pippin, coming to the National Theatre December 16. Photograph by Terry Shapiro.


At Round House Bethesda through December 28 is a musical version of The Nutcracker, complete with puppets.

Beginning December 2 at Shakespeare Theatre, Ethan McSweeny directs the Bard’s magical comedy The Tempest, with Helen Hayes Award winner Geraint Wyn Davies as the sorcerer Prospero. Through January 15. Don’t forget the theater is now giving away 1,000 free tickets per production; here’s how to snag them for yourself.

Synetic Theater presents a movement-driven adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, directed by company member Ben Cunis, that goes back to the French fairy tale’s darker roots. December 3 through January 11.

The Virginia Opera celebrates its 40th anniversary at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts with a production of H.M.S. Pinafore, Gilbert and Sullivan’s first big international success. Director Nicola Bowie makes her debut with the opera. December 5 and 6.

A Drag Salute to Motown Review, created by former America’s Got Talent contestant Shi-Queeta-Lee, comprises familiar tunes by Diana Ross, Rick James, the Temptations, and more brought to life by local drag performers. December 7 at Howard Theatre.

Famous Puppet Death Scenes at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company is pretty much just what the title says: Calgary’s playful Old Trout Puppet Workshop presents death scenes “culled from the absolute best puppet shows in history.” The company promises the show will, among other benefits, “cure your fear of death.” December 9 through January 4.

Beginning December 10 at Studio Theatre is Terminus, a supernatural work by Irish playwright Mark O’Rowe (which won a Scotsman Fringe First Award at the 2008 Edinburgh Festival Fringe) that follows three characters over one frightening night in Dublin. Through January 4.

Want something different from your Dickens this year? WSC Avant Bard—performing at Theater J—offers A Klingon Christmas Carol, a staged reading of the classic tale in the fictional Star Trek language, with English supertitles. December 15.

At the National Theatre December 16 through January 4 is Pippin, the Tony-winning Broadway revival of Stephen Schwartz’s 1972 musical. Directed by Diane Paulus (The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess), it tells of a young prince on a journey of self-discovery.

Andy Blankenbuehler, a Tony winner for Broadway’s In the Heights, directs and choreographs the Biblical musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Kennedy Center. This touring production stars husband-and-wife American Idol alums Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo. December 16 through January 4.


Julius Caesar is at Folger Theatre until December 7.

Sex With Strangers closes December 7 at Signature Theatre.

As You Like It closes December 14 at Shakespeare Theatre.

Bad Jews is at Studio Theatre until December 21.

A Broadway Christmas Carol is at MetroStage until December 28.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid closes December 28 at Olney Theatre.

Five Guys Named Moe is at Arena Stage until December 28.

One Man Two Guvnors closes December 28 at 1st Stage.

The Gift of Nothing is at the Kennedy Center until December 28.

The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures is at Theater J until December 28.

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