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National Theatre

1321 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC, USA
Seats (approximate): 1669

On Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC, three blocks from The White House, stands the National Theatre, "The Theatre of Presidents." This historic playhouse has seen Pennsylvania Avenue grow from the muddy main street of a fledgling capital, to the ceremonial avenue of a great world power. Festive inaugural parades and raucous demonstration marches pass on the Avenue in front of the building. Inside, drama and merriment reign. In the year the theatre opened, President Andrew Jackson paid off the national debt... the last time that has happened ... and he came to the National Theatre. That same year the Liberty Bell cracked, P.T. Barnum organized his first circus, and the National Theatre opened its doors. The National has operated longer than any other major touring house in the United States. Subsequent to its opening on December 7, 1835, the building was destroyed by fire and rebuilt on the same site five times during the 1800's. Part of the original foundation can still be seen in the basement of the present structure, which was rebuilt in the 1920's, and given a major renovation which was completed in 1984. The history of this theatre is a panorama of American theatre: a Who's Who of the stars of the past, the present, and, undoubtedly, the future. Virtually every great stage performer of the past century has appeared here. One star of the first season was Junius Brutus Booth, whose three sons, including the infamous John Wilkes Booth, all played at the National. The first performance in the theatre was Man of the World, in 1835. When the theatre reopened its doors in 1850, after a disastrous fire, the featured performer was Miss Jenny Lind, "the Swedish Nightingale." The first attraction in 1952 when the National returned to stage performances after a short period as a movie house was Call Me Madam, starring, of course, Ethel Merman. Among the other celebrated stars of the theatre who have appeared here are: Helen Hayes, John Barrymore, Joan Rivers, Carol Channing, Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier, Cab Calloway, Pearl Bailey, Sarah Bernhardt, Spencer Tracy, and Katharine Hepburn. Playwright John Guare was an assistant manager here. Shirley MacLaine was an usher and her brother, Warren Beatty, was the stage doorman at one time. For almost a century the National has been haunted by the friendly ghost of actor John McCullough, reputedly shot and killed by a fellow performer. The two men argued while washing clothes in the Tiber Creek, which then flowed through the basement backstage. A rusty pistol, perhaps the murder weapon, was unearthed under the stage in 1982, near where McCullough's remains are rumored to lie in the earth beneath the stage. According to legend, his spirit roams the theatre on the eve of opening nights, and was once seated in the audience.


Productions Production Dates
Waitress
Musical, Original, Drama
Music by Sara Bareilles; Book by Jessie Nelson; Lyrics by Sara Bareilles
May 15, 2018 - Jun 03, 2018
Something Rotten!
Musical, Original, Comedy
Feb 06, 2018 - Feb 18, 2018
Les Misérables
Musical, Revival, Drama
Dec 20, 2017 - Jan 07, 2018
Fun Home
Musical, Original
Music by Jeanine Tesori; Book by Lisa Kron; Lyrics by Lisa Kron
Apr 18, 2017 - May 13, 2017
Jersey Boys
Musical, Original
Music by Bob Gaudio; Book by Marshall Brickman, Rick Elice; Lyrics by Bob Crewe
Apr 06, 2016 - Apr 24, 2016
Motown The Musical
Musical, Original, Drama
Dec 01, 2015 - Jan 03, 2016
Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella
Musical, Original
Music by Richard Rodgers; New Book by Douglas Carter Beane; Original Book by Oscar Hammerstein II; Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Nov 17, 2015 - Nov 29, 2015
Newsies The Musical
Musical, Original, Comedy
Music by Alan Menken; Book by Harvey Fierstein; Lyrics by Jack Feldman
Jun 09, 2015 - Jun 21, 2015
Blithe Spirit
Play, Revival, Comedy,Farce
Written by Noël Coward
Mar 17, 2015 - Mar 29, 2015
Chicago
Musical, Revival, Comedy
Music by John Kander; Book by Bob Fosse, Fred Ebb; Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Feb 10, 2015 - Feb 15, 2015
Pippin
Musical, Revival, Comedy
Music by Stephen Schwartz; Book by Roger O. Hirson; Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Dec 16, 2014 - Jan 04, 2015
Dirty Dancing
Musical, Original
Aug 26, 2014 - Sep 14, 2014
The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Musical, Revival, Opera
Music by George Gershwin; Musical Score Adapted by Diedre Murray; Lyrics by Dorothy Heyward, DuBose Heyward, Ira Gershwin
Dec 25, 2013 - Dec 29, 2013
Les Misérables - 25th Anniversary
Musical, Revival, Drama
Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg; Original French text by Alain Boublil, Jean-Marc Natel; Lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer
Dec 12, 2012 - Dec 30, 2012
Jersey Boys
Musical, Original
Music by Bob Gaudio; Book by Marshall Brickman, Rick Elice; Lyrics by Bob Crewe
Nov 08, 2011 - Jan 08, 2012
Rock of Ages
Musical, Original
Book by Chris D'Arienzo
Jul 12, 2011 - Jul 24, 2011
Fiddler On The Roof
Musical, Revival, Comedy,Drama
Music by Jerry Bock; Book by Joseph Stein; Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Apr 13, 2010 - May 02, 2010
Grease
Musical, Revival, Comedy
Feb 09, 2010 - Feb 21, 2010
Jersey Boys
Musical, Original
Music by Bob Gaudio; Book by Marshall Brickman, Rick Elice; Lyrics by Bob Crewe
Oct 01, 2009 - Dec 12, 2009
Chicago
Musical, Revival, Comedy
Music by John Kander; Book by Bob Fosse, Fred Ebb; Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Mar 31, 2009 - Apr 12, 2009
A Chorus Line
Musical, Revival, Drama
Mar 10, 2009 - Mar 22, 2009
Mamma Mia! - Second National
Musical, Original, Comedy
Jun 24, 2008 - Jul 13, 2008
High School Musical
Musical, Original, Comedy
Feb 05, 2008 - Feb 17, 2008
Monty Python's Spamalot
Musical, Original, Comedy
Music by Eric Idle, John Du Prez; Book by Eric Idle; Lyrics by Eric Idle
Dec 11, 2007 - Jan 06, 2008
Avenue Q
Musical, Original, Comedy, Puppets
Music by Jeff Marx, Robert Lopez; Book by Jeff Whitty; Lyrics by Jeff Marx, Robert Lopez
Nov 27, 2007 - Dec 09, 2007
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Musical, Original, Comedy
Music by William Finn; Book by Rachel Sheinkin; Lyrics by William Finn
Oct 23, 2007 - Nov 04, 2007
Doubt
Play, Original, Drama
Original Music: David Van Tieghem; Written by John Patrick Shanley
Mar 13, 2007 - Mar 25, 2007
Movin Out
Musical, Original, Dance
Music by Billy Joel; Lyrics by Billy Joel
Dec 05, 2006 - Dec 24, 2006
Legends!
Play, Revival, Comedy
Written by James Kirkwood
Nov 21, 2006 - Dec 03, 2006
Monty Python's Spamalot
Musical, Original, Comedy
Music by Eric Idle, John Du Prez; Book by Eric Idle; Lyrics by Eric Idle
Jun 06, 2006 - Jul 09, 2006
Dame Edna: Back With A Vengeance
Special, Original, Comedy
Music by Wayne Barker; Devised and Written by Barry Humphries; Lyrics by Barry Humphries, Wayne Barker
Feb 21, 2006 - Mar 05, 2006
Les Misérables - Third National
Musical, Original, Drama
Dec 06, 2005 - Jan 22, 2006
Mamma Mia! - Second National
Musical, Original, Comedy
May 17, 2005 - Jul 03, 2005
I Am My Own Wife
Play, Original, Drama, Solo
Written by Doug Wright
Mar 29, 2005 - Apr 10, 2005
On The Record
Musical, Original
Scenarist: Chad Beguelin
Jan 18, 2005 - Jan 30, 2005
Movin Out
Musical, Original, Dance
Music by Billy Joel; Lyrics by Billy Joel
Nov 19, 2004 - Dec 19, 2004
Mamma Mia! - First National
Musical, Original, Comedy
Nov 18, 2003 - Feb 15, 2004
Chicago
Musical, Revival, Comedy
Jun 10, 2003 - Jun 29, 2003
Beauty & The Beast - Second National
Musical, Original, Comedy
Music by Alan Menken; Book by Linda Woolverton; Lyrics by Howard Ashman, Tim Rice
May 19, 2003 - Jun 08, 2003
42nd Street
Musical, Original, Comedy
Music by Harry Warren; Book by Mark Bramble, Michael Stewart; Lyrics by Al Dubin
Mar 25, 2003 - Apr 12, 2003
The Tale Of The Allergist's Wife
Play, Original, Comedy
Written by Charles Busch
Mar 04, 2003 - Mar 23, 2003
Les Misérables - Third National
Musical, Original, Drama
Nov 25, 2002 - Jan 05, 2003
The Full Monty
Musical, Original, Comedy
Music by David Yazbek; Book by Terrence McNally; Lyrics by David Yazbek
Jul 09, 2002 - Jul 21, 2002
Saturday Night Fever
Musical, Original
Jun 11, 2002 - Jun 30, 2002
Mamma Mia! - First National
Musical, Original, Comedy
Mar 26, 2002 - Jun 09, 2002
Contact
Musical, Original, Dance
Written by John Weidman
Feb 19, 2002 - Mar 17, 2002
The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas
Musical, Revival, Comedy
Music by Carol Hall; Book by Larry L. King, Peter Masterson; Lyrics by Carol Hall
May 08, 2001 - May 20, 2001
Fosse
Musical, Original, Revue, Dance
Dec 05, 2000 - Dec 31, 2000
Rent - Benny
Musical, Original, Drama
Music by Jonathan Larson; Book by Jonathan Larson; Lyrics by Jonathan Larson
May 09, 2000 - Jun 04, 2000
Martin Guerre
Musical, Original, Drama
Dec 23, 1999 - Jan 16, 2000
Chicago
Musical, Revival, Comedy
Music by John Kander; Book by Bob Fosse, Fred Ebb; Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Dec 07, 1999 - Jan 02, 2000
Les Misérables - Third National
Musical, Original, Drama
May 25, 1999 - Jul 25, 1999
The Wizard of Oz
Musical, Original, Extravaganza
Music by Harold Arlen; Book adapted by Robert Johanson; Book by John Kane
Feb 25, 1999 - Mar 14, 1999
Cats - Fourth National
Musical, Original
Dec 08, 1998 - Jan 10, 1999
Barrymore
Play, Original
Written by William Luce
Nov 03, 1998 - Nov 15, 1998
Bring In Da Noise, Bring In Da Funk
Musical, Original, Dance, All Black Cast
Sep 29, 1998 - Oct 11, 1998
Ragtime - 1998
Musical, Original, Drama
Music by Stephen Flaherty; Book by Terrence McNally; Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Apr 14, 1998 - Aug 09, 1998
Bring In Da Noise, Bring In Da Funk
Musical, Original, Dance, All Black Cast
Nov 04, 1997 - Nov 30, 1997
Rent - Angel
Musical, Original, Drama
Music by Jonathan Larson; Book by Jonathan Larson; Lyrics by Jonathan Larson
Aug 19, 1997 - Nov 02, 1997
Chicago
Musical, Revival, Comedy
Music by John Kander; Book by Bob Fosse, Fred Ebb; Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Apr 08, 1997 - Jul 06, 1997
Cats - Fourth National
Musical, Original
Feb 28, 1997 - Mar 30, 1997
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat - 1995
Musical, Revival, Comedy
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber; Lyrics by Tim Rice
Apr 30, 1996 - May 26, 1996
Les Misérables - Third National
Musical, Original, Drama
Feb 08, 1996 - Apr 28, 1996
Kiss Of The Spider Woman
Musical, Original, Drama
Music by John Kander; Book by Terrence McNally; Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Mar 16, 1995 - Apr 09, 1995
Cats - Fourth National
Musical, Original
Nov 30, 1993 - Jan 09, 1994
Annie Get Your Gun
Musical, Revival, Comedy
Jul 13, 1993 - Aug 01, 1993
My Fair Lady
Musical, Revival, Comedy
Music by Frederick Loewe; Book by Alan Jay Lerner; Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
May 04, 1993 - May 30, 1993
Six Degrees Of Separation
Play, Original, Drama
Written by John Guare
Mar 16, 1993 - Apr 04, 1993
Cats - Fourth National
Musical, Original
Jul 21, 1992 - Aug 16, 1992
City Of Angels
Musical, Original, Comedy
Music by Cy Coleman; Book by Larry Gelbart; Lyrics by David Zippel
Jun 09, 1992 - Jul 05, 1992
Lettice And Lovage
Play, Original, Comedy
Written by Peter Shaffer
Jun 02, 1992 - Jun 06, 1992
Lettice And Lovage
Play, Original, Comedy
Written by Peter Shaffer
May 12, 1992 - May 31, 1992
Les Misérables - First National
Musical, Original, Drama
Jul 06, 1990 - Oct 13, 1990
Cats - Fourth National
Musical, Original
May 08, 1990 - May 27, 1990
Fiddler On The Roof
Musical, Revival, Comedy,Drama
Music by Jerry Bock; Book by Joseph Stein; Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Mar 22, 1990 - Apr 08, 1990
Anything Goes
Musical, Revival, Comedy
Dec 13, 1988 - Jan 01, 1989
Anything Goes
Musical, Revival, Comedy
Nov 23, 1988 - Dec 11, 1988
Me And My Girl
Musical, Original, Comedy
Aug 17, 1988 - Oct 02, 1988
Cats - Third National
Musical, Original
Apr 13, 1988 - Jun 26, 1988
Cats - First National
Musical, Original
Jul 09, 1987 - Sep 13, 1987
Legends!
Play, Original, Comedy
Written by James Kirkwood
Aug 12, 1986 - Aug 31, 1986
Biloxi Blues
Play, Original, Comedy
Written by Neil Simon
Jun 11, 1986 - Aug 03, 1986
Dreamgirls
Musical, Revival
Music by Henry Krieger; Book by Tom Eyen; Lyrics by Tom Eyen
Apr 24, 1986 - Jun 07, 1986
Cats - First National
Musical, Original
May 11, 1984 - Nov 25, 1984