Cultural calendar, August 12-19, 2004

THURSDAY, August 12
Treasure in the Park:
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is the second in the four-film series of classic movies presented in Taylor Park in Orange. Directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart, this adventure/psychological thriller won best director, best screenplay, and best supporting actor Oscars at the 1948 Academy Awards. Take your lawn chairs and children– popcorn, candy, and soft drinks on sale, just like in real movies! Rain location: parish hall at St. Thomas Episcopal Church. Free! 8pm. 540-672-7311.

Kids Day Out:
Mommy & Me (and Daddy too) gets ready for back to school at Barracks Road Shopping Center. Catch the bus, meet Clifford the Big Red Dog, listen to stories, do arts and crafts, and more. 10am-noon. Free. Barracks Road. 977-4583.

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.

Exotic Dance: Get kinky at the Berkmar Ballroom with exotic and modern dance for those at any skill level. Belly dance for beginners, 6-7pm; intermediate belly dance, 7-8pm; modern and jazz dance for beginners, 7-7:45pm. Sexy pole dancing for beginners, 8-9pm; for intermediates, 9-10pm. 652 Rio Road W. $15 drop-in; eight-lesson series for $80-$100. 975-4611.

Annie: Chances dwindle to catch the Ash Lawn Opera Festival's production of the story of the world's most famous little redheaded orphan. Pine for tomorrow in the gardens of James Monroe as the nasty Ms. Hannigan tries to come between Annie and Daddy Warbucks. 8pm. Ash Lawn-Highland, off Route 795. $15-24. 979-0122.

Merchant of Venice: Money, love, justice, mercy and a pound of flesh– this Shakespearean comedy has it all. Shenandoah Shakespeare's players entertain and disturb– just like your last blind date! 7:30pm. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-28. 540-885-5588.

Wire Wrapped Pendant:
Studio Baboo instructor Stephen Beauch teaches the technique for making an elegant wire wrapped cabochon pendant. 10am-1pm. $35 fee includes materials. 106 Fifth St. Downtown Mall. 244-2905.

Selective Sipping: Join Wintergreen Nature Foundation volunteer Maurice Wood for a trip (and tasting) to the Kluge Estate and First Colony Winery. 9am. $20 fee ($15 for Foundation members). Bring money for lunch at Kluge. 971-8802 or for info.

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)

Keith Morris, Joe Pollock & Jeff Romano at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8:30pm.

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

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

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

Hard Rock Night: Pariah, Oddzar, and Sedamentreous at Outback Lodge. $3, 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)

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

Tim Shaner downstairs at Starr Hill. No cover, 9pm.

FRIDAY, August 13
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 Iran. Come in costume if you like. Sessions at 10:30, 11, and 11:30am. Included in the price of admission. East end of the Downtown Mall. 977-1025.

Good Clean Fun: The Louisa County Agricultural Fair offers exhibitions and competitions, entertainment and contests. Free admission. Louisa Firemen's Fairgrounds. 540-967-0069.

Ice Cream Fest: Renaissance School hosts an Ice Cream Fest and Open House for prospective, new, and returning students and faculty. Make your own sundaes and hang out, and learn about the school in the process. 4-6pm. 406 E. Main St. 984-1952.

Fridays After 5:
The popular outdoor concert series continues. This week's act is Corey Harris and the 5x5.

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

The Most Lamentable Comedy of Sir John Falstaff: Shenandoah Shakespeare presents 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.

Barber of Seville: Figaro, the lovable but meddlesome town barber, headlines the Ash-Lawn Opera Festival in this Rossini classic, a comedic opera about deception, jealousy and true love. Sung in English without the aid of microphones. 8pm. Ash Lawn-Highland, off Route 795. $15-24. 979-0122.

The Dog Days of Summer Music Fest benefiting the University of Virginia Art Museum at the Downtown Amphitheater:
Corey Harris and the 5X5's world beat influenced blues light up Friday's After 5, while Saturday begins with the Dinah Pearson Band's blues (2:30pm), Modern Groove Syndicate's groove (3:50), Barbara Martin (5:20) and Chicken Head Blues Band's… blues (6:40). All come together to make this two-day event a long musical bonanza. Free. To volunteer, contact Deryn Goodwin at or 924.7458.

Graboids, Millionaire Reverends and DJ-scumbag at Tokyo Rose: The instrumental atmospheric groove of Graboids should go nicely with the Millionaire Reverends' punks-from-the-future sound. But that's just one opinion– you can make up your own mind tonight. $5, 10pm. See Tunes feature.

Jan Smith with Karmen at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8:30pm.

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

Gibb Droll Band at Outback Lodge. $6, 10pm.

Dj Almighty at Rapture. No cover, 10pm.

Open Mic Night at Rapunzel's. Free, 8pm.

Fulton and the Fulltones (blues and rock) at Sheben. No cover, 10:30pm.

Chris Sampson, Mike Meadows, Devin Malone downstairs at Starr Hill. No cover, 9pm.

SATURDAY, August 14
In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived 12 little girls in two straight lines. Fans of all ages can meet the smallest– and most famous– of these petite Parisiennes at Barnes & Noble today. Stories, stickers, and cookies are all part of the fun. Parents are advised to come with cameras at the ready. 10am. Free. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.

Irish Adventure: Wintergreen celebrates the Emerald Isle with a Celtic Festival. Gaelic music and dance all afternoon, arts and crafts vendors all day, children's activities, and authentic food. 10am-6pm. $10 adults (includes a commemorative mug and five beer coupons), non-drinkers $5, kids free. Rt. 664. 325-8180.

Good Clean Fun: See Friday, August 13.

Trails Workday:
Help the Rivanna Trails Foundation in its ongoing effort to build a trail network around Charlottesville, and get dirty in the process! 8:45am. Meet at the Melbourne Road trailhead. 923-9022 or

From Dusk to Dark: Join park staff and local naturalists for a close-up look at Shenandoah National Park's night life. $35 for one adult and child ($10 for each additional family member), registration required. 540-999-3489 or for details.

Summer Fruit Tasting: Enjoy the harvests of summer at Monticello. Early apples, peaches, figs, grapes, nectarines, apple cider, blackberries, pears, and others, plus several presentations on the history of fruit growing in Virginia. 9:30am. $10 fee, reservations required. Meet at the Monticello Garden Shop. 984-9822.

Celtic Fest: Come celebrate Celtic culture at Wintergreen. Music, dance, import and specialty vendors, Celtic demonstrations, and authentic regional food. 10am-5pm. No fee. 325-8292.

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 See Photophile.

Rock Climbing: Join the Outdoor Adventure Social Club for a rock climbing trip to Franklin Cliffs. Departs at 8am. $24, plus membership fee. Registration is required. 760-HIKE or for info.

Wire-Wrapped Jewelry: Guest instructor Stephen Beauch offers a class in wire-wrapped bracelets and earrings at Studio Baboo. 9am-noon. Beauch tackles rings 1-5pm. $35, registration required for each class. 106 Fifth St. SE on the Downtown Mall. 244-2905, or for info.

Summer Cooking Class: Learn how to create flavorful summertime dishes by picking the freshest produce from the Farmers' Market. More than a cooking class, it's a shopping/cooking experience! 6:30-9pm. $55 fee. The Seasonal Cook at Main Street Market. 295-9355.

Summer Saturdays:
Puppeteer Bob Brown returns to Ash Lawn-Highland's summer children's theater with The Reluctant Dragon. This lighthearted tale features a fire-breathing "monster" whose reputation is much hotter than his real poetry-writing personality. In the Boxwood Gardens. Bring a picnic and hang around the grounds afterward. 11am rain or shine. $5. 1000 James Monroe Parkway. 293-4500. See Performance feature.

See Thursday, August 12. The show ends tonight.

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.

Merchant of Venice: See Thursday, August 12.

Live Arts Actor's Lab: Join acting coach and director Carol Pedersen to keep your acting skills sharp over the summer and gear up for fall auditions now. Drop in for an hour-long intense actor workout. 10am. Rehearsal A, Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. $10. 977-4177x100.

The Dog Days of Summer Music Fest benefiting the University of Virginia Art Museum:
See Friday, August 13. To volunteer call Deryn Goodwin at or 924-7458.

North Forty at Shebeen: Richmond based North Forty bring bluegrass instrumentation and three-part vocals to the Shebeen, tonight. No cover, 10pm.

Rock DJ night at Tokyo Rose: Shake your groove thing, yes, yes [read it in a refined English butler type of accent for effect], to a lot of rock records, but with the kind of beats you can dance to ("Like a Rolling Stone" will not be played). Free till 11pm/$2 after, 10pm.

Starry Nights at Veritas: Live music, dancing, and lots of wine at the Veritas Winery make your blanket-and-picnic-basket-filled evening the, as the kids say today, "bomb". Free, 6-10pm. Info: 540-456-8000.

Birthday Bash with DJ Face at West Main. $10 cover, ladies $5, 10-11pm.

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

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

Wendy Repass with The Carnations and Two Red Shoes at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8:30pm.

Dean Fields at Miller's. $3, 10:30pm.

Eames Coleman Trio at Orbit. Free, 10pm.

Agents of the Sun and Big Fast Car (rock) at Outback Lodge. $6, 10pm.

DJ Izm's House of Soul ("soulful house with jazz and Latin accents") at Rapture. No cover, 10pm.

Proffitt and Sandidge (folk) at Rapunzel's. $5, 8pm.

Travis Elliott with David Berkeley and Nini Camps at Starr Hill. $5, 8pm.

SUNDAY, August 15
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.

Barber of Seville: See Friday, August 13. Tonight's performance is the last of the season.

Young Shakespeare: Participants in Shenandoah Shakespeare's Young Company Theatre Camp cap off the program with tour-de-force performances of three of Shakespeare's finest. All shows are directed by professionals who have acted in the Staunton company. A play yet to be announced, 2pm; Measure for Measure, 2pm; Henry V, 4pm. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. Free. 540-885-5588.

For Families Only:
Today is the last day for Monticello's special tours for children. Kids ages 6-11 and their families can enjoy the big house even more when they are the focus of attention and the get to touch things. 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.

Flashbulb Diary at Gravity Lounge: Well, they remind me of the pop/rock group the Gin Blossoms ("Allison Road") from 1994, but people loved those guys. $5, 3pm.

Bobby Graves (acoustic classic rock, country, blues) at Kokopelli's Café, Crozet. $3, 7-9:30.

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

Red Beet at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8pm.

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

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

MONDAY, August 16
Summer Chills:
The B&N Mystery Book Club, meeting tonight at 8pm, will be discussing No Colder Place, a thriller written by architect-turned-novelist S. J. Rozak and set on a construction site 200 feet in the air. Barracks Road Shopping Center, 984-0461.

Election Selection:
Interested in time travel, the Wild West, iambic pentameter, small town politics or love potions? Audition for Offstage Theatre's production of The Election, a new play by Joel Jones. Cold readings from the script. If you can sing a ditty or play a lick, let Offstage hear it. 6-9:30pm. Rapture, 303 E. Main St., on the Downtown Mall. 244-8432 or

Biggest and Best:
Rockingham County boasts that it's County Fair is the biggest and best in the state with a scheduled jam packed with events, exhibits, entertainment, rides, food, and more. Check the website for show times and special admission rates. Admission $2-$5. I-81 to exit 240, north on Rt. 11. 540-434-0005.

Bug Lights:
Staci England and Peter Warren from the Virginia Cooperative Extension set up their black lights at Ivy Creek tonight and invite adventurous types to come see what kinds of bugs they will attract. They'll talk about nocturnal insects briefly before the outdoor viewing. Meet at the Education Building and bring flashlights and insect repellant. 8:30pm. Free. Earlysville Road. (Rt. 743). 973-7772.

Moonlight Hike:
Take in the bright stars of the new moon, late-summer constellations, and even a waterfall on this evening hike with the Outdoor Adventure Social Club. Departs at 6:30pm. $5, plus membership fee. Registration is required. 760-HIKE or for info.

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

Singer-songwriter song swap featuring James Low at Gravity Lounge. Free, 8pm.

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

Matthew Willner solo at Miller's. No cover, 10pm.

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

TUESDAY, August 17
Reel Time:
This is the final week of Regal Cinema's free family film festival showing Pinocchio (G) and Peter Pan (PG). 10am. Seminole Square (behind Kmart). 980-3333.

Mind Your Manners: Young socialites ages 8-11 can learn why proper behavior never goes out of style during "If You Please: The Art of Good Manners." This one-day workshop in Maymont's Garden Hall is designed to equip children with the confidence that comes with knowing telephone etiquette, proper dress, good grooming, being a good host or guest, and more. 9:30am. $45 includes formal luncheon. Registration required at least one day in advance. 1700 Hampton St., Richmond. 804-358-7166, ext. 329.

Biggest and Best: See Monday, August 16.

American Dumpster at Station. No cover, 9:30.

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)

Michael Mulvaney at Miller's. $3, 9:30pm.

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

$2 Tuesdays with Big Circle at Outback Lodge. No cover, 10pm. (W)

Totimoshi with Bucks & Gallants at Tokyo Rose. $5, 10pm.

WEDNESDAY, August 18
Merchant of Venice:
See Thursday, August 12.

Tales for Tots:
The 5 and under crowd can hear stories about cows and farm animals at Barnes & Noble's preschool story time. 10:30am. Free. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.

Crafty: Ash Lawn-Highland hosts a new summer series of Wednesday workshops in which modern folks of all ages can learn early American crafts. This week's focus is 19th century etiquette. 1pm or 3pm. General admission plus $2, includes a guided tour of the Monroe home. Reservations are recommended. 1000 James Monroe Parkway (Rt. 795). 293-9539.

Reel Time: See Tuesday, August 17.

Biggest and Best: See Monday, August 16.

Kayak Roll Class:
Learn this crucial kayaking skill with the Outdoor Adventure Social Club. Departs at 5pm. $10, plus membership fee. Registration is required. 760-HIKE or for info.

Karaoke Night at West Main. No Cover, 10pm.

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

Cheesy Trivia w/ 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 Elliott at Orbit. No cover, 10pm. (W)

Man Mountain Jr. at Outback Lodge. Free, 10pm.

Claire Quilty (live trip-hop, house, pop, rock) at Rapture. $5, 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)

THURSDAY, August 19
Attention Free Spirits:
Michael Grosso offers a seminar on philosophy and psychotherapy at the Quest bookshop. No charge. 7-9pm. 619 E. Main St. 295-3377.

Team Spirit:
Cavalier football fans can come out and rub elbows with the stars at a Meet the Team Party 2004. Kids can get autographs of their favorite players, tour the locker room, try on the uniforms, have pictures taken with players, get their face painted, and more. 3:30-5pm. Free. Carl Smith Center. 924-UVA1. See Sports Wrap.

Biggest and Best: See Monday, August 16.

She Was There:
Few alive can claim having known slaves firsthand. 82-year-old James D. Russell of Rappahannock County remembers the stories his 108-year-old great-grandmother told him of her days in slavery. Hear her tell them in Russell's book, Beyond the Rim: From Slavery to Redemption in Rappahannock County, Virginia. Russell will offer a reading and reminiscence at Barnes & Noble tonight at 7pm. Barracks Road Shopping Center, 984-0461.

The Most Lamentable Comedy:
See Friday, August 13.

Blue Rose Summer Concert Series at the Nelson Center:
Jan Smith and Jeff Vogelgesang get together for another evening of their sweet country-pop. Paddy Dougherty will be opening. Suggested donation $10, 8-10pm.

Open Mic Night at Kokopelli's Café on the Square in Crozet: Hosted by Two Red Shoes. Check out the new action west of town. No cover, 7-9:30pm.

Ezra Hamilton Solo Acoustic at Orbit: Best voice in the tri-state area (DC, MD, VA), and enough soul to warrant at least one underwear item thrown onstage at every show. No cover, 7pm.

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)

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

Ezra Hamilton solo acoustic at Orbit. No cover, 7pm.

Rocket Queen, Evenout, and Watts Passage (rock) at Outback Lodge. $6, 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)

James Leva CD Release Party at Starr Hill. $7, 8pm.

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

The Warmed-over Boys (natural goodtime tunes) at Dr. Ho's Humble Pie, 29S, North Garden. No cover, 7pm.

Upcoming and Ongoing
Check It Out Now: The Gordon Avenue Branch of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library will be closed from Friday, August 13, to Tuesday, August 24, for re-carpeting. No excuse to be late returning books, though: Drop off will still be open, or you can always return JMRL books at any other branch. Questions? 296-5544.

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.

All the World's a Stage:
It's not too late to go to camp this summer. Old Michie Theatre still has openings in two drama workshops: Puppeteer's Paradise for kids ages 5-7, and Incredible Improvisation for experienced drama students ages 13-17. Both are half-day sessions August 16-20. Cost is $175 and includes supplies. 221 E. Water St. 977-3690.

Walk On: Master carver Norman Amos has achieved his goal of carving one example of every type of snake indigenous to Virginia. His extraordinary collection of carved snake canes is on display at the Virginia Discovery Museum through September 5. The exhibit is free, but those who wish to play in the museum's other areas are asked to pay admission. Located on the east end of the Downtown Mall. 977-1025. See Family feature.

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.

G'Day, Mate!: The Virginia Discovery Museum goes to the ends of the earth to explore the island of Australia this summer. The 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.

Big Bones: China may be a world away, but 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.

Blackberry Picking:
Hill Top Berry Farm & Winery opens its doors to the public for blackberry picking and wine tasting. 1-6pm, Wednesdays through Sundays. 2800 Berry Hill Road, Nellysford. 361-1266.

NAACP Meeting: The local chapter of the NAACP meets on the second Monday of each month. 7pm. Tonsler Park Community Center; Cherry Avenue near Fifth Street. 293-4044.

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

Morning Nature Hike: Join a Wintergreen Nature Foundation naturalist for an interpretive hike in the woods. 10am every Saturday and Sunday. $5 fee ($3 Foundation members), registration required. 325-8169 or

Streamwatch Water Monitoring: Join John Murphy of the Rivanna Conservation Society for a trip to assess watershed health at several sites along the Rivanna River. Contact the RCS for info and to find other certified monitors in your area. 589-7576 or

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 is readying the place for Sharon Shapiro's upcoming September show. City Center for Contemporary Arts, corner of Second and E. Water streets. 977-7284.

On August 15, the University of Virginia Art Museum opens a weeklong exhibition, "Summer Collage," showcasing the work of 110 local children who participated in the museum's Summer Arts program. Don't delay because the show comes down after August 22. Also on view, "American Collage" includes work by Andy Warhol, Adja Yunkers, and Robert Motherwell, among others, and runs through August 24. 155 Rugby Road. 924-3952.

Piedmont Virginia Community College presents the Boys & Girls Club of Charlottesville's exhibition "KidsMake: A Summer of Art." Earl V. Dickinson Building, 501 College Drive. 977-2001.

Charlottesville-Albemarle Art Association members Barbara Ryan and Randy Sights Baskerville are on view on the second floor of the Albemarle County Office Building through August. Corner of Preston Ave. and McIntire Road.

The Kluge-Ruhe Collection of Aboriginal Art will be closed August 16-20 for an exhibit change. 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.

Nature Visionary Art presents "29 Works by Henri Thezume, Cap Haitian Master," during the month of August. 110 Fourth St. 296-8482.

The Gallery @ 5th & Water displays the oil paintings of Jean R. Sampson through August 30. Located in the foyer of the architectural firm of Stoneking/Von Storch and the accounting firm of Henderson and Everett. 107 Fifth St. 979-9825.

During August, CODG presents a solo exhibition of fingertip oil paintings by Harrisonburg artist Jack Brandt. 112 E. Main St., under the Jefferson Theater. 242-4212.

New Dominion Bookshop offers Lucy Alford's "Red Clay, Pale Sky," oils on wood from Nelson County, in its Mezzanine Gallery through August. 404 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 295-2552.

During August, the C&O Gallery shows "A Passion for Color," paintings by Nick Martori intended "to evoke a feeling of nostalgia." Next door to the C&O Restaurant, 511 E. Water St. 971-7044.

For the month of July, Sage Moon Gallery features "Garden Varieties" watercolors by Holly Macaulay. 420 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 977-9997.

Meg West's exhibit, "Summer Paintings in Western Albemarle," is on display through August 31 at Jarman's Gap restaurant in Crozet. 5790 Three Notch'd Road. 823-4626.

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. 501 E. Jefferson Court Square. 296-8484.

"Dreamscapes," a collection of new oil paintings by Leslie Allyn, hangs at Ombra's Café in Crozet through August 31. 5773 The Square. 823-5332.

The Laughing Lion Gallery presents "C-Ville Dancers Part 2: Small Portraits" by Terrence Pratt during the month of August. 103 E. Water St. in the Commerce Building (above Londons). 984-4000.

During August, the Mudhouse shows work by Sanjay Vora. 213 W. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 984-6833.

View James May's watercolor and acrylic landscapes, inspired by the artist's travels, at Art Upstairs through August. 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!) painting, drawing, printmaking, fiber art, calligraphy, mixed media, stained glass, hot glass, sculpture, photography, furniture, marbling, ceramics, and book arts. Good news for McGuffey fans, the center has added an hour to its Tuesday-Saturday schedule and now keeps its doors open until 6pm. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.

Transient Crafters displays "Recent Musings in Watercolor," an exhibition of paintings by Leslie Allyn, through August 118 W. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 972-9500.

Until September 1, Bozart Gallery features its annual members' show. 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.

Mountain Air Gallery, Etc. presents Joyce Lynn's "Realism and Impressionism" during August. 107 and 111 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 244-3393.

La Galleria now features the work of the late Al Rossie, in addition to other local artists. 1919 Commonwealth Drive (next to Rococo's). 293-7003.

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.


The Artisans Center of Virginia hosts its first "Artisan Members Exhibition" through September 2. 601 Shenandoah Village Drive (exit 94 off I-64), Waynesboro. 540-946-3294.

Through September 4, The Arts Center in Orange features a mixed-media installation of toy-based objects, "Spielzug/Zeitgeist," by Jennifer Van Winkle. 129 E. Main St., Orange. 540-672-7311. See Art feature.

Madison's Sevenoaks Pathwork Center hosts the Charlottesville-Albemarle Art Associations 11th annual "Juried Art Show" through September 25. Winners include Chris Rudasill, J.M. Henry, and Douglas Williams. 403 Pathwork Way, Madison. 434-295-2486.

The Beverley Street Studio School Gallery in Staunton presents "Printmaking from the Center," featuring work by Doris Anne Miller, Elaine Hurst, Anne Sills, Barbara Phillips, and Astrid Heimer Tuttle, through September 1. 222 W. Beverley St., Staunton. 540-886-8636.

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.

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


The Fluvanna Heritage Trail Foundation will hold its fifth annual show in October and invites artists in all media from Fluvanna and surrounding counties to submit works depicting "Trial Experience: scenes, sites, and people." Information and applications are available at Carysbrook Library and the Fluvanna Community Center in Fork Union, as well as at Charlottesville's McGuffey Art Center. For more information, contact Martha K. Rossi, 434-589-6545 or visit

Art Upstairs has published a new gallery guide mapping 22 venues in downtown Charlottesville. The brochure is available at Art Upstairs and at the other galleries listed, as well as at many hotels and restaurants.

Orange alert: Van Winkle's political play
By Laura Parsons
Whatever you think of this peculiar American moment– Bush says we're "safer," yet we're "in danger"; he tells us the economy is "turning a corner," yet job creation is plummeting; combat in Iraq is officially over ("Mission Accomplished"), yet the blood-letting continues; and marriage is a good thing but only if you're straight– you have to admit that when the going gets tough, the artists get creative.

Case in point: Jennifer Van Winkle, who has been feeling disturbed and perturbed. "For myself, I wanted to do something to relieve or investigate this frustration," she says, sitting in the middle of her installation "Spielzeug/Zeitgeist (Toys/Spirit of Our Times)," currently on display at the Art Center of Orange.

Feeling compelled to comment, Van Winkle initially worried because she considered most social-political art "ugly." So she set forth two parameters: "It has to be fun. It has to be beautiful."

The resulting installation is a political playhouse, furnished with curtains, cabinets, and tables that incorporate sculpture, painting, and wordplay. Although Van Winkle encourages a hands-on experience of the entire room, she's divided the installation into 11 "vignettes," selling it off in parcels as a statement about the American urge to "own a piece."

Make no mistake, Van Winkle's media is message-laden, but the individual vignettes' depth of communication varies. "Shoots and Ladders," a series of warped and broken steel ladders intermixed with plywood cutout guns and word bubbles, has a clever title but simply skims the surface of our everyday complacency toward violence and shattered promise.

More effective is her "Curtain of Commerce," a head-achingly complex 27 x 9-foot split tapestry of overstitched squares woven from the Yellow Pages. Loosely sewn together, the curtain gapes with holes and tangled black threads, the symbols for dollars and cents dangling haphazardly in its blank spaces.

Throughout, Van Winkle infuses her work with wry humor. "Separate, But Equal?" #1 and #2 feature two child-sized tables, crayon red and split like puzzle pieces, flanked by blue stools emblazoned with white stars and questions like "Truth?" and "Dare?" On each table, jumping jacks fly into action via "chain yankers" labeled "WMD," "Pat Riot Act," etc.

"Separate, But Equal?" #1 also offers a series of books, ranging from Quality Reasons Why We Went to Iraq to Transcript of the Speech of Apology to the World by the Current Administration. Needless to say, the pages are blank.

Jennifer Van Winkle' installation "Spielzeug/Zeitgeist (Toys/Spirit of Our Times)" is on view at The Arts Center in Orange through September 4. 129 E. Main St., Orange.

Times gone by: Slices of life and berry pie

Not too far from Charlottesville to the south, people remember a time when the landscape was all fields and pasture and the money crop was tobacco.

"Many simple pleasures like whippoorwills, wild blackberries, and wading in the creek were certainly a memorable part of my family's life," writes Eldridge Bagley, lifelong resident of Kenbridge on the other side of Farmville, "but so were droughts, hail storms, and financial struggles. It was a rewarding life, sustained through grit, and rough around the edges."

For years, Bagley has created evocative paintings of that place and those times. Each painting tells a story.

Gaunt cows are trucked to market, a few left standing on parched red earth. A boy sits in the grass, gazing into the sky, outside a humble church whose walls need painting and roof needs repair. Often the future imposes itself in Bagley's paintings: an elevated expressway in the distance behind a classic tobacco barn. (I'm the author of his 1998 pictoral history: Son of the Soil, Soul of an Artist.)

Now Bagley has used his artist's eye for detail to write a quiet, moving, and memorable reminiscence. Hounds Creek Chronicles is a collection of 29 essays, sweet but not sappy, recalling life in Southside Virginia in the 1950s. He begins his book with a middle-of-the-night crash, which he finds was caused by his father's tobacco-stripping building finally collapsing. The symbol persists through the rest of the book.

Here are the steps taken to grow, tend, harvest, cure, and sell Virginia tobacco, told from the vantage point of a man who can't remember a time when he wasn't out there, topping those plants in the sweaty summertime. Here is unreconstructed country cooking– eggs with pork brains, blackberry cobbler, tea with a quarter-inch of sugar in the bottom of the glass. Prayer meetings, big-band 78 records, corncob dolls, Christmas mistletoe shot from a tree, and a '51 Dodge pickup.

In a day when the average American relocates frequently, it's a rare person who, like Bagley, has lived in the same place for all of his 58 years.

"My personal journey has not been like that of a surging river," writes Bagley. "It has been more like that of a small creek that winds through familiar territory, with an intimate knowledge of the coves and shallows, the twists and turns, and of the seasonal cycles that surround them."

Meet Eldridge Bagley at Givens Books in Lynchburg on Saturday, August 21, from 11am to 1pm. 2236 Lakeside Drive, Lynchburg, 434-385-5027. Order Hounds Creek Chronicles directly from the author by writing Eldridge Bagley, 7276 Poorhouse Road, Victoria 23974-2408.

Slithery!: See strange snake sticks!

It's an unlikely venue for a folk art exhibit of this sort. The Virginia Discovery Museum is usually considered a great place for kids ages 2-12 to learn as they play. Their programs and exhibits– including the current Back Gallery display featuring the uniqueness of Australia called "Outback & Down Under"– usually include lots of hands-on, interactive components that grab kids' interest and get them involved in learning and discovery. This summer, however, the museum is hosting one very special exhibit that is strictly hands off.

VDM is always getting together with other community organizations to bring new and interesting ideas to light. So, when the folks at the Virginia Folklife Program of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities proposed an exhibit of master carver Norman Amos's carved wooden snake canes, VDM executive director Peppy Linden said, "Why not?"

Visitors can wander down the Discovery Museum's Rainforest Hallway to the party room where the walls are lined with over 40 intricately carved canes– known as thigmatropic walking sticks– depicting every species of snake indigenous to Virginia.

"Snake cane carving as a tradition is quite rich in southern and southwest Virginia," says Jon Lohman, director of the Virginia Folklife Program. "Norman is a self-taught artist who has really taken this to a whole different level."

A retired tobacco farmer and rural mail carrier from Pittsylvania County, Amos uses tree branches that have been shaped by coiled vines and "whittles," as he likes to say, every detail– including every delicate scale– with precisely sharpened hand-made tools. One snake can take from 60-160 hours to carve and paint. When they're finished, these reptiles look as if they could slither right off the stick.

While Amos has operated under the radar of many folk art collectors, his walking sticks have been displayed at the Corcoran Museum of Art in Washington, D.C., as well as numerous craft and folk art shows. And while this may be an unlikely venue for a display of this caliber, Lohman feels it will expose this important collection to a larger audience, as well as give kids the chance to learn about Virginia snakes. Best of all, you don't have to be under 12 to enjoy this Discovery Museum exhibit.

Norman Amos's carved snake canes are on display at the Virginia Discovery Museum through September 5. The exhibit is free, but those who wish to play in the museum's other areas are asked to pay admission. Open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 1-5pm. $4. Located on the east end of the Downtown Mall. 977-1025.

Step back: Finding city's history first-hand
You don't have to go far in this town to see Jefferson's Italian-inspired influence. From Monticello, to the Rotunda, to the arches and columns that decorate buildings all over the city, it's safe to say that past residents had something of an affinity for classical architecture.

But the fact remains that, like Rome, Charlottesville wasn't built in a day. In fact, it's taken more than 200 years to transform this one-time frontier settlement into the genteel Southern city we know today.

What began in 1762 as the new Albemarle County seat (centrally located between Richmond and Staunton) has grown into a diverse city with an international presence. From the beginning, however, Charlottesville's social and business life revolved around Court Square.

With a library, post office, liquor store, jeweler, gunsmith, printer, law offices, and residences, the five-block area between High and Market streets was the city's hub throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. Even today, the square remains home to all sorts of legal and business offices.

You can dig into just about all of this local history on a walking tour of the Court Square area with the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society. Tour the historic courthouse building, Town Hall, Swan Tavern (where Jefferson and the Virginia General Assembly laid low during the Revolutionary War), the Monticello Hotel, and Jackson Park.

"There are more than 200 years of history in the Court Square area," says Historical Society tour guide Sarah Hamfeldt. "And the walking tour takes people into some of the most important and interesting places in the city."

Every third Saturday, the Society replaces this tour with a stroll along the Downtown Mall focusing primarily on the unique architectural styles that define Main Street. The basic brick buildings– "embellished with eclectic Victorian, Gothic, and Italianate details"&endash; according to the Society, reflect the "conservative optimism" that typified the city following the Civil War.

"Both walking tours offer a way to see and understand the historical development of the city, from the earliest periods to modern times," Hamfeldt says, "without so much of the heavy Jefferson influence. It gives you a better understanding of the industrial history of the area, and explains why we're here and how the city has developed over the years."

Walking tours depart from the front porch of the McIntire Building (200 Second St. NE, across from Lee Park) at 10am every Saturday morning between April and October. Reservations not required, but a $3 per person donation is suggested (under 12 free). For info about this week's tour and other upcoming events at the ACHS call 296-1492 or visit

Wide-eyed: Puppets create world for kids

Never thought I would catch myself comparing strollers, eating dinner before 6pm, or touting the wonders of a puppet show for children. That was all before my daughter, little Lucía Armengol, was born last month.

It's true what they say about having kids– it changes your world. But that world changes, I've come to learn, in most unexpected ways. It's not so much the weight of responsibility, but the temptation to be drawn back into the past, into my own childhood, that I find most frightening and most humbling.

All right, at three weeks of age, Lucy is a bit a young to take much pleasure in Bob Brown's puppet show, which will cap off the Ash-Lawn Opera Festival's Summer Saturdays series this weekend. But I can't help but wish she weren't. I can't help but imagine her four or five years hence, wide-eyed at the sight of little stuffed toys coming to life.

Or maybe it's just wishful thinking. It takes a lot these days to tear youngsters loose from the pull of Saturday morning cartoons or video games and convince them to marvel at the sight of a silly old guy dangling dragons and knights from string above a 4-foot stage.

But Brown, who comes every year to Ash Lawn, is something special, according to the festival's organizers, and his puppets are always a big hit.

I caught up with Bob's wife, Judy, the brains behind the Fairfax-based operation, to get the scoop on this 45-minute spectacle. Judy writes the scripts, directs the shows, and manages the Browns' busy calendar, which includes more than 600 performances a year.

She says her husband is actually a shy guy, the sort who clings to her arm at cocktail parties.

The puppets, which he creates, animates, and gives voice to all by himself, unleash the artist within. "He's been doing it for 50 years," Judy says, "since a puppet show came to his elementary school in Hillside, N.J., and he was absolutely enthralled."

Brown made his first marionette– the kind of a puppet on strings– in the fourth grade. By his late teens, he was working at it professionally. His talent has taken him across the world, to Europe, Russia, India, Japan and Singapore. It got him through the Army without having to fire a shot. Best of all, Judy says, it actually paid the bills.

"He's wonderful at it," she said, "which is why we've been able to survive. I mean– we raised three kids and put them through college, doing puppets."

Bob Brown will perform The Reluctant Dragon this weekend. Based on a storybook by Kenneth Graham, the show emerges quite literally from a giant popup book. It stars young Robert (I love it!), who befriends the neighborhood dragon and tries to save him from his own bad rap.

Judy Brown says her husband's shows share this basic storyline: "We like to emphasize children being cleverer than adults. It sort of empowers them."

Suddenly I can relate to that theme, with my own grownup-hood looming ever more ominously. Observing the wonder in my daughter's eyes, wonder at a world simply too large for any of us to fathom, I'm left to ponder what children have to teach us– whether we really know any more than they do.

Families are welcome to bring a picnic. Puppeteer Bob Brown presents The Reluctant Dragon, about a fire-breathing monster whose scary reputation runs counter to the facts, as part of Ash Lawn's Summer Saturdays. Ages 4-11. 11am. Route 795. $5. 979-0122. More at

Both hands: Graboids grace the Rose
Friday, August 13 (don't be scared) Tokyo Rose sees the likes of two acts that complement each other in ways beyond sight and sound, fitting together like puzzle pieces. Be prepared for a lingering question after the show: Which one did I like more?

The local sound machine that is the primarily instrumental group Graboids and the Fredericksburg punks with drum machines, Millionaire Reverends, compete for your affections for the evening, but I have already decided which one has my ear this piece– the Graboids.

"Panda Cam 1" from one of the group's three released EPs begins with static, intermittently punctuated with what sound like newscaster vowels and consonants (something in their superior air gives me that impression). Soon enough enters synthesizer (I believe it's something along the lines of the "Tubes" sound frequent on many keyboards), and the static soon fades into the background. Grinding and fluttering soundscapes greet your right and left ears, as the center "Tubes" float around the chord scale.

Then at about 2:10, a sampled voice from beyond (probably a TV newscast) speaks, "This is no longer science fiction. We can provide deaf children with some sort of hearing. And I think what it does is to call for a whole new way of thinking about reimbursement for this intervention…" (Yes, I was wondering how this related to "Panda Cams" as a whole, as well as "Panda Cam 1," too.)

"Weapons of Mass Distraction" brings out the group's more traditional noisemakers, for although synth is involved, guitar, drums, and a catchy and flowing bass line enter the fray. A slow groove envelops the listener as cascades of tinkling cymbal rain down from the atmosphere.

"This song is terrible: support s*** music" made me laugh, though not the belly laugh watching a televised show such as The Simpsons can produce. Some parts here reminded me of the more atmospheric contributions of David Bowie to the soundtrack of the movie Labyrinth (I believe this is the second time I have recently referenced this movie– I'm beginning to believe it truly is the center of the universe), combined with part of Pink Floyd's The Wall. Haunting and repeating vocals fly around the stereo spectrum like ghosts as guitar notes that sound like they're being broadcast from another universe, approach and recede.

Like almost all shows at the Rose, $5 still gets you in (a fact we should all be thankful for). 10pm.