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David Siegel

Stories by David

Disarming Musical

‘The Fantasticks’ comes to the Workhouse.

With over 20,000 performances in New York City since it opened in 1960 and countless numbers of regional, community and school-based productions, the melodic and oh, so mellow musical, "The Fantasticks" is coming to the Workhouse.

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Bittersweet to the Core

Hub Theatre presents area premiere of the ‘Failure: A Love Story.’

"Failure, A Love Story" by Phlip Dawkins "is unique, funny, whimsical and has so much heart," said Helen Pafumi, Hub artistic director.

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Comic Satire With a Big Heart

‘The Cripple of Inishmaan’ at the 1st Stage.

Tysons' 1st Stage is giving audiences a terrific evening's entertainment with a talented, engaging cast. The 1st Stage "The Cripple of Inishmaan" is a gem of a production.

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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.

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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Be Dazzled

The now and the future of dance comes to Mason.

The dancers are coming! The dancers are coming! The Winter Olympics isn't the only venue to see agility, power, speed, strength and beauty. And you won't need to know the difference between a double Lutz and a triple axel. Soon Fairfax County will be welcoming five hundred of another type of athletes: 500 dancers from dozens of colleges and universities showcasing and competing with dreams of appearing at the Kennedy Center this May. It is the American College Dance Festival with a grand opening by the famed Joffrey Ballet. "We are very excited to be hosting this year’s mid-Atlantic festival and opening our beautiful facilities to our talented guests," said Susan Shields, professor, Mason School of Dance. "At Mason, the arts are highly valued throughout the campus and the curriculum."

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‘Something Completely Different’

Max Raabe & Palast Orchester come to Center for the Arts.

And now for something completely different for the Northern Virginia area entertainment scene. All the way from Europe to tantalize.

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Fresh Take on ‘Pinocchio’

New partnership brings ‘a fresh, playful and hilarious take’ on "Pinocchio" at Industrial Strength Theater.

Local family theater is getting a big boost. Fairfax County's newest professional theater troupe, NextStop Theatre is partnering with the Faction of Fools, a Helen Hayes Awardee for Outstand Emerging Theatre Company.

An Evening of Enduring Music and Song

"MJO's Simply Swingin' with Sinatra and Friends."

It will be a memorable evening for the golden age of pop standards and tin pan alley as the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra (MJO) and vocalist Steve Lippia bring the Great American Songbook to life at George Mason University's Center for the Arts. It will feature music that has "depth and weight ... the kind of event that will stay with you long after it's over," said Jim Carroll, MJO artistic director.

An Evening of Enduring Music and Song

"MJO's Simply Swingin' with Sinatra and Friends."

It will be a memorable evening for the golden age of pop standards and tin pan alley as the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra (MJO) and vocalist Steve Lippia bring the Great American Songbook to life at George Mason University's Center for the Arts. It will feature music that has "depth and weight ... the kind of event that will stay with you long after it's over," said Jim Carroll, MJO artistic director. The Great American Songbook is the short-hand name for the influential and well-loved popular songs of the mid-20th century. The enduring music and lyrics were written for Broadway shows, Hollywood films and touring artists. They were songs about love and life, with a rhythm and rhyme all their own.

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Jazz to Brighten a Winter Night at the Workhouse

Pianist Bobby Jasinski and vocalist Lena Seikaly perform this weekend.

Live cabaret is now a regular mainstay at the Workhouse. "The intimate and very population cabaret-style performances regularly sell-out" according to Joey Walden, Workhouse Performing Arts Director. "The popularity of the series has drawn interest from DC talent, as a result the caliber of entertainment you may experience at the Workhouse rivals established metro area venues in the same genre."

Benny is Back!

Arriving soon for your entertainment.

Jack Benny was a classic comedian of stage, screen, radio and television. He spanned decades and generations. He is even considered a forerunner of what is now called situation comedy. Some suggest that the comic styles of Jerry Seinfeld and Kelsey Grammar ("Frasier") have Benny-like qualities. Soon there will be a golden opportunity to see him again. Well, not "the" Jack Benny, but award-winning actor Tim Newell in a one-man performance of "Mister Benny" at the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia in a production for all audiences, non-members and members alike.

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Fairfax Symphony Orchestra Promises ‘Intense, Personal, Intimate Experience’

Concerts at GMU’s Harris Theater to celebrate the 100th birthday of Benjamin Britten.

Have you heard? The next performance of the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra (FSO) chamber series, will be in a special location; the Harris Theater at George Mason University.

When Books Are Outlawed and Knowledge Discouraged

Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" comes to Center for the Arts.

Continuing a series of enthralling professional touring theater productions, George Mason University's Center for the Arts is presenting "Fahrenheit 451" by renowned science fiction and fantasy writer Ray Bradbury. It is another in an "amazing assortment of performances," said Tom Reynolds, Center for the Arts director of artistic programming.

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Blockbuster Musical Arrives at CenterStage

Reston Community Players present ‘Les Miserables.’

Megawatt electric energy filled the Reston Community Players (RCP) rehearsal hall. Cast members and technical crew were in the midst of the groundwork for the area community theater premiere of the multi Tony-Award winning musical "Les Misérables."

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‘Must-see’ Absurd Nonsense

1st Stage presents ‘Noises Off.’

Good news. The cure for doldrums or just a plain-old bad mood is here. It is playing at 1st Stage, where a merry, talented band of actors take the audience on a frenetic, joyful, ride into the farce "Noises Off." The actors literally throw themselves into the production. They are unselfconsciously fearless in their pratfalls, spot-on with their comic timing and bring on a happy, silly bliss.

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Great Theater for a Great Cause

Providence Players present 'A Christmas Carol.'

It is that most wonderful time of the year; Christmas is coming. And the Providence Players have "a new fresh approach to that Holiday icon, 'A Christmas Carol'," said Brian O'Connor. “The Players have found a new adaptation by Janet Allard and Michael Bigelow Dixon that will give families great enjoyment along with being a new take."

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NextStop Theatre to Present Two Holiday Shows

Herndon's NextStop Theatre is giving audiences two new Holiday theater treats. The two shows "have a tremendous amount of heart and can appeal to anyone who loves the holiday season.

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Attraction and Desire Meet in ‘Café Variations’

Seductive romance is in store as "Cafe Variations" explores how longing for love, finding love, and even losing love makes us visible to ourselves in unexpected ways.

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Beauty Found After a Catastrophic Event

Hub Theatre presents ‘Carried Away on the Crest of a Wave’

Finding new plays for local area audiences is something Helen Pafumi, Hub Theatre, artistic director relishes. She seeks out plays that will fascinate, rivet and enthrall.

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‘Rite of Spring’ Celebrated at Reston's CenterStage

The legendary Igor Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" caused protests when first performed 100 years ago coupled with the provocative dancing of Njinsky.

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Haunted Cabaret Comes to the Workhouse

The show to spotlight the music of local talent.

"We are always looking to bring audiences quality entertainment. For Halloween we are delighted to present something very special, a haunted cabaret," said Joseph Wallen, director, Workhouse performing arts. What better place to celebrate a holiday known for its teasingly frightful outlook, than the now readapted Workhouse prison built 100 years ago.

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Childhood Happiness Remembered

Pat Hazell in "The Wonder Bread Years" at the Alden.

Finding your childhood sense of wonder again is what the "The Wonder Bread Years" is all about. It is a one-man performance combining stand-up comedy and theater. It was written by and stars one of the original writers of the “Seinfeld” show, Pat Hazell.

Charming, Smart, Comedic

Cabaret duo “Marcy and Zina” arriving in Fairfax.

"Neurotically optimistic songs about love and life" are coming to Northern Virginia audiences as the award-winning Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich pull into the Northern Virginia Jewish Community Center (JCCNV). You may not know their names right off hand, but Kristin Chenowith, Audry McDonald and Michael Feinstein regularly sing their compositions.

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A Grand Musical Night

Reston Community Players’ “Tribute to the Music of Rodgers and Hammerstein and Andrew Lloyd Webber.”

Reston Community Players present "A Tribute to the Music of Rodgers and Hammerstein and Andrew Lloyd Webber" at CenterStage, Reston Community Center, 2310 Colts Neck Road, Hunters Woods, Reston. Performances: Oct. 11, 12, 18, 19, 25 and 26 at 8 p.m. Matinees at 2 p.m. on Oct. 20 & 27. Tickets: $23. Call 703-476-3500 or visit www.restonplayers.org.

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A Show That ‘Rocks’

Providence Players of Fairfax open 16th season with musical, “Little Shop of Horrors.”

With fresh faces, the Providence Players open the theater season with only the second musical the company has done in its 16 years. It is the brash, bright, delightfully dark musical comedy, "Little Shop of Horrors."

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Short Film Fest Comes to Fairfax

DC Shorts Film Festival to be held at Angelika Film Center.

With its motto, "keeping it short, keeping it reel," the DC Shorts Film Festival returns for its second year at the Angelika Film Center. The multi-day festival gives Fairfax County residents a nearby, easy-to-reach opportunity to sample and enjoy new works right in their own backyard. The Angelika will present short films from Monday, Sept. 24 through Sunday, Sept. 29.

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Artistic Talents Unlocked

Stimulating “The Pitmen Painters” at 1st stage.

"When and Where" 1st Stage presents "The Pitmen Painters" at 1524 Spring Hill Road, Tysons Corner. Performances: Now thru Oct. 13: Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets: General admission: $27. Seniors $22. Students and Military $15. Visit: www.1ststagetysons.org or 703-854-1856. Note: Appropriate for ages 12 and up. Note: Want to know: http://www.ashingtongroup.co.uk/home.html.

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An Artistic Evening Like No Other

“ARTS by George!” returns to George Mason stage.

With an open invitation to the community, the George Mason University College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) is holding its eighth annual "ARTS by George!" event. It has quickly become one of the premiere arts events in Northern Virginia. The mission of "ARTS by George!" is to showcase and support Mason students in a wide range of artistic fields including arts, dance, music, theater, computer game design, film and video studies and arts management. The gala raises funds to provide for student scholarships. It is capped off this year by the headliner performance of Tony Award winner Laura Benanti.

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Celebrating Diversity Through Music

The Fairfax Symphony Orchestra (FSO) will be presenting bilingual master classes and outreach presentations at various Fairfax County venues.

With grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Arts Council of Fairfax County, the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra (FSO) will be presenting bi-lingual master classes and outreach presentations at various Fairfax County venues in the coming weeks.

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Love Story Set Against a Wartime Backdrop

McLean Community Players present “Time Stands Still.”

"When I look through that little rectangle... time stops... all the noise around me... everything cuts out. And all I see... is the picture." But what happens when a wounded wartime photographer comes home? What's next in a life and a relationship based upon the passion and excitement that wartime can bring? Can a normal family life be enough? According to veteran director Jessie Roberts, "the playwright, Donald Margulies, explores love and friendship against a backdrop of the moral dilemma of journalists and photo-journalists who record wars, famines and genocide without intervening to affect the outcome of what they are reporting.

McLean High Student Wins Idol Competition

Alexander Stone of McLean received top honors in the 2013 Signature Theatre Idol competition on Aug. 3 at the Tony Award-winning Signature Theatre's annual Open House held in Arlington. Stone is a rising junior at McLean High School. The annual Signature Idol competition searches for talented, undiscovered singers in the DC metropolitan area. It is held in conjunction with the Signature Theatre Open House. For his first competition entry, Stone presented “In These Skies,” from the musical "Ace." Judges selected Stone to participate in the competition’s final round where he presented “Prayer” from "The Scarlet Pimpernel." The competition judges were Signature Theatre Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer, Broadway’s Tony Award nominee Carolee Carmello and WETA’s Robert Aubry Davis. Sarah Ann Sillers of Potomac, Md. was the runner-up.

Predicting Unpredictable

Stand up comedian Tig Notaro arriving at Reston's CenterStage.

Where and When: Tig Nataro, stand up comedy, at CenterStage, Reston Community Center, 2310 Colts Neck Road, Reston. Performance, Saturday, Sept. 7, 8 p.m. Tickets: $15 Reston/$30 Non-Reston. Call 703-476-2500 or visit www.restoncommunitycenter.com.

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Energy and Passion at Workhouse Stage

The Metropolitan Performing Arts Theatre to present “Fame, The Musical.”

Youthful sensibilities are coming to the Workhouse stage. Chronicling the fictional lives of a variety of determined performing arts students at New York City's High School of Performing Arts, "Fame, The Musical" will transport audiences with its exuberance, courtesy of the Metropolitan Performing Arts Theatre.

A Spirit Tested

Elden Street Players to present “Caroline, or Change.”

Fifty years ago Sam Cooke sang, "It's been a long time coming, but I know a change gon' come. Oh yes it will." It was the time of the civil rights movement and the assassination of President Kennedy.

Play That ‘Lifts Your Soul’

Hub Theater to present “Act a Lady.”

There are tough times in a small Prohibition-era Midwestern town. What is to be done to keep everyone and everything going? Well, in the Hub Theater's next production, “Act a Lady,” the townsfolk come together to explore their lives in rather unexpected ways. Even gender gets exuberantly blurred. And there is even hip accordion music.

‘Urban Decay 4’ at Workhouse

A show of distinctive urban sensibility with plenty of social commentary.

"Urban Decay 4" exhibition. Gathering together "low-brow" art that aims to challenge the tried-and-true, "Urban Decay 4" curator Debra Yarrington has brought together a show of distinctive urban sensibility with plenty of social commentary. The dozens of works displayed by nearly 30 different artists from Fairfax County and far beyond include large-scale three-dimensional wooden creations some with a sheen of glass-like luster, hanging art with a punk culture perspective or with a colorful cartoon-like appearance.

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A Shear Madness of an Evening

1st Stage presents "Blithe Spirit" by Noel Coward.

Light-hearted fare has arrived at Tysons 1st Stage in the guise of Noel Coward's 1941 hit, "Blithe Spirit." It is a lovely dessert-like confection of escapist froth and meringue. But its age—it was written during the "keep calm and carry on" times of the London Blitz of World War II—is beginning to show even under the assured direction of Lee Mikeska Gardner.

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Bringing to Life ‘Is He Dead?’

Providence Players present recently unearthed Mark Twain comedy.

It is rare that a play written by one of America's iconic writers is found and produced a century after it was written. But the Providence Players are bringing to life "Is He Dead?" written by Mark Twain in 1898 and first published in print in 2003.

Love Can Give Us Beauty

Reston Community Players present "33 Variations."

Where and When Reston Community Players present "33 Variations" at CenterStage, Reston Community Center, 2310 Colts Neck Road, Hunters Woods Shopping Center, Reston. Performances: April 26 – May 11, 2013. Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m., a Sunday matinee, May 5 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets $ 17-$20. Call 703-476-4500 or visit www.restonplayers.org.

‘Rumors’ Arriving at the Alden

McLean Community Players are bringing “Rumors,” a Neil Simon farce.

The word farce conjures up frenetic energy, slamming doors, any number of wacky situations and characters to match. To rid audiences of any remaining winter blues or general funk, the McLean Community Players are bringing "Rumors," a Neil Simon farce about the upwardly mobile, professional classes to the Alden stage.

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Grown-up Play About Grown-up Things

Providence Players of Fairfax present "Dinner with Friends."

Sitting around a table at a recent rehearsal, Providence Players of Fairfax Director Tina Thronson and some of her cast discussed the troupe's funny yet bittersweet Pulitzer Award winning next play, "Dinner with Friends" by Donald Margulies.

Love Keeps You Grounded

Hub Theatre presents "A Man, His Wife and His Hat."

Fairfax's professional Hub Theatre continues to delve into delightfully complicated aspects of love by playwrights often new to the D.C. area. Now the Hub is bringing on Lauren Yee's play described as a "klezmer-inspired love triangle between a man, his wife and a hat."

Some Crimes Never Fade Away

‘Never the Sinner’ at 1st Stage.

It was the "trial of the century" that mesmerized the nation in 1924. Two teenage college students, Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, went on trial for the murder of a 14-year-old boy. They were defended by the most famous defense lawyer of the day, Clarence Darrow. These facts and the ultimate outcomes are easily found on Wikipedia.

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Music to Love

American Contemporary Music Ensemble at Reston's CenterStage.

The advance guard in contemporary string and percussion music is arriving courtesy of Reston's CenterStage Professional Touring Artist Series. It is certain to be an evening that will provide handsome renditions of masterworks ranging from exhilarating to Zen-like, serene to dissonant, from the new and perhaps rarely heard, to classics and Grammy-nominated composers of the 20th and 21st centuries.

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Riverbend Opera to Open New Season

"The music of opera takes me to beautiful places in my imagination, with swirling passions and languid times of reflection," said John Turner (McLean) in describing his love for the art form. He is one of the artistic forces behind Fairfax County's own Riverbend Opera Company. With its 2013 season, Riverbend will have a double-bill of one-act works by Giacomo Puccini. Puccini's operas are some of the most performed such as "La Bohème," "Madame Butterfly" and "Tosca." Each of the one-acts, "Il tabarro" and "Suor Angelica" has "almost achingly beautiful music" said Turner.

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A Passion for Dance

Richmond Ballet II to perform and teach master class.

The importance of dance is clear to Stoner Winslett, artistic director of the Richmond Ballet. "Dance is the expression of the human spirit through movement. It is the instinctive language of our hearts and minds," she wrote.

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Rock Musical Takes CenterStage

Reston Community Players to present "Next to Normal."

A "cathartic, powerful rock musical, with a hopeful ending and a great honesty to it" is the way director Andrew JM Regiec describes the next Reston Community Players production, the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award recipient "Next to Normal." With a score of about three dozen songs "Next to Normal" tells the story of a suburban family battling personal demons "through a fast-paced story-telling and the heightened emotions that music can bring," said Regiec.

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Providence Players of Fairfax County Receive 19 WATCH Nominations

The Providence Players of Fairfax County have been nominated for 19 Washington Area Community Honors (WATCH) for artistic and technical excellence in Community Theater.

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Reston Community Players Receive 15 WATCH Nominations

The Reston Community Players has been nominated for 15 Washington Area Community Honors (WATCH) for artistic and technical excellence in Community Theater.

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