Coffee house makes events
accessible to all
By MARTI MOORE
Journal staff writer
disabilities enjoy attending cultural events as much as anyone else, but for
many, the hassles of getting to a show outweigh the pleasures. But accessible entertainment for the disabled is
available tonight at Inwood House, a residential community for the disabled in
Wheaton. Residents have opened a coffee house that operates the first Friday of
each month. Musician Larry Cline and friends will warm up
the Inwood Coffee House audience at 8 p.m. His performance will be followed by
the house band Profusion, a fresh brew of professional and amateur talent that
plays through 10 p.m.
According to Lesley Choy - founding
director of the Unidentified Flying Opera Company in Silver Spring, which has
served people with special needs through the arts since 1995 - the concept of a
premier coffee house with world-class entertainment was discussed by several
people in the community. ``I'm sick and tired of people
with challenges getting the dregs," Choy said. She said she believes the coffee
house can achieve ``total integration of people with challenges and people
On separate occasions, she said,
professional musicians who have entertained Inwood residents suggested the place
would make a great coffee house. ``Everybody had the same
idea," Choy said. ``It was just meant to happen." The coffee house, at 10921
Inwood Ave., opened in November to a small crowd of about 50 people. Tonight is
their second night in business.
Choy said the lineup will
open with a featured act, followed by a blend of professional musicians who
comprise the house band. The band also provides backup to amateurs invited to
perform at an open microphone session. ``The band seems
to be forming into a rowdy contingent of really good musicians," Choy said.
Although the makeup of Profusion varies each month, band members rehearse
together for a performance that transcends a mere jam session, she said. ``We have wonderful, imaginative performances," Choy
said. Tonight's show is worth the $5 cover charge, she said, just to hear
musician Art Harrison play the Theremin, an electronic synthesizer that sounds
like a musical saw and conjures memories of the original theme of the television
show ``Star Trek." When played, she said the Theremin
``looks like magic because you're waving your hands over a flat box and music is
Also, talented Inwood residents are
expected to perform tonight during open mike, including ``diva" Phyllis
Schulman, 62, whose musical stylings are reminiscent of Jimmy Durante. Her repertoire includes classic standards ``A Day in the
Life of a Fool" and ``Bye, Bye Blackbird."
Choy said the
Inwood Coffee House offers an unforgettable experience for anyone who
participates as a performer or audience member. ``It's a
wonderful way to feel connected to all people," she said.
The coffee house is open to the public at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $5 or free for
Inwood House residents. Cover charge includes coffee and hot tea. Snacks are
sold for a small charge.
The Inwood House is east of
Westfield Shoppingtown, formerly Wheaton Plaza mall, at the corner of University
Boulevard and Inwood Avenue between Georgia and Arcola avenues. Call (301)
649-6595 or visit coffehouse.ufoco.org.
The M Street Brass Quintet is the featured act in February.
Back in the day
Children of the new millennium can see how their peers in the
1800s entertained themselves by spending a ``Winter Pastimes Afternoon" from
12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the historic Beall-Dawson House in Rockville.
Activities include making a Jacob's Ladder toy and
exploring other 19th-century pastimes, such a looking through a ``stereopticon,"
the precursor to a hand-held View Master slide show.
Between noon and 3:30 p.m. Sunday is the last chance to experience the
Beall-Dawson House holiday candlelight tour and to see an exhibit on local
A display through Jan. 31 - titled
``Montgomery County in the Face of Adversity" - recounts the experiences of
local residents when the nation was at war, through photographs and documents
from the War of 1812, Civil War, World War I and World War II.
Admission is $3. Call (301) 762-1492 or visit www.montgomeryhistory.org.