Cultural calendar, November 20-27, 2003

THURSDAY, November 20
Listening to Lincoln:
Les Yeux du Monde @ dot2dot presents a talk by Lincoln Perry on his new painting series, The Music of Time. 6pm. 115 S. First St. 973-5566.

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.

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:

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, 5:30pm. Downtown Mall, 295-2552.

Literary hounds: The Albemarle Angler hosts Bill Trevillian, who will sign and read from his book, Goat Bell, Still & Sweets: Hunting Dog and Trail Dog Stories. 5:30pm. Barracks Road Shopping Center, 973-2201.

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

Dinos rock: Aspiring paleontologists can meet some exceptional creatures from the Mesozoic Era in an interactive program of music and puppetry at Northside Library. 4pm. Free. Albemarle Square. 973-7893.

Feng Shui for the office:
The Charlottesville Company of Friends welcome international feng shui consultant and author Sally Fretwell for a discussion. 5:30pm-8pm at CCoF member Mike Gaffney's Home in Walnut Hills. Free. To register, see 242-5886.

Know your rights: UVA's Women's Center's free legal clinic offers 30-minute advising appointments with a lawyer, available to University faculty and staff and Charlottesville community members. Clinics take place the third Thursday of every month at the Women's Center in The Corner Building on the corner of 14th Street and University Avenue. 982-2362.

John McCutcheon at PVCC's Betty Sue Jessup Library:
Grammy award-nominated children's music singer/songwriter McCutcheon speaks on "songwriting as a political art." 500 College Drive. Free, 7:30pm. 961-5371.

Dance Club with DJ Pinkerton at Rapture: The second night of Rapture's new dance club is tonight-&endash; with veteran Tokyo Rose DJ Pinkerton. Come and shake that thang for the masses! $10, 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. See Tunes feature.

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)

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

Applejack Jam (traditional and old time music) at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8:30pm.

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

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

Game Night at Rapunzel's Coffee & Books. Free, 5 pm. (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 at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar. No cover, 9pm.

FRIDAY, November 21
Ante up:
If you have $150 burning a hole in your pocket and a burning love of art, you may want to dress up for the University of Virginia Art Museum's gala, "La Belle Epoque: The Legacy of Ruth and Robert Cross at the University of Virginia Art Museum," beginning at 6:30pm with cocktails at Carr's Hill, followed by dinner and a range of guest speakers at the museum. 155 Rugby Road. 243-8874.

Material form: A 5pm reception today celebrates the opening of an exhibit of UVA 4th year Avery Wittkamp's abstract oil and mixed media paintings and sculptures. A special balloon installation piece is on view in front of Monroe Hill House on McCormick Road through November 23. The exhibit in Hotweather Gallery, Fayerweather Hall, is up through December 1. 924-6123.

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. $5 Live Arts UpStage, 123 E. Water St. 11pm. 977-4177.

Virginia Belles: UVA's oldest female a cappella group presents its annual fall concert. 8pm. McLeod Hall, 202 15th St. SW. $5. 996-2666.

Tartuffe: Shenandoah Shakespeare presents a new production of Moliere's comic masterpiece in 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 their new space with a LATTE production of Tom Stoppard's comic fantasy on Hamlet, through December 13. 8pm. Live Arts UpStage, 123 E. Water St. $7. 977-4177.

The Way of the World: UVA's new drama season continues with a mainstage production of William Congreve's comedy of romantic intrigue, shameless scheming, and tight corsets. Directed by guest artist in residence Sabin Epstein. Through December 22. 8pm. Culbreth Theater, 109 Culbreath Road. $7-12. 924-3376.

Virginia Women's Chorus: The Chorus holds their annual Candlelight Concert, entitled "An English Double Bill," featuring works by Benjamin Britten, Gustav Holst, and others. UVA Chapel. $5-10. 295-6351.

Research chemist Ginger Greene leads a review of Simon Winchester's explosive page-turner, Krakatoa, about the 1883 volcanic explosion. 12pm at Northside Library, 300 Albemarle Square. 973-7893.

Negro President: Thomas Jefferson was castigated by his Federalist foes after the election of 1800, which he won thanks to the 3/5 representation of slaves in congressional delegations. Best-selling historian Garry Wills examines the controversial election and Jefferson's ensuing relationship with the so-called slave power in his latest book. He will discuss Negro President at 6pm at the First Presbyterian Church, 500 Park St. Hosted by New Dominion Bookshop, 295-2552. See Words feature.

Synchro-signs: The 101 synchro-signs draw from Runes, Tarot, and I Ching for a new system of divination. Meet designer Mary McNaughton as she lectures on ancient universal symbols at Quest Bookshop, 617 W. Main St. 7pm. 295-3377.

Barboursville Vineyards:
Holiday Open House, through Sunday. Special sampling of smoked salmon, sausages from Summerfield Farms, and Virginia goat cheese. 11am-5pm. 540-832-7848.

Revolutionary thanks:
TJ and over 150 costumed living historians portray the era of the American Revolution at Governor Jefferson's Thanksgiving Festival. Revolutionary Ball, the Soldier's Parade, dozens of dramatic mini-plays, reenactments, and speakers, horse-drawn carriage rides, food, and crafts. 7-10pm. Free. Downtown Mall, Lee Park and Court Square. 978-4466. See Walkabout feature.

Star struck:
The view is out of this world at Public Night at McCormick Observatory from 9-11pm (weather permitting). UVA's research telescopes on O-Hill will be pointed heavenward, and Astronomy Department staff and students will be on hand with a slide show and answers to starry questions. Free. McCormick Road. 924-7494.

Curtain call: Old Michie Theatre holds auditions for their winter production of The Little Mermaid. Kids ages 7-17 are invited to call the theater for an audition time and come prepared to recite a monologue (for leading roles) or read a poem, story, or speech (for ensemble roles). Performance dates are weekends January 16-February 8. A production fee will be charged. Audition times today are 4-6:30pm. 221 Water St. 977-3690.

The UVA Jazz Ensemble at Cabell Hall:
The first concert of the UVA Jazz Ensemble's season will feature two Duke Ellington compositions, a work from Toshiko Akiyoshi, and works by Bob Mintzer and Jazz Ensemble director John D'earth, among other performances. $10/$5 students, 8pm. 924-3984.

X-Porn Stars at Outback Lodge:
The utterly amazing pop/hip-hop/jazz group X-Porn Stars return to Outback Lodge-&endash; see them before they explode into national recognition so you, too, can say, "I was into them back in the beginning, dude." $7, 10pm.

The Improffessionals at Rapunzel's Coffee & Books: Improv comedy takes over the stage at Rapunzel's for the first time ever this Friday night– expect the unexpected, and possibly future comedic engagements at the locale. $5, 7:30pm.

Chicken Head Blues Band at Dew Drop Inn, Scottsville. No cover, 9:30pm.

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

Josh Mayo at Coupe DeVille's. No cover, 10:30pm.

Devon Sproule & Paul Curreri (acoustic duo) at Gravity Lounge. $10, 8:30pm.

Monticello Road (rootsy rock and roll) at Jabberwocky. No cover, 10:30pm.

Mark McKay Band at Mountain View Grill. $5, 9pm.

William Walter & Co. (acoustic folk-rock) at Orbit. No cover, 10:30pm.

Dance Club with DJ Pinkerton at Rapture. $10, 8pm.

Eddie from Ohio at Starr Hill. $18/$16 advance, 8pm.

Billionaires Rock Dance Party at Tokyo Rose. $5, 10:30pm.

SATURDAY, November 22
Gang's all here:
Nelson County potter Nan Rothwell holds an open house to showcase her work along with the creations of jeweler K Robins, potter Cri Kars-Marshall, and Rothwell's students. 10am-4pm. 221 Pottery Lane, Faber (near Nellysford). Call for directions. 434-263-4023.

King Lear:
Shenandoah Shakespeare presents the Bard's monumental tragedy at the Blackfriars Playhouse. 7:30pm. 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-26. 540-885-5588.

Knight of the Burning Pestle: Shenandoah Shakespeare presents Francis Beaumont's raucous Elizabethan farce at the Blackfriars Playhouse. 2pm. 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-26. 540-885-5588.

Rosencrantz: See Friday, November 21.

Way of the World: See Friday, November 21.

UVA Swing Club: The Club hosts a 1930-'40s swing dance, with music by local favorites SwingKats Jazz Band, in a night of dancing and music by Goodman, Shaw, Dorsey, Miller, and others. Free dance lesson at 8pm, dancing 9-11pm. Newcomb Hall Ballroom. $10. 979-3346.

Group Motion dance master class: PVCC continues its series of dance master classes with an offering by Group Motion, a professional ensemble from Philadelphia that melds dance, theater, visual arts, and music. 1:30-3:30pm. V. Earl Dickinson Building, 500 College Drive. $10. 961-5376. See Performance feature.

Burnley Vineyards: November 22-24,
November 30, and December 1. Holiday Open House. Tasting new releases including Riesling and hot mulled wine. 11am-5pm. Free. 540-832-2828.

1812 Encampment at Ash Lawn: A two-day military encampment at the home of President James Monroe. Men, women, and children re-enact the life of the period, including open hearth preparation of a Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday. Admission includes house tour. AAA and local resident discounts. 11am-5pm. 1000 James Monroe Pkwy., Charlottesville. 293-9539.

Power hike: Wintergreen Nature Foundation offers a hike through Reed's Gap on the Appalachian Trail. Approximately five miles, moderate to difficult. Bring lunch and plenty of water. $3 members, $5 nonmembers of the Foundation. 434-325-7453.

Buck Mountain half marathon: To benefit the Monticello Area Community Action Agency and the Rivanna Trails Foundation. 8am. Call 293-3367 to register. $45.

Property owners orientation: Heads of property owners associations meet at a seminar today for tips on running such groups. Free. 9am-1pm. Lake Monticello Owners' clubhouse, 41 Ashlawn Blvd., Palmyra. For information and to register: 540-582-6444.

Revolutionary thanks:
See Friday, November 21. Today's hours are 10:30am-8pm. See Walkabout feature.

On the air:
Tell Us A Tale brings the magic of radio to the Prism. See Family feature.

Three and three: Three pigs outsmart a silly wolf, and Goldilocks learns never to break into someone's house– in the Old Michie Theatre's latest puppet show offering. 11am, 2pm, and 4pm. $5. 221 E. Water St. 977-3690.

Seeing stars: Visitors can learn how cultures around the world celebrate the season of light at the Science Museum of Virginia's holiday celebration "Joy From the World: Starlight, Starbright!" opening today and running through January 1. Holiday displays, traditional dancing and singing, arts and crafts. Carpenter Science Theatre Company's storytellers entertain children of all ages with 10-15 minute stories about stars and star patterns. Call or see website for schedule and cost. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 800-659-1727.

Me at the museum: Kids ages four to six can dive into the season at the Virginia Discovery Museum with a hands-on exploration of the Fall Frenzy. The three-hour program looks at autumn changes including hibernation, leaf color, and more. Participants should bring a mid-morning snack. 9am-noon. $25 members, $35 non-members. Pre-registration required. East end of the Downtown Mall. 977-1025.

Baskets of plenty: Families can gather to hear stories of togetherness and make a vegetable-printed bun basket at Scottsville Library's Family Story Time. 11am. Free. 330 Bird St. 286-3541.

Dinos rock: See Thursday, November 20. Today's event at Crozet Library at 3pm. In the old train station on Three Notch'd Road. 823-4050.

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.

Blue Ridge Irish Music School students perform Irish music and dance at Cville Coffee:
A monthly family acoustic music concert is now on the schedule at Cville Coffee. This month's show, to raise funds for the Blue Ridge Irish Music School's possible trip to Ireland, features Tess Slominsky and Sarah Read. Donation, 8pm.

Lehi, ASAPossible, The Make-Out Twins, Snack Truck, LFB showcase, and Puppets and Vikings at the Taj Mahal: It's an evening of bands bursting from all seams at the Taj Mahal, with locals ASAPossible bringing their indie geek vibe and The Make-Out Twins handing out their looking-for-love-in-all-the-wrong-places sound up against the out-of-towners. Free! 7:30pm. Figure out where it is, and go have a good time.

The Lilas with Karmen and Kathy Compton (feisty folk rock with local guest stars) at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8:30pm.

Plutonium (heavy psychedelic folk-fusion) at Mellow Mushroom. No cover, 10:30pm.

Monticello Road (rootsy rock and roll) at Mountain View Grill. $5, 9pm.

Mountain of Venus (melodic folk-rock) at Outback Lodge. $6, 10pm.

Dance Club with Kent Snow and Poindexta at Rapture. $10, 8:30pm.

Jonathan Byrd (singer/songwriter) with Dromedary (world beat folk music) at Rapunzel's Coffee & Books. $5, 7:30pm.

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

Southern Culture on the Skids at Starr Hill. $14/$12 advance, 9pm.

The Dawning: The Screams with DJ Xiane and DJ Ju5t1ce at Tokyo Rose. $5, 10:30pm.

SUNDAY, November 23
Explore the appeal:
UVA's Weedon Lectures in the Arts of Asia presents Dr. Sandy Kita discussing "Edo Then, America Now: Understanding Japanese Prints and their Appeal," at the University of Virginia Art Museum. 2pm. 155 Rugby Road. 924-3592.

Native art: The Smithsonian Institution's Dr. Gerald R. McMaster lectures on "Land, Language, Identity: Contemporary Native American Art" at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. 3pm. 2800 Grove Ave., Richmond. 804-204-2704.

Ash Lawn-Highland hosts its annual Open house tours today, the 204th anniversary of the Monroes' move to Highland in November 1799. All sorts of activities abound, and admission to the house is free. 1000 James Monroe Parkway, 2.5 miles past Monticello. 293-9539 or

Jeffersonian Thanksgiving Festival:
See Saturday, November 22, and Walkabout feature.

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.

Sunday salsa: Charlottesville's 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.

Rosencrantz: See Friday, November 21. Today's show is a matinee at 2pm.

Much Ado about Nothing: Shenandoah Shakespeare presents a spirited production of the Bard's lighthearted romantic comedy at the Blackfriars Playhouse. 2pm. 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-26. 540-885-5588.

UVA Jazz Chamber Ensemble: The Ensemble's fall concert includes a selection of jazz standards from the songbooks of Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson, and others, as well as original compositions. 2:30pm. Garrett Hall, UVA. Free. 924-3984.

Women's Chorus: See Friday, November 21. Today's concert is at 3pm.

Staunton Music Festival: Members of the Festival present a special fall Chamber Music Concert at the Blackfriars Playhouse, featuring works by Benjamin Britten, Johannes Brahms, Henri Duparc, and John Corigliano. 7:30pm. 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $6-14. 540-885-7873.

An afternoon of music:
The Village School presents a concert by singer-songwriters Tom Prasada-Rao and Tom Gorman, along with local favorites Terri Allard and African drumming master Darrell Rose, to benefit Jambalaya, a literary journal by, for, and about middle school girls. A reception with the artists follows the concert. 3-5pm. V. Earl Dickinson Building, PVCC, 500 College Drive. $10-15. 984-4404.

An Autumn Musicale at Municipal Arts Center:
Shelley Lee Cole, soprano, Lisa Hilgartner, mezzo-soprano, Edmund Najera, baritone, and Mary Elizabeth Forbes, piano perform works by Brahms, Faure, Bizet (Carmen), and Gershwin (Porgy & Bess). $7, 3pm. 1117 Fifth St. SW. $7. 296-2238.

Early Music Ensemble at Old Cabell Hall: The Early Music Ensemble presents its fall concert, under the direction of Paul Walker. Composed of a viola da gamba consort, a cornett and sackbut ensemble, and an a cappella chorus, the group focuses on works from European Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque eras, and will perform selections from Jean Baptiste Lully's opera, Armide, and Dieterich Buxtehude's Jubilate Domino. $10/$5 students, 3:30pm. 924-3984.

Opera workshop at Old Cabell Hall: Directed by Louisa Panou-Takahashi, the workshop presents a program of opera favorites. Performing in full costume, the group includes the female quartet and peasant girls dance from the first act of Eugenii Onegin, "The Song to the Moon" from Dvorak's Rusalka, the "Interlude of the Faithful Shepherdess" from The Queen of Spades, and excerpts from Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore and The Pirates of Penzance. $5-10, 8pm. 924-3984.

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

Catherine Carraway with George Melvin at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8:30pm.

MONDAY, November 24
Curtain call:
See Friday, November 21.

Chamber Music 364:
Student chamber music ensembles present movements of chamber works by Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, Ravel, and Villa-Lobos. Garrett Hall Commons Room, UVA. Free. 924-3984.

Lessons from California:
The Miller Center hosts UC Berkeley's Bruce Cain for a forum titled "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Lessons from California's Politics." 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 25
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.

Improvisations on violin, viola, and electric violin:
Acclaimed musician and author Stephen Nachmanovitch and Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival co-founder Timothy Summers perform at Gravity Lounge. 7:30pm. 10 S. First St. $8. 977-5590.

Vusi Mahlasela (African guitarist/poet) and wine tasting at Starr Hill. $12, 8pm.

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)

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

Maserati at Tokyo Rose. $5, 10:30pm.

WEDNESDAY, November 26
Much Ado:
See Sunday, November 23. Today's show is at 10:30am.

Tartuffe: See Friday, November 21.

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.

Hike Wintergreen:
Hike the Pedlars Edge trail and return via Cedar Cliffs Main trail at Wintergreen. Moderate difficulty, about 2.5 miles. Bring plenty of water. Register by noon Tuesday, November 25. $3 members, $5 members of Wintergreen Nature Foundation.

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.

Hackensaw Boys with the Lilas at Starr Hill:
The Hackensaw Boys are capping off a great year with a performance at Starr Hill-&endash; the punk/bluegrass act have toured far and wide with the Unlimited Sunshine tour and are finally back to show us all one-four. Folk/punk group the Lilas opens. $12/$10 advance, 10pm.

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

Year And A Day at Firehouse Grill on Preston Ave. No cover, 9:00pm.

African drum class with Kevin Munro at Friends Quaker Meeting of Charlottesville (1104 Forest St.). $50 for 4 classes/$10 drum rental, 6pm. 977-1499.

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

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

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

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

THURSDAY, November 27
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 all musicians. 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.

Hogwaller Ramblers at Outback Lodge:
Jamie Dyer and the rest of the Hogs lay out their singular bluegrass with an edge sound at Outback Lodge tonight! $5, 10pm.

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)

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

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.

Pass it on: AlbemarleKids encourages local children and family volunteers to share their stories in the third annual "I Volunteer Student Essay & Art Contest." Kids are invited to express their thoughts and feelings about the volunteer projects they're involved in this holiday season. Deadline is December 20. Send to Check for details. See Family feature.

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 University of Virginia Library swings with the exhibit "Portraits of the Golden Age of Jazz: Photographs by William P. Gottlieb," along with other items related to the Harlem Renaissance, through March 5. McGregor Room, Alderman Library. 924-3025.

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, on view through February 1. 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 is showing "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.

UVA's Fayerweather Gallery presents "Aunspaugh, 1984-2003," an exhibit of works by past and present Aunspaugh Fellows, through November 26. 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 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.

The C&O Gallery shows Cynthia Burke's exotic oil paintings of animals (see Art feature, page XX) through November 30. (25 percent of sales benefit The Wildlife Center of Virginia.) Next door to the C&O Restaurant, 511 E. Water St. 971-7044. See Art feature.

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 between 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," which continues Bozart's table theme with works by 20-25 artists. 118 W. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 972-9500.

At the University of Virginia Art Museum, "The Moon Has No Home: Japanese Color Woodblock Prints from the Collection," opens November 22 and runs through March 7. "Steam Power: Railroad Photographs of O. Winston Link," runs 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.

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.


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 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.

Lynchburg College's Daura Gallery, features "Poster Design: The Power of Pattern" and "The Seasons: Monotypes by Joellyn Duesberry, Poems by Pattiann Roger," through December 17. Lynchburg. 434-544-8343.

"Extremely real, extremely warped"– that's the word on Robert Lazzarini's sculptures. The artist's distorted realism is on view 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.

Ruffled feathers: Burke's purposeful portraits

Honoring what provides your livelihood– in India, there's a specific holiday, Ayudha Puja, designated for this very purpose. Students burn incense over schoolbooks, and taxi drivers garland cabs with marigolds.

A similar impulse underlies Cynthia Burke's current exhibition of oils at the C&O Gallery. Known for her animal paintings that mix wildness with Old World affectation, Burke is donating 25 percent of the show's sales to The Animal Wildlife Center of Virginia. The Waynesboro-based refuge provides veterinary care to injured and orphaned animals, with the aim of eventually returning them to the wild.

Although her work often depicts exotic animals– think ostriches and alligators– Burke decided to showcase more familiar fauna in the current exhibit. A barn owl, raccoon, squirrel, and cuckoo hen– outfitted in buttoned collars and ornate ruffs against dark backgrounds, a la Baroque-era formal portraits– are among the 17 animals pictured in the gallery's front room.

"I thought, 'Wouldn't it be fun to do the local animals, but to do them as local gentry?'" says Burke. "It's sort of like a rogue's gallery."

Even rodents more commonly seen as roadkill gain newfound dignity with Burke, who says she's influenced by the painting styles of Hans Holbein and Anthony van Dyck. An opossum (okay, it's a really a marsupial, not a rodent), collared in stiff ruffles and presented in 3/4 view, looks pensive and poetic. A groundhog, face forward and draped in ermine, gazes down his nose with regal superiority.

Because the groundhog is "the king of the neighborhood" (Burke jokes, "People plant gardens for him"), he rates the fanciest frame. "Framing is always an integral part of my work," says the artist, who sometimes beats new frames with chains to create a "faux old" look.

Burke has stenciled many of her frames with a pattern resembling flaking gilt, and this pattern echoes in the backgrounds of several larger works in the C&O Gallery's rear room. For instance, it subtly resonates in the orange backdrop of a burgundy-headed straw-necked ibis, standing with iridescent feathers above an open book and quill pen, a monocle dangling from its neck.

Burke's animals never seem quite anthropomorphized despite their civilized circumstances, retaining a wild beauty in the midst of all the frippery. Given that most of the animals rehabilitated by the Animal Wildlife Center of Virginia have been injured through encounters with the human world, this effect seems particularly appropriate for her C&O show.

Cynthia Burke's oils are on display at the C&O Gallery through November 30. Twenty-five percent of sales benefit The Animal Wildlife Center of Virginia. C&O Gallery, next door to the C&O Restaurant, 511 E. Water St. 971-7044.

Wills on Jefferson: Hold your applause

In Negro President, Pulitzer Prize winner Garry Wills does for Thomas Jefferson what he's already done for the Pope– he takes a magnifying glass to the man's significant flaws and then proclaims him the fairest in the land.

As evidenced by the mixed reactions to Why I Am A Catholic, Wills' brand of objective defense is prone to backfiring-&endash; a litany of transgressions in the Vatican is a strange overture to lapsed Catholics.

Similarly, a close examination of Jefferson's reliance on the "slave power" of his southern constituency to secure and keep the presidency will not win over skeptics troubled by the Founding Father's revisionist tarnish. Wills is one of the most versatile and intelligent historians writing today, but that won't keep many from branding him an apologist (and he doesn't help himself with his provocative titles like Papal Sin and A Necessary Evil).

Jefferson acquired the derisive title "Negro President" after his reelection in 1800, as a reminder that he had won the electoral vote but not the popular vote. His victory was the result of the infamous agreement to fix federal taxation upon states by counting every southern slave as 3/5 a person.

Later, in the most cynical of interpretations, the 3/5 census was applied to legislative representation quotas, bolstering the political power of slaveholders against the free states. Jefferson, despite his own moral ambivalence, was politically dependent on this so-called slave power. He wasn't alone– Washington and Madison were equally compromised. One of the book's best chapters tells of the three Virginia Presidents' backroom scheming to secure the nation's capital squarely in slave territory.

In fact, Jefferson has just a supporting role in Wills' latest book. Star power comes in the form of Timothy Pickering, a forgotten congressman from Massachusetts, and former president John Quincy Adams, men who dedicated their later careers to the fight against slave power and whom Wills chooses as "a useful anti-Jefferson … {that} clarifies what was at stake in the preservation of the slave system."

Wills visited Charlottesville this time last year to promote Mr. Jefferson's University, a slim volume glorifying Jefferson's achievements as an amateur architect. He returns this week with a rather different theme– one that may, or may not, persuade listeners Why Garry Wills Is A Jeffersonian.

Garry Wills speaks on Negro President: Jefferson and the Slave Power, Friday, November 21, at 6pm, at First Presbyterian Church, 500 Park St. Hosted by New Dominion Bookshop, 295-2552.

Festive thanks: War and holiday go hand-in-hand

In November 1779, long before Thanksgiving was an official national holiday, Governor Thomas Jefferson proclaimed a public day of thanksgiving and prayer for Revolutionary troops.

So for the last 10 years, Charlottesville has been celebrating Thanksgiving and the Revolutionary War together. This year the Jeffersonian Thanksgiving Festival takes place Friday, November 21, to Sunday, November 23, on the Downtown Mall and in Court Square and Lee Park. About 150 political leaders, soldiers (friendly and enemy), and civilians will be telling and re-enacting their stories.

Charlottesville might seem like a strange place for such an event, since– apart from one minor skirmish– it saw very little military action. What the city and the surrounding county did was provide a significant number of the men who led the Revolution.

"I wanted to get out some of those stories of people in the Revolutionary War who had to stand up and put their lives on the line for others," says organizer Mark Beliles.

As well as better-known characters like Jack Jouett, who in 1781 warned the Revolutionary leaders of a British attempt to capture Jefferson, the Thanksgiving Festival will provide the opportunity to meet men like Shadrack Battle, one of at least five Black men who joined Albemarle's Revolutionary fighters. A carpenter by trade, Battle enlisted as a private from 1777 to the end of the war and served with distinction.

Many of the characters will be played by professional actors, though Beliles, pastor of Grace Covenant Church, will read a famous sermon urging his followers to join forces against British oppression. The sermon was actually delivered in the courthouse in 1777, by Charles Clay, who founded the Calvinistical Reform Church, of which Thomas Jefferson was a great supporter.

If brainpower was Albemarle's main contribution to the revolutionary cause, the second was its barracks, which held about 4,000 British and Hessian soldiers from 1779 to the end of the war. The soldiers marched 628 miles to get there, only to find that the buildings were not yet ready. So they set about building them.

Jefferson visited and noted that the soldiers had made their quarters "delightful" (though this is deemed something of an exaggeration.)

Visitors to the festival will be able to observe drills and camp life, attend Governor Jefferson's Revolutionary Ball, take part in a meeting of the Virginia General Assembly, and watch ordinary men and women dance, build a log cabin, and make candles. American military drills will also be on display, including firing of cannon and muskets.

The 10th Annual Jeffersonian Thanksgiving Festival takes place on the Downtown Mall, Court Square and Lee Park, Friday, November 21 through Sunday, November 23. Admission is free. For more information call 249-4032 or see

Free parking provided in the Market Street and Water Street Parking Garages during the festival.

Thankful: Tell us a Tale helps kids celebrate

Anything can happen in fairy tale or rhyme,

Beginning with the words, "Once upon a time…

The cast of "Tell Us a Tale" is at it again, whispering these wondrous words and seeking to enchant our little ones. This week, their magical mantra is not just seeping out of our radios during their weekly Sunday afternoon broadcast. On Saturday, hosts Peter Jones and Jen Hoffman and their entourage take to the Prism stage for a live taping of this popular syndicated children's radio program.

"We started doing live sessions a year ago, because we kept getting requests from people who wanted to see the show live," says Jones, the show's producer and creator.

The theme of this month's performance is "Thanks for Friends and Family," featuring stories from around the globe to be aired during Sunday broadcasts over the coming weeks. The Jewish story "Something from Nothing," the Irish "Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato," and one of our family's favorite Thanksgiving tales, an original adaptation of "Stone Soup," are just some of the tales to be told.

"We like to think of ourselves as the Prairie Home Companion for families," Jones says. So in addition to some of the most well-loved folk and fairy tales, the radio variety show also features the Jan Smith Band, who will play original and traditional tunes related to the theme of thanks.

Children, too, take the stage with a presentation of their original poetry. Brittney Andes and Zoë Gallop, both fifth graders from Walker Elementary School, were selected from among a group of students who auditioned earlier this month to recite their work about friends, family, and giving thanks.

This month, "Tell Us a Tale" celebrates International Telebration Day in which storytellers get together to weave their magic in community events around the world. It's also National Book Week, and as a special treat, each child attending the performance will receive a free book.

More than 100 fans are expected to flock to the Prism for this live, interactive performance of fantasy, fun, friends, and family. And throughout the coming month we can all be thankful as we listen to the productions on WTJU.

Tell Us a Tale airs Sunday afternoons, noon-2pm, on WTJU 91.1 FM. A live taping of the show takes place Saturday, November 22, at The Prism. Fans can join either or both shows to be recorded that day: 1-2pm or 2:15-3:15pm. Donations are accepted. The children's poems performed on the show will be posted at both the and web sites. 214 Rugby Road. 978-3603.

PVCC ups the ante: Keeping the dance scene hopping


How much does conventional military prowess mean in the nuclear age? How secure can we be in the strength of our economy when a half-dozen fatcats can send the market into a spiral? I believe it's time for America to return to its roots, to look to what's always been our truest, deepest source of strength: multi-media dance theater.

There's no more appropriate time than late November. Are we going to celebrate the boldness and perseverance of our intrepid New England forbears with yet another bone-dry turkey, yet another cylinder of cranberry sauce jiggling in a bowl? Or are we going to live the Pilgrims' secret dream of joining an avant-garde dance company on stage in a community dance?

If only Cotton Mather and his gang could be with us Friday, November 21, when the highly acclaimed Group Motion Dance Company performs at PVCC. The show, which includes 15 community "movers/dancers of all backgrounds and experiences," is the centerpiece of a weeklong residency that also includes workshops and master classes.

PVCC has been upping the dance ante in Charlottesville all year, and this residency may be their biggest gig yet. In classic American style, Group Motion is run by a German, performs in places like France, Argentina, and Cyprus, and draws inspiration from Africa, Asia, and outer space.

Just like the Pilgrims.

Artistic director and co-founder Manfred Fischbeck (I told you he was German) brought an earlier incarnation of Group Motion to town from Berlin in 1968. After settling in Philadelphia, the company quickly established itself as one of the more exciting and innovative on the Ameircan modern dance scene.

Group Motion's repertoire is adventurous and constantly expanding– which can happen when all of your dancers are also choreographers– and notable for integrating musical, visual, and theatrical elements. The work of filmmaker/videographers Peter Price and Tobin Rothlein is often key to the performances.

Speaking of constantly expanding, it should be mentioned that UVA has an almost absurd number of musical events this weekend: nine concerts by eight ensembles in four days. There's everything from Baroque to swing to be-bop, so if you're in a music-only mood this weekend, there's no excuse to sit at home downloading MP3s. See Daily Calendar for individual listings.

Group Motion Dance Company performs Friday, November 21, at 7:30pm. A reception follows the performance. $6-17. The company offers a Dance Master Class Saturday, November 22, at 1:30pm. $10. Both events take place at PVCC's V. Earl Dickinson Building, 500 College Drive. Info: 961-5376.

String-puller: Darrell Scott takes control


If the cover art of the new Darrell Scott album, Theatre of the Unheard, was gracing the accomplished work of any one of a pantheon of mid-'90s pre-fab performers, I might have to purchase that album for the irony alone.

The cover features a picture of a marionette constructed to appear like the album's chief artist, Scott himself, playing a guitar on stage with the strings of the puppet held by a dark, monkey-like hand. When you flip the album, the mystery of the monkey-puppeteer is solved-&endash; a wider photo of the stage shows that it is, in fact, Scott pulling the strings. (I believe the correct Shaggy response here would be "Zonks!")

Based in Nashville, country/folk-rock performer Scott is most famous for his songwriting skills, which include "Long Time Gone," and "Heartbreak Town" for the Dixie Chicks, "Great Day to be Alive" for Travis Tritt, and "When No One's Around" for Garth Brooks. But Scott is also an accomplished guitarist, dobro player, and mandolinist in his own right, touring with Guy Clark, Sam Bush, and Tim O'Brien, and recording with Patty Loveless, Randy Travis, and Steve Earle, among others.

What Darrell Scott is attempting to assert with his over-the-top cover is that he's free of many of the music-industry-controlled strings that have started to chafe. Scott's latest release is his first on his own label, Full Light Records, a label started, press information indicates, "for one reason: So [Scott] can fully own and control his recordings…"

The songs on Theatre were written between 1986 and 1990, before Scott moved to Nashville, and were meant to make up his first album. In the liner notes, Scott writes, "When the record was finished and delivered to the record company, my fate was decided in a five-minute meeting to not release the record." Re-recorded in his living room with "friends," Scott's new release is a chance for these tunes, some of which are really quite solid, to finally see the light of day.

Theatre… starts off with "East of Gary," and it's immediately plain to see that Scott enjoys painting with a lush sonic palette. Sounding like the entire group is standing next to your ear, guitar, mandolin, double bass, and drums lead off the tune, a nostalgic recounting of Scott's early life on "the Indiana side of Chicago."

Scott has a strong voice along the lines of Travis Tritt, slightly life-weary, which perfectly fits his work. "Uncle Lloyd," a country-rock/pop tune (which you can easily imagine the Dixie Chicks performing), has complex enough instrumentation and songwriting tricks to make it enjoyable to even those strongly against the country music stereotype.

Combining genres, writing very well-constructed songs heavily influenced by pop, and being a damn fine instrumentalist– these are all qualities that Darrell Scott possesses in major amounts.

Darrell Scott with Caroline Herring at Starr Hill, November 20. $15/$14 advance, 9pm.