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Seen and Heard: Happenings Around Town Live

Welcome to the Seen and Heard blog! Here you will find information for arts and entertainment news and events. Want to know what is happening at local clubs, museums, theaters and cultural centers? Check back here daily and follow WTOP Entertainment on Twitter: @WTOPEnt

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  • 'Carousel' comes to life at Hartke Theatre

    The sweeping score of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s "Carousel" will come to life this fall as the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music presents its fall musical on stage at The Catholic University of America’s newly renovated Hartke Theatre.

    "Carousel" will be presented Friday through Sunday.

    With music by Richard Rodgers and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, "Carousel" is known for its soaring melodies, beautiful underscoring, and lush orchestrations, notes N. Thomas Pedersen, head of the Musical Theatre Division who is providing musical direction for the show.

    "Carousel" will be the first musical presented in CUA’s Hartke Theatre since its recent updates, which included new seating and carpeting. 

    Since its opening in 1970, the Hartke Theatre has enjoyed a long history of outstanding performances by luminaries such as Helen Hayes, Cyril Richard, and Pat Carroll.

    Click here for more.




  • Weekend Best Bets:  Oyster, Brew, Harvest, Arts & Craft Fests with great DC music

    Mary de Pompa WTOP News

    All Weekend:

    • Northern Virginia Fall Brewfest at Bull Run Park offers something for everyone with a kids play area, music, food and fun. For info 
    • Tysons Fall Harvest Wine and Beer Festival is great family fun with a craft corner, candy walk, live music and amusements. For info 
    • 17th Annual Bethesda Row Arts Festival transforms downtown Bethesda into an outdoor gallery of spectacular artists and crafters with kids activities, live music and more. For info 
    • Sugar Loaf Crafts Festival at Montgomery County Fairgrounds hosts over 200 top artisans of a variety of mediums with interactive demos, kids entertainment, music and more. For info  
    • The 48th Annual St. Mary’s County Oyster Festival is a gem of regional traditions with seafood, exhibits, arts, shucking, cook-offs and live entertainment. For info  
    • 19th Annual Craftsmen’s Fall Classic Art and Craft Festival at the Dulles Expo Center has hundred’s of talented artists and craftsmen from across the country. For infoMagnificent Intentions Music Festival at the IOTA Cafe in Arlington is a 3-day event celebrating DC-area music. For info

    Sat, Oct. 18: 

    • Merrifield Fall Festival is free family fun outdoors with kids activities, fire truck tours, lego tent, animals, music and more. For info  
    • American Indian Festival at Patuxent River Park celebrates Native American culture with live entertainment, hands on activities, food samplings and great family fun. For info
    • Alexandria Family Fall Festival at Boothe Park is rain or shine with rides, activities, entertainment and more. For info

    Sat. Night: 

    • 9:30 Club the British pop-punk of You Me At Six. For info  
    • Rams Head On Stage has Grammy-nom, singer/songwriter, Rufus Wainwright. For info  
    • The Hamilton presents the “one-woman band” Kawehi. For info 
    • Jammin Java hosts LA indie outfit, Run River North. For info 

    Sun, Oct. 19: 

    • Anne Arundel's Art @ the Park in Annapolis has exhibits, music and kids activities. For info  
    • The Circus Life Festival at Quatro Goomba’s in Aldie is an all ages music festival. For info 
    • Pumpkins in the Park at Lake Fairfax Park is the ultimate in all family fun with slides, rides, hands on activities and a puppet show. For info  
    • Oatlands Harvest Festival in Leesburg is family friendly fun with games, hay rides, fall activities, music and more. For info 

    Sun. Night: 

    • Lincoln Theatre hosts country icon, Dwight Yoakam. For info 
    • Jammin Java has guitar virtuoso, Tony MacAlpine. For info  
    • The Birchmere presents award-winning finger style guitarist, Andy McKee. For info  
    • The Howard Theatre offers the contemporary jazz of Gregory Porter. For info  
    • Rams Head On Stage hosts the Afro-cuban, salsa, latin jazz of Hubana Sax. For info  
    • BlackRock Center For The Arts hosts Chris Brubeck’s Triple Play jazz combo. For info
    • Barns of Wolf Trap presents the award winning singer/songwriter, Paula Cole. For info 
  • How to save on children's Halloween costumes

    (ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images) 

    It's October, which means it's time to focus on what your children are going to dress up as this Halloween -- and how much their costumes are going to cost you.

    You don't necessarily have to spend a lot of money on costumes for your kids. Read on for seven ways to cut the cost of your children's costumes this Halloween.

  • Scream Guide: Local Haunted Houses

    Celebrate the spooky holiday with terrifying haunted houses -- enter at your own risk.

    See the list of haunted events in the D.C. area on WTOP.com.

    (WTOP/Alicia Lozano) 

    by WTOP News via Halloween 2014 edited by WTOPEnt 10/17/2014 4:16:17 PM
  • Halloween attractions up the scare factor

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Halloween seems to be getting scarier, with attractions going ever-more interactive and in-your-face.

    Read about some of the attractions around the country on WTOP.com.
  • AP 
    Too soon? How about not at all for Ebola Halloween

    NEW YORK (AP) -- No holiday screams pop culture controversy quite like Halloween.

    So what's the costume flap of the year? It might just be Ebola, as in Ebola zombies, bloody Ebola patients and faux protective gear.

    Read more on WTOP.com.







  • Clarendon church to host EDM show

    WASHINGTON -- The Church at Clarendon (1210 N. Highland Street) is swapping the organ for a laptop and turntable this Saturday night when it hosts an electronic dance music (EDM) show.

    The concert will be free and held at the church from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m., according to church Community Ministry and Discipleship Director Stephen Taylor. The star of the show will be DJ Rick Solo, a Charlotte-based artist who holds DJ-led, Christian services in his hometown of Charlotte, N.C.

    The Church at Clarendon says it’s trying to reach the younger demographic that lives in the Clarendon area. The church has expanded its community offerings to include yoga classes, game night and a concert series that included a performance from the Go Go Symphony earlier this month, as well as the EDM show.

    Read the full story here.

  • Netflix to air every single 'Friends' episode starting Jan. 2015

    I'll Be There For You - Friends - Netflix - US & CA- [HD]
    by Netflix via YouTube

  • Wynonna Judd announces D.C.-area concert 

    WASHINGTON -- Wynonna Judd will be making her only local appearance Jan. 15, 2015 at the Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia. 

    Tickets go on sale Friday at noon through Ticketmaster

    I can only imagine (Wynonna Judd) -
    by klarausa2007 via YouTube
  • 'Haunting Monsters' on H Street

    WASHINGTON -- Northeast D.C.'s Rorschach Theatre presents a night of ghost stories and monster hunting just in time for Halloween. 

    "Haunting Monsters" brings together more than two dozen artists to tell six stories from different perspectives. 

    There will be two performances Oct. 25. Tickets are $15. Click here for more.

    From the theater:

    "Deep in the woods six monsters huddle by a fire: Frankenstein’s Monster, Wolfman, Dracula, The Mummy, The Creature of the Black Lagoon and The Invisible Man

    They are telling ghost stories and sharing their nightmares.

    They are eating s’mores.

    Created by over two dozen theatre artists, KLECKSOGRAPHY: HAUNTING MONSTERS will feature six short plays from six different perspectives – all written and staged during a two-week process. Join the city’s most daring theatre company and see what happens when it reveals the monsters monsters."

  • Disney on Ice presents 'Frozen' at Patriot Center

    "Enter a fantastical winter wonderland beyond all imagination at Disney On Ice presents Frozen Presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt. The heartwarming, Academy Award-winning tale you love is now LIVE and skating into your town. You’ll be magically whisked away into the wintery world of Arendelle, where you will be dazzled by amazing special effects and astonishing skating. Sing and dance along to your favorite songs, including “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” and “Let It Go.” Join royal sisters Elsa and Anna, the hilarious snowman Olaf, huntsman Kristoff, his loyal reindeer Sven and the mystical trolls as they journey to discover that true love is ultimately the most magical power of
    all!"

    Dates: Oct. 22 through Oct. 27

    Tickets: $20 to $85

    Click here to purchase 


    Frozen Disney on Ice show highlights with Anna, Elsa, Hans, Olaf, Sven, Kristoff skating
    by Inside the Magic via YouTube

  • Weekend Best Bets: Oktoberfests, Taste of DC and Music, Music, Music!

    Mary de Pompa WTOP News

    All Weekend:

    • Taste of DC, along Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, is a multi-day culinary and cultural event with the best in local food, drink and music. For info 
    • Sugarloaf Crafts Festival at the Maryland State Fairgrounds hosts over 250 top artisans in a variety of genres with interactive demos, music, kids entertainment and more. For info 
    • 7th Annual Oktoberfest in Reston, at the Town Center, features autumn brews, traditional Oktoberfest fare, live music and entertainment with a carnival. For info 
    • Herndon Fine Arts Festival on the grounds of ArtSpace Herndon, is a celebration of various art mediums with meet and greets with the artisans. For info 
    • Richmond Folk Festival combines a variety of performers, artists in one of the regions best loved music, dance and cultural celebrations. For info 

    Saturday, Oct. 11:

    • Columbia Heights Day Festival is a neighborhood celebration with activities and entertainment for all ages. For info 
    • Nova Manassas Community Fall Festival is a family oriented event with music, kid friendly activities and entertainment, variety of foods and a car show. For info 
    • 38th Annual Fairfax Fall Festival in Old Town Fairfax offers arts, crafts, food & gourmet vendors, kids activities with music and entertainment. For info 
    • Great Pumpkin Race and Fall Festival, in Montgomery Village, is a great family event where you can create your own pumpkins for racing with music, food and plenty of kids activities. For info 
    • Taste of Bethesda is a food a music festival with 5 stages of entertainment, 60 restaurants, and a kids corner. For info 

    Saturday Night:

    • The Birchmere presents singer/songwriting legend, Phil Vassar. For info 
    • The Howard Theatre hosts a Guitars Not Guns benefit featuring Typefighter, The Sea Life, Teen Mom & Lowecase Letters. For info 
    • Rams Head On Stage presents California Guitar Trio & Montreal Guitar Trio. For info 
    • The Hamilton has the rock super group collaboration of The Fauntleroys. For info 
    • Ebenezer Coffee House in DC host singer/songwriter, Michelle Lewis. For info
    • The Barns of Wolf Trap presents Newmyer Flyer Tribute to the Everly Brothers. For info 
    • Jammin Java has the modern pop of Judah & The Lion. For info 
    • Tally Ho Theatre presents country-rock innovators, Pure Prairie League. For info 

    Sunday, Oct. 12:

    • 23rd Annual Oktoberfest at the Kentlands in Gaithersburg is citywide festival with music, kids activities, horse-drawn carriage rides, apple cider crafts and more. For info 
    • Clifton Day Festival, held in one Northern Virginia’s most beautiful and historic areas, offers great live music, food, family friendly activities including train rides. For info
    • Courthouse Arts and Craft Beer Festival in Arlington combines unique artist, makers and craftspeople with music, poets, food trucks and then some. For Info 

    Sunday Night:

    • Fillmore Silver Spring has the nu metal of Limp Bizkit. For info 
    • Rock & Roll Hotel hosts indie-rockers, Allo Darlin'. For info 
    • The Howard Theatre has a night of jazz with Cassandra Wilson. For info 
    • IOTA Club & Cafe presents the soul-tinged sounds of Sean Hayes with Eric & Erica. For info 
    • Hill Country Live host Angaleena Presley of Pistol Annies fame. For info
  • Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling reveal baby's name

    WASHINGTON -- Today in celebrity baby news is the grand unveiling of Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling's daughter's name.

    Drum roll please...

    The little one is called Esmeralda Amada Gosling.

    She was born in Santa Monica, California, Sept. 12, 2014.

    Watch the video below for more:


    Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling Shocking Baby Name Revealed
    by HollyscoopTV via YouTube


  • The Who turns 50 years old, announces North American tour 

    WASHINGTON -- Classic rock fans, your time as come. 

    The Who has announced their 50th anniversary tour, which comes to the Verizon Center Nov. 1, 2015. 

    "The Who Hits 50!" tour will celebrate all five decades of the band's storied career. Guitarist Pete Townshend describes the upcoming set lists  as a celebration of "hits, picks, mixes and misses.”

    “This is the beginning of the long goodbye,” says  frontman Roger Daltrey in a statement.

    Tickets go on sale Oct. 17 at 10 a.m. via the band's website. Click here for details. 


    The Who : Listening to You - Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970
    by Sergey Chupyrin via YouTube



  • The Carlton dance wins the night 

    WASHINGTON -- "Dancing With the Stars" will never be the same after Monday night's spectacular performance by Alfonso Ribeiro. 

    The "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" star surprised the audience and judges with this very special revival of his famed "Carlton dance" from the popular '90s show. 

    Watch it below:

  • '7th Heaven' actor allegedly confesses to being a child molester

    WASHINGTON -- "7th Heaven" actor Stephen Collins allegedly confessed in a taped recording to molesting several young girls over the years. 


    Collins' estranged wife, Faye Grant, surreptitiously taped the actor talking about his history of pedophilia while the two sat in a therapy session, TMZ reports

    The couple is embroiled in a "prolonged, nasty divorce," and Grant's lawyer reportedly gave her the OK to tape the confession. California law allows the secret collection of information to gather evidence that a felony has been committed. 

    "There was one moment of touching where her hand, I put her hand on my penis," Collins says in the tape, in reference to an 11-year-old victim. 

    "When you exposed yourself ... did you have an erection?" Grant asks. 

    "No, I mean, no. Partial, maybe I think," Collins says. 

    Meanwhile, a 54-year-old woman has alleged she was molested by Collins 40 years ago. 

    New York authorities are in possession of the tape and are investigating the allegations. Collins has not been charged, but he was dropped from "Ted 2." 

    The Los Angeles Police Department is also stepping in to determine if there is any truth to 2012 allegations that he molested a neighbor's relative. 

    Click here to hear the tape. 

  • Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds are having a baby!

    WASHINGTON -- Another Hollywood golden couple is expecting the birth of their first child.

    Blake Lively announced on her website that she is pregnant, no doubt a dream come true for the actress who openly talked about wanting a "litter of kids" shortly after she and Ryan Reynolds wed in 2012. 

    "I gotta get started," Lively told Marie Claire in its September 2014 issue. 

    Both Lively and Reynolds come from big families -- she has four siblings and he has three, Us magazine reports


    Congratulations to @blakelively ,who is pregnant with her first child.
    #bumpin #growingbaby #babyinside #babybelly #proudparents #ryanreynolds #blakelively #preserve_us #FAMILY
    by angagrose via Instagram




  • 'Twin Peaks' will be back in 2016

    WASHINGTON -- Yes, it's true. Cult classic "Twin Peaks" is coming to Showtime in 2016, 25 years after the original series ended. 

    Variety reports that directors David Lynch and Mark Frost are currently working on scripts that will be set in the present day and will "mark the passage of time." The new plot will follow storylines established in season 2, and will show the characters older and no doubt weirder. 

    The original series followed FBI Agent Cooper, brilliantly played by Lynch favorite Kyle MacLachlan, as he maneuvers through a strange logging town in the Pacific Northwest to find out who killed local darling, Laura Palmer

    The show was filled supernatural phenomena, violent deaths and more twists and turns than a Six Flags roller coaster. 

    Stay tuned for more updates and watch Showtime's appropriately cryptic announcement below:

    A special TWIN PEAKS announcement
    by Showtime via YouTube



  • It's a girl for Mila and Ashton!

    WASHINGTON -- Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher are celebrating the birth of a baby girl. 

    Kunis gave birth Tuesday night at Los Angeles' hospital to the stars, Cedars-Sinai

    "Mila and I would like to welcome Wyatt Isabelle Kutcher to the world.  May your life be filled with wonder, love, laughter, health, happiness, curiosity, and privacy," Kutcher writes. 

    They named the little girl Wyatt, and posted a photo of their new darling on Kutcher's website

    Can you guess which one is Wyatt?



  • Celebrate 15 years of 'Fight Club' with DC Brau

    WASHINGTON --  Prepare to feel old. 

    "Fight Club" turns 15 this month. Yes, 15 years old. If you're old enough to remember the cult classic starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton, then surely you're old enough to enjoy a beer while watching a movie. 

    Celebrate the last 15 years Oct. 15 at the Alamo Drafthouse in Ashburn, Virginia, with a special screening of "Fight Club" and brews from DC Brau. More details to follow:





  • Courtesy Union Market/Joy Asico


    Union Market kicks off fall drive-in series next week

    WASHINGTON -- Union Market is bringing back its beloved movie drive-in series for four Fridays in October. 

    Screenings are $10 per car, or free for walk-ups. Seating is first come, first-served. Gates open at 6 p.m. and films start at 8 p.m. 

    Check below for the fall line-up:

    Oct. 10, 2014 - "Monsters University"

    Oct. 17, 2014 - "Rushmore"

    Oct. 24, 2014 – "Remember The Titans"

    Oct. 31, 2014 - People’s Choice - Halloween Edition. Vote online 

    • "Edwards Scissorhands"
    • "Addams Family"
    • "Ghostbusters"

  • William Shatner talks 'Star Trek 3'

    WASHINGTON -- William Shatner could be returning to "Star Trek."

    The original Capt. Kirk told attendees at this weekend's Wizard World Nashville Comic Con that J.J. Abrams hinted Shatner might be called upon to reprise his beloved role as the captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise.

    “He said, ‘I’m calling, Bill, because the director of 'Star Trek,' the next movie, has had an idea where you might be involved. So I’m calling to find out whether you’d be interested,'” Shatner reportedly said. 

    "I said, well, you know, if it’s meaningful.

    The next movie will not be directed by Abrams, who made 2009's "Star Trek" and 2013's "Star Trek Into Darkness." Instead, screenwriter Roberto Orci, who worked on both movies, will take the helm for the third installment.  

    Leonard Nimoy, aka Mr. Spock, might also reprise his role, Shatner says. Nimoy appeared in the first "Star Trek" movie, but has not commented on future involvement in the franchise.

    Spock 'Heart of Courage' Star Trek 2009
    by ChelseatheHolmesian via YouTube


  • Bestselling author Neil Gaiman talks to CNN's Christiane Amanpour about his experience meeting with Syrian refugees in Jordan.

  • Neil Diamond tickets on sale next week 

    WASHINGTON -- Grammy Award-winning singer Neil Diamond is kicking off a North American tour early next year in support of his new album, "Melody Road," which comes out Oct. 21. 

    Diamond will play D.C.'s Verizon Center April 4Tickets for the 2015 tour go on sale Oct. 13, and pre-sale tickets for Citi cardmembers will be available Oct. 6. Click here for more info. 


  • Tonight: 'Nosferatu' comes to D.C.

    WASHINGTON -- You don't need to know anything about German expressionism or even film theory to appreciate the brilliance behind "Nosferatu," the 1922 silent horror classic that spawned generations of Dracula worship. 

    Directed by F.W. Murnau, "Nosferatu" tells the tale behind the world's first vampire. 

    Head to the Goethe-Institut in Northwest D.C. Monday night to catch a remastered version featuring a new score written by Michael Obst

    Tickets start at $4. Screening kicks off at 6:30 p.m. Click here for details. 

    If vampires aren't your thing, the Goethe-Institut is hosting a mini-film festival showcasing new movies from Germany, Austria and Switzerland from Oct. 10 through Oct. 16. See the full schedule here


    Nosferatu (1922) Full Movie
    by michaelTivey via YouTube


  • Taylor Swift's feline accessories raise some eyebrows

    WASHINGTON -- Pop darling Taylor Swift can seemingly do no wrong. The girl-next-door singer is praised for her wholesome image and accessible tunes, but her penchant for carrying cats like purses is causing some eyebrow raising. 

    As any cat owner knows, carrying around your feline in the middle of the street can cause some serious cat anxiety. Yes, some cats love being outside, but it's usually on their terms. Not many cats enjoy being toted around like a living, breathing muff:


    Swift is not the only celebrity to accessorize with their beloved felines. Kesha and Kim Kardashian have also experimented with the trend:



    But is this really a good idea?

    No, says Matt Williams with Washington Animal Rescue League.

    "We would recommend anyone that's carrying a cat or a kitten any time outdoors to use a carrier," he says. 

    "Transporting a cat in the open is a difficult thing. You never know what's going to happen."

    Because they are easily spooked, any little noise or sudden movement could set the cat off and cause it to jump out of your arms and into oncoming traffic or simply run away and get lost. 

    And as we all know, herding cats is not very fun. 


  • WTOP Freebies has all the weekend events that will cost you absolutely nothing! Check them out:





  • Most cats don't like to be held that way at all. Some cats retaliate when you hold them from the crotch to the chest.
  • American Indian Museum opens new exhibit 

    WASHINGTON -- Get excited! A new exhibit at the National Museum of the American Indian will teach visitors about important and influential native diplomats and leaders of Indian nations that brokered deal with early settlers. 

    "Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations" runs through fall 2018. Click here to learn more. 


  • Washington Post music critic Chris Richards will talk about Aphex Twin's latest album, "Syro," today at 3 p.m. Tune in to 103.5 FM and listen to the album below:

    by SUSSEXCOASTER via YouTube


  • Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn to star in "True Detective"

    WASHINGTON -- HBO has announced two of its four lead actors who will star in the upcoming season of "True Detective."

    Colin Farrell will play Ray Velcoro, "a compromised detective whose allegiances are torn between his masters in a corrupt police department and the mobster who owns him," Variety reports. 

    Meanwhile, Vince Vaughn will play Frank Semyon, "a man in danger of losing his criminal empire when his move into legitimate enterprise is upended by the murder of a business partner."

    Farrell told The World that he is "so excited" for the opportunity"

    “It’s been shown time and time again how [channels like] HBO have raised the bar regarding production values and fundamentally the writing that all their shows are based on,” he says. 

    HBO has  not released the name of the female lead, but did say that "Fast & Furious" mastermind Justin Lin will direct the first two episodes. 

    HBO has not released an air date or the rest of the cast ... yet. 

    Watch Farrell below in "In Bruges":

    In Bruges Trailer
    by inbrugesmovie via YouTube


  • @j: Thank you for the heads up! We will have to check this out and update the post.
  • Not Farrell's first foray into television at all. Go back about 15 or so years to an Irish programme called 'Ballykissangel'. It runs often on WETA and WETA-UK.
  • 'It's Academic' kicks off 54th season 

    WASHINGTON -- The world's longest running TV quiz show is back for its 54th season. The first episode of the new season will air Oct. 4, but filming starts tomorrow.  

    "It's Academic," hosted by WTOP afternoon anchor extraordinaire Hillary Howardfeatures talented teenagers competing over "Jeopardy"-esque questions that their parents probably don't know the answer to. 

    Prominent alumni include Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, New York SenatorCharles Schumer, political commentator George Stephanopoulos, Washington Post ChairmanDonald Graham, journalist and novelist David Ignatius, Oscar winning producer of “American Beauty” Bruce Cohen, author and Pulitzer prize winner Michael Chabon, Astronaut Timothy Creamer, Tony-winning author of “Hairspray” Mark O’Donnell, former governor of Maine Angus King and mystery writer Laura Lippman.

    See the full schedule here.


    Churchill It's Academic 2010-2011 Second Round (Part 1)
    by CHSITSACADEMIC via YouTube





  • Cherry blossom festival looking for local singers

    WASHINGTON -- Are you a cherry blossom enthusiast? Do you love parades? The National Cherry Blossom Festival wants you. 

    Everyone's favorite white and pink festival is seeking singers for its annual parade, which will take place April 11, 2015.

    Entries are now being accepted for the Sing Into Spring Competition. Up to four soloists or vocal groups will perform at the parade that runs along Constitution Avenue from 10 a.m. to noon. 

    From the festival:

    Hopeful artists will submit a :30 second YouTube video for consideration through Friday, November 14, 2014. The competition is open to all residents of DC, Maryland, and Virginia age 8 and up (those under 18 require parental consent). Submissions will be accepted online only, and only vocalists are eligible, instrumental performances will not be accepted. Hundreds entered the debut 2014 contest in an outstanding showcase of local talent. View the 2014 finalists here.

    selection committee, including celebrity judges, will choose up to 20 finalists to move forward and perform in a live audition in early January 2015. From the finalists, judges will select up to four winners to perform live in the Parade.





  • Former 'Real Housewives' star helps solve Philly hate crime on Twitter

    WASHINGTON -- Last week, two gay men Philadelphia were viciously attacked by a large group of young 20-somethings. 

    One of the victims had to undergo surgery and had his jaw wired. The second victim suffered bone fractures and cuts to his face. Both men were repeatedly kicked and punched after the assailants made disparaging remarks against gay people and asked if they were boyfriends.

    When police released a video of the suspects, former "Real Housewives of New Jersey" cast member Greg Bennett came to the rescue. 

    He recognized the group from another photo taken inside a restaurant he had seen tweeted by a "friend of a friend of a friend." Bennett didn't know where that picture was taken, and asked his followers if they recognized the location:
    Twitter user FanSince09 saw that tweet and retweeted it his followers, some of who did recognize the restaurant, La Voila, which is located just blocks from where the attack occurred. 


    FanSince09  was able to track down the suspects by looking at who had checked in on Facebook the night of the attack. He matched those Facebook photos to the images from the police video and called authorities. 

    Philadelphia police officer Joe Murray publicly thanked FanSince09 for sleuth work:


    Murray went on to tweet that no arrests have been made yet, but ABC 6 in Philadelphia is reporting that some of the 12 suspects are expected to surrender to police. 

    Read more here


  • AP Photo 


    Joan Rivers' doctor allegedly takes selfie during biopsy

    WASHINGTON -- The doctor performing a biopsy on Joan Rivers allegedly stopped to take a selfie during the procedure,
    CNN reports.

    The doctor, who has not been publicly identified, was the comedienne's personal physician. 

    Rivers had been put under anesthesia earlier that day for a routine endoscopy to help diagnose her hoarse voice and sore throat. After the procedure, which was completed by a different doctor, her physician began to perform an unscheduled biopsy on her vocal chords, an unnamed source tells CNN. 

    Rivers had not given prior consent to the last minute procedure. 

    Investigators believe that Rivers' vocal chords began to swell during the biopsy and cut off oxygen to her lungs, which led to cardiac arrest Aug. 29. 

    She died Sept. 4 at Mount Sinai hospital, never having regained consciousness after the biopsy.

    Read more here.


  • WTOP speaks with Washington Post music writer Chris Richards about the state of rap

    From his recent WaPo story:

    Just as country music is made in Nashville, hip-hop is made in Atlanta. This is the town where the agenda is set, where the competition is cutthroat, where young rappers are discovering new ways to make English sound cool, and where their even-younger beat-makers are grinding away behind the curtains, discreetly running the show.

    “We’re the foundation of this stuff,” says Sonny Digital, a 23-year-old producer currently churning out some of the most bonzo music in town. “We know what needs to be heard. And everybody’s listening.

    Read more here.

    Tune in to 103.5 FM Tuesday afternoon for more. 

  • Courtesy Local Motors 



    3-D car makes debut in D.C. 

    WASHINGTON -- The world’s first 3-D printed car will roll in to D.C.
    for its East Coast premiere
     this week. 

    Creators will showcase how they can take 3-D imaging to the next level by using new technology. The vehicle, which carmakers Local Motors say is drivable, was printed in one solid piece with carbon fiber reinforced materials in just 44 hours. 

    "By adding wheels, a steering wheel, windshield and an electric battery for power, Local Motors has created an American manufacturing and automotive first," the company says in a news release. 

    The car will debut Wednesday at the American Energy and Manufacturing Competitiveness
    (AEMC) Summit.
    Click here for more info. 

  • Weekend Best Bets: HyArtsFest, Adams Morgan Day & Taste of Georgetown

    Mary de Pompa WTOP News

    All Weekend:

    • The 152nd Great Frederick Fair in Maryland is family fun with rides, rich in  agricultural education, and entertainment. For info 
    • Anne Arundel County Fair is good old fashioned family fun with rides, entertainment, animals and more. For info 
    • 39th Annual Virginia Wine Festival at Great Meadow Park features 50 of the state’s premier wineries with tastings, music and a kids zone. For info 
    • Alexandria’s King Street Art Festival transforms Old Town into an outdoor gallery featuring the nation’s top artisans with hands on activities, music and more. For info 
    • Marvel Universe Live at the Patriot Center features high-caliber arena spectacular for the family with more than 25 super heroes and villains assembled in one production, at various showtimes this weekend. For info 

    Saturday, Sept. 13:

    • The 21st Annual Taste of Georgetown is one of D.C.’s most anticipated epicurean street festivals inviting you to Eat, Drink, Play with some of the areas best in food, craft beer, wine and family friendly entertainment. For info 
    • All Things Go Fall Classic is an alt/indie-rock festival at Union Market by the DC based music promoters. For info 
    • The 19th Annual Fairfax Irish Folk Festival is a free cultural celebration with traditional music, dance, food and sport. For info 
    • Virginia Air Show in Front Royal is fun for the family featuring a Flying Circus, military aircraft, hot air balloons, aerial acrobatics and more. For info 
    • Tyson’s Silver Line Music & Food Truck Festival features a variety of local and national music acts with vendors, art exhibits, refreshments all for charity. For info 
    • Annual Downtown Hysattsville Arts Festival with over 70 exhibitors, live entertainment, shopping, great food and more. For info 
    • The Annapolis Craft Beer and Music Festival is a 21 and over event featuring tastings, cooking demos and music of all genres. For info 

    Saturday Night:

    • Verizon Center has a few seats left for Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull. For info 
    • The Hamilton presents the Grammy nominated blues of, Shemekia Copeland. For info
    • Jammin’ Java hosts the Americana-roots of Steve Forbert. For info 
    • 9:30 Club presents Charlottesville’s own, Parachute. For info 

    Sunday, Sept. 14:

    • The 36th Annual Adams Morgan Day in NW is a street fest extravaganza with dance, music, kids fair and more. For info 
    • Jammin’ DC at Freedom Plaza is a free Caribbean & Ethiopian music and arts festival with crafts, vendors, beer garden and a kids zone. For info 
    • Annual Cider Festival at Great Country Farms in Bluemont has begun with a day of family picking, tastings, rides, live music and more. For info 

    Sunday Night:

    • Lincoln Theatre presents singer-songwriter, Phillip Phillips. For info 
    • Verizon Center hosts The Bounce TV Summer Music Festival. For info 
    • Merriweather Post Pavilion presents Jack White. For info 
    • The Birchmere presents the roots-rock of The Paul Thorn Band. For info 
    • The State Theatre it's the Americana-rock of Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers. For info 
    • Rams Head on Stage has the Americana of Parker Millsap with Lera Lynn. For info
  • Bill Maher will ruin your Friday night commute

    WASHINGTON --  Bill Maher is coming to D.C.  for two live shows that will be presented back-to-back Friday on HBO. 

    He will first host a new edition of "Real Time with Bill Maher" from Sidney Harman Hall. 

    Then, Maher will rush to the Warner Theatre, where another audience will be waiting for him. He’ll perform a stand-up comedy special to mark his tenth solo special for HBO. 

    The taping will affect traffic. Here are the road closures that will be in effect Friday night from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.:

    • 6th and F Street, NW (Sydney Harmen Theater)
    • South on 6th Street from F Street, NW to Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
    • Westbound on Pennsylvania Avenue, NW from 6th Street to 13th
      Street, NW
    • Northbound on 13th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue, NW to the 500 block of
      13
      th Street, NW
  • New trailer for season 4 of 'Homeland'

    WASHINGTON -- Rejoice ye fans of espionage and intrigue. There's a new trailer for "Homeland," which returns to TV Oct. 5.

    Notice any familiar faces from shows such as "House of Cards" and "The Strain?"

    Homeland Season 4: Trailer
    by Homeland via YouTube

  • Local songwriters compete for $10K prize

    WASHINGTON -- Aspiring songwriters will compete in March for the chance to win $10,000 and the chance to perform in front of a live audience. 

    The Bethesda Bernard/Ebb Songwriting Awards encourages performers of all ages and levels to apply, but artists who have earned more than $5,000 in royalties in 2014 are ineligible, Patch reports

    All genres are welcome, but contestants must be residents of Maryland, Virginia or D.C. Applications are being accepted through Dec. 5. Click here for complete details. 
  • Trump's Atlantic City resorts file for bankruptcy 

    WASHINGTON -- Two of the Donald's casinos are fired!

    Trump Taj Mahal and Trump Plaza, both in Atlantic City, have declared bankruptcy, CBS Philly reports. 

    The plaza is scheduled to close this week, and the Taj Mahal will close in November. The shutdown at the latter will put 2,800 people out of work in a city who's economy has been struggling this year. 

    More than 5,000 workers lost their jobs when the Showboat and Revel casinos closed over the weekend. 

    Officials from the New Jersey Department of Labor and the main casino workers' union are helping displaced workers file for jobless benefits and providing them with information on how to sign up for health insurance.

    The number of people out of work is expected to swell to nearly 8,000 before the month is over. 

    When Trump Plaza closes Sept. 16, Atlantic City will have just eight casinos. The city started the year with 12.

    Click here for a look at how gambling revenue and employment have changed since casinos launched in Atlantic City in 1978.

    #trumptajmahal #atlanticcity
    by tuff_luck_lucci via Instagram

  • 'Sun of Guns' actor charged with raping 12-year-old 

    WASHINGTON -- TMZ is reporting that "Sun of Guns" star Will Hayden is being charged with a rape from 22 years ago. The victim was reportedly 12 years old at the time. 

    She was living with Hayden when the two smoked marijuana in his home. He allegedly clamped his hand over her mouth and raped her, the victim says. 

    Hayden was arrested last month in Louisiana for molesting his adolescent daughter. Hayden claimed that his ex-girlfriend was spreading malicious lies, but then a second daughter claimed the gunsmith also molested her when she was 12 years old. 

    Louisiana officials are investigating the claims. 


  • One Direction offers free download of new single for one day only 

    WASHINGTON -- Boy wonders One Direction are back with their fourth album in just three years. "Four" comes out Nov. 17 via Syco/Colombia Records.

    To celebrate their hard work, the band is offering a free download of the first single, "Fireproof,"  via their website for 24 hours only.

    See the boys in action below:

    One Direction - Where We Are (Concert Film Extended Trailer)
    by OneDirectionVEVO via YouTube


  • Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett's 'Good Omens' adapted for radio

    WASHINGTON -- Happy Monday and welcome to the latest edition of "
    Neil Gaiman in the News."

    Fan boys and girls will rejoice today as news trickles out that "Good Omens" is being adapted for BBC Radio 4, Nerdist reports

    The story, co-written by Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, tells the hilarious tale of an angel and demon teaming up to save the world from the Second Coming. The book is a laugh-out-loud good time, so hopes are high that the radio play will live up to the hype. 

    Mark Heap ("Spaced," "Stardust") will play the angel Azirphale and Peter Serafinowicz ("Guardians of the Galaxy," "Shaun of the Dead") will play the demon Crowley. Both Gaiman and Pratchett will have cameos. ]

    "Good Omens" is being directed by Dirk Maggs, who also directed the radio version of "Neverwhere." It is slated to come out in 30-minute episodes starting in early December. Happy holidays!



  • Courtesy National Theatre 

    Have the time of your life with 'Dirty Dancing' the musical 

    WASHINGTON -- It was the time of our lives for an entire generation thanks to the sultry dance moves of Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in "Dirty Dancing."

    Now, you can relive the unforgettable love story in a new musical at National Theatre in Northwest D.C.

    The production, in town through Sept. 14, features some of the same hit songs, including "Hungry Eyes," "Hey Baby," "Do You Love Me?" and "(I've Had) The Time of My Life."

    "I grew up watching [the movie]," says Samuel Pergande, who plays hunky Johnny Castle.

    "I have a twin sister, and we used to practice 'the lift' in the pool."

    "This is a cool show because, no matter what, the audience just eats it up," adds Jillian Mueller, who reprises the role of Frances "Baby" Houseman.

    Indeed, "Dirty Dancing" the musical has already made a name for itself across the globe. The London production, which featured Pergande as Robbie and later Johnny, became one of the longest running shows in the West End. It closed in 2011.

    The story is set in New York's Catskill Mountains in the summer of 1963. Baby is on vacation with her family, and becomes mesmerized by the racy dance moves she discovers in the resort staff's living quarters. She longs to be part of the excitement, but her dad has other plans for his little girl.

    Like Baby, Mueller is no stranger to working long hours to get what she wants. The New Jersey native spent her childhood singing and dancing, and eventually made her way onto Broadway. She has starred in "Flashdance," "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," "Bye Bye Birdie" and Green Day's "American Idiot."

    "I never wanted to be normal," she says. "I always wanted to be on stage."

    Growing as a dancer wasn't as easy for Pergande. Born in Milwaukee, he encountered resistance from people who teased him for wanting to study ballet. He quit dancing "because of the ridicule," but was soon inspired to ignore the gibes and continue following his passion.

    His biggest inspiration?

    "Patrick Swayze had an incredible sense of masculinity," he says. "You never questioned his performance or his right to be a dancer."

    Watching Swayze shoot to stardom after the 1987 film encouraged Pergande to continue dancing. Now, he says playing Johnny is a dream come true.

    "The reality is, this is a fantastic love story," he says. "It just never gets old."

    Read more here.


    Dirty Dancing - Time of my Life (Final Dance) - High Quality
    by CPhillips92 via YouTube


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