Northern Virginia’s Alden Theatre Reopens After Renovation

Northern Virginia’s Alden Theatre, with a long-standing moniker, “small stage, big talent,” reopens on Saturday, January 5, 2019, when renovations of the surrounding building complex, the McLean Community Center (MCC), will be complete.

The Alden Theatre under renovation. Photo by David Siegel.
The Alden Theatre under renovation. Photo by David Siegel.

The Alden is an acoustically rich, intimate venue with about 375 seats (orchestra and balcony) and a busy schedule. In the past several years the Alden has had performances from boldface names such as Chita Rivera, American Shakespeare Center, the Aquila Theatre Company, Martha Graham Dance Company, New York’s Neofuturists, Judy Gold, Julian Bond, Dick Gregory, William Rhodes, and the Asphalt Orchestra to name just a few. It is also home to local McLean community performing arts organization such as the McLean Community Players. The MCC is also home to the renowned McLean Project for the Arts.

The ribbon-cutting for the $8 million renovation was held on December 5, 2018. The newly renovated MCC has more available square footage than before; about 7500 additional square footage of space for classes, meetings, rehearsals and such. Aiming to be a central jewel for McLean, the MCC is a light-filled space with the outside world in view through glass walls that look out on to a lovely courtyard. There is an updated, larger foyer for guests, brighter lighting, more restrooms and even a nifty stairway to Alden Theatre balcony seating.

The project was completed on time and within budget. Of note, renovation funding in part came from a special surcharge, additional property tax (the McLean Community Center Tax District) that McLean residents have paid on their real estate taxes for many decades.

A community-wide open house will be held on Saturday, January 5, 2019, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. That evening local favorites, The Capitol Steps will perform at the Alden’s reopening. The Capitol Steps performance is already sold out.

MCC Alden staff are already busy developing the 2019-2020 performance season for the Alden.

The Alden Theatre is located at 1234 Ingleside Avenue, McLean, VA 22101.  The Alden/ McLean Community Center has ample free, well-lit parking. There are nearby restaurants. For details about upcoming events, call 703-790-0123 or go online.

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David Siegel
David Siegel is a freelance theater reviewer and features writer whose work appears on DC Theater Arts, ShowBiz Radio, in the Connection Newspapers and the Fairfax Times. He is a judge in the Helen Hayes Awards program. He is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association and volunteers with the Arts Council of Fairfax County. David has been associated with theater in the Washington, DC area for nearly 30 years. He served as Board President, American Showcase Theater Company (now Metro Stage) and later with the American Century Theater as both a member of the Executive Board and as Marketing Director. You can follow David's musings on Twitter @pettynibbler.


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