Cultural calendar, November 13-20, 2003

THURSDAY, November 13

South Asian arts: Louis Flam discusses "The Sindh Archaeological Project, Pakistan: Recent Research in the Western Borderlands of the Indus Civilization," at 5:30pm in UVA's Campbell Hall, Room 153. 924-3592.

Swing swap: The Charlottesville Swing Dance Society holds this weekly east coast swing practice session with recorded music. 7:30-9pm. Albemarle County Office Building auditorium, 401 McIntire Road. Free. 980-2744.

Boutique night: Baker-Butler Elementary PTO sponsors a new twist on an old favorite. Shopping, dining, and fun– over 30 merchants, book fair, raffle, free child care. Get your Christmas shopping over before Thanksgiving and benefit a good cause. 6-9:30pm. 2740 Proffit Road. 974-7777.

Spineless wonders: The Monticello Bird Club presents a program on the insects and spiders of Virginia, at the Education Building in Ivy Creek Natural Area. Earlysville Road. 973-7772.

Weekend backpacking trip: A Blue Ridge Mountain Sports guide leads a two night/three day backpacking trip to a wilderness island off North Carolina. $65. 977-4400.

Little literati:
The five-and-under crowd can hear stories about fall leaves and autumn color at Barnes & Noble's preschool story time. Stickers and cookies are part of the fun, too. 10:30am. Free. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.

Buy nothing:
Get ready to spend the day after Thanksgiving engaged in idealistic non-patriotism. The Adbusters media campaign is getting organized in town before November 28 to take a stand against consumption. Organizers are working on giant puppets and barter fairs. Informational work session tonight from 6-9pm at the old Live Arts Building in the Living Education Center Art Room. Info:

Monkey hunting: Christina Garcia's latest novel swims from China to Cuba. The Havana-born author reads tonight as part of Sweet Briar College's International Writers' Series. 8pm, Cochran Library. Sweet Briar. 434-381-6388.

Easy Star All-Stars at Starr Hill:
The Easy Star All-Stars perform their album, Dub Side of the Moon, in its entirety. For those of you not in the know– this is a full reggae version of the Pink Floyd classic Dark Side of the Moon. $12/$10 advance.

Lua at the Garden of Sheba. $5. 9pm.

Jim Waive (country-folk) at the Blue Moon Diner. Free, 8pm (W)

Karaoke Night with DJ Wild Wes at Buffalo Wild Wings. Free, 9pm (W)

Chicken Head Blues Band at Dürty Nelly's. $4, 9pm. (W)

John D'earth and friends (freeform jazz) at Miller's. $4, 10pm. (W)

Sedamentreous with Gollum at Outback Lodge. $3, 10pm.

Danny Barnes at the Prism. $12/$10, 8pm.

Game Night at Rapunzel's Coffee & Books. Free, 5pm. (W)

Middle Eastern Belly Dance Class at Rapunzel's Coffee & Books. Free, 6:30pm. (W)

Kathy Olsen Trio (jazz) upstairs at Tokyo Rose. Free, 9:30pm. (W)

Country line killers, 40oz boys, and Cigarbox Planetarium at Tokyo Rose. $5, 10:30pm.

Josh Mayo at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar. No cover, 9pm

FRIDAY, November 14
Cow boy:
You've seen the cow, now meet the artist as the McGuffey Art Center hosts an opening reception for the current ArtInPlace artists. During the party, the $1000 Great Eastern Management Company juried prize will be awarded. 5-7pm. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.

Vegas, baby!: UVA professor of archaeology and architectural history Dell Upton lectures on "Signs Taken for Wonders: Learning from Las Vegas?" at 5pm at UVA's Campbell Hall, Room 153. 982-2921.

Much Ado about Nothing:
Shenandoah Shakespeare presents a spirited production of the Bard's lighthearted romantic comedy at the Blackfriars Playhouse. 7:30pm. 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-26. 540-885-5588.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead: Live Arts opens the first season at the new space with a LATTE production of Tom Stoppard's comic fantasy on Hamlet, Beckett, and West End farce, through December 13. Live Arts UpStage, 123 E. Water St. $7. 977-4177.

No Shame Theater: Up for a theatrical nightcap? Join performers at this alternative venue for original material by anyone about anything. The first 15 people who show up get a spot on stage. Or you can just watch the carryings on. Live Arts UpStage, 123 E. Water St. 977-4177. 11pm. $5 at the door. 977-4177.

The Way of the World: UVA's fall drama season continues with a main stage production of this masterpiece by William Congreve, "the greatest English master of pure comedy." Directed by guest Artist in Residence Sabin Epstein, the show runs through November 22. 8pm. Culbreth Theater, 109 Culbreath Road. $7-12. 924-3376. See Performance feature.

Something's Afoot: PVCC Theatre presents this musical spoof of murder mystery plays such as Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians, and musical composers from Kern to Sondheim. 7:30pm. Runs through November 16. V. Earl Dickinson Building, 500 College Drive. $6-10. 961-5376.

An overview of the recent findings of scientific studies of out-of-body experiences. Conducted by Carlos Alvarado, president of the American Association of Parapsychology. Quest Bookshop. 619 W. Main St. 7pm. 295-3377.

Star party:
The Virginia Museum of Natural History at UVA takes a field trip up O Hill to see the stars. Astronomy professor Ed Murphy gives a tour of the historic observatory, shows slides, and (weather permitting) opens the great dome and lets visitors look out into space. 7-9pm. Free, but registration is required. At the end of McCormick Road. 982-4605.

Potter expedition:
The Hogwarts Express pulls out of the station on track #9 at the Children's Museum of Richmond. New first years can make their own magic wand, wizard's robe, and schoolbooks and meet the famous kid with the lightening bolt scar on his forehead. 6-10pm. $10 members, $12 non-members. An adult chaperone is required, but advance registration is not. 2626 W. Broad St., Richmond. 804-474-7018.

Headless Horseman rides again: The Old Michie Theatre winds up its annual Halloween treat with their live production of the classic Legend of Sleepy Hollow. 7pm. $7 at the door. 221 Water St. 977-3690.

(oldies rock and roll) at the Dew Drop Inn in Scottsville. No cover, 10pm.

Joshua Mayo at Twisted Branch Tea Bazzar: The sweet pop sounds of Joshua Mayo, tea, and communism? What a triumvirate of power! No cover, 9pm.

DJ Mike Brizzle & DJ Bust offer the ultimate spin masters dance party at Club Massive in old Live Arts Space. $5, 9pm.

Vernon Fisher ("romantic side of jazz") at Bashir's Taverna. No cover, 6:30pm. (W)

Alvin Breeden and the Virginia Cutups (traditional bluegrass) at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8:30pm.

Paul Goes Richter at Michael's Bistro. $3, 10:30pm.

Aquanet (hair-metal) at Outback Lodge. $6, 10pm.

Open Mic Night at Rapunzel's Coffee & Books. Free, 8pm.

Edwin McCain's Full Band Acoustic Tour at Starr Hill. $14/$12 advance, 10pm.

Forensics, Ultra dolphins, and Skyline awake at Tokyo Rose. $5, 10:30pm.

SATURDAY, November 15
Memory and art: The UVA art history symposium is highlighted by renowned cultural historian Erika Doss' lecture, "Memorial Mania: Monuments and Memory in Contemporary America," at 4pm. A reception at the University of Virginia Art Museum follows the symposium. 9am-5pm. Campbell Hall, Room 160. 924-6123.

Exploring the local flora of Albemarle:
Will Shaw leads the Virginia Native Plant Society monthly walk at the Ivy Creek Natural Area to looks at the trees and flora. 9am. 973-7772. See Walkabout Feature.

Farfelu vineyards: End-of-harvest wine-tasting, bonfire and chili fest. 11am-5pm. $10 with chili, $5 without. 540-364-2930.

Walk fur paws: Let your pet grab you by the lead and take you for a walk to raise money for the SPCA's new shelter on a three-mile walk from ACAC Four Seasons to the SPCA's new shelter, currently under construction, on Berkmar Drive. $10 participation fee without pledges. 9am. 973-5959.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead:
See Friday, November 14.

King Lear: Shenandoah Shakespeare presents the Bard's monumental tragedy at the Blackfriars Playhouse. 2pm. 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-26. 540-885-5588.

Way of the World: See Friday, November 14.

Knight of the Burning Pestle: Shenandoah Shakespeare presents Francis Beaumont's raucous Elizabethan farce at the Blackfriars Playhouse. 7:30pm. 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-26. 540-885-5588.

Something's Afoot: See Friday, November 14. Today's shows are at 2:30 and 7:30pm.

The Charlottesville and University Symphony Orchestra with the University Singers at Old Cabell Hall: See description under Tunes, below.

CSDS swing dance: Charlottesville Swing Dance Society offers an evening of swing dancing and a variety of other dances with music by local DJ Stacy Suter. A free Country Two-Step lesson is included with admission from 8-9pm. The dance is from 9pm-midnight. Municipal Arts Center, 1119 Fifth St. Ext. $6-12. 980-2744.

On the Air: In this original Musical by Langden Mason, the year is 1954, and Beulah Buchanan and Lorena Fairchild, town gossips... er... newshawks are "On the Air" with all the fashions and all the news that's "fit"! For hometown humor, wholesome entertainment, and toe-tapping songs, check out this love affair with the '50s! 8pm. Carrysbrook Performing Arts Center, Rt. 15, Carrysbrook. $12 advance/$15 at the door. Info: 842 1333.

Giving something back:
Today is National Family Volunteer Day. See Family Feature.

Eeew yuck: Young grossologists can discover the fascinating and disgusting world of the human body at Science Days at the Science Museum of Virginia. Put your senses to the test and learn cool facts to gross out your friends and family in this all-day program of hands-on science workshops, demonstrations, exhibits, an IMAX® film and planetarium show. $18 per child. Registration required. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 804-864-1447.

Gazing skyward: All the recent heavenly hype about Mars, the aurora borealis, and a total eclipse of the moon can make you think you might want to buy a telescope "for the kids" for Christmas. Director of astronomy Ken Wilson of the Science Museum of Virginia offers his expert advice on what to look for when buying a telescope. 9-11am. $7 non-members, $6 members. Registration required. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 804-864-1447.

Celebrate diversity: The Children's Museum of Richmond opens their holiday exhibit "Our Community, Our World in Celebration," which highlights a number of cultural festivals and traditions from around the world. Interactive displays, crafts, demonstrations, games, and toys introduce the sights, tastes, and sounds of Hanukkah, Diwali, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year, Ramadan, and Eid. Through January 25. Included with the price of admission: $7. 2626 W. Broad St., Richmond. 474-7013.

Gifts galore: Olivet Presbyterian Church offers folks the chance to support local non-profits– and artisans and food producers in developing countries– at the Bethlehem Bazaar and Silent Auction. A homemade lunch is available, too. 10am-2:30pm. 2575 Garth Road. 979-3395.

Headless Horseman rides again: See Friday, November 14.

State of the nations:
World renowned political psychoanalyst Dr Leo Rangell addresses the real "state of the nations": how national entities can be happy, sad, worried (or psychotic?). Rangell is the author of over 450 publications including The Mind of Watergate: An Exploration of the Compromise of Integrity. Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Mind and Human Interaction. 1pm. Rotunda Dome Room, UVA. 982-1045.

Virginia folklore: Take a "drive up the streambed with Mr. Whilikins" or a tribute to George Foss and Paul Clayton by folklorist and ethnologist, Roger Abrahams at the 90thAnniversary Virginia Folklore Society Meeting. 2-5pm, Department of English Faculty Lounge, Bryan Hall, UVA. 924-6823.

Fountainhead at Miller's:
Jam, jam, and some jammy licks are sure to entertain the jam-loving waitstaff at Miller's– "More jam now!" is their motto. Come and share the love. $3, 10pm.

Laurie Lewis with Phillips, Grier, and Flinner at the Prism: Grammy winning bluegrass singer and fiddler Laurie Lewis throws down her old-timey sounds with acoustic trio Phillips, Grier, and Flinner (bass, flatpicking guitar, and mandolin), twice in one night. WTJU will be broadcasting live from the show at 8pm. $18/$15 advance, 7 and 9:30pm.

The Pones with Deja Mu at Rapunzel's Coffee & Books: "A dash of Dylan with some Tom Waits" is how the kind people at Rapunzel's describe The Pones. Deja Mu is reportedly indescribable. $5, 8pm.

Small Town Workers CD Release Show with Lure and The Getaway Car at Starr Hill: '70s themed rockers Small Town Workers' new release, The Right of Way, is a splendidly recorded mess of catchy pop tunes, big riffs, and priceless choruses. Come to the show and pick one up for yourself. $6, 9:30pm. See Tunes Feature.

The Charlottesville and University Symphony Orchestra with the University Singers at Old Cabell Hall: A program of works by American composers Bernstein, Copland, and Hindemith, including Hindemith's Symphonic Metamorphosis, and Copland's Old American Songs. Pre-concert lecture by Milos Velimirovic in Minor Hall. $22/$15/$11 students, 8pm.

Ronnie Johnson (acoustic blues and southern rock) at the Dew Drop Inn Scottsville. No cover, 9:30pm.

Catherine Carraway (jazz vocalist) with George Turner & friends (jazz) at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8:30pm.

Melissa McClain, Mike Cvetanovich, and Mary Gordon Hall at Mountain View Grill. $5, 8pm.

Navel, Weszt, and Fletcher Bridge (hard rock) at Outback Lodge. $6, 10pm.

The Fair Weather Bums (bluegrass) at Shebeen. No cover, 9:30pm. (W)

The Getaway Car at Starr Hill. $6, 9:30pm.

The Dawning The Flying Buttresses with DJs TBA at Tokyo Rose. $5, 10:30pm.

Spiral Gypsy at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar. No cover, 9pm.

Ezra Hamilton at Club Massive in old Live Arts Space. $5, 9pm.

SUNDAY, November 16
Shenandoah Shakespeare presents a new production of Moliere's comic masterpiece in the Blackfriars Playhouse. 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-26. 540-885-5588.

Something's Afoot: See Friday, November 14. Today's show is a matinee at 2:30pm.

Charlottesville Symphony: See Tunes listing on Saturday, November 15. Today's show is a matinee at 3:30pm.

On the Air: See Saturday, November 15. Today's performance is a matinee at 3pm.

Rosencranz and Guildenstern Are Dead: See Friday, November 14. Today's show is a matinee at 2pm.

Sunday salsa: The Charlottesville Salsa Club sponsors a weekly opportunity to learn and practice salsa and other dances in a smoke-free nightclub atmosphere. A basic lesson (usually salsa) gets the evening started at 8pm. Complimentary water and sodas. The Outback Lodge, 917 Preston Ave. 8pm-midnight. $3-5. or 979-7211.

Sunday night dance party: The Charlottesville Swing Dance Society holds this weekly west coast swing practice session with recorded music. 7-9pm. Dance Center, 380 Greenbrier Drive. $3. 980-2744.

Science and morality:
And when the two shall meet… UVA Professor Jonathan Haidt leads a program on moral education and ideological tolerance. Sponsored by Central Virginia Secular Humanists. Northside Library, 300 Albemarle Square. 1:30pm. 974-4582.

Headless Horseman rides again:
See Friday, November 14. Show is at 3pm today.

Farfelu Vineyards:
See Saturday, November 15.

Signs in the wild: Tracking Basics at Ivy Creek Natural Area. Join Hub Knott of the Living Earth School to search for signs of wildlife activity. Meet at the barn. 9am. Earlysville Road. 973-7772.

Oteil and the Peacemakers at the Outback Lodge:
World-famous bass player Oteil Burbridgem, former member of the Allman Brothers Band and Colonel Bruce &The Fiji Mariners, leads this jam-tastic musical group. $10, 10pm. This is a non-smoking show.

The Charlottesville and University Symphony Orchestra with the University Singers at Old Cabell Hall. $22/$15/$11 students. Today's performance is at 3:30pm.

The Hogwaller Ramblers (bluegrass mayhem) at Escafé. No cover, 10pm. (W)

An evening with Mason Jennings (jam) at Starr Hill. $10/$8 advance, 9pm.

MONDAY, November 17
American empire: Andrew Bacevich, author of American Empire and The Imperial Tense, speaks at the Miller Center, 11am. 2201 Old Ivy Road. 924-0921.

Open Mic Night with Charles Davis at Baja Bean. No cover, signup 8:30pm/9pm. (W)

Jackson Gibson at Coupe DeVille's. No cover, 10:30pm. (W)

Max Collins (experimental acoustic) at Michael's Bistro. No cover, 10:30pm. (W)

Open Mic Night at Miller's. Free, 9:30 signup/10pm start. (W)

George Melvin (piano merriment) at South Street Brewery. No cover, 9:30pm. (W)

Travis Elliot at the Virginian. No cover, 10:30pm. (W)

TUESDAY, November 18
Renaissance art and feminist studies scholar Mary D. Garrard presents "Artemesia's Hands," a lecture discussing the work of 17th-century female painter Artemisia Gentileschi. 6pm. $5. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 2800 Grove Ave. Richmond. 804-204-2704.

Live Arts Playwright's LAB:
This twice-monthly playwriting workshop is designed to give new and seasoned playwrights an environment to develop and refine original works. Meets the first and third Monday of every month. 6:30pm. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. Free. 977-4177 x100.

Live Arts Acting LAB: The new eight-week session of this weekly Tuesday-night class starts today. Instructor Carol Pederson allows actors to review the fundamentals of acting technique, brush up audition skills, and explore scenes from the plays in Live Arts' new season. Drop-in session from 7-8pm, full session from 7-10pm. The Attic, The Glass Building, Studio 208, 313 Second St. SE, Studio 208. $10 drop-in, $160 full session. 977-4177 x100.

Poetry Lounge #12: Musical guest Malcolm Perkins from Folkskunde joins the latest Poetry Lounge, where artists are invited to read with or without a jazz band, and everyone else is invited to snap their fingers. 8:30pm. Live Arts UpStage, 123 E. Water St. $3. 249-8812.

Conscious breathing:
Kim Matheny teaches this simple and powerful technique. Free. 7-9pm at Ivy Commons Family Chiropractic. 4422 Ivy Commons. 293-2779.

Getting thankful:
Crafty kids ages eight and up (and an adult) can celebrate a pioneering Thanksgiving as they play traditional games and make a holiday table decoration at Crozet Library. Bring a favorite Thanksgiving recipe to share and, if possible, a bag of greenery and clippers. 6:30pm. Free, registration required. In the old Crozet train station on Three Notch'd Road. 823-4050.

Dinos rock: Aspiring paleontologists can meet some exceptional creatures from the Mesozoic era in an interactive program of music and puppetry at Scottsville Library. 7pm. Free. 330 Bird St. 286-3541.

The Tuesday Evening Concert Series Presents the Talich String Quartet at Old Cabell Hall:
Internationally renowned chamber music ensemble the Talich String Quartet performs Schubert's Quartettsatz, Bartok's Quartet #6, and Dvorak's Quartet in A-flat Major, Op. 105. $24/$20/$10 students, 8pm. 924-3984.

Karaoke Night at Baja Bean. Free, 8pm. (W)

Jamie and Rolland (partial bluegrass mayhem) at the Blue Moon Diner. No cover, 8pm. (W)

Glen Mack at Coupe DeVille's. No cover, 10:30pm. (W)

The George Turner Quartet at Orbit Billiards. No cover, 9pm.

Vernon Fisher (mellow jazz) at Shebeen. No cover, 7pm. (W)

WEDNESDAY, November 19
MFA reading series:
New Dominion Books hosts weekly readings by writers from UVA's MFA program. 8pm. 404 E. Main St. Free. 924-6675.

Tartuffe: See Sunday, November 16. Today's show is at the amazingly early hour of 10:30am.

Country dance night: Couples and line dancing at Fry's Spring Beach Club. Dance lesson free with cover. Lesson 7pm, dancing 8-11pm. 2512 Jefferson Park Ave. $7 cover, $4 full-time students. 977-0491.

Way of the World: See Friday, November 14.

Much Ado: See Friday, November 14.

Author Kevin Philips speaks about President William McKinley. Book signing to follow. 11am. The Miller Center, 2201 Old Ivy Road. 924-0921.

Roots: The Virginia Writers' Club holds a workshop on genealogy and writing a family history. Free and open to the public. Gordon Avenue Library, 7pm. 296-5544.

The Newcomers Club of Greater Charlottesville:
Lunch at the Glenmore Country Club, Keswick. Avery Chenoweth speaks about his new book: Albemarle, A Story of Landscape and American Identity. Social hour at 11am; lunch at noon. 244-9815.

Shamanism and healing: Susan Wolf Star discusses the shamanic philosophy of healing and experiential technique to facilitate personal healing. Free. 7-9pm at Ivy Commons Family Chiropractic. 4422 Ivy Commons. 293-2779.

Charlottesville/Albemarle Democratic breakfast: Former Patrick County Supervisor and State Delegate Barney Day speaks at JABA. 9:30pm. 647 Hillsdale Drive. 971-8082.

Forest friends
: Toddlers (and their adult friends) can take a hike at Ivy Creek Natural Area. Nicol Butters uses stories and puppets to show how mammals prepare for winter, then leads a short walk in the woods. 10:30am. Free. Earlysville Road. 973-7772.

Dinos rock: See Tuesday, November 18. Today's program happens at Central Library at 11:30am (201 E. Market St. 979-7151, ext 3) and at Gordon Avenue Library at 4pm (1500 Gordon Ave. 296-5544).

More little literati: The five-and-under crowd can taste the flavors of autumn apples and pumpkins at Barnes & Noble's preschool story time. Stickers and cookies are part of the fun, too. 10:30am. Free. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.

Gillian Welch at Charlottesville Performing Arts Center:
On tour supporting her new album, Soul Journey, singer/songwriter Gillian Welch and her guitarist partner David Rawlings have been exciting old time audiences for the last eight years. Her last performance in Charlottesville took place two years ago, so don't miss this chance while you have it. $22/$18 advance, 8pm. Call 800-584-TIXX for tickets. See Tunes Feature.

Benny Dodd (cover-man) at Coupe DeVille's. No cover, 10pm. (W)

Jeff Decker and Mike Rosensky Quartet (jazz) at Miller's. No cover, 9pm. (W)

Cancer Benefit w/ David Bailey (singer/songwriter). $10 minimum donation requested, 8pm.

Open Jam at Rapunzel's Coffee & Books. Free, 7pm. (W)

Middle Eastern Belly Dance Class at Rapunzel's Coffee & Books. Free, 6:30pm. (W)

Inner Space (multi-instrumental jam) at Shebeen. No cover, 8:30pm

Mark Goldstein and Tusker (acoustic rock) upstairs at Tokyo Rose. No cover, 9:30pm. (W)

Azure Ray and Crooked Fingers at Tokyo Rose. $5, 10:30pm.

THURSDAY, November 20
Future of Art:
Artist Inka Essenhigh discusses her work at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts' "Future of Art" exhibition and teen coffeehouse. 6-8:30pm. $3. Museum Lower Lobby and Café. Lecture is at 6pm. 2800 Grove Ave. Richmond. 804-204-2704.

Emotional freedom:
Let Anne McMurtry tell you about this simple technique that might change your life. Free. 7-9pm at Ivy Commons Family Chiropractic. 293-2779 or 964-9167.

Way of the World:
See Friday, November 14.

King Lear: See Saturday, November 15. Today's show is at 7:30pm.

Court Square dancers: This group of women who perform traditional English garland, stave, hankie, and ribbon dances holds its weekly practice session. Open to new female dancers and musicians of any gender. Beginners most welcome. 7-8:45pm. McIntire Room, Jefferson Madison Library, Market St. between Second and Third streets. Free. 971-8863.

Swing swap: The Charlottesville Swing Dance Society holds this weekly east coast swing practice session with recorded music. 7:30-9pm. Albemarle County Office Building, 401 McIntire Road. Free. 980-2744.

Creative Writing, UVA-style
: Poet Debra Nystrom and novelist Christopher Tilghman, both UVA writing professors, read from their latest works at 8pm in the UVA Bookstore. 924-6675.

Man-O-War: Winston Churchill referred to the British and German war fleet as Castles of Steel. Hence the title of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert K. Massie's latest history. Massie discusses the critical role of sea power in WWII and reads from his book at New Dominion bookshop. 5:30pm. Downtown Mall, 295-2552.

Dinos rock
: See Tuesday, November 18. Today's program happens at Northside Library at 4pm.

More little literati: See Wednesday, November 19.

Musical politics:
Grammy nominated singer/songwriter John McCutcheon speaks on songwriting as a political art PVCC's Betty Sue Jessup Library. 7:30pm. Free. 500 College Drive. 961-5203.

Jones & Bliss at the Prism: Join Carol Elizabeth Jones and Laurel Bliss for some "new country duets." The two play acoustic guitar and resonator guitar, respectively, and sing harmonies revered for their sharpness. $12/$10 advance, 8pm.

Darrell Scott with Caroline Herring at Starr Hill: Songwriter Darrell Scott (for Garth Brooks and others) brings multi-genre American sound to Starr Hill-&endash; see him show off his talents as a performer, tonight. $15/$14 advance, 9pm.

Jim Waive (country-folk) at the Blue Moon Diner. Free, 8pm (W)

Karaoke Night with DJ Wild Wes at Buffalo Wild Wings. Free, 9pm (W)

Chicken Head Blues Band at Dürty Nelly's. $4, 9pm. (W)

John D'earth and friends (freeform jazz) at Miller's. $4, 10pm. (W)

Big Fast Car and High Watt (rock) at Outback Lodge. $3, 10pm.

Game Night at Rapunzel's Coffee & Books. Free, 5pm. (W)

Middle Eastern Belly Dance Class at Rapunzel's Coffee & Books. Free, 6:30pm. (W)

Kathy Olsen Trio (jazz) upstairs at Tokyo Rose. Free, 9:30pm. (W)

Fountainhead (jam) at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar. No cover, 9pm.

Upcoming and Ongoing:
Call for submissions:
The Center of the Book invites entries for the Letters for Literature state and national contests. Children in grades 4-12 are invited to write a personal letter to the author of their favorite book, telling how that book has made an impact. Entries must be postmarked December 6 and mailed to the Virginia Center for the Book at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Info: Susan Coleman, 924-3296.

Video diary:
Teens learn the art of filmmaking using digital video technology in this filmmaking seminar Wednesdays 4:30-6:30pm, January 21-May 5. Take digital video cameras home and capture the people, places, and things that fill your life. Direct and edit your own short film. Beginners to academy-award winners welcome. $250 plus $25 materials. Scholarships available. Deadline for applications: December 15. Light House studio in City Center for Contemporary Arts, 121 Water St. 293-6992 or for application and information.

Celebrate diversity: The Children's Museum of Richmond's holiday exhibit "Our Community, Our World in Celebration" highlights a number of cultural festivals and traditions from around the world. Interactive displays, crafts, demonstrations, games, and toys introduce the sights, tastes, and sounds of Hanukkah, Diwali, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year, Ramadan, and Eid. Through January 25. Included with the price of admission: $7. 2626 W. Broad St., Richmond. 474-7013.

Book it: Kids Lift, a local non-profit that serves needy children, is sponsoring their annual fall "Books For Kids" drive now through November 30. Donations of new children's books can be dropped off at ACAC, Cottonwood, Little Gym, Gold's Gym, and Felicity Hair Design. 245-9597.

Measuring up: The Virginia Discovery Museum takes a Magical Measurement History Tour in their latest back gallery exhibit. Kids can explore the tools, units, and reasoning behind the evolution of measuring. Included in the price of admission. East end of the Downtown Mall. 977-1025.

Discovering plants and animals: The Virginia Museum of Natural History at UVA offers another Lewis and Clark exploration. Visitors can learn about the plants and animals that the Corps of Discovery encountered on their historic journey in the exhibit "Natural History Pioneers: The Flora and Fauna of the Lewis and Clark Expedition" through December 11. Free. 104 Emmet St. 982-4605.

Star search: Two centuries ago, Lewis and Clark didn't have GPS. They and other explorers used the stars to navigate uncharted lands and waterways. The Science Museum of Virginia gives modern travelers the chance to "Follow That Star!" in their new multimedia Planetarium show now through January 11. Included in the price of admission. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 800-659-1727.

IMAX is huge!: The five-story IMAX screen at the Science Museum of Virginia has a plethora of offerings this fall. Extreme offers a glimpse into the unique relationship between nature and humanity including athletes involved in big wave surfing, ice climbing, skiing, snowboarding, windsurfing, and rock climbing.

Body works: If you like to know how things work from the inside out, you'll love the film on the inner workings of The Human Body.

Westward ho!: Fans of Lewis and Clark can join the great adventurers and the Corps of Discovery on their grueling two-year trek across the continent in Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West. Call or see website for schedules and costs. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 800-659-1727.

Separation support group for lesbians and gay men:
If you have experienced a break and need a safe place to cope with your loss. Meets Thursdays 7pm-8.30pm. 978 2195.

Talk the talk: Join in the conversation with English as Second Language learners as they interact with native English speakers at the Dialogue Café. In the Adult Learning Center at 1000 Preston Ave. Thursdays 11:30am-1pm. 245-2815.

Historic Downtown Charlottesville: Walking tours are given by the Albemarle County Historical Society. $3. Meet at the McIntire Building, 200 Second St. Saturdays 10am. 296-1492.

Seminar on Stained Glass: Every Saturday, geared to the beginner but open to anyone. Call by Friday to reserve a spot. Blue Ridge Glass &Craft, McIntire Business Park at 1724 Allied St. Free. 3:30-5pm. 293 2876.

Settling down: Midday Meditation, Tuesdays 12:15-12.45pm and Thursdays, 12:15-1:15pm. Free, but donations are accepted. Gesher Center, 1824 University Circle. 970-7836.

Habitat for Humanity: Volunteers with a yen to build or paint for a good cause needed for projects in the area. 293-9066.

Richmond Canal cruises: Take historically narrated tours along the James River and Kanawha Canal. Fridays and Saturdays, noon until 6pm and Sundays, noon to 5pm, Private charters available. November 1-December 7. 804-649-2800.

The Virginia Horse Trials: Through November 26. For 14 years, the Virginia Horse Trials have been a biannual tradition at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, attracting the largest number of entries of any combined training event in the country, including many Olympic riders and United States Equestrian Team members. Over 500 riders are expected to participate in this year's trials. 504-464-2950.

Monticello events:
Framing the West:
"Thomas Jefferson and the Lewis and Clark Expedition" features a recreation of Jefferson's "Indian Hall" and objects on loan from other institutions. Included in price of general admission. Through December 31. 984 9822.

Thomas Jefferson and the Origins of American Political Parties: Rare printed materials illustrating early U.S. politics are on exhibit at the Jefferson Library. 9am to 4:30pm. Free. 984-7540.

RVCC (Rockfish Valley Community Center) events
Nelson needlers:
Gatherings of artists who knit, sew, craft, etc. Mondays 1:30-3:30pm in the Conference Room. Amy Childs, 361-9147.

Old Time jam session: Guitars, mandolins, banjos, fiddles, hammer dulcimers, and more join together to make music. All skill levels are welcome to this gathering of musicians Friday nights 7:30-11pm. Becky Cohen, 823-6365.

Dances of Universal Peace: The second Friday of each month 7:30-9:30pm in Room 15. Marc Chanin, 361-1222. The Center is located at 190 Rockfish School Lane, off Route 151 between Afton and Nellysford behind the Rockfish Valley Ruritan Park. 361-0100.

Canine Companions for Independence: The national nonprofit organization that trains assistance dogs for people with physical and developmental disabilities is looking for people interested in becoming volunteer puppy raisers. 800-572-BARK or

Families anonymous: A free, self-help fellowship for anyone concerned with the destructive behavior of loved ones (emotional problems, drugs, or alcohol, etc.) meets at 7pm each Monday at Aldersgate Methodist Church,1500 E. Rio Road behind Fashion Square Mall, rear lower level entrance. 923-7929.

Narcotics anonymous: Meets daily. Call for information and meeting place: 434-979-8298.

The Second Street Gallery inaugurates its brand spanking new space with "30 Years: Three Decades of New Art," featuring recent works by 55 artists from SSG's past. City Center for Contemporary Arts, corner of Second St. SE and E. Water St. 977-7284.

Dan Finnegan's "Good Pots for Good Food" exhibit of gas-and wood-fired pottery runs through December 3 at the PVCC Gallery. V. Earl Dickinson Building, 500 College Drive. 961-5203.

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church shows "Once Upon a Time in Europe," acrylic paintings by Angela Corriveau. 717 Rugby Road. 293-8179.

Karen Whitehill presents her provocative and humorous collages, "Hymn to Her," at the Mudhouse. (Jesus never looked so good.) W. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 984-6833.

Mountain Air Gallery, Etc. hosts a "Photographers' Ball," featuring the work of 12-15 photographers, through November 15. 107 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 244-3393.

UVA's Fayerweather Gallery presents "Aunspaugh, 1984-2003," an exhibit of works by past and present Aunspaugh Fellows. Rugby Road. 924-6123.

L'étoile restaurant displays paintings by local artists Barry Gordon and Malcolm Hughes. Gordon's abstract works feature interiors and everyday objects; Hughes portrays landscapes in the Impressionist style. Through the end of January. 817 W. Main St. (across from the Amtrak Station). 979-7957.

Paintings by Gloria Mitchell are on display at The Artful Lodger, 1807 Seminole Trail. 970-1900.

"Recent Works by the Virginia Stone Carvers Guild," an exhibition of sculptures by eight artists, runs through January 9 at the ArtSpace gallery on the third floor of Newcomb Hall. 924-4164.

Works by local watercolorist Lynette Nicholas hang at the Greenwood Country Store through November. Nicholas' unique layering technique shows the play of light on landscapes. Greenwood Station Road off Rt. 250 west. 263-5500.

The C&O Gallery shows Cynthia Burke's exotic oil paintings of animals through November 30 (two percent of sales benefit The Wildlife Center of Virginia). Next door to the C&O Restaurant, 511 E. Water St. 971-7044.

Art Upstairs displays Sandra Offut's oil and watercolor exhibition, "Recent Works," through November 29. 316 E. Main St., above The Hardware Store, on the Downtown Mall. 923-3900.

"Believe it to Leaver, " a series of Polaroid self-portraits by Rob Tarbell exploring the artist's recent "marital downsizing," is on display through November 29 at City Centro Café. 323 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 996-2655.

"Art and the Natural World," an exhibit featuring science themes, is on display at the Science and Engineering Library's new reading room. The exhibit is a highlight of the library's grand opening in Clark Hall, and will be up through the academic year. The exhibit features work by UVA art faculty. 924-3628.

The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection displays "Kulam Kannga (Beginning): New Work from the Lockhart River Art Gang," plus "Photographs of Lockhart River" by Kerry Trapnell through January 24. 400 Peter Jefferson Place, off Rt. 250 east at Pantops. 244-0234.

"Fluid Emotion," an exhibit of gigantic paintings by Jamie McLendon, is on display at Gravity Lounge. 103 S. First St. 977-5590.

Jerry O'Dell's paintings and stained glass creations are on view at Blue Ridge Glass & Crafts. 1724 Allied St. 293-2876.

Through November 23, the McGuffey Art Center presents paintings by Leon Gehorsam, Susan Patrick, and Ann Friend Clark. Also on display: The Members Group Show, "Now And Then," featuring works from the artists' teenage years together with their recent work. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.

Galerie LaParlière is showing recent oil paintings of Elizabeth Congdon through the end of November. 414 E. Jefferson St. 245-1365.

Although the title "Tart and Art" might call up something lascivious in your fevered mind, this exhibition of oil paintings by Vidu Palta at the Bozart Gallery examines the dynamism among pastries, tea cups, and art books. Through November 30. 211 W. Main St. 296-4669.

In November, Transient Crafters presents a group show, "At the Table," featuring table-themed works by 20-25 artists. 118 W. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 972-9500.

At the University of Virginia Art Museum, "Steam Power: Railroad Photographs of O. Winston Link," will be on view through December 21. The museum also features Pierre Huyghe's video installation, "Third Memory," through November 30. 155 Rugby Road. 924-3952.

Les Yeux du Monde at Dot 2 Dot presents painter Lincoln Perry's "The Music of Time" through November 29. 115 S. First St. 973-5566. See Art Feature.

Rick Moore's "Thoughts from my Summer," a series of abstract watercolors are on display at C-ville Coffee Co. through November 30.1301 Harris St. 817-2633.

Works by Lisa Ciaramella Hurdle are on view at the Bullseye Gallery. 112 E. Main St., 510-0279.

The Stokes of England Gallery in Keswick presents a solo watercolor retrospective by Peter Almonte through November 19. Near the Keswick Post Office. 245-9539.


Marcus Alan Vincent exhibits "Sojourn in a Dream" at the Williams School Library at Washington and Lee University through December 31. Lexington. 540-458-8602.

Richard Robinson and Larry Volk show their unique views of the Italian culture and landscape in "Robinson and Volk: Fotografie dell'Italia" at The Arts Center In Orange through January 3. 1250 E. Main St, Orange. 540-672-7311.

Sunspots Studios in Staunton offer live glassblowing demonstrations every day by master glassblower Phillip Nolley and art glass artist Minh Martin, both in residence. Corner of Lewis and Middlebrook streets in downtown Staunton, across from the train station. 540-885-0678.

Combining "the detritus of everyday life" with examinations of machines and nature, "Object to Image: Recent Photographs of Pam Fox" is on view at The Esther Thomas Atkinson Museum at Hampden-Sydney College through December 12. Hampden-Sydney. 434-223-6134.

"Extremely real, extremely warped," that's the word on Robert Lazzarini's sculptures. Catch the artist's distorted realism through January 4 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Also showing are "Generations: African-American Art in the VMFA Collection" (through November 30) and "The New VMFA: Collecting for the Future" (through January 4). 2800 Grove Ave. Richmond. 804-204-2704.

At Caffé Bocce: "New Views, New Landscapes," an exhibit by Meg West, through November 30. 330 Valley St., Scottsville. 286-4422

Music of time: Perry's cadence in color


"Painting is dead." Over the past 30 years, it's become fashionable in arty circles to repeat this mantra (supposedly uttered by 19th-century painter Paul Delaroche upon first encountering a daguerreotype) ad nauseum. I have a friend in New York City&emdash; a Yale MFA, no less&emdash; who spends hours worrying that her work is obsolete before her brush even touches the canvas.

Maybe she should take a cue from Lincoln Perry, because he clearly couldn't care less about such pronouncements. In fact, Perry's current exhibition, "The Music of Time," on view at Les Yeux du Monde through November 29, embraces classical architecture and lyric figures, and practically mocks the trendy doomsayers.

The show centers on 29 panels, each encompassing a horizontal series of six 12 x 7-inch oil paintings. The Charlottesville images are familiar: UVA's serpentine-walled pavilions, arched porticoes, and white-railed staircases either stand on their own or serve as backdrops in many of the vignettes.

According to Perry, the paintings taken together continue an idea first explored in his 11-panel Cabell Hall mural, "The Student's Progress."

"These are of an art student," he explains, "who's having her ups and downs."

The panels are shot through with Perry's signature rush of color: here an unexpected cobalt blue shirt, there, a coral-hued tree. Skies range from brilliant turquoise to pale peridot to ruby-edged.

Each set of six offers its own internal cohesion. Figureless architectural panes punctuate the ends of #6, while the middle four paintings entwine with social interaction. In #17, a classical still life opens the series, followed by four panes of artists working. The final painting represents a "student-rendered" interpretation of the initial still life.

Perhaps the most dazzling set is #9, which features shadowy nudes painted in violets, indigos, and nearly black reds. "It's a challenge to paint dark paintings&emdash; it's possible, but it's difficult," Perry points out. "And therefore it's interesting to the painter."

Several of Perry's other works complement "The Music of Time," including a set of nine sexually charged terra cotta sculptures called "Private Dance Series." Painted to resemble bronzes, they range from amusing&emdash; a seated man stares transfixed at a standing woman's navel&emdash; to disturbing&emdash; a clothed heavyset man clasps his hands behind his neck as a nude woman lies splayed across his lap.

But Perry's vibrant oils, urging narrative readings, dominate the exhibition. To paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of painting's demise are greatly exaggerated.

Lincoln Perry's "The Music of Time" runs through November 29 at Les Yeux du Monde at Dot 2 Dot. 115 S. First St. 973-5566.

Dear writer: Children relate books' power


I guess it was fifth grade when I wrote to Ellen Raskin. We were expected to write a letter of such vision, inspiration, and charming manners that a response from the selected author was all but certain. My best friend got a return letter from Madeleine L'Engle; my least favorite friend taped her reply from Katie Letcher Lyle prominently on her locker door, despite the fact that Katie Letcher Lyle was also her neighbor.

The Letters About Literature program, sponsored by the Library of Congress and that other bastion of literacy, Target Stores (do they have a book department?), is not about getting an answer. It is about verbalizing appreciation. It teaches children that books can change lives and enables those readers to express that change.

Now in its 21st year, Letters About Literature solicits students in grades 4-12 to write a letter to the author of a favorite book explaining how that book made a personal impact. Instead of mailing it off to J.K. Rowling, however, letter writers should submit to the local Center for the Book at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.

Winners of the competition will receive a cash prize and an appearance at the 10th annual Virginia Festival of the Book in March, as well as a chance to compete for the national prize.

Last year, a Charlottesville student won the state prize with her letter to Susanna Kaysen, author of Girl Interrupted. National winners wrote to Lois Lowry, Norton Juster, and Roald Dahl, but lest you assume that only correspondence acknowledging good role models is to be rewarded, please note that a high-schooler from Fargo, North Dakota, swept the level III contest with her epistle to Sylvia Plath.

"I wonder if you saw me reading your book of poems in the psych ward at Prairie Psychiatric Hospital, and wondering how I could've been so blind to your brilliance as a child," wrote young Abby Swegarden, who goes on to lament that Plath is not available for an actual encounter, noting "Maybe all this letter is is a letter of selfishness because I still want more."

Ellen Raskin did write back to me eventually. She was glad to hear that I was a big-fan of her kid-wacky mysteries, and that was that. Today, I would happily forfeit the return letter, if I could grant Miss Swegarden the response she so craved.

Letters for Literature entries must be postmarked December 6 and mailed to the Virginia Center for the Book at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Contact Susan Coleman 924-3296 for more information.

Trail Spotting: Nearby hiking areas beckon


The words Ivy Creek or Ragged Mountain might call to mind tangled vines snaking along a riverbank and a peak worn to pieces by the wind. Add the words Natural Area and the opposite picture appears-&endash; a heavily landscaped "recreation facility." Is it possible the extra words had to be added to prevent the assumption that these were subdivisions?

Either way, both places are the real thing-&endash; beautiful, preserved, well-maintained, and among a handful of hiking spots that are close enough to almost be considered part of Charlottesville. With only weeks to go before it gets too cold for the less hardy among us to consider prolonged outdoor activities, November is a good month to visit not only Ivy Creek and Ragged Mountain, but other nearby hiking areas such as the Jefferson Parkway at Monticello, or the Rivanna River Trail that encircles the city.

For those who prefer organized activity to a spontaneous ramble, the Virginia Native Plant Society's monthly walk takes place at Ivy Creek on Saturday, November 15, and the following day an expert can lead you on another walk there to search for signs of wildlife.

From downtown Charlottesville, getting to Ivy Creek is quicker than a trip to WalMart, and the transformation from suburbia to countryside seems instantaneous. Wander through the woods to three beautiful clearings and to the South Rivanna Reservoir.

Ragged Mountain is, as its name suggests, considerably hillier than Ivy Creek, and a trip there leaves you feeling that you've been on a real hike rather than just a ramble in the countryside. Climb up through woods that are open enough to let in lots of light, amble by some horse paddocks, then emerge for a beautiful view of the reservoir.

While Hurricane Isabel took its toll on the Jefferson Parkway, the lower part is still walkable and includes an arboretum with a sample of every tree that grows wild in Albemarle, a side trail with views of the Blue Ridge, and a ponds trail with sugar maples, black gums, dogwoods, sumacs, and countless other native trees.

Of all the local walks, the Rivanna Trail is the closest to downtown Charlottesville, a fact which carries a price on certain parts of the hike. Redefining the notion of an urban jungle, the trail is thrilling for those seeking to discover the city and disappointing for those seeking pristine countryside.

To reach the Ragged Mountain Natural Area, take Fontaine Avenue south to right on Reservoir Road. The parking lot is on the right, just before the entrance to Camp Holiday Trails. 973-7772. To Reach Ivy Creek Natural Area, follow Hydraulic Road to the Rock Store, then left onto Route 743 / Earlysville Road. The entrance is on the left after half a mile. 973-7772. Thomas Jefferson Parkway's Kemper Park base is located on Rt. 53 one-quarter mile east of Route 20, just south of Interstate 64 Exit 121. 984-2800. For information on the Rivanna River Trail, see or call 923-9022.

Pad that app: Good deeds do double-duty


I wandered into AlbemarleKids' virtual coffeehouse the other day just to take a look around. As the mother of teenagers, I naturally peeked in the window at the forum for parents of "Tweens and Teens" where folks were talking about schedule overload.

Boy, could I relate to Emily who was tired of soccer, scouts, Spanish club, basketball, riding, and all the other after-school activities interfering with family dinner time and homework. But was she doing the right thing, she wondered, to limit the number of clubs and sports her kids were involved in, especially if it meant that her child's college application might look less competitive?

"Who says [the activity] has to be school-sponsored?" one respondent asked. "Why not do some volunteer activity together as a family once a month or so?"

What a great idea, I thought. And what perfect timing, because this Saturday just happens to be National Family Volunteer Day, which makes it oh so easy for any family to find lots of terrific ways to give something back to the community.

"Local agencies and businesses have pulled together to come up with some wonderful and fun projects," said Shaele Wood at United Way Thomas Jefferson Area, a local sponsor of the event. Wood has projects as diverse as collecting food for area food banks, visiting with seniors, or helping collect toys for Kids Lift.

"We also encourage families to develop their own projects," Wood said. "Maybe raking leaves for an elderly neighbor, being a friend to a family new to town, picking up debris from your favorite trail, or reading to a child."

"This doesn't have to be just one day of the year either," said Jennifer Bryerton, managing editor of AlbemarleKids, which is also a sponsor. "My greatest hope is for families to stay involved and make volunteering a part of their life year-round. Volunteering is packed with valuable life lessons for children– really, for all of us."

Families– or individuals, for that matter– interested in participating in Family Volunteer Day can call Wood, who will discuss your needs and interests and hook you up with just the right project. Additional opportunities are also listed on the Volunteer Bulletin page of the AK website. The site gives ideas, suggestions, and a reading list to help those who want to create their own volunteer projects.

So with one fell swoop, family volunteering gets kids and parents working together doing something valuable for the community, and at the same time gives brownie points to both for the résumé or college app. Such a deal.

Charlottesville's fourth annual National Family Volunteer Day happens November 15 and all through the year. For project opportunities, call Shaele Wood at United Way Thomas Jefferson Area at 972-1705. Additional resources are available at

The Way it is: Congreve's worldly masterpiece


A few years back, somebody ran an ad campaign with the tag line "What Is Sexy?" It was either Victoria's Secret or Crate & Barrel. The answer was 20 seconds of shadowy abs, exposed throats, and scraps of black lace. It must have been Crate & Barrel.

Now, without abandoning my longtime support for shadowy abs, I'd like to suggest that next time around, they answer the question in a more sensible way: with two hours of powdered wigs, fake moles, and lace cuffs that brush the floor when you curtsey. No matter how much that costs during prime time.

If you've forgotten why dressing up is hotter than dressing down, William Congreve's The Way of the World, which opens at UVA's Culbreth Theater this weekend, has plenty to remind you. This wicked and witty Restoration play by "the purest master of English comedy" is full of flirting, scheming, lying, and table-turning– everything you can't help but do when you look your best.

Congreve's comic exploration of seduction and infidelity hit his first audience so close to home that they forced him into retirement from playwriting at the age of 30. He stayed busy, though: When he died in 1729, the Duchess of Marlborough– one of his numerous mistresses– was so distraught that she kept a wax effigy of him in her bedchamber and spoke to it at night.

It's not clear how her husband felt about all this.

Classical theater maestro Sabin Epstein is in town to direct, reprising his guest-artist gig at UVA's drama department of 2001, when he staged Moliere's The Miser.

Epstein's theatrical resume is longer than a nobleman's wig: He's resident director of the Los Angeles company A Noise Within, associate artistic director of the Georgia Shakespeare Festival, co-author of the book Acting with Style– a minor classic of contemporary theater instruction– and has dozens of highly praised productions under his belt.

It's a good thing. In spite of the fact that Virginia Woolf said of Congreve's work, "Never was any prose so quick," The Way of the World confronts actors with lines like Lady Wishfort's, "Frippery? Superannuated frippery? I'll frippery the villain; I'll reduce him to frippery and rags, a tatterdemalion!"

Maybe sometimes less is more.

In other news: hats off to Albemarle High School's drama students and teacher Faye Cunningham who recently took on students from 39 other high schools at the Virginia Theater Association's statewide competition and sent them all home weeping. AHS not only claimed the State Championship, but three of its actors shared the Best Actor award: Noel Greer, Adam Miller, and Padric Moneymaker.

Great work, guys, and stick with it– no matter how much grief they give you in gym class.

The Way of the World is performed at 8pm Thursdays-Saturdays, through November 22. Culbreth Theater, 109 Culbreth Road. $12 adults, $10 seniors, $7 students. 924-3376.

Fan-pleaser?: Welch moves in new direction


My first exposure to the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, came when my cousin was accepted there as a promising young pianist. It seemed amazing to me, locked in my humdrum high school existence of functions and fetal pigs, that there existed a place with majors like "Musical Composition," and classes such as "Postbebop Harmonic Innovations" and "Principles and Techniques of Writing for the Voice."

Of course, knowing how a song works inside and out doesn't always enable one to write a sure-fire hit, as I was later to learn after hearing some selections from one Berklee graduate's pop/rock CD. But rootsy folk-singer Gillian Welch, a one-time Berklee student, seems to have the knack for crafting memorable tunes– though to which side of the nature/nurture debate she is indebted, we will never know.

Welch got her start performing originals and country/bluegrass tunes around Berklee with fellow student David Rawlings in the early '90s. National touring soon became part of the duo's life, until an opportunity to open for Peter Rowan in Nashville led to the pair's great discovery.

1996's renowned Revival soon followed, an album that was revered not only for its old-time sounds, but also for the duo's widening musical palette. 1998's Hell Among the Yearlings and 2001's Time (The Revelator) were similarly themed efforts, but this year's Soul Journey is sure to surprise longtime Welch fans. Like Dylan before her, Welch has gone electric-&endash; in a manner of speaking.

Soul Journey begins with "Look at Miss Ohio," which features what has to be one of the greatest opening lines of any song ever: "Whoa-me-oh-my-o / Look at Miss Ohio / She's running around with her rag-top down." As Welch weaves her world-weary and utterly distinct voice around soft acoustic strumming and Rawling's similarly soft slide, "Look at Miss Ohio" makes its sleepy way to your ears. Sometime slightly before minute two of the track, drums enter the fray, and the song takes on a rockier feel– this is one of the first signs that Soul Journey is generally a more band-oriented multi-instrument outing than its predecessor.

Track three, "Wayside/Back in Time" is similarly note-worthy, not just for its stellar simple country-tune vibe, but for the inclusion of some finely balanced backing organ. Singing of "too much beer and whisky to ever be employed" Welch is supported by fiddler Ketcham Secor and the return of those not-quite acoustic favorites-&endash; the drums.

"One Little Song," while simple in instrumentation and melody, features lyrics right up my meta-alley: "There's got to be a song left to sing / Cause everybody can't have thought of everything." Welch does have a way with words– many of Soul Journey's tracks stand out in this regard: most amusing is "One Monkey," which features the opening line "One monkey don't stop the show."

Heavier, and with a looser tone than its predecessors, Soul Journey is a step in a different musical direction-&endash; though whether you like where the momentum is leading Welch is a matter of taste.

Gillian Welch performed in Charlottesville two years ago, so unless you're fine with waiting another couple of years to see the singer/songwriter return on her next big tour, I'd get a hold of some tickets to Wednesday's show, lickety-split.

Gillian Welch performs at the Charlottesville Performing Arts Center, November 19. $22/$18 advance, 8pm. Call 800-584-TIXX for tickets.