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Bird Count Workshop and More This Weekend in Reston

Locals are encouraged to get outside and take part in a bird watch and count.

Participants can head to the National Wildlife Federation (11100 Wildlife Center Drive) for a free workshop with some tips and tricks ahead of the Great Backyard Bird Count next week.

Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count was the first online project for citizens to collect and display data on wild birds in near real-time, according to the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia.

Bird enthusiasts of all ages are encouraged to take part in the four-day count each February.

Tomorrow (Feb. 2)

  • Stuff the Bus (9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.) — Head to the Village Center at Dulles Giant (2425 Centreville Road) in Herndon to support LINK as a part of “Stuff the Bus,” which takes place at various locations around the county to benefit local nonprofit food pantries.
  • Coffee and Conversation with DaMaris Hill (11 a.m.) — DaMaris Hill will discuss “A Bound Woman is a Dangerous Thing” at Scrawl Books (11777 N. Shore Drive). The book dives into how American women of color are burdened by incarceration by tackling issues of racial injustice, police brutality and mass incarceration, along with the historical legacy of incarcerated black women that precedes it.
  • Three Moves to Divine” (11 a.m.-4 p.m. ) — The exhibit, which provided photographic memory of Ghana by Randy Preston, closes at ArtSpace Herndon (750 Center Street).
  • Great Backyard Bird Count Workshop (1-3 p.m.) — The free workshop at the National Wildlife Federation (11100 Wildlife Center Drive) will teach participants how to count and report the count for the Great Backyard Bird Watch, which will take place from Feb. 15-18. Registration is required.
  • Superior Donuts” (2 p.m.) — Reston Community Players’ production closes Saturday afternoon at RCC Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road).
  • South Lakes HS 14th annual Broadway Night (2-4 p.m., 7-10 p.m.) — The South Lakes High School Choral Department will feature numbers from some of Broadway’s most popular revivals including “Pippin,” “Chicago,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Guys and Dolls,” “Godspell” and more. The Broadway-style show is performed by more than 120 students from South Lakes High School and its pyramid schools. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $13 for students and seniors.

Sunday (Feb. 3)

  • Sunday Cruise Ride (10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) — Join the Reston Bike Club for a ride. Three different routes are available. Participants are set to meet in the ArtSpace Herndon parking lot.
  • Digital photography class (1-5 p.m.) — Photographer Mary Louise Ravese will show participants with a digital SLR (DSLR) or mirror-less camera the five most essential camera settings that have the most impact on the look of a photograph during the class at ArtSpace Herndon.

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr pool 

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Friday Morning Notes

RA urges members to attend PRC meeting — In the latest Reston Today video, Reston Association’s Board President Andy Sigle urges RA members who are concerned about population density to attend a Jan. 23 meeting related to the county’s proposed amendment to the Planned Residential Community zoning ordinance. [YouTube]

Dense fog alert — This morning the National Weather Service issued a dense fog advisory until noon today for portions of the region, including Fairfax County. Drivers are encouraged to slow down, use their headlights and leave plenty of distance ahead of you. [National Weather Service]

“Superior Donuts” opens tonight — Reston Community Players’ production opens tonight at RCC Hunters Woods at 8 p.m. Tickets are $28. [Reston Community Center]

Ed-tech merger — Herndon-based Real Time Cases merged with Delray Beach, Fla.-based Elearis. The Herndon startup’s ideo-based business case studies paired up with the technology platform from Elearis for a new Herndon-based firm. [Washington Business Journal]

Photo via Marjorie Copson

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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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Wednesday Morning Notes

Hairspray lives up to the hype — A theater critic writes that Reston Community Players’ latest production, Hairspray, lives up to the volunteer-based community theater’s reputation of presenting professional-quality theater. [DC Metro Theater Arts]

Halloween 101 — With the spooks just around the corner, the county offers several safety tips for trick-or-treating on Wednesday, Oct. 31. Kids are advised to generally visit houses with their porch lights on or with active Halloween decorations, for example. [Fairfax County Government]

Lake House open house — As efforts to increase revenue from The Lake House continue, Reston Association is continuing its tradition of holding an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. [Reston Association]

Meet me at the movies — Seniors can enjoy a free screening of Ocean’s 8 today from 9:15 a.m. to noon. Light refreshments will be provided. [Reston Association]

A tale of prison and privilege — This free screening set for tonight highlights the economic and social inequities that divide the country and offers solutions on how separated communities can learn from each other. The screening will be followed by a discussion by Signe Taylor and several formerly incarcerated women who appear in the film. [Reston Community Center]

Flickr pool photo of stream cleanup recyclables by vantagehill

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What’s Going On In Reston This Weekend?

Reston Community Players’ first show of their 52nd season kicks off tonight with a performance of Hairspray. The musical is presented in partnership with Music Theatre International.

Tonight’s show begins at 8 p.m. and performances are scheduled for Saturday and next weekend as well. Details about upcoming shows are available online. Tickets are $28 for adults and $24 for seniors and students.

(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.)

  • If you’d rather see a show about South Africa’s fragile democracy, you can take part in a viewing and discussion on the topic at Reston Regional Library today from 2-4:15 p.m.
  • Halloween is just around the corner and kids between the age of six months and 12 years can enjoy the first-ever “Boo at the Pool” at the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center from 1:45-2:30 p.m. Registration is $4 for Reston residents and $8 for all others. Treat will float for little ones and others will sink into the pool for a little more adventure.
  • If you’d rather keep water out of Halloween fun, infant and kids up to 8 years old can take part in Halloween Family Fun Day at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods. The event includes carnival games, a musical performance and a puppet show. The event is free.
  • Keep Reston beautiful by taking part in a fall stream clean up on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. Participants will meet up at Hunters Woods Village Center to help restore Reston’s streams. All ages are welcome but kids under 13 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Reston Association also needs help monitoring local streams on Saturday from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Volunteers will work with a small team to collect data and identify insects, with the ultimate goal of assessing the health of the stream.
  • A book club about books and their movie adaptations is set for Sunday at 4 p.m. at Scrawl Books. This month’s book is Crazy Rich Asians.
  • Reston Town Center will become the site of a 4K walk and run organized by Shatterproof, a national organization that aims to end the stigma against addiction. The event runs from 8 a.m. to noon.
  • RA is also organizing a chartered bus trip to Toby’s Dinner Theatre in Reston’s sister city of Columbia, Md. Participants will enjoy a buffet lunch and see “Ain’t Misbehavin'”. The event will run from 9:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. and tickets are $75 for RA members and $85 for all others.
  • On Sunday, bestselling author and LGBTQ activist Armistead Maupin will speak at the RCC Hunters Woods at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 for Reston residents and $30 for all others.
  • Kids can test their opening tactics and ending strategies at Reston Regional Library’s chess club for kids on Sunday from 2-3 p.m.
  • The 20th anniversary of Acoustic Jam is on for Sunday from 1-4 p.m. The event, which takes place at Frying Pan Farm Park, is free.
  • And Professor Harry Butowsky’s six-part lecture series on the history of World War II continues on Sunday from 2-4 p.m. at Reston Regional Library.

Photo via Reston Community Players

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Friday Morning Notes

Absentee voting begins today — Voting begins today at the Fairfax County government center and ends on Oct. 13 at nine additional locations. Absentee votes can also be cast by mail. The ballots for Town of Herndon residents will include options for mayor and town council members. [Fairfax County Government]

How about some hairspray — Reston Community Players will kick off its 52nd season with the musical Hairspray. It opens on October 19 and runs through November 10 at Reston Community Center. [Reston Community Players]

Missing endangered man found — Patrick Brown, 74, an endangered man who went missing yesterday, was found and is safe. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Photo by Kit Allgaier

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Monday Morning Notes

(Updated 1:36 p.m. to remove an event that has already passed)

Warming up to solar? – Fairfax County is holding a free information session today, and will be offering real estate tax credits, solar energy systems discounts, and more to home and business owners. (WTOP)

The throwback comments section – A Reston resident had their Letter To The Editor published in The Washington Post. The topic? The split between Reston and the rest of Fairfax County about density and proposed growth. (The Washington Post)

That’s a lot of butts – Reston business Waitbusters hit 50,000 customers seated since launching their software about a year ago. (Restaurant News)

Everyone’s a critic – A theater review of Reston Community Player’s Thoroughly Modern Millie. Sounds like it was a good time. (Maryland Theatre Guide)

We’re taking a hiatus – Our morning newsletter will be taking a break through May 10, as the editor is away. ARLnow’s assistant managing editor, Bridget Reed Morawski, will be stepping in to cover Reston.

The photo in the morning newsletter was provided with a caption that it is a Great Blue Heron. Another reader has chimed in to say that it is actually a Great Green Heron. Additionally, the Reston editor will be returning May 10, not May 8.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user vantagehill.

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Monday Morning Notes

Flood warning in effect — A warning is in effect for several areas in Northern Virginia through 11:45 a.m.. [Fairfax County Police Department]

A bridge to somewhere — State officials plan to replace the aging bridge on Hunter Mill Road over Colvin Run. A informational meeting is set for today at 6:30 p.m. in Reston. [Virginia department of Transportation]

A white knight — Reston-based SOSi acquired STG Inc. for $83 million, positioning the company to expand technology and cyber services in the national security and diplomacy arena. [Washington Technology]

Thoroughly awesome? — Reston Community Players’ new performance, Thoroughly Modern Millie, debuts this Friday. The show is based on the 1967 Academy Award-winning film. [DC Metro Theater Arts]

Flickr pool photo via vantagehill

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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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Thursday Morning Notes

The healthiest county — Fairfax County was ranked the third healthiest county in Virginia, following Loudoun and Arlington counties. [WTOP]

Heads up for tomorrow’s Metro commute — Silver Line trains will operate every 24 minutes to due to concrete structural repairs. [Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority]

‘Cat On a Hot Tin Roof’ hits the roof — The play by Reston Community Players is listed as the top show of the week by one online magazine. [Maryland Theatre Guide]

A generous donation — Brandon Guyer, a former member of the Reston Herndon Little League and a baseball outfielder for the Cleveland Indians, donated bats to the league. [Reston Herndon Little League]

An oops moment — Good Morning America incorrectly stated a major walkout near a highway happened at South Lakes High School yesterday. Have doubts? Check out the tweet for yourself. [Good Morning America]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Winning big – Reston Community Players won 13 awards over the weekend at the Washington Area Theatre Community Honors celebration. [Broadway World]

And losing big — This Reston-based government IT contractor is laying off around 100 employees due to a recent health care contract loss. [Washington Business Journal]

Bus connections to Wiehle-Reston East — Loudoun County Transit is requesting $1.7 million to expand bus service to the Metro station. But there are a lot of projects vying for funding. [NOVA Transit]

Attention, book lovers — Reston Regional Library is holding a book sale for children, teens and educators this Friday through Sunday[Friends of the Reston Regional Library]

Unemployment rates flatline — Virginia’s unemployment rate rests at 3.6 percent, the same as December’s figure. [WTOP]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Monday Morning Notes

New funding for Metro — State lawmakers directed about $150 million to Metro this weekend. [NBC 4]

But what if we had no Metro — Everyone’s talking about the need to fix Metro. What would happen if we didn’t? [Washington Business Journal]

‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ catches fire — The play by Reston Community Players gets a glowing review by one publication. [DC Metro Theater Arts]

A friendly reminder — If you checked your smoke alarm after changing your clocks over the weekend, don’t forget to complete one additional step to secure your home. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Photo by Ruth Sievers

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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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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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Reston Community Players to Kick of New Year with ‘Peter and the Starcatcher’

Reston Community Players will kick off the new year with a performance featuring the story of the world before the fabled adventure of Peter Pan and Captain Hook.

The group will present Rick Elice’s “Peter and the Starcatcher” from Jan. 19 through Feb. 3 at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road).

According to information provided by Reston Community Players about the show:

Before Wendy… Before the dreaded Captain Hook… Before a boy named Peter Pan… There is a tale you may not know about; an apprentice starcatcher named Molly, a pirate named Black Stache, and a nameless orphan. Thrown together in a perilous adventure, they are about to find themselves on a life-changing journey on the high seas.

Based on the novel by humorist Dave Barry and suspense writer Ridley Pearson, Peter and the Starcatcher is the swashbuckling, grownup prequel to the treasured story of Peter Pan. The winner of 5 Tony Awards in 2012, this magical and hilarious tale of fantasy will make your imagination take flight with clever wordplay, daring movement, and live music.

Shows will begin at 8 p.m. except for two shows on Feb. 27 and 28. For tickets and information, call the box office at 703-476-4500, ext. 3 or purchase tickets online.

In its 51st season, Reston Community Players is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has been producing high quality theatrical productions since 1966. RCP is partially funded by grants from Fairfax County, in cooperation with the Arts Council of Fairfax County.

Photo courtesy of Reston Community Players

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