By Mark Edelman
Make it your 2024 New Year’s resolution to enjoy one of these fine performances live and onstage in January and February at a theater near you.
The Kennedy Center, through January 21
If you’re familiar with Disney movies, you likely know the story of Anna and Elsa, the snow princess and queen who save their town in this Broadway musical version of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen.” Got a few hundred bucks for your family? “Let it go” on tickets to this lovely production. Tickets at kennedy-center.org.
“LOVE LOVE LOVE”
Studio Theatre, January 10 through February 18
British playwright Mike Bartlett turns his sharp eye and biting humor on a pair of carefree Londoners as they wend their way from the swinging 1960s through middle age and retirement, squandering the world they inherited – or so their daughter keeps reminding them. Tickets at studiotheatre.org.
NextStop Theatre Company, January 12 through February 11
The latest edition of Dan Goggin’s long-running franchise, this musical comedy finds five Little Sisters of Hoboken putting on a benefit show to pay for the burial of the other nuns who died in a catastrophic cooking fire. Don’t get out the handkerchiefs – it’s all in good fun. Tickets at nextstoptheatre.org.
“A CHORUS LINE”
Toby’s Dinner Theatre, January 12 through March 10
17 Broadway talents line up for a chorus audition unlike any they’ve ever experienced. The production takes the audience through each character’s personality and understands their decisions to become dancers. Tony and Pulitzer Awards for “Best Musicals” do not come along often; this one changed musical theater for a generation. Tickets at tobysdinnertheatre.com.
Arena Stage, January 19 through March 3
Mentalist Vinny DePonto guides the audience on an entirely new theatrical event in which our thoughts play a leading role. A love letter to the imperfect mind, this DMV premier explores the fragmented and flawed nature of our memories and asks us to question whether we can trust the voice inside our heads Tickets at arenastage.org.
The National Theatre, January 23 through 28
In the midst of national malaise, we can trot our government leaders over to the National for two and a half hours of unbridled optimism. “The sun will come out tomorrow,” a curly-headed little ball of energy sings for us in this Tony Award-winning Broadway classic, now on a national tour. Tickets at broadwayatthenational.com.
“NEXT TO NORMAL” Round House Theatre, January 24 through February 25
Diana Goodman is a suburban mom struggling with bipolar disorder. Her husband, Dan, is determined to keep everything “normal.” Daughter Natalie is a stressed-out overachiever about to snap. This brilliant Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical tracks a family sharing grief and struggling to connect with one another. Full disclosure – despite the gloomy premise, I love this musical. Tickets at roundhousetheatre.org.
“TICK TICK … BOOM!”
The Kennedy Center, January 26 through February 4
Jonathan Larson’s “Tick Tick … Boom!” details a semi-autobiographical experience as a composer struggling to break into New York City’s theater scene. Now, that musical comes to Washington, D.C. in a new production directed by Emmy and Tony Award-winner Neil Patrick Harris. Tickets at kennedy-center.org.
“THIS MUCH I KNOW”
Theater J, January 31 through February 25
In the midst of a lecture, a psychology professor’s marriage fractures, sparking a moving study of three characters as they become entangled in their search for self-discovery. Part mystery, part love story, part philosophical quest, this DMV premiere spins our axis of belief and understanding. Tickets at theaterj.org.
The writer is a playwright who loves writing about theater. He is a lifetime member of the Broadway League and a Tony voter.