FunStuff: Charlottesville events March 29 and beyond

The scent of a neighborhood
One of Charlottesville's oldest neighborhoods, Belmont is known as one of its most colorful places as well. Now comes photographer Peter Krebs, a recent transplant from Brooklyn who spent two years capturing that color by shooting people and places along Monticello Road from Spudnuts to Moore's Creek. With on-the street portraits and impromptu photo booths set up inside businesses (such as Spudnuts, of course), Krebs created "Monticello Road," an exhibition of about three dozen prints (including Bobby and Buck, shown here at Moore's Creek Family Restaurant). The exhibition's Friday night launch party will be just one event in a month of Krebs-convened Belmont celebrations, most taking place at The Bridge, an Avon Street-facing arts center at 209 Monticello Road. Other events include a morning-after screening of the documentary film Still Life with Donuts and, in conjunction with the upcoming "Architecture Week," an April 17 panel on savvy planning.
April 6, The Bridge, 6-8pm, free


Grill a lawmaker
The green-clad State Police officers were ready with tear gas and automatic weapons. Every spring, there's a report from local members of the Virginia House of Delegates for a group of not-necessarily-young people (though the event is open to everyone) called the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. Delegates Rob Bell, Matt Fariss, Steve Landes, and David Toscano have each been invited. With such roiling recent issues as the nationally-lampooned pre-abortion ultrasounds, the riot cops who went after those protesting the law, the undoing of one-handgun-a-month, the tepid reform against Biscuit Run-style deals, and Rob Bell's controversial decision to create a mandatory life sentence for every child rapist, this Wednesday afternoon event may be as good a chance as any to personally grill your local lawmaker. Miss this one, and you get another chance in May when State Senators Creigh Deeds and Bryce Reeves are the invited guests.
April 11, The Senior Center, 1:30pm, free


Music TJ mighta heard
We may not know exactly how the music performed for the Sage of Monticello would have sounded, but a visiting act called Harmonious Blacksmith may help us find out. Playing period instruments, they will attempt to recreate an evening of domestic musicmaking at Monticello. They'll perform with members of the venerable Baltimore Consort and with UVA professor David Sariti who plays the violin– the same instrument that Thomas Jefferson played. Organizers have chosen works from Jefferson's own music collection from back in the days when Renaissance and Baroque were contemporary music. Thanks to donors to the McIntire Department of Music at UVA, there's no charge to attend this Friday night spectacular.
March 30, Old Cabell Hall, 8pm, free.


Get buzzed, not beared
You may think you'll feel a little out of your hive at a meeting of Central Virginia Beekeepers, but this one coming up on a Thursday features David Koch, the district biologist from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. He's been invited to enlighten club members and the public about bears, bear habitat, bear behavior, and what beekeepers can do to keep their beehives off-limits to would-be Winnie-the-Poohs. And if you get bored by ursine information, you can lumber off into the woods of the Ivy Creek Natural Area, that little wilderness just half a mile past the Rock Store on Earlysville Road.
April 5, Ivy Creek Natural Area, 7pm, free


Heathen sent
It's not his fault that the frontman looks and sounds just a bit like 1970s icon Michael McDonald, but Band of Heathens is no cheesy retro act. Still, you might be forgiven– as you notice the vocal harmonies and super-clear instrumentation– for thinking of Three Dog Night when you listen to this Austin-based ensemble of relentlessly-touring rock-and-rollers. Veterans of Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and South By Southwest, they're out now in support of a big (two CDs and two DVDs) set of live music called The Double Down: Live in Denver, Vol 1 & 2. See 'em on a Wednesday night.
April 4, The Southern, 9pm (doors at 8), $10


Like a Hopper painting
"This show," warns the press release, "contains explicit language, adult situations, and partial nudity." Another cutting-edge drama at LiveArts, right? Wrong, it's Four County Players, that Barboursville-based bastion of all that would please Norman Rockwell. Only this time the heartland has been ditched for The Food Chain, a witty look at loneliness in the crowd by New York-based playwright Nicky Silver. It's not all gloom and heartbreak, as the New York Times reviewer noted that "priceless" jokes and one-liners come hurtling toward the audience "like tennis balls from an automatic server." This production in "The Cellar" at 5256 Governor Barbour Street is directed by Joncey Boggs and stars Miller Murray Susen along with the two shown here, Marty Moore as "Bea" and Allen Van Houzen as "Otto." (Date listed is opening night. Full run: April 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21.)
April 6, Barboursville Community Center, 8pm, $10


Mickey, Minnie, Donald, etc.
Walt Disney's top characters will roll into town for two shows on one day only, as Disney Live! presents three action-packed fairytales for youthful audiences on stage at the giant arena on Emmet Street. With the classic storylines, the songs that made movie magic, and costumes that might have made Walt himself proud, this trio of tales may enthrall your younguns. And don't forget the "glittering special effects" sure to enliven these productions of Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
March 31, John Paul Jones Arena, 3pm and 6pm, $22-32



Making a racquet
With sunny skies and temperatures predicted to hit the springy mid-60s, this Friday looks like a superb day to stroll over to the tennis center located behind UVA's two main libraries at the corner of Emmet Street and University Avenue. There, you'll find the #3-ranked Cavaliers, who include #7 in America Jarmere Jenkins and numero uno Mitchell Frank (shown here) trying to keep their team's undefeated record in the ACC as they take on Wake Forest in an afternoon match-up. (If you're one of those people who actually has to work on a weekday, you get a second chance on Sunday when the Cavs play N.C. State at 1pm.)
March 30, Snyder Tennis Courts, 3pm, free


UVA's jazzy guys
You're always talking about seeing the big-time jazz players on the faculty of UVA but other than catching one or another playing solo at Miller's never doing much about it. Now's your chance to hear them together in the University's premiere concert hall, as the McIntire Department of Music presents the Free Bridge Quintet in concert for a Saturday-night show that's low-priced by local standards and can even  be heard for free by students who reserve in advance. It features Jeff Decker on saxophones, Robert JospĂ© on drums, Wells Hanley on piano, Pete Spaar on bass, and the silver-maned John D'earth on trumpet and flugelhorn.
March 31, Old Cabell Hall, 8pm, $15 ($0-8 students)



The Krewe at the Jeff
There's a strong chance that the scent of patchouli oil may waft through the rafters of the Jefferson Theater on Thursday night as Toubab Krewe brings its African dance grooves to Charlottesville. The name means "crew of foreigners," an homage both to Creole and Malinese vocabularies– each of which plays a role in this instruments-only Asheville-based band. But what instruments! They include a 21-stringed cowskin-covered gourd called the kora and a single-stringed fiddle called the soku– and there'll be at least two percussionists. Low-key Wurlitzer master Marco Benevento opens.
March 29, Jefferson Theater, 8pm (doors at 7), $16-18


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

Note: A listing for a walk at Montpelier was removed from this posting shortly after it went online after the spokesperson for that presidential palace revealed that the event has been postponed.

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