Tysons Corner, VA

A musical about how women won the right to vote is coming to the Town of Vienna for a sold-out preview ahead of a national tour.

19: The Musical” chronicles the struggles of women suffragists, including Alice Paul, Ida B. Wells, Susan B. Anthony, Carrie Chapman Catt, and Inez Milholland.

Ratified Aug. 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment made it illegal to deny U.S. citizens the right to vote on the basis of sex. The show’s national tour for this fall coincides with the amendment’s centennial next year.

From the musical’s website:

The inspirational story of these fearless women is brought to life through jazz, traditional musical standards style, spoken word, hints of gospel and dance. 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment; our goal is to get a full production of 19 up and running, and onto a stage by the end of 2019.

The show’s book and lyrics were created by Jennifer Schwed and Doug Bradshaw, the cofounders of the Alexandria-based Through the 4th Wall. The show’s music is by film composer Charlie Barnett.

All 200 tickets got snapped up for the special preview performance at the Vienna Community Center (120 Cherry Street SE) on Friday (May 17), according to the musical’s Facebook page. The preview will include songs, dance and narration from the first and second acts of the show.

Photo via Facebook

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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.

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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 

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“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.

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Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods is back at Wolf Trap for a new series of concerts and shows aimed at children and their parents.

Since 1971, the program has been an annual tradition at the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts. Acts vary from puppetry to dance and music.

The first performance will be David Engel’s Willy Wonka-themed magic show on June 18 and 19. The event is planned to include bubble-play and puppetry.

Performances run Tuesday through Saturday at 10:30 a.m., beginning June 18 and running through August 3. Tickets range from $10 to $12 and children under two may attend free of charge.

Other upcoming shows include:

For the adults, this summer’s concert series feature Lionel Richie and other big-name acts.

Photo via Wolf Trap

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Morning Notes

Free Rides to Tysons — The new Fairfax Connector Route 467, which runs from Tysons to Vienna to Dunn Loring, is now operating and is free for the month of April. [Twitter]

Law Firm Finishes Move to The Boro — “Womble Bond Dickinson is excited to announce that it has completed its move to the new Boro Tower effective April 1… [The law firm] will occupy the entire 15th floor of the Boro Tower, consisting of approximately 24,000 square feet of office space.” [CityBizList]

New Falls Church Ice Cream Shop — “Falls Church just got a little sweeter with the opening of Kiln & Custard at Lincoln at Tinner Hill, 455 South Maple Avenue. The business will celebrate its grand opening Sunday, April 7 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.” [Patch]

Vienna Named ‘Tree City’ Again — “Vienna has been certified as a ‘Tree City USA’ by the Arbor Day Foundation for the 18th time, and will host a special event on Friday, April 26 at 5 p.m. at the Vienna Community Center.” [InsideNova]

Mamma Mia! in McLean — “Langley High School concludes its 2018-2019 theater season with an international hit sensation: Mamma Mia!. It will play on April 25-27 at 7 p.m., April 28 at 2 p.m. and May 2-4 at 7 p.m. and May 5 at 2 p.m., 2019 at Saxon Stage Theater at Langley High School.” [McLean Connection]

Falls Church Van Break-ins — “Falls Church Police are seeking two suspects for breaking into the same van three times. Video from the latest break-in shows one suspect inside the van.” [Patch]

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of the most 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 26)

  • Dining for Dollars at Chipotle5-9 p.m. at Chipotle Mexican Grill in Vienna (213 Maple Ave E) — Dining at Chipotle tomorrow can help raise money for the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department. Showing the cashier a flyer for the event — or just mentioning the fundraiser — will send 33 percent of the meal’s proceeds to the department.

Thursday (March 28)

  • Black Politics: Beyond Northam — 7-9 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Vienna (450 Orchard Street) — The Fairfax County NAACP is hosting a meeting to discuss the state of the Democratic Party and how it handled the concerns of the African American community in Virginia in the wake of Ralph Northam’s blackface scandal. Tickets are free but RSVP is required.

Friday (March 29)

  • LUSH Cosmetics 30-Year Birthday — 10 a.m. at LUSH Cosmetics in Tysons Corner Center — To celebrate the company’s 30th birthday, the Tysons location is hosting a weekend of activities starting with a raffle and bath-bomb giveaway on Friday.
  • MAC Community Workshops6 p.m. at the Vienna Community Center (120 Cherry St) — The Town of Vienna is offering the public two opportunities this weekend to get a hands-on feel for the changes to the town’s controversial Maple Avenue Commercial zoning. The first workshop will be on Friday, with a second workshop on Saturday (March 30) at 11 a.m.

Saturday (March 30)

  • DC Bulldog Playdate11 a.m.-12 p.m. at the Vienna Dog Park (700 Courthouse Road) — A regional bulldog meetup will be held in Vienna this weekend, giving dogs and humans a chance to play and mingle. The event listing notes that the bulldogs typically tire after 45 minutes, so those looking for the “full bulldog experience” should arrive right around 11 a.m. The meetup is free but RSVP is requested.
  • Rise Against Hunger Food Packing 1-3 p.m. at Andrew Chapel United Methodist Church (1301 Trap Road) — The Andrew Chapel United Methodist Church in Vienna is hosting a meal packing event to put together nutritious meals for school feeding programs and crisis relief. The packaged meals transport quickly and has a shelf-life of two years.

Sunday (March 31)

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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

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Morning Notes

School Board Advertises $3 Billion Budget — “The Fairfax County School Board has adopted the FY 2020 Advertised Budget of $3.0 billion, an increase of 4.1 percent, or $117.4 million, over the FY 2019 Approved Budget. The FY 2020 budget prioritizes employee compensation with a $55.2 million investment in teacher salary scales that includes a 1.0 percent market scale adjustment.” [Connection Newspapers]

Auditions for Vienna Theater — The Vienna Theatre Company is holding auditions tonight for its upcoming production of “Ripcord.” [Facebook]

Author Talk at Tysons Book Store — Bestselling fantasy novelist Larry Correia will be holding a book discussion and signing tonight at the Barnes & Noble store in Tysons. [Instagram]

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(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.

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