Ballet. Coal mining. Labor strikes. Following your dreams. An infectious soundtrack, courtesy of Sir Elton John himself. What do all of these things have in common? They’re all part of the iconic tale of the boy who loved to dance, coming to Arlington’s award-winning, intimate space at Signature Theatre. The singalong tale will run through the holidays, providing the perfect opportunity to show DC’s magnificent productions of classic theatre to your houseguests. Or sneak out and enjoy this feel-good, toe-tapping tale on your own.
As the SS American carries away its passengers from London to New York, it also sails a little secret across the ocean. There’s a passionate love stowed away between Billy and the countess Hope Harcourt. She’s meant to get married to the wealthy Lord Evelyn Oakleigh (please pronounce in your snootiest voice – it’s probably an accurate descriptor of the character). Of course, Billy doesn’t have the riches, but he does have determination and that has to count for something, right? He manages to get some fellow passengers on board (ha) with his mission, and the rest is for you to find out. I’ll be rooting for Billy mostly because he’s played by a familiar face, Disney Channel’s own Corbin Bleu.
Parenthood is hard, sure, but you know what else is hard? Making friends as an adult. Without the built-in friend finder of school, navigating life as an adult takes up a ton of time, which sort of puts making new acquaintances on the backburner, and when you add children on top of all that – whew, good luck. Essentially this is where the characters in Studio Theatre’s Cry It Out find themselves, as two young couples separated by a few yards between their homes luckily strike up a friendship, bonding over all the tougher aspects of raising children. This comedy is sure to be a relatable story that examines parenthood and class in the U.S. Various dates, times and ticket prices.
Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge on a journey of transformation and redemption. Originally conceived by Michael Baron, this music-infused production captures the magic and joy of Dickens’s Yuletide classic. Acclaimed actor Craig Wallace returns to play Ebenezer Scrooge. This annual production has been a Washington tradition for more than 35 years. Various dates and times. $32-$105. Ford’s Theatre: 511 10th St. NW, DC; www.fords.org
When an inspector knocks on your door seemingly at random asking about a murder, it’s probably going to leave you somewhat shook. For the Birlings, a British family enjoying a festive evening, this surprise guest begins digging up connections with the crime and cracks in the seemingly perfect lives. This thriller pleas for a just society and works to pull down the facade on people who aren’t as innocent as they seem. Various dates and times. $44-$102.
Art and censorship do not belong together. When art is restricted, it ceases to be art and is at best incomplete, at worst propaganda. In the 1920s Sholem Asch’s Yiddish drama God of Vengeance broke free previous restrictions and offered an evocative story of immigration, anti-Semitism and other taboo themes. Arena Stage’s Indecent offer a behind the scenes style story about the Broadway breakthrough, and the people who risked their careers to perform in the show. Various times and dates. $66-$82.
During the most divisive (literally) time in America, there were still holidays and reasons for general hopefulness. In A Civil War Christmas, the play casts a wide net from battlefields in Northern Virginia all the way to the capitol building in DC, featuring stories from a number of intertwining lives demonstrating how glee can exist during a tough and embattled time. This play features numerous songs great for a winter date or your visiting family. Various dates and times. $15-$39. 1st Stage Tysons: 1524 Spring Hill Rd. Tysons, VA; www.1ststagetysons.org
The Old Bull and Bush Public House in Hampstead, London is alive with British music hall songs and Christmas carols. The show was a staple at the Old Vat Room at Arena Stage for years, and this season MetroStage welcomes Florrie Forde, the most famous music hall star of the era, and her troupe of British performers as you celebrate the holidays with family and friends. Various times and dates. Tickets $55. MetroStage: 1201 N. Royal St. Alexandria, VA; www.metrostage.org
The Little Theatre of Alexandria rings in the holiday season with a return of the classic by Charles Dickens. Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly Victorian humbug, travels with ghostly guides through Christmas past, present and future to find the true meaning of the holidays. Complete with special effects, Victorian carols, and Tiny Tim, A Christmas Carol is a must for the entire family. Various dates and times. Admission $20. The Little Theatre of Alexandria: 600 Wolfe St. Alexandria, VA; www.thelittletheatre.com
DC’s perennial favorite returns for its 15th anniversary. This celebrated production is set in historic Georgetown with George Washington and King George III, among other historical figures. Join again with family and friends or start a new holiday tradition with your loved ones. Various dates and times. $32-$125. Warner Theatre: 513 13th St. NW, DC; www.washingtonballet.org