January 20, 2011 at 2:33 pm EDT | by Juliette Ebner
Arts news in brief

Suzanne Westenhoefer plays the Birchmere in Alexandria, Va., next weekend. (Photo courtesy of Cause+Effect)

Big band era comes alive in Rehoboth

Camp Rehoboth Chorus will be putting on a concert “Strike Up the Band” on Sunday at the Rehoboth Beach Theatre of Arts (20 Baltimore Ave.) to celebrate music of the 1940s and the World War II era.

The concert, under the musical direction of Bill McManus and artistic direction of Fay Jacobs, will include songs such as “In the Mood,” “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and “Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning.”

The show will also include a special tribute to all who have served now that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has been repealed.

The chorus, a four-part singing group, started in 2009 with only 22 members. It has since grown to almost 40, comprised by both gay and straight singers.

The chorus will be accompanied by David Zipse, a veteran performer around Delaware.

After its last winter concert sold out during a snow storm, the chorus has planned two performances of this concert.

The first performance will be at 3 p.m. and the second at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased by calling 302-227-5620.

Comedian Westenhoefer gets ‘Semi-Sweet’ at Birchmere

Suzanne Westenhoefer will be performing at the Birchmere Music Hall (3701 Mt. Vernon Ave.) in Alexandria on Jan. 29 at 7:30 p.m. as part of her “Semi-Sweet” tour.

“I’m calling the new show Semi-Sweet because there’s a lot of sweet stuff to talk about …. and a lot of stuff that, well, isn’t,” says Westenhoefer on her website. “It’s all about the changes that have occurred in my life over the past year. Some have been good and some not-so-much. I thought the name Semi-Sweet captured that perfectly.”

The show will have new material.

Westenhoefer, voted at “America’s Funniest Lesbian” by Curve magazine, was the first openly gay comedian to appear on television when she appeared on an episode of “Sally” (with Sally Jessy Raphael) in 1991.

She was also the first openly gay comic to host her own HBO comedy special in 1994.

Westenhoefer will be seen in the upcoming Nicole Conn film, “A Perfect Ending,” which is scheduled to begin filming this spring.

Tickets are $45 and can be purchased at birchmere.com.

For more information on Westenhoefer, visit her website, suzannew.com.

Synetic reprises ‘Dream’ for anniversary season

Synetic Theater presents a special engagement as it brings back its award-winning “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” this week as part of its 10th anniversary season.

Part of the theater’s acclaimed “Silent Shakespeare” shows, “Midsummer” was the recipient of the 2010 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Ensemble and received nine nominations overall.

Synetic’s mission is to be the premier American physical theater.

Founded in 2001 by Paata and Irina Tsikurishvili, the theater made its debut with wordless “Hamlet … the rest is silence,” which earned three Helen Hayes Awards in 2003.

Synectic now produces four main stage productions, three family series productions, has an educational studio and conducts outreach programs.

The play will run from Jan. 25 to Jan. 29 with shows at 8 p.m. and a matinee on Jan. 30 at 2 p.m. at Synetic Theater at Crystal City (1800 South Bell St.) in Arlington.

The company has been at its Crystal City location since 2010, this season being its first in the space.

Tickets range from $40 to $50 for general admission and $20 to $25 for students.

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