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16 Holiday-Themed Theater Performances & Shows in Washington, DC

The Washington Ballet's Nutcracker - Holiday Performances in Washington, DC

The seasonal vibes flow through these can’t-miss holiday-themed theatrical performances in the nation's capital.

As the winter holidays near, Christmas music blares from stereos, holiday displays and lights illuminate the District and, most importantly, you need ways to let your seasonal spirit flourish. The nation’s capital has plenty of options, so get that ugly sweater ready for a month’s worth of revelry at DC's theater and performing arts venues.

Your ultimate guide to wintertime in Washington, DC

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Washington National Opera's Silent Night at the Kennedy Center - Holiday theater performances in Washington, DC

Washington National Opera: ‘Silent Night’ – Nov. 10-25
Featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning music in multiple languages, this production of Silent Night is based on a true story and a 2005 film. On Christmas Eve in 1914, World War I is underway, but an unexpected ceasefire leads to bonding and merriment between soldiers from the French, German and Scottish armies. This uplifting tale fits the season perfectly.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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A Christmas Carol at Ford's Theatre - Washington, DC

‘A Christmas Carol’ – Nov. 15 – Dec. 30
Acclaimed actor Craig Wallace assumes the role of Ebenezer Scrooge in a lavish Victorian-style musical production of Charles Dickens’ timeless classic, the staging of which is a time-honored holiday tradition in the nation’s capital. Scrooge’s riveting journey alongside the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future is a joy even if you’ve experienced it a hundred times before – especially in one of the world’s most historic theaters.
Tickets
Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

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The Washington Ballet's Nutcracker - Holiday Performances in Washington, DC

'The Nutcracker' – Nov. 24– Dec. 28
The Washington Ballet pulls out all the stops for this classic Christmas tale that features a special DC twist. The Russian ballet goes local thanks to a Nutcracker Prince in the likeness of George Washington and cherry blossom set designs. Set in historical Georgetown, you will be dazzled by an impressive roster of dancers and the beautiful Tchaikovsky score. The production is staged at THEARC Theater for its first two nights, then shifts to the Warner Theatre from Nov. 29 – Dec. 28.​
THEARC Theater Tickets  |  Warner Theatre Tickets
THEARC Theater, 1901 Mississippi Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20020
Warner Theatre, 513 13th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

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@endave - John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Foggy Bottom - Theater in Washington, DC

NPR’s ‘A Jazz Piano Christmas’ – Dec. 1
Every year, National Public Radio (NPR) and the Kennedy Center join forces to bring outstanding jazz pianists together to perform their favorite Christmas classics for one night only. A Jazz Piano Christmas will be led by the Center’s artistic director for jazz, Jason Moran, who will also be joined by Booker T. Jones, James Francies and many others.
7 p.m. & 9 p.m.|  Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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The Second City's 'Love, Factually' at the Kennedy Center - Holiday theater performances in Washington, DC

The Second City’s ‘Love, Factually’ – Dec. 4-31
America’s most beloved comedy collective, The Second City, takes on one of America’s most beloved holiday films, Love, Actually, in this farcical mash-up that will provide plenty of belly laughs during December. Mixing an original romantic tale with stories and characters from the classic film, Love, Factually contains music, improv and audience participation to go along with its heaps of comedy and parody.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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Ballet West's 'The Nutcracker' at The Kennedy Center - Christmas and holiday-themed performances in Washington, DC

Ballet West: ‘The Nutcracker’ – Dec. 5-9
Ballet West, the premier theater company in Utah, comes to the Kennedy Center to perform a new rendition of The Nutcracker, a version that received rave reviews upon its introduction to Sale Lake City audiences last year. Journey to the Land of Sweets on the wings of Tchaikovsky’s score as Ballet West presents an unforgettable holiday tale as you’ve never seen it before.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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The Washington Chorus presents ‘A Candlelight Christmas’ - Holiday Performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC

The Washington Chorus presents ‘A Candlelight Christmas’ – Dec. 7-22
The Washington Chorus consists of 200 voices, which work in tandem with brass, organ and percussion to create wonderful renditions of Christmas classics. The chorus will also be accompanied by high school ensembles and the audience will be asked to join in joyous sing-alongs. The traditional candlelight processional will also take place at this annual event.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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Scene from 'An Irish Carol' at Keegan Theatre in Dupont Circle - Holiday Theater Performances in Washington, DC

‘An Irish Carol’ – Dec. 13-31
The Irish have something to say about that “Carol” of yours, Mr. Dickens. The Keegan Theatre stages this acclaimed play that subs pub-owning David for Scrooge. He’s distanced himself from his family through his profitable bar, but a visitor from the past, along with present figures and the prospect of a sad future could turn David around. With searing wit, fast-paced dialogue and a classic Irish sensibility, Matthew Keenan’s play is perfect for holiday laughs – and intended for audiences 16 and older.
Tickets
Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church Street NW, Washington, DC 20036

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National Symphony Orchestra's NSO Pops 'A Holiday Pops! Under the Mistletoe' with Ashley Brown in Washington, DC

NSO Pops: ‘A Holiday Pops! Under the Mistletoe’ with Ashley Brown – Dec. 14-15
NSO Pops and the Washington Chorus (and perhaps Ol’ Saint Nick himself) present a program of holiday carols and seasonal sing-alongs at the Kennedy Center that the entire family can enjoy. Hear the musical stylings of Ashley Brown, the player of the titular role in Mary Poppins on Broadway, who will be making her NSO debut.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show - Holiday-Themed Performance in Washington, DC

Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show – Dec. 14-30
DC’s Step Afrika!, the first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping, puts on a holiday extravaganza at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in the H Street neighborhood this December. The family-friendly show will combine clapping, stomping and stepping for a dazzling array of percussive dance. Furry friends from the animal kingdom and a dance party hosted by DJ Frosty the Snowman are also on the docket.
Tickets
Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

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Kwanzaa Celebration at Dance Place - Washington, DC

Kwanzaa Celebration at Dance Place – Dec. 15-16
Dance Place in the Brookland neighborhood annually holds this celebratory event in honor of Kwanzaa. Each of the seven principles of the holiday are honored, as director Sylvia Soumah guides some of the area’s finest dancers, including Coyaba Dance Theater and Coyaba Academy. Expect pounding rhythms, incredible moves and an undeniably communal atmosphere across both performances.
Tickets
Dance Place, 3225 8th Street NE, Washington, DC 20017

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Chorus at Washington National Cathedral in Upper Northwest - Things to Do in Washington, DC

‘The Joy of Christmas’ – Dec. 15-16
The Washington National Cathedral is a beautiful place to celebrate Christmas, as it becomes adorned with themed-lights and elaborate decorations each year. The Joy of Christmas is the Cathedral’s marquee event, featuring renditions of Christmas classics and a carol sing-along. This year’s event also boasts a new carol from composer Paul Moravec.
Tickets
Washington National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016

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The Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker - Holiday-Themed Performances Near Washington, DC

‘Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker’ – Dec. 16-17
The Music Center at Strathmore hosts the Moscow Ballet for what will be two nights of unforgettable performances of the classic Russian tale. The show will feature larger-than-life props and authentic Russian costumes and hand-painted sets. And of course, the Moscow Ballet is one of the most acclaimed in the world, meaning you’ll be able to witness masters of the craft just outside of DC city lines.
Tickets
The Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 20852

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The Choral Arts Society of Washington presents 'Songs of the Season: Christmas with Choral Arts' in Washington, DC

The Choral Arts Society of Washington presents ‘Songs of the Season: Christmas with Choral Arts’ – Dec. 16-24
The Choral Arts Chorus and Youth Choir come to Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall for the performance of classic holiday carols and seasonal favorites. The entire family is invited to enjoy this festive celebration of the winter holidays. Expect to hear soprano soloist Esther Heideman as well. In addition, make sure to check out The Choral Arts Society of Washington’s A Family Christmas on Dec. 24.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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The Hip Hop Nutcracker at the Strathmore - Holiday performances in and around Washington, DC

‘The Hip Hop Nutcracker’ – Dec. 18-19
Yep, you read that right. This imaginative performance blends modern hip-hop choreography, an on-stage DJ and an electric violinist to re-create The Nutcracker in truly original fashion. Adults will be wowed by the contemporary take on Tchaikovsky’s score while the kids revel in the hip-hop musical performances. This year, special guest emcee Kurtis Blow, best known for “The Breaks,” opens the show with a rapping introduction. Digital scenery will color the background of this entertaining cultural mash-up that will be performed for two nights only at Strathmore’s Music Center.
Tickets
The Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 20852

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John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts - Washington, DC

National Symphony Orchestra: Handel’s ‘Messiah’ – Dec. 20-23
This holiday epic, which explores the story of Jesus Christ as the Messiah, is performed at the Kennedy Center each year. The National Symphony Orchestra will be joined by standout singers and the University of Maryland Concert Choir at the beautifully decorated Concert Hall to tell Handel’s riveting tale through song.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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Performing arts and theater in Washington, DC - Experience wonder inside DC's acclaimed playhouses