Crossing Religious Lines

Academy Award-winning actor F. Murray Abraham will star in a stage concert version of "Nathan the Wise" at 8 p.m. Sept. 11 at George Mason University's Theater of the First Amendment.

Playwright Paul D'Andrea said in a news release that the play "sees Jews, Christians and Muslims as People of the Book, united by cultural richness, while giving each other gifts of particularity."

The play attempts to illustrate the differences and often-overlooked similarities among followers of the three religions residing together under Saladin's rule in Jerusalem during the crusades. Abraham, who won the Best Actor Oscar for "Amadeus" in 1985, will play the role of Nathan.

The evening will include a pre-performance discussion by Islam expert John Esposito at 7 and an informal audience discussion after the performance in the Concert Hall lobby.

Tickets are $25. The Center for the Arts is at George Mason University, 4400 University Dr., Fairfax. For more information, call 703-993-2787.

Skate to Live Rock

The Mount Vernon RECenter will hold its annual Rock N Blades concert and skate night at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 10, featuring 10 bands on two stages.

Among the bands are 33 West and Driving East, both of Fairfax; Common Effect, of Reston; Single Spies, of Richmond; and Release, of Clinton.

Admission is $10, which includes the concert and skating. The center is at 2017 Belle View Blvd. in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County. For more information, call 703-768-3224.

Country Dancing Lessons

The Reston Community Center will offer country-western dance lessons from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday at its Hunters Woods location.

Participants will learn line dancing, the two-step, shuffle and swing.

Admission is $5. The next country-western dance will be Oct. 3. The center is at 2310 Colts Neck Rd. For more information, call 703-476-4500 or visit

In McLean, a Show of Art

The McLean Project for the Arts has announced its fall exhibition schedule, which begins Sept. 16 and ends Nov. 6 at the McLean Community Center.

Between Sept. 16 and Oct. 16, an exhibition of mostly landscapes called "Incidents & Accidents/Hints & Allegories" by four artists will be shown in the Emerson Gallery. An opening reception will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Sept. 16.

Between Sept. 16 and Nov. 6, various works by artist Steven Sommovigo will be in the Atrium and Ramp galleries. A reception curator's talk and tour will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 25.

Sommovigo, who died earlier this year at age 37, was a draftsman and painter of subjects including flora and fauna, people and places in the McLean area.

The McLean Art Club's 50th Anniversary Juried Show will be on display from Oct. 20 through Nov. 6 in the Emerson Gallery. A reception will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Oct. 21.

The McLean Project for the Arts is on the second floor of the McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Ave. The center is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday. For information, call 703-790-1953 or visit

Politics on Film, for Seniors

In this presidential election season, the Reston Community Center will offer a film series for seniors called "65 Years of Politics in Hollywood," beginning Sept. 14 and continuing through October at its Lake Anne location.

After the films, local historian Carol Bessette will lead a discussion about power struggles, conflicting loyalties and the high-stakes world of politics, a center spokeswoman said in a news release. The schedule of films, all running from 1 to 4 p.m.:

* Sept. 14 -- "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," starring Jimmy Stewart.

* Oct. 12 -- "Advise and Consent," starring Henry Fonda.

* Oct. 15 -- "Dave," starring Kevin Kline.

* Oct. 22 -- "The American President," starring Michael Douglas.

The cost of each session is $5 for Reston residents 55 and older; $10 for nonresidents. The center is at 1609 Washington Plaza, Reston. For more information, call 703-689-3550 or visit

-- Compiled by DIANE MATTINGLY


Colvin Run Mill is featured prominently in the painting "Colvin1," by Steven Sommovigo, part of the McLean Project for the Arts' fall exhibition.

"Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," starring Jimmy Stewart, starts off a film series about politics for seniors at the Reston Community Center.