FunStuff: Charlottesville events June 28 and beyond
Even more frightening than the invasion of the killer bees is the still-unexplained disappearance around the globe of the honeybee, whose presence is critical if you like eating fruits and vegetables. The phenomena of whole hives disappearing is called Colony Collapse Disorder. Vanishing of the Bees filmmakers George Langworthy and Maryam Henein follow two commercial beekeepers who travel to Capitol Hill and to Asia, Australia, and Europe seeking some explanation for this disturbing disorder. Alarmingly, we still don't have one. Ellen Page narrates.
June 28, Central Library, 7pm, free
Agitprop for Americans –CANCELED
Political satirist Oleg Atbashian was born in the former U.S.S.R. and indeed once was a propaganda artist for his local Communist Party in Siberia. He emigrated to the United States in 1994, and it didn't take him long to find fresh material in his new country. Atbashian is creator of The People's Cube website (Motto: The Party Organ of Record: Your only source of the current truth) and has written Shakedown Socialism, which will be for sale at his Lane Auditorium event. Sponsored by the Jefferson Area Tea Party.
June 28, Albemarle County Office Building, 6pm, free
Agit-rock for Americans
The last time southern-rock-blues band Thomas Wynn and the Believers played at the Box, they brought the house down. Wynn's "yearning banshee vocals," as one reviewer called them, are tempered by his sister Olivia's complementary harmonies. "These guys are on the leading edge of creating a new southern rock scene," says WMNF in Tampa. "They should be playing at the Jefferson," says the Box's Stephen Martin. "We feel very lucky to have them." So do we.
June 28, The Box, 10pm, free
Charlottesville's own indie-rock band, the Fire Tapes, most recently seen at the Tom Tom Founders Fest and the Black Cat in DC, is getting lots of good buzz and going on tour with its new CD, Dream Travel. Lead singer Betsy Wright's vocals have been described as caressing each song "like a magnolia bloom, subtly drawing you into its redolence and mystery." But here's the Hook's own take: “Promising local psychedelic indie rockers who warble their hearts out over hazy instrumental backdrops.” With influences such as Gram Parsons, Lou Reed, and Brian Wilson, this group has a sound that's pretty irresistible. With Canary oh Canary.
June 29, Black Market Moto Saloon, 9pm, $5
Charlie Brown's best friend
One thing we always liked best about productions of Charles Schultz Peanuts comic strip oeuvre was the music. So here's Snoopy! The Musical, the sequel to You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, to open the Four County Players 40th anniversary season. The talented youthful ensemble includes Peter Balcke as Snoopy, and as Charlie Brown, Daniel Neale, who starred in Live Arts' sold-out production of The Giver. It's always pleasant to drive out to Barboursville, and if you want to make it a day trip, there are 2:30pm matinees July 1 and July 9.
June 28-July 8, Four County Players, 8pm, $12
Don't eat the children
Gingerbread houses are delicious, unless they belong to cannibalistic witches eager to consume plump children, as we learned from the Brothers Grimm. A musical version of Hansel and Gretel produces a fresh look at the classic fairy tale and cautionary tale about eating too many sweets. This is the fourth year the Missoula Children's Theatre has sent its emissaries across the land to Charlottesville with scripts, costumes, and scenery to whip up theater productions using local youths– in one week. Sixty-four kids will perform in two productions of H&G, and in the musical version, perhaps the witch is just misunderstood after all.
June 30, Paramount, 2pm and 5pm, $5.50-$10.50
So you think you can hip hop
Charlottesville native Matt Steffanina has been hanging in L.A. He's danced with Chris Brown, Snoop Dogg, and Lil Wayne, and has performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and So You Think You Can Dance. He's returning home with his fiancee, Dana Alexa, to help his homeys avoid embarrassing themselves on the dance floor with a series of workshops over two days, which will be set up by age and experience level at 2409 Ivy Road. And then you'll be breaking.
July 1-2, Ballet School of Charlottesville, $15
50 years of making new citizens
Most people about to become U.S. citizens do so in grim federal office buildings. Trust us when we say the best place to take the oath is at an epic American landmark on the most significant American date– the lawn of Monticello on July 4. Since 1963, naturalized Americans like I.M. Pei or Tracey Ullman have shared their inspiring (or comic) journeys toward citizenship, and sometimes the POTUS shows up, as President George W. Bush did in 2008. This year's speaker is gold-medal gymnast Nadia Comaneci. And even for native Americans, this is an Independence Day in which you will hold these truths to be self-evident.
July 4, Monticello, 9am, free
Reds, whites & bluegrass
Maybe your style on the Fourth is not so much a parade and more sitting in the shade with a cool glass of wine, listening to that original American genre, bluegrass. That's the celebration Keswick Vineyards is hosting with local band the Grass and Eclectic Company. Bring your own picnic or chow down on Mr. Chip's Barbecue. BYO lawnchair or blanket is recommended. Also on hand will be Beyond Jefferson’s Vines author Richard Leahy, with autographed copies of his book. Here's to celebrating the 4th the way Jefferson would have if he only could have grown the grapes.
July 4, Keswick Vineyards, 1 to 4pm, free
Where's the fire(works)?
However you celebrate the 4th, you've gotta have fireworks. And while some individuals set off some pretty impressive displays that may not fall under the "safe and sane" fireworks category, that's the independent American spirit on Independence Day. For a sanctioned display, McIntire Park is the place to be. There's moon bouncy-type activities for kids and music starting at 6pm. Vendors range from hot, like La Cocina del Sol, to very cold– Arch's Frozen Yogurt and the Kona Ice truck. Happy birthday, America.
July 4, McIntire Park, one minute after dark, 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 and photo to email@example.com.