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Jeanne Theismann

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Review: ‘Come Blow Your Horn’

The American Century Theater dazzles with Neil Simon classic.

It’s been more than half a century since Neil Simon’s “Come Blow Your Horn” made its Broadway debut, launching one of the most successful playwriting careers in the history of the American stage. Filled with what would become Simon’s trademark wisecracking repartee, the autobiographical portrait of a young man leaving home to experience the swinging single lifestyle of the ’60s is performed to perfection by The American Century Theater at Gunston Arts Center Theatre Two in Arlington.

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TACT Celebrates Traditional and Same-Sex Marriage in 'I Do, I Do'

The times they are a-changin’. When "I Do! I Do!" first opened on Broadway in 1966, the musical by the “Fantasticks” duo Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt was a hit. Based on Jan de Hartog’s popular 1951 play "The Fourposter,” the show chronicles a half-century in the life of a successful marriage.

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Signature revives classic Sondheim

For Bobby, the word marriage is actually a sentence — a jail sentence. A perpetual bachelor, he is turning 35 and surrounded by five married couples who all have an opinion about his lifestyle in the Stephen Sondheim musical “Company,” now playing at Signature Theatre.

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‘All For One and One For All’

Synetic sizzles with “The Three Musketeers.”

The mantra “All for one and one for all” springs onto the stage as Synetic Theater brings to life the fiery, bombastic ensemble of lovers and fighters in the Alexandre Dumas classic “The Three Musketeers.”

And the Winner Is….

MetroStage Receives three Helen Hayes Awards for ‘Jacques Brel’ production.

It’s billed as the largest cast party in town and on Monday, April 8, no one was celebrating more than Carolyn Griffin and the cast, crew and supporters of Alexandria’s MetroStage Theatre, which won three Helen Hayes Awards for last year’s production of “Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris.”

‘The Last Five Years’

From first date to final goodbye, Jason Robert Brown chronicles the emotional highs and lows of a young couple’s failed marriage in the award winning musical “The Last Five Years,” now playing at Shirlington’s Signature Theatre.

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‘Voodoo Macbeth’

American Century stages dark Orson Welles drama.

William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” considered by many to be one of his darkest tragedies, tells the story of a Scottish general named Macbeth who commits murder to become king and fulfill his ambition for power. In 1936, a young Orson Welles staged his own legendary adaptation of the play, “Voodoo Macbeth,” which is reimagined now by The American Century Theater.

First Night Donates to Schools

$3,000 given to music programs.

For the second straight year, First Night Alexandria has donated a total of $3,000 to the music programs at T.C. Williams High School and George Washington and Hammond Middle Schools. “First Night Alexandria believes in promoting the artistic talents in the city's public school system,” said FNA board president Kerry Donley as he presented the awards.

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Silent Shakespeare

Synetic Theater makes a splash with “The Tempest.”

With more than 2,500 gallons of water and a lot of creativity, Arlington’s Synetic Theater transforms its Crystal City stage into Prospero’s magical island in “The Tempest,” the ninth production in the groundbreaking theater’s Silent Shakespeare series.

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Uncommon Valor

Survivors reunite for 68th anniversary of Iwo Jima.

The morning of Feb. 19, 1945, dawned eerily quiet as Private First Class Carl Norton made his way toward the shores of the remote Japanese island of Iwo Jima. But in an instant, the 20-millimeter dual purpose guns buried in the side of Mount Suribachi exploded, erupting into one of the bloodiest battles in U.S. history.

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‘Shakespeare’s R&J’

Tragic tale debuts at Signature Theatre.

At first glance, they are the model of Catholic school conformity, trained to recite in unison as they learn their catechism. But then an illicit copy of William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” is discovered, disrupting the lives of four prep school boys in “Shakespeare's R&J,” now playing at Signature Theatre.

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The Final Countdown

Remembering the Space Shuttle Columbia.

He was just 16 minutes from home. As a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia, Arlington native David Brown was going through final landing preparations aboard STS-107 to conclude what for 16 days had been a routine mission. At 9 a.m. on Feb. 1, 2003, that changed.

A Lullaby to Birdland

MetroStage premieres “Ladies Swing the Blues.”

Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Billie Holiday, Peggy Lee. Their voices defined the history of jazz alongside the likes of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis. But it is the indomitable influence of Charlie “Bird” Parker that sets the stage for “Ladies Swing the Blues: A Jazz Fable,” now playing at MetroStage.

Bragging Big

American Century Theater shows off through Feb. 2.

The American Century Theater’s production of “The Show Off” is playing now through Feb. 2 at Gunston Theatre Two, 2700 S. Lang St., Arlington.

Bragging Big

American Century Theater shows off through Feb. 2.

Aubrey Piper is self-centered and self-deluded, a pathological liar and shameless publicity seeker determined to climb Philadelphia’s social ladder by any means necessary in George Kelly’s Pulitzer Prize nominated “The Show Off,” a production by The American Century Theater now playing at Gunston Theatre Two in Arlington.

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Voices From the Past

‘Cantorial’ debuts at LTA.

“Cantorial” is playing now through Nov. 17 at The Little Theatre of Alexandria, 600 Wolfe St., Alexandria. For tickets or more information, call 703-683-0496 or visit

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‘Dying City’

Signature debuts Pulitzer-nominated play.

A year after her husband’s death in Iraq, newly-widowed Kelly is confronted by his identical twin brother in “Dying City,” now playing at Signature Theatre in Arlington.

Armstrong Makes D.C. Debut

Local chef creates menu for National Gallery of Art.

Alexandria Chef Cathal Armstrong debuted his latest signature dishes at the National Gallery of Art's Garden Café Oct. 2 in celebration of the new Masterpieces of American Furniture Exhibit.

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‘Jekyll and Hyde’

Mills mesmerizes in Synetic masterpiece.

If a picture paints a thousand words, then Alex Mills has crafted a masterpiece with his performance in “Jekyll and Hyde,” playing now at Synetic Theater in Crystal City.

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‘Jekyll and Hyde’

Mills stars in Synetic’s wordless wonder.

“I was very anxious, excited and scared to first start working with Synetic,” said Mills, who stars in the title role in Synetic’s latest production of “Jekyll and Hyde.” “At the callbacks I attended I had no idea what to expect but I jumped in with both feet and never looked back.”

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Wiygul Automotive wins Chamber Golf Classic.

More than 120 golfers came together to participate in the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce Golf Classic, held Aug. 27 at the Belle Haven Country Club.

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‘Best Little Whorehouse in Texas’ at Signature Theatre

It was known as The Chicken Ranch, a century-old “business” in La Grange, Texas, that earned its nickname for accepting chickens as payment for services rendered.

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Going the Distance

American Century Theater tackles 'Marathon '33.'

Inducing people to endure discomfort, pain and humiliation for the promise of cash prizes sounds like a season of “Survivor” or “Fear Factor.”

Rappellers raise $60,000 for Special Olympics.

Rose Pleskow is not one to shy away from a challenge. The 23-year-old athlete competed in the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece, last summer, earned multiple medals in the 2012 Virginia Special Olympic Summer Games and recently competed in an 800-meter race in the waters around the Cayman Islands. But on June 22, she did something most people wouldn't dare: rappelling down the side of a 15-story building.

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Strike Up the Band!

'Music Man' Dazzles at Arena Stage

Move over Robert Preston. There's a new band leader taking River City by storm in Meredith Willson's “The Music Man,” playing now at Arena Stage.

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Rolling Thunder Marks 25th Anniversary

An estimated one million riders roared in procession from the Pentagon to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial May 27 in the 25th anniversary Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom in remembrance of American POWs and service members still missing in action.

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'Doing the Most Good'

Salvation Army celebrates William Booth Society.

Donors, representatives and friends of the Salvation Army National Capital Area Command celebrated the inaugural reception of the William Booth Society May 17 at the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington.

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'Doing the Most Good'

Salvation Army celebrates William Booth Society.

Donors, representatives and friends of the Salvation Army National Capital Area Command celebrated the inaugural reception of the William Booth Society May 17 at the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington. “William Booth Society members help make certain that The Salvation Army remains financially strong and ready to meet the challenges of serving the needs of our community,” said National Capital Area Commander Major Steve Morris.

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'Xanadu' Is Zany Spoof of the 1980s

Signature's production should not be missed.

Don't bother telling “Xanadu” that's it's based on one of the worst movies of all time. It's already in on the joke, reinventing itself as an outlandishly zany spoof of the 1980 movie about a muse descended on skates from Mount Olympus to inspire the creation of a roller disco in Venice, Calif.

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Don't Miss 'Lonely Planet' at MetroStage

Poignant AIDS play never mentions the word.

Like the American city where Steven Dietz's “Lonely Planet” takes place, the disease paralyzing the gay community with fear remains unnamed in the powerful and moving production of the award-winning work now playing at MetroStage in Alexandria.

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'Who Says I Can't?'

Face of America ride honors disabled veterans.

They came from across the country, gathering before dawn in the shadow of the Pentagon to begin a two-day journey to honor the sacrifices of America's wounded warriors and gain a better understanding of people with disabilities.

Signature Theatre Shines at Helen Hayes Awards

Signature Theatre was the big winner at the 2012 Helen Hayes Awards, taking home top honors in five categories in Washington's equivalent of Broadway's Tony Award celebration.

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'Witness for the Prosecution' Opens at LTA

It's 1954 and Leonard Vole stands accused of the murder of a rich elderly woman whom he befriended. His wife's testimony could save him until she suddenly becomes a “Witness for the Prosecution” in the Agatha Christie thriller now playing at The Little Theatre of Alexandria.

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'God of Carnage' at Signature Theatre

It begins innocently enough: Two New York couples oozing affected politeness meet to discuss a playground scuffle between their sons. Painstakingly attentive to social niceties, they hope to talk things over in a calm, mature and rational way.

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And Then there Was One

'Someone Who'll Watch Over Me' opens at Port City Playhouse.

It's been more than a quarter of a century since Irishman Brian Keenan, Englishman John McCarthy and American Terry Anderson were taken hostage in Beirut and held in a series of desolate cells throughout the city. Keenan was released after more than four years in captivity and went on to pen “An Evil Cradling,” a chilling account of his experience.

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“Be Careful! The Sharks Will Eat You”

A riveting saga of survival at MetroStage.

He was just 4 years old when his father hurriedly whisked him away one dark, moonless night into the unknown. For Jay Alvarez, the journey was profound and one he shares in a riveting performance of “Be Careful! The Sharks Will Eat You,” a one-man show written and performed by Alvarez chronicling his family's flight from Fidel Castro's Cuba in 1964.

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'Brother Russia' Comes to Life at Signature Theater

Born in a remote Siberian village, he was raised impoverished and uneducated yet became powerful enough to infiltrate a Russian dynasty. Such was the journey of Grigori Rasputin, whose story is brought to life in the world premier musical of “Brother Russia,” now playing at Signature Theatre.

TAP Honored at WATCH Awards

“The Seagull,” “42nd Street” take home top prizes.

Standout productions of “The Seagull” and “42nd Street” earned The Arlington Players top honors from the Washington Area Theatre Community Honors awards, taking home five trophies during the WATCH Awards ceremony March 11 at the Birchmere Music Hall in Alexandria.

Nominees for 2012 Helen Hayes Awards

MetroStage, Signature, Synetic among nominees.

Nominees for the 2012 Helen Hayes Awards were announced Feb. 27 with Signature Theatre, Synetic Theatre and MetroStage among the 25 theatre companies nominated in 26 categories.

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'Heaven Can Wait' at LTA

Joe Pendleton is in for the fight of his life — literally. A professional boxer and pilot, his soul is mistakenly “collected” from his body some 60 years too soon after a plane flight gone awry in the comedy “Heaven Can Wait,” now playing at The Little Theatre of Alexandria.

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Life's a Beach at 'Dixie Swim Club"

Port City shines with new production.

They met long before the phrase “BFF” was part of the American lexicon, but for five college teammates, the comfort and frustrations of “best friends forever” are rays of sunshine in the Port City Playhouse production of “The Dixie Swim Club,” now playing at Alexandria's Lab Studio Theatre at Convergence.

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"Really Really:" Reasonable Doubt

Spellbinding 'Really Really' debuts at Signature.

Did he or didn't he? It was the college party of the year and ambitious young co-ed Leigh finally gets her man, the All-American rugby captain Davis. But all is not what it seems as events unfold in the spellbinding production of "Really Really," now playing at Signature Theatre.

"Josephine Tonight" Debuts at MetroStage

Long before she sashayed her way to international acclaim, she was simply Freda Josephine McDonald, born to a washerwoman in St. Louis in the early 20th century. But her exotic appeal and sensuous performances propelled her onto the world stage as Josephine Baker, whose early years are the subject of the musical "Josephine Tonight," now playing at MetroStage.

Little Theatre Earns 43 WATCH Nominations

'Hairspray' is top area production with 22 nods.

With an astounding 43 nominations, The Little Theatre of Alexandria led the way as the Washington Area Theatre Community Honors announced the nominees for the 2012 WATCH Awards Jan. 15 at the Birchmere Music Hall.

'25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee'

LTA production spells success.

It's an American institution that millions of children have suffered through — the spelling bee — and contestants in the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee are preparing for the county championship in this lively production of the Tony Award-winning musical now playing at The Little Theatre of Alexandria.

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Reston Community Players Garner WATCH Nominations

Three productions receive 15 nods for RCP.

The Reston Community Players garnered 15 nominations as the Washington Area Theatre Community Honors announced the nominees for the 2012 WATCH Awards Jan. 15 at the Birchmere Music Hall in Alexandria.

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Elden Street Players Garner 22 WATCH Award Nominations

"Ain't Misbehavin'" leads with 11 nods.

The Elden Street Players garnered 22 nominations as the Washington Area Theatre Community Honors announced the nominees for the 2012 WATCH Awards Jan. 15 at the Birchmere Music Hall in Alexandria.

Cinco de Mayo

CareFirst makes $96,500 grant for ANSHI dental program.

Jack Taylor's Alexandria Toyota showroom was once again the site of the annual Cinco de Mayo fundraiser and silent auction benefitting Alexandria Neighborhood Health Services, which used the May 12 occasion to recognize CareFirst for its financial support in awarding a $96,500 grant to help increase access to dental care for uninsured patients.