Ethan Berlin has written for various comedians’ shows including George Lopez, Jon Stewart and Sarah Silverman. But his latest venture is writing a children’s book.
Berlin will be returning to his roots in Reston on June 2 (Saturday) to read his debut children’s book “The Hugely-Wugely Spider” at Scrawl Books. The reading will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The story tells the tale of the Itsy-Bitsy’s spider’s larger counterpart, who can’t fit into the water spout.
Part of the idea for the story came about when he was singing the Itsy-Bitsy Spider to one of his two kids. Berlin added that he was typically the bigger kid in his class growing up and always wondered if a bigger version of the Itsy-Bitsy Spider existed.
A 1995 graduate of South Lakes High School, Berlin said he loved doing theatre and comedy during his time at SLHS.
“The thing I lived for at South Lakes was theatre,” he said.
Berlin described himself as a “weirdo” in high school and said he’s grateful for how nicely he was treated at SLHS.
Now living in New Jersey, Berlin said he’s excited to read to kids in Reston and catching up with old friends. And if he could somehow maintain his comedy and writing career from Reston he said he would move back.
Image via Scrawl Books’ website.
Zayid has performed in New York Clubs and was a headliner on the Arabs Gone Wild Comedy Show and The Muslims Are Coming! — a documentary that follows the attempts of American Muslim comics to combat prejudice and misconceptions of Islam through humor.
In 2013, she was selected as an honoree for the United Cerebral Palsy of New York City’s Women Who Care Awards. She was also a full-time on-air contributor on Countdown with Keith Olbermann.
The show is recommended for adults ages 18 and older. Attendees under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Tickets are $15 for Reston residents and $20 for all others.
Americana music and more will come to Café Montmarte (1625 Washington Plaza N.) next week as the Harried Americans Roadshow takes the stage.
According to the group’s website, Harried Americans roadshows are “smarty-pants, loosey-goosey, Americana FUN – with a D.C. twist.” The group boasts that it offers “topical original songs about politicians and social issues, 1960s sing-alongs, and new takes on old standards from the Great American Songbook.”
The show is scheduled for 7-9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27. In addition to the Harried Americans Band, the show is slated to feature Brazilian touring artist Rick Udler, comedian/actress Angela Moore, poetry by the Intellectual Bully and more.
Tickets for the show are $10 and are available online. For more information, call 888-268-8637.
Image via HarriedAmericans.com
The community’s annual Multicultural Festival, sponsored by Reston Community Center and Reston Association, is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. It will include “music, entertainment, dress, food, and cultural treasures from all over the world,” according to information provided by RCC.
The entertainment lineup includes more than a dozen performers on two stages — the World Stage and the Global Stage — as well as at RCC’s Lake Anne facility. The “Global Market” will feature jewelry, clothing and more from around the world.
For more information about the event, contact Kevin Danaher, RCC’s community events director, at 703-390-6166.
There is plenty else scheduled to take place this weekend in the area as well. Get out there and have some fun on this last full weekend of September!
(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.)
- Herndon High School (700 Bennett St.) will present its annual Showcase of Bands all day Saturday. South Lakes High School’s band will perform at 6:15 p.m., and Herndon’s band will play at 8:15.
- Café Montmarte (1625 Washington Plaza N.) will be the host of a comedy performance presented by Funny Friend Productions, beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday. Performers will include Robin Rex, Franqi French, Sumedha Ahuja Bahri, Kevin Skington, Wendy Wroblewski, Gil Segev, Leon Scott, Dan Kaufman and Steve Coltrain. Door charge will be $10.
- The grand-opening event for Reston Farm Market (10800 Baron Cameron Ave.) will take place from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. The fun will include train rides, moon bounces, the petting zoo, face painting and more.
- The JamBrew series continues tonight in Herndon. Aslin Beer Co. will be pouring frosty mugs, Weird Brothers Coffee will be offering tasty drinks, Nordic Knot Pretzels will provide tasty snacks, and there will be much more. Live music will be offered from DJ Barf Dog, Queens Over Kings and Sub-Radio. The free event is slated for 6-10 p.m. at the Herndon Town Green (777 Lynn St.).
- Lake Anne Brew House (11424 Washington Plaza W.) will host a performance by Grammy-nominated musician Cedric Watson from 3-5 p.m. Sunday.
- South Lakes High School’s undefeated varsity football team will play at home tonight at 7 p.m. against Centreville. A pre-game party at the stadium (11400 South Lakes Drive) is scheduled to start at 5:45 p.m., featuring burgers, hot dogs, barbecue, ice cream and more.
- “Sue Wrbican: Well Past the Echo” will be on view at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) through Nov. 18.
- Pulitzer Prize-winner display “Disgraced,” exploring Muslim assimilation and identity in America, will be performed at NextStop Theatre Company (269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon) tonight at 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m.; and at a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee. Tickets range in price from $17.50 to $55.
- Pediatric Specialists of Virginia will have their Stride Forward 5K and Family Health Fair on Saturday from 8:30-11:30 a.m. at Reston Town Center.
- The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is Sunday, from 1:30-5 p.m. at Reston Town Center.
- Many restaurants and bars in Reston will have live music this weekend. These include Crafthouse (1888 Explorer St.) every Friday and Saturday night from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; and Tavern64 (1800 Presidents St.) every Friday from 6-10 p.m.
- Kalypso’s Sports Tavern (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will have live music from Lawn Dart Incident tonight from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; and DJ Kram will play Top 40 hits during those hours Saturday night.
File photo from 2015 Reston Multicultural Festival
But what about live comedy? A Reston native is trying to make it a more regular event here as well.
“I went out and scoped out the comedy scene, and I’m bringing the best comics back to Reston,” said Robin Rex, a six-month veteran of comedy who has already started her own show-booking company, Funny Friend Productions. “We don’t have comedy [here], and I want people to have a place to go to see comedy, good shows.”
In July, Funny Friend Productions put on its first show at Café Montmartre, a longtime favorite venue of Rex. The show had about 75 attendees and was a success for all involved, she said. Another show at the restaurant (1625 Washington Plaza N.) is planned for Sept. 23.
“I grew up on that side of Reston, and I’ve always loved being at Lake Anne,” said Rex, who now lives in Centreville. “There’s places is Centreville [to do shows], but Lake Anne is where my heart is.”
Rex, 43, is a 20-year high school teacher who said she has been performing at venues around Northern Virginia this year as she begins to gain experience in the comedy business. She got started at the suggestion of a co-worker who also works as a standup.
“He just thought that I would be good at it because I’m talking all day [and] I’m good at keeping the kids’ attention, at being funny,” she said. “I finally had my opportunity and I went for it, and from my first night people have started asking me to do other shows.”
She said she has been intimidated at times in the past months as she has started getting her feet wet in the business, but that her confidence is building and she is comfortable once she gets on stage.
“I’m still beside myself nervous, but once I get up there I’m able to flip a switch,” she said, saying her brand of comedy is influenced by standups such as Amy Schumer. “My friends say, ‘You don’t look nervous at all,’ and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I’m dying on the inside.’ … But I just put it out there, and I’m not embarrassed.”
The Sept. 23 show — planned as Rex’s 44th birthday celebration — has numerous area comedians on the bill. In addition to Rex, the show will be headlined by Franqi French, who also grew up in Reston. Other standups slated to perform are Sumedha Ahuja Bahri, Kevin Skington, Wendy Wroblewski, Gil Segev, Leon Scott, Dan Kaufman and Steve Coltrain.
“What’s great about it is I’ve had the past six months to go around [the DC Metro area] and listen to other comics, and then I could handpick the ones that I want to book for my shows,” she said. “Also, it’s my birthday, so I have some of my friends who are comedians on the lineup.”
A door charge of $10 will be collected. Doors will open at 7 p.m., with the show starting at 8.
“[Attendees] probably want to come [early] and get a table and eat, because it was standing-room-only last time,” Rex said.
For information about this show, or to inquire about bringing a Funny Friend Productions show to another venue, connect with Rex on Facebook.
Photo courtesy Robin Rex