The nation’s capital offers an abundance of riches in arts offerings. So much, in fact, that it has the prestigious Mayor’s Arts Award, a yearly prize that recognizes the contributions of non-profit arts companies and individuals and the Helen Hayes Award, The Tonys for the Washington DC region.
New Yorkers seeking a quick weekend getaway should consider the District of Columbia. With its iconic political landmarks, vibrant dining scene, stellar museums, and arts options, it’s an ideal place to go to relax and restore. Best of all, it’s easily accessible by Amtrak, which has early bird fares from Penn Station for morning risers who want to save.
Here is a small sampling of upcoming events this fall in Washington DC:
Since 1971, the Kennedy Center has been the cultural anchor for Washington DC. Every year, it hosts over 2000 events throughout many spaces and theaters within the complex.
It is home to both The National Symphony Orchestra and the National Symphony Pops Orchestra as well as the Washington National Opera, currently staging Goundod’s Romeo and Juliet through November 18th.
The smash-hit comedy spoof Spamalot, returned earlier this year at the Center in a revival that has now transferred to Broadway. This is not the first time that the Center has incubated works that have moved to the main stem. Several shows throughout Kennedy Center history have done so.
This season, their theater lineup includes Girl from the North Country, tick,tick…Boom, Ain’t too Proud, and Nine.
Dance companies also grace the stages of the Kennedy Center. This season, programming includes LaTasha Barnes’ The Jazz Continuum, Alivin Ailey Dance Company, a Sting-inspired piece Message in a Bottle, and a special, one-night only performance on Thursday November 30th from the Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company. The evening will celebrate the troupe’s 30th anniversary. Burgess is the choreographer in residence at the National Portrait Gallery.
The Washington Post has declared Signature Theatre “musical theater powerhouse.” Since 1989, the Arlington based company has been producing award winning productions. Currently, they are staging a stunning Ragtime, the much beloved musical by Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty, and Terrance McNally through Jan. 7 2024.
After that a new tuner about a deaf, Welsh sniper in World War 1 called Private Jones will make its world premiere. Penelope, a soulful musical based on Homer’s character from the Odyssey, and the classic Hair are included later in the 2024 season.
Although it has been around since 2016, Mosaic is a more recent addition Washington’s theater scene. The modest company punches above its weight and tends to do works that are entertaining, thought-provoking, and culturally relevant. Last year, it appointed acclaimed black director Reginald L. Douglas as artistic director. In an interview with Port of Harlem magazine, Douglas said. “I encourage audiences of all races to think deeply (and ask) if the theater company (they support) is living the values in how they hire and who they hire.”
Past productions include Unseen by Mona Mansour, One in Two by Donja R. Love, and Fabulation by Lynn Nottage. Currently they are staging Dominque Morriseau’s Confederates, which parallels the experiences of a black American slave with that of a contemporary black college professor. It runs through November 26th.