Our View | Let Us Entertain You

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There’s no time like hard times tomake residents of a city pause and take stock of things we value that arethreatened by the down economy. Generally, when dollars are tight,responsible people pay for necessities and cut back on niceties.

As most of us spend fewerdollars on entertainment, competition for those dollars is increasing. Thebest way to “act locally” and help our own city’s establishmentssurvive this recession is to make a conscious effort to spend entertainmentdollars right here in Alexandria. Fortunately, our local entertainmentoptions are both plentiful and high in quality.

Instead of venturing toFord’s Theatre for a play, why not support our own excellent Little Theatre ofAlexandria and take in The Foreigner starting on September 12? LTA has hada run of excellent plays this year, including the just-concluded Gypsy, and theaward-winning MetroStage theatre is reprising the hilarious spoof TheMusical of Musicals (The Musical) beginning August 27. Or, save on gasolineand instead of trekking across the river to the Kennedy Center, take in theAlexandria Symphony Orchestra led by the renowned Kim Allen Kluge. TheASO’s concert season this year includes works by Vivaldi, Gershwin, Beethoven,Ravel and Debussy.

In the mood for anon-classical concert? Why not take a pass on the 9:30 Club or aConstitution Hall show and head over to the Birchmere, where more than twodozen acts play each month. (In the next month alone, acts ranging from AlStewart to Peter Frampton to Asleep at the Wheel to Maysa are playing.)

For movies, Alexandriansneed go no further than the Old Town Theater, which has had a terrific run offirst-rate, first-run movies lately, including Harry Potter and the Half-BloodPrince. And its historic vibe combines with a full menu (beyond popcorn andMilk Duds) of sandwiches and drinks both soft and hard. Now playing at the OldTown Theater are G.I. Joe and The Ugly Truth. If residents don’tsupport this hometown theatre in its historic building, we risk losing thisvenue for good.

Our local dining optionsmight be the best of all. People in Washington come here to feast at ourAlexandria restaurants. There’s never been a better time to eat local,whether at Chef Cathal Armstrong’s mini empire of Restaurant Eve, The Majesticand Eamonns, or at the Lorien Hotel and Spa’s Brabo by Robert Wiedmaier. Or,visit long-established but still excellent restaurants like Monroe’s or EveningStar in Del Ray, or Le Refuge, The Warehouse, Landini Brothers or La Bergeriein Old Town. Not to mention the more accessible and mouth-watering plates fromthe now-famous local chain Five Guys, chili from Hard Times Caf or the storiedbrunch and lunch at The Royal Restaurant.

Choices abound. We needto all do our part to keep our local arts, entertainment and diningestablishments afloat, so think as globally as you want, but why not eat (orwatch or listen) locally? 

The next time you head outthe door, let Alexandria entertain you.

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