FunStuff: Charlottesville events June 20 and beyond

Adams and Jefferson sing
What could be more lively than hearing Founding Fathers Thomas Jefferson and John Adams (not to mention Ben Franklin) singing about their big break from England? You'll get that and more in 1776, the classic musical that won a bunch of Tonys after its 1969 Broadway debut. Here, it's directed by the well-known drama department leader Robert Chapel. Please note that, due to construction of a major addition to the UVA drama building, this is the only production put on this summer by the Heritage Theatre Festival, that professional group that stages crowd-pleasers at UVA. Opening night is Thursday the 21st, but it continues evenings through the 30th of June when there's also a 2pm matinee.
June 21, Culbreth Theater, 7:30, $15-40


Slash and learn
The Students for Creative Anachronism are those folks who practice armored combat using techniques from the Middle Ages, and they're happy to teach others how to fight "using sword and shield just like the knights of medieval times." All this Thursday-evening pugilism happens at the Dell, that grassy area by UVA's Curry School of Education along Emmet Street. Rain location: the bottom of the Scott Stadium Parking Garage.
June 27, The Dell, 6-7:30pm, free


Learn girl secrets
LiveArts has invited DeeDee Stewart to give her secret and comedic oral history entitled, Dirty Barbie and Other Girlhood Tales, a show that her publicist has described thusly: "It's like David Sedaris...with boobs!" It's a one-woman monologue about the secret lives of little girls, "the way we play and the unsupervised side of childhood." Stewart, who grew up in a small Southern town, will give three consecutive nightly performances beginning Wednesday, June 20.  "I wanted to shape my stories into a one-hour wild ride,” says the monologist, who provides a "talkbalk" after each show. (An additional performance on Saturday the 23rd includes the normal 60-minute show plus 15 minutes of "exclusive" new material– for $100 including drinks and catered pre- and post-show receptions.)
June 20-22, LiveArts, 8pm, $20


Meet the Batteau-ers
You've long heard about the James River Batteau Festival, but you've always wondered how you're supposed to watch something that moves along the James River from way west of here to way east of here. Well, now's your chance to see the boats that carried tobacco and other goods down the river at Batteau Night. The Batteau that launched in Lynchburg will begin arriving in Scottsville mid-afternoon on Wednesday, June 20 to tie up at Scottsville's Ferry Street public boat landing for the night. Not only will the Scottsville Museum be open that day from 1-8pm, but Canal Basin Square– located just a block east of Valley Street on Main– will fill with food, craft vendors, and live bands. And those nimble boats will be hanging out nearby.
June 20, Scottsville, bands begin at 4:30pm, free


Meet the Bypass man
Love it or hate it, the U.S. 29 Western Bypass appears to be heading this way, due in no small part to the keynote speaker at this upcoming lunch event. Invited by the North Charlottesville Business Council, the Virginia Secretary of Transportation, Sean Connaughton will speak. “Sean has been a champion for improved and safer transportation in our region and throughout the Commonwealth and a tireless advocate to advance the US29 Western Bypass project and many other needed projects in our community," says Council Chair Lloyd F. Wood. The mid-day Wednesday event appears to require pre-registration, so call the Chamber at 295-3141 or register online.
June 27, DoubleTree hotel, 11:30am, $37.50


Keen at the Jeff
One of the bigger names in the alt-country music scene is coming to downtown's rockingest big venue. Robert Earl Keen, a Texas boy and friend o' Lyle Lovett, runs the gamut between sensitive vignettes ("Corpus Christi Bay"), raucous barroom fun ("That Buckin' Song"), and sheer silly satire ("Copenhagen"). Still Texas-based, Keen's touring in support of his 11th studio album, last summer's Ready for Confetti. The opener for this Tuesday-night twofer is an earnest and serious-sounding one-man acoustic powerhouse who calls himself The White Buffalo.
June 26, Jefferson Theater, 7pm doors, $25-30


Bike thru JPA
Although pedestrians may claim their way is #1, one really powerful way to get to know a neighborhood is on a bicycle because it affords such a mix of human scale and wide range. As part of Charlottesville's Celebrate250 "Where I Live" events, there'll be a Sunday afternoon bike ride through the Fry's Spring area. Although the ride launches from a venerable swim club, organizers urge anyone arriving by car to park at the nearby JPA Baptist Church. They plan to hit a few well-know streets like JPA itself, along with Robertson and Stribling Avenues, but also back roads and paths that you may not know.
June 24, Fry's Spring Beach Club, 1:30pm, free


Get Waivey
The Southern Charlottesville says it's excited to have Jim Waive and the Young Divorcees coming to The Southern for a Saturday night show– even though the smoky-voiced Waive didn't have to go far to reach to this hip underground (and perfectly legal) music venue. He makes Americana/country and sounds like a woodcutter with a kind of haunting innocence. With his regular Wednesday night solo acoustic gigs at The Blue Moon Diner, Waive is already a Charlottesville institution– and this is a chance to have his full band, The Young Divorcees, playing. Openers are Sally Rose, an up-and-coming Nelson native who'll duo with her mother, Cathy Monnes. But perhaps the biggest name on this triple bill though is the Honeycutters, who recently sold out the 550-person Grey Eagle in Asheville for a hometown CD release show.
June 23, The Southern, 7pm doors, $10

Tales of internal terror
You'll definitely want to break up with this ED– because ED means Eating Disorders. UVA-educated actress named Angela Pirko, who plans to donate all proceeds from this event to the National Eating Disorders Association, developed Breaking Up With ED, by interviewing eating disorder survivors and turning the real-life stories into an ensemble piece played by five actors. This show– assisted by the Kickstarter crowd-funding source– will be going to Washington DC's Capital Fringe Festival this summer, but Pirko is bringing it to Charlottesville for an early preview. "Many of the survivors interviewed came from the area," says Pirko, "and I wanted to do a special showing for them." And it's being held at a venue at 315 West Main Street that may not survive due to the impending construction of a new hotel, so check it out.
June 23, Random Row Books, 7pm, $10

Just like the record
That promise keeps echoing in our brain: "just like the record – just like the record." This band was formed in 2001 for one purpose: to authentically recreates rock and pop from the mid ‘60s to the mid ‘70s British Invasion. "That’s all we do, but that’s plenty," they say. The band is The English Channel, and they'll soon invade Fridays After Five with the songs of Rolling Stones, The Dave Clark 5, The Kinks, Dusty Springfield, Moody Blues, The Animals, The Zombies, The Yardbirds, and many more. Warning: they don't sport zany moptops and Nehru jackets; they just look like ordinary blokes, so keep remembering: "just like the record."
June 22, nTelos Wireless Pavilion, 5:30pm, free


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 and photo to

Read more on: FunStuff