Tysons, VA

Happy Friday! Here are the latest stories about the Tysons area that the Tysons Reporter team has been reading:

Falls Church Home Prices Spike — “The city of Falls Church zoomed past the District of Columbia to be the local jurisdiction where home-buyers spent more, per square foot, than anywhere else in January… The median per-square-foot cost of $453 for Falls Church property for the month was up 13 percent from a year before.” [Inside NoVa]

Furry Convention Leaving Tysons — The Mid-Atlantic region convention called “Fur the More” is moving from Tysons to Crystal City this year. [ARLnow]

Falls Church Theater Nabs Nominations — “Falls Church’s rapidly-emerging regional theater powerhouse, the Creative Cauldron, scored an astonishing nine Helen Hayes Award nominations for the past season.” [Falls Church News-Press]

McLean Board Seeking Candidates — “Local residents who are looking for ways to make a difference in the community should consider running for a seat on the McLean Community Center’s (MCC) 2020-2021 Governing Board.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Sneak Peek: Later today, look for an article on Vienna’s new economic development manager and her plans for how to spark business in the town. Next week, look for a profile of Fava Pot in Falls Church.

Weekend Send Off: Let Tysons Reporter know what your plans are for the long weekend.

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Movies are weeks away from coming to the big screen at The Boro development in Tysons.

Caroline Flax, an associate at The Meridian Group, said via a spokesperson that ShowPlace Icon is planning to open in March at 1667 Silver Hill Drive.

“This location, the seventh in the U.S. under the Showplace Icon brand for Kerasotes ShowPlace Theatres, spans 72,000 square feet, with 1,795 seats spread across 14 theaters, plus a restaurant and a bar and lounge,” the Washington Business Journal reported.

The opening of the 70,000-square-foot store, Mid-Atlantic flagship Whole Foods store in the fall marked when the development started to come alive with places for people to eat and shop.

So far this year, several eateries have opened — North Italia, Fish Taco and Paris Baguette — along with Tysons Nail Lounge.

International ramen restaurant Hokkaido Ramen Santouka (1636 Boro Place) also plans to open this March.

Flax said that people can also expect these stores and eateries later this year:

  • Tasty Kabob in the “spring”
  • Paper Source in the “spring”
  • Caliburger in the “summer”

According to The Boro’s social media accounts, other summer newcomers will include El Bebe Tacos & Tequila, Open Road Grill and The Shade Store.

Photo via The Boro/Facebook

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Tysons’ 1st Stage Theatre has nabbed 18 Helen Hayes Awards nominations — making it the second most nominated theater this year in the D.C. area.

The awards, which were announced last night, 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 trailed Olney Theatre Center’s 27 nominations for the most for any theater.

Here is the full list of nominations:

  • Airness” with Keegan Theatre — Outstanding Choreography in a Play, Outstanding Sound Design, James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play, Outstanding Choreography in a Play
  • columbinus” — Outstanding Lighting Design, Outstanding Sound Design, Outstanding Direction in a Play, Outstanding Ensemble in a Play, James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play, Robert Prosky Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play
  • The Brothers Size” — Outstanding Production in a Play, Outstanding Set Design, Outstanding Sound Design, Outstanding Direction in a Play, Robert Prosky Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play, Outstanding Production in a Play
  • The Royale” with Olney Theatre Center — Outstanding Choreography in a Play, Outstanding Sound Design

Last year, 1st Stage won five of its 22 nominations.

The winners will be announced on Monday, May, 18, at the Anthem in D.C.

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The Traveling Players Ensemble plans to celebrate its new permanent home in Tysons Corner Center with a ribbon-cutting later this week.

Founded 18 years ago, Traveling Players trains young artists in grades 3-12 in classical theater, according to a press release from the mall.

Located adjacent to the former Lord and Taylor spot on level one, the 42,000-square-foot studio opened on Jan. 11, Tysons Reporter previously reported.

The ribbon-cutting is set to take place from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday (Feb. 5).

The theater group has plans for later this year.

In March, Traveling Players will perform “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the mall, along with hosting spring and summer camps.

“These shows will be performed in Tysons Corner Center on March 14, 15, 21 and 22 and open to the public,” the press release said.

Photo courtesy Tysons Corner Center

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(Updated 1/27/20) The Traveling Players Ensemble now has its first permanent indoor facility since the organization’s founding 18 years ago. And it’s in Tysons.

Located in Tysons Corner Center, adjacent to the former Lord and Taylor spot on level one, the 42,000-square-foot studio serves as a practice spot for kids involved in the theater group, according to Jeanne Harrison, the founder and artistic program director of Traveling Players.

The studio opened on Jan. 11 and Harrison said it hosted 10 events within the first three days.

The studio’s current location in the mall previously held a restaurant called the Magic Pan in the 80s’ where Harrison said she was both a waitress and hostess in 1987 and 1988.

On weekends, roughly 30 kids participating in the program will gather and practice for upcoming performances, according to Harrison.

In March, Traveling Players Ensemble will debut two performances at Tysons Corner Center, including “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Students put in anywhere from three to upwards of six hours of work per week at the facility, depending on age, Harrison said.

With a 70% retention rate between age groups, Harrison said Traveling Players Ensemble’s retention rate is high because the group focuses on the students’ development.

“They get what I like to call ‘experiential learning,'” she said. 

Going forward, the center will host a spring break camp as well as summer camps.

“We are baby-stepping our way through this,” Harrison said, adding that they are still figuring out requirements for indoor practice — which is a shift from the group’s typical outdoor programming.

Parents who register their kids before Feb. 11 will receive a competitive discount, according to Harrison.

Photo courtesy Jeanne Harrison

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The City of Falls Church is pitching in to help Creative Cauldron launch its “Bold New Voices Musical Theater Festival” later this year.

The festival is set to run from April 27-May 6. “The goal of the festival is aimed at supporting musical theater works by women and women-identifying writers and composers,” according to the website.

Creative Cauldron received $2,500 in city funding with a $2,500 match from the Virginia Commission for the Arts (VCA) for the festival, along with $13,437 in city funding for an operational grant, according to a press release from the city.

Creative Cauldron was one of six local groups that received grants for arts-related activities and support.

“The Falls Church City Council recently approved a recommendation from the Arts and Humanities Grant committee to allocate $45,000 in funding for arts and cultural grants for fiscal year 2019-2020,” the press release said. “An additional $4,500 was funded through a grant from the [VCA].”

Of the 12 total grants, five are operational ones, while seven are for projects, including:

Recipients include Creative Cauldron, Falls Church Arts, The Little City CATCH Foundation, Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation, Washington Sinfonietta, and Welcoming Falls Church. Details on their projects and operational needs are listed below:

  • Falls Church Arts: $2,016 in city funds with a $500 VCA match to improve event capacity outside the studio
  • Falls Church Arts: $2,000 in city funds with a $1,500 VCA match to support increased capacity for studio classes
  • The Little City CATCH Foundation: $4,784 in city funds for Watch Night
  • Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation: $5,000 in city funds for promoting the 2019 Tinner Hill Blues Festival
  • Washington Sinfonietta: $416 in city funds to support a free holiday concert at the Falls Church Episcopal Church
  • Welcoming Falls Church: $2,284 in city funds for the Welcoming Week initiative about the contemporary immigrant experience

Currently, Creative Cauldron has a call for submissions through Friday (Jan. 10) for the festival and plans to select three to five new works, along with several finalists.

“One final musical will be chosen by our resident artistic team at the end of the festival to have a fully funded production staged as part of Creative Cauldron’s 2020-2021 season,” according to Creative Cauldron.

Image via Creative Cauldron/Facebook

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Tysons’ 1st Stage Theatre plans to kick off 2020 with a show about the first African-American heavyweight boxing champion in the U.S.

Inspired by real events, “The Royale” is set to come to bring the story of Jay “The Sport” Jackson and a crooked boxing promoter to the theater’s stage later this month.

Back in the fall, 1st Stage received a grant from ARTSFAIRFAX, letting the theater co-produce the show with Maryland-based Olney Theatre. The show was at Olney from in the fall.

The play starts on Jan. 30 and runs until Feb. 23.

Performances for “The Royale” 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 $42 or $39 for seniors. Students and military tickets are $15.

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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!

Tysons Reporter also complied a list of the upcoming holiday events, for those seeking festivities.

Monday (Dec. 23)

  • Christmas Drive-Thru Light Show — 7:15 to 9:30 p.m. at McLean Bible Church (8925 Leesburg Pike) — Community members are invited to drive through the area to see a collection of festive lights. This event is free.
  • Madeline’s Christmas” — 7:30 p.m. at Creative Cauldron, ArtSpace Falls Church (410 S. Maple Avenue) — This musical explores how Madeline helps her classmates and teacher when they are sick in bed on Christmas eve. Tickets are $30 for adults and cheaper tickets are available for kids, older adults and members of the military.

Saturday (Dec. 28)

  • 70’s Disco & Funk Dance Party — 7:30 p.m. until 2 a.m. at The Palladium (8453 Tyco Road) — Partygoers can dance to a variety of 70s’ music and enjoy performances from a DJ. Tickets start at $10 and can be purchased online.
  • “The Kindness Book” Story Time — 11 a.m. Barnes and Noble Booksellers at Tysons Corner Center — Families are welcome to join in a free story time featuring “The Kindness Book.” There will be activities following the event, but the event page did not specify what they will be.

Photo via Creative Cauldron/Facebook

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After kicking its new season off by exploring generational divides, 1st Stage Theatre in Tysons has a comedy opening this week about an air guitar competition.

“Airness” will delve into a woman’s journey when she enters an air guitar competition and befriends a group of nerds, according to the theater’s description of the show.

The show, which is a regional premiere co-production with D.C.-based Keegan Theatre, starts on Thursday (Dec. 5) and runs until Dec. 29.

Performances for “Airness” 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 $42 or $39 for seniors. Students and military tickets are $15.

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In an effort to make the arts more accessible to young audiences, Tysons’ 1st Stage Theatre is rolling out a free subscription for local high school students.

The theater announced on Tuesday (Nov. 19) its new Youth Engagement Subscription (YES) Pass for high school students in Fairfax County. The YES Pass gives students one ticket per show for a year — a free subscription for all mainstage shows.

“Our YES Pass ensures that no student is denied access to live theater due to economic barriers and guarantees that all young people will have an opportunity to be part of the discussion and the artistic life of Fairfax County,” according to a press release from 1st Stage.

The free subscriptions are being sponsored by the Ruth and Hal Launders Foundation.

Students interested in the YES Pass can contact Deidra Starnes at [email protected] or apply online.

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