The Bethesda Theater and Arts Scene
One of the best reasons to live at Fox Hill is our proximity to some of the region’s best performing arts venues, including Strathmore.
The Bethesda theater and arts scene is a vibrant one, with some of the world’s best performers visiting venues just a few minutes from Fox Hill’s doors. Bethesda arts and music offerings are also top notch, meaning you can enjoy plenty of high culture without going far from home.
Fox Hill has forged an exciting partnership with Strathmore, a preeminent center for the arts that brings a tremendous range of the world’s best performers to Bethesda. Strathmore presents live performances of popular music, contemporary dance, spoken word, theatrical entertainment and a well-regarded chamber music and recital series. It is also a home of the National Philharmonic.
Fox Hill’s partnership with Strathmore brings the center’s visiting musicians to our performing arts center for exclusive performances. Visual artists from Strathmore offer classes at Fox Hill, and our residents enjoy previews of Strathmore art exhibits before they open to the general public. All of these events are free for owners at Fox Hill.
If you prefer to head to Strathmore to check out the best of Bethesda music, here are a few highlights from the current season, which runs through June 2016.
- Tchaikovsky’s Serenade – Saturday, Nov. 28 and Sunday, Nov. 29.
- Handel’s Messiah – Saturday, Dec. 19 and Sunday, Dec. 20.
- Vivaldi’s Gloria – Saturday, Feb. 20 and Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016.
- Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass – Saturday, April 2 and Sunday, April 3, 2016.
The nation’s biggest acts
- Michael Feinstein Sinatra Centennial – Feinstein, known as the ambassador of the Great American Songbook, will celebrate Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday with a big band celebration of America’s legendary crooner. Friday, Dec. 11.
- Kristin Chenoweth – The Tony winner is perhaps best known for originating the role of Glinda the Good Witch in the Broadway production of Wicked, but she’s appeared in six other Broadway shows and dozens of TV shows. Friday, January 29, 2016.
- Natalie Cole – This iconic R&B artist has won nine Grammy Awards during her career. Thursday, March 3, 2016.
- Patti LaBelle – Another voice that’s been heard around the world. Thursday, April 7 and Friday, April 8, 2016.
Along with these shows on the main stage, you can enjoy dozens of intimate performances as part of Strathmore’s “In the Mansion” series. These concerts take place in the original Strathmore mansion, which opened in 1908.
Prefer the visual arts? Strathmore is a hub of the Bethesda arts scene, offering spacious galleries that are open Tuesday through Sunday. Strathmore mounts about 25 exhibits a year and collaborates with museums from around the region. The mansion serves as the visual arts center of the campus and is open year round. Upcoming exhibits include Washington, D.C.–area printmaker Joseph Craig English, and the annual exhibition of fine art in miniature.
American University Performing Arts
American is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its Katzen Arts Center. Highlights for the fall season include The Threepenny Opera in October. The following month includes a celebration of contemporary chamber music and a review of symphonic band classics. Shows at American are extremely affordable, with $5 or $10 senior tickets available for most performances.
Roundhouse focuses on providing roles for local artists of diverse backgrounds. The theater encourages active participation in theater and hopes to engage the audience in a dialogue of ideas. Highlights from the current season include Father Comes Home from the Wars, a play set during the Civil War. The show follows Hero, a slave from West Texas who finds himself on Southern battlefields. The story explores the scope of Greek tragedy. You’ll also want to catch Tennessee Williams’ classic Southern play, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club
Looking to get up and dance or hear someone sing from the soul? The Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club is the place to be. There are shows several times a week, so check out the latest schedule online. If the music sets your feet to tapping, be sure to check out the dance classes that are offered on Saturdays. The Bethesda music scene has a lot to offer, but the blues and jazz club may be the finest option around.
We’re lucky to be neighbors with Holton-Arms School, a top-notch school for girls in third through twelfth grade. Holton pairs with nearby Landon School—an all-boys school—for major productions. Holton-Arms hosts the fall and winter plays, while Landon hosts the spring musical. Holton-Arms also offers extensive choral music and instrumental music offerings, including a chamber music and handbell choir concert each spring.
The Washington, D.C. and Bethesda areas are full of amazing arts and theater options. These Bethesda theater options are a few of our favorites, but there are plenty of other great choices slightly further afield. If you have other favorites, or want to visit a spot that’s not on our list, we’ll help you make it happen.