Tysons Corner, VA

Next week, the 1st Stage theatre will host the Logan Festival for Solo Performance for a third consecutive year.

From July 11-21, national names in talent will perform live plays, give talks and host workshops at 1524 Spring Hill Road.

Headlining performances for this season include: “The Things They Carried,” “Joy Rebel,” and “The Happiest Place on Earth.”  Each play touches on dynamic topics including societal views of race, family tragedy and the legacy of the Vietnam War.

“The Things They Carried” is an adaptation from the classic novel which tells a story of a Vietnam soldier who reflects on his life journey.

Meanwhile, “The Happiest Place on Earth” takes a more lighthearted tone when a man reflects on the women in his family while at Disneyland and what “true happiness” means.

“Joy Rebel” tells a story about a little girl who must face her beloved grandmother’s racism and disapproval of her own parents’ interracial marriage.

Before and after each show, community members are invited to take part in discussions about the productions and various other works of art. Though these forums are free, anyone planning to attend a performance must buy a ticket beforehand.

General admission ticket prices are $20 per show for adults and $10 for students with a valid ID. A festival pass includes tickets for all three performances and is available at a discounted rate of  $50. Tickets are available online or by calling 703-854-1856.

Photo via 1st Stage

0 Comments

The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tuesday (June 25)

  • Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo 7-10 p.m. at Wolf Trap (1645 Trap Road) — Artists Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo — known for their songs like “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and “Love is a Battlefield” — are performing at Wolf Trap as part of a 40th anniversary tour. Tickets are $35 with gates opening at 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday (June 26)

  • My Neighbor Totoro — 7-9 p.m. at Angelika Film Center & Café at Mosaic (2911 District Avenue) — Studio Ghibli classic My Neighbor Totoro will be on the big screen in the Mosaic District on Wednesday at 7 p.m. and Thursday at 11 a.m. Tickets are $14.50.

Thursday (June 27)

  • Diana Ross at Wolf Trap — 8-11 p.m. at Wolf Trap (1551 Trap Road) — Motown artist Diana Ross — the singer for classics like “I’m Coming Out” and “Stop! In the Name of Love” — will be performing at Wolf Trap this Thursday. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 for lawn seating.

Friday (June 28)

  • Summer Concert with Tauren Wells — 6:30-8 p.m. at Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Road) — WGTS 91.9’s concert series continues with Grammy-nominated artist Tauren Wells. The concert is free at The Plaza (near Lord & Taylor) on Friday. Space is first-come, first-served and attendees are invited to bring their own chair or blanket.
  • Macbeth Premiere8-8:30 at 1st Stage (1524 Spring Hill Road) — The 1st Stage Theater will host a production of The Scottish Play by Britches and Hose Theatre Company. The play premieres on Friday, but will have showings at 8 p.m. on Saturday and 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Saturday (June 29)

  • Yoga at Tysons Biergarten11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Tysons Biergarten (8346 Leesburg Pike) — An hourlong, all-levels yoga event will be held inside the beer hall of Tysons Biergarten. Online tickets are $25 and walk-in tickets are $30. Tickets include a chip for a beverage after the class.
  • Junior Ranger Day — 12-3 p.m. at Wolf Trap (1551 Trap Road) — Children ages 5-12 are invited out to an event at Wolf Trap where they can be a ranger for a day, engaging in scavenger hunts and various ranger programs.
  • Feast for Fireworks Tasting Event12-4 p.m. at Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market (6655 Old Dominion Drive) — Balducci’s has prepared an early Independence Day celebration. The market is planning to include a grill event and a selection of “summer essentials” for upcoming barbecues.
  • Back to the ’90s: Incubus Tribute — 7 p.m. at Jammin’ Java (227 E. Maple Avenue) — Jammin’ Java is hosting a ’90s throwback evening with a celebration of Incubus on the 20th anniversary of the band. The evening will feature Incubus tributes from other bands. Tickets are $15 for general admission.

Photo via Wolf Trap/Facebook

0 Comments

Tysons’ 1st Stage Theatre won five Helen Hayes Awards at last night’s ceremony — scoring four of its wins for its “Fly by Night” production last spring.

The theater’s production of the rock-fable “Fly by Night” racked up nine nominations, while the father-son story “Swimming With Whales” and Aaron Sorkin’s “The Farnsworth Invention” each earned six nods. One nomination for “A Civil War Christmas” brought 1st Stage up to a total of 22 nominations — the second most for any theater, trailing Arena Stage’s 25.

Named after the “First Lady of American Theatre” Helen Hayes, the awards recognize excellence in professional theatre in the D.C. area and are split into two main categories: the “Hayes” for productions featuring a majority of theater union members and the “Helen” for productions with fewer union members.

Here is 1st Stage Theatre’s full list of wins:

  • Outstanding Direction in a Musical (Helen): Kathryn Chase Bryer for “Fly by Night”
  • Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical (Helen): “Fly by Night”
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical (Helen): Caroline Wolfson in “Fly by Night”
  • Robert Prosky Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play (Helen): Matthew Wilson in “Swimming With Whales” (also shared with Josh Adams in Theater Alliance’s “The Events”).
  • Outstanding Production in a Musical (Helen): “Fly by Night”

Yesterday’s awards ceremony boosted the theater in nominations and wins from last year.

In 2018, 1st Stage won two of its 10 nominations. Frank Britton took home the Robert Prosky Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play (Helen) for 1st Stage’s production of “Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train.” Also, Jose Guzman received the James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play (Helen) for the same show.

Photo via Twitter

0 Comments

Tysons’ 1st Stage Theatre will find out tonight if it gets to take home awards for any of its nearly two dozen Helen Hayes Awards nominations.

Named after the “First Lady of American Theatre” Helen Hayes, the awards recognize excellence in professional theatre in the D.C. area. The awards are split into two main categories: the “Hayes” for productions featuring a majority of theater union members and the “Helen” for productions with fewer union members.

The Tysons theater racked up 22 total nominations in the Helen categories and trailed Arena’s 25 nominations for the most for any theater, along with the second most for a single production — nine for rock-fable “Fly by Night” — behind 13 for “The Wiz” at Ford’s Theatre.

The father-son story “Swimming With Whales” and “The Farnsworth Invention” by Aaron Sorkin — the screenwriter and director behind “The West Wing” and “The Newsroom” — both received six nominations for the theater, while “A Civil War Christmas” earned one.

Here is 1st Stage Theatre’s full list of nominations for each show:

  • “Fly by Night” — Musical Direction, Direction in a Musical, Ensemble in a Musical, Supporting Actor in a Musical, Supporting Actress in a Musical (2), Lead Actor in a Musical (2), Production in a Musical
  • “Swimming With Whales” — Costume Design, Sound Design, Direction in a Play, Ensemble in a Play, Robert Prosky Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play, Production in a Play
  • “The Farnsworth Invention” — Direction in a Play, Ensemble in a Play, Supporting Actress in a Play, Robert Prosky Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play (2), Production in a Play
  • “A Civil War Christmas” — Musical Direction

Last year, 1st Stage won two of its 10 nominations. Frank Britton took home the Robert Prosky Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play (Helen) for 1st Stage’s production of “Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train.” Also, Jose Guzman received the James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play (Helen) for the same show.

The winners for this year’s nominations will be revealed tonight (May 13).

Photo by Ryan Maxwell Photography 

0 Comments

“The Member of the Wedding” will open tonight (May 9) at Tysons’ 1st Stage Theatre, closing out the theater’s 11th season.

Based on the 1946 novel of the same name by Carson McCullers, the drama focuses on a young girl’s dreams of leaving her small Southern town with her brother and his fiancee.

Here is 1st Stage Theatre’s description of the show:

In 1945 rural Georgia, the long, hot days of summer bring struggle, longing, and opportunity for 12-year-old Frankie Addams and her family’s housekeeper Berenice Sadie Brown. Frankie longs to escape with her newlywed brother on adventures in the Alaskan wilderness. Berenice struggles to balance enduring the deeply entrenched racism of the rural South with her role as surrogate mother to Frankie and her 6-year-old cousin. Adapted from the beloved novel of the same name, this evocative, poetic coming of age drama explores the pains of youth and the meaning of family.

The play will run until June 2. Performances for “The Member of the Wedding” are:

  • Thursdays — 7:30 p.m.
  • Fridays — 8 p.m.
  • Saturdays — 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Sundays — 2 p.m.

General admission tickets are $39 or $36 for seniors over 65. Students and military tickets are $15.

Photo via Facebook

0 Comments

Tysons’s 1st Stage Theatre is remembering the 20th anniversary of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting with performances of the “docudrama” play Columbinus.

The play weaves together factual testimonies from survivors and community members with fictional representations of students impacted by the shooting.

The play was written by Stephen Karam and PJ Paparelli and first premiered in Silver Spring, Maryland in 2005. The 1st Stage production is directed by Alex Levy, artistic director at 1st Stage, and Juan Francisco Villa.

The plan opened March 28 and is scheduled to run until April 20.

Tickets for the show are $39 for general audiences, $36 for seniors, or $15 for students or military.

The 1st Stage Theatre also offers post-show programs for many of its productions.

  • Saturday, April 6 — a discussion with the cast of the show.
  • Saturday, April 13 — Dr. Ebony White, assistant clinical professor of behavioral health counseling at Drexler University, is scheduled to discuss the behavioral health and trauma issues related to the play.

Photo courtesy Teresa Castracane/1st Stage Theatre

0 Comments

The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tuesday (March 12)

  • Workshop: Fair Housing Protections for People with Disabilities12-1 p.m. at The Arc of Northern Virginia (2755 Hartland Rd.) — Non-profit organizations Arc of Northern Virginia and Housing Opportunities Made Equal are hosting a workshop on fair housing protections for people with disabilities focusing on what state policies are for housing discrimination and what people with disabilities should look out for when moving into a home.

Wednesday (March 13)

  • McLean Public Safety Program7:30 p.m. at the McLean Governmental Center Community Room (1437 Balls Hill Road) — The McLean Citizens Association invites the public to its Public Safety Program featuring Richard Schott, Fairfax County’s police auditor and Anna Northcutt, a member of the Fairfax County Police Civilian Review Panel.

Thursday (March 14)

  • Community Forum on Housing for All7-8:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Vienna (450 Orchard St NW) — The Fairfax County NAACP will be hosting an event discussing issues related to affordable housing in Fairfax.

Friday (March 15)

  • Farewell Bell’s at Tysons Biergarten — 11-2 a.m. at the Tysons Biergarten (8346 Leesburg Pike) — The Biergarten is celebrating Bell’s before the company’s beer is no longer sold in Virginia. Everything from fruity drinks to a selection of stouts will be on offer. Registration for the event is free. The event is free and open to the public. A similar event will be held in the Lost Dog Cafe in Merrifield on Wednesday.
  • Chubbies Tysons Grand Opening5-8 p.m. at Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Rd.) — To coincide with the coming of spring, shorts chain Chubbies is celebrating with music and free gifts for the first 100 purchasers of items over $99.
  • Backbeat Underground Live — 8-10 p.m. at 1st Stage Theatre (1524 Spring Hill Rd.) — The Backbeat Underground and Virginia Chamber Orchestra will be performing a “souljazz” concert in the Tysons black-box theater. Tickets are $25 at the door, $20 for seniors or advance purchasers, or $15 for students or military.

Sunday (March 17)

  • The 8th Annual Nowruz Festival — 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at Tysons Corner Center (8100 Tysons Corner Ctr) — A bazaar with music, dance and costumed characters will be held at the mall to celebrate the Persian New Year. The event is planned to include six hours of live performances and an array of traditional Persian sweets, pastries and other dishes.
  • Trade-In and Trade-Up Bicycle Blue Book Event11 a.m.-5 p.m. at Spokes Etc. (224 Maple Ave E) — The Spokes Etc. Vienna location is offering credit for anyone who trades in an old bicycle and an additional 10 percent through March 31 for anyone upgrading to a Trek Disc Brake Road Bike. The Blue Book value guide can help assess the value of the bike for trade-in credit.
  • Capitol Steps in Vienna4-6 p.m. at James Madison High School (2500 James Madison Dr.) — Bipartisan political satire crew Capitol Steps will perform at James Madison High School in a fundraiser for the school’s booster organization. Tickets range from $25 to $30.

Photo via Facebook

0 Comments

In a panel discussion on the role of arts in a rapidly gentrifying D.C. region, 1st Stage Theatre’s artistic director Alex Levy spoke on WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi Show yesterday about the theater’s role in Tysons’ ongoing evolution.

Levy said on the show that before he came to Tysons, he’d heard it called a cultural wasteland — comparing it to the spots on old maritime maps where it’s just mermaids and openness.

“As I got here, that’s the conversation I heard forever, that this thing doesn’t belong out here,” said Levy. “But as soon as the company started, there was a great love for it because people want the arts in their community. They need it in their community.”

The theater is located above a garage and a salsa/bachata nightclub and Levy said many visitors don’t realize the theater is there until they walk inside.

“Anybody who has driven around Tysons, the thing you see most is a crane,” Levy said in the interview. “Most of what they’re building are large residential buildings. One of the reasons I moved my family to this community was to be a part of that conversation… You can’t build a community — the thing Tysons wants to be — without a cultural life.”

The 1st Stage Theater recently wrapped up performances of “The Brothers Size” and the next show, “columbinus,” is scheduled to start March 28.

0 Comments

As Tysons office development launches to new heights, America’s “Next Great City” works to catch up with arts programs.

Here are some arts events — predominately concerts and theater showings — showcased by ARTSFAIRFAX around the Tysons area in March.

  • Epic Grandeur — Tonight (March 1) at 7:30 in Saint Luke Catholic Church (7001 Georgetown Pike) — The Tysons McLean Orchestra will be performing a mix of Georges Bizet and Johannes Brahms. General admission tickets are $40.
  • Thunder Knocking on the Door — Feb. 14 – March 10 at Creative Cauldron (410 S. Maple Ave) — The Creative Cauldron theater group is currently performing the Tony Award-nominated musical about a mysterious Faustian bargain in a small Alabama town. The show runs every weekend with adult admission tickets at $32.
  • Olenna March 7-15 at the Italian Cafe (7161 Lee Highway) — The Providence Players will present the David Mamet 1992 play about two people engaged in a power struggle over a sexual harassment scandal. The play runs approximately 80 minutes and with general admission at $10.
  • In Celebration of Life: Mozart and Faure — March 9 at The Falls Church Episcopal Church (115 E. Fairfax Street) — Choralis will present a broad selection of Mozart’s music, from a song written at 18 to one just five months before his death. General admission tickets are $40. Audience members are encouraged to bring unneeded prescription eyeglasses to the concert for donation to the Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center of Northern Virginia.
  • Reflections — March 17 at Saint Luke Roman Catholic Church (7001 Georgetown Pike) — The Reston Chorale will present an afternoon of choral and organ arrangements with members of the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra. General admission tickets are currently $25 until March 16. Active duty military can attend for free.
  • A Bohemian LifeMarch 18 at The Falls Church Episcopal (115 E. Fairfax Street) — The Tysons McLean Orchestra will present a collection of musical selections from Central Europe. General admission tickets are $40.
  • columbinus — March 28 – April 20 at 1st Stage Theater (1524 Spring Hill Rd.) — Tyson’s 1st Stage theater will present a docudrama following the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School. The production is comprised of excerpts from interviews with survivors, parents, and community members. General admission tickets are $39.
  • Rachmaninoff: All Night Virgil — March 30 at Church of the Holy Cross (2455 Gallows Road) — VOCE will be presenting an acapella evening of the post-romantic music of Rachmaninoff. A second performance will be held on March 31 at the Church of Holy Comforter in Vienna. Tickets are $25.

In addition to the programming listed above, The Barns at Wolf Trap has extensive programming throughout March.

Photo via Facebook

0 Comments

(Updated at 12:20 a.m.) 1st Stage may be a little theater in Tysons, but it’s drawing some big attention from the regional theater world.

The play “The Brothers Size” by Tarell Alvin McCraney will open on Thursday (Jan. 31). The play will be directed by José Carrasquillo, the director of artistic programming at Ford’s Theatre in D.C.

The play follows two brothers, as a hardworking man in the Louisiana bayou struggles to reform his brother, who was recently released from prison.

Currently the chair of playwriting at Yale School of Drama, McCraney achieved widespread acclaim after “Moonlight,” a movie he co-wrote and that was based on one of his plays, won the Academy Award for Best Picture last year.

“It’s a really stunningly beautiful, very tight three-person drama,” said Alex Levy, artistic director at 1st Stage. “It’s poetic and gripping and very funny. It’s a wonderful introduction to his world if folks are unfamiliar.”

Carrasquillo said he connects with the play on a very personal level. Like many of the characters, and like McCraney, Carrasquillo is a gay man and an artist of color. Like much of McCraney’s work, “The Brothers Size” tackles themes of machismo and differing views of manhood and sexuality in black communities.

“It’s been quite an exhilarating journey for me,” Carrasquillo said. “I’m a huge fan of the cultural spirituality that is inherent in everything he writes. I’m from Puerto Rico and can relate to a lot of that kind of religious and structure and deities… There’s a lot of feelings you have to keep to yourself, so in a way you have to live a double life because it’s seen as a sign of weakness.”

Carrasquillo said he’d been wanting to make the trip out to Tysons to work on a play for some time, and when Levy proposed directing “The Brothers Size” it seemed like a perfect fit. While Tysonians are predominately white and affluent, Carrasquillo notes that the region as a whole is diverse

“How do we bridge this? Because this community for this theater, they have embraced [Levy] and the work they do, but this feels like something really different than what they’ve seen,” Carrasquillo said. “I’m really hoping to have that dialogue with this community.”

“Theaters largely attract people that can afford that kind of ticket, but this is a very affordable theater,” said Carrasquillo. “This is a professional, young, hip community that come and support the work [at 1st Stage]. Those are people that will challenge you as a director because they really know their pop culture and they expect you to rise to their level of interest.”

Levy said the play is particularly important in light of current national conversations about black identity in America and the criminal justice system.

“I think theater is one of the last places where we’ve really come together and celebrate empathy and living in the lives of the people who are not like us,” said Levy. “It becomes a really important opportunity for those who are not part of the African-American community and important in our diversifying community that we celebrate voices and experiences of all of our community.”

The 1st Stage Theatre is a black box theater with very little distance between the audience and the stage, which Levy says is ideal for this type of play.

“It’s inherently a very intimate show,” said Levy. “I love the way it fits into our space. It’s a show where all three actors are on the stage throughout the show and are very connected to the audience. Having a space where the performance is so close to the audience is what really attracted me to the play.”

The play stars Gary-Kayi Fletcher as Ogun Size, Thony Mena as Elgba, and Clayton Pelham Jr. as Oshoosi Size.

The play will run until Feb. 24. Performances for “The Brothers Size” are:

  • Thursdays — 7:30 p.m.
  • Fridays — 8 p.m.
  • Saturdays — 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Sundays — 2 p.m.

General admission tickets are $39, or $36 for seniors over 65. Students and military tickets are $15.

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list