Cultural calendar, August 19-26, 2004

THURSDAY, August 19
James D. Russell reads from his book Beyond the Rim: From Slavery to Redemption in Rappahannock County, Virginia, at Barnes & Noble. 7pm. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-0461. See Words feature.

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 on the UVA campus. 924-UVA1.

Biggest and best: Rockingham County boasts that its County Fair is the biggest and best in the state with a schedule 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.

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. Sexy pole dancing for beginners, 7-8pm; intermediates, 8-9pm; advanced, 9-10pm. 652 Rio Road W. Ten-lesson series for $125. 975-4611.

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.

Water slide social:
Join the Outdoor Adventure Social Club for an evening at the local ACAC-run waterpark. 5:30pm. $12.50, plus membership fee. Registration is required. 760-HIKE or for info.

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.

Danny Beirne at Coupe DeVille's:
Beirne is one eclectic performer, playing his piano tunes and singing in his husky voice every Thursday at Coupe's, week in and week out. No cover, 10pm. (W)

Jan Smith and Jeff Vogelgesang with Paddy Dougherty at the Nelson Center: Be there for the beginning of something great, as the Blue Rose presents rootsy wunderkinds Jan Smith and Jeff Vogelesgang. Suggested donation $10, open jam 5-6:30pm/ music at 7pm.

Rocket Queen, Evenout, and Watts Passage at Outback Lodge: It's another Thursday, another Rock Night at Outback Lodge, where everything goes up to 11, even the taps. $6, 10pm.

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

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

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

Greg Howard, John D'earth, Jamal Millner & James McLaughlin at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8pm

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

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 (down-home flavor) at Starr Hill. $7, 8pm.

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

FRIDAY, August 20
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 slithering snakes. 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.

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 Rd. 924-7494.

Biggest and best: See Thursday, August 19.

Fridays After 5:
The popular outdoor concert series continues. This week's act is Terri Allard.

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

GPS for grownups: Learn the basics of Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation through hands-on activities on the trails of the Ivy Creek Natural Area. 12:30-4:30pm. No fee, but space is limited so registration is required. Meet in the Education Building. 984-0727 or

Sky watch: Join members of the Richmond Astronomical Society for an evening of stargazing on the front lawn of the Science Museum of Virginia. Telescopes and gazing equipment provided by the members. 9pm. No fee. (804) 864-1400 or for info.

Outdoor info session: The Outdoor Adventure Social Club offers a photo show and social hour. 8-10pm. Free if you RSVP. 420 E. Main St. #3. or 760-HIKE.

Shane: Ladd and Jack Palance square off in Shane, third in the Orange Film Festival series. Bring lawn chairs; popcorn, candy and soft drinks available. 8pm, free. Taylor Park, West Main Street, Orange. If it rains, head over to the St. Thomas's Episcopal Church parish hall, 119 Caroline St. 540-572-7311.

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. 7:30pm. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-28. 540-885-5588.

Merchant of Venice: Money, love, justice, mercy and a pound of flesh &emdash; this Shakespearean comedy has it all. Shenandoah Shakespeare's players will entertain and disturb, and leave you guessing who is hero and who is villain. 2pm. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-28. 540-885-5588.

CD Release party:
Tricia Lopez with Josh Mayo and Jay Pun at Gravity Lounge: This one-two punch of pop and soul will leave you reeling for the main event, the release party for special guest Lopez. $5, 8:30pm.

BLAST! at Rapture: Another '80s dance party hosted by Egghed23 once again. 867-5309. No cover, 10pm.

Hafla at Rapunzel's: Costume, music, and eye-catching movement– what else can you ask for in an evening's entertainment? Join Rapunzel's for another gyrating performance by belly dancing troupe Hafla. No cover, 7:30pm.

DJ Malc D at Atomic Burrito. No cover, 10pm.

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

The Red Hot Chilly Pickers (bluegrass) at Miller's. $3, 10pm.

William Walter & Co (acoustic rock) at Orbit. No cover, 10:30pm.

Fletcher Bridge and (country-rock) Sin City Revival (rock) at Outback Lodge. $6, 10pm.

African Show Boyz at Shebeen. No cover, 9 & 10:30pm.

Modern Groove Syndicate (jam) and Sumthing at Starr Hill. $5, 9pm.

Neon-Rock Dj Night at Tokyo Rose. Free till 11/$2 after, 10pm.

Back to School Jump off with DJ Face at West Main. $10, 10pm.

SATURDAY, August 21
Y'art sale:
Second Street Gallery offers art materials, craft supplies, art books and objets– cheap! 9-noon. 115 Second St. SE. 977-7284.

Summer nights:
Modern folks can learn to dance the way our ancestors did at the Frontier Culture Museum. Simple country and barn dances from old-time America and our European ancestors will be taught for all skill levels. Box supper included. 7-9:30pm. $22 adults, $11 children. Reservations required. Rt. 250 in Staunton. 540-332-7850.

Tell me a story: Little literati ages 5 and up can enjoy back to school stories during story time at Barnes & Noble. 11:30am. Free. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.

Biggest and best: See Thursday, August 19.

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

Chicken run 5k: Runners know all about this annual race and BBQ fest. Toss in live music, games, food, and a truck raffle, and you've a full day of activities. The race is at 8am; the BBQ from 1-5pm. Cutright's Lake at the intersection of 29 South and Route 760.

Blooms & dragonflies: Join Ivy Creek guides for a walk around the wetlands of Ivy Creek to watch dragonflies perform among the late summer blossoms. 9am. No fee. 973-7772 or

Shenandoah wilderness legacy: Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Wilderness Act with the rangers at Shenandoah National Park. This moderately strenuous 8-mile hike will introduce the park's wilderness legacy and explain our role in the area's future. $35 fee, registration required. 540-999-3489 or See Walkabout feature.

Ornamental kitchen garden: Looking for more than just sustenance from your garden? Maggie Stemann Thompson discusses some of her favorite ornamental plants and leads a walk through the Monticello Kitchen Garden for a first-hand glimpse at some of these beauties. 9:30am. $10 fee, reservations required. Monticello Garden Shop. 984-9822 or for details.

Golf outing: Join the Baby Boomers women's golf group for a day on the links at the South Wales golf club. Tee times start at around noon. $16 fee includes everything you need. 540-760-6280 for details.

West Virginia adventure: Spend the weekend hiking and rafting with the Outdoor Adventure Social Club in the wild and wooly mountains of West Virginia. Depart noon Saturday and return Sunday night. $105 fee, plus membership. 760-HIKE or for info and registration.

Isis choker: Guest instructor Maggie Meister teaches crafting a choker necklace at Studio Baboo. 10am-4pm. $45, registration required. 106 Fifth St. SE on the Downtown Mall. 244-2905, or

The Most Lamentable Comedy:
See Thursday, August 19.

Baroque outdoors: The Staunton Music Festival kicks off with concertos and sonatas by Vivaldi, Telemann and Corelli, as well as arias by Bach, Caldera and Handel. 8pm; beer and wine bar opens an hour early. Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, Coalter and Frederick streets, Staunton; rain site at Trinity Episcopal Church, Beverley and Lewis streets. $6-$14. 540-885-7873. See Performance feature.

In Tenebris CD Release Party with Terminal Ready and Dionysus Project at Outback Lodge:
The subtle to crashing sounds of In Tenebris will be on prime display tonight, as they release their new full-length From Blood and Water. $6, 10pm. See Tunes feature.

The Deer Creek Boys at Rapunzel's: Traditional bluegrass quartets come and go (three of them live in my backyard), but the Deer Creek Boys are special. Tight harmonies and a smattering of original tunes will turn your night into a window to the past. $5, 7:30pm.

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

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

Dreamcar (rock) at Miller's. $3, 10:30pm.

Los Diabolos ("Boston Irish-Jewish folk-punk") at Shebeen. No cover, 10:30pm.

Acousteddon: Jim Wave band (10:00), Atsushi Miura (11:00), and B.C. (11:45) at Tokyo Rose. $5, 10pm

Snug at West Main. No cover, 10pm.

SUNDAY, August 22
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.

Midsummer Night's Dream: See Friday, August 20. Today's show is at 2pm.

Chamber concert: The Staunton Music Festival presents works by Mozart and Dvorak. 4pm; doors open an hour early for a conversation with the musicians. Parish Hall, Trinity Episcopal Church, Beverley and Lewis streets, Staunton. $6-$14. 540-885-7873. See Performance feature.

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.

Weather wonders: Meteorologist Heidi Sonen explains common sky wonders as well as the tumultuous weather we experience in the fall. You'll never see the sky the same way again. 2pm. Ivy Creek Natural Area. 984-0727 or

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

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

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

C'Ville Superstar Contest at Starr Hill. No cover, 8pm.

MONDAY, August 23
Open Mic Night with Charles Davis at Baja Bean. No cover, signup 8:30pm/9pm. (W)

Dr. Bottleneck at Miller's. $3, 9pm.

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

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

TUESDAY, August 24
Mini-golf social:
Dinner and "Putt Putt," good and simple. Fee, plus membership. 760-HIKE or for info and registration.

Shoot safely: A hunter safety class teaches basic fundamentals of gun use. Albemarle High School cafeteria today through Thursday, August 26. Ages 10 and above. 6-9:30pm. Free, but registration required. 975-9450.

Long wait: Carlos M. N. Eire, author of Waiting for Snow in Havana speaks at the Miller Center today about his experiences as an immigrant during the 1962 airlift of chidren from Cuba known as Pedro Pan. 11am. 2201 Old Ivy Road.

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)

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

Banty Rooster (bluegrass) at Miller's. $3, 9:30pm.

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

WEDNESDAY, August 25
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.

Mountain biking:
Join the Outdoor Adventure Social Club for an evening of beginner and intermediate-level mountain biking at Panorama Trails in Albemarle County. $9 fee, plus membership. 760-HIKE or for info and registration.

Long wait: See Turesday, August 24. Today's talk is at the Science and Engineering Library, Thornton Hall, 351 McCormick Road.

Brick stitch earrings: Studio Baboo instructor Louise Smith teaches the basics of brick stitch while helping students make a pair of delicate fringed earrings. 10am-1pm. $35, registration required. 106 Fifth St. SE on the Downtown Mall. 244-2905, or for info.

West Virginia day trip: Join a Wintergreen Nature Foundation naturalist for a hike to the summit of Seneca Rocks with a stop-off at the amazing cranberry bogs at nearby Dolly Sods. 7am departure. $25 fee ($20 for Foundation members), registration required. 325-7453 or for info.

Drink for the run: Zocalo (central place downtown) hosts a happy hour event to help three UVA medical residents raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The three plan to run in the Virginia Beach half marathon September 5 to benefit the Society. Drink specials! $5 donation at the door. 6pm-close. 293-2960 or

The Most Lamentable Comedy:
See Thursday, August 19.

Chamber concert: The Staunton Music Festival presents works by Webern, Ravel and Schubert. 8pm; doors open an hour early for a conversation with the musicians. First Presbyterian Church, 100 E. Frederick St., Staunton. $6-$14. 540-885-7873. See Performance feature

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's 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)

The Lascivious Biddies at Gravity Lounge. $10/$8 advance, 7:59pm.

Travis Elliott (acoustic pop-rock) at Orbit. No cover, 10pm. (W)

Jamal Millner and Friends at Outback Lodge. No cover, 10pm.

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

The Rhyme Factory: MC Showcase with Dark Bran, Q-Black, Mitch and more at Rapture. No cover, 10pm.

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)

Pterodactal and Ultra Dolphins (hardcore) at Tokyo Rose. $5, 10pm.

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

Karaoke Night at West Main. No Cover, 10pm. (W)

Junior Moment (eclectic energetic folk-rock-blues) at Dr. Ho's Humble Pie at Crossroads. No cover, 7:30pm.

THURSDAY, August 26
Midsummer Night's Dream:
See Friday, August 20.

Matthew Willner solo at Starr Hill downstairs:
Willner's otherworldly accompaniments take the form of looped repeats of anything he plays, created live before your very eyes. Listen as the cacophony of sounds builds and builds. No cover, 10pm.

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)

Showcase and Falls Church (pop) 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)

Songlines (rock) at West Main. No cover, 10pm.

The Wave (classic rock) at Kokopelli's Café in Crozet. (Young artist night, no alcohol) $3, 7-9pm.

Upcoming and Ongoing
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.

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.

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.

Glass-Blowing Workshop:
Try your hand at glass blowing with a one-day class at Sunspot Studios in Staunton. You'll get to watch a master in action, and then jump in to create a paperweight of your own. 9am and 12:30pm sessions (the later class delves into more advanced techniques) now through September. $85 fee for the paperweight workshop ($150 for the advanced class). 202 S. Lewis St. in Staunton near the old train station. 540-885-0678 or for info and reservations.

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.

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.

Recent works by Glenn Bangley are on view at Café Cubano through August. 112 W. Main St. in York Place on the Downtown Mall. 971-8743.

The Second Street Gallery is temporarily dark. Stay tuned for Sharon Shapiro's upcoming September show. City Center for Contemporary Arts, corner of Second and Water streets. 977-7284.

The University of Virginia Art Museum winds up 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 21, when the museum opens its yearlong exhibit, "Jefferson In and Out," exploring "the world influences that shaped Thomas Jefferson's cultural interests." Also on view, "American Collage" includes work by Andy Warhol, Adja Yunkers, and Robert Motherwell, among others, through August 24. 155 Rugby Road. 924-3952.

Piedmont Virginia Community College presents an exhibition of pinhole photography by Mary Baldwin College art prof Jim Sconyers Jr. from August 25-September 24. Earl V. Dickinson Building, 501 College Drive. 977-2001.

Charlottesville-Albemarle Art Association members Barbara Ryan and Randy Sights Baskerville have work 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 features "Twice Born: Marsupials in Aboriginal Art," through November 6. The museum is 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 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.

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 August, 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 Notched 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. See Art feature.

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.

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

During August, 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.


Caffe Bocce features "An Exhibition of Paintings" by Peter Bowyer through August 31. Valley Street, Scottsville. 296-4422.

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 East Main St., Orange. 540-672-7311.

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. 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.

Abstract memories: Vora scratches the surface
By Laura Parsons
In third grade, my favorite art project involved crayoning a white sheet of paper edge to edge and then coating it with tempera paint. After the paint dried, I used a toothpick to scratch through the opaque surface, giggling and giddy to see the colors beneath revealed

I remembered that thrill while viewing painter Sanjay Vora's current show at the Mudhouse. Vora develops a similar technique to investigate the adult emotional realm of memory– experimenting with materials used in multiple layers and playing with texture and transparency. The resulting six paintings are subtle and complex explorations of concealment and revelation.

On his website, Vora writes, "My current work is about nostalgia and the longing to live in a dream world formulated by the past."

The lone figurative painting, the 30 x 54-inch "Dreamscape" hanging over the Mudhouse couch, features hazy but identifiable forms– a reclining man gazing down at an outstretched woman– veiled beneath gauzy blue and white layers.

But Vora is at his best when he remains in the abstract. Using a language of rectangles to reach through the levels of paint in the remaining five works, the artist creates window-and-door-like elements that open onto colors obscured beneath milky layers of whiteness.

Vora gives each painting a quiet rhythm with row upon row of repetitive, scratched-in elements– here tiny glimmering squares, there vertically looping lines that upon closer examination read endlessly, "You never fail on me."

Several pieces move with a descending dynamism, where the eye increasingly runs across hidden facets as it moves from top to bottom. In the 15 x 16-inch "Happenings Over Time," created from oil, gel medium, and graphite, sporadic glass-like squares provide moments of clarity within the chalky white-blue surface. Like faintly tinged jewels of yellow, orange, and green, these translucent elements grow larger and more profuse toward the painting's lower edge

A large vertical rectangle on the lower right of "Simple Things" reveals a mélange of dark teal, orange, and mustard, soft and murky, that lures the viewer to lean in closer in an effort to see more of what's obscured by the fog-gray layers above.

Vora's paintings are deceptively minimal upon first encounter, but time spent with each reveals the complexity of the artist's vision expressed through the same set of elements, arranged, re-arranged, and re-interpreted.

Unfortunately, the Mudhouse's ever-buzzing caffeinated corridor is hardly the ideal venue for prolonged, contemplative viewing, which work of such subtle depth rewards.

Sanjay Vora's recent work will be on view at the Mudhouse through August. 213 W. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 984-6833.

Looking back: Slave story comes alive

Many people have fond memories of the stories they heard from their grandparents, but many later wish they had been more patient when the oldsters related their memories of everyday life in decades past.

Sperryville resident James D. Russell did have the foresight to spend hours at his great-grandmother's side. Caroline Terry lived to be 108, and thanks to her wit and good memory, Russell has now published his version of her rich reminiscences– tales from the life of a Virginia plantation slave.

Born in 1833 (no one knows where for sure), Terry worked as a house slave on two Rappahannock County farms. From the beginning, she was spirited and feisty, willing to fight back against the mockery that often came the way of slaves from white people or, worse, from the lighter-skinned women allowed by genetics and fate to live in the "big house" instead of a tiny slave dwelling.

At the age of 18, Terry was purchased by a new owner and moved toward Culpeper. She was given a cabin all her own. "Why is dey putting me in dis heah cabin all by myself?" she asked. She soon learned she lived in what was called the "honeymoon house," where Master Frank visited any evening he pleased.

Terry raised six children, the first three considered "big house children" and the other three born in freedom to her and her husband, Jeffrey. She named her youngest son after one of her favorite poems, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Hiawatha. Folks called him "Watha" for short.

We have heard versions of many of these stories before, but there's something fresh and fascinating about Russell's telling. Knowing that he knew the woman who lived through these times makes this more than another Roots.

And the distinct character of Caroline– proud but not haughty, intelligent, clear-headed, and tough to the core– comes through in this pleasantly naive recounting of stories from our nation's past. There's no ax to grind, no social lessons to be drummed into the reader's head.

Instead, an honesty and directness infuses these stories– and Russell's own life story (which he shares at the end of the book)– that's more convincing than any polemic would have been. We end up smiling at Caroline's triumphs, wincing at her pain, and feeling that we, too, like the author, spent some pleasant summer evenings sitting in a rocking chair on the Sperryville porch alongside her, listening while she remembered.

James D. Russell reads from his book Beyond the Rim: From Slavery to Redemption in Rappahannock County, Virginia, at Barnes & Noble on Thursday, August 19, at 7pm. Barracks Road Shopping Center, 984-0461.

The exciting East: Quarry offers natural delights

II know we're into the dog days of summer when my kids roll out of bed– somewhere around noon– and the first words out of their mouths are, "I'm so-o bored!" That's when we just have to get out and do something different.

This week, we put on our hiking shoes, packed a lunch, and hopped into the car and headed… east. Richmond and environs have a number of interesting outdoor recreational areas where active kids can explore and learn a thing or two while they're having a great time. This time we ended up at Three Lakes Nature Center and Aquarium.

Part of the Henrico County park system, Three Lakes started out as a quarry in the 1960s where sand and gravel were excavated to build I-95, which now runs just west of the park. As the pits gradually filled with water, the county acquired the 119 acres of lakes and wetlands to preserve as a natural area. An indoor nature center added to the site in 1992 offers educational exhibits, programs, and tours for visitors of all ages.

The biggest attraction in the nature center is the unique view it offers of the aquatic ecosystem just beyond its walls. Visitors can see right into the lake through a huge glass window that plunges below the water's surface. Catfish, large-mouth bass, black crappie, sunfish, bluegill, and other critters can be seen wafting along on the currents, and signs nearby provide details about the view. The rest of the building contains hands-on displays and exhibits housing live snakes, frogs, and small fish along with mounted specimens of birds and mammals. All of these displays are easily accessible for the shorter members of the family, too.

Outside, hiking trails– some paved, some gravel, others rugged dirt paths– ring the lakes for a total of about two miles. Fishing is permitted, but not swimming or boating. Picnic shelters and tables are available, but you'll have to pack your own lunch; there are no concessions. There's also a terrific playground with lots of climbing, crawling, sliding, and swinging possibilities.

Those who still want more nature fun can round out the day with a visit to the fluttering butterfly garden in the conservatory at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens just five miles away. The petting zoo, wild animal displays, nature center, and gardens at Maymont are another possibility, but we had to leave these for another day.

During the summer, Three Lakes Nature Center and Aquarium is open Tuesday through Friday 10am-5pm, weekends noon-5pm. At other times of the year, hours are noon-5pm. The park is open dawn to dusk. Admission is free. 400 Sausiluta Drive, Richmond. Take I-64 to I-295 to Rt. 1 south to Wilkinson Road to right on Sausiluta. 804-261-8230. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is at 1800 Lakeside Ave. 804-262-9887. Maymont is down in the city at 2201 Shields Lake Drive. 804-358-7166.

Back to nature: 40 years of wilderness
The Wilderness Act, passed by Congress in 1964, was intended to create an "enduring resource of wilderness for future generations" of Americans. Over one million acres of protected backcountry and 40 years later, it's still going strong.

Here in Virginia, in fact, the Act has set aside nearly 80,000 acres of land in Shenandoah National Park. It's a good thing too, since today Shenandoah hosts more than a million tourists a year, and those wilderness acres stand as some of the last outposts of virgin forest in the Commonwealth– and in the nation.

Saturday, August 21, you can experience this local backcountry first hand on an 8-mile hike through the Park's wilderness area with a qualified local naturalist as part of the 40th-anniversary celebration. Education Specialist Laura Buchheit leads the moderately difficult trek and discusses various aspects of the Wilderness Act and its history in Shenandoah as she goes.

"Our job is to preserve the character of these wilderness areas and encourage people to come out and enjoy them," Buchheit says. "On the hike, we'll be discussing some of the key people behind this wilderness legacy and how we are all part of that same legacy for the future."

Despite the name, wilderness areas aren't about limiting access. In fact, the Parks Service goes out of its way to encourage hiking, camping, snow-shoeing, and other human-powered sports in these pristine places.

"In contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape," the law reads, wilderness areas are places "where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain." Technically, the task of defining an area as "wilderness" falls on the Parks Service.

"We try to be more considerate in terms of what happens in the wilderness areas," Buchheit explains. "We limit the use of mechanized equipment and try to preserve the wilderness character of the place by not always taking the most convenient path in terms of maintenance."

The Education Office plans another hike, this one five miles, through the wilderness area on September 4. The discussion for that event will focus on the definition of wilderness and how the Act has shaped the character of Shenandoah.

Saturday's hike in Shenandoah National Park is one of three local events in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the passage of the Wilderness Act. $35 per person; pre-registration required. Be sure to call early, as the hikes fill up, and keep your own hiking limitations and experience in mind. 540-999-3489 or

Head west: Staunton hosts classical gala

Yes, yes, we know.

With close to a dozen theater companies large and small and a university that draws world-renowned musicians and performers, Charlottesville– with more aspiring (and established) artists than red bricks– fancies itself Central Virginia's mecca for Culture of the old-fashioned kind: with a capital C.

But this week, Staunton– that curiously pronounced town across the Blue Ridge, home to another Virginia president, Woodrow Wilson– will prove its worth its weight in gold. And this time the highlight is not the Shenandoah Shakespeare troupe, known for staging the best of the bard with simple grace in a replica of an Elizabethan playhouse.

From August 21-29, more than 30 notable musicians and composers from the United States, Canada, and Europe will descend on the Shenandoah Valley for the seventh annual Staunton Music Festival. Displaying what its organizers call "adventurous and innovative programming," past incarnations of the festival have covered an amazing breadth of territory, including African drum workshops, traditional Japanese music, and a performance of "Peter and the Wolf" for children.

This is no Bonnaroo rock-and-roll bash, and– trust me– that's good news.

At this festival, the performers play in chamber ensembles in small and intimate venues, and the featured works for 2004 come from a range of standard classics by Bach, Beethoven, Handel, Mozart, and all their kindred spirits, with a few contemporary composers mixed in. The result is a sophisticated (though hardly tedious) repertoire of concerts where audience members can chat freely with musicians before the shows and the refreshments of choice are fine beer and wine.

Which is why, happily, I get to write about the Staunton festival in this dead of August, when all the obvious options for the performing arts in Charlottesville are on hiatus or between seasons.

Most of the concerts are being held over two weekends, so this short season will be gone in the blink of an eye. Here are some of the shows classical-music buffs won't want to miss:

Baroque Outdoors on Saturday, August 21, will take place (weather permitting) in the boxwood gardens of the Wilson Presidential Library. The 8pm show includes concertos and sonatas by Vivaldi, Telemann, and Corelli, and a number of classic arias.

The next day's 4pm chamber concert at Trinity Episcopal Church features two U.S. premieres of Mozart's work. One is Andantino, an unfinished piece completed by Virginian John Hilliard; the other is Song of the Silkie, a remix by MIT music prof Elena Ruerh.

The following weekend includes an evening gala on Friday, August 27, with drinks, dinner, and festive compositions by Haydn and Beethoven, at El Capote on Sherwood Avenue. The Blackfriars Playhouse on Market Street– home of Shenandoah Shakespeare– will host Henry Purcell's tragic opera Dido and Aeneas at 8pm, Saturday, August 28, with Charlottesville's own Zephyrus choir singing backup. The playhouse will also host the festival's finale the following afternoon, after a 3pm conversation with Hilliard.

Staunton is a 30-minute drive west on I-64. Festival tickets are $6-14 per show, $50 for the gala. Season tickets are $52-$62, or $100-110 including the gala. 540-885-7873 or

Out of obscurity: Don the fishnets and rock
When someone finally points out that what you've always thought was the scent of burned rubber on our nation's highways is, actually, the charming odor of run-over skunk, you begin to smell it everywhere.

The car decals for In Tenebris are much the same. Next to the Mudhouse and the Dave Matthews Band, the free advertisements I see gracing the cars all around this town the most (besides the gray Camaro with the "Honk if you're horny" tag) are for this local Goth group, and now I'm dooming you to the consciousness of noticing them as well. You might begin to think: "Is the band any good?" "What does In Tenebris mean exactly?" "Their name suggests Goth, but I only wear pink– can I get into their shows without getting hassled?"

For those of you who get bored reading 400-word articles, let me sum up this whole mixture of whimsy and lugubrious prose by answering the above questions: 1) Yes, 2) In Obscurity, and 3) I'm not sure, maybe if you have enough piercings and get hold of some of those fake blood tablets it will be easier. For those of you without a soul-sucking day job, read on, enjoy the weather, and relish the paper before you.

Christina Fleming (vocals), Jdavyd Williams (guitars and programming), John Harmon (bass), and Kevin Martin (percussionist) were members of the first version of In Tenebris in 1997. After releasing A Rorschach Test for Architects, the group's first demo, the band disbanded until 2000, when Fleming and Williams reunited under the same moniker. With the addition of Nathaniel Acker on bass, the group released their first full-length, Fall Away, featuring songs from the demo and new originals.

The title track of Fall Away begins with a winding classical keyboard riff, before sustained guitar chords reminiscent of the Cure and a second riff on an instrument that sounds like the background to a Commodore 64 game take things up a notch. The track really gets going on the entry of Fleming, whose Enya-crossed-with-a-stereotypical-female-vocalist-from-the-Middle-Ages drives the song along. Fleming's voice floats on a sea of synth orchestra sounds and an '80s-type reverb'ed drum track, as cymbals that have never existed in this world crash their computer-driven tirade in the background.

"Fear to Breathe," from the same album, begins with quiet synth rumbling and Fleming intoning, "I can still feel you here / Traces you left to me up here," her melody following along a simple piano riff. At about the minute mark, slight synth drums come in, though it's not until two minutes into the track that distorted guitar and all the trappings of a big chorus (cymbal crashes, louder everything, sustained vocal notes) let you know it's time to rock.

August 21 is In Tenebris' CD Release Party for From Blood and Water at Outback Lodge, the new home of local music (who would have thought?). You should go! The band is great, and hey, you have that purple plush and those fishnet stockings you've never even taken out of the drawer. It's about time to put them to good use.

CD Release Party: In Tenebris with Terminal Ready, Dionysus Project at Outback Lodge, August 21. $6, 10pm.