Cultural Calendar September 9-16, 2004

THURSDAY, September 9
FAMILY
Kids Day Out:
Mommy & Me (and Daddy too) celebrates the performing arts at Barracks Road Shopping Center. Performance opportunities (and photo ops) abound. Stories, arts and crafts, and more. 10am-noon. Free. Barracks Road. 977-4583.

Teen Challenge: Children, Youth, and Family Services offers "Surviving the Teen Years," a series of six classes for parents of teens. Find out why kids act out or withdraw, how to improve communication and respect, problem solving approaches, and how to handle some common behavioral difficulties. Six Thursdays starting tonight from 6-7:30pm. $15 per family. 296-4118, ext. 257.

WALKABOUT
Bird Club:
The Monticello Bird Club meets to discuss "Prince Edward Island and the Pack Ice," a slideshow presentation featuring birds from South Africa to Prince Edwards Island. 7:30pm in the Education Building at Ivy Creek Natural Area. 971-9271.

Keep 'em Apart: Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, addresses the controversies surrounding the use and misuse of religious themes in politics. 7pm. Free. Old Cabell Hall. 974-4582 or cvsh.wash.org.

WORDS
Kerouac in a Family Way:
UVA English professor Christopher Tilghman introduces his new novel, Roads of the Heart, at New Dominion Bookshop at 5:30pm. 404 E. Main St. 295-2552. See Words feature.

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

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 $125. 975-4611.

The Consul: Local actors and musicians perform Gian-Carlo Menotti's award-winning opera, The Consul, a story of one woman's perseverance in the face of a bureaucratic nightmare. The show begins tonight with three more performances this month. 8pm. Gravity Lounge, 103 S. First St., off the Downtown Mall. $12-15. 977-5590.

PERFORMANCE AND TUNES
Flout Heaven:
Jazz flutist Galen Razzaq comes to Piedmont Virginia Community College. Playing since he was 10, Razzaq cites the late-night radio of his youth as a primary influence. He's performed on Broadway and at more than 150 colleges and universities across the United States and often combines his performances with thoughtful lectures. 7:30pm. $17 adults/$10 seniors and students. V. Earl Dickinson Building, off Route 20. 961-5376.

TUNES
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)

Reggae Thursdays: Soldiers of Jah Army at Garden of Sheba. $7, 10p.m.

Gian Carlo Menotti's The Consul at Gravity Lounge. $12, 8pm.

Young Artist Night at Kokopelli's Café in Crozet. No cover, 7-9pm.

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

Rule of Thump (jam) at Orbit. No cover, 10:30pm.

T.O.W., Oddzar, and Sixty Cycle at Outback Lodge. $5, 10pm.

Robert Jospe (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)

The Sharp Shooters and the Smash Casters at Tokyo Rose. $5, 10pm.

FRIDAY, September 10
FAMILY
Storybook Dance:
Young thespians ages 2-5 can climb on stage at the Virginia Discovery Museum as they sing and dance and bring to life stories from different areas around the world. 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.

WORDS
Third Anniversary:
UVA's Miller Center director, Philip Zelikow, served as executive director of the now-famous 9-11 Commission. Today he speaks on the findings of the Commission, especially about how the terrorists planned, financed, and carried out the September 11 attacks. At a subsequent Miller Center appearance, Zelikow will discuss the commission's recommendations. 11am. 2201 Old Ivy Road. 924-0921.

ART
On Message:
Richmond's Plant Zero Project Space presents "On Message: Art for Our Time," featuring work by 19 regional and national artists. Curated by photographer Alyssa Salomon, the exhibition attempts to get out the vote through its critiques of government policies and actions. There's an opening reception today, 5-8pm. The show runs through November 7. 0 E. Fourth St., Richmond. 804-321-8899.

WALKABOUT
Fridays After 5:
The popular outdoor concert series continues. This week's act is Big Ray and the Kool Kats. It's free!

Interpretation: The Center for Christian Study presents the first of 10 weekly classes in "Old Testament Stories and Themes: Interpreting the Old Testament Within History and the Bible." Students and seniors, $45; others, $80. 9-11am. All Saints Anglican Church, 3889 Ivy Road. 817-1050. studycenter.net.

Smart Women Vote: The Charlottesville/Albemarle League of Women Voters and Cha Cha's join up for a "Smart Women Vote" voter registration drive. 2-7pm today, 11am-4pm Saturday in front of Cha Cha's on the Downtown Mall. 293-8553.

Information Session: Learn more about the Outdoor Adventure Social Club at this photo show and social hour. 8-10pm. Free if you RSVP. 420 E. Main St. #3. outdoorsocial.com or 760-HIKE.

PERFORMANCE
Les Liaisons Dangereuses: French title, English play– the adaptation of the 1782 Choderlos de Laclos novel, made famous by Hollywood as Dangerous Liaisons, opens this week. Shenandoah Shakespeare breathes new life into this "wickedly perverse" exploration of aristocratic decadence and deceit. Be ready to laugh and feel guilty for it. 7:30pm. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-28. 540-885-5588. See Performance feature.

TUNES
Big Ray and the Kool Kats at Fridays After 5 on the Downtown Mall:
Swing, etc. band Big Ray and the Kool Kats don't play around town that often– they're often livening up shows at locations such as the Kennedy Center. See what their hoopla is about. Free! 5:30pm.

Peen (Ween cover band) at Atomic Burrito. Free, 10pm.

Barbara Martin at Gravity Lounge. $10, 7:30pm.

Jackass Flats at Gravity Lounge. $5, 10:30pm.

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

Sweet Trouble at Kokopelli's Café. $5, 8pm.

3 Apples High at Miller's. $3, 10:30pm.

Jubeus and Sun Domingo at Outback Lodge. $6, 10pm.

The Murder City Beat Jackers at Rapture. $7, 10pm.

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

Bootie Jam Rock Dance Night at Tokyo Rose. Free till 11/$2 after, 10pm.

SATURDAY, September 11 FAMILY
Will You Play With Me?:
Partnership for Children offers a workshop for parents presented by Dinah Nieburg, from UVA's Under Fives Study Center and Clinic. Childcare available. 10:30am-noon. Gordon Avenue Library. 1500 Gordon Avenue. 220-KIDS (5437).

Junk Challenge: Kids ages 5-7 can team up to build amazing workable creations made entirely of junk at the Virginia Discovery Museum. No one is saying what the creations will be, but they promise science skills and creativity will be put to good use. 10am-noon. $20 members/$25 nonmembers. Pre-registration required. East end of the Downtown Mall. 977-1025.

Tell Me a Story: Little literati ages 5 and up can enjoy stories about family during story time at Barnes & Noble. 11:30am. Free. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.

WALKABOUT
Find Out:
Free prostate cancer screening. All men 50+, men 40+ with relative who has had prostate cancer, African-American men 40+ should be screened. 7:30-10:45pm. UVA urology department, hospital west complex, second floor. Free parking. 924-2225.

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 rivannatrails.org.

Kitchen Tour: Tour six amazing renovated kitchens in downtown Charlottesville, and raise money for Meals on Wheels in the process. $15 advance ($20 at the door). cvillemeals.org or 293-4364. See Walkabout feature.

Virginia Cider Making: Learn about Virginia's cider-making traditions with Monticello fruit gardeners Kerry Gilmer and Tom Burford and watch as they demonstrate the process in the estate's South Orchard. 9:30am at the Monticello Garden Shop. $10 fee, reservations required. Call 984-9822 or monticello.org for details.

Elkton Horse Show: This annual horse shows begins at 10:30am; with an evening show at 5:30pm. At the Blue Ridge Park in Elkton. 540-652-3200.

Smart Women Vote: See Friday, September 10. The voter registration drive continues today on the Downtown Mall. 11am-4pm. 293-8553.

Basic Photography: Join Wintergreen Nature Foundation instructor Kevin Blackburn and learn the basic operation of your digital camera. 9am. $60 ($50 for Foundation members), registration required. Bring your camera. 325-7453 or twnf.org for info.

Back to Basics: Terri Gable offers a class in bead stringing basics at Studio Baboo. Beginners learn to make a necklace or bracelet. 10am-12:30. Later in the afternoon, Gable teaches those delicate knots that you find between beads in fine jewelry. 2-4pm. $25 (materials included).106 Fifth St SE. 244-2905. studiobaboo.com.

PERFORMANCE
The Consul:
See Thursday, September 9.

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.

Les Liaisons Dangereuses: See Friday, September 10, and Performance feature.

Flamenco Workshop: Learn to dance flamenco to the sound of live guitar with Kristi O'Brien in a free trial class today. Regular classes 4pm Saturdays September 18-October 23. ACAC, Albemarle Square. $55-65; $10-12 drop-in. 296-7536.

Ballroom Showcase: DJ Tom Beazley orchestrates the September Showcase for Charlottesville's chapter of the U.S. Amateur Ballroom Dancers Association. Semi-formal attire recommended. Dance from 8-11:30pm; special performances start at 9. Greek Orthodox Church, at McIntire Road and Perry Drive. $7-10; $5 just to watch. 974-7949.

Actors Lab: Acting coach Carol Pedersen helps participants sharpen their skills and gear up for coming auditions. Drop in from 10-11am every Saturday, or sign up for the next full session beginning today. Full sessions run 10am-1pm. Rehearsal room A, Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. $10 drop-in; $160 for the eight-week session. 977-4177x100.

Audition Workshop: Explore the background and context of Charles Mee Jr.'s Wintertime and receive audition tips and techniques from Ronda Hewitt. Read from the scripts and explore characters. 1:30-3:30pm. Rehearsal room A, Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. $10 drop-in; $160 for an eight-week session. 977-4177x100.

TUNES
Donnie Charlton, Andre Hakes, Robin Wynn & Mark Goldstein, and Scuffletown at Live Arts Upstage:
Acoustic Charlottesville soldiers on, in spite of the invention of electricity. Four local performs of varied acclaim present to you the best a man (or woman) can get. $6, 8pm.

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

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

Jazz Under the Poplars with Charlottesville Swing Orchestra at the Kluge Estate Farm Shop. Free, 12-4pm. 434-984-4855

Gian Carlo Menotti's The Consul at Gravity Lounge. $15, 8pm.

Eli Cook and the Red House Blues Band at Kokopelli's Café. $5, 8pm.

Anna Madejasic and Jim Waive with Sarah White and the Pearls at Miller's. No cover, 10:30pm.

Taste of Nelson: Andy Waldeck at the Nelson County farmers market in Nellysford. Free, 4pm.

Blue Dogs at Outback Lodge. $6, 10pm.

Smoove: Scotty B (aka mountain rasta), DJ Scumbag, and Sketchy at Rapture. $5, 10pm.

TigerLily (harmonious folk/gospel) CD Release Party at Rapunzel's. $5, 8pm.

Beetnix at Starr Hill. $7, 9pm. See Tunes feature.

Skyline Awake (the last show), Brand New Disaster, Sybris, and Rases to April at Tokyo Rose. $5, 10pm.

The Charlottesville Swing Orchestra at Veritas Winery. Free, 7-11pm. Info: 540-456-8000

SUNDAY, September 12
PERFORMANCE
Les Liaisons Dangereuses:
See Friday, September 10. Today's show is a 2pm matinee. See Performance feature.

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. This week Latin band Bioritmo will play the tunes.

Chamber Music Festival: Julliard alums Raphael Bell and Tim Summers organize this annual series of five chamber concerts featuring some of the finest ensemble players in the classical music world. Today's performance includes Wei-Pin Kuo on violin and Raman Ramakrishnan on cello rendering a Brahms sonata and a Robert Schumann string quartet. 3pm. Jefferson Theater, 110 E. Main St. (on the Downtown Mall). $5-20. 295-6395 or cvillechambermusic.org.

Tango and Salsa Workshops: Local Latin dance phenom Edwin Roa is running vigorous workshops on salsa and tango above the tapas bar Más these last three Sundays in September. Tango, 4-5pm; salsa, 5-6pm. Más, 505 Monticello Road. $12. Contact Roa at (804) 852-4123 or email edwinart@yahoo.com.

WALKABOUT
Kitchen Tour:
See Saturday, September 11 and Walkabout feature.

Montpelier's Civil War: Tour the Orange County site of the 1863-64 winter encampment of the Confederate South Carolina Brigade, and the 19th-century home built by freed Montpelier slave, John Gilmore. 2pm. Fee included in Montpelier admission. 540-672-2728 or montpelier.org.

Digital Photography: Wintergreen Nature Foundation photo instructor Kevin Blackburn teaches how to enhance and manipulate digital images using Photoshop Elements. 9am. $60 ($50 for Foundation members). Registration required. 325-7453 or twnf.org.

Orchid Meeting: The Charlottesville Orchid Society welcomes Tom Mirenda, curator of the Smithsonian Botanical Garden, who will give a talk on Costa Rican Orchids. 2pm, at the Church of Our Saviour, Rio Road. Free. 975-4231.

Car Show: Take in 70-plus years of automotive technology at the 30th-annual AACA Car Show. Antiques, classics, street rods, trucks, and even modern show cars. 9am-3pm. $15 entry fee per car, spectators free. 977-4370 or jbaldino@aol.com.

WORDS
Novel Novel:
Novelist Howard Owen visits to share his new book, Turn Signal, set in Speakeasy, Virginia, about a truck driver mysteriously turned novelist. Publishers Weekly calls it successfully "nerve-racking." Meet Owen and hear his stuff at New Dominion Bookshop at 12noon. 404 E. Main St. 295-2552.

TUNES
Tigerlily at Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church: Spirituality without religion? If you got it, this might be the place to get your ya-yas out. Every month till the new year, contemporary music will lead the way. No cover, 7pm.

The Wiyos at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8pm.

Eli Cook solo at Kokopelli's Café in Crozet. $5, 7pm.

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

Native American Flute Circle Meeting (open to all) at Rapunzel's. Free, 1pm.

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

MONDAY, September 13
WALKABOUT
Koo-koo-ca-choo:
The Center for Christian Study presents a viewing and discussion of The Graduate. Free. 7:30pm. 1530 Rugby Ave. 817-1050. studycenter.net.

Go Deep: This month, Michael Madierich, regional manager of Grand Bahama Vacations, addresses the SeaDevil Divers at their regular meeting. 6:30pm at Rococo's Restaurant. 975-5570 or seadevildivers.com.

Get Out the Vote: This month's meeting of the Fluvanna County League of Women Voters features guest speaker Joyce Wells Pace, Registrar of Voters. 4:30pm in the Public Safety Building on Route 53, Palmyra. 589-6221.

Talk About It: Black women, white women, all women in dialogue hold their monthly meeting in the Madison Room at the Central Library downtown. This month's topic is overcoming barriers. 5:45-7:15pm. Open to all. 295-2612.

Rock Climbing: Practice makes perfect. Join the Outdoor Adventure Social Club for some training on the plastic rocks at ACAC Rocks. 7pm. $10, plus membership fee. Registration required. 760-HIKE or outdoorsocial.com.

FAMILY
Don't Grow Up:
Jefferson Youth Theater invites Peter, Wendy, and all the Lost Kids to come to the Albemarle County Office Building for registration and auditions for its fall production of Peter Pan. All children ages 5-18 will get a part. Two separate casts will perform on the weekends of October 23-24 or December 11-12. Production fee is $80. 249-2803. peterbasilryan@hotmail.com.

WORDS
Evaluating Kissinger:
Jussi Hanhimäki, international historian from Geneva and author of a book about Henry Kissinger tellingly titled The Flawed Architect, speaks on the elder statesman and former secretary of state at the Miller Center. 11am. 2201 Old Ivy Road, 924-0921.

TUNES
The Oratorio Society of Charlottesville-Albemarle
invites singers to audition on September 13 and 20 and by appointment. Call Joy at 434-882-1738 for information and an appointment.

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

Rose Polenzani with Stephanie Rearick at Gravity Lounge. $8, 8pm.

Greg Howard at Miller's. $3, 10:30pm.

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, September 14
ART
Tucker Box Tour:
Enjoy a guided tour of "Indigenous" and "Twice Born: Marsupials in Aboriginal Art," current exhibits at the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, followed by lunch in the gallery. You can bring your own lunch or order one for $7. Program is 12:15-1:30 pm. Reservations required. Peter Jefferson Place, Pantops Mountain. Call 244-0234 to reserve a space.

Talk on a Grecian Urn: Tyler Jo Smith, McIntire Department of Art assistant professor and expert on Greek vase painting, speaks on "Red and Black Pottery." 12:30pm. UVA Art Museum. 155 Rugby Road. 924-3592.

WALKABOUT
Starry Night:
Join the Outdoor Adventure Social Club for a hike to a mountaintop vista to take in the new moon and late-summer constellations away from the city lights. 5:30pm. $5, plus membership fee. Registration required. 760-HIKE or outdoorsocial.com.

It's a Snap: The Charlottesville Camera Club meets to discuss successes and tips– this time with a focus on photographing people. Visitors welcome. 6:30pm. Turtle Creek Club House, 100 Turtle Creek Road. 973-4856, avenue.org/ccc.

TUNES
Karaoke Night (what you make of it) at Baja Bean. Free, 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)

Faster Than Walking at Miller's. $3, 10:30pm.

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

WEDNESDAY, September 15
FAMILY
Tales for Tots:
The 5 and under crowd can hear stories involving vehicles at Barnes & Noble's preschool story time. 10:30am. Free. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.

WALKABOUT
Caregiver Wellness Series: Second in the series, "Balancing Act:
A Wellness Path for Caregivers" provides caregivers with the knowledge and confidence they need to care for themselves while caring for others. Topics tonight and for the next two Wednesdays include stress reduction, nutrition, fitness, and family negotiations. 5:30-7pm. Free. JABA, 674 Hillsdale Drive.

Country Dancing: Kick up your heels at this weekly couples and line-dancing extravaganza. Dance lessons from 7-8pm; dancing from 8-11pm. $7 fee. Fry's Spring Beach Club, 2512 JPA. 977-0491.

Beads and Lunch: Skip the sub and head over to Studio Baboo for some open studio time over your lunch break. Bring a project to work on, or just hang out and "talk beads." 11am-2pm. No fee. 106 Fifth St SE. 244-2905. studiobaboo.com.

WORDS
Religious Voters:
The Center for Christian Study presents the first of four lectures in the series "A Christian Society? Issues Facing Christians In an Election Year." Students and seniors, free; others, $25. 7-8:30pm. 128 Chancellor St. 817-1050. studycenter.net.

Words of Experience: Novelist A. H. Holt, a graduate of PVCC and Mary Baldwin now pursuing her PhD at Florida State, addresses the Charlottesville chapter of the Virginia Writer's Club on "Writing, Publishing, and Promoting Fiction." Her two Western novels, Silver Creek and Kendrick, were published in 2003. Open to the public, free. Barnes & Noble, Barracks Road Shopping Center, 984-0461.

Poetry in Scottsville: George Garrett and his friends hail the breath of autumn's being with a poetry reading at Scottsville's Magnolia Restaurant. The reading is sponsored by the Scottsville Council for the Arts. Seating is limited, so come early. 7:30pm. Light fare is available. 515 Valley Street, Scottsville, 286-6000.

TUNES
The Richelle Show at Rapture: Combining music and poetry, original tunes and covers, Claiborne sings and reads along with her live band, featuring Nate Brown on drums, Jamal Milner on guitar, and Andy Waldeck on bass. $5, 8pm.

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)

Ray Bonneville w/ "Ordinary Madness" featuring RB Smith and RW Smith at Gravity Lounge. $15/$10 advance, 8pm.

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

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

Man Mountain Jr. (funk) at Outback Lodge. Free, 10pm.

The Richelle Show at Rapture. $5, 8pm.

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)

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

THURSDAY, September 16
ART
Venerable display:
Ruby Coates, Sarah Littles, Roselle Poole, Evelyn McClimon, Ann Dwyer, Fran Schumacher, and Eleanor Talley, all seniors who participated in The Art Center in Orange's "Art Adventures," will display their work September 16-17 at the Orange County Nursing Home. Meet the artists at a reception today, 3:30-5pm. 120 Dogwood Lane, Orange. 540-672-2611.

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

Chamber Music Festival: See Sunday, September 12. Today's performance is at 8pm and includes works by Mozart, Schubert, and Stephen Hartke.

WORDS
Women in World War II:
New York Times writer Emily Yellin talks about her book, Our Mother's War: American Women at Home and at the Front during World War II. Her own mother, who worked during the war, inspired Yellin's research into the many ways that women contributed to the war effort of the 1940s. Women who served or who have mothers who served are invited to come for coffee at 10am, an hour before the talk. 11am. Miller Center. 2201 Old Ivy Road. 924-0921.

TUNES
Josh Mayo and Modern Epic at Orbit:
UVA Employee Happy Hour. Join Mayo for some sweet pop tunes and meet that groundskeeper you've always had your eye on. Free, 7pm.

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

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

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

Reggae Thursdays: Richmond Dub Collective at Garden of Sheba. $5, 10pm.

Justin Rosolino with Keith and Jennifer Morris at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8pm.

Open Mic Night at Kokopelli's Café in Crozet. No cover, 6:30pm.

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

Hours on End, 33 West, Evick, and Pariah 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)

Upcoming and Ongoing
ART
Get Your Bearings:
Art Upstairs has published a new gallery guide mapping 22 venues in downtown Charlottesville. The brochure is available at the gallery above the Hardware Store Restaurant on the Downtown Mall and at the other galleries listed, as well as at many hotels and restaurants.

Video as Art: Second Street Gallery teams up with Lighthouse to offer six young artists the chance to work together to create a group installation on a subject of their choice. Mentors include Jim Thomson (performance artist/musician), Ben Gathright (painter), Shannon Worrell (founder of Lighthouse), and Leah Stoddard (Director, SSG). The final project will be exhibited at Second Street Gallery in February 2005. Tuesday and Thursday October 12-December 9, and January 18-27. 4:30-6pm. $250. Application deadline September 17.

WORDS
Return to a Classic:
Dust off your college copy of George Eliot's Middlemarch and start reading, so you're ready to participate in New Dominion's monthly book discussions, starting up again on September 18. Charlottesville author Mariflo Stephens leads talks on a different book each month on Saturday mornings at New Dominion Bookshop, 404 E. Main Street, 295-2552.

Tune up Your Pen: Registration has begun at the Charlottesville Writing Center. Fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, chapbooks, publishing, and screenwriting all are available. New this year, some courses continue through two or three sessions, so check out offerings online and plan a year of writing classes. Open to the public, member discount. 293-3702. cvillewrites.org

PERFORMANCE
Country Dance Night:
Couples and line dancing at Fry's Spring Beach Club. Dance lesson Wednesday 7-8pm, dancing 8-11pm. $7, students $4. (students $2 every fourth Wednesday). 2512 Jefferson Park Ave. 977-0491.

Playwrights Lab: This safe and inspirational forum to read and discuss your working scripts starts back up again after a summer hiatus. Open to playwrights of all experience levels who seek to revise existing manuscripts or develop new material. Meets on the first and third Mondays of the month. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. Free. 977-4177x100.

FAMILY
Swing Your Partner:
The Virginia Reelers Square Dance Club begins their fall class schedule, and do they have a deal for you. Two free classes on September 21 and 28. The rest of the semester costs $36 per person. Classes are on Tuesday evenings and are open to singles or couples of all ages. 7pm. Woodbrook Elementary School, 100 Woodbrook Drive. 293-2817. vareelers@yahoo.com.

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. smv.org.

Gentlemen, Start your Engines!: The pressure. The teamwork. The danger. The speed. The fans. The groundbreaking IMAX® film NASCAR: The IMAX Experience thrusts you into the driver's seat to experience a visceral journey inside America's most popular spectator sport at the Science Museum of Virginia. Runs through September 17. Call or see website for schedule and cost. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 800-659-1727. smv.org.

WALKABOUT
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.

City Market: It's one of the oldest Saturday morning diversions in town, and it keeps going until the end of October. Fresh produce, craft vendors, homemade treats, and more. 7am-noon. Water and First streets and Downtown Mall. 970-3271.

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.

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 through October. 4-7pm. Located off Valley Street in Scottsville. 286-2505.

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) 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 cbsheridan@designsincopper.com for info and reservations.

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 rcs@avenue.org.

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.

ART LIST
The Second Street Gallery's first exhibition of the 2004-5 season is "It's Not the Heat, It's the Humidity: New Work by Sharon Shapiro," featuring 109 paintings by the local artist in its Main Gallery. The Dové Gallery displays "Type A: Spittakes and Selected Videos," by the New York duo of Adam Ames and Andrew Bordwin, known collectively as Type A. Both shows run through September 25. Corner of Second and Water streets. 977-7284. See Art feature.

The University of Virginia Art Museum presents a yearlong exhibition, "Jefferson In and Out," exploring "the world influences that shaped Thomas Jefferson's cultural interests. Also on view: "The Museum: Conditions and Spaces," plus "The Odyssey: Watercolors by Karen Shea," "Paradise Lost: Photographs by Sally Mann," and "Emmit Gowin Photographs," all of which run through October 17. 155 Rugby Road. 924-3952.

Piedmont Virginia Community College presents "Transition (Memory)," an exhibition of pinhole photography by Mary Baldwin College art prof Jim Sconyers Jr., through September 24. V. Earl Dickinson Building, 501 College Drive. 977-2001.

UVA's McIntire Department of Art presents work by fifth-year Aunspaugh Fellows Alice Bailey, Ellen Gallup, Adam Moyer, Katherine Shirey, Alexander Stockwell, and Colin Whitlow. September 10-16, in its new home, Dell I, located behind Ruffner Hall, the Curry School of Education. 924-6123.

The McGuffey Art Center presents two September shows: "2," prints by Russell U. Richards, and the 13th Annual Exhibition of the Central Virginia Watercolor Guild, juried by Mary Baldwin emeritus prof Mary Echols. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.

Venture into Belmont to view New Art Across the Bridge, featuring paintings, photographs, and movies by Greg Kelly, Max Fenton, Jon Sheridan, Aaron Farrington, and Zack Worrell. The show runs through September. 209 Monticello Road (across the street from Spudnuts). 984-5669.

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church presents the landscape paintings of Ruth Lancaster September 12-October 3, with an opening September 12 at 11:30am. 717 Rugby Road. 293-8179.

During September, Hook photographer Lincoln Ross Barbour shows his latest work, "Les moments d'en vols," featuring photographs from a recent trip to France, at Fusion. 412 E. Main St. 242-4091.

Angelo presents "Interpretations," acrylic paintings by Talia Lanyi through October 30. 220 E. Main St. 971-9256.

Through September, the Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar features "Chain Action," a show featuring photography by Emily Pitti and installation work by Zap McConell. 414 E. Main St. 825-9545.

New Dominion Bookshop displays watercolor landscapes by Nick Barlow through September 30 in its mezzanine gallery. 404 E. Main St. 295-2552.

During September, the Charlottesville Astronomical Society presents "Jewels of the Night," an exhibition of over 75 photos of deep space objects, at the Northside Library. Albemarle Square. 975-4231.

Paintings by Bill Weaver are on view at Café Cubano during the month of September. 112 W. Main St. in York Place on the Downtown Mall. 971-8743.

The Kluge-Ruhe Collection of Aboriginal Art features "Twice Born: Marsupials in Aboriginal Art," through November 6. Also on view through November 27: "Indigenous: Selected Works from the Kluge Ruhe Collection."400 Worrell Drive, Peter Jefferson Place. 244-0234.

During September, Les Yeux du Monde presents paintings by Russ Warren, and artwork by Herb Jackson. 115 S. First St. 973-5566.

Nature Visionary Art presents "Temptation, Inspiration, Revelation," artwork by C.M. and Grace Kelly Laster, through the end of October. 110 Fourth St. 296-8482.

During September, The Gallery @ 5th & Water displays stoneware pieces by Janice Arone in the foyer of the architectural firm of Stoneking von Storch and the accounting firm of Henderson and Everett. Also on view in Stoneking von Storch's office is "Portugal in a Month #1," photography by Andy Acquaro. 107 Fifth St. 979-9825.

CODG presents a solo exhibition, "Layers of Definition," featuring paintings by 15-year-old Farmville phenom Lara Mossler, through September 28. 112 E. Main St., under the Jefferson Theater. 242-4212.

For the month of September, the C&O Gallery displays "IXTATAN," photographs of Guatemala by Tom Cogill. Next door to the C&O Restaurant, 511 E. Water St. 971-7044.

Sage Moon Gallery features oils by Nancy Wallace during September. 420 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 977-9997.

New works by members of the Central Virginia Watercolor Guild, featuring watercolors, oils, pastels, and mixed media are on display at the Albemarle County Courthouse. 501 E. Jefferson Court Square. 296-8484.

The Laughing Lion Gallery presents "Summer Fun: Baseball Girls" by Terrence Pratt during September. 103 E. Water St. in the Commerce Building (above London's). 984-4000.

Through September 27, the Mudhouse shows "Think Collection," digital montages by photographer Stacy Evans. 213 W. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 984-6833.

View Alice Cannon's watercolor exhibition, "Assertions of the Forgotten," at Art Upstairs during September. 316 E. Main St., above The Hardware Store, on the Downtown Mall. 923-3900.

Transient Crafters displays "The Grace and Power of Earthstones," jewelry by Claire MacIlvaine, through September 118 W. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 972-9500.

During September, Bozart Gallery offers David Swanson's new work in ceramics, "Feats of Clay." 211 W. Main St. 296-3919.

La Galeria features a September exhibition, "The Art of the Photograph," nature photography by Mary Porter, in addition to work by other local artists. 1919 Commonwealth Drive. (next to Rococo's). 293-7003.

L'étoile Restaurant displays paintings by local artists Barry Gordon, Malcolm Hughes, and Christian Peri. 817 W. Main St. (across from the Amtrak Station). 979-7957.

Radar

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts displays "Selections: 20th Century Latin American Art in the VMFA Collection" through March 13. 200 N. Broad St., Richmond. 804-340-1400.

Richmond's Plant Zero Project Space presents "ON MESSAGE: Art for Our Time," featuring work by 19 regional and national artists. Curated by photographer Alyssa Salomon, the exhibition attempts to get out the vote through its critiques of government policies and actions. September 10-November 7, with an opening September 10, 5-8pm. 0 E. Fourth St., Richmond. 804-321-8899.

Ruby Coates, Sarah Littles, Roselle Poole, Evelyn McClimon, Ann Dwyer, Fran Schumacher, and Eleanor Talley, all seniors who participated in The Art Center in Orange's "Art Adventures," will display their work September 16-17 at the Orange County Nursing Home. A reception happens September 16, 3:30-5pm. 120 Dogwood Lane, Orange. 540-672-2611.

The Artisans Center of Virginia features "Ancestors" sculptural ceramics by Bee Zwart, during September. 601 Shenandoah Village Drive (exit 94 off I-64), Waynesboro. 540-946-3294.

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.

Caffé Bocce presents paintings by Brigitte Turquois-Freeman during September. 330 Valley St., Scottsville. 434-286-4422.

Sweet Briar College offers paintings by Nancy Witt in its Babcock Gallery, and "Out of the Darkness," photography by Carrie Cann, in the Babcock Fine Art Center Lobby through October 17. In the Benedict Art Gallery, photographs by Brad Hamilton are on display through October 24. Sweet Briar. 434-381-6248.

Sun's Traces Gallery displays quilting by Patricia Hoke, nature photography by Evelyn Eades, as well as turned wood pieces by Dick Wexelblat and clay works by Paula Brown-Steedly. 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.

FEATURES/FEATURES/FEATURES
ART
Gender studies: Shapiro and Type A at SSG
By Laura Parsons art@readthehook.com
"Men, women… women, men… it will never work," an old friend used to say, shaking his head, which always made me laugh. But judging by the two shows currently on view at Second Street Gallery, he may have been onto something.

In the Main Gallery, painter Sharon Shapiro's "It's Not the Heat, It's the Humidity," an exhibition of nine acrylic paintings and 100 multi-media works on paper, explores issues of feminine vulnerability and gaze, physical display versus interior emotion, and conflicting attitudes about women's power.

Shapiro titles each of the seven large canvases that dominate the show a day of the week, reflecting the poem about the character of children born on each day (although, frankly, they remind me more of Monday-Sunday embroidered nylon panties).

Working with a steamy tropical palette of aqua blues, pinks, greens, and coral flesh-tones, Shapiro uses her signature swaths of planar color and long brush strokes to re-create images of femininity she encountered growing up&emdash; often in her father's girlie magazines.

Shapiro's sexually iconic women are exposed but hidden (literally, in the case of "Sunday," a woman beside a Hockney-esque pool obscured by the man she embraces), their breasts revealed but not quite, their lips parted but their eyes inscrutable. Interestingly, in her own self-portraits, included in her 100 daily works, Shapiro always appears tight-lipped.

In contrast to Shapiro's nuanced investigation of femaleness, "Spittakes and Selected Videos" offers a straight-line, action-focused view of masculinity. Adam Ames and Andrew Bordwin, artistically known as "Type A," present a photographed and filmed world in SSG's Dové Gallery, in which men's relationships are rooted in competition and dominance.

Whereas Shapiro's settings involve wetness and water-filled pools, Type A places two characters, played by Ames and Bordwin, in hard-angled, urban environments. The three five-frame "Spittakes" series of photographs, shot in brash midday sun, focus on one guy getting the other to spew milk or soda (always in the third frame). Amid the big gestures, the elevated decibel level of male voices is almost audible.

Type A's three single-channel videos consist of "Action," a succession of re-created clichéd macho movie scenes, "5 Urban Rescues," a sequence of situations where one friend endangers himself to save his buddy, and "4 Urban Contests," a series of inane physical duels, including an actual pissing contest.

Throughout, Type A creates strong geometric compositions with an awareness of symmetry and parallel lines. Ironically, the only curves occur in the horseshoe-shaped toilets shot from above during the pee-off.

Although Shapiro alludes to an implicit male presence throughout her work, in the fun and funny buddy world of Type A, women are nowhere to be found.

Sharon Shapiro's "It's Not the Heat, It's the Humidity," and Type A's "Spittakes and Selected Videos" are on view at Second Street Gallery through September 25. 115 Second St. SE. 977-7284.

WORDS
Road trip: Solving family problems en route
By SUSAN TYLER HITCHCOCK WORDS@READTHEHOOK.COM

Think King Lear meets On the Road, and you'll have some sense of UVA faculty member Christopher Tilghman's new novel, Roads of the Heart. It's an amusing, endearing, and uplifting story of family reconciliation, optimistic and affectionately naive in its promise that family knots can come untied then weave back into graceful garlands in the end.

At the center of the novel stands (or sits, or lies) Frank Alwin, a former Maryland state senator, whose precipitous fall from political power and grace is karmic-ally paralleled by a stroke that leaves him nearly speechless. Tilghman begins the novel with Alwin's garbled one-word utterance, "mott-seck."

Frank's son, Eric, through whom we experience the novel's progress, struggles in the first chapter to understand that word, then moves bravely through the rest of the novel to experience the concept underlying it and come out better on the other side.

"Mott-seck," Eric deciphers, means "mistake." His father has made quite a few, and he is trying to tell his son that it's time, now that he knows he's dying, to admit them, apologize for them, ask forgiveness for them, and move on, having lightened his load. Frank has in mind, as Tilghman puts it, "a rolling thunder review of his life."

Thus begins a road trip. Eric, Frank, and Frank's burly male nurse, Adam, climb into a van belonging to Frank's daughter, Alice. She's left behind as they drive away, but not for long. First stop: Birmingham, Alabama, to reconnect with the children's mother, his first wife, Audrey, whom he famously left behind during office dalliances and a prideful career.

Next stop: Houston, to find Poppy, the third of Frank and Audrey's children, close to her mother but now estranged from them, living with her life partner, Ricki. Third stop: Denver, where Frank slyly and wordlessly engineers a rapprochement between Eric, Eric's wife, and their only son, Tom, who had used adulthood as the opportunity to escape his parents' grip.

A surprise last stop on this family junket brings the threads together. Secrets are revealed. Repressed anger surfaces. Waning love rekindles. By abandoning worldly obligations– in particular, his advertising agency, which cartwheels, tumbles, and realigns itself in his absence– and instead caring for the people closest to him, Eric Alwin reorders his own life. It's a lovely concept, almost too good to be true: that you can, in fact, get it all straightened out before you die.

Christopher Tilghman reads from his new novel, Roads of the Heart, at New Dominion Bookshop on Thursday, September 9 at 5:30pm. 404 E. Main Street, 295-2552.

FAMILY
Live in person! Join Peter Jones for TV fun
BY LINDA KOBERT FAMILY@READTHEHOOK.COM
The many voices of Peter Jones and Jen Hoffman– some gruff and scary, some lilting or squeaky– are familiar to lots of local children who hover around the radio on Sunday afternoons listening to WTJU's "Tell Us a Tale."

As hosts of Central Virginia's only local children's radio show, Jones and Hoffman infuse familiar characters, such as the Cat in the Hat and Rumplestiltskin, with lively personalities as they tell the stories kids of all ages can't get enough of.

On Saturday, September 18, radio fans have the chance to see one of the faces behind the voices as Tell Us a Tale makes its debut on public television. Jones will weave the magic live on a segment of WVPT's first annual Cubby's Kids Telethon. This 24-hour fundraising effort focuses on the station's many services for children, including programming such as Reading Rainbow and Clifford the Big Red Dog, as well as community events and projects such as Kid*Vention, which takes place at Piedmont Virginia Community College every spring, and the Young Writers and Illustrators Contest.

During the telethon, viewers will be able to visit workshops happening live at the station, see interviews with folks who have benefited from the station's services, enjoy performances by local kid-friendly entertainers, and, of course, call in to pledge a donation.

In addition to the folks from "Tell Us a Tale," the entertainment list includes 16-year-old bluegrass and gospel singer Heather Berry, members of the Blue Ridge Irish Music School, and the high energy singing-juggling-storytelling Captain Kidzo.

It's exciting enough for Jones to perform "Three Billy Goats Gruff" and an African creation tale "How Ostrich Got a Long Neck" on television. For fans of the storyteller, however, the real excitement is that they can be part of the broadcast.

Tell Us a Tale is the only segment on the telethon that will involve a live studio audience. Kids who want to be part of that audience (and who can talk their parents into driving them over the mountain to the station in Harrisonburg) should contact Jones for reservations and details. Only 20 kids (parents get to hang around in the background) can participate, so don't wait too long to decide to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Cubby's Kids 24-Hour Telethon airs on WVPT public television from noon on Saturday, September 18 to noon on Sunday, September 19. Peter Jones tells tales from 2 to 3pm on Saturday. See the WVPT website for complete telethon schedule: wvpt.net. The radio version of "Tell Us a Tale" with Peter Jones and Jen Hoffman airs on WTJU 91.1 FM every Sunday afternoon from noon-2pm. To be a part of the telethon audience, contact Jones at 978-3603 or radio@tellusatale.com.

WALKABOUT
Fancy food spaces: A glimpse into local kitchens
By TIM SPRINKLE WALKABOUT@READTHEHOOK.COM
The late Julia Child once said, "You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces, just good food from fresh ingredients."

That may well be true, but I can say from experience that it sure helps to have an exciting and well-equipped kitchen to abet your gourmet ambitions. But what can the lowly apartment-dweller do if that dream workspace is still a few years off?

Fortunately, thanks to Meals on Wheels of Charlottesville/Albemarle, you don't have to wait. You can spend this weekend living vicariously in half-a-dozen chef-inspired kitchens right here in downtown Charlottesville. The annual Kitchen Tour, now in its third year, doesn't include food samples or culinary delights, but it does take participants through some of the area's most amazing examples of kitchen perfection.

These aren't your run-of-the-mill sink and table operations; each space has been totally remodeled with "the latest ideas in design, decorating, and equipment" while preserving the historical features of their 19th-century surroundings.

"The kitchen really is the soul of the house," says Mandy Hoy, Meals on Wheels executive director. "It's where people gather to talk and cook with family and friends. Food and love are so closely connected, and that really represents what Meals on Wheels is all about."

All six of the kitchens on this year's tour are privately owned. "They have loads of old house character, [but] have been updated with family-friendly, creative solutions that marry style and function," Hoy says.

One stop even features "extensive woodwork and cabinetry crafted by the homeowner's own hand." The walking tour, which features homes on North First, Second, and High streets, will take about two hours.

"The Kitchen Tour has a natural link to our work at Meals on Wheels," Hoy explains. "Plus, it's a lovely walk through some really interesting kitchens."

An independent, local organization, Meals on Wheels delivers hot meals to needy and homebound residents in the Charlottesville/Albemarle area, five days a week, 52 weeks a year. The group raises all of money locally, and the Kitchen Tour provides a major portion of its annual operating budget.

All proceeds from the Kitchen Tour benefit Meals on Wheels. Tickets for the tour are available at Albemarle Baking Company, Better Living, The Happy Cook, Mermaid Coffee Express (inside Foods of All Nations), New Dominion Bookshop, The Senior Center, and Sticks Kabob Shop at Rivanna Ridge. Advance tickets $15 ($20 at the door). cvillemeals.org or 293-4364.

PERFORMANCE
Guilty pleasures: Les Liaisons amuses, intrigues
BY ROBERT ARMENGOL PERFORMANCE@READTHEHOOK.COM

If Jim Warren had had his way, Shenandoah Shakespeare– one of Central Virginia's foremost theater attractions– might never have been born.

Having returned from a study abroad program in London in the late 1980s, Warren wanted nothing more than to direct Les Liaisons Dangereuses for his performing arts thesis at James Madison University. He and some friends, he says, had spent their food money to see the play over and over again.

But the English adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos's 1782 novel was still in its infancy, and securing rights to produce the play would have been next to impossible. Warren settled for Romeo and Juliet. And, as it turns out, the woman he cast to play Juliet was the daughter of his future business partner.

Together they founded Shenandoah Shakespeare 16 years ago, and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.

But Warren, the Staunton company's artistic director, never lost the urge to stage Liaisons, a sardonic comedy that explores the vicious lifestyle of the rich and idle. And this year he got his wish: The play opens Friday at the Blackfriars Playhouse and runs through November.

This modern version was popularized, of course, in the Hollywood film Dangerous Liaisons (1988). But much of the work's power was lost in the visual hype and, ironically, the celebrity presence. Remember that cast? Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Uma Thurman, even Keanu Reeves…

For Warren, Liaisons– like Shakespeare– is first and foremost about the language. The play's characters, as he puts it, "use words like weapons in a war of sexual intrigue."

Two former lovers, Merteuil and Valmont, plot the corruption of a young virgin, fresh out of a convent. Their hope is to make the maiden's betrothed, quite a despicable man, the laughing stock of Paris. As if that's not enough, it all ends with a swordfight.

"It's an incredible drama where people are playing with each other's lives and manipulating them like chess pieces," Warren says. "But it's funny at the same time."

The period costumes designed by JMU professor Pamela Johnson add to the ambience, he says, but they don't detract from the ageless Blackfriars experience: barebones props, natural lighting, and a thrust stage. Anyway, who can really complain about men in long coats and tight pants and women in cleavage-squeezing corsets?

Radical Parisians eventually had something to say about it. "This was the height of French decadence," Warren says, "and the class disparity had gotten over the top. Then the revolution came along, and everybody wanted these people dead."

Shenandoah Shakespeare breathes new life into Les Liaisons Dangereuses, a "wickedly perverse" exploration of aristocratic decadence and deceit. Be ready to laugh and feel guilty for it. Opens Friday, September 10, at 7:30pm. For a complete schedule visit shenandoahshakespeare.com. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-28. 540-885-5588.

TUNES
Home grown: Unexpected hip-hop greatness
BY MARK GRABOWSKI TUNES@READTHEHOOK.COM
Lordy, boy! I had no idea this was up your sleeve. Where you been hiding this stuff?

That was my initial reaction to Any Given Day, the second full length from local hip-hop group BEETNIX, of which MC/producer and my fellow music scribe, Damani Harrison, is a prominent member. But don't think that the fact that we work together means the fix is in, I actually hate the guy. Really.

Any Given Day is an amazing mix of samples and live instruments, textures, and lyrical mastery. The release party happens Saturday, September 11, at Starr Hill, and no matter what you're into, if you want to see something majestic, make this show part of your evening plans– you know, after you roll yourself out of happy hour/ finish studying/ have put the kids to bed.

The route to BEETNIX can be traced back to 1999 when multi-instrumentalist/producer John AD (Jon Dzermako) (aka 1Way), met Harrison (aka Glitch) and a musical partnership was formed. Two years of producing later, Harrison met Waterloo (Louis Hampton) "another rhyme-sayer with similar ambitions," and shortly thereafter BEETNIX was formed.

The current incarnation of BEETNIX includes two more members, engineer Bob Wrizzi and DJ Bovay (Matt Bovay), and each adds a singular touch to the group's sound.

Any Given Day begins with what sounds like a PSA from the 1950's, decrying the arrival of the new counterculture– "These are the beatniks, the defiant young, coming from every walk of life, wrought with suppressed emotions, and mocking the everyday course of modern society." To a helter-skelter background beat, the PSA is warped and stretched into a sort of opening bookend for the group and the album.

The second track, "TKO," is where things really get going– synth bass and ride-heavy percussion serve as the base for computer beeps and Harrison's, "Split ya hit ya where the door missed ya/ official missile guided from the pencil of central credentials." Soon after, the chorus comes in, guitar and bass winding in unison for a melodious background as Harrison and Waterloo chant lines like "Fake thugs jump up they get beat boy / You're a decoy, better deploy, get set free boy."

Track 5, "The Clapper," is probably my favorite– droning acoustic notes form the basis of the song's melody, echoed keyboard and bass reinforce it, while Harrison presents his screed on taking a path less traveled in search for the meaning of life.

The rest of Any Given Day is as impressive as its first few tracks– atmospheric, organic, and pristine without being stale. Anyone who hears it has to admit its intrinsic intellectual worth, even you are not a hip-hop fan.

BEETNIX performs at Starr Hill September 11. $7, 9pm.