Cultural calendar, January 29-February 5, 2004

THURSDAY, January 29
ART
All the finer things:
Shake the blues with a trip to Richmond for Art After Hours at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, this week featuring the Michael Clark Blues Band, plus poetry by Darren Morris and an "All Dolled Up" art tour. 6-9pm. $10. 2800 Grove Ave., Richmond. 804-204-2704.

FAMILY
The fun of art:
Young artists ages three to six can work with paint, clay, and collage at the Village Playhouse with an internationally experienced art educator. Classes are seven weeks long, and the first lesson is free. 3-4pm. $180 (includes drop off care, supplies, materials, and instruction). Pre-registration required. 313 Second St. SE. 296-9390.

Tales for tots: The five-and-under crowd can hear stories about frogs and toads at Barnes & Noble's preschool story time. Stickers and cookies are part of the fun. 10:30am. Free. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.

PERFORMANCE
Swing swap: The Charlottesville Swing Dance Society hosts this weekly Thursday-night swing dancing session, with an hour of east coast swing, an hour of west coast swing, and a DJ taking requests. 7-9pm. Albemarle County Office Building Auditorium, 401 McIntire Road. Free. 980-2744.

Acting studio for teens– monologue study: Designed for teens, this weekly workshop focuses on actors' vocal production and physical movement, skills that are put to practical use in work with monologues. Students explore language, character, and physicality. Amanda McRaven. Runs until February 19. 5-7pm. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. $60 Live Arts members/$75 general. 977-4177x100.

WORDS
Albemarle:
Barnes & Noble hosts author Avery Chenoweth and photographer Robert Llewellyn for a discussion and signing of their beautiful photo essay, Albemarle, published by University of Virginia Press. Barracks Road Shopping Center, 984-0461, 3pm and 7pm. Event is part of the book fair for the recording for the Blind and Dyslexic.

WALKABOUT
Feeling sleepy?:
"What is hypnosis?" is the topic of a lecture by hypnotherapist Roxanne Louise at Ivy Commons Chiropractic. Clarify what hypnosis is and whether it can help you. 7pm. 361-1969 or roxannelouise.com.

Eyes down!: Bingo game every Thursday night at the Gordonsville VFW Post. 7pm. 10271 Gordonsville Ave., Route 231. 540-832-2439.

TUNES
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)

Boots of Leather at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8:30pm.

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

T.O.W. and Sake (rock) 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)

The Clarks (rock) and Ari Hest (singer/songwriter) with Stephen Kellogg at Starr Hill. $12/$10 advance, 9:30pm.

FRIDAY, January 30
FAMILY
Swimming against the tide:
Old Michie Theatre presents a musical version of story of "The Little Mermaid" featuring a handsome prince, many merry mermaids, a witch, the king's musicians, and a kindly old grandmother. 7pm. $7.50. 221 E. Water St. 977-3690. oldmichie.com.

PERFORMANCE
Moliere Than Thou:
The Illinois-based company Moliere for the People brings the French master of farce back to life as part of Shenandoah Shakespeare's Commonwealth Theater Festival. 10pm. Blackfriars Playhouse. 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $15. 540-885-5588.

One-Act Play Festival: Tandem Friends School presents its second annual one-act festival, featuring Tandem student actors and guest directors from around Central Virginia. Community Hall, 279 Tandem Lane. $5. 296-1303.

Hamlet: Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey presents a brisk adaptation of the Bard's dramatic masterpiece as part of Shenandoah Shakespeare's Commonwealth Theater Festival. 10pm. Blackfriars Playhouse. 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $15. 540-885-5588.

No Shame Theatre: 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. Complete guidelines can be found under "How to No Shame" at noshame.org/charlottesville/. 11pm. Live Arts UpStage Theater, 123 E. Water St. $5. 977-4177.

Boston Marriage: Live Arts presents David Mamet's latest play, a quick-witted Wildean comedy about female lovers in turn-of-the-century America. 8pm. Closes February 7. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. $10-15. 977-4177x100.

African-American Odyssey: Two actors from Richmond's Living Word Stage Company perform a staged realization of the work of Langston Hughes, Paul Laurence Dunbar, James Weldon Johnson, and others. The production, part of Shenandoah Shakespeare's Commonwealth Theater Festival, weaves poetry, prose, monologue, and music. 7:30pm. Blackfriars Playhouse. 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $15. 540-885-5588.

WORDS
Vietnam redux:
Miller Center hosts David Maraniss, Washington Post correspondent, recipient of every journalism award under the sun, and author of books on subjects ranging from Vince Lombardi to Bill Clinton. He speaks on war and peace in Vietnam and will sign copies of his latest book, They Marched into Sunlight. 2201 Old Ivy Road, 11am. 924-0921.

Pre-Emption Priority: UVA professor Melvyn Leffler discusses American foreign policy post 9/11. Miller Center. Free, and lunch is served! 12pm. Call 924-4694 to reserve a space. 2201 Old Ivy Road.

TUNES
Ex-Porn Stars at Outback Lodge:
A favorite local act, Ex-Porn Stars combine jazz, funk, and pop songwriting with an almost amazing virtuosity for their instruments. $7, 10pm.

Stephen Bennett at the Prism: Flatpicker Stephen Bennett, one of the few existing performers of the harp guitar, has recently released his tenth solo recording, Ten. $12/$10 advance, 8pm.

African Percussion Ensemble at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar. $4, 9pm.

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

E.M.T. (Emergency Music Theater) with Stratton Salidis and Friends (custom songs designed to audience specs) at the Garden of Sheba. No cover, 8pm.

Andrew McKnight at Gravity Lounge. $8, 8:30pm.

The Rogan Brothers (rock) at Miller's. No cover, 10:30pm.

Josh Mayo (acoustic pop) at Mudhouse. No cover, 8pm.

Progression (house, progressive, breaks, trance) with DJ Chris Mocella featuring Kris Murphy at Rapture. No cover, 10:30pm.

The Improffesionals (improve comedy) at Rapunzel's Coffee & Books. $5, 7:30pm.

SATURDAY, January 31
FAMILY
Magical art:
Artistic types ages 9-16 can learn about the Op Art movement at Crozet Library. Students will study the optical illusions of artist M.C. Escher and use last year's calendars to create their own original illusions. 10:30am. Free, reservations required. In the old Crozet train station on Three Notch'd Road. 823-4050.

The better to see you with: A grandma, a little girl, and a not too, too scary wolf dance onto the stage in the Old Michie Theatre's latest marionette puppet show, "Little Red Riding Hood." 11am and 2 and 4pm. $5. 221 E. Water St. 977-3690. oldmichie.com.

Ka-ching: What is money and how does it work? Enterprising folks can enter the vibrant city of Moneyville and embark on an exciting hands-on tour through a money factory and an anti-counterfeiting forensics lab at the Science Museum of Virginia. The exhibit opens today and runs through April 25. Included with the price of admission. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 800-659-1727. smv.org.

The fun of art: See Thursday, January 29. Time today is 10-11am.

Swimming against the tide: See Friday, January 30.

WALKABOUT
Feeling sleepy?:
See Thursday, January 29. Today's lecture is at the Rockfish Valley Community Center, Route 635, Afton.

Stamp Show: Here's an opportunity to find a buyer for those old stamps with upside-down airplanes without having to travel too far from home. 10am-5pm. Holiday Inn and Conference Center, 1901 Emmet St. 10am-5pm. 703-273-5908.

PERFORMANCE
Live Arts Actor's LAB for Adults:
Work with acting coach and director Carol Pedersen in this weekly class to sharpen your acting tools and prepare for the season ahead. Join the one-hour drop-in session for an intense actor workout or stay for the full session and put your skills to work. Drop-in weekly: 10-11am; full session, January 10-February 28: 10-1pm. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. $10 drop-in rate (10-11am), $160 for full eight-week session. 977-4177x100.

African-American Odyssey: See Friday, January 30.

Tom Sawyer: Middletown's Wayside Theater present an adaptation of Mark Twain's classic novel as part of Shenandoah Shakespeare's Commonwealth Theater Festival. 11am. Blackfriars Playhouse. 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $5-7. 540-885-5588.

Top Dog/Underdog: Live Arts presents Suzan-Lori Parks' Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about sibling rivalry, three-card monte, and imitating Abe Lincoln. 8pm. Closes February 6. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. $10-15. 977-4177 x100.

One-Act Festival: See Friday, January 30. Today's shows are at 2 and 8pm.

Audition workshop: Carol Pedersen offers tips and techniques for actors planning to audition for Live Arts' upcoming production of Tony Kushner's Angels in America Part I: Millenium Approaches. Come find out how to stand out. Auditions February 1-2. Performances June 4 to 26. Cast: three men (20s-60s), four women (20s-60s). 1-3pm. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. $10-15 977-4177.

Weird Sisters: The Baltimore Shakespeare Festival presents a one-woman show about Susanna Shakespeare's efforts to publish her father's works as part of Shenandoah Shakespeare's Commonwealth Theater Festival. 3pm. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $15. 540-885-5588.

PERFORMANCE AND TUNES
Charlottesville and University Symphony Orchestra:
Carl Roskott conducts Dvorak's 6th Symphony and Paul Kim conducts Schubert's 6th Symphony in the orchestra's first concert of the new year. A pre-concert lecture by Professor Milos Velimirovic starts 45 minutes before each concert in nearby Minor Hall. 8pm. Old Cabell Hall Auditorium. $11-22. 924-3984. See Performance feature.

TUNES
Acoustic Charlottesville:
Blue O'Connell, Michael Cvetanovich, Jim Gagnon, and Mary Gordon Hall at the new Live Arts Upstage: Singer/songwriter Blue O'Connell, fingerstyle guitarist Michael Cvetanovich, digeridoo player Jim Gagnon, and Acoustic Muse co-founder Mary Gordon Hall join you for another Acoustic Charlottesville– local and organic. $5, 7:30pm.

Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike at the Prism: This six-piece bluegrass band from Tennessee is fronted by Smith, known for her explosive live performances. $14/$12 advance, 8pm.

Ted Stryker's Drinking Problem at Tokyo Rose: The last TSDP show ever, thanks to their impending breakup. See the neo-new-wave local legends before they ride into the sunset forever. $5, 10pm.

Fest Full of Rock at UVA: Oh lord! The Unicorns, Ted Stryker's Drinking Problem, Pretty Girls Make Graves, and RJD2 all under one roof? And a number of others? This is the show to get you caught up on what the hip-kids are listening to. Student Activities Building, UVA. $12/$10 students, 12:05-11:30pm. See Tunes feature.

Andy Waldeck with The Dirty Dishes (pop/rock) at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8:30pm.

King Hippo at Orbit. No cover, 10:30pm.

Modern Groove Syndicate (jam) at Outback Lodge. $6, 10pm.

Omar (dance) at Rapture. No cover, 10:30pm.

The Guano Boys (reggae) with Las Gitanas at Starr Hill. $6, 9:30pm.

Scott Varney (funk, jazz, folk, etc.) at Miller's. $3, 10:30pm.

Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike at the Prism. $14/$12 advance, 8pm.

The Pones (folk/rock) with Cathryn Caine at Rapunzel's Coffee & Books. $5, 7:30pm.

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

SUNDAY, February 1
ART
Waking Dreams:
"Book Art and Literary Art from the Collection" is the title of a gallery talk by Stephen Margulies in the Graphics Gallery of the University of Virginia Art Museum. 2pm. 924-3629.

PERFORMANCE
IMoliere Than Thou:
See Friday, January 30. Today's show is at 7:30pm.

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. cvillesalsaclub.com or 979-7211.

A Midsummer Night's Dream: Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey presents an exuberant adaptation of the Bard's comic masterpiece as part of Shenandoah Shakespeare's Commonwealth Theater Festival. 7:30pm. Blackfriars Playhouse. 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $15. 540-885-5588.

Boston Marriage: See Friday, January 30. Today's show is at 2pm.

Top Dog/Underdog: See Saturday, January 31. Today's show is at 7pm.

Improv Lab &endash; Fundamentals: Join Live Arts resident improv expert Rush Howell as he brings his immense improvisation and teaching experience from Second City, Improv Olympic, and Annoyance Theater to Live Arts. This class covers the basic principles of scene work and group interaction, and focuses on the critical concepts of agreement, relationships, and truth in improv. Sundays until February 29, 3-5pm. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. $50 Live Arts Members, $65 General. Ages 16 and up. 977-4177.

One-Act Festival: See Friday, January 30. Today's shows are at 2 and 7pm.

Audition notice: Come audition for Live Arts' upcoming production of Tony Kushner's Angels in America Part I: Millennium Approaches. Performances June 4-26. Cast: three men (20s-60s), four women (20s-60s). 7pm. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. 977-4177.

Charlottesville and University Symphony: See Saturday, January 31. Today's show is at 3:30pm. See Performance feature.

FAMILY
Read on:
Literacy is an important part of Black History Month, and Charlottesville will be joining over a million readers from all over the world in celebrating African American literature in the 15th annual National African American Read-In Chain. Selections will be read aloud by distinguished guests from the community at Central Library. 2pm. Free. 201 E. Market St. 979-7151, ext. 3. jmrl.org/children.

Swimming against the tide: See Friday, January 30. Time today is 3pm.

TUNES
O Coen Brothers:
Where Art Thou? (Double-Feature on the Big Screen) at Rapture. No cover, 8pm.

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

The Zing Kings (multi-genre local explosion) at Miller's. Free, 11am-2pm.

Barling & Collins (cello-pop darlings) at Miller's. No cover, 10:30. (W)

MONDAY, February 2
PERFORMANCE
Playwright's lab:
Live Arts hosts this twice-monthly workshop that gives local playwrights the opportunity to develop new work. Meets the first and third Mondays of every month. 6:30pm. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. Free. 977-4177x100.

TUNES
The Oratorio Society of Charlottesville-Albemarle holds auditions at the Municipal Arts Center for its upcoming concert, Bach's "B-Minor Mass." Call Joy Tobias at 882-1738 for an appointment or information.

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)

Swell with The Lilas (angsty pop/rock) at Gravity Lounge. $7, 8:30pm.

Travis Messinger at Miller's. No cover, 10pm. (W)

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

Jim Ryan (jazz bass and love songs) upstairs at Tokyo Rose. Free, 9pm. (W)

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

TUESDAY, February 3
PERFORMANCE
Boston Marriage:
See Friday, January 30. Today's show is at 7:30pm.

Live Arts Scriptshop: Calling all teen actors and writers to join forces in a series of weekly workshops featuring improvisations and writing exercises designed to sharpen acting skills and develop new works for LATTEHOUSE VI. Runs Tuesdays, February 3-March 2 5-7pm. $60 members/$75 general. Scholarship opportunities available. 123 E. Water St. 977-4177.

ART AND TUNES
Didja ever hear one?:
Master didjeridu player Ash Dargan brings his multi-media performance, Territory: 13 Sacred Jounreys into the Dreamtime, to Newcomb Hall Theater. Dargan combines the mysterious sounds of the didjeridu with recordings of Australian wildlife and images from the Australian environment to transport viewers to the land down under. Sponsored by the Kluge-Ruhe Collection and Newcomb Hall. 7pm. Free and open to the public. Park at the Central Grounds Parking Garage on Emmett Street. 244-0234.

PERFORMANCE AND TUNES
The Tuesday Evening Concert Series presents Windscape Wind Quintet with pianist Jeremy Denk at Cabell Hall Auditorium:
On the program are J.C. Bach's "Quintet in C Major, Op. 11, #4," Mozart's "Quintet in E-flat Major for Piano & Winds, K. 452," J.S. Bachrgan's prelude "Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier, BWV 731, " J.S. Bach's "Fantasia & Fuge in g minor," and Mozart's "Serenade No. 11 in c minor, K. 405." $24 orchestra, $20 loge and balcony, $10-students, partial-view seats, and standing-room only, 8pm. 924-3984. See Performance feature.

TUNES
3rd Sara White and the Pearls at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaarr. $3, 9pm.

Karaoke Night (what you make of it) 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)

Peyton Tochterman (of Fair Weather Bums) and Jesse Harper (of Old School Freight Train) at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8pm.

Fair Weather Bums (bluegrass) at Miller's. $3, 9:30pm.

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

Chris Whitley (blues) with Ezra Hamilton (intelligent pop) & Joe Lawlor at Starr Hill. $15/$12 advance, 9pm.

WEDNESDAY, February 4
PERFORMANCE
The Last Session:
Richmond's Triangle Players present "a musical for people who don't like musicals," which follows a fading pop star's last shot at greatness. 8pm. Fielden's Cabaret Theater, 2033 W. Broad St., 2nd floor, Richmond. $12-14. 804-346-8113.

Top Dog/Underdog: See Saturday, January 31. Today' s show is at 7:30pm.

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.

WALKABOUT
Sweets and talk:
Folks 23-33 can meet new friends during an evening of chocolate tasting and conversation at Crozet Library. Tim Gearhart from Gearhart's Fine Chocolates discusses chocolate making and offers a taste. 6:30pm. Free, reservations suggested. In the old train station on Three Notch'd Road. 823-4050. See Walkabout feature.

Something to yell about: People interested in knowing more about Howard Dean, a Democratic Presidential candidate, can meet other Dean supporters at Starr Hill Restaurant/Art Gallery (across from the Amtrak Station) and also at the Buford Middle School on Ninth street SW at Cherry Avenue. 7pm. 296-3442.

Rape and race: A local serial rapist, high-profile rape charges against Kobe Bryant, talk of assault and prejudice in the air. Join Pat McGann and Neil Irvin of Men Can Stop Rape in Washington, D.C. and members of the UVA community in a frank discussion about these issues sponsored by the Sexual Assault Education Council. 7:30pm. Room 108 in UVA's Clark Hall. 924-7116.

FAMILY
Look it up:
Young adults don't always know where to start. A two-session workshop at Northside Library introduces middle and high school students to the ins and outs of library research. Kids ages 13-18 can learn how to find what they need to know through the online catalog, magazine and newspaper databases, and free Internet search engines. Students should plan to attend both sessions, today and next Wednesday. 4-5:30pm. Free, registration required. Albemarle Square. 973-7893.

FAMILY AND WORDS
Listen to your Parent:
Storyteller Michael Parent tells tales– folktales and original stories– and sings songs spiced with his French-Canadian heritage and trademark wit at Gordon Avenue Library. 4pm. Free. 1500 Gordon Ave. 296-5544.

He's everywhere!: Join local storytellers Kathy Coleman and Eve Watters as they welcome back their favorite Mainiac, Michael Parent, for an evening of stories, songs and tomfoolery. Guaranteed Fun for adults and kids 12and up! 8pm. $8. Prism Coffeehouse, 214 Rugby Road. 977-7476.

WORDS
As the bird spies:
Local mystery scribe Andy Straka discusses the craft of mystery writing, hosted by the Charlottesville Chapter of the Virginia Writers' Club. Discussion and book signing at Barnes & Noble, 7pm, 984-0461. Event is part of the book fair for the recording for the Blind and Dyslexic.

TUNES
Man Mountain Jr. at South Street Brewery. No cover, 10pm.

Plum Jam with Mark Rock at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8pm.

The Mike Rosensky Jeff Decker Quartet (jazz) at Miller's. No cover, 9:30pm. (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)

Scott Miller and the Commonwealth at Starr Hill. $10, 9pm.

Kathy Olsen Trio (jazz) upstairs at Tokyo Rose. No cover, 9:30pm. (W)

Stop the Future Series: Plasmodium at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar. $3, 9pm. (W)

Jim Davies (acoustic rock and blues) at the Virginian. No cover, 10pm. (W)

THURSDAY, February 5
WALKABOUT
Eyes down!:
Bingo game every Thursday night at the Gordonsville VFW Post. 7pm. 10271 Gordonsville Ave., Route 231. 540-832-2439.

PERFORMANCE
Copenhagen:
Catch this preview of Live Arts' new UpStage production, Michael Frayn's philosophical detective story about a secret WWII meeting between two atomic physicists. Call office for ticket info. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. 977-4177x100.

Swing swap: The Charlottesville Swing Dance Society hosts this weekly Thursday-night swing dancing session, with an hour of East Coast Swing, an hour of West Coast Swing, and a DJ taking requests. 7-9pm. Albemarle County Office Building Auditorium, 401 McIntire Road. Free. 980-2744.

Boston Marriage: See Friday, January 30. Today's show is at 7:30pm.

Acting studio for teens– monologue study: Designed for teens, this weekly workshop focuses on actors' vocal production and physical movement, skills that are put to practical use in work with monologues. Students explore language, character, and physicality. Amanda McRaven. Runs until February 19. 5-7pm. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. $60 Live Arts members/$75 general. 977-4177x100.

FAMILY
The fun of art:
See Tuesday, January 27. Time today 3-4pm.

More tales for tots: See Wednesday, January 28.

TUNES
Weekly Dance Party with Stroud at Rapture. No cover, 10pm.

Clarence Green and Chameleon Project at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar. $3, 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)

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

Prom Queen (hard rock), 33 West, and Almost Always at Outback Lodge. $3, 10pm.

Satisfaction (dance party) at Rapture. No cover, 10:30pm. (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)

Upcoming and Ongoing
WORDS
On in ten:
VABook is sponsoring a comic poetry contest. Ten lines or fewer to make the grade. Make former poet laureate and funny-man George Garrett belly-laugh to take the prize. Deadline February 10. Details on the VABook.org. See Words feature.

Ya gotta pray to win: The Free Poetry Contest invites submissions of religious poetry (one per person) to compete for a grand prize of $1,000 and other prizes totaling $5,000. Deadline for entries February 14. Enter poems of 21 lines or fewer on a religious theme to Free Poetry Contest, 103 N. Wood Ave., PMB 70, Linden, N.J. 07036 or enter on-line at www.rainbowpoets.com.

ART
Get the date right:
The Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice invites artists working in any medium to submit works themed "February 21, 2004" for display during an evening of art and music. Deadline for consideration is February 13. 456-6028 or lanzbrod@cstone.net.

FAMILY
Move that heavenly body:
The Virginia Discovery Museum gets moving with its latest back gallery exhibit. "The Earth in Motion" explores the movements of our solar system and how they affects life here on Earth. Kids can move the planets, create a rainstorm, and journey through the seasons. Free with museum admission. East end of the Downtown Mall. 977-1025.

Eat or be eaten: Adventurous types can step into a dog-eat-dog world and find out "Who's for Dinner?" at a new exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Natural History. See Family feature.

Martian chronicles: The Virginia Discovery Museum gets into the Mars mania with a new display in the Discovery Corner. Maps, globes, artifacts, and new NASA images let earth-bound explorers probe the Red Planet. Included in the price of admission. East end of the Downtown Mall. 977-1025.

Write a winner: WHTJ Charlottesville PBS invites creative types in grades kindergarten through third grade to participate in the annual Reading Rainbow Young Writers & Illustrators Contest. The deadline is March 1 for kids to submit original stories they write and illustrate to this local contest. Free. Call for entry forms and guidelines: 295-7671, or get them on-line: ideastations.org.

World beat: Discover how rhythm and movement link different cultures, locations, and musical traditions in the new IMAX film "Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey" at the Science Museum of Virginia. Two long-time Stomp performers guide visitors through grand landscapes and cultural celebrations in Brazil, South Africa, Spain, England, Japan, India, the United States, and various countries in Africa to learn how people from around the world experience music and dance. Runs through July 16. Call or see website for schedule and cost. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 800-659-1727. smv.org.

Blizzard business: On the first weekday on which there is significant snowfall and city schools are closed, snow bunnies can win prizes for artistic creations sculpted from the icy white stuff in the Charlottesville Recreation and Leisure Services' annual Snow Sculpture Contest. Call the Rec office before noon to check on the date and register. Must be within the city limits. Free. 970-3260.

Horse sense: The herds thunder across the screen in a really big way in the IMAX film Young Black Stallion at the Science Museum of Virginia. Visitors can join the adventures of a girl named Neera and the wild horse she calls Shetan in Walt Disney Pictures' first dramatic movie made specifically for the giant screen. Through March 13. Call or see website for schedule and cost. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 800-659-1727. smv.org.

WALKABOUT
Voices of Hope and Women in Transition:
Two free support group for women whose lives have been affected by sexual and domestic violence. Voices of Hope meets Tuesdays 6-8pm, beginning February 10. Call Kristina Hall at 295-7273 to schedule a pre-screening appointment. Women in Transition meets Wednesdays 12-1:30pm starting February 11. Call Crystal Whitlow at 293-6144 to schedule a pre-screening appointment.

Montpelier: Special guided tours of the Montpelier mansion, including rooms not regularly open to the public. These spaces provide further insights into the Madison era at Montpelier. Offered at 10 and 11am, and 1, 2, and 3pm. Included with regular Montpelier admission; second floor is not wheelchair-accessible. Tours are offered on first-come, first-served basis; visitors should sign up when they arrive at the mansion. 540-672-7365.

Monticello events:
"Feast of Reason:
The Enlightenment of Jefferson's Monticello." Thomas Jefferson's deep involvement with this influential school of thought is explored on these extended tours of the house. Included in price of general admission. 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 weekdays. 984-7540.

Winter recreation classes: Adult classes are offered in Beekeeping, Fencing, Waltz, American and Latin Ballroom Dance, Sign Language, Handbuilding, Potter's Wheel, Creative Writing, Beading Workshops and Swimming. Prices range from $30 to $180. Charlottesville Recreation and Leisure Services. 970-3260.

UVA Personal Enrichment Classes: Classes in everything from French to Chinese history begin the week of January 26. Call 982 5313.

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 7-8.30pm. 978-2195.

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

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 urgently needed. 293-9066.

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 cci.org

Charlottesville/Albemarle Chapter of 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 at 1500 Rio Road E. behind the Fashion Square Mall, rear lower level entrance. 923-7929.

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

Help with re-entry: Virginia NeuroCare Inc. seeks volunteers to provide re-entry services to people with acquired brain injuries. Help operate a used book store. Former Kincaid building on the Downtown Mall and on E. High Street near Juvenile Court. 220-4596.

ART LIST
The Charlottesville/Albemarle District of VSA (very special arts) of Virginia, a nonprofit organization dedicated to artists with disabilities, presents its annual art show in the lobby of The Charlottesville Performing Arts Center through March 8. 1400 Melbourne Road. 970-3265 or 296-3518.

The University of Virginia Library swings with "Portraits of the Golden Age of Jazz: Photographs by William P. Gottlieb," on display, along with other items related to the Harlem Renaissance, through March 5 in the McGregor Room of 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. Through February 1. City Center for Contemporary Arts, corner of Second and east Water streets. 977-7284.

The University of Virginia Art Museum presents "American Collage," featuring work by Andy Warhol, Adja Yunkers, and Robert Motherwell, among others, through August 24. In association with this exhibit, multimedia artist Christian Marclay's "Telephones," a collage of edited film clips of telephone conversations ranging from Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder to Kevin Smith's Clerks, is on view through February 29. The Graphics Gallery features "Waking Dreams: Book Art and 'Literary Art' from the Collection," on view through April 4. Also on display through February 29, "Ink/Stone: The Art of Stephen Addiss, Mark Fletcher, Wonsook Kim," an exhibition by three artists who infuse their work with Asian sensibilities. "The Moon Has No Home: Japanese Color Woodblock Prints from the Collection" runs through March 7. 155 Rugby Road. 924-3952. See Art feature.

New Dominion Bookshop displays Marion Reynolds' "Paintings from Belmont Avenue" on its mezzanine through January 30. 404 E. Main St. 295-2552.

The University of Virginia Health Systems presents "Studies in Light and Texture: Tuscany to Provence," paintings by Paul Dettenmaier, in the Main Hospital Lobby, through March 12. 924-0211.

During January, the Charlottesville-Albemarle Art Association displays the paintings of Bob Stirling in the Second Floor lobby of the County Office Building. McIntire Road. 295-2486.

Even if you're not catching a flight, check out the paintings by Charlottesville-Albemarle Art Association artists Karen Collins, Judy Ely, Cindy Haney, Mercedes Lopez, Trilbie Knapp, and Vidu Palta at the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport through January. 295-2486.

View a career-spanning exhibit of work by Nelson County photographer Stephanie Gross at the PVCC Gallery through February 11. V. Earl Dickinson Building, Piedmont Virginia Community College. 961-5203.

At the C&O Gallery, John Wade's photographs of southern Tuscany fill the gallery with "a landscape from another planet" for the month of January. Next door to the C&O Restaurant, 511 E. Water St. 971-7044.

Shake off the chill with a visit to Angelo Jewelry, where Ann Therese Verkerke's "Hot Flashes– Tropical Images in Oil" is on display through February 29. 220 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 971-9256.

Through January, CODG presents photographs by Richmond's Aimee Wade, as well as prints and paintings by Gracey Sessoms, and new work by CODG artists in the members' gallery. 112 E. Main St., under the Jefferson Theater. 242-4212.

Go lightly boutique displays the oil paintings of local newcomer Beth Herman through February. 101 W. Water St. 244-7400.

David Cochrane's abstract/geometric paintings and Matisse- and Picasso-influenced portraits are on view at the architectural firm of Stoneking/Von Storch. Fifth and Water streets. 295-4204.

Galerie LaParlière is showing "Impressionist Bouquets," new works by French artist Maryvonne LaParlière. Also through January, "Angels on Wood," frescoes. 414 E. Jefferson St. 245-1365. laparliere.com.

Beatrix Ost explores contributions to the formation of identity in "Intimacy: 15 Minutes of Drawing," on display at Les Yeux du Monde@dot2Dot through January. 115 S. First St. 973-5566.

Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church shows the abstract relief acrylic paintings of sculptor David Breeden. 717 Rugby Road. 293-8179.

View Vicki Havill's painting and batiks at The Village Playhouse through January 30. Beginning January 31, Maria Lennik's acrylics, Rob Bossi's pen and inks, and Tara Reid's batiks will go on view and continue through February. 313 Second St. in the Glass Building. 296-9390.

Mike George shows his minimally colored acrylics at Mudhouse in January. W. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 984-6833.

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.

Take a stroll through the 57 acres of Virginia's first-ever Sculpture Park, located on the grounds of Baker-Butler Elementary School. 2740 Proffit Road. 974-7777x1402.

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

View recent sculpture by Jonathan Durham at UVA's Fayerweather Gallery through February 6. Fayerweather Hall, Rugby Road. 924-6123.

In January, Christine Rich displays her watercolor exhibition entitled "Architectural Fragments" at Art Upstairs. 316 E. Main St., above The Hardware Store, on the Downtown Mall. 923-3900.

"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.

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

The McGuffey Art Center presents Frederic Crist's "The Pillar Series," an exhibition of forged metal abstractions of controlled chaos through January. Also on view, McGuffey's New Members Group Show. Beginning February 3, on the second floor, see how others view your neighborhood when ArtinPlace presents C2D, Views of the City, a juried show of two-dimensional art, hung according to the neighborhood depicted. And on the main floor, visit painter Steve Taylor's self-exploration, "From There to Here," along with "Mutability," a show of work using alternative processes by photographer Fleming Lunsford and other members The International Photography Institute. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.

It's wild and woolly (not to mention surreal) in a mammoth kind of way at Hotcakes, which is displaying the paintings of Mary Atkinson through February 1. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 295-6037.

The Bozart Gallery presents Pamela Reynolds' textural paintings during January. 211 W. Main St. 296-4669.

The John Ruseau Watercolor Gallery features paintings by John Ruseau, along with art and objects from the Connecticut-based Mystic Seaport Museum. York Place on the Downtown Mall. 977-0627.

Martha Jefferson Hospital presents "3 Views of Landscape," featuring work by Robert Llewellyn, Scott Smith, and Barbara Southworth, through March 1. 459 Locust Ave. 982-7000.

Radar

Charlottesville artist Elizabeth Geiger displays her paintings at the Williams School of Commerce at Washington and Lee University. Lexington. 540-458-8602.

On January 31, the Shannon Farm Community Center opens painter Christopher Mason's exhibition, "Celebration in Color," which runs through February. Call for directions and a viewing appointment. Nelson County. 434-361-0083.

The Fluvanna County Community Center presents the stained glass work of Michelle Gamage and the pottery of Fei Putnam. Fork Union. Highway 15. 34-842-3150 or comcen@ntelos.net.

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.

Caffé Bocce shows wall hangings by Charlottesville quilt artist Kate Karsen through January. Beginning February 2, Anne DeLaTour Hopper and Sean Flaherty display their "Classic and Romantic Realism," an exhibition of traditional-style paintings. 330 Valley St., Scottsville. 286-4422.

Other

The Boys & Girls Club of Charlottesville/Albemarle seeks artists and crafters to conduct workshops and demonstrations with youth ages 6-18. Resulting artwork will be displayed at the Spring 2004 Exhibition. Contact Janel Turk, 466-8343 or j_e_turk@hotmail.com.

The Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice invites artists working in any medium to submit works themed "February 21, 2004" for display during an evening of art and music. Deadline for consideration is February 13. 456-6028 or lanzbrod@cstone.net

The Arts Center In Orange is seeking exhibits for their growing Satellite Gallery program that currently includes Not the Same Old Grind, a coffee shop on Church St., and The Virginia National Bank on Main St. Please send no more than five slides (two-dimensional work only) and an artist bio to The Arts Center In Orange Satellite Gallery Program; 129 E. Main St., Box 13, Orange 22960. 540-672-7311, artcenter@nexet.com.

FEATURES/FEATURES/FEATURES
ART
Asian fusion: Accessing "Ink/Stone"

BY LAURA PARSONS ART@READTHEHOOK.COM

Sometimes you get lucky. I was sighing in frustration as I made my way through the scrolls, pottery, and paintings of "Ink/Stone," an exhibition of work by Stephen Addiss, Mark Fletcher, and Wonsook Kim currently on display at the University of Virginia Art Museum. I knew Asian traditions were key to each artist's vision and practice– in fact, that's the crux of the show– but lacking familiarity with Chinese, Japanese, and Korean art, I felt lost in the midst of artistic intentions.

Then I overheard a woman speaking authoritatively about one of Fletcher's ceramic pieces. I decided to tag along as she moved to a large, double-sided stoneware vase. The knowledgeable woman turned out to be the artist's wife, who explained that the realistic, wizened face, sculpted in relief on one side of the vase, depicts Hamara, a famous Japanese potter; on the opposite side, the simple two-dimensional face represents Haniwa, a ritualistic Japanese artifact.

By addressing the two ceramic traditions– one refined, the other rudimentary– Fletcher has intertwined the two strands into one piece, entitled "Hamariwa."

As we stepped over to a plate, a bowl, and another two-sided vase, the artist himself joined us. Discussing his approach, Fletcher, who studied in Shigaraki and Kyoto, Japan, said, "I use the syncretic method to try to unify things we often think of as separate."

In the three stoneware "Heaven and Earth" pieces, which spring from the circle-encompassing-square symbol for the cosmos, Fletcher has played with Zen-unified duality not only through shape but also via dimension and space. The round vase, for instance, has a square of emptiness tunneling through its middle, which, from within, forms the solid walls that define the hard-angled center of the circular cavity.

With Fletcher at my side, I poured out a torrent of questions about the other artists' work. Yes, the figures on Addiss' large calligraphic scrolls are actual Japanese characters, but the painter has experimented with ink weight and brush stroke. Fletcher noted that even Addiss' black- and silver-spattered (which I'd dubbed "Jackson Pollock goes to Japan") tests but does not break calligraphic parameters.

Looking at Kim's multi-part acrylic-on-wood "Thousand Mountains" installation, Fletcher noted that its ink-wash-like elements are only 12 pieces of an ongoing, larger project. I asked about the significance of the arrangement, and Fletcher replied, "It's for the audience to read."

Ultimately true. But occasionally it's good to have help.

"Ink/Stone: Art of Stephen Addiss, Mark Fletcher, Wonsook Kim" is on view at the University of Virginia Art Museum through February 29. 155 Rugby Road. 924-3592.

WORDS
On in ten: Ready for some groaners?
BY ELIZABETH KIEM WORDS@READTHEHHOOK.COM

If you thought the Virginia Festival ofthe Book was all about serious memoirs, breathtaking novels, and scholarly reviews of Lewis and Clark and the soul of our nation, breathe a sigh of relief. The organizers are not averse to some amateur light humor, and by way of proving it, are inviting you to lick the pencil tip and start to scribble.

It will only take you about 15 minutes, but it could win you a spot in a limited edition chapbook.

What's a chapbook, you ask? Read on.

First, the challenge of light verse. The Greeks, as in many endeavors, were said to have pioneered the genre and passed the torch through the ages. From John Dryden to Dorothy Parker, humor and poetry have found a felicitous mix. Ogden Nash held the beacon particularly high, pulling off a two line coup with: The cow is of the bovine ilk/ One end is moo, the other milk.

Intimidated by the genius as you may be, here's some comfort. For this contest, you can employ up to 10 lines to produce your chuckle.

The contest, a celebration of VABook's 10th anniversary, is called "On in Ten." Submissions can be 10 lines or fewer and can cleave to the time-honored format of limerick, quatrain, epigram, or a brand new format of your own invention. But it must be funny. At least to win.

Whose funny bone are you aiming for? None other than that resident wit and former laureate, George Garrett, who will select 10 winners, one of whom will be crowned the light verse champion by an anonymous aficionado of knee-slappers.

That distinction comes with a $100 prize, by the way.

Kevin McFadden of the Festival of the Book says entries are already copious (you can send in more than one, by the way, if you just can't turn the tap off), with examples of both traditional and new formats.

Here are a few hints to get you started:

Not all limericks are about Irishmen. If you can't figure out the last line of your limerick, leave it off and call it a clerihew. When in doubt, poke fun at serious poets, like Dorothy Parker did:

Byron and Shelley and Keats
Were a trio of Lyrical treats.
The forehead of Shelley was cluttered with curls,
And Keats never was a descendant of earls,
And Byron walked out with a number of girls …
A chapbook is a small book of poems, popular tales etc.

Entry guidelines for On in Ten can be found at vabook.org/contest/index.html. Entries must be postmarked by February 10 and each must be accompanied by a $5 check. More information at 924-6890.

WALKABOUT
Check it out: Chocolate comes to the library
BY SOPHIA COUDENHOVE WALKABOUT@READTHEHOOK.COM

"Let any man of wit who feels himself temporarily become stupid, let any man who finds the air damp, the time long, and the atmosphere difficult to tolerate, let any man who is tormented by an obsession that prevents him from thinking clearly, let all those men dose themselves with a good half-liter of amber-colored chocolate… and they will see a miracle."

Thus spoke the French gastronome Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin about 200 years ago, and who can deny his words are just as true today? Lest there be any doubt, on Wednesday, February 4, the obsessed, the befuddled, the temporarily stupid, the hungry, the bored, the lonely, and the merely curious can test his observations at a free chocolate-tasting at Crozet Library.

The form will be solid, not liquid, and the quantities smaller, but supreme will be the quality of the confections accompanying a talk by Tim Gearhart of the eponymous chocolate shop at Main Street Market.

The former pastry chef will describe the origins of chocolate in Mexico, where the Aztec emperor Montezuma had xocoatl of different colors served in gold cups at the end of a meal. The hoi polloi consumed theirs as a thick paste, often thickened with corn flour. But as the mixture contained chillis, it held little allure for the conquistador Cortez, a fact which surprised the Aztecs, since they had mistaken him for the god Quetzalcoatl, gardener of Paradise and maker of the great cocoa tree.

Even though Cortez, of course, was more interested in gold, after his return to Spain in 1527, he always kept a full chocolate pot on his desk. Meanwhile, missionary nuns in Central America were replacing the Aztec spices with vanilla, sugar, and cream, and the resulting concoction quickly caught on among the Spanish aristocracy.

Gearhart gets his chocolate from Venezuela. He boils some cream and infuses it with a flavor such as tea or mint; then he adds the cream to the chocolate, along with butter and other ingredients, sets it in a frame, cools it, cuts it, dips it, and decorates it by hand.

Now in its third year, Gearhart's Fine Chocolates looks as though it might sell fine old miniature manuscripts. It's a small dark-red room with a heavenly smell and a counter where the exquisite, very expensive chocolates that are crafted right above the shop are sold.

Gearhart's talk is one of a series at Crozet Library aimed at attracting 23-33 year-olds, particularly those new to the community.

"Once you enter the workforce it's easy to become dissociated from the community," says branch manager Wendy Saz, who has seen too many lonely souls combing through the stacks.

"We want to build a community of friends without a cover charge."

Tim Gearhart talks about and presents his confections at Crozet Library on Wednesday, February 4, at 6:30pm. The talk is open to anyone between the ages of 23 and 33. Please call the Library to register at 823-4050. Admission is free.

FAMILY
It's the law: Critters– diners or dinner?

BY LINDA KOBERT FAMILY@READTHEHOOK.COM

Don't be scared. That leopard prowling the halls at the Virginia Museum of Natural History at UVA, that grey wolf that freezes you to the spot with its transfixing stare, that immature bald eagle about to take flight… they won't hurt you.

These perfectly life-like creatures are taxidermied specimens, some as much as 70 years old. The folks at VMNH-UVA have pulled from the dusty corners of their collections dozens of samples of such predators and the critters they most like to munch. They've also borrowed from others in putting together their new exhibit, "Who's for Dinner?"

Visitors to this yearlong display can get a good look at groupings of wild dogs, stalking cats, local omnivores, predatory fish, raptors, even predatory insects. In the process, they'll learn something about who's having whom for dinner, and what adaptations make these cunning creatures so sly when it comes to either sneaking up to snag supper or hiding out to avoid becoming someone's entrée.

Part of this exhibit's appeal to pint-sized explorers is all the hands-on stuff. Games such as Natural History Roulette give kids the chance to both test their knowledge and gain some as they spin the colorful wheel and answer questions to rack up points. Hunting Strategies is a mix-and-match game where players figure out which animal uses camouflage to hide (a scorpion fish does that), or uses herding to bring down its prey (that would be the pack of wolves).

In the Discovery Room, a sign on the wall encourages visitors to do the unthinkable: "Please Touch." And there's a lot to feel good about here: soft, furry animal pelts, snake skins, deer bones, and beaver teeth, to name just a few. Adventurous types can also stick their hand through the sock into the Mystery Box and try to identify the animal object inside using their fingers as eyes.

Kids can climb into the snag (an old hollow tree stump that serves as habitat for many woodland creatures) and answer clues to figure out whose babies are inside. It's the perfect place for a puppet show, too, using wild animal hand puppets available there. Or play a sorting game to separate the stuffed animal predators into one basket and the prey in another. But where does the black bear go?

With this exhibit, the Virginia Museum of Natural History at UVA gives Charlottesville families the chance to get really up close and personal with wildlife… without becoming dinner.

The Virginia Museum of Natural History at UVA is open from 10am-4pm Monday through Thursday. Exhibits are free. Group tours are available. 104 Emmet St. 982-4605. virginia.edu/vmnh-uva.

PERFORMANCE
Taking the 6th: Violinists enliven the weekend
BY STEPHEN BOYKEWICH PERFORMANCE@READTHEHOOK.COM

Where would we be without our great public universities in America, those noble institutions where all commercial concerns are sacrificed to the intellectual and cultural development of our brightest young minds? Can there be a more stirring example of this sacrifice than the history of the arts at UVA?

Oh, that magical day nearly two centuries ago, when the university's Board of Visitors decreed that it was time to enrich Mr. Jefferson's creation with schools of art and music, with a magnificent new library, with a grand new house of worship.

Then they saw the price tag and decided they'd give violin lessons in the Rotunda.

But they were very good violin lessons, I'm sure.

The arts at UVA have come a long way since the 1820's, especially from the point of view of bow-and-fiddle types. There's proof enough over the next eight days, which include the first concerts of the new year by the Charlottesville and University Symphony Orchestra, as well as performances by two prominent visiting ensembles.

UVA's music department has grown from a few amateurs sawing away in the Dome Room to an institution of its own. Based in Old Cabell Hall– at least until the new $47 million performing arts center is built– the McIntire Department of Music boasts a multitude of musical ensembles, both faculty- and student-led, including University Singers, the African Drumming and Dance Ensemble, and John D'earth's Free Bridge Quintet.

The flagship of the bunch, naturally enough, is the symphony orchestra. This weekend, it offers a pair of Sixth Symphonies: Antonin Dvorak's and Franz Schubert's. Both are appealing, accessible works from the standard repertoire. Schubert, the James Dean of 19th-century German composers (he died at 31), drew on Rossini and Beethoven for his brisk, buoyant Sixth, also known as "The Little."

Dvorak, who's best known for his American-inspired "New World" Symphony, filled his Sixth with stirring Slavonic folk melodies.

As for visiting ensembles, there's Windscape with pianist Jeremy Denk Tuesday, February 3, performing J.S. Bach, J.C. Bach, and Mozart. Watch next weekend for the renowned Cassatt String Quartet, which will present a concert of new American string quartets– one by UVA composer Judith Shatin– to cap off a week-long residency.

And to think we owe it all to somebody who eked out Three Blind Mice 200 years ago.

Charlottesville and University Symphony Orchestra performs Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 3:30pm. Pre-concert lectures 45 minutes before each concert start in Minor Hall. Old Cabell Hall. $11-22. 924-3984.

Windscape performs February 3 at 8pm. Old Cabell Hall. $10-24, one-hour student rush seats $5. 924-3984.

TUNES
Mess of a fest: Musical loaves and fishes
BY MARK GRABOWSKI TUNES@READTHEHOOK.COM

With the best lineup in its history (which isn't saying much, as the event is only in its second year), UVA's Fest Full of Rock explodes this Saturday at the Student Activities Building. To miss it would be to lose out on an afternoon of cool injected sonically into your bloodstream.

Even the bands you've not heard of are going to be great, but I'm going to highlight a few of the ones I consider the greater of the great. So sit down, relax a bit, and expand your musical knowledge.

Brought to you by those clever kids at PK German, UVA's University Programs Committee in charge of bringing musical acts to the school, this year's Festival is a leap forward from last year's sold-out show, which featured such acts as the mostly indie-rock Avail, Q and Not U, and Denali.

Saturday gets started at 12:05 with the penultimate show of the local neo new-wave group, Ted Stryker's Drinking Problem. A four-man blitzkrieg of infectious pop hooks and '80s synth, TSDP has long been a personal favorite, but unfortunately the winds of time have blown the band apart. If you, for whatever lame reason, have not seen the group yet, go to either this show or the one at Tokyo Rose later the same evening.

At 3:55, the Magnolia Electric Company takes the stage, a group that's garnering the most talk on the street currently– mainly because people have no idea what to expect. The new project from Jason Molina, the brains (and pretty much everything else) behind the indie-rock band Songs: Ohia, the group's self-titled debut album came out in early 2003, and featured a more straight-ahead rock sound than Molina's previous releases.

Lyrics like "While you was gone you must have done a lot of favors/ You've got a whole lot of things I don't think you could ever have paid for," continue Molina's trend of utterly revealing wordplay in a Neil Youngish sonic universe.

The Unicorns are the band I'm personally the most excited about seeing live at the Festival. The group's second album, "Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?" came out only a few months ago, but the group probably has the best buzz of any indie-rock group in existence right now.

Schizophrenic pop music is the easiest way to describe "WWCOHWWG." As they switch keys and tempos in songs of sea voyages and ghosts, there's something inherently accessible in all the bizarre.

A whole day of (for the most part) indie-rock? Get out your horn-rim glasses, sweater full of holes, and Saucony's; it's going to be a nodder.

Schedule at UVA's student activities building at the corner of Stadium and Alderman roads, Saturday, January 31.

12pm - Doors open

12:05-12:40 Ted Stryker's Drinking Problem

1:00 - 1:35 The Out Circuit

1:50 -2:30 El Guapo

2:50-3:25 Engine Down

3:55-4:45 Magnolia Electric Co

5:05-5:55 Broken Spindles

6:15-7:15 Unicorns

7:35-8:35 Hopesfall

8:55-9:55 Pretty Girls Make Graves

10:15-11:30 RJD2