FunStuff: Charlottesville events May 10 and beyond
A word of warning to anyone hoping to avoidcatching live music this weekend. You're doomed, and you can thank Paul Beyer, organizer of the Tom Tom Founders Festivalfor that. This two-day festival within a festival features more than 50 acts at seven downtown venues including the Haven, Main Street Arena, UVA's Meade Hall, The Whiskey Jar, and Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar. Headliners include Josh Ritter and Those Darlins (pictured here), and other local favorites are too plentiful to list.
May 11-12, various locations, $20-$65
Dagnabit– Mother's Day's here, and if you've been struggling with the perfect gift, here's an idea: Bizet's Carmen at the Paramount! It's the story of the naive soldier Don Jose who abandons his military duties and his childhood sweetheart when he falls for the titular raven-haired gypsy (played by Magdalena Wor, pictured). Jealousy and murder ensue, and the musical score by Bizet is a crowd-pleaser. Performed live not once but twice this week by the Virginia Beach-based Lyric Opera, there's an added incentive to pony up and gallop downtown: Mom gets in free if you follow the instructions at theparamount.net.
May 11 & 13, Paramount, Fri 8pm, Sun 2:30pm, $35-$56
Batter up! The 2012 UVA Cavaliers men's baseball season is winding down as the number 19-ranked home team faces off against 38th-ranked Georgia Tech in a three-game series. The Cavs swept Miami back in April thanks in part to ace reliever Shane Halley (shown here) and are coming off a season-high seven-game winning streak– can they keep it going? Take yourself out to the ball game!
Fri 6pm; Sat/Sun 1pm, Davenport Field, $6-8
The weather's warm and the water's still pretty high– no better time for the 7th Annual Rivanna River Regatta canoe and kayak races. Fast paddlers bring their boat and take to the water beginning at 10am between the Rivanna Reservoir at U.S. 29 to compete in the 6.2-mile downriver race that ends at Darden Towe Park. Later in the day, starting at 1pm, family events on the Rivanna Reservoir include free kids' mini-races, a free "anything floats" race, and a 7-mile-mini-marathon kayak race for experienced and competitive kayakers. There's talk that a mass flotilla launched from the nearby Rivanna Rowing Club could set a record for the most canoes and kayaks ever on the reservoir.
May 12, Rivanna Reservoir, 8:30am-2pm, $15 for main races
Think you have a great voice? Are you a shower singer looking for your big break? Here's your chance to compete in the Paramount Idol, anAmerican Idol-style contest at the Paramount theater. Try-outs are this week, and if you make the cut, the competition continues May 19 and 23 as contestants perform before a panel of local music experts and a live audience. The top finisher gets $1,000, a professionally recorded demo, and a career consultation from Coran Capshaw's Red Light Management– not too shabby. Second and third placers also win cash and a demo. Pre-registration at register attheparamount.net required, and no spectators allowed this week.
May 12, Paramount Theater, 10am audition start, free
To every season
There's no doubt that Shakespeare's still the world's most popular and acclaimed playwright– sorry David Mamet and Arthur Miller. (Check back with us in 400 years, and we'll let you know how you've fared...) Evidence of the bard's greatness: The American Shakespeare Center, which performs at the Blackfriar's Playhouse over in Staunton, exists as a shrine to his brilliance. This week, as temperatures remind us that summer's on the way, the Center presents The Winter's Tale, the story of King Leontes (played by Eugene Douglas, pictured here) whose accusations of infidelity against his wife, Hermione, lead first to tragedy, and then to a miraculous end.
May 12 (through June 16), Blackfriars Playhouse, Staunton, 2pm, $24-40
It's true that all good things must come to an end, and Tom Tom Founders Festival is no exception. The month-long art, music, and innovation festival kicked off with a big block party at McGuffey in mid-April and wraps up with a Mother's Day extravaganza at the Ix property between Monticello and Elliott Avenues. Gospel, soul, funk, rock, and bluegrass musical performances, local food vendors, circus performers, hula hoopers, and traditional "field day" games like egg-on-spoon and three-legged races. Better start practicing!
May 13, Frank Ix property, 1-8pm, free
Most people know the state tree of Virginia is the dogwood, but as you've no doubt contemplated on many occasions, there are other species that could just as easily receive that honor. Take a guided spring walk throughIvy Creek Natural Area and learn about the leaves, bark, branching, seeds, and flowers of dogwoods and other native Virginia trees that could include elms, birch, ash, and cedar. (Meet by the kiosk near the parking lot.)
May 13, of Ivy Creek Natural Area, 2pm, free.
Pulling rabbits from hats, plucking quarters out of ears, sawing pretty ladies in half... Magicians have all the fun, and now you can be one. TheBlue Ridge Magicians meet in a church the third Tuesday of the month over the mountain in Waynesboro, and this month's theme is "levitations and suspensions." No experience necessary, and if all goes well, you could leave the meeting floating on air– quite literally. (The church is located at 877 Ladd Road.)
May 15, Wayne Hills Baptist Church, 7pm, free
If you can judge an off-the-radar musician by the legendary rock stars who invite him to jam, then Jonathan Wilson should have quite a crowd of aficionados when he performs this week. He's played with David Crosby and Jackson Browne, and he's opening for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on their European tour this summer– but he doesn't need to ride on anyone's coattails (or even a Traveling Wilbury's evening jacket). Last summer, the singer-songwriter with the voice one relix.com reviewer calls "mellow but soulful" released his Gentle Spirit EP to critical acclaim, with some comparing him to Jerry Garcia and others praising his rich musical background that includes bluegrass and jazz. Uncut magazine dubs him the "New King of Laurel Canyon," but his kingdom soon expands to Charlottesville where he'll welcome you as a loyal subject.
May 16, The Southern, doors at 7pm, $10
This week's "FunStuff" was compiled by Courteney Stuart, 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.