Washington, D.C. Holiday Theater Guide

"Bad Jews," photo credit: Teddy Wolff

“Bad Jews,” photo credit: Teddy Wolff

This story was originally published in the Nov. 24 issue of Fourth Estate.

The Washington area has a thriving theater scene. Every year brings new ideas and diverse shows. The winter season is no different.

“Bad Jews”

  • Studio Theater: 1501 14th Street NW. Washington, DC
  • Run: Nov. 5-Dec. 21, 2014
  • Written by Joshua Harmon, Directed by Serge Seiden
  • A comedy featuring three cousins with inappropriate timing. The trio fight over the family heirloom after their grandfather’s funeral. They do have to discuss it eventually, I guess.
  • “’Bad Jews’ presents a -complicated family drama in the frame of a side-splitting comedy. It has found a way to bring to light real questions about personal and religious identity in an approachable and comedic manner, without making any character the laughing-stock of the play,” Studio Theatre’s communications apprentice, Dorothy Trigg, said. “‘Bad Jews’ shows the very real struggle that many twenty-somethings are facing as we try to find our place in our families and in the world. And I couldn’t stop laughing!”

“Holiday Celebration with the Five Browns”

  • Mason’s Center for the Arts
  • Run: Dec. 12, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.
  • Five talented siblings, all Julliard students accepted at the same time, play holiday favorites on five pianos. In case math is not a strong suit that is 50 fingers playing 440 piano keys, all in one performance.
  • “The quintet has brought their dynamic performances, which feature the siblings performing individually or in various combinations from duos to complex five-piano arrangements, to prestigious stages across the globe, including China’s Grand National Theater, Japan’s Suntory Hall, New York’s Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center and Chicago’s Symphony Hall,” Jill Graziano Laiacona, the media relations coordinator at the Center for the Arts wrote in a press release. “They have also soloed with orchestras around the world, including the National Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Orchestre de chamber de Paris. The 5 Browns are the authors of ‘Life Between the Keys,’ a lighthearted collection of personal stories, which was published by Phoenix Books in 2009.”

“A Christmas Carol”

  • Ford’s Theater, 511 Tenth St, NW, Washington, DC
  • Run: Nov. 20, 2014-Jan. 1, 2015
  • Written by Charles Dickens, adapted by Michael Wilson, directed by Michael Baron
  • A Christmas classic produced by the theater every year. The ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, take the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge on a midnight journey, basically to make him feel bad about himself. Or, you could say the ghosts take him on a journey, to expose Scrooge to the consequences of his actions, in order to seek redemption. “A Christmas Carol” features Mason theater professor, Edward Gero, as Scrooge.
  • “Is it worth coming back to see Christmas Carol, even if it is a yearly thing? Of course. Because in the story there lives the spirit of the season: renewal,” Gero said. “In the darkness of the year, like the darkness of Scrooge’s life, we celebrate the promise of a new beginning. I think we can all use a little bit of that each year, and especially in the kind of geopolitical world we live. Hope springs eternal. And if that is can be true for the likes of Ebenezer Scrooge, why then, the rest of us just might have a chance.”

“A Very Pointless Holiday Spectacular”

  • Pointless Theatre Company
  • Run: Dec. 2, 2014- Jan. 3, 2015
  • Show location: 916 G Street NW ,Washington DC
  • A cabaret incorporating improv, puppetry, and a “funky reindeer band.” What really could be better than that?
  • “Our goal is to create an alternative holiday show that is geared towards adults, a winter wonderland with a twist. Our show is intended for mature audiences. It is not family entertainment, unless you want to sit next to your grandmother and your little cousin Sally while you watch a saucy Mrs. Claus talk about sex with Santa,” Frank Cervarich, the co-director for ‘A Very Pointless Holiday Spectacular,’ said. “We have a crackerjack team of elves that perform tap dance, puppetry, and acrobatics alongside a trio of misfit toys who guzzle booze over the course of the show. We aren’t pushing a moral or a message like so many other holiday shows, we creating an immersive environment that is sincerely festive but irreverent towards traditional holiday fare.”