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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Great Evenings – Closings and openings

DC’s theatrical summer is in full swing now! One great evening from Just the Ticket: An Insider’s Guide to Great Evenings Out in Washington, DC finishes up this weekend. Three more just got going. Don’t let summer’s heat make you miss these wonderful opportunities.  Get your copy of the guide for the full details now!

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We’ve linked to the show websites below for your convenience, but don’t forget that there are lots of options to save a few bucks on tickets for most of these shows.  See our rundown here.

Great evening #2, featuring Another Way Home at Theater J, has just three nights left – tonight, Saturday, and Sunday. This play takes you to camp Kickapoo with the Nadelman family to help find their missing boy. Picnic in Dupont Circle before and drink at Duke’s after for the whole experience. (DC JCC at 1529 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20036. 202-777-3210. washingtondcjcc.org)

Great evening #4 with Hand to God at Studio Theatre kicked off (because there’s a sock in the play) last week and continues until August 7th. We hear the set design puts the audience right into the church basement with the kids and the mad puppet. Look for a review of this any day, but you might want to pick a night and get tickets before that happens. (Studio Theatre at 1501 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005. 202-332-3300. studiotheatre.org)

Great evening #5 encourages you to have an adventure at the Capital Fringe Festival. In the guide, guest writer Trey Graham offers his recipe for fun fringing. Several of the online resources he mentions are full of good information about shows you won’t want to miss, and the overall guide is at capfringe.org. Indulge in a wacky evening of theatrical delight.

Great evening #6 takes you to the cool, subterranean environs of Crystal City for Synetic’s Twelfth Night. We took our own advice last month and saw Synetic’s Man in the Iron Mask. These people can put on a show. If you enjoy high voltage spectacle with incredible acrobatics, beautiful sets and costumes, and, let’s be honest, a very attractive batch of performers hie ye to Illyria! (Synetic Theater at 1800 South Bell St, Crystal City, VA 22202. 866-811-4111 synetictheater.org)

Have a great weekend, and please share your adventure stories with us at peteandsara@greateveningsout.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.

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

 

Great Evenings This Week and Next in DC

A lovely spring season is ticking away here in the capital region. The cherry blossoms are long blown away, and the May flowers are in bloom. We are almost half way through the time covered by the Apr – Jun 16 edition of our Kindle e-bookJust the Ticket: An Insider’s Guide to Great Evenings Out in Washington, DC.  Three of the great evenings feature shows that are onstage for just another weekend or two, and another three feature shows that debuted last weekend. This is a great time to shine a little light on these perishable pleasures.

Continuing for one or two more weekends are Journey to the West, Disgraced, and Body of an American.

We saw Journey to the West and can give it a ringing endorsement. As is always the case with this theater company, the show has enchantingly beautiful costumes, set, music, and cast members. The artful and acrobatic maneuvers of Dallas Tolentino as the Monkey King are breathtaking. Even if you can’t make it to a performance, you owe it to yourself to visit their website just to enjoy the production photos. It really is a feast for the senses from start to finish, and we’ve bookended it with excellent food and drink selections that make your visit to the 14th Street/U Street entertainment corridor one to remember.

Coming up in the next few days are cool new shows The Man in the Iron Mask, Happy Hour, and The Merry Death of Robin Hood.

We were able to attend a preview event for Happy Hour, giving us a chance to share a bit of Insider scoop to set the stage for this very unique evening of theater. The show is just one hour and is performed for an audience of only 16, paired into two teams of eight each. In a twist on the Escape Room theme, each team guides an actor trapped in a locked room who you see on video and control through a clever computer interface.  The actor interprets your commands and gives entertaining feedback as to his or her next steps. Everyone at the preview had a terrific time, and it is lively and a bit silly and definitely fun. The show performs at 7 pm and 9 pm each evening it is onstage, giving you a lot of opportunities to see it and also to have a great time before or after in one of the nearby restaurants and bars we’ve identified for you.

Don’t let spring get away from you without experiencing at least one of these Great Evenings Out, and as always, please let us know about your experiences either by commenting on this post or writing to us at peteandsara@greateveningsout.com.

Great Evening in the U Street Corridor: A long trip without too many steps

Dinner: Tico 1926 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009 (202) 319-1400 http://www.ticodc.com/

Show: Constellation’s Journey to the West. Performs Thu-Sat Apr 21 – May 22. Top ticket price $53. At Source Theater 1835 14th Street NW Washington D.C. 20009 Box office: 202-204-7741, constellationtheatre.org

Drinks: Bar Pilar 1833 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009 barpilar.com

Great Evening at the SW Waterfront: International dining and entertainment

Dinner: Oyamel   401 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20004 202.628.1005 http://www.oyamel.com/

Show: Arena Stage’s Disgraced performs Tues-Sat Apr 22 – May 29. Top ticket price $100. 1101 6th St SW, Washington, DC 20024 Box Office: 202-488-3300, arenastage.org

Drinks: Have a drink in the elegant lobby bar at Arena.

Great Evening in Dupont Circle: A picture worth a few thousand words

Dinner: Floriana 1602 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20009 (202) 667-5937 http://florianarestaurant.com/

Show: Theater J’s Body of an American performs Wed, Thu, Sat, Sun, Apr 27 – May 29. Top ticket price $72. 1529 Sixteenth Street, NW Washington, DC 20036. Enter on Q St. Make sure to have a photo ID along. Box office: 202-777-3210, washingtondcjcc.org

Drinks: Hank’s Oyster Bar 1624 Q St NW, Washington, DC 20009 hanksoysterbar.com

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

Dinner: Jaleo 2250 Crystal Dr, Arlington, VA 22202 (703) 413-8181 http://www.jaleo.com/crystal-city

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 http://www.richardsandoval.com/elcentrodf/

Show: Spooky Action Theatre’s Happy Hour 1810 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20009. Box office: 202-248-0301, spookyaction.org

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