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Alden Theatre returns from pandemic pause with music-heavy fall lineup

The Borisevich Duo, featuring pianist Margarita Loukachkina and violinist Nikita Borisevich, will perform at The Alden in McLean (courtesy The Alden Theatre)

As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, The Alden hopes to bring a drop of golden sun with the upcoming launch of its fall season, which will bring audiences back into the theater for the first time since the McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Avenue) closed in March 2020.

Kicking off on Oct. 16, the lineup features four musical acts and a performance by the dance company Pilobolus, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary starting in October.

In a statement, MCC Executive Director Daniel Singh says he and the center’s performing arts staff, led by director Sarah Schallern Treff, designed the season around themes of recovery, reimagining, and reconnecting — all of them linked by the prefix and musical note “re,” which he says suggests a transition as the last step in the solfege scale.

“‘Re’ embodies the tension of our times — the venturing out into the world away from home base, the uncertainty of the future and the pull between the two,” Singh said. “Keeping this framework in mind, this fall, we are offering several programs that are familiar and comforting, but we also have new directions for our patrons to explore with us. We hope you find both old and new communities at McLean Community Center.”

Face masks will be mandatory inside The Alden, as they are in the rest of the community center, and to enable proper social distancing, every other row in the auditorium will be blocked off, with at least two empty seats between each party, according to the theater’s website.

All employees, artists, and volunteers will be required to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test from within the past week, and theater workers will undergo regular health screenings.

The Alden is also relaxing its refund policy, allowing patrons to get their money back for a show until curtain time, so that people will feel free to stay home if they feel sick.

Here is the full lineup of performances for this fall from MCC’s news release, issued Tuesday (Sept. 28):

The Okee Dokee Brothers
Saturday & Sunday, Oct. 16-17, 1 p.m. & 4 p.m.
$20/$15 MCC district residents
As the GRAMMY-winning Okee Dokee Brothers, Justin Lansing and Joe Mailander, have built a plaid-shirted national following with their outdoor adventure-themed albums, “Through The Woods,” “Can You Canoe?” and “Winterland.” But whether it’s indoors or out, the Okee Dokee Brothers believe that as long as folks are singing together there’s a glimpse of hope for our world.

The Borisevich Duo
Sunday, Oct. 24, 2 p.m.
$10/$5 MCC district residents
The Borisevich Duo, featuring pianist Margarita Loukachkina and violinist Nikita Borisevich, is an internationally acclaimed violin and piano duet, frequently performing across the United States and Europe.

Native American Fusion Music with D’DAT (Virtual Workshop)
Wednesday, Nov. 3, 7 p.m.
Free Admission. Registration is required.
Learn more about the composition process and culture before D’DAT’s performance in The Alden this January. D’DAT’s music mixes three American art forms–jazz, native southwest and hip-hop styles–to create a sound that is uniquely theirs. This is a great opportunity for musicians of all ages to learn directly from the artists and ask questions.

“Joy to the World: A Christmas Musical Journey” with Damien Sneed
Wednesday, Dec. 1, 7 p.m.
$30/$20 MCC district residents
Award-winning, multi-genre recording artist and instrumentalist Damien Sneed is a pianist, vocalist, organist, composer, conductor, arranger, producer and arts educator whose work spans multiple genres. “Joy to the World” takes the listener through Damien Sneed’s original arrangements of gospel, jazz and classical favorites.

A Klezmer Hanukkah with Alexandria Kleztet
Saturday, Dec. 11, 7 p.m.
$20/$15 MCC district residents
Hanukkah comes early this year, but the Alexandria Kleztet keeps the party going with festive Klezmer tunes and a little jazz thrown in. Chag Sameach!

Pilobolus “Come to Your Senses”
Sunday, Nov. 7, 7:30 p.m.
$40/$30 MCC district residents
Pilobolus invites you to “Come to Your Senses!” Engage with childlike wonder in the miracle of your senses through both classic and brand-new repertory that begins by examining our biology and ends by utilizing the senses in a refreshing immersion in the biosphere.

Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased online or by contacting Alden Patron Services Manager Evelyn Hill at [email protected] or 571-296-8385.

While the auditorium has been closed, The Alden hasn’t been entirely out of commission during the pandemic. The theater staged two “Drive-Thru Drama” productions last summer, where audiences watched actors perform from their vehicles like they would for a drive-in movie screening.

The Alden has also hosted some online and smaller in-person events, including yesterday’s “123 Andres” performance.

MCC says The Alden will continue its new season with additional performances “centered on recovery, re-imagining, reaffirming, and reconnecting with each other” in the coming winter and spring.

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