Cultural calendar, September 16-24, 2004

THURSDAY, September 16
Artsy Elders:
A reception today honors seven senior citizens who are exhibiting their collage, fan making, sculpture, ceramics, acrylic painting, tile painting, and papier mache in honor of National Assisted Living Week. Ruby Coates, Sarah Littles, Roselle Poole, Evelyn McClimon, Ann Dwyer, Fran Schumacher, and Eleanor Talley will be on hand for the reception 3:30-5pm at the Orange County Nursing Home. 540-672-2611.

Business Development:
The National Association of Retired Federal Employees presents a talk by E. Marshall Pryor III, Vice President of Business Development at Albemarle First Bank at their monthly meeting. 11:30am at the Golden Corral restaurant on Route 29. 293-3170.

Taste of Nelson: "Experience the Bounty." Nelson County's orchards, wineries, and attractions feature their harvest products with tours and special events for the entire family. Through September 19. Events are scattered all over the county, so it's best to call 800-282-8223 or visit for specific schedule details.

CA Robotics Open House: Recruiting new team members, mentors, and sponsors to participate in the first Robotics competition (high-school age) and the first Lego League competition (5th grade through middle-school). Engineering, programming, and 3-D animation programs are offered at weekly meetings. 6-8pm, basement 300 W. Main, entrance on Ridge Street. 817-6606.

WW2 Women:
New York Times writer Emily Yellin speaks at the Miller Center 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 11am talk. 2201 Old Ivy Road, 924-0921.

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. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. 7:30pm. Pay what you will. 540-885-5588.

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 works by Mozart, Schubert and Stephen Hartke. 8pm. Jefferson Theater, 110 E. Main St. (on the Downtown Mall). $5-20. 295-6395 or

Josh Mayo and Modern Epic at Orbit:
For the UVA employee happy hour, join Mayo for some sweet pop tunes and meet that groundskeeper you've always had your eye on. Free, 7pm.

Greg Howard with James McLaughlin (jazz/funk) at West Main: Howard plays the Chapman Stick, joined by drummer McLaughlin for jazz and funk with some stellar special guests possible. No cover, 8:30pm.

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

Peter Markush (piano) at Gravity Lounge. Free, 12-1pm. (W)

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)

Graham Colton Band with Travis Elliott at Starr Hill. $8/$7 advance, 9pm.

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

Greg Howard with James McLaughlin (jazz/funk) at West Main. No cover, 8:30pm.

FRIDAY, September 17
Star Struck:
The view is out of this world at Public Night at McCormick Observatory from 9-11pm (weather permitting). UVA's research telescopes on O-Hill will be pointed heavenward, and Astronomy Department staff and students will be on hand with a slide show and answers to starry questions. Free. McCormick Road. 924-7494.

Fridays After 5:
The popular outdoor concert series continues. This week's act is the Oregon Hill Funk All-Stars. It's free!

Constitution Day: Celebrate the birthday of our nation's charter at the home of James Madison, Father of the Constitution and author of the Bill of Rights. Hear remarks from U.S. Senator John Warner and watch a U.S. Marine Corps re-enlistment ceremony. 9:30am-5:30pm. 540-672-7365 or See Walkabout feature.

Taste of Nelson: Continues today. Call 800-282-8223 or visit for specific schedule details.

Virginia's Natural History Retreat: Join the Wintergreen Nature Foundation for a weekend exploring the natural history of Virginia. Guided nature hikes, lectures, Blue Ridge geology, botany, ornithology and more. If it happened here, you'll learn about it. Today through Sunday at Wintergreen Resort. 7am-7pm. Weekend fee varies, but registration is required. 325-8169 or for details.

Fly Fishing Retreat: Does a river really run through it? Find out at this annual fly-fishing workshop. Expert individualized instruction to help with casting, knot-tying, fly-tying, reading the water, and more. Equipment is provided. 9am-3pm, at Wintergreen Resort. Fee. 325-8180 or

Wire Wrapped Jewelry: Stephen Beauch returns to Studio Baboo to teach "Wire Wrapped Ring #1." Students will learn to use a ring mandrel, wire twisting and wire hiding techniques in ring making. 10am-1pm. Fee, and registration is required. 106 Fifth St. SE on the Downtown Mall. 244-2905, or

Women's Center Open House: Curious about the UVA Women's Center and what they do? Then visit during their special open house and learn more about the free programs they offer to the Charlottesville community. No fee. 1:30-4:30pm at the "Corner Building," intersection of University Avenue and 14th Street, directly across from White Spot. 982-2023 for details.

Paramount Re-Opening:
It's been years in the making, but the owners of the soon-to-be-open Paramount Theater on the Downtown Mall are just about ready to kick-start their season of Broadway, jazz, comedy, dance, and more. Join them in front of the theater this morning to learn all about the upcoming season. 9:30am 979-1922.

Westminster Organ Concert: This concert series enters its 25th season tonight with a performance by Gregory D'Agostino featuring the music of Sweelinck, Bach, Reger and Langlais. Organ builder John Boody will give a pre-concert talk at 7pm. Concert starts at 8. Westminster Presbyterian Church, 190 Rugby Road. 963-4690.

Contra Dance Night: Five Reasons will play traditional music including talent on flute, fiddle, banjo and concertina whilst you get jiggy with it. Tom Hinds calls. Beginners workshop starts a half hour early. 8-11pm. Municipal Arts Center, 1119 Fifth St. Ext. $7; under 12 free. 973-4984 or

Les Liaisons Dangereuses: French title, English play– this adaptation of the 1782 Choderlos de Laclos novel, was made famous by Hollywood as Dangerous Liaisons. 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.

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

Awake and Dreaming with Harrison Rue and Jim Bingler:
This three-piece ensemble features singer/songwriter Ruth Trice on guitar and vocals, Jennifer Deal on violin, and Kristen Baltes on flute and piano. Nelson Center in Lovingston. No cover, 8pm.

X-Porn Stars at Outback Lodge: Join one of Charlottesville's best group-s- soul, rock, and some hip-hop combined– for an evening of orgasmic delights. $6, 10pm.

The Hamiltons at Atomic Burrito. No cover, 10pm.

Borderline at Charlie's Bar and Grill. No cover, 9pm.

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

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

DJ Gavin Holland, DJ Skandar, and DJ Seavey at Rapture. $5 before midnight, 10pm.

Quinton Parker (piano-man) at Rapunzel's. No cover, 7:30pm.

Carbon Leaf with David Berkeley at Starr Hill. $12/$10 advance, 9pm.

No Gods No Monsters with Murder Skit Corpses & Ahleuhatistas wreck havoc at the Tokyo Rose. $5. 10pm.

SATURDAY, September 18 ART
Indian Miniatures:
Daniel Ehnbom, UVA associate professor of art history, speaks on "Ragamala Pages." Ehnbom researches manuscript paintings of India and early Indian sculpture and has done extensive field research in India and Pakistan. 2pm. 155 Rugby Road. 924-3592 or

Animation Celebration:
Cartoons come to life at Comcast Family 'Toon Day at the Children's Museum of Richmond. See Family feature.

Martian Invasion: Mars rovers Opportunity and Spirit discover the importance of exploring the Red Planet in a new multimedia planetarium show Mars Mania opening at the Science Museum of Virginia today. Included with exhibit admission. Call for show times and other information. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 800-659-1727.

Party by the River: Jamesfest 2004 kicks off with a measured 5K run at 8:30am followed by a whole day of fun in Scottsville. Charlottesville Municipal Band presents a concert, and live music is performed by other local talent. BBQ cookoff, tethered balloon rides (weather permitting), a bear care clinic for ailing stuffed animals, pet show, tea party for wee ones, horse and buggy rides, free trolley rides, farmer's market, the infamous Doo Dah Parade, and much more. Free. 286-9267.

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

Telling Tales Out of Town: Charlottesville children's storyteller Peter Jones tells tales from 2-3pm on WVPT public television's first annual Cubby's Kids Telethon. Local kids make up the live audience in this segment of the station's 24-hour fundraising effort for children's programming and services. See the WVPT website for other kid-friendly talent: 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. 978-3603.

Summer Nights: The Frontier Culture Museum hosts a rustic, country-style dinner at the American Farm followed by an evening of old-time music. 6:30-9pm. $22 for adults, $11 for children 12 and under. Reservations required. Rt. 250 west in Staunton. 540-332-7850.

Pregame Party:
UVA alumni and friends can visit Alumni Hall before the game for music by the Jangling Reinharts, BBQ from Big Jim's, and beverages. BBQ and soda free for Alumni Association members, $5 for non-members. Noon-3pm. 211 Emmet Street, across from Memorial Gymnasium. 243-9000 or

Tufton Fern Walk: Everything you always wanted to know about the natural woodlands around Monticello Mountain but were afraid to ask. This two-hour cross-country walk (read: off trail) will lead through isolated areas that few visitors get to see. 9:30am. $10 fee, registration required. Meet at the Monticello Garden Shop. 984-9822 or

Taste of Nelson: Continues today. Call 800-282-8223 or visit for specific schedule details.

City Market: The Charlottesville Farmer's Market is just about ready to close down for the season, but Saturday mornings are still going strong, with fresh produce, herbs, plants, crafts and baked goods for sale from local vendors. 7am-noon in the parking lot at Water and South streets. 970-3271.

Park Meeting: McGuffey Park is being renovated, and there will be a community design roundtable hosted by UVA's Landscape Architecture School and Friends of McGuffey Park. 10am-1pm. No fee. In McGuffey Park. In case of rain, 101 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. Email

Medicinal and Edible Plants: Join Susan Tyler Hitchcock, Hook Words editor author of Gather Ye Wild Things, for a walk to learn about common wild plants that have been used for medicinal purposes. 9am. No fee. Meet in the Education Building at the Ivy Creek Natural Area. Contact Dede Smith at 973-7772 for details.

Plant Control Workshop: Whip those plants into shape! Discover how Shenandoah National Park staff work to preserve the diversity of plant species in the park, and learn ways to promote good habitats for the native plants in your own backyard. 9am. $30 fee, registration required. 540-999-3489 or

Understanding the Bible: Catch an introduction to the language and literature of scripture at the Center for Christian Study. Free. 9am-3om. Chancellor Street. 817-1050.

Virginia's Natural History Retreat: Continues today, see Friday, September 17. 325-8169 or for details.

UVA Homecoming Football: Charlottesville's pigskin tradition continues to roll, this time against Akron. And this weekend is Homecoming, so you know it'll be good. 3pm. Ticket prices vary. Scott Stadium. 800-542-UVA1 or

Harvest Feast: Join Jefferson Vineyards for the "annual homage to the great bounty of the land." We're talking a pig roast, live bluegrass, vineyard tours, wine tastings, and more. 11am-5pm. Fee, and reservations are required. 977-3042 or

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.

Flamenco Workshop: Learn to dance flamenco to the sound of live guitar with Kristi O'Brien. Regular class session begins today and runs through October 23. ACAC, Albemarle Square, Route 29 North. $55-65; $10-12 drop-in. 296-7536.

Swing Fest: The Charlottesville Swing Dance Society offers an evening of swing and other dancing tonight with DJ TomSound Productions. Singles and couples welcome. Take a night club two-step lesson with the price of admission from 7 to 8pm. Open dancing begins at 8. Municipal Arts Center, 1119 Fifth St. Ext. $6-12. 980-2744.

Merchant of Venice: See Thursday, September 16. Today's performance is at 2pm.

Remember Rosamund and Dorothea?:
Dust off your copy of George Eliot's Middlemarch and join Mariflo Stephens at the first of this year's monthly book discussions at New Dominion Bookshop this morning at 10:30am. 404 E. Main St. 295-2552.

New Literary Venue: Author Valarie Massie Watersun will read from hear latest work, Nether Regions, and also sign her earlier lesbian suspense novel, The Quality of Blue, at the Nook today, 3-5pm. 415 E. Main St.

Casuals Reunion Show at Outback Lodge:
Yet another Casuals show from the '80s sensations- why don't they just admit they're "back and better than ever"? $6, 10pm.

Alison Brown Quartet with special guest Andrea Zonn at the Prism: A new season of the Prism opens with Grammy-winning banjoist Brown and her jazz quartet, as well as a performance by fiddler and vocalist Andrea Zonn. $22/$18 advance, 8pm.

Amy Ferebee and Mongrel double feature at Rapunzel's: Ferebee's impressive range (jazz, country, old time, and folk) opens a double A side bill, followed up by the original act Mongrel. $5, 7:30pm.

The Damnwells and Small Town Workers at Starr Hill: Alt. country/pop group the Damnwells from Brooklyn go head to head with '70s blue-collar rockers Small Town Workers, and sparks are sure to fly. $5, 9pm. See Tunes feature.

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

Borderline at Charlie's Bar and Grill. No cover, 9pm.

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

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

Robin Wynn's CD Release party at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8pm.

"Get some" DJ night with DJ Camille at Tokyo Rose. Free till 11/$2 after, 10pm.

SUNDAY, September 19
The Consul:
See Friday, September 17. Today's performance is at 3pm.

Fall audition for Wintertime: Audition for the 2004 Live Arts production of Charles Mee Jr.'s Wintertime, a frothy romance set to snow. Directed by Betsy Rudelich Tucker. Call to register. Auditions start at 7pm. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. 977-4177x100.

Tango and Salsa Workshops: Local Latin dance phenom Edwin Roa is running vigorous workshops on salsa and tango above the tapas bar Más the last two Sundays in September. Tango, 4-5pm; salsa, 5-6pm. Más, 505 Monticello Road. $12. 804-852-4123 or

Three Kings and You: For those who can't get enough of Rogers and Hart and Hammerstein, the Charlottesville Vocal Arts Society is hosting a musical review of these three theatrical giants' finest work, including Babes in Arms, A Connecticut Yankee, Oklahoma and The King and I. 3pm. Municipal Arts Center, 1119 Fifth St. Ext. $8-10. 296-2238.

Chamber Music Festival: See Thursday, September 16. Today's performance at 3pm includes Matthew Hunt on clarinet and Judith Gordon on piano rendering sonatas by Eugene Ysaye and Claude Debussy Olivier Messiaen's Quatuor pour la Fin du Temps.

The Most Lamentable Comedy of Sir John Falstaff: Shenandoah Shakespeare presents the premier run of an original adaptation of that most gluttonous of Shakespeare's characters, culled from choice scenes in Henry IV and a bit of Henry V. 2pm. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-28. 540-885-5588.

Autumn at Ash Lawn:
Experience the changing seasons as President Monroe did. Crafters and interpreters at Ash Lawn-Highland show how a 19th-century plantation put all its resources to work to prepare for winter living and entertaining. 1-5pm. $9 fee ($5 for kids under 12). 293-9539.

Folklife Apprenticeship Showcase: Every year, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities sponsors about a dozen master craftsmen who take on an apprentice and teach them the finer points of their craft. From blacksmithing to banjo making, this year-end celebration offers an incredible overview of the array of folk art being created in Virginia; plus music, food, and crafts. 1-5pm. No fee. Boar's Head Inn. For info, contact Jon Lohman at 924-3296 or

Virginia's Natural History Retreat: Concludes today. See Friday, September 17. 325-8169 or for details.

Doggie Divas and Dandies: Celebrate the joys of dog ownership at this dog show and canine fair to raise money for PAWS! To Adopt and the Simon Youth Foundation. Show begins at noon in the parking lot at Fashion Square Mall. $10 competition fee per dog. Misty Parsons at 973-9332.

Taste of Nelson: Concludes today. Call 800-282-8223 or visit

Butterflies of Ivy Creek: Tour the Ivy Creek Natural Area with local naturalist Mike Scott and learn how to identify late-summer butterflies. He'll also explain how butterflies prepare for the winter. 1pm. No fee. Meet in the Education Building at Ivy Creek. Contact Dede Smith at 973-7772 for details.

Young naturalist Cole Peale-Grody is a font of information about area snakes. He may even have some on hand to show at his presentation at the Virginia Museum of Natural History. 2pm. Free. Reservations required. 104 Emmet St. 982-4605.

Party by the River: See Saturday, September 18.

CD Release Party: Matthew Burtner at Gravity Lounge: Composer and electro-acoustic saxophonist Matthew Burtner is reportedly "shimmering, pulsating, and thunderous. "I wonder if the sax has fins? $10/$5 advance, 8pm.

Bio Ritmo at Outback Lodge. No cover, 10pm.

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

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

Gian Carlo Menotti's "The Consul" at Gravity Lounge. $12, 3pm.

MONDAY, September 20
Birthday Party:
Tomie de Paola, the prolific author and illustrator of such books as Strega Nona and Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs, turned 70 on September 15. Scottsville Library celebrates the occasion with stories, crafts, and refreshments. 4:30-6pm. Free. 330 Bird St. 286-3541.

Nature Explorers: Nature lovers ages 6-11 can discover a tale of tails at the Virginia Museum of Natural History's nature club. Who has a tail? Why do some animals have them and others do not? And what's with all the different shapes and sizes? 4pm. $4. Registration required. 104 Emmet St. 982-4605.

No Shame in Staunton:
No Shame Theatre is back, this time cropping across the Blue Ridge. Join the random lineup of performers at this wild open-mic night for actors. The first 15 to show up with original pieces get to perform. Doors open at 9:30pm; audience members enter at 10; shows start at 10:30. Masonic Annex above Baja Bean, 12 Beverly St., Staunton. $5. 540-556-5396.

Minus the Sidekick (rock) at Southern Culture. No cover, 10pm.

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

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

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

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

TUESDAY, September 21
Maternal Meeting:
Stay-at-home moms get together at Central Library for the monthly meeting of the MOMS Club of Charlottesville. Meet other moms, discuss upcoming events, get involved. 10:30am. Free. Kristina Parker, 244-0847.

Nature Time: Nature lovers ages 3-5 can are invited to the Virginia Museum of Natural History for tales about tails. This week's fun focuses on those bushy or hairless, wiggling or posturepedic appendages behind. 10:30am. $4. Registration required. 104 Emmet St. 982-4605.

Recreational Reading: The summer reading fun continues for teens at Scottsville Library. The Inklings book club meets today and every third Tuesday. 7pm. Free. 330 Bird St. 286-3541.

Swing Your Partner:
The Virginia Reelers Square Dance Club begins the fall Tuesday night class schedule, and do they have a deal for you! Two free classes tonight and September 28. The rest of the semester costs $36 per person. Singles or couples of all ages. 7pm. Woodbrook Elementary School, 100 Woodbrook Drive. 293-2817.

Film Production Meeting:
Lights, sound, camera, set design, location-scouting, costume & make-up, editing, music. Independent film director David Webster is putting together a local team of experienced talent, as well as anyone willing to learn. Be a part of our first movie in Virginia. 8pm in a studio just above Sylvia's Pizza on the Downtown Mall. 977-1371.

Horticulture Presentation: The Charlottesville Horticulture Club presents Peter Warren, Albemarle County Extension Agent, speaking on "Insects in a Nutshell." 7pm. Senior Center, 1180 Pepsi Place. No fee, open to the public. 293-6871.

Peer into the Past:
Sherwin Markman, author of the new book Chief of Staff and assistant to Lyndon Johnson from 1965 to 1968, speaks on "The Real West Wing: President Lyndon Johnson from a Unique and Intimate Perspective" at the Miller Center at 11am. For an excerpt of his book, visit 2201 Old Ivy Road. 924-0921.

Ballroom Performance: Rita Dove introduces her new book of poetry, American Smooth, on the main stage of the PVCC's V. Earl Dickinson Building. Free, but advance tickets required. Available from PVCC Cashier or at Barnes & Noble, Barracks Road Shopping Center. 7:30pm. PVCC Dickinson Building, 961-5378. See Words feature.

Karaoke Night (what you make of it) at Baja Bean. Free, 8pm. (W)

Karaoke with DJ Dana at Charlie's Bar and Grill. No cover, 8pm.

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)

Blues and Stuff at Miller's. $3, 10pm.

SNUG ("raw party funk") at Orbit. No cover, 10:30pm.

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

Of Montreal and The Late BP Helium at Tokyo Rose. $7, 10pm. Tickets available at Plan 9.

WEDNESDAY, September 22
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.

Nature Time: See Tuesday, September

Humanistic Healing:
Physicians Bryce Kellams and Anne Kellams, winners of the Gold Humanism in Medicine Honor Society Award, present a talk on "Humanism in Medicine: Reflections on the Healer's Art" during the Medical Center Hour. 12:30pm in Jordan Hall Conference Center Auditorium. UVA Medical Center. 924-2094.

Horse's Mouth: Ed Southern, descendant of a 1619 Jamestown settler who worked in the House of Burgesses, speaks at New Dominion Bookshop about his new book, The Jamestown Adventure: Voices of the First Colony, a collection of firsthand reports and responses to that first white North American outpost just down the road from here. Noon. 404 E. Main St. 295-2552.

Quaker take on the Middle East: Nationally syndicated columnist and Middle East expert Helena Cobban discusses issues raised in the book, When the Rain Returns: Toward Justice and Reconciliation in Palestine and Israel, edited by an International Quaker Working Party of the American Friends Service Committee. The book comes out of visits to the Middle East by 14 Quaker observers who interviewed 90 individuals living there, representing many different personal histories and political views. Cobban and moderator Bill Anderson share the book at New Dominion Bookshop this evening at 5:30pm. 404 E. Main St. 295-2552.

MFA Series Under Way: Fiction writer Rocco DeBonis will read works in progress, representing the fiction being crafted in UVA's graduate-level Creative Writing Program. This is the third in a weekly series of readings by UVA MFA students, all taking place at 8:30pm at New Dominion Bookshop. 404 E. Main St. 924-6675.

A Midsummer Night's Dream:
See Saturday, September 18. Today's performance is a school matinee at 10:30am.

Bard Meets Black: Shenandoah Shakespeare hosts this special event, a premier of an original play by Eric Quander, The Bard Meets Black and Unknown Bards, as part of JMU's 2004 Furious Flower Poetry Conference. Opening reception 7pm. Play starts at 8. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-28. 540-885-5588. or

Caregiver Wellness Series:
Third 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 next Wednesday 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.

Netted Rope Necklace: Louise Smith teaches a necklace stringing approach called netting at Studio Baboo. 10am-2pm. Fee, and registration is required. 106 Fifth St. SE on the Downtown Mall. 244-2905, or

Cheesy Trivia with M&M Express at Buffalo Wild Wings. No cover, 8:30pm. (W)

Karaoke with Paul Seale at Charlie's Bar and Grill. No cover, 9pm.

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)

Scuffletown, Michael Troy, MaryAnn Rossoni at Gravity Lounge. $5, 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)

Jamal Millner and Friends at Outback Lodge. Free, 10pm.

Live Comedy Review: T.L. Fitz and Alex Scott at Rapture. $8, 10pm.

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

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

Drive By Truckers with Allison Moore at Starr Hill. $15/$12 advance, 8pm

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

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

THURSDAY, September 23
A Midsummer Night's Dream:
See Saturday, September 18.

Chamber Music Festival: See listing for Thursday, September 16. Today's performance is at 8pm and ends with "Viola Quintet in F Major," op. 88, by Johannes Brahms.

Teen Acting Studio: Dynamic actor/director Satch Huizenga encourages young actors to connect with their own experiences and emotions while creating a character on stage through a combination of scene work, monologue performances and secondary readings. The workshop will run Thursdays through November 4. 5-7pm. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. $60-75. 977-4177x100.

Hip-Hop 101: Puremovement dancers conduct an open class for hip-hop fans of all skill levels at the University of Virginia. 5:30-7:30pm. Newcomb Hall Ballroom. $10. 961-5376. The Philadelphia-based troupe will also offer a full-length performance the following night at PVCC. See Performance feature.

Think Globally, Act Here and Now:
Barry G. Rabe, University of Michigan professor of environmental policy, speaks on "Beyond Kyoto: Reducing Greenhouse Gases in North America and the European Union" at the Miller Center. He argues that while environmental problems cross jurisdictional lines, effective action starts at home. 11am. 2201 Old Ivy Road. 924-0921.

Dreaming NASCAR's Future: Richmond author Caroline Kettlewell has written a nonfiction account of how North Carolina backcountry kids built a winning electric car and made it all the way to Richmond's NASCAR Raceway. Kettlewell shares the book and its feel-good story at 5:30pm tonight at New Dominion Bookshop. 404 E. Main St. 295-2552.

Out of Confinement: Novelist Carrie Brown, Sweet Briar professor, friend, and alumna of UVA's Creative Writing Program, has a new novel, Confinement. Booklist calls it "poignant," "richly layered," and "exceptional." Tonight Brown reads from it at Barnes & Noble at 7pm. Barracks Road Shopping Center, 984-0461.

T.L. Fitz and Alex Scott at Rapture:
Both comedians have been featured on BET's "Coming to the Stage" comedy show, and afterwards Sketchy will be spinning the dance hits. $8, 9pm.

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

Ronnie Johnson at Charlie's Bar and Grill. No cover, 8pm.

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: Mystic Vibrations at Garden of Sheba. $5, 10pm.

Peter Markush (piano) at Gravity Lounge. Free, 12-1pm. (W)

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

Freedom One Ensemble at Orbit. No cover, 10:30pm.

Fourth Element at Outback Lodge. $3, 10pm.

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)

Michelle Shocked at Starr Hill. $15, 9pm.

Microphones, Galvin Johnson, and Woelv at Tokyo Rose. $6, 10pm.

Upcoming and Ongoing
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.

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.

Art from Pain: Artists and creative writers with personal experiences or interest in mental illness are invited to submit writing and artwork for an exhibit to show October 11. Mental Health Association, 977-4673, has details.

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.

Swing Swap:
The Charlottesville Swing Dance Society hosts an evening of swing most Thursdays in the auditorium of the Albemarle County Office Building. East Coast swing first hour, west coast during the second. Couples and singles welcome. 7-9pm. 401 McIntire Road. Free. 980-2744.

Swing Your Partner: The Virginia Reelers Square Dance Club begins the 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 Tuesday evenings and are open to singles or couples of all ages. 7pm. Woodbrook Elementary School, 100 Woodbrook Drive. 293-2817.

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. Bioritmo provides live music September 19. $8.

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.

Exotic Dance: Get kinky at the Berkmar Ballroom with exotic and modern dance for those at any skill level. Every Thursday night, belly dance for beginners and intermediates, 6-7pm. Fitness pole dance for beginners, 7-8pm. Sexy pole dancing for beginners, 8-9pm; for intermediates, 9-10pm. 652 Rio Road W. 10-lesson series, $125. 975-4611.

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.

Bug's Life:
Little buggers are invited to buzz their way through the tricks and traps of carnivorous plants at the Virginia Discovery Museum's new Back Gallery exhibit "A World of Bug-Eating Plants." Visitors can learn how these rare meat-eating plants catch their dinner, how they grow, and where they can be found as they slip, crawl, and slide through their fascinating world. Included in the price of admission. East end of the Downtown Mall. 977-1025.

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.

YMCA Youth Dance Classes: Register now for the Piedmont Family YMCA Youth Dance Program, open to boys and girls ages 3-10. Eight-week sessions will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons at the Y on Westfield Road. $50. 974-9622,

YMCA Cheerleading Program: Register now for the Y's eight-week cheerleading program, open to boys and girls ages 3 and up. Begins Saturday, October 16 and runs through December 11. All sessions held in the YMCA's multi-purpose room. $65. Informational meeting Saturday October 9, 11am-noon. Westfield Road. 974-9622 or

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 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

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.

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.

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 is showing work by "Fourth Year Distinguished Studio Art Majors," on view through September 23 in 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. See Art feature.

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.

Through October 9, the re-constituted Les Yeux du Monde presents "Gallery Artists," featuring work by, among others, Russ Warren, Herb Jackson, Deborah Kahn, and William Bennett. 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.


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.

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.

McGuffey attacked! Richards' inner boy emerges
By Laura Parsons
If there's one thing Russell U. Richards doesn't have to worry about, it's getting in touch with his "inner child." In fact, his boy within is out running, romping, and stomping (and bike riding) all around the McGuffey Art Center.

Although seemingly innocent at first glance, Richards' wide-ranging exhibition of etchings, lithographs, linocuts, and miscellany offers an adult view of worlds replete with violence and sex, as well as love and pleasure. The works on paper also display his mastery of painstakingly precise printmaking techniques– easy to miss under the intentional naiveté.

With echoes of illustrator Edward Gorey's macabre humor (and beasties!), M.C. Escher's attention to composition (and beasties!), and Picasso's use of figurative line (and beasties!), Richards' two-dimensional fantasies map out– literally, in the case of his wall of "Inaccurate Maps of Charlottesville"– new territory. His lithographed hometown street guides sprawl across the page, annotated with Richards' personal geography, e.g. "Me and Dad 1976" here, or "Learned to drive" there.

Elsewhere, jagged-toothed monsters and prehistoric beasts wreak havoc in Richards' stylized, flat images. But the chomping and destructo-action always have an innocuous "Oh nooooooo!" quality to them, reminiscent of Saturday Night Live's Mr. Bill.

In "Combat!," a four-color etching from Richards' recent "Primeval Times" series, a green-yellow flying beast digs its trident-like talon into the purple-winged mossy body of a razor-beaked bird, as a swarm of wasp-like insects sting from above and a gator waits open-mouthed below. Yet all this violence is sweetly cartoon-ish, subsumed by the overall puzzle-piece fit of the elements.

Nearby, "The Monster that Swallowed the Night," a black and white etching, exhibits a similar charm with regard to its graphic sexual content. Here a galumphing creature slurps down the last star-laden bits of darkness while in its belly two lovers orbit and intertwine, oblivious to having been swallowed.

Richards' inner boy also ventures into three-dimensional creations with papier-maché monster masks and cast plastic-toys. "Little Devil," a sparkly red figure with white teeth and eyes, stands on a pedestal with the mold Richards used to create it and its shrink-wrapped box featuring a linocut illustration. The artist's "Li'lzilla," a minty green miniature of the movie monster that comes with its own peach-colored tower to attack, was recently featured in Super7, a Japanese magazine devoted to toy culture.

Richards' work retains the quality of what a sixth-grader might sketch in the margins of his notebook as he daydreams out the school window, but on a more subtle level, it reflects the artist's mature sense of space, color, and humor.

Russell U. Richards' "2" is on view at the McGuffey Art Center through the month of September. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.

Dance steps: New Dove book sure to fly

Don't go thinking of poets as people who watch life go by as they sense deeply and utter eloquence to the wind. Take Rita Dove, for example. Read her new book of poetry, American Smooth, including the endnotes– peepholes into the life stream out of which these passages erupt– and you sense a woman with activities and interests, pastimes and a family, a woman who travels and observes and remembers and sometimes writes it down.

Her publisher touts American Smooth as Rita Dove's "eighth and perhaps most anticipated collection of poetry." She has long been in the public eye as U.S. Poet Laureate, Poet Laureate of Virginia, and winner of the Pulitzer and many other prizes.

In addition to her first book of poetry, The Yellow House on the Corner, which came out in 1983, Dove has published fiction and essays. Her play, The Darker Face of the Earth, was produced at the Kennedy Center, her song cycle premiered by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She writes, she teaches, she sings, and– now, her larger public learns– she dances. In this book's acknowledgments, Dove sends "a hug and a wink to all my ballroom dancing friends."

American Smooth is named for a dance style, Dove explains, "a form of ballroom dancing… in which the partners are free to release each other from the closed embrace and dance without any physical contact, thus permitting improvisation and individual expression." It's a concept that invites metaphor.

And so this book dances on, starting with Adam and Eve's dance on their way out of the garden, continuing with Salomé, coming up to private dreams and the present day. In a particularly affecting cycle of poems titled "Not Welcome Here," Dove word-dances the experience of Lt. Col. James Reese Europe, Harlem bandleader-turned World War I soldier, member of New York's all-African-American 369th Infantry.

The soldier poems are enhanced by one more personal vignette, "Ripont," in which Dove recalls a family journey when she, her husband, and their then-infant daughter happened upon an anniversary commemorative celebration for the 369th in the French countryside. "Everyone smiled at us sadly they thought / we were descendants too," Dove writes. "What else could we do we smiled back."

It was an important moment, clearly, since it spawned these eight poems, yet Dove reveals at the end of "Ripont" that from that day she "wrote nothing / for thirteen years not a word in my notebook / until today."

Rita Dove launches her book, American Smooth, Tuesday, September 21, 7:30pm, at the V. Earl Dickinson Building, Piedmont Virginia Community College. Free, but tickets are required from Barnes & Noble (Barracks Road Shopping Center), and the PVCC Cashier's Office. Groups of 10 or more, call 961-5378.

'Toon in: Celluloid funnies come alive
When I was growing up, Saturday morning was the best part of the week. In our house, it was my parents who would sleep late, leaving my siblings and me free to loll about in our pajamas in front of the television until noon watching the great classics like Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd, the Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote, Rocky and Bullwinkle, and The Jetsons.

This Saturday, rather than watching The Powerpuff Girls and Dexter's Laboratory on the tube, young fans can 'toon in at the Children's Museum of Richmond's Comcast Family 'Toon Day. Costumed characters from these and other Cartoon Network shows emerge from the television screen to wander the museum, shaking hands and posing for photo ops with eager young fans. Folks can also catch 'Toon Takeover, a special hour-long reel of favorite shows in the museum's Pavilion.

All is not animated, however, during this cartoon dreamland experience. Barefoot Puppets will be on stage at 11am to present "The Little Bread Hen," a puppet play in which Hen just wants to raise her eggs in peace. Wacky scientists from Mad Science of Central Virginia offer their own brand of comic relief with some experimental entertainment at 2 and 3pm.

Kids can have some off-the-wall fun with the moon bounce and other rides. Clowns, face painting, balloon animals, and temporary tattoos bring an artistic touch. The Richmond Department of Fire and Emergency Services adds some spark with their very big toys and answers to questions about safety. And the Virginia Policing Institute will show adults how they can keep kids safe from inappropriate television programming and website access with software controls that can be used with cable television and the Internet.

In contrast, to show how good the Internet can be for kids, CMoR will unveil its new, interactive website filled with fun and games for young ones and lots of information about the museum.

This Saturday, the cartoons– and the fun– are live and in person. Don't sleep in and miss it.

Comcast Family 'Toon Day at the Children's Museum of Richmond takes place Saturday, September 18, 9:30am-5pm. All activities are included in the $7 museum admission. 2626 W. Broad St., Richmond. 804-474-2667

The other father: Montpelier
kicks up its heels
It's easy for those of us living in the shadow of Monticello to forget that Thomas Jefferson wasn't the only nation-builder in central Virginia. Sure, we'll always have the Declaration of Independence, but up the road in Orange, James Madison's Montpelier is gearing up to commemorate its founder's primary contribution to American history: the U.S. Constitution.

Friday, September 17, 217-years after the Philadelphia meeting where 55 revolutionaries signed on Madison's page, visitors can enjoy a day of speeches, games, tours, and exhibits on the estate that "the Father of the U.S. Constitution" called home.

"It's an opportunity to commemorate the signing of the Constitution in a beautiful setting on the grounds of Montpelier," explains spokesperson Jon Bowen. "And it's also a chance to take some time to reflect on the importance of the Constitution and its place in the U.S. government."

Virginia's senior U.S. Senator, John Warner, will give this year's keynote address, reflecting on the enduring impact of Madison's creation. Afterward, Col. James R. Lowe, Commander of the U.S. Marine Corps Base, Quantico, will give remarks and the United States Marine Corps Band will present a patriotic concert.

But the day isn't just all bunting and fanfare. Another key part of the Constitution Day celebration is the Marine Corps re-enlistment ceremony that's held on the grounds in the afternoon. Since Marines, like the President of the United States and senior federal officials, take an oath to defend and uphold the U.S. Constitution when they enlist in the Corps, several soldiers come out to Orange County every year to take their oath where the document was born.

Afterward, visitors will have a chance to explore Montpelier itself and learn more about the ongoing effort to restore the property to its Madison-era appearance. There's even a new exhibit opening this weekend: James Madison: Architect of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Colonial games for the children and tours of the grounds are also on the schedule.

And what presidential event would be complete without a little historical recreation? This time, Mr. Madison himself will be on hand to give some remarks about the creation of the Constitution and lead visitors in a ceremonial signing. Dolley would be proud.

Constitution Day kicks off at 11am September 17. Admission on Constitution Day is free (and includes a home tour and exhibits), but be sure to stop off at the Montpelier Museum Shop on Route 20 to pick up your complimentary admission ticket on the way in. Route 29 north to Ruckersville, right onto Route 33 east. At Barboursville, left onto Route 20 north toward Orange. Go about 8 miles to Montpelier Visitors Center on left. 504-672-2728 or

Pure pleasure: Hip-hop dancers never stop

It's hard to think of any movement that isn't "pure," whatever that means. From the tall lanky kid in 10th grade who had to fumble with a bottom-row locker, to the soaring swans of Russian ballet– yes, human beings cover the gamut of grace.

But to claim anyone's movement isn't pure is to invite a rough-and-tumble philosophical debate, one that I'd rather avoid. Is there not something utterly true about adolescent awkwardness?

And yet I can't fault Rennie Harris and his Puremovement movement from wanting to co-opt that dangerous word. After all, if what he means by "pure" is hyperactive, acrobatic, and inspiring, then I'll give it to him, no questions asked.

Harris's Puremovement dance troupe, born in the chancy neighborhoods of North Philly and now known in centers of so-called high society the world over, is coming to Charlottesville this month for a public performance and master class that real hip-hop fans (let's say, if you dig Tribe Called Quest and J-5) won't want to miss.

The company will perform at Piedmont Virginia Community College on Friday, September 24. The day before, Puremovement hosts a master class open to dancers of all skill levels at UVA's Newcomb Hall.

Rome and Jewel, a hip-hop retelling of Shakespeare's classic tragedy of star-crossed lovers, put Puremovement on the map in 2001, garnering critical acclaim as well as the Bessie Award for Choreography. It has since played in more than 50 cities.

Puremovement's traveling repertory now includes such original titles as P-Funk, Endangered Species, and Students of the Asphalt Jungle, all part of an hour-and-a-half romp, as Harris envisions it, through the past and present of African-American culture.

The marginalization of hip-hop culture is something Harris says his company still struggles to overcome. "Any place we perform, I'm still having to talk about the idea that it's always been art," he told Tokyo's Daily Yomiuri earlier this year. "But in Western culture, if they don't see it, they don't believe it.

"If it was really fully accepted, there would be more hip-hop dance, hip-hop concert dancers, you know what I mean?" Harris says. "But right now, there's not even four or five groups in the States that do hip-hop dance in theater. … I mean, we don't get no support from the government."

Let's hope they get support from the (sometimes) enlightened community of Charlottesville.

Puremovement performs its mind-blowing hip-hop dance theater at PVCC on Friday, September 24. 7:30pm. Main stage of the V. Earl Dickinson Building. $10-17. 961-5376 for more information, or visit A master class happens the day before at UVA. 5:30-7:30pm. Newcomb Hall. $10.

Petty-heavy: The Midwest comes to town
Take a little Paul Westerberg, a little Tom Petty, and a touch of the Beatles pop sheen (or perhaps a more modern, riskier group such as Soul Asylum), and you have a sonic explanation for the Brooklyn-based Damnwells, with some little pieces from here and there they found lying around. But the group's picking-up-the-pieces approach to their sound in no way lessens the impact of their songs– contemporary guitar-based pop nuggets that will keep you humming in delight long into the night.

Formed around 2000, the group– Alex Dezen (vox, guitar), David Chernis (guitar), Ted Hudson (bass), Steven Terry (drums, vox, formerly of alt-country Whiskeytown– released their first proper album in 2002, PMR (Poor Man's Record). Their latest is 2003's Bastards of the Beat (Red Ink/Epic Records), a half pop/rock and half alt-country disc that wears its influences on its sleeve.

Bastards of the Beat begins with 41-second "Assho**s," an alt-country tune about as Wilco as you can get. Strummed acoustic, harmonica, and Denzen's best Jeff Tweedy impression do not make a particularly strong start for the album, but with a drum hit, "What You Get" rocks out, and opinions of the group go up all around. With a slight chord nod to "867-5309 (Jenny)" the song's sustained lightly distorted guitar chords and hard hitting drums bring back the best parts of Petty's Damn the Torpedoes, majestic in its musical and lyrical simplicity (bridge: "Say what you want to say / Do what you want to do," chorus: "It's what you get for being afraid / It's what you get for staying away").

"Kiss Catastrophe" brings the alt country back in full gear– distorted doubled guitar opens the track, while simple 1-2 drums and piano chords provide the final musical touches. "Why do you kiss goodbye every night / Giving me very reason to lie" Denzen croons in a voice slightly reminiscent of Camper Van Beethoven's David Lowery when it cracks.

The first half of the album is composed primarily of quiet alt country tunes ("What You Get" is an exception), and by the time track 7, "The Sound," rolls around, you might be ready for a little excitement. From the epic scale chorus of this tune on, things get louder and poppier, though shades of a country edge, of course, still shine through. "The Sound" is probably the strongest song on this latter half, tom-heavy and guitar-driven– Petty's living ghosts are blessing this tune.

Our own great Small Town Workers, that little slice of blue-collar '70s rock, will be opening for the Damnwells at Starr Hill this Saturday night. Throw on your Dickies and be seen… in an anti-posh fashion.

The Damnwells and Small Town Workers at Starr Hill, September 18. $5, 9pm.