Metro Weekly

Small Business Boosters: D.C.’s Main Streets

D.C.'s Main Streets program has proven an effective ally for helping entrepreneurs set up shop

Shaw Main Street Photography by Todd Franson

Businesses on Shaw Main Street – Photography by Todd Franson

For Alex Padro, the upside-down “L”-shaped portion running north from 1800 block of 7th Street NW, then east down the 600 block of T Street NW to the Howard Theatre, is the crown jewel of the Shaw neighborhood and a prime example of what revitalizing an area can do.

“If I had to pick a block where everything’s gone right, that would be the block,” he says.

Padro, the executive director of Shaw Main Streets, says all but two spaces on that strip of real estate have been renovated, and recent years have seen the advent of eateries like Uprising Muffin, Eat the Rich, Southern Efficiency and Mockingbird Hill, as well as the revamping of older businesses like Wanda’s on Seventh Salon & Spa, which, after a temporary hiatus, was able to return to the neighborhood in a newly-renovated building on the spot of its original inception. Padro says those two blocks have had the most “dramatic transformation” of any commercial corridor in Shaw Main Streets’ service area.

Founded in 2002, D.C.’s Main Streets program is based on the model developed by the National Main Street Center to assist downtown revitalization efforts in major U.S. cities. The Main Streets program is accredited under the umbrella of the D.C. Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) that is intended to foster retail investment by providing the support, training and resources needed to help small businesses thrive. Main Streets organizations, which exist in five different cities across the country, largely focus on the revitalization and historic preservation of major commercial corridors, and the promotion of the businesses that settle there.

In the District, there are currently eight recognized Main Streets programs along several major commercial corridors: in addition to Shaw, there’s also Barracks Row, along 8th Street SE; Congress Heights, in Ward 8; Deanwood Heights, in Ward 7; Dupont Circle; H Street NE; the North Capitol Street corridor; and Rhode Island Avenue NE. All Main Streets programs are run by a paid executive director — who helps administer grant money from the city to carry out the organization’s activities — and an all-volunteer support staff.

According to Ted Archer, chief of staff at DSLBD, there have been other Main Streets programs that have since disbanded, either because the people involved wanted to re-evaluate their efforts, or felt that Main Streets “was not the correct revitalization tool for them at that precise time.” According to Padro, some since-disbanded Main Streets programs included one near 14th and U Streets NW, one on Upper 14th Street, and another further up Georgia Avenue NW in what was known as the “Gateway” Main Streets.

Since helping found Shaw Main Streets in 2003, and becoming the nonprofit’s executive director in 2004, Padro, who also serves as an ANC commissioner, has served as a cheerleader and advocate of luring small businesses to set up shop in Shaw, which has several qualities that made it appealing.

“The neighborhood was historically a commercial district, especially along 7th and 9th Streets, the O Street Market, the Howard Theatre, those were all assets that were underperforming, or, in some cases, had been boarded up for decades,” Padro says. “We had a lot of empty lots where significant development could take place. Those were all opportunities to fill the gaps and bring businesses in where none had been in a really long time.”

Padro and Shaw Main Streets set to work, focusing on cleaning up the neighborhood — Main Streets also manages the city’s Clean & Safe program for the Shaw neighborhood, which focuses on trash collection, planting trees, and cleaning up graffiti — as well as providing small businesses with technical assistance or advice for obtaining various building and operating permits, and marketing the neighborhood as a destination, both for residents and visitors to the city. As Shaw increasingly became the latest neighborhood affected by D.C.’s development boom, particularly following the construction of the nearby Convention Center, Shaw Main Streets worked to attract more than 150 new businesses while finding ways to retain existing ones, even as real estate prices and rents in the up-and-coming neighborhood quickly escalated.

Advertisement
Visit The Metro Weekly Store

“Folks used to have to go to 14th Street or Chinatown to go to the theater, or go to an art gallery, or to go out to dinner. We didn’t have any independent coffee shops, or even a Starbucks,” Padro says of the neighborhood’s change. “It was really all about neighbors working together to try to attract the types of businesses that they wanted to spend their money in, and that they wanted to have jobs in.”

Padro says he would “absolutely” encourage other neighborhoods with major commercial thruways to adopt a Main Streets or other similar program focusing on small business growth and neighborhood revitalization, both externally and financially.

“I would encourage Mayor Bowser to expand the program to other commercial corridors that haven’t made the amount of progress that’s possible with a Main Streets group,” he says.

Of course, Shaw is not the only neighborhood experiencing boom times. Kyle Wood, executive director of Rhode Island Avenue Main Streets, says the program has been successful in helping businesses settle in the Eckington, Brookland and Woodridge neighborhoods. Rhode Island Avenue Main Streets has helped several businesses pay for facade improvements, and has helped others with marketing strategies to promote themselves. While Woodridge, in particular, is still in need of a dry cleaners, a pet food store, and a sit-down restaurant, the eastern end of Rhode Island Avenue has already attracted a coffee shop, a local grocery store, and even an art studio and gallery. There are plans for a new bistro, specializing in Mediterranean food, set to open in the spring of 2015, in the 2200 block of Rhode Island Avenue NE, in the space formerly occupied by Lace Nightclub.

“Businesses are coming to the area because they see interesting things happening here,” Wood says.

Many small business owners assisted by the various Main Streets organizations have nothing but praise for the program.

Philip Sambol, the general manager of Good Food Market, says that the Rhode Island Avenue Main Streets program has been extremely helpful in spreading word about the market, which fills a gap that was created when a former Safeway closed, leaving the Woodridge neighborhood without a viable grocery store. Sambol credits Rhode Island Avenue Main Streets with helping Good Food Market get a sign, make improvements to its exterior facade, and pay for additional security measures.

Meanwhile, across town, Sean Reydi — co-owner of Simon Vintage, a furniture and homegoods store on 9th Street NW — says that Shaw Main Streets most recently helped him and his partner obtain money to secure a sign for their business that cost nearly $7,000. It has previously helped Simon Vintage with its marketing strategy, including obtaining an advertisement on the side of a city bus. Shaw Main Streets has also introduced Reydi and his partner to other businesses so they can offer special discounts or promotions. Reydi also says that Simon Vintage has been able to expand its customer base through events like the Art All Night festival, in which Shaw Main Streets, partnering with the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, highlights various works of art, which allowed art lovers to stop by the shop and get special discounts.

“From 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., we had a non-stop flow of people,” Reydi says of this year’s festival. He says that when Simon Vintage’s lease is up in a year, he and his partner will have to think very hard about relocating.

“We’ve debated whether we should buy closer to our home neighborhood,” he said. “But one of the detractions is not having a Shaw Main Streets to help us. It makes us think twice about ever moving.”

Feed Your Email
News, Reviews, Contests, Coverboy, Discounts and More!

Metro Weekly's Emails are a great way to stay up-to-date with everything you want to know -- and more!

Email

Metro Weekly Discount Tickets & Offers!

"Monuments by Night" Puts D.C. Landmarks on Display

at Smithsonian Metro Station, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, February 24
Sun, February 25
Mon, February 26
+ 2 more dates
Sat, February 24
Sun, February 25
Mon, February 26
Tue, February 27
Wed, February 28
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $56
OFFER PRICE: $33

See the majestic landmarks of Washington in a new light with the "Monuments by Night" tour. You'll get to skip the crowded sidewalks and cruise around town in an electric roadster. And you won't miss ... [more+]

See the majestic landmarks of Washington in a new light with the "Monuments by Night" tour. You'll get to skip the crowded sidewalks and cruise around town in an electric roadster. And you won't miss a thing -- this two-hour tour takes you past all the must-see locations in D.C. You'll check out the FDR, MLK and Lincoln memorials, and get the inside scoop on the White House, Capitol and Smithsonian buildings. You'll also get great tips on dining, drink and other awesome stops in the nation's capital. [less-]

"The Knot": Below the "Happlly Ever After" Facade

at Callan Theatre, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, February 24
FULL PRICE: $15
OFFER PRICE: COMP - $5

Khymi and TJ are getting married, and it's going to be the most perfect day for the most perfect couple of all time ever. But when they discover that business and fantasy don't always mix, Khymi and T... [more+]

Khymi and TJ are getting married, and it's going to be the most perfect day for the most perfect couple of all time ever. But when they discover that business and fantasy don't always mix, Khymi and TJ must look at what lies beneath the veneer of flowers, rings, cakes, shoes, alcohol, present, and nervous breakdowns -- to what their union really means. Written by by Liz Maestri, "The Knot", playing at Washington DC's Callan Theatre, asks how our "Happily Ever Afters" get packaged and sold in the modern American universe of wedding mania. [less-]

Leon Bates & Michelle Cann Piano Duo

at Historic Dumbarton Church, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, February 24
FULL PRICE: $42
OFFER PRICE: $21

Leon Bates is considered one of America's great pianists and has performed on major concert stages around the world including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Symphony and the New York Philharmon... [more+]

Leon Bates is considered one of America's great pianists and has performed on major concert stages around the world including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Symphony and the New York Philharmonic. Michelle Cann is a piano virtuoso who brings the concert stage to life with programs that juxtapose music celebrating her African-American/Caribbean heritage with classical masterworks. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, Cann's also been heard nationwide on the popular radio show, "From the Top." The duo is set to perform "Danzon Cubana" by Aaron Copland, "An American in Paris" by George Gershwin, "Symphonic Dances of West Side Story" by Leonard Bernstein and "La Valse" and "Bolero" by Maurice Ravel. DC's Dumbarton Church hosts this candlelit concert as part of its 40th anniversary season. [less-]

Screwball Comedy "You Can't Take It With You"

at Laurel Mill Playhouse, Laurel
OFFER DATES:
Sat, February 24
Sun, February 25
Fri, March 02
+ 2 more dates
Sat, February 24
Sun, February 25
Fri, March 02
Sat, March 03
Sun, March 04
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $20
OFFER PRICE: $10

Have you ever been afraid to introduce your friends to your crazy family? Experience the hilarious mayhem that ensues when Tony, the attractive young son of the upper-crust Kirbys, falls in love with ... [more+]

Have you ever been afraid to introduce your friends to your crazy family? Experience the hilarious mayhem that ensues when Tony, the attractive young son of the upper-crust Kirbys, falls in love with Alice, the daughter of the highly-eccentric Sycamores, and brings his parents to dine at the Sycamore home on the wrong evening. George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart's delightful domestic comedy won the Pulitzer Prize in 1937. [less-]

"Steel Magnolias": Southern Humor, Heartbreak & Female Bonding

at Kensington Town Hall, Kensington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, February 24
FULL PRICE: n/a
OFFER PRICE: Sold Out

The bittersweet Southern comedy "Steel Magnolias" takes place in Truvy Jones' beauty salon, where three generations of outspoken Southern women regularly gather to laugh, cry and celebrate the events ... [more+]

The bittersweet Southern comedy "Steel Magnolias" takes place in Truvy Jones' beauty salon, where three generations of outspoken Southern women regularly gather to laugh, cry and celebrate the events of their lives. But their world is rocked when M'Lynn's diabetic daughter gets pregnant, which could prove fatal -- and the ladies' inner strength and love for one another is put to the ultimate test. Based on the playwright's own upbringing, the touching and funny play was adapted into a popular film starring Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine and Julia Roberts. Now, get ready to laugh and cry when all the camaraderie, humor and poignancy of "Steel Magnolias" comes to Kensington Town Hall. [less-]

National Philharmonic: Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess"

at Music Center at Strathmore, North Bethesda
OFFER DATES:
Sat, February 24
FULL PRICE: n/a
OFFER PRICE: Sold Out

Described by Gershwin himself as a "folk opera," "Porgy and Bess" is a genre-defying work without peer in the history of American music, featuring an array of spirituals, folk songs and classics like ... [more+]

Described by Gershwin himself as a "folk opera," "Porgy and Bess" is a genre-defying work without peer in the history of American music, featuring an array of spirituals, folk songs and classics like "Summertime." Performed since its premiere with an all African-American cast of classically trained singers, it's also become a potent symbol of race relations. Bass-baritone Kevin Deas has "garnered international acclaim for his portrayal of Porgy" ("The Morning Call") and American soprano Marlissa Hudson has been described as a "superb lyric coloratura" by the "St. Louis Post-Dispatch". This concert version of the opera, from Maestro Piotr Gajewski and the National Philharmonic orchestra and chorale, comes to the stage of the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda. [less-]

"Blithe Spirit" by Noel Coward

at Annapolis Shakespeare Company's Main Stage, Annapolis
OFFER DATES:
Sat, February 24
Sat, February 24
Sun, February 25
FULL PRICE: $48
OFFER PRICE: $38

Noel Coward's high-spirited comedy! It's summertime in Kent and Charles Condomine is working on his latest novel, "The Unseen". As part of his research, he and his wife Ruth host a séance with an ecc... [more+]

Noel Coward's high-spirited comedy! It's summertime in Kent and Charles Condomine is working on his latest novel, "The Unseen". As part of his research, he and his wife Ruth host a séance with an eccentric medium known as Madame Arcati and invite their friends to play along. But the evening takes a supernatural turn when Arcati conjures Charles' deceased first wife, Elvira, who doesn't have plans to leave. Lighthearted and endearing, "Blithe Spirit", playing at Annapolis Shakespeare Company, is an otherworldly classic that's sure to tickle your goosebumps! [less-]

Dreams Alter Reality in "The Lathe of Heaven"

at Spooky Action Theater, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, February 24
Sun, February 25
Thu, March 01
+ 7 more dates
Sat, February 24
Sun, February 25
Thu, March 01
Fri, March 02
Sat, March 03
Sun, March 04
Thu, March 08
Fri, March 09
Sat, March 10
Sun, March 11
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $40
OFFER PRICE: $20

Blessed -- or cursed -- with dreams that actually alter reality, "The Lathe of Heaven" finds George Orr under the hand of a doctor eager to exploit this amazing phenomenon. Together, Doctor Haber deci... [more+]

Blessed -- or cursed -- with dreams that actually alter reality, "The Lathe of Heaven" finds George Orr under the hand of a doctor eager to exploit this amazing phenomenon. Together, Doctor Haber decides, they will remake the world. But it turns out that dreams won't be trained or coerced. As the good doctor uses his patient to tinker with reality, unintended con-sequences cascade and increase until the world itself begins to dissolve. Enjoy this classic tale of speculative fiction courtesy of Spooky Action Theater in Washington, DC. [less-]

Politics & Pints Capitol Hill Walking Tour

at US Capitol Building, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, February 24
Sun, February 25
Mon, February 26
+ 2 more dates
Sat, February 24
Sun, February 25
Mon, February 26
Tue, February 27
Wed, February 28
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $30
OFFER PRICE: $15

On the Politics & Pints Capitol Hill Tour, you'll explore the historic Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Discover the birthplace of American government while seeing iconic landmarks and le... [more+]

On the Politics & Pints Capitol Hill Tour, you'll explore the historic Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Discover the birthplace of American government while seeing iconic landmarks and learning fascinating history on this two-hour walking tour. Cap it all off by grabbing a drink in the city's oldest commercial district. [less-]

"Hobson's Choice": An Upside Down Rom Com

at Writer's Center, Bethesda
OFFER DATES:
Sat, February 24
Fri, March 02
Sat, March 03
+ 6 more dates
Sat, February 24
Fri, March 02
Sat, March 03
Sat, March 03
Sun, March 04
Fri, March 09
Sat, March 10
Sat, March 10
Sun, March 11
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $30
OFFER PRICE: $15

In this Valentines Day-appropriate play, a 1800s rom-com features the old and cranky Mr. Hobson pitted in a battle with his headstrong daughter. Basically, he's trying to get in between her marriage s... [more+]

In this Valentines Day-appropriate play, a 1800s rom-com features the old and cranky Mr. Hobson pitted in a battle with his headstrong daughter. Basically, he's trying to get in between her marriage so she'll eternally be a no-cost employee at his boot shop. If you think this sounds the slightest bit nutty, find out how successful the attempt is with "Hobson's Choice" at the Writer's Center in Bethesda. [less-]

National Gallery of Art Guided Tour

at National Gallery of Art, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, February 24
Sat, March 03
Sat, March 10
+ 9 more dates
Sat, February 24
Sat, March 03
Sat, March 10
Sat, March 17
Sat, March 24
Sat, March 31
Sat, April 07
Sat, April 14
Sat, April 14
Sat, April 14
Sat, April 21
Sat, April 28
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $40 - $60
OFFER PRICE: $15

A trip to an art museum can be overwhelming. What do you focus on? What are the must-see pieces? Professional museum tour guide Stephen Mead takes you through the National Gallery of Art's highlights,... [more+]

A trip to an art museum can be overwhelming. What do you focus on? What are the must-see pieces? Professional museum tour guide Stephen Mead takes you through the National Gallery of Art's highlights, historical showstoppers and fan favorites. He'll stop to discuss each piece's symbols, stories and background. Mead lived in London until about six years ago, where he led exhibit tours of the Victoria and Albert Museum and gave talks for the U.K. National Arts Collection Fund. Since moving to D.C., he has combined his love of museums with his professional storytelling skills, making his tours both educational and enjoyable. Mead is a Washington, D.C. certified tour guide and part of the team at Adventures for Creative Tourists, which specializes in private tours of the arts, culture, and historically inspired sites. [less-]

Sexuality Explored in "No Word in Guyanese for Me"

at DC Arts Center, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, February 24
Sun, February 25
Thu, March 01
+ 3 more dates
Sat, February 24
Sun, February 25
Thu, March 01
Fri, March 02
Sat, March 03
Sun, March 04
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $35
OFFER PRICE: $21

Winner of the GLAAD Award, "No Word in Guyanese for Me" is a poetic exploration of a gay Muslim's journey to reconcile her faith and her sexuality. From a childhood in Guyana and adolescence in 9/11 N... [more+]

Winner of the GLAAD Award, "No Word in Guyanese for Me" is a poetic exploration of a gay Muslim's journey to reconcile her faith and her sexuality. From a childhood in Guyana and adolescence in 9/11 New York City, to a disastrous arranged marriage and sexual awakening, Hanna struggles to come to terms with her devotion to her faith and the right to be accepted for who she is. Brought to you by the Rainbow Theatre Project, this performance at the DC Arts Center is part of the 2018 Women's Voices Theatre Festival. [less-]

"Hamlet" Starring Michael Urie ("Ugly Betty")

at Sidney Harman Hall, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, February 24
Sat, February 24
Sun, February 25
+ 6 more dates
Sat, February 24
Sat, February 24
Sun, February 25
Wed, February 28
Thu, March 01
Fri, March 02
Sat, March 03
Sat, March 03
Sun, March 04
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $71 - $108
OFFER PRICE: $35.50 - $54

Drama Desk winner Michael Urie ("Buyer & Cellar, Ugly Betty") inhabits one of the greatest roles in the English language in Shakespeare Theatre Company's production of "Hamlet", directed by artistic d... [more+]

Drama Desk winner Michael Urie ("Buyer & Cellar, Ugly Betty") inhabits one of the greatest roles in the English language in Shakespeare Theatre Company's production of "Hamlet", directed by artistic director Michael Kahn. Chances are you've read the play or seen one of the movie adaptations; you know some of the immortal lines ("To be or not to be?"), but if you haven't seen Shakespeare's masterpiece live on stage, then you haven't fully experienced this thrilling tale of political intrigue, murder, madness and duels to the death. See why "Hamlet" remains one of the great works of art at this production at Sidney Harman Hall in Washington, D.C. [less-]

"Aubergine": A Stew of Family, Food, Love & Grief

at Olney Theatre Center - Mainstage, Olney
OFFER DATES:
Sat, February 24
Sat, February 24
Sun, February 25
+ 7 more dates
Sat, February 24
Sat, February 24
Sun, February 25
Wed, February 28
Wed, February 28
Thu, March 01
Fri, March 02
Sat, March 03
Sat, March 03
Sun, March 04
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $64 - $74
OFFER PRICE: $32 - $37

Classically trained French chef Ray leaves his job behind to care for his dying father, a Korean immigrant. Ray's father never appreciated his son's culinary accomplishments, and therefore food painfu... [more+]

Classically trained French chef Ray leaves his job behind to care for his dying father, a Korean immigrant. Ray's father never appreciated his son's culinary accomplishments, and therefore food painfully divides the two, even as it serves as the key to memory and identity for all the characters in this off-Broadway hit. As much as the language of food perplexes his father, the Korean language vexes Ray even more. He finds himself asking his estranged girlfriend for translation assistance when his non-English-speaking uncle arrives with a bag full of strange ingredients. This perceptive drama from award-winning writer Julia Cho ("Big Love, Fringe") distills the flavors of rich characters and complicated yet intense relationships, serving up a life-affirming soup that soothes. Tony Nam stars as Ray in this Olney Theatre Center production of "Aubergine". [less-]

Speakeasies & Craft Cocktail Tour of the Capitol

at Temperance Fountain, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, February 24
Sun, February 25
Mon, February 26
+ 2 more dates
Sat, February 24
Sun, February 25
Mon, February 26
Tue, February 27
Wed, February 28
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $64
OFFER PRICE: $49

If there's one thing you'll immediately learn about the hardworking citizens of Washington, D.C., it's that they love a good happy hour! Urban Adventures helps you sip your way through the Capitol's v... [more+]

If there's one thing you'll immediately learn about the hardworking citizens of Washington, D.C., it's that they love a good happy hour! Urban Adventures helps you sip your way through the Capitol's vibing craft cocktail scene, where you'll sample sweet libations at hidden gems and even learn how to make your own drinks. Get a history lesson too on how prohibition shaped D.C., and discover the speakeasies that still thrive here today. [less-]

A Struggling Town Faces Drought in "River Like Sin"

at Callan Theatre, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, February 24
Sun, February 25
FULL PRICE: $15
OFFER PRICE: $5

A dancing river is the last thing keeping this struggling farming community alive. Everything changes for them when young Wren Walker crosses the river on a dare and discovers the town ghost is an eld... [more+]

A dancing river is the last thing keeping this struggling farming community alive. Everything changes for them when young Wren Walker crosses the river on a dare and discovers the town ghost is an elderly woman whose tears keep the river flowing. As Wren continues to visit, the woman stops weeping and the land begins to dry up. When the crops wither and dust fills their lungs, the townspeople question their faith and grow angry, looking for something -- or someone -- to blame. Don't miss Lindsay Adams' "River Like Sin" at Callan Theatre in D.C. [less-]

Dr. Ruth's Path From Israeli Sniper to Sex Expert

at Theater J at the Edlavitch DCJCC, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, February 24
Sun, February 25
Thu, March 01
+ 5 more dates
Sat, February 24
Sun, February 25
Thu, March 01
Fri, March 02
Sat, March 03
Sun, March 04
Fri, March 09
Fri, March 16
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $35 - $69
OFFER PRICE: $17.50 - $34.50

Everyone knows Dr. Ruth Westheimer from her career as a pioneering and straight-talking radio and TV sex therapist. But few know the truly incredible journey that preceded it, which included a despera... [more+]

Everyone knows Dr. Ruth Westheimer from her career as a pioneering and straight-talking radio and TV sex therapist. But few know the truly incredible journey that preceded it, which included a desperate escape from the Nazis as a child, wartime service as an Israeli sniper and struggles as a single mother in America. In "Becoming Dr. Ruth: An Unexpected Journey", Naomi Jacobsen tells Dr. Ruth Westheimer's story with warmth and humor, charting the unlikely path that led her to become America's favorite sex therapist. This revealing one-woman performance comes to Theater J at the Edlavitch DCJCC in Washington, D.C. [less-]

"The Gospel at Colonus" Mixes Greek Myth & Music

at Gunston Arts Center, Arlington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, February 24
Mon, February 26
Thu, March 01
+ 7 more dates
Sat, February 24
Mon, February 26
Thu, March 01
Fri, March 02
Sat, March 03
Sat, March 03
Sun, March 04
Fri, March 09
Sat, March 10
Mon, March 11
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $10 - $35
OFFER PRICE: $5 - $17.50

Pentecostal passion meets Sophoclean savagery in this timely retelling of the Greek tragedy of "Oedipus", set to a stirring gospel score. Blind, destitute and racked with guilt, the ill-fated Oedipus ... [more+]

Pentecostal passion meets Sophoclean savagery in this timely retelling of the Greek tragedy of "Oedipus", set to a stirring gospel score. Blind, destitute and racked with guilt, the ill-fated Oedipus encounters more obstacles as he seeks redemption and a final resting place at the sanctuary city of Colonus. Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and filmed for TV with Morgan Freeman, "The Gospel at Colonus" returns to the stage in an intimate production by Avant Bard at Arlington's Gunston Arts Center. [less-]

"Handbagged": The Iron Lady Versus The Queen

at Round House Theatre - Bethesda, Bethesda
OFFER DATES:
Sat, February 24
FULL PRICE: n/a
OFFER PRICE: Sold Out

If Margaret Thatcher and Queen Elizabeth II were pitted against each other in a boxing match, who do you think would win? Or is it too hard to picture these primp and proper women in a physical fight?... [more+]

If Margaret Thatcher and Queen Elizabeth II were pitted against each other in a boxing match, who do you think would win? Or is it too hard to picture these primp and proper women in a physical fight? In which case, "Handbagged" may be one way to envision how two of the most powerful women in the world duke it out at the Round House Theatre. Behind closed palace doors, this comedy gives you a little idea of who'd have the upper hand if the gloves came off and the stiff upper lip softened. Don't miss the American premiere of this Olivier Award-winning UK play in Bethesda. [less-]

"The Boys Next Door" Explores Life With Disabilities

at Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church, Falls Church
OFFER DATES:
Sat, February 24
Sun, February 25
Thu, March 01
+ 2 more dates
Sat, February 24
Sun, February 25
Thu, March 01
Fri, March 02
Sat, March 03
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $20
OFFER PRICE: $10

"The Boys Next Door" provides a fly-on-the-wall glimpse inside a communal residence in New England where four mentally challenged men live under the supervision of an earnest, but increasingly burned ... [more+]

"The Boys Next Door" provides a fly-on-the-wall glimpse inside a communal residence in New England where four mentally challenged men live under the supervision of an earnest, but increasingly burned out young social worker named Jack. Brief vignettes reveal day-to-day life, where "little things" sometimes become momentous ... and often very funny. Moments of great poignancy remind us that these four -- like everyone else -- just want to love, laugh and find purpose in life. Tom Griffin's touching play originally debuted in 1988 and was adapted into an award-winning 1996 Hallmark Hall of Fame movie starring Tony Goldwyn and Nathan Lane. See it at Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church courtesy of Port City Playhouse. [less-]

 

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com