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Best Entertainment in Washington DC

By: Cityseeker
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Source Theater

Tracing its history back to 1977, this intimate theater is well-known for hosting avant-garde performances from emerging theater artists. The theater changed hands in 2006, undergoing an extensive update to its facilities and today, is a prominent hotspot in the city's theater scene. From modern productions to dance recitals, Source offers something for everyone.

Washington DC, DC, United States
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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.

Washington DC, DC, United States
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U Street Music Hall

This club and music venue opened its doors in March of 2010 and has since become the go-to place in DC to see fresh new acts and well-known artists. Being a DJ-owned establishment, U Street Music Hall features some of the best, from the sound system to cork-cushioned dance floors. The two separate and fully stocked bars means getting your cocktails is a breeze, with none of the usual attention-grabbing antics for the bartender's attention. Check their schedule as there is often a band worth catching at U Street.

Washington DC, DC, United States
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Ford's Theatre

An iconic theater, Ford's Theatre is recognized as the place where President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on April 14th, 1865. A century later on January 1968, the theater was reopened again for a performance after being under the management of numerous government organizations including the United States Department of War and National Park Service. Also found within the Ford's Theatre is a Lincoln Museum that displays artifacts from the assassination, including the gun Lincoln was shot with. Mementos from Lincoln's life are also on display.

Washington, DC, United States
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DAR Constitution Hall

Built in 1929 to serve as a meeting hall for the Daughters of the American Revolution, this neoclassical building is Washington's largest auditorium. Throughout the year, concerts and other cultural events are held here. Famous artists from all genres of the entertainment world from rap stars to pop singers to classical musicians perform here.

Washington DC, DC, United States
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9:30 Club

This club somewhat resembles Dr. Frankenfurter's laboratory in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The large, open space features a bar and a chest-high stage with a rather impressive sound and lighting system. Four bars are located throughout the venue, serving premium draft and bottled beer. Light snacks are also available for when those late night hunger pangs start kicking in. You can relish a wide range of items like sandwiches, wraps, paninis and sweets among many others during your visit to 9:30 Club.

Washington DC, DC, United States
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District of Columbia Arts Center

Two theater companies, Theatre Conspiracy and Fraudulent Productions, have their home in this arts center in Adams-Morgan. With their offbeat and frequently controversial exhibits, both companies are known for experimental theater in the style of "off-off-Broadway." Theatre Conspiracy features cutting-edge feminist works with a focus on women and their roles in society. Plays by experimental but firmly established writers such as Peter Handke, Guenter Grass and Karel Capek have also been staged here.

Washington DC, DC, United States
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Sidney Harman Hall

The Sidney Harman Hall is a majestic 774-seat theater in the heart of Washington DC and forms a part of the Harman Center of the Arts. Suitable for dance and music events, organizers can choose from the proscenium, thrust, semi-arena or bare stages, depending on the show. It is acoustically designed to suit dramas, plays and even live chamber music concerts. The venue along with the Lansburgh Theatre on the 7th Street is home to the Shakespeare Theatre Company.

Washington DC, DC, United States
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Shakespeare Theatre Company - Michael R. Klein Theatre

Considered one of the best Shakespeare companies in the country, this resident troupe originated at the esteemed Folger Shakespeare Library, where it performed in the lovely but minuscule replica of an Elizabethan theater. The successful move to this gracious 450-seat space testifies to the company's strong appeal to Washington audiences. Among the most popular of the company's special events are the free summer performances of Shakespeare at Carter Barron, an outdoor stage in Rock Creek Park and its Shakespeare festival, performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Washington DC, DC, United States
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John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

The Kennedy Center is a must-see for any visitor. The center consists of 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.

Washington DC, DC, United States
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Discovery Theater

A popular children's institution in DC, Discovery Theater is located in the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building on the National Mall. Live theater performances are presented, including several original works, along with puppetry, dance, storytelling and music. These performances are excellent educational entertainment for children and might spark an interest in the arts. All performances are open to the public, however, advanced reservations are recommended for groups and families.

Washington DC, DC, United States
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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.

Washington DC, DC, United States
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