By Kate Masters
Theater involvement is shown to boost reading comprehension and school attendance rates, so the earlier involvement starts, the better. Spark some interest in the stage this weekend with five theatrical performances around the Northern Virginia area.
Ages 1-3: Friday Mornings with Rocknoceros
227 Maple Avenue East, Vienna
June 27, 10 a.m.
Rocknoceros is big around these parts, and Jammin’ Java is the place to see them. Almost every Friday morning, the award-winning children’s band plays a set of songs with educational and kid-friendly lyrics, from anthems on Apollo 11 to ditties about days of the week. Band members Coach Cotton, Williebob, and Boogie Woogie Bennie grew up in Northern Virginia, and are sure to delight the next generation of residents.
Ages 3-10: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
410 S. Maple Ave, Falls Church
Tickets: $15 general admission, $12 students and seniors
June 22, 2 and 7:30 p.m.
Don’t miss the final performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Creative Cauldron in Falls Church. One of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies, the show is presented by the organization’s Learning Theater Ensemble, a multi-generational workshop of children, teens and adults. Kids will love the antics of Puck and Bottom as they flit through the show’s dreamy woodland scenery, while parents can enjoy the veiled bawdiness of Midsummer’s famous play-within-a-play.
Ages 6-10: The Lion King
The Kennedy Center
2700 F Street, Washington D.C.
June 21, 1:30 and 7:30 p.m.; June 22, 1:30 and 7:30 p.m.; June 24, 7:30 p.m.; June 25, 7:30 p.m.; June 26, 7:30 p.m.; June 27, 7:30 p.m.; June 28, 1:30 and 7:30 p.m.; June 29, 1:30 and 7:30 p.m.
After a sold-out run at the Kennedy Center in 2008, The Lion King returns for another two months onstage in D.C. with direction and costumes by Oscar-nominated and Tony Award-winning director Julie Taymore. The musical iteration of the beloved Disney movie has won six Tonys and features an Academy-Award winning score by Elton John and Tim Rice. Parents can also buy a special VIP package, which includes tickets, a souvenir program, and a piece of Lion King merchandise.
Ages 10-14: Grease Sing-a-Long
1654 Trap Road, Vienna
June 21, 8:30 p.m.
If you’ve long longed to sport a leather jacket or pouf up your hair, a Grease sing-a-long is the perfect opportunity. Kids will love the chance to sing along with the Rydell High gang, and dress-up is encouraged at the show, which screens at Wolf Trap’s Filene Center. On-screen lyrics and costumed hosts keep the show running smoothly, and guests get a grab bag of props that they can use during the movie.
Ages 16 and up: Bat Boy: The Musical
1st Stage Theatre
1524 Spring Hill Road, McLean
Tickets: $32, adults; $27 seniors; $15 students
June 21, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; June 22, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Created as a bridge between educational and professional theater,1st Stage in Tysons Corner recruits casts of emerging young actors for interesting, mature performances. The company’s latest play is Bat Boy: The Musical, a horror spoof with a title torn straight from a tabloid headline. After three teenagers from Hope Falls, West Virginia find a deformed boy-bat living in a cave, he’s adopted by the wife of a local vet, but a series of suspicious events put Bat Boy at the end of the town’s accusing finger and threaten his existence with his new family.