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Radiolab Co-Host to Explore ‘Saddam Hussein’s Secret Octopus and Other Stories’ on Saturday

Robert Krulwich, NPR’s Radiolab co-host, will explore complex science in a special presentation on Saturday (June 2) at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage.

During the show, “Saddam Hussein’s Secret Octopus and Other Stories,” Krulwich will play TV and radio stories based on different subjects ranging from an octopus and Saddam Hussein to a bird that invents an anti-gravity device. The performance will begin at 8 p.m.

Krulwich exemplifies compelling storytelling for TV and radio. He is a master weaver of tales who can transform complicated scientific curiosities into fascinating illustrations of discovery that delight, amuse and enlighten his audiences,” wrote RCC’s arts and events director Paul Douglas Michnewicz in a statement.

Krulwich’s show is the final professional touring artist performance of the season.

Tickets are $20 for Restonians and $30 for all others.

Photo via Reston Community Center

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‘Boys in Trouble’ Explores Modern Masculine Identity

Sean Dorsey, a transgender contemporary dance choreographer, will bring a dance performance to Reston Community Center as part of a 20-city tour on Wednesday, May 16.

The show, Boys in Trouble, investigates modern masculine identity from the perspective of transgender and queer perspectives. The score includes excerpts from recorded interviews, original music and narration by Dorsey.

Dorsey created the show after visiting communities across the country to host forums on masculinity and to teach workshops for transgender, gender non-conforming, cisgender, gay, bi and queer individuals in the masculine spectrum.

Reston Community Center’s CenterStage is one of the first stops for the national tour. According to organizers, the dances will “move audiences to examine their own assumptions and experiences of gender.”

Tickets are $15 for Restonians and $20 for all others. The performance contains profanity and some themes of violence.

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12-Year-Old Pianist to Perform at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage Next Week

Oscar Paz-Suaznabar, a 12-year-old pianist, will perform on Thursday (April 12) from 2:15-3:30 p.m. at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road).

Paz-Suaznabar has performed on From the TOP, an NPR radio show that features gifted young musicians.

He also won first place in the Asian American Music Society Competition and the American Protégé Competition at Carnegie Hall. He attends The Langley School and began playing the piano on his sister’s keyboard when he was two years old.

The event is the product of a partnership between Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University and RCC.  All ages are welcome to the free event.

Photo via Reston Community Center

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Reston Community Players Present ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’

Dive into the height of the jazz age in New York City with “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” Reston Community Players’ next play.

The performance, based on the 1967 award-winning film, will run from April 20 through May 12 at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage.

Throughly Modern Millie follows the story of Millie Dillmount, a girl from Kansas, who comes to New York to work a secretary for a wealthy man and marry him. But things don’t go exactly as she planned.

The owner of the hotel where she is staying kidnaps young girls and she falls in love with a man who is not her wealthy boss.

 “This is what I would describe as a ‘sing me, dance me, entertain me’ type of show,” says Duane Monahan, who serves as both director and choreographer for the production. “We hope to transport audiences to 1920’s New York City and immerse them in the story of Millie Dillmount and her search for love and adventure.”

Performance dates are set for April 20, 21, 27 and 29, as well as May 4, 5, 6, 11 and 12. The curtain time is 8 p.m. for all dates except April 29 and May 6, which are matinees with a 2 p.m. curtain time. 

Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the box office at 703-476-4500. The price is $27 for adults and $23 for seniors and students.

Photo courtesy Reston Community Players

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This Sunday: Screening of ‘Blind Boys of Alabama,” A Documentary Directed by Reston Native

Trace the story of the Blind Boys of Alabama, a legendary gospel quartet that blossomed after its members met in the 1930s at a segregated, state-run institute for the blind, this Sunday at Reston Community Center.

As part of the ReelAbilities Film Festival, an offshoot of the New York film festival, CenterStage will show the film, “How Sweet the Sound — The Blind Boys of Alabama,” at 3 p.m. at RCC Hunters Woods.

The documentary is directed and produced by Reston’s own Leslie McCleave. The independent filmmaker graduated from Herndon High School and was raised in Reston. The screening will be followed by a conversation with McCleave, who currently teaches film and video production at Emerson College in Boston, Ma.

The festival, run by the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, features films by and about people with disabilities. Screenings will take place at several venues throughout Northern Virginia.

Sunday’s screening is restricted to viewers ages 18 and above.

For more information about other screenings, visit the festival’s website.

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‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ Comes to Reston Community Center

Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” will be gracing the Reston Community Center’s CenterStage from March 9 through 24.

The play, performed by the Reston Community Players, tells the story of Brick Pollitt, an alcoholic and former high school football player, and his wife Maggie. When the two join the rest of the Pollitt family for Big Daddy’s 65th birthday, a story of survival and family dysfunction emerges at the Southern plantation.

“Cat is one of my favorite stage productions, and it is an honor to bring these characters to life at Reston,” said Sharon Veselic, who directs the show, in a press release. “While the story takes place in the 1950s, many of the dynamics of the personalities portrayed on stage are still relevant today. It’s a true classic.”

The show is presented through an arrangement with Dramatists Play Service on behalf of the Sewanee: The University of the South.

Tickets are $23. To purchase, contact the box office at 703-476-4500 or go online. The play is recommended for ages 16 and older for adult themes and brief nudity.

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What’s Going On This Weekend Around Reston?

From a performance on multiculturalism to a seminar on brain health, there’s a lot to do in Reston this weekend.

  • Children can let their imaginations go wild at Box-A-Rama on Saturday. At the event from 9 a.m. through noon at Reston Association headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive), children can play with boxes of all sizes. All children must be accompanied by parents and caregivers. Tickets are $10 for RA members and $15 for all others.
  • An open house is set for The Lake House (11450 Baron Cameron Avenue) on Saturday from 2 – 4 p.m. Enjoy light refreshments and talk to staff about the multipurpose uses of the space.
  • At Reston Regional Library on Saturday, enjoy the movie “Guardians of the Galaxy,” from 2 – 4 p.m. as part of the library’s series on movies that began as books. The event is open to teenagers and adults.
  • The American Association of Retired Persons is hosting a brain health seminar at Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road) on Saturday from 11 a.m. to noon. To register call 703-390-6157 or email [email protected]ty.gov.
  • Join the Greater Reston Arts Center and Reston Community Center on Saturday at 5 p.m. for an exploratory weaving workshop. Students will leave with a completed wall hanging. Tickets are $45 for Reston residents and $55 for all others. Register online.
  • In a concert about friendship and multiculturalism, Mohammed Bilal and Josh “Boac” Goldstein use their friendship to actively challenge the American notions of black and white, Jew and Muslim, and urban and suburban. The performance, “The Color Orange,” will take place at CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road) on Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 for Reston residents and $20 for all others.
  • On Sunday, watch 20 local figure skaters perform at the Reston Town Center Ice Skating Pavilion (1818 Discovery Street). The National Skating Month Exhibition will take place from 7:15-8:45 p.m.
  • The Capitol Steps, a popular Washington-based music and satire troupe, will perform at the Hyatt Regency Reston (1800 Presidents Street) on Sunday at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. Proceeds will go to Cornerstone. Purchase tickets online.
  • Reston artist Rudy Guernica’s exhibit, “Lost in the Woods,” will be in the Jo Ann Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center Lake Anne from Jan. 9 through Feb. 4.
  • In this exhibit, Paulina Peavy’s work will be on display through Feb. 17 at Greater Reston Arts Center. Peavy gave up control of her brush to an alien entity named Lacamo after attending a seance in 1932. Her work includes paintings, films and texts that she used to better channel Lacamo’s energy. A talk by GRACE’s executive director Lily Siegel is set for Saturday at 3 p.m. at the center.

(Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of all the events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar.)

Photo via Reston Community Center

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Friday Morning Notes

Northern Virginia Community College Reston Center Moves — The center, which is an extension of the Loudoun campus and offers academic programs, events and workforce development opportunities, moved from its location on Wiehle Avenue to 1821 Michael Faraday Drive this week. [NOVA Loudoun Campus via Twitter]

Local Exhibit Shines Beam on Artist Who Believed in UFOs  In a feature in the Washington Post, writer Mark Jenkins delves into the work and life of Paulina Peavy. Her work is on display at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market Street) through Feb. 17. The center’s executive director, Lily Siegel, will discuss the exhibit on Saturday at 3 p.m. [The Washington Post]

Magical Frolic at Reston’s CenterStage — David Siegel writes about “Peter and the Starcatcher,” a production by Reston Community Players that explains how Peter Pan came to be. Performances are scheduled at CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road) from Jan. 19 through Feb. 3 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., with a Sunday 2 p.m. matinee on Jan. 28. [The Connection]

File photo by Fatimah Waseem

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Coming Up: Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Weekend

Reston Community Center will hold a series of events this weekend to kick-off the 33rd annual Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration.

Tamika Mallory, co-chair of the 2017 Women’s March on Washington, will deliver a keynote address on Monday at noon at RCC Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road). Tickets are $5 for Reston residents and $10 for all others. A community lunch will follow the speech.

Mallory, a nationally recognized advocate for social justice, worked closely with the Obama administration to push for civil rights, health care, equal rights for women and ending gun violence.

Leila Gordon, RCC’s executive director, said Mallory is among the “new and urgent voices” pushing the country toward realizing Dr. King’s vision.

“Reston’s annual celebration of his birthday has always been designed to reinvigorate our commitments to the goals of the civil rights movement and the values of Reston’s founding. We look forward to Ms. Mallory’s visit and her call to action,” Gordon wrote in a statement.

Tickets are available for purchase at CenterStage box office or online.

A breakdown of events scheduled for the celebration weekend is below.

Saturday, Jan. 13

Sunday, Jan. 14

Monday, Jan. 15

  • Youth Program at RCC Hunters Woods: While the community lunch takes place, children in first grade through sixth grade can watch videos, complete arts and crafts and do other activities based on the history of the civil rights movement from 11;30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Limited on-site registration will be available on the day of the event.

The celebration weekend is made possible by Martin Luther King, Jr. Christian Church, Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, Reston Community Orchestra, Reston Association, Southgate Community Center and Cornerstones, with the support of other religious and civic organizations, business groups, and schools.

Several days after the celebration weekend, RCC Hunters Woods will feature a performance about friendship and multiculturalism on Sunday, Jan. 21 at 3 p.m. 

Mohammad Bilal and Josh “Boac” Goldstein will challenge stereotypes linked to black and white, Jew and Muslim, and urban and suburban during their hip-hop concert titled, “The Color Orange.” Tickets are available for purchase $15 for Reston residents and $20 for all others.

Photo via Women’s March

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Monday Morning Notes

Rollicking Roundup Playtime at Frying Pan Farm Park — Children and their caregivers can attend a free morning session of playtime at the park on 2709 West Ox Road tomorrow from 10 a.m. to noon tomorrow. This session’s theme is vehicles. For more information, call 703-437-9101. [Fairfax County Government]

Free Screening of McFarland, USA Today at 10 a.m. — CenterStage Cinema (2310 Colts Neck Road) presents a free screening of McFarland, USA, a movie based on the 1987 true story of novice runners from an economically challenged town in California’s Central Valley who attempt to build a cross-country team. A free continental breakfast will begin at 9:30 a.m. [Reston Community Center]

Reston’s Used Book Shop Celebrates 40 Years — The book store held an anniversary open house on Sunday to celebrate 40 years of operation in Reston. The shop is currently located at 1623 Washington Plaza and first opened on Jan. 7, 1978. [Reston’s Used Book Shop via Facebook]

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Hip Hop Concert in January Features Multiculturalism, Race

Mohammed Bilal and Josh Goldstein will use their friendship to challenge American stereotypes in A hip hop concert in late January at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage.

Their show, The Color Orange, demonstrates a 10-step plan people can take to achieve cross-cultural communication and understanding. The show will take place on Sunday, Jan. 21 from 3 – 5 p.m.

Bilal is best known for his appearance in MTV’s The Real World. He holds a master’s degree in diversity studiest. Goldstein has been rapping for more than a decade with artists like Souls of Mischief and Del the Funkee Homosapien.

Tickets are $15 for Reston residents and $20 for all others. They can be purchased online.

Photo via Facebook

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‘The Ultimate Christmas Show’ Set for Saturday at RCC CenterStage

Reduced Shakespeare Company, a troupe that has been performing shows for more than three decades, will bring their interactive skits to Reston Community Center’s CenterStage on Saturday.

The group will perform “The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged)” on Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. in an effort to “rekindle the joy, inner-child and familial dysfunction inside us all,” according to the troupe’s description of the show.

Audience members can bring a Christmas gift of $5 value or less and participate in an audience gift exchange. RSC’s shows are known for their unique tongue-in-cheek interpretations of the world and interaction with the audience during live shows.

During the show, the artists will describe how Santa saved Christmas, delve into the history of famous Christmas traditions, explore the origin of the term nutcracker and more.

Tickets are $25 for Reston residents and $35 for all others. For more information, visit RCC’s website or call Paul Douglas Michnewicz, the arts and events director at 703-390-6167.

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CenterStage Event to Feature Environmental Activist Terry Tempest Williams

Terry Tempest Williams, an environmental activist and author, will be featured in “The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks” on Saturday at CenterStage.

Her book has been called a love letter to America’s national parks. Reston Community Center’s website published the following biographical information about Williams:

A naturalist and fierce advocate for freedom of speech, she has consistently shown us how environmental issues are social issues that ultimately become matters of justice. “So here is my question,” she asks, “what might a different kind of power look like, feel like, and can power be redistributed equitably even beyond our own species?”

The event will begin at 8 p.m. Tickets for Reston residents are $15 and $20 for all other. Purchase tickets online. For more information, call 703-390-6167 or visit RCC’s website.

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Thursday Morning Notes

ABC7 Features Reston Athlete — Rose Pleskow, a Reston resident born with intellectual disabilities and epilepsy, was featured on  the TV channel. She won the bronze medal in the 1500 meters race in the Special Olympic World Games in 2011. Pleskow now competes internationally in open water swimming. [ABC7]

Rich Kleinfeldt and Yuniko Rogers to Perform at CenterStage Today — The artists will perform at CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road) from 2:15 – 3:30 p.m. as part of a collaboration between will join us for our free Meet the Artists Series at the CenterStage tomorrow, 11/9, from 2:15 – 3:30 p.m. [Reston Community Center]

South Lakes High School to Perform ‘Almost Maine’ — Students will perform John Cariani’s classic romantic comedy on Nov. 16 and 17 at 7 p.m. and on Nov. 18 at 2 p.m and 7 p.m.  Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students. [South Lakes Theatre Arts]

Greater Reston Arts Center Selects Volunteer of the Year — The arts center selected Nicola Shelley as the volunteer of the year. The award recognizes a volunteer that commits personal time and resources to support the center’s programs. Nicola is the lead art coordinator at Buzz Aldrin Elementary School. [Greater Reston Arts Center]

Photo via ABC7/WJLA
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Thursday Morning Notes

Reception to Celebrate Exhibit About Public Art in Reston Tonight — Public Art Reston and Reston Historic & Museum will co-host a reception to celebrate the exhibit Reston: The Art of Community at the museum (1639 Washington Plaza North) from 5:30 – 7 pm. The reception will be followed by a screening of Peabody Award winning director Rebekah Wingert-Jabi’s Fun, Beauty, Fantasy: Reston’s Public Art and A Bird in the Hand – Patrick Dougherty’s Sculptural Installation in Reston, VA  from 7 – 8:30 p.m. at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center Lake Anne (1609 Washington Plaza North). Attendance is free. RSVP by emailing [email protected] [Public Art Reston]

Virginia Officials Push Hard on E-ZPass Awareness for I-66 Tolls — State officials plan to encourage more drivers to get an E-ZPass or E-ZPass Flex. Around half of drivers using Interstate 66 do not have the devices, even though new tolls lanes will open in less than two months. [WTOP]

Meet Marion Baker at CenterStage Tonight — Baker, who has been the principal cellist of the Fairfax Symphony for several years, will be featured in this event at Center Stage (2310 Colts Neck Road) from 2:15 – 3:30 p.m. tonight. All ages are welcome. [Reston Community Center]

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