FunStuff: Charlottesville events May 3 and beyond


First stop for First Fridays
With its artist studios and monthly receptions, McGuffey Art Center is the headquarters for the local art scene, the place you're going to find some art that you like. Photographers Margo Hamilton and Ron Evans take the main gallery with their archival ink-printed photos (like Hamilton's Swan shown here). Scott Supraner's ceramic reliefs and Blake Hurt's "Lines on Faces" ink-on-canvas, paper, acrylic, and glass works line the lower hall. Upstairs, Jefferson School African-American Cultural Center's Andrea Douglas curated "From Backyard Clotheslines to Museum Walls," with the work of Frank Walker and the late Gerry Mitchell.
May 4, McGuffey Art Center, 5:30-7:30pm, free



Skip Castro at FA5
How far people will drive to see a show tells you a lot about a band, and we've got friends who will drive up from North Carolina to rock out with theSkip Castro Band. Born in late 1977, the band played up and down the East Coast for a decade, and its members– Danny Beirne (piano), Bo Randall (guitar), Corky Schoonover (drums), and Charlie Pastorfield (bass), are local music legends. Skip Castro only reunites a few times a year, so Friday at nTelos Pavilion could be your best bet to kick off a boogie-woogie weekend.
May 4, Fridays After Five, 5:30pm, free



Futuristic city
Chroma Projects calls itself an art laboratory, which may explain why it has some of the more nontraditional art exhibits around. This month, sponsors Circa, Charlottesville Tomorrow, and Preservation Piedmont show the results of their call for conceptual designs from area architects, artists, and activists for ideas of Charlottesville of the future. The show, Paper City, presents visualizations of the Charlottesville Farmers Market, McIntire Botanical Gardens, and the intriguing "Main Street Aerial Gondola Line" by those who have already put their stamp on the area, like former mayor Maurice Cox and prolific downtown renovator Gabe Silverman, and those who undoubtedly will.
May 4, Chroma Projects, 6-8pm, free



Heirloom plant sale
Let's say you're looking for Moon and Stars watermelon or Long Island Cheese pumpkin or even, Virginia Sweet tomatoes. Where ya gonna go? How about the Local Food Hub's annualTaste of the Farm plant sale and open house down at Dave Matthews' Maple Hill Farm just this side of Scottsville, where the organic/heirloom plants run from $3 to $7. While you're down there (you'll see the sign on the left2.5 miles past Green Mountain Country Store), make it a day. There's a farmers market, food from Feast, and enough going on that the kids won't be bored: Blue Ridge Music Together, art projects with City Schoolyard Garden, and a fun photo booth hosted by Lucy O Photography. Picnicking is encouraged.
May 5, Maple Hill Farm, 10am-3pm, free until you buy something



Auténtico Cinco de Mayo
The 2012 ¿Qué Pasa? Cinco de Mayo Fest in Richmond at the historic Canal Walk promises to be well worth the drive. Cruise for free in boats decorated to resemble the Floating Gardens of Xochimilco. Salsa to live Latin bands. Check out the Miss Hispanidad Talent & Fashion Show. Stuff your face with churros, mofongo, and paella. Wash it down with cerveza con limón. And celebrate the 150th anniversary of Mexico's glorious 1862 victory at the 10th annual ¿Qué Pasa? Festival, organized by the Virgina Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
May 5, Canal Walk in Richmond, 11am to 7pm, free



Derby Day
Do you keep up with the Daily Racing Form, or do you pick your Kentucky Derby winner by the odds, by the name, or by the cut of the three-year-old's jib as it prances to the starting gate? Don your big-brim hats or seersucker suits to watch the 138th Run for the Roses on really big screen high-def at the Paramount. Mint juleps are mandatory, and one is included in the admission. And remember, race time is approximately 6:35pm Saturday, so don't be late.
May 5, Paramount, 4pm, $15



Jolly good cello
Charlottesville native Raphael Bell now lives in Belgium, where he's principal cellist for the Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra. He co-founded the Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival, of which he's co-artistic director. Bell is performing with pianist Mimi Solomon and together they're two-thirds of the Trio La Loingtaine, a Paris-centered group that's played all over the world. They'll be playing Beethoven, Schumann, and Cesar Franck, and the proceeds from the concert at 500 Park Street will go to the scholarship fund of the Wednesday Music Club, an organization nearly 90 years old.
May 5, First Presbyterian Church, 4pm, $25-$10



Not your usual musical
When Elmer Rice wrote Adding Machine in 1923, it was called a "gimlet-eyed Expressionist classic about the soul rot of conventionality." Heck, even its lead character is called Mr. Zero. The 21st-century version– the musical– is "raw, gritty, and rich," according to Live Arts director Bree Luck, who also says it's the most challenging play she's ever worked on. The New York Times raved about Adding Machine's lack of sunshine and rousing choruses, calling it "impossibly bleak, improbably brilliant." Says Luck, "When you're going to the depths of hell, you need to be able to laugh."
Through May 12, Live Arts, time varies, $19.50



Get your Gaelic on
Téada means "strings" in Irish, and the traditional Irish music band of the same name will be here playing those tunes that have been played for a thousand years and been passed through the generations. The music of this internationally known group is described as timeless, expressive, lushly orchestrated– words that don't usually pop to mind when thinking reels and jigs. Locally, Irish music has a well-established beachhead with the Blue Ridge Irish Music School, which is presenting Téada.
May 9, Cville Coffee, 7pm, $18


Floating world
Who knew the UVA Art Museum had such an extensive collection of Japanese color woodblock prints that they had to be divided into two different shows? The show that just opened is called "Legends," and the 19th-century melodramatic prints were used to advertise Kabuki theater in the Entertainment District of Edo, now known as Tokyo. This was art for the common folk, depicting lofty legend for commercial purpose. Curated by Stephen Margulies.
Through August 5, UVA Art Museum, 12-5pm, free

This week's "FunStuff" was compiled by Lisa Provence, and next week's "FunStuff" will be compiled by another newsroom staffer. To get your event considered, send a press release to

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Thanks Lisa, This looks like a fabulous line-up . I really appreciate the more in-depth descriptions of these events than just the listing of time and place. Last week your column steered me to Elijah conducted by Michael Slon and it was stupendous - 4 standing ovations .

One week left of Birding before Work. Join us - the warblers have arrived in force and beginners are always welcome. The leaders are fabulous birders and this may be a chance to find out how much fun getting up early can be. The birds are waiting and if you don't own a pair of decent binoculars, don't despair, there is always an extra pair waiting.

We will continue the program of short trips to see migrants during the last week of April and the first week of May. Most of the trips will be at the Ivy Creek Natural Area (ICNA). Special trips will be on April 25 and May 2, to Observatory Hill; and on April 27 and May 1, to Secluded Farm. All trips will begin at 7:00 am, and will end by 8:30 am.

Meeting Places:
Ivy Creek Natural Area: Parking Lot

Observatory Hill: Parking lot of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 520
Edgemont Road, at the northeast base of O-Hill. It is reached by taking McCormick
Road west from its intersection with Alderman Road.

Secluded Farm: Meet at the overflow parking lot for the Thomas Jefferson Parkway
(Monticello Trail); the entrance is off Route 20 North, just north of the intersection
with Route 53 and across from the entrance to PVCC.

April 30 ICNA. Leader: Janet Paisley
May 1 Secluded Farm. Leader: Jim Nix
May 2 Observatory Hill. Leader: Mark Adams
May 3 ICNA. Leader: Stauffer Miller
May 4 ICNA. Leader: Leigh Surdukowski