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Singer Ted Garber to Bring Blues, Rock to Reston on Friday

Singer and musician Ted Garber is bringing his blues, Americana and rock music back to Reston later this week.

Garber started his career by performing covers on the streets of New Orleans before heading to the 9:30 Club, Blues Alley and the Strathmore in the D.C.-area, according to his bio.

Now, Garber is a well-known musician around the Northern Virginia area, who often stops by Reston on his tours and for community events.

Garber is set to perform on Friday (Feb. 22) at 9 p.m. at Red’s Table (11150 South Lakes Drive), an American eatery by Lake Thoreau that was started by three siblings who grew up in Reston. The event does not have a cover charge.

Photo via Ted Garber/Facebook

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Reston Students Win National Award at Junior Theater Festival

Students from a private performing arts school in Reston recently took home prizes at the 2019 Junior Theater Festival.

The festival, which ran from Jan. 18-20 in Atlanta, celebrated student-driven musical theater programs. In addition to watching students’ performances, the more than 6,600 students and educators were able to partake in interactive workshops led by Broadway and West End professionals.

The Lopez Studios Inc. Performing Arts Preparatory School (11425 S. Isaac Newton Square) won a Freddie G Award for Excellence in Ensemble Work.

Three students from Lopez Studios — Jillian Felder, Victoria Felder and Marisa Lopez — received call-backs for future Broadway Junior shoots that will be taped this summer in New York City. The shoots will be “how-to” choreography videos for soon-to-be-released Broadway Junior musicals.

Marisa Lopez and Marcus Pennisi were some of the students named to the Junior Theater Festival All-Stars. They performed in the All-Stars song during the festival’s closing ceremony.

Students from the school also performed “Seusical Jr.” — the musical version for kids based on the books by Dr. Seuss.

This isn’t the first time Lopez Studios has won awards at Junior Theater Festivals. Students from the school have won awards or made it to the final call-back every year of the festival going back to 2014.

Photo by James Barker Photography

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Basic knitting — Want to learn how to knit? The Reston Regional Library will show you “the only two stitches you need to knit anything you want” from 7-8 p.m. tonight. [Fairfax County]

Two musical worlds collide — Koto player Yumi Kurosawa will perform with tabla player Anubrata Chatterjee, bridging the cultures of Japan and India. The performance starts at 8 p.m. at CenterStage. Tickets cost $15 for Restonians. [Reston Community Center]

Movie theatre chain may come to Reston — “Upscale movie theater chain Cinépolis is close to a deal to open an eight-screen theater at Halley Rise, making the mixed-use project in Reston its first location in Northern Virginia.” [Washington Business Journal]

Students helping students — Leadership students from South Lakes High School recently organized a workshop to teach leadership skills to student ambassadors from Terraset Elementary School. [Fairfax County]

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NextStop Theatre Creates Program for D.C.-Area Playwrights

NextStop Theatre Company is rolling out a new program to strengthen the network of D.C.-area playwrights.

The Herndon-based, nonprofit theatre company unveiled The Playwrights’ Initiative on Friday (Feb. 8) to help connect artists and to provide resources often needed for new theatrical works.

“I have long aspired for NextStop to get involved in developing new work,” NextStop Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Evan Hoffman said in a statement. “But I wanted to start by consulting with playwrights. I wanted to find out how we could best serve them and their creative process.”

Hoffman says that playwrights often say they face two challenges. “They lamented that the writing process can be very lonely work and that finding the people and space to gain objective feedback is daunting,” Hoffman said. “It is my hope we can help to ease both of those struggles through this program.”

The program has two components.

First, the theatre company will host an inaugural “Playwrights’ Mixer and Pitch-fest” on March 23. NextStop Theatre Company plans to invite 30 local playwrights network with each other and local directors and producers before each playwright pitches their work to the group.

After the event, playwrights in attendance will have the opportunity to complete a survey about the pitches, which will help NextStop Theatre Company select the works for a series of free staged readings. The theatre company plans to have professional actors and directors take part in the developmental readings, which are slated to take place over six months.

The Playwrights’ Initiative is partly funded by a grant from ArtsFairfax.

Photo by NextStop Theatre Company

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CenterStage Event Set to Fuse Indian, Japanese Musical Traditions

The musical traditions of Japan and India will combine in a performance by Yumi Kurosawa and Anubrata Chatterjee at the Reston Community Center later this week.

Kurosawa is set to play the koto, a Japanese stringed musical instrument, while Chatterjee will play the tabla — a pair of small drums common in North Indian classical music.

“This collaboration highlights their affinity and respect for one another as virtuosic performers while furthering their own timeless musical tradition,” the event description says, adding that the performance by Kurosawa and Chatterjee will focus on creating “musical tales.”

They are set to perform on CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road) at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13. Tickets cost $15 for Restonians and $20 for everyone else.

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Jazz Singer Jazzmeia Horn Bringing Tour to CenterStage

Jazzmeia Horn, a Grammy-nominated jazz singer and songwriter, will perform at the Reston Community Center in March as part of her tour.

Her album “A Social Call,” which came out in 2017, earned Horn her first Grammy nomination in 2018. Her performance at the 60th Grammy Award Ceremony last year ended with a standing ovation.

Horn won the 2015 Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition.

She is set to take CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road) at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 30. Tickets cost $20 for Restonians and $30 for everyone else.

Photo by Jacob Blickenstaff

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Artist Seeks ‘Sculpture Court’ Performers for NoVa Fine Arts Festival

Adults are needed to participate in a movement installation for the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival.

Artist Heidi Latsky plans to “celebrate the beauty of differences” with a movement installation titled “ON DISPLAY/RESTON.” The installation is a sculpture court where the performers are the sculptures, according to the Reston Community Center.

The Reston installation is a local platform for a worldwide initiative called “ON DISPLAY,” which was created by a partnership between Heidi Latsky Dance, a New York City dance company, and the United Nations to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Men and women age 18 and older are able to participate — no formal dance experience is required. “Diversity and the most inclusive range of ability are welcome. The movement installations will involve focus, stillness and structured improvisation,” according to the press release.

“ON DISPLAY/RESTON” will take place on Saturday, May 18, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 19, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. People interested in participating should contact Kevin Danaher at [email protected]

The three-day festival at Reston Town Center is set to start on Friday, May 17, and last until Sunday, May 19. More than 200 artists are anticipated at the festival.

Photo by Charlotte Jones

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Herndon’s Board of Zoning Appeals Overturns House Concert Citation

Herndon’s Board of Zoning Appeals narrowly threw out a zoning violation for a local house concert series at its meeting on Thursday (Jan. 24).

Chris Devine, the host of The Crib, said he decided to challenge that citation on Dec. 20 after meeting with staff three days earlier. Devine told the Board of Zoning Appeals that the staff appeared unfamiliar with house concerts, which he likened to a sports fan who has fellow fans over to watch the show and asks for money to help cover food and drink costs.

Zoning Administrator David Stromberg testified on Thursday night that the Town of Herndon first received an anonymous complaint last year on Oct. 30 alleging that 70 people entered Devine’s single-family townhouse. Stromberg said that evening surveillance then took place during two scheduled concert dates.

After two more complaints on Dec. 8 and Dec. 10 mentioning a lack of visitor parking, a notice of violation was issued on Dec. 14.

“[This] activity constitutes an Indoor Entertainment use and is not a permitted use on the subject property pursuant to the Town of Herndon Zoning Ordination,” the citation said.

Stromberg said that the zoning ordinance doesn’t really define a “commercial use” versus “non-commercial use” for indoor entertainment, adding that he did not consider who was receiving the money from the tickets.

All of the attendees’ donations and tickets go to the artist, according to The Crib’s website.

Devine said at the meeting that he’s taken steps to remediate any confusion that could result from a cursory review of the house concerts.

He said that he changed the wording on the website from “ticket” to “suggested donation” to clear up any concern about where the money goes. He also removed reference to a limited liability corporation he had set up for potential professional endeavors unrelated to the house concerts.

“I am certainly free as a homeowner to invite into my home anyone that I choose, including those fellow music lovers who want to support those artists through a donation,” Devine said in response to a definition of commercial activities referring to open attendance. “While I have not had the occasion, I can also refuse to anyone at any time for any reason, therefore attendance to my home is not open to the public.”

Since launching in 2015, The Crib has hosted nearly 50 house shows with 28 different independent artists, according to its website. Each show lets the artist perform two 45-minute sets of original music. Seating is on a first-come basis with a capacity of roughly 40 people.

After several locals testified in support of The Crib, the board voted 3-2 to overturn the violation.

The Crib’s next scheduled performance is set for Feb. 8 and will feature Dustin Furlow and Matt Thomas.

Image via Board of Zoning Appeals 

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Fishing Workshop and More This Weekend in Reston

There’s plenty to do around Reston and Herndon this weekend — especially if you are interested in learning more about fish and fishing.

The Herndon-based Northern Virginia Fish Club is set to hold its January meeting this weekend for aquarium enthusiasts.

Fishers can hone their skills before the warm weather arrives with a workshop at Lake Fairfax Park.

Tomorrow (Jan. 26)

Reston Camp Expo (9 a.m.-noon) — Reston’s sixth annual Camp Expo gives families a chance to learn about hundreds of Reston-area summer camps and out-of-school activities. This year’s event will also feature youth sports organizations and providers. It will be held at the Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road).

Bus service meeting (10 a.m.-noon) — Locals wanting to give feedback on the bus service in Herndon and Reston can head to the meeting at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery (1609-A Washington Plaza). The Fairfax County Department of Transportation is seeking input as part of a process to improve service and implement a plan for service changes, including connections to the future Metrorail Silver Line Phase 2 stations in Herndon and Reston.

Soup samples at Frying Pan Farm Park (10-11:30 a.m.) — Locals can go to Frying Pan Farm Park (2739 West Ox Road) to learn how to prepare home-cooked soups in winter. All participants will get to take home a serving of “Stone Soup” to enjoy. The cost of the program is $10 per person.

NoVa fish club meeting (1 p.m.) — The Northern Virginia Fish Club is scheduled to have their monthly meeting at the Herndon Fortnightly Library (768 Center Street).

Fishing workshop (4-5 p.m.) — Fishers can hone their skills at a workshop at Lake Fairfax Park (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive). During the “Fishing Workshop-Tackle,” participants will learn about a variety of tackle, including rods and reels. The cost is $8 per person.

Herndon High School cabaret (7:30 p.m.) — This year’s annual performance will include family-favorites from “Come From Away,” “Matilda,” “Waitress” and “Kinky Boots.” The show starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Herndon High School Auditorium. Tickets cost $5 for students and seniors and $10 for adults.

Sunday (Jan. 27)

Winter Restaurant Week ends (all day) — Sunday is the last day for locals to enjoy prix fixe menus at the four Reston restaurants that are participating in Winter Restaurant Week. The event was set to end last week, but then the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington extended it.

“[title of show]” (2 p.m.) — Sunday is the last day for NextStop Theatre Company’s “[title of show],” a musical about four friends writing a musical about four friends writing a musical. Intrigued? Tickets start at $40 for the 2 p.m. performance at 269 Sunset Park Drive.

“Variety – The Spice of Life” reception (2-4 p.m.) — An opening reception will be held for paintings by Lassie Corbett, a Reston artist, on display at RCC Lake Anne’s Jo Ann Rose Gallery (1609-A Washington Plaza).

Capitol Steps benefit performance (6 p.m.) — The annual performance by the political satire troupe raises money for Cornerstones to help families in the Embry Rucker Community Shelter. Tickets start at $100, and the event is set to take place at the Hyatt Regency Reston (1800 Presidents Street).

File photo

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Friday Morning Notes

Family yoga — From 10:30-11 a.m. at the Reston Regional Library, families can enjoy yoga along with stories and songs with a children’s yoga instructor. The event is meant for children ages 2 to 4. Families are encouraged to bring a mat or blanket. [Fairfax County]

Herndon High School 2019 Cabaret — This year’s annual performance will include family-favorites from “Come From Away,” “Matilda,” “Waitress” and “Kinky Boots.” The show starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Herndon High School Auditorium. Tickets cost $5 for students and seniors and $10 for adults. [Herndon High School]

New case study unveils history behind “One Fairfax” — The Center for the Study of Social Policy’s 15-page study was released on Jan. 22 to present an overview of the decades-long process and the milestones that led to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and School Board adopting the “One Fairfax” policy in November 2017. [Fairfax County]

Reston care merger — Reston’s Clinical Care Options has merged with Greenwich, Conn.-based Practicing Clinicians Exchange. [citybizlist]

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Capitol Steps Benefit Performance to Bring Laughs This Sunday

The Capitol Steps are back in Reston this Sunday (Jan. 27) for the troupe’s 36th annual benefit performance for Cornerstones.

The D.C.-based political satire group is known for mocking both sides of the aisle in songs and comedy skits. The troupe has recorded more than 35 albums since Senate staffers started Capitol Steps in 1981 according to the website.

The show starts at 6 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Reston (1800 Presidents Street). Tickets start at $100.

Proceeds from the performance benefit families in the Cornerstones’ Embry Rucker Community Shelter. In recent years, the annual benefit performance has raised more than $300,000.

Photo via The Capitol Steps/Facebook

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Herndon House Concert Set to Challenge Zoning Citation Next Week

A Herndon house concert series that features independent artists is set to challenge a zoning violation at the Board of Zoning Appeals next week.

Chris Devine, the host of The Crib, received a violation notice taped to his front door from the Town of Herndon for a concert on Nov. 17 in his home, the Herndon Connection reported last week.

Dated Dec. 13, the citation says that 44 people were observed entering the home between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. for a Gina Venier and Lexie Hayden concert.

“[This] activity constitutes an Indoor Entertainment use and is not a permitted use on the subject property pursuant to the Town of Herndon Zoning Ordination,” the citation said. It gave Devine 15 days to resolve the violation to avoid incurring fines.

Instead, Devine decided to appeal the violation.

“We firmly believe The Crib house concert does not meet that definition, and further believe the citation arose from a lack of understanding of the house concert concept,” The Crib’s blog says.

At the public comment period during the Town Council public session last night (Jan. 15), Devine said that he met with town staff after receiving the citation.

“In that meeting, I learned that the town had very little understanding of that activity, which is house concerts, and as a result were very vague on how my activity tripped the wire as a commercial use,” he said.

Devine slammed Town of Herndon’s leadership, saying that he was denied access to basic information about the situation after he tried to ask follow-up questions after the meeting.

A Herndon town attorney told Mayor Lisa Merkel that the appeal never goes to the Town Council. Instead, it goes to the Board of Zoning Appeals and then to the circuit court.

“There is a role in the Town Council in looking at our code if there were a change to be made in the future,” Merkel said.

As Devine tackles the appeals process, a GoFundMe page created on Dec. 20 is helping to cover the fines.

The campaign says the following:

It will take a while to work through the appeals process — possibly as long as three months — and we don’t know at this point what the outcome will be.

During this time we have five fantastic artists already scheduled to perform and we will incur fines for each event we choose to hold, but we want to continue with the events in order to keep our commitments to both the artists and our guests who have made advance donations.

During normal times, each house show we hold costs The Crib between $100-$200; we do this because we have a passion for connecting incredible artists with deserving and appreciative guests.

But we can’t absorb the fines on top of the costs we already incur as part of our mission to the arts and the community.

Our fundraising goal will allow us to pay the fines over the next several months ($200 for the first event and $500 per subsequent event). We are also seeking a small amount to cover any legal fees we may incur during the appeals process.

Any residual funds will be used to create an even better experience for artists and audiences and/or donated to our non-profit partner, The Warrior Music Foundation.

The campaign has already hit its fundraising goal of $3,200. In 26 days, 32 people donated $3,335.

Since launching in 2015, The Crib has hosted nearly 50 house shows with 28 different artists, according to its website.

Each show lets the artist perform two 45-minute sets of original music. Seating is on a first-come basis with a capacity of roughly 40 people. Attendees are encouraged to make a donation in advance — all of the donations go to the artist.

A public hearing notice indicates that the Board of Zoning Appeals will take up the matter next Thursday (Jan. 24) at 7:30 p.m. at 765 Lynn Street.

Photo via The Crib/Facebook

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Reston Community Players Present ‘Superior Donuts’ Next Week

The curtain rises on Reston Community Players’ production of “Superior Donuts” next week.

The comedy kicks off Reston Community Players’ first show of the year by taking audiences on a visit to a small donut shop in Chicago’s historic and diverse Uptown neighborhood.

What’s the show about? Reston Community Players gave this plot description:

Arthur Przybyszewski (Michael Kharfen), a burnt-out hippie owner of a fading Chicago donut shop, has lost interest in life because of guilt over avoiding military service and a failed marriage. When a charismatic young African-American man named Franco Wicks (Bryce Monroe) talks his way into a job, Arthur begins to recover his spark. He encourages Franco’s goal of publishing the next Great American novel. When the would-be novelist’s past catches up with him, Arthur finds more than his livelihood may be in danger. A comedy-drama from the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Letts of “August: Osage County,” “Superior Donuts” explores the challenges of accepting the past and the redemptive power of friendship.

Director Seth Ghitelman said he wants people to come away from the show with a better understanding of what it means to be a friend and to be an American.

“On the surface, it’s a funny play about a rundown donut shop in Chicago and the characters that pass through, but on a deeper level, it speaks about the people in a community that is going through changes,” he said.

Ghitelman says the play embodies the American Dream and the American experience. “We share a common dream that success is available to everyone, and I think it is the right time to remember what we Americans share in common and embrace, not repulse, the diversity of our people,” Ghitelman said.

The full cast is the following:

  • Tel Monks as Max Tarasov
  • Mattie Cohan as Officer Randy Osteen
  • Matthew McCarthy as Officer James Bailey
  • Sally Cusenza as Lady Boyle
  • Michael Kharfen as Arthur Przybyszewski
  • Bryce Monroe as Franco Wicks
  • Ian Brown as Luther Flynn
  • Michael King as Kevin Magee
  • Tice Rust as Kiril Ivankin

Performances will be held at the Reston Community Center’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road) at 8 p.m. on Jan. 18, Jan. 19, Jan. 25, Jan, 26, Feb. 1 and Feb. 2. A matinee will be held at 2 p.m. on Jan. 27.

A champagne reception will follow the show on its opening night next Friday (Jan. 18).

Parents, be advised: the production is rated PG-13 for language and violence.

Photos via Reston Community Players 

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Musician Shawna Caspi to Perform in Herndon Next Week

Toronto-based singer-songwriter Shawna Caspi is coming to Herndon for a performance next Tuesday.

Caspi is set to perform on Jan. 15 as a part of The Folk Club of Reston/Herndon, a volunteer organization that meets on Tuesday evenings at 7:15 p.m. at Amphora’s Diner Deluxe (1151 Elden Street).

Classically trained, Caspi shifted to folk singing, which she pairs with a fingerpicking guitar style.

In September 2017, she released her fourth album, “Forest Fire,” which delves into “burning things down and building them up again” with bluegrass instrumentation.

Her song “Not So Silent” from her 2014 album “Apartments for Lovers” was selected for the Silver Award in the folk acoustic category of the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest presented by the Songwriters’ Association of Washington, she wrote on her website on Tuesday (Jan 8).

Her travels as a musician inspired Caspi to paint. “Shawna loves the landscapes of her travels, and while weaving them into her songs, she has also been portraying them on canvases, painting one-of-a-kind works of art inspired by the rich scenery she sees on tour,” according to her bio. So far, she has sold more than 100 original paintings.

The upcoming Herndon show has a suggested donation of $10 for members of the Folk Club and $11 for nonmembers.

Image via World One Video on YouTube

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Musician Kevin Daniel to Perform for Deepwood Sessions Later in January

Singer-songwriter Kevin Daniel will perform in January as part of the Deepwood Sessions, a series of house concerts hosted in Reston.

Based out of Brooklyn, Daniel’s music mixes Americana, country and blues. He released his second EP, “Myself Through You,” in early 2018.

The 7 p.m. show on Friday, Jan. 18, has a $10 suggested donation. Each concert for the Deepwood Sessions has a suggested minimum donation, which goes to directly to the artist.

The sessions help cultivate the Deepwood neighborhood community and provide a platform for independent artists to showcase their music.

According to the website, the series hosts its acoustic and unplugged concerts with a variety of styles and musical genres.

RSVP-ing in advance is strongly recommended since space fills on a first come first serve basis and also provides the location of each concert. The events are family-friendly and attendees may bring wine and beer.

Photo via Kevin Daniel/Facebook

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