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It’s December and that means it’s time to get in the Christmas spirit! What better way to do so than by going to see a bunch of Christmas-themed plays?! I’m just kidding, they’re not ALL Christmas-themed. No really, there aren’t that many, so if you need an escape from the overabundance of holiday cheer, check out some of these plays and musicals.

If you’re looking for more shows later in the season, check out BYT’s Fall/Winter Theatre Guide.

  • Pride in the Falls of Autrey Mill @ Signature Theatre
    October 15, 2013 – December 8
    Keeping up appearances is the name of the game in this new play by Paul Downs Colaizzo. “Pride in the Falls of Autrey Mill” gives audiences a glimpse into the dark underbelly of the pristine suburbs that the play is named for. This darkly funny tale follows the struggles of one family as it disintegrates under the façade of their perfect neighborhood. -Emily Catino
  • If/Then @ The National Theatre
    November 5 – December 8
    Idina Menzel stars in this world premiere musical from the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning creators of “Next to Normal.” “If/Then” is one of the many love letters written to the great city of New York for allowing chance encounters that ultimately, we are left to pursue. -Esther Hur
  • The Apple Family Plays @ Studio Theatre
    November 13 – December 29
    The first two plays in a set of four by Richard Nelson show how world events effect an average American family. Stories are told at the Apple family’s meals about 9/11, politics, manners and family drama. -Deanna Martino


  • Maurice Hines Is Tappin’ Through Life @ Arena Stage
    November 15 – December 29
    Maurice Hines teams up with the Manzari Brothers to honor his brother Gregory and the artists who inspired him, like Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and Nat King Cole. The Diva Orchestra, a nine-piece all-female band, helps Hines bring the story of American tap to life. -Deanna Martino
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum @ Shakespeare Theatre Company
    November 21 – January 5
    When this musical farce made its Broadway debut in 1962, it won several Tonys including those for Best Musical and Best Book. Shakespeare Theatre Company’s revival will certainly impress with the tale of a slave named Pseudolus and his endeavor to gain his freedom by helping his master get the girl next door. It sounds like a typical rom-com but with Shakespearean comedy and tropes. Plus, the music from legendary Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim.  -Emily Catino
  • The Lyons @ Round House Theatre (Bethesda)
    November 27 – December 22
    The Lyons are a disfunctional family with a dying father, a son in a dubious relationship and an unstable daughter. But the worst part is, Rita, the matriarch, can’t figure out how to redesign her living room. -Deanna Martino
  • Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner @ Arena Stage
    November 29 – January 5
    Kenny Leon returns to Arena Stage to direct a new adaption of the classic film “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.” Starring Michael Jamal-Warner in his Arena Stage debut, the plot centers on a liberal, upper-class white couple who are shocked when their daughter brings home her black fiance. Although the couple taught their daughter to accept all people as equal, they struggle with her decision in this humorous story of love and hypocrisy. -Kemi Ajisekola
  • Handbag @ Scena
    “Handbag” is the kind of crass comedy we all love, about certain embarrassments of parent/child interactions. Based on Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest,” this play is a must-see for parents and their (older) children… on second thought, maybe go see it separately.  -Emily Catino
  • The Nutcracker @ Warner Theatre
    December 5 – 29
    The Washington Ballet is recreating this holiday classic, as well as hosting a few events to help you give back to the community and celebrate the season. Check them out here.
  • Edgar and Annabel @ Studio Theatre
    December 11 – January 5
    Your eyes and ears will deceive you in this wonderfully confusing and captivating play by Sam Holcroft. Edgar and Annabel sound like a normal married couple, but as they carry on a mundane conversation while reading from a script, it becomes increasingly clear that not only are they not a couple, but there is something much more sinister going on. “Edgar & Annabel” looks creepy and mind-bending in the best of ways. -Emily Catino
  • An Irish Carol @ Keegan Theatre
    December 13 – December 31
    A modern (and distinctly Irish) take on the classic “A Christmas Carol,” “An Irish Carol” tells the story of a materialistic and emotionally stunted pub owner who, all in one night, encounters visions of his past, present, and future that challenge him to change his ways. This is a fable for the modern audience, reminding them of the true meaning of the holidays just as Charles Dickens’s classic had done before it, but with wit and humor. -Emily Catino
  • Elf The Musical @ The Kennedy Center
    December 17 – January 5
    Based on the hilarious Christmas classic film, “Elf The Musical” is a great Broadway treat for kids and parents alike. Buddy the Elf sets off on a memorable adventure when he discovers that he was adopted into the family of one of Santa’s elves. As he makes his way back to New York, he meets his family, a new love, and the true meaning of Christmas. -Emily Catino


  • Gypsy @ Signature Theatre
    December 17, 2013 – January 19
    The classic story of an overbearing stage mom comes the The Signature Theatre. “Gypsy” tells the story of a mother who pressures her daughters into showbiz. When the younger, more talented daughter goes in another direction, Mama Rose turns her attention to her elder daughter. Kind of like “Dance Moms” for people with self respect. -Kemi Ajisekola
  • Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington: Sparkle, Jingle, Joy @ Lisner Auditorium
    December 20 – 21
    Get into the spirit of the season with the ever festive GMCW holiday show, now with special guest Grammy Award-winner Matt Alber! If you’re looking for a well-sung evening of traditional Christmas carols, you’ve come to the right place. -Stephanie Breijo
  • Flashdance–The Musical @ The Kennedy Center
    December 25 – January 19
    Were you a young female child when you watched the film “Flashdance”? Were you suddenly enthralled by the idea of being a female welder at a steel mill by day and an exotic dancer by night? Did you want “Maniac” to be the soundtrack to your steel welding, pole straddling lifestyle? Say yes. “Flashdance” was a huge box office success in the ’80s. Its iconic soundtrack, aesthetic, and alluring choreography makes it the perfect candidate for a musical. Thank God I am older and am stuck in higher education, otherwise Alex would’ve swayed me again. -Esther Hur


  • The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess @ The National Theatre
    December 25 – December 29
    “The Gerswins’ Porgy and Bess” is a love story set in Charleston’s fabled Catfish Row. There’s plenty of scandal, temptation and romance that got this musical a Tony in 2012. Oh, and did we mention the Gershwins wrote the music? -Deanna Martino