Rich Massabny is a theatre, arts, & food critic in the nation's capital. He has been quoted in the Washington Post and Washington Times. One of the most visible cable television personalities in the Washington, D.C. area, his celebrity chefs on cooking shows, his weekly reviews and his hour long talk show, reach over 1,000,000 homes.

Monday, August 24, 2015

ZEMFIRA STAGE - - “My Fair Lady”



    Who doesn’t like “My Fair Lady?” This wonderful musical has truly stood the test of time. Last weekend I saw it performed at the James Lee Community Center Theatre in Falls Church,  produced by Zemfira Stage. It was a delightful production with three outstanding leads: Jim Mitchell as Henry Higgins, Stacy Crickmer as Eliza Doolittle and Terry Mason as Colonel Pickering. Plus a great ensemble of singers and dancers and an enthusiastic band under the direction of Annette Fakoury.  Jim Mitchell is one of those actors whose comfortable stage presence draws you into every role he plays. Unfortunately, the show  concluded last weekend. But not to worry, Zemfira will be back in January 2016 with “August: Osage County.” Zina Bleck is the founding producer and director and she always puts forth quality shows. For more information, call 703-615-6626 or email, zemfirastage@gmail.com.

Friday, August 21, 2015

SIGNATURE THEATRE - - “The Fix”



     Signature Theatre began its 2015/2016 season with a musical satire, “The Fix.” It’s a very funny, inside-politics show, knocking at every turn, American bureaucracy and  what it takes to run for office. “The Fix” opens with a a Presidential candidate, Senator Reed Chandler (Bobby Smith) dying in the arms of his mistress (Jamie Eacker). His power hungry wife, Violet ( Christine Sherrill) and his brother, Grahame (Lawrence Redmond), scheme to get Reed’s son, Cal (Mark Evans) to enter politics and eventually run for President. That’s the plot. What makes this show is not so much the plot, but the outstanding music, vocals and ensemble singing and dancing. “The Fix” is very entertaining and the cast couldn’t be better. It first premiered at Signature in 1998 and is one of its favorite shows. “The Fix” runs through Sept. 20. For information and tickets, call 703-820-9771 or check the website at www.sigtheatre.org. Coming up next at Signature is the world premiere of “Cake Off,” a musical comedy.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

SIGNATURE THEATRE - “Sizzlin’ Summer Nights” Plus 2015-2016 Season



     During the month of July, Signature Theatre offered over 16 summer concerts by popular actors who have appeared in past Signature productions. I wish I could have attended them all, but I did manage to catch singer/actress Sandy Bainum in “It Might Be Fun” concert of original songs from her latest album, written by Bruce Kimmel.  Sandy was last seen  at Signature in “Gypsy,” “Show Boat,” “Company” and “Sunset Boulevard.” I have all of Sandy’s albums. She is quite the performer with a fantastic voice.
     Now, let’s look at Signature’s new season which begins Aug. 11 with “The Fix,” described as sex, drugs and rock and roll, set in the nation’s capital. The next show, Sept. 29-Nov. 22, is “Cake Off,”  a world premiere musical comedy about a battle of baking sexes. For a full schedule, check the website at www.sigtheatre.org or call, 703-820-9771.



Monday, January 19, 2015

BISTRO 360



Bistro—Market—Wine Bar
     Recently opened at 1800 Wilson Blvd. in Arlington, is a restaurant, market and wine bar called Bistro 360. Art Hauptman, who owns Cassatts restaurant on Lee Highway near Glebe Road, is a principal at Bistro 360.  Taking a look at Bistro’s menu, developed by executive chef Scott Person, my first thought was, “Wow! A little Asian, a little Italian, a little Southern, a little Eastern Europe and a little French.”  For starters, I tried the onion cabbage soup and butternut squash bisque with a side of fried green tomatoes. Delicious. I was tempted to get the antipasto platter with charcuterie, cheeses, salad and pickled vegetables because Bistro’s market features a wonderful array of cheeses. Another item I passed up, but will try later, was a roasted lamb flatbread with feta cheese and caramelized onions. It looked great! Entrees are divided into pastas and rice, seafood, rotisserie and meats. I chose the miso glazed salmon with bok choy along with lo mein noodles. My wife had a lemongrass pork chop served with gnocchi and snap peas. Both entrees were beautifully presented and seasoned perfectly. Chef Scott said his shrimp and grits and steak dishes are also very popular. Bistro 360 is an up and coming  restaurant between Rosslyn and Clarendon. It’s open seven days a week for dinner plus  brunch on Saturday and Sunday. For more information and reservations, call 703-522-3600 and check the website at www.Bistro360.net.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

PALIO RISTORANTE ITALIANO in Leesburg



     When was the last time you were in Leesburg? Well, now is the time to go and have dinner at the Palio Ristorante Italiano, located right in the heart of Leesburg—it’s well worth the trip! Recently, I met Palio’s experienced general manager, David Saavedra and got a tour of this charming and first-class restaurant. David’s also the GM of the newly opened Virginia Diner around the corner which is a fun, first-rate diner. Both eateries are owned by the genial Michael O’Connor. Back to Palio. In my opinion, part of its success are the servers like Hugo, Bill and C4.The head chef is Ian Dieter whose menu is outstanding. For starters I had a delicious lobster bisque followed by a great beef carpaccio with truly thinly sliced beef, red onions, arugula, capers and shaved parmigiano cheese. My wife wanted to try a pasta appetizer and was served linguini with Bolognese sauce. A real winner! There are great entrĂ©e items to choose from and at Hugo’s suggestion I ordered frutti di mare which consisted of pasta, clams, scallops, calamari, shrimp and mussels in a garlic white wine sauce. Delicious! My wife had one of Palio’s favorite items, risotto ai funghi con Capesante which is pan seared scallops with wild mushroom risotto, truffle oil and asparagus. Outstanding! Some of the other entrees are roasted chicken stuffed with spinach, veal scallopini, filet mignon, herb crusted rack of lamb and more. I don’t think you could go wrong with any choice.  Give Palio a try. It’s located at 2 West Market Street, Leesburg. For more information, call 703-779-0060 and check the website at www.palioofleesburg.com.