Cultural calendar, May 20-27, 2004

THURSDAY, May 20
FAMILY
Tales for Tots:
The five-and-under crowd can hear classic stories by Margaret Wise Brown at Barnes & Noble's preschool story time. The book list includes Runaway Bunny and Big Red Barn. 10:30am. Free. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.

Great Expectations: Expectant parents and others can take a journey through the process of pregnancy and childbirth with a series of childbirth classes and video presentations by Midwifery Options for Mothers. Tonight's program is titled "Born in the USA" and takes place at Central Library. 6:30-8:30pm. Free. 201 E. Market St. 978-4779.

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

Tibetan Dinner: Meet performers from tomorrow night's Tibetan dance presentation at a banquet hosted by the local Tibetan community. Tibetan food and music. $20. 6pm. CATEC. 1000 E. Rio Road. 973-1147.

Teen Acting Studio: This weekly workshop will focus on opening up the text within a Shakespearean monologue through extensive language work: scanning the verse, exploring rhythm and sound, and working the breath. Students need to bring 3 sample Shakespearean monologues with them to the first class. Pre-requisite: Prior LATTE acting studio experience or instructor permission. Runs until June 3. 5-7pm. $60 members, $75 general. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. 977-4177.

Turn On, Tune In: Live Arts' Lattehouse presents its sixth annual show, Frequency, in which local teens spoof popular music and the role it plays in our culture. Runs through May 22. $7. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. 977-4177x108. See Performance feature.

A Sort of Explanation: Prospect Dance Group presents a new evening-length work for dance, music, video, and text. Closes May 22. 8pm. McGuffey Art Center, 201 Second St. NW. $12. 409-6056.

WALKABOUT
Hollymead Community Meeting:
Voice your opinion on the ongoing Hollymead Town Center/North Pointe/Airport Road development. Displays of the projects will be posted for review and there will be short presentations on the specific projects. Staff will be on hand to answer questions and address concerns. 6:30pm. Hollymead School. 296-5841.

Historic Aircraft: The Virginia Aviation Museum presents aviation historian Lou Divone speaking about Russian and other rare aircraft. 7pm. Free. 5701 Huntsman Road at Richmond International Airport. 804-236-3622 or vam.smv.org.

International Equestrian Competition: See crowds of Olympic, Pan American, World, and U.S. Equestrian Team champions ride and compete at the fourth annual Virginia International Event at the Virginia Horse Center. Virginia Horse Trials happen concurrently. 8am May 20-23. Free. Lexington. For more information 540-348-1152, or horsecenter.org, or vahorsetrials.com.

Bead Stringing Basics: Join instructor Terri Gable at Studio Baboo and learn the basics of creating necklaces and bracelets. Students will complete a necklace and bracelet. 5:30-7:30pm. $25. 106 Fifth St. off the Downtown Mall. 244-2905.

TUNES
Easy Star All Stars with Tru Mystic at Starr Hill:
Two sets of dub and reggae, including a complete performance of the infamous "Dub Side of the Moon." $12/$10, 9pm.

Tim Trotter (guitar and vocals) and Andrew McAteer at Veggie Heaven Café. Call for times. No cover. (W)

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

Kait and Thom (modern jazz duo) at Tokyo Rose upstairs. No cover, 9:30pm. (W)

Karaoke Night with DJ Wild Wes at Buffalo Wild Wings. Free, 9pm (W)

Ben Reed of Calf Mountain Jam at Clock Tower Tavern in Staunton. No cover, 9pm.

Danny Beirne at Coupe DeVille's. No cover, 10pm.

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

Bluegrass Intentions featuring Bill Evans with Steve Smith at Gravity Lounge. $18/$15, 8pm.

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

In Tenebris and No Gods, No Monsters at Outback Lodge. $3, 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)

FRIDAY, May 21
FAMILY
Storybook Dance:
Young thespians ages 2-5 can climb on stage at the Virginia Discovery Museum as they sing and dance and bring to life the story of The Little Mermaid. Come in costume if you like. 10:30-11:10am and 11:15-11:55. 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.

WALKABOUT
Fridays after 5:
The popular outdoor concert series is back for its 16th season. This week's act:The Guano Boys.

Work Out Try Out: ACAC participates in a nationwide challenge, "Get Active, America," part of the fitness industry's effort to fight obesity and inactivity. Work out free today through May 23 at ACAC Albemarle Square and Downtown.

WORDS
View from Najaf:
Brian Buckley, a Louisa resident who recently returned from Najaf, Iraq with a five-member American civilian delegation shares slides and discussion about the group's trip. 3pm, McIntire Room, Central Library, 201 E. Market St. 977-1872.

PERFORMANCE
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. 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.

Yaks Dancing: "Tibetan Dances from the Roof of the World," is a presentation of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA), founded by the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India to preserve the Tibetan performing arts tradition in the exile community. Tonight's two-hour program consists of 15 regional dances including the Good Luck Dance from Lhasa, Lhamo opera, ritual mask dances (cham), the dance of the Yak, and dramatic stories from Tibetan culture. 7:30pm. $15 adults; $12 students and seniors. Tix: Greenberry's, Zazus, Carden Salon, Marco & Luca's and Tibetan vendors on the Downtown Mall. Lane Auditorium, Albemarle County Office Building, 401 McIntire Road. 973-1147.

Turn On, Tune In: See Thursday, May 20. Tonight's show is at 8pm.

Bach's Lunch: The Christ Episcopal Church Adult Choir, directed by Dr. John Whiteside, offers a lunchtime concert. Noon. 120 W. High St. Free. Box lunches at the door, $5. 293-2347.

The Importance of Being Earnest: Shenandoah Shakespeare presents a new production of Oscar Wilde's comic masterpiece in the Blackfriars Theater. 7:30pm. 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-26. 540-885-5588.

The Music Man: Four County Players presents the beloved musical by Meredith Willson. "County fair" with food and beverages one hour before the show. 8pm. Runs until May 23. Barboursville Community Center, Route 678 between Routes 33 and 20, Barboursville. $10-14. 540-832-5355.

A Sort of Explanation: See Thursday, May 20.

Hampden-Sydney Music Festival: Motor down Route 15 to Hampden-Sydney College for the 23rd annual chamber music festival. This weekend's program includes music by Mozart, Faure, Saint-Saens, and Glinka. 8pm. Crawley Forum, Hampden-Sydney. $15-20. 223-6273.

Contra Dance: The Albemarle Chapter of the Country Dance and Song Society sponsors a contra dance with caller Tom Hinds and live music from the McKenzies. Free beginners' workshop at 7:30pm, dance at 8pm. Municipal Arts Center, 1119 Fifth St. $4-7, under 12 free.

TUNES
Emily McCormick and Tom Proutt, Jane Andrews, Jimmy Downing, and Steve Wilson at Lake Monocan in Stoney Creek:
Local harmony masters McCormick and Proutt host another evening of The Blue Ridge Acoustic Guild where the chords are soft and the lyrics never require Parental Advisory warnings. No cover, 8pm.

The Trouble With Harry at Dürty Nelly's: Cleverly constructed pop songs from this together group will have you humming all night long. $3, 9:30pm.

Guano Boys at Friday's After 5 on the Downtown Mall: Reggae rebels the Guano Boys pull off another Friday's After 5, an anti-capitalist condition we are all excited about. No cover, 6 pm.

Ezra Hamilton at Atomic Music (at Atomic Burrito). No cover, 10pm.

Big John (acoustic pop) at Biltmore. No cover, 9pm.

Makia Groove (jam) at Clocktower Tavern in Staunton. No cover, 9pm.

Jack's House at Coupe DeVille's. No cover, 10pm.

Sierra (country) at Dew Drop Inn. No cover, 9:30pm.

Banbu Station at Garden of Sheba. No cover, 10pm.

Vyktoria Keating and Joanne Juskus at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8:30pm.

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

Naked Puritans (pop) and All of 15 (rock) at Outback Lodge. $6, 10pm.

DJ Frank Rivera ("house, hip hop, top 40, classics") at Rapture. $3, 10pm.

Junior Moment at Rapunzel's. No cover, 7:30pm.

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

SATURDAY, May 22
WORDS
Commemorating Brown:
VFH symposium features panel discussions and workshops on Virginia's reactions to Brown, with a focus on "massive resistance." Concurrent workshops planned for high and middle-school participants. 9:30-3:30pm, Monticello Event and Conference Center. 924-3296.

WALKABOUT
Walk Through History:
Learn about the human history of the Ivy Creek Natural Area with an audio-visual review of Riverview Farm, followed by a walk to historic sites along the trails. 10am. No fee. Meet at the Education Building. 973-7772.

Ancient Herbs, Modern Gardens: Learn all about the history of herbs, their uses in cooking and medicine, and their decorative place in every garden with the pros at Monticello. 9:30am. $5, registration required. Meet at the Visitors Center. 984-9822.

Peyote Fringe Choker: Learn the basic off-loom peyote stitch, an excellent jumping-off point for new weavers. Instructor Diane Stavola teaches and helps students create their own unique necklaces. 10am-4pm. $40 fee. 106 Fifth St. on the Downtown Mall. 244-2905 to register.

Historic Plants: Learn about local flowers and take an informal tour of the CHP greenhouse at the 12th Annual Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants Open House. Noon to 4pm. Free. Tufton Farm. 984-9822.

Open Market: Burley Middle School hosts Burley Bear Market day featuring crafts, entertainment, food, and more. 9am-3pm. Free. Rose Hill Drive. 295-5101.

Cemetery and Found Roses: Ever wonder what's worth picking up at the side of the road? Old flowers! This illustrated presentation describes how to find and identify old roses in cemeteries, abandoned home sites, and along rural roadsides. 10:30am. $5 fee, registration required. Monticello Visitors Center. 984-9822.

WALKABOUT AND FAMILY
Cultural Exchange:
Charlottesville Festival of Cultures happens today in Lee Park featuring African drumming, Latin American music, dance, storytelling, crafts to make and crafts to buy, and cultural exhibits by new Americans. 10am-4pm. Free. Next to Central Library on Market St. 245-2817.

FAMILY
G'Day, Mate!:
The Virginia Discovery Museum goes to the ends of the earth to explore the island of Australia. The new Back Gallery exhibit "Outback & Down Under" opens today inviting visitors to bounce like a kangaroo, create Aboriginal rock art, discover the secrets of the bush country, and more. Included in the price of admission. East end of the Downtown Mall. 977-1025.

Music in the Mountains: The emphasis is on fun at North Branch School's fundraiser dubbed "Band Fair II." An impressive musical line up includes the Hackensaw Boys, Tazo, Kow Pi, and more. Crafts, games, food. 3-8pm. $5 students, $10 adults, $30 families. Rockfish Valley Community Center off Rt. 151. 540-8450.

In Sync: The Living Earth School offers an introduction to permaculture in a two-day workshop today and tomorrow, emphasizing methods of sustainable practices. Presented by Kate and Hub Knott. $160. 258 Rocky Bottom Lane, Afton. 540-456-7339. circleofseeds.com.

Imagine That: Garry Krinsky explores the scientific principles of gravity, leverage, and the human property of imagination in "Toying with Science." Audience participation, mime illusions, and balancing ladders are all part of the presentation. 2pm. $5. Reservations required. All ages welcome. PVCC's Dickinson Auditorium. 961-5376.

Family Fun Fest: Charlottesville Albemarle Prevention Coalition hosts "The Power of Prevention: It's a Family Affair" at Washington Park. Food, arts and crafts, balloons, and face painting are just part of the fun. Live entertainment. 1-5pm. Free. Corner of Preston Ave. and 10th St. 980-3164.

PERFORMANCE
Blue Ridge Chamber Orchestra:
Richard Baritaud directs the orchestra in a spring concert featuring music by Bach, Bartok, Vivaldi, and others. 8pm. Municipal Arts Center, 1119 Fifth St. Free. 979-5413.

Turn On, Tune In: See Thursday, May 20, and Performance feature.

The Music Man: See Thursday, May 20.

Latin Groove: Studio 206 Belmont presents a new weekly class. Learn salsa, samba, merengue, and other Latin forms of dance in an exercise setting. Dress comfortably for a great workout. 11:15am. Studio 206 Belmont, 505 Monticello Road. $12 drop-in; 5-class card for $45. 973-2065.

Hampden-Sydney Music Festival: See Friday, May 21.

A Sort of Explanation: See Friday, May 21.

Henry IV, Part I: Shenandoah Shakespeare presents a new production of the Bard's best-loved history play in the Blackfriars Theater. 7:30pm. 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-26. 540-885-5588.

Two Gentlemen of Verona: Shenandoah Shakespeare presents a new production of the Bard's early comedy in the Blackfriars Theater. Today the show is at 2pm. 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-26. 540-885-5588.

Barbershop Chorus: The Jeffersonland Barbershop Chorus and Quartets present their 37th annual show, "The Soul of Barbershop." 8pm. First Christian Church, 112 W. Market St. Price TBA. 591-0910.

Charlottesville Women's Choir: The choir performs an eclectic selection of music in a concert to benefit a CHS music student. 7:30pm. Thomas Jefferson Memorial Unitarian Universalist Church, 717 Rugby Road. $5-15. 293-4914.

FAMILY AND TUNES
Tunes from Down Under:
Jim Gagnon presents a performance and workshop with the didgeridoo at the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Museum. This magical, meditative music has been played by the Aboriginal peoples of Australia for 50,000 years and is easy to learn, Gagnon says. Instruction for beginners to advanced players. Instruments provided. Peter Jefferson Place. 760-1314.

TUNES
Blue Ridge Chamber Orchestra Spring Concert:
Program includes Bach's 3rd Brandenburg Concerto, Vivaldi's Concerto Ripieno in C major, and Rumanian folk dances by Bela Bartok. The string orchestra also performs compositions by locals Walter Ross and Paul Kim, with Carsten Clark on solo violin. Donations accepted, 8pm. Municipal Arts Center, 1119 Fifth St. 295-1617

The Mammals at the Prism: Described as "Appalachian-based string band music in overdrive," this trio features banjo, guitar, and fiddle, though who plays what varies with the tune. $16/$14 advance, 8pm.

Tom Proutt and John Rimel at Rapunzel's: Proutt's a great bluegrass songwriter, performing with Halfgrassd, the Jan Smith Band, and the Zing Kings. Pianist Rimel has written award-winning songs for the Statler Brothers and Jimmy Fortune. $5, 7:30pm.

CD Release Party: Andy Waldeck with The Dirty Dishes at Gravity Lounge: After many years with the rock group Earth To Andy, pop songwriter Waldeck releases his first solo CD, Offering. $5, 8:30pm.

Jim Davies at Veggie Heaven café. No cover. Call for times. (W)

Aquanett (schlock-rock covers) at Outback Lodge. $6, 10pm.

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

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

Jim Davies (country/folk) at Coupe DeVille's. No cover, 10pm.

Blue Ridge Chamber Orchestra Spring Concert at the Municipal Arts Center (1119 Fifth St.). Donations accepted, 8pm.

Max Collins presents The Grove at Orbit. No cover, 10pm.

DJ Ducktape at Rapture. $3, 10pm.

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

Clarence Green and Chamelean, Prgeet with Bill Cardine, and Down Tempo Beats at Tokyo Rose. $5, 10pm.

SUNDAY, May 23
ART AND FAMILY
Family Art Day:
Workshops, music and more at Second Street Gallery's 4th annual family event. Special tours of current exhibitions, hands-on photo-diorama and pipe cleaner workshops, and Bossa Nova music by Wave. Refreshments. 1-4pm. Free. No reservations required. Kids must be accompanied by an adult. 115 Second Street SE, just off the Downtown Mall inside the City Center for Contemporary Arts. 977-7284, or secondstreetgallery.org.

ART
Misty's Maker's Work:
Head north today, 2-4pm, for a reception for the work of Wesley Dennis, the artist who illustrated 15 of Marguerite Henry's books including Misty of Chincoteague, King of the Wind, and Justin Morgan Had a Horse. The exhibit, including works in oil, pencil, ink, and watercolor, will be up through July 10. A series of special programs for children is slated at The Arts Center in Orange during this exhibit: tours of the artworks, a story reading and a lesson in drawing horses. Children are invited to contribute their own horse pictures to a special exhibit. Classes meet 3:30-4:30pm weekdays and 1-2pm Saturdays. 129 E. Main St., Orange. 540-672-7311.

WALKABOUT
Montpelier Gardens:
Tour the renovated landscape arboretum and the two-acre Annie Rogers duPont formal garden at James Madison's former home. For times and more info, 540-672-2728 or montpelier.org.

Local Conservation: Founding members of the Ivy Creek Natural Area and Ridge Schuyler of the Nature Conservancy discuss 30 years of conservation in Albemarle County. 2pm. No fee. Education Building. 973-7772.

PERFORMANCE
Sunday Salsa:
The Charlottesville 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 8. DJ'd music is 80 percent salsa mixed with other Latin styles. Complimentary water and sodas. The Outback Lodge, 917 Preston Ave. 8pm-12am. $5 (members $3). 979-7211. cvillesalsaclub.com.

The Importance of Being Earnest: See Friday, May 21. Today's show is a matinee at 2pm.

Barbershop Chorus: See Saturday, May 22. Today's concert is a matinee at 3pm.

The Music Man: See Thursday, May 20. Today's show is at 2:30pm.

PERFORMANCE AND TUNES
Oratorio Society:
The Society offers a memorial concert featuring J.S. Bach's B-minor Mass. L. Thomas Vining conducts. 3:30pm. Old Cabell Hall. $17.50-$22.50. 924-3984. See Tunes feature.

TUNES
Season Finale Mini-Fest with Touchstone at the Prism:
The last show of the Prism's 2003-2004 season features the Chapel Hill-based Touchstone. In the 1980's the group was well known for blending Celtic and American music, and are performing this year as part of their reunion tour. This day-long event will also feature crafts, activities, displays, and jam sessions inside and outside. $25/$22 advance, 4pm matinee/7 pm evening.

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

Naked Puritan Philharmonic (pop) at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8pm.

B.C. (cello-pop darlings) at Miller's. No cover, 10:30pm. (W)

Movie Night: The Godfather & the Sopranos at Rapture. No cover, 8pm.

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

MONDAY, May 24
TUNES
Open Mic Night with Charles Davis at Baja Bean. No cover, signup 8:30pm/9pm. (W)

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, May 25
WORDS
Get Smart:
Marcia Conner presents 10 simple steps to learning better, smarter and faster. She's managing director of Ageless Learner and author of Learn More Now. Barnes & Noble, 7pm. 984-0466.

WALKABOUT
Horsemanship Class:
"Horse whispering" is one thing, but the skills taught by the pros from Parelli Natural Horsemanship are proven to help people train their own horses and communicate without force, intimidation, or fear. Their 2004 course, "Love, Language, Leadership," is at the Virginia Horse Center through May 26. 9:30am-5pm. $20. Reservations required. Lexington. 800-642-3335, horsecenter.org, or parelli.com for info.

TUNES
Adam Cuchta (keyboard) at Veggie Heaven café. No cover. Call for times. (W)

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

Singer/songwriter night: William Lott at Clocktower Tavern. No cover, 9pm.

Glen Mack at Coupe DeVille's. No cover, 10:30pm. (W)

Woodman and The Amazing K at Dr. Ho's. No cover, 7pm.

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

WEDNESDAY, May 26
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; students $2 every fourth Wednesday through May. 977-0491.

Henry IV, Part I: See Saturday, May 22.

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 berkmarballroom.com.

Two Gentlemen of Verona: See Saturday, May 22. Today's show is a special for you early risers: 10:30am.

Teen Acting Studio: Designed for the serious teen actor, this weekly workshop will focus on actor's vocal production and physical movement, skills that will then be put to practical use in work with monologues. Students should bring 3 sample contemporary monologues with them to the first class. Runs until 6/2. 5:30-7pm. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. $60 members, $75 general. 977-4177.

TUNES
Andrew McAteer (banjo) at Veggie Heaven café. No cover. Call for times.

Kathy Compton at the Blue Moon Diner. No cover, 8pm. (W)

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

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

Open Mic Night at Dew Drop Inn. No cover, 7;30pm. (W)

The Red Hot Chilly Pickers (Appalachian string music) at Dr. Ho's. No cover, 7pm.

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

The Hamiltons at Outback Lodge. Free, 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)

The Chameleon Project at South Street Brewery. No cover, 10pm.

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

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

THURSDAY, May 27
FAMILY
More Tales for Tots:
See Wednesday, May 26.

PERFORMANCE
Swing Swap:
The Charlottesville Swing Dance Society hosts this weekly evening of swing dancing. The first hour focuses on East Coast Swing and the second hour on West Coast Swing, but the DJ takes requests. Singles and couples welcome, no partner needed. 7-9pm. Albemarle County Office Building Auditorium, 401 McIntire Road. Free. 980-2744.

The Importance of Being Earnest: See Friday, May 21.

The Improfessionals: It's a marvelous night for some improv. Charlottesville's local comedy improv troupe performs their new monthly show at Live Arts. 8pm. Live Arts Upstage, 123 E. Water St. $8. 977-4177.

TUNES
A Songwriter's Circle:
The third annual benefit for Acoustic Muse by the members of a songwriters' retreat at Camp Albemarle at Gravity Lounge: The fifth reunion concert for the Camp Albemarle songwriting crew, and the third benefit show for the Acoustic Muse Organization– fighting the good fight against electricity. $8, 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)

Ben Reed of Calf Mountain Jam at Clock Tower Tavern in Staunton. No cover, 9pm.

Mike Mulvaney at Coupe DeVille's. No cover, 10pm.

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

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

Devil Take the Hindmost and Sedamentreous at Outback Lodge. $3, 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)

Kait and Thom (modern jazz duo) at Tokyo Rose upstairs. No cover, 9:30pm. (W)

Upcoming and Ongoing
ART
Planet Art 2004:
McGuffey Art Center announces a Festival of Creativity for Children June 15-30– free workshops taught by McGuffey artists in painting, collage, ceramics, stained glass mosaics, and dance. For information and registration, call 295-7973 or see mcguffeyartcenter.com.

Aboriginal Art Tours: Learn about the current exhibits at the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Museum on the free, weekly guided tour. Offered every Saturday morning at 10:30am. Call 244-0234 or visit virginia.edu/kluge-ruhe for info.

PERFORMANCE
Teen Acting Studio:
This weekly workshop focuses on opening up the text within a Shakespearean monologue through extensive language work: scanning the verse, exploring rhythm and sound, and working the breath. Students need to bring 3 sample Shakespearean monologues with them to the first class. Pre-requisite: Prior LATTE acting studio experience or instructor permission. Thursdays through June 3. 5-7pm. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. $60 members, $75 general. 977-4177.

Teen Acting Studio: Designed for the serious teen actor, this weekly workshop will focus on actor's vocal production and physical movement, skills that will then be put to practical use in work with monologues. Students should bring 3 sample contemporary monologues with them to the first class. Wednesdays until June 2. 5:30-7pm. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. $60 members, $75 general. 977-4177.

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. New session runs Saturdays until June 19. Weekly drop-in session 10-11am, full session 10-1pm. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. $10 drop-in rate; $160 for full eight-week session. 977-4177x100.

WALKABOUT
Focusing on Help:
UVA Macular Degeneration Support Group meets the third Monday of each month. Education, resources, and networking with peers. Refreshments provided. 1:30-3pm Charlottesville Senior Center, Pepsi Place. No charge. 924-1941 jah3ef@virginia.edu.

Pets, Pets, Pets: The Paws to Adopt pet adoption center is open Saturdays. With pets from several area shelters, the center is committed to "brining the animals to the people." Noon-4pm. All Things Pawssible Dog Training Center. 706 Henry Ave. 973-4321.

Downtown Tours: The Albemarle-Charlottesville Historical Society offers walking tours of historic downtown Charlottesville every Saturday at 10am. Tours leave from the McIntire Building across from Lee Park and cover over 250 years of community history in one hour. $3 suggested donation. 296-1492.

Bocce and Brunch: Every Sunday through June, the Spruce Creek Gallery in Nellysford hosts the popular "Brunch and Bocce." Enjoy a catered brunch, and then try to figure out what this bocce thing is all about. Reservations required. 361-1859.

Visit Montpelier: Montpelier offers two outdoor walking tours each Saturday, one focusing on the plantation's slave community, and another on the more recent duPont estate. Afterwards, go behind the scenes and see rooms that are not regularly open to the public and areas of the house that are under renovation. Offered every half-hour from 10:30am-4pm. Visit montpelier.org for more info.

Monticello Gardens and Grounds: This guided tour explores the flower and vegetable gardens, grove, and orchards around Jefferson's home. Tours begin on the west lawn hourly at :15 after the hour starting at 9:15am. Fee included in price of general admission. 984-9822.

Ferry the James: The Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society is offering rides on the Hatton Ferry, one of the last poled ferries still in operation in the U.S., across the James River now through October 17. No fee. Open weekends from 9am-5pm. Located near Scottsville on Route 625. 296-1492.

FAMILY
Act up:
Old Michie Theatre offers Summer Theatre School where fun, learning, and self-expression are key. Beginning, intermediate, and advanced classes for different age groups and levels of ability starting June 14. 221 East Water St. 977-3690. oldmichie.com.

Roots and Wings: The Living Earth School brings kids closer to the earth with their summer residential youth camps. Three programs &emdash; Earth Roots (ages 8-11), Ancient Ways (advanced camp for ages 8-13), and Wilderness Quest (8-day backpacking trek for ages 12 and up) &emdash; are designed to help children get back to their roots and learn the philosophy of living close to the earth. These camps teach survival skills and much more. They are personal growth oriented, educational, and down right fun. Enrollment limited and fills fast, so register as soon as possible. Applications available on-line. 258 Rocky Bottom Lane, Afton. 540-456-7339. circleofseeds.com.

Railroad River Ramble: Call now for your tickets to join one of the James River Rambler railroad excursions happening on May 22 and June 5. This popular train ride wanders through the rolling hills and deep forests of Buckingham County from Dillwyn along the historic Buckingham Branch rail line. Choose from a 90-minute or 3-hour tour. Sponsored by the Old Dominion Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. Call between 10am-4pm on Saturdays, 1-4pm on Sundays: 800-451-6318. odcnrhs.org.

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.

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

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. smv.org.

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

ART LIST
The Second Street Gallery presents two shows during May. The Main Gallery offers the film noir-inspired "Deceptions: Photographs by Lori Nix," and the Dové Gallery features "Bears in My Room: Works on Paper by Marcel Dzama." City Center for Contemporary Arts, corner of Second and E. Water streets. 977-7284. See Art Feature.

The University of Virginia Art Museum presents "A Taste for Grace: Italian Prints from the 15th through 18th Centuries," continuing through August 15. In addition, the museum features Carrie Mae Weems' "The Jefferson Suite" through May 23. Also on view: "American Collage," including work by Andy Warhol, Adja Yunkers, and Robert Motherwell, among others, through August 24. 155 Rugby Road. 924-3952.

Glo displays the work of Christian Peri during the month of May. Corner of Third and E. Main on the Downtown Mall. 295-7432.

The Charlottesville-Albemarle Art Association's annual all-member exhibit is at the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport Mezzanine Gallery from May 3 until August 2. CAAA member paintings by Barbara Ryan and Randy Sights Baskerville are also on the second floor of the Albemarle County Office Building through August.

UVA Aunspaugh fellow Jennifer Bernard's "Sculptural Concerto" is on view at the Old Nature Gallery through May 23. 111 E. Water St. (behind the Jefferson Theatre). 882-6013.

The Village Playhouse displays the paintings and collages of Gordonsville artist Sarah Deacon during May. 313 Second St. SE. 296-9390.

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.

"Dark Times," an exhibition of mixed-media work by Loes van Riel is on view at Angelo through June 30. 220 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 971-9256.

At C'ville Coffee enjoy a children's art show presenting works by students of local watercolor artist Lee Alter. Through the end of May. 1301 Harris St. 979-4402.

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

The mezzanine at New Dominion Bookshop features the soft pastel paintings of Dick Carpenter through May 29. 404 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 295-2552.

At the C&O Gallery, view "More than Landscapes," paintings by David Eaken, through May 31. Next door to the C&O Restaurant, 511 E. Water St. 971-7044.

Nature Visionary Art shows "Paci-Fist" mixed-media works by Jason Ruelle Andrews through May. 110 Fourth St. 296-8482.

Through May 29, photographer Andrew Humphries' "Daylight" is on view at Main Street Market. 416 W. Main St. 249-5448.

CODG presents "Nacer de Nuevo," photography by Melissa Wei, plus "Borrowed Faces," paintings by Eliza Martin. 112 E. Main St., under the Jefferson Theater. 242-4212.

New work by members of the Central Virginia Watercolor Guild, featuring watercolors, oils, pastels, and mixed media is on display at the Albemarle County Courthouse through July 31. McIntire Road. 296-8484.

The Dave Moore Studio features an "Open Door and Spring-type Show" during May. Hours vary, so call first. 414 E. Main St. (under The Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar). 825-1870.

Priscilla Whitlock's paintings of North Carolina beach scenes are on view at the architectural firm of Stoneking/Von Storch through May 14. Fifth and Water streets. 295-4204.

Les Yeux du Monde@dot2Dot offers two shows during May: paintings and sculpture by Italo Scanga and artwork by Donna Mintz (who painted the image on the cover of Mary Chapin Carpenter's CD Between Here and Gone). 115 S. First St. 973-5566.

Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church features an exhibition of paintings by local architect Kurt Wassenaar and his mother, Dottie Wassenaar, through June 6. 717 Rugby Road. 293-8179.

Michael Fitts shows his paintings at the Mudhouse during May. 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 May, view "Another Stroke of Nature," Chinese brush paintings by Rosy Kin-On King, at Art Upstairs. 316 E. Main St., above The Hardware Store, on the Downtown Mall. 923-3900.

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

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

During May, The McGuffey Art Center presents "New Works," paintings by Jean R. Sampson, plus a display of mixed-media art dolls by Susan Leschke. Also on view: "Euphony," paintings by Joan Cabell, and "For Loves' Sake," Lee Alter's watercolor exhibition. Upstairs don't miss the art by local high school students. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973. See Art feature.

Transient Crafters displays "The Genesis of a Teapot," a series of fey and elegant teapots created by potter Jan Crowther, through the end of May. 118 W. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 972-9500.

The Bozart Gallery presents "Paths, Portals, and Passages," oil paintings by Ron Swinnerton that "explore the intrigue of what is beyond the horizon and around the corner," through May 30. 211 W. Main St. 296-3919.

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

Radar

Sun's Traces Gallery displays baskets by Charlotte LaRoy (featured in The Fiber Arts Design Book), as well as clay works by Paula Brown-Steedly, handmade paper by Rebecca Humphrey, and weaving by Barbara Gentry and Pat Hoover. Barboursville. 540-832-7044.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts presents "Bonjour, Monsieur Corbet! The Bruyas Collection from the Musee Fabre, Montpelier," and "Van Gogh and Gauguin: An Artistic Dialogue in the South of France," through June 13. Also on view: "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. 2800 Grove Ave. 804-924-2704.

The Ed Jaffe Gallery features paintings and marble sculptures by Ed Jaffe, plus abstract photographs by Marc Jaffe. 108 W. Main St., Orange. 540-672-2400. www.edjaffe.com.

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

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.

The Artisans Center of Virginia presents "Familiars," an exhibition of woodwork by Alan Kaplan, during the month of May. 601 Shenandoah Village Drive (exit 94 off I-64), Waynesboro. 540-946-3294. ACV@nexet.net

During May, Caffé Bocce displays "Roy-Rossi Reflections II" paintings by Coy Roy and the late Al Rossi. Opening reception, May 8, 3-5pm. 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
Thrill of deceit: Lori Nix, con artist
By Laura Parsons art@readthehook.com

Years ago I viewed a retrospective by photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson (he of "the decisive moment"). The artist in a voiceover to the accompanying slideshow remarked that effective art makes a viewer immediately respond, "Yes! Yes!"

What's interesting about "Deceptions," Lori Nix's exhibition of 19 color-saturated c-prints currently on display at Second Street Gallery, is they urge you to say, "Yes! Yes!" even as you begin to grasp that your emotions have been expertly played by the artist's confidence game. You've been faked out by a counterfeit crisis, and the resulting "no… no…" is key to the thrill.

Nix finds life's dark corners irresistible. "Whenever I go by a traffic accident," she says, "I'm looking." But the moment of disaster is not what intrigues Nix; it's what happens right before or just after calamity strikes.

In the living room of her Brooklyn apartment, she constructs elaborate miniature scenes of catastrophe-in-the-making and then shoots them using a large-format camera. Nix's bag of tricks includes using resins, railroad models– even dental floss– to create a world that seems momentarily real. Although she alludes to human presence– an Airstream parked on a riverbank, a desolate house on a hillside– her stages usually lack figures, creating an ominous, lonely feeling.

An admitted control freak, Nix sometimes shoots the same scene 30 times, making tiny adjustments to her arrangements, focus, and lighting between each print, until she finally produces the desired gasp or sigh in the viewer– her contrived decisive moment.

Of course, people lean in even as they recoil, and with that closer look, the dupe is up. The cattails in the foreground of "Floater" are clearly molded clay, and the face-down corpse turns out to be ink-stained paper towels. The title characters of Nix's "Three Figures" are not policemen observing a tragedy on the other side of the hill; they're plastic figures placed beside a foam-leafed forest.

But this eye-opening yields an appreciation for how Nix calculatedly seduces the viewer with color and detail. In "Junkyard," piles of dusty, red-hued cars (one's windshield reads, "Wash Me") loom near a heap of tires illuminated by a streetlight. A dog barks in front of a shack festooned with out-of-season Christmas lights. In the weedy yard, a metallic ball, Weber grill, and whitewashed tire planter rest silently beneath the silhouettes of industrial buildings, outlined against a night-blue sky.

Its melancholy foreboding is a bright shining lie, but you can't help responding, "Yes! Yes!"

Lori Nix's "Deceptions" is on view at Second Street Gallery through May 29. 115 Second St. SE in the City Center for Contemporary Arts. 977-7284.

WORDS
Cheuse wisely: Is a critic writer or reader?
BY ELIZABETH KIEM WORDS@READTHEHOOK.COM

The reasons why I love being a book reviewer are innumerable– the fat histories layered with photo spreads, bearing the perk of the profession on their front flap ($24.95); the unassuming galleys stripped of superlative blurbs (scintillating!) and soft-focus covers (is that a naked thigh?), always carrying the promise of the next great, unproofed thing.

Then there's the satisfaction of learning from an off-misunderstood novelist that "You got it!" balanced by the adrenaline rush provided by a note from an outraged author– and the occasional confusion when those messages come from the same writer. But mostly there's the precious assurance of an endless supply of subject matter. Writer's block is kept at bay by a steady stream of books in the inbox.

Alan Cheuse has probably written as many words on the subject of books as any living critic, and he knows the ease with which being a reader translates into being a writer. The author of a half-dozen fiction works and a few non-fiction collections, Cheuse is best known as the voice of recommendation on National Public Radio. For over 20 years, he's been praising, panning, and compiling holiday lists for the NPR book crowd at the rate of 50 pieces annually. But the prolific turnout, says Cheuse in an introduction to his most recent book of essays, doesn't change the fact that he spent two decades "disguised to myself as a young writer" before publishing an original work.

Okay, so I got a little anxious when I read that regularly expelling a few hundred words about some literary topic does not, really, a "writer" make. Indeed, occupying a perch from whence such scribbled lines are broadcast nationally, while elevating the craft of the critic, ultimately distances it that much more from the status of "writer&endash; such is the nature of vocal cords and airwaves.

Happily, Cheuse knows exactly how to sugar-coat this recognition for the flock of reviewers out there who call themselves writers: sitting down at age 40-plus with a ledger full of Kirkus Reviews and a manual typewriter to launch him into a the ranks of fiction writers, Cheuse recalled that "before you write, you learn the language and you read."

This is another, very fundamental, gratification for the book reviewer-&endash; we claim reading as both our passion and our preparation.

Alan Cheuse speaks with host Sarah McConnell this week on "With Good Reason." Tune in to Radio IQ FM 89.7 on Sunday, May 23 at 1:30pm, or Monday, May 24 at 7pm to WMRA FM 103.5, or Wednesday, May 26 at 7:30pm WVTF, FM89.3. Full broadcast schedule at withgoodreasonradio.org.

FAMILY
Stickies: Fill passport, win prizes
BY LINDA KOBERT FAMILY@READTHEHOOK.COM

Do local families really need some extra incentive to check out the new exhibit at the Virginia Discovery Museum or stop by Chaps for ice cream on the way home? Would they be more likely to cool off in the pool at Washington Park or go crazy at Splathouse if they knew they'd get something in addition to having a great time? Just in case, the Charlottesville/Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau is adding a little adventure to getting out this summer.

Their SoVeryVirginia 2004 Passport program invites folks to visit participating venues throughout the area, collect six stickers in their official passport, and turn it in for a free t-shirt and a chance to win the grand prize of a trip for two from anywhere in the continental United States to Charlottesville.

The program includes more 120 participating sites and businesses. Passport holders are asked to gather two stickers from each of the three categories of interest: arts and entertainment or activities; attractions, heritage sites, and museums; restaurants, retailers, and accommodations. Some venues even offer discounts or complimentary gifts to passport participants.

Many of the activities and venues regularly listed in the calendar section of this paper are participating in the passport program. These include festivals and fairs such as the Albemarle County Fair and the African-American Cultural Arts Festival, museums like the Virginia Museum of Natural History and the UVA Art Museum, historical sites including Ash Lawn-Highland and Monticello, and many more. There are even some out-of-town venues, such as Montpelier and the Walton's Mountain Museum, that count.

Also listed are some activities you might not have thought of. For example, have you ever taken a free ride around town on the CTS Trolley just for the fun of it? Did you know the UVA Medical Center has a Children's Health Museum? And who would have guessed that strolling through stores on the mall– Copernicus Toys, Transient Crafters, the Mole Hole, Oakley's Gently Used Books, and Cat House are all on the list– could net you more than an afternoon of window shopping?

Okay, so maybe we don't need this incentive, but it sure can add an extra bit of fun to our summer play this year.

Passports are good through the end of the year. Completed passports can be turned in or mailed to one of the two Charlottesville/Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau sites located in the Monticello Visitor Center on Rt. 20 south and at 108 Second St. SE just off the Downtown Mall. Passports are in the center of the Official 2004 Visitors Guide available from the Bureau or at tourist locations around town. 293-6789. soveryvirginia.com.

WALKABOUT
Round 'n round: Circling for a good cause
BY TIM SPRINKLE WALKABOUT@READTHE
HOOK.COM

Sure, it's preposterous; walking around a track for 24 hours straight. But sometimes drastic situations call for drastic measures. And that's one of the reasons why Relay for Life– an annual event in which teams of walkers spend their weekend circling a track to raise money for cancer research– has been so successful.

"Cancer is one of those universal fears and experiences that seems to touch every family sooner or later," event spokesperson Katie Corish says. "And one of the great things about Relay is that we draw from such a broad base of people. We get young and old people, doctors, lawyers– all sorts out here with the same goal in mind."

Inspired by one man's 24-hour memorial walk in 1985, Relay for Life has grown to become the American Cancer Society's flagship event, taking place in communities across the country and raising millions for cancer research. It carries a special significance in Charlottesville, where $250,000 was raised last year, because so much of the money comes back to support research being done at area cancer centers– the proceeds go directly to cancer research and to patient support services.

"It's been a terrifically successful event here," Corish says, "and it's great to see so many of the doctors and nurses from UVA and Martha Jefferson come out to support us. We have teams from all over– churches, schools, and businesses– just thousands of people come out."

But the day– this year May 22– is about more than just walking: There are also plenty of kids' activities scheduled for Saturday afternoon, an illumination ceremony Saturday night, and even live music in the evening.

"It's a 24-hour party out there," Corish says. "There's a lot of craziness– being up for 24 hours will do that sometimes– but the teams on the track are always the main attraction, and it's all for a good cause. It's really very moving to see everyone out there walking."

Relay for Life happens May 22 and 23 at the Monticello High School football stadium. For more information, visit home.earthlink.net/~relaysaveslives.

PERFORMANCE
Kid power: LATTE shows how it's done
BY STEPHEN BOYKEWICH PERFORMANCE@READTHEHOOK.COM

Life for teenagers has never been more treacherous than it is today. Parents know it, teachers know it, teens know it. There's new hope, though, thanks to a visionary Louisiana state congressman who last week proposed a bill that could single-handedly rescue our youth from their descent into alienated, oversexed, drug-addled misery.

It's a ban on low-slung pants.

If that doesn't catch on, I'm going to recommend every town start its own LATTE.

LATTE is the acronym for Live Arts Theater Training Ensemble, a group that for the past six years has been the premiere theatrical outlet for Charlottesville teens. The ensemble offers classes throughout the year as well as mounting full productions like last fall's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. LATTE's most impressive initiative, however, has been its series of spring shows– written by teens, performed by teens, and directed by longtime Live Arts veteran Fran Smith.

The latest of these is Turn On, Tune In, a musical/theatrical revue that uses popular music as the starting point for an exploration of modern American life. It comes toward the end of an impressive season for Live Arts, and it's worthy of anything else the theater has produced this year. The night I saw it was one of the most fun I've spent in a theater in months. This weekend is your last chance to catch it yourself.

Turn On, Tune In started with a "scriptshop" of over 50 short plays and musical pieces submitted by local teens. Smith whittled the batch down, shaped it into a coherent night of theater, and spent a month rehearsing the show with her cast. The actors come from city and county schools, which is, for Smith, one of the best things about LATTE.

"These are kids who would never meet otherwise," she says. "It's one of the things I've really enjoyed, watching them all come together."

High-minded motives aside, there's a practical reason for developing young local talent: "You've got to grow your theater," says Smith. "When you've got a project as big as Live Arts, you've got to feed the animal."

There's plenty of evidence that it works. Poetry Lounge impresario Tucker Duncan is a LATTE alumnus, as is Turn On, Tune In choreographer Mariah Smith. And the abundant talent on display by performers such as Isiah Anderson, Sakti Sackett, Jordan McRae, and Jamie Kennedy bodes well for the future.

Still on the fence? Think of it as a chance to find out what all those pink- and blue-haired kids are doing when they're not bumming cigarettes on the Downtown Mall.

They're putting on a hell of a show.

The final performances of Turn On, Tune In are Friday and Saturday, May 21-22, at 8pm. Tickets $7. Live Arts UpStage, 123 E. Water St. 977-4177 x108.

TUNES
Bach's Mass- Western civ's musical peak?
BY MARK GRBOWSKI TUNES@READTHEHOOK.COM

Witty lines fail me when I listen to the glory that is J.S. Bach's "Mass in B minor." The beauty of the composition, its exactitude, its interlocking parts and complex sets of melodies– no wonder some people consider Bach's work to be the highest achievement of Western civilization. On May 23, the Oratorio Society of Charlottesville-Albemarle performs the Mass in its entirety, and you– faith-filled or faithless, mod or rocker– should be there.

Written between 1745 and 1750 near the end of Bach's life, the largely choral Mass comprises various sections of other works Bach had completed over his lifetime. In fact, some have argued that, like another work the artist produced around that time, "The Art of Fugue," the Mass was never meant to be performed as a whole, but is rather to be appreciated as four separate parts. Some music scholars point to its length– too long to be performed during the Christian masses of the time– as support for this argument. But the complex and varied parts of the Mass, when performed in its entirety, seem to fit together seamlessly– even those pieces composed years apart go together in tone and key, further testimony to the genius of Bach's composition.

For aficionados of the "Paul is dead" genre of auditory puzzle, the Mass provides its fair share: The opening Kyrie section is arranged in three parts, emulating the Holy Trinity, and the nine movements of the Credo are laid out in a symmetrical design, the fifth being the Crucifixus movement– its placement perhaps alluding to Christ's five wounds on the cross.

The Oratorio Society was founded in 1966-67 "for the purpose of presenting major choral works with orchestra and professional soloists to the Charlottesville-Albemarle community" (from the group's press). Founder L. Thomas Vining, one-time director of the Bay Area Christian Choir and presently the director of Music and Worship and the Vienna Presbyterian Church in the Alexandria suburb, will conduct the Society's 100-member chorus. Featured soloists include award-winning, nationally known soprano Julie Keim, soprano Rosa Lamoreaux– whose voice can be found on a recording of the Mass with The Bach Choir of Bethlehem– former member of the Army Chorale Sara Dell'Omo, D.C.-based Washington Bach Consort tenor Robert M. Petillo, and three-octave-ranged bass Jonathan J. Deutsch.

The splendor of the Mass in B minor cannot be emphasized enough, but words fail to describe the piece adequately. "Interesting" or "genius" do not seem to express what one hears when almost 100 singers perform a work of musical perfection.

The Oratorio Society of Charlottesville-Albemarle presents Bach's "Mass in B minor" at Cabell Hall Auditorium May 23. $20/$17.50, 3:30pm.