DCMTA’s 2021 Holiday Theater Guide

Local shows to lift your spirits and warm your cockles!

The gift of live theater is back this holiday season with shows for every taste and price range. Here — listed in order of opening — are some of the great holiday offerings happening in the DMV between now and the new year. And if you’d like to take in a production of A Christmas Carol, check out all your options listed at the end.

(Before you venture out, be sure to check the venue’s website for its COVID safety requirements. It’s our new normal — and we’re here for it!)

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas | Toby’s Dinner Theatre
When: November 5 – January 9
Where: 5900 Symphony Woods Road, Columbia, MD
Tickets: $52.20 – $72.00

Based on the beloved, timeless film. Two WWII veterans with a successful song-and-dance act follow a duo of beautiful singing sisters to their Christmas show at a rural Vermont lodge, which happens to be owned by their old commander. They plan a yuletide fun-filled extravaganza to help fill the inn! Seventeen Irving Berlin tunes including “Blue Skies,” “How Deep Is the Ocean” and “White Christmas” make this a family musical worthy of becoming a holiday tradition!

Beauty and the Beast | Olney Theatre Center
When: November 5 – January 2
Where: 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, MD
Tickets: $64 – $90

It’s a tale as old as time, but it gets a new look from Tony-nominated director Marcia Milgrom Dodge (one of the featured professional directors on the Disney+ show Encore), who wowed Olney audiences with her Helen Hayes Award–nominated production of Once. Olney’s biggest show of the year brings the whole family together for a magical and memorable musical about the redemptive power of love. Join Belle, Lumiere, Cogsworth, and the rest of the gang in the Beast’s cursed castle for an escape to a world where beauty is more than skin deep and happily ever after is just a rose petal away.

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas | The National Theatre
When: November 23 – December 5
Where: 1321 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC
Tickets: $50 – $110 (digital lottery available!

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical broke box office records for two consecutive years on Broadway during its holiday engagements at the St. James and Hilton theaters. Since then, more than 2.1 million theatergoers across America have been delighted by this heartwarming holiday musical. 

What Is Love, Actually? | Season two of a  podcast produced and edited by Playwright Patrick Flynn
When: Episodes will be released weekly and available for download on Spotify, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts beginning November 26 at midnight EDT.
Where: Wherever!
Tickets: None. It’s free.

What makes a good “bad” Christmas movie? Focusing on Christmas movies from Lifetime, Hallmark, and Netlflix, hosts Patrick Flynn and Beth Amman will fill you in. Movies they’ll cover include Journey Back to Christmas (featuring Candace Cameron Bure), My Christmas Inn (featuring Tia Mowry), Christmas Crush aka Holiday High School Reunion, Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus (featuring Steve Guttenberg), The Princess Switch Trilogy (featuring Vanessa Hudgens), and New Year’s Eve (featuring every actor ever). Check out their teaser episode here.

On the Farce Day of Christmas | Best Medicine Rep
When: November 26 – December 12
Where: 20709 Bountyfield Court, Montgomery Village, MD
Tickets: $23 – $25

To prevent her religious family from discovering she’s divorced, a woman pays her ex to pretend they are married!

Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!) | NextStop Theatre
When: December 3 – 19
Where: 269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon, VA
Tickets: $25

Instead of performing Charles Dickens’s beloved holiday classic for the umpteenth time, three actors decide to perform every Christmas story ever told — add a sprinkling of Christmas traditions from around the world, season icons from ancient times to contemporary pop culture, and every carol ever sung — and you’ve got a madcap romp through the holiday season.

The Holiday Show | Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington
When: December 4 – 12
Where: The Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U Street NW, Washington, DC
Tickets: $25 – $65

A perennial favorite, the GMCW holiday show features dancing elves, Christmas trees, snow, and more. The festive program will include songs like “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!,” “The 12 Rockin’ Days of Christmas,” and “Boogie Woogie Frosty” and features performances from the full Chorus, soloists, all GMCW ensembles, and the GenOUT Youth Chorus.

Gerald Clayton

NPR’s A Jazz Piano Christmas featuring Gerald Clayton, Eric Reed, and Patrice Rushen | Kennedy Center
When: Saturday, December 4 (7 pm [sold out] and 9 pm)
Where: 2700 F Street, NW, Washington, DC
Tickets: $59 – $69

Your favorite holiday classics as you’ve never heard them! The Kennedy Center and NPR present A Jazz Piano Christmas, the annual sell-out event featuring today’s best jazz pianists performing the most loved seasonal music.

A Snowy Night at the DewDrop Inn | Anacostia Playhouse
When: December 8 – January 9
Where: 2020 Shannon Place, SE, Washington, DC
Tickets: $40 – $50

They’re back and at it again! The Dew Drop Performers are letting the good times roll sassy, hot, and steamy on a cold snowy night. A Snowy Nite at the Dew Drop Inn is a musical celebration and tribute to the Juke Joint, to those iconic nightspots that were known for good food, music, and maybe a little trouble (if you weren’t careful). This cabaret-style presentation highlights themes of love found, love lost, and love renewed in the midst of holiday cheer. It features songs made famous by Big Mama Thorton, Fats Waller, Etta James, and Dinah Washington, just to name a few.

The Christmas Angel | Creative Cauldron
When: December 9 – 19
Where: 410 South Maple Avenue, Retail 116, Falls Church, VA
Tickets: $20 – $35

Based on a little-known 1910 novel by Abbey Farwell Brown, this tale about an elderly spinster and her heartwarming transformation into the Christmas spirit echoes Dickens and the journey of Ebeneezer Scrooge. The award-winning creative team of Matt Conner and Stephen Gregory Smith put their signature stamp on what is sure to become another classic Christmas show.

Step Afrika’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show | Step Afrika!
When: December 9 – 19
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street NE, Washington, DC
Tickets: $25 (child) – $45 (adult)

This vibrant holiday celebration, now in its 10th year, is a fun family-friendly performance that will have you stomping your feet and clapping your hands to energetic beats from Step Afrika!

Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells | Providence Players of Fairfax
When: December 10 – 19
Where: The James Lee Community Center Theater, 2855 Annandale Road, Falls Church, VA
Tickets: $18 – $24

Remember what the holidays were like when you were a kid?  The magic, the awe, the anticipation?  Come rediscover your inner first-grader with Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells. And bring the kids!  You both will love this bit of nostalgia based on the popular book series.  

A Medieval Christmas | Folger Consort
When: December 10 – 18
Where: St. Mark’s Church, Capitol Hill
Tickets: $50 (Streaming available on demand. Click here for streaming ticket prices.)

Folger Consort, the early music ensemble in residence at the Folger Shakespeare Library, will be performing seven concerts of A Medieval Christmas at St. Mark’s Church on Capitol Hill. Folger’s holiday concerts have been a beloved DC tradition for many years. The program for this year’s concerts will revive music from Folger Consort’s celebrated album, A Medieval Christmas, performing some of the earliest known holiday music we know, carols from the Middle Ages, as well as Latin carols from throughout Europe.

A Christmas Story | Silver Spring Stage
When: December 10 – 19 (weekends only)
Where: 10145 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD
Tickets: $19 – $25

This stage version of young Ralphie Parker’s great quest to ensure that a Red Ryder BB gun will await him under the Christmas tree was inspired by the movie cherished by so many. The memorable characters and setting are all there — it is Christmas time in the Midwest in the 1940s and Ralphie must grapple with bullies, friends, his little brother, parents, teachers, and even Santa Claus himself… all the moments your friends and family can’t wait to revisit year after year will be inventively brought to life on stage! With wonderful roles for actors who are both young and young-at-heart, this play promises to delight audiences of all ages while relishing the process of telling what some might argue is the greatest holiday classic of them all!

An Irish Carol | Keegan Theatre
When: December 10 – 31
Where: 1742 Church Street, NW, Washington, DC
Tickets: $50 – $55

An original work by Keegan company member Matthew J. Keenan, An Irish Carol is an homage to Dickens classic — told as only the Irish can. This comic and touching play, set in a modern Dublin pub, follows one evening in the life of David, a wealthy pub owner who has lost touch with his own humanity in the interest of self-protection and material success. But on this Christmas Eve — challenged by a voice from the past, provoked by those in the present, and faced with the reality of a lonely future — David’s life may change forever.

Candlelight Christmas Concert | The Washington Chorus
When and where:
December 16, 17, 23 at the Music Center at Strathmore
December 19, 21, 22 at Kennedy Center Concert Hall
Tickets: $10 – $101

The return of the beloved holiday tradition. Led by Dr. Eugene Rogers and featuring National Capitol Brass, handbells, and organist Paul Byssainthe, Candlelight Christmas will feature popular carols along with holiday favorites and newly commissioned works with performances at the Kennedy Center and The Music Center at Strathmore. This year’s family-friendly concert is a 75-minute show with no intermission.

The Christmas Revels | The Washington Revels
When: Live December 10 -19, On Demand December 21 – January 6
Where: The Spanish Ballroom, Glen Echo Park, MD
Tickets: $20 – $55

An annual celebration of the Winter Solstice, The Christmas Revels has been a Washington holiday tradition for over 37 years. After these many months apart, we invite you to ring in the holidays this December with traditional melodies, heartfelt spirituals, joyful carols, and toe-tapping rhythms.

Oy Vey in a Manger | Theatre J
When: December 17 – 25
Where: 1529 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC
Tickets: $65 – $75

The Kinsey Sicks are back! Full of their signature panache and perfect harmonies, these chicks with schticks are trying to sell off their manger — yes, that manger — before it’s foreclosed. Crises arise, secrets are revealed, Jewish-Gentile tensions surface, and mayhem ensues. Don’t miss America’s favorite Dragapella© Beautyshop Quartet in their triumphant return to Theater J.

Detective Audio Drama (Loveday Brooke and Sherlock Holmes Detective Series) | We Happy Few Productions
When: At your leisure!
Where: Wherever you want!
Tickets: $32 per story

Prefer to stay inside this winter? We Happy Few will deliver theater to your door with their audio drama detective stories. The second episode of each just dropped. (These could make great gifts as well!) The mysteries consist of an hour-long audio play accompanied by a mail-out experience delivered right to your door. Create your own at-home theatrical experience with an activity that can be enjoyed by yourself or with a group. Host your own murder mystery dinner party, engage the family in a game night, or curl up on the couch with your headphones and a glass of wine. They provide the play, the clues, and the extras; you provide the setting.

Last but not least, the DC region has A Christmas Carol for every budget and location:

A Christmas Carol | Ford’s Theatre
When: November 24 – December 27
Where: 511 10th Street, NW, Washington, DC
Tickets: $36 – $124

Experience Charles Dickens’ beloved Yuletide story of transformation and redemption at Ford’s Theatre. Director of Artistic Programming José Carrasquillo directs a reimagined production based on Michael Wilson’s beloved Radio Play adaptation, featuring traditional caroling and new staging throughout. Craig Wallace returns as the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge who encounters the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future on a memorable journey.

A Christmas Carol | Olney Theatre Center
When: November 26 – December 26
Where: 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, MD
Tickets: Limited tickets available

A Christmas Carol | Colonial Players of Annapolis
When: December 2 – 12
Where: The East Street Theatre, 108 East Street, Annapolis, MD
Tickets: This production is already sold out. $10 streaming tickets are available here

A Christmas Carol | Little Theatre of Alexandria
When: December 3 – 18
Where: 600 Wolfe Street, Alexandria, VA
Tickets: $20

A Christmas Carol | Prince William Little Theatre
When: December 10 – 19
Where: Gregory Family Theater, Hylton Performing Arts Center at the George Mason University Campus, Manassas, VA
Tickets: $17 – $24


    • It’s a local colloquial acronym that stands for the “District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia.” It refers to the National Capital Region of the Washington Metropolitan Area.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here