Furloughed Workers Voting Absentee? — The pace of absentee voting in Arlington has nearly doubled since the federal government shutdown, perhaps the result of furloughed workers casting ballots in advance. The pace is now about 50 ballots a day, which is still far slower than the absentee voting pace during the last presidential election. [Sun Gazette]
County Celebrates Crystal Drive Project — Last week Arlington County celebrated the completion of its Crystal Drive two-way project and the installation of a HAWK (High-intensity Activated Crosswalk) traffic signal on Crystal Drive between 23rd & 26th Streets South. [Arlington County]
Paint-Splattered Play Requires Ponchos — Synetic Theater’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” which runs through Nov. 3 in Crystal City, features on-stage paint-slinging as a special effect. Though a plexiglas pen is set up between the actors and the audience, those in the first few rows are provided with Gallagher-esque ponchos on the off-chance that drops of paint make it past the plexiglass. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by J Sonder
Central Library Renovations — Updated at 9:25 a.m. — A number of renovations are in progress at Arlington Central Library. The changes include new carpeting, structural maintenance and a new Digital Projects Lab. The library will remain open during the renovations, but certain parts will be closed, including the parking garage, which is expected to be closed from May 6-10. [Arlington Public Library]
Term Limits for County Board? — In a letter to the editor, one resident argues that term limits for Arlington County Board members may “change Arlington’s oligarchy for the better.” The resident suggests implementing term limits via referendum. [Sun Gazette]
Rosslyn Crane Operator Profiled — It takes 45-60 minutes for the crane operator on the 1812 N. Moore Street skyscraper project in Rosslyn to climb up to the crane’s cab. The operator, 66-year-old Mike Teague of Thurmont, Md., arrives at the job site at 4:30 a.m. and doesn’t leave until 5:30 or 6:30 p.m. [Rosslyn Magazine, Ode Street Tribune]
New Play, Venue for Theater Company — Recently booted from the Artisphere, Arlington-based theater company WSC Avant Bard is performing the play “No Man’s Land” at Theatre on the Run (3700 S. Four Mile Run Drive). The performance runs through May 25. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by @ddimick
(Updated at 8:30 p.m.) The H-B Woodlawn middle school production of Shakespeare’s Henry VI brought down the house and brought in the fire department over the weekend.
The play, directed by fine arts teacher Tom Mallan, was wrapping up on Friday night when a pivotal scene led to an more eventful finale than anticipated.
“The performance was a huge success, though it ended with the burning of Joan of Arc and the accidental triggering of fire alarms by multiple fog machines,” said a parent of a cast member, who didn’t want her named used, presumably so as to not embarrass her son or daughter.
The alarms went off during the curtain call immediately following the burning scene, we’re told. Firefighters responded to make sure the school was not, in fact, on fire.
“We hope people won’t get upset about fire trucks getting called out,” said the parent. “It was all accidental! Thank you to the Arlington County firefighters for coming to the rescue of France and the production!”
The Lubber Run Amphitheater will host a trio of events this weekend, including a Shakespeare play and a Hawaiian music and hula concert.
Lubber Run’s summer series of free outdoor shows will offer a change of pace with Traveling Players Ensemble’s performance of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” at 8 p.m. on Friday, July 27.
The series, which typically features local music acts, will welcome Baltimore-based band The Project, on Saturday.
From a Lubber Run Amphitheater Foundation press release:
Selected as a “Summer School in the Arts” by the NEA, Traveling Players Ensemble is a professional theater company dedicated to bringing great theater into the great outdoors through a thriving summer camp and year-round acting classes and workshops
The Project will play at 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 28. Also from the release:
Baltimore musicians Bob Goldberg (lead vocals and guitar), Eric McCleaf (guitar), and Jason Wilson (bass guitar and backing vocals) rock the house with everything from classic rock to current pop, with some 80s rock, 90s modern rock, and lots of other stuff in between.
Finally, a group from Arlington-based “native Hawaiian school” Halau O ‘Aulani will take the stage at 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 29:
Native music and dance presented by Halau O ‘Aulani, founded in 1996 for the sole purpose of creating a learning environment for students interested in the preservation of the multi-faceted cultures of Hawai’i with primary emphasis on the Hawaiian culture.
W-L Softball Field Approved — The Arlington County Board has unanimously approved use permits for a new softball field at Washington-Lee High School. The $1 million field will include lighting, grandstands, and a press box.
Comcast Doubling Internet Speeds — Arlington is one of the areas where Comcast is increasing its internet speeds this week. The company says it’s doubling the internet speeds of Arlington customers who currently have the Blast 25 Mbps or the Extreme 50 Mbps internet service, at no additional cost. “This is the seventh time since 2002 that Comcast has increased speeds for its customers,” Comcast spokeswoman Alisha Martin said.
Encore’s ‘Pirates of Penzance’ Reviewed — The Encore Stage and Studio production of “The Pirates of Penzance” — currently playing at the Thomas Jefferson Community Theater at 125 S. Old Glebe Road — is “two hours of solid entertainment for all ages,” according to a newspaper review. [Sun Gazette]
Boathouse Meeting Today — A public meeting regarding a proposed boathouse along Arlington’s Potomac River shoreline is being held tonight. The National Park Service is holding the meeting at Washington-Lee High School (1301 N. Stafford Street) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Senor Pan Closes — After just 6 months in business, Columbia Pike-area cafe/bakery Senor Pan has apparently closed, according to the Pike Wire Twitter feed. Senor Pan was located at 922 S. Walter Reed Drive.
Student Production Plays at Fringe Fest — Mindset, a “surrealist rock opera” created, directed and choreographed by H-B Woodlawn students, is currently playing at the Capital Fringe Festival. The show originally featured all Woodlawn students, but now professional actors have been added to the cast. [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by Damiec
Citizen Feedback on Streetcar Mostly Negative – The Washington Post counted all 270 citizen comments received by the Pike Transit Initiative regarding the planned Columbia Pike streetcar. Of the comments, 78 were “pro-streetcar,” 86 supported additional bus service instead of the streetcar, and 59 wanted no streetcar or no change. Our poll, conducted last week, found that 50 percent of respondents preferred the streetcar while 34 percent wanted articulated buses instead and 16 percent wanted no change. [Washington Post]
Arlington May Get ‘Drug Court’ – Arlington is seeking state approval to establish a “drug court.” The court would provide an alternative for dealing with nonviolent drug offenders. “It will help people who are in dire need of substance-abuse services, and will cut down on incarceration for folks who have substance-abuse issues only,” according to a supporter in the local Office of the Public Defender. [Sun Gazette]
A-SPAN Handing Out Water Bottles– Today the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN) will embark on a “day of outreach” to determine the needs of the homeless living throughout Arlington. In addition to visiting the homeless where they live — areas including “Crystal City, National Airport, Rosslyn, and the wooded area near the Key Bridge and Roosevelt Island” — A-SPAN volunteers will be handing out more than 1,300 bottles of water, a gift from Ashlawn Elementary Students.
‘Sister Mary Ignatius’ Reviewed – Theater critic Terry Ponick takes a look at the American Century Theater production of Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You. The one-act play is being performed at Gunston Theatre II (2700 S. Lang Street) through July 7. [Washington Times]
Flickr pool photo by Divaknevil
‘Mindset’ is a show “about an artist’s inner battle against the fear of failure.” Fusing dance, voice, live music and narrative, Mindset casts its starring actors as adults who look back with regret at their choice to pursue conventional careers instead of artistic endeavors.
The show was entirely student-created, with almost no supervision or instruction from teachers. It was written, stage directed, music directed, composed, choreographed and arranged by Jace Casey, an H-B Woodlawn junior. Casey teamed up with creative partner and fellow junior Cassandra Kendall, who was credited as an assistant director, choreographer, lighting designer and technical designer. The creative duo also acted in the show itself.
Casey and Kendall recruited a cast and crew of some 35 students, including actors, dancers, singers and musicians. In an interview after the show, one cast member described the group as “the weirdest, rag tag bunch… a gumbo.” That description matches the avant garde nature of the show
“Stylistically, Mindset doesn’t fit the typical mold of most high school productions since it draws influence from performance art, musical theatre, and live concert,” Casey said in an email. “The performance is structured around dialogue but is interwoven with dance and live music from popular culture.”
Proceeds from the show are being donated to the Northern Virginia AIDS Ministry. Additional performances will take place tonight and tomorrow (Saturday), starting at 7:30 p.m. H-B Woodlawn is located at 4100 N. Vacation Lane.
More photos, after the jump.
Klingon is making a theatrical comeback in Arlington.
Less than two years after the Arlington-based Washington Shakespeare Company made headlines with an evening of Shakespeare performed in the fictional Star Trek language, the company is planning on staging another Klingon production.
WSC Avant Bard, as the company is now known, will host “Shakespeare in Klingon II” at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 4. The one-night-only performance will be held at Artisphere’s Rosslyn Spectrum theater, the company’s permanent home since vacating the Clark Street Playhouse in Crystal City. Tickets for the show/fundraiser are $85 and include two “flexible-use passes” for future WSC Avant Bard shows.
Among those taking the stage — besides the Shakespearean Klingon actors — will be WSC Avant Bard Board President Marc Okrand, creator of the original Klingon language, and the fortuitously-named Michael Kahn, Artistic Director of the (unrelated) Shakespeare Theatre Company in D.C.
“The revelry for Washington’s Shakespeare moniker will be in both English and Klingon, using scenes from Hamlet, The Tempest, and others,” WSC noted on its website. “In addition, the Company Benefit performance will include a short conversation with Marc Okrand about his work with the Star Trek franchise over the years, and an audience question and answer session with Kahn, Henley, and special guest Klingons at the conclusion of the show.”
Photos courtesy WSC Avant Bard
The Curious Grape to Reopen — There will soon be two competing boutique wine and cheese stores in Shirlington. The Curious Grape, which moved out of its storefront in Shirlington Village earlier this year in order to make way for Cheesetique, just announced that it will be reopening next month in a larger storefront one block away. [Shirlington Village Blog]
Loyalty Oath for Va. GOP Primary — Voters who want to cast their ballot in the March 6 presidential primary in Virginia will be required to sign a loyalty oath. The Virginia Republican Party requested the pledge — which is perfectly legal under Virginia law — as a condition of participation in the primary. The pledge (of support for the eventual Republican presidential nominee) is intended to reduce the number of non-Republicans voting in the otherwise open primary. [Richmond Times-Dispatch]
Earthquake Still Affecting Local Theater Troupes — The temporary closure of the Thomas Jefferson Community Theater due to earthquake damage is still having repercussions in the local arts community. As a result of the closure, a planned Spring 2012 production of Cats has been postponed until 2013. Also, the county’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. tribute has been moved to Washington-Lee High School. [Sun Gazette]
Extended Mall Hours for Black Friday — Arlington’s two biggest shopping malls will be open earlier than usual for the traditional post-Thanksgiving shop-a-thon known as Black Friday. Ballston Common Mall will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., while Pentagon City mall will be open from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Eminent Domain Change Proposed — A proposed amendment to the Virginia Constitution would make it harder for localities to seize private property under eminent domain laws. The amendment, which has the support of some General Assembly Republicans, is being proposed at a time when Arlington is threatening to use eminent domain to purchase an office building in Courthouse. [Washington Times]
Romeo and Juliet in Crystal City — Synetic Theater’s dialogue-less production of Romeo and Juliet premieres today in Crystal City. The physical theater company’s interpretation of Shakespeare’s classic tragic love story runs through Dec. 23. [Synetic Theater]
‘Arlington Rap’ Guy Gets Write-In Votes — ‘Arlington Rap’ artist Remy Munasifi was among the recipients of write-in votes in this month’s County Board election. Munasifi received four out of the more than 1,000 write-in votes cast. A host of local and national politicians — George W. Bush, Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton among them — were also written-in for the Board race. Write-in votes for commonwealth’s attorney, meanwhile, included rapper Lil Wayne, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and Capitals star Alex Ovechkin. [Sun Gazette]
Yorktown to Play for Regional Championship Today — The undefeated Yorktown Patriots football team will face the South County Stallions at 1:30 p.m. today for the Northern Region Championship. The victor will win the right to advance to the state football playoffs. The game is being played at Yorktown High School stadium (2700 N. Greenbrier Street).
Synetic Theater’s award-winning production of Othello will kick off in Crystal City on Wednesday for a three-week engagement.
The winner of three Helen Hayes local theater awards, including Outstanding Director, Outstanding Costume Design and Outstanding Ensemble, Othello is part of Synetic’s “Silent Shakespeare Festival.” Like other Synetic productions, Othello lacks dialogue but amps up the Shakespearean tragedy’s physical and visual elements.
From a press release:
Fresh off of its nine Helen Hayes Award Nominations and three Awards, Synetic’s edgy, mind‐bending take on Othello will work its magic on the Crystal City stage in October.
The machinations of Iago are as labyrinthine and dark as the struggles of his mind, and these are all made manifest in Othello. The rapid ascent of the powerful Othello and his love affair with the beautiful Desdemona is thrilling to watch, but it literally fractures the jealous Iago. Themes of love, jealousy, race and perception are explored through the use of onstage projections, a shifting geometric set, and the swirling choreography and physical expression of Synetic’s performers and creators. Othello represents a bold new step in the evolution of the silent theater for which Synetic has become acclaimed.
The production will run through Nov 6. It will be followed by a production of Romeo and Juliet, which is scheduled to open on Nov. 25 and run through Dec. 23. Synetic Theater at Crystal City is located at 1800 S. Bell Street.
Photos courtesy Graeme B. Shaw/Synetic Theater
A new play that’s currently being performed at Gunston Theater One (2700 S. Lang Street) contains full-frontal male nudity.
“Take Me Out,” a Tony Award-winning play about a baseball player who comes out to his teammates, includes extended nude locker room scenes. Produced by Dominion Stage, the play runs though Oct. 22.
It’s not the first time that a production at a county theater has included nudity. As the Sun Gazette recounts, there was an all-nude Washington Shakespeare Company production of “Macbeth” in 2007 and a show called “Puppetry of the Penis” at the Rosslyn Spectrum in 2003.
County officials have said in the past that they don’t regulate the content of productions at public theaters. But is nudity appropriate at a taxpayer-supported venue?
Steve Jobs Memorial Grows — The Post-it-Note memorial to Steve Jobs at the Clarendon Apple Store is getting bigger. Since we arrived at the Apple Store yesterday morning, the memorial has grown from zero to dozens of hand-written notes for the late Apple founder.
Favola Takes Aim at Merrick on NRA Rating — Republican State Senate candidate Caren Merrick was given an “A-” rating in a new candidate “scorecard” issued by the National Rifle Association. Democrat Babara Favola, meanwhile, received an “F” rating. But it was Favola who took the offensive. It’s “not a grade my opponent should be proud of,” Favola Tweeted. Said Favola campaign manager Adam Scott: “Caren Merrick is supported by the Tea Party, the NRA, and anti-choice extremists who want to chip away at a woman’s right to choose in Virginia. That’s just not what we need in the state Senate.”
Relocated ‘Nine’ Starts Tonight — The Arlington Players production of ‘Nine’ starts tonight at the Kenmore Middle School Theater. The musical — which was made into a Hollywood movie two years ago — was originally scheduled to be held at the Thomas Jefferson Middle School Theater. It had to be relocated, however, due to earthquake damage at the theater. [The Arlington Players]
Lots of Events This Weekend — There’s plenty of stuff going on in Arlington on what promises to be an absolutely beautiful fall weekend. If you want to support a high school car wash, or attend an Oktoberfest, or party with artists, check out our Events Calendar.
Photo courtesy @btrpkc
Musical Moves to New Theater — The Arlington Players are moving next month’s production of Nine to the Kenmore Middle School auditorium. Earthquake damage was discovered earlier this month at the musical’s original venue, the Thomas Jefferson Community Theater. [Sun Gazette]
Roosevelt Island Access From D.C.? — Greater Greater Washington argues that ferry service or bridge should be established/built from the Georgetown waterfront to Roosevelt Island. Why? “Roosevelt Island is in the District of Columbia, yet DC residents have to travel through Virginia via or along a highway to get to this fantastic and wild resource.” [Greater Greater Washington]
Metro Cell Phone Upgrades Behind Schedule — Metro is well behind schedule in providing cell phone service to all 47 of its underground rail stations. The agency had promised to add service to the 27 stations currently without cell phone infrastructure by last fall, but now says it’s not sure when the cell phone companies will complete the work necessary to provide the service. [Washington Examiner]