Singers, Dancers, Musicians, Actors, Artists and More

Singers, Dancers, Musicians, Actors, Artists and More

Fairfax City’s Spotlight on the Arts is April 25-28.

Photo by Bonnie Hobbs.

   Author Chris Bohjalian will discuss his latest novel, “The Princess of Las Vegas,” at the Sherwood Center.
 By Bonnie Hobbs 

Music, dance, theater and art will all be featured during Fairfax City’s 39th annual Spotlight on the Arts festival. It runs for four days, April 25-28, at various venues throughout the City and has a spectacular lineup of entertainment for all tastes and ages. 

While some of the events require tickets, many are free, and people may choose which ones they’d like to attend. And with more than 40 live performances slated during this extravaganza, the only hard part will be selecting from among them all.

“This year's festival promises to have something for everyone,” said Steve Stombres, Spotlight board member and development chair. “The opening reception will be Friday, April 26, at 7 p.m. at Old Town Hall, and Spotlight on the Arts is very proud to announce this year’s honoree, Sharon Petersen. Join us as we thank Sharon for her years of service to our community and for her lifelong support of the arts.”

Also honored then will be former Fairfax Mayor John Mason, who died in February. A fervent supporter of the arts, he was a founding member and past president of Spotlight. On tap is a full evening of entertainment and refreshments, including cocktails, appetizers and desserts. Tickets are $50/person.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to see the work of the talented local artists who participated in Spotlight’s first annual Art Contest. They’ll view the artwork of the top 20 finalists and will then vote for their favorite. The entry receiving the most votes will be awarded a $1,000 prize. Second place will receive $500, and third place, $250. In addition, people may bid on the artwork during a silent auction.

The scheduled entertainment during that reception will be:

* Petersen and the City of Fairfax Theatre Co. performing highlights from their upcoming Cabaret slated for Saturday, April 27;

* A classical-guitar performance by Connley Fleming;

* A piano recital featuring two Spotlight piano-scholarship recipients from the George Mason University Piano Studio; and

* Performances by Fairfax Academy student(s) and a Mason Jazz duo.

With Fairfax boasting artists in every genre, those attending Spotlight on the Arts will be able to enjoy everything from hula dancing at Old Town Square to New York Times bestselling author Chris Bohjalian at the Sherwood Center, music from

the Main Street Community Band, a student-playwright festival, the fife-and-drum music of The Fairfax Muster, and Next Reflex Dance Collective’s immersive, dance-and-music performance called “Soft Landing.”

Other highlights over the four days will include GMU’s concert production of “Once Upon a Mattress,” music by Marsha of “Marsha and the Positrons,” pianists from the Fairfax Conservatory of Music and performances by the Mason Dance Co., Route 236 Trombone Quartet, as well as children’s entertainers, barbershop singers, Irish dancers, cloggers and the Green & Gold Soul – a funk, R&B and soul group powered by the GMU’s renowned Doc Nix and The Green Machine. 

Spotlight’s entertainment actually begins on April 25, the day before the official opening reception. Here’s what’s on tap:

* Earp’s Ordinary, 10420 Main St., will hold an Open Jam Night on Thursday, April 25, with signups starting at 6:30 p.m. and the show running from 7-10 p.m. Come for dinner and drinks and stay to enjoy upcoming local artists.

* Fairfax Sax Quartet will perform “Music of Greece,” Thursday, April 25, at 7:30 p.m. This free event is at the Sherwood Center, 3740 Blenheim Blvd.

* Fairfax High’s upcoming Cappies show, “Anastasia the Musical,” will be presented Thursday-Friday, April 25-26, at 7 p.m.; and Saturday, April 27, at 2 and 7 p.m., in the school theater, 3501 Lion Run. Tickets are $10, students; $12, adults, online; and $15 at the door. Online tickets are at

* Mason Wind Symphony: On Thursday, April 25, at 8 p.m., in collaboration with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Mason Wind Symphony presents “In Our Hands.” This concert, in GMU’s concert hall at 4373 Mason Pond Drive, will bring awareness to humanity’s collective responsibility for earth conservation. Tickets are $12, general admission; $8, senior citizens; $5, students.

And that’s just the lineup for the first evening. A sampling of other offerings during the festival includes:

* Family-friendly performers on Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and Sunday, April 28, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., at Old Town Square.

* The Fairfax Academy’s MCT Fest (Music, Computer, Technology), on April 27.

* City of Fairfax Theatre Co.’s “Once Upon a Dream: 100 Years of Magic” cabaret, on April 27.

* Shoestring Theatre Co.’s production of “Dispatches from Appalachia – an Evening of One Acts,” on April 27-28 (see “Dispatches” sidebar).

* The 3rd Annual Fairfax Muster at Veterans Amphitheatre, on April 28.

For the full lineup of all the live Spotlight performances, including the dates, times and addresses, go to Scroll down to see all six pages of information about the performers and what they’ll do.

The City of Fairfax has become synonymous with a vibrant, dynamic art scene due in part to the success of Spotlight on the Arts. With award-winning public art installations, its own theater company and an acclaimed arts academy for high-school students, Fairfax illustrates how important a thriving arts community is to both residents and visitors alike. Spotlight is sponsored by the City, in cooperation with its business and arts community, and GMU. 

“Spotlight on the Arts supports local artists in the Central Fairfax region, enhances awareness of the visual arts and encourages emerging artists in the community,” said Stombres. “We at Spotlight are constantly inspired by the ways that art brings people together, creates a community and shines a light on issues that matter to all of us. We especially value our role in raising funds for scholarships that enable local arts students to attend George Mason University and realize their dreams in the arts.”