Cultural calendar, June 3-10, 2004

THURSDAY, June 3
FAMILY
Natural History at B&N:
The Virginia Museum of Natural History at UVA hosts a benefit book fair and natural history fun at Barnes & Noble bookstore. Today's program invites folks to meet "C.C." the spider, a live tarantula from Venable Elementary School's lending zoo. 10:30am. A percentage of purchases will benefit the museum if accompanied by a voucher. Vouchers are available at the museum or can be downloaded from the Museum's website: virginia.edu/vmnh-uva. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 982-4605.

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.

Angels in America: Catch this preview performance of Live Arts' season-crowning production of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches. 7:30pm. Live Arts DownStage, 123 E. Water St. $10-15. 977-4177x100. See Performance feature.

WALKABOUT
Re-Junevenation:
ACAC holds an open house to show off their mind-body spa services. Albemarle Square facility open all day, spa demos, samples, and mind-body classes 9-noon and 4-7pm. Child care available for $1. Every Thursday in June. 978-3800.

WORDS
Book Group:
Greene County Library book group meets to discuss The Puzzle Bark Tree by Stephanie Gertler. 7pm. 985-5227. 222 Main St, Stanardsville.

TUNES
Egypt with Navel at Outback Lodge:
Early '90s funk rockers Egypt reunite for a series of East Coast shows- supported by local hard rockers, Navel. $5, 10pm. See Tunes feature.

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)

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

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

Christine Kane with Libby Wiebel at Gravity Lounge. $12/$10 advance, 8pm.

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

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)

George Turner Trio (jazz) at Zocalo. No cover, 9pm.

FRIDAY, June 4
ART AND WALKABOUT
Textile Talk:
New York designer Ilene Antelman talks about her original hand worked textiles, created by fusing traditional eastern craft techniques with an urban attitude. 5:30pm with reception to follow. Lushlife Studio, 218 W. Water St., Suite C. 979-0002 or lushlife@cville.net.

WORDS
Brown v. Board:
The Miller Center opens a two-day conference on the landmark civil rights case. NAACP President Julian Bond and Newshour's Margaret Warner highlight afternoon discussions. Beginning at 1:30pm. 2201 Old Ivy Road. Complete schedule online at millercenter.virginia.edu. 924-7889. Free and open to the public.

FAMILY
Azkaban Adventure:
The Children's Museum of Richmond transforms into Diagon Alley tonight celebrating the opening of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the latest Harry Potter movie [see Film Review, page 46]. New Hogwarts recruits ages 4-12 can join Harry, Ron, and Hermione as they create wands at Ollivander's, enjoy ice cream sundaes at Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlor, and learn a trick or two at Zonko's Joke Shop. Magician Walter Glod will mystify young visitors by suspending a child in mid-air. 6-10pm. Cost for children and adults $12. 2626 W. Broad St., Richmond. 804-474-2667. c-mor.org.

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.

On the Frontier: The Frontier Culture Museum hosts a free First Fridays event designed to let folks see what the museum has to offer. Families can bring a picnic basket and lawn chairs and sup on the grounds, then wander down to the four historic farms for a living history presentation. Concessions are available. 6:30-8:30pm. Free. Rt. 250 in Staunton. 540-332-7850, ext. 165.

Art Party: Parents and children can make art together at the Village Playhouse. Artist Sarah Deacon offers children and parents a fun, hands-on approach to art and art appreciation. The six-week session happens on Fridays. 10-11am. $12 per class, $72 for the session. Pre-registration required. 313 Second St. SE. 296-9390. village-playhouse.com.

Natural History at B&N: See Thursday, June 3. At 10:30am, preschoolers and their parents are invited to have fun reading animated poems about nature. At 4pm, folks can learn all about snakes.

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 stories from different areas around the world. This week features Native America. Come in costume if you like. Sessions at 10:30am, 11:00am, and 11:30am. Included in the price of admission. East end of the Downtown Mall. 977-1025.

WALKABOUT
Fridays after 5:
The popular outdoor concert series is back for its 16th season. This week's act: the Jimmy O Band.

Backpacking Trip: Join the Outdoor Adventure Social Club for a weekend hike along the classic Three Ridges route. Depart 6pm Friday and return Sunday evening. Fee, plus membership. 760-HIKE or outdoorsocial.com for info and registration.

PERFORMANCE
Dancing is Romancing: Join Terry Dean for nightly classes in the Waltz, the Foxtrot, the Rumba and more. Call for nightly schedule. 7:30-8:15pm. Terry Dean's Dance Studio, 105 W. Main St. $10 per class. 977-3327.

The Merchant of Venice: Shenandoah Shakespeare presents a new production of the Bard's treatise on love, justice, and mercy in the Blackfriars Theater. 7:30pm. 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-26. 540-885-5588.

Angels in America: See Thursday, June 3. Tonight's show is at 8pm.

TUNES
Travis Elliot (acoustic pop) at Atomic Burrito:
Elliot mixes well chosen covers with his own well-thought-out pop tunes. And you can get a burrito at the same time! No cover, 9pm.

Tim Holmes at Coupe DeVille's. No cover, 10pm.

Jay Pun and Brown Folk featuring Johnny Gilmore on the Drums at Garden of Sheba. $3, 10pm.

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

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

Fountainhead (jam) with Victoria George at Gravity Lounge. $6, 10pm.

Frank Rivera (house, dance, hip-hop) at Rapture. $6, 10:30pm.

Open Mic Night at Rapunzel's. No cover, 7:30pm.

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

Blue Merle and Ray LaMontagne at Starr Hill. $5, 9pm.

SATURDAY, June 5
WALKABOUT
Bird Walk:
Join bluebird specialist Ron Kingston on a hunt for the first birds of summer. Beginners welcome. 7:30am. No fee. Meet at the Ivy Creek Natural Area parking lot. 973-7772.

Car Stereo Show: Check out cars and trucks from nearly two dozen car audio manufacturers at the annual Crutchfield Car Stereo Show. 10am-8pm. No fee. In front of the Crutchfield Store at the Rio Hill Shopping Center. 817-1100.

OAR Run: 5k and 10k races at the Ruritan Club in Stony Point, sponsored by Offender Aid and Restoration and the Charlottesville Track Club. 293-3367.

Bead a Sunflower: Studio Baboo instructor Donna Dickt offers a class in French flower beading, with a focus on the sunflower. 10am-4pm at the studio's space on the Downtown Mall. $50. 244-2905, or studiobaboo.com to register.

Stamp Show: Buy, sell, and trade stamps without leaving town! 10-5pm. No fee. Holiday Inn (university area) and Conference Center, 1901 Emmet Street. (703) 273-5908. Visit reddogstamps.com/showschedule.htm for details.

Baskets for the Garden: Listen to a lecture on basket history and design, then sit down and create a basket of your own! 9:30am, 2pm time slots. $30 fee. Meet at Monticello's Tufton Farm. 984-9822.

Rock Climbing: Join the Outdoor Adventure Social Club for a day of wilderness rock climbing and instruction. 10am-7pm. Fee, plus membership. 760-HIKE or outdoorsocial.com for info and registration.

High School Rodeo: Young ropers n' riders from all over Virginia come to compete in the Virginia High School Rodeo Association Invitational. Barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, mutton busting, team roping, and more! 6pm Saturday and 2pm Sunday. $10 fee ($5 children under 12). At the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington. 540-464-2950 or horsecenter.org.

FAMILY
Strawberry Jam:
Stanardsville hosts a weekend full of berries and old time fun. See Family feature.

Cool Treat: Covesville Ice Cream Festival promises fun and games along with music from Heather Berry and Virginia Carolina, Tom Proutt and Emily McCormick, Michael Cvetanovich, and more. Oh, and ice cream, too. 2-5pm. Cove Presbyterian Church, 5531 Covesville Lane. 971-4096.

Natural History at B&N: See Thursday, June 3. At 10:30am, learn about insects that eat fish and other incredible facts about bugs. At 3pm, find out who's for dinner in a program about predators that includes animal specimens.

FAMILY AND WALKABOUT
Hit the Trail:
The Rivanna Trails Foundation celebrates National Trails Day with a morning of trail-building. Volunteers of all ages and skill levels can help create a brand new hiking trail connecting the Rivanna Trail in Locust Grove with Pen Park. Meet at Charlottesville Catholic School on Pen Park Road. at 8:45am. Wear long pants and bring work gloves and water. 9am-noon. Free, but please pre-register. 923-9022. rivannatrails.org. See Walkabout feature.

PERFORMANCE
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.

Angels in America: See Thursday, June 3.

Merchant of Venice: See Friday, June 4. There are two shows today: 2pm and 7:30pm.

TUNES
Frontbutt (old-school hip-hop) at Gravity Lounge:
Old school hip-hop covers, performed by white guys? That's right, and you better believe these guys are great. $6, 10pm.

Fair Weather Bums (bluegrass) at Shebeen: Every week the Fair Weather Bums blow everyone away with their bluegrass perfection, utterly brilliant. No cover, 11pm. (W)

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

Inner Space at Coupe DeVille's. No cover, 10pm.

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

Bambu Station and Mt. Nebo recording artist Aba at Garden of Sheba. $7, 10pm.

Catie Curtis with Proutt & McCormack at Gravity Lounge. $18/$15, 8pm.

Howie Campbell and friends at the Grounds Caféin Seminole Plaza. Free, 7-9pm.

Frontbutt (old-school hip-hop) at Gravity Lounge. $6, 10pm.

SEXXY Dance Party with DJ Izm, After Dark and the Bucktoof DJz at Rapture. $5/Free for the underdressed, 10:30pm.

Proffitt and Sandidge at Rapunzel's. $5, 7:30pm.

Rock n' Roll Dance Party at Tokyo Rose. $2, 10pm.

SUNDAY, June 6
WORDS
Secrets of the Dead:
Leading biblical archaeologist Hershel Shanks presents the lecture "What the Dead Sea Scrolls Really Tell Us." Shanks was instrumental in making the scrolls available to scholars. Congregation Beth Israel, O'Mansky Hall. 301 E. Jefferson St. 9:30am, preceded by brunch. $18 suggested donation. Childcare available. 984-2866. See Words feature.

WALKABOUT
Morning Bird Walk:
Meet Wintergreen Nature Foundation volunteers Nancy and Bill Corwin to learn about and view some native and migratory bird species. 8am. No fee, but registration required by Thursday at noon. Meet at the Monocan Building with your own binoculars and your favorite field guide. 971-8802 or twnf.org for info.

Strawberry Jam: Stanardsville hosts a weekend full of berries and old time fun. See Family feature.

Car Stereo Show: See Saturday, June 5.

Bead a Crown Imperial: Studio Baboo instructor Donna Dickt offers a class in French flower beading, this time with a focus on the majestic Crown Imperial. 10am-4pm at the studio's space on the Downtown Mall. $50. 244-2905, or studiobaboo.com to register.

Madison Forest Walk: Explore Montpelier's 200-acre old-growth forest on this guided tour led by an expert in local foliage. Designated by the U.S. Department of Interior as a National Natural Landmark, the "Big Woods" is recognized as one of the best examples of an old-growth forest in the Piedmont. The mature tulip poplars of the forest date to Madison's lifetime. 2pm. Fee included in general admission price. For info, call 540-672-2728 or visit Montpelier.org.

More Rodeo Fun: The Virginia High School Rodeo Association Invitational rodeo continues today. 2pm. $10 fee ($5 for children under 12). At the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington. 540-464-2950 or horsecenter.org.

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.

Merchant of Venice: See Friday, June 4. Today's show is a matinee at 2pm.

TUNES
EastMountainSouth and Red Beet at Rhythm on the River in Dorrier Park, Scottsville: A female fronted act that sounds a bit like the '60s crossed with 10,000 Maniacs. Crazy! Free, 6pm. 286-4958

Howie Campbell and friends at the Strawberry Festival in Stanardsville: Howie Campbell's distinct acoustic folk is found on his debut CD, Thank You, but also in Stanardsville (with friends) today. No cover, 2pm. 434-985-7133

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

Dr. Bottleneck at Gravity Lounge. $5, 7pm.

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

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

MONDAY, June 7
PERFORMANCE
Dancing is Romancing:
See Friday, June 4.

WALKABOUT
It's a Snap:
The Charlottesville Camera Club meets to discuss successes and tips– just in time for summer travel to all those exotic places. Visitors welcome. 6:30pm. Turtle Creek Club House, 100 Turtle Creek Road. 973-4856, avenue.org/ccc.

FAMILY
It Takes a Village:
Story time comes to the Village Playhouse as two talented mom volunteers tell tales to tots every Monday morning. Kids can bring their own favorite stories too. Treats and stickers are part of the fun. 11-11:30am. Included in the price of admission. 313 Second St. SE. 296-9390. village-playhouse.com.

Home Care: Piedmont Area Regional Family Council, a new organization for family members and other loved ones of nursing home residents, meets tonight at the Legal Aid Justice Center. Those interested in the well-being of nursing home residents are invited to attend. 7pm-8:30pm. Free. 1000 Preston Ave. Charlottesville. 977-0553, ext. 105, claire@justice4all.org.

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

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

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, June 8
PERFORMANCE
Dancing is Romancing:
See Friday, June 4.

WALKABOUT
T-Touch for Dogs:
Put the award-winning Tellington T-Touch training method to work with your dog. Practical solutions for barking, chewing, fear, jumping up, leash pulling, tension, and more! $70. 9:30am-5pm. The Animal Connection, 1701 E. Allied St. 296-7048.

Pet Owners' Social: Come to "Yappy Hour"&endash; a monthly social for pet owners &endash; and meet a new dog walking partner or find a playmate for your pooch, all while enjoying free snacks and pet treats. Talk with pet trainers, agility groups, pet sitters, rescue shelters, and other pet-centric folks. No fee. 6-8pm. Meet at the "off-leash" dog park at Darden Towe Park. 296-7048.

WALKABOUT AND FAMILY
Transit of Venus:
Venus passes in front of the sun as seen from Earth only once a century, so come make the most of it with the UVA Astronomy Department. They're hosting a viewing event and will provide several telescopes (with safe viewing filters) and will be on hand to answer questions and explain the phenomenon that last occurred in 1882. 6-7:30am. No fee. North Grounds park. 924-4890.

WALKABOUT
Early Bird Sees the Show:
The Science Museum of Virginia gives early risers the opportunity to safely view the rare transit of Venus across the face of the sun. Coffee and donuts will be served as visitors watch the show on viewing screens transmitting from a camera on the museum's roof. Satellite images from NASA telescopes in Athens, Greece will also be shown. Weather permitting. Show begins at 5:30am. Free. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 800-659-1727. smv.org.

TUNES
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)

Jimmy O at the Lazy Parrot Grill (Pantops Shopping Center). No cover, 8pm. (W)

Mammie at Orbit. No cover, 10:30pm.

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

WEDNESDAY, June 9
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.

Angels in America: See Thursday, June 3. Show tonight at 8 pm.

Dancing is Romancing: See Friday, June 4.

FAMILY
More Tales for Tots:
The five-and-under crowd can enjoy farm stories at Barnes & Noble's preschool story time where the booklist includes I Went Walking by Sue Williams and Ms Wishy-Washy's Farm by Joy Cowley. 10:30am. Free. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.

Meet and Eat: Gordon Avenue Library kicks off the summer reading program with their 10th annual ice cream social. Kids of all ages can dive into some delicious frozen desserts and meet this year's special guest, Corduroy. 7pm. Free. 1500 Gordon Ave. 296-5544.

WALKABOUT
Plant Lovers Meet:
The Jefferson Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society welcomes Jim Murray, President of the Virginia Wilderness Committee, to discuss that group's mission and legislation providing permanent protection of public lands with outstanding wild areas in Virginia. 7:30pm. Education center at Ivy Creek Natural Area. Info: 293 8997.

TUNES
Los Lonely Boys with Nini Camps at Starr Hill:
Three brothers form Los Lonely Boys, a group mixing good old rock 'n roll with Latin rhythms and great harmonies. $10/$8 advance, 8pm.

Benny Dodd at Coupe DeVille's. No cover, 10pm.

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)

Sparky's Flaw at Gravity Lounge. $5, 7pm.

The Hamiltons at Outback Lodge. Free, 10pm.

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

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

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

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

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

THURSDAY, June 10
WALKABOUT
Re-Junevenation:
ACAC holds an open house to show off their mind-body spa services. Albemarle Square facility open all day, spa demos, samples, and mind-body classes 9-noon and 4-7pm. Child care available for $1. Every Thursday in June. 978-3800.

FAMILY
More Tales for Tots:
See Wednesday, June 9.

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.

Dancing is Romancing: See Friday, June 4.

Angels in America: See Thursday, June 3. Tonight's show is at 7:30pm.

The Most Lamentable Comedy of Sir John Falstaff: Shenandoah Shakespeare presents a new adaptation of the Henry IV plays (with a bit of Henry V) by Ralph Alan Cohen, focusing on the everybody's favorite Shakespearean fat man. 7:30pm. 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-26. 540-885-5588.

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

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

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

Meanflower at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8:30pm.

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

This Means You, Agents of the Sun, and Red Pill Down at Outback Lodge. $3, 10pm.

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

Satisfaction (dance party) at Rapture. $3/Ladies free, 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)

Josh Mayo (acoustic pop) at Starr Hill's downstairs lounge. Free, 9:30pm.

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

Upcoming and Ongoing
WORDS

Book for Tape: GiGi Books, an educational children's book and audiobook publisher in Leesburg, Virginia is looking for fresh material. Pay $5 to enter your original children's story and you could win $250 and your name in the library catalog. Details online at gigiaudiobooks.com/contest.htm.

Poetry Prize: The Bards of Burbank, one of America's foremost poetry societies, is offering a $1,000 grand prize for poetry. It's open to "anyone who has ever written a poem," and the deadline is June 12. Any subject or style, 21 lines or fewer. Submit to: Free Poetry Contest, 2219 W. Olive Ave. #250, Burbank, CA 91506. bardsofburbank.com

Dialogue Café: Charlottesville's popular international forum has expanded hours. Adult English language learners and native speakers can now gather Tuesdays, 9-11am, Wednesdays, 6-8pm, and Thursdays 10:30-12pm. Adult Learning Center, 1000 Preston Ave., across from Washington Park. 245-2815.

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.

ArtInPlace Quest: Seeking artists to submit monumental work to be placed around the City of Charlottesville for display from October to the following September. $1300 stipend offered for each successful entrant. Deadline for Application, July 1. Information: artinplace.org.

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
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
Art in Life:
The American Collage exhibit is the backdrop for this summer's arts programs for rising 4th-12th graders at the UVA Art Museum. The first of three two-week sessions begins July 5. Students will work with professional artists and performers bring art alive in everyday life through movement, story, and creative exploration. 9am-4pm. Tuition is $405 for members, $445 for non-members. Scholarships are available. 155 Rugby Road. 243-5534. virginia.edu/artmuseum.

Amusements: Albemarle County Parks and Recreation Department has discount admission tickets for Kings Dominion, Water Country, and Busch Gardens for sale. You don't need to be a county resident to purchase these tickets, which will be available through the summer while supplies last. Third floor of the County Office Building. 401 McIntire Road. 296-5844.

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 E. Water St. 977-3690. oldmichie.com.

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's summer exhibition, "Altered Interiors," features three melancholic, site-specific installations by Boston artist Chris Gentile in the Main Gallery, and a "more organic" installation by Richmonder Heide Trepanier in the Dove Gallery. SSG's interiors will remain altered through August 14. City Center for Contemporary Arts, corner of Second and Water streets. 977-7284.

Vanity Salon and Gallery features the photography of Scott Wilson through June. 1112 E. High St. 977-3332.

On June 5, the University of Virginia Art Museum opens "A Short History of Decay: Sculptures by James Welty," which runs through August 8. Also on view: "A Taste for Grace: Italian Prints from the 15th through 18th Centuries," continuing through August 15, and "American Collage," including work by Andy Warhol, Adja Yunkers, and Robert Motherwell, among others, through August 24. Plus, go large with "Super-Size It," a photography exhibition on display through August 15. 155 Rugby Road. 924-3952.

The Charlottesville-Albemarle Art Association's annual all-member exhibit is at the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport Mezzanine Gallery 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.

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. See Art feature.

Ann Benner displays her oil pastels and watercolors at the Blue Moon Diner during June. 512 W. Main St. 296-3294.

In June, Sage Moon Gallery presents "Mostly Ladies," an exhibition of work by Jacqueline Peters. 420 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 977-9997.

At the C&O Gallery, view "Expressions," a group show by Wilma Bradbeer, Nancy Galloway, Teresa Miller, Karen Whitehill, and Carol Ziemer, through June 27. Next door to the C&O Restaurant, 511 E. Water St. 971-7044.

During June, painter Monty Montgomery's exhibition, "Organic Noise," hangs at Spencer's 206. 218 Water St. W. 295-3080.

Nature Visionary Art features a show by Bernard Schatz (aka L-15) through August 1. 110 Fourth St. 296-8482.

The Gallery @ 5th & Water displays the watercolor and pastel works of Christine Schmiel Rich. Located in the foyer of the architectural firm of Stoneking/Von Storch. Fifth and Water streets. 295-4204.

During June, CODG presents nature photography by Barbara Davis, plus new acrylic and oil paintings by Ben Gathwright and Jeremy Dunn. 112 E. Main St., under the Jefferson Theater. 242-4212.

New Dominion Bookshop offers Alan Kindler's "Still Life in Pastel" in its Mezzanine Gallery during June. 404 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 295-2552.

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

The Dave Moore Studio features a "Post-Flood/Back to the Basics of Studio" show during June. Hours vary, so call first. 414 E. Main St. (under The Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar). 825-1870.

Bill Weaver's recent paintings are on display during June at Main Street Market's Feast Gallery. 416 W. Main St. 296-8521.

Through June 26, Les Yeux du Monde@dot2dot presents recent sculpture by James Welty, an exhibition in conjunction with Welty's show at the University of Virginia Art Museum. 115 S. First St. 973-5566.

Carol Ross presents a series of b&w and sepia-toned archival photographs, "Souls of our Feet: Exhibit II of the Nostalgia Collection" during June at the Mudhouse. 213 W. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 984-6833.

Stop in at L'étoile Restaurant to see work 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.

This month view "Adventures in Technicolor," oil paintings by Julie Farrell, at Art Upstairs. 316 E. Main St., above The Hardware Store, on the Downtown Mall. 923-3900.

Through June 27, The McGuffey Art Center presents an exhibition of new paintings by Pamela Reynolds, plus a retrospective of work by the late Ted Turner, whose pieces will be displayed alongside those of his late wife, Sally Turner. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.

Transient Crafters is hosting "Virginia Landscapes in Oil," impressionistic paintings by Joe Wilson, through June. 118 W. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 972-9500.

The Bozart Gallery presents "Starlets of Star Trek," paintings by Karen Whitehill, during June. 211 W. Main St. 296-3919.

Martha Jefferson Hospital is the site of an exhibition of paintings by Richard Crozier and his students, entitled "Charlottesville in Paint" through September 3. 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 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. edjaffe.com.

Staunton's Middlebrook Gallery offers contemporary art and fine crafts, including sculpture by Ken Smith. 5 Middlebrook Ave. 540-885-9955.

The Artisans Center of Virginia presents "Pots for Daily Use," an exhibition of ceramics by Nan Rothwell, during June. Opening reception, Saturday, June 5, 2-4pm. 601 Shenandoah Village Drive (exit 94 off I-64), Waynesboro. 540-946-3294. ACV@nexet.net

Caffé Bocce displays "Roy-Rossi Reflections II" paintings by Coy Roy and the late Al Rossi. 330 Valley St., Scottsville. 286-4422.

Hampden-Sydney's Atkinson Museum hosts an exhibition of the work of Margaret S. Watkins through Friday, June 11. "Margaret S. Watkins, A Retrospective" features a selection of paintings created between her early childhood (c. 1935) to today, ranging from oil portraits to pastels and paintings rendered entirely by palette knife. Tu-Fri, 12:30-4:30pm. Hampden-Sydney. 434-223-6134.

FIRST FRIDAY JUNE 4
The C&O Gallery's reception for "Expressions," a group exhibition by Wilma Bradbeer, Nancy Galloway, Teresa Miller, Karen Whitehill, and Carol Ziemer happens 4-7pm. Next door to the C&O Restaurant, 511 E. Water St. 971-7044.

Nature Visionary Arts hosts "L-15 Extraordinaire," an evening with artist Bernard Schatz. 5-9pm. 110 Fourth St. NE. 296-8482.

The Blue Moon Diner celebrates the work of Ann Benner with an opening reception 8-10pm. 512 W. Main St. 296-3294.

Spencer's 206 opens Monty Montgomery's "Organic Noise," 5-8pm. 218 Water St. W. 295-3080.

CODG hosts an opening for its shows by Barbara Davis, Ben Gathwright, and Jeremy Dunn. 6-10pm. 112 E. Main St., under the Jefferson Theater. 242-4212.

Transient Crafters welcomes Joe Wilson's "Virginia Landscapes in Oil." 6-9pm. 118 W. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 972-9500.

Enjoy the McGuffey Art Center reception for Pamela Reynolds' new paintings and its retrospective of Ted Turner's work. 5:30-7:30pm. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.

BozArt Gallery celebrates "Starlets of Star Trek," a show of paintings by Karen Whitehill, with a reception from 6-9pm. 211 W. Main on the Downtown Mall. 296-3919.

Meet painter Julie Farrell's and enjoy "Adventures in Technicolor" at a reception for her at Art Upstairs. 5:30-9pm. 316 E. Main St., above The Hardware Store, on the Downtown Mall. 923-3900.

Mudhouse opens its show of archival photography compiled by Carol Ross with treats, 6-8pm. W. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 984-6833.

Main Street Market's Feast Gallery celebrates the opening of its exhibition of recent paintings by Bill Weaver with a reception 4:30-7pm. 416 W. Main St. 249-5448.

Second Street Gallery opens its summer show, "Altered Interiors," featuring installations by Chris Gentile and Heide Trepanier. 6-8pm. Artists' talks, 6:30pm. City Center for Contemporary Arts, corner of Second and East Water Sts. 977-7284.

The party is 6:30-9pm at Sage Moon Gallery to celebrate "Mostly Ladies," work by Jacqueline Peters. 420 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 977-9997.

The Dave Moore Studio hosts a reception for the "Post-Flood/Back to the Basics of Studio" show. 7pm "until." 414 E. Main St. (under the Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar). 825-1870.

The Gallery @ 5th & Water welcomes the watercolors and pastels of Christine Schmiel Rich with a reception, 5:30-8:30pm. Guess where?

The University of Virginia Art Museum opens sculptor James Welty's "A Short History of Decay" with an artist's talk at 5pm, followed by a reception 5:30-7:30pm.

FEATURES/FEATURES/FEATURES
ART
Less is more: Van Riel's tiny revelations
"When I get out of the way, the best things happen," says artist Loes van Riel, whose collection of nine mixed-media collages, "Dark Times," is currently on view at Angelo.

Although a jewelry store may not seem like the best venue for an art exhibition, the setting is ideal for van Riel's small, gem-like creations that incorporate gold leaf, bits of gilded screen, and sterling silver spacer beads.

"Dark Times" is not at all what the artist had in mind when she began envisioning the pieces for the series. At the time, van Riel was enamored with using a luminous blue to create her background monotypes. But when she headed off to the printing press, things changed.

"I got there, and there was this pot of black ink," she says, her eyes widening. "I don't know what happened, but I played all day with black ink."

Back in her studio, van Riel began moving a 3.5-inch-square viewfinder over the resulting black-instead-of-blue pages, searching for areas of visual interest. She intended to place tiny paper packets wrapped in silver and gold leaf against the selected sections. But she discovered the silver got lost amid the black and grey of the prints. And, to her surprise, the packets felt wrong.

So van Riel let go. As soon as she did, she ran across a translation of a Bertolt Brecht poem: "And in the dark times/Will there be singing?/There will be singing/About the dark times." Suddenly, she knew her direction.

The former jeweler began making small paper tubes and cutting bits of metal screen, covering both with gold leaf. She sparely placed a few of these elements within each monotype square, occasionally adding silver beads and confetti-like bits of paper (a fleck of red turns up in several pieces).

"I knew they had to be reductive– like haiku," she explains, noting that her principle was "How little can I use to create an experience?"

The resulting minimalist collages are set within multi-leveled black matte frames that pull the eye to their centers. Each piece has an elegant stillness suffused with quiet dynamism.

In #1, a tiny square of screen, gleaming against the blackness of the square's upper right, balances two horizontal tubes laid parallel in the paler lower left corner. A miniscule quadrangle of red punctuates the piece.

As with haiku, van Riel's collages thrill by unexpectedly exceeding the sum of their parts.

Loes van Riel's "Dark Times" is on display at Angelo through June 30. 220 East Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 971-9256.

WORDS
Get real! Shanks revisits the Dead Sea
By ELIZABETH KIEM WORDS@READTHEHOOK.COM
First there was the ivory pomegranate on top of a Temple priest's staff; next came the Jehoath Tablet, ostensibly proving the placement of Solomon's Temple on Temple Mount; now it's the bone-box of James &endash; the one that reads "James Son of Joseph Brother of Jesus."

All were trumpeted as artifacts of major biblical significance; all were outed as probable fakes; all were championed by lawyer-turned-archaeologist Hershel Shanks.

No wonder the popular scholar is falling back on his first success story: "What the Dead Sea Scrolls Really Tell Us."

Shanks is the founder and editor of the Biblical Archaeology Review, a layman's journal that rivals scholarly press when it comes to biblical archaeology and the super-hot debates the field gives rise to. He has been described as "probably the world's most influential amateur Biblical archaeologist" and also "reminiscent of a Saul Bellow character."

When Shanks printed embargoed copies of text from the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1991, he ended four decades of scholarly monopoly on an artifact of uncontested significance. Discovered by Bedouins in the late 1940's, the scrolls were jealously guarded by the small coterie of experts who bought them from the nomads. By publishing the scrolls, Shanks helped put to rest the debate over their authenticity, even as he sparked new debates over the meaning, context, and source of the manuscripts.

Some may say it's been a while since Shanks had a big victory, but his logic for vouching for disputed relics is based on the premise that nearly any important find is going to surface from murky waters. As he told PBS's Ben Wattenberg, "certainty is rare in archaeology… If you want certainty, go into mathematics."

He notes that the Dead Sea Scrolls (like the pomegranate and the ossuary and countless other disputed artifacts) were themselves looted, and that if we discredit findings that lack an archaeological "paper trail," we're doing a disservice to the science. Efforts to punish collectors and dealers who publicize sensational "finds," he argues, are the result of an anti-market bias, and not a neutral scholarly investigation.

This is an important charge in light of the looting of Iraqi artifacts that took place in Baghdad a short year ago. It may be years or centuries before we are debating the authenticity of the lost treasures of Mesopotamia. It's one thing to practice due diligence with possible forgeries, and quite another to lose these treasures forever to an uncompromising attitude toward the black market.

Hershel Shanks' lecture on the Dead Sea Scrolls is at Congregation Beth Israel, 301 E. Jefferson St., O'Mansky Hall at 9:30am, Sunday, June 6. Suggested donation is $18. Proceeds go to the establishment of the Charlottesville Community Jewish Day School.

FAMILY
What's red and… Berry mania strikes Stanardsville
BY LINDA KOBERT FAMILY@READTHEHOOK.COM

In 1991, a small Civil War reenactment event was held in Stanardsville, so the ladies at the United Methodist Church offered to feed the troop (and visitors too) with a strawberry pancake breakfast. Locals were so fond of the food that, even after the war moved on, the ladies kept cooking. Five years ago, local businesses and county officials looking for a way to attract tourism to the area, woke up and smelled the pancakes and decided to create an "Event." The Strawberry and Mountain Heritage Festival was born.

The whole town comes out for this party in the streets that has expanded to two days this year. Vendors will be selling such wares as wood crafts, jewelry, fabrics, paintings, and floral decorations. Artisans will demonstrate traditional mountain crafts including tinsmithing, blacksmithing, wool spinning, use of a black powder rifle, and a working still.

Heritage exhibits include an old trading post, a Native American encampment, Civil War reenactments, a mountain man exhibit, and a Wild West shoot 'em up performed on Main Street throughout the day.

Three stages set up around town keep the live entertainment flowing. Performances include dulcimer music, square dancers, cloggers, and colonial dancers. Ryegrass Rollers play traditional Irish music. Fletcher Bridge plays southern rock and blues. Old time music comes from Smokin' Trout. And of course there will be bluegrass with Courtney Hollow Band, Paul Fincham and Dark Hollow, Heather Berry and Virginia Carolina, and Judy Pagter and Friends.

There also will be pony rides, carriage rides, traditional children's games and activities, and a face-off between the fire and sheriff's departments.

And oh, did I mention the strawberries? The Methodist ladies are cooking up crepes, cakes, pies, shortcake cookies, cheesecake, sundaes, slushes, jam, French toast, and yes, all the pancakes you can eat. Bulk strawberries are also available for sale. For the unfortunate strawberry averse, lots of other food vendors will be available as well.

Saturday kicks off with the raising of the flag at Court House Square at 7am. Breakfast starts at 8. Craft demonstrators will be set to go by 10am. A parade of nearly 200 units takes off down Main Street starting at 11am. And the music will ring out until dusk.

Sunday is community day with information booths from local county and volunteer organizations. Gospel music will be performed throughout the afternoon. And at 5pm, country music star and hometown boy Todd Sansom, formerly of the Marshall Dyllon Band, performs at the William Monroe High School football stadium.

The 13th annual Strawberry and Mountain Heritage Festival happens this weekend, June 5 and 6, in downtown Stanardsville. Most activities are free. Tickets for Todd Sansom are $5, available at the festival. Take Rt. 29 north to Ruckersville, left on Rt. 33, right on Rt. 230. Parking is at the Green County Fair Grounds with free shuttle service to downtown. 985-3434.

WALKABOUT
Hack to hike: Help make a new trail!
BY TIM SPRINKLE WALKABOUT@READTHEHOOK.COM
What goes into a trail? Dirt…check, trees…check…roots, rocks…check, check. A little scenery and some wildlife for flavor…check. But the fact of the matter is, there's actually a lot more to it than that, and trails need plenty of regular maintenance to survive. Somebody has to go out there and sweep away debris, make sure the surface doesn't get washed out or damaged, remove obstructions like fallen trees, and on and on.

And when more remote sections aren't used regularly and stand a very real chance of being reclaimed by the wild after just a few years, trail upkeep becomes less a chore and more a responsibility.

That's why National Trails Day is such a crucial event for the trail-enjoying public. First organized 12 years ago by the America Hiking Society, the day brings together all sorts of trail users (hikers, bikers, runners, and more) at off-road sites across the country. Volunteers make needed repairs, clear new trail sections, design added benefits like benches and drainage systems, and do whatever other work needs to be done.

"There's nothing like getting sweaty and dirty playing out in the woods," says Diana Foster, President of the Rivanna Trails Foundation (RTF). "And what better way to meet the other people in the community who use the trail system? It's all about celebrating the trails that we use and facilitating even more use for the future."

This year, volunteers will be clearing a new trail to connect a section of the city-circling Rivanna Trail in the Locust Grove neighborhood near Pen Park.

"It'll be like a barn raising," Foster says, "completely creating a brand new trail where none exists now. And we'll even be able to see tangible results of our work by the end of the day. It should be an incredible experience."

See the Rivanna Trails Foundation at rivannatrails.org or call 923-9022 for more information about participating on Saturday, June 5. Interested volunteers should register in advance at the website to insure enough tools and lunches. All ages, children and adults, even those who've never done work like this before, are welcome. Meet at 9am outside the new Catholic School on Rio Road.

PERFORMANCE
Angelic mission: Staging plays, spreading karma
BY STEPHEN BOYKEWICH PERFORMANCE@READTHEHOOK.COM

At the end of my tenure as Hook Performance Editor, it's hard not to feel a little nostalgic. I'll never forget having a few paper cups full of wine with the rest of the staff just after an issue went to press. I'll never forget putting a paperweight through an office window in a rage over a punctuation change. I'll never forget stealing Hawes' laptop late one night and selling it for drug money.

Hey, that's what you get for giving freelancers key cards.

One of the other perks I've enjoyed this year has been the opportunity to watch Live Arts transform itself from the scrappy community theater with buckets on stage to catch drops from the leaky roof to a genuine regional powerhouse that proudly fills a $3 million arts complex. It's all the more enjoyable when your tickets come free.

But for the vast majority of shows, I would have paid gladly. Among the standouts were an uproarious Boston Marriage and a gripping Copenhagen. Now the blockbuster season that began with an American epic of a generation past– Grapes of Wrath– ends with an American epic that's as current as they get: Tony Kushner's Angels in America.

Angels is a drama of Wagnerian length and profundity that investigates social issues through the lens of the HIV crisis in Reagan-era America. It encompasses two plays, Part I: Millennium Approaches, and Part II, Perestroika, which together run to nearly seven hours. Fortunately for those with lower back pain, Live Arts has decided to split them up. Part I opens June 4 and runs through the end of the month. Part II will open next fall's season.

Kushner exploded onto the American theater scene in 1993 with the first half of Angels, making an entrance nearly as dramatic as that of the Angel in his play. Part I won the Pulitzer, the Tony for Best Play, and a handful of others; Part II won the 1994 Tony for Best Play as well. Since then Kushner's fortunes have only increased, as when Mike Nichols signed on to direct a film version of the complete Angels for HBO.

Not surprisingly, Live Arts has high hopes for its own production. Says General Manager Ronda Hewitt: "This is a show that can heal and have an effect on people." Beyond the virtues of the play itself, the theater hopes to spread good karma by identifying "community angels"– educators, doctors, and law enforcement officials among them– and promoting them in ads associated with the show.

"We're trying to make an effort to manifest our mission of 'forging theater and community,' " Hewitt says.

Time for me to manifest my mission of hightailing it out of town. So long, Charlottesville.

Angels in America opens June 4 and runs Wednesdays through Saturdays until June 26. All shows at 8pm, except for Thursday shows at 7:30pm, and a Sunday, June 13 matinee at 2pm. Tickets $10-15. Live Arts DownStage, 123 E. Water St. 977-4177 x100.

TUNES
Time travel: Party like it's... 1994?
BY MARK GRBOWSKI TUNES@READTHEHOOK.COM

Listening to "Day in the Life" from local band Egypt's debut album, Soul Hammer, warms my heart with memories of a magical time when acts in flannel walked the earth, piercings were all the rage, and people actually took exception to the whole Murphy Brown single-mother thing. The album is not like listening to a sonic time capsule from the first few years of the 1990s; it is listening to one– the album was released in 1994 on the small Trumpeter Records of Norfolk.

It's all there: a heavy reliance on funk and macho singalongs, a la The Red Hot Chili Peppers, but with a reliance on metal guitar found in an act like rap/metalers Faith No More. On June 3, Egypt plays the third show of a reunion tour, and you should be there– even if it's just to get a little choked up on nostalgia.

Egypt had its beginnings in 1984, when Andy Waldeck (yes, the Earth to Andy Waldeck) met Joe Lawlor at Berklee College of Music in Boston. The two had many wacky adventures (including playing for a full time Top 40 cover band, which reportedly resulted in the duo's later interest in the groove), before they settled down and formed their first group with Jerry Orr on drums and Tony Terry on sax.

After the addition of vocalist/guitar player Michael Sheppard and keyboardist Joe Faber, the group began to reveal their funk rock to the natives of the East Coast. Morphing into a four-piece, Egypt replaced Orr on drums and began playing "300 plus shows a year" (egyptreunion.com).

Soul Hammer was preceded and followed by lineup changes of various sorts, a situation that seemed endemic for the group. Ten years after their creation, shortly after the release of and tour for their second album, Drowning in the Promised Land, the band decided to call it quits in 1996.

Four tracks, two from each of Egypt's albums, are available online (the albums are a little difficult to get nowadays), so with a decent Internet connection anyone can achieve temporal displacement.

"Day in the Life" begins with the sort of funky, heavy-metal riffing the Chili Peppers made famous before shifting into a slow, bass-heavy groove with a slightly jazzy melody. "Day in the life yes/ Sound is expression" sing the gentlemen in a rousing chorus following the guitar riffs.

"Soul Hammer" from the same CD is a slower sort of tune, where funky, slightly jazzy chords lead to heavy metal riffing while the drummer seems to insert solos in the most unusual places. Egypt plays the Outback Lodge Thursday– come on and party like it's 1994.

Egypt with Navel at the Outback Lodge, June 3. $5, 10pm.