Whether you’re looking for theater, jazz, dance, cinema, cabaret, comedy, or something classical, Washington, D.C., has some of the most exciting and thought-provoking entertainment in the country. Since the opening of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 1971, the city’s performing arts culture has grown steadily. So much so that Washington now hosts the third-largest theater scene in the country, as well as a rich offering of nightly music opportunities featuring local, national, and international talent, and so much more. No city outshines the District on the magnificence and variety of its arts venues.
A wealth of theaters offers everything from Rodgers and Hammerstein to experimental fare. The Kennedy Center and the historic National Theatre bring in primarily big time touring shows, but the 64-year-old Arena Stage offers the best in regional theater. Meanwhile, relative newcomers like the Studio Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, and Northern Virginia's Signature Theatre offer a palette of performances as varied as any in the country.
The city also has its share of every kind of music imaginable, from classical quartets to the most current raving sensation. With venues ranging from DAR Constitution Hall to the Verizon Center near D.C.’s Chinatown to Northern Virginia’s Birchmere Music Hall and Maryland’s Music Center at Strathmore, music can be found wherever you are, both in the city and its many suburbs.
Those looking for cinema can catch unusual foreign fare, rare documentaries, independent features, and classics. As for dance, Washington has more than enough to help you remember what it is like to watch bodies gracefully move through space.