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Stone's new movie "Snowden" shows everyone who is watching who

Gordon-Levitt as SnowdenJoseph Gordon-Levitt stars as the title character in Oliver Stone's new film "Snowden." COURTESY PHOTO Oliver Stone’s “Snowden,” a biopic of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who revealed the extent of that agency’s domestic spying operations, is a serious, well-made, and genuinely frightening film.

Stone and Kieran Fitzgerald wrote the movie, based on the books “The Snowden Files” by Luke Harding and “The Time of the Octopus” by Anatoly Kucherena.

Stone met personally with Snowden multiple times in Russia, where he has lived under political asylum during the last three years, while researching the film.

Open Road Films, which last year brought “Spotlight” to the big screen, produced the movie.

“Snowden” is framed by the title character, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, meeting in Hong Kong in 2013 with filmmaker Laura Poitras (Melissa Leo).

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Local artists gather for 46th annual Glen Echo Art Show at Spanish Ballroom

Glen Echo BallroomLocal artists gathered to display their work in the annual Glen Echo Art Show at Glen Echo Park's Spanish Ballroom. COURTESY PHOTO 

GLEN ECHO – During the holiday weekend, local artists displayed their work at the Glen Echo Labor Day Art Show at the historic Spanish Ballroom.

Now in its 46th year, the show is a lightly-juried festival that displays artwork in a variety of different media.

A percentage of revenue from artwork sold at the show supports the park’s educational programs.

“There’s a long history in the show of artists who are affiliated with the park, and also sometimes they are instructors or resident artists or they take lessons here, and some are just community members,” said Meredith Forster, Education program manager for Glen Echo Park.

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Bethesda 'Laugh Riot' Ensues Featuring Celebrity Comedians

BETHESDA – At the Positano Italian Restaurant, a new comedy show is in town.

Formerly at a different venue, “Laugh Riot” is a comedy show being hosted weekly in a section at the back of the eatery.

On a stage no bigger than some of the tables, stand-up comedians do their bits for the cheap price of $10 admission.

“[Laugh Riot] always gets great shows, they’re well-organized, and you always get a laugh. I come at every opportunity,” said Trish, a local resident.

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Gaithersburg Labor Day Parade celebrates city

Gaithersburg Govt logo

GAITHERSBURG – The 78th Gaithersburg Labor Day parade, featuring exhibitions and floats from numerous area schools civic groups, and other organizations, made its way through the city’s Olde Towne area Monday afternoon.

At the beginning of the event, the parade’s mistress of ceremonies, Jen Richer, a midday host on 94.7 FM, discussed the parade’s status as one of the city’s oldest and most continuously-celebrated events.

She noted the parade was first presented in 1938 and, except for 1942, residents have celebrated it every year since.

“The highlights for me are always seeing so many people, so many different parts of our community come out,” said Mayor Jud Ashman.

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An Obsession:

Local Chevy Chase home becomes the last refuge for the donkey lover in all of us

Donkeys 3Bernice Rabin presents one of the pieces of her extensive collection of art and memorabilia that feature donkeys. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  

Inside Bernice Rabin’s Chevy Chase home is a world of donkeys, more than 1,000 of them, although none of them are alive.

Donkeys cover the walls, shelves, stairways, cabinets and table tops. They are found in toys, paintings, tapestries, ash trays, thimbles, troll dolls, paper fans, cut glass, clothing, a chess set, record albums, wine and beer bottles, musical instruments, plates, wind chimes and pillows.

Many of them depict folk art from countries that Rabin, 79, has visited. Others have been given to her by friends. Rabin believes she has spent close to $25,000 on her obsession.

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Center Stage: A unique twist on contemporary art at Smithsonian

DeMonte-5The DeMonte. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER 

WASHINGTON D.C. – The Smithsonian American Art Museum’s “Connections: Contemporary Craft at the Renwick Gallery” is an exhibit showcasing many different modes of art, with a unique twist.

Instead of ordering the art pieces by medium, artist, or time period into their own separate areas, “Connections” places the art randomly throughout the halls and connects each art piece with another through a common idea.

For example, next to the description of Viktor Schreckengost’s “Apocalypse ‘42”, a terracotta caricature of Hitler, Tojo, and Mussolini riding a berserk horse is a small icon of another art piece, “Batman 2”.

A dotted line leads to the “Batman” art in question: a full-body, knit costume by Mark Newport parodying Hollywood’s traditional view of the masculine superhero.

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Center Stage: Superb and tension-filled 'Hamlet' explodes in Olney

NP Hamlet3Hamlet as staged in Olney brings a unique sense of tension. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  

OLNEY – This upcoming weekend is the last chance to see Olney Theatre Centre’s free production of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” performed by the National Players.

The National Players are an Olney Theatre-based touring company celebrating nearly 68 years of performances.

Scenic Designer Paige Hathaway’s set is both practical and inventive.

The backdrop appears to be an assortment of wooden cabinets stacked on top of each other, with fold-out paintings and tables that emphasize the actors’ dialogue while creating a sense of immersion.  

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Folk music will still reign in Takoma Park though the festival will not

 

Takoma Park Folk Festival Logo

Folk music enthusiasts will be able to listen to a day’s worth of their favorite music Sept. 11 despite the Takoma Park Folk Festival planning committee cancelling the city’s annual Folk Festival.

Two local organizations scheduled a series of performances to remind people of the annual festival.

“It’s not a replacement event but rather an event to fill in the gap in the year,” said Laura Barclay of the Old Takoma Business Association. “(We want to) continue the tradition and recapture the thousands that come to Takoma.”

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Center Stage: An exhibition of Romaine Brooks' revolutionary style

brooks ida rubinsteinRomaine Brooks' Ida Rubinstein.  PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  

WASHINGTON DC — The Smithsonian American Art Museum is holding an exhibition of Romaine Brooks, an early 20th century painter notable for her revolutionary depiction of women.

Unlike traditional paintings that depict female subjects with bright, flowery colors, Brooks’ paintings are characterized by her use of muted tones and portrayal of women in androgynous attire.

Brooks’ later works are notable for the bold outlines of her subjects mixed with lightly blended colors, giving her paintings a uniquely modern feel.

These techniques emphasize the assertive poses taken by many women in her paintings, allowing her subjects’ features to carry a distinct vibrancy that carries throughout her later works.

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The Powers of the midway

midway1aLife on the County Fair's midway is the main attraction for some fair-goers.     PHOTO BY JAKE BRODSKY  

GAITHERSBURG – The Montgomery County Agricultural Fair would be vastly different without Powers Great American Midways, who has been the fair’s midway provider for the past 11 years.

“[The Montgomery County Fair] has just grown and grown,” said Marc Janas, the GM of Powers. “We have a great rapport with the folks that run the fair, they’re good friends of ours and that’s really important. It just keeps getting better every year. Weather permitting, knock on wood, the attendance just keeps going up.”

The Montgomery County Fair is part of what Janas calls "big fair season," meaning Powers carries around 400 employees to the event.

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