Upgrade the traditional date plans and try something different this Valentine’s Day by catching some live theater. D.C. is home to many different kinds of performance art centers. Whether you appreciate the art of a Shakespearean play, love stand-up comedy or can’t resist a good murder mystery, D.C. offers many great options for theater events on or around this Valentine’s Day.

February 14, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.
Price: $46.95 plus tax

Enjoy a four-course meal, full-service cash bar and tons of laughs at the Mystery Dinner Playhouse at the Sheraton Hotel Crystal City. Located right outside Georgetown and adjacent to the Crystal City Metro Station, the Mystery Dinner Playhouse takes you back to the 1970s where disco (and polyester pants) was king. Groove to hip disco tunes as you watch contestants dance their way to win the World Championship King and Queen of Disco Dance Contest. No mystery dinner is complete without some sort of murder, right? As the murder mystery unfolds, keep an eye out on any suspects and clues. At the end of the night, a prize is awarded to the guest who best solves the mystery as well as the guest who provides the most creative answer.

Related: Best Indoor Attractions In The DC Area 

Jason Weems

Price: $15 Full Menu Showroom ($3.50 service charge per ticket if purchased online)

Many popular stand-up comics have made appearances at the DC Improv Comedy Club, including Ellen DeGeneres, Dave Chapelle, Charlie Murphy, Nick Cannon and John Oliver from the Daily Show with John Stewart. This Valentine’s Day, the DC Improv Comedy Club features the hilarious jokes of Baltimore-native Jason Weems. Weems stand-up credits include a semi-finalist spot on the hit show “Last Comic Standing,” an independently-released stand-up comedy special on DVD and numerous stand-up performances. His comedy style is known to be conversational and very engaging. The DC Improv Comedy Club and Restaurant features traditional bar fare such as nachos and chicken strips, as well as burritos, tacos, salads, sandwiches and desserts plus a full-service bar.

Related: Best Comedy Clubs In The DC Area 

(credit: shakespearetheatre.org)

“The Two Gentlemen of Verona”

Through March 4, 2012, See showtimes
Price: $39 to $79

Check out the Shakespeare Theater Company and catch the production of one of Shakespeare’s earliest romantic comedies. “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” tells the tale of two male friends, Valentine and Proteus, who head to Milan for various reasons. In Milan, both friends fall in love with Silvia, the Duke’s daughter. Soon, the play erupts into an adventurous romantic comedy featuring outlaws, hidden identities, deceit and finally a double wedding. See whether these two gentlemen will sacrifice their friendship for the sake of love. Before the show, grab a bite at Carmine’s, a family-style Italian restaurant located just down the road from the theater.


February 14, 2012 at 7:30 p.m., See all showtimes
Price: $55 to $70

Directed by Tony Award Winner Robert Falls, the theater production “Red” takes you into the mind of Mark Rothko, a Russian-born abstract expressionist who deals with his own inner demons and self-doubt once his artistic ability is challenged. Rothko’s paintings emerged in the 1940s and spanned nearly five decades, with many of his works featured in prominent New York art museums and the Four Seasons. Winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Play, “Red” features talented actors, including four-time Helen Hayes Award Winner Edward Gero. The Chicago Tribune calls the play superbly taut and compelling” while the New York Times calls cited it is “intense and exciting.”

(credit: kennedy-center.org)

“Shear Madness”

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Show starts at 8 p.m.
Price: $45

Known as the second longest running play in the history of American theater, “Shear Madness” takes you into present-day Georgetown where you, the audience, must help solve a murder that takes place at the fictional Shear Madness unisex hairstyling salon. The show features improvisational humor, smart detective work and a hilarious and engaging cast and crew that guarantee a unique performance with each show. Shear Madness has run at the Kennedy Center for more than 20 years, which equals to more than 10,000 performances. This show is definitely a must-see and is appropriate for crime solvers of all ages.

Related: 2011 Arts & Culture Rewind: D.C.’s Best People, Places And Events

Susan Diranian is a freelance writer living in Ashburn, VA. She is covering Travel & Outdoors. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.


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