The D.C. arts scene has awakened from its winter slumber. Enjoy performances, art exhibits and more this spring with this arts guide.
“Catch Me If You Can” at the Arena Stage
If you’ve ever seen the 2002 movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio, you’ll want to pay a visit to Arena Stage for the musical of the same name. The rousing good time includes lots of humor, catchy tunes and campy dancing. The musical is based on true events from the now 20-year-old movie about a young con man named Frank Abagnale, Jr.
March 4 – April 17 at the Arena Stage
A brand-new ballet with Chamber Dance Project premieres in June
You may have to wait until June 16, but the Chamber Dance Project is busy prepping for their premiere of their new “Gatsby” ballet. Artistic Director Diane Coburn Bruning says it’s unusual that shadow puppets, films and moving screens will be incorporated into the usual dancers and musicians.
June 16, The Greenberg Theatre
Relax with Washington Performing Arts
Internationally renowned violinist Hilary Hahn will be performing, joined by cellist Seth Parker Woods and German-Swiss piano virtuoso Andreas Haefliger. Expect such pieces as Kodaly’s “Duo for Violin & Cello, Op. 7” and Beethoven’s “Violin Sonata No. 10 in G Major, Op. 96.”
March 29, 7:30 p.m., Kennedy Center
It’s a brand-new day with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, D.C.
It is truly a “Brand New Day.” The show of the same name by the Gay Men’s Chorus is inspired by lyrics from the song “The Human Heart.” The concert talks about stories of loved ones establishing acceptance and love from chosen families. Songs from iconic musicals like “The Wiz,” “Mulan,” and “Once on this Island” are featured.
March 12, 3 and 8 p.m., Lincoln Theatre
Everyone’s favorite composer John Williams turns 90
Jurassic Park. E.T. Jaws. Harry Potter. Those are just a few of the dozens of movies the great John Williams has composed music for. On June 23, the Kennedy Center is honoring Williams with a 90th birthday celebration. The event will be conducted by Stéphane Denéve and will include the National Symphony Orchestra and special guests Yo-Yo Ma, Steven Spielberg and more.
June 23, 7 p.m., Kennedy Center
See Shakespeare reimagined
Actor John Douglas Thompson (Mare of Easttown) is making his debut at the Shakespeare Theatre Company with “The Merchant of Venice.” He will be playing the mysterious Shylock in the play that exposes issues of fairness, antisemitism and justice. Directed by Arin Arbus and co-produced with Theatre for a New Audience.
March 22 – April 17, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Stay on a Shakespearean kick at Theater J
“Nathan the Wise” is a funny, timely 18th century Shakespearean play at Theater J on 16th St. NW. There’s something for everyone including foiled romances, mistaken identity, and multi-cultural relationships. The new adaptation by Michael Bloom celebrates being human.
March 16 – April 10, Theater J
A new play from a new voice
Playwright Kimberly Belflower debuts “John Proctor is the Villain,” at Studio Theatre. The play is set in rural Georgia. Rumors swirl about a student who left abruptly for Atlanta, another student’s father and an English class which has to get through sex ed before they can begin reading “The Crucible.” Teens start questioning what really happened in Salem’s witch hunts and the show turns into an incredible coming-of-age tale.
April 27 through June 5, Studio Theatre
Celebrate architects and designers at the National Building Museum
“Architecture & Design Film Festival” will dive into timely issues like innovation and creativity in sustainability, historic preservation, the contributions of indigenous architects and more. The D.C. event will be the first completely in-person one after events in New York and Los Angeles were thrown into disarray.
March 24-26, National Building Museum
See the creative process of a young Picasso
In “Picasso: Painting the Blue Period,” explore 1900 through 1904, when Picasso was a young Spanish artist and new painter on the scene. His signature “Blue Period” reveals his approach to issues of sex, class, poverty, charity and more. The Phillips Collection exhibit is the first in over two decades to focus on the early works of Picasso.
Now through June 12, The Phillips Collection
There’s an immersive experience at the National Museum of the American Indian
With “Preston Singletary: Raven and the Box of Daylight,” guests are treated to a multisensory experience. The exhibit features works from internationally acclaimed artist Preston Singletary. The Raven is the creator of the world and giver of the stars, moon and sun. Expect beautiful glass pieces, traditional Native storytelling and original music.
Now through January 2023, National Museum of the American Indian
Catch a breathtaking exhibit at the Hirshhorn before it closes
“Toyin Ojih Odutola: A Countervailing Theory” is on display at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden from now until early April. The 30-something Odutola’s exhibit features a body of work taking the form of 40 large-scale monochromatic drawings that display a myth inspired by the artist. Materials like pastels, charcoal and chalk are used to explore the relationship between drawing and storytelling.
Now through April 3, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Relive the ‘70s with a special Watergate exhibit
The National Portrait Gallery is taking us back to June 17, 1972 when a break-in at the DNC offices at the Watergate Complex started one of the biggest scandals in U.S. history. Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the break-in and subsequent cover-up of White House involvement and President Nixon’s obstruction of justice, the exhibit features photographs, paintings, sculptures and more.
March 25 through September 5, The National Portrait Gallery
Envelop yourself in Harlem circa 1930
Photographer James Van Der Zee’s photographs of life in Harlem in the 1920s, ‘30s and beyond is on display at the National Gallery of Art. Those who lived in the predominantly Black New York City neighborhood often used Van Der Zee’s expertise behind the camera to mark their special occasions.
Now through May 30, National Gallery of Art