Reston Community Center to start ticket sales for touring artist series in August

Patrons enjoy a show at CenterStage before the pandemic (via The CenterStage at Reston/Facebook)

Reston Community Center has announced the lineup its 2021-22 Professional Touring Artist Series.

After a truncated season with limited audiences last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the series will bring a variety of musicians, theatrical performances, and speakers to a full-capacity CenterStage starting in September.

“It is our great pleasure to welcome our audiences back to the CenterStage,” RCC Arts and Events Director Paul Douglas Michnewicz said in a press release. “Whether you are seeking an escape from your troubles with sublime dance or want to be inspired by thought leaders or you just need to laugh, the Professional Touring Artist Series has something for everyone to enjoy.”

With seating limited by Virginia’s restrictions on indoor entertainment venues, RCC Executive Director Leila Gordon says the community center was still able to host some artists and speakers last season, including the folk/rock band Trout Fishing in America, jazz violinist Regina Carter, and actor BD Wong, whose talk coincided with the 2021 Reston Pride Festival in June.

Many artists who were unable to come to Reston still sent video messages that RCC posted to its YouTube channel, and some were rescheduled for this upcoming season.

Gordon says RCC has seen attendance at its shows pick up since late spring, but even in June, a good day would be one with an audience of 100 people for a show that normally might’ve filled up the 260-seat CenterStage auditorium.

“We are keeping our hopes high that widespread vaccination will continue to offer protection that will help artists and audiences return safely to the CenterStage this season,” Gordon said.

Unless otherwise noted, all shows are held at CenterStage, which is located at RCC Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road). Tickets go on sale for Reston residents and employees on August 1 at 1 p.m. Sales open to the general public on August 8 at 1 p.m.

The full schedule for this season is below:

Mutts Gone Nuts, A Comedy Dog Act

  • Sept. 19, 3-7 p.m.
  • $10 Reston/$15 Non-Reston
  • Expect the unexpected, as canines and comedy collide in a smash hit performance that’s leaving audiences everywhere howling for more.

National Heritage Award Fellows at the Reston Multicultural Festival

  • Sept. 25, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Lake Anne Plaza; free, all ages
  • National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) National Heritage Fellowships are the nation’s highest honor in folk and traditional arts. This year’s fellows, who will be recognized at the annual Reston Multicultural Festival, are Rev. Paschall & Company and The Chuck Brown Band.

The Seldom Scene

  • Oct. 2, 8 p.m.
  • $25 Reston/$35 Non-Reston
  • What does it take for a bluegrass band to remain popular for more than four decades? For The Seldom Scene, it has taken talented musicians, a signature sound and a solid repertoire, as well as a delightful sense of fun.

The Blackest Battle — By Psalmayene 24

  • Oct. 25, 7:30 p.m.
  • $15 Reston/$20 Non-Reston
  • Part of the Washington West Film Festival, this revolutionary hip-hop musical directed by Raymond O. Caldwell centers on Bliss and Dream, members of warring rap factions who fall in love while trying to make sense of their turbulent lives.

The Dancing Light Celebrating the Warmth of Winter

  • Nov. 20, 8 p.m.
  • $15 Reston/$20 Non-Reston
  • Jazz group Akua Allrich and The Tribe returns to CenterStage. Come share an evening filled with music from around the world celebrating the wonder of the season and joy of living.

Baratunde Thurston

  • Jan. 16, 2 p.m.
  • $15 Reston/$20 Non-Reston
  • Writer, comedian, and activist Baratunde Thurston holds space for hard and complex conversations with his blend of humor, wisdom and compassion.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration Keynote Address and Community Lunch

  • Jan. 17, 11 a.m.
  • $5 Reston/$10 Non-Reston
  • Heather McGhee is one of the most brilliant and influential thinkers exploring inequality today. Both her viral TED talk and her instant New York Times bestseller “The Sum of Us” reveal the devastating true cost of racism – not just for people of color, but for everyone.

A Reading of American Moor

  • Feb. 5, 8 p.m.
  • $15 Reston/$20 Non-Reston
  • Actor Keith Hamilton Cobb embarks on a poetic exploration that examines the experience and perspective of Black men in America through the metaphor of Shakespeare’s character Othello, offering up a host of insights that are by turns introspective and indicting, difficult and deeply moving.

Ibram X. Kendi

  • Feb. 9, 8 p.m.
  • $15 Reston/$20 Non-Reston
  • Ibram X. Kendi is one of America’s foremost historians and leading antiracist voices. His book “How to Be an Antiracist” was published in 2019 to great acclaim.

What the %@&*! Happened to Comics?

  • Feb. 27, 3 p.m.
  • $20 Reston/$30 Non-Reston
  • Pulitzer Prize-winning artist/illustrator and author Art Spiegelman, author of “Maus” and “Maus II,” almost single-handedly brought comic books out of the toy closet and onto the literature shelves.

Lúnasa

  • March 20, 3 and 7 p.m.
  • $25 Reston/$35 Non-Reston
  • Named for an ancient Celtic harvest festival in honor of the Irish god Lugh, patron of the arts, Lúnasa is a gathering of some of the top musical talents in Ireland.

Spectacular Falls, A Slippery Solo Musical

  • Mar. 26, 8 p.m.
  • Written and performed by Anita Hollander with American Sign Language interpretation by Rev. Rachel Hollander
  • $15 Reston/$20 Non-Reston
  • Come share a humorous, edgy, moving and somewhat slippery exploration of how we all fall, how the world can fall apart and how we rise again.

Mr. Vaudeville and Friends Present Mystery! at the Vaudeville House

  • April 2, 3 p.m.
  • $5 Reston/ $10 Non-Reston
  • Bring the family and join an audience of unlikely sleuths for an afternoon of high crimes and high jinks.

Class: The Carla Perlo Story

  • April 6, 8 p.m.
  • $15 Reston/$20 Non-Reston
  • Experience a documentary film, interspersed with live performance, about dancer and choreographer Carla Perlo and her influence on her students, the field of dance, the communities in which she worked and her advocacy for property ownership by artists over the course of 48 years.

123 Andrés

  • April 9, 3 p.m.
  • $5 Reston/ $10 Non-Reston
  • 123 Andrés is the award-winning duo of Andrés and Christina, who entertain with catchy songs and a high-energy show that gets kids and families singing and dancing in Spanish and English.

Hamlet’s Big Adventure (a prequel)

  • April 24, 3 and 7 p.m.
  • $25 Reston/ $35 Non-Reston
  • The Reduced Shakespeare Company returns to Reston with the D.C. premiere of this hilarious (and completely fictional) prequel to Hamlet.

Living Simply So Others Might Simply Live

  • May 4, 8 p.m.
  • $15 Reston/$20 Non-Reston
  • Actor Ed Begley Jr. will share his inspiration and insight into one of the world’s most important causes – environmental sustainability. All ticketholders will be given a packet of pollinator flower seeds. Stay afterward for a book signing.

A Quest for Freedom: A collaboration between Nai-Ni Chen Dance and the Ahn Trio

  • May 18, 8 p.m.
  • $20 Reston/$30 Non-Reston
  • Originally inspired by their adaptation of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” and their interpretation and performance of “Purple Rain” by Prince at Ellis Island, Nai-Ni Chen worked with the Ahn Trio to find their common vision in this dance and live music performance.

The Kinsey Sicks

  • June 4, 8 p.m.
  • $20 Reston/$30 Non-Reston
  • America’s favorite Dragapella® Beautyshop Quartet will serve up a feast of a cappella music and comedy.

More information about the shows and purchasing tickets can be found on the Reston Community Center website or by calling 703-476-4500.

Photo via The CenterStage at Reston/Facebook

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