Cultural calendar, February 26-March 4, 2004

THURSDAY, February 26
ART
It's All The Same: Painter Francesca Fuchs, whose work is currently on view at the Fayerweather Gallery, lectures on "Everything is like Something Else" at 5pm in Campbell Hall 160. UVA. 924-6123.

Take Me Away!: Last chance for VMFA's Art After Hours winter series, which this week features the Tom Larsen Band, poet Samantha Thornhill, and the "Take Me Away!" art tour. 6-9pm. $10. 2800 Grove Ave., Richmond. 804-204-2704.

Ready For a Weekly Drive?: At the VMFA, art historian Joseph Knox begins a six-session lecture series today, "En Français: Conversations about French Paintings in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts." Thursdays, 11am-noon. $65. 2800 Grove Ave., Richmond. 804-340-1405.

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

Making Tracks: Hub Knott of the Living Earth School hosts an evening movie on tracking at Ivy Creek Natural Area. "The Great Dance: A Hunter's Story" is an award-winning documentary about African bushmen trackers. Popcorn provided. 7pm. Free. Earlysville Road. 973-7772.

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.

WORDS
An Imperfect God:
If you missed his Charlottesville appearances, you can catch local author Henry Weincek reading from and discussing his book about George Washington the slave holder. He's in Richmond at the Library of Virginia, 800 E. Broad St. 12pm. 804-692-3592.

Poetry Craft: Allan Williamson, author of Love and the Soul and Res Publica, reads his poetry on the mezzanine of the UVA Bookstore, Emmet street. 8pm. 924-6675.

Long Hard Slog: The true story of Captain James Riley and his crew, captured by Saharan nomadic slave-traders in 1815, is recounted in Skeletons on the Zahara, by Dean King. You can almost hear the voiceover for the cinematic trailer. King kicks off his book tour at New Dominion Bookstore tonight at 5:30pm. Downtown Mall. 295-2552. See Words feature.

TUNES
Prom Queen, Preston, and YOU at Outback Lodge:
YOU stands alone next to the hard rock of locals Prom Queen and Preston– a one-man musical experience where analog and ambient hang out and have a drink together. $3, 10pm.

The Prism's 38th Birthday with David Bailey: Scuffletown (grass) performer David Bailey performs as part of the Prism's birthday party. $12/$10 advance, 8pm.

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)

Keller Williams at Charlottesville Performing Arts Center. $17/$22, 8pm.

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

Last Train Home at Gravity Lounge. $7, 8pm.

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

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

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

FRIDAY, February 27
ART
Sandy and Jennet and friends:
See new works by animal artists Sandy Dearborn of Richmond (photography) and Jennet Inglis of Santa Fe (mixed media) at the Animal Connection. Reception 5-7pm. 1701-E Allied St. 296-7048.

Piece it Together: Collect your thoughts at a University of Virginia Art Museum gallery talk on "American Collage" at 5pm, and then unwind at the Fourth Friday reception, 5:30-7:30pm. 155 Rugby Road. 924-3592.

Look! Up in the Air!: Elevate your knowledge of architecture when Columbia University professor Hilary Ballon discusses "Frank Lloyd Wright and the Tyranny of the Skyscraper." 5pm. Campbell Hall 153. UVA. 924-3629.

WORDS
Affirmative Action:
UC San Diego sociology professor John Skrentny looks at the policy in police departments, schools, and business. Lunch served. Free and open to public. Miller Center, 2201 Old Ivy Road. RSVP 924-4694.

Talk to the Animals: Join author and animal communicator Carol Gurney as she signs copies of her book and teaches others how to communicate better with their four-legged friends. 10am-5pm. The Animal Connection. 1701-E Allied St. 296-7048.

PERFORMANCE
The Wizard of Oz:
A cast of 40 students from the Miller School take L. Frank Baum's classic story to the stage. 7:30pm. Miller School of Albemarle, 1000 Samuel Miller Loop. $5. 823-4805.

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 Up Stage Theater, 123 E. Water St. $5. 977-4177.

Les Blancs: Clinton Johnston directs Lorraine Hansberry's epic about the perils of colonialism in modern Africa. Closes tomorrow night. 8pm. Culbreth Theater, 109 Culbreth Road. $7-12. 924-3376.

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

She Stoops to Conquer: RVCC & Rapunzel's Books and Coffee present Oliver Goldsmith's classic comedy at two venues. Tonight's show at Rapunzel's, N. Front St., Lovingston, at 8pm. February 28-29 shows at the Rockfish Valley Community Center, 0.2 mile north of Routes 6 and 151, Rockfish Lane. $3-5, dinner theater $25-35. 361-0100.

Complete Works of Shakespeare, Abridged: Fay Cunningham directs the Albemarle Players in a benefit performance of this irreverent race through Shakespeare's best-known plays. 8pm. Albemarle High School $5. 975-9300x4213.

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. Closes tomorrow night. 8pm. Fielden's Cabaret Theater, 2033 W. Broad St., 2nd floor, Richmond. $12-14. 804-346-8113.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie: The Upper School drama department of St. Anne's-Belfield School presents a production directed by Tim White. "Because of its content, the play is recommended for a high school and adult audience." 7:30pm. Randolph Auditorium, 2132 Ivy Road. $4-6. 296-5106.

Playwright's Lab Staged Readings: Live Arts presents staged readings of two works by local playwrights, Europe's West/Europe is West by Andrew Starner and Unacceptable Reality by Elizabeth Fuller. A discussion with the playwrights and the cast follows the readings. 8pm. Live Arts Up Stage, 123 E. Water St. Free, donations welcome. 977-4177x100.

TUNES
Bella Morte, This Means You, and Terminal Ready at Outback Lodge:
Migrating from the now Goth-free Tokyo Rose (my friend would say they recently acquired "Goth Balls"), Bella Morte, This Means You, and Terminal Ready continue their rock-fueled love of the night. $6, 10pm.

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

Willow Branch at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8:30pm.

Fountainhead at Jabberwocky. $3, 10pm.

Blowoff: Bob Mould and Richard Morel at Rapture. No cover, 10:30pm.

RVCC Theater Arts Program and STEP present "She Stoops to Conquer" at Rapunzel's. $5, 8pm.

Old School Rock Show: Vevlo Eel and Devil Takes the Hindmost at Tokyo Rose. $5, 10pm.

Moods: Local DJs at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar. $3, 10pm.

SATURDAY, February 28
ART
Chip Away: Rock out at a stone carving workshop with sculptor Al Francis at Baker-Butler Elementary School. 9am-noon. 2740 Proffit Road. 974-7777, ext. 1402.

Feeling Sparkly? Join a free stained glass seminar at Blue Ridge Glass and Craft. 3:30-5pm. 1724 Allied St. 293-2876.

Wrist Bangles: Make a jeweled herringbone bracelet in a class offered by Louise Smith at Studio Baboo. Learn a popular beading technique while making a nice piece of jewelry. 10am-4pm. 106 Fifth St. SE. Register at studiobaboo.com or 244-2905.

FAMILY
Science Days:
The forecast calls for fun at the Science Museum of Virginia where weather watchers can explore the heat of the desert and the ice of the arctic, find out why lighting flashes and thunder booms, and more. This is an all-day program of hands-on science workshops, demonstrations, exhibits, an IMAX® film, and planetarium show. $18 per child. One adult chaperon is required for every six children. Required adults are $9. Additional adults are $18. Registration required. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 804-864-1447.

Searching for Signs: Hub Knott of the Living Earth School goes out in the field to search for signs of wildlife activity at Ivy Creek Natural Area. Nature lovers of all ages can learn how to read the story of animal life in the landscape. Meet at the barn. 9am. Free. Earlysville Road. 973-7772.

Old Man and the Sea: Old Michie Theatre presents a marionette rendition of the classic Grimms brothers fairytale. "The Fisherman and His Wife." Hand-carved puppets from the Czech Republic tell the tale of the humble fisherman who catches a magical fish. 11am, 2pm, and 4pm. $5. 221 E. Water St. 977-3690. oldmichie.com.

WORDS
SCOTUS:
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is the keynote speaker at the 2004 Conference on Public Service and the Law. Caplin Auditorium, UVA Law School, 580 Massie Road. 4:30pm. Conference runs through February 28. student.virginia.edu/~law-conf/2004/ or 924-3883.

WALKABOUT
Getting it Together:
Annual political pasta supper and auction to benefit the Democratic Party. 6pm. Music by AppleJack Jam (bluegrass). $15. Monticello Event and Conference Center in Belmont. 296-1865.

PERFORMANCE
A Midsummer Night's Dream:
Shenandoah Shakespeare performs the Bard's comic masterpiece in the Blackfriars Theater at 7:30pm. 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-26. 540-885-5588.

Prime of Miss Jean Brodie: See Friday, February 27.

She Stoops to Conquer: See Friday, February 27. Tonight's show at the Rockfish Valley Community Center is at 7pm.

King Lear. See Friday, February 27. Today's show is a matinee at 2pm.

The Last Session: See Friday, February 27.

Playwright's Lab Staged Reading: Live Arts presents a staged reading of local playwright and director William Rough's Blackout. A discussion with the playwright and the cast follows the reading. 8pm. Live Arts UpStage, 123 E. Water St. Free, donations welcome. 977-4177x100.

The Massanutten Brass Band: This "British-style" brass band offers a free concert under the direction of Kevin Stees. 7pm. First Presbyterian Church, 500 Park St. 296-7131.

PVCC Dance Performance: This annual event showcases the work of PVCC dance students and faculty. Expect high energy, unique artistic collaborations and guests. $6-10. V. Earl Dickinson Building, 500 College Drive. 7:30pm. 961-5376.

Les Blancs: See Friday, February 27.

TUNES
The Kusun Ensemble at the Charlottesville Performing Arts Center:
The Prism brings this group of musicians and dancers from Ghana, West Africa, for a traditionally rooted, but modern art experience. $14/$12 advance, 8pm.

Rock show for WTJU benefit: 302 Acid, Decahedron, and The Happy Flowers (reunited!) at Tokyo Rose: DC-based multimedia dub/drum and bass group 302 Acid and the reunited Happy Flowers attempt to raise funds for a Charlottesville staple. $5, 10pm. See Tunes preview.

The Charlottesville and University Symphony Orchestra Concert at Cabell Hall Auditorium: Carl Roskott directs a performance of Maestro Roskott's "Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra," as well as Verdi's "Overture to La Forza del Destino" and Schumann's "Symphony No. 4." Professor Milos Velimirovic gives a pre-concert lecture 45 minutes before each concert starts in adjacent Minor Hall. 8pm. 434-924-3984 for information. $22/$15, 8pm.

Foster's Branch at Mountain View Grill. $5, 7:30pm.

William Walter (acoustic jam) at Orbit. No cover, 10:30pm.

Mike Holden (singer/songwriter) at Miller's. $3, 10:30pm.

The Chickenhead Blues Band at Outback Lodge. $6, 10pm.

Synthetic with Stroud and Friends (dance) at Rapture. No cover, 10:30pm.

Heather Berry and Monroe Station (traditional bluegrass and gospel) at Rapunzel's. $5, 8pm.

Them Vs. Them and Josh Lord at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar. No cover, 9pm.

SUNDAY, February 29
ART
Head South:
Take your love of art to Lovingston, where the Front Street Gallery hosts an opening reception for "Natural Bridges," an exhibition of drawings and paintings by Jim Langer. 3-6pm. 773 Front St., Lovingston. 263-8526.

ART AND WORDS
Worth a Look:
Winners of the 17th annual Writer's Eye competition sponsored by UVA Art Museum, Barnes & Noble, and Howell Press are awarded for their literary interpretations of art at a reception tonight. Campbell Hall, room 153. Anthology is available for purchase at the museum. 924-3629. Winners will read from their work during the Virginia Festival for the Book on March 24.

FAMILY
Build a Better Mousetrap:
Do you have what it takes to become an engineer? Can you drop an egg 20 feet without breaking it? That's the challenge for middle and high school students in the 11th annual Great Egg Drop Contest at the Science Museum of Virginia. It's all part of Careers in Engineering Day, which also includes contests to build the best bridge out of ice cream sticks and create a way to water the farm animals automatically. 1-4:30pm. Careers in Engineering Day is free. Exhibits and IMAX are extra. Registration required to enter contests. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 804-864-1447.

PERFORMANCE
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.

The Wizard of Oz: See Friday, February 27. Today's show is at matinee at 2:30.

She Stoops to Conquer: See Friday, February 27. Today's show, a matinee at 3pm, is at the Rockfish Valley Community Center.

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

Papa– The Man, the Myth, the Legend: Jordan Rhodes stars in this Broadway-bound dramatization of the life of Ernest Hemingway. A luncheon at Oxo precedes the play. Show 2pm, luncheon 11:30am. V. Earl Dickinson Building, 500 College Drive. Show $12-50, with luncheon, $150. 984-5218. See Performance feature.

Charlottesville & University Symphony Orchestra: See Saturday, February 28. Today's show is at 3:30pm.

TUNES
James Cotton Quartet:
Saxophonist/composer/educator Cotton and his group have performed Latin, swing, and bebop at some of Washington, DC's top venues. Now you can hear him at the Carysbrook Performing Arts Center, Rt. 15, Carysbrook. 3pm. $15 ($12 advance). Tickets, directions, information, 842-1333.

The Charlottesville and University Symphony Orchestra at Old Cabell Hall: $22/$15, 3:30pm.

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

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

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

John D'earth and the Impossible Trio at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8:30pm.

See Johnny: Depp as a Pirate (Pirates of the Caribbean) and Hunter S. (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) at Rapture. No cover, 8pm.

MONDAY, March 1
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 Monday of every month. 6:30pm. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. Free. 977-4177x100.

The Wizard of Oz: See Friday, February 27. Tonight's show is at 7.

WORDS
Buddha as Roadkill:
Peter Manseau and Jeff Sharlet, shrewd young "religiously interested persons" with mad story-telling skills read from their recently released Killing The Buddha, a Heretic's Bible. They raise the roof tonight at New Dominion Bookstore, Downtown Mall. 5pm. 295-2552.

TUNES
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)

Sam Fisher (singer/songwriter) at Miller's. $2, 9pm.

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, March 2
PERFORMANCE
Tuesday Evening Concert Series:
Tafelmusik, Canada's renowned period instruments orchestra presents a program of Handel, Vivaldi, Marcello, J.S. Bach, and Telemann. 8pm. Old Cabell Hall. $10-24. 924-3984.

FAMILY
Seussentenial:
Scottsville Library celebrates the great doctor. See Family feature.

TUNES
Karaoke Night (what you make of it) at Baja Bean. Free, 8pm. (W)

Snug ("Matthew Willner's funk party in the style of P-funk and James Brown") at Michael's Bistro. $3, 10pm.

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)

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

Tim Summers and Stephen Nachmanovitch: Improvisations on Violin, Viola, and Electric Violin at Gravity Lounge. $8, 7:30pm.

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra at Cabell Hall. $24/$20/$10 students, 8pm.

WEDNESDAY, March 3
PERFORMANCE
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.

Midsummer Night's Dream: See Saturday, February 28. Today's show is at 10:30 in the morning!

Much Ado About Nothing: See Sunday, February 29. Tonight's show is at 7:30pm.

FAMILY
Snack attack:
Need a snack? Kids three and up (and an adult friend) can come to Gordon Avenue Library where dietician Rita Smith cooks up some yummy, healthy snacks. Samples? Of course! 4pm. Free. Registration required. 1500 Gordon Ave. 296-5544.

Seuss for tots: The five-and-under crowd celebrates Seuss at Barnes & Noble. See Family feature.

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

Pam McCarthy at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8:30pm.

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)

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, March 4
WALKABOUT
Spend an Evening:
The Center for Christian Study and Splintered Light Bookstore present an evening with author Lauren Winner. 7pm. Free. 128 Chancellor St. 817-1050. studycenter.net.

FAMILY
Seussentenial:
Northside Library celebrates the great doctor. See Family feature, page 41.

Seuss for tots: The five-and-under crowd celebrates Seuss at Barnes & Noble. See Family feature.

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.

King Lear: See Friday, February 27. Tonight's show is at 7:30pm.

TUNES
Mike Marshall & Darol Anger at the Prism:
Alumni of the David Grisman Quintet, the pair's acoustic music performances are considered first-rate by lovers of the genre. $22/$18 advance, 8pm.

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)

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

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

Kait &Thom (Modern jazz duo, piano and bass) at Tokyo Rose upstairs. No cover, 9pm.

Banty Rooster (old time/bluegrass) at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar. No cover, 9pm.

Robert Jospé at R2. Every Thursday in March– early show 7:30-10:30pm.

Upcoming and Ongoing
PERFORMANCE
Live Arts Actor's LAB for Adults:
Join acting coach and director Carol Pedersen in this weekly class to sharpen your acting tools and and gear up for numerous summer acting possibilities now. 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, March 6-April 24, 10-1pm. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. $10 drop-in rate (10-11am), $160 for full 8-week session. 977-4177x100.

WORDS
Streetlight:
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. Submissions may be addressed to the appropriate editor for their genre at: Streetlight Magazine, P.O. Box 259, Charlottesville, 22902. March 1 deadline.

WALKABOUT
Test your limits:
Blue Ridge School offers guided day and overnight, rock climbing, caving, canoeing/kayaking, mountain biking, and hiking trips. Primitive living skills workshops and high and low ropes course team building. Contact Bert Jacobs. 434-985-2811.

Garden Plot Rentals: Plots are available for city residents for $30. Non-residents can sign up after February 23 and must pay $50. 970-3592.

Focus Career Path Workshops: New series of discussions include personal presentation, career assessment, marketing yourself, interviewing strategies, networking skills and body language evaluations. Tuesday evenings, 7-8.30pm. Focus Women's Resource Center. Rugby Road. 293-2222 ext. 19.

Focus Women's and Men's Divorce Support Group. Tuesdays at 7pm. Focus Women's Resource Center. Rugby Road. 296 5300 or 293-2222.

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

Bingo Game: 7pm every Thursday at Gordonsville Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, 10271 Gordonsville Ave. (Route. 231) 540-832-2439

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.

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.

FAMILY
Batter up:
The Piedmont Little League offers a Challenger Division for individuals ages 5-18 (as of July 31), or the completion of high school, who have special needs, either physical or mental. The season runs from late March to early June with games on Saturdays at Tonsler Park. Fundamentals of the game are taught, but rules are relaxed to ensure participants safely experience the sportsmanship and fun of the game. Registrations accepted through March 1. Scholarships available. Volunteers welcome. 973-3185. genearnold@adelphia.net.

Spring break nature camp: 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, 9am-noon. $105. Registration required. 104 Emmet St. 982-4605.

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. Taxidermied specimens, puppets, and interactive activities help explorers learn about the unusual ways animals hunt for their food and protect themselves from predators. Open Monday-Thursday 10am-4pm. Free. 104 Emmet St. 982-4605. virginia.edu/vmnh-uva.

Moving heaven and earth: Kids aren't the only things in constant motion. At the Virginia Discovery Museum the earth and its movement is the subject of the Back Gallery exhibit that explores Patterns, Cycles, and Change. Kids can move the planets, create a rainstorm, and journey through the seasons through May 16. 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: ideastations.org.

Filling the void: Stella is a black hole. Stella bats her lilac eyelashes and reminisces about her glory days as a giant star, how she explodes and becomes a black hole, and about the mysteries she still keeps to herself in the Science Museum of Virginia's multimedia planetarium show Black Holes now through June 13. Included in the price of admission.

Ka-ching: So 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. Runs through April 25. Included with the price of admission. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 800-659-1727. smv.org.

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.

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.

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.

ART LIST
Vanity Salon and Gallery now features the photography of Amy Wade and the paintings of Monty Montgomery. 1112 E. High St. 977-3332.

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 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.

The Kluge-Ruhe Collection of Aboriginal Art presents "Family Business: Kinship in Australian Aboriginal Art" through June 5. 400 Worrell Drive, Peter Jefferson Place. 244-0234.

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 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.

UVA's Fayerweather Gallery presents new work by Francesca Fuchs through March 5. Rugby Road. 924-6123.

The PVCC Gallery shows paintings by Kathy Craig and Eugenia Rausse through March 17. V. Earl Dickinson Building, PVCC. 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.

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.

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 the old Nature Gallery space. 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. During March, Judith K. Townsend's "Strange Attractions," a series of watercolors inspired by physics and mathematics, is on view.316 E. Main St., above The Hardware Store, on the Downtown Mall. 923-3900.

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.

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

The Charlottesville-Albemarle Art Association is exhibiting the work of Betty Brubach, Blake Hurt, Phyllis Frame, Amy Howard, Coy Roy, Judith Ely, and Karen Jaegerman Collins on the upper level mezzanine of the Charlottesville Airport through May 2. 295-2486.

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 "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. Beginning March 2, Alan O'Neal's "Nexus," a show of large color abstractions, will be on display, as well as "A Rabbit, a Bee, and a Place called Seeonee," a show celebrating the Virginia Festival of the Book with work by book artists Robin Braun, Frank Riccio, Rose Csorba, and Bob Anderson. In addition, fourth- and fifth-year UVA students present a group show on the theme " Collage." 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973. See Art feature,.

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 the end of February. During March, all new abstract non-objective paintings in acrylics by Delmon Brown Hall IV will be on display. 211 W. Main St. 296-4669.

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 March 2. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 295-6037.

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. In the second floor Surgery Lounge, view "Flowers and Still Lifes," oil paintings by Vidu Palta through March. 459 Locust Ave. 982-7000.

Radar

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts presents "Best Friends: Portraits of Sydney and Francis Lewis," a series of portraits by a range of artists, including Chuck Close and Andy Warhol. Through July 11. Richmond. 2800 Grove Ave. 804-924-2704.

The Artisans Center of Virginia hosts a show of crafts made at Innisfree Village, a community of mentally disabled adults. March 1-31. 601 Shenandoah Village Drive (exit 94 off I-64), Waynesboro. 540-946-3294.

The Front Street Gallery presents "Natural Bridges," drawings and paintings by Jim Langer, from February 29-April 30. 773 Front Street, Lovingston. 434-263-8526.

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, artcenter@nexet.com.

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. 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.

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.

Other

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
Changing views: Six perspectives at McGuffey
BY LAURA PARSONS ART@READTHEHOOK.COM

When I worked in academic book publishing, I used to dread any manuscript touted as an "edited collection," in which like-minded colleagues arranged their individual articles around a central theme.

Inevitably, the writing would be wildly uneven, and at least one contribution would veer so far off topic that I would wonder why it was included. I find the same usually holds true for group art shows.

But there are exceptions, such as the photography exhibition "Mutability," on view through February 29 at the McGuffey Art Center. The six artists, all 2001 fellows at The Photography Institute in New York, manipulate the photographic medium to examine transformation and the shift from the familiar to the unfamiliar. The approaches vary widely, but each photographer succeeds in making a strong visual comment on the impact of change.

Dennis L. DeHart's 23 small, square, pigment ink prints, which digitally place pristine objects against glossy black backgrounds, explore forms that mimic other forms. A bleached bone looks like a spire from a Gaudi cathedral; a tangle of small flowers resembles nerve synapses.

Across from DeHart's microcosmic studies hang Rebecca Diane Sittler's large, often humorous C-prints of mundane household settings transformed into vividly colored surreal vignettes. In "The Salmon," a slab of red filet extends over the edge of a clear plate resting on a white fur mat atop a turquoise-colored ironing board that juts up diagonally from the lower left corner of the frame. The effect is a crazy-eyed fish swimming against a white wall.

Also working with large color prints, Angie Buckley overlays and intertwines images of the past and present, shooting through cutout figures to emphasize our distorted perspective.

Fleming Lunsford follows pinhole imagery in a different direction. Created with cameras crafted from wedding boxes, Lunsford's moody black and white self-portraits, taken during her engagement, often feature her as-yet-ringless hands in the foreground. In "Hair," a hands-forward, facedown Lunsford recedes into an ominous dark background. The mirrored balance of this image, however, is found in "Untitled," where a similarly positioned but upturned Lunsford recedes into a light-filled, open landscape.

The final two "Mutability" photographers, Nicole Frocheur and Ellen Smith, both reflect nostalgically on their family histories. Frocheur's series of sepia-toned one-of-a-kind ambrotypes reminisce about her childhood impressions of her parents. Smith transfers old family portraits onto brown paper bags, wrapped in twine, to create an installation recalling the immigrant experience.

In this edited collection, each photographic chapter is well worth reading.

"Mutability," is on display at the McGuffey Art Center through February 29. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.

WORDS
Land ho! Castaways say "uh-oh"
BY ELIZABETH KIEM WORDS@READTHEHOOK.COM

As a Christian seafarer in the early 1800s, the western coast of the Sahara was an excellent place not to get shipwrecked. If you were, misery would surely ensue– either the human-inflicted variety or the more predictable flogging from mother nature.

For the 11 sailors of the Connecticut-based brig Commerce, which ran aground in 1815 while skirting the African coast en route to the Cape Verde Islands, nature and nomad teamed up to make life a double hell. The captain of the brig, James Riley, lived to tell the astonishing tale of a two-month Saharan slog, slave to cruel captors and equatorial elements. Adventure writer/biographer Dean King followed in his footsteps (sans manacles) to re-tell the tale in Skeletons on the Zahara.

The Zahara (that's Sahara in ye olde) is compelling in a brutally monotonous, massive-desert way. Dean's book is sure to be equally alluring to the many, many readers who long to wind scarves about their heads and share rations with the bedu. My word of warning… don't forget the brutal and monotonous part.

For example, take dehydration: You may already know that drying up is a particularly unpleasant way to die. Read this book if you're after ghastly details about the process, as well as a long discourse on the qualities of different urines (man, camel, fresh, filtered).

Riley's original account, with the understated title Sufferings in Africa, was a smash hit in the early 19th century, selling over a million copies and credited (at least in King's publicity materials) with forming Abraham Lincoln's early anti-slavery sentiment. The memoirs of another crewmember, one Archibald Robbins, told a parallel story, in a surprisingly lyrical voice: "I had become so inured to misery that she had adopted me as her child and I felt no dispositions to avoid her embrace," he wrote.

But both Riley and Robbins lacked in their stoic and steadfast narratives that essential element for survival stories in the 21st century. That element is sensation, and King has provided it.

"From the heart of the desert into the heart of a man…" yes, Skeletons on the Zahara is already being adapted for the big screen, and you can fairly hear the sonorous voice-over of the trailer in King's dramatic prose. This the ironic legacy for the men whose calamity was to be lost in a sea of sand, with none to bear witness but the tortuous sun and the brutal tribesmen in whose hands lay their fates.

Dean King reads from Skeletons in the Zahara at New Dominion Bookshop on the Downtown Mall, February 26, 5:30pm. 295-2552. He returns for the Festival of the Book (March 24-28) to discuss his biography of the great swashbuckling novelist, Patrick O'Brian.

WALKABOUT
Oral history: Sign up to interview vets
BY SOPHIA COUDENHOVE WALKABOUT@READTHEHOOK.COM

The Second World War may have been the most enormous battle ever fought, but an effort now under way to interview America's war veterans is shaping up as the world's most ambitious grass-roots history assignment.

The Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society is looking for volunteers to talk to local soldiers, sailors, and airmen who served in America's 20th-century wars, as well as those who worked on the home front. The resulting transcripts, audiotapes, and videotapes will form an oral history archive, available to scholars and on the Internet, under the auspices of the Library of Congress.

Although no special training is required, the ACHS is offering workshops Friday and Saturday February 27 and 28 at its downtown Charlottesville headquarters, where a national oral history expert will coach volunteers on how best to capture veterans' stories in the interviews. The Veterans History Project encourages all Americans to participate: students, grandchildren, fellow veterans, anyone with an interest in preserving the memories of 'The Greatest Generation' and America's role in other conflicts, from World War I to the Persian Gulf.

Although the Charlottesville-Albemarle area does not have the military presence and traditions of Virginia's Tidewater, there still is a sizable veteran population. The United States is home to more than 19 million war veterans; some 1,700 die each day.

Gordon Nicoll, a World War II bomber pilot now living in Crozet, recalled in an interview the day in October 1943 when he was shot down over Hanover, Germany. After a three-hour flight from its base in England, his squadron was intercepted by Luftwaffe fighters as the planes approached their target. Nicoll and his crew navigated close enough to drop their bombs, but their Lancaster was hit by heavy enemy fire. He bailed out in time but was captured on the ground afterward. His crew perished.

Nicoll, who finagled his way into the Canadian Air Force despite being too young to meet the eligibility technicalities, spent his 21st birthday in the prisoner of war camp made famous in the movie The Great Escape. Allied prisoners used "goodies" from Red Cross care packages they received to bribe the German prison guards for special items they ultimately used to tunnel out of the camp. Nicoll had been transferred to a different facility several weeks before, but was liberated by the Russians in May 1945 and eventually returned home to marry his sweetheart in Montreal.

The workshops will be held at the ACHS meeting room in the McIntire Building, 200 Second St. NE, at 7pm February 27 and 10am February 28. Advance registration is required and enrollment is limited. To sign up or for further information, call Douglas Day at 296-1492 or visit albemarlehistory.org.

FAMILY
Yoo hoo! It's the birthday of guess who?

BY LINDA KOBERT FAMILY@READTHEHOOK.COM

All the 'Hoos down in Hookville like Seuss a lot. Even 'Hoos who are not, the short and the tall, could recite at least one line, no matter how small. Which is why on March two we all shout, "Yoo Hoo!"

It's the 100th birthday of…Guess-Who?

Yep, Theodor S. Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, was born 100 years ago this week, and the world is celebrating a Seussentennial.

From the very beginning, this gangly, shy man, whom some say resembled his own quirky characters, made kids everywhere want to read. His early children's books were, in fact, written as a protest against the sterile, boring reading primers of the day.

Filled with kooky characters and disordered dilemmas familiar to all kids, Seuss's books, like the conspiratorial Cat in the Hat, changed all that. And who would have guessed that Green Eggs and Ham, written on a dare and containing only 50 words, is a cleverly disguised beginning reader? I mean, even parents enjoy it.

The great doctor (he was not a "real" doctor) devoted 53 years of his life (it was, after all his fourth career) to creating entertaining, mischievous, delightful stories with heroes like the naïve elephant Horton who hears Whos and is determined to save them even though their world is but a dust speck. Others give us a thing or two to think about, like The Butter Battle Book, which portrays a world on the brink of annihilation.

Legend has it that young Theodor practiced his doodling on the attic walls, so Crozet Library wants to celebrate his life's work by decorating their walls with Seuss-like images, too. The great doctor himself said his animals look the way they do because he couldn't draw. So don't be shy! Dr. Seuss wannabes can bring their art to the library where it will be displayed through the month of March.

Both Northside and Scottsville Libraries will also host Seussentennial events. Kids of all ages are invited to enjoy stories like Hop on Pop and McElligot's Pool. Crafts and other fun activities contribute to the fun of the party.

Barnes & Noble also parties it up with two toddler story times featuring favorites such as One Fish Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish and The Cat in the Hat. Special party favors, birthday cookies, and stickers are on tap. One need not be under five to enjoy this or any of the other Seussensational events.

Artwork will be accepted for the Seussentenial Art Show at the Crozet Library until February 28. The Library is in the old train station on Three Notch'd Road. 823-4050. Scottsville Library's event is March 2, 4:30-6:30pm. 330 Bird St. 286-3541. Northside Library's event is March 4 at 4pm. Registration is required. Albemarle Square. 973-7893. Barnes & Noble's Toddler Story Times are Wednesday and Thursday at 10:30am. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.

PERFORMANCE
Myth and legend: PVCC show dissects Papa
BY STEPHEN BOYKEWICH &endash; PERFORMANCE@READTHEHOOK.COM

Remember Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon? The game that suggested that anybody in the history of American film could be connected to Kevin Bacon in six steps or less– i.e., Buster Keaton to the Bacon in two? (The solution's at the end of the column.) I've got a cultural connection that puts the unlikeliest Bacon-hopping to shame: Ernest Hemingway to the Thundercats in one.

Give up?

Ken Vose, co-author of the play Papa: The Man, the Myth, the Legend, which has a one-time-only performance at PVCC Sunday, February 29, happened to be a scriptwriter for a certain cartoon show involving a half-feline warrior whose sword suddenly got longer when he was ready for battle.

Which is just like Hemingway, if you think about it.

Papa takes place in the mind of the great author on July 2, 1961, the day he fatally shot himself. Hemingway was as famous for his macho lifestyle as for his macho prose, and with a subtitle like The Man, the Myth, the Legend, you wouldn't necessarily expect Vose's play to do much demythologizing.

It certainly has its share of romance, both literal and figurative. Co-author and starring actor Jordan Rhodes (two steps to Kevin Bacon) portrays Hemingway in some of his best known adventures and misadventures– in 1920s Paris, the Spanish Civil War, and WWII, to name a few. Lynn Moore (three steps to Kevin Bacon) shares the stage with Rhodes as "the five major women in Hemingway's life."

Don't expect all bluster and bullfighting, though. The play seeks to reveal "a vulnerable, deeply troubled man, whose fight with his own inner demons produced some of the greatest fiction of the twentieth century."

Troubled about what, exactly? For one thing, his mother dressed him as a girl until he was eight years old. Not that he would have anything to prove after that.

The one-time Charlottesville performance of Papa will benefit Virginia NeuroCare Inc., a nonprofit clinic currently helping veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq recover from brain injuries. If you're feeling especially philanthropic, you can join the Oxo luncheon that precedes the play. Either way, when it opens on Broadway, which it's scheduled to do soon, you can say you saw it way back when.

So: Buster Keaton was in Forever and a Day with June Lockhart, who was in The Big Picture with the Bacon. And as a bonus: Ernest Hemingway was in The Spanish Earth with Orson Welles, who was in The Muppet Movie with Steve Martin, who was in Novocaine with– you guessed it– Kevin Bacon.

Small world, eh?

Papa is performed Sunday at 2pm at V. Earl Dickinson Building, 500 College Drive. Oxo luncheon is at 11:30am, 215 W. Water St. Tickets $25, $12 students, $50 with reception, $150 with luncheon. 984-5218

TUNES
Past and future: WTJU benefit to keep air pure
BY MARK GRABOWSKI TUNES@READTHEHOOK.COM

By the time you read this, I will be dead.

Nice lead, huh?

I could have gone with, "By the time you read this, the WTJU (91.9) Rock Marathon will be almost over" (the last day is February 27), but that's noticeably less gripping. For the last week or so, those of you who can pry your ears away from the corporate product that is passively inserted into your brain by media conglomerates everywhere have been enjoying the soothing, vile, tempestuous, and passive sounds of rock– presented to you by those clever, beautiful, hip (and sometimes odorous) un-paid DJs at WTJU who are one principal source of musical knowledge in our little burg (they and music journalists– never forget the music journalists).

Perhaps you have given a donation and gotten a delightful t-shirt (designed by TJU's Scott Ritchie). Perhaps you have coughed up dinero and received a somewhat less-delightful mug. Perhaps you have performed other "services" for the station (DJs get lonely on those late night shifts).

If you haven't (or even if you have), you still have one last chance to give back to the little station that has given this town so much– and receive some musical compensation for your generosity. Saturday, to cap off this year's Marathon Week, Tokyo Rose will be hosting a benefit concert for the station, featuring the likes of DC's multimedia dub, drum and bass hooligans 302 Acid, not to mention a reunited performance from Charlottesville's own Happy Flowers.

302 Acid's latest, Ailanthus Altissma, is five tracks of instrumental sonic painting wherein the band makes "a conscious effort to utilize the current digital technologies while maintaining an equal balance of real-time analog creation" (in other words, mix the old with the new). Live drums and upright bass duke it out with sampled sounds for eventual mastery of the musical universe (but that final apocalyptic battle is at least five years away), where space is the group's ally and sometimes, it must be admitted, foe. Performing live, the group projects video behind them, at least part of the time presenting "legitimate information… to the public about varied social, political, and environmental issues."

The punk duo known as The Happy Flowers are the band that older rock-oriented residents in town often remember with nostalgia, though I doubt few under the age of 25 remember the group or have heard any of their records. Beginning as a spin-off from Charlottesville hardcore band the Landlords, a group composed of four former UVA students, the Happy Flowers released their first EP, Songs for Children, in 1984. After performing their final tour with Pavement in 1990, the group disbanded, though at least on their official homepage (//members.aol.com/_ht_a/MrHCIHF/) they seem to have kept up their penchant for nicknames (the two members were known as Mr. Anus and Mr. Horribly-Charred Infant).

Get a history lesson and a glimpse into one possible future, for the measly cost of $5. Remember, knowledge is priceless.

Rock show for WTJU benefit: 302 Acid, Decahedron, and The Happy Flowers (reunited!) at Tokyo Rose, February 28. $5, 10pm.