Local Commentary

Guest Commentary: Creative Cauldron’s New Season Kicks Off in October

Creative Cauldron is celebrating its 10th year in operation and its second year programming ArtSpace Falls Church. What a journey it has been! A Virginia Commission for the Arts review panel recently praised us as an “ambitious and impressive organization that presents a wide variety of music, theatre and visual arts programs for people of all ages.” The cauldron keeps on bubbling and we’ve only just begun.

Our 2011-2012 season offers our Falls Church community an affordable opportunity to experience amazing performances by talented professional theater artists, musicians and dancers in an up close and personal setting that feels like you’re in your own living room! There is something for every age and taste. If you are one of the early birds to purchase a season flex pass (limited to 100 patrons) you’ll enjoy a recession-busting treat…10 tickets that you can use anytime throughout the year for only $100!

During the month of September, we are continuing our weekend cabaret and musical offerings. This Saturday night you can take in a concert by three veteran singer/songwriters: Ben Mason, Jeff Severson and Jeff Smith. On Saturday, September 17 we’ll have Gia Mora and Charlie Barnett in their latest jazz cabaret “Laugh it Up Funny Girl.” And we close the month on September 23 and 24 with “Tumble Down Dreams: A Life in the Theater”, featuring veteran actor Terrence Currier and pianist Eli Staple.” Terry has performed in over 150 roles in his career including some 80 productions at Arena Stage over a span of 25 years. We are delighted to have him premiere his new cabaret right here in Falls Church.

Our new season officially kicks off in October with “Nevermore,” an original dramatic musical written by Matt Conner with lyrics adapted from the writings of Edgar Allan Poe, and a book by Grace Barnes. Matt has been a teaching artist and key member of Creative Cauldron’s artistic circle for the past 10 years. “Nevermore” first premiered to critical acclaim and sold out houses at Signature Theatre in 2006. Washington Post theater critic Peter Marks praised the work for its “romantic music ablaze with feeling.” The show will run for 16 performances October 7 through 30. This is one you really don’t want to miss.

The cauldron keeps on bubbling and we’ve only just begun.

We follow with a companion piece – “Eddie Allan Poe,” a whimsical peek into Poe’s macabre and mysterious world from the viewpoint of a child. Our Learning Theater productions give young performers an opportunity to learn the craft of acting while performing with seasoned professionals. “Eddie Allan Poe” will also feature more of Matt’s original music. This delightful production that the whole family will enjoy runs November 4 – 20.

In December, we will remount our signature Christmas classic. Not the infamous Dickens’ Carol, but rather a delightful Irish folktale “The Christmas Cabin of Carnaween.” Set in the days of the great famine and featuring the enchanting live Irish music duo Tir na Nog, The Washington Post called it “poignant and bracing…. a reminder of the season’s rich ideals” when it first premiered in 2009.

In January and February, ArtSpace will be filled with ethnic music and dance performances as we present our Passport to the World Festival January 14 through March 3. Each weekend celebrates the folklore, music and culture of a different region of the world. Audiences will have the chance to participate in free workshops and demonstrations, and enjoy concerts and storytelling events. Combine your visit with a stop at one of our remarkable ethnic restaurants and it’s a chance to “travel the world without ever leaving Falls Church!”

Springtime features an adaptation of the children’s classic “Madeline and the Gypsies” written by Ludwig Bemelmans. Our Learning Theater will bring it to magical life with music and some very special puppet creations from our gifted professional scenic designer Margie Jervis. It’s a jewel of a story and a nice one to share from generation to generation. “Madeline” runs March 9 through 25.

We partner with the Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation in May on the creation of an original blues music review. Women of the Blues will highlight songs from great blues divas from Bessie Smith to Bonnie Raitt. Get your groove on and come on down to ArtSpace because the joint will truly be jumping from May 3 through 20.

In addition to main season productions, there will be many more offerings throughout the year: cabarets, bluegrass, folk and rock concerts, film screenings and seminars. And, our resident partner, Falls Church Arts, has a full season of art exhibits planned for the gallery. If you’ve never visited before, ArtSpace Falls Church is conveniently located at 410 South Maple Avenue in the Pearson Square Building and parking is free! We are ready to welcome you. Come join the celebration!




Laura Hull is the producing director of Falls Church’s Creative Cauldron