Fall Theater in Washington, D.C.: 2017 Show Highlights

A Guide to Live Performing Arts in the Capital Region

Death of a Salesman
Death of a Salesman. © Fords Theatre

With dozens of performances around the Washington DC area, the fall theater season features a wide variety of live entertainment ranging from Broadway-style musicals to dramatic productions to child-friendly theatre. Here is the schedule of the top shows for the 2017 season.

Native Gardens -  Arena Stage - September 15-October 22, 2017. Good fences make good neighbors…right? From the outrageous mind of playwright Karen Zacarías (Destiny of Desire) comes this hot new comedy about the clash of class and culture that pushes well-meaning neighbors over the edge. Tania, a very pregnant Ph.D. candidate, and Pablo, her rising attorney husband, move next door to Virginia and Frank, a deep-rooted D.C. couple with an impeccably trimmed backyard. But when a questionable fence line puts a prize-worthy garden in jeopardy, neighborly rivalry escalates into an all-out border dispute, challenging everyone’s notions of race, privilege and where to draw the line on good taste.

D​eath of a SalesmanFord’s Theatre - September 22-October 22, 2017. Willy Loman’s career is over. During a pivotal 24 hours, he reflects on his life as a father, husband and traveling salesman. Truth and lies intermingle as Willy tries to reconcile the optimism of his youth with his unfulfilled dreams. As the full force of reality crashes down on him, he places his last hope of success in his two sons. Arthur Miller’s Pulitzer Prize-winning classic challenges us to reconsider what it means to succeed and the cost of chasing the American Dream.

The Price - Arena Stage - October 6-12, 2017.  Everything has a price — even our dreams. Victor Franz has returned home to settle his late father’s estate. In an attic overflowing with memories and furniture he meets the enigmatic Gregory Solomon (Hal Linden), a professional appraiser committed to turning a profit off Victor’s past. But before a bargain can be struck, an estranged brother enters the scene to reframe Victor’s memories and force them both to reconsider the true cost of personal sacrifices.


The Book of Mormon - Kennedy Center - October 24–November 19, 2017.  The nine-time Tony Award®–winning Best Musical. This outrageous musical comedy follows the misadventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries, sent halfway across the world to spread the Good Word. Now with standing room–only productions in London, on Broadway, and across North America, The Book of Mormon has truly become an international sensation

The Pajama Game - Arena Stage -October 27-December 24, 2017. The Sleep-Tite Pajama Factory is a tiptop model of efficiency—so why are things getting so steamy? It could have something to do with how hard new superintendent Sid Sorokin has fallen for Babe Williams, the trouble-making head of the union grievance committee. Sparks really start to fly when a workers’ strike pits management against labor and ignites an outrageous battle of the sexes.

Nina Simone: Four Women -  Arena Stage - November 10-December 24, 2017. Velvet-throated songstress Nina Simone hypnotized audiences with her signature renditions of standards from the American songbook. But on September 15, 1963, a devastating explosion in Birmingham, Alabama rocked our entire nation to the core, and from the memory of the four little girls that were lost in this unimaginable tragedy, came “Four Women”—along with Simone’s other activist anthems like “Mississippi Goddam,” “Old Jim Crow” and “To Be Young, Gifted and Black.”

A Christmas Carol - Ford’s Theatre - November 16-December 31, 2017. The annual production of A Christmas Carol has been a Washington tradition for more than 30 years. Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge on a journey of transformation and redemption. Originally conceived by Michael Baron, this music-infused production captures the magic and joy of Dickens’s Yuletide classic.

Gobsmacked!  - Kennedy Center - November 24–26, 2017. Direct from sold-out engagements in London, Hong Kong, and Edinburgh comes the next-generation a cappella show, Gobsmacked! Featuring the reigning world champion beatboxer Ball-Zee and an international cast of world-class vocalists, Gobsmacked! weaves stories through all forms of a cappella, from traditional street corner harmonies to cutting edge, multi-track live looping.

An American in Paris -  Kennedy Center - December 12, 2017–January 7, 2018. The new Tony Award®–winning musical is about an American soldier, a mysterious French girl, and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war. Acclaimed director/choreographer and Tony Award® winner Christopher Wheeldon brings the magic and romance of Paris into perfect harmony with unforgettable songs from George and Ira Gershwin. 

More Shows to Be Announced

For more upcoming theater schedules, see a Guide to Holiday Shows in the Washington DC Area.