Film, Drinks and Dance filled my A&C calendar last week…

Oh my gosh it was a big week for film of various nature and dance with a little travel thrown in for good measure.

It all started on Tuesday with the Virginia Film Festival Announcements.  I couldn’t actually attend due to a scheduling conflict but here is the major 411 sent by  PR guru, John Kelly:


Screening Of Upcoming Alexander Payne Feature Nebraska To Open 

Festival Weekend, Featuring Special Guest Will Forte

Weekend Roster To Feature More Than 100 Films Including Highly-Anticipated Features, Exciting Independent Films, Fascinating Documentaries, Classic Films, Virginia Filmmakers, and More

Special Guests To Also Include Actress Tippi Hedren (With Special Screening of Hitchcock Classic The Birds); Actors Jess Weixler and Scott Haze; and Directors Fredrik Bond,

 David Rosenthal; and Writer/Actor/Director Jorma Taccone

Tickets Go On Sale Friday, October 11

for more information click here.

Wednesday I finally made it to the Fralin Museum at UVA to see the Ansel Adams exhibit.  I adore black and white still photography and Adams is THE BOMB when it comes to perfect printing of the film format.  Luckily, I went with Benson, the station manager at WNRN who used to be a major shutter bug.  He pointed out the remarkable gradations in the photographs from pure white to complete black and everything  in between.  It truly was a fantastic exhibit and I am glad I got my lazy self over there but it left yesterday so if you missed it you MISSED it.

Wednesday night was ART DRINKS at the Skybar.  Art drinks is sponsored by the Piedmont Council for the Arts and is a schmooze fest for artists of all ilks.  If you want to come next month, contact Sarah at PCA and ask about it.  Some of the coolest people in Central Virginia will be there plus you will get the skinny on what is going on in the art world.

On  Friday, I decided to take the day off and went to the movies at Regal Cineamas at Stonefield IN  (OMG) THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY.  I went to see THE BUTLER which I enjoyed- particularly Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan and Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan.  I cried at the end when Cecil  goes to the White House  to meet Barack Obama and says, “I know the way.” It was just such a beautiful summary of the civil rights thread culminating with Cecil’s relationships with the Presidents he served for 30 years as a butler.  I was also astonished to learn that it wasn’t until the middle 1980’s that African American staff were paid equal wages to white staff – of course the women who work there will just have to keep waiting, I guess.

Oops, I might be getting a little too political here.  Better get back to Arts and Culture…..

Friday night kicked off Hitchtoberfest at my apartment with a showing of THE BIRDS to family and friends.  Ironic since Tippi Hedron is coming in a few weeks to the VFF.  I remember being so scared the first time I watched that film and now it just seems ridiculous.  My teenager and her buddy were totally un-engaged due to the slow pace of the plat, Tippi’s absent acting skills and what are now laughable special effects.  But it is a classic and still must be part of anyone’s film education.  REAR WINDOW is still my favorite Hitch movie but I think my daughter and her pals are going to prefer PSYCHO.

Moving on…

Saturday I road tripped up to DC where I indulged in a little shopping at Pentagon City and enjoyed a mint tea and Lebanese sampler lunch at The Lebanese Taverna, one of my all time favorite places to eat in NOVA.  There is take-out at the Lee Highway location in North Arlington but here at the Pentagon City location it is sit down service only.  The staff is friendly and professional and the food is fabulous and relatively inexpensive for the DC area.  My favs are their kibbe, hummus (creamy with just the right amount of lemon and garlic) and the avocado and tomato salad.

In the evening I dined at another fantastic restaurant, this one new to me, Daikaya, across 6th Street from the Verizon Center in DC . We ate upstairs in the Izakaya 2F (the second floor incarnation.  There is a noodle soup restaurant on the first floor) section where the atmosphere is sophisticated contemporary urban Japanese.  Our waiter, Tom, was knowledgable and efficient and we trusted him to recommend some tasty treats from the menu. I started with bubbles (duh.), a Gruner sparkling suggested by Tom.  It was equal in taste and quality to champagne but much less expensive. Then my friend and I ordered a stream of sumptuous tapa sized treats: grilled avocado, eggplant, tuna poke, mini domburi – a salmon dish with rice we liked so well we ordered another) and braised saba.  I highly recommend this restaurant especially for anyone going to the Verizon Center or  Harman Hall for a show.

Which is exactly where I went – to Harman Hall to see that night’s incarnation of the Velocity DC Dance Festival, a smorgasbord of 11 dance troupes performing everything from flamingo to step to traditional ballet, modern dance, tap, Indian, African and Hip-hop. You never know what you are going to get with this type of show but all but one group were entertaining and engaging.  My favs for the night were: The DC Contemporary Dance Company’s Juntos/Together, Step Afrika!’s Trio and Anna Menendez’s C-sharp minor.  Apparently the festival is 30 companies in 3 days.  Definately worth going to next year.

Since it was a long weekend and I had a house guest and other out of towners visiting to enjoy the autumnal delights of Charlottesville, I spent yesterday hiking at Secluded Farms at Monticello, apple picking and apple cider donut eating at Carter Mountain Orchard and tasting a little wine at Jefferson Vineyards (one word: Meritage) only to close out the day by meeting a new friend at Orzo for a glass of wine and appetizers (the calamari was perfectly cooked, solid but not rubbery, melting in the mouth – YUM!).

So it is back to work for now and a relatively calm week planned until Friday when a Richmond Road trip takes me to Richmond Triangle Players to see Henley Street Theatre Company’s production of THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST.

Have a safe and successful week.



The Culture Maven




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