FunStuff: Charlottesville events February 23 and beyond
Can you believe that UVA Baseball has already begun? But better than that, the boys of spring are opening an incredible 9-game homestand on Tuesday the 21st of February with additional games on the 24th, 25th, 26th, 28th as well as the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th of March. March 3 is a particularly big day, as it's a "Cavman's Crew Day" with bonus activities for kids, and there are back-to-back games that day: first against Seton Hall and then against Wright State.
March 3, Davenport Field, noon and 3pm, $8 adults & $6 kids
Love modern dance? Well, here's your chance to catch an excerpt from a new work called "True Love" by the visiting Starr Foster Dance Project. Here, seven company dancers promise a jaded view of "relationships that have been adorned by delusion, lust and deceit." With choreography by Starrene Foster and an original score by Bentley Cobb Jr., it happens under the watchful eye of Miki Liszt whose venerable dance company, for 31 years located in downtown's McGuffey Art Center, has just moved to studio #11 within the building. Best of all, this happens amid the bustle of First Fridays with two performances, each one followed by a Q&A with the performers.
March 2, McGuffey Art Center, 6pm and 7pm, $8
'Cutch is back
The Renaissance Man of the folk world, the formerly Charlottesville-based master instrumentalist and storyteller John McCutcheon, returns for a concert at Piedmont Virginia Community College. This oft-nominated guy plays banjo, guitar, fiddle, autoharp, and the instrument he helped popularize, the hammered dulcimer. And here's a nice little detail we just learned: Johnny Cash once called him “the most impressive instrumentalist I’ve ever heard.” Find out this Saturday if you agree.
February 25, V. Earl Dickinson theater, 7:30pm, $15/$10
Coffee and classic cars
You've heard of first First Fridays, but soon folks may be talking about "first Saturdays," as a bunch of classic car lovers have decided to descend upon C'ville Coffee, from March to November, for an informal cruise-in. "There is no judging, trophies, or DJs playing loud music; and it doesn't last all day," says a release. Instead, it's like a pick-up basketball game– for early risers. The idea is that it'll continue on the first Saturday of the warmer months. "The event is open to the public and it's all free, except the coffee." The inaugural event happens in March at this popular Harris & McIntire caffeinery.
March 3, C'Ville Coffee, 7-9am, free
"Are certain forms of evil 'unthinkable?' Is evil beyond the realm of ethical evaluation?" When Phi Beta Kappa sponsors a lecture, you know your gray matter is ready for a workout. This time, the speaker is Dr. William Schweiker, a well-known bridger of religion and humanism as well a faculty member at the University of Chicago Divinity School. In Charlottesville, he'll try to provide answers to the above questions by discussing religious myths about evil and the reality of evil in human experience. This Thursday afternoon event happens in an usual location for most Charlottesvillians: inside "Hotel C" on the hallowed UVA Lawn's West Range, off of McCormick Road near Alderman Library.
February 23, Jefferson Hall, 4-6pm, free
A sticked Ensemble
The UVA Jazz Ensemble kicks off the new year by bringing in Greg Howard, the well-known king of the Chapman Stick, to headline its winter concert on Saturday night. If the words "Chapman Stick" are drawing blank stares, that's the unusual stringed thing which is played, as music writer Vijith Assar has noted, using "Van Halen-style fretboard tapping." Directed by local trumpet god John D’earth and performing in the building at the South end of UVA's hallowed Lawn, the Jazz Ensemble will perform several originals by Howard as well as classic jazz including Thad Jones’ composition "Backbone," D’earth’s arrangement of Charles Mingus’ "Reincarnation of a Lovebird," and "500 Miles High," Chick Corea’s fusion classic.
February 25, Old Cabell Hall, 8pm, $10/$5
Scratched art at Blue Moon
If the local art scene sometimes seems a little trapped in the ivory tower, here's an exhibition that reaches into a fun part of Charlottesville: the restaurant scene. It's a series of portraits of local chefs and restauranteurs. But it's also a whole new medium using pastels and then removing layers that artist Bart Lanman has created called Scribble Scratch. "It's not just a technique," he says. "It's a mode of experience, a mode of expression." And on Friday March 2nd, it gets its unveiling with a cash bar amid free finger foods at a favorite West Main Street diner.
March 2, Blue Moon Diner, 6:30pm, free
Virginia Festival of the Book
It's not here just yet, but you might wanna start planning for this event that brings together noted authors and eager author-meeters, which now celebrates its 18th anniversary. This year's Festival hotshots–- besides the winner of the John Grisham-judged Hook short-story contest–- include historian Ed Ayers, Grundy native Lee Smith, Ian Fleming successor Jeffery Deaver, and NBA icon Jerry West (along with his co-author, Charlottesville's own Jonathan Coleman).
March 21-25, all over town, various times, mostly free
Could there really be an American blues-rock band spun out of Jefferson Airplane? Oh yeah. It's Hot Tuna, and was built by bassist Jack Casady and guitarist Jorma Kaukonen, and they're bringing an acoustic show to downtown's ever-zesty Jefferson Theater. What started back in 1969 as a side project when Airplane front-lady Grace Slick was recovering from throat surgery has remained loyal to the blues, jazz, bluegrass, and folk influences of the small clubs where these guys got their start before Airplane (later Starship) become the monster success it was.
March 1, Jefferson Theater, 7pm doors open, $32/$35
Imagine a "wrestling" league that's been said to include has-beens and trouble-makers tossed out of the other big professional "wrestling" league, WWE, and you have some idea of the "Superstars" who are going to Charlottesville's biggest venue on Sunday. Yes, it's Total Nonstop Action Wrestling– perhaps better known as TNA– which brings its live world tour as seen on Spike TV. And get this: "The loudest Charlottesville fans will be invited backstage for a special Impact Wrestling experience." Don't say they didn't warn you.
February 26, John Paul Jones Arena, 6pm, $22-52
This week's "FunStuff" was compiled by Hawes Spencer, and next week's "FunStuff" will be compiled by another newsroom staffer. To get your event considered, send a press release to firstname.lastname@example.org.