Love, friendship and movie night

RAAC’s Friday Movie Night starts up again at 8 p.m. Jan. 6 with the screening of “Love and Friendship” at the Little Washington Theatre.

An adaptation of Jane Austen’s novella “Lady Susan,” writer-director Whit Stillman’s story of duplicity, desire and fortune-hunting in 18th-century England is propelled by Lady Susan Vernon, a charmer and schemer played with verve and precision by Kate Beckinsale. When not keeping illicit company with the handsome, silent and emphatically married Lord Manwaring, the nearly penniless Susan is looking for a pair of husbands, one for herself and one for her daughter, Frederica. See “Lady Susan” for the interplay of the characters and in the shadings Beckinsale gives to Susan, who is at once heroine and villainess. At times, “Love and Friendship” is howlingly funny, and as a whole it feels less like a romance than like a caper, an unabashedly contrived and effortlessly inventive heist movie with a pretty good payoff.

Tickets for “Love and Friendship” are $6; popcorn, candy, and water are available for purchase at the door (291 Gay St., Washington). For more information, visit

Wine, gala and a gold medal

Last Thursday (Dec. 15), Pandit and Sudha Patil, owners of Amissville’s Narmada Winery, attended a gala awards ceremony at the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill. The Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association, in cooperation with the Congressional Wine Caucus, hosted the event to taste the gold medal-winning wines of the Twelfth Annual Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition.

Pandit and Sudha were presented with a certificate for achieving a Gold Medal/Best In Category for Narmada Melange 2014, a meritage-style blend of cabernet sauvignon and merlot grapes. The current vintage is available at the winery, and the award-winning wine, yet to be released, is available by special order. (Visit for more.)

Wild beer and erstwhile Ramblers

Next Monday (Dec. 26), there’s a “Not Gold Top” musical get together at Pen Druid Brewery (7 River Lane) on Boxing Day that features the Blue Ridge Cordon Bleus — who are, to quote the Rappahannock-based bluegrass band Gold Top County Ramblers’ Facebook page, “some of the Ramblers of Christmas Past and Future.” In the tradition of both Gold Top’s Rogers and Pen Druid’s Carney brothers, from 4 to 7 p.m., the music will be excellent, the wild-fermented beers will be cold and magically delicious, and the wood stove will be warm.

Admission is free, but please bring an item for the Rappahannock Food Pantry as a donation. For more information, visit the Facebook event page.

First Night, next town over . . .

First Night Warrenton is a New Year’s Eve community celebration of the arts for families, friends, visitors, and neighbors that this year features 40 live indoor performances in and around downtown Warrenton. A nonprofit, alcohol-free event, First Night Warrenton is sponsored by the Bluemont Concert Series.

The entertainment includes jazz, puppet shows, bluegrass, folk music, dancing, storytelling, rock and roll and more. At midnight, there’s a Grand Illumination out in front of the Old Fauquier Courthouse. All performance sites are indoors, all within walking distance of downtown. Admission is $10 ($8 ages 65 and older, $5 ages 3 to 12, younger kids free). (Volunteers also get in free, and last we heard, Bluemont was still looking for volunteers.) For more information, visit the event site or call 540-955-8186.

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