Despite their determinedly of-the-moment sound, Redfoo and Sky Blu are carrying on a long pop lineage: the former is Motown founder Berry Gordy's son, the latter his grandson. As red-hot electropop duo LMFAO, the uncle-nephew pairing electrifies dance floors with manic odes to party life. The 2012 Sorry for Party Rocking tour explodes with fan favorites such as "Party Rock Anthem" and newer hits such as "Sexy and I Know It," which has a bouncy swagger that dominated the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 28 weeks. Meanwhile, the band parades in neon animal prints amid backup dancers, bobbing beneath giant robot heads, tossing inflatables into the crowd, and creating a spectacle Metro Weekly calls "enormously entertaining."
When the Old Town Theater was remodeled in 2012, the owners discovered an architectural gem that waited 98 years to be uncovered. Throughout the theater, they found pressed tin dating back to the venue’s inception as a vaudeville and silent-film house in 1914. The most amazing discovery, however, was a grand staircase that had been left out of the building plans since the 1930s. Now the theater pays homage to its roots, even while offering modern amenities such as spacious seating, a professional light-and-sound system, and a television that shows stuff in color.
Specializing in petite, densely packed Andean-style tapas, Guarapo has a zest-injected menu of Latin dinner fare. Meal preambles include the chifles, guac-dotted homemade plantain chips ($6) and the beef, chicken, or cheese-filled baked potato cakes of the papa rellena ($7). Small plates such as the chicharron de cerdo, which features crispy pork on mote corn with onion salsa criolla ($8), or the garlic-sautéed jumbo shrimp of the gambas al ajillo ($10) disprove the conventional wisdom that dinner is best served in a pony keg. Dishes prepared in the ceviche style harness the mysterious power of citrus, with results including the wasibi-graced yellowfin that anchors the atun ($10). Entrees such as the veggie-laden steak known as the lomo saltado ($17) or the arroz con mariscos, with its shrimp, mussels, and calamari ($17), can find their liquid counterparts in traditional Latin drinks like an apple mojito ($10).
With Puppet Strings, the McLean Orchestra will perform Stravinsky's century-old ballet Petrouchka, which narrates the tale of a lovesick puppet who comes to life. Under the direction of the baton-wielding conductor Emil de Cou, more than 80 professional and hobbyist musicians weave together Petrouchka's solemn ode to unrequited love and bean burritos through gripping crescendos and emotive string playing. Supertitles will elucidate characters' thoughts in writing over the stage. Then the orchestra switches from puppet strings to cello strings with Antonin Dvorak's Concerto for Cello featuring cello soloist Amy Ward Butler. Derrieres can park themselves in any seat in the general-admission section with first-come, first-served seating.
André Rieu enchants all tastes as he leads his Johann Strauss Orchestra through an evening of virtuosic swooning and dancing in the aisles. A violinist since the age of 5, after a biochemistry degree and two divorces, André radiates his lifelong love of classical music into the audience, tipping the scales of fancy and footloose. Like an omnipotent marionette artist, he maestros both the orchestra and spectators into enticing bouts of ballroom dancing, taking breaks between his Pied Pipering to excitedly play his Stradivarius violin. As Rieu interacts with the audience, the air fills with the kaleidoscopic balloons, lilting tenors and sopranos, and special surprises, which may include a John Philip Sousa séance or a tuba-hole marshmallow toss.
Havana Nights Dining and Jazz's moody allure earned the restaurant the title of "Best Restaurant Reviewed in 2012" by The Virginian-Pilot. With its trio of unique venues, the restaurant invites guests to three very different experiences under the same roof. The Caribbean Room features Caribbean-American fusion dishes from Chef Kent Johnson's kitchen amid a "beautifully moody and dark dining space," as described by HamptonRoads.com. Surrounded by murals of palm trees, diners browse wine and spirits menus on iPads and dig into interpretations of arroz con pollo and gulf bouillabaisse.
In an adjoining space, the Bang and Olufsen Jazz Club vibrates with improvised scales during live performances every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening. Upstairs, in a private lounge, cigar enthusiasts can kick back in large leather chairs while enjoying stogies and writing secret messages to each other in the clouds of aromatic smoke.