This winter, the footlights are on and shining bright for young theater and music audiences under ten.  Take a fantasy space flight with your toddler on the H Street corridor at Atlas Center, or introduce your budding English Lit major to Hemmingway on the Potomac with a 60 minute Moby Dick. Live music performance keeps it rockin’ with Laurie Berkner rocking the Lincoln Theater and a country music show based on the diligent Little Red Hen at Olney Theatre.

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Photo: Laurie Berkner Band

For Music Enthusiasts

The Laurie Berkner Band
Washingtonians will identify with this commuters’ conundrum. What to do with all that extra time on the road, on the metro or the bus?  Childrens’ performer Laurie Berkner has the answer. Write songs! The movement, she says, is part of what drives her creativity resulting in hugely popular titles from Victor Vito to Pig on Her Head, the one song that may prove your little tyke has British royalty beat when it comes to high hat couture.  Coming to the storied Lincoln Theater in February for her first D.C. show in three years, Laurie’s warm voice backed by a full band, promises interactive fun for all.

When: Feb.28
Where: Lincoln Theater (D.C.)
Cost: $35
Online: thelincolndc.com

Flavoring the Melody
Join Strathmore Center for the Arts for this first installment of a new family series featuring Washington Area Music Association award-winner Seth Kibel presenting Flavoring the Melody,  about the art of jazz improvisation. Aimed at kids ages four to ten, this opening session is the first of six hosted by Kibel and renowned vocalist, Rochelle Rice taking place through June. Later sessions are appropriate for ages two to six.

When: March 5
Where:  Strathmore Center for the Arts
Cost: $10
Online: strathmore.org

For Fairytale Fanatics

The Twelve Dancing Princesses
As its name suggests,  the Creative Cauldron Theater Company’s seasonal plate is a grand mix of adult cutting edge and classical kiddie fare. This Grimm Brothers fairytale mystery about twelve pairs of shoes that seem to wear themselves out each night, comes to life in a musical adaptation, featuring young talent from the company’s Learning Theater Ensemble.

When:  Feb. 26 – March 20
Where: Creative Cauldron Theater
Cost:  $14-16
Online: creativecauldron.org

Little Red Hen
This classic story about the value of lending a paw or a claw for the common good, gets an amped up country music treatment that has the whole farmyard hopping. See what happens when the “crimson heroine” tangles with a sneaky fox and watch your little chickadees laugh and learn.

When March 20 – 21
Where:  Olney Theatre Center
Cost:  $15
Online: olneytheatre.org

For Young Theater Goers

Space Bop
This production by Arts on the Horizon showcases the company’s signature multi-sensory, non-verbal approach to keeping young children thoroughly engaged. Get ready for a little hip-hop with the babe at Space Bop, recommended for children up to age two with several morning showtimes, and featuring the original beatbox stylings of one of the D.C. area’s most popular performers, GRAMMY-nominated hip-hop artist Christylez Bacon.

When:  March 5-12
Where:  Atlas Center for the Arts (D.C.)
Cost: $9
Online: atlasarts.org

Moby Dick
This classic title needs no explanation, and with an abridged version–just 60 minutes (including music)–and the acting talent of just three performers from Germany’s award-winning Triebwerk Theater, Melville’s tale of a whale and a guy called Ishmael is made tons more accessible for you and your young theater companion this spring. Plus, with first mate Starbuck on board, you’re bound to stay awake!

When:  April 23-24
Where:  The Kennedy Center
Cost: $20
Online:  kennedy-center.org

Which winter show are you looking forward to the most? Tell us in the comments section below. 

–Carolyn Ross