The multi-million dollar renovation of the historic Bethesda Theater is near completion, shows are selling out and an introductory press conference for the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club is set for Tuesday with a tour and food samples from a menu that features entrees ranging from $18 to $35.
The venue says its goal is to become the D.C. region’s No. 1 live music supper club. Residents and county officials have anticipated its opening since last year. Its 1930′s era marquee, sitting prominently on Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Bethesda, is lit up and 300 table seats and a 40-foot bar await inside.
But can the Club succeed, especially in a place with a struggling live music scene and little tradition of venues of a similar scale?
“I think it’s a visionary idea because if you take a look at the area between D.C. and Strathmore, there’s nothing in terms of being able to present jazz and blues and other types of music like it,” said Charlie Fishman, founder and president of the D.C. Jazz Festival and a friend of Blues and Jazz Club director of operations Ralph Camilli. “So I think it’s a really excellent idea. If it works, who knows?”
A group of graduates from some of the most celebrated black college marching bands in the country are coming to the Music Center at Strathmore (5301 Tuckerman Lane) next week.
“Drumline Live!” is a stage show version of performances from marching bands at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the type that have increased in popularity and profile, especially since the 2002 film “Drumline.”
The performance at Strathmore includes a troupe of 30 dancers, musicians and a drum major with a style that includes hip hop, pop, Motown and big band styles with trumpets, French hours, basses, euphoniums and percussion.
Tickets range from $28 to $58 and can be purchased on strathmore.org. For more information on the show, visit the Drumline Live website.
Photo via Strathmore
The Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club will open in the historic Bethesda Theater on March 1 and has announced a busy lineup of performers for March.
Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Irvin Mayfield and his New Orleans Jazz Orchestra will open up the club (7719 Wisconsin Ave.) on Friday, March 1 with an 8 p.m. performance running $40 per ticket.
Silver Spring’s Marcus Johnson, a jazz keyboardist and pianist, will perform on Saturday, March 2. Tickets for that performance are $25 each.
Entrees at the Club run from $17.95 to $34.95.
Potomac native and country singer Maggie Rose will headline at the Club on its second weekend, with shows on Friday, March 8 and Saturday, March 9. Tickets are $35 each.
Flickr photo by PLCjr
Dance Bethesda, the Bethesda Urban Partnership’s ninth annual weekend dance festival, is set for March with a just announced schedule of seven professional performers and choreographers.
BUP said 50 Washington area dance companies submitted audition pieces for the event, which features a performance at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 9 at the Round House Theatre (4545 East-West Highway). That show will include Christopher K. Morgan & Artists, the Furia Flamenca flamenco dancers, Jason Garcia Ignacio, the Karen Reedy Dancy Company, Silk Road Dance Company, Teelin Irish Dance Company and The Washington School of Ballet.
Tickets for the Round House performance are $20 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under.
The seven performers in the show were selected by a panel of three local judges.
The event also includes free lessons and open houses at Bethesda dance studios. From 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Friday, March 8, five area studios will offer free lessons in a range of styles including salsa, ballroom, hip-hop and swing.
For more information on participating studios or on the Round House Theatre show, visit the event website.
Flickr photo via joyofmotion
Bellflur, bands Exit Clov and Echo Wall are all releasing new albums around their performances at the Strathmore Mansion (10701 Rockville Pike). The show includes bands performing in different rooms with accompanying visual artists: actors from the Grain of Sand Theatre, dancers from the Beth Elliot Dance Group, presentations from artists Ben Tolman, Beth Farnstrom, Alabaster Slade, Steve Gentile, video director Richard Bernett and author Goodloe Byron.
Doors open at 8 p.m. The performance starts at 9 p.m. Standing room only tickets can be purchased for $15 at the door and $12 in advance at the Strathmore’s website:
This wandering performance experience a la New York’s Shakespeare-esque Sleep No More takes over Strathmore’s historic Mansion with The Ghosts of Handsome Skin, a project that includes musicians, artists, authors, actors, dancers and choreographers from the Washington, D.C. area. The immersive night is built around atmospheric indie band Bellflur’s new album “Twelve Vagrant Monologues from the Last Living Star”, a collaborative music and art project with author Pablo D’Stair and artist Ben Tolman.
The series continues on Friday, Feb. 8 with D.C. singer-songwriter Stone Kawala and host Martin Amini of Silver City Productions, who will headline a performance of poetry, spoken word and hip-hop with Philadelphia Slick, Soho Kings with poet-singer Mihenta, poet Drew Law and D.C. singer-songwriter Kara Falck.
Strathmore will also host a Friday Night Eclectic show on February, 15 and 22, March 1, 8 and 22 and April 5 and 26. For more information, visit the Strathmore’s website.
Photo via Strathmore
The Bethesda-based Italian Cultural Society of Washington, D.C. is bringing a special musical event to one of Bethesda’s most authentic Italian eateries.
Tonino Tosto and a group of singers from Rome will perform songs from the Lombardy region of Italy, taking those in attendance through a musical Italian trip on Friday, Feb. 1 at Pizzeria Da Marco (8008 Woodmont Ave.).
Pizzeria Da Marco general manager Alessandro Ferro claims to have the only authentic Neapolitan pizzeria in Bethesda, though there are a number of wood-fired oven competitors.
The Cultural Society event will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and organizers are asking for $5 from non-Cultural Society members.
A RSVP is required. For more information, call the Cultural Society’s Danielle Ehrman at 301-215-7885.
A group of local swing dance enthusiasts is bringing its own inaugural ball to Glen Echo Park’s Spanish Ballroom on Saturday night.
American Swing is hosting the “I Don’t Have a Super-PAC to Buy Me a Ticket to an Inaugural Ball” Ball with band Eight to the Bar from 9 p.m. to midnight at the Park (7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo). The group will put on an hour-long swing dance lesson at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $18 for adults, $12 for kids age 11 to 17, and $10 for kids age 10 and younger.
For more information, email Debra@gottaswing.com.
Flickr photo by PedroGringo
One of the center’s main community service initiatives, the series will provide more than 10,000 second graders the opportunity to learn about the orchestra during seven concerts in four days.
The 2,000-seat concert hall opened in North Bethesda (5301 Tuckerman Lane) in 2005 with almost $100 million in funding from Montgomery County and the state of Maryland. The student concerts, which have been held since the opening, represent an investment of $124,000, according to a press release.
The concerts include a video of instruments on a large screen hovering above the orchestra as it performs. The goal is to teach students about the four families of instruments that make up the orchestra. Students also sing along with the orchestra.
Flickr photo by Bill in DC
The Strathmore (5301 Tuckerman Lane) yesterday announced the addition of nine shows to its 2012-2013 lineup, including appearances by singers Olivia Newton-John and Gladys Knight and “This American Life” host Ira Glass.
Tickets went on sale at 10 a.m. today.
For more information and a full schedule of events visit the Strathmore’s website.
From the press release:
Friday, November 16, 2012
The pop icon, immortalized by the infinite popularity of Grease and Xanadu, is a four-time Grammy winner, a breast cancer survivor, passionate advocate for women’s health, and an actress eclectic enough to have played a mulleted ex-con bar singer on the LOGO series Sordid Lives—Newton-John is an artist of many colors. At Strathmore she delivers a show that spans her pop hits , from favorites such as “Physical” and “Hopelessly Devoted to You” to her more recent musical explorations. Expect “melodic warmth, regal vocals” and a timeless star who is “soulfully committed to every word she sings” (Billboard).
Thursday, April 25 & Friday, April 26, 2013
Eight-time Grammy winning Empress of Soul Gladys Knight reigns supreme at Strathmore with a two-night engagement this spring. Knight has packed many lifetimes into a career that has embraced gold records, sold-out concerts, film performances and most recently a spin on “Dancing with the Stars.” The icon shares a soul-stirring mix of Gladys Knight’s greatest and newest hits.
REINVENTING RADIO: AN EVENING WITH IRA GLASS
Saturday, June 29, 2013
Go behind the scenes of the parallel universe that is public radio’s This American Life. In the style that has won millions of radio fans, Ira Glass talks about how it all comes together each week, mixing stories from the show, live onstage, with taped selections of stories, recreating the sound of the show as the audience watches. “Mr. Glass is a journalist but also a storyteller who filters his interviews and impressions through a distinctive literary imagination, an eccentric intelligence and a sympathetic heart” (The New York Times).
For the past three years, the staff at the Music Center has attempted to broaden its reach and build its place on the Washington-area cultural scene with a diverse range of events, Artistic Director and Vice President of Programming Shelley Brown said.
It’s also been able to attract larger acts with some creative scheduling and a yearly average of about 100,000 customers.
On Oct. 19, author Fran Lebowitz and former New York Times columnist Frank Rich will discuss the upcoming Presidential election. Humorist David Sedaris will read his favorite writings on Oct. 23. Five days later, poets Billy Collins and Mary Oliver will read their works.
“We have a very sophisticated audience here. They’re very well educated and they have lots of choices,” Brown said. “We built our business as kind of the little engine that could, to fill in the areas that other people aren’t doing.”
The Music Center opened in 2005, the result of almost $100 million in funding from Montgomery County and the state of Maryland.
Brown has worked at Strathmore since the late 1990′s and said it has developed into a brand people respect and that is competitive with similar venues elsewhere in the area.
The 2012-2013 season includes a number of violin performances and what Brown described as “traditional music for music lovers.”
It also features the return of Broadway actress and singer Patti LuPone (Oct. 5), an example of the type of act Brown said demonstrates the growth of the venue.
To spur that, Strathmore officials have attempted to create as “artist-friendly” of an environment as possible.
That means flexible exclusivity clauses that allow acts to perform at other area venues and, of course, any little perks.
“If it’s important for an artist to have silverware and china for their dinner, then we try to have it,” Brown said. “We feel like once we lure somebody over, they will come back.”
For more information on upcoming events at Strathmore, visit its website.
Flickr photo by Bill in DC
Rock and folk performer Pat McGee will open up the 2012-2013 season at the Strathmore (5301 Tuckerman Lane) with a “homecoming” show on Sept. 28 in the Music Center.
The Richmond native and frontman of the “Pat McGee Band” will welcome back former bandmates and high school musicians from his alma mater, Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington.
The 2012-2013 season at the Strathmore features Broadway star Patti LuPone (Oct. 5), acrobatic performers “Cirque Ziva” (March 7) and Italian classical pianist Maurizio Pollini (April 14).
The 1,976-seat concert hall opened in 2005 with almost $100 million in funding from Montgomery County and the state of Maryland. Visit strathmore.org for more information on this year’s schedule.
Flickr photo by Bill in DC