Olney Theatre to Present Concerts, Cabarets & More At Olney Outdoors Beginning In July

The opening week begins with a concert to celebrate Olney Theatre's 86th birthday starring Broadway legend and local favorite Norm Lewis.

By: May. 16, 2024
Olney Theatre to Present Concerts, Cabarets & More At Olney Outdoors Beginning In July
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Tickets are on sale now for Olney Theatre Center's packed schedule of summer performances on the outdoor Root Family Stage at Omi's Pavilion. The opening week begins with a concert to celebrate Olney Theatre's 86th birthday starring Broadway legend and local favorite Norm Lewis (Phantom of the Opera) on Thursday, July 25; a night of comedy headlined by Glen Tickle on Friday, July 26; Olney's free annual open house, SummerFest follows during the day on Saturday, July 27, followed by an evening performance by the DMV based Grateful Dead tribute band Better Off Dead. The inaugural weekend closes out with a Drag and Drinks performance on Sunday afternoon (one of three scheduled), July 28 hosted by Evon Michelle Dior of SadBrunch. Olney Outdoors continues for five further weeks with a similarly eclectic mix of concerts, cabarets, comedy, drag shows, and special events for kids.

Olney Outdoors is curated once again by Kevin S. McAllister who said, “In this second full summer on our renovated Root Family Stage at Omi's Pavilion, the focus has been on providing our diverse audience with a broad range of options ranging from Broadway show tunes, to classic rock, to standup comedy, drag shows, and cabarets. We hope people will show up both for their favorites and perhaps try something new.”

To encourage people to cross genres and art forms, Olney Theatre continues to offer a limited number of All-Access Passes for the summer. For $150, these passes provide entry to almost all the events on the schedule and deep discounts to the few that aren't already included. The passes sold out last summer, and while more are being offered for the 2024 edition of Olney Outdoors, they are expected to go quickly once they go on sale this Saturday, May 18 at 8:00 am. They can be purchased at: olneytheatre.org/all-access    

Other highlights of the concert schedule include popular local and regional tribute bands including Eclipse - The Ultimate Journey Tribute (August 3), Rockabilly Rumble (August 10), The Moonlighters Tribute to Motown (August 17), Devotion - A Tribute to Earth, Wind & Fire (August 22), Almost Queen (August 24), and Well Alright: A Rolling Stones Tribute (August 31). In that spirit, local DC theatre performers will offer their own tributes at cabarets honoring the music of the Rat Pack with Olney Big Band (August 1), Dolly Parton (August 2), Fleetwood Mac (August 8), Rodgers and Hammerstein with Company E Dance (August 15), Joni Mitchell (August 16), and Reba McEntire (August 30).

Among other changes to the lineup since last year are additional evenings devoted to standup comedy, with three events planned featuring headliners Glen Tickle (July 26), James Lawson (August 9), and Patrice DeVeaux (August 23).

Though many of the events scheduled are kid-friendly, two weekends focus specifically on the little ones, with the return of Reggie Rice: Fool of Illusions for two performances on August 3, and a Disney Princess-themed Sing Along with two go-arounds on August 17.

The schedule to date follows. It will be updated on olneytheatre.org/outdoors

All programs begin at 8:00 pm on the Root Family Stage at Omi's Pavilion, except where noted. Information on weather delays, food policies, and other event details is available at olneytheatre.org/outdoorFAQs 


Concert: A Night With Norm Lewis

Thursday, July 25
Tickets: $86
Celebrate the opening of Olney Outdoors and Olney Theatre's 86th birthday with a special concert by Emmy, Tony, and SAG Award nominee Norm Lewis. In May of 2014 Norm made history as Phantom of the Opera's first African-American Phantom on Broadway. Since then he's earned a Tony Award nomination for his performance as Porgy in The Gershwin's Porgy & Bess, along with a bevy of other Broadway credits including: Sondheim on Sondheim, The Little Mermaid, Les Misérables, Chicago, Amour, The Wild Party, Side Show, Miss Saigon, and The Who's Tommy. In London's West End he has appeared as Javert in Les Misérables and Les Misérables: The 25th Anniversary Concert, which aired on PBS.

Comedy: Glen Tickle

With Winston Hodges, Gina Brown,Tanya Lewis

Friday, July 26

Tickets: $40

Glen Tickle (his real name) returns to Olney Outdoors to headline our first of three evenings of standup comedy. The veteran of DryBar Comedy, SiriusXM, and the TravelChannel is joined by DC Comic Winston Hodges, Gina Brown (runner-up on “Sherri's Funny Over-50”), and Tanya Lewis (2x Church Stars Comedienne of the Year Award).

Concert: Better Off Dead

Saturday, July 27

Tickets: $35

For over 10 years, Better Off Dead have celebrated the music of The Grateful Dead with the same passion, energy, and exploration as their heroes. They play nearly every song in the Dead catalog, so each show is a unique concert experience for both new and devoted fans. And just like Jerry Garcia said, we “choose fun in this lifetime” so our concerts are filled with lots of dancing, love, smiles, and hugs.


Saturday, July 27 

Our annual, free open house is the perfect way to kick off the first weekend of Olney Outdoors. Come by for backstage tours, costume and prop sales, games, giveaways, performances, and more!

Drag and Drinks

Sunday, July 28

3:00 pm


Hosted by Evon Michelle Dior of SadBrunch

Featured Queens: Qween Farrazz, Sapphire Dupree, Tiara Missou, Lulu Cavalli

Join Baltimore's Drag Queen of the Year for a Sunday afternoon cocktail and performances by fabulous queens bringing music, dance, and attitude.


Concert: Olney Big Band Plays the Rat Pack

Thursday, August 1


Our roster of local DC musical theatre actors teams up with hometown favorite Olney Big Band for this salute that evokes the smokey Vegas casinos and Hollywood nights of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr.

Cabaret: Here You Come Again - A Salute to Dolly Parton

Friday, August 2


America's most unifying and beloved artist is the focus of this cabaret. Join us for some of Dolly's most popular hits like, Jolene, I Will Always Love You, Islands in the Stream, 9 to 5, and more!

Young Audiences: Magic with Reggie Rice

Saturday, August 3

10 am and 12:30 pm


Reggie Rice is a truly one-of-a-kind entertainer.  He is a 3-time Comedy Magician of the Year and has been the Opening Act for Jordin Sparks and The Former First Lady Of the United States Michelle Obama five times. A headliner on Luxury Cruise Liners, he has also been featured on the Travel Channel, performing his Comedy Magic for hundreds of thousands of people all over the world including Comedian Kevin Hart, Ryan Seacrest, and Shaquille O'Neal!  His foolish energetic approach to magic and comedy makes his show entertaining for audiences of all ages and is guaranteed to have them bursting into laughter.   

Concert: Eclipse - The Ultimate Journey Tribute

Saturday, August 3


Don't stop believing! We've got one of Baltimore's favorite bands and one of the top Journey tribute bands anywhere. They'll be rocking-out on the Root Family Stage at Omi's Pavilion with classic 80s hits like Anyway You Want It, Open Arms, Separate Ways, Oh Sherrieand more!


Cabaret: You Can Go Your Own Way - The Songs of Fleetwood Mac

Thursday, August 8


Our cadre of local DC artists can't wait to go to town on the catalog of one of the most enduring bands from the 70s and 80s. Whether it is reliving the galloping rhythms of songs like Go Your Own Way, or the aching emotion of Landslide, the songs of Fleetwood Mac always make for a good time.

Comedy: James Lawson

With Sherri Priester, Quincy Carr, Irwin Loring

Friday, August 9


James Lawson is a Richmond Virginia native known for being one of the funniest and diverse comedians on the come up. He's been seen on the TV One network, Comcast Cable's On Demand Feature, and opening for DL Hughley. He'll be joined by Sherri Priester (Coast Comedy Live), Quincy Carr (The Quality Comedy Show), and Irwin Loring (Give A Hoot Comedy Club).

Concert: Rockabilly Rumble

Saturday, August 10


Get ready to Shake, Rattle and Roll with this one-of-a-kind, high-octane rockabilly concert experience! Rockabilly Rumble is a musical experience celebrating the southern rock music that exploded on the scene in the 1950s. The performance, which features six extraordinary musicians — all of whom have appeared in productions of “Million Dollar Quartet” and “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story” — will have you dancing in your Blue Suede Shoes. The performance features songs made famous by Bo Ridley, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and more. Relive their most popular hits, along with some forgotten gems. “Rockabilly Rumble” is a dance-worthy, foot-stomping evening you'll never forget!

Drag and Drinks

Sunday, August 11


Hosted by Evon Michelle Dior of SadBrunch

Featured Queens: Sapphire Dupree, Laylah Alexander, Siren Kelly, Crystal Edge

Join Baltimore's Drag Queen of the Year for a Sunday afternoon cocktail and performances by three fabulous queens bringing music, dance, and attitude.


Rodgers and Hammerstein w/ Company E

Thursday, August 15


Part cabaret and part dance concert, join us for an extraordinary evening that will feature hits and hidden gems from the R&H catalog, plus Company E Dance troupe's interpretation of the Dream Ballet from Oklahoma!

Cabaret: Salute to Joni Mitchell

Friday, August 16


Whether you are a Joni Mitchell fan or a Joni Mitchell fanatic this promises to be one of our most popular cabarets of the summer. Our ensemble of local DC-area performers tackles a repertoire of Joni's classic songs including Chelsea Morning, Both Sides Now, Big Yellow Taxi, and River.

Young Audiences: Sing-Along with Disney Princesses

Saturday, August 17

10 am & 12:30pm


Calling all Ariels, Belles, Tiannas, and Elsas! Get ready for this winter's production of Disney's Frozen with this sing-along of classic Disney tunes!

Concert: The Moonlighters - A Tribute to Motown

Saturday, August 17


Since 1990, The Moonlighters have been performing throughout the United States as one of the country's best-loved and most authentic Motown and variety dance bands. Just close your eyes and you'll swear you're in Motor City itself. But don't close them for too long or you won't be able to enjoy their outstanding dance moves and showmanship.


Devotion: A Tribute to Earth, Wind and Fire

Thursday, August 22


Devotion is a dedicated, seasoned self contained band. The Compelling All-Star Band continues to travel this Earth, like the Wind and Create Fire on stages with many famous Global acts that have changed the course of R&B, Funk, and Jazz History. The Band came together to bring you a musical experience of one of the greatest bands ever. Let your mind drift away, and reminisce about your favorite songs including: Shining Star, September, Can't Hide Love, That's the Way of the World, Let's Groove, Be Ever Wonderful

Comedy: Patrice DeVeaux

With Anthony Oates, Dewayne White, Clarence Nixon

Friday, August 23


Patrice DeVeaux has performed across the country. She has appeared at Helium Comedy Club In Philadelphia, Warm Daddy's Soul Comedy in Philadelphia, and The Richmond & Virginia Beach Funny Bone. Winner of The Clash of the Comics. She's joined by DeWayne White (USO), Dewayne White and Clarence Nixon

Concert: Almost Queen

Saturday, August 24


They don't just pay tribute to the legendary band, Almost Queen transports you back in time to experience the magic and essence of Queen themselves. This deliberate four piece band is "guaranteed to blow your mind" with iconic four-part harmonies and expertly executed musical interludes. Almost Queen's impressive tribute to the legendary band is nothing short of breathtaking. The band's authenticity shines through in their impeccable attention to detail and genuine costumes, while their live energy and precision will leave music fans of all ages with an unforgettable concert experience. Fans travel long distances just to experience Almost Queen's carefully curated setlist featuring Queen's best-loved songs, like Somebody to Love, Don't Stop Me Now, Fat Bottomed Girls, and Radio Ga Ga.

Drag and Drinks

Sunday, August 25


Hosted by Evon Michelle Dior of SadBrunch

Featured Queens: Ada Vox (from RuPaul's Drag Race), Sapphire Dupree, Enigma, Tiara Missou

Join Baltimore's Drag Queen of the Year for a Sunday afternoon cocktail and performances by three fabulous queens bringing music, dance, and attitude.


Cabaret: Fancy - The Songs of Reba McEntire

Friday, August 30


They don't call Reba, “The Queen of Country” for nothing. Over the course of 50 years she's had over 100 hits on the Billboard Country charts. While our intrepid performers won't have time for all of them, you can bet they'll give a tour of her highlights including Whoever's In New England, Somebody Should Leave, Fancy, and You Lie.

Concert: Well Alright - Rolling Stones Tribute

Saturday, August 31


Rolling Stones Tribute “Well Alright” performs the hits from the Rolling Stones extensive catalog with the feel, energy and musical detail, providing fans with a great Stones experience. No two of their shows are ever the same, but of course you will hear several Stones ballads along with Satisfaction, Under My Thumb, Miss You, and Beast of Burden.

Tickets to events range from $12 – $86, and can be purchased at olneytheatre.org/outdoors or through the Box Office (301-924-3400).


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