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David Siegel

Stories by David

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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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Elden Street Players Receive 10 WATCH Nominations

The Elden Street Players have been nominated for 10 Washington Area Community Honors (WATCH) for artistic and technical excellence in Community Theater.

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A Pleasing Romantic Comedy

1st Stage presents ‘Italian American Reconciliation.’

The pedigree of playwright John Patrick Shanley is top notch; he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his play "Doubt" and won an Oscar for the screen play for "Moonstruck." His "Italian American Reconciliation," now playing at 1st Stage in Tysons, will not disappoint.

McLean Community Players Receive Seven WATCH Nominations

The McLean Community Players have been nominated for seven Washington Area Community Honors (WATCH) for artistic and technical excellence in Community Theater.

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Wonderful Tunes, Wonderful Voices

The Gay Men's Chorus of Washington comes to the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia.

Continuing to expand its Performing Arts Series, the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCCNV) is bringing the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington (GMCW) to the local area for an evening of entertainment of Broadway show tunes, pop music and traditional choral music.

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Local Dancers Perform With Renowned Group

Mark Morris Dance Group, Dance Gala at Mason.

The celebrated Mark Morris Dance Group will soon bring its energy and style, its live music repertoire and several local dancers to enthrall audiences at the Mason Center for the Arts.

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Provocative Lyrics, Rock Score

McLean Community Players present award-winning musical “next to normal

Where and When McLean Community Players present "next to normal" at the Alden Theatre, McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Ave, McLean. Performances: Feb. 1-16, 2013, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets: $18-$20. Call 703-790-0123 or visit www.mcleanplayers.org. Note: Mature themes and language, most suitable for ages 15 and up.

Colorful, Satirical Musical Revue

Elden Street Players to present “Tom Foolery.”

Be inspired as "Tom Foolery" takes audiences into the world of Tom Lehrer who delighted so many with his musically-based attacks and banter on everything, both high-brow and low. The time is the 1960s, when there were "few if any restrictions to what could be said about life, but always with tongue-in-cheek" said Adriana Hardy, director of the Elden Street Players (ESP) production.

Comedic Wit and Wisdom Fills the Workhouse

Once it was a place with the clanging noise of jail bar cells closing, but now laughter regularly wafts through the Workhouse. The source is the liveliness and vigor of stand-up comics of distinct genres and attitudes filling the seats as comedy nights are now a fixture at the Workhouse.

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Life-affirming Comedy

Reston Community Players presents "The Savannah Disputation."

The Reston Community Players will soon bring the D.C. area community theater premiere of "The Savannah Disputation" to audiences. The play was written by emerging award winning playwright Evan Smith.

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Holiday Favorites at GMU

American Festival Pops Orchestra to present “Holiday Pops: Songs of the Season.”

Under the direction of founder and artistic director Anthony Maiello, Northern Virginia’s very own 60-member American Festival Pops Orchestra (AFPO) will soon be performing a sparkling musical celebration befitting the Holiday Season at the Mason Center for the Arts.

A Premiere of Hilarity and Weight

The Hub Theater presents “How I Paid for College.”

"My life is a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle I have to put together while wearing mittens" is one of the off-beat lines that powers "How I Paid for College," by Helen Hayes Award-winning playwright Marc Acito. The premiere play opens Friday, Dec. 7, at the ever-adventurous Hub Theater in Fairfax.

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’Tis the Season for Joyfulness

"Altar Boyz" at Tysons’ 1st Stage.

There is a joyful noise full of tight harmonies backed by spot-on keyboards and percussion with lyrics full of universal positive messages at 1st Stage.

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Ball in the House Comes to Alden Theatre

Group brings musical entertainment “a cappella.”

An evening of lively, fun a cappella style singing will be in store for audiences at the Alden Theatre.

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Buoyant Holiday Fare

Providence Players present “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”

A delightfully boisterous, but controlled chaos lit up a recent rehearsal of the Providence Players' next production, the family-friendly holiday treat "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever." Over a dozen joyously energetic middle school and high school students were rehearsing their roles under the watchful eye of Director Beth Whitehead (Mantua).

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Fast, Funny and Physical

Reduced Shakespeare Company brings treats to Reston's CenterStage.

The Reduced Shakespeare Company will be making its annual visit to Reston's CenterStage to bring its "fast, funny and physical" theater.

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