A La Carte

All The Wharf's A Stage at The Anthem

November 13, 2017

That stunning chandelier dubbed "Cymbalism," Dan Steinhilber's installation dominating the entrance of The Anthem, dazzles from every floor. You have to look closely but the blue rectangles reflected from the glass ceiling are the bottom of the The Channel luxury apartments' swimming pool. And if you're wondering how residents like living above a new 57,000 square-foot musical venue, they like it just fine. The $60 million building includes $3 million worth of soundproofing.

The stage with perforated mesh curtains (Photo by: Judith Beermann) The stage with perforated mesh curtains

An industrial space reminscent of the 9:30 Club but with five times the capacity at 6,000, The Anthem on the SW Waterfont, has a movable stage for comedy shows and smaller concerts with two balconies above the floor with seats. You can pay a little more for “Super Excellent Seats” but the rest of the venue is general-admission standing with patrons free to wander to find the best viewing spot.

From the balcony terrace (Photo by: Judith Beermann) From the balcony terrace

“Our goal is to make it the best music venue in the world," said co-owner Seth Hurwitz.  He wants to offer patrons escapism with great acoustics. A 9:30 Club favorite, Foo Fighters headlined The Anthem's first show a few weeks ago and Hurwitz, who also owns the 9:30 Club, plans to have the two venues work together in concert.

Looking down over (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Looking down over "Cymbalism" chandelier

Aesthetics and comfort are designed into everything from seat positions (changing depending on the angle to the stage) and moving equipment (directly behind the stage are garage doors to the loading dock) to perforated mesh curtains, a last minute addition matching the electronic bunting. Oh, and Coatchex will send you a text so you don't forget your coat.

Potomac Water Taxi (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Potomac Water Taxi

Hungry? Signature menu item at the concession stand is Wharfle Belgian waffles with "The Full Monty Sauce" named after Monty Hoffman, founder and CEO of PN Hoffman,The Wharf co-developer with Madison Marquette.

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

When the show ends, there's even a water taxi waiting that leaves for Georgetown or Alexandria (and National Harbor in the spring) every night 20 minutes after the last performance. 

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

Imagine The Anthem experience when there's a live concert! 


Click here to share your thoughts.


Meet Mariam Batsashvili

October 23, 2017

Gwendolyn van Paasschen greets former Congressman Jim Coyne and Laura Atkins (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Gwendolyn van Paasschen greets former Congressman Jim Coyne and Laura Atkins

Mariam Batsashvili. Not a household name, but you just wait.

Friday evening, this young perfomer dazzled with a brilliant, heavenly recital of Bach, Chopin and Liszt for the very lucky invited guests gathered in the Georgetown home of Gwendolyn van Paasschen.

Having long supported music programs for young musicians, Gwendolyn held the private concert in Batsashvilia's honor in conjunction with The Keyboard Charitable Trust, a UK based charity that promotes the highly talented young keyboard players. One way in which the Trust does so is by arranging opportunities for them to play internationally.

Mariam Batsashvili (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Mariam Batsashvili

Transported, we all were to a different time and place. As the artist explained before sitting down to the piano, "I'm a 19th century girl. I like the salon experience, the aesthetics of it, the charm of playing in the house." Oh. My. Yes. 

Currently on a U.S. tour with the trust, the 24-year old, Georgian born musician gained international attention when she won First Prize at the 10th Franz Liszt Piano Competition in Utrecht 2014.

 

She has been playing ever since, at philharmonic halls and in smaller venues from London to St. Petersburg, BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist.

Mariam Batsashvili (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Mariam Batsashvili

Not surprising to learn that Franz Liszt is Batsashvili's favorite composer and that she chose to play her most favorite, Sonata B minor S 178. About this spiritual work, she gushed, "There are no words like heaven and hell ... I imagine this piece captures everything within our reach." 

Mariam Batsashvili (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Mariam Batsashvili

The 30-minute single-movement sonata, tightly constructed with the theme building dramatically from the start, is complex and technically challenging. Often considered a musical portrait of the Faust legend, it can be experienced as a single sonata or as a traditional four-movement work (opening movement, slow movement, scherzo, and finale).

 

Watching the muscles in the pianist's face contort and relax as if the unfolding movements were happening to her, is magical high drama.

 

I will never again listen to Liszt without thinking of Mariam Batsashvili. Brava!

 

Gwendolyn van Paasschen (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Gwendolyn van Paasschen

Gwendolyn and Fabiola Martens chat with the pianist (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Gwendolyn and Fabiola Martens chat with the pianist
Sarah Briggs (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Sarah Briggs
Constance Chatfield-Taylor, Robert Godwin, Rachel Briggs and Jackie Pletcher (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Constance Chatfield-Taylor, Robert Godwin, Rachel Briggs and Jackie Pletcher

Fabiola Martens, Spiros Voyadzis and Gwendolyn van Paasschen (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Fabiola Martens, Spiros Voyadzis and Gwendolyn van Paasschen


Click here to share your thoughts.


Sally Quinn Hosts Spirit of Georgetown Benefit Honoring the Mayor

October 19, 2017

"Oh, from an admirer!" thought Sally Quinn as she started unwrapping the flowers delivered to her home that morning. Her assistant stopped her. The author, journalist, and oh so gracious host apologized for the crinkled paper as she presented the bouquet to DC Mayor Muriel Bowser for her leadership in combating homelessness. 

Jack Evans, Gunther Stern and Alexander Bullock (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Jack Evans, Gunther Stern and Alexander Bullock

The occasion was Georgetown Ministry Center's (GMC)  2017 Spirit of Georgetown benefit where over 200 friends and supporters gathered Thursday evening at Ms Quinn's elegant Georgetown home to celebrate the community's commitment to ending homelessness and raise the greatest share of funding for GMC's annual operations.

Sally Quinn welcomes her guests (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Sally Quinn welcomes her guests

Introducing retiring Executive Director, Gunther Stern, Quinn remarked," Gunther's father was my first editor. I've known him since he's been a kid. Never say 'no' to Gunther."

Jack Evans, Gunther Stern and Alexander Bullock (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Jack Evans, Gunther Stern and Alexander Bullock

This year's theme, "Making a Difference," is something Stern has been doing for 31 years.

Gunther Stern reflects on his tenure (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Gunther Stern reflects on his tenure

"I was there during the crack epidemic and the AIDS crisis, all of which impacted homelessness," he explained. "I have seen many attempts to resolve homelessness but the present effort which has been a major element of the administration of tonight's honoree, Mayor Muriel Bowser, is unprecented in its scope and impact. As I have walked the streets talking to people I have known for years, I am hearing over and over, 'I am just about to move into my place.' or 'I just moved in and you need to come see my place.' It's great." 

Leslie Maysak, Amy Porter Stroh and Avery Miller (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Leslie Maysak, Amy Porter Stroh and Avery Miller

Echoing Stern's praises, Quinn said, "I'm so thrilled to have the mayor here. Don't tell anyone I said that because I'm supposed to be an unbiased journalist."

GMC President Alexander Bullock thanks his team (Photo by: Judith Beermann) GMC President Alexander Bullock thanks his team

Guests heard from GMC President Alexander Bullock and the city's longest serving councilmember Jack Evans, whom the mayor said has "made a strategic investment into making homelessness rare, brief and nonexistent."

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

Jennifer and David Romm (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Jennifer and David Romm

Gunther Stern and Muriel Bowser listen to Alexander Bullock (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Gunther Stern and Muriel Bowser listen to Alexander Bullock


Click here to share your thoughts.