An announcement was made in December that the Chevy Chase Land Company's position is that the Whole Foods Market (WFM) store on Willard Avenue is a comparable grocery store to the Giant in The Collection. The Giant closed on January 9 and, of course, the WFM is already served by the Friendship Heights Village Shuttle Bus. Thus, any expectation that the bus would be rerouted to a Bethesda Giant or elsewhere has been dashed. The position of some residents is that WFM doesn't carry the name-brand merchandise that they're accustomed to, and that they'd prefer not to pay more for organically-grown food.
Plans are moving forward to replace the Giant. The new store is expected to open in late 2020 and to be larger and more accessible to METRO. The identity of the owner of the future grocery store and details about it had not been made public at the end of December. However, the lease of a space adjacent to the existing Giant and occupied by The Kindred Café - pictured below as seen on Wisconsin Circle - has been bought out, and the café was closed permanently at the end of December. The Kindred Café space and adjacent vacant spaces could be combined to provide an additional entrance - from Wisconsin Circle - to the incoming grocery store. Such an entrance would be visible from the METRO station and the surrounding streets. The absence of an entrance to the store from METRO has been a shortcoming of the Giant since it opened about a decade ago.
The Collection will open Junction Bistro, Bar & Bakery and The Hunter's Hound in the former Ralph Lauren building in 2020. Urban Plateswill open in 2020 next to Farr Park - opposite Little Beet Table.
Construction continues onPotbellysandwich shop on Willard Avenue in Friendship Heights. No announcement has been made about a planned opening date. Also, there is no information about the business which will occupy the small adjacent space. To read more about Potbelly Sandwich Shops, visit www.potbelly.com/
Georgetown Day School (GDS) which is just off Wisconsin Avenue in Tenleytown, continues construction of buildings to accommodate the Lower/Middle School on the former Safeway site in time for the September 2020 school year. The GDS Lower/Middle School is currently four miles away at 4530 MacArthur Boulevard, NW, while the High School campus has been in Tenleytown for years. The school continues to evaluate possible next steps on the former Marten’s Volvo dealership site, which GDS also owns, on Wisconsin Avenue. Image below: A rendering of the new school and athletic field.
Managers of The Lisner-Louise-Dickson-Hurt Home on Western Avenue in Friendship Heights are exploring the possibility getting a zoning change which would allow the addition of an assisted living facility to the Home. Lisner, as the home is known, provides health and life care services to low and modest income seniors of the District of Columbia. To read more about the Lisner Home, visit www.lldhhome.org/
Chase Bank has opened a branch on Wisconsin Avenue in Tenleytown. The site is across the avenue from the Metro Stop and the Tenleytown Library.
American University Museum Winter Shows opened at the Katzen Art Center in January and continue on view thru mid-March.
Joy of Motion Dance Center announced the appointment of Mary Chase as its fifth Executive Director on January 15. She will succeed Julie Meyer, who has been serving as Interim Executive Director since May 2019. Mary Chase is a dance educator, administrator, and artist. Her choreography and performances have been produced in nineteen states and in Europe, Asia, and South America. As a choreographer, in the last twenty years, she has had over fifty works produced on stages large and small. Joy of Motion studios are in Bethesda, Friendship Heights and H Street N.E. in D.C.
Image below: Mary Chase - Photo courtesy of Maggie Walker
Imagination Stage in Bethesda will present Zomo the Rabbit: A Hip-Hop Creation Myth by Psalmayene 24 with music by Nick “tha1da” Hernandez and direction by Raymond O. Caldwell - in repertory with Thumbelina, February 8-March 22.The show is "a high-energy hip-hop adaptation of a Nigerian folktale, originally commissioned by Imagination Stage in 2009, and it puts a local spin and lots of silly humor on the global tradition of trickster tales." The show is considered best for Ages 4+
Imagination Stage will present Thumbelina, written and directed by Natsu Onoda Power and adapted from theHans Christian Andersen Fairy Tale, February 15-April 5. Tiny Thumbelina sets off to find her place in a world where she does not seem to “fit,” meeting a bashful toad, a bullying band of maybugs, a helpful field mouse, and many more friends along the way. The production in inspired by Kamishibai – a form of Japanese street theatre that uses illustrated boards to create the story. This production features live video projections, puppetry, dioramas, and other theatre magic. The show is considered best for ages 4 plus.
Cinema Art Bethesda will screen the 2018 Norwegian film What Will People Say on February 9 at Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema in Bethesda, MD. It's the story of a sixteen year-old girl who is the perfect Pakistani daughter when she is at home, but she lives the life of a normal Norwegian teenager when she is out with friends. When her father catches her with her boyfriend, her parents kidnap her and place her with relatives in Pakistan, where she must adapt to her parents' culture. The film will be screened in Norwegian with English subtitles.
The Avalon Theatre on Connecticut Ave. NW continues to offer Senior Cinema Thursdayson the third Thursday of each month. Seniors can see the Avalon’s current feature film on the big screen at 10:30 a.m. as they meet friends and enjoy a morning of entertainment! All movies are shown in the more-easily accessible downstairs theater, Avalon 1. The series is presented by Chevy Chase House, and, at last report, tickets are still $5 each.
Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church will present violinist Leah Meredith, accompanied by her husband, Bulgarian pianist Petar Andonovon February 16. She is first violinist in the Oslo Philharmonic and performs regularly with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra. The program will include J.S. Bach's D Minor Partita & Chaconne; Brahms's Sonata in G Major and Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata.
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO), conducted by Marin Alsop, will perform Prokofiev's Romeo & Juliet in The Music Center on February 16. The program will feature Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro Overture, and Russian pianist Yulianna Avdeeva will perform Chopin’s Second Piano Concerto.
The National Philharmonic, conducted by Piotr Gajewski, will present Black Classical Music Pioneersin The Music Center on February 22. Violinist Melissa White will perform Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major by Florence Price (1887-1953).
The program will also include Wynton Marsalis’s Wild Strumming of Fiddle (from All Rise); George Walker’s Lyric for Strings and William Grant Still’s Symphony No. 1 ("Afro-American").
Strathmore will present Bowie Symphonic: Blackstar in The Music Center on February 15. The concert was conceived, adapted, and arranged for orchestra by Evan Ziporyn, conductor, featuring cellist Maya Beiser (pictured below), with Ambient Orchestra and musicians from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee College of Music. Rock icon David Bowie crafted what would be his final album: the stark yet adventurous Blackstar during his final illness. Composer, performer, and MIT professor Ziporyn "pays tribute to the late Bowie by transforming Blackstar into a cello concerto.”
The Victorian Lyric Opera Company will present The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert & Sullivan at F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre in Rockville, MD on February 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 & March 1. The production, directed by Amy Sullivan, with music directed by Joseph Sorge, will be a fully staged performance with live orchestra. The score features many of Gilbert and Sullivan’s wittiest and most engaging tunes.
Theater J is presenting SHELTERED, written byAlix Sobler and directed by Adam Immerwahr, thru February 2. The setting is 1939, when Hitler’s assault on Europe had begun and much of the world had turned its back on the Jews of Europe. An ordinary American couple “makes a bold decision that could save the lives of many Jewish children and change the course of history. But first, they must convince their estranged friends to help." The production features McLean Fletcher, Kimberly Gilbert, David Schlumpf, Alexander Strain and Erin Weaver.
Theater J will present Anna Ziegler’s THE WANDERERS, directed by Amber Paige McGinnis, February 19-March 15. The drama is about two couples whose lives couldn’t be more different; but the hidden connections between the seemingly disparate people draw the audience into an intriguing puzzle and “a deeply sympathetic look at modern love.”
Rorschach Theatre will present The Toxic Avenger: The Musical, directed by Tracy Lynn Olivera, at Silver Spring Black Box, January 31-March 1. The musical "follows Melvin Ferd the Third, who is dumped into a vat of radioactive toxic waste, only to reemerge as The Toxic Avenger, a superhero hell-bent on cleaning up America. A seven-foot mutant freak with superhuman strength and a heart as big as Newark, he’s out to end global warming, woo the blind librarian in town, and save the world."
Keegan Theatre will presentBoy, written by Anna Ziegler and directed by Susan Marie Rhea, February 7-March 7. Set in the 1960s, the story unfolds as "a well-intentioned doctor convinces the parents of a male infant to raise their son as a girl after a terrible accident. Two decades later, the repercussions of that choice continue to unfold… Inspired by a true story, BOY explores the complicated journey of trying to find love in a new body and the inextricable bonds that are built along the way."
The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) installed a High-intensity Activated Crosswalk (HAWK)at the corner of Willard Avenue and The Hills Plaza in November …. near Whole Foods Market. The SHA also installed a second crosswalk at the corner. The HAWK lights and signal buttons had not been activated by the end December.