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Enchanted Rhapsody is set for Saturday, April 9 in Crystal City (image via screenshot/National Landing BID)

A string quartet will play pop music in Crystal City this weekend as part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

The event, dubbed Enchanted Rhapsody is taking place at the intersection of 6th Street S. and S. Ball Street on Saturday from 4-7:30 p.m. It will feature food, drink and the musical stylings of the Edgewood String Quartet, which will perform classical renderings of Taylor Swift and Queen songs.

The string foursome is known for its covers of pop songs or, as the press release puts it, “think Bridgerton-style classical covers IRL.”

“An evening of Taylor Swift versus Queen songs performed by the Edgewood String Quartet will welcome the bliss of springtime and the beauty of the cherry blossoms,” an event announcement said.

There will be drink and food specials from local Arlington businesses RĀKO, Crystal City Wine Shop, and Bun’d Up. A Captain Cookie and Milkman food truck will also be there. The D.C.-based sweets shop is opening up a Courthouse location later this spring.

This is the neighborhood’s first official Cherry Blossom Festival event, according to the announcement. The event is being co-hosted by the National Landing Business Improvement District and tickets are free, though registration is being requested.

While many of this season’s cherry blossoms met a gusty end last week, the National Cherry Blossom Festival continues until April 17. In Arlington, there are still petal porches to see and bike rides to take to catch what remains of this year’s blossoms.

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The two nightlife venues replacing Whitlow’s on Wilson are gearing up to open over the next few months.

Taking over the long-time local watering hole, which closed in June after more than 25 years in Clarendon, are B Live and Coco B’s.

The two concepts, both to be located at at 2854 Wilson Blvd, are the latest ventures from Michael Bramson, who’s behind The Lot beer garden and the Clarendon Pop-Up Bar.

“We are thrilled to open B Live early spring, and Coco B’s late summer,” Bramson tells ARLnow. “We do not have anticipated opening dates yet, but construction and design are well underway for both concepts.”

Additional details will come soon, he said.

Building permits indicate B Live will occupy the first floor and possibly the basement of the space and Coco B’s will be the name of the old rooftop tiki bar at Whitlow’s. (The name Coco B’s could be a nod to the tiki bar theme, or to the noted local TikTok personality whose spats with two Arlington bars attracted considerable attention last summer.)

Bramson’s updates come after last Tuesday’s County Board approval of use permits for live entertainment and dancing at the two spots, as well as for a 48-seat outdoor café at B Live. The approvals came despite opposition from some neighbors over noise concerns.

The County Board approved the following operating hours: 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight on Sundays, which a county report says are similar to those of neighboring bars.

Proposed hours for Coco B’s/B Live compared to neighboring businesses (via Arlington County)

The Lyon Village Civic Association proposed earlier cut-off times of 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, the report said.

Board members instead approved a recommendation from county staff to review these permits this November and evaluate how successful the bars are at mitigating sounds.

Bramson says the spots will have sound panels and dampening curtains and speakers will be strategically placed to lessen noise levels.

“We are a neighborhood spot and want the community to be comfortable whether they are within the spaces or living nearby,” he said. “We hope our proactive response and action have served to allay any residential apprehension and show that we are taking their concerns very seriously.”

Noise from Whitlow’s was a source of consternation for neighbors that resulted in operating hours being curtailed from 2 a.m. to midnight, plus a requirement to install sound dampening panels and curtains, county planner Cedric Southerland told the County Board last Tuesday.

“That came after years and years trying to work with them to remedy their sound impacts on the neighborhood,” Southerland said. “Additionally, that issue is what preceded the formation of the Clarendon Live Entertainment Group (CLEG), along with other bars and restaurants coming online at that time.”

Established in 2002, the CLEG brings together county staff, restaurant owners and neighbors to address concerns and coordinate code enforcement. Southerland says recently, the CLEG has been meeting fewer times per year, which he takes to be a sign that the group is addressing the concerns that led to its creation two decades ago.

But not all neighbors say mechanisms like the CLEG actually help residents enjoy their homes. Julissa Marenco told the County Board on Tuesday that staff are not sufficiently enforcing noise violations and these organizations do not actually go to bat for neighbors.

“We are all in support of music, we are all in support of living in an urban dwelling, we understand the considerations that come with living in these neighborhoods,” she said. “But it’s now at a point on Wilson Blvd, in Clarendon, that it’s having a tremendous impact on individuals.”

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Arlington Chorale is presenting “Through Troubled Times” this weekend, a performance that was originally slated for two years ago prior to Covid-related shutdowns.

On Saturday (March 19) at Westover Baptist Church, the 56-year-old local chorus group will be finally performing a show that was initially scheduled for March 14, 2020. The show was canceled two days before it was set to happen due to the increasing number of Covid cases in the county.

“These works are the last pieces we rehearsed together before everything shut down in 2020 — we had to cancel the concert two days before,” Arlington Chorale’s artistic director Ingrid Lestrud tells ARLnow. “I think we all have memories of rehearsing this music in pre-pandemic times before masks and social distancing.”

“Through Troubled Times” features “dark dramatic moments and soaring beautiful melodies,” according to a press release, and will be highlighted by a performance of a two-century-old work that holds a “message of finding hope in turbulent times strongly [that] resonates with audiences today.”

In addition, Arlington Public Schools student Ava Yi, 13, will conduct the chorus in a performance of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus.” She won a virtual auction last spring that helped raise money for the group.

“Our shared human experiences over the last two years during the pandemic certainly adds a new perspective to this repertoire,” Arlington Chorale board president and soprano Ellen Keating said in a statement.

This will be only the group’s second concert back in front of a live audience since pausing performances two years ago.

The 60-member local, nonprofit chorus was first established in 1966. It’s a mixed-voice group, meaning both women and men sing together. Over the years, it has performed at a number of significant regional events including the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 2018 at Nationals Park.

Lestrud says the last two years have made rehearsing and keeping members difficult, but this year’s auditions renewed her optimism.

“I was blown away by all the audition requests I received! Most of our new members are in their 20s, and our singers range in age from 19-84,” she says. “It’s truly an intergenerational group that values inclusivity and diversity.”

With almost half of the 60-member group new and shows upcoming in May and June, Lestrud is confident the chorus’s future is bright.

“Most of the singers sang in choirs throughout high school and college, and they’re looking for a group where they can sing high quality choral music and be challenged to create something beautiful together,” she says. “Many of our members have recently moved to the area, and they joined the Arlington Chorale in order to meet people and become a part of our community.”

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Snow falls on the Christmas tree in front of 1100 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn, in 2020 (Staff Photo by Jay Westcott)

The holiday spirit is alive and well in Arlington, with a number of markets and events planned over the next couple of weeks.

First up is Rosslyn’s holiday market, set for this Friday and Saturday (Dec. 10-11) at 1800 N. Lynn Street. Friday night will feature a celebration for the dogs of Rosslyn, including giveaways for the pups as well as a chance for your canine to take photos with Santa Claus. Saturday will feature a family-friendly performance at Synetic Theater and photos with Santa Claus.

There will also be food, free hot chocolate, and a dozen vendors.

After that, the first annual Ballston Holiday Wreath Market is taking place next Friday and Saturday (Dec. 17-18) at the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Stuart Street.

Organized by the Ballston BID, the two-day event will include a pop-up outdoor bar, live music from the Arlington Children’s Chorus, a cello performance from local TikTok personality Andrew Savoia, a light art projection from Robin Bell, Santa Claus selfies, and holiday wreaths for sale.

Proceeds from the wreath sales will go towards local nonprofits including Bridges to Independence, Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing, Culpepper Garden, Doorways for Women and Families, and The Sycamore School. Wreaths can be ordered in advance online for pick-up at the market.

Arlington County Police Department’s toy-collecting cruiser will also be there on Saturday, ready to receive wrapped gifts that will be donated to area kids.

Performing at 5 p.m. on Friday, 25-year-old Ballston resident Andrew Savoia became gained social media notability last year with his cello covers of modern pop songs. Washingtonian described his music as “Cardi B meets Beethoven.”

Robin Bell’s light art show will be projected onto the Ballston Macy’s storefront, described as a “celebration of holidays around the world.” Bell is known for sometimes politically charged and profound art projections. He previously projected a beach scene in Ballston in 2020. Bell’s holiday illumination will be displayed from 7-9 p.m. each night.

The outdoor bar will include warm beverages, including alcoholic and non-alcoholic hot chocolate, a “mistletoe spice cocktail,” beer, and wine. The hope is that the Ballston Wreath Market will become an annual Arlington tradition, a spokesperson tells ARLnow.

The National Landing BID, meanwhile, is hosting two events over the next couple of weekends, including a holiday market and a peppermint mocha latte competition.

The latte competition is taking place this Sunday morning (Dec. 12), starting at 11 a.m., outside of 2121 Crystal Drive. It will feature seasonal drinks from Commonwealth Joe, The Freshman, and Origin Coffee Lab & Kitchen. Attendees will be able to sample minty creations from each neighborhood coffee shop and vote on their favorite. The event is free.

The next weekend, on Friday and Saturday (Dec. 17-18), the BID is holding a holiday market outside of 2121 Crystal Drive, with an assortment of live music, shopping, and food.

Friday night’s market will feature music from Laygod, a self-described “cult-fiction rock n roll band,” and Nicaraguan musician Pedro Night. Playing Saturday’s market is Jerel Crockett. More than 25 vendors are expected to offer their wares.

In addition to the events, there are a number of light displays in Crystal City. At Long Bridge Park, more than 6,000 white and blue lights are twinkling along the nearly-mile walk along Long Bridge Park Esplanade overlooking the Potomac River. At Gateway Green, the former location of Summer House at 101 12th Street S., “an immersive winter lights art installation” is ongoing through the holiday season.

Can’t get enough Christmas? Other local holiday events can be found in our Arlington event calendar.

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Encore Stage’s Enchanted Bookshop Christmas (Photo courtesy of Encore Stage/ Cindy Kane Photography)

As the region creeps back closer to normal, and with the holiday season now upon us, in-person performing arts are making a comeback.

Local theaters are once again welcoming back audiences for an assortment of concerts and productions.

If you’re interested in seeing a show and gaining some cultural enrichment while sitting among fellow humans, below are a few Arlington options to consider over the next few months.

The cast of Signature Theater’s Rent (Photo courtesy of Signature Theater/Christopher Mueller)

Signature Theater’s Rent 

When: November 2 to January 2, 2022

Where: 4200 Campbell Avenue in Shirlington

Safety Precautions: Proof of vaccinations or a negative test are required to attend a live, indoor performance at Signature Theater. Masks are also required at all times.

Details: In-person theater is back at Signature Theater with an all-new production of the iconic musical Rent.

“RENT is a musical about love, loss and community,” wrote director Matthew Gardiner in the press release. “After this past year where we’ve all felt isolated and disconnected, reopening Signature’s doors with this story about beautiful warriors and agents for change who found each other amidst unimaginable loss feels incredibly resonant.”

With a new artistic director at the helm, the Washington Post called Signature Theater’s production of Rent “gloriously harmonious.”

Encore Stage’s Enchanted Bookshop Christmas

When: November 19-21 & December 3-5

Where: Gunston ​​Arts Center, Theater 1 at 2700 S. Lang Street

Safety Precautions: Masks are required for everyone in the audience, including staff and students, except for children under the age of two. Concessions will only be available by pre-order and patrons must eat and drink outdoors.

Details: A sequel (with a holiday spin) to “Enchanted Bookshop,” which was performed at Encore Stage in 2019. Encore did two drive-by productions prior to moving back inside earlier this fall.

It’s four days before Christmas and a very special present has gone missing. Help come-to-life book characters solve the mystery and save the day. Enchanted Bookshop Christmas for all ages that’s 90 minutes including intermission.

Synetic Theater’s Cinderella (Photo courtesy of Synetic Theater/Johnny Shryock Photography)

Synetic Theater’s Cinderella 

When: November 27 to December 26

Where: 1800 S. Bell Street in Crystal City

Safety Precautions: All audience members over the age of 12 are required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test along with an ID. Children under 12 are not required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative. Masks are required at all times and concessions will not be sold during the performance.

Details: This is a modern re-telling of the classic magical tale of “a striking clock, a glass slipper, and a brave young woman who dares to pursue her wildest dreams.”

Synetic Theater kept active throughout the pandemic by streaming performances and doing outdoor theater earlier this fall.

Known for wordless physical theater, this performance is family-friendly as well as appealing to non-English speakers due to the fact that there’s little dialogue.

Avant Bard Theatre’s How I Learned What I Learned

When: December 1 to 19

Where: Gunston ​​Arts Center, Theater 2 at 2700 S. Lang Street

Safety Precautions: Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test are mandatory for entry. Face coverings must be worn at all times while in the building.

Details: This autobiographical one-man show from one of America’s most acclaimed playwrights, August Wilson, stars William Newman, who some might know as the Chief Judge of Arlington’s Circuit Court. This isn’t Newman’s first starring role on the stage, either.

The performance deals with mature themes and is not suitable for all ages.

BallotNova’s The Nutcracker (Photo courtesy of BalletNova)

BallotNova’s The Nutcracker 

When: December 2 to December 5

Where: Kenmore Middle School at 200 S. Carlin Springs Road

Safety Precautions: Attendees 12 years old and over are required to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test within the past three days. All attendees are required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status. Fully vaccinated dancers over the age of 12 will not be wearing masks while performing.

Details: This BalletNova’s first live, in-person performance in nearly two years. This rendition has all-new choreography, sets, and costumes “that are sure to make this year’s production our most magical yet,” artistic director Matthew Powell writes ARLnow.

“There are also a few fun surprises in store, but we can’t give away all of our secrets,” he notes.

Tickets can be purchased at the door or on the website. The production is suitable for all ages.

National Chamber Ensemble’s Holiday Cheer (Photo via National Chamber Ensemble)

National Chamber Ensemble’s Holiday Cheer 

When: December 18

Where: Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington at 4444 Arlington Blvd

Safety Precautions: All patrons must be fully vaccinated, wear a mask at all times, and capacity will be less than 50% to allow patrons to spread out.

Details: A holiday concert featuring “star soprano” Sharon Christmann joining the ensemble and performing the favorites.

A streaming option will be available for those who don’t feel comfortable attending in person. This performance is family-friendly.

The Arlington Players’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Photo courtesy of The Arlington Players)

The Arlington Players’ A Midsummer’s Night Dream

When: January 15 to 30, 2022

Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre at 125 S. Old Glebe Road

Safety Precautions: Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID test within the last 72 hours. Audience members must wear masks at all times as required by Arlington County.

Details: For the long-running community theater company, this William Shakespeare comedy is its first show back at Thomas Jefferson Community Theater. This past fall, the Arlington Players had an in-person, outdoor performance at Lubber Run Amphitheater.

A Midnight Summer’s Dream is family-friendly and open to all ages.

Know of any other upcoming performing arts shows in the area worth considering? Let us know in the comments.

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Morning Notes

Tesla Dealership Coming to S. Glebe Road — ARLnow’s scoop from February is all but confirmed: “Tesla Inc. appears to be filling the high-end auto dealership void left by Maserati’s closure in South Arlington. The electric automaker will convert the former Maserati and Alfa Romeo dealership at 2710 S. Glebe Road into a 63,854-square-foot auto sales, delivery and vehicle service center, per plans obtained from Construction Journal. The work is expected to be fairly quick, starting in November and finishing up by January.” [Washington Business Journal]

Long Bridge Concert Tomorrow — “Join us, along with Arlington Parks & Recreation, Saturday, September 25 for the Long Bridge Aquatics & Fitness Center Community Celebration featuring a festive fall beer garden and live entertainment including Virginia native and HOT 99.5 Rising Artist Winner, Jerel Crockett beginning at 5 PM. The night will include a diverse lineup of some of the DMV’s hottest DJs, Farrah Flosscett and King Iven, as well as the rock/pop/funk band, Up All Night, playing all your favorite songs from the 80s, 90s, and today.” [National Landing]

Big Crash on GW Parkway — “A reader sends this photo of the earlier crash on the GW Parkway, near Key Bridge, in case anybody drives by later and wonders what happened to the wall.” [Twitter, Twitter]

The End is Near for an Old Home — “A demolition permit has been granted the owner of the 130-year-old Fellows-McGrath home at Washington Blvd. near Sycamore St. It’s disappointing to Tom Dickinson and other preservation activists who had filed an application to protect it… Manassas realtor Masum Kahn, who bought the house after eight months on the market to build modern homes, has not set a demolition schedule. Though he would consider selling ‘for the right price.'” [Falls Church News-Press]

Caps Player Honored by ACFD — “Earlier this month the ACFD presented @Capitals @GarnetHathaway with a citizens award for his charity known as #HathsHeroes. This charity has given so much to local first responders and we are extremely thankful to Mr. Hathaway for his work in the community.” [Twitter]

Oddity of Arlington Transit History — “The Rosslyn-Ballston corridor is a famous example of early transit-oriented development because of the Orange Line, but the area was home to an innovative transit experiment long before Metro. From 1936 through 1939, a streetcar-bus hybrid provided service from the City of Fairfax to Rosslyn and into DC.” [Greater Greater Washington]

Arrest in Seven Corners Sex Assault Case — “Patrick Michael Chaloupka, 38, of Woodbridge has been charged with additional felonies for another sexual assault that occurred at a Falls Church hotel. Officers responded to a hotel on Aug. 26 in the 6100 block of Arlington Boulevard for the report of an assault that occurred three days prior.” [Fairfax County Police Department]

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Rosslyn Jazz Fest Returning

Rosslyn Jazz Fest crowd shot (via Rosslyn Business Improvement District)

Update on 6/21/22 — A PR rep for the Rosslyn BID said that this event was actually the 29th annual Rosslyn Jazz Fest, not the 21st, as stated in promotional material at the time.

Earlier: The Rosslyn Jazz Fest, which was socially-distanced and live-streamed last year due to the pandemic, is returning this week in its full glory.

The celebration of jazz, now in its 21st year, begins this Wednesday and will span three weeks. There will be pop-up performances throughout Rosslyn featuring food trucks, beer and wine, restaurant deals and giveaway prizes.

The event, organized by the Rosslyn Business Improvement District, is free to attend but reservations are encouraged to secure a spot.

Starting this Wednesday, bands and soloists will perform during the Rosslyn Farmers Market at Central Place Plaza (1800 N. Lynn Street), as well as at 1401 Wilson Blvd Park and the Continental Beer Garden (1901 N. Fort Myer Drive).

Planned “pop-up” performances include the following.

  • Wednesday, Sept. 1: Crush Funk Brass Band (Central Place Plaza, 1800 N. Lynn Street) from 4:30-5:15 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 1: Crush Funk Brass Band (1401 Wilson Blvd Park) from 5:45-6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 15: Cristian Perez (Central Place Plaza, 1800 N. Lynn Street) from 5-7 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 16: Kingman Island Orchestra (Continental Beer Garden, 1901 N. Lynn Street) from 5-7 p.m.

On Thursday, Sept. 9, the BID will host a Jazz Supper Club at Amuse restaurant (1121 19th St. N.) from 5:30-9 p.m. The reservation-only event includes a prix fixe menu, a complimentary themed cocktail, themed giveaways and a live performance by Akua Allrich.

Guests will be seated in two time slots — 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Reservations can be made through Amuse.

The festival culminates on Saturday, Sept. 18 with performances at Gateway Park (1300 Langston Blvd):

Around the park there will be food trucks serving hot dogs, wings and carnival-themed sweets, Salvadoran food and the flavors of New Orleans. Beer and wine will also be available for purchase.

Attendees can also dine at select local restaurants with a 10% discount. Participating restaurants currently include Continental Beer Garden, Toryumon and Vitality Bowls, but the list is subject to change.

Check-in for the final day of performances begins at 12:15 p.m. To access Gateway Park, attendees will need to enter through the middle entrance along Langston Blvd (formerly Lee Highway).

Public parking will be available at the Atlantic Parking Garage on N. Moore Street between 19th Street N. and Langston Blvd for a flat fee of $5 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., but space is limited.

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Arlington arts organizations may have lost as much as $10 million in 2020 due to the pandemic, but they were able to get by with help from friends of the arts.

Many arts groups in the county reported losing 41-60% of their expected income, according to Embracing Arlington Arts, a group of local residents who work toward bolstering the arts in the county. But the arts organizations survived on a combination of government and private grants, generous locals and virtual performances.

“Most arts groups had no earned revenue,” said Janet Kopenhaver, the founder of Embracing Arlington Arts. “While they were offering these virtual things, you can’t charge what you would normally charge for a ticket. You had to depend on your donors and the donors came through.”

The National Chamber Ensemble, which sold season tickets for virtual concerts, said Zoom and donations from patrons helped the group stay in tune.

“We had wine and cheese receptions over Zoom with the audience,” said the ensemble’s artistic director and first violinist Leo Sushansky. “Everything balanced each other out because virtually a whole family could watch with one ticket, but people who didn’t live nearby like in England or New York could attend performances also.”

Arlington-based Synetic Theatre’s Managing Director Jason Najjoum said the theater also received generous donations.

“Our individual donors continued or increased their support, which says as much about the work we do as the Northern Virginia/Greater Washington community we call home,” Najjoum said. “We were able to keep our staff fully employed, and even added a couple of team members.”

Groups accessed the county’s annual arts grant program, small business grants from the county, and the more-competitive state and federal arts grants funding, Kopenhaver said. Arts groups could also cash in on federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.

Najjoum said Synetic relied heavily on PPP funding to create a custom streaming website and app.

“None of this would have been possible without significant government support,” he said. “It was hard won by countless lobbyists and advocates, but the local, state and federal government really stepped up and provided the support we needed.”

Amazon contributed too, donating to several area arts organizations, including Synetic.

“We were able to support the acutely affected freelance arts worker class through an artist relief program that provided $60,000 in support to 32 arts workers,” noted Najjoum.

But artists are still uncertain about what the future holds for them in Arlington.

“The question remains: with government support ending, will ticket sales come back strong enough to replace it, especially given that our upfront production expenses will also be up? Producing theater has always been very expensive,” he said. “This will only work at the bottom line if audiences and donors increase their support going forward.”

Challenges ahead 

Although many arts organizations weathered the shutdowns, a perennial issue facing these groups has resurfaced: space.

“We need a cultural center — a vibrant, busy venue. It would be a game changer,” said Kopenhaver. “We are losing arts groups because of lack of venue. It’s a critical issue.”

A few have already left because they cannot perform in middle schools, which she said is where most perform — away from transit, restaurants and other walkable amenities.

Embracing Arlington Arts is working with developers to create a flexible space in an area with more amenities that can accommodate arts audiences.

“We fear, if the venues keep dwindling, there will be nowhere to perform,” Kopenhaver said. “At a middle school you can’t have receptions, you can’t have alcohol, you can’t have talk backs, which are becoming popular, because the janitors are kicking you out.”

On top of that, the child-sized restrooms are uncomfortable for the patrons, many of whom are retirees, she said.

Synetic’s venue in Crystal City has been in high demand during the pandemic, and has been used for church services, film shoots and pageants, said Najjoum. But with more performances, Synetic needs its space back.

Meanwhile, the National Chamber Ensemble has been out of a concert hall for four years, after the county-run Rosslyn Spectrum (part of the now-defunct Artisphere) was closed to the public. The ensemble now performs at Gunston Arts Center or the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, along with other performing arts organizations.

When the pandemic hit, and those venues shut down, Sushansky said patrons opened up their homes.

“We went to the private homes of our patrons and these people had marvelous instruments,” he said. Still, he added, “it would certainly be nice to have our own space. It has to be a collaboration of the county.”

And COVID-19 remains a persistent threat.

Following the lead of Broadway theaters and other local D.C. arts venues, Synetic will require proof of full vaccination, either physically or digitally, or a negative PCR test, for the rest of the year. Audiences will have to wear masks at all times, except while eating or drinking. It will continue streaming its performances.

The National Chamber Ensemble is waiting to see the guidance closer to the start of the season on Nov. 6. Sushansky said he delayed the opening in hopes that coronavirus cases will go down. He says he’s eager to resume in person concerts again, but will retain the virtual option for those who are still not comfortable coming out.

“I wanted to create something for my community, so I can’t wait for communication in-person to resume,” he said. “It’s really special performing for the Arlington audience.”

The following is a round-up of upcoming shows from local arts organizations, organized by the type of performance.

Read More

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(updated at 1:10 p.m.) Gateway Park in Rosslyn will be transformed into a concert venue for three musical performances this month.

Rosslyn LIVE!, a new neighborhood event hosted by the Rosslyn Business Improvement District, will feature Broadway, pop and drag performances. The D.C.-based American Pops Orchestra will play all concerts alongside different featured performers every Thursday night this month outdoors at the 1300 Lee Highway park.

For the first concert, Broadway performers Mary Michael Patterson and Vishal Vaidya will sing show tunes, accompanied by the orchestra. The show will be next Thursday. Tickets are available now online.

The following Thursday, July 22, the orchestra will accompany singers Rayshun LaMarr, Hilary Morrow and Kevin Rose, who will be performing ’90s music. Tickets went on sale yesterday (Tuesday).

The last concert will be a drag performance on Thursday, July 29 with tickets available next Tuesday (July 13). The BID has yet to decide who the featured performers will be for this show.

Gateway Park will open each Thursday for concert-goers at 6:30 p.m. and performances will begin at 8 p.m.

Wine, beer and sangria will be available for purchase at $6 a glass. Kona Ice trucks will also be at the event to pick up frozen treats from, said a spokeswoman for the Rosslyn BID.

General admission standing room tickets cost $5. For $20, concert-goers can purchase a bundle that includes a spot on the lawn and a picnic blanket for two people. $20 can also buy a balcony seat.

A portion of ticket sales will be donated to the high school choir programs at Arlington Public Schools, according to the event page. Some of the proceeds will also go towards improvements at Gateway Park.

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A stretch of Wilson Blvd in Ballston will be shut down and transformed into an open-air pub and stage next month for a new event: Bands & Brews on the Boulevard.

The Ballston Business Improvement District will turn the thoroughfare between N. Stuart Street and N. Randolph Street, near Ballston Quarter, into an event space serving drinks and featuring live music from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 24.

Bands & Brews on the Boulevard is hosted by BallstonGives, the charitable arm of the BID. The event is free to attend but people will need to buy drink tickets, the proceeds of which will benefit BallstonGives’ Bartenders Relief Fund.

“We want to generate funding to support our local restaurants and their bartenders, who made sacrifices to serve our community in challenging times,” a BID spokeswoman said. “In addition to our efforts throughout the pandemic, this relief fund will allow us to create future programs and events that feature our neighborhood’s restaurants.”

Drink tickets can be purchased in advance at a discount. Discount prices are $7 for one beer or glass of wine, $10 for a craft cocktail and $30 for five beers or glasses of wine. For $5o, people can buy a “bar bundle” with eight beers or glasses of wine and two cocktails, which can be shared.

Drink tickets purchased at the event will not be discounted.

Participants will have two stages of live performances to choose from. The main stage will host a DJ as well as bands whose styles range from rock and pop to oldies and funk:

Attendees can request songs for Bobby McKey’s Dueling Pianos to play in the last hour by messaging the Ballston BID’s Instagram page.

A smaller stage in Welburn Square — where the Ballston farmers market is held — will host a performance by Arlington-based Avant Bard Theatre from 2-3:30 p.m. and singer-songwriter Lucia Valentine from 4-5:30 p.m.

Photos courtesy of Ballston BID

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A new event in the Virginia Square area, Cars & Coffee, will kick off on Saturday with live music, classic cars and free doughnuts and coffee.

This weekend, Good Company Doughnuts & Cafe will provide the treats and drinks while blues performer and Ballston local Memphis Gold will provide the entertainment.

Cars & Coffee will take place in the parking lot of 3901 Fairfax Drive and is being co-hosted by the Ballston Business Improvement District and Skanska Commercial Development. The free event will take place every other Saturday from 8-11 a.m. through Aug. 7.

Local car enthusiasts can register online to display their cars for the show.

Skanska purchased the Fairfax Drive parking lot space in 2019 to convert it into a public plaza and office building. Although the project near Arlington Central Library has been plagued with delays, the company plans to break ground there in the near future.

“At Skanska, we create spaces built to serve communities,” said Mark Carroll, Executive Vice President for Skanska USA Commercial Development’s local office. “We’re looking forward to starting that journey even before we put shovels in the ground here in Ballston.”

Ballston BID CEO Tina Leone shared Carroll’s sentiment, saying she hopes the event will bring people out into the community and allow them to get to know their neighbors.

“It’s encouraging and exciting to see people coming out, supporting local music, local businesses and just generally being a community again,” Leone said. “We have a strong network here in Ballston and we support each other immensely. It’s amazing to see it happening in real-time with events like Cars & Coffee.”

Photos courtesy of Ballston BID

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