Cultural calendar, November 18-25, 2004

THURSDAY, November 18
ART
Benefit Boys and Girls:
Kenny Ball Antiques presents a show of the work of Abby Kasonik and Edward Thomas, to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Charlottesville. Wine and light hors d'oeuvres. 5-8pm. 2125 Ivy Road. 293-1361.

WALKABOUT
Israeli Film Festival:
Featured film is Fictitious Marriage, about an Israeli man in the midst of a mid-life crisis who leaves his family in Jerusalem and travels to Tel Aviv. There he enters into a fictitious marriage and is mistaken for an Arab laborer. Prof. Asher Biemann leads a discussion afterward. 7pm. Wilson Hall 301. 703-505-6638.

Personal Finance Workshop: Is bill-paying day the low point of your month? Then join the Focus Women's Center for this workshop series "designed to teach women to take control of their finances and futures." 6pm. No fee. 293-2222 ext.30. Last in the series.

Wine Release Celebration: Cardinal Point Vineyard celebrates the release of its new Beaujolais nouveau-style wine with a weekend of tastings, complimentary soup, and wine specials. 11am-5pm, through Sunday, November 21. 540-456-8400 or cardinalpointwinery.com.

Feds Confab: The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Chapter 135 meet to hear from William Pahuta, Operations Director at Charlottesville Airport. 11:30am. Golden Corral restaurant, Route 29. 293-3170.

PERFORMANCE
The Cherry Orchard:
The UVA drama department rediscovers the "farcical wit" embedded in this classic Anton Chekhov play about social class and social revolution in 19th-century Russia. MFA candidate Clinton Johnston directs. 8pm. Culbreth Theatre. $7-12. 924-3376. See Performance feature.

LATTE Grande: The Live Arts Teen Theater Ensemble opens its season with a production of The Caucasian Chalk Circle, a Bertolt Brecht parable on greed and justice that spins its way from a Soviet tractor collective to ancient China and back. Eleven young actors play multiple characters in song, acrobatics, and mime. 7:30pm. Live Arts Upstage, 123 E. Water St. $10. 977-4177x100.

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.

WORDS
Middle East Crisis:
Why is Israel Necessary? Mary Baldwin College prof Daniel Metraux, speaks about the rise of Zionism a century ago, the creation of the State of Israel, and why the Jewish people, who for centuries have coexisted in other nations, need a homeland. 7pm. Staunton Public Library, 1 Churchville Ave. 804-332-3902.

Green Thumb: Emily Herring Wilson introduces No One Gardens Alone: A Life of Elizabeth Lawrence, her new biography of the North Carolina gardener and garden writer who traded plant cuttings and botanical correspondence with the likes of Katherine S. White and Eudora Welty. Wilson reads at New Dominion Bookshop at 11:30am. 404 E. Main St. 295-2552.

Romantic Poets: Kevin McFadden and Angie Hogan plunge back into Charlottesville as a married couple to offer a second reading of the week in the Jessup Library at Piedmont Virginia Community College. McFadden, associate program director of the Virginia Festival of the Book, and Hogan, staff member of the University of Virginia Press, just returned from the honeymoon. 2:20pm. Jessup Library. 961-5203.

Eating History: Debbie Nunley and Karen Jane Elliott share their book, A Taste of Virginia History: Historic Restaurants, a guide to more than 100 old Virginia restaurants. They speak of savory and sweet at New Dominion Bookshop at 5:30pm. 404 E. Main St. 295-2552. See Words feature.

South African Soul: In 2001 Claudia J. Ford, an international development expert from Johannesburg, South Africa, encountered a five-month-old girl who had been gang-raped and left for dead just days before. She spent two years working through the legal system to adopt the girl, whom she named Vyanna. Ford wrote a memoir of those times, with reflections on justice and poverty in South Africa and around the world. She visits the Quest Bookshop today at 7pm to read from her book and speak on her experiences. 619 W. Main St. 295-3377.

FAMILY
Dreamtime:
With help from an inquisitive young platypus named Billy, Heidi Rugg of Barefoot Puppets introduces folks to some of the most unusual animals in the world: critters from the Land Down Under. Three traditional tales of Australia's Aborigines inspired this lively performance at Northside Library. 4pm. Free. Albemarle Square. 973-7893.

TUNES
Mike Doughty at Starr Hill:
Formerly frontman for the exquisite bluesy and beat-heavy pop group Soul Coughing, Doughty released his Rockity Roll EP in 2003. With lines still displaying his trademark wit like "I went to school with 27 Jennifers" Doughty's work sounds like a smarter, though happier, version of his previous outfit. $10/$8. 8pm.

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

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

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

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

Las Gitanas and Vulgar Bulgars at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8pm.

James McLaughlin with members of Old School Freight Train ("jazz, Latin, funk") at Michael's Bistro. No cover, 10pm.

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

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

Stabones (punk), the Treatment (rock) and the Make-Out Twins (pop/rock) at Outback Lodge. $5, 10pm.

Satisfaction with Noel Sanger (18 and up dance party) at Rapture. $3/Ladies free, 10:30pm.

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

Open Mic Night at Kokopelli's Café. Sign up at 6:30, music at 7pm. No cover.

The Six Pasts Server at Tokyo Rose. $5, 10pm.

Southside Funk Brothers at West Main. No cover, 10pm.

FRIDAY, November 19
WORDS
Sustainability Day:
UVA's Institute for Environmental Negotiation and the Architecture School's Department of Urban and Environmental Planning host a day-long conference on "Dialogue and Design: Paths to Sustainability" at UVA's Campbell Hall. Speakers and panels on sustainability mediation, the Chesapeake Bay, consensus building, Maryland's St. Michaels, and the ethics and aesthetics of sustainability, fill the day. Events begin at 9am and continue through a reception at 5pm. Open to the public; no registration necessary. 153 Campbell Hall. 924-0285, christineg@virginia.edu. See Hot Seat.

Doc on a Doc: Local pediatrician Raymond Ford, who has undertaken medical missions to the Caribbean, leads a discussion of Tracy Kidder's new book, Mountains Beyond Mountains, about Dr. Paul Farmer's efforts in Haiti, as part of the Northside Library's Books Sandwiched In series. Bring lunch if you want. Meet at noon at the Northside Library. Albemarle Square Shopping Center. 973-7893.

Melting Pot: Join a Town Hall Meeting on "Immigration: What's Best for America?" at the Doubletree Hotel at 12:30pm today. Guest speakers include UVA professor David Martin, past counsel for U.S. Immigration and now consultant on refugee matters, and Stephen Camarota of the Center for Immigrant Studies in D.C. Sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the Charlottesville Committee on Foreign Relations, the discussion is open to the public. Lunch at noon for $15; call about reservations. 990 Hilton Head Road 970-1707, lwv@avenue.org.

Evolution of Aging: Renowned gerontologist Caleb Finch, from the University of Southern California, speaks on "Evolution Shapes the Schedule of Aging in Neural Systems." Finch discusses how improved diets and the control of infectious diseases have had an impact on aging and on Alzheimer's and cardiovascular diseases. 3:30pm. McLeod Auditorium, UVA. 243-5327.

Young Brown Dwarfs: University of Michigan astronomer Ray Jayawardhana visits UVA's astronomy department today to give a talk on "Exploring Young Brown Dwarfs" at 4pm in Room 201 of the Astronomy Building. 530 McCormick Road. 296-0390.

The Father of Our Country: Joseph J. Ellis, renowned historian and author of Founding Brothers and American Sphinx (about Thomas Jefferson) has now turned to George Washington in his new book, His Excellency. Publishers Weekly calls the book a "magisterial account" that manages to "bring the aloof legend alive." Meet Ellis at New Dominion Bookshop at 5:30pm. 404 E. Main St. 295-2552.

FAMILY
Revolutionary Thanks:
Governor Jefferson's Thanksgiving Festival is bigger and better than ever this year. See Family feature.

Star Struck: The view is out of this world at Public Night at McCormick Observatory from 7-9pm (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.

Funds for Education: Baker-Butler Elementary School PTO hosts "Boutique Night" with 40 crafters and merchants from across the state, a silent auction and raffle, children's activities, book fair, food, and more. 6-9:30pm. 2740 Proffitt Road. 964-1122.

Ahoy, Matey!: Able-bodied pirates are needed for the Old Michie Theatre's January production of Treasure Island. Auditions take place for an assortment of contemptible characters. Interested actors should call the theater for an audition time, become familiar with the story, and be prepared to recite a monologue for leading roles. Those interested in ensemble roles should prepare a poem, story, or speech to read aloud. A production fee will be charged. 4-6:30pm. 221 Water St. 977-3690. oldmichie.com.

PERFORMANCE
LATTE Grande:
See Thursday, November 18. Tonight's performance is at 8pm.

Cherry Orchard: See Thursday, November 18.

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

Contra Dance: The Toad Mamas play traditional music on fiddle, flute, banjo, mandolin, and more while you get jiggy with it at this monthly main event of the Albemarle Chapter of the Country Dance & Song Society. Shawn Brenneman calls. 8-11pm (beginners workshop starts a half hour early). Municipal Arts Center, 1119 Fifth St. Ext. $7; under 12 free. 973-4984 or cvillecontra.com.

WALKABOUT
Israeli Film Festival:
The House on Chelouche Street. The story of a 15-year-old boy, Sami, and the trials of growing up in Tel Aviv under British rule, all while the populace is struggling to gain independence. Prof. Daniel Lefkowitz leads a discussion afterward. 3pm. Wilson Hall 301. 703-505-6638.

Think About It: Unconstitutional: The War on Civil Liberties, describes the erosion of civil liberties since 9/11 and tells the story of those directly affected by new government powers. Take heart! It also documents what's being done to fight back. Robert M. O'Neil, director of the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, leads a follow-up discussion. 2-4:30pm. Sponsored by the ACLU. Free. Caplin Auditorium, UVA Law School. 804-644-8080.

Information Session: The Outdoor Adventure Social Club offers a photo show and social hour for potential members. 8-10pm. Free if you RSVP. 420 E. Main St. #3. outdoorsocial.com or 760-HIKE.

Greek Festival: Celebrate the Mediterranean life at the Charlottesville Greek Festival. Enjoy a Mini-Taverna, plenty of tasty Greek delicacies, entertainment, and more. A traditional Greek meal is available starting at 11:30am for $12. Vegetarian meal also available $10. 10am-8pm at the Greek Orthodox Church, McIntire Road and Perry Drive. 973-4091.

TUNES
Club 216:
Music from the '70s, '80s and some '60s, too, with DJ Frank Rivera. Members with membership cards $5 ($8 without). Guests of members $12. 10pm-5am. club216.com.

Navel with Evenout, Adelyn and Big Fast Car at Starr Hill: Navel blend hard rock and pop in a combination which would delight your mama, if she was an '80s Metallica groupie. $5, 8:30pm.

Hard Rain (rock originals) at Dürty Nelly's. $3, 9pm.

Scuffletown at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8pm.

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

Ohm's Law at Kokopelli's Café. $5, 8-11pm.

Sarah White & The Pearls and the Moore Brothers at Miller's. $3, 10pm.

Rebecca Hall and Ken Anderson (original folk/roots) at Oddfellas Cantina, Floyd. No cover, 7pm. 540-745-3463.

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

Sundried Opossum at Outback Lodge. $6, 10pm.

Sarah White & The Pearls at Plan 9 on the Corner. No cover, 4:30pm.

Junior Moment (original folk) at Rapunzels. Free, 8pm.

Songwriter Peyton Tochterman with John D'earth on trumpet, Pete Spaar on bass, Andy Thacker on mandolin, and James McGlaughlin on drums at Shebeen. No cover, 10pm.

Tulsa Drone at the Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar. Donations, 10pm.

SATURDAY, November 20
ART
White In:
Speakers in the day-long "Whiteness" seminar (in conjunction with the current exhibition at the University of Virginia Art Museum) include Amanda Jones, David Roediger, and Eric Lott. Artists joining the discussion include Joseph Havel, Mark S. Greenfield, and Lezley Saar. 9:30am-4:30pm, Campbell Hall 153.

WORDS
Conversation on McCullers:
The subject of this month's New Dominion Bookshop reading discussion is Carson McCullers's novel, Member of the Wedding, led by local author Mariflo Stephen. 10:30am. 404 E. Main St. 295-2552.

Stop the Presses: Staunton journalist Chris Graham, late of Observer (and Hook Hotseat) fame, celebrates the publication of his collection of columns, Stop the Presses, at the Staunton August Art Center. Light refreshments. Art for Gifts exhibit open too. 1-3pm. One Gypsy Hill Park, Staunton, 540-249-1198. saartcenter.org.

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

On Point: Tiny dancers ages 3-8 can enjoy a reading of the holiday favorite The Nutcracker at dancewear shop The Hip Joint. 9-10am. Free. Registration required. Just off the Downtown Mall at 115 Fifth St. SE. 971-6888.

Telling Tales: Dan Mahon, Mary Gordon Hall, Pat Flaherty, and Darrell Rose with a local women's drumming circle tell tales and more at Camp Whispering Oaks' Tellabration storytelling celebration at Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church. 4-8:30pm. $10 person, $40 family. Dinner extra. Tickets available at Shenanigans in Barracks Road North and The Needle Lady on the Downtown Mall. 717 Rugby Road. 823-9517 or weavelace@aol.com.

Enchanting Dilemma: Follow the bread crumbs to Old Michie Theatre for a newly staged marionette production of the classic Grimm's tale Hansel and Gretel. 11am, 2 and 4pm. $5. 221 E. Water St. 977-3690.

Mischief and Magic: Be gone, Batman! Step aside Spiderman! The Monkey King comes to the Children's Museum of Richmond today through February 28. "Monkey King: A Journey to China" introduces children to this 400-year-old super hero of Chinese folklore as they travel along the Silk Road discovering the secrets of Chinese culture. For today's opening, guest artist Linda Fang entertains with stories and paper-folding. Other activities include mask-making, a martial arts demonstration, a cooking demonstration, and more. Included in the price of admission. 2626 W. Broad St. 804-474-2667. c-mor.org.

'Tis the Season: The season of light starts shining today at the Science Museum of Virginia as Joy from the World opens through January 1. Visitors experience the seasonal celebrations of a variety of cultures through holiday displays, traditional dancing, music, and arts and crafts. Included in the price of admission. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 800-659-1727. smv.org.

Revolutionary Thanks: Governor Jefferson's Thanksgiving Festival is bigger and better than ever this year. See Family feature.

Ahoy, Matey!: See Friday, November 19. Times today are 9-10:30am.

WALKABOUT
Condo Confab:
Officers, directors, and members of property owner associations meet at the Lake Monticello clubhouse to talk about issues of mutual interest. 9am-1pm. 540-582-6444.

Craft Fair: Albemarle High School Band presents its fourth annual craft fair today in the school cafeteria. All types of artisans and craftsmen from Charlottesville and environs offer Christmas goodies. 9am-3pm. Hydraulic Road.

On the Block: Dance the night away and bid on over 400 items at the AIDS/HIV Service Group's 14th annual Creative Charlottesville Auction. Food from local restaurants, wine tastings, and much more. 6:30pm-midnight. $40 tickets available from ASG. More information and a list of available items at aidsservices.org or 979-7714. See Walkabout feature.

Run for Refugees 5k: The name says it all: enjoy a 5k course around the UVA grounds and raise money for worldwide refugee efforts. Sponsored by the International Rescue Committee. 8am start. $15 fee. Registration information and details, 979-7772 or avenue.org/ctc.

Invasive Plants: Not all plants are good plants. Will Shaw with the Virginia Native Plant Society leads this walk around the Ivy Creek Natural Area, discussing the increasing problem of invasive plants in our area and around the world. 9:00am. No fee. 973-7772 or avenue.org/icf.

High Wire Adventure: Challenge yourself with the Outdoor Adventure Social Club. This week, they're taking on a high cable challenge course and zip line. 11:45am. $28 fee, plus membership. 760-HIKE or outdoorsocial.com for details.

Civil Liberties 2004: The Virginia ACLU and the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression present this showing up "Unconstitutional: The War on Civil Liberties." A discussion session will be held after the film. 2-4:40pm. Free and open to the public. Caplin Auditorium, UVA Law School. For more information, call 804-644-8080.

Winery Finery: Join the Blue Ridge WineWay wine trail for their progressive Christmas event at 10 area wineries. This weekend, it's an open house at Mediterranean Cellars. Wine discounts, tastings, tours, and free Mediterranean finger foods. 11am-6pm. 540-428-1984 or mediterraneancellars.com.

Hobby Expo: Model Rocketry is the theme of this year's Hobby Expo, designed to introduce families to the magical world of hobbies. But model railroading, scale modeling, radio controlled cars and planes, and model ships are also part of the fun. Youngsters ten and under can "make and take models." 11am-5pm. $2 individual admission or $5 family. Profits benefit Family Support Group, assisting families of troops in Iraq. National Guard Armory, Avon St. Ext. 973-9191.

Condo Confab: Officers, directors, and members of property owner associations meet at the Lake Monticello clubhouse to talk about issues of mutual interest. 9am-1pm. 540-582-6444.

Craft Fair: Albemarle High School Band presents its fourth annual craft fair today in the school cafeteria. All types of artisans and craftsmen from Charlottesville and environs offer Christmas goodies. 9am-3pm. Hydraulic Road.

On the Block: Dance the night away and bid on over 400 items at the AIDS/HIV Service Group's 14th annual Creative Charlottesville Auction. Food from local restaurants, wine tastings, and much more. 6:30pm-midnight. $40 tickets available from ASG. More information and a list of available items at aidsservices.org or 979-7714. See Walkabout feature.

Run for Refugees 5k: The name says it all: enjoy a 5k course around the UVA grounds and raise money for worldwide refugee efforts. Sponsored by the International Rescue Committee. 8am start. $15 fee. Registration information and details, 979-7772 or avenue.org/ctc.

Invasive Plants: Not all plants are good plants. Will Shaw with the Virginia Native Plant Society leads this walk around the Ivy Creek Natural Area, discussing the increasing problem of invasive plants in our area and around the world. 9:00am. No fee. 973-7772 or avenue.org/icf.

High Wire Adventure: Challenge yourself with the Outdoor Adventure Social Club. This week, they're taking on a high cable challenge course and zip line. 11:45am. $28 fee, plus membership. 760-HIKE or outdoorsocial.com for details.

Civil Liberties 2004: The Virginia ACLU and the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression present this showing up "Unconstitutional: The War on Civil Liberties." A discussion session will be held after the film. 2-4:40pm. Free and open to the public. Caplin Auditorium, UVA Law School. For more information, call 804-644-8080.

Winery Finery: Join the Blue Ridge WineWay wine trail for their progressive Christmas event at 10 area wineries. This weekend, it's an open house at Mediterranean Cellars. Wine discounts, tastings, tours, and free Mediterranean finger foods. 11am-6pm. 540-428-1984 or mediterraneancellars.com.

Hobby Expo: Model Rocketry is the theme of this year's Hobby Expo, designed to introduce families to the magical world of hobbies. But model railroading, scale modeling, radio controlled cars and planes, and model ships are also part of the fun. Youngsters ten and under can "make and take models." 11am-5pm. $2 individual admission or $5 family. Profits benefit Family Support Group, assisting families of troops in Iraq. National Guard Armory, Avon St. Ext. 973-9191.

PERFORMANCE
LATTE Grande:
See Thursday, November 18.

The Cherry Orchard: See Thursday, November 18.

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. 2pm. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-28. 540-885-5588.

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

PERFORMANCE AND TUNES
Scottish Dance:
Piedmont Virginia Community College hosts a workshop on Scottish social dancing taught by a 20-year veteran. No partner or prior experience needed. Wear soft shoes. Gals: skirts. Guys: kilts or shorts. Refreshments and social dancing at St. Paul's Ivy Parish Hall to follow the class. 1:30pm. Main stage of the V. Earl Dickinson Building, PVCC. $10. 961-5376.

TUNES
Club 216:
Divine, the dance event + open house event! DJ Frank Rivera. Free HIV testing 11pm-1am. Open to everyone 10pm-5am. club216.com.

Scott Fore and David Doucet at the Prism: Winner of the "Wimbledon of guitar" flatpicking championship, Scott Fore performs with a well-known flatpicker from Louisiana in an evening of shredding. The duo host an afternoon guitar workshop at the Prism 1-4pm ($45). Concert, $15/$12, 8pm.

Rebecca Hall and Ken Anderson at Rapunzel's: Hailing from New England, these musicians play songs described as mountain ballads, originals showcasing the perfection of their harmonious voices. $5, 8pm.

All Beethoven Concert in Old Cabell Hall: Conducted by Carl Roskott, this concert by the Charlottesville and University Symphony Orchestra features pianist Mary Kathleen Ernst performing Piano Concerto No.4, the Coriolan Overture, and Symphony No. 5. $11-$25, 8pm. 924-3984.

Blue Soup (hot new mix of local legends) at Kokopelli's Café. $5, 8-11pm.

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

Populist Dancing at Club Rio. $10, 9pm.

Malcolm Holcombe with Keith and Jennifer Morris at Gravity Lounge. $10/$6, 8pm.

Special Ed and the Shortbus at Gravity Lounge. $5, 10:30pm.

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

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

One Slack Mind and Gold Mind Squad at Outback Lodge. $6, 10pm.

SUNDAY, November 21
PERFORMANCE
A Midsummer Night's Dream:
See Thursday, November 18. Today's performance is a 2pm matinee.

Elvis People: If that name doesn't grab you, what will? Charlottesville's Offstage Theatre, which has cornered the local market for offbeat productions, showcases another gem with this series of monologues by Doug Grissom. Each reading gives voice to those folks whose lives were touched by the King. 3pm. Gravity Lounge, 103 S. First St. $3. 977-5590.

FAMILY
Homespun Education:
Silvia Barrett, founder of Albemarle Homeschoolers, and Will Shaw, former lobbyist for Virginia Home Education Association present "A Primer on Homeschooling" at Northside Library. Topics include why parents homeschool, options available under Virginia law, resources available, and personal experiences with homeschooling. 1:30pm. Free. Albemarle Square. 974-4582.

Swing Your Partner: Dancers kick up their heels at the Blue Ridge Barn Dance at Greenwood Community Center featuring live music by local old time band the Virginia Vagabonds. Beginners welcome. Partners not necessary. 6:30-9:30pm. $6. Rt. 691 off Rt. 250 just past Crozet. 540-836-9445.

Revolutionary Thanks: Governor Jefferson's Thanksgiving Festival is bigger and better than ever this year. See Family feature.

WALKABOUT
Mental Health Benefit:
The 4th Annual Keswick High Tea happens today at Keswick Hall to support the important work of the Mental Health Association of Charlottesville-Albemarle. Complementing a "festive high tea," are a silent auction and fashion show of women's and children's clothing. 2:30-4pm. 977-4673 or mha@avenue.org.

Ash Lawn Open House: Come check out what Ash Lawn-Highland has to offer at the annual community open house. You might even get to meet President Monroe. Free for local residents. 293-9539 or ashlawnhighland.org.

Festival of Trees: The Wintergreen Nature Foundation knows trees. Come see and bid on the beautiful decorations, wreaths, and centerpieces hand decorated by Foundation volunteers. Absentee bidding continues through November 27. All funds raised go to support The Nature Foundation. 325-8169 or twnf.org.

Winery Finery: Continues today. See Saturday, November 21. 11am-6pm. 540-428-1984 or mediterraneancellars.com.

TUNES
Blue Ridge Barn Dance with the Virginia Vagabonds at the Greenwood Community Center: It's courtin' time again, and all the young ladies and lads will be wearing their Sunday best at the Blue Ridge Barn Dance, with music provided by the Virginia Vagabonds– beginners welcome and no partner needed. $6, 6:30.

The Wailers at Starr Hill: With Bob Marley they were in the background, but since his death they've been right up front– reggae legends the Wailers come to town once again to help us all get down. $20, 8pm.

All Beethoven Concert at Old Cabell Hall. $11-$25, 3:30pm. 924-3984. See Saturday, November 20.

Jan Smith (rootsy pop) with Rebecca Hall and Ken Anderson (original folk/roots) at Baja Bean. No cover, 9pm.

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

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

Holly Palmer (singer/songwriter) at the Starr Hill Gallery. Free, 8pm.

Mary Gordon Hall (acoustic folk) with Proutt and McCormick at Kokopelli's Café. $3. 7-9:30pm.

MONDAY, November 22
WALKABOUT
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.

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

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

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

TUESDAY, November 23
ART
McGuffey Group Show:
Fifty artists strut their stuff at the annual McGuffey open house (December 5, 11am-5pm). Painting, drawing, printmaking, fiber art, mixed media, stained glass, hot glass, sculpture, and photography are just some of the media to be represented in the Holiday Show. Opens today and runs through December 31. Mark your calendar. On Friday, December 17, Zen Monkey Project presents new work by Katharine Birdsall, featuring Peter Markush on cello. At 6:30, 7, and 7:30pm in Studio 11. $5 tickets available at the gallery desk. 295-7973.

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

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

Brice Woodall ("eclectic singer/songwriter") at Miller's. No cover, 10pm.

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

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

WEDNESDAY, November 24
PERFORMANCE
A Midsummer Night's Dream:
See Thursday, November 18. Today's 10:30am show is a school matinee.

FAMILY
Tales for Tots:
The 5 and under crowd can hear some favorite picture book stories at Barnes & Noble's preschool story time. 10:30am. Free. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.

TUNES
The Hackensaw Boys with Sarah White & the Pearls at Starr Hill: Returning again to the land that fed and clothed them are local luminaries the Hackensaw Boys. Rough and tumble bluegrass with a dash of punk comes from the six man band, leading, one can always hope, into musically enhanced temptation. $12/$10 advance, 8pm.

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

Benny Dodd (rock covers) at Coupe DeVille's. No cover, 10pm.

Open Mic Night at Dew Drop Inn. No cover, 7:30pm.

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

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

Pre-thanksgiving bash with Travis Elliott at Orbit. No cover, 10:30pm.

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

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

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

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

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

THURSDAY, November 25
TUNES
Karaoke Night with DJ Wild Wes at Buffalo Wild Wings. Free, 9pm.

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

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

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

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

Satisfaction with Noel Sanger (18 and up dance party) at Rapture. $3/Ladies free, 10:30pm.

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

Upcoming and Ongoing
Look Around: The Artisans Center of Virginia invites entries for a national competition/juried exhibition, "Sacred Icons: A Collective Vision of Symbolic & Ritual Objects." All media are accepted, but work must have been completed in the past two years. The entry fee is $20, and the submission deadline is February 19, 2005. Info: 540-946-3294 or acv@nexet.net.

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, ornament, or a hand-blown vase of your own. Class times and themes vary, as do fees. 202 S. Lewis St. in Staunton near the old train station. Details and registration info: 540-885-0678 or dan@sunspots.com.

Cowpalace and Cub Creek Pottery: Travel a little way south for two pottery studio open houses November 27-28, offering handmade functional stoneware by potters Tray Eppes and John Jessiman, as well as work by artists JJ Eisfelder, Michelle Miller, John Williams, Kat Antis, Josh Manning, Kala Stein, and Josh Floyd. 10am-5pm both days. Pamplin, Virginia, near Farmville. Call 434-248-6757 for more information and directions.

WORDS
Write for the Animals:
Published and aspiring writers of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction are invited to participate in Writer's Gallery, a reading and reception to benefit an animal rescue organization. Writer's Gallery takes place on February 24, but writers' submissions and applications are due by Wednesday, December 15. Contact Kalela Williams at 971-8841 or prosegrl82@aol.com.

PERFORMANCE
Script It:
Offstage Theatre seeks scripts for two upcoming series, Barhoppers and Bedroom Plays, set (duh) in bars and bedrooms. Pieces should run 10 to 20 minutes and require minimal props, costumes, etc. Comedies, dramas, monologues, musicals all eligible. Offstage pays $50 per chosen script. Deadlines: mid-December for Barhoppers; mid-February for Bedroom Plays. Send inquiries to artistic@offstagetheatre.org and submissions to cpatrick@virginia.edu, or send mail to Chris Patrick, 210 Little Graves St., Charlottesville 22902.

Modern Dance: Classes with the Miki Liszt dance company. Safety release technique: 7pm Tuesdays. Dynamic alignment: 10:30am Wednesdays. Horton technique: 5:30pm Fridays. Studio 20, McGuffey Art Center, 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.

Practice Swing: The Charlottesville Swing Dance Society hosts weekly practice sessions for beginners and intermediates Thursdays. Singles and couples welcome. DJ takes requests. 7:30-9pm. Auditorium of the Albemarle County Office Building, 401 McIntire Road. Free. 980-2744.

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-midnight. $5 (members $3). 979-7211.

Country Dance: 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.

Belly dance: Studio Bijoux's Leila offers Egyptian belly dance for advanced beginners (permission required) at 7pm Mondays and 7:15pm Wednesdays. A technique course open to dancers of all skill levels takes place at 8pm Mondays. Ages 15 and up welcome. All courses at ACAC Albemarle Square. $10-12. 978-3800 or studiobijoux.com/dance.

WALKABOUT
Parla italiano?
If you don't, Christina Ball of Ecco Italy offers "Italian for Beginners" lessons on Wednesday mornings (9:30-11am; $15 drop-in fee). If you do, why not drop by for the Tavola italiana (Wednesdays 11:30am-12:30pm) for a free chat hour in italiano? Or what about "Cinema Chat," a series of intermediate Italian conversation classes inspired by Italian films. ($55 for five-week chat series or $15 single class drop-in; Thursday 7L30-9pm). All classes held in the Verity blue Tower Lounge at the Main Street Market 406A W. Main St. Contact christina@eccoitaly.com or 825-4390.

Power Wheels: The Three Wishes Program makes electric wheelchairs available at no cost to senior citizens and the permanently disabled. For more information about the program, or to help out, call 800-839-5715.

Alliance Dinner Meeting: Interfaith Gay Straight Alliance of Central Virginia, a faith-based group working for full civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgenders and their families, meets the first Thursday of each month. 7pm. St. Paul's Memorial Episcopal Church, 1700 University Ave. Brown bag supper at 6pm. 220-0970.

Transition Workshop: A chance for families of high school students with disabilities to explore post-high school options happens December 1, at 6:30pm in the Charlottesville High School Media Center. Sponsored by Albemarle County and Charlottesville Public Schools. Free. 244-3110, ext. 3234.

Volleyball: It's winter volleyball season at Charlottesville Parks and Recreation. The deadline for registration is Friday, December 3. 970-3271.

Bead Business: Studio Baboo presents weekly classes in bead stringing and jewelry making. This week, check out "Holiday Bracelet, Pumpkin Pie" to learn how to make a boutique-style silver and crystal bracelet. Call the shop for specifics. 106 Fifth St. Downtown Mall. 244-2905.

Madison House: Help UVA's Madison House bring a happy holiday to over 100 low-income families in the Charlottesville/Albemarle area. Call Reimi Okuyama at 977-7051 for details.

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

Early Music Meeting: The Shenandoah Recorder Society meets on the third Sunday of every month to discuss the recorder and early music in general. Open to all. For more information, call 295-1395.

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

ART LIST
The Second Street Gallery presents "Exotic Natives," an exhibition of critter-centered work by painter and photographer Ann Wiens, including a site-specific mural in the main gallery. Also on view in the Dové Gallery: "Residual: Photographs by Jon-Phillip Sheridan." Both shows run through November 27. Corner of Second and Water streets. 977-7284.

Through December 23, the University of Virginia Art Museum displays "Whiteness, A Wayward Construction," a collaborative exhibition by 24 artists exploring "the concept of whiteness as an ideology of power." Also on view: "Lifeline: Movement and Time in Prints, Drawings and Photographs from the Collection," and video artist Bill Viola's "Six Heads," presented in conjunction with the Virginia Film Festival. The latter two shows run through December 23. Also extended through December 23 is the exhibition "Museums: Conditions and Spaces." 155 Rugby Road. 924-3952.

The McGuffey Art Center offers four stellar shows through November 21. Downstairs, view individual exhibitions by painters Cynthia Burke, Kathy Craig, and Mike Fitts. Upstairs, check out the award-winning photographs shot by regional high school students in "Our View: Charlottesville and Albemarle County." Beginning November 23, McGuffey presents its annual Holiday Group Show, featuring work by over 50 artists. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973. See Art feature.

Piedmont Virginia Community College displays pottery by Cri Kars-Marshall and Ted Thill through December 1. V. Earl Dickinson Building, 501 College Drive. 977-2001.

UVA's Artspace presents an exhibition of National Geographic photographs of Egypt, Cuba, and Japan by Kenneth Garrett, David Alan Harvey, and Michael Yamashita through November 30. Newcomb Hall. 227-1066.

UVA's Dell Gallery features the contemplative paintings of Corey Dreith through December 1. Dell II, located behind the Curry School of Education (Ruffner Hall). 924-6123.

Rob Tarbell presents his recent series of abstract drawings and paintings, "Bird by Bird by Bird,"at Gallery 111 through December. 111 Fourth St. NW (in the old SNL building), across from Nature Visionary Art. 249-8157.

Through the end of November, Gravity Lounge features recent works by oil painter Mary Atkinson. 103 S. First St. 977-5590.

The Main Street Market galleria displays paintings of musicians by Armando Arroyo through the end of November. 416 W. Main St. 244-7800.

The 5th Floor Gallery at Keller Williams is currently showing the work of painter Joan Soderland, stained-glass artist Shelby Bowen, painter Kathleen Karlsen, and photographer K. Robert Dooley. Ten percent of proceeds from artwork sold is donated to Habitat for Humanity. Suite 500, Citizens Commonwealth Building (UVA Credit Union), 300 Preston Ave. 220-2200.

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church presents a retrospective of work by Constance Tupper through December 5. 717 Rugby Road. 293-8179.

Angelo presents "Thailand-China, September 2004," photographs by Pam Perugi Marraccini, through December 31. 220 E. Main St. 971-9256.

The Kluge-Ruhe Collection of Aboriginal Art features "Indigenous: Selected Works from the Kluge Ruhe Collection" through November 27. 400 Worrell Drive, Peter Jefferson Place. 244-0234.

Les Yeux du Monde presents Sanford Wintersberger's "Game Pictures" and "Original Scene." 115 S. First St. 973-5566.

Nature Visionary Art presents "Visions of Haiti," a group show curated by Laurie Carmody of Galerie Bonheur, through December 30. 110 Fourth St. 296-8482.

For its November show, The Gallery @ 5th & Water displays paintings by David Cochrane. 107 Fifth St. 979-9825.

During November, CODG presents "What a Precious Moment This Could Be," an exhibition of artwork by Ramanan. 112 E. Main St., under the Jefferson Theater. 242-4212.

The C&O Gallery features paintings and sculptures by Jan Elmore through November. Next door to the C&O Restaurant, 511 E. Water St. 971-7044.

Sage Moon Gallery features work by photographers Margaret Woodson Nea and Karine Ngu yen-Tuong during November. 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 "Honoring Playful Art," drawings and paintings by Terrence Pratt during November. 103 E. Water St. in the Commerce Building (above Londons). 984-4000.

During November, the Mudhouse shows artwork by painter Barry Gordon. 213 W. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 984-6833.

The Mudhouse @ Pantops displays paintings by David Breeden through November. Located in the Texaco at 1192 Richmond Road, on the corner of Rts. 250 and 20. 984-3035.

View Sandra Offut's oil exhibition, "Painting Live– Bringing the Outdoors In," at Art Upstairs during November. 316 E. Main St., above The Hardware Store, on the Downtown Mall. 923-3900.

Through November, Bozart Gallery offers "Interiors," new paintings by Janice Breeden. 211 W. Main St. 296-3919.

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. Also on view, "Albrecht Durer: A Renaissance Journey in Print" runs through January 9. 200 N. Broad St., Richmond. 804-340-1400.

Washington and Lee University's Ernest Williams II School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics presents new large-scale paintings by Frank Hobbs, on display through January 7. Lexington. 540-458-8954.

The Nichols Gallery Annex presents "Images of the South," an exhibition of paintings by over 20 Mid-Atlantic artists, including Ron Boehmer, Gray Dodson, Philip Koch, Frederick Nichols, and Chica Tenney. Through November 28. Barboursville, near the intersection of Rtes. 20 and 33. 540-832-3565.

During November, the Arts Center in Orange presents the work of David Garrison and Susan Garnett. Opening reception, November 4, 5-7pm.129 E. Main St., Orange. 540-672-7311.

Madison's Sevenoaks Pathwork Center displays "Three Artists from One Virginia Family," featuring the work of Peg Redd, Page Coplan, and Paul Charlton, on view through early December. 403 Pathwork Way. 295-2486.

Caffe Bocce presents "Fresh Off the Easel," paintings by Meg West, as well as paintings by Lindsay Michie Eades, during November. 330 Valley St., Scottsville. 286-4422.

Noon Whistle Pottery and Art Gallery has an exhibition of three local landscape artists, Will Brown, Mark Collins, and Carol Weiss. Main St., Stanardsville. 985-6500.

Ombra's in Crozet features paintings by Doris deSha and Laurel Johnson, on view through December. 823-5332.

Spruce Creek Gallery presents "Nature in the Abstract," an exhibition of paintings by Alyce Ananda McCoy, through December 13. 361-1859.

The Barn Swallow features pottery by Janice Arone and Mary Ann Burke, plus other handcrafted artwork. Route 682 off 250W. 979-4884.

Staunton's Painted Thunder Studios welcomes the work of equine artist Jennet Inglis. 19 W. Beverley St. 540-851-0864.

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
Monkeyshines: Burke swings to primates

BY LAURA PARSONS ART@READTHEHOOK.COM
What's the quickest way for an artist to fall into a rut? Believe it or not, it's often achieving critical acclaim or, even worse, monetary success. The established painter/sculptor/photographer/printmaker (fill in the blank) may yearn to venture in a new direction, but at the end of the day, the overdue phone bill or the empty dog bowl or plain old self-doubt may doom the artist to stick to a winning formula.

"If I could paint chickens for the rest of my life, I'd be a rich woman," says Cynthia Burke, discussing a particularly popular set of paintings from a few years ago. Her new series, "Primates," is currently on view at the McGuffey Art Center. Avoiding stagnation, Burke not only shifts her animal focus, she also expands her medium from oils to watercolors.

"The whole reason I did the watercolors," she explains, "is I needed a jolt."

Inspired by quirky 19th-century naturalist lithographs, Burke's new monkeys cavort in full-bodied (if genital-less) nakedness on gradated gouache backgrounds. Gone are the starched ruffle and lace collars of her past animal portraits.

Nevertheless, an element of the human remains superimposed on the subjects. Embodying individual personalities, many are handling food– a pear here, a potato there. In #13, against a background descending from golden tan to stormy blue, a ring-tailed primate– white fur sprouting from its jowls– hunches over a cracked egg, comically sticking out its small red tongue. Its striped coat ends abruptly at its leathery hands and feet, making it seem like an assumed suit rather than a natural coat.

Burke uses short, precise strokes of blue-green, orange, brown– and occasionally red– to create the myriad fur patterns associated with specific species. Stylized flat faces, hands, and feet intensify the sense of antique illustration. A particular animal may sit or walk, but the ground is implied rather than explicitly represented.

Burke sandwiches her richly colored, deckle-edged sheets between glass plates, leaving a margin of transparency between the paper and its stenciled or gold-leafed frame. As a result, the paintings come across as rare and exquisite specimens.

But for those who crave a fix of Burke's more familiar approach, seven oil portraits of be-frilled simians hang in McGuffey's entryway. A red-eyed Delacour's langur, an endangered Vietnamese monkey, shown in three-quarter view, looks particularly noble with its peaked gray fur resembling an elaborate coif above its ruffled collar.

Even as you admire these paintings, keep in mind Burke's words: "I live in fear of becoming a pet portrait painter." Allow the artist room to stretch.

Cynthia Burke's show, "Primates," is on display on the main floor of the McGuffey Art Center through November 21, after which the paintings will be on view in Burke's McGuffey studio. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.

FAMILY
Hear ye! Revel in history all week long
BY LINDA KOBERT FAMILY@READTHEHOOK.COM
Hear ye! Hear ye! Governor Thomas Jefferson has proclaimed a Time of Thanks to be celebrated in and about these local environs from 19 November through 27 November. The citizenry shall gather at the newly renovated Court Square and the Downtown Mall for revolutionary revelry and remembrance.

Modern patriots can step back in time and mingle with historic figures– including the great Governor and his guests, General George Washington, James and Dolley Madison of Orange County, Daniel and Rebecca Boone, and Charlottesville's founding parents, Thomas and Mildred Walker– as they enjoy the music, stories, and politics of the Revolutionary War period.

All weekend long, British, Hessian, and American soldier re-enactors demonstrate drills and camp life, and kids can join them in the "little militia" and receive a patriot certificate signed by Colonel James Monroe. Period craft demonstrations take place all around the Court Square area, including building a log cabin, candle-making, and blacksmithing. Dennis and Mary McDowell lead period games for children. And, for a fee, horse-drawn carriage rides trot visitors around the Festival area.

Stories and public debates with historic characters; songs and ballads with tavern owner William Michie; the British attack on the City and Jack Jouett's famous ride; blazing guns and parading soldiers; the Revolutionary Ball on Saturday evening; and a candlelight concert on Sunday evening– whew!– round out a very full weekend.

This year, however, the fun doesn't stop at sundown on Sunday. Responding to requests from folks wanting more, historic characters will hang around for a week longer, presenting evening events and performances including contact with Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery, a concert by "Star of the West" ensemble, the annual community Thanksgiving Service with sacred music at First Baptist Church on Park Street, and Thanksgiving "leftovers" with a remembrance of the Pilgrim Thanksgiving story (suggested donation $5/person, reservations required).

Revolutionary attire is optional for these events.

Governor Jefferson's Thanksgiving Festival takes place at various locations around Court Square and the Downtown Mall November 19-27. Most activities and performances are free. See the website jeffersonthanksgiving.org for a full schedule. 978-4466.

WORDS
Tasty history: Local eateries– with a burp or two
BY SUSAN TYLER HITCHCOCK WORDS@READTHEHOOK.COM
When Pittsburgh cookbook authors Debbie Nunley and Karen Jane Elliott accepted the offer of their Winston-Salem publisher, John F. Blair, to scope out Virginia's "historic eateries," Charlottesville charmed them. They had already written such a book about their home state and its western neighbor, Ohio. "Their North Carolina-based publisher," the book's publicity says, "was eager to test a market closer to home."

So off they went to Virginia. It's not clear how long it took them to visit the 120 or so restaurants featured in their book, A Taste of Virginia History, although a press release comments that they left Richmond during hurricane warnings, and then watched on TV as "the parking lot at their hotel in Richmond was under nine feet of water"– Isabel, a year ago September.

Of all the cities represented in the book, Charlottesville tops the list of locations with historic eateries. Old standbys like Michie Tavern, Prospect Hill, Silver Thatch Inn, and the Boar's Head show up, but so do spots old timers might not necessarily consider "historic"– L'Etoile, Scottsville's Caffe Bocce, and the Inn at Court Square.

Restaurants are grouped into clever categories– "A Stroll Down Main Street," "There's a Tavern in the Town," "B is for Bistro"– and Charlottesville lands a spot in every one except "Officers and Gentlemen" (they could have rated the snack foods at the Tarleton Oak Service Station) and "History Repeats Itself" (alas, the yet-to-open Bodo's on the Corner didn't make it). Among notable omissions: The Virginian and the C&O.

One unfortunate editing oversight mars the positive local vibe. You can't keep from wincing as you read of the Clifton Inn, "We waited by a crackling fire in the lovely sitting room" and then, during dinner, "A fire flickered away nearby . . ." Where was the fact checker who could have learned of the fatal fire two months after their visit?

While the real richness of this book is in the recipes, even here, surprises pop up. This doesn't sound like historic Virginia: Portabello Roasted Red Pepper Quiche (from the Inn at Court Square), Cumin Seed Israeli Couscous (from Prospect Hill), and Mac's Hole in One (chicken salad on bagel) from the Hardware Store.

To be fair, we do get recipes for Colonial Syllabub from Michie Tavern and Roast Pork Tenderloin from the Ivy Inn.

It seems that in Charlottesville, you really can have your history and eat it too.

Authors of A Taste of Virginia History meet, greet, and sign books at New Dominion Bookshop Thursday, November 18, at 5:30pm. 404 E. Main St., 295-2552.

PERFORMANCE
Soulful laughter: Cherry Orchard's comic side
BY ROBERT ARMENGOL PERFORMANCE@READTHEHOOK.COM
The enigmatic Russian psyche is the subject of an ethnography I read recently. So complicated in the native cosmology is the term dusha– which translates roughly as "soul"– that it takes more than 300 pages and several years for the author to understand it.

The people she befriended lived in the Siberian town of Omsk in the early 1990s, when the collapse of the Soviet Union seems to have all but broken their economy and their spirit.

They wallow as much as reveled in their music, in rambling conversations, and in the steamy public baths that are part of their everyday lives. No one seems to agree about what dusha is, but for everyone, it marks a point around which Russian discourse endlessly orbits, a relentless symbol for a nation that, perhaps unlike any other, is always questioning its own existence.

Everything changes, nothing changes.

Beginning this week, the UVA drama department presents The Cherry Orchard, one of Anton Chekhov's attempts at unraveling a bit of Russian soul.

Born a year before the social revolution that freed Russia's serfs in 1861, Chekhov often sought to expose the nitty-gritty of class conflict. But in many ways his plays also transcended their socio-economic critique and tried to deal with exactly who and what, at heart, his characters and his Russia were all about.

In The Cherry Orchard, the aristocratic Madame Ranyevskaya schemes to save her land from bankruptcy even as her daughters, neighbors, and servants become embroiled in a farcical romantic intrigue.

MFA student Clinton Johnston directs UVA's version of the masterpiece. While contemporary interpretations often overlook the playwright's playful approach to his subject, Johnston says this one will try to revisit the fine line between the ridiculous and the sobering.

"It will be untraditional, but appropriate," he says. "Chekhov's specific instruction was that it was to be done with a light touch. ... So we've tried to go there and present this play as a full-blown 'people should laugh out loud' comedy."

The Russian soul, after all, is nothing if it can't laugh at itself.

Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard opens Thursday, November 18, with shows on the follow Friday and Saturday, November 19-20, and December 1-4. All performances at 8pm. Culbreth Theatre, Culbreth Road. $7-12. Full-time UVA students may use ART$ dollars for admission. 924-3376.

WALKABOUT
Bid like mad: Visit Paris– and benefit ASG!
BY TIM SPRINKLE WALKABOUT@READTHEHOOK.COM
What were you doing 20 years ago? Working? Traveling? Studying?

The "MTV" decade was a lot of things to a lot of people, but the early 1980s also marked the official beginning of the AIDS era in this country. Even since the first five cases were reported by the Centers for Disease Control, the epidemic has grown to touch millions of lives and prompting the creation of treatment centers, support groups, and education programs all over the world.

The AIDS/HIV Services Group (ASG), just one of the many organizations, came into being in 1986 as a way to combine all of the AIDS work being done in Charlottesville, and to provide care "for people in the area living with HIV and AIDS." Today, the group anchors an active education and support network that serves nearly 8,000 people annually in central Virginia. Add that to the work being done at UVA's Myles H. Thaler Center for AIDS and Human Retrovirus Research, and you have a region at the forefront of AIDS advocacy.

ASG's local fundraising depends largely on the Creative Charlottesville Auction, a gala event held every fall. The auction is a way for the community to help support the group's work while at the same time enjoying an evening of food, dancing, and fun.

"We have more than 250 people of all ages who attend the auction," says Chris Radice, Development Coordinator with ASG, "from college students to the Charlottesville elite. We generally raise between $50,000 and $70,000&endash; which accounts for over 20 percent of our budget– in this one night. So it's certainly our main fundraising focus for the year."

And talk about some serious bid bait. This year's marquee items include a week in Paris, a cocktail party for two-dozen, and a BMW mountain bike. But you don't have to be a high roller to have fun at the Creative Charlottesville Auction. Plenty of restaurant gift certificates, theater tickets, and gift items are also on the block. In all, over 400 items, all donated by local businesses and individuals, will go under the gavel.

While the auction items are the meat of the event for the ASG, food from 15 local restaurants, wine tastings by Barboursville, Cardinal Point, and other vineyards, live entertainment, a martini bar, and dancing into the night ensure a good time– even for non-bidders.

"HIV and AIDS have been around for 23 years that we know of," Radice says, "and for the past 18 years ASG has been fighting it here in Charlottesville. The auction is just one of the events that we plan throughout the year, all based on great volunteer and community support."

The 14th Annual Creative Charlottesville Auction happens 6:30-midnight Saturday, November 20, at Fry's Spring Beach Club. Tickets ($40, $20 for students) are available directly from Chris Radice at ASG. For more information and a list of items up for bid, visit aidsservices.org or call ASG at 979-7714.

TUNES
Coughing no more: Clear and sunny days ahead
BY MARK GRABOWSKI TUNES@READTHEHOOK.COM

I don't know what former Soul Coughing front man Mike Doughty has been taking the last few years, but I do know I'd like a metered dose of it. Mixing pop, rock, hip-hop, jazz, and samples in a witches' brew of catchy gumbo, Soul Coughing was one of the greatest unclassifiable bands of the '90s.

The most recent solo outing by songwriter Doughty, Rockity Roll (2003), has a bit of all the parts that made the defunct group so great, but it contains one element not present on any of Soul Coughing's three releases: joy.

Soul Coughing formed in New York City in 1992, and a year later scored a deal with a Warner Brothers subsidiary based on the strength of their eclectic live shows.

The college rock hit Ruby Vroom erupted just a year later, a mix of hip-hop percussion and Doughty's poetry slam-informed vocal dynamics that was quite a departure from the radio sound at the time. Irresistible Bliss offered a few alternative radio hits in 1996, but it was Soul Coughing's third and last disc, 1998's El Oso, that gained them the most commercial fame.

After the band's demise in 2000, Doughty released Skittish, a solo acoustic album recorded in 1995, a live disc of similar material called Smofe + Smang: Live in Minneapolis, in 2002, and Rockity Roll last year.

Rockity Roll begins with "Ways + Means" and from the first, some aspects of Soul Coughing's trademark sound jump out, going for the jugular. El Oso's familiar driving drum beats (programmed by Doughty here) lead off the whole thing. Before long, the familiar angular repeating guitar riff and the songwriter's gritty voice– utterly foreign sounding in this era of "yeah" bands– become the song's centerpieces.

Lyrically, Doughty has become a lot more grounded– where before phrases like "Too fat, fat you must cut lean / You got to take the elevator to the mezzanine" (from Irresistible Bliss' "Super Bon Bon") were the name of the game, "The best I ever did with my love, said your name on the microphone / You heard it the restaurant, cashed out and brought your tips on home" (from "Ways + Means") is today's theme.

Doughty's songwriting wit remains, as is evident on "27 Jennifers"-&endash; "I went to school with 27 Jennifers, 16 Jenns, 10 Jennies, and then there was her"– but it's like the dark haze that was part of Soul Coughing's sound of the late '90s has been ripped away here, and lofty heights remain. One wonders whether, instead of using minor chords, Doughty has decided that at this point in his life, majors are the way to go.

Whether it was the demise of the bad vibes rumored to have plagued his former band, cleaning up from substance abuse, or some spiritual awakening, Doughty has seen the light. His recent signing with ATO records will see the release of a new album next spring, and soon you, too, may feel the warmth of his inner delight.

Mike Doughty plays at Starr Hill Thursday, November 18. 8pm, $10, $8 advance.