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!

Would you like to join me for a show?

You will meet a lot of people, perhaps including some of your friends, who will tell you they don’t like theatre. Sometimes these are people you’d like to take out for a great evening including a play. Perhaps you’re eager to take this person along for Great Evening #9 in our July-Sept. 2016 edition of Just the Ticket: An Insider’s Guide to Great Evenings Out in Washington, DC. What to do?

Now, we never want to challenge anyone’s personal taste or preferences. What has almost certainly happened is that this person was taken to a play or several plays at some time, and all those plays had something in common the person didn’t like. They formed a completely reasonable generalization that all plays are like that and therefore not for them.

Maybe they were dragged to a couple of Shakespeare plays and think anything they might see in a theater would be full of archaic language and men in puffy pants. Maybe they’ve only seen silly musicals or slow tragedies and never want to sample those dishes again.  Jason Schlafstein, the artistic director of Flying V Theatre Company, likes to say “Theatre is an art form not a genre.” Someone can be disinterested in several genres within theatre but might enjoy others they haven’t discovered yet.

You don’t want to be combative, unless you’ve already got that kind of friendship; but it can be useful to ask them what they haven’t liked about plays they’ve seen. Listen closely to the characteristics, then ask yourself – is the play you want to invite them to like or unlike what they are describing? If you can convince yourself that it would be different, try to explain those differences to your friend. “It isn’t Shakespeare. This play was written this year and it’s a bunch of people performing live music videos.” That might get them over the hump.

Here’s the big gun. One of the best things about seeing a play together is the conversation you can have afterwards. If you tell your friend, and it really helps if you’re telling the truth here, that the reason you want him or her to see the play with you is that you really want to talk it over with them after the show, you’ve got a strong pitch. You’re communicating that the friend is special to you and that you are interested in hearing what he or she has to say. These are probably the sincere reasons you want to take this person to a play, and they’re also incredibly flattering.

Please let us know if this advice helps you get your company of choice along for a great evening by dropping us a line at peteandsara@greateveningsout.com.