Cultural calendar, February 5-12, 2004

THURSDAY, February 5
Go after work:
This week's Art After Hours at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts features the musical stylings of the Jason Gay Quartet, poetry by Rosa Hornsby, and "The Eyes Have It!" gallery tour. 6-9pm. $10. 2800 Grove Ave., Richmond. 804-204-2704

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

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.

Cassatt String Quartet at Old Cabell Hall:
The two-day residency begins with a reading/recording of new quartets by graduate student composers. Free, 8pm.

Makia Groove (jam rock) at Jabberwocky. No cover, 10pm.

Karaoke with DJ Wild Wes at Buffalo Wild Wings. No cover, 9pm.

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

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

Old School Freight Train (acoustic old-time) at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8pm.

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.

Michael Parent (words) at the Prism. $6 general, $3 students. 8pm.

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)

Clarence Green and Chameleon Project at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar. $3, 8pm.

FRIDAY, February 6
Block it off: The University of Virginia Art Museum opens its weekend Ukiyo-e Symposium on Japanese color woodblock prints with a keynote address by Sebastian Izzard at 4:30pm. 155 Rugby Road. 924-3592.

If you build it: What do 500 Park Avenue, the US Embassy in Morocco, and the US Border Patrol Post at Murrieta, California, have in common? They were all designed by James Garrison. The architect and educator speaks at UVA School of Architecture in Campbell Hall, Room 153, 5pm. 982-2921. An exhibit of Garrison's work accompanies.

Day in the Life: Local photographer Tod Cohen will be displaying "Day in the Life," photographs of families and of students at the Charlottesville Waldorf School starting today at the Gravity Lounge. Meet Tod at a reception from 5:30-7:30pm. 103 S. First St. 977-5590.

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.

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.

By the light of the silvery moon: Nighttime adventurers can hike the Red Trail at Ivy Creek Natural Area with the full moon to light the way. Bring a flashlight, dress warmly, and meet at the Education Building. 7pm. Free. Earlysville Road. 973-7772.

Spanish Theater:
The UVA Spanish Theater Group, now in its 24th year, performs (in Spanish) José Luis Alonso de Santos' Yonquis y Yanquis, about the struggle to survive in working class Madrid. 8pm. Helms Theater, 109 Culbreth Road. $5-10. 924-7155.

Copenhagen: Catch this preview of Live Arts' new Up Stage production, Michael Frayn's philosophical detective story about a secret WWII meeting between two atomic physicists. 8pm. Live Arts Up Stage, 123 E. Water St. $7. 977-4177x100. See Performance feature.

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.

First Friday Dance Series: Miki Liszt Dance Company presents Seed Dance Exchange at the Studio 20 performance space. 7pm. McGuffey Art Center, 201 Second St. NW. $4. 973-3744.

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 11pm. Live Arts Up Stage Theater, 123 E. Water St. $5. 977-4177.

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

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.

Cassatt String Quartet:
Open rehearsal and discussion of issues of performance in contemporary music. 3:30pm. 107 Old Cabell Hall. Free. Later in the day, the Quartet performs a concert of new American string quartets, including works by Daniel Godfrey and David Liptak, as well as the Charlottesville premiere of UVA composer Judith Shatin's "Elijah's Chariot" for quartet and electronics. 8pm. Old Cabell Hall. Free. 924-3984.

First Annual Battle of the Bands at Rapunzel's Coffee & Books:
See 10 local groups duke it out for that elusive record contract! Oh, I made that last part up. But its going to be a blast! No cover, 7:30pm.

William Walter (acoustic rock) at Jabberwocky. No cover, 10pm.

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

Catherine Carraway Quartet (jazz) at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8:30pm.

Sol (pop/rock) at Miller's. $6, 10:30pm.

Oregon Hill and Funk All-Stars at Outback Lodge. $3, 10pm.

The Paschall Brothers (a cappella gospel quintet) at the Prism. $12/$10 advance, 8pm.

Bootycall: DJs Shwag Brown and the G-Spot (hip-hop DJs) & Special Guest A. Schmuck ('80s dance) at Rapture. No cover, 10:30pm.

Mysteries of Rythmn at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar. $3, 8pm.

SATURDAY, February 7
Block it off: See Friday, February 6. Today there are presentations by Herman Ooms, Sandy Kita, and Timon Screech at the University of Virginia Art Museum. 10am-3pm. (Call ahead to reserve a box lunch for $12). 155 Rugby Road. 924-3592.

Looming instruction: Tapestry weaver Joann Griffin demonstrates how to use a lap-held, copper-pipe loom at Art Upstairs. 12-5pm. 316 E. Main St. (above the Hardware Store). 979-4402.

No squinting: Get glassy-eyed at a stained glass seminar at Blue Ridge Glass and Craft. 3:30-5pm. Free. 1724 Allied Street. 293-2876.

At wit's end:
Dr. Gretchen L. Wasserstrom of Piedmont Pediatrics offers tips for coping with fussy babies at a free parenting workshop at Gordon Avenue Library. Sponsored by Partnership for Children, Martha Jefferson Hospital, and UVA Health System. Free childcare available (call to reserve). Infants welcome. 10:30am-noon. 1500 Gordon Ave. 220-5437.

On the air: "Tell Us A Tale," central Virginia's popular children's radio program, takes flight at the Prism with bird tails… er… tales. Hosts Peter Jones and Jen Hoffman lead the fun in this live taping of the show that airs on WTJU 91.1 FM on Sundays from noon-2pm. The Jan Smith Band will be on hand with some original and not-so-original tunes. Fans can join either or both of two shows to be recorded today, one from 1-2pm, the second from 2:15-3:15. Donations accepted. 214 Rugby Road. 978-3603.

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.

Swimming against the tide: See Friday, February 6.

First Saturday Bird Walk:
See the winter birds of Ivy Creek. Meet in the parking lot at Ivy Creek Natural Area at 7.30am. 973-7772. Free.

Walk the farms: a one-mile nature walk, "The Woods in Winter," happens today at the Frontier Culture Museum near Staunton. 1-3pm. ($5 adults, $3 children.) 540-332-7850. See Walkabout feature.

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.

Spanish Theater: See Friday, February 6. Two shows today: a matinee at 2pm and an evening performance at 8.

Winter dance: US Amateur Ballroom Dance Association holds a February dance at the only venue in town with two dance floors: ballroom upstairs, swing and hustle downstairs with Guest DJ Rockin Robin. Rhumba lesson by Nicole Huffman of Berkmar Ballroom upstairs; Cha Cha lesson by Alison Fletcher downstairs. Singles welcome. Both lessons start at 7:15; general dancing begins at 8pm. Charlottesville Municipal Arts Center, 5th St. Ext. and Harris Road. $8 members, $12 non-members, $5 students. 974-7949.

Audition workshop: Carol Pedersen offers tips and techniques for actors planning to audition for Live Arts' upcoming production of Edward Albee's The Play About the Baby. Come find out how to stand out. Auditions February 15 and 16. 1-3pm. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. $10-15. 977-4177.

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

Copenhagen: See Friday, February 6. Today's show is at 8pm.

The Last Session: See Friday, February 6.

Small Town Workers at Outback Lodge:
Sounding exactly as the name implies, STW combine Springsteen's vibe with modern day hooks, at the Outback Lodge tonight. $6, 10pm.

Heather Berry and Virginia-Carolina at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8:30pm.

Rule of Thump (jam) at Miller's. $3, 10:30pm.

Adam Onofreichuk ("Eastern European and Gypsy classics on violin and guitar) with Andy Friedman at the Prism. $12/$10 advance, 8pm.

After Dark: "A NuWave DanceRock Party" at Rapture. No cover, 10:30pm.

Jeff Romano and Amanda French at Rapunzel's Coffee & Books. $5, 7:30pm.

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

Darrell Rose and the Wild Bunch at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar. No cover, 9pm.

Fub Lovin' Booty Snatchers (good-time) at Jabberwocky. No cover, 10pm.

SUNDAY, February 8
UVA Chamber Music Series:
The third concert of the 2003-4 series includes chamber works by Schubert, Szervansky, and Prokofiev. 3:30pm. Old Cabell Hall Auditorium. $5-10, free under 18. 924-3984.

Spanish Theater: See Friday, February 6. Today's show is at 2pm.

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.

Stories and songs for grownups: Live Arts' co-founder Michael Parent is back in town for a one-night-only solo show combining music and storytelling. 8pm. Live Arts' Up Stage, 123 E. Water St. $10. 977-4177.

Audition notice: Offstage Theatre announces auditions for the annual Barhoppers Series. Barhoppers will perform at Orbit March 21-23 and Rapture March 28-30 and April 4-6. The auditions will take place in the Red Shed behind the McGuffey Arts Center. 2pm. Just bring yourself. 201 Second St. NW. 531-0158.

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.

Hang ten:
Snowboarder and skier competition in Wintergreen's terrain park. 12pm-4pm at Wintergreen Resort. 325-8505.

Just for fun:
Talking toilets? Perilous plots? Bionic battles? Fans of the Captain Underpants adventures ages seven and up are in for a treat at Central Library's Sunday Fun Days. They'll be using the Name Change-O-Chart, playing games, drawing cartoons, and even enjoying a tasty treat brought by a naughty cafeteria lady. 2-3pm. Free. 201 E. Market St. 979-7151, ext. 3.

Swimming against the tide: See Friday, February 6. Time today is 3pm.

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

The Zing Kings (everything and more) at Gravity Lounge. Free, 11am-2pm.

Wave at Gravity Lounge. $5, 7:30pm.

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

Monday Night Movie Double Feature: A Spike Lee Joint at Rapture. No cover, 8pm.

The UVA Chamber Music Series present its third concert of the season. Old Cabell Hall. 3:30pm.

Melissa McClain (singer/songwriter) at Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church Unitarian Universalist. No cover, 7pm.

MONDAY, February 9
Audition notice:
See Sunday, February 8. Today's show is at 7pm.

Sea Devil Divers:
Charlottesville's scuba club meets at 6.30pm at Rococo's Restaurant. 975-5570.

Prep class:
Get ready for the VA Festival of the Book by joining the African American authors book club this month. The group discusses When Race Becomes Real, edited by Bernestine Singley. Singley will be part of the Book Festival at an event on March 26. The book club meets tonight at 7:30pm, Barnes & Noble, Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-0461. See Words feature.

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)

Jesse Winchester with David Sickmen at Gravity Lounge. $25/$20 advance, 8pm.

Joel Jones (folk/bluegrass) at Miller's. No cover, 9pm.

Matt Horn and Special Guests at Orbit. No cover, 10:30pm.

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 10
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. $60 members/$75 general. 5-7pm. Scholarship opportunities available. 123 E. Water St. 977-4177.

Audition notice: Come audition today between 4 and 6pm for PVCC's upcoming production of Ibsen's Ghosts, in a new translation by Lanford Wilson. Cast: two women (20s-40s), three men (20s-60s). Performances: April 8-18. V. Earl Dickinson Building, 500 College Drive. 961-5387.

Green thumb fun:
Horticulturist David Burton introduces children ages 2-8 (and their parents) to the joys of gardening, at the Village Playhouse. 3-3:30pm. Registration required. 313 Second St. SE. 296-9390.

Reading aloud:
Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, a non-profit organization that records textbooks for the visually impaired and dyslexic ,hosts an open house to recruit new volunteers. 4-7pm. 1021 Millmont Street. 293-4797.

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)

Across the Sea at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8:30pm.

Faster Than Walking (Appalachian string music) at Miller's. $3, 9:30pm.

WEDNESDAY, February 11
Musicians' workshop:
Learn to play and teach with less strain and more comfort at this workshop in the Feldenkrais Method, hosted by the Charlottesville Music Teachers Association. 9:30a.m. First Presbyterian Church, 500 Park St. Free. 977-1991.

Audition notice: See Tuesday, February 10. Today's tryouts are 7-9pm.

Copenhagen: See Friday, February 6. Tonight's show is at 8pm.

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.

Hook up:
Families who want to raise their kids in a healthier, more earth-friendly, less hyper-commercialized way can meet other like-minded folks through Alternative Families Network. They're hosting a finger-foods-only potluck tonight at Gordon Avenue Library (downstairs meeting room). 6-8:30pm. Free. 1500 Gordon Ave. For more info, call Julia at 978-4779 or Mara at 977-3836.

Material with a message: In Africa, cloth is used for both decoration and communication. Kids ages 5-10 can celebrate Black History Month by making beautiful Adire cloths. The creations will be displayed in the children's room throughout the month of February. 4pm. Free, registration required. 1500 Gordon Ave. 296-5544.

More tales for tots: The five-and-under crowd can hear Valentine's Day stories 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.

The Red Hot Chilly Pickers (old time Appalachain String music) at Dr. Ho's. No cover, 7-9:30. 245-0000.

Cheesy Trivia with M&M Express at Buffalo Wild Wings. No cover, 8:30pm

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

Jamal Milner and Friends at Outback Lodge. $3, 10pm.

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

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

Joshua Mayo (acoustic pop) at South Street Brewery. No cover, 10pm.

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, February12
Talk, eat, and look, too:
View the paintings of Marla McNamara during an evening of "fine art, healthy conversation, and good spirits" at Bryson Hudock D.C.'s office. 6:30-8pm. 355 W. Rio Road, Suite 106. 963-4683.

No Isak, sorry: The VMFA "Tour of the Month" features Judy Parker-Falozi's discussion entitled "Out of Africa." 2pm. Free. 2800 Grove Ave., Richmond. 804-204-2704.

Delectable mangos: Shake the blues with a trip to Richmond for Art After Hours at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, this week featuring DC3, plus poetry by Patty Paine and a "Tempting Fruits" art tour. 6-9pm. $10. 2800 Grove Ave., Richmond. 804-204-2704.

Dig it!: Dr. Pamela Garber lectures on "Recent Excavations at Ancient Idalion, Cyprus" in the VMFA auditorium at 8pm. Free. 2800 Grove Ave., Richmond. 804-204-2704.

History and religion:
The Center for Christian Study presents John Cunningham on "Scripture Through the Ages: A History of Biblical Interpretation" as part of its Faith & Life lecture series. $25 (students free), 7-8:15pm. 128 Chancellor St. Registration encouraged. 817-1050.

Kandinsky Trio:
One of the country's foremost chamber ensembles performs a concert of Haydn, Holliday, and Mendelssohn as part of the Blackfriars Concert Series. 7:30pm. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $22. 540-851-1733.

Copenhagen: See Friday, February 6. Tonight's show is at 7:30pm.

The Last Session: See Friday, February 6.

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.

More tales for tots:
See Wednesday, February 11.

Books and more: The Barnes & Noble book fair to benefit the Virginia Discovery Museum begns today. Vouchers are available at the museum and during in-store events. They can also be downloaded from the VDM website: 977-1025. See Famly feature.

Free Trade:
John O'Leary served as ambassador to Chile and was a leading advocate of the US-Chile Free Trade Agreement, the first such agreement between the US and a South American country. He's at the Miller Center today at 11am. 2201 Old Ivy Road. 924-0921.

Satisfaction (dance party) at Rapture:
DJ Stroud lays down "commercial club (including top 40 remixes), hip-hop, and club classics" at Rapture every Thursday night. No cover, 10:30pm. (W)

Paul Goes Richter (rock) at Jabberwoke. No cover, 10pm.

Karaoke with DJ Wild Wes at Buffalo Wild Wings. No cover, 9pm.

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

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

The Lilas (indie), Mark Rock of the Marzaks (intelli-pop) and The Naked Puritans (folky pop) at Gravity Lounge. $10, 8pm.

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

Left Foot Braking at Mountain View Grill. $5, 7:30pm.

Agents of the Sun, Running With Scissors, and Navel at Outback Lodge. $3, 10pm. See Tunes feature.

Meridian (bluegrass ensemble) at the Prism. $12/$10 advance/ students $6, 8pm.

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

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

Upcoming and Ongoing
The magazine of the Charlottesville Writing Center seeks submissions for Spring edition. The magazine considers and publishes manuscripts without regard to geographic boundaries, but with a bias toward Central Virginia contributors and a preference for contributors who reside in, or have some connection to Charlottesville and the surrounding areas. Streetlight Magazine, P.O. Box 259, Charlottesville 22902. March 1 deadline.

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

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,

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

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.

Spring fling: While school's on break, nature lovers ages 6-9 can learn about predators and prey and endangered species at the Virginia Museum of Natural History's nature camp. Participants can collect specimens and examine them under the microscope, play outdoor games, make crafts from nature, and enjoy other hands-on activities. April 5-8 from 9am-noon. $105. Registration required. 104 Emmet St. 982-4605.

Moving heaven and earth: 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 it 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.

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:

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.

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.

Garden plot rentals:
City residents may rent a plot from February 9, or February 2 if they held one last year. Plots will be open to everyone beginning February 23. 970-3592, $30 city residents, $50 non-residents.

FOCUS career path workshops: Starting February 17 on Tuesday evenings, 7-8.30pm. New series of discussions will include Personal Presentation, Career Assessment, Marketing Yourself, Interviewing Strategies, Networking Skills and Body Language Evaluations. Call FOCUS Women's Resource Center at 293-2222, ext. 19.

FOCUS Women's and Men's Divorce Support Group: Tuesdays at 7pm. call 296 5300 or 293-2222.

The Fresh Air Fund: Volunteer committee members and host families needed to support two-week summer vacations for children from New York City's underprivileged communities. 977-8284.

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.

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.

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

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.

The Second Street Gallery presents two shows during February. In the Main Gallery, view the sketchbooks and mixed media paintings of "The Collector's Plan: Recent Work by Suzanne Stryk," and in the Dové Gallery, experience "Trickery: A Meditation," an installation by Beatrix Ost. City Center for Contemporary Arts, corner of Second and E. 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 Christian Peri's paintings in oil, through February 29. 404 E. Main St. 295-2552.

Spencer's 206 shows painter Edward Thomas's recent work. W. Water St. 295-2080.

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 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.

View a career-spanning exhibit of work by Nelson County photographer Stephanie Gross at the PVCC Gallery through February 11. V. Earl Dickinson Building, 500 College Drive. 961-5203.

At the C&O Gallery, painter Barry Gordon's "Perspectives" is on display through February. Next door to the C&O Restaurant, 511 E. Water St. 971-7044.

The work of architect James Garrison, founder of Garrison Architects, New York, is on display in Campbell Hall's Elmaleh Gallery through March 1. University of Virginia. 982-2921.

Nature Visionary Art presents "GrumsDay Realities and Other Tales," works by John Lancaster III. 110 Fourth St. 296-8482.

Local photographer Tod Cohen displays "Day in the Life," photographs of families and of students at the Charlottesville Waldorf School at the Gravity Lounge through February. 103 First St. 977-5590.

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.

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

The Dave Moore Studio features a dark-themed "Dead of Winter Show." Hours vary, so call first. 414 E. Main St. (under The Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar). 825-1870.

David Cochrane's abstract/geometric paintings and Matisse- and Picasso-influenced portraits are on view at the architectural firm of Stoneking/Von Storch. Also on display are photographs by Sarah Hormel-Everett and paintings by Priscilla Whitlock. Fifth and Water streets. 295-4204.

Veggie Heaven shows painter Gina Loher's "Still Life with Artichokes" exhibit through February 29. 923 Preston Ave. 296-9739.

Through March 28, Les Yeux du Monde@dot2Dot presents Susan Bacik's "State of the Union: A Brief Survey of Love." 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.

At the Village Playhouse, Maria Lennik's acrylics, Rob Bossi's pen and inks, and Tara Reid's batiks are on view through February. 313 Second St. in the Glass Building. 296-9390.

Monty Montgomery shows his pop-art-reminiscent paintings at Mudhouse in February. 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. 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.

View recent sculpture by Jonathan Durham at UVA's Fayerweather Gallery through February 5. Fayerweather Hall, Rugby Road. The exhibit relocates to the old Nature Gallery space on February 6. Water St., behind the Jefferson Theater. 924-6123.

In February, Lindsay Michie Eades displays her oil paintings of England and Ireland in an exhibition entitled "Landscapes" at Art Upstairs. 316 E. Main St., above The Hardware Store on the Downtown Mall. 923-3900.

The McGuffey Art Center presents "From Here to Here," recent autobiographical paintings by Brit transplant Steve Taylor. Also on view this month, "Mutability," a show of work using alternative processes by photographer Fleming Lunsford and other members The International Photography Institute.

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. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.

Transient Crafters displays "Panoramic Painting: A View from Afar," oils by Meg West during February. 118 W. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 972-9500.

The Bozart Gallery features the oils and pastels of Betty Brubach through February. 211 W. Main St. 296-4669.

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.


In celebration of Black History Month, The Arts Center In Orange presents "Core Visions: Influential and Emerging Black Artists in Virginia" an exhibition of works by 16 African-American artists. Also on display, "Orange County African Americans in Service to our Nation." Both shows run through February. 129 E. Main St., Orange. 540-672-7311,

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

The Shannon Farm Community Center presents painter Christopher Mason's exhibition, "Celebration in Color," 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. Highway 15 in Fork Union. 842-3150 or

During February at Caffé Bocce, Anne DeLaTour Hopper and Sean Flaherty display "Classic and Romantic Realism," an exhibition of traditional-style paintings. 330 Valley St., Scottsville. 286-4422.


The C&O Gallery hosts an opening for "Perspectives," an exhibition of paintings by Barry Gordon. 5:30-7:30pm. Next door to the C&O Restaurant, 511 E. Water St. 971-7044.

Second Street Gallery opens its two February shows with a 6-8pm reception: "The Collector's Plan: Recent Work by Suzanne Stryk" in the Main Gallery and Beatrix Ost's "Trickery: A Meditation," in the Dové Gallery. City Center for Contemporary Arts, corner of Second and E. Water streets. 977-7284.

The Dave Moore Studio celebrates its dark-themed "Dead of Winter Show" with a lively party. 7pm-"until." 414 E. Main St. (under The Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar). 825-1870.

Les Yeux du Monde@dot2Dot opens Susan Bacik's "State of the Union: A Brief Survey of Love." 5:30-7:30pm. 115 S. First St. 973-5566.

Meet John Lancaster III, 5-9pm as Nature Visionary Art hosts an opening for his "GrumsDay Realities and Other Tales." Fourth St. 296-8482.

Transient Crafters welcomes the paintings of Meg West with a reception, 6-9pm. 118 W. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 972-9500.

Stoneking/Von Storch Architects celebrates their new gallery space, featuring David Cochrane's paintings, Sarah Hormel-Everett photographs and Priscilla Whitlock's paintings. Party down from 5:30-7pm. Fifth and Water streets. 295-4204.

Sculptor Jonathan Durham's "Cyrus (The Younger): Zero-degree monumentality in Cinema Space" opens in the old Nature Gallery space behind the Jefferson Theater on Water St. with a reception at 5pm. 924-6123.

Spencer's 206 hosts a reception for painter Edward Thomas's recent work. 5:30-8pm. 218 W. Water St. 295-2080.

The McGuffey Art Center hosts a reception for painter Steve Taylor's "From Here to Here," photographers Fleming Lunsford and company's "Mutability," and's "C2D: Views of the City." 5:30-7:30pm. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.

The Bozart Gallery opens its exhibition of paintings by Betty Brubach 6-9pm. 211 W. Main on the Downtown Mall. 296-3919.

Art Upstairs holds an artist's reception for painter Lindsay Michie Eades, whose oil exhibition, "Landscapes," is on view. 5:30-9pm. 316 E. Main St., above The Hardware Store, on the Downtown Mall. 923-3900.

Mudhouse opens painter Monty Montgomery's "Listening to Visuals" show. 6-8pm. W. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 984-6833.

Articulate: Art speaks in "Waking Dreams"

In my teens, I would often wake up on my stomach, balanced on my forearms, staring intently at my hands, which appeared to be holding a book. My first reaction was always frustration. I had been reading in my dream and, now that I was awake, I would not be able to finish turning the pages.

My second reaction, however, was one of wonder. Had I actually been reading? And, if so, who wrote the book? Since it a creation of my unconscious dreaming mind, I must have been the author, but how could that be?

I remembered this strange conundrum while listening to curator Stephen Margulies discuss the works displayed in "Waking Dreams: Book Art and 'Literary Art' from the Collection," on view through April 4 at the University of Virginia Art Museum.

Honoring the Virginia Festival of the Book, the show features pieces by established contemporary artists such as Dean Dass and Duane Michals, as well as by up-and-coming artists like Kara Walker. The selected works range widely in media and styles, but all express a narrative impulse that leads to images and words crossing into and out of each other's dimensions.

The pieces also explore the illusory experience of the world, whether via the sleeping mind, wakeful imagination, or wishful thinking.

Several pieces incorporate words into the artwork, such as Alexander Brodsky's and Ilya Utkin's architectural etching "Crystal Palace"; others simply suggest a story unfolding, as in Philippe Halsman's photographic portrait of playwright Edward Albee, where characters in the dramatist's mind await translation onto the page.

Still others are books. Kara Walker's "Freedom, a Fable" features pop-up silhouettes that cast real shadows as they illustrate a tale of dreaming.

A piece that dazzles in capturing the spirit of "Waking Dreams" is Duane Michals' "nine-part cyclic series of black and white photographs" entitled "Things are Queer." The first and last photographs are identical images of a bathroom with a photo over the sink. The intervening pictures, however, successively challenge and shift the viewer's understanding of what is going on, carrying the eye up out of the bathroom and into a book being held by a reader walking in a tunnel, which turns out to be the image that's hanging on the bathroom wall above the sink.

Michals has created an artistic Möbius Strip in which the question "Who wrote the book?" is never answered.

The University of Virginia Art Museum displays "Waking Dreams: Book Art and 'Literary Art' from the Collection" through April 4. 155 Rugby Road. 924-3592.

The race card: Playing the hand you're dealt

If the American dream has an Achilles' heel, it's race relations. In no other context does the promise of liberty reveal such hypocrisy and the premise of a level-playing field expose such disingenuousness.

When Race Becomes Real, a sobering collection of essays about race, racism, and racial identity, is a clarion call. Its message– the collective advice of over two dozen reputed academics, journalists and writers– is that racism is inevitable. It has a source, it has a history, and it has the power to regenerate. Our best defense against it, suggests editor Bernestine Singley, is to "stay in this moment of our unyielding racial present and to confront all of what we are and might become."

The writers in this collection are all very much "in this moment" in terms of social activism or racial scholarship. They are prize-winning columnists, contributors to every leading political, cultural, and literary publication in the country, and tenured professors and deans of leading institutions. They are white and they are black, and nearly every one has opted to "confront what we are," by reexamining who they were.

I have no childhood memories of racial awareness, writes Robert Coles, veteran civil rights activist, 1999 recipient of the Medal of Freedom, and old white guy. I can feel the lingering traces of racism in my own body, confesses Robert Jensen, contemporary rights activist, media law expert, and young white guy. I loved all the dark-haired heroines of comic strips, recalls Colleen McElroy, a black poet, traveler, and ethnolinguist. My blackness isn't a thing that walks down the road before me, asserts Kiini Ibura Salaam, a 28-year-old black feminist writer.

Here are essays of history: an exhaustive investigation of lynching in America (the term coming from the family that also gave its name to Lynchburg); pop-culture: a deconstruction of the Oprah phenomenon; and oppression: assimilated Jews misguidedly aligning with David Duke.

When Race Becomes Real tackles a public conundrum through personal testimonials. It's a logical approach– after all, the tortured path of black/white race relations in this country can be marked by a series of names that, for all the broad characteristics of an era evoked, boil down to an individual and his story: Dred Scott, Jim Crow (aka Thomas Rice), Rosa Parks, OJ.

Read this book. It is about you, whoever you are, and whatever your story is. Because you live in America, and that's when race becomes real.

When Race Becomes Real is the selection under discussion at the meeting of the African American Authors Book Club at Barnes & Noble February 9 at 7:30pm. The Book Club hosts the editor, Bernestine Singley, on March 26 as part of the Virginia Book Festival.

Time travel: Tour farms of old all alone

Standing alone in a snowy 17th century German farmyard among some chickens and a docile ginger cat, one can see a well and two sheds with lots of hay, a plough, a pair of clogs, and piles of wood along with other farmyard standards.

But no sign of 21st century America besides the rumble of traffic on I-64.

At the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, this is an original 17th German farmhouse that has been dismantled, brought to Virginia and rebuilt, beam by beam, along with an English one and an Irish one, to join a 19th century American one.

The German timber frame farmhouse was taken from the small village of Høordt in the Rhineland Palatinate, a region pillaged by war in the 17th and 18th centuries. A series of harsh winters increased the incentive of Protestant farmers facing religious prosecution to leave. The German settlers initially headed to Pennsylvania, but by the 1740s, the best farmland there had been claimed, and they began to look toward the Valley of Virginia.

A short walk away stands the whitewashed-stone Irish house with thatched roof and scraggly hawthorn fences around the fields. It was built around 1730, considerably later than the German one, and was moved from County Tyrone in Northern Ireland. Among other things, a guide, Jerry Kester, teaches visitors to process flax, showing them how to process and comb a strand until it looks like long, rather messy hair, which was spun and then woven into linen.

Next comes the 17th century pink farmhouse from Worcestershire, England, the last old house taken from England before Parliament made such exports illegal. This one had already been dismantled-&endash; a man who wanted to rebuild it and live in it was storing it in a warehouse when the museum bought it.

The American house, built from logs about a hundred years later, looks bigger than the others. It stood in Botetourt County and combines the German, English, and Irish methods of farming and design.

Sometimes re-enactors wear period costumes and demonstrate daily life, but there's no ye Olde Worlde kitsch or Disneyfied reconstruction here. The point is to show where America's early settlers came from, how they lived before emmigrating, and how their cultures melded (along with African and Native American ones) to form the American way of life.

The beauty of visiting in February is that one gets a guided tour with not a single other tourist to spoil the effect.

Educational as the museum may be, you're outdoors for much of your visit, and it makes for a pretty walk through "European" and American farmland. On Saturday, February 7, at 1pm, the guided walk will extend to the woodlands beyond the farms.

The Frontier Culture Museum, just outside Staunton, is open every day 10am-4pm. Adults $10, children $6. At this time of year none of the rooms is heated, making it wise to dress as sensibly as an early farmer.

On Saturday, February 7, a one-mile nature walk, "The Woods in Winter," happens 1-3pm. ($5 adults, $3 children.) 540-332-7850.

Kid-stravaganza: Tots on top at B&N fest


Every now and then, Barnes & Noble offers schools and non-profit groups the chance to make a little money by hosting a benefit book fair. During these three-day events, the bookstore teams up with the organization to present a series of free events that the whole community can enjoy.

This time around it's the Virginia Discovery Museum's turn, and the sky's the limit for the parade of grand guests lining up to take their turn at entertaining.

The fun starts flying on Thursday morning during B&N's toddler story time at 10:30am. Amanda Petrusich gets things off the ground as she reads Jane Yolen's The Emperor and the Kite. Then professional kite flyer Todd Hayman brings out his toys– all kinds of kites– and kids get to make one of their own to take home.

On Friday evening at 7pm, Peter Jones and Jen Hoffman, hosts of WTJU's popular children's radio program "Tell Us a Tale," take pajama-clad fans on a flight of fancy during a starry PJ party. No one tells a story like this pair, who will be reading Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney, and How the Stars Fell into the Sky by Lisa Desimini and Jerri Oughton. The stars aren't all in the kids' eyes at this party. Star cookies and cakes from Chandlers Bakery will be orbiting, and kids can create their own constellation necklace, too.

The Cookie Mouse costumed character comes around on Saturday morning for a special story time at 10am. His story, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff, will be read, of course.

Then from 11am-1pm, the VDM takes off in celebration of a Festival of the Waning Moon. With the lunar orb in its fourth quarter, exhibits coordinator and devoted drama guy Steve Kohrherr leads participants in a special improvisational play about "How the Man Got in the Moon."

And talk about lunar! Moon lovers can bring their gaze down to earth and take a look at what the surface of that satellite actually looks like (well sort of) as outreach coordinator Austen Johnson presents a collection of authentic moon rocks collected by Apollo astronauts for NASA [the National Aeronautics and Space Administration]. Some look like they could have come from your own back yard. Others are out of this world.

And if you're inclined to buy something while you're there, be sure to use a VDM voucher. A percentage of purchases made with the voucher will be donated to the museum.

The Barnes & Noble book fair to benefit the Virginia Discovery Museum takes place February 12-14. Vouchers are available at the museum and during in-store events. They can also be downloaded from the VDM website: 977-1025.

Uncertain: Copenhagen asks big questions

Everyone who stayed half-awake during high school science class remembers hearing something or other about the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and its enormous implications for modern thought. As a public service, here it is, in the kind of clear, simple language that everyone can understand: dx*dp > h; dt *dE > h. To clarify, dx is a finite range dependent on one's entire experimental arrangement.

Breathtaking, isn't it?

It may not be immediately clear how Michael Frayn's dramatic enactment of Heisenberg's ideas in the play Copenhagen became an international sensation, selling out theaters in London, New York, and Paris, and winning the 2000 Tony Award for Best New Play. Are there that many physicists out there starving for theater that speaks to them in a way that A Chorus Line doesn't?

There must be a few. But more likely the success of the play has to do with Frayn's ingenious reconstruction of a secret 1941 meeting between the physicist Werner Heisenberg– then the head of the Nazi effort to produce a nuclear bomb– and his former mentor, Niels Bohr, as a study in human uncertainty: the fallibility of memory, the vicissitudes of intense relationships, the inscrutability of individual motivation.

And most importantly, there's not a problem set in sight.

Copenhagen opens at Live Arts Friday, February 6, continuing the theater's recent turn toward small-scale works. After the epic season-opening Grapes of Wrath, which had a larger cast than every production since combined, artistic director John Gibson and company scaled down for a pair of two- and three-character main stages, Top Dog/Underdog and Boston Marriage. (Both close this weekend, by the way, so catch them while you can.) Copenhagen has a cast of three and a half-intimate, half-claustrophobic feel, making it perfect for the theater's new lab space.

Frayn is, along with Tom Stoppard (Travesties, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead) and Alan Ayckbourn (Woman in Mind, House and Garden), one of the leading British playwrights of his generation. In many ways, Frayn is the best of both worlds, combining Stoppard's energetic intellectual play with Ayckbourn's technical mastery. And while all three have had prolific and versatile careers, Frayn takes it to the point of absurdity. Copenhagen is his sixteenth original play. Add to that 10 novels, numerous translations, and a prodigious amount of journalistic work.

How does he do it?

I can't say for certain.

Copenhagen run February 6-7, 11-15, and 17-21. All shows at 8pm, except Thursday shows at 7:30pm. Tickets: $7. Wednesdays are pay-what-you-can. Live Arts UpStage, 123 E. Water St. 977-4177.

No objections: Agents of the Sun a bit dim

Let us sit here, you and I, and ruminate on modern "radio-friendly" music. The radio is, for the most part nowadays, a complete and utter waste of time. I only ever listen to it in my car, when I'm too lazy to undertake the calorie consuming activity of picking a CD out of its case, putting it in my player, and turning my previously potential energy into enough kinetic to press play.

Even when it's on, it's usually tuned to NPR or perhaps a certain '60s and '70s rock/pop station owned by a certain media conglomerate who shall remain nameless. (Say what you will about CC, their local affiliate picks good tunes with almost no talk– and have you heard "Underground Garage" on Sunday at 10pm? Brilliant.)

Rock radio is awash in a sea of Creed sound-alikes (who sound a lot like forbearers Stone Temple Pilots anyway), and though rap-rock has seemingly coughed its final (and welcome) last gasps, we still have plenty of songs about getting abused by your dad and "oh-woe-is-me-I'm-so-lonely" nu-metal tracks to worry about.

Unfortunately at this point in my diatribe, I have to get personal, for Agents of the Sun, who are performing at Outback Lodge on February 12, were the impetus for my ire. Their new disc, 2003's Aurora, is a rocking trip to that same old venue you go to every Friday night, where Miller Light and cheap cigarettes are the backdrop to classic inter-personal dialogue.

Agents has five talented musicians who produce a sound that bears a striking similarity to bands that have been combining the metal and rock genres in roughly equal portions since the end of "alternative's" early '90s heyday (I believe the arrival and immense popularity of Candlebox was the first sign of that decade's coming musical apocalypse).

Listening to Aurora, what you mainly hear is the heavily reverbed distorted guitar (an immediate signifier of Reagan-era metal) and the heavily overdubbed singer, who sounds at times like Elvis Costello and at others like Nick Hexum from lightweight poppers 3-11 (who actually– now that I consider it– probably bear some of the blame for much of popular music's current doldrums. Though they were certainly better pop songwriters than most of the current crop).

Riffs abound on Aurora, all sounding like they're coming straight out of some gigantic multi-effect processor on the floor of some expensive, though not reputable, recording studio somewhere. The songwriting is nothing to write home about, not really catchy, but by no means objectionable. And you can rest assured that you won't be kept from using your work cubicle properly by an annoying tune stuck in your head.

But, yeah, go see the show, if you want. Tell 'em Mark sent ya.

Agents of the Sun perform at Outback Lodge February 12.