Kennedy Center Dress Code?

michellek45
Leading Actor
joined:5/20/11
Kennedy Center Dress Code?
Posted: 10/10/11 at 07:48pm
I know that for evening performances, there's a jacket/tie dress code, but would it be the same for a Saturday matinee? I'm going to see Les Mis on Saturday, and I've looked through the boards and on the internet, but can't seem to find if there's a difference between matinees/evenings and weekdays/weekends.
MikeInTheDistrict
Stand-by
joined:8/27/11
Kennedy Center Dress Code?
Posted: 10/10/11 at 08:17pm
Where did you hear that there was a jacket/tie dress code? There is no official dress code at Kennedy Center. Unless it's a gala or other out-of-the-ordinary event, a good 70% of the audience wears some form of business casual (with jacket, but rarely a tie) for evening performances. The rest are usually just dressed casually. For matinees, the ratio flips: about 30-40% in business casual (this time without jacket and without tie), and the rest more casual.
Updated On: 10/10/11 at 08:17 PM
michellek45
Leading Actor
joined:5/20/11
Kennedy Center Dress Code?
Posted: 10/10/11 at 08:44pm
Mostly it was information I found on the internet, though someone put it in my head that the Kennedy Center was fancier dress than a regular Broadway show. Thanks for the tips, though.
Play Esq.
Broadway Star
joined:7/10/09
Kennedy Center Dress Code?
Posted: 10/10/11 at 11:40pm
I'm glad someone asked this question (because I wouldn't, but wish I had). Having gone to DC twice this summer for theater, I have to say, DC'ians dress up a lot more than us New Yorkers for theater. Agreed, there may not be an official dress-code, per se, but you'll find many well presented/dressed patrons at the Kennedy Center on any given night than you would at the Booth Theater.

Ballgowns and black ties are not required, but unless you don't care about appearing like a slob, wear slacks (or, equivalent female attire).
SondheimFan5
Broadway Legend
joined:6/20/10
Kennedy Center Dress Code?
Posted: 10/10/11 at 11:45pm
It is "classier" at the KC than at a Broadway show - most guys in a sport coat or blazer, women in nice pants and top or a dress. It's nice. I wish Broadway theatre was more like this.
Play Esq.
Broadway Star
joined:7/10/09
Kennedy Center Dress Code?
Posted: 10/10/11 at 11:52pm
Here here, gurl...though I do love my linen shorts during the summer.
jsg03jd
Broadway Star
joined:11/24/04
Kennedy Center Dress Code?
Posted: 10/11/11 at 03:46am
I'm not sure if going to a Broadway show is a proper comparison with seeing something at the Kennedy Center (even if it is a musical theatre piece like "Les Miz") with respect to the dress code.

I'd say seeing something at either Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center (esp. Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall) where the dress code skews toward business casual and more formal attire would be a more proper comparison with seeing something at the Kennedy Center and the attendant dress code.

It really depends but I'd say if you're seeing something at the Kennedy Center, err on the side of dressing in business casual attire. But if you're seeing something at, let's say, Arena Stage (a gorgeous venue BTW), I found that folks who saw "Oklahoma!" there pretty much dressed the same way as folks who would watch, for example, "Mary Poppins" in New York do.
jsg03jd
Broadway Star
joined:11/24/04
Kennedy Center Dress Code?
Posted: 10/11/11 at 03:46am
I'm not sure if going to a Broadway show is a proper comparison with seeing something at the Kennedy Center (even if it is a musical theatre piece like "Les Miz") with respect to the dress code.

I'd say seeing something at either Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center (esp. Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall) where the dress code skews toward business casual and more formal attire would be a more proper comparison with seeing something at the Kennedy Center and the attendant dress code.

It really depends but I'd say if you're seeing something at the Kennedy Center, err on the side of dressing in business casual attire. But if you're seeing something at, let's say, Arena Stage (a gorgeous venue BTW), I found that folks who saw "Oklahoma!" there pretty much dressed the same way as folks who would watch, for example, "Mary Poppins" in New York do.
themysteriousgrowl
Broadway Legend
joined:11/10/10
Kennedy Center Dress Code?
Posted: 10/11/11 at 10:00am

The last two times I was at the KC, I wore shorts and a t-shirt and felt just fine about it. So, unless you're really bothered by what complete strangers might think of your choice -- and I am not, though I hasten to add that I also noticed no disapproving looks my way -- you should wear whatever you're most comfortable in.
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Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Kennedy Center Dress Code?
Posted: 10/11/11 at 10:02am
Yeah, I wore jeans and a T-shirt when I went down the last two times. I spent 4 1/2 hours on a bus than 2 hours walking around in DC August heat before the show so there was no way I was going to "dress up" and besides the one or two people who got "fancified", I felt in no way out of place.
"I think Glee is way too sharp, smart, witty, clever and emotionally confronting for the masses." - Dave19 - "What's next? Snow Black and the 7 Swaggers? Shasquirta and the Beast? 101 Weavematians? Willis in Ghettoland?" - Dave19, in reference to the new ANNIE remake.
p.s.
Broadway Star
joined:10/30/06
Kennedy Center Dress Code?
Posted: 10/11/11 at 10:34am
We are travelling to D.C. Saturday night to see Sunday's two performances of Les Miserables. We were planning to wear our Les Miz hats, sweats, wristwatches, jackets and sneakers.

Any suggestions for what to do and where to eat between shows?


p.s. Mostly true, except that the sneakers are just plain ordinary sneakers, not Les Miz branded.

pps: Our seats for one of the performances are Tier 1, second row. Should we bring our Les Miz binoculars?

orangeskittles
Broadway Legend
joined:1/8/05
Kennedy Center Dress Code?
Posted: 10/11/11 at 07:19pm
If you're going to go all-out with the Les Miserables wardrobe, go for it, they won't kick you out.

As others have said, the audience is less casually attired than the average Broadway audience. Especially on weeknights, when everyone comes straight from work, or around the holidays. Jeans and t-shirts are fine, but I don't see why stepping it up a notch is something people are frowning upon. Especially since come intermission, you'll be with the more formally attired ballet, opera and symphony audiences in the Grand Foyer. And those b*tches will definitely judge you.
Like a firework unexploded
Wanting life but never knowing how
Play Esq.
Broadway Star
joined:7/10/09
Kennedy Center Dress Code?
Posted: 10/11/11 at 10:58pm
^ Agreed...you might get looks, but something tells me that that is exactly what you're looking for


That said, most people won't be wearing t-shirts and jeans at your performance (if my attendance of Lucia, Tosca, Follies, and Vanya are any indication...). If that don't bother you: don't sweet it!
p.s.
Broadway Star
joined:10/30/06
Kennedy Center Dress Code?
Posted: 10/12/11 at 11:01am

Found the shoes at slipoffs.com.


p.s. Binoculars from Tier 1?

Play Esq.
Broadway Star
joined:7/10/09
Kennedy Center Dress Code?
Posted: 10/12/11 at 04:45pm
LOVES IT!

That said...no binoculars needed from tier 1...especially up front.
gymdudeva
Broadway Star
joined:1/29/07
Kennedy Center Dress Code?
Posted: 10/13/11 at 03:20pm
I'd say nice jeans anda polo shirt at a minimum.

Summer is an exception....as anywhere, when it's really hot, almost anything goes. But [DC resident here] the KC is more formal than an average Broadway theatre, and that grand foyer just makes you *wish* you had dressed up more. :) That said, Les Miz is going to be more formal than the symphony performance next door, but keep in mind that all three of the large theatres share the lobby.
perfectlymarvelous
Broadway Legend
joined:5/21/07
Kennedy Center Dress Code?
Posted: 10/13/11 at 05:15pm
I tend to like to wear a daytime dress (like a sundress) when I go to things at the Kennedy Center, and most people have been dressed similarly. I personally wouldn't wear jeans and a t-shirt there, but err toward business casual or something like it. Just a *little* more formal than super casual, basically.