Classical Theater: Snooze-fest or Flip-cup fun?

In order to celebrate the extraordinary list of classics, both straight up and reimagined, that anchor fully half the evenings in the latest edition of Great Evenings Out, we asked one of our favorite artistic directors and maestros of fun, Jessica Hansen, to give us her take on how to enjoy an evening of classical theatre.  

Classic coke, classic cars, classic rock…we know classic things are good, but why? Google defines classic as “judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind.” In artistic forms, like movies, music, and theater, classics not only stand the test of time, but are stories that continue to resonate through the years. Stories that compel us to retell them, reinvent them, and reimagine them.

Washington has the classics in spades. We have resident and visiting ballet companies, symphonies, and of course, theatre. Classics of theatre can range from the Greek tragedies and Shakespeare to more modern classics, like Hedda Gabler, Waiting for Godot, or Angels in America. Hamilton is sure to be a classic, just give it a few years.

Washington is bursting with smart and creative theater makers; you can get your classics served up almost made-to-order. If you like your classics done the traditional way, find your way to the Shakespeare Theatre company, or the Folger Theater, connected to the Folger Library, which has the world’s largest collection of the printed works of William Shakespeare (although the Folger has been known to take a few fun risks, like Aaron Posner’s magic-filled A Midsummer Night’s Dream).

But if you think women in corsets and men in tights sounds like a snooze-fest, keep reading. Taffety Punk produces one Shakespeare play each year with an all-female cast. Shakespeare in the Pub and LiveArtDC are producing Shakespeare in bars: devised (usually a script that is formed by a group collaboration, rather than a playwright) and with audience-participation flip-cup competitions. Synetic creates silent versions of Shakespeare: acrobatic physical theatre, like “Cirque du Shakespeare,” if you will. Completely opposite to Synetic’s visual experience, Lean & Hungry creates audio-only versions of Shakespeare, to fire up your imagination. Exploring Washington’s classical theatre scene, you’ll find timeless tales told in many innovative ways.

So whether you’re looking for a formal night out complete with fancy clothes and velvet seats, or a night in jeans on a bar stool with a plastic cup of beer, or a theatre experience in the comfort of your own earbuds, Washington has your classics…traditionally and reimagined in every flavor. Try a few, and let us know what you like!

Jessica’s company, Lean & Hungry, has just completed its first season of podcasts, with a lively adaptation and discussion of Romeo & Juliet.  Learn more and give a listen at the L&H Website.

Great Evenings Out with Classics that we recommend as of this printing:

Great Evenings Now, and Coming Soon

Fall has come to the DC area. Kids are back in school. Air conditioners are looking forward to a few months of rest. And we are pleased to trumpet the release of the latest edition of our free guide: Just the Ticket: An Insider’s Guide to Great Evenings Out in Washington, DC. In this time of transition let’s take a look at great shows still on stage from the last edition and a couple that are just popping onto the scene from the new book.

With seven shows in five neighborhoods, we’ve got fun things all over DC.

From the June – September edition, a few shows are still going strong and making these great evenings for you to check out:

Hand to God at Studio Theatre has been a big hit for the theater and the run has been extended several times, so it’s still onstage for at least another week or two. This story of a foul mouthed puppet in a church basement has been packing them in for months now. Insiders show up early for the best seat and a drink from the bar, and then get a genuinely fun arts-and-crafts project for the audience: make a sock puppet of your own to take and keep. Pro tip: Tuck the toe of the sock inward to make the articulated mouth. (1501 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005 202.332.3300 https://www.studiotheatre.org/plays/play-detail/hand-to-god)

Urinetown at Constellation Theatre will keep rocking audiences with laughter through October 9th. It has been playing to sold out houses most nights, so jump on it quickly or you’ll miss it. (1835 14th Street NW Washington D.C. 20009 202.204.7741 http://www.constellationtheatre.org/urinetown.html)

Angels in America at Round House Theatre continues through October 30th. We haven’t seen this yet ourselves, but have heard great reports from friends who have. (4545 East-West Highway Bethesda, MD (240) 644-1100 http://www.roundhousetheatre.org/performances/angels-in-america/)

We thoroughly enjoyed Be Awesome: A Theatrical Mix Tape at Flying V Theatre, which will be on stage through October 9th. It includes 16 songs from the 1990’s, 3 performed live, all with interpretive performances which tie together into the story of a mix tape made by a parent for a newborn child. (4508 Walsh St, Bethesda, MD 20815 No box office phone http://www.flyingvtheatre.com/2016-season/be-awesome-a-theatrical-mixtape-of-the-90s/)

Sense and Sensibility at the Folger Theatre on Capitol Hill. It will continue through November 9th. We’ll be seeing it in about two weeks ourselves. This promises to be spectacular, oh, and the museum exhibit at the Folger Library comparing the literary fame of Shakespeare and Austen is a lot of fun. (201 E Capitol St SE, Washington, DC 20003 202-544-7077 http://www.folger.edu/events/sense-and-sensibility)

And already open or spinning up soon from the October-December edition:

Romeo and Juliet has broken from yon window at The Shakespeare Theatre.

Love’s LaBeers Lost by LiveArtDC clinks glasses for the first time this Thursday night.

Tap the download icon on this page to pull down the latest number and get all the details on these and the rest of the upcoming quarter’s greatest evenings out!

It’s time for more great evenings out

Just in time for the fall season and with some time to plan your holiday-season fun, Just the Ticket: The Insider’s Guide to Great Evenings Out in Washington DC, Oct-Dec 2016 edition, has been released.  At 42 pages, it’s a quick, easy read and an excellent resource for fun lovers, foodies and culture vultures who have some free time in the Nation’s Capital this fall and want to spend it well.

Get your copy today!  Only $0.99 on Kindle, and free to download as a PDF.

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Open Table App

As we’ve written before, your smartphone can be a key traveling companion, helping you get around and find cheap theatre tickets. Today, we want to share a useful app for assuring your table will be ready at a restaurant from Just the Ticket: An Insider’s Guide to Great Evenings Out in Washington, DC.

OpenTable is a phone app with associated website that more and more restaurants use to allow diners to reserve a table without a pile of phone calls.  When you open the app, the first thing you see is the reservation form — expecting you to search for a table for two at 7 PM nearby.  All you have to do is hit the button, and a list of restaurants that are available then, usually sorted by how close they are to you. There are also ratings and reviews from other users of the app.

We like the impulsive, last-minute nature of Open Table’s system and do use it when on vacation.  However, as is true in many places, the best restaurants favored by locals in DC do tend to get busy at dinnertime.*

When used in tandem with our  suggested Great Evening Out, the OpenTable App shines as your own personal secretary, making your restaurant reservation and keeping the details handy for you.

When you open the App, enter a restaurant name, date and time (generally speaking, we recommend 6 pm dinner reservations if you’ve got a 7:30 pm or 8:00 pm showtime), and you’re off.  Even if you’re planning your visit from far away, the App should be able to find the restaurant in DC just from the name, but if not, click on the button that has the name of your location, and type in “Was” — the form will auto-fill to “Washington, DC” so pick that.  If you haven’t had the opportunity to do plan ahead or the restaurant is really one of the hottest spots in town, your first choice might not be available; OpenTable will also give you suggestions for other places nearby with availability, basic price and cuisine info, and diner reviews so you can make a good second choice.

Once you’re happy with the time you’ve chosen, pick Complete Reservation and you know your table will be waiting for you.  The App will keep track of the details, and will include a map and link to Google Maps handy, so you can wait until the day of your reservation to sort yourself out.

You’ll need to set up an account with OpenTable which is free and which only wants your name, phone number, and email, so it isn’t much trouble. If you’re a Facebook user, you can also log in that way. You accrue some kind of points for dining out with the app, but we confess, we’ve never figured out what those points are good for. If you learn, please let us know at peteandsara@greateveningsout.com.

Whether at one of our suggested restaurants or anyplace else, your smartphone can help make sure you don’t go hungry or wait a long time for a table when you’re away from home.


*We’d estimate that about half of the “nice” table-service restaurants we’ve listed require reservations many nights of the year; almost all of them in Penn Quarter/Gallery Place do, as this entertainment hub draws the biggest nightlife crowd in DC.  So if you’re considering making a nice restaurant a part of your Great Evening Out here, our Insider Tip is to get a reservation beforehand if you can’t take advantage of another route to the most in-demand restaurants, like eating very early or fairly late, and/or on a Tuesday or Wednesday.

Why Washington, DC is one of the friendlier towns around

There’s no getting around it for visitors:  DC is a large city, sometimes it can be confusing, and it isn’t cheap.  However, as Insiders we want to reassure you with a few tips about the local population, and let you in on one of our best secrets: Washingtonians are actually pretty friendly.

One of the great things about the Washington, DC area as a destination, whether to visit or to live, is that most of the people here like to meet and get to know new people.

Because so many people visit our nation’s capital, or live here for just a few years while being, or working for, an elected official, the whole population is used to new faces.  Many remember the time when they were new themselves, and appreciated the kindness of strangers. Whether you’re at a bar or hanging out in a theater lobby, many people around you will welcome a greeting and some conversation.

It is true that DC can be obsessed about work. “So, what do you do?” is a common conversational opening here. Like most conversational openings, the goal is to establish some common ground. Two government employees or two lawyers exchanging answers to this question can quickly get on to sharing the kinds of stories about parallel experience that so often lay the foundation for friendships.

You can jump right in with how you earn your daily bread, or you can playfully subvert the script by answering with something other than a profession, which is one of the gambits we like to employ. “I coach my daughter’s soccer team.” “Today, I stared at French impressionist paintings for about an hour.” “I sit on this stool and wonder when the bartender will notice me.” An unexpected answer like this will almost certainly amuse the DC native and take the conversation someplace interesting.

An awful lot of Washingtonians are interesting and interested in the world — it’s what brought them here in the first place.  “How long have you lived in the area?” is a typical way to either start a conversation or redirect someone who is maybe going on a little too long about their pet project, so we recommend it, and be sure to share some information about your hometown and reasons for travel in exchange.

Some of us are even natives of the area or the city (an important distinction to some people, for whom being “from DC” means being born and raised within city limits).  Washington-area natives have what we like to think of as an ideal mix of Southern hospitality and Northern forthrightness — we’re friendly and outgoing, and we also like to get to the point.  So if you’re stuck for conversation, you can always ask someone to describe the area’s character, and see if it matches what you’ve gleaned in your time here.

During your vacationing daytime rambles around museums and monuments, you’ll be surrounded mostly by other visitors from around the country and around the world. Asking them what they have particularly enjoyed can start a pleasant conversation, and might even tip you to something you’d like to do.

So while you’re around the nation’s capital, make your way through your personal pilgrimage list, take that photo where your companion seems to be holding up the Washington Monument, have a few great evenings out, and don’t forget to meet some people beyond your fellow travelers and glimpse the place through their eyes as well.

Great Evening Extra: Mischief in Dixie, Gallery Place

We knew that eventually we would discover a great evening opportunity well after our Kindle e-book for the quarter had been published. It just happened, and this blog seems like a great place to make up our oversight.


An Octoroon performs Wed – Sun through June 26. Top ticket price $83.

A meaty meal and a play full of guilty laughs make for a memorable evening in Gallery Place. This is one of Washington’s most varied entertainment districts with theaters, a cinema, a giant sports venue, and dozens of bars and restaurants drawing people here on many different quests. (Metro: Archives/Navy Memorial)

Start with dinner at The Partisan. This stylish yet comfortable restaurant is kin to its neighboring butcher and deli Red Apron. As a result, the menu is liberally supplied with mouthwatering meaty dishes. The menu is organized around the type of creature at the center of the dish and further broken down into small, medium, and large. When they say large, they mean it with some of the large dishes sufficient for 4 diners. There is also a good variety of vegetarian dishes that can serve as sides to a mixed meal or as a whole meal for those avoiding meat. We know them mostly as a bar, where they shine whether in cocktails, beer, or wine. Service is friendly and helpful. (709 D St NW, Washington, DC 20004. 202-524-5322. thepartisandc.com)

Enjoy the same great ingredients without all the trappings and with significant savings by picking up sandwiches at Red Apron. There’s a little bit of seating inside, but on a nice evening, you’d do well to head across D St NW and step down the pedestrianized section at the end of 8th St NW for pleasant bench seating either north of or on Navy Memorial. Take selfies with the sculpted sailor, find your home on the huge map, or just eat your dinner then pop into Plan B (just outside the northwest curve of the memorial) for a drink before heading to Woolly. (709 D St NW, Washington, DC 20004. redapronbutchery.com)

An Octoroon at Woolly Mammoth takes on racial issues in a bunch of different ways. We open with a side-splitting monologue from an actor playing playwright Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins about his frustration at only being encouraged to write race plays. He goes on to star in and show us his adaptation of a melodrama from 1859 about a southern plantation in financial difficulty with a love story on the side. The original play went to a lot of trouble to distinguish good slave owners from bad slave owners, a concept that is offensive all on its own in 2016; then Brandon layers on more unsettling elements in the form of people playing characters not their own race by slapping on make-up and two women playing slaves who provide running commentary in contemporary language very different from how other characters speak. Somehow, though, with the wonderful acting and brilliant design, most people are finding they can overlook all that and wrestle with the fascinating question of what made someone want to put this play on stage in just this way. It made us think, and you’ll likely enjoy it too. (641 D Street, NW Washington, DC 20004. 202-393-3939 woollymammoth.net/octoroon/)

You’ll have a lot to discuss just around the corner at the bar of Oyamel. We’ve used this Mexican restaurant for dinner in other Great Evenings. The strongest suit is cocktails made with tequila and mescal. We’re still learning about mescal, and so sometimes order a sampler flight. The bartenders are great and will talk you through any of their offerings. Beer and wine are also good. There are often classic Mexican action movies on the screen. Did the show make you uncomfortable? Was it in a good way? Why does it break so many rules? (401 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20004. oyamel.com)

Latest Edition, Hot Off the [Virtual] Press!

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We are pleased as punch to announce the release of the Jul – Sep 2016 edition of Just the Ticket: An Insider’s Guide to Great Evenings Out in Washington, DC.

This edition is a bit different from our prior offerings.

First, it’s out in plenty of time to read through it and make some plans before any of the shows start up. It’s taken a lot of new discipline to tighten up our schedule. If we didn’t crow about this a little bit, we’d pop.

We’re particularly excited that the Capital Fringe festival will flood July 7th – 31st with scores of thrilling shows.  Rather than trying to select particular shows to suggest, we’ve asked one of our favorite local writers, Trey Graham, to create a special roll-your-own Great Evening Out from the offerings of the festival and restaurants and bars nearby, entitled “How to Fringe Without Losing Your Mind.”  Thanks, Trey!

Unlike many cities where lots of the live performing arts take the summer off, Washington has a real year-round theater scene.  Fortunately, many locals also head out over the summer, so you will likely find it a bit easier to get into the incredibly popular restaurants and bars here in town.  Win-win for the visitor looking for a Great Evening Out!

In another big change for this edition, you can grab a PDF of the book to print out  (it’s just 26 pages) or read on your computer or iPad.  We also continue to make it available through the Kindle store at Amazon if you want the convenience of getting it loaded automatically to your Kindle or the Kindle App on your device. Our passion for this project has always been to enable more people to enjoy the wonderful restaurants, theaters, and bars around DC. Offering more ways to get it out to people advances that cause and makes it even easier for you to share with friends. Please do!

As ever, we’re eager to hear from you. Let us know how you feel about the new edition by dropping us a line at peteandsara@greateveningsout.com.

Tips on Getting Theater Ticket Discounts

You want to have fun. You don’t want to go broke. We get that.

In our listings of shows, we always try to give you the “Top” or worst-case price, to give you a sense of the maximum you might pay to see the show.  In almost all cases, what you really pay should be an improvement on that. You can beat the Top price and have a nice night of theater on the cheap in a number of ways: here are the best ones.

  1.  WHO YOU ARE.  First, are you eligible for a deal just by being you?  And being willing to do your transaction in person or a phone call, rather than the interwebs?

    Almost any theater we’re sending you to will offer discounts for youth. Believe it or don’t, if you’re under 30, your driver’s license is a dollars-off card for most theaters in town.

    Similarly, many theaters offer discounts to active duty military and veterans. Being invaded would really screw with a theater’s rehearsal schedules, so it’s the least they can do.

  2. WHERE YOU BUY.  No matter who you are, where you buy your tickets can also save you a bunch of money, and these tips work well online.Goldstar.com and CultureCapital.tix.com offer half-price seats to many of the shows we recommend. There aren’t always many seats available, they are rarely for sale more than a couple of weeks in advance of the show date, and sometimes the discounted seats are pretty far from front and center; but here’s a little secret. At most of the theaters in DC, every seat is good. If you have some time to plan ahead, you can usually save a lot using these sites.

    You’ll have to create a free account to use the Goldstar site. Both sites also have regular email messages you can subscribe to that tell you about upcoming deals, and they list lots of things to do besides plays, that are likely to make your time in DC more fun.

  3. WHEN YOU GO.  When you see a show can also keep some dollars in your hands.Generally, Friday and Saturday night tickets are pricier than other night performances. Wednesday or Thursday night performances are more affordable.
    If you attend a show at one of its earlier performances, you may be in what is called a preview performance. This mostly means you’re seeing the show before it has been reviewed, and the theater rewards your daring by knocking a chunk off the ticket price. An increasing number of theaters in town do Pay What You Will pricing during previews, meaning it’s literally up to you how much you pay and even $2 will get you in.
  4. LAST-MINUTE DEALS.  Finally, if you’re willing to risk not being able to get in to a popular show, most theaters offer what are called Rush Tickets at a steep discount shortly before the show starts (“shortly” can mean only one hour before, or as many as five or six hours before).  Rush Tickets at Forum Theatre in Silver Spring are name-your-price, so you can pay as little as $2 and see the show, for any performance.  At pretty much all theaters that have Rush Ticket prices, even if the performance is officially sold out, the box office will put you on a waiting list and charge you the discount if you get in [ask first]. There are often people who paid for very nice seats but don’t show up, and you could wind up in their seats if you get lucky. If you don’t get in to the show, you can always skip the entertainment and go directly to the bar we recommend for afterwards, so that’s hardly a total loss of a Great Evening.

Last but not least, we would be failing at our jobs if we didn’t let you know our best secret for inexpensive tickets: skip the big theaters in favor of the small ones.  In every edition of Just the Ticket we include Great Evenings with shows that have Top ticket prices of less than $30, often in interesting and offbeat venues.  We’ve done the legwork to make sure they are in places that are easy to get to and have good dining and drinking options nearby.  And we give you shows that have a high likelihood of entertainment and enjoyment.  DC’s secret weapon as a theater town is that exceptional work is happening at all price levels, so if you don’t normally give small theater companies a look, we hope you’ll use the guide as a way to find some lesser-known, bargain gems.

Please let us know if you enjoy some savings after reading this post either by commenting below or writing to us at peteandsara@greateveningsout.com.

Gallery Place Neighborhood Overview

Business suits stride by cargo pants to the rhythm of bucket drums amidst a swirl of activity.  Daytimes bring tourists, office workers, shoppers and neighborhood residents, while evenings bring sports fans, culture vultures and gourmands.  Whether day or night, come to the Gallery Place neighborhood to be at the nexus of local, national and international Washington. You’ll be joining the fun and people-watching all of the visitors, residents and workers buzz up and down the sidewalk.

“Gallery Place” is named for the three art museums that are part of the neighborhood, with the primary axis running along 7th St NW.

If you’re headed to Gallery Place for a Great Evening, you can ease the transition from a day of touring by putting one of the museums here on your late afternoon to-do list and therefore have only a short walk to supper and the rest of your fun.

To the north, between F & G Sts NW, sits the stately building that houses two museums: the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, both full of fascinating stuff with lots of timely, of-the-moment exhibits.  The marvelous interior courtyard is a wonderful rest stop for the active visitor, with its year-round fountains and covered atrium. Four blocks to the south at Constitution Ave NW is the National Gallery of Art with its companion sculpture garden. A world class art collection shelters in two buildings, one neo-classical and the other post-modern, while giant sculptures grace a fenced enclosure around either a fountain or an ice rink depending on the season. Well worth a few hours browsing during daytime hours.  And, like most museums in Washington, all three of these are entirely free.

The National Archives is the other major national museum in the neighborhood, at Pennsylvania Ave and 7th Streets NW. In addition to serving as the almost sacred home for important documents in our nation’s founding, a small exhibition space usually has some engaging show on about a facet of American history.

Other similar attractions in this museum-rich neighborhood charge a fee:  the Newseum and the Spy Museum.  We would recommend either one, with the Spy Museum being particularly worth the cost of admission for families and lovers of Disney-type attractions; the Newseum is more hit-or-miss especially given the steep price tag.

In between all of these museums are three major theaters – Woolly Mammoth’s below-ground ground jewel box and the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s two stages, the Harman and the Lansburgh – which often figure in editions of Just the Ticket: An Insider’s Guide to Great Evenings Out in Washington, DC. and in evening-out info on this website.

Celebrity chef Jose Andres holds a lot of territory in these blocks with Jaleo, China Chilcano, Zaytinya and Oyamel all dishing up delicious meals. We would point you to any of these for a lively, tasty dining experience, along with Graffiato or Rasika.  Any of these places will require both a reasonable-sized wallet and probably an advance reservation:  save a lot of cash and time at fast-casual choices Protein Bar, Teaism or Merzi.  Sweet teeth can be satisfied with the counter service at Pitango Gelato, Bakers and Baristas, or Red Velvet Cupcake. Thirsty travelers can hydrate at the District Chophouse, a brew pub whose bourbon barrel aged stout is a special treat, or Proof, an above-average (if perhaps too loud) wine bar.

If you’re surrounded by Capitols or Wizards jerseys, you can feel sure there’s a game on at the expansive Verizon Center. If you’re surrounded by families with kids in tow, then there’s probably a circus or Disney on Ice filling the enormous arena.

Two Metro stations serve the neighborhood, Archives/Navy Memorial to the south has Green and Yellow line trains while Gallery Place/Chinatown, with entrances in several spots in the neighborhood, has Green, Yellow and Red Line service.

Oh, and don’t be fooled by the “Chinatown” moniker — though there is a substantial and attractive Chinese-style “Friendship Archway” at 7th and H Streets NW, locals dismissively refer to this area as “China Block” (since it is hardly large enough to merit “town”), and pretty much none of the Chinese restaurants here are better or more interesting than what you’ll find in a strip mall closer to home.

Insider tip: If you’re yearning for some quiet moments, there are benches along a pretty pedestrian area just north of the Navy Memorial proper that are a great place to take a load off for a while and watch the passing scene, perhaps with a cup of tea from nearby Teaism or a pastry from Paul’s French patisserie.

This is the first in a series of posts in which we’ll provide a little more detail and context about the neighborhoods we send you to for Great Evenings Out. Please let us know if you’ve discovered anything in Gallery Place we should have mentioned either by commenting below or writing to us at peteandsara@greateveningsout.com.

Have a Great Evening Out this Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial start of summer for the DC region. In these waning days of May, it finally seems safe to pack away coats and sweaters for the season, and for locals we are beyond delighted that the weather, which has been wet for weeks, promises to be balmy and dry. Will you be visiting our city for the long weekend, or looking for new ways to explore Washington as a local?  Here we highlight the opportunities for some delight-filled Great Evenings Out this weekend.

Looking back at our ebook, Just the Ticket: An Insider’s Guide to Great Evenings Out in Washington, DC , we found four great evenings that will be on offer this weekend.

Derring-do Below Ground can stimulate you with sangria and swordplay on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights in Crystal City, just outside the Nation’s Capital. Nelson Pressley of the Washington Post says of The Man in the Iron Mask , the very physical play at the center of the evening:

“The always-superb fights are accompanied by unexpectedly gripping scenes of high melodrama and even flickers of camp; as much as anything yet from Synetic, this has the texture of a good old-fashioned movie.”

A Playful Evening challenges your team to free a captive actor Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights in the Dupont Circle neighborhood. Happy Hour performs at 7 or 9 PM each of these evenings, giving you and your friends plenty of dining-time options. The roof deck is open for the season at El Centro DF, a taste of one capital city, Mexico City, in another. Specialty tacos include lamb skirt steak and squash blossom. As for the show: Team work is everything as you race against both the clock and the opposing team. Insider tip, as we’ve had a chance to see and enjoy this show now: work out a system around your table of fellow interactive audience members to choose ideas to and agree on them. Err quickly and learn from your errors rather than debating till you think you have the perfect solution. Success is sweet, but you will also enjoy watching your less effective ideas fail in this fun video-game-brought-to-life. [And the photo accompanying this article is of Stephanie Tomiko and Robert Bowen Smith in the show. (Photo: Tony Hitchcock)]

Drink, Drink, and Be Merry will make you laugh, sing, choke up, and dodge fight scenes happening inches from you on Thursday and Saturday nights, and take you into one of DC’s truly local-flavor neighborhoods, Petworth. Merry Death of Robin Hood performs at 9 PM, so plenty of time for a delicious meal beforehand. We shared this evening with friends last Thursday and it is an excellent chance to hang out as well as enjoy some silly, and also moving, theater. Chez Billy is in fine form for your French-bistro dinner. DC Reynolds has some great craft beers on draft. Get your reservation and tickets right now if you’re shooting for Thursday!

French Bistro and Pakistani-American Drama, the final Great Evening of our Spring edition, is new to the round-up as the show at Round House is just opening this weekend. It is yours to discover on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday evening. Here is the video teaser:

Any one of these would be a memorable addition to your Memorial Day Weekend. As ever, please let us know what you get up to by commenting on this post or writing to us at peteandsara@greateveningsout.com.

The Details

Great Evening in Crystal City, Va.: Derring-do below ground

Dinner: Jaleo 2250 Crystal Dr, Arlington, VA 22202 (703) 413-8181 jaleo.com

Show: Synetic Theater’s The Man in the Iron Mask plays Wed-Sat, May 11 – Jun 19. Top ticket price $50. 1800 South Bell Street, Crystal City, VA 22202. Box office: 866-811-4111, synetictheater.org

Drinks: Bell 20 Tavern 1999 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Arlington, VA 22202

Great Evening in the U St Corridor: A playful evening

Dinner: El Centro 1819 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009 (202) 328-3131 richardsandoval.com/elcentrodf/

Show: Spooky Action Theatre’s Happy Hour 1810 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20009 [yes, it is in a church]. Box office: 202-248-0301, spookyaction.org

Drinks: Tico 1926 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009 ticodc.com

Great Evening in Petworth: Drink, Drink and be merry

Dinner: Chez Billy 3815 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20011. (202) 506-2080 chezbilly.com

Show: LIVEartDC’s The Merry Death of Robin Hood performs Thurs and Sat, May 19 – June 11. Top ticket price $20. LIVEartDC at DC Reynolds 3628 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20010 Box office: liveartdc.com

Drinks: Stay at DC Reynolds for drinks after.

Great Evening in Bethesda: French Bistro and Pakistani-American Drama

Dinner: Mon Ami Gabi Bethesda Row, 7239 Woodmont Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814 (301) 654-1234 monamigabi.com

Show: Round House Theatre’s The Who and The What 4545 East-West Highway Bethesda, MD. Box office 240.644.1100. Web: roundhousetheatre.org

Drinks: The Barking Dog 4723 Elm St, Bethesda, MD 20814 barkingdogbar.com