Don’t miss out on the theatrical, musical and comedic events happening this spring and attend our recommended shows around the District.
We’ve compiled a list of performing arts shows to catch in D.C. this spring including experimental theater, stand-up, ballet and opera. From classical dance at a gilded opera house to comedy at a local pub, find an event to suit every evening, ranging across all prices and levels of formality.
Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner
The drama Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner explores cultural appropriation, race, gender and the relationship between how our online discourse seeps into our real lives through daily conversation, memes and trends. It chronicles the story of two best friends and how a tweet about Kylie Jenner digs up old wounds. The play first premiered at London’s Royal Court Theatre in 2019, after which playwright Jasmine Lee Jones won the Stage Debut Award for Best Writer. The show will have two “Pay What You Will Performances” when ticket-buyers may choose what to pay for their tickets on Feb. 5 and Feb. 7.
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, 641 D St. NW. Feb. 4 to Feb. 26. Find ticket information here.
The Nosebleed is a play about grief, portrayed through a daughter processing the loss of her father while having a child of her own and facing some of the regrets she has about their relationship. The story is autobiographical, inspired by Japanese-born writer and director Aya Ogawa’s relationship with their father whom they lost at 15 years old. The show will have two “Pay What You Will Performances” on Mar. 31 and Apr. 1, with tickets available online the week prior.
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, 641 D St. NW. Mar. 31 to Apr. 23. Find ticket information here.
United Ukrainian Ballet: Giselle
The United Ukrainian Ballet company will perform its interpretation of Giselle, a classical romantic ballet about love, betrayal and death. World-renowned choreographer Alexei Ratmansky reinterpreted Giselle specially for the ballet company and the dancers will perform for seven shows at the Kennedy Center. Ratmansky’s choreography combined with the expressions from the dancers makes for an emotional reinterpretation of a classical ballet. Most of the 60 Ukrainian dancers that make up the ballet company have fled their homes to escape the Russian invasion, and the company is based in the Netherlands. The dancers are supported by the United Ukrainian Ballet Foundation, a nonprofit that aims to protect Ukrainian culture, employ Ukrainian dancers and raise funds to reconstruct Ukrainian cultural heritages lost to the war. The ballet company is based in the Hague in the “Dutch Centre for Ukrainian Dancers” and have toured internationally. The show is performed in the Kennedy Center’s Opera House, an elegant space where audiences sit below a decadent red and gold chandelier gifted from Austria.
The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. 2700 F St NW. Feb. 1 to Feb. 5. Tickets start at $29.
After 13,500 shows at the Kennedy Center, Shear Madness, an interactive whodunit comedy, is still going strong as one of the longest running nonmusical plays in the country, first seen in 1963. Set in a hair salon in present-day Georgetown, the play calls upon audience members to guess who the killer is from the suspects which range from a hairdresser to an older man who is an antique dealer. The improvisation of actors who make up-to-date cultural references and participation from audience members who yell out their guesses makes the show a different experience every night. The show has run at the Kennedy Center’s Theater Lab, where audience members surround the rounded stage in the middle of the space, for 32 years.
The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, 2700 F St NW. Runs through Oct. 1. Tickets are $58.
Cafritz Young Artists performance
The Washington National Opera’s Cafritz Young Artists, a resident training program for young singers and pianists on the verge of their careers, will perform operatic pieces during an afternoon of music and drama for visitors at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The musicians will perform pieces from classical works like the opera La Bohème and modern works including the opera Blue. The 12 young artists will perform in the Rubenstein Grand Salon of the Renwick Gallery, a branch of the museum that displays contemporary craft and decorative arts.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 1661 Pennsylvania Avenue NW #1. Feb. 11. Entry is free and registration is encouraged.
Attendees can catch a laid back night of comedy featuring stand-up comics for free at the Wonderland Ballroom, a cozy gastropub located in Columbia Heights. Hosted by Underground Comedy, an independent comedy production company based in D.C., the weekly stand-up nights have been ongoing for more than seven years, bringing back audiences by featuring D.C.’s local comics and drop-ins from touring headliners. Seating is first come first serve.
Wonderland Ballroom, 1101 Kenyon St NW. every Sunday at 8 p.m. Entry is free, and you must be 21+.
Jazz Jam Sessions
Based in a refurbished train car, metrobar is a modern outdoor bar in a casual lively environment to enjoy music with friends. Horn player Abe Mamet will lead a vibrant jam session every Wednesday evening until April at metrobar beginning Jan. 18. Each session will feature a new guest, the first one being pianist Amy K. Bormet, creator of the Washington Women in Jazz Festival. After the house band led by Mamet alongside bassist Steve Arnold and drummer Keith Butler performs their set, the jam session will open up to participation from any jazz artists, so if you are feeling spontaneous take your shot at a quick gig.
metrobar, 640 Rhode Island Ave NE. Jazz Jam sessions every Wednesday at 7 to 10 p.m. Entrance is free, and you must be 21+.