The Rapp for March 28

Ragtime, the encore: April 6

As an encore to his well-received performance here last fall, Russell Wilson brings another concert of piano music of the ragtime era to the Theatre at Washington at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 6.

Ragtime and jazz pianist Russell Wilson returns to the Theatre April 6. Courtesy photo.
Ragtime and jazz pianist Russell Wilson returns to the Theatre April 6. Courtesy photo.

The music spans the 1890s to the 1920s and then merges into stride music of the 1920s and ’30s. The program also include Scott Joplin’s ever-popular piano rags along with stride compositions by James P. Johnson and others.

“Ragtime can be thought of as Dixieland jazz for solo piano,” says Wilson. Sometimes, he explains, ragtime can sound as if the tuba and banjo are being played by the left hand while the melody in the right hand is being played on a trumpet or clarinet.

For Wilson, a member of the President’s Own U.S. Marine Band, ragtime bridges the gap between the classical music he learned as a child and the jazz interests he discovered in high school. In 2010, Wilson won first place in the Carolina Ragtime Competition and second place in the World Championship Old Time Piano Playing contest in Peoria. From the University of Maryland, he received a bachelor’s degree in classical piano performance and a masters in jazz. While a junior in college, he joined the President’s Own U.S. Marine Band, where he plays music in many styles – on the piano, harpsichord and accordion – for concerts at the White House and throughout the metropolitan area.

Tickets are $25 ($10 for students 17 and younger). For reservations call 540-675-1253 or email

Puppets, pirates and recycling: April 13

Kids of greater Rappahannock County have a special opportunity April 13 to see a puppet show – “The Recycling Pirates” – by Goodlife Theater, the company comprised of Rappahannock’s own Jeannie Wall and Joe Pipik, who are kept so busy performing in and around that other Washington that they hardly ever get a chance to put on shows here at home.

Puppeteers (from left) Jeannie Wall, Joe Pipik and Penny Russell present “The Recycling Pirates” April 13 at RAAC Community Theatre.
Puppeteers (from left) Jeannie Wall, Joe Pipik and Penny Russell present “The Recycling Pirates” April 13 at RAAC Community Theatre.

The 11 a.m. show is sponsored by Rappahannock Association for the Arts and the Community at the RAAC Community Theatre (on Gay Street in our Washington) and is made possible in honor of Earth Day by grants from the Rappahannock League for Environmental Protection (RLEP), the Rappahannock County Conservation Alliance (RCCA) and RappFLOW (Rappahannock Friends and Lovers of Our Watershed). There is one more environmentally conscious acronym you’ll need to know: “ARRRRS,” a pirate-inspired term that the show uses to represent Recycling, Reusing, Repairing and Reducing our use.

To emphasize the point, there’s also a workshop after lunch in which children 5 and older will learn to make their own puppet from recycled materials.

Puppeteers, musicians and educators Wall and Pipik have won numerous grants and awards for their work. They’ve performed everywhere from street corners to the Kennedy Center, in the National Museum for Women in the Arts and in numerous schools, community centers and private venues. (Visit to learn more about them.) “The Recycling Pirates,” performed with colleague Penny Russell, is one of Goodlife Theater’s most popular shows.

The 11 a.m. performance is $2 for adults and children. The 12:30 workshop, for ages 5 and older, is $2 per child (parents get in free). Reserve your places by emailing (No email? Call 540-923-4793.)

Hornsby, Lovett, Reisler at State Theatre

Tidewater, Va.-born Bruce Hornsby, the keyboard-playing singer-composer best known his 1986 chart-topping “The Way It Is” hit, opens the inaugural season at Culpeper’s reborn State Theatre May 4. Also on the schedule in May are Lyle Lovett and his Acoustic Group (May 11); BeauSoleil with Michael Doucet (May 10); Solas, one of the best Irish folk bands around (May 18); and Rappahannock’s own Paul Reisler and A Thousand Questions, who’ll be on stage June 7.

The Art Deco theatre, renovated, restored and expanded over the last 18 months into a state-of-the-art regional performance center with three stages (including a big-screen film facility), starts selling tickets for Bruce Hornsby ($39.50-$49.50) on April 5. Tickets for the other shows will also go on sale at the box office on Main Street and on the revamped website the theater says will be up and running Monday (April 1).

For the complete season’s schedule at the 560-seat theatre, call 540-727-7979 or visit or the foundation’s Facebook page at

RAAC Movie: ‘Skyfall,’ April 5

Daniel Craig as 007 in “Skyfall,” RAAC’s movie on April 5.
Daniel Craig as 007 in “Skyfall,” RAAC’s movie on April 5.

The Rappahannock Association for the Arts and Community (RAAC) screens “Skyfall” at 8 p.m. Friday, April 5 at The Theatre in Washington. The latest Bond film stars Daniel Craig, Judi Dench and Javier Bardem. Admission is $6 ($4 students) for the PG-13 film. There will be popcorn, candy and water at the concession to help you through all the suspense and chase scenes. For more information, visit

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