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Local Stars in Tony Winning Play and More at Center for the Arts

George Mason University's Center for the Arts presents Walnut Street Theatre, Ballet Folklórico de Antioquia, Colombia, and Nordwest Deutsche Philharmonic with cellist Amit Peled.

This weekend at sees artists and ensembles from from Colombia, Germany, Israel and our own backyard! 

Chantilly Native Alex Keiper Stars in "Proof"

Chantilly native Alex Keiper returns to Northern Virginia this weekend, starring in David Auburn's Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play,"Proof" on March 2, with the Walnut Street Theatre of Philadelphia.

Keiper, who graduated from and later studied at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, stars as Catherine, a young woman who leaves school to care for her ailing father, a brilliant mathematician who struggled with mental illness for much of his adult life. When her father dies, Catherine discovers an astonishing mathematical proof, which leads her to many questions about the veracity of the proof and the impact of her father's disease on her own life. In the meantime, she also finds romance with one of her father's graduate students, Hal. 

This delightful and moving play had its world premiere in 2000 and moved to Broadway later that year. "Proof" earned the Tony Award for Best Play in 2001 and Mary-Louise Parker earned a Tony Award for Best Actress for her role as Catherine. The play also earned a Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a Drama Desk Award for Best New Play. 

In 2005, "Proof" was adapted for the silver screen in a film starring Gwyneth Paltrow as Catherine, Anthony Hopkins as her father and Jake Gyllenhaal as Hal. Paltrow was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama. 

Ballet Folklórico de Antioquia, Colombia

This weekend also features a colorful performance showcasing the multicultural richness of Colombian culture when Ballet Folklórico de Antioquia, Colombia takes the stage on Saturday, March 3. 

Founded more than 20 years ago by Albeiro Roldán Penagos in the Colombian city of Medellín, this stunning company has brought its authentic music, ritualistic dance and scintillating costumes to audiences across the globe and has performed in Spain, Belgium, Holland, Chile, Peru and the United States, among many other countries. 

The Ballet Folklórico de Antioquia, Colombia has received numerous accolades throughout its 20+ year history, including the “Cabe Citar” Gold Medal at the Stylized Folk Olympics in Dijon, France; the “Ugo Re Capriata” special recognition award at the International Folk Dance Festival in Agrigento, Italy; a special recognition at the International Festival of the Performing Arts in Tamaulipas, Mexico; and a “Perfección” special recognition honor at the 25th Annual International Festival in Quebec. 

In 2008, Ballet Folklórico de Antioquia, Colombia was a special guest at the Olympic games in Beijing, being the first Colombian group to participate in such an event. The ensemble was also invited to participate in the opening and closing ceremonies at the South American Games in Medellín in 2010. 

Nordwest Deutsche Philharmonic Appears Under the Baton of Eugene Tzigane with Baltimore-Based Cellist Amit Peled

Celebrated throughout Germany and Europe, Nordwest Deutsche Philharmonic appears at the Center for the Arts on Sunday, March 4, under the baton of its young principal conductor, Eugene Tzigane. The program for the evening includes Grieg’s “Peer Gynt” Suite No. 1 and Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 in C minor.

Founded more than six decades ago, the Herford, Germany-based ensemble has earned a stellar reputation for its superior technical skill, incredible professionalism and inspiring enthusiasm. It has attracted such world-class opera luminaries as Anna Netrebko, Renée Fleming, Plácido Domingo, Jonas Kaufmann and Elena Garanca, who have all been accompanied by the orchestra on their tours of Germany. 

In 2010, at age 29, Tzigane was appointed the principal conductor of Nordwest Deutsche Philharmonic, making him one of the youngest chief conductors in Germany. The son of a Japanese mother and an American father, Tzigane graduated from the Juilliard School and the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, earning an impressive collection of honors along the way. 

Also joining the orchestra is virtuoso Israeli cellist Amit Peled, performing Cello Concerto No. 2 in E minor by Victor Herbert. 

A professor at the Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Peled is a gifted performer who has appeared at a number of prestigious venues across the globe, including Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York, Salle Gaveau in Paris, Wigmore Hall in London, Konzerthaus in Berlin and Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv. 

Peled has also released two critically acclaimed albums, “The Jewish Soul” and “Cellobration” on the Centaur Records label. 

If you can't make it out to George Mason University's Center for the Arts this weekend, there are a number of thrilling performances planned for the next several weeks: 

  • Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, an exquisite company that appeared in “The Adjustment Bureau” starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, makes its Washington, D.C. debut on March 10;
  • The charming and angelic voices of the Vienna Boys Choir appear on March 11;
  • Taiko drum ensemble TAO brings “The Art of the Drum” on March 18;
  • The Virginia Opera brings one of the most popular operas of all time with Gilbert & Sullivan’s hilarious “The Mikado” on March 23 and 25;
  • Pianist Christopher O’Riley and cellist Matt Haimovitz bring a genre-bending program titled “Shuffle.Play.Listen,” mixing classical music by Stravinsky, Piazzolla and Janacek with their own interpretations of indie rock by The Arcade Fire, Radiohead and The Cocteau Twins, on March 24.

Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts also presents several exciting performances this weekend and in the next several weeks:

  • Mason Players presents Kenneth Lonergan’s coming-of-age tale, “This is Our Youth” on March 1-4;
  • The School of Music’s Mason Wind Symphony and Symphony Orchestra perform a concert featuring Alan Hovhaness’ Symphony No. 4 for Wind Orchestra, David R. Gillingham’s Concertino for Four Percussionists and Wind Ensemble and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, on March 7.

For more information about these performances or to purchase tickets, please call 888-945-2468, visit http://cfa.gmu.edu/ or stop by the , open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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