Cultural calendar, July 1-8, 2004

Designer T-Shirts:
Scottsville Library invites teens entering grades 6-12 to celebrate summer by designing their own t-shirt for the 4th of July holiday. Shirts, paint, decorations, and stenciling provided. 2-4pm. Free. Registration required. Space limited. 330 Bird St. 286-3541.

Colorful Creations: Teens in grades 6-12 can sample the art of stained glass at Northside Library. Artist Ruth Richards leads the way. Materials provided. Safety glasses available for soldering. 2-4pm. Free. Registration required. Space limited. Crozet Library. In the old train station on Three Notch'd Rd. 823-4050.

Rhythm, Rhyme, and Harmony: Barbara Martin and Mac Walter promise to have the whole family movin' and groovin' in a hand-clapping, toe-tapping, ear-pleasing good time at Scottsville Library. 10am. Free. 330 Bird St. 286-3541. Also at Northside Library at 3pm. Albemarle Square. 973-7893.

Carnival Nights: Crozet volunteer firefighters host their annual Fourth of July Carnival. See Family feature.

Tales for Tots: The five-and-under crowd can hear Independence Day stories at Barnes & Noble's preschool story time where the booklist includes The Starry, Stripy Blanket by Ellen Kirk and My Red, White, and Blue Day by Karen Robbins. 10:30am. Free. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598..

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.

Syringa: UVA's Heritage Repertory Theatre presents The Syringa Tree, the story of a young white girl growing up in the suburbs of Johannesburg of the 1960s, where apartheid colors everything. An Obie Award-winning one-woman show written by Pamela Gien and starring Sarah Dandridge. 7:30pm. Helms Theatre. Culbreth Road. $14-20. 924-3376. See Performance feature.

Ragtime: The largest cast to put on a show at UVA's Heritage Repertory Theatre renders the classic musical Ragtime in real time. Experience life in the early 20th century through the archetypal affluent family, an immigrant Jew who makes it in America and a revolutionary piano player from Harlem. A Tony Award-winning show based on a novel by E.L. Doctorow. Opens tonight; 10 performances in all. 8pm. Culbreth Theatre, Culbreth Road. $14-20. 924-3376. See Performance feature.

Exotic Dance: Get kinky at the Berkmar Ballroom with exotic fitness dancing for novices as well as the more, shall we say, experienced. Belly dance for beginners, 6-7pm; for intermediates, 7-8pm. Sexy pole dancing for beginners, 8-9pm; for intermediates, 9-10pm. 652 W. Rio Road. $15 drop-in; eight-lesson series for $80-$100. 975-4611.

Merchant of Venice: Money, love, justice, mercy, and a pound of flesh– this Shakespearean comedy has it all. Shenandoah Shakespeare's players will entertain and disturb, and leave you guessing who's hero and who's villain. 7:30pm. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-28. 540-885-5588.

Peter Markush and Leo the Cello ("improvised melodic solo cello music") at Gravity Lounge:
Part of the Marzaks, that fun-loving bundle of folk wit, put on a different sort of show over the lunch hour. Free, 12-1pm.

Jan Glennie-Smith, Rebecca Hall, and Jan Smith at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar: Rebecca Hall's '60s style folk is actually fairly serious stuff, in spite of her seeming love of the exclamation mark (used three times on her album, including in the title, "Sings!"). Matching her up with Jan Smith's country-edged pop should make for a show to satisfy all your cravings. No cover, 9pm.

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 (piano-man) at Coupe DeVille's. No cover, 10pm. (W)

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

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

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

The Hamiltons (soul) at Orbit. No cover, 10:30pm,

This Means You, No Gods, No Monsters, Grayson Manor, Big Fast Car at Outback Lodge. $5, 10pm.

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

Satisfaction with Noel Sanger (dance party) at Rapture. $3/Ladies free, 10:30pm. (W)

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

The Hogwaller Ramblers (bluegrass mayhem) will be playing at the Shebeen. No cover, 10:30pm.

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

Joshua Mayo and Modern Epic (pop/rock) at West Main. Free, 10pm.

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

FRIDAY, July 2
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 Ethiopia. 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.

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 west in Staunton. 540-332-7850, ext. 165.

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.

Carnival Nights: Crozet volunteer firefighters host their annual Fourth of July Carnival. See Family feature.

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

Polo Club: The Charlottesville Polo Club plays several times a week between Memorial Day and Labor Day, but the big event is still Friday night. 6:30 and 8pm. $4 fee (children under 12 are free). Virginia Polo Center at Forest Lodge Farm on Old Lynchburg Road, south of town. 1082 Forest Lodge Lane. 977-7656 or

Learn about Butterflies: Join Dick and Mary Smythe from the Wintergreen Nature Foundation for a presentation on the butterfly species that roam around Wintergreen. They also discuss the Annual Butterfly Count taking place July 3. 5pm. 325-8169 or

The Most Lamentable Comedy of Sir John Falstaff: Shenandoah Shakespeare presents the premier run of an original adaptation on that most gluttonous of Shakespeare's characters, culled from choice scenes in Henry IV and a bit of Henry V. 7:30pm. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-28. 540-885-5588.

Ragtime: See Thursday, July 1. Tonight, talk with the director and cast after the show.

Syringa: See Friday, July 2.

Puppet Potpourri: Local performer Rose Csorba and her Suspended Disbelief Puppet Theater amaze and delight tonight with a three-act medley. Discover cicada sleeper cells, tonal detective work, and The Lost Art of Living (and Dying) with Frank Sinatra. Musical guest Micah Blue Salmone of Portland, Maine, plays two sets of Piedmont blues. Shows at 9 and 11pm. Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar, 414 E. Main St. 293-9947.

King Wilkie at Friday's After Five on the Downtown Mall:
Those young hucksters from King Wilkie make another free FAF come alive with their bluegrass sounds. Free, 6-8pm.

Bill Cardine and the Biscuit Burners at Razunzel's: This could be dobro player Bill Cardine's first show in Charlottesville since he left to reside in Asheville, North Carolina. Mountain music accompanied by vocalist Mary Lucey. $5, 7:30pm.

Micah Blue Smaldone with The Suspended Disbelief Puppet Theater at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar: Smaldone's Depression-era sounds come complete with record pops and crackles on his debut album Some Sweet Day. No cover, 9pm. See Tunes feature.

Jay Pun and Brown Folk at Garden of Sheba. No cover, 8pm.

Chris Stamey at Gravity Lounge. $12/$15 advance, 7pm.

John D'Earth, Dawn Thompson, Greg Howard, and Friends and Poets at Gravity Lounge. $5, 9:30pm.

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

William Walter and Co. (acoustic rock) at Orbit. No cover, 10pm.

Modern Groove Syndicate (jam) at Outback Lodge. $6, 10pm.

Planet Mimi ("deep grooves, house explorations") at Rapture. No cover, 10pm.

Graboids with DJ Scumbag at Tokyo Rose. $5, 10pm.

Herb and Hanson and B.C. (cello-pop) at West Main. No cover, 9pm.

July Jubilee:
Wintergreen hosts its annual Fourth of July Jubilee with an arts and crafts show, a barbecue cookout, ice cream, hay rides, chairlift rides, storytelling, volleyball, and all that jazz. 10am-dark. Rt. 664 west of town. 325-8180.

Kick up your Heels: The Frontier Culture Museum hosts a Barn Dance and Dinner at their American farm. A country-style dinner will be followed by a hoedown in the barn. Dance instruction provided. 6:30-9pm. $22 for adults, $11 for children 12 and under. Reservations required. Rt. 250 west in Staunton. 540-332-7850.

Movie Madness: Gordon Avenue Library hosts Saturday Morning at the Movies with a festival of favorite films. Call or check the bulletin board for weekly titles. Preschoolers should be accompanied by a parent. No registration required. 11am. Free. 1500 Gordon Ave. 296-5544.

Good Times: Scottsville celebrates the fourth with parades, pyrotechnics, music, and more. See Family feature.

Carnival Nights: Crozet volunteer firefighters host their annual Fourth of July Carnival. See Family feature.

Bird Walk:
Join the Monticello Bird Club for an early morning bird walk at the Ivy Creek Natural Area, off Earlysville Road. Meet in the parking lot at 7:30am. Beginners welcome. 973-7425.

Independence Day 5k: Get up bright and early for the 21st Annual Kiwanis 5k run. 7:30am, registration required. Forest Lakes North Subdivision. 973-4856.

Scottsville Independence Day: Join the Scottsville Volunteer Fire Department and the Town of Scottsville for a small town Fourth of July celebration, complete with a Volunteer Fireman's Parade and fireworks at dusk. 11am-9:30pm. No fee. 286-2623 or

Polo Match: Join the Piedmont Polo Club (formerly Piedmont Women's Polo Club but now all-inclusive) for a night of polo action in the rolling hills of Albemarle County. 7pm. Polo Grounds Road, off Old Lynchburg Road. 296-3472 or

Butterflies Aplenty: Join the Wintergreen Nature Foundation and the North American Butterfly Association for the annual Butterfly Count. The program, held since 1975 (although this is only the fifth at Wintergreen), promotes interest in butterflies and provides data for scientific butterfly monitoring. 9:30am. For more information or to volunteer, call Amy Mitchell at 325-7473.

Fun on the Fourth: Celebrate Independence Day at the Wintergreen Winery with wine tastings, food samplings, music from local artists, shopping, picnic space, and scenery. 10am-6pm. $5. 361-2519 or

Holiday Bracelet Making: Studio Baboo offers a class in bracelet making for beginners with a focus on floral designs. This class is for beginners to learn a basic bead stringing technique and is fun for intermediate beaders. 10-11:30am. $20 fee (materials included). Downtown Mall. To register or for information, call 434-244-2905.

Merchant of Venice:
See Thursday, July 1.

Syringa: See Thursday, July 1 and Performance feature.

Ragtime: See Thursday, July 1. Today's shows are the final performances: 2pm and 8pm.

A Midsummer Night's Dream: Titania, Oberon, and that rascally Puck are at it again in this Shenandoah Shakespeare production of one of the bard's most loved and most hilarious comedies. 2pm. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-28. 540-885-5588.

Rebecca Hall and Ken Anderson at Rapunzel's:
Mountain music from New England with a special blend of harmonies. $5, 7:30pm.

The Dixie Power Trio with the Rogan Brothers at Dorrier Park in Scottsville: Dixieland, Swing, Zydeco, everything New Orleans has to dish out, TDPT can play- oh, and they have four members t0o, what a shocker! Free, 6pm.

Fair Weather Bums at Shebeen: Definitely one of the best bluegrass bands in town, Fair Weather Bums are instrumentally at the top of the heap, and are as tight as brothers onstage. No cover, 11pm. (W)

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

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

Peter Mulvey with Joe Rathbone at Gravity Lounge. $10/$12 advance, 8pm.

Fletcher Bridge at Outback Lodge. $6, 10pm.

Rebecca Hall and Ken Anderson at Rapunzel's. $5, 7:30pm.

Bootie Jam: Rock/funk/disco/"sin-core" with The Lay All Over It (jazz) at Tokyo Rose. $3, Band at 9pm/dance at 10pm.

British Invasion Festival including Scruffy Murphy at Veritas Winery. $10, 1-10pm.

Travis Elliott and Rowe Webster at West Main. No Cover, 10pm.

SUNDAY, July 4
Our Forefathers:
The Frontier Culture Museum's American farm is the center of attention today where the holiday will be commemorated with a reading of the Declaration of Independence at 2pm and an old-fashioned celebration with contests and other frivolity as costumed interpreters represent the lives of our ancestors in the 1850's. 2-4pm. Included in the cost of admission. Rt. 250 west in Staunton. 540-332-7850.

July Jubilee:
See Saturday, July 3. Fireworks tonight at 9:30pm.

Mountaintop Naturalization Ceremony: Celebrate the July 4 holiday with 75 newly-minted American citizens at Monticello's annual outdoor naturalization ceremony. W. Richard West, Jr., founding director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian and a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, will speak, and the Charlottesville Municipal Band will perform patriotic music. 10am. No fee. Monticello's West Lawn. 984-9822 or See Walkabout feature.

Save the Fireworks: The annual, no frills, good old-fashioned Charlottesville Fourth of July celebration is back. Children's activities in the afternoon, live music from a variety of local favorites, and a 1,500-rocket fireworks show that promises to be the "largest fireworks display ever seen in Charlottesville." 4pm for festivities, fireworks begin around 9:30pm. McIntire Park (parking at Charlottesville High School). 220-0799 or See Family feature.

July 4 Parade: Join in (or just sit back and watch) a patriotic parade through the town of Free Union. 4pm. Parade begins at Free Union Church of the Brethren on Free Union Road and ends at Free Union Baptist Church on Millington Road. 978-2863.

Balloon Rally: Celebrate the Fourth with a hot-air balloon ride over the Shenandoah Valley at the eighth annual BB&T Balloon Rally. A dozen pilots will be on hand to offer rides, but there will also be family activities, an antique car show, a community marketplace, live music, crafts, fireworks, and more. New this year, the balloons will be illuminated from within after dark on both days, creating dramatic balloon "glows." All day (fireworks and glows around 9:30pm). At the Virginia Military Institute's Parade Ground in Lexington. No admission fee, but piloted balloon rides are $150. Ride reservations are recommended at 540-461-0006.

Many Paths to God:
Unity Church hosts an eight-week series, "Many Paths, One Presence," exploring the common themes underlying all religions. Each week through August 15, a different religion will be featured during the church's Sunday morning worship service. Included are Hinduism, African spirituality, Native American spirituality, Practical Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam and Judaism. Services are held at the Senior Center, 1180 Pepsi Place, at 10:30am. 978-1062).

Fun on the Fourth: The Wintergreen Winery celebration continues today. 10am-6pm. $5 fee. 361-2519 or

Summer Open House: Travel to Afton Mountain Vineyards for their annual Independence Day Celebration and summer open house. Enjoy live music, sample new releases, and munch on their famous gazpacho. Noon-5pm. 456-8667 or

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 President James Madison's lifetime. 2-3:30pm. Fee included in general admission. 540-672-2728 or

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.

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

Proutt & McCormick and Friends at Gravity Lounge. Free, 8pm.

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

Fourth of July Bash: Man Mountain Jr. (funk) at Orbit. $3, 10:30pm.

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

MONDAY, July 5
See Thursday, July 1.

Jigsaw Dancing: Advanced beginners are invited to attend weekly workshops at the McGuffey Art Center's Studio 20. Learn modern techniques, floor barre, jazz, historical dance, and more. Selections change each week. One modern and one novelty class held daily, 2-4pm. McGuffey Art Center, 201 Second St. NW. $25/week. 973-3744.

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 too. 11-11:30am. Included in the price of admission. 313 Second St. SE. 296-9390.

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)

See Thursday, July 1.

Open Seas:
Kids of all ages can drift along with Ocean Encounters and see how sargassum, a floating seaweed community, is such an integral part of the ocean's chain of life. Meet some live animals, too. Central Library. 10:30am. Free. 201 E. Market St. 979-7151, ext. 3.

Reel Time: Regal Cinema offers a summer full of free movies for kids. This week's shows are Rugrats in Paris (G) and Daddy Daycare (PG). 10am. Seminole Square (behind Kmart). 980-3333.

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

Katie Grove Band with Todd Schlabach at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8pm.

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

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

$2 Tuesdays with Big Circle at Outback Lodge. $2(!), 10pm. (W)

Merchant of Venice:
See Thursday, July 1.

Syringa: See Thursday, July 1.

Barbara's Buttons on the Cheat River:
Travel to Gaudineer with the Wintergreen Nature Foundation to experience an old growth forest firsthand. Then go wading in the Cheat River and search for Barbara's Buttons. 7am. Bring a bag lunch, old shoes, and money for dinner in Staunton. $15 for Foundation members ($20 non-members).

Cascading Waterfall Necklace: Studio Baboo instructor Terri Gable offers a necklace class in which students will learn to make a textured five-strand necklace finished with a decorative cone ending. 10am-4pm . $40. Downtown Mall. Registration and information, 244-2905.

Italian Peaches: Learn how to incorporate basic Virginia peaches into a variety of gourmet Italian dishes. 6:30-9pm. $55. The Seasonal Cook, 416 W. Main St. 295-9355.

Writes of Summer:
Young authors in grades 6-10 can learn the basics of creative writing in a one-session workshop presented by instructors from the Charlottesville Writing Center. 2-4pm. Free. Registration required. Space limited. Northside Library. Albemarle Square. 973-7893.

More Tales for Tots: The five-and-under crowd can hear favorite stories at Barnes & Noble's preschool story time. 10:30am. Free. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.

Open Seas: See Tuesday, July 6. Today's program is at Crozet Library at 10am. In the old train station on Three Notch'd Rd. 823-4050. Also at Gordon Avenue Library at 3pm. 1500 Gordon Ave. 296-5544.

Reel Time: See Tuesday, July 6.

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)

Country Dance Night (couples and line) at Fry Spring Beach Club. $7/$4 students, lessons 7-8pm, dancing 8-11pm. (W)

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

Travis Elliot at Orbit. No cover, 10pm. (W)

Latin Dance Party: Danza Latina's M.I.B. ("salsa, merengue, latin hip-hop, cumbia") at Rapture. 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)

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)

Open Seas:
See Tuesday, July 6. Today's program at Scottsville Library at 10am. 330 Bird St. 286-3541. Also at Northside Library at 3pm. Free tickets are required, available at the information desk. Albemarle Square. 973-7893.

Writes of Summer: See Wednesday, July 7. Today's program for kids entering 4-5 grades. 2-3:30pm. Gordon Avenue Library, 1500 Gordon Ave. 296-5544.

More Tales for Tots: See Wednesday, July 7.

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.

Wonderful Summer: The Summer Theater Festival at Live Arts presents Richard Dresser's comedy Wonderful Life as one of four plays in repertory. The dark truths of a happy (or so it seems) family are unearthed. 7-10:30pm. Live Arts Upstage, 123 E. Water St. $8; $3 beer garden. 977-4177x100.

Most Lamentable Comedy: See Friday, July 2.

Syringa: See Thursday, July 1.

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 (piano-man) at Coupe DeVille's. No cover, 10pm. (W)

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

Rebecca Hall & Ken Anderson and Alvin Breeden and the Virginia Cutups at Gravity Lounge. $5, 7:30pm.

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

All of 15, Inside Voices, and Evenout at Outback Lodge. $3, 10pm.

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

Satisfaction w/ Noel Sanger (dance party) at Rapture. $3/Ladies free, 10:30pm. (W)

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

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

Clarence Green at Tokyo Rose. $5, 10pm.

Sumthing (featuring Darrell Rose on percussion, Houston Ross on bass, Charles Cowen on drums, and Matthew Willner on guitar and devices) at West Main. No cover, 10pm.

Upcoming and Ongoing
11 Years and Painting:
The Charlottesville-Albemarle Art Association is accepting 1 or 2 original works for its Eleventh Annual Juried Art Show for area artists at Seven Oaks Art Gallery from July 10 through September 25. Linda Carey, who has taught at the Columbus College of Art and Design and is currently on the faculty of the College of William and Mary, will serve as judge. Work must be original, not done under supervision, and not previously entered in a Charlottesville-Albemarle Art Association (CAAA) juried show. Work must be submitted in oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, collage or mixed media (no photographs). Work must be suitably framed and ready to hang with a maximum size of 36" X 36" (which includes the frame). Non-refundable entry fees $5 for CAAA members who have paid their 2004 dues; $15 for non-members. Cash prizes. Deadline for receipt of application and entry fee is July 5. Applications may be obtained at the Studio Art Shop or from Cindy Haney, 326 Copper Hill Drive, Charlottesville 22902. 295-8315.

Live Arts Playwright's Lab:
Playwrights can find a safe and inspirational place to hone their writing skills, develop new material, and revise working manuscripts. Open to all levels of experience. Meets every first and third Mondays of the month, 6:30-9:30pm. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. Free. 977-4177x100.

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 $250.00 and your name in … the library catalog. Details for entering the children's book writing contest are online at A total of four winners will be published. Deadline for submissions is August 1.

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.

For Families Only:
Monticello offers tours designed especially for children ages 6-11 and their families. The tours include touchable objects and a child-friendly focus. On the hour from 10am-3pm daily through August 15. Included in the price of admission. Register at the ticket office. Thomas Jefferson Parkway (Rt. 53). 984-9822.

Please Touch: Monticello's Hands-on learning Center, located in the Monticello Visitors Center, gives kids the chance to play like it was 1804. Colonial-era games, writing with quill pens, and handling a mastodon tooth are just some of the interactive exhibits accessible to young explorers. Free. Open daily through August 1. 10am-4pm Tuesday through Sunday, 1-4pm on Mondays. Rt. 20 south of town. 984-9853.

Antarctic Adventure: "Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful …" The year is 1914 and explorer Ernest Shackleton uses this recruitment poster to lure 27 ordinary men for the adventure of their lives: an attempt to be the first human beings to cross Antarctica. The Science Museum of Virginia details the inglorious expedition in super size with the IMAX film Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure opening today and running through September 17. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 800-659-1727.

Slice of Pi: Larry, Curly, and Moe need chains for their tire, but they can't understand Sir Cumfrence who speaks in iambic diameter about pie…er, pi. Visitors to the Science Museum of Virginia's Carpenter Theatre can watch these knuckleheads act up as they try to find the solution to this measurement dilemma. Performances at noon and 3pm. Storytelling in the theatre at 1pm and 2pm. Through July 31. Included in the price of exhibit admission. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 800-659-1727.

G'Day, Mate!: The Virginia Discovery Museum goes to the ends of the earth to explore the island of Australia this summer. The new Back Gallery exhibit "Outback & Down Under"invites 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.

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 Rd. 296-5844.

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.

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.

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

Blast from the Past: The Science Museum of Virginia invites kids of all ages to come and play with their toys at the new exhibit Kid Stuff: Great Toys from Our Childhood on display though September 6. Included in the price of exhibit admission. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 800-659-1727.

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.

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.

Mindfulness Meditation:
Tuesdays 12:15-12:45pm. UVA Hospital Chapel. Meditation practice with guidance. Free. No experience necessary. 924-1190.

Parkway Nature Walks: Monticello is offering guided walking tours of the Thomas Jefferson Parkway, the linear park along the Route 53 entrance to Jefferson's estate, every Sunday morning now through the end of November. 9:30am. No fee. Meet at Kemper Park at the base of the Parkway, a quarter-mile east of the intersection of Route 53 and Route 20. 984-9822.

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.

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. 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 fifteen minutes 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.

Michie Tavern Tours: Experience living history at the original eighteenth-century Tavern building: dance to a colonial reel, taste tavern punch, and write with a quill pen. The Tavern museum also features a special exhibit on the history of Virginia wines. 11:30am-3:30pm daily. Tours are free to local residents. 977-1234.

Plantation Community Tours: These guided walking tours visit Mulberry Row and other plantation-related sites near the mountaintop and focus on the African-American community at Monticello and the economic operation of the plantation. Each tour lasts about 45 minutes and leaves on the hour from 10am to 3pm from in front of the Monticello Museum Shop.

Nelson County's Farmer's Market: It's an old-fashioned farmer's market under the tent in Nellysford. Stoll among the live music, local crafts, plants, flowers and fresh produce. 8am-noon every Saturday until September.

Scottsville Farmers Market: Miss the Charlottesville market on Saturday? Head down the road to Scottsville for all sorts of fresh vegetables, fruits, crafts, and baked goods, served up May through October. 4-7pm. Located off Valley Street in Scottsville. 286-2505.

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 E. Water streets. 977-7284. See Art feature.

The University of Virginia Art Museum presents "A Short History of Decay: Sculptures by James Welty" 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.

Through August 15, 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.

The Charlottesville-Albemarle Art Association's annual all-member exhibit hangs 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 features "Out of Country," through August 14. 400 Worrell Drive, Peter Jefferson Place. 244-0234.

"Built," an exhibition of gouache and mixed-media paintings by Miriam Tobias, is on view at Angelo through August 31. 220 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 971-9256.

View "Works on Paper" by Nicole Fortescue at C'ville Coffee through July 31. 1301 Harris St. 971-8588.

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

The Gallery @ 5th & Water displays the oil paintings of Lindsay Michie Eades through July 31. Located in the foyer of the architectural firm of Stoneking/Von Storch. 107 Fifth St. 979-9825.

New Dominion Bookshop offers Lucy Alford's "Red Clay, Pale Sky," oils on wood from Nelson County, in its Mezzanine Gallery during the month of July. 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 display at the Albemarle County Courthouse through July 31. 501 E. Jefferson St. at Court Square. 296-8484.

"Dreamscapes," new oil paintings by Leslie Allyn, hang at Ombra's Café, in Crozet through August. 823-5332.

The Dave Moore Studio features a final "Farewell to the Studio" show during July. Hours vary, so call first, but get down there because Dave's moving on to new digs. 414 E. Main St. (under The Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar). 825-1870.

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church offers a 3D retrospective of assemblages by Gigi Payne, which will run through July 4. 717 Rugby Road. 293-8179.

Mountain Air Gallery, Etc. presents artwork by Caro Mayo, Ann McCartney, and Jack Brandt during July. 107 and 111 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 244-3393.

During July, the Mudhouse shows "Slightly Imperfect," assemblages of Fats Click. 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.

During July, view "Here, There and Everywhere," watercolors, gouaches, and collages by Mary Wirth, at Art Upstairs. 316 E. Main St., above The Hardware Store on the Downtown Mall. 923-3900.

Through August 16, the McGuffey Art Center presents its annual Summer Group Show, featuring work by renting and associate members. Check out (and buy!) paintings, drawings, printmaking, fiber art, calligraphy, mixed media, stained glass, hot glass, sculpture, photography, furniture, marbling, ceramics, and book arts. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.

Transient Crafters displays the glasswork of Kimberly Larkin through July. 118 W. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 972-9500.

Bozart Gallery presents "Sky High," watercolors and acrylics by Mercedes Lopez, during July. 211 W. Main St. 296-3919.

Martha Jefferson Hospital presents an exhibition of paintings by Richard Crozier and his students, entitled "Charlottesville in Paint" through September 3. 459 Locust Ave. 982-7000.


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 "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.

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 an exhibition of water bird decoys crafted by John Owen, during July. Opening reception, Saturday, July 3, 2-4pm. 601 Shenandoah Village Drive (exit 94 off I-64), Waynesboro. 540-946-3294.

Caffé Bocce displays "Roy-Rossi Reflections II" paintings by Coy Roy and the late Al Rossi. Also on view: paintings by the inimitable Dave Moore. 330 Valley St., Scottsville. 286-4422.


The Fluvanna Heritage Trail Foundation holds its fifth annual show in October and invites artists from Fluvanna and surrounding counties to submit works depicting "Trial Experience: scenes, sites, and people." For more information, contact Martha K. Rossi, 434-589-6545.

First Friday list

CODG hosts an opening for its "Diversity's Closet" exhibition, featuring work by Monty Montgomery, Garth Fry, Sera Davis, and Vicky Cervens, beginning at 6pm. 112 E. Main St., under the Jefferson Theater. 242-4212.

Transient Crafters welcomes Kimberly Larson of Sunrise Studios, who will demonstrate stained glass and glass mosaic processes during an artist's reception. 6-9pm. 118 W. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 972-9500.

Lift a glass and munch some treats at the C&O Gallery to welcome paintings and sculpture by David and photography by Christian Breeden. 5-7pm. 515 E. Water St. beside the C&O Restaurant. 971-7044.

The McGuffey Art Center hosts an opening for its annual Summer Group Show, featuring work by renting and associate members. 5:30-7:30pm. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.

BozArt Gallery opens "Sky High," a show of watercolors and acrylics by Mercedes Lopez. 6-9pm 211 W. Main on the Downtown Mall. 296-3919.

Art Upstairs holds an artist's reception for painter Mary Wirth's "Here, There and Everywhere." 5:30-9pm. 316 E. Main St., above The Hardware Store, on the Downtown Mall. 923-3900.

Mudhouse is hosting a show entitled "Slightly Imperfect" assemblages by Fats Click. 6-8pm. W. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 984-6833.

The Dave Moore Studio hosts a swansong "Farewell to the Studio" party. 7pm "until." It's your last chance to witness the work of Dave Moore in this perpetually leaky, subterranean space. 414 E. Main St. (under the Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar). 825-1870.

The Gallery @ 5th & Water welcomes the paintings of Lindsey Michie Eades with a reception, 5:30-8:30pm. 107 Water St. 979-9825.

Meet Lucy Alford at a New Dominion Bookshop reception for "Red Clay, Pale Sky." 5-7pm. 404 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 295-2552.

Mountain Air Gallery, Etc. hosts a reception for Caro Mayo, Ann McCartney, and Jack Brandt. 107 and 111 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 244-3393.

Viscous vanity: Sin at Second Street


The word burbled up involuntarily from the archives of my childhood as I stood contemplating Heide Trepanier's "Veinglory," an installation currently occupying the Dové Gallery at the rear of the Second Street Gallery. For those who have forgotten (or who never knew), oobleck is the Dr. Suessian substance that threatened to glob over the world in the story Bartholomew and the Oobleck.

Across the small room's newly royal blue walls (thanks to Trepanier), shiny white goo seems slung, forming glistening loopy strings, outlined in black, arching like elongated columns of vertebrae thick with sticky fluids. Here and there, a creviced cartoon-like blob of matte pink– a Seussish color somewhere between chewed-up gum and innards– floats on the vertical surfaces.

Trepanier says of Suess, "It's a definite reference," but she notes she's imbued her first total-room installation with a different agenda: "It's childlike, but it's doing more obscene things."

What fuels Trepanier's weirdly seductive vision is an exploration of vanity– the second work in a planned series delving into the seven deadly sins (the artist examined gluttony in a 2003 show at Richmond's 1807 Gallery).

Trepanier painstakingly creates her organic forms by painting industrial-sized adhesive paper and then Exacto-ing out the shapes to apply to the walls. The result is mesmerizing as lurid faces and images seem to emerge– only to be sucked back into the strange viscera.

Beneath this liquid dance, a blue carpet covers the floor and sprouts fungus-like circles of white shag. In the midst of these, a sharp-edged reflecting pool momentarily pulls the eye away from the walls, as muffled sound drifts up from the furry rounds, luring the visitor to lie down and put ear to Orlon. Doing so yields sounds of dripping water and a woman singing "I Feel Pretty" in French, a tongue-in-cheek reference to misunderstandings that have accompanied Trepanier's sudden celebrity in the art world (hint: she's not French).

Although "Veinglory" has extensive intellectual underpinnings meaningful to Trepanier (the reflecting pool is a direct references to narcissism), she says what's important to viewers is "the experience in and of itself– they don't need to know the whole thing."

At once compelling yet disgusting, innocent yet lewd, comic yet horrific, Trepanier's "Veinglory" may have more in common with oobleck than she realizes. After all, Suess's icky goop was his way of warning, "Be careful what you wish for." And our wishes more often than not are tangled up in the slimy viscera of our vanity.

Heide Trepanier's "Veinglory," accompanied by three installations by Chris Gentile, form "Altered Interiors," Second Street Gallery's summer exhibition through August 14. 115 Second St. SE. 977-7284.

Oral histories: Slave/Indian narratives a blend

Most of us carry around deeply etched stereotypes of the paths that African Americans and Native Americans have trod over the last two centuries. Black Americans came as slaves and worked on white people's plantations before gaining their freedom. American Indians lived in forests and on plains, fought or befriended the white man, then were corralled into reservations. Separate peoples, separate stories, and ne'er the twain shall meet.

Patrick Minges, a Washington, D.C.-area religious historian, knows better. Now taking classes at UVA's Curry School of Education, Minges has plumbed oral histories, many from ex-slaves, recorded during the 1930s thanks to President Roosevelt's Federal Writers Project in the Depression.

Nearly 3,000 interviews across 24 states were conducted and recorded between 1936 and 1940, in a conscientious search to document lifestyles soon to disappear forever. Many ex-slaves spoke up, and while the stories of their lives are now part of the American record, they are still rarely heard.

The 27 stories in Black Indian Slave Narratives come from six states, especially Oklahoma, from men and women, some calling themselves Negro, some Indian. Some of these people had been owned by whites, some by Cherokees. All shared the shock and challenge of freedom in 1865.

"My name is Eliza Whitmire," says one woman from Oklahoma. "I was born in slavery in the state of Georgia, my parents having belonged to a Cherokee Indian of the name of George Sanders, who owned a large plantation in the old Cherokee Nation, in Georgia. He also owned a large number of slaves, but I was too young to remember how many he owned."

"I was borned in Rocky Branch, Kentucky, on October 10, 1847," says a man from Texas. "My mother was half-breed Creek Injun– half-Negro, half-Injun. Her name was Charity. She died 'long 'bout 1853. My father's name was Faithful. He was a full-blood Creek. He was killed in the war 'tween Mexico an' 'Nited States."

Many of these people knew only divided families, second-class treatment, hard labor, sometimes hard feelings. "I got into Mart McCoy's hands somehow," said one. "There was an attachment, or bond, or something. I couldn't tell how come, we slaves didn't know nuthin' anyhow." Another told that when his brother married a "full-blood Indian woman," he assimilated to the Cherokee life, spoke only their language, and "don't notice us Negroes any more."

Letting these voices speak for themselves, Minges leaves a lot of questions unanswered. How prevalent was this intertwining of the races? What effect did one culture have on the other? Who has inherited their legacy? Voices of the past speak through loud and clear, but the scholar's voice is lacking. Maybe that will be his next book.

Patrick Minges discusses Black Indian Slave Narratives on Wednesday, July 7, at noon, at New Dominion Bookshop, 404 E. Main Street, 295-2552.

Have a blast: Fireworks cover city and county

In the town where I grew up, the week around the Fourth of July was one of the most important times of the year. It was the week of the fire department's annual Street Fair. For six days, volunteer fire fighters (one of whom was my dad) would take over the town's baseball field with a Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, and tilt-o-whirl; booths selling French fries, hamburgers, and Polish sausage; and– the biggest money-makers of all– the keno table, bingo tent, and several roulette wheels. On the night of July 4, everybody in town crowded into the bleachers to watch a dazzling fireworks display.

In this area, Crozet firefighters carry on this tradition with an old fashioned carnival from July 1-3. This year's event, held at Claudius Crozet Park, includes all new games and rides, live bands and entertainment, and of course, all that great fair food. Thursday is Family Night where folks can ride all night for $12. Fireworks will be set off on Friday night at about 10:45pm. A community parade happens Saturday at 4:30pm followed by a silent auction.

Scottsville firefighters are also hosting a celebration with their annual Independence Day parade Saturday morning starting at 11am. Throughout the day the town carries on with live music at the Scottsville Shopping Center, an Antique Show and Arts and Crafts Fair at the Community Center, and yard sales all over town. The day winds down with Rhythm on the River, a free outdoor concert featuring the Dixie Power Trio and the Rogan Brothers at Dorrier Park. Fireworks follow the concert at 9:30pm.

Fireworks lovers can extend the fun to three nights in a row with Charlottesville's annual pyrotechnic display Sunday night. McIntire Park will be the focus of attention from 4pm on where kids can play games, bounce to the moon, and slide on air. Adults can enjoy live music from the Albemarle High School Jazz Ensemble, Sierra, and Big Ray and the Kool Kats. Skydivers will make an appearance, and food venders will be available for supper. Bring lawn chairs or a blanket for the fireworks that begin one minute after dark (around 9:30pm). This year's display promises to be bigger and better than ever.

The Crozet Carnival is open 6-11pm on Thursday and Friday, and after the parade on Saturday. Take Rt. 250 west to Rt. 240 and follow the signs. 823-4758. Scottsville is an easy drive down Rt. 20 south. On Sunday, McIntire Park will be closed to vehicle traffic. Parking and free shuttle service is available at Kmart and the Albemarle County Office Building starting at 4pm. Parking is also available at Charlottesville High School, where folks can walk across the bridge to the park. Handicap-accessible buses run from Walker Upper Elementary School.

Skyline 4th: Monticello greets new citizens
Activity at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello certainly hasn't slowed in the years since its architect's death. In fact, the property hosts hundreds of events every year, ranging from garden walks to history lectures to formal receptions. But even with such a packed schedule, the Jefferson Foundation always reserves the most important day of the year (the day not only of the nation's birth, but of Jefferson's death) for one of the most inspiring events in the American calendar: the annual July 4 Naturalization Ceremony.

Immigrants have followed Jefferson's writings and his work to this country for generations, so it seems fitting that so many are able to take the oath of citizenship at the Founding Father's Albemarle estate (which has been hosting the ceremony for about 42 years). The West Lawn event anchors many local July 4 celebrations and has been called one of the most picturesque and memorable naturalization ceremonies in the country.

"It's quite a stirring ceremony," says Monticello spokesperson Wayne Mogielnicki, "and what better place to become a citizen than Monticello? For anyone who was born in this country, the day gives a newfound appreciation for what we have. And seeing people from all over the world coming together in this setting can be quite emotional."

This year, 75 people from 40 countries will be taking the oath of citizenship on Jefferson's mountain. They are all residents of the western district of Virginia who, through a combination of good luck and fortuitous timing, are able to forgo the standard courthouse ceremony and participate in Monticello's annual event.

W. Richard West, Jr., founding director of the Smithsonian's new National Museum of the American Indian, himself a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, is the featured speaker for the ceremony.

But the Naturalization Ceremony is just one part of Monticello's Fourth of July celebration. The Charlottesville Municipal Band will also be on hand to play a medley of patriotic music from John Phillips Sousa and others; and the home will be decked out in red-white-and-blue bunting to add a festive backdrop to the occasion.

"Monticello itself and the people who come here to become citizens give the day an international presence," Mogielnicki says, "but it also has a little bit of small town Fourth of July feel. It's a nice mix."

The Naturalization Ceremony happens at 10am on Monticello's West Lawn. The estate can be reached from Charlottesville via Route 20 south. Take a left onto Route 53, the Thomas Jefferson Parkway, and follow it up the mountain until you reach the stone Saunders Bridge. Take the right exit just past the bridge and follow the signs to the parking area. The ceremony is free, though the standard admission fee applies to tours of the house and other activities. or 984-9822.

Record setter: Ragtime fills the theater

Robert Chapel had no particular thread in mind when he and others at UVA's Heritage Repertory Theatre planned out this summer's lineup. But he says one poignant and timely theme seemed to emerge from the process.

Four of the theater company's six performances this season deal with race relations, especially tensions between blacks and whites. You can see the first two of those shows this week: a one-woman play, The Syringa Tree, and a classic American musical, Ragtime, which is ending its run Saturday night.

Set in the early 1900s, Ragtime brings together the lives of an immigrant Jew, an archetypal upper class white family, and a Harlem piano player driven to revolutionary violence. HRT is billing it as one of those rare musicals that combines a beautiful score with a story of real substance.

The show, directed by Chapel and based on the E.L. Doctorow novel, is setting all kinds of records this year. Ragtime is the largest production the company has undertaken since its founding in 1974, and it's on its way to becoming the most popular one, too.

"We're really proud of the production," said Chapel, chair of the University's drama department. "The show itself just resonates with American history, and it really deals with people getting along with each other. The timing is spot-on."

On Friday, July 2, audience members will have a chance to talk with the director and actors in the show, including local performers Doug Schneider, Dan Stern, and Wendy Novicoff. HRT instituted the post-show chat this year to enhance the connection between audience and actors, and each play in the summer repertory will offer a similar event.

The night of The Syringa Tree's chat proved fruitful last week as the crowd engaged with the show's star, UVA alum Sarah Dandridge. Now a successful actress in New York, Dandridge has returned to portray an exhausting 24 characters. She portrays, among others, the insightful Elizabeth, a white girl growing up amid the injustices of South Africa's apartheid.

Originally an off-Broadway production, Syringa won two Obie awards when it opened in 2001. It runs in Charlottesville through July 10, and plenty of shows are still scheduled.

But Chapel says those interested in seeing Ragtime this week should get on the ball, since tickets are moving fast. He says he would like to see more African Americans attending HRT's shows. Try as it might, Chapel says, the theater company hasn't been able to match its diversity of offerings with a diverse crowd.

Either way, both shows have left theatergoers with tears in their eyes, Chapel says. But he adds, "Don't worry, we have some happier ones coming up." This summer HRT will also present Driving Miss Daisy, True West, Five Guys Named Moe, and a family favorite– Snoopy!

For more information, visit See Ragtime at UVA's Culbreth Theatre at 8pm Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, as well as 2pm Saturday. The Syringa Tree will run at the university's Helms Theatre at 7:30pm, every day except Sunday. $14-20. 924-3376.

Breaking tired ground: Wanna go back in time?

Some Sweet Day, the debut release from solo artist Micah Blue Smaldone, will take some of our grandparents back to the sounds of their youth– the 14 songs on the disc sound like they could have been playing in the background as families packed up their dust bowl-ed lives and moved to California.

Smaldone is a man out of time, and Some Sweet Day, with its record pops and crackles, Gutherie-esque in its spare, man + guitar = listening experience ethos, is a record that might have fallen out of a wormhole leading back to the dark days of America's financial low points.

Hailing from Maine, Smaldone, currently guitarist for the Boston punk/pop quartet the Shods (I recommend checking them out online at, was formerly a member of a now-defunct Boston punk group, the Pinkerton Thugs, and a rockabilly group, Racketeers. It's the last group's rockabilly leanings that most enable a line to be drawn from the explosive punk and rock of Smaldone's other outings to his present endeavor, but even so, the leap from power chords and nasal effects to subtle acoustic and rootsy finger-picking is one that cannot be noted without suspecting a bit of tongue in cheek.

Regardless of Smaldone's reasoning, Some Sweet Day is a collection of 14 tunes displaying simple guitar mastery, even simpler melodies, and lyrics that seem like pages torn from a worn journal from the '30s. The CD begins with "Springtime Blues," and from the guitar introduction, a thumbed-bass-line/finger-picked first 15 seconds or so, you get a good idea of what the album is all about (the simple majesty of the past, if you really want to know).

"Bouquet of flowers for the bumblebees, everybody's got a sweetheart except for me," Smaldone sings in a southern-accented, nasal voice, his melody line continually descending as his guitar goes through a simple blues progression.

"Call me your dog when I'm gone, gone, gone" begins Smaldone on "Old Dog Blues," a track with up-tempo tack and winding, quick-picked guitar. This is only the second track on the album, but by this point you already have a pretty good handle on Some Sweet Day. Instead of breaking new ground, Smaldone has instead put the sod of the past back together, with results somewhere between authentic and a mite questionable.

Micah Blue Smaldone with The Suspended Disbelief Puppet Theater at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar, Friday, July 2. No cover, 9pm.