Beyer Calls Breonna Taylor Ruling Unjust — “Breonna Taylor should still be alive. She did not deserve to die. This is not justice.” [Twitter]
Visit Alexandria Thanks Community With Video — “Here’s our tribute to Alexandria’s small businesses, hospitality workers, health department and city government, who are standing together in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. We thank you!” [Twitter]
You Can Put Your Likeness on Seats at the Little Theatre of Alexandria — “With social distancing in effect, we can fill only 46 of our 215 seats. A clever way of distancing our audiences while giving our performers the feeling of a sold-out event is to fill our unused seats with silhouettes sporting your face or that of a friend, family member, or pet.” [Facebook]
Rocklands Barbecue and Grilling Co. Wins Rammy Award — “Among the winners was Jamal Flowers of Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Co. in Alexandria for manager of the year. Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Co also won a 2020 Honorary Milestone RAMMY Awards for 30 years.” [Patch]
City Giving Away Free Flu Shots — “This Saturday, from 9 AM until 3 PM, the City will be hosting the first of two free flu shot clinics. Saturday’s event will be drive-up (max of 4 to a car) at @TCWTitans at 3330 King St. This year, it is even more important than ever to get a flu shot!” [Twitter]
Transcript Reveals Details About City’s Only Homicide This Year — “The homicide case of Karla Dominguez has left many disappointed with and upset by the city’s criminal justice procedures in the era of COVID-19.” [Alex Times]
Today’s Weather — “Overcast (during the day). High 77F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Cloudy skies at night. Low 59F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]
New Job: ACPS Communications Specialist — “Responsible for researching, developing, implementing and evaluating communications for special projects to include capital projects, facilities projects, communication projects and projects that support schools, departments and the superintendent.” [Indeed]
Virginia Tech Announces Advisory Board for Innovation Campus — “The board consists of company leaders along with several tech pioneers. Members include Sanju Bansal, founder and CEO of Hunch Analytics; Dave Calhoun, president and CEO of Boeing; Ted Colbert, executive vice president of Boeing; Joe DeSimone, professor at Stanford University and executive chairman and co-founder of Carbon; Lynne Doughtie, former chairman and CEO of KPMG; Regina Dugan, CEO of Wellcome Leap; Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm; Russ Ramsey, board chair of Greater Washington Partnership; Kathy Warden, CEO, of Northrop Grumman Corporation; Glenn Youngkin, co-chief executive officer of The Carlyle Group.” [Patch]
Beyer: Trump and Republicans Should Feel Same Urgency With COVID-19 as Ginsburg Replacement — “Imagine if Donald Trump and Senate Republicans felt this urgency about responding to a pandemic that has now killed over 200,000 Americans. 4 months ago the House passed a bill to help American families and boost the economy. Mitch McConnell said he didn’t feel any ‘urgency.'” [Twitter]
Volunteers Honored in Virtual Ceremony — “On Saturday, August 29, New Hope Housing (NHH) – an Alexandria nonprofit that helps homeless families and individuals – recognized a group of volunteers at its Annual Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast.” [Zebra]
Little Theatre of Alexandria Auditioning for ‘A Christmas Carol’ — “LTA’s A Christmas Carol for 2020 will be the most unique ever. It will feature live, virtual, and animated elements. We are looking for a family who can portray Mr. Cratchit, Mrs. Cratchit, and Tiny Tim. Tiny Tim will also portray Turkey Boy and Boy Scrooge. These three characters will participate in Zoom rehearsals in October and three rehearsals at LTA in early November, with a taping date of Saturday, November 15.” [Facebook]
Tall Ship Providence Gets Repaired — “Our Providence team has had a very busy weekend! While in the boat yard, they have sanded the hull to prepare it for a new coat of paint and performed other routine maintenance in preparation for the scheduled Coast Guard inspection.” [Facebook]
Today’s Weather — “Sunny skies (during the day). High 72F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph. Clear skies (at night). Low 54F. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]
New Job: Global Trade Group Command Media Manager — “Manage of Global Trade Group (GTG) Command Media throughout the lifecycle of drafting to final posting in the corporate electronic library. Reviews draft policies and procedures submitted by corporate trade segments/functions and non-trade functions to ensure alignment with corporate GTG trade-related command media. Recommends changes to ensure alignment with GTG trade policies and procedures. Maintains GTG
records relating to trade policies and procedures, tracks status of all command media submitted to GTG by the Policy Review Board (PRB) and ensures suspense deadlines are met.” [Indeed]
It wasn’t an ordinary performance at the Little Theatre of Alexandria (LTA), but on Friday, September 11, the doors opened for a memorable evening of drama at a distance.
“I was anxious before I came to the theater, but everything is so well managed,” said Mary Hutzler. “It was an interesting experience. I thought the play was very powerful and I really felt engaged.”
The theater’s first show back, “Love Letters” by A.R. Gurney, was well chosen for the times. Only 40 people were allowed in the show, everyone (except the actors) wore face masks and couldn’t get up during the performance, which featured real-life married couple Nicky and Steve McDonnell reading fictional love letters to each other seated at opposite ends of the stage.
“LTA did a really smart job in planning it,” Nicky McDonnell said after the show. “We’re married, so we didn’t have to socially distance from each other.”
The couple met in New York 27 years ago, and throughout diverse acting careers that span decades never worked together until this production. Rehearsals were conducted with the director via Zoom.
“They need to connect (with the audience),” Director Joanna Henry said. “They do it brilliantly.”
The show runs until September 27. The next show, “Mixed Doubles” by LTA member Rick Lore, will run from October 2-18; followed by “Belle of Amherst” by William Luce from November 6-22; and the season will end with a COVID-friendly version of “A Christmas Carol” from November 28-December 19.
It’s not unusual for the Little Theatre of Alexandria to be bursting at the seams with a sold-out audience, as ushers, actors, assistant directors and set designers rush around to present their latest offering. Not this year.
For the first time since World War II, LTA was forced to shut down until calmer days prevail and cancelled its formal 2020-2021 season, which was supposed to open with “Sister Act” and continue through Christmas with its annual sold-out rendition of “A Christmas Carol” and into next summer.
LTA has a plan — a fall programming season with four one-act and two-act shows. The theatre will only be able to accommodate 45 audience members and the shows will be completely free of charge and not play consecutively so that staff can meet CDC and health department guidelines.
“We are going to be producing four shows with very small casts – mostly one to two people,” Rachel Alberts, the LTA governor of public relations, told ALXnow. “We are approaching this as a gift to our patrons. We know people are worried about getting in the theatre. We also know how much they miss it. That’s why we’re offering this for free.”
The first show, “Love Letters” by A.R. Gurney, will premier on September 11 and run for just over two weeks. The second show, “Mixed Doubled” by LTA member Rick Lore, will run from October 2-18; followed by “Belle of Amherst” by William Luce will run from November 6-22; and ending with a COVID-friendly version of “A Christmas Carol” from November 28-December 19.
The theatergoing experience is going to be much different, Alberts said. For one thing, there will likely be no singing in the theatre until the pandemic calms down.
“With the cast and crew there’s usually over 100 people, from designers to sound people to actors,” she said. “It’s a huge endeavor. Hopefully we’re going to be completely opening back up in January with ‘Mamma Mia!,’ but depending on what’s going on in the world we will absolutely honor all CDC and public health recommendations.”
LTA, which was founded in 1934, is now also conducting auditions via Zoom for the January show, and Alberts said that the theatre will survive the pandemic, even though it took a significant financial hit.
“LTA isn’t going anywhere,” she said. “We’re one of the oldest theatre is still in operation in the country, and we only closed once after World War II for a small period of time. We own our building and we’re financially safe.”
May 26, 2020Dear LTA Family—I hope this message finds you happy and healthy.In April 1943, The Little Theatre of…
Staff photo by James Cullum
There are Now 36 Cases of COVID-19 in Alexandria — “On March 30, the Alexandria Health Department confirmed four additional cases of COVID-19 in Alexandria, bringing the total to 36. AHD is identifying and contacting individuals who came in close contact with the confirmed cases.” [City of Alexandria]
DASH Further Reduces Service — “As part of a wider effort to protect the health and safety of the Alexandria community and DASH employees, DASH implemented an Enhanced Sunday Operating Plan on weekdays and Saturdays, beginning March 30. No changes are anticipated to Sunday service; however, King Street Trolley service will discontinue until further notice.” [DASH]
Old Town Books Launches GoFundMe Campaign — “You’re making it possible for us to make ends meet while our sales floor is closed and before the new SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans roll out. I didn’t know what to expect when starting this fundraiser – crowd funding is not something I *ever* expected to do for this business. But this fundraiser is helping keep our staff working and our online store open. It’s motivating us to keep trying, to keep working despite the bleak economic projections for the year. We’re not giving up. Thank you for your support!” [Facebook]
Mason & Greens Grocer Opens in Old Town — “It’s not the grand opening they were planning, but the new bulk grocer in Old Town, Mason & Greens, is now open. For now, Mason & Greens is offering online shopping for pick-up or delivery.” [Alexandria Living]
ACPS Unveils Story Hour For Younger Students — “It’s such fun to see all these famous faces reading for America’s children in this time of need and we are grateful that some publishers are allowing us to publish read-alouds on the website at this time.” [ACPS]
Little Theatre of Alexandria Issuing Refunds — “Please submit this form before Friday, April 10. For Moonlight and Magnolias and Blue Stockings, we will not be able to process refunds after Thursday, April 30.” [LTA]
Ascend Cycle Offering Virtual Classes — “Virtual high fives! While we can’t be together in person, this is the next best thing! You see us & we see you! Connect with your favorite instructor and friends live while breaking a sweat! We are offering daily live virtual classes designed to connect our community and provide personalized attention. Drop into class for just $10.” [Ascend Cycle]
Questions About Homicide Arrest at T.C. — “Because Aly’s arrest was part of an ongoing criminal investigation, Virginia State Police, the lead law enforcement agency on the case, haven’t released details about his connection to the crime. But some parents and students have sought answers to different questions: Why did the arrest take place at school, and what happened at the school that day?” [Alexandria Times]
Rec Registration Starts Next Week — “Registration for spring and summer classes and activities offered by the City of Alexandria’s Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities will begin at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, March 18 for City residents and Friday, March 20 for nonresidents. Spring and summer registration applies to classes, leagues and activities occurring April through August 2020.” [City of Alexandria]
Controlled Burn Leads to Hazy Sunday — Across much of the D.C. area Sunday afternoon, smoke from a controlled burn at Marine Corps Base Quantico led to temporary hazy conditions outside and a “campfire” smell. [ARLnow]
“Moonlight and Magnolias” at Little Theatre Until March 21 — “It’s Hollywood, 1939. Legendary film producer David O. Selznick is five weeks into shooting ‘Gone with the Wind’ when he realizes the script is awful and the director doesn’t have a clue. He has a few short days to replace them and restart shooting or the production will shut down.” [Gazette]
Nominations Open For Chamber of Commerce’s 40 Under 40 — “The 40 under 40 class celebrate 40 outstanding leaders and innovators who either live or work within the city of Alexandria. The nomination period closes March 13, 2020. Go to www.thechamberalx.com/young-leaders-network.html to nominate a leader for this honor.” [Alexandria Living]
If you’ve waited until the last minute to put together your Halloween plans, here’s your guide to events around the area.
The Birchmere (3701 Mount Vernon Avenue) is planning it’s annual party called Raven’s Night on Saturday, Nov. 2. The “unique soirée” features belly dancing, live music and a pre-show carnival. This year’s theme is “Creature Feature,” an homage to classic iconic movie monsters. Tickets are $25. Doors for the show open at 5 p.m.
Other Halloween events around town include:
Tonight (Oct. 30)
- Costume Halloween Shindig in Ivy Hill Cemetery (2823 King Street): Ivy Hill Cemetery is hosting a costume party tonight at 6:30 p.m. that will include a visit to the cemetery’s vault, ghost tours, moonshine tasting and costume awards. The event is also scheduled to include a reading from Maribeth Decker, a “local intuitive animal communicator,” who will be available to check in with pets living and deceased if the attendee brings a photo of their pet. Tickets are $35 per person and include food and drink.
- The Haunting of Hill House at The Little Theater of Alexandria (600 Wolfe Street): The Little Theater of Alexandria is hosting a performance of The Haunting of Hill House, a play based on the 1959 gothic horror novel by Shirley Jackson. The plan is running every day this week starting at 8 p.m. and Wednesday (Nov. 7) through Saturday (Nov. 9).
- Halloween at Cafe 44 (44 Canal Center Plaza): Cafe 44 on the Alexandria waterfront is hosting a Halloween party tonight. The event is scheduled to include champagne, costumes, an dlive music from acoustic band Sleeper Car. Festivities are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.
Tomorrow (Oct. 31)
- Halloween Bar Crawl in Carlyle: The Carlyle Council is hosting a bar crawl across the Carlyle neighborhood. Participating restaurants include Tequila & Taco, Trademark Drink and Eat, Sweet Fire Donna’s and Whiskey & Oyster. Checking into each restaurant earns a ticket to a raffle to win a dinner at Taste of Carlyle. Those who wear costumes can get discounted drinks.
- Halloween at Sonoma Cellar (207 King Street): The Sonoma Cellar is celebrating Halloween with an all-night happy hour. All night, the restaurant will have $2 off all wine and appetizers and $1 off all beers. Cigars and mulled wine in the garden are planned after 8 p.m., with blankets and patio heaters for a cozy atmosphere.
Friday (Nov. 1)
- Grief and Ghosts at the Lee-Fendall House Museum (614 Oronoco Street): This weekend, the historic Lee-Fendall House will host a series of tours on Friday and Saturday starting at 7:30 p.m. that explore death and mysteries from the home’s history, as well as a look at Victorian mourning traditions. The event page says such customs include draping the mirrors after death, hair jewelry, and séances. Tickets are $10 and frequently sell out, so advance purchase is recommended.
- 10th Annual Columbia Firehouse Halloween Bash (109 S. Saint Asaph Street): The Columbia Firehouse is hosting it’s annual party, with trick or treating for kids and prizes for the best costume.
Photo via The Birchmere/Facebook