Thursday, March 9, 2017

Next stop, Alta Strada! Everything. Italian. Please!

Inspired by the storefront's of Italy, Alta Strada's colorful bar transports diners to
Italy with one sip of crafted cocktails.
Cibo e Beve!  Want a cozy spot to dine out that's just as Italian as it is American?  Take a bite outta Mosaic District's hottest urban trattoria, Alta Strada. Now serving brunch, lunch and dinner Italian style from Nutella topped french toast and eggplant parmigiano to thin-crusted pizza, house-made pasta and that's just the beginning.

A rustic elegance embraces you at Alta Strada from the ornate chandeliers and exposed brick to the antipasto rimmed bloody mary.

Brooklyn Born, Star Chef/Owner Michael Schlow has perfected his vision of the "ultimate neighborhood restaurant," now located in the DMV in Washington, D.C. at Mt. Vernon Triangle and Fairfax, VA in the hip Mosaic District.  Schlow's culinary inspiration echos his travels of Piemonte, Toscana, Emilia Romagna and Campania.  Enjoy rustic Italian flavors from design to cuisine at Alta Strada.  Buon Appetito! Locations here.


Monday, June 8, 2015

'Our Town' Commedia Style Resonates With Audiences

Love, life and death in its rawest form embrace audiences with welcomed comedic relief during Faction of Fools Theatre Company's delicate portrayal of Thornton Wilder's OUR TOWN.   Performances run May 28th – June 21st, 2015 at the Elstad Auditorium at Gallaudet University.

Organic, energetic, hilarious and heartfelt are rolled into one acrobatic delivery of this timeless classic.  Matthew Pauli (Faction's The Lady Becomes Him, STC's The Tempest, Big Apple Circus) who plays the Stage Manager, is flawless at centering the audience while narrating the varied emotions of Wilder's intense themes. 

Young lovers George Gibbs and Emily Webb are played by Drew Kopas (Faction's Romeo & Juliet, Rep Stage, STC, Olney) and Teresa Spencer (Constellation's Absolutely! {perhaps}, Taffety Punk, Maryland Shakespeare Festival) exude teenage love with such poignant body language it sends chills up your spine. 

With sensitivity to Wilder's use of pantomime, direct address, and metatheatrical commentary, director Matthew R. Wilson applies a Commedia dell'Arte lens to re-discover the classical archetypes still familiar in Our Town today.  Audiences will recognize Faction of Fools' acrobatics and full-company physical comedy on an open stage without scenery, other than a few chairs and ladders, as prompted by Wilder in his stage directions, and animated by live Foley sound design performed by the actors. Commedia dell'Arte masks heighten the reality and separate the “characters” of Grover's Corners from Wilder's “actors” playing them. 

Faction of Fools' Artistic Director Matthew R. Wilson, one of America’s leading experts in Commedia dell’Arte (Constellation's Lieutenant of Inishmore, 1st Stage's One Man Two Guvnors, Faction's Titus Andronicus, A Commedia Christmas Carol, Don Juan, Hamlecchino, Romeo & Juliet), directs and choreographs the production. An ensemble replete with classical acting training and physical comedy clout constructs the townspeople, soundscape, gardens, cows and furniture of Grover's Corners, featuring Julie Garner (Faction's A Commedia Christmas Carol, Constellation, Forum), Toby Mulford (Faction's Titus Andronicus, Pinocchio!, A Commedia Christmas Carol, Hamlecchino, Romeo & Juliet, 1st Stage, Constellation, Roundhouse), Paul Reisman (Faction's A Commedia Christmas Carol, Romeo & Juliet, STC's Servant of Two Masters), Rachel Spicknall Mulford (Faction's The Lady Becomes Him, Hamlecchino, NextStop's Richard III), John Cartwright II (WSC's Visible Language), Natalie Cutcher, Joe Grasso, Darren Marquardt, and Kathryn Zoerb (Rep Stage, Imagination Stage).

An inspired design team defines the sounds, sights and seasons around the actors, with Costumes by Denise Umland (Faction's Titus Andronicus, A Commedia Christmas Carol, Don Juan, Hamlecchino, Rep Stage, Wolf Trap, WSC), Lighting by Michael Barnett (Faction's Titus Andronicus, North Shore Music Theatre, Barter Theatre, Tennessee Rep, Ole Miss), Sound and Music Composition by Roc Lee (Arena's Mother Courage and Her Children, WSC, Lean and Hungry), and Masks by Sarah Conte (Faction of Fools, Constellation, Imagination Stage).

OUR TOWN closes Faction of Fools Theatre Company's exciting sixth season as DC's award-winning Commedia dell'Arte theatre company. The Fools are the Helen Hayes Awards recipients of the 2012 John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company.  You will laugh, cry and relate to these timeless themes posed by Wilder's and portrayed so artistically by DC's loved Faction of Fools.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Join Alexandria Chef at Local Farmers Markets!

Chef Carmine Marzano of Alexandria-based Osteria Marzano will kick off the Chef at Market Series for Fairfax County Farmers Markets this summer in honor of Marzano's seasonal farm-to-table dining experience promotion.  Marzano customers will enjoy local produce on the menu along with hands on cooking classes offered on cooking and dining locally and seasonally all summer long. Local ingredients will be sourced from neighborhood Nalls Produce along with local Farmers from Markets in and around Fairfax County.

First stop will include the Kingstowne Farmers Market on Friday, May 29, 4-6 followed by a stop at the Burke Farmers Market on Saturday, 9-11.  Also on the seasons calendar will include Markets in Mt. Vernon; Lorton; Smart Markets Springfield Mall and more! Come by to meet and greet Chef and managing co-owner, Elena-Pouchelon Bruzzo and learn about classic Italian cooking while sampling Chef Marzano's seasonal delights made fresh with Market ingredients.  See you at the Market!  More information on Market hours and location click here.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Scotch Dinner at Osteria Marzano's

Don't wait to reserve your seat at Osteria Marzano's Scotch Dinner on Tuesday, April 21 at 7 pm.  Dinner will feature a five-course menu paired with fine scotch and cigar (optional).  Chef Carmine Marzano has created a unique Italian tasting menu perfectly paired with Macallan 10 and 15 Year, Highland Park 12 Year, and Highland Park Dark Origins.  Make it a night to remember.  $115 Per Person, Reservations Required.  Limited seating, reserve here.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Celebrating Women's History Month with Restaurateur, Elena Pouchelon-Bruzzo

Managing Co-Owner of Osteria Marzano, Elena Pouchelon-Bruzzo, 27, chats with on food, family and standing up to fear!

"You can do anything you set your mind to, your biggest enemy is fear...if you want to do something, there is a way...make a plan and just do it!"

"I love pasta, I eat it every day...I want our customers to leave with a memorable experience at Osteria Marzano."
            Elena Pouchelon-Bruzzo, Restaurateur, Osteria Marzano

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Let it Snow - Party at Marzano's!

Elena M. Bruzzo-Pouchelon's photo.Let is Snow!  Alexandria-based Osteria Marzano is having a snow party and all of Fairfax County School families are invited IF SCHOOLS ARE CLOSED, Thursday, March 5, 2015! Happy Hour will be going on all day coupled with $10 pastas and brick oven pizza with fresh mozzerella. Plus kids eat FREE! Great music and warm hospitality awaits you at this neighborhood, authentic Italian trattoria.  And is shool is NOT closed, happy hour begins at 4 pm!  Enjoy the Marzano/Bruzzo family at their best in and out of the kitchen!  Buon appetito! Osteria Marzano, 6361 Walker Ln #140, Franconia, VA 22310.  P: 703-313-9700.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Italian Americans on PBS TONITE!

The Italian AmericansThe Italian Americans Concludes
Are you Italian American?  Then you need to tune into WETA tonight, February 24 for part 2 of the first-ever documentary on the Italian American immigration movement, The Italian Americans.  My mother called me on the phone Sunday and said, "Alyssa, you need to watch this program on WETA.  It tells my story, how I grew up.  How my grandparents struggled.  And how our culture overcame harsh discrimination with such pride and dignity."  As if I was not proud enough to be Italian American - I have a few more reasons now to brag - and of course to listen to Mamma - about my culture and would like to enlighten CioaDC readers as well!

Documented by John Maggio Productions, The Italian Americans traces the journey of Italian Americans from the late 19th century to the present. This week, the film concludes with a look at the second generation of Italian Americans entering the labor movement in politics, sports and entertainment, including notable figures such as Fiorello LaGuardia, Joe DiMaggio and Frank Sinatra.

Gather your children, friends, parents, grandparents and watch this informative slice of our history.  And then talk about it.  Share your family's experience, tell the world about it and never forget where you came from!  Viva Italia!

The Italian Americans airs Tuesday, February 24 at 9pm on WETA TV 26 and WETA HD.