Effort Returns $68K to Arlington Residents — Staff from the Virginia Dept. of the Treasury were on hand at county government headquarters in Courthouse earlier this month to encourage those coming to pay their local taxes at the deadline to see if they have any unclaimed cash or property being held by the state. In all, the officials were able to return about $68,000 to people who stopped by. [InsideNova]
Population Growth Outstripping New Housing — A potential major worry should Amazon bring its HQ2 to the D.C. area is what it will do to the cost of housing. The region has fallen significantly short of housing production since 2010, according to a new report: “While the inner region’s population increased 7 percent, the number of housing units increased only 3 percent.” [Urban Institute]
County Defends Using Bonds for Artificial Turf — Despite suggestions otherwise, Arlington County Board members said Saturday that the county only uses bonds to fund artificial turf project when the lifespan of the bond equals or is less than the expected lifespan of the turf. [InsideNova]
Signature Partners with Yale — “[Signature Theatre] announced Monday a pioneering partnership to bolster musical-theater writing talent at the college level — a fairly underdeveloped avenue for professional American theaters. With financial backing from longtime Signature supporters Ted and Mary Jo Shen… Signature will produce one graduating Yale senior’s musical-in-progress annually in a three-week workshop, beginning next summer.” [Washington Post]
Mea Culpa — Yesterday, ARLnow sent a promotional email for a townhouse community with the pithy subject line, “So many reasons to move to Chantilly, VA.” While we didn’t get any complaints, this subject line does not reflect our commitment to serving the Arlington community and sending it as-is was a mistake for which we apologize.
Ballston Mall LED Screens Nixed — Developer Forest City is, for now, withdrawing a request to install two large, high-definition LED video screens above the main entrance to its still under-construction Ballston Quarter mall. The screens do not comply with Arlington zoning rules. Attorneys for Forest City say they are still hoping that the County Board will eventually amend the zoning ordinance to allow such screens. [Washington Business Journal]
Free ART Bus Rides Thursday — “Think there’s no such thing as a free ride? Not if you take the bus in Arlington, Virginia, and you’re traveling on Sept. 20. Arlington Transit is letting passengers ride free Sept. 20 as a way to celebrate the transit agency’s 20th anniversary.” [WTOP]
Tax Delinquency List — Arlington County Treasurer Carla de la Pava has released her office’s annual list of residents and businesses that have not paid their taxes. The list includes nearly $200,000 in delinquent real estate taxes, $1.3 million in delinquent personal property taxes, $1 million in delinquent business license and property taxes, and more than $500,000 in delinquent meal (restaurant) taxes. [Arlington County]
Celebrating Community and Elders in Nauck — “Celebrating the lives and achievements of the community’s elders was a centerpiece of the 2018 Nauck Civic & Community Pride Day, which brought food, music and fellowship to Drew Model School on Sept. 15. Four community residents who had reached, or were set to reach, the centennial mark – Elizabeth Cole, Novella Cummings, Mary Lockett and Thelma Russell – were honored by the Nauck Civic Association.” [InsideNova]
Critic Praises Shirlington’s Signature — “The Tony Award-winning Signature Theatre — the Arlington troupe known for musicals — shapes up as my favorite D.C. company. I’m not saying Signature is hands-down the best theater in Washington… But Signature showcases a lot of assets, from its singular glam factor to plain old ease of use.” [Washington Post]
Late Night Storms — Thunderstorms that rumbled through Arlington around midnight last night brought a period of frequent lightning and thunder that set off car alarms and awakened some residents from their sleep. [Twitter, Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Tom Mockler
Signature Theatre’s annual open house will take place in the Village at Shirlington between noon and 8:30 p.m. Sunday (Aug. 5), accompanied by a road closure.
The Arlington County Police Department will close Campbell Avenue from S. Arlington Mill Drive to S. Randolph Street from around 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. for the event.
Harris Teeter shoppers should plan to use the alternate entrance to the store’s parking garage while the road closure is in place, and street parking will be limited in the area.
The open house aims to introduce Signature Theatre’s 2018-19 season. Attractions include free performances, discounted tickets to upcoming shows and show merchandise at clearance prices.
Photo via Arlington County
Cabarets run for approximately one hour. Tickets for individual performances are $35 and all-access passes are available for $175.
The first ten cabarets are listed below. The full schedule may be found on Signature Theatre’s website, and performances run through Aug. 4.
- July 19 (8 p.m.) — The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, D.C.: It Takes Two
- July 20 (7 p.m.) — Rochelle Rice: American Remix
- July 20 (9 p.m.) — Mason Cabaret: An Evening with Stephen Sondheim
- July 21 (7 p.m. and 9 p.m.) — Bob McDonald: Best of Bob
- July 22 (5 p.m.) — Monumental Theatre: Flip Flop, A Miscast Cabaret
- July 22 (7 p.m.) — Nova Y. Payton and Mark G. Meadows: Hotter than July
- July 24 (8 p.m.) — Awa Sal Secka: Soul Divas
- July 25 (8 p.m.) — Nova Y. Payton and Mark G. Meadows: Hotter than July
- July 26 (8 p.m.) — Erin Driscoll: Ladies’ Night
The Washington Post has noted Signature Theatre’s cabaret series for lending the stage to out-of-town performers and promoting cabaret in the D.C. area. The Signature Theatre’s productions are routinely recognized as among the region’s best — they have won 107 Helen Hayes Awards and received 411 nominations.
Photos courtesy Signature Theatre
The series, called “The Music of the Movies: Oscar Scores and Classic Musicals,” will screen the films outdoors on Fridays at the Arlington Mill Community Center and Saturdays at Penrose Square.
The film series is sponsored by the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) and the Signature Theatre.
“Signature is thrilled to support the 2018 Columbia Pike Movie Nights, which will bring the magic of great classic musicals to the big screen for free to the Arlington community this summer,” said Eric Schaeffer, the Signature Theatre’s artistic director, through a CPRO press release.
Several movies will be classics like Grease, West Side Story, and The Sound of Music, but movies as recently-released as the Pixar-produced Coco will be screened as well.
Here’s the 2018 movie series schedule:
- June 1 — Grease (Arlington Mill)
- June 2 — Hairspray (Penrose Square)
- June 8 — Chicago (Arlington Mill)
- June 9 — The Color Purple (Penrose Square)
- June 15 — Into the Woods (Arlington Mill)
- June 16 — Dreamgirls (Penrose Square)
- June 22 — Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (Arlington Mill)
- June 23 — O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Penrose Square)
- June 29 — Batman (1999) (Arlington Mill)
- June 30 — Batman (1989) (Penrose Square)
- July 6 — Mary Poppins (Arlington Mill)
- July 7 — Dick Tracy (Penrose Square)
- July 13 — The Sound of Music (Arlington Mill)
- July 14 — The Sound of Music (Penrose Square)
- July 20 — Toy Story (Arlington Mill)
- July 21 — Singin’ in the Rain (Penrose Square)
- July 27 — Coco (Arlington Mill)
- July 28 — Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Penrose Square)
- Aug. 3 — Jailhouse Rock (Arlington Mill)
- Aug. 4 — The Music Man (Penrose Square)
- Aug. 10 — Beauty and The Beast (1991) (Arlington Mill)
- Aug. 11 — Beauty and The Beast (1991) (Penrose Square)
- Aug. 17 — Young Frankenstein (Arlington Mill)
- Aug. 18 — Young Frankenstein (Penrose Square)
- Aug. 24 — West Side Story (Arlington Mill)
- Aug. 25 — West Side Story (Penrose Square)
- Aug. 31 — The Wizard of Oz (Arlington Mill)
- Sept. 1 — The Wizard of Oz (Penrose Square)
Photo via Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization
Baba Now Open — Baba, the comfy bar and cafe in the basement of Ambar in Clarendon, is now open after some unexpected delays. The “big draw” of Baba, according to the Post’s Maura Judkis, is its made-from-scratch cocktails. [Washington Post]
Ballston Wi-Fi to Launch Today — The “BLinked” gigabit wi-fi service in Ballston is expected to launch today. The free service will offer a high-speed and seamless internet connection throughout public spaces in Ballston. [Twitter]
Signature Theatre 2017-18 Season Announced — Shirlington’s Signature Theatre has announced the lineup for its 2017-18 season, with eight marquee shows and six short-run cabarets. [Signature Theatre]
Reminder: Storm Drains Empty to Waterways — “Our local waterways literally go with the flow. That means rain water heads into nearby storm drains and then quickly ends up in local streams like Four Mile Run. Those streams flow into the Potomac River, the source for much of the region’s drinking water.” [Arlington County]
Obit: William Coleman — William T. Coleman, Jr., a civil rights lawyer and cabinet member who broke racial barriers, has died. Coleman is noted in Arlington for his role, as U.S. Secretary of Transportation, in authorizing the controversial construction of I-66 inside the Beltway. [NBC News]
Arlington Players Rack Up WATCH Awards — The Arlington Players have received seven Washington Area Theatre Community Honors awards, tying an Alexandria theater company for the highest award total of 2017. [InsideNova]
Hat tip to Eric Dobson. Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Senators Tour Proposed Cemetery Expansion — The Army gave a group of U.S. senators a tour of a proposed expansion area for Arlington National Cemetery yesterday. The expansion, around the Air Force Memorial, would create space for 40,000 to 60,000 gravesites while requiring a realignment of Columbia Pike. Military officials are hoping to open the expansion by 2023 but a land swap with Arlington County and Virginia has still not been completed. [Stars and Stripes]
Arlington Man Killed in D.C. — An Arlington resident, 31-year-old Antwan Jones, was shot to death Tuesday afternoon while sitting in an BMW in Southeast D.C. A second man was injured in the shooting. [Washington Post]
History of Fairlington — Eighteen years ago yesterday Fairlington was added to the National Register of Historic Places. George Washington once owned land in the neighborhood, in the southwest corner of Arlington. It was also home to Civil War fortifications and a horse farm before being cleared to make way for 3,449 units of government housing for defense workers during World War II. [Facebook]
Midwestern Gothic Trailer — Signature Theater has released a cinematic trailer for its new “world premiere thriller with a musical twist,” Midwestern Gothic. The production runs through April 30. [YouTube]
HireEd Conference Coming to GMU — Sponsored — Graham Holdings Chair Donald Graham will be the keynote speaker at an event that will bring together entrepreneurs, business leaders, educators and nonprofits to discuss strategies to place students and graduates in jobs at all levels and solutions for businesses recruiting talent. It’s taking place Wednesday, April 5, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at George Mason University Founders Hall, 3351 Fairfax Drive. Registration is free for students and $25 for general admission. [Arlington Economic Development]
Photo courtesy Fred Cochard
Arlington Population Continues to Rise — The latest Census Bureau estimate of Arlington’s population is 230,050, a 0.9 percent rise over the previous year. [InsideNova]
LaHood to Review WMATA — Former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has been tapped by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) to conduct an independent review of Metro’s “operating, governance, and financial conditions.” The review will “develop recommendations for potential WMATA reforms, including mitigating growth in annual operating costs and sustainable funding.” [Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Washington Post]
Private Investigators Set Up Shop in Arlington — A group of private investigators is trying to solve the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich last July. The group, which does not have the support of Rich’s family, is working out of a “war room” in Arlington as it tries to piece together clues about the fatal shooting in D.C.’s Bloomingdale neighborhood. [DCist, WJLA]
County Board Hears Complaint About Poo — A resident’s complaint at a County Board meeting, about a homeless man “appropriating” a bus stop in Rosslyn, led to the following sentence in the Sun Gazette: “County-government spokesman Mary Curtius said it was ‘exceedingly rare’ to find human waste at bus stops.” [InsideNova]
Schaeffer’s Favorite Arlington Things — Eric Schaeffer, co-founder and artistic director of Shirlington’s Signature Theatre, recently shared some of his favorite local spots. Among them: French store Le Marche and Irish pub Samuel Beckett’s, both in Shirlington, along with Pupatella pizzeria in Bluemont and P.F. Chang’s in Ballston. [Northern Virginia Magazine]
Flickr pool photo by Alan Kotok
Permitting a Challenge for Older Properties — Arlington’s permitting office can be a source of frustration for homeowners trying to make changes or additions to their house, but it’s especially challenging for those who own older properties that no longer conform to the county zoning ordinance. [Arlington Magazine]
Free Tax Help in Arlington — Arlington County is again offering free tax assistance sessions through mid-April for lower income residents: individuals making up to $35,000/year or families making up to $54,000/year. [Arlington County]
Four Courts ‘Leprechaun’ Profiled — Dave Cahill, the general manager of Four Courts in Courthouse, is the official “leprechaun” of the Four Courts Four Miler, which took place on Sunday. Cahill recently spoke about how he started running and helped come up with the idea for the race. [Facebook]
Signature’s ‘Mrs. Miller Does Her Thing’ — Emmy- and Tony Award-winning actress Debra Monk is starring in the new production of “Mrs. Miller Does Her Thing” at Shirlington’s Signature Theatre. It’s the true story of Elva Miller, “a 59-year-old grandmother who became an overnight sensation with her operatic but off-turn renditions of pop hits.” The show runs through March 26. [NBC Washington]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
It’s going down on Tuesday, Dec. 13, kicking off a seven-week run that will stretch through Jan. 29. The ambitious production features “a cast, crew and orchestra of more than 50 artists and an inventive new 360 degree staging in Signature Theatre’s intimate 330 seat MAX Theatre,” according to a press release.
Signature’s Artistic Director, Eric Schaeffer, promises a first-class experience.
“I’ve always loved the musical Titanic and I have felt that Signature should reinvent this musical for our audiences in an exciting new way,” said Schaeffer, in a statement. “Audiences will feel they are aboard this ‘ship of dreams’ surrounded by Maury Yeston’s beautifully haunting score. It truly will be the musical event of the season in Washington and an experience like none other.”
The epic disaster tale comes at a busy time in the Washington area — it will overlap with Christmas, New Year’s, president-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration and possibly a Redskins playoff run.
Those who want to get on board for the musical performance will need to take the plunge to the tune of $40 to $109 per ticket.
The full press release about “Titanic” and its casting is below.
Signature Theatre is proud to announce the full cast and creative team for Titanic, directed by Signature Theatre Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer (Broadway’s Gigi, Follies, Million Dollar Quartet). Signature Theatre reaffirms its mission to stage inventive new productions of classic musicals by tackling Maury Yeston’s (Nine) and Peter Stone’s (1776) Tony Award®-winning musical about the heart-stopping and riveting ride through the final moments of Titanic’s fateful journey. Titanic will run from December 13 – January 29, 2017, featuring a cast, crew and orchestra of more than 50 artists and an inventive new 360 degree staging in Signature Theatre’s intimate 330 seat MAX Theatre.
“I’ve always loved the musical Titanic and I have felt that Signature should reinvent this musical for our audiences in an exciting new way,” said Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer. “We’ve designed the MAX Theatre to bring this epic scale musical to life with an imaginative three story set. Audiences will feel they are aboard this ‘ship of dreams’ surrounded by Maury Yeston’s beautifully haunting score. It truly will be the musical event of the season in Washington and an experience like none other. I can’t wait to share it with audiences.”
The production will feature Hasani Allen (1st Stage’s Floyd Collins) as Jim Farrell; Iyona Blake (Signature’s Jelly’s Last Jam) as Caroline Neville; Christopher Bloch (Signature’s Kid Victory) as E.J. Smith; Sean Burns(Signature’s Elmer Gantry) as Bell Boy; Matt Conner (Signature’s The Fix) as Charles Lightoller; Erin Driscoll(Signature’s Road Show) as Kate Murphey; Jamie Eacker (Signature’s The Fix) as Kate Mullins; Nick Lehan(Signature’s The Fix) as Harold Bride; Florence Lacey (Signature’s Sunset Boulevard) as Ida Straus; Sam Ludwig (Signature’s The Hollow) as Frederick Barrett; Kevin McAllister (Signature’s Brother Russia) as William Murdoch; Katie McManus (Signature’s Chess) as Kate McGowan; Christopher Mueller (Signature’s The Fix) as Henry Etches; Tracy Lynn Olivera (Signature’s The Fix) as Alice Beane; Lawrence Redmond (Signature’s The Fix) as J. Bruce Ismay; Chris Sizemore (Signature’s Miss Saigon) as Charles Clarke; Bobby Smith (Signature’s Freaky Friday) as Thomas Andrews; Stephen Gregory Smith (Signature’s The Fix) as Frederick Fleet; Russell Sunday (Signature’s Elmer Gantry) as Edgar Beane; and John Leslie Wolfe (Signature’s West Side Story) as Isidor Straus.
The creative team includes Choreography by Karma Camp; Music Direction by James Moore; Orchestrations by Joshua Clayton; Scenic Design by Paul Tate dePoo III; Costume Design by Frank Labovitz; Lighting Design by Amanda Zieve; Sound Design by Ryan Hickey; Wig Design by Anne Nesmith; Production Stage Manager Kerry Epstein; and Assistant Stage Manager Kristen Mary Harris; Casting by Walter Ware III, CSA.
Story and Book by Peter Stone
Music and Lyrics by Maury Yeston
Choreographed by Karma Camp
Directed by Eric Schaeffer
Seven weeks only!
Performances run December 13, 2016 through January 29, 2017
Single tickets now on sale.
Steamy Stretch Starting — It’s hot and humid outside today and through the end of the week. Afternoon storms are possible each day. During this hot stretch, authorities are warning people to stay hydrated and to make sure their air conditioners are in good working condition. [Washington Post, Twitter, Twitter]
Ultra-Nationalist Group Based in Arlington — The National Policy Institute, the “institutional center” of the nationalist movement that has come out of the woodwork in the U.S. thanks to the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump, is based here in Arlington. The Southern Poverty Law Center has called the think tank a “white supremacist” group. [Forward]
New Book About Arlington — Local author HK Park has published another book about Arlington. This kid-oriented, 44-page paperback is called “How Your City Works!! Behind The Scenes In Arlington, VA.”
Discussion of Pike Development — Arlington County Board members Libby Garvey and Christian Dorsey discussed the approval of the Rappahannock Coffee site redevelopment in the county’s Board meeting wrap-up video. [YouTube]
Signature Theatre Announces New Cast — The cast for the Signature Theatre production of “Jelly’s Last Jam” includes a Tony Award winner, a Helen Hayes Award winner and a star jazz pianist. The musical begins at the Shirlington theater in August. [Playbill]
Arlington’s Got Talent Winner — Lyfe, a spoken word artist, is the 2016 winner of the Arlington’s Got Talent competition. [InsideNova]
Photo courtesy B. Heather
Shirlington’s Signature Theatre has unveiled the lineup for its 2016-2017 season.
Among the productions scheduled are the Tony Award-winning Titanic: The Musical, Freaky Friday based on the novel and Disney movies and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic Jesus Chris Superstar.
Here’s the full list:
- Jelly’s Last Jam (Aug. 2-Sept. 11) — A musical about “famed and notorious jazz entertainer Jelly Roll Morton,” featuring his music.
- The Gulf (Sept. 13-Nov. 6) — The world premiere of a “provocative new comedy” set in the Alabama Delta, written by D.C. playwright Audrey Cefaly.
- Freaky Friday (Oct. 4-Nov. 6) — The world premiere of the body-swapping musical comedy based on the Disney films.
- Silver Belles (Nov. 22-Dec. 24) — Another world premiere musical comedy that’s billed as “a raucous send up of small town Christmas pageantry.”
- Titanic: The Musical (Dec. 13-Jan. 29) — A new production of the 20-year-old musical, featuring “a cast, crew and orchestra of over 50 artists and an inventive new 360 degree staging.”
- Mrs. Miller Does Her Thing (Feb. 28-March 26) — A new comedy written and directed by Pulitzer Prize winner James Lapine and starring Emmy and Tony Award winner Debra Monk.
- Midwestern Gothic (March 14-April 30) — A new musical that “paints a vivid portrait of a young woman whose imagination runs wild in a desperate to escape her desolate surroundings.”
- Jesus Christ Superstar (May 9-July 2) — Signature’s season concludes with the classic Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice rock opera about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Signature is also planning a cabaret series featuring “Woodstock,” with music from the music festival, in addition to its annual open house on Saturday, July 23.
ARLnow Suffers Server Issue — ARLnow.com’s web server was down this morning due to a technical problem. It came back up at almost exactly noon. We apologize for any inconvenience. For those seeking an explanation of what went wrong, we’ve compiled some of our tweets from this morning. [Storify]
Big Apartment Development Proposed in Pentagon City — Vornado, which recently put several planned projects in Crystal City on hold, has filed a preliminary site plan application for a huge new apartment tower in Pentagon City. The 22-story, 558-unit residential building would be part of the Metropolitan Park development, next to a currently under-construction, Whole Foods-anchored apartment building, also owned by Vornado. Expect objections from some residents in nearby single-family home neighborhoods, who are already fretting about Vornado’s proposed addition of 1,100 apartments at the RiverHouse complex. [Washington Business Journal]
Lane of Memorial Bridge Reopens, For Now — The eastbound curb lane of the Memorial Bridge has temporarily reopened. It will close again early next year for additional repairs to the aging bridge, a National Park Service spokeswoman said. [Twitter]
DEA Seeking New Headquarters — The Drug Enforcement Administration may be looking to move from its Pentagon City headquarters. The GSA is seeking a new lease for the DEA, which employs some 2,500 people in Pentagon City. Competition among building owners is expected to be fierce. [Washington Business Journal]
Arlington Affordable for Millennials? — Despite high rents, the website RealtyTrac has ranked Arlington among what it says are the more affordable locales for young adults. Among places that are considered millennial magnets, Arlington has one of the more affordable ratios of average millennial income to average apartment rent. [RealtyTrac]
Positive Review for West Side Story at Signature — Signature Theatre’s production of West Side Story has choreography that’s “near-perfection,” at least according to a review in the University of Maryland Diamondback student newspaper. The production at the acclaimed Shirlington theater has been extended through Jan. 31. [Diamondback Online]
Woman Takes Stage to Find Bathroom — An apparently intoxicated woman climbed on stage during a recent Signature Theatre production in Shirlington, made her way backstage and asked a cast member for directions to the bathroom. [Playbill]
Spout Run Closure — The eastbound lanes of the Spout Run Parkway will be completely closed from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. today for road paving. No detours will be in place and “alternative routes should be used,” according to the National Park Service.
Arlington Murder to Be Featured on TV Show — This coming Sunday, at 10 p.m., the show “Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall” on Investigation Discovery will feature the 2012 homicide of Mack L. Woods Sr. in Arlington. [Patch]
Charleys Now Open in Pentagon City — A Charleys Philly Steaks restaurant is now open in the food court of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall food court. “Charleys brings a unique experience to the food court with its grilled-fresh-in-front-of-you flavor,” the company said in a press release.
Food Truck Stops Taking Cash — The Lemongrass food truck, which frequents Arlington, has decided to stop accepting cash. The truck now only takes credit and debit cards. [Washington Post]
Why Arlington Went to Paper Ballots — Arlington reintroduced paper ballots this year after dumping its electronic voting machines. Why did it get rid of the more modern tech? The WINVote system was found to be grossly insecure and the touchscreen devices were dubbed the “worst voting machines” in America. [Wired]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Justice Dept. Investigating Arlington Jail — The Justice Department has launched an investigation into treatment of deaf inmates at the Arlington County Detention Center. That follows a lawsuit by a deaf inmate who said he was not given access to a sign language interpreter during a six-week stay at the jail. [Associated Press]
Deer Takes the Stage at Signature Theatre — A deer wandered onto the stage at Signature Theatre in Shirlington on Tuesday. The deer apparently entered through a loading dock while crews were working on the set for an upcoming production. [NBC Washington]
‘Most Wanted’ Deadbeats — The Arlington Sheriff’s Office is making a push to promote a program for tracking down “deadbeat parents” who are late on child support payments. Many of the addresses on file for deadbeat parents are no longer valid, so deputies have taken to finding the offenders on social media. [Connection Newspapers]
Flickr pool photo by Brian Irwin