Cultural calendar, November 25-December 2, 2004

THURSDAY, November 25
Turkey Trot:
It's as American as pumpkin pie: the annual Boar's Head Turkey Trot 5k at Ednam Forest. Burn off some calories in preparation for Thanksgiving dinner. 9am. See for registration information.

Thanksgiving on the Mountain: Join family, friends, and tourists for a traditional Thanksgiving celebration at Wintergreen Resort. Activities include a grand illumination ceremony in the courtyard, a kids carnival, and assorted holiday events. Fees vary. Call 325-8180.

Revolutionary Thanks:
Governor Jefferson's Thanksgiving Festival gives citizens the chance to snack on Thanksgiving dinner leftovers and gather to remember the Pilgrim Thanksgiving story starting at 6pm. Afterward, a large-screen version of The Patriot, a movie of the American Revolution by Mel Gibson, will be shown at 8pm. Suggested donation $5, reservations required. Olde Town Center (in the old LiveArts space). 249-4032.

DJ Frank Rivera at Club 216. Members with membership cards $5 ($8 without). Guests of members $12. 10pm-5am.

Satisfaction with Noel Sanger (18 and up dance party) at Rapture: Meet your mate at Rapture's weekly dance party– see how they groove before you groove. $3/Ladies free, 10:30pm.

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.

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

FRIDAY, November 26
Holiday Magic:
A silent auction of the work of Sage Moon gallery artists Ruth Hembree, Nancy Wallace, Mike Nemeyer, Milenko Katic, Ned Mueller, Andre Lucero, Jennifer Young, Bonny Bronson, Karla Berger, Shari Hauff, Sara Clark, Cynthia Greene, and Lisa Billings happens today as part of a weekend full of activities. 6-8pm. 420 E. Main St. 977-9997.

Open House: Black Rock Gallery, the newest shop in the Mountain Inn at Wintergreen Resort, hosts an open house this weekend. The Gallery, open seven days a week, features works from over 60 local artists. 434-325-8228.

Realistic Party: Nichols Galleries of Barboursville hosts a holiday open house today, tomorrow, and next weekend, December 4 and 5. Realism is the theme of the work of 20 regional artists, including Ron Boehmer, Gray Dodson, Frank Hobbs, Philip Koch, Tom Tartaglino, and Priscilla Whitlock. Landscape artist Frederick Nichols exhibits new prints and watercolors, and offers tours of his studio. 11am-5pm. 540-832-3565.

Light up the Night:
Charlottesville's annual tradition, the Grand Illumination of the holiday tree, happens at Central Place on the Downtown Mall tonight. The Municipal Band plays seasonal favorites starting at 5:30pm. City officials throw the switch at about 6:05pm to light up the Mall and the tree. Historic characters from Governor Jefferson's Thanksgiving Festival join the Monroe-Highland Scottish Dancers and Court Square Dancers for an evening of revelry 6-9pm. Free. 961-5846.

Sleigh Bells Jingle: Santa Claus comes to Barracks Road Shopping Center in a gala parade starting out from the Harris Teeter end of things. The jolly old elf will be accompanied by more than 60 friends and helpers including civic organizations, marching bands, antique cars, horse-drawn carriages, and area princesses. 9am. Free. 977-4583.

Tree Trimming: Starting today, intrepid hunters and gatherers can cut their own Christmas tree from the fields at Ash Lawn-Highland. Trees are growing naturally so are not shaped, and there may be a hike to find just the right Virginia pine or cedar. Bring your own saw and a rope to secure the tree to your vehicle. 11am-4pm daily through December 24. $5 donation requested. James Monroe Parkway (Rt. 795). 293-9539.

All Aboard: Tiny trains run through life-like towns and animated landscapes at the 27th annual RF&P Model Railroad Show at the Science Museum of Virginia. Broad Street Station (home of the Science Museum), a three-ring circus, and the Tom Mix Wild West Show are all part of the diminutive scene this weekend. For a journey of another sort, the museum also hosts an antique car show featuring over 50 autos from Richmond's Antique Automobile Club of America. Included in the price of admission. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 800-659-1727.

A Midsummer Night's Dream:
Titania, Oberon, and that rascally Puck take the stage one last time in this final performance of Shenandoah Shakespeare. 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.

Valley Green Holiday Open House:
This is the 14th year the Nelson County art and craft gallery has hosted a holiday shindig that includes not only unusual gifts but a chance to discuss the art with the artists and watch them at work. Music by harpists Virginia Schweninger and Suzanne Morris; refreshments by Mossy Creek 2. 10am-5pm. Valley Green Center, Rte. 151, Nellysford. 434-361-9316 or 434-361-2048.

Tree Tradition: Kick off the holiday season at Montpelier with the National Holiday Tree. There will be ceremonies, speakers, activities, live music, and fireworks. 2-6:30pm. No fee. or 540-672-1747. See Walkabout feature.

Wintergreen Winery Open House: Get in the spirit with mug of hot mulled wine, warm hospitality, and a festive atmosphere at Wintergreen Winery's annual Open House. Wine tastings, assorted holiday refreshments, and unique gifts. 10am-5pm. Free. 361-2519 or

Holiday Market: This late-fall tradition starts up again today. Come shop for crafts, baked goods, toys, and greenery on Fridays and Saturdays between Thanksgiving and Christmas. 10am-5pm. Central Place on the Downtown Mall.

Hightail it to Hokietown: Fiji's annual UVA-VT run sounds like the kind of thing that started off as a dare, but it's grown into an annual charity fundraiser and all-out event. Come cheer runners– along with an assortment of Virginia coaches, athletes, the new Cavalier Marching Band, and local officials– at a noon pep-rally in front of the Ice Park. Afterwards, brothers from UVA and Tech begin running the game ball from Charlottesville to Blacksburg.

Steve Kessler Quartet with Robert Jospé, John D'earth and Pete Spaar at Gravity Lounge:
A meeting of the giants, this quartet sports some of the great musicians in this town: Jospé, D'earth, Spaar, Lennon... Strike the last one, but you get the picture. $10, 8:30pm.

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

Plutonium (Houston Ross on bass and vox, Matthew Willner on guitar and vox, John Gilmore on drums) at Orbit. No cover, 9pm.

Monticello Road at Outback Lodge. $6, 10pm.

Lindsay Osborne and friends (folk) at Rapunzel's. No cover, 7:30pm.

Indecision - CD Release / 20th Anniversary Show (jam) at Starr Hill. $12/$10, 8:30pm.

Sing Sing Prison, Worn In Red, and Pash at Tokyo Rose. $5, 10pm.

SATURDAY, November 27
Fusing Fun Workshop:
Artists ages 7-97 can explore creating with glass in time to make a holiday ornament or gift. Materials, tools, and instruction included in $25 fee. Kiln-fired pieces can be picked up on or after Tuesday, November 30. Pre-registration required, 977-9009. 11am-12:30pm. The Glass Palette, 110 Fifth St. NE.

The Limies Did It:
Historian Arthur Herman believes that the British Royal Navy not only influenced Western civilization but set its course and built the modern global system. He's written a book to explain the argument in full. He reads, signs books, and talks Navy talk at New Dominion Bookshop today at 3pm. 404 E. Main St. 295-2552.

Better Watch Out:
Santa Claus comes to town today aboard an antique fire engine in the annual Charlottesville Tradition celebration. Lewis & Clark and other historic characters join the Albemarle Pipe and Drum Band and other modern merrymakers in the parade along the Downtown Mall. Today and throughout the holiday season, the jolly old elf will hang out at The Shops at April's Corner where kids of all ages can whisper their secret wishes in his ear. 1:30pm. Free. 961-5846.

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

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.

All Aboard: See Friday, November 26.

Craft Fair:
Albemarle High School Band presents the 4th annual craft fair today in the school cafeteria. Artisans and craftsman of all types from Charlottesville and the surrounding area have Christmas goodies for sale. 9am-3pm. Hydraulic Road.

Benefit Boutique: Vendors at this holiday sale are all women offering unusual and quality gift items. The event includes a raffle of items from each booth. Each guest receives two tickets for attending (and can buy more). Raffle ticket proceeds benefit the Shelter for Help in Emergency. 9am-5pm. Free admission. Doubletree Hotel, 29 North. 434-591-6692.

First Night's First Night: Come celebrate the official kick-off of First Night Virginia's annual New Year's Eve program. Buy buttons (read: tickets) for admission to all First Night events and kick back with the dulcet tones of Charlottesville's own Hogwaller Ramblers and Terri Allard. 11am-3:45pm. Downtown at the Paramount. 975-8269 or

Winery Finery: Join the Blue Ridge WineWay wine trail for a progressive Christmas event at 10 area wineries. This weekend, it's an open house at Veramar Vineyards. Wine discounts, tastings, tours, and live Christmas carolers. 11:30am-5pm. 540-955-5510 or

Wintergreen Winery Open House: See Friday, November 26.

Oakencroft Offering: Jump-start your holiday celebrations with a day of tours, tastings and unique gifts at Oakencroft Winery.11am-5pm. Admission fee. 296-4188.

Teaching Shakespeare:
This all-day teaching workshop at Shenandoah Shakespeare in Staunton is designed to help instructors help their students overcome "Shakesfear." The event begins in the morning at the Blackfriars Playhouse, includes a matinee performance of The Most Lamentable Comedy of Sir John Falstaff, and ends with a post-show practicum. Class limited to 24 teachers. 9am-7pm. 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $100 includes lunch; $10 more to stay for an evening performance of Les Liaisons. 540-885-5588.

A Most Lamentable Finale: For one last time, Shenandoah Shakespeare stages its original adaptation on Sir John Falstaff, that most gluttonous of the bard's characters. The play is culled from choice scenes in Henry IV and some of Henry V. 2pm. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-28. 540-885-5588.

Les Liaisons Dangereuses: This is your last chance to see this adaptation of the 1782 Choderlos de Laclos novel made famous by Hollywood as Dangerous Liaisons. Shenandoah Shakespeare breathes new life into a "wickedly perverse" exploration of aristocratic decadence and deceit. 7:30pm. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-28. 540-885-5588.

Bella Morte at Outback Lodge:
Truly one of the great local bands, Bella Morte combine goth with nice '80s synth sounds in a mix that can only be described as supernatural. $6, 10pm.

First Night Mini-Preview in front of the Paramount Theater on the Downtown Mall: Pre-New Year's hype for the annual First Night "celebration of the arts" kicks off with performances by rootsy folkie Terri Allard and bluegrass rascals Hogwaller Ramblers. Free, 2:15pm.

Old School at the Prism: Made up of vocalist and rhythm guitarist John Starling, Tom Gray on bass, and Mike Auldridge on dobro, with former Country Gentleman Jimmy Gaudreau on mandolin and Rickie Simpkins on fiddle, this new bluegrass band combines the greatness of many into one convenient package. Two sets tonight. $30/$25 advance, 8pm.

William Walter & Co. at the Shebeen: The Shebeen is great: great food, great beers on tap, and a booker who knows great from not so great– William Walter & Co. fits in the former category. Acoustic rock/folk from a master. No cover, 11pm.

"The acousticgeddon": B.C. Jim Wave Band and Atsushi Miura at Tokyo Rose: Now apparently a monthly event, TR's Acousticgeddon is MTV's Unplugged on PCP- unpredictable, and it just might stick its hand through a plate glass window (metaphorically speaking). $5, 10pm.

DJ Frank Rivera at Club 216. Members with membership cards $5 ($8 without). Guests of members $12. 10pm-5am.

The Atomic 3 (Drex Weaver on drums, Matthew Willner on guitar, and Houston Ross on bass) at Atomic Burrito. No cover, 10pm.

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

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

Heather Berry and Randy Waller at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8pm.

Continuous Play ("funky folk rock) at Miller's. $3, 10:30pm.

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

Karma Bums (shuffle rock) at Rapunzel's. $5, 7:30pm.

American Dumpster and Stoned Wheat Things at Starr Hill. $6, 8pm.

SUNDAY, November 28
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. See Performance feature.

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

All Aboard:
See Friday, November 26.

Winery Open House:
Kick start your holiday celebrations with a day of tours, tastings and unique gifts at Oakencroft Winery.11am-5pm. Admission fee. 296-4188.

Wintergreen Winery Tour: See Friday, November 26.

Greg Howard, Matt Wyatt, Jamal Milner, John D'earth at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8pm.

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

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

MONDAY, November 29
Open Mic Night with Charles Davis at Baja Bean. No cover, signup 8:30pm/9pm.

Gordon Bennett ("classic bar band") at Miller's. $3, 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 30
Moscow Maestro:
Nikolai Demidenko, world-renown pianist and alum of the Moscow Conservatoire, interprets works by Mozart, Schubert, and Vorisek in the latest installment of UVA's Tuesday Evening Concert Series. 8pm. Cabell Hall. 924-3984.

LATTE Grande: The Live Arts Teen Theater Ensemble presents 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. 123 E. Water St. Pay-what-you-will. 977-4177x100.

Speed of Life:
UVA graduate fellow Elizabeth Hahn speaks on "Moving at the Speed of Life: City Photographs" in conjunction with the exhibit, "Lifeline: Movement and Time in Prints, Drawings and Photographs from the Collection" at the UVA Art Museum. 12:30pm. 155 Rugby Road. 924-3592 or

Horse trainer and riding instructor Paul D. Cronin, protégé of Vladimir Littauer, early 20th-century equestrian innovator, speaks at New Dominion Bookshop at 5:30pm about his new book, Schooling and Riding the Sport Horse: A Modern American Hunter/Jumper System. 404 E. Main St. 295-2552.

Wreath Making and Holiday Topiaries:
Kluge Estate gardeners Dina Carr and Trevor Hunter offer instructions just in time for holiday decorating. Light hors d'oeuvres and wine included in $45 fee. 6L30-8pm. Limit 15. Kluge Farm Shop, Blenheim Road, Keene. 977-3895 x32.

Nikolai Demidenko at Cabell Hall:
Concert pianist Nikolai Demidenko performs works by Mozart, Vorisek, and Schubert including Adagio in B minor K540 (Mozart), Sonata in B-flat minor Op 20 (Vorisek), and Sonata in a minor D784 (Schubert). Prices are $24-orchestra/$20-loge & balcony/$10-students, partial-view seats, and standing-room only, 8pm. 924-3984

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

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

Paul Curreri and Chuck Brodsky at Gravity Lounge. $12/$10, 7pm. See Tunes feature.

Banty Rooster (bluegrass) at Miller's. $3, 10pm.

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

WEDNESDAY, December 1
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.

Transition Workshop:
A discussion of post-high school options for families of high school students with disabilities. 6:30pm. Free. Charlottesville High School Media Center. 244-3110, ext. 3234.

Landscaped Visions:
Author Avery Chenoweth and photographer Robert Llewellyn share their recent creation, Albemarle: A Story of Landscape and American Identity, by offering a talk and slide show representing the book. Sponsored by the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression at 7:30 in Lane Auditorium, Room 230 in the County Office Building. The event is free, but reservations are required. 401 McIntire Road. 295-4784,

MFA Candidates Share: Two more of the fine young creative writers pursuing the MFA at UVA, Kate O'Neill and Charles McLeod, give a public reading of their fiction in progress at New Dominion Bookshop tonight at 8:30pm. 404 E. Main St. 295-2552.

Saturday School:
The application deadline is today for UVA's Curry School of Education awesome lineup of Saturday classes for children in grades K-5 starting in January. Classes include creating a book, computer programming, and scientific investigation. A brochure, application, and the complete list of class offerings is available on the website. 924-3182. See Family feature.

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.

Christmas on the Frontier: Starting today, the Frontier Culture Museum celebrates Holidays in History. Their four historic farms are festively decorated, and costumed interpreters talk about holiday traditions from historic England, Scotland/Ireland, Germany, and the Shenandoah Valley. Now through the end of the month. 10am-4pm. Included in the cost of admission. Rt. 250 west in Staunton. 540-332-7850.

Hooville Holiday: Hoos and Grinches alike are invited to the second annual All the Hoos in Hooville Grinch Festival at the Charlottesville Ice Park. The original cartoon film How the Grinch Stole Christmas, hot chocolate and popcorn, choirs performing holiday music, and a free "broom ball" game on the ice are included in the fun. Free. 8pm. West end of the Downtown Mall. 817-2400.

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.

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

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

Last Train Home in the Gallery at Starr Hill. $5, 7pm.

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

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

THURSDAY, December 2
Reclusive Reader:
Deborah Eisenberg reads at the University of Virginia Bookstore. 8pm. 924-1074. See Words feature.

"An Exercise in Self-definition: Chinese Images of Others" is the subject of a talk by Katheryn M. Linduff, a specialist in Chinese art and archaeology at the University of Pittsburgh. 6pm. Room 160, Campbell Hall, UVA School of Architecture. 924-6122 or

The Cherry Orchard:
See Wednesday, December 1.

Christmas with the Poets at the Prism:
Holiday verse and some occasional baroque banjo by Fred Boyce make this second show of the yearly tradition something to show up for. No cover, 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.

Stable Roots (reggae) at Garden of Sheba. No cover, 10:30pm.

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

Roy Book Binder at Gravity Lounge. $15/$12 advance, 7:30pm.

Greg Howard and James McLaughlin at Michael's Bistro. No cover, 10pm.

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.

Josh Mayo, Jay Pun, and Morwenna Lasko at Starr Hill. Free, 9pm.

The George Turner Trio (jazz, Latin, and originals) at Zocalo. Free, 9pm.

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

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

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.

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

The Crisis is the Children: The Staunton Public Library's Middle East in Crisis Series presents the independent film Promises, which weaves together the stories of seven children from Israel and Palestine with the history of the area and its strife. The film will be shown at 7pm on Thursday, December 2. 1 Churchville Ave. Staunton, 540-332-3902.

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 and submissions to, 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

Water Watchers:
StreamWatch needs for volunteers interested in stream ecology and willing to collect aquatic organisms for the purpose of evaluating stream health. See for info, then call 923-8642.

Green Gatherings: Explore the spiritual side of nature with NatureSpirit. Explore the spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions and learn how to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature. Meets the first Sunday of the month at Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church at 6:30pm., call 243-6421, or

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 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.

Monticello in Winter: See Jefferson's homestead up close and personal on a cold weather tour of the property's architectural highlights. Now through the end of February. Usual admission fee applies. 984-9822 or for a complete schedule.

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 "Basic Bead Stringing" to learn the basics of creating necklaces and bracelets using various types of materials and techniques. 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.

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.

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. See Art feature.

The McGuffey Art Center presents its annual Holiday Group Show, featuring work by over 50 artists, through December. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.

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 5. 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. During December, the gallery will feature the paintings of Kiki Slaughter. 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 the end of 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. See Facetime.

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 Rt. 250 and Rt. 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.


The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts displays "Selections: 20th Century Latin American Art in the VMFA Collection" through March 13. "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. 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, Madison. 295-2486.

Caffé 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 presents an exhibition of three local landscape artists, Will Brown, Mark Collins, and Carol Weiss. Main Street, Stanardsville. 434-985-6500.

Ombra's in Crozet features paintings by Doris deSha and Laurel Johnson, on view through December. 434-823-5332.

Spruce Creek Gallery presents "Nature in the Abstract," an exhibition of paintings by Alyce Ananda McCoy, through December 13. 434-361-1859.

The Barn Swallow features pottery by Janice Arone and Mary Ann Burke, plus other handcrafted artwork. Route 682 off 250W. 434-979-4884.

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.

Vanity's hair salon displays photography by Aimee Wade and Shannon Winter. 1112 High St. 977-3332.

Stop watch: Bill Viola's time-ly videos

Dame Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, said during a recent radio interview, "The eighth deadly sin should be speed." No doubt video artist Bill Viola would agree.

Viola, a onetime MacArthur Fellow (that's right, a "genius"), has spent over 30 years altering viewers' perceptions of the way time is experienced. In conjunction with the 2004 Virginia Film Festival (theme: "Speed"), the University of Virginia Art Museum is currently hosting the installation, "Extreme Time: The Video Art of Bill Viola."

On one wall of the space, a quote from Viola reads, "When you watch time slow down like that, you know, you feel the actions open up, like a flower… I realized that human emotions have infinite resolution– the more you magnify them, the more they keep upfolding, infinitely."

Visually reflecting this statement, the exhibition's centerpiece, "Six Heads" (2000), features two side-by-side three-monitor columns. Each of the six screens broadcasts a clone-like image of a man's balding, stubble-bearded head. Initially, the six are virtually identical, detached and expressionless. But gradually each face becomes overwhelmed by a particular emotion– elation, fear, anger, grief, wonder, and dreaming.

Shot without sound and in extremely slow motion, strangely lyrical relationships emerge only to vanish again. Sometimes three of the heads have their eyes shut while the other three's remain open. Several heads seem to tilt to the right in unison, while the rest move left. At one point, the faces on the middle two monitors– expressing anger and grief– wear similar face-forward frowns, their emotions distinguished only by the hardened eyes on the left and the furrowed brow above closed eyes on the right.

The work is hypnotic, but it's worth shaking off zombification to spend time with the other three Viola videos showing in the exhibition's corners. In "Vegetable Memory" (1980), a repeating loop of images from a Japanese fish processing plant is gradually slowed down, changing the loop from a happy, efficient factory film into a dark exposé of grotesquely violent piscine carnage.

The earliest work on view is Viola's 1979 "Reflecting Pool." Shot from a fixed vantage point at one end of a stone-lined rectangular pool, the video separates what happens in the water from the sunlit woods surrounding it. As the pool's surface ripples, splashes, and reflects nighttime visitors, beyond its borders the day appears almost changeless.

By shifting time, Viola poetically reveals what we would, in our daily hurry, otherwise miss.

"Extreme Time: The Video Art of Bill Viola" is on view at the University of Virginia Art Museum through December 23. 155 Rugby Road. 924-3952.

Saturday school: Kids find classes totally cool
I'd like to say that my kids love learning so much they wish they could go to school on Saturdays too. I'm told, however, that such children do exist.

For the past 22 years, UVA's Curry School of Education has offered a Saturday Enrichment Program that's so popular it has kids from as far away as Northern Virginia and Lynchburg clamoring to get in the door.

While kids in kindergarten through fifth grade don't have to be officially tested for or currently participating in a gifted and talented program in their weekday school, SEP classes such as "Be the Detective" and "The Notion of Motion" are geared for this select set of scholars. Parents and teachers must complete a confidential application that includes an evaluation of the child's creativity and intellectual potential, and parents must identify some academic area in which the child "displays above average ability."

"The curriculum is designed to be fast-paced," says the program's spokesperson, Barbara Rogers. "Our target audience is the high-interest, high-ability student."

Two sections of classes such as "Traveling Artists" (exploring art and culture in other countries) and "Animals are Amazing!" are taught in two-hour sessions for five weeks by experienced local teachers who also love learning so much they create courses so they can come to school on Saturday.

One of the most popular offerings is taught by third and fourth year medical students who take young scholars on a trip through "The Totally Cool Human Body." Other science units, such as "What's the Matter?" (an exploration of the physical world) and "Dino-Mite" (an adventure in the Jurassic period), also fill quickly.

Most sessions, including "Click! Flash! Through the Camera's Eye," a theatre/creative writing class called "From Stage to Page and Back Again," and the computer programming course "At Your Command," are wholly hands-on and experiential.

Competition for all the sessions is steep. Up to 100 applications are submitted for the 32 slots in each class, and admission is not first-come-first-served. To increase the chances of being accepted, Rogers suggests parents get those apps in by the December 1 deadline, offer several course choices, and be flexible about attending either of the two morning sessions offered for each course.

The five-week Saturday Enrichment Program starts January 29, 2005. Applications must be postmarked by December 1, 2004. Late applications will be accepted, but only if space permits. Cost is $100 per class with reductions for siblings and students who qualify for the public schools' free or reduced price lunch program. All classes are held in or near Ruffner Hall at UVA. Applications and information are available at 924-3182.

Secret star: At once famous and unknown
Charlottesville, as we are all proud to boast, has more than its share of celebrity writers. Likewise, there are plenty of serious and talented unknowns who may one day move into the spotlight, and we can say we knew them when.

But there is another category of writer in Charlottesville, epitomized by Deborah Eisenberg: the writer recognized and acclaimed in literary circles but not much known beyond, including in the town where she works. Eisenberg has a reading coming up this week, and it's a chance to meet this celebrated, if not celebrity, writer.

Delving into the work and rare interviews recorded with Eisenberg, it appears that her style and personality have something to do with her relative anonymity. Speaking to, an online literary journal, she begins by shying away: "I'm supposed to be able to talk about this stuff, but I actually can't." In the long run, she manages, but she keeps throwing zingers – metaphysical conversation stoppers, like "I have to admit that I have no idea what the word 'epiphany' means." And– although children populate her stories– "I don't have children, I don't understand them, I don't remember my childhood," she confesses.

Her stories match this resistance to get rational. In "The Girl Who Left Her Sock on the Floor," for example, she juxtaposes an argument between prep school roommates over picking up socks, an unexpected message that a character's mother has died, a bus encounter with a woman who leaves behind a printed statement that for decades she has been followed– and ultimately bodily engulfed– by a mysterious Dr. N., and a blimp hitting a building in the West Village. These elements and others meet, but barely. We are given the dots, but we must connect them with lines that make sense.

Or maybe that's impossible. And maybe that's the point.

Her primary medium is short fiction, although she's written a play, Pastorale, that has been produced in New York and elsewhere. Reviewers have called her stories "breathtaking," "small masterpieces," "exotic safaris." One critic wrote that she conveys "the baffling simultaneity of each moment… and our minds' stubborn preoccupation with the spin and crash of thoughts." She leaves critics about as tongue-tied as she is.

Her art stands for itself. One does honor to a piece of writing to struggle for words to describe it, as if none but the author's can say it right. For that inimitable precision, Eisenberg has won multiple awards, grants, fellowships, and citations. She lives in New York City but teaches creative writing at the University. We ought to get to know her and help her call this home.

Deborah Eisenberg reads at the University of Virginia Bookstore on Thursday, December 2, at 8pm. Atop the Central Grounds Parking Garage, Emmet Street. 924-1074.

Fringe 'King': Vignettes explore the legend
Hello, baby.

That's my Elvis impersonation, in case you were wondering. I know, pretty awful. But I've been to Graceland, one of America's only recognized religious shrines. As far as pilgrims go, I rated myself an agnostic.

I recognized the power Elvis Presley and his music held for some people, but I wasn't really sure I believed in it.

Yet I found, like an infidel beneath the spires of Notre Dame, there was something downright moving about the place in all its gaudiness, its madness of memorabilia, its orchestrated little tour through the biography of the cultural icon of the 20th century. In my youthful naiveté, I had no idea until then why Elvis had inspired and rankled so many so deeply.

This is precisely what local playwright and UVA professor Doug Grissom is trying to explore in his latest script, a collection of scenes and monologues called Elvis People, brought to the stage by the players of the offbeat Offstage Theatre. Gravity Lounge is hosting this explorative reading in a series of three Sunday shows that started last week.

It's more about the legend than the man. And it's told not through his voice but the voices of all the people– the lovers and haters, the seduced and repulsed– whose lives Elvis touched. Grissom's characters range from a serious souvenir collector to a fed-up Elvis impersonator to a snubbed black musician.

Mostly, Presley's character itself remains on the periphery of the scenes. When the King does appear, says Offstage artistic director Chris Patrick, his eccentricity is driven almost to the point of absurdity, an allusion, really, to the superhuman feat of managing such fame.

"One thing I find really interesting about the text," Patrick says, "is how dangerous he was and how he was viewed as such a threat. And then as the scenes progress, you kind of see how at the end of his career he came to embody America."

Keep in mind: You shouldn't go to Elvis People expecting a finished product, with costumes and props, and all the rest. That's not really the point. Actors read scripts in hand, and audience members are encouraged to let Grissom know what they think, what works and what doesn't.

Theater like Elvis's life: a work in progress.

There are two more opportunities to experience Elvis People: Sunday, Nov. 28 and Dec. 5, at 7pm. Gravity Lounge, 103 S. First St. $3. 977-5590.

Bid like mad: Visit Paris– and benefit ASG!
For a city that sometimes comes across as straight-laced and dull, Washington, D.C. has never been afraid to get decked out for the holidays. And I'm not talking about a few wreaths in windows. The District always goes whole hog this time of year, from garlands on lampposts to twinkling lights on office buildings, to decorated trees along boulevards. (Not to mention some whole hogs.)

While there are literally hundreds of spruces and firs to see, the real show since 1964 has been in front of the U.S. Capitol Building, "The People's Tree," the Capitol Holiday Tree.

This year, Virginians have even more reason to celebrate. For the first time, the Capitol's tree hails from the Commonwealth– from the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest, to be exact. And it's a big one, too, measuring 73 feet from end to end. On December 9, the whole country can gather (via television, anyway) around this tree for the traditional lighting ceremony.

But if you're looking for a more low-key kick-off to the holiday season, why not come out to see Virginia's contribution to the national festivities the day after Thanksgiving? Before heading to Washington and decoration with more than 5,000 ornaments and nearly 10,000 lights, the tree will stop at James Madison's Montpelier estate.

"We're very excited to have [the national tree] here," says Karon Keith with the Orange County Department of Tourism. "Having it on the grounds at Montpelier is a great way to celebrate Madison's legacy, as Virginia is the birthplace of Presidents."

Since leaving the National Forest in Highland County, the tree has been visiting communities all over Virginia; part of a tour that will eventually take it to more than 30 towns on its way to Washington. Tree farms from all over the state have also donated 50 "companion trees" that will eventually occupy House and Senate office buildings this season.

And there will be plenty more to see at Montpelier than just the tree. Virginia Senator George Allen will be on hand to give remarks, as will Delegate Ed Scott and local James Madison impersonator, John Hall. A variety of activities for kids and grownups, live music all afternoon, and a fireworks display after dark add to the festivities.

Still haven't seen the ongoing renovations at the Montpelier house itself? Check it out on Friday; tours of the house will be in full swing for the winter.

Friday, November 26 activities at Montpelier surrounding the National Holiday Tree's visit will begin at 2pm and continue until the fireworks at 6:30pm. Admission to the estate, including tours of the currently under restoration house, will be free throughout the day. For a complete schedule of events, visit or call the Orange County Tourism Office at 540- 672-1747.

Twofer: Curreri welcomes Tar Heel crooner

Though the future is often portrayed as a bleak wasteland where leather-suited prom kings and queens fight aliens/robots/the mole people, there are nevertheless a few reasons to hope for better.

With 50 years of folk music at their backs and the open tundra of the genre's future ahead of them, Paul Curreri and Chuck Brodsky are two performers who see through the mists of time to what lies ahead for the future of their art form: informed, intelligent, and truthful renderings in spite of the consequences. Tuesday, November 30, the two plan to meet up at Gravity Lounge, sit a spell, and tell some tales– musically and otherwise.

Curreri who you've probably heard of&endash; he's a local wunderkind whose country-blues take on the modern world, irony and all&endash; has been charming fans and fans-to-be around town for the last few years.

North Carolinian Brodsky focuses on storytelling in his songs, with country-folk (emphasis on the country) as his vehicle. Though the subjects in his works vary from industrial destruction of a small town to the day-to-day affairs of the local barkeep, one theme appears frequently. All the elements– the open road, the trials of modern small-town life, and clever stories of the unnoticed– reveal a living and breathing America, and show a man with both a sense of humor and the ability to turn it off.

Brodsky released his debut album, A Fingerpainter's Murals, in 1995 (Waterbug Records), and followed it up with one every two years or so. This year saw the release of Color Came One Day, an album on which acoustic ballads, layered with country-tinged accompaniment (fiddle, banjo, etc.) and Brodsky's smoky-sweet voice, treat such subjects as the legend of America's Goat Man, Wal-Mart hegemony, and the state of modern fear– a fine slice of the state of things as the artist sees them.

Curreri's latest album, The Spirit of the Staircase, debuts at a release party at Gravity Lounge December 18, and though I'm going to save an in-depth pragmatic analysis of the album (my specialty) for an upcoming issue, I do predict that fans of the artist will not be disappointed.

Curreri's trademark songwriting wit and dexterous phalanges are present and accounted for on The Spirit of the Staircase, but where before "solo acoustic" was how the musician presented himself to the world, this time he shares the sonic spectrum with an ensemble cast of local luminaries.

Getting to see Curreri debut some new songs, and getting introduced to an out-of-towner who you wish was a permanent resident? That's an evening easily worth my $10.

Paul Curreri and Chuck Brodsky perform at Gravity Lounge, November 30. $12/$10, 7pm.