The Rapp for Nov. 6

Debussy for piano and ‘strings’ . . .

A scene from a Salzburg Marionettes performance.
A scene from a Salzburg Marionettes performance.

It’s not every day that a virtuoso pianist chooses a marionette as his creative partner, but given the vivid imagination and collaborative instincts of 33-year-old pianist Orion Weiss, the pairing makes perfect sense — artistically and historically. In a program Sunday afternoon at Castleton’s Theatre House, Weiss performs with the Salzburg Marionettes, one of the world’s oldest and most beloved marionette theaters, in a program with Claude Debussy’s “La boîte à joujoux” (“The Toy Box”) as its centerpiece. “The Toy Box” was penned in 1913, the same year the Salzburg Marionettes were founded. A performance for all ages. Tickets are $40 ($20 for ages 17 and younger) for the concert at 4 p.m. Sunday (Nov. 9). Call 866-974-0767 or visit

. . . and another full Rappahannock weekend

Pianist Mikhail Yanovitsky
Pianist Mikhail Yanovitsky

At the Theatre at Washington, the comedy “Chef” plays at 8 tomorrow night (Friday, Nov. 7) and pianist Mikhail Yanovitsky and soprano Galina Sakhnovskaya perform at 3 p.m. Sunday (Nov. 9). (More details in the event calendar on page 3.)

In Sperryville, the grand reopening postponed by windy weather last weekend at Old Hollow Store is 10 to 3 this Saturday (Nov. 8), with a disk jockey, moon bounce, corn hole tournament and hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, so stop in and meet new shopkeepers Kathy Settle and Christie Ralls.

Also in Sperryville at 7 p.m. Sunday (Nov. 9), Paul Reisler and Lea Morris are in concert at the Coterie Shop, in a benefit performance for the Kid Pan Alley songwriting residency scheduled next spring in the Rappahannock County schools — where the Kid Pan Alley program started, 15 years ago, with a three-week kids’ songwriting residency at Rappahannock Elementary.

Paul Reisler, left, and Lea Morris perform Sunday at Coterie in Sperryville.
Paul Reisler, left, and Lea Morris perform Sunday at Coterie in Sperryville.

Kid Pan Alley went on to inspire more than 35,000 children to become their own culture creators, and along the way won numerous awards, including a Grammy nomination for records that have featured the likes of Delbert McClinton, Kix Brooks, Amy Grant, Sissy Spacek and others. Sunday’s concert features Reisler (the founder of Kid Pan Alley, Trapezoid and Paul Reisler & A Thousand Questions) and Morris, a singer-songwriter whose “soul-folk” blends gospel, jazz, country and R&B with authentic, thought-provoking song craft.

Tickets ($25 in advance, $30 at the door) include light fare with local foods, treats and refreshments — and seating’s limited. So call Coterie at 540-987-8249 or email soon.

Veterans Day at RCHS

Next Tuesday (Nov. 11) starting at 10:30, join the students and faculty of Rappahannock County Public Schools as they honor the service and sacrifice of our veterans and their families at the annual Veterans Day Luncheon and Concert in the high school gym. The RCHS Concert Band will perform and USMC (Retired) Col. John Lesinski, who also happens to chair the school board, will speak. More information: Call Jason Guira at 540-227-0745.

Smithsonian at Little Washington

To inaugurate the 23rd season of the “Smithsonian at Little Washington” concert series at the Theatre at Washington, the Smithsonian Chamber Players perform two towering pieces of music from the 19th century at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16.

The program comprises Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Ghost” Trio, Op. 70, No. 1 in D Major, and Robert Schumann’s Piano Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 47. Smithsonian Chamber Music Society artistic director Kenneth Slowik is the pianist, with National Symphony Orchestra members Heather LeDoux Green, violin, Abigail Evans, viola, and James Lee, cello.

Reservations (tickets are $25; $10 ages 17 and younger) at 540-675-1253 or

Lester Brown speaks Nov. 14

Lester Brown
Lester Brown

At 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, the Rappahannock Association for the Arts and Community (RAAC) welcomes Lester Brown as the featured speaker in its Second Friday at the Library series. Brown is an internationally acclaimed environmentalist, hailed by The Washington Post as “one of the world’s most influential thinkers.”

He thinks most often about global issues — population, energy, climate. Lately he has focused much of his attention on the politics of food and hunger. “There will be 219,000 people at the dinner table tonight who were not there last night,” Brown notes, and his library talk will examine how struggles over land and water and crops will shape the 21st century. How will farmers keep pace?

Born and raised on a farm, Brown started his career as a tomato farmer in New Jersey. In the years since, he has written dozens of books and won a MacArthur Fellowship “genius” award, among various honors. Brown is the founder of the Worldwatch Institute, which focuses on how a “sustainable” economy could take shape.

As a special bonus, Brown will be introduced by Bill Dietel, his friend for many years. The talk is free. All are welcome. Call 301-246-0022 for more information.

Mandalele’s CD release

From left: Mandalele’s Lorraine Duisit, Smiggy Smith and Wendi Sirat on stage at RAAC Theatre Nov. 15.
From left: Mandalele’s Lorraine Duisit, Smiggy Smith and Wendi Sirat on stage at RAAC Theatre Nov. 15.

RAAC Community Theater in Washington is where folk trio Mandalele celebrates the release of their  new CD, “Unfamiliar Knowing” — with a concert starting at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15. Come early for preshow and between-set performances by Jonathan and Forrest Marquisee and 1000 Faces Mask Theater. Special guests also include Dontez Harris and Rannie Winn. Tickets are $10 (as are the CDs, available for the first time that night); ages 17 and younger pay $2 to get in.

Reservations are highly recommended. Email by 10 a.m. Nov. 14 with seat requests; any remaining tickets will be sold (cash only) at the door, which opens at 6:30.

Gadino’s Chardonnays excel

Chardonnay earning 90 points, a gold medal and an “Exceptional” rating among many other wines from Napa and other prestigious Chardonnay terroirs went to Gadino Cellars at the World Wine Competition recently. The Washington winery’s 2012 Barrel Select Chardonnay, vinted in a Burgundian style, was (at $21) also runner-up to “Best Buy” in the gold medal category. While there were wines from New York State, Gadino’s was the only Virginia wine to receive a 90-point or higher rating.

The Beverage Tasting Institute at, which runs the World Wine Competition, employs rigorous procedures to evaluate wine, with a dedicated tasting lab and  panelists who are rigorously screened, audited and subsequently trained in the institute’s proprietary blind-tasting methodology.

Wines can be sampled, using your own personal methodology, at Gadino Cellars (92 School House Rd., Washington), where the tasting room is open 11:30 to 5 Friday-Monday (until 6 Saturdays). For more information, visit or call 540-987-9292.

Boc at Narmada

Ray Boc
Ray Boc

Rappahannock photographer Ray Boc hangs a new show at Narmada Winery in Amissville this weekend, and will be present to talk about his work at a reception from 2 to 5 Sunday (Nov. 9). Boc specializes in digital photography, primarily of Rappahannock County landscapes (and you’ll often find the longtime Sperryville resident’s photos in this newspaper). His latest interest is in exploring local landscapes with infrared photography, offering a unique perspective on familiar scenes.

The after-turkey tournament

Last year’s winning alumni women.
Last year’s winning alumni women.

Rappahannock County schools’ Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) is again holding its annual Alumni Basketball Tournament on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving (Nov. 28-29) at Rappahannock County High School gym. Games start at 6:30 both days, and there’s still time to register a team — email or pick up a registration form at RCES.

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