Cultural calendar, April 1-8, 2004


A public reception, informal talk by collection director Margaret Smith, and show of selected works from the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection happens at Mary Baldwin College's Hunt Art Gallery. The show of works on bark from Arnhem Land and acrylic paintings from the desert regions of Australia was organized to celebrate the inauguration of Dr. Pamela Fox as Mary Baldwin's ninth president. Reception 4:30-5:30pm. Frederick Street, Staunton. 1-800-468-2262.

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

Whole Lotta Poetry:
April is national poetry month. Renate Wood reads from her work, Raised Underground and The Patience of Ice. UVA Bookstore, 8pm. Emmet street parking garage. 924-3721.

It's All There: Lisa Aronson of the Center for the Study of the Mind and Human Interaction discusses "Impoverishment, Religion, Violence and Community in Tlapa de Comonfort, Guerrero, Mexico." Garrett Hall Commons Room, UVA. 7pm. 924-7980.

Intelligence Redux: Blame 9/11 on the poorly adapted US intelligence community, says UCLA's Amy Zegart. She makes the case at the Miller Center at 12pm. 2201 Old Ivy Road. 924-4694.

Backpacking 101:
The Outdoor Adventure Social Club presents its Backpacking 101 class and social hour, starting at 8pm at 420 E. Main St. #3. Details and RSVP: or 760-HIKE.

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. Singles and couples welcome, no partner needed. 7-9pm. Albemarle County Office Building Auditorium, 401 McIntire Road. Free. 980-2744.

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)

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

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

Benefit for Navel: Big Fast Car (rock), Small Town Workers (playing Helmet covers), Andy Waldeck (pop) and No Gods No Monsters (rock) at Outback Lodge. $3, 10pm.

Bill Cole and William Parker (modern jazz) at the Prism. $14/$12, 8pm.

Robert Jospé (jazz) at Rapture. No cover, 7:30pm. (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)

Man Mountain Jr. with Max Collins at Starr Hill. $8/$6, 9pm.

Desert Fathers, Cantwell, and Riddle of Steel at Tokyo Rose. $5, 10:30pm.

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

FRIDAY, April 2
Fate of the Arts: Six scholars and artists speak on the fate of the arts in contemporary culture. Literary critic Terry Eagleton, art critic and artist Suzi Gablik, philosopher Nicholas Wolterstorff, former NEA Chair Bill Ivey, literary theorist Krzysztof Ziarek, and poet Adam Zagajewski present their views on the contemporary place and potential of the arts. Eagleton lecture, 10am, Rotunda Dome Room. Zagajewski reads from his poetry at 4pm, UVA Art Museum. Reception 5pm. Free. 243-8935.

Makin' It: The Boys and Girls Club art initiative, KidsMake, holds its first public exhibit tonight as part of First Friday celebrations. The gallery at Starr Hill displays watercolors, digital art, sculpture, and nature-inspired art created during a three-month project organized by art director Janel Turk. 5:30-8:30pm. 852 W. Main St. 466-8343.

Fitting In: Tim Rowse, visiting professor of Australian studies at Harvard, speaks on "Aboriginal Respectability" at the Kluge-Ruhe Collection. Despite the Australian government's draconian policies of the "assimilationist" era, 1950 -1972, which resulted in the "stolen generations," some indigenous Australians aspired to attain respectability in the eyes of white Australians. Reservations required. 7pm. Free. 400 Worrell Drive, Peter Jefferson Place, off Route 250 east at Pantops. 244-0234.

Skin Deep:
It's not the same old "Beauty and the Beast" at Old Michie Theatre. This live performance is set in rhymed couplets and staged as an audience participatory English pantomime. 7pm. $7.50. 221 E. Water St. 977-3690.

Storybook Dance: Young thespians ages two-five can climb on stage at the Virginia Discovery Museum as they sing and dance and bring to life the story of "Alice in Wonderland." Come in costume if you like. 10:30-11:10 and 11:15-11:55am. Included in the price of admission. East end of the Downtown Mall. 977-1025.

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.

Gentlemen, Start your Engines!: The pressure. The teamwork. The danger. The speed. The fans. The groundbreaking IMAX® film Nascar: The IMAX Experience thrusts you into the driver's seat to experience a visceral journey inside America's most popular spectator sport opening today at the Science Museum of Virginia. Runs through September 17. Call or see website for schedule and cost. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 800-659-1727.

Pride of Poland:
Adam Zagajewski's English works include Tremor, Canvas, and Mysticism for Beginners. He reads at 4pm at the UVA Art Museum, Rugby Road. 924-6675.

Spoiler: Independent Candidate for Pres, Ralph Nader, speaks at Shenandoah University. Sponsored by Amnesty International. Armstrong Concert Hall, SU, Winchester. 12-2pm. 1-800-432-2266.

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.

Two Gentlemen of Verona: Shenandoah Shakespeare presents a new production of the Bard's romantic comedy in the magnificent Blackfriars Theater. 7:30pm. 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-28. 540-885-5588.

Bob Saget: "The man who made the Olsen twins call him Daddy" performs his risqué stand-up comedy. 8pm. Charlottesville Performing Arts Center, 1400 Melbourne Road. $8-12. 924-3286.

Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train: Catch Live Arts' new Up Stage production of Stephen Adly Guirgis' highly acclaimed drama of prison life. Runs until April 10. Live Arts Up Stage, 123 E. Water St. $7. 977-4177x100. See Performance feature.

Virginia Belles: UVA's oldest female a cappella group present their annual spring concert. Proceeds will benefit S.A.P.A., a new organization whose mission is to create a support network and peer resources at UVA for survivors of rape and sexual assault. 8pm. McLeod Hall, UVA. $6. 985-707-4279.

Nine, the Musical: The final performances of Live Arts' new main stage production, a Tony-award winning musical fantasy on the life and work of Federico Fellini are tonight and tomorrow night at 8pm. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. $10-15. 977-4177x100.

Wind Ensemble:
The UVA ensemble performs a concert of classical works. 7:30pm. Old Cabell Hall. $5-10. 924-3984.

DJ Patrick A Reed at Rapture:
Appearing in Charlottesville for one evening, former resident DJ Reed brings "the hip-hop electro-techno-funk-dance-party" to the masses. With special guest DJ Arty. $5, 9pm.

Patrick Olwell and Tes (Irish flute and fiddle) at Basic Necessities. No cover, 6:30pm.

The Scruffy Murphys (Irish Pub band from Staunton) at Dew Drop Inn. No cover, 9:30pm.

Catherine Carrawy Quartet at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8:30pm.

Vernon Fisher ("romantic side of jazz") at Keswick Hall. No cover, 6:30pm. (W)

ZAG (pop/rock) at Miller's. $3, 10:30pm.

Sundried Opossum (jam) at Outback Lodge. $6, 10pm.

DJ Patrick A Reed at Rapture. $5, 9pm.

Max Collins (otherwordly guitar) at Shebeen. No cover, 11pm. (W)

The Artisans Center of Virginia presents work by sculptor and potter Susan Coville. Meet her at a reception today, 2-4pm. 601 Shenandoah Village Drive (exit 94 off I-64), Waynesboro. 540-946-3294.

Fate of the Arts: See Friday, April 2. Today's schedule includes a poetry reading at 1pm and a panel discussion with all six speakers at 2pm. Rotunda Dome Room.

Science Daze:
The forecast calls for fun with Weather Watchers at the Science Museum of Virginia. Aspiring meteorologists can explore the world's weather through hands-on workshops, demonstrations, exhibits, and IMAX and planetarium shows. 8:30am-5pm. $18 children. Adult chaperones $9. Registration required. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 804-864-1447.

Routes 'n Wings: Travel across bridges and through tunnels. Visit a miniature of the Virginia State Capitol and a Monument Avenue scene built with Legos. Watch as trains zip around scale model railroad layouts created by experts. Have a go at building your own model railroad layout. See local Boy Scout troops demonstrate railroading skills. Check out the world's fastest, highest-flying spy plane. Relive the early days of flight. It's all part of Wings 'n' Rails at the Virginia Aviation Museum. 9:30am-5pm. Included in the price of museum admission. 5701 Huntsman Road, Richmond. 804-236-3622.

Name Game: A tricky old troll finds his way into a miller's daughter's life in the Old Michie Theatre's latest marionette puppet show, "Rumplestiltskin." 11am, 2pm, and 4pm. $5. 221 E. Water St. 977-3690.

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

Skin deep: See Friday, March 26.

Book Works: Kids can make a book of their own with graphic artist Josef Berry in a hands-on bookbinding workshop at McGuffey Arts Center. 10am. Free. 201 Second St. SE.

Every "Body" Reads: The Play Partners Program at Children and Youth Services presents a story and activity time for parents and preschoolers with songs and activities based on the book "Head to Toe" by Eric Carle at Village Playhouse. 10:30am and 1pm. Free. 313 Second St. SE

Out with the Old: Oakley's Gently Used Books hosts the ninth annual Kids Book Swap. Little bookworms can bring in their outgrown books and trade for others. 11am-3pm. Free. York Place on the Downtown Mall.

Start the Rumpus: Fans of Max in his wolf suit can get wild with Miriam Rushfinn and Betty Neal from the Parent Center as they read the story and bring it to life at the Charlottesville Parking Center. 11:30am. Free. 110 Fifth St. NE.

Twist and Shout: Young twisters can help storyteller Barbara Spilman Lawson shake it up and sing it out with stories with a twist at the Virginia Discovery Museum. 2pm. Free. East end of the Downtown Mall.

Mrs. Murphy:
Rita Mae Brown reads from Whisker of Evil, her 12th Mrs. Murphy mystery. Barnes & Noble, Barracks Road Shopping Center, 2pm. 984-0461.

Men Who Cook:
It's time for the gastronomic blow-out of the season, an annual food, auction, and dancing extravaganza to benefit MACAA. 6pm. $60/person. Advance tix recommended. Monticello Event and Conference Center, 201 Monticello Ave. 295-3171. See Walkabout feature.

Digital Directions: Kevin Blackburn offers a workshop on digital photo storage methods, memory cards, and CDs; he also touches on editing programs such as Adobe, Ulead, Acdesee, and JASC. 9am-3pm. Wintergreen Nature Foundation. 434-325-7453.

Getting to Know You: See Friday, April 2.

It's Back!: Today's the first day of the 2004 city market season. Except for April 24 (Dogwood Parade), the market will be open every Saturday through October 30 at the Water street parking lot, 7am-noon. New vendors welcome. 970-3371 or 970-3272.

First Saturday Bird Walk: Spring migration is the highlight of the April bird walk at the Ivy Creek Natural Area, led by Bonnie Sexton of the Monticello Bird Club. Beginners welcome. Meet in the parking lot. 7:30am. Earlysville Road. 973-7772.

Wild Flower Walk: Take a three-hour hike through the woodlands of Monticello to the Rivanna River. Meet at 9:30am at the Garden Shop. $10. Registration required. 984-9822.

Nine, the Musical:
See Friday, April 2.

The Importance of Being Earnest: Shenandoah Shakespeare presents a new production of Oscar Wilde's sharp-witted comic masterpiece in the magnificent Blackfriars Theater. 2pm. 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-28. 540-885-5588.

Zephyrus: Charlottesville's early-music vocal ensemble presents "Sacred Flemish Choral Music of the High Renaissance," featuring the "Missa Sub Tuum Praesidium" by Jacob Obrecht as well as sacred motets of other Flemish masters. Pre-concert lecture and demonstration at 7:30pm; concert 8pm. University Baptist Church, 1223 W. Main St. $8-12. 293-5339.

Live Arts Actor's LAB: Join acting coach and director Carol Pedersen to sharpen your acting tools and gear up for numerous summer acting possibilities now. Runs until April 24. 10-11am. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. $10. 977-4177x100.

CSDS Swing Dance: Charlottesville Swing Dance Society offers an evening of swing dancing and a variety of other dances with DJs Debbie and Wesley Boz. Free beginner hustle lesson is included with admission. Singles and couples welcome. Lesson 7pm, dance 8-11pm. Municipal Arts Center, 1119 Fifth St. Ext. $6-12. 980-2744.

Dance, Dance, Dance: The Charlottesville Chapter of the US Amateur Ballroom Dancers Association holds an April dance at the only venue in town with two dance floors: ballroom upstairs, swing and hustle down. Free lessons by local instructors. Singles welcome. Lessons 7:15pm; general dancing 8pm. Charlottesville Municipal Arts Center, Fifth St. Ext. and Harris road, behind the Patriot Bank. $8 members, $12 non-members, $5 students. 974-7949.

The Bobs:
Deemed "musically satisfying and funny as hell" by the critics, the Bobs bring harmony and humor to Staunton's Blackfriars Playhouse. $22. 7:30pm. 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $22. 540-851-1733.

A cappella: The Covenant Eagles Relay for Life team hosts a concert to benefit the American Cancer Society by Juxtaposition, the Virginia Tech all male a cappella group. 3pm. Performing Arts Center, 175 Hickory St. $5. 989-1047.

Full House:
Acoustic Charlottesville presents Paddy Dougherty, Stephen and Ursula Goadhouse with Peter Markush, Eli Cook, and Wayward in concert at the new Live Arts Upstage Theater (third floor). Doors open 7:30pm. $5. 123. E. Water St. or 985-4742.

Daybreak at the Prism: Hailing from Nashville, this acoustic ensemble blends Celtic and bluegrass into an original sound. $12/$10 advance, 8pm.

Howie Campbell (singer/songwriter) at the Grounds Coffeehouse. 7-9pm

Victor Cabas (blues) at Basic Necessities. No cover, 6:30pm. (W)

Populist Dancing at Club Rio. $10, 9pm. (W)

Jim Davies (acoustic) at Dew Drop Inn. No cover, 9:30pm.

Devon Sproule (singer/songwriter) with Megan Huddleston at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8:30pm.

Vernon Fisher ("romantic side of jazz") at Keswick Hall. No cover, 6:30pm. (W).

Raq at Outback Lodge. $6, 10pm.

After Dark: Nuwave DanceRock Party at Rapture. No cover, 10pm.

Fair Weather Bums (bluegrass) at Shebeen. No cover, 11pm. (W)

SUNDAY, April 4
Open Fusion:
Join the artists at a reception honoring the opening of their show of paintings, collage, and tapestry. Come to meet Doris deSha, Nancy deJarnette Frye, Joan Griffin, Anne Warren Holland, and Sylvia Thompson at C'ville Coffee. 2-4pm. 1301 Harris St. 979-4402.

Skin Deep:
See Friday, April 2. Time today 3pm.

In Poe's Footsteps:
Dan Philippon leads a hike at Ragged Mountain Natural Area to explore how the landscape influenced Edgar Allen Poe's A Tale of the Ragged Mountains and the role landscape plays in contemporary literature. 2pm. Free. Reservoir Road off Fontaine Ave. 973-7772.

Charlottesville's hometown literary journal presents Browning Porter and R. Dale Smith reading from works-in-progress. Open poetry mic follows. 4pm. Gravity Lounge, Downtown Mall. See Facetime.

Digital Directions:
See Saturday, April 3.

Barhoppers 2004:
Offstage Theater presents its highly popular annual festival of bar-themed plays performed in bars, including works by local playwrights Joel Jones, Sean Harvey, and Stephen Boykewich. Runs through April 6. 7:30pm. Rapture, 303 E. Main St. $8. 531-0158.

Take Back the Night: Q and Not U and Decahedron are among the acts performing in a benefit concert for the 15th annual Take Back the Night, an event that raises awareness about sexual and domestic violence. 6pm rally in the Downtown Amphitheatre, 7pm march from the Amphitheatre to the Rotunda, 8pm Vigil/Speak Out at the Rotunda, and 9pm concert at Plan 9 Outerspace/Satellite, 1419 University Ave. Concert, $7. 243-2250.

Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train: See Friday, April 2. Today's performance is at 2pm.

Sunday Salsa&emdash; Live!: Shake loose your winter cobwebs with a Live! Sunday Salsa featuring Bio Ritmo. The complete salsa dancing experience must be done to live music with the band and dancers sharing and building on one another's energy. Bio Ritmo has energy to share! DJ'd music to warm you up starts at 8pm, Bio Ritmo begins their first set at 9:30pm. The Outback Lodge, 917 Preston Ave. $8. 979-7211.

Henry IV, Part I: Shenandoah Shakespeare presents a new production of the Bard's best-loved history play in the magnificent Blackfriars Theater. 2pm. 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-28. 540-885-5588.

Boston Marriage: Live Arts' sparkling production of David Mamet's period comedy comes to Staunton's Blackfriars Playhouse. 7:30pm. 10 S. Market St., Staunton. Pay What You Will. 825-3766.

Improv Lab II: Live Arts' resident expert Rush Howell leads this intermediate-level weekly Sunday afternoon workshop in long-form improv. Class runs until May 2. 3-5pm. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. $50 members, $65 general. 977-4177x100.

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

Modern Groove Syndicate at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8:30pm.

Dead Night at Michael's Bistro. No cover, 10pm.

Barhoppers (skits!) at Rapture. No cover, 9pm.

Irish Music Session at Shebeen. No cover, 3-6pm. (W)

MONDAY, April 5
LiveArts Playwright's LAB:
This twice-monthly playwriting workshop is designed to give new and seasoned playwrights an environment to develop and refine original works. Meets the first and third Monday of every month. 6:30pm. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. Free. 977-4177 x100.

Barhoppers 2004: See Sunday, April 4.

Aldo Leopold's Land Ethic:
Minnesota professor Daniel Philippon, program director in agricultural, food, and environmental ethics, speaks at Jefferson Hall, Hotel C on UVA's West Range. 1pm. 924-7859. See Sunday, April 4.

Civil Liberties: Ed Wayland, co-drafter of the Charlottesville Civil Liberties Protection Act, explains what the Act would do to protect area residents in relation to the USA Patriot Act. Q & A to follow as well as a discussion of how to influence the City Council to pass this Act. Central Library, McIntire Room, 201 E. Market St. 7pm. 296-4705.

Pat McGee Band at Starr Hill: The live sound of the Pat McGee band is the greatest inspiration for their new album, Save Me, but seeing the band live is reportedly still something else. With a touring schedule that hits more than 250 venues a year, they had better be good. $18/$15 advance, 8pm.

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)

Joseph John at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8:30pm.

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

Travis Elliot (pop) and John Figura at the Virginian. No cover, 10pm. (W)

TUESDAY, April 6
Country Roads:
Landscape architect Krista Schneider discusses her book, The Paris-Lexington Road, documenting the multi-disciplinary approach taken to realign and reconstruct a historic road in order to preserve an important cultural landscape in central Kentucky. Considered to be one of the best examples of "context-sensitive highway design" in America. 12pm, New Dominion Bookshop, Downtown Mall. An Architecture 2004 event.

Silver Tongue: Celebrate National Poetry Month with a reading at PVCC. Poet Bart Edelman, editor of Eclipse reads from his work, including his latest collection, The Gentle Man. 7:30pm, Betty Sue Jessup Library, 500 College Road. 961-5203.

Candidates' Forum:
Meet City Council candidates and hold their feet to the fire on issues of importance to you. Fry's Spring neighborhood association sponsors the event, 7-8:30pm. Fry's Spring Beach Club, Jefferson Park Avenue. 977-6588.

Safe Hunting: Free hunter safety class teaches participants how to get out of the woods alive. Three-day course open to community members ages 10 and above. Free. 6-9:30pm. Albemarle High School. Register at 975-9450.

Barhoppers 2004:
See Sunday, April 4.

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)

Timmy and Steve Ryalls (acoustic) at Dürty Nelly's. $3, 9pm.

Garnet Rogers at Gravity Lounge. $15/$12 advance, 8pm.

SNUG (funk improv) at Michael's Bistro. $3, 10pm. (W)

Robert Josepe (percussion great) at Rapture. Free, 8pm.

Satisfaction Dance Party (club, hip-hop, house…) at Rapture. No cover, 11pm.

Warmed-Over Boys (two-part harmonies and fun) at Dr. Ho's Pizza. No cover, 9pm.

Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train:
See Friday, April 2. Tonight's show is pay-what-you-will, 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; students $2 every fourth Wednesday through May. 977-0491.

Icons: The Richmond Triangle Players in association with Vicarious Productions present the Richmond debut of the first touring production of Jade Esteban Estrada's landmark solo musical Icons: The Lesbian and Gay History of The World, Vil. 1, directed by Jeff Wills and starring Jade Esteban Estrada. 8pm. Fielden's Cabaret Theatre, 2033 W. Broad St., Richmond. $12-$14. 804-346-8113.

Salsa Night: Whether you're mastering the basic step or working on learning some cool new moves, this class will help you reach your next level. No partner necessary. 8-9:30 salsa partnering lesson; 9:30-10 practice. Lesson and practice, $8, $6 students. Berkmar Ballroom, 652 W. Rio Road. 975-4611 or

Safe Hunting:
See Tuesday, April 6.

Look Up!:
Learn about the archaeoastronomy of Portugal's Prehistoric megalithic structures from the IMAX¨ dome and planetarium special effects designer, and "stones and stars" project director Bob Oldham. Discover the Inca and their ancestors on April 14 with Science Museum Director Walter R. T. Witschey. 804-864-1400 or 1-800-659-1727.

More Tales for Tots: The five-and-under crowd can hear Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney at Barnes & Noble's preschool story time. Stickers and cookies are part of the fun. Also today, a big book version of this title will be raffled off for those in attendance. 10:30am. Free. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.

Kathy Compton at Blue Moon Diner. Free, 8-10pm.

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

Karaoke Night at Club Rio. $2, 9pm.

Bennie Dodd (country) at Coupe DeVille's. No cover, 10pm.

Open Mic Night at Dew Drop Inn. No cover, 8pm. (W)

Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion with Eileen Edmonds at Gravity Lounge. $15, 8pm.

Malcolm Holcombe at Michael's Bistro. $3, 10pm.

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

Jamal Millner & Friends at Outback Lodge. No cover, 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)

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

Born Hellar, and Grandbanks at Tokyo Rose. $5, 10pm.

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

Tucker Box Tour:
Enjoy a guided tour of the current exhibition at the Kluge-Ruhe collection, "Family Business: Kinship in Australian Aboriginal Art," sculpture, and paintings on bark and canvas used to explain the complex social structures of indigenous Australian groups. Followed by lunch in the gallery. Bring your own or purchase one for $7. Reservations required. 12:15-1:30pm. 400 Worrell Drive, Peter Jefferson Place, off Route 250 E. at Pantops. 244-0234.

Weave and Spin: Joan Griffin offers Tapestry weaving demonstration on lap-held copper pipe loom. Noon-5pm. Art Upstairs, Hardware Store Restaurant, 316 E. Main St. 923-3900.

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. Singles and couples welcome, no partner needed. 7-9pm. Albemarle County Office Building Auditorium, 401 McIntire Road. Free. 980-2744.

Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train: See Friday, April 2.

Puppet Fun:
The renown puppet players of Applause Unlimited come to Northside Library for a special performance for children of all ages. 4pm. Free, but tickets are required. Available at the library's information desk. Albemarle Square. 973-7893.

More Tales for Tots: See Wednesday, April 7.

Safe Hunting:
See Tuesday, April 6.

Move On:
The civic action group has compiled 50 Ways to Love Your Country: How to Find Your Political Voice and be a Catalyst for Change. Contributing essayist Corkey Goldsmith and Charlottesville's own Susan Oberman discuss the book tonight at Barnes & Noble, 7pm. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-0461.

Poetry: Kevin Young reads his work at UVA Bookstore, 8pm. 924-3721.

More Poetry: Bart Edelman reads at PVCC. Betty Sue Jessup Library, 7:30pm. 961-5203

Race and Politics: Scholar Rogers Smith discusses the political battle between white supremacy and the "transformative egalitarian order." Miller Center, 2201 Old Ivy Road. 12pm. 924-4694.

Civ Clash? Columbia University's Richard Bulliet discusses "Islamo-Christian Civilization." McKim Hall Auditorium, UVA, 3:30pm. 924-3033.


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)

TOW and Red Pill Down at Outback Lodge. No cover, 10pm.

Robert Jospé (jazz) at Rapture. No cover, 7:30pm. (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)

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

Upcoming and Ongoing
"Mapping the Dark":
Rosamund Casey offers an eight-week class for arty types interested in exploring mixed media with the goal of matching an inner state with an external form. The class includes three-dimensional problem solving and lessons in thinking about art. 10am-12:30pm, and 6:30pm-9pm on Tuesdays, April 13-June1. $200. 293-8733. Register now.

Submit!: The Arts Center in Orange seeks exhibits for a growing Satellite Gallery program that currently includes Not the Same Old Grind, a coffee shop on Church street, and The Virginia National Bank on Main street. 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,

Grief therapy:
Hospice of the Piedmont offers "Journeys through the Seasons," a free bereavement camp for children and teens (6-14) who are affected by the serious illness or death of a loved one. The spring day camp takes place Saturday, April 24 from 8:45am-5pm at Camp Friendship in Palmyra. Activities include art therapy, mask making, drumming, a nature walk, games, lunch, and a closing ceremony. Participation is free. For more information and an application call 817-6931.

Spring Break Fun: 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.

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.

Out of this World: The Science Museum of Virginia offers earthbound astronaut wannabes the chance to vicariously climb into a space capsule the size of a Volkswagen Beetle and blast off into the great unknown with the IMAX film Space Station showing now through June 11. Call or see website for schedule and cost. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 800-659-1727.

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.

Big Bones: China may be a world away, but now through September 6 kids can play with replicas of ancient dinosaur skeletons right down the road at the Children's Museum of Richmond. Lots of hands-on exhibits. Most activities are free with museum admission. The museum is open 9:30am-5pm Tuesday through Saturday, noon-5pm on Sunday. Admission is $7. 2626 W. Broad St., Richmond. 804-474-2667.

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. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 800-659-1727.

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.

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.

Come into the Library:
Ashlawn-Highland exhibits rarely seen selections from James Monroe's collection of 3,000 late 18th- and early 19th-century French and English volumes. Open daily through April 30, 10am-6pm. 293-9539.

Dogwood Tennis Tournament:
Register by April 9 to play in the singles tournament April 16-18. This event brings together players from UVA and the community at Snyder Tennis Center, next to Memorial Gym on Emmet street. Doubles tournament April 23-25 (registration deadline April 16). $15 singles; $25 doubles per event. Info or 924-3791.

Unclutter Your Life: The one everyone waits for&emdash; the SPCA rummage sale takes place April 17-May 2, 11am-7pm. Donations being accepted through March 28, 9:30am-6:30pm, Ivy Industries Building, 111 Monticello Ave. 244-3647.

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

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.

Single Mothers' Support Group: Safe environment for women dealing with the challenges of raising children on their own. Facilitated by Deborah Frazer, LCSW. Nominal fee required, negotiable according to the needs of group participants. Pre-registration interview required. Child care available. 6:30-8pm. Focus Women's Center. Grady avenue. 293-2222.

Women in Change: Support group allows women experiencing personal issues of transition to meet in a supportive and confidential setting, facilitated by Betsy Cochran, LPC. 7-8:30pm. Fee and pre-registration interview required. Focus Women's Center. Grady avenue. 293-2222.

Premier Vendredi: April 2
The C&O Gallery opens its exhibition of paintings by John Howard. 5:30-7:30pm. Next door to the C&O Restaurant, 511 E. Water St. 971-7044.

Nature Visionary Arts hosts an opening for "New Work by Matt Sesow!"5-9pm. 110 Fourth St. NE. 296-8482.

The Gravity Lounge opens "Safari," recent photographs of Kenya by Jeff James, 5-7pm. (Note to the wise: Bring your flask because there's no free wine.) 103 S. First St. 977 5590.

Meet Edie Read as Les Yeux du Monde@dot2Dot celebrates the opening of "Figured," 5:30-7:30pm. 115 S. First St. 973-5566.

CODG hosts an opening for "Play of Light," a joint show by Leslie Allyn, Dana Grant, and Clare Zusky. 6pm until "whenever."112 E. Main St., under the Jefferson Theater. 242-4212.

Transient Crafters lights up with a reception for Lauren Amacher's "Beeswax Luminaries: Capturing Nature's Radiance." 6-9pm. 118 W. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 972-9500.

The McGuffey Art Center hosts an opening for Kristin Onuf's "Shades," as well as "Three Painters," featuring work by Pattye Leggett, Robin Braun, and Rick Weaver, plus Bob Anderson's "Cat Women." 5:30-7:30pm. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.

The BozArt Gallery opens "2D by 1," a show of Charlottesville-centered paintings by Tom Walsh. 6-9pm. 211 W. Main on the Downtown Mall. 296-3919.

Art Upstairs welcomes painter Virginia Paul's "Maine Islands and Beyond" with a reception, 5:30-9pm. 316 E. Main St., above The Hardware Store, on the Downtown Mall. 923-3900.

Mudhouse opens its show of paintings by Leo Charre. 6-8pm. W. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 984-6833.

Spencer's 206 welcomes the work of Lisi Stoessel with a reception beginning at 6pm. 218 Water St. 295-3080.

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

The Second Street Gallery presents two shows running through May 1. In the Main Gallery, view the language inspired art of Kay Rosen's "New Word Order," including "Blurred," a 37-foot-long site-specific piece. In the Dové Gallery, experience "You Kill Me," an installation investigating the nature of romance, by D'nell Larson. City Center for Contemporary Arts, corner of Second and Water streets. 977-7284.

The University of Virginia Art Museum presents Carrie Mae Weems' "The Jefferson Suite" through May 23. Also on view: "Exploring Identity: Work by Southern Jewish Women Artists," featuring pieces by Jan Aronson, Marcia R. Cohen, Johanna Drucker, Linda Gissen, and Alyssa C. Salomon, through April 25, plus "American Collage," including work by Andy Warhol, Adja Yunkers, and Robert Motherwell, among others, through August 24. 155 Rugby Road. 924-3952. See Art feature.

The Gravity Lounge presents "Safari," recent photographs of Kenya by Jeff James, during the month of April. 103 S. First St. 977 5590.

The Renaissance School hosts its fifth annual student art show. 406 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 984-1952,

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.

"Dalgliesh Unframed," a show of pastel and oil paintings by Betsy Dalgliesh, is on view at Angelo through April 30. 220 East Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 971-9256.

During April, view "Fusion," a show of paintings, collage, and tapestry by artists Doris deSha, Nancy deJarnette Frye, Joan Griffin, Anne Warren Holland, and Sylvia Thompson, at C'ville Coffee. Artists' reception, April 4, 2-4pm. 1301 Harris St. 979-4402.

Spencer's 206 shows work by Lisi Stoessel during the month of April. 295-2080.

The PVCC Gallery presents its annual student exhibition through April 21. V. Earl Dickinson Building, 500 College Drive. 961-5203.

At the C&O Gallery, view "On the Water," paintings by John Howard, through April 30. Next door to the C&O Restaurant, 511 E. Water St. 971-7044.

Nature Visionary Art opens "New Work by Michael Sesow!" on April 2. The show continues through May 1. 110 Fourth St. 296-8482.

During April, CODG presents "Play of Light," an exhibition of paintings and photographs by Leslie Allyn, Dana Grant, and Clare Zusky. 112 E. Main St., under the Jefferson Theater. 242-4212.

View the Central Virginia Watercolor Guild's 2004 Members Exhibition, featuring 67 paintings by 33 members, at the Albemarle County Courthouse through April 30. McIntire Road. 296-8484.

The Dave Moore Studio features works by Dave Moore and several Richmond artists. Hours vary, so call first. 414 E. Main St. (under The Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar). On Friday, April 2, bring three sawbucks for the "$30 buddha drawing sale." 825-1870.

Les Yeux du Monde@dot2Dot presents Edie Read's "Figured" in its downstairs gallery, April 2-May 3. Upstairs, view Stanley Woodward's "Spring Flowers" through April 30. 115 S. First St. 973-5566.

Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church hosts an exhibition of stained glass and mosaics by Alison Jarvis Watkins. 717 Rugby Road. 295-4083.

Leo Charre shows his paintings at the Mudhouse in April. 213 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.

During April, Virginia Paul's "Maine Islands and Beyond," a series of landscapes inspired by the artist's travels, is on view at Art Upstairs. 316 E. Main St., above The Hardware Store, on the Downtown Mall. 923-3900.

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.

During April, The McGuffey Art Center presents Kristin Onuf's "Shades," an exhibition of gelatin plate monotypes, as well as "Three Painters," featuring still lifes by Pattye Leggett, seascapes by Robin Braun, and figural paintings by Rick Weaver. "Cat Women," drawings and paintings by Bob Anderson, is also on view. In addition, fourth- and fifth-year UVA students present a group show on the theme "Collage." 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.

Transient Crafters displays "Beeswax Luminaries: Capturing Nature's Radiance," a series of luminaries created by Lauren Amacher of "Hive," during April. 118 W. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 972-9500.

Sculptor Jonathan Durham's exhibition "Cyrus (the Younger): Zero-Degree Monumentality in Cinema Space" is on view in the former Nature Gallery space. Water street behind the Jefferson Theater. 924-6123.

The Bozart Gallery presents "2D by 1," a series of Charlottesville-centered paintings by Tom Walsh, through April 30. 211 W. Main St. 296-4669.

Selected landscapes by Richard Crozier are on view at Hotcakes through May 2. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 295-6037.

Martha Jefferson Hospital presents a show entitled "The Creative Process" through June 4. 459 Locust Ave. 982-7000.


The Staunton Augusta Arts Center celebrates Youth Art Month with a display of nearly 400 works by students, ages 5-18, on view through April. Gypsy Hill Park, Staunton. 540-855-2028.

Ombra's Café displays "Recent Still Lifes," oils by painter Vidu Palta, through April. 5773 The Square, Crozet. 296-4669.

The Nichols Gallery Annex in Barboursville shows "Hands On Printmakers," a display of mono-prints, etchings, and serigraphs by Ed Bordett, Frank Hobbs, David Freed, Fred Nichols, Tucker Hill, Akemi Ohira, and Carlysle Vicenti, through April 25. 540-832-3565.

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

The Artisans Center of Virginia presents work by sculptor and potter Susan Coville during April. Artist's reception, April 3, 2-4pm. 601 Shenandoah Village Drive (exit 94 off I-64), Waynesboro. 540-946-3294.

During April, Caffé Bocce displays paintings by Lindsay Michie Eades. 330 Valley St., Scottsville. 286-4422.

Sybil Heerdegan's acrylic paintings are on view during April at Harrisonburg's John Clore Gallery in the Wachovia Bank lobby. Corner of E. Market St. and Mason. 540-810-2777.


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,

The Orange County Fair Board is accepting submissions for its contest to design the Fair's poster. Drop off entries at the The Arts Center In Orange, 129 E. Main St., by 12pm, April 21. For specific details and guidelines, contact Terry Travers, 540-672-7856.

Getting ID'ed: Southern Jewish women's art

If asked to come up with three adjectives and a noun to define yourself, what would you say? (I'm hoping not "white male chauvinist pig," although that would answer the challenge.) Now consider others who fit under that umbrella. How similar are you really? Where do you differ? And how does the group as a whole influence your self expression?

Such questions lie at the heart of "Exploring Identity: Work by Southern Jewish Women Artists," a diverse exhibition currently on display at the University of Virginia Art Museum.

"We really collaborated to expand beyond 'What does southern women artists' work mean?'" says Jewish studies director Vanessa Ochs, who organized the show with professor Phyllis Leffler and museum director Jill Hartz.

Of the five artists represented, two focus directly on their Jewish identity. Atlanta-based painter Marcia Cohen's four abstracts examine how the "badge-flag" historically set Jews apart. Each work consists of a cloth symbol&emdash; a yellow star, a gold ring&emdash; juxtaposed with an organically stylized oil lamp, set against a background roiling with color.

Linda Gissen's hand-sculpted Jewish ritual objects are more specifically feminist. Gissen, who lives in Virginia Beach, has created a "Miriam's Cup" to serve as a feminine balance to Elijah's place at the Passover table. A hand-sculpted bronze figure forms the goblet's stem, her arms embracing a glass vessel painted with multi-hued dancing figures.

Taking a less overt approach, Charlottesville artist Johanna Drucker incorporates Jewish intellectual tradition into her fascinating, multi-leveled books. In "Through Light and the Alphabet," the printmaker systematically plays with typography to affect how the eye moves across the page and to effect alternative readings. This intent to visually arrest, also found in her image-laden "History of the/my Wor(l)d," is vaguely reminiscent of the interplay of text and commentary on a Talmud page.

The remaining two artists, Richmond photographer Alyssa Salomon and New Orleans-born painter Jan Aronson, diverge from the others in their secularity. They also stand apart by revealing flashes of a southern milieu. Aronson's painting of fallen leaves&emdash; an emotional response to 9/11&emdash; speaks to Virginia autumns.

Salomon's evocative and amusing daguerreotypes present nostalgic objects&emdash; doll's heads and porcelain figurines&emdash; placed against unexpected backgrounds. She mattes her toned gelatin prints, depicting a fedora-wearing statuette named Dante posed at tourist attractions around the world (including Natural Bridge!), on custom-printed, mock-retro Richmond postcards.

Although collected together under the arch of "Southern Jewish Women Artists," these five artists span the range of that four-word spectrum.

"Exploring Identity: Work by Southern Jewish Women Artists" is on view at the University of Virginia Art Museum through April 25. A related symposium, "Matriarchs and Magnolias: Jewish Women of the South&emdash;Agents of Change" will take place April 23-25. 155 Rugby Road. 924-3952.

"Escapist" debut: Chabon unclosets his hero


Michael Chabon recently celebrated a moment any writer could relish.

Recounting the directive of his editor to pare the bittersweet conclusion of his 2001 novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, the author recalled his gut reaction: "Hell, no!"

So it was with an attractive flounce of vindication that Chabon stood before a packed audience in UVA's Newcomb Hall and read "Breakfast in the Wreck," the forgotten chapter and sacrificial lamb of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

Turns out, the editor was right.

Kavalier and Clay is an astounding novel– at once a juicy New York period piece, a classic tale of youthful spunk, and a eulogy to the victims of Nazi tyranny. It's the story of two cousins and their comics, and a sadness that springs from tragedy and melancholy in equal measure.

It also comes a little too close to running out of its own heart-breaking steam; skipping a nutshell portrait of Sam Clay's conflicted reaction to being outed as a homosexual on national television is a minor sacrifice when a masterpiece flirts with marathon.

Stripped from its vibrant canvas, "Breakfast in the Wreck" is a fine short story. The mise en scene is a dilapidated diner, "a world of men and their hats," where Sam Clay breaks off a "chaste affair." Like the novel itself, these few pages bear witness to the mental transport which Chabon underwent to fully explore the texture of mid-century New York.

"I was there," he told the audience after his reading. "I was seeing what I was saying."

Among Kavalier fans who covet such sensorial clarity, there is much giddiness over the publication of The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist in all its full-color, multi-panel glory.

"The Escapist" is the trademark superhero of the fictional Kavalier and Clay comic books team; despite persistent searches by enthusiasts who took him for a historically accurate reference, he made his comic-book début just last month, in a the first of a quarterly publication by Dark Horse Comics. The first installment, written by Chabon and illustrated by Eric Wight, tells the mythic origins of the masked liberator/conjurist.

"I became a confidante to comic book writers wanting to come out of the closet," said Chabon, about the popular success of his novel.

It's an interesting comment coming from the creator of "Sam Clay" and "The Escapist," both successful vanquishers of closets and other tight spots.

The Origins of the Escapist, installment one of the Dark Horse series, is reprinted in the spring issue of the Virginia Quarterly Review, along with "Breakfast in the Wreck." Subscribe or purchase at

What's cooking?: Amateur chefs man the stoves

Bid Dr. Atkins adieu. Come home from South Beach. It's time for Men Who Cook, Charlottesville's annual gastronomic blow-out extraordinaire. Fifty-seven courageous amateur chefs are ready to line up Saturday, April 3, to prepare their signature dishes for 300 people to meet, eat, drink, and celebrate!

Many of this year's chefs are back for return engagements, including Fran Lawrence (world's best ribs), Bob Tobey (Maryland crab & corn chowder), Sandy VonThalen (Caesar salad) and John Dodge (shrimp bisque). Peter McIntosh can't be present this year but is sending his Key Lime Pies as a stand-in.

Joe LeVaca will be on hand for the first time to dole out his world famous sausage and red pepper medley. Rick Daniels of Eure Communication joins LaVaca and other first-timers, predicting there will be nothing left of his Mama's family recipe for down home southern style macaroni and cheese. (He also assures The Hook it will not be made from Velveeta.) And top cop Timmy Longo returns by popular demand after a commendable début last year.

But the food's just the beginning of the fun. A silent auction offers the chance to snag some memorable offerings from local businesses and artists– including bed & breakfast retreats, gift certificates for Hamiltons', the Palladio at Barboursville Vineyard, the Downtown Grille, the Ivy Inn, pottery, jewelry, and professional services.

What can top eating and shopping? Hang around for dancing with music from Wanda and The White Boys. Last year the dance floor was filled from the first note until the lights came up.

The festivities benefit the Monticello Area Community Action Agency, which provides assistance to children, families, and individuals through programs such as Head Start, Hope House, the Jefferson Area CHIP, and Project Discovery. Former state delegate Jim Murray, a long-time supporter and MACAA board member, is Honorary Chair of this year's event.

What's your pleasure? Whether it's attorney Lloyd Snook's "bang bang turkey," David Shockley's "chocolate assassins," Bruce Neidlinger's beef bourguignon, or David Breeden's gazpacho, you don't want to wait until the last minute to get your tickets. The event always sells out early.

The Monticello Area Community Action Agency's 17th annual Men Who Cook gala takes place Saturday, April 3, from 6 to 10:30pm at the Monticello Event and Conference Center, 201 Monticello Avenue. $60/person. 295-3171.

Celebrating: Local kids prepare for Seder


Chubby little hands slice apples, chop walnuts, and mix them up with cinnamon. They use a rolling pin to squash flat the ball of unleavened dough and a fork to poke holes in the dough before baking. An unsteady hand pours grape juice into the ornate wine goblet, and two confident little mitts place the Seder plate just so on the table.

The children at the Congregation Beth Israel preschool are preparing a Seder and learning about Passover. The eight-day spring holiday remembers the Jews' successful flight from slavery in Egypt and starts with this solemn meal of prayers, readings, songs, and ceremony.

These local little ones and their festive arrangements are the focus of attention in the new book It's Seder Time!, written by their teacher Latifa Berry Kropf with pictures by local photographer Tod Cohen.

The book, released in February, is the third in a series of picture books this duo has done for the Kar-Ben imprint of Lerner Publishing. Each volume features the vivid smiling faces of CBI preschoolers as they learn about various Jewish traditions.

In It's Seder Time!, Cohen captures not only the essence of the festival, but the magic of childhood: Sherry's sober expression as she covers the matzah with a special cloth, Megan's enthusiasm as she chants the Four Questions traditionally asked by the youngest person at the meal, the costumed dancers whooping it up as they act out the exodus.

Each photo is accompanied by Kropf's simple text explaining the story of Moses and the meaning of each aspect of the celebration. "We chop apples and nuts for charoset," she writes, "which reminds us of the mortar the Israelite slaves used to make bricks in Egypt."

The series started several years ago when Kropf approached Cohen about collaborating on a book depicting her Friday tradition of making challah with her preschoolers. The success of their photo essay-style children's book about making the braided bread eaten on the Jewish Sabbath led to requests from the publisher for five additional titles.

"They really fill a niche," Berry said. "Children love looking at pictures of other children who are just like them."

Kar-Ben Publishing has sent each of the children featured in the book a copy of It's Seder Time! So this year at Passover, the kids at CBI preschool will be looking at pictures of children who really are just like them.

Bon Appétit!

It's Seder Time! is available at Barnes & Noble Booksellers or Shenanigans. Copies can also be ordered from the author at 974-7016.

Fierce: Religion saturates Rikers drama

There are those who say there is no such thing as a former Catholic, only a recovering one. Stephen Adly Guirgis certainly supports the theory.

Guirgis is the author of Jesus Hopped the "A" Train, a wildly acclaimed prison drama about faith and power currently in production at Live Arts. It's not the only one of Guirgis's works to explore the theme: Among his earliest plays was a one-act entitled Race, Religion, and Politics (always good to let the audience know what they're in for), and his most recent play is Our Lady of 121st Street.

All three concern characters obsessed with belief and non-belief, earthly injustice and divine, and they take every chance to deliver long, astonishing, foul-mouthed screeds about it.

Fortunately, admitting your problem is the first step toward a cure.

Catholicism may have been the predominant influence chez Guirgis, but it wasn't the only one. The playwright's father was Egyptian, and a childhood on New York's Upper West Side further immersed the young Guirgis in a world where the pressures of racial, cultural, and religious differences were keenly felt&emdash; and sometimes explosive. Thanks in large part to Jesus, Guirgis has had a different sort of pressure to deal with in recent years: the pressure of huge success.

After a popular New York run directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman (known to most as the guy with the creepy smile in The Talented Mr. Ripley), Jesus moved to London, where it was nominated for an Olivier award for Best New Play. Since then it has run in Denmark, Finland, Chile, and across America.

In 2003 the New York Times dubbed Guirgis "the best playwright in American under 40." Not bad for a guy who took seven and half years to graduate from college.

The play is set in the notorious New York prison Riker's Island, where Angel, a young Puerto Rican man, is sent after shooting a religious cult leader (though "only in the ass") who brainwashed his best friend. There he meets Lucius, a serial killer who has undergone a religious conversion and wants to drive Angel to have one as well.

Add to the conflict a well-meaning public defender determined to get Angel acquitted, even if it means counseling him to lie on the stand, and a brutal prison guard. Guirgis laces the play with wit and humor&emdash; in a speech about the world's unfairness, Angel demands to know "Where's Mother Theresa's Lexus?"&emdash; but don't go expecting Little Foxes. Jesus is as fierce as a Medici pope, as rigorous as the Catechism.

Catch Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train April 2 at 8pm, April 4 at 2pm, April 7 at 8pm (pay-what-you-can night), and April 8 at 7:30pm. Closes April 10. $7. Live Arts Up Stage, 123 E. Water St. $7. 977-4177x100.

Head west: Follow your ears to JMU

It's that time of the year again. After a long cold winter of our mutual discontent, the bugs are coming out to rumble, couples are leaving evenings early for the "horizontal experience," and summer is making its hot and heavy presence known in small infernal increments.

Spring also brings the annual Mid-Atlantic College Radio Conference, MACRoCK, to our erudite neighbor Harrisonburg, and this weekend will find Charlottesville empty of folks who love the types of rock sounds you don't regularly find on your radio dial.

Since 1997, WXJM, JMU's student-run radio station, has been organizing MACRoCK, a two-day event that, according to their statistics, "attracts thousands of college DJs, independent bands, music industry representatives, and concertgoers," the ne plus ultra of rock shows hereabout, you might say. Mixing larger national acts with bands that are accepted after an application process, the event is a good place to go to get in on what your hipper betters are listening to, and pick up some free stuff at the same time.

This year's festival is even better than recent years past– seven venues around Harrisonburg will be holding showcases over the weekend, and the biggest problem will probably be how to get from one good show to another without missing anything.

Roughly 100 bands will be performing at this year's event (check out for a schedule), so this is just a run-down of a few of the concerts I consider must-sees. Friday night's show at JMU's PC Ballroom has definitely the largest gravitational pull for me– 6:35pm finds DC locals the Carlsonics (who recently played at Tokyo Rose to high praise), at 9:40pm the early '90s time capsule that is the Wrens perform, and at 11:20pm the phenomenal mope-happy Pedro the Lion close out the evening.

The Carlsonics are the hometown boys in Harrisonburg, though they have recently relocated to our nation's capital. Playing a freaked-out, mildly '60s garage rock sound with a vocalist who in high school was probably voted "most likely to have a schizophrenic breakdown at age 21," the group reportedly has a live sound to match their recorded explosiveness.

The Wrens' 2003 release, The Meadowlands, would remind anyone between the age of 22 and 28 of those crazy grunge years from 1991-1996 (though the last two were pseudo-grunge years, where bands like Bush reigned). They released their first album, Silver, in 1994, and then Secaucus in 1996, but label malfunction caused them to delay release of a third until last year. Like a musical Coelacanth, the Wrens just popped out of the depths and while flopping around on our ship's deck, released The Meadowlands from their razor-sharp jaws.

Pedro the Lion's last album, 2002's Control (their new release, Achilles Heel, is slated for May 25) is a story album of sorts about a certain couple dealing with boredom and adultery (clue: track 9 is called "Priests and Paramedics"). "Rapture," one of the three songs on the album about the act, is probably the strongest track on the album– beginning "This is how we multiply / Pity that it's not my wife / The friction of skin / The trembling sigh" to constant distorted guitar chugging.

Couldn't get tickets for that sold out Death Cab for Cutie show at Starr Hill on Friday? Why not hop in the car and relocate to our friendly brother city– you can use that $20 you were saving for the aforementioned two-band show and instead see at least 20 young whippersnapping outfits.

MACRoCK takes place all over the vacant town of Harrisonburg April 2-3. For complete schedule, see