FunStuff: Charlottesville events December 20 and beyond
One singular sensation
Maybe Cats had a longer run on Broadway, but in our book, A Chorus Line remains the most beloved, but less-cringe-inducing classic musical. The tale of 17 desperate dancers auditioning on a bare stage and vying for a spot in the chorus line was first performed in 1975. Live Arts brings it back over the holiday season, with executive director Matt Joslyn putting on his director's hat, and local thespians like Bill LeSueur (as director Zack), Jeff Dreyfus, and Darryl Smith reminding us why A Chorus Line won the 1976 Tony grand slam of best musical, best book, and best score.
Through January 12, Live Arts, 8pm (7:30pm on Thursdays), $25
Everyone has a story about their family, but not everyone can tell a tale. That's where Big Blue Door Jam steps in and brings local storytellers to spin a yarn–a true yarn– on the theme of families this Thursday. The line-up includes Tom Clay, Cristan Keighley, Terri Long, Miller Murray Susen, Aaron Gilley, and Matt Kleburg, and it's hosted by husband-and-wife team Joel and Jennifer Jones. Audience members can volunteer to be judges–arrive 30 minutes early and bring a friend if you want to do that–and the winning story-meister gets a jar of jam. And maybe, thus fortified, you'll discover your family isn't so crazy after all.
December 20, Black Market Moto Saloon, 8pm, $5
Correction 12/12: The address and details provided by Rikki's Refuge were inaccurate and have been updated. Please note that reservations are required and there's only one tour that begins at noon.
This town has a history of coming up with unusual competitions. While few are in league with CLAW– Charlottesville Lady Arm Wrestlers– there is an event that's perfect for the highly caffeinated. Latte Art Throwdown and Brew Off pits barista against barista to free pour the most beautiful latte or to make the best cup of drip coffee. It's free to taste and watch Thursday, at one of the newer coffeehouses on the corner of Ridge-McIntire and Preston.
December 20, Milli Joe, 8pm, $5 to compete
99 Mayans walk into a bar
We're all getting a lot of mileage out of this Mayan 2012 thing, and if we're going to go, let's go laughing at Bent Theatre's End of the World (if the Mayans get their way) Show. West End Comedy of Richmond, No Strings Attached of Harrisonburg, the Founding Fathers of Charlottesville, and of course, Bent Theatre, bring four hours of Friday night comedy and music at the Improvacolypse. Buy your tickets in advance at playontheatre.org and get a free drink voucher or pay what you will at the door– if you can get in.
December 21, Play On Theatre, 8pm, $15
Despite the Mayan faddishness, December 21 is another significant date– the winter solstice. Ashtanga Yoga is honoring that event and benefiting the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank with 108 sun salutations. The number 108 is sacred in Hinduism, Buddhism, and other religions, and one practitioner compares it to aging– the first 30 salutations are pretty easy, like the first 30 years of your life, but by 40, there are aches and pains. By 70, you know this is crazy, but if you hang on, the experience is said to be amazing. Do as many salutations as you care to or can do, on Friday in the Belmont studio above Mas.
December 21, Ashtanga Yoga, 5:30pm-7pm, monetary or food donation
Feed the critters
Not the standard Christmas day, but what about feeding some of the more than 1,200 animals at Rikki's Refuge animal sanctuary in Orange County? The no-kill shelter needs help, and this is certainly in the holiday spirit. Besides, some of its residents are cute as the dickens. Little Rob, the pot-bellied pig, loves sweet potatoes and apples, while Sally the Goat prefers celery and broccoli. Among its 20 different species are rabbits, emus, and a chukar. And they're all hungry. A two-hour outdoors tour begins at noon at 21410 Constitution Highway in Rapidan, so dress accordingly. Gates open at 11:30am on Tuesday and reservations are required. Email mail@RikkisRefuge.org/
December 25, Rikki's Refuge, noon, four cans of dog/cat food per person or fruits and vegetables
Twas the night after Christmas
And maybe you're sick of Christmas music, and would like something a little more down home. The acoustic Gold Top County Ramblers from Sperryville have opened for The Seldom Scene, Ralph Stanley, and Ben "Cooter" Jones. They mix genres and eras and then they "bluegrass it up a little," as they put it. Added good-deed bonus: bring those sweaters and socks Santa brought that you're never going to wear, and they'll donate them to Goodwill and knock five bucks off the admission.
December 26, The Southern, 8pm, $10
Lust and Consequence
Crozet native Moby Brown, with the voice of Otis Redding– or is it Joe Cocker?– has been belting out his original soulful Southern rock since 2002 and the band, Moby and the Dicks, has a new release, the aforementioned Lust and Consequence, produced by Seth Green of Sons of Bill. They'll be rocking it the night after Christmas with the Luke Wilson Band, he of the same family that spawned Sons of Bill. Wilson has his own EP release– Carnival Ride– that's been getting some buzz. Too much homegrown talent? Never.
December 26, Rapture, 10:30pm, free
Boogie woogie like it's 1979
If you were in school at UVA during the '80s, Skip Castro was likely part of the soundtrack of your college experience. They played up and down the East Coast in a performing frenzy, filling halls and opening for bands like The Kinks, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and the Beach Boys. These days, catching Skip Castro is a rarer thing, but Danny Beirne, Bo Randall, Corky Schoonover, and Charlie Pastorfield are still putting out their own version of classic swing and will be jumpin' and jivin' on a Saturday night. With the Nighthawks.
December 29, The Jefferson, 8pm, $22
Let's get over this Mayan thing
Plans are still rolling ahead for New Year's Eve, and that means First Night Virginia extravaganza will be happening on the Downtown Mall. Among the 40 events are music, magic, dancing, and improv. Local faves like Eli Cook, Greg Howard Uptet, Love Canon, and Acme Swing Mfg. Co. will be cranking out the tunes, with Groove Train ringing in the New Year at Main Street Arena. And no NYE is complete without a ball dropping.
December 31, Downtown Mall, 3pm-after midnight, $15 adults/$5 kids