Open since 1835, the National is the capital’s oldest continuously operating theater and the country’s third oldest. In earlier days, the like of Sarah Bernhardt, Helen Hayes, and John Barrymore took the stage, and presidents Lincoln and Fillmore and others were among those in the audience. These days, the National is almost entirely about Broadway musicals.

Among the productions coming our way in the 2018–19 season are Beetlejuice, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, School of Rock, Finding Neverland, A Bronx Tale, and Stomp. The 1,672-seat National continues its free, public-service programs: Saturday-morning children’s theater (puppets, clowns, magicians, dancers, and singers) and screenings of classic films on select Monday nights.