The Rapp for March 20

Andrist returns to the Theatre

Acclaimed Canadian pianist Audrey Andrist, whose playing has been described by the Washington Post as “riveting and radiant,” performs works by Haydn, Beethoven and Chopin at 3 this Sunday (March 23) at the Theatre in Washington — which has had one show this winter cancelled by weather; last Sunday’s show was ending just as the latest snowstorm was starting. Reserve for this Sunday’s recital — when forecasts are for temps in the 40s or 50s, by the way — at 540-675-1253 or

Signs of spring

Seventh-graders assemble raised-bed frames at RCES last week.
Seventh-graders assemble raised-bed frames at RCES last week. Katie Baldwin

Before last weekend’s snow, seventh-grade students in new Farm-to-Table teacher Sarah Moore’s exploratory classes assembled raised bed frames at the Young Garden at Rappahannock County Elementary School as well as at the high school. All the gardens are under renovation at Moore’s hands (and the hands of her husband, Brandon, who milled the white oak frames himself and delivered them last week). Plants are planted, seedlings are growing and the snow is . . . going. (Really, those rumors about a chance of snow next week can’t possibly be true.)

Outstanding in one of our fields

Sperryville’s Heritage Hollow Farms was chosen by California-based Outstanding in the Field to be on the table-to-farm organization’s ever-popular annual tour of organic and artisanal farms around the country this year — at which a top regional chef produces a dinner that’s served right out there on the farm. The tour spans 80 farms from California and the Pacific Northwest to the Midwest, East Coast and South, running from May to December.

Tickets go on sale at 2 p.m. today (Thursday, March 20) for the Sept. 22 dinner in Sperryville — to be presided over by an OITF veteran, chef Tarver King of Lovettsville’s Patowmack Farm — on the McNear farm in Old Hollow. (The McNear farm and the Miller family’s Mount Vernon Farm now comprise Mike and Molly Peterson’s Heritage Hollow grass-fed livestock operation.) Though the tickets are steep — $230 for the Heritage Hollow event — they usually go quickly.

Outstanding in the Field, whose moveable feasts for foodies include a pre-dinner tour of the farm before a white-tablecloth dinner for 120 to 150 in the middle of a pasture on that same farm, has grown over the past 15 years into a popular, ever-moving destination. Visit for more, or to reserve.

RAAC Theatre’s talent goes for laughs

Rappahannock theatregoers are in for a treat later this month when RAAC Community Theatre brings together some of its most talented comic actors and lets them do what they do best — make people laugh. The ensemble production features two one-act plays that share underlying themes of absurdity and identity.

RAAC’s “Company of One” features (back) Brendan Martyn, Carolyn Thornton and (front) Howard Coon, Gary Grossman and Mike Mahoney.
RAAC’s “Company of One” features (back) Brendan Martyn, Carolyn Thornton and (front) Howard Coon, Gary Grossman and Mike Mahoney. E. Raymond Boc

“The Nose,” adapted from the story by the Russian author Nikolai Gogol, tells of a Russian official in the early 1800s whose nose leaves him and develops a life of its own. “Company of One” by award-winning Virginia playwright Jane C. Dewberry offers a theory on how the Allies mislead the Germans before the Normandy Invasion.

Deverell Pedersen, most recently seen as the Cook in the theatre’s holiday production of “Alice in Wonderland,” directs “Company of One.”

“The entire production is a wonderful demonstration of how a group of talented theatre artists can work together,” said Pedersen. “I’m including the technical crew here, too, because they are a vital part of the team.”

The theatre’s artistic director, Peter Hornbostel, agrees. “Many of these folks have worked together for years. They trust each other and know what to expect. I’m delighted to see our theatre growing, and our audience likes to see what the company comes up with next.”

The actors — most of them familiar faces — include Howard Coon, Mike Mahoney, Gary Grossman, Brendan Martyn, Carolyn Thornton, Andy Platt, Stephanie Mastri, Sam Clifton, Patty Hardee, Steve Carroll, Annie Williams, Megan Smith and Joyce Abell. They are ably assisted on lighting by Ron Makela, sound design by Geoff Gowen, costumes by Susan Hornbostel and Petrina Huston, and program design by Bette Mahoney.

Come see for yourself what RAAC Community Theatre has in store this time. Performances of both plays are at 8 p.m. Friday, March 28, and Saturday, March 29, at the RAAC Theatre (310 Gay St., Washington). Tickets are $15. Reservations are recommended. Make them at or call 800-695 6075.

Presidents Award honors Lion Blubaugh

The men and women of the Rappahannock Lions Club know Jim Blubaugh to be quick. First to help others, fast to wade successfully into uncharted waters, quick with a quip as emcee of the club’s annual fundraiser. Now Blubaugh’s pacesetting has achieved international recognition.

Blubaugh receives Lion award (but no boat).
Blubaugh receives Lion award (but no boat). Larry “Bud” Meyer

A delegation of Rappahannock Lions cheered March 1 in Fredericksburg when Lions District 24 Gov. Michael Ryan presented Blubaugh with the International President’s Award — the service club’s fourth-highest award worldwide.

Ryan nominated Blubaugh, a Lion since 2006 and the club’s president in 2008-9, for his body of work, including overall volunteer efforts, designing the club’s web page, laying the groundwork for the new 501(c)(3) Lions Club Foundation and developing the successful “Shop Like a Lion” funding stream benefiting local fire/rescue squads to the tune of $3,000. Blubaugh also spearheads the club’s annual participation in Rappahannock Day at Camp Fantastic, a summer camp for young cancer patients.

Signing the award was International Lions President Barry Palmer of New South Wales, Australia.

“This was not an award for me,” said Blubaugh. “This was an award for the Lions Club of Rappahannock, which has been performing community service in our county for more than 55 years, and for the many members and spouses who have done all the work. The Lions have a slogan — The Power of Organized Good. I believe that, and it has driven me.”

Typical of Blubaugh, he added: “You should not mention that the award included a car and boat. Which is a joke.”

Current Lions President Spotswood Williams led the delegation attending the state convention in Fredericksburg. He noted the award is the highest ever granted to the district.

“Jim Blubaugh exemplifies what it means to be a member of the Rappahannock Lions Club and we’re honored that one of ours has been singled out for this well-deserved award.”

Joining Blubaugh and Williams at the ceremony were Lions Rick Kohler, Jim Manwaring, Dave Shiff, Yogi Bear, Frank Raiter and Larry Grove.

— Larry “Bud” Meyer

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