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by Dave Emke — February 3, 2017 at 4:00 pm 11 Comments

Reston historical marker

Looking for something to do this weekend? Here is a sampling of what’s available in Reston:

  • The South Lakes High School Chorus is presenting its Broadway Night event tonight and Saturday.
  • Reston Town Center events this weekend include a kids’ cooking class at Il Fornaio, cartoon skate at the ice pavilion, Super Bowl festivities at American Tap Room and Mon Ami Gabi, and more.
  • Potomac River Running will be putting on its For The Love Of It 10K, beginning at South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive), Saturday morning.
  • Reston Community Players will close out their run of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” tonight and Saturday at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road).
  • Project-based charter school Ideaventions Academy (12340 Pinecrest Road) will be holding an open house Saturday.
  • Art exhibitions “CUT” and “Springtime in Winter” remain on display at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market Street) and Reston Art Gallery & Studios (11400 Washington Plaza W.), respectively.
  • Del. Ken Plum will be at Lake Anne Coffee House (1612 Washington Plaza N.) on Saturday morning to discuss issues with his constituents.
  • Red’s Table (11150 South Lakes Drive) won’t just be offering beer specials Sunday during the Super Bowl, but it will unveil its new bison chili as well.
  • Kalypso’s (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will host a Super Bowl party Sunday, featuring regional foods from New England and Atlanta. A raffle will also be held to benefit Camp Sunshine.

by Dave Emke — February 1, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

Rock of Ages logoReston Community Players will bring rock ‘n’ roll to life next month, as “Rock of Ages” comes to the stage.

The show, a celebration of rock bands with big guitar solos and bigger hair, will hit Reston on March 10. It features songs from Styx, Whitesnake, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister and more favorites from the ’80s.

“It is a privilege to direct the very talented cast of singers, dancers and actors in ‘Rock of Ages,'” said Joshua Redford, director of the production. “This is a show unlike any other.”

The musical is the story of Drew and Sherrie, an aspiring rock star and an aspiring actress, who try to prevent developers from turning the Sunset Strip into a strip mall.

The cast of the Reston production consists of the following performers:

  • Russell Silber (Drew)
  • Claire O’Brien Jeffrey (Sherrie)
  • Brett Harwood (Lonny)
  • Joey Olson (Dennis Dupree)
  • Ben Peter (Stacee Jaxx)
  • Brent Stone (Hertz Klinemann)
  • Rich Farella (Franz Klinemann)
  • Bruni Herring (Justice)
  • Evie Korovesis (Regina)
  • Melrose Pyne (Ensemble)
  • Kendall Mostafavi (Ensemble)
  • Jenny Girardi (Ensemble)
  • Chris Dore (Ensemble)
  • Philip Smith-Cobbs (Ensemble)
  • Erich DiCenzo (Ensemble)

The band includes Matt Jeffrey on keyboards, Christopher Willett on bass, Matt Robotham on drums, and Noah Dail and David Smigielski on guitars.

In addition to Redford, the creative team includes producer Jocelyn Steiner, stage manager Colleen Stock, music director Matt Jeffrey, choreographer Chris Dore, sound designer Seth Sacher, lighting designers Ian Claar and Sam Andrews, set designer Dan Widerski, costume designer Carol Steele, and hair and makeup designers Molly Hicks Larson and Kat Brais.

A number of these members of the Reston Community Players team were recently nominated for Washington Area Community Theater Honors awards for their work with the troupe in 2016.

“Rock of Ages” will be performed on the CenterStage at the Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road), March 10 through April 1. For showtimes, tickets and more information, call 703-476-4500 (ext. 3) or visit the Community Players online.

Reston Community Players is now in its 50th season. It is currently staging “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” through Saturday.

by Dave Emke — January 27, 2017 at 1:30 pm 2 Comments

Reston Community Players logoReston Community Players will have their productions all over the annual Washington Area Theatre Community Honors awards in March.

The troupe’s productions received 23 total nominations for the 2016 season, second-most among the 27 participating theater companies. Only the Little Theatre of Alexandria (26) received more.

Among the nominations are 17 for the Community Players’ performance of “Gypsy” last fall. The group also received five nominations for its performance of “Mary Poppins” (February-March) and one for its staging of “Master Class” (January).

Paul Tonden, artistic director, said the Community Players are humbled by and grateful for the recognition.

“We strive to offer our patrons high-quality productions, which would not be possible without so many talented volunteers,” Tonden said. “We consider ourselves lucky to be part of such a vibrant DC Metro-area theater community and congratulate all the nominees.”

The full list of RCP nominations is as follows:

  • Outstanding Musical — “Gypsy”
  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical — Jennifer Lambert (“Rose”), “Gypsy”
  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical — Shaina Murphy (“Mary Poppins”), “Mary Poppins”
  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play — Lisa Anne Bailey (“Mary Callas”), “Master Plan”
  • Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical — Erich DiCenzo (“Tulsa”), “Gypsy”
  • Outstanding Direction of a Musical — Paul Tonden, “Gypsy”
  • Outstanding Music Direction — Mitch Bassman, “Gypsy”
  • Outstanding Choreography — Andrea Heininge, “Gypsy”
  • Outstanding Choreography — Andrea Heininge, “Mary Poppins”
  • Outstanding Costume Design in a Musical — Kathy Dunlap, “Gypsy”
  • Outstanding Costume Design in a Musical — Charlotte Marson and Judy Whelihan, “Mary Poppins”
  • Outstanding Hair Design in a Musical — Chris Dore, “Gypsy”
  • Outstanding Light Design in a Musical — Ken and Patti Crowley, “Gypsy”
  • Outstanding Makeup Design in a Musical — Chris Dore, “Gypsy”
  • Outstanding Properties in a Musical — MaryJo Ford, “Gypsy”
  • Outstanding Set Construction in a Musical — Dan Widerski, “Gypsy”
  • Outstanding Set Design in a Musical — Bart Healy, “Gypsy”
  • Outstanding Set Decoration in a Musical — Jerry and Bea Morse, “Gypsy”
  • Outstanding Set Painting in a Musical — Cathy Rieder, “Gypsy”
  • Outstanding Special Effects — Greg Steele, Sara Birkhead and Rich Bird, “Mary Poppins”
  • Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical — Joshua Redford, “Gypsy”
  • Outstanding Cameo in a Musical — Jaclyn Young (“Electra”), “Gypsy”
  • Outstanding Cameo in a Musical — Phillip Scott-Cobbs (“Neleus”), “Mary Poppins”

Last year, Reston Community Players took home four awards on 17 nominations.

The Community Players are currently presenting “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” through Feb. 4.

This year’s awards ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, March 5 at The Birchmere in Alexandria.

by Dave Emke — January 23, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Morning Notes - Winter

Police Seek Person Who Shot at Cruiser — Someone shot at a police car last night on Georgetown Pike, and law enforcement is seeking the culprit. The incident happened around midnight in the area of Walker Road. The suspect’s vehicle may have been a white Toyota or Mazda from the late 1990s or early 2000s, with black molding on the doors. The passenger-side window may have been shattered. The car was last seen traveling westbound on Georgetown Pike in the Great Falls area. [NBC Washington]

Herndon Family of Six Displaced By House Fire — Fire officials say a passerby alerted a Herndon family to a fire in their Van Buren Street home Friday afternoon. Apparently, the home’s smoke detectors were not equipped with batteries. The fire, the source of which was electrical, caused almost $70,000 in damage. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

Reston Community Players Show Has Successful Opening — “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” opened Friday on the CenterStage at the Reston Community Center at Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road). A reviewer says the show, which runs through Feb. 4, is a “fine production” with an “excellent cast.” [DC Metro Theater Arts]

by Jennifer van der Kleut — January 2, 2017 at 10:30 am 0

Photos by Traci J. Brooks PhotographyThe Reston Community Players are setting the stage to present their latest production, the Tony Award-winning play “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.”

The show opens Friday, Jan. 20 and runs through Saturday, Feb. 4. Performances are scheduled to take place on the CenterStage at the Reston Community Center at Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road).

The play, written by Christopher Durang, centers around Vanya and Sonia, middle-aged siblings who live happily together in rural Pennsylvania. But when their other sister, a B-list Hollywood star named Masha, shows up unexpectedly with her latest boyfriend, Spike, she tries to draw them into a kooky plan that inevitably upends their previously quiet life.

Photos by Traci J. Brooks PhotographyThe modern comedy is based upon a 19th-century Russian play, “Uncle Vanya” by Anton ChekhovIn his play, Durang takes the classic tale and weaves it into a work of American pop culture that aims to bring laughter from audiences of all ages.

The cast of the Reston production includes Andrew JM Regiec as Vanya, Lee Slivka as Sonia, Joanne Maylone as Masha and Will MacLeod as Spike. The production is directed by Tel Monks, and it is produced by Bea and Jerry Morse.

Evening performances of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” are set to take place Jan. 20, 21, 27 and 28, and Feb. 3 and 4, at 8 p.m. A matinee performance is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 29 at 2 p.m. (more…)

by Karen Goff — October 19, 2016 at 11:30 am 0

Baby June in RCP's "Gypsy"/Credit: RCP

The Reston Community Players open their 50th season this weekend with the classic musical Gypsy.

Gypsy is based on the memoirs of famous burlesque artist Gypsy Rose Lee, and focuses on her mother Rose — the ultimate stage mom.

Gypsy/RCPTheatre critic Clive Barnes once described the character of Rose as “one of the few truly complex characters in the American musical.”

The multi-Tony Award winning musical, first staged in the 1950s, has music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Arthur Laurents.

Here is what you need to know:

Performances are at CenterStage at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods.

Shows are Oct. 21 to Nov. 12. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., with Sunday, Oct. 30 and Nov. 6 matinees at 2 p.m.

Tickets: $25 ($21 for seniors/students). Call 703-476-4500 or visit www.restonplayers.org.

Other productions this season include Vanya and Sonia and Masha…and Spike, Rock of Ages and Private Lives. Visit the Reston Community Players website for more information.

RCP could use volunteer ushers for the shows. Here is how to sign up.

Photos courtesy Reston Community Players

by Karen Goff — September 8, 2016 at 2:00 pm 0

RCP galaThe Reston Community Players are celebrating their 50th anniversary season with a gala at Hidden Creek Country Club on Sept. 23.

RCP — formerly the Reston Players — have been entertaining local audiences since 1966 with four productions a year.

Patrons of the arts are invited to come honor the program at the Black Tie Optional gala.

Here is what you need to know:

The event is from 7 p.m. to midnight on Friday, Sept. 23

Tickets are $60 per person (includes cocktail hour, buffet dinner, dessert and a performance).

RSVP and purchase tickets online. No tickets will be sold at the door. Sponsorships are also available.

RCP will open in 2016-17 season with the musical Gypsy on Oct. 21 at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods’ CenterStage.

by Karen Goff — March 8, 2016 at 11:30 am 0

"Shrek the Musical"/Credit: Reston Players

Updated, noon Tuesday: Reston Now incorrectly reported there were 17 winners from RCP. There were four winners and 17 nominees. We regret the error. This is a corrected version.

Reston Community Players earned 17 nominations — 14 of them for the production of Shrek the Musical — and took home four awards at Sunday’s 16th annual Washington Area Theatre Community Honors (WATCH).

RCP winners: Outstanding Musical – Shrek; Outstanding Costume Design in a Musical – Kathy Dunlap – Shrek; Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical – Chuck Dluhy as “Lord Farquaad” – Shrek; and Outstanding Set Painting in a Musical – Cathy Rieder & Sabrina Begley – Shrek. For a full list of nominees and award winners, visit  DCMETROarts.com.

The WATCH honors are given yearly to community theater productions and cast. This year, 110 productions (38 musicals, 72 plays) from 30 community theater companies were entered for consideration.

Here’s who was nominated for their work with Reston Players:

  • Outstanding Cameo in a Musical – Jennifer Lambert as “Mama Ogre” – Shrek
  • Outstanding Choreography – Ivan Davila – Shrek
  • Outstanding Costume Design in a Musical – Kathy Dunlap – Shrek
  • Outstanding Direction of a Musical – Sue Pinkman – Shrek
  • Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical – Chuck Dluhy as “Lord Farquaad” – Shrek
  • Outstanding Hair Design in a Musical – Sue Pinkman, Chris Dore, Mark Bartyczak -Shrek
  • Outstanding Makeup Design in a Musical – Suzanne Thomas, Sally Cusenza, Chris Dore- Shrek
  • Outstanding Music Direction – Elisa Rosman – Shrek
  • Outstanding Musical – Shrek
  • Outstanding Set Construction in a Musical – Doug Rolston – Shrek
  • Outstanding Set Design in a Musical – Lawrence Gresko – Shrek
  • Outstanding Set Painting in a Musical – Cathy Rieder & Sabrina Begley – Shrek
  • Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical – Jon Roberts – Shrek
  • Outstanding Special Effects – Jon Roberts – Shrek
  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical – Katie McManus as “Norma Desmond” – Sunset Boulevard
  • Outstanding Set Construction in a Musical – Skip Larson – Sunset Boulevard
  • Outstanding Special Effects – Steven Royal – Sunset Boulevard

Meanwhile, Reston Players will be performing the final weekend of the classic family musical Mary Poppins March 11 and 12. Up next is Thornton Wilder’s Our Town April 22 to May 7. Shows are at CenterStage at Reston Community Center at Hunters Woods.

by Karen Goff — January 16, 2015 at 3:00 pm 0

Christine Carter as Karen Daniels, Kathy Ohlhaber as Monica Welles, and Wilson Paine as Leo Gibbs in Reston Community Players' whodunit Rehearsal for Murder/Credit: Traci Brooks Studios

The Reston Community Players’ new production of the whodunit Rehearsal for Murder opens Friday at Reston Community’s Center’s CenterStage.

Rehearsal for Murder is the story of Alex Dennison, a successful playwright who, one year earlier, lost his fiancé, Monica Wells, a movie-star turned Broadway leading lady, in what police ruled as a suicide. Convinced it was actually murder, Dennison invites five acquaintances from the original production to read scenes from his new play. These scenes reveal surprising connections to the original death.

The play is produced by Jay Stein, who also plays Lloyd Andrews, the director of Alex Dennison’s ill-fated play, Chamber Music.

“The most interesting thing about being in a whodunit is being part of the process of confounding the audience, yet also knowing there are enough clues for them to figure it out if they are paying attention,” Stein said in a release.

Rehearsal for Murder is directed by Jessie Roberts. Producers are Jocelyn Steiner and Jay Stein. The cast includes Ian Brown (Alex Dennison), Kathy Ohlhaber (Monica Wells), Kevin Walker (David Matthews), Jay Stein (Lloyd Andrew), Joan Zeigler (Bella Lamb), Wilson Paine (Leo Gibbs), Christine Carter (Karen Daniels), Heather Miska (Sally Bean), Steven Palkovitz (Mr. Santoro), Matthew Wise (Policeman), Wayne Jacques (Frank Heller), Meg Miller (Policewoman), Carol Watson (Loretta), and Matt Cederholm (Ernie/Lt. McElroy). D.D.

Rehearsal for Murder is based upon the teleplay by Richard Levinson and William Link for the 1982 film featuring Robert Preston and Lynn Redgrave.

Rehearsal for Murder runs weekends, Jan. 16-31, 2015. All performances are at 8 p.m. with the exception of a 2 p.m. matinee on Jan. 25.

Tickets are $20 ($17 for seniors and students) and can be purchased through www.restonplayers.org or by calling the CenterStage box office at 703-476-4500 x 3.

Photo: Christine Carter as Karen Daniels, Kathy Ohlhaber as Monica Welles, and Wilson Paine as Leo Gibbs in Reston Community Players’ Rehearsal for Murder/ Credit: Traci J Brooks Studios

by Karen Goff — October 24, 2014 at 3:00 pm 0

You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown/Credit: Traci J. Brooks Studios

A family friendly theater production deserves some family friendly activities.

That is why the Reston Community Players have added meet-and-greet sessions with the characters of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown after matinee performances on Sundays, Oct. 26 and Nov. 2.

The play opened last week at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage.

The musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown was created in 1967, at the height of the Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic’s popularity. Decades later, Charlie Brown’s angst, Snoopy’s imagination and Linus’ optimism.

“Director Rich Bird has blown each one Schulz’s indelible characters into a nicely kindled flame with this delightful production, which features great casting (the characters look like their cartoon counterparts), and great direction and choreography,”  Yvonne French of DC Metro Theatre Arts wrote in a review.

The cast features Richard Farella as Charlie Brown, Alana Sharp as Lucy, Nina Jankowicz as Sally, Patrick Graham as Linus, Eric Hughes as Schroeder, and Terry Barr as Snoopy. Laura Baughman is the producer. and Richard Bird is the director. Music direction is by Mark V. Deal.

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown runs Friday, Saturdays and Sundays through Nov. 8. All performances are at 8 p.m., with matinees at 2 p.m. on Oct. 26 ad Nov. 2.

Tickets ($23) can be purchased through www.restonplayers.org or by calling the CenterStage box office at 703-476-4500 x 3.

Photo: You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown/Credit: Traci J. Brooks Studios

by Karen Goff — March 7, 2014 at 3:03 pm 0

Xanadu/Credit: Reston Community Players

A trip back to the 1980s begins on Friday, March 7 when the Reston Community Players open their production of Xanadu.

Xanadu is a send-up of the 1980 cult classic Olivia Newton-John  film. The musical combines Greek mythology with 1980 Los Angeles and features songs by Newton-John and the Electric Light Orchestra. Oh, and there is lots of roller skating too.

Somehow, it works. The basic plot is Kira, a Greek muse, descends from the heavens to inspire struggling artist Sonny in his vision to build a roller disco in an abandoned nightclub. Kira defies the laws of Zeus and falls in love with Sonny while her jealous muse sisters try and wreak havoc.

RCP is coming off its debut of Les Miserables in January and February.

Leads in Xanadu:

Evie Korovesis as Kira — Her past RCP shows include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Lend Me a Tenor, I Love You Because, and Legally Blonde.

Russell Silber as artist Sonny Malone — Silver has appeared in various performances around the region, including  A Chorus Line at The Arlington Players.

Richard Durkin as Zeus and as Danny —  Past shows include the RCP’s The Drowsy Chaperone as Underling, the singing and dancing butler. With the Elden Street Players (ESP), Richard has performed in MedeaHamletThe Iceman ComethThe Violet Hour; and Glengarry Glen Ross, and in 14 ESP Theatre for Young Audiences shows.

The Tony Award-nominated musical opened on Broadway in 2007 and ran for more than 500 performances. Reston audiences may be familiar with the show as South Lakes High School’s Theatre Arts department performed in last year.

“Honestly, this show is so much better than it deserves to be,” Silber told DC Metro Theatre Arts. “It’s a musical based on an almost forgotten box-office bomb that essentially blew up the movie career of Olivia Newton-John. I think audience members will initially be surprised by the number of classic songs they recognize from the score, but I’m just so taken with how much the book writer Douglas Carter Beane was able to mine from the original movie’s creaky skeleton to twist around and subvert into a show filled with so much humor and heart.”

Xandau performances are March 7, 8, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 at 8 p.m. (matinees at 2 p.m. on March 16 and 23 at CentreStage at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods. For tickets visit RCP’s box office site or call 703-476-4500, press press 3 for the 24-hour ticket ordering system.

by Karen Goff — January 16, 2014 at 1:30 pm 0

RCP readies for 'Les MIz'/Credit: RCP

Reston Community Players will present the Washington-area community theatre debut of  the epic musical Les Miserables beginning Friday.

The cast features Michael Reid as Jean Valjean, Ward Ferguson as Javert , Jennifer Lambert as Fantine, Ella Schnoor as Little Cosette, Alana Sharp as Madame Thenardier, Maggie Slivka as Young Eponine, Chuck Dluhy as Thenardier, Ethan Van Slyke as Gavroche, Emma Lord as Eponine, Cara Bachman as Cosette, Scott Harrison as Enjolras, and Sean Bartnick as Marius. The ensemble includes Bridgette Pfannenbecker, Erin Campagnoni, Susanna Todd, Stephanie Pencek, Kate Keifer , Shauna L. Neil, Joshua Wilson, Michael Clendenin, Matt McFadden, Rick Kenney, Cameron Bond, Jeffery Miller, Eric Hughes, and Patrick Graham.

The show is directed by Andrew JM Regiec and produced by Rick Schneider. Musical Direction by Mark V. Deal

Performances will run at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage at 8 p.m. on Jan. 17, 18, 24, 25, 26, 30, and 31, and Feb. 1, 6, 7, 8, and 9. There will be 2 p.m. matinees on Jan. 26 and Feb. 9.  Tickets are $18-23. For tickets, call the box office at (703) 476-4500 x3, or purchase them online 

Read more about the production on Broadway World and D.C. Metro Theatre Arts.


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