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Top Rated Attractions in Bethesda

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Arena Stage

Since 1950, Arena Stage has been a primary player in the cultural life of Washington and one of the strongest regional theaters in the country. Its highly respected resident company performs a variety of stage productions, from Moliere to the Marx Brothers, as well as significant contemporary works. Arena Stage has three distinct venues: the "in-the-round" Fichlander Stage; the Kreeger with a proscenium stage and the Old Vat Room with a cabaret-style atmosphere. The theater is located near the southwest waterfront and several fine seafood restaurants. Ticket prices vary, depending on the venue and performance time.

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Blues Alley

This is perhaps the best-known venue in Washington for jazz and blues performances. The club is tucked away in lower Georgetown, near the C&O Canal. A number of national acts can be seen here, and the atmosphere is sleek and sophisticated. The place bills itself as a "Jazz Supper Club," and the food is almost as good as the music, much of it is Creole-inspired. On most nights, artists perform two sets, but occasionally a third set is added on the weekend. The cover charge changes each night.

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National Theatre

With its grand Federal-style architecture, this theater occupies a prominent place along one of the most imposing sections of Pennsylvania Avenue, near the White House, the Willard Inter-Continental hotel and the Old Post Office. Broadway shows are featured here, both before and after their on-Broadway run. In addition to large-scale, high-visibility productions, the National Theatre offers special events. A popular children's program includes music, a variety of one-act plays, readings and dance. Many special programs are free and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Warner Theatre

Built in 1924, the Warner has long been a respected part of theater life in downtown Washington. Housed in an imposing building, it underwent an extensive USD10 million restoration in 1992. The intricately decorated vaulted ceilings and rich brown-and-rose interiors contribute to the lavish rococo decor. The Warner Theatre is one of a small number of venues in the city that present theatrical productions with a national reputation. This is where Washingtonians are likely to see touring Broadway plays and musicals. Some musical tours also stop at the Warner.

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John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

The Kennedy Center is a must-see for any visitor. The center has seven theaters which include the Concert Hall, Eisenhower Theater, Family Theater, KC Jazz Club, Opera House, Terrace Theater and the Theater Lab, which show productions that include plays, operas, ballets, concerts and films. Among the center's highlights include the Shakespeare Festival produced by the Shakespeare Theatre. Free tours introduce visitors to the Hall of States, Hall of Nations, the main theaters and gifts from many countries honoring the 35th president. Ticket prices for performances vary. Half-price tickets are available to students and seniors. Discounts are offered on group purchases. See website for ticketing, performance schedule and events calendar.

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Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club

What once stood as the historic Bethesda Theater in 1938 has now been transformed into suave live music supper club. Still carrying the glory of the yesteryear, Bethesda Blues and Jazz houses a small concert hall that serves brilliant continental fare. While 300 seats are ticketed as dinner seats, there are an additional 200 performance seats made available later. Come and enjoy this acoustically enhanced wonder on a fine evening.

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