Sugar plum fairies are getting ready to descend on Fairfax County, which will host multiple productions of Pytor Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” this holiday season.
The 131-year-old ballet, now a Christmastime tradition, will first waltz into Tysons, with two shows at Capital One Hall (7750 Capital One Tower Road) on Sunday, Dec. 3.
Produced by Talmi Entertainment with dancers from around the world, NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet is returning to the concert hall’s main theater as part of its 31st annual North American tour. Doors will open an hour before the 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. showtimes.
“We’re the only nationally touring Nutcracker production, so we strive to top ourselves each year,” Talmi Entertainment Executive Producer Dan Talmi said in a press release. “There is a sense of pride and responsibility when it comes to this show. It has become a holiday tradition in households across the country and our team works year round to give audiences the best of everything.”
Starring Ukrainian ballerinas Karyna Shatkovskaya and Elena Pechenyuk as Clara, the production deviates in its second act by shifting the setting from the usual Land of Sweets to a Land of Peace and Harmony “where there are no wars and no children suffer.” Clara and the Nutcracker Prince are guided through the land by two dancers in the unique acro-ballet adagio “Doves of Peace.”
Other notable elements include marionettes and animal puppets, a hand-crafted Christmas tree that grows up to 100 feet tall, and the introduction of a Herald character that represents “the spirit of the forest.”
For those interested in a more local production, Capital One Hall will also host the Dance Academy of Virginia’s inaugural performance of “The Nutcracker Sweet” in The Vault at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 4.
In addition, the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra (FSO) and Fairfax Ballet Company will team up once again to present “The Nutcracker” at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts (4373 Mason Pond Drive) in Fairfax.
Scheduled for 4 p.m. on Dec. 16 and 17, the production is one of the few in the D.C. area with live music by a full orchestra, according to the FSO. This iteration — the seventh that the orchestra and ballet company have brought to GMU — will feature New York City Ballet members Emily Kikta and Aarón Sanz as guest soloists.
“Our unique production has become a cherished tradition of the season,” FSO Executive Director Jonathan Kerr said in a statement. “Audiences delight in the incredible dancers on stage, while Tchaikovsky’s unforgettable music is performed live by our orchestra musicians. The dance, live music, plus the stunning, digital scenery creates a winter wonderland in a magical production that’s perfect for the entire family.”
A rock band that once represented Turkey in the popular Eurovision competition will take the stage at Capital One Hall in Tysons on Black Friday for a humanitarian cause.
The Capital One Center performing arts venue (7750 Capital One Tower Road) will host Manga in its main theater on Friday, Nov. 24 for a benefit concert to help children whose injuries from the earthquakes that devastated Turkey and Syria in February required amputations.
The fundraiser was organized by the American Turkish Association of Washington DC (ATADC), a nonprofit that promotes Turkish culture locally through cultural, educational and social events and programs.
“When you purchase your tickets, you are not only in for an unforgettable musical experience, but also contributing to a noble cause,” ATADC President Sevtap Schreffler said in a statement. “…We invite our community and American friends to support our fundraiser concert this giving season where Manga band will perform to give these children a new beginning in their lives.”
The proceeds will specifically go to the Bridge to Türkiye Fund’s Project CATE and Child Wellness Center, which are providing prosthetics and long-term medical, psychological and educational support to over 1,000 child amputees, according to Schreffler.
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit southern Turkey on Feb. 6 left over 50,000 people dead and displaced many more. Months later, decimated cities are still recovering, as are the injured victims, who were “disproportionately” children, according to the ATADC.
Doors for Friday’s concert will open at 6 p.m. A Eurovision runner-up in 2010, Manga blends hip hop, electronic music and Anatolian melodies, per a press release.
Tickets are being sold through Ticketmaster and start at $45.
Other upcoming events at Capital One Hall include a concert by blues musician Joanne Shaw Taylor on Saturday (Nov. 25) and shows from comedian Jim Jefferies on Dec. 1-2.
Appalachian folk songs and AC/DC will both take over Herndon High School’s auditorium later this month.
The tunes will come courtesy of the school’s band, known as the Pride of Herndon, which will give a free concert on Oct. 30 as a show of gratitude after the community came through during a recent “Tag Day” fundraiser.
Held this year on Sept. 9, the annual fundraiser involves band students going around town to knock on doors, seeking donations to support the school’s extensive musical program.
“We realize there are many choices when it comes to donating, and we are so grateful to our community for their generosity,” Pride of Herndon director Kathleen Jacoby said. “Tag Day contributions help pay for concert programs, music, uniforms, instrument maintenance, invitational performances, and master instructors.”
The celebratory concert will start at 7 p.m. on the school auditorium at 700 Bennett Street. The program will include classical music and the aforementioned folk songs from the wind ensemble, along with pop and rock jams from the marching band.
Fresh off its 75th anniversary season, the Pride of Herndon has more than 100 students across different ensembles, including marching and jazz bands, a symphonic band, wind and percussion ensembles, an indoor drumline and a color guard.
The band is still raising money so students can travel to Waikiki, Hawaii, for the upcoming Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade, which commemorates the Dec. 7, 1941 attack that officially pulled the U.S. into World War II. The Herndon High School band was selected to represent Virginia in this year’s parade.
According to a message on the band’s website, it remains $5,000 short of its fundraising goal to cover all travel and shipping expenses.
Art will take over McLean Central Park this weekend with the return of MPAartfest.
Now in its 17th year, the annual festival from the McLean Project for the Arts (MPA) will be back on Sunday (Oct. 1), promising dozens of artists, food trucks and live entertainment from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This will be a comeback for the festival after the prospect of Hurricane Ian canceled its 2022 iteration. Fortunately, a repeat appears unlikely, as the National Weather Service is forecasting clear and sunny skies for Sunday.
“Each fall MPAartfest celebrates our community and the arts in the beautiful setting of McLean Central Park,” MPA Executive Director Lori Carbonneau said. “We are so appreciative of our lead community sponsor, the McLean Community Center, and of all the generous community sponsors who help to make this event possible. We invite all the community to join us for a relaxing and inspiring day of art in the park!”
The event’s centerpiece will be a juried fine arts show featuring more than 35 visual artists from across the Mid-Atlantic region. Their work will be available for sale and on display in mini galleries spread throughout the park at 1468 Dolley Madison Blvd.
The festival will also bring musical guests, food vendors, children’s activities and an outdoor gallery showcasing work by local students, according to a press release from MPA:
MPAartfest will again offer a full day of lively and varied musical performances. Sponsored by Mars and curated by Music Director Ken Avis, radio host of Antidote WERA 96.7 FM and a performing musician with the award-winning band Veronneau, this year’s performers include: Blues Alley Youth Jazz Orchestra (10am), Alison Crockett (11am), Bobby Thompson (12pm), Little Red and the Renegades (1pm), The Honey Larks (2pm), and Taisha Estrada (3pm).
Sponsored by BOWA, Deirdre Maull Orthodontics, McLean Community Foundation, and TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, the MPAartfest Children’s Activity Tents will feature a variety of art-based activities and learning stations. Other art highlights include the New Dominion Women’s Club Children’s Art Walk, a juried open-air gallery displaying artwork from local public and private elementary school students.
On the food front, MPAartfest will once again feature the much-loved Café Beret (sponsored by The Mather) where guests can enjoy wine and beer provided by The Wine Outlet. The event will also offer food from a variety of food trucks and eateries, including Rocklands BBQ, Pikoteo, Timber Pizza, Kona Ice, and MooThru.
Admission to MPAartfest is free. Parking will be available at the McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Avenue), along with overflow lots at Capital One Bank (6890 Elm Street) and FitzGerald Properties (1446 Dolley Madison Blvd).
MPA’s latest exhibition, “(Not) Strictly Painting,” remains on display inside the community center. Accompanied by an artist talk scheduled for Oct. 19, the biennial showcase of painters from around the region will stay open through Nov. 11.
The sounds of Broadway are coming to Fairfax County in a truck this fall.
The Concert Truck will kick off the season with six stops across the county in three days, starting at the Oakwood Meadow Senior Residences in Rose Hill on Sept. 27 and concluding on Sept. 29 at the Providence Community Center in Oakton.
The mobile concert hall will also make stops at The Boro for its inaugural Tysons Fall Mixed Market, George Mason Regional Library in Annandale, the Mosaic District in Merrifield, and Capital One Center in Tysons.
At each stop, The Concert Truck co-founder and pianist Nick Luby will be joined by singer Jacob Lamb for an hour-long performance “featuring arrangements of Broadway classics,” according to a public relations representative for The Boro.
Luby started The Concert Truck with fellow pianist Susan Zhang in April 2016 as a way to expand the accessibility of live music, according to the pop-up’s website.
Equipped with lights, sound and instruments, the 16-foot box truck launched in Columbia, South Carolina, delivering eight performances in five days. It has since appeared across the country and partnered with local and national arts organizations, such as the Kennedy Center’s Washington National Opera and the Virginia Arts Festival.
The full schedule for the truck’s Fairfax County tour is below.
September 27, 2023 @ 11:00 a.m.
Oakwood Meadow Senior Residences
5815 S. Van Dorn Street, Alexandria, Virginia
September 27, 2023 @ 5:00 p.m.
The Tysons Mixed Market
8350 Broad Street Tysons, VA 22102
September 28, 2023 @ 11:30 a.m.
George Mason Regional Library
7001 Little River Turnpike Annandale, VA 22003
September 28, 2023 @ 5:00 p.m.
2905 District Avenue Fairfax, VA 22031
September 29, 2023 11:00 a.m.
Capital One Center — The Sculpture Garden
1680 Capital One Tower Road Tysons, VA 22102
September 29, 2023 @ 2:30 p.m.
The Providence Community Center
3001 Vaden Drive, Fairfax, VA 22031
For anyone looking to get a more traditional Broadway experience, Capital One Hall is bringing back its “Broadway in Tysons” series for a third year. The season will open with “Jesus Christ Superstar” — which is celebrating its 50th anniversary — on Oct. 20-22, followed by “The Cher Show” on Feb. 16-18, “STOMP” on April 5-7 and “Little Women” on May 17-19.
(Updated at 2:05 p.m. on 9/13/2023) The Commonwealth of Virginia will take center stage at Tysons Corner Center this Saturday (Sept. 16).
The first annual Celebrate Virginia festival will enliven the Plaza at Tysons Corner Center from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with beer and wine tastings as well as live entertainment, an artisan market and a mural painted in real time.
“We are excited to bring the community together at our inaugural Celebrate Virginia event, which highlights everything that makes our home state special,” said Jesse Benites, the director of property management for the mall’s owner, Macerich. “We will be showcasing small Virginia-based businesses, artists, and talent and are thrilled with the support and collaboration from our public officials and community partners.”
Some of those officials are slated to make appearances, including Rep. Gerry Connolly, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay, and representatives of the county’s police and fire departments and George Mason University.
Organized in partnership with Visit Fairfax — Fairfax County’s official destination marketing agency — and the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC), Celebrate Virginia will be generally open to the public and free to attend.
The only exception is the V.I.P. Wine and Wellness Tent, which requires $40 tickets. The tent will offer tastings from eight different Virginia wineries and access to a pop-up from the five-star resort and spa Salamander Middleburg, where attendees can create a personalized aromatherapy oil.
Proceeds from the ticket sales will go to the Merrifield-based nonprofit Food for Others.
As for the free attractions, there will be beer tastings from five breweries, including Chantilly’s Strange Fruit Brewing, Smartmouth Brewing from Hampton Roads and Brother Craft Brewing from Harrisonburg.
The musical line-up will feature:
- 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. — DanYko (Alexandria)
- 1-2:30 p.m. — Tejas & Felix (Fairfax City)
- 3-4 p.m. — Zac Quintana & Shawn Cody (Manassas)
The Artisan Makers Market will be similarly stacked with vendors based in Virginia, including many in Fairfax County:
- Inner Loop Coffee Roasters (Falls Church)
- Mother Cluster’s (Fairfax)
- Snugabutter (Annandale)
- Nordic Knot (Reston)
- River Sea Chocolates (Chantilly)
- The Humble Hustle Company (Roanoke)
- Trupti’s Craft: Quilling Gifts (Fairfax)
- Alyssa Mae Crafts (Tysons)
Throughout the day, visitors can also help paint a community mural with Loudoun-based artist Kevin Bednarz, whose work mixes street art, graphics and “original styles,” according to Tysons Corner Center.
“The design will be pre-sketched, and event attendees will be able to paint and bring the mural to life throughout the event,” the mall said. “The final product will be a large piece painted by the community to be exhibited within the shopping center.”
There will also be a “Spin the Tysons Wheel” with limited edition “Virginia is for Shopping Lovers” custom shirts, beanie hats, picnic blankets and other merchandise as the prizes.
“Virginia’s artisan, craft beer, and wine industries have become important drivers of Virginia’s tourism economy, making the Commonwealth an ideal destination for travelers who are seeking authentic, experiential attractions,” VTC Director of Communications Andrew Cothern said. “This event will provide an excellent locally made experience of everything Virginia has to offer firsthand.”
Visit Fairfax President and CEO Barry Biggar said in a statement that the agency is “thrilled” to help celebrate “talented artisans, makers and musicians” from Fairfax County and across the state.
Organizers hope Celebrate Virginia will become a recurring occasion. It will likely return annually to Tysons Corner Center, which was the “brainchild behind this event,” according to a Visit Fairfax spokesperson.
“We hope residents and visitors alike will come out to see what this amazing destination is all about and even take home a unique piece of Virginia,” Biggar said.
The guitarist from The Police, a “Glee” crooner and even Emily Dickinson will pay a visit to The Barns at Wolf Trap over the next year.
The Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts unveiled an initial lineup of performances today (Tuesday) for the 2023-2024 season at its 382-seat indoor venue, which primarily operates from October through May after the park’s Filene Center concludes its summer season.
Tickets for the newly announced shows will go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. this Friday (Aug. 11). They’re already available for purchase by Wolf Trap members, who are donors of $80 or more.
The upcoming season will feature performers from a variety of genres, including rock, musical theater, folk, comedy and chamber music, according to Wolf Trap Foundation President and CEO Arvind Manocha.
“The Barns gives everyone the chance to enjoy their favorite artists in a uniquely intimate setting, and this season continues to underscore Wolf Trap’s commitment to providing diverse and innovative performances for our patrons,” Manocha said in a statement. “We can’t wait to share the rest of this season’s lineup.”
Still performing at 80 years old, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Andy Summers will open the season on Oct. 13 with his “The Cracked Lens + A Missing String” tour, which combines music, photography, theater and short story readings.
Other highlights include jazz from the Branford Marsalis Quartet on Oct. 17-18, the 10th anniversary tour of indie/folk band The Lone Bellow on Nov. 26-27, and a holiday concert by actor and singer Darren Criss on Dec. 2-3.
Criss’s “A Very Darren Chrissmas” show is among several shows aimed at musical theater fans. The Barns will also host singer Linda Eder on Nov. 2, Broadway actor Stephanie J. Block on Feb. 9-10 and Tony Award winner John Lloyd Young on March 1.
In addition, the season will feature chamber music curated by artistic advisor Wu Han, starting on Nov. 3-4 with violinist Pinchas Zukerman celebrating his 75th birthday by playing work by Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Dvořák.
The Orion String Quartet’s farewell tour (Nov. 19), the music of Beethoven (March 10 and April 19) and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (Jan. 28), and Emily Dickinson’s poetry (April 5) will also figure into the chamber music lineup.
A full breakdown of the season from the Wolf Trap Foundation can be found below. Read More
Updated at 12:20 p.m. on 6/23/2023 — The Mosaic Live kick-off event on Saturday has been canceled due to forecasted inclement weather, according to Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik. The series will instead begin on July 1 with the Munit Mesfin Band.
Earlier: Live music will take over Strawberry Lane at Mosaic District this summer.
A new “Mosaic Live” concert series is set to kick off on Saturday, June 24 at 5 p.m. It’s the latest addition to the Fairfax County Park Authority’s annual summer entertainment lineup, which is underway with 118 live performances scheduled at 20 different venues around the county.
The Mosaic Live kickoff event will be headlined by Groovalicious, a band that pays tribute to disco and other 1970s music. The Vienna Singing Princesses will serve as an opening act, with local elected officials expected to attend, according to the Providence District office, which helped organize the series.
Future concerts will begin at 6 p.m. every Saturday through Aug. 19:
- July 1: Munit Mesfin Band
- July 8: Los Three Baritones
- July 15: School of Rock from Vienna
- July 22: Brian Cunningham Project
- July 29: Centro Cultural Bolivia
- Aug. 5: Patrick Alban & Noche Latina
- Aug. 12: Tobago Bay Calypso Band
- Aug. 19: Ocho de Bastos
(Correction: This story initially said future concerts would begin at 6:30 p.m.)
Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik’s office is also bringing back Nottoway Nights, a concert series that will take place on Thursdays at Nottoway Park (9601 Courthouse Road) in Vienna.
Nottoway Nights concerts will begin on July 6 and continue through Aug. 24, running from 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Last year, the Providence District office and FCPA tried out a Global Music & Dance series at the Graham Road Community Building, though the program isn’t returning this year.
The full Summer Entertainment Series schedule can be found on the park authority’s website.
Thrilled to share that in addition to Nottoway Nights in Vienna, we also bring you the Mosaic Live series at @mosaicdistrict! All shows are free, outdoors, and appeal to all ages. If you would like to volunteer for the event, email Providence@fairfaxcounty.gov to coordinate. pic.twitter.com/daudTFlnzv
— Dalia Palchik (@SupvPalchik) June 2, 2023
Lake Anne’s plaza will once again spring to life this summer with concerts.
Lake Anne Live! — an event series that kicked off last year — brings Thursday evening concerts to the plaza from June 15 through July 27.
The free concerts will feature music and dance from local musicians and dance instructors. Attendees will also have the chance to dance along the instructors, according to a release by the Lake Anne and Washington Plaza Merchant Association (LAWPA).
In a statement to FFXnow, the LAWPA team said they decided to continue the series this year due to popular demand.
“Because of the great response, especially to our dance nights, and because of repeated requests from our community and neighbors, we decided to have them again this year,” LAWPA said. “Our aim is to bring our community together for dancing, music, and laughter through the Summer.”
The line-up includes the following:
- June 15 (6-9 p.m.): Salsa Instruction and Dance with David Norton
- June 22, (6-9 p.m.): Swing Instruction and Dance with Gottaswing; pet adoptions by Lucky Dog Animal Rescue
- June 29 (7-9 p.m.): Bruce Corsino concert
- July 6 (6-9 p.m.): Bachata Instruction and Dance with David Norton
- July 13 (7-9 p.m.): To be announced on Lake Anne Plaza’s social media pages
- July 20 (7-9 p.m.): Concert with the Reston Community Orchestra
- July 27 (6-9 p.m.): Salsa and Bachata Instruction and Dance with David Norton
The plaza is located at 1609 Washington Plaza North. All concerts are free.
The Pimmit Hills neighborhood has officially reached the “let’s put on a show” stage of its battle against a planned Washington Gas pipeline.
Faced with escalating legal fees, residents have banded together to stage a “Protect Pimmit Hills Hoedown” benefit concert from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday (June 3) as a fundraiser for four of their neighbors who were sued by the utility company.
The concert will be held at Pimmit Barn (1845 Cherri Drive) with “limited” food available for sale from the food truck, The Big Cheese. Providing the music will be the Pimmit Hillbillies, a band that neighborhood residents formed for this occasion.
“We hope this concert helps reinforce our community spirit by getting neighbors out and meeting each other to join fight this project that affects us all,” resident guitarist Tom Gillespie said. “We will bond over great tunes, grilled cheese sandwiches, and chocolate chip cookies while we talk about our ongoing pipeline battle.”
Filed by Washington Gas on March 3, 2022, the lawsuit challenges a Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals ruling that a special exception permit and 2232 review are required for the natural gas pipeline, the last phase of the Strip 1 Tysons project to upgrade about five miles of pipe from Tyco Road to Pimmit Drive.
A bench trial in Fairfax County Circuit Court had been scheduled for April 25 and 26, but the judge postponed it to the first week of September after the Virginia Supreme Court voided the zoning ordinance that guided the BZA’s decision, according to Christina Chen Zinner, one of the Pimmit Hills residents involved in the case.
Because of the trial delay, Zinner and her fellow defendants shared earlier this month that they need to raise an additional $20,000 to cover their legal costs, which have climbed to $45,000. With the help of a recent neighborhood pizza party, they’ve made progress on that goal, raising $38,700 through Gofundme.
The Pimmit Hillbillies hope to finish the job. The band emerged from a virtual meeting, where residents brainstormed fundraising ideas.
“Knowing that I like to sing and play guitar, and compose my own songs, [my wife Stephanie] challenged me during the meeting to compose a protest song to help us promote our Gofundme drive,” Gillespie recalled. “I feel so passionate about fighting this pipeline that the lyrics and notes just flowed out of me.” Read More