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‘Carmen’ Comes to Area

Virginia Opera brings "Carmen" to Center for the Arts.

Virginia Opera, the Official Opera Company of the Commonwealth of Virginia, will present Georges Bizet’s sultry tragedy about opera’s most famous femme fatale, "Carmen." The opera has enthralled audiences for more than a century and is one of the most popular. "Carmen" follows Don José and his ill-fated obsession with the alluring Carmen who tosses him aside for another man leading to jealous rage.

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Children of Eden at the Burke Stage

Burke youth wow community audiences at the Burke Presbyterian Church.

Senior and junior high school youth from Burke Presbyterian Church presented the musical Children of Eden in four performances on March 13-16. The free events were open to the community. The Garden of Eden, Noah’s Ark, and other stories of the Old Testament were brought to life on the stage

Never Giving Up

New play at Workhouse about Alice Paul and the Suffragettes.

"When you put your hand to the plow, you can't put it down until you get to the end of the row." American Suffragette and life-long crusader for Women's voting rights Alice Paul (1885-1977) used this phrase as her watch words. It was a metaphor for never giving up.

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Nowruz Celebrated At Reston Town Center

Third annual Persian New Years festival brings thousands.

"This event is basically the Iranian New Year’s festival," said Ashkbous Talebi, who was assisting with a display representing the Ghashghaic tribe, from southern Iran. Both Talebi and his wife have attended the celebration of Nowruz at Reston Town Center since it was first hosted in March of 2012. The event was a day-long celebration, with the Pavilion serving as the presentation hub throughout the event.

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First NOVA Makers Faire Held At Reston

Inaugural event brings visitors to explore hands on science and tech.

"This last week has been really intense, but we would say it was a success," said Brian Jacoby, a resident of Reston and founding member of NOVA Labs. Jacoby had just finished operations for the inaugural NOVA Makers Faire hosted at two locations, South Lakes Highs School and Langston Hughes Middle School in Reston. The event sold over 3,000 tickets, and more than 300 volunteers helped guide visitors to various displays related to technology and engineering.

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A Tribute to Bob Simon

Reston Community Orchestra Concert celebrates 100th birthday of Reston’s founder.

On Sunday, March 16, approximately 200 people went to Reston Community Center at Hunters Woods to an afternoon performance by the Reston Community Orchestra. The event was an early celebration of the 100th birthday of Reston founder Robert "Bob" Simon. Also attending the event were Delegate Ken Plum (D-36), state senator Janet Howell (D-32), and Supervisor Catherine Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill).

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Herndon Awaits Construction Of New Mural

New mural to depict animals in downtown Herndon.

While the region has been anticipating the incoming Silver Line, the Town of Herndon has taken steps to become an art friendly town. Some of these steps include the design of murals. The Council for the Arts of Herndon, the Town of Herndon’s officially designated local arts agency orchestrated the design of another mural in downtown Herndon. The next project will be one at the Dominion Animal Hospital at 795 Station Street.

Fire Ball Auction Takes Bids on Firefighters and EMTs

Vienna Volunteer Fire Department hosts live and silent auctions on March 21.

Here’s an opportunity to win a group dinner "date" with a Vienna Volunteer Fire Department EMT or firefighter, as well as a diversity of prizes. On Friday, March 21, the VVFD holds a live auction featuring bids on the department’s emergency responders and a silent auction for prizes donated by area businesses, from restaurants, spa treatments and vacation rentals to services and jewelry. Twelve firefighters and EMTs will be auctioned off and bids start at $40. The auctions begin at 7 p.m.

Vienna Arts Society Exhibits the World, Honors Springtime

‘Great Escapes’ gives way to ‘Music to My Ears.’

The Vienna Arts Society does much more than bring local artists together. It reaches out to the community with art classes for adults and children, fine arts competitions, art camps for kids, and gallery exhibitions of quality pieces that change monthly. March’s exhibition of "Great Escapes," runs through March 29.

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Local Students Spice it Up

Students from McLean, Robinson, and Woodson High Schools compete in culinary competition.

Student chefs from the Fairfax County school culinary program gathered last Thursday afternoon for the second annual Real Food for Kids Culinary Competition. The contest allowed students from the county’s four culinary academies to compete for a chance to have their vegetarian entrées used in the county’s school lunch program.

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Art Educators, Galleries Celebrate Youth Art Month

Experts say art can teach valuable life skills.

Brightly colored self-portraits, landscapes dotted with spring flowers and hand-carved sculptures fill a gallery at the McLean Project for the Arts in McLean. All of the art was created by local school children. Meanwhile, in Alexandria, parents and tots dip their fingers in glue, clay and paint to create collages, sculptures and paintings.

Synetic Theater Stages “Hamlet”

Synetic Theater is remounting Shakespeare’s “Hamlet … the rest is silence,” the abstract and wordless show that struck gold for them in 2002 when it debuted in Washington. This silent rendering stars Alex Mills, 24, as Prince Hamlet, Irina Tsikurishvili as Gertrude, Iraakli Kavsadze as Claudius and Irina Kavsadze as Ophelia. To help celebrate the Bard’s 450th birthday this year, Synetic took an abstract approach to the tragedy set in Denmark by using sparse sets, minimal props (originally by Georgi Alexi-Meskhishvili), dramatic lighting design (by Brittany Diliberto), minimal black-and-white costumes (Claire Cantwell) and intense sound design (Irakli Kavsadze). Synetic is best known for fusing the classical elements of drama, movement, mime, dance and music. The storyline of “Hamlet” centers on the revenge the grief-stricken Prince Hamlet exacts on his uncle Claudius for murdering Hamlet’s father, Claudius’s brother. He succeeds to the throne and takes his wife Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother. The play explores everything from incest to revenge to madness and corruption.

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CVHS Film-Production Classes Inspired Him

A 1996 Centreville High grad, Jason Corgan Brown is the producer, director and co-writer of the independent film, “Falcon Song.” And it’s having a sneak preview, this Sunday, March 23, at 2 p.m., at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Ashburn. Tickets are available now at http://drafthouse.com/movies/falcon-song/northern_virginia. Fresh from the Santa Barbara Film Festival, where it premiered in February, the PG-rated movie is a contemporary western in which a guitar-playing drifter helps a rancher's granddaughter find her true calling. It explores themes of land conservation and soul searching in a world filled with quirky, colorful characters and magical realism. The ensemble features Gabriel Sunday (“Year One”) with Rainey Qualley (daughter of Andie MacDowell), plus Martin Kove (“Karate Kid”), James Storm (“Dark Shadows”), Michael Yebba (“R.I.P.D.”) and David Hayward (“Matlock”).

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Hog Wild

Sweet Fire Donna's opens in Carlyle neighborhood.

It took a bit longer than expected because of weather and permit delays but it was worth the wait as BBQ fans lined up Feb. 27 to sample the fare at the opening of Sweet Fire Donna's, the latest offering from "Mango Mike" Anderson, Bill Blackburn and Anderson's wife Donna.

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High on the Hog

Pork Barrel BBQ Hosts Meat Week challenge.

Skinny jeans were nowhere to be found as five contestants bellied up to the bar at Del Ray's Pork Barrel BBQ Jan. 29 to compete in the second annual High on the Hog Challenge as part of Meat Week 2014.