Cultural calendar, December 2-9, 2004

THURSDAY, December 2
Community Chanukah Celebration:
Sing the "Dreidel Song," feast on traditional treats like potato latkes and jelly doughnuts, and participate in the lighting of Charlottesville's Giant Menorah at Chabad's annual Community Chanukah Celebration. 5pm at Central Place on the Downtown Mall. or 293-5994 for details.

Sing-a-Round: Do-re-me for the holidays at the annual caroling night at Central Place on the Downtown Mall. Meet at the Community Holiday Tree at 5:30pm, and go from there. No fee.

Trail Training: Learn how to build and maintain trails with the experts from the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). This multi-day workshop series begins tonight with a slide show at Performance Bike Shop. 7pm. No fee. Visit or email for more information. See Walkabout feature.

Grow On: This month's meeting of Advocates for a Sustainable Albemarle Population features a discussion on the area's existing caps on growth, and how they will help limit expansion in the future. 7:30pm at the Westminster Presbyterian Church library. 974-6390 or

LATTE Grande:
The Live Arts Teen Theater Ensemble presents The Caucasian Chalk Circle, a Bertolt Brecht parable about 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.

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.

Save 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. 7pm. 1 Churchville Ave. 540-332-3902.

Through Chinese Eyes: University of Pittsburgh research professor Katheryn Linduff visits UVA's art department to present "An Exercise in Self-Definition: Chinese Images of Others." 6pm. Campbell Hall, Room 150. 924-6122 or

Portrait Artistry: Albemarle County's Bill Allard, one of about 150 National Geographic photographers whose work enriches the new book, In Focus: National Geographic's Greatest Portraits, talks about the book and his part in it at New Dominion Bookshop today at 5:30pm. 404 E. Main St. 295-2552.

Greene County Reads Jones: Come to the Greene County Branch of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library tonight at 7pm to join the discussion of Edward P. Jones's much-acclaimed novel, The Known World. Call ahead if you need a ride. 222 Main St., Stanardsville. 985-5227.

Superfund Superstars: National experts on the environmental and economic implications and future of Superfund, the federally programmed response to hazardous substances, participate in a "Public Dialogue on the Future of Superfund." 4pm. No charge, but please email to reserve a seat: Caplin Pavilion, UVA School of Law. 924-3638.

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.

No Gods No Monsters, Halfway Broken (Baltimore), TOW, and Marker (Philadelphia) at the Save the Music Benefit (VH1) at Outback Lodge:
The final benefit concert of this fall's VH1 Save the Music Benefit– Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Charlottesville all contributed some of their rock to put the G#'s back in schools across the nation. Come out, give to a good cause, and get down. $5 (all ages), 9pm.

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 & Morwenna Lasko at Starr Hill. Free, 9pm.

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

FRIDAY, December 3
Terrifying Art:
The Critical Art Ensemble (CAE), a group of computer graphics and web designers, film/video, photography, text art, book art, and performance practitioners, was formed in 1987. CAE explores the relationship among art, critical theory, technology, and political activism. CAE member Steven Kurtz speaks on his experiences: Since May, the SUNY Buffalo art prof has been under federal investigation on grand jury charges relating to bio-terrorism under the Patriot Act. Newcomb Hall Theater. 11am-1pm.

Local Flicks: Kevin Everson's Spicebush (70 min.) and Fifeville (14 min.) and William Wylie's Grassland (8 min.), along with several short student films made during the Virginia Film Festival's Adrenaline Film Project, show at 3pm n Campbell Hall 160. 924-6123. Fifeville also shows at 2pm today at Christ Episcopal Church, 100 Jefferson St. 293-2347. See Art feature.

It's winter volleyball season at Charlottesville Parks and Recreation. The deadline for registration is today. 970-3271.

Calming Influence: The trend to use drugs to treat children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has skyrocketed in recent years. Dr. William E. Pelham Jr. discusses his research with alternatives and combination therapy at a talk at UVA's Curry School of Education. No charge. 10am. Ruffner Auditorium, Emmet St. 924-0756.

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.

Best Ever:
The Herdmans are back as Four County Players presents a holiday performance of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. When "the worst kids in the world" take over the church's annual nativity play, these street-wise siblings give everyone a new take on the reason for the season. 7:30pm. $12 adults, $10 seniors/students, $8 children. Barboursville Community Center, Rt. 678. 540-832-5677.

LATTE Grande:
See Thursday, December 2. Today's snow is at 8pm.

Twinkle Toes: Wilson School of Dance/ Wilson Dance Company perform at the Toy Lift at Lowe's. 5:30pm. 973-5678.

Moving Alone: College profs Cat Maguire and Anne Megibow, with special guests, present an evening of dance solos at Piedmont Virginia Community College. 7:30pm. $8-10. Main stage of the V. Earl Dickinson Building, 600 College Drive. 961-5376.

Get Lost in Santaland: Shenandoah Shakespeare presents the ultimate anti-holiday show: The Santaland Diaries, a hilarious one-man act written by NPR humorist and author David Sedaris. As usual, it's about his zany life: this time as an unemployed artist working as an elf in the Big Apple. 7:30pm. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-21. 540-885-5588. See Performance feature.

The Cherry Orchard: See Thursday, December 2.

Wreath Workshops at Monticello:
These ever-popular workshops, now in their 19th year, result in a beautiful Christmas wreath for each participant to take home. Learn the process of making your own, then get busy. $40 fee covers the workshop and all materials. 984-9822 or

Holiday Market: Start your holiday celebrations at the annual Holiday Market. Come shop for crafts, baked goods, toys, and greenery on Fridays and Saturdays now until Christmas. 10am-5pm. Central Place on the Downtown Mall.

Windows on Water: Charlottesville doesn't have a Macy's…yet. But you can still ring in the season with a variety of holiday-themed window displays in the shops along Water Street. They'll be up through December 26, but it all kicks off tonight with an unveiling ceremony and refreshments at the boutiques. 5:30-8pm. No fee. 540-460-3964.

Just Say Yes:
SUNY/Stonybrook psychology professor William Pelham presents a talk on "Comprehensive, Evidence-based Treatment for ADHD," which he subtitles "Just Say 'Yes' to Drugs?" as part of the Curry School of Education's centennial year celebration. After years of research on ADHD and the efficacy of drug treatments, Pelham founded a day camp for kids suffering with the symptoms, using behavioral as well as drug treatment. 10am. Ruffner Hall Auditorium. Emmet St. 924-0854.

Jane Austen's In: To share your passion for Pride and Prejudice, come to the first of two meetings of the Gordon Avenue Library's Literary Masterpieces Book Group dedicated to the Austen novel. 10am today and every first and third Friday of the month. 1500 Gordon Ave. 296-4041.

CIA Today, Spies Tomorrow: Howard Hart, CIA officer during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, looks the agency straight in the eye and discusses its ability to collect intelligence and conduct espionage. Hart answers the question, "Can Today's CIA Conduct Tomorrow's Espionage?" Miller Center for Public Affairs. 11am. 2201 Old Ivy Road. 924-7236.

Caveman at Orbit:
The ogga-bogga rock of Caveman fits their name amazingly well– down and dirty grooves for your pleasure. No cover, 10pm.

Small Town Workers with Pepper's Ghost at Outback Lodge: STW rock it '70s style, with a hefty dash of pop to keep you humming along. $6, 10pm.

The Nature Boys at Rapunzel's Coffee & Books: Two jazz phases on display– phase one, Jason Lyman and Jaye Urgo, and a quartet with Lew Burus on electric stand-up bass and Steve Urgo on drums. Later a guest appearance by vocalist Allison Fletcher. No cover, 8pm.

Chris Rosser & Ron Fetner (in cooperation with Acoustic Muse) at Gravity Lounge. $12, 8pm.

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

Ostinato, Sharpshooters, and Murder Skit Corpses at Tokyo Rose. $5, 10pm.

SATURDAY, December 4
We Are…:
The Kluge Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection presents Tasmanian photographer Wayne Quilliam speaking about his work photographing Australian's indigenous people. 7pm. Free, but reservations required. 244-0234.

Nelson Natives: Four Nelson County artists offer their work for sale today and tomorrow. Potter Nan Rothwell, painter Nancy Maxson, sculptor and jeweler K Robins, and basket-maker Claudia Gibson team up for a show in Nan Rothwell's studio near Nellysford. 10am-4pm both days. Directions: 263-4023 or

"The Four Elements": The ninth annual holiday Young Friends Art Auction at the UVA Art Museum features works relating to the theme of water, earth, air, and fire. Cocktail treats by Jefferson Vineyards and Feast. Black-tie optional. 5:30-8:30pm. Reserve tickets ($50, $45 members) at 979-0818. 55 Rugby Road. 924-3592 or

PVCC Pottery Club Sale: Hand-built and -thrown high-fire stoneware by PVCC students, priced to fit holiday shopping budgets. 9am-1pm. Dickinson Building Commons.

The Village School: Students offer jewelry, baked goods, needlework, and other holiday treats. Ten percent of proceeds benefit charity. 215 E. High St. 984-4404.

Batesville Area Bash: Art, food, wine, and live music on offer at the 4th Annual Batesville-area holiday bazaar. Gifts by local artists, tastings by Gabriele Rausse and Cardinal Point Wineries, hot soup and treats. Holiday cookie decorating and face painting. Brokedown Palace, Blue Ridge Irish Music School, caroling choral groups from Western Albemarle High School, and local singer-songwriters on hand, too. 11am-5pm. Free with fee for wine tasting. Cardinal Point Winery, 9423 Batesville Road, Afton. 456-6328

Free Union Country School: Kids enjoy yummy snacks and watch a video about making a ceramic pot on the pottery wheel while adults shop for tabletop fountains, jewelry, handmade soaps, custom furniture, whimsical mobiles, books, and John Fahey's electric jewelry and paintings at the 19th annual Christmas in Free Union craft show and sale. 10am-4pm. Free admission. Free Union Country School, Free Union Road. 987-1700.

Waldorf School: String puppet performance of the Native American story "The Invisible Hunter" for 3-7 year-olds at 11am, noon, and 2pm. Hands-on children's activities include candle-dipping, woodworking, cookie decorating, and beading. In a children-only Secret Garden, wee ones can purchase holiday gifts, and more than 20 vendors offer a wide variety of unique handcrafted items. Lunch 11am-2pm. Bazaar 10am-4pm. Free admission, small fees for activities. 1408 Crozet Ave. 823-6800.

Crafty Commerce: Part of UVA transforms into a marketplace for more than two dozen regional artists and craftspersons during the annual holiday Artisans' Bazaar. Handcrafted gifts for all occasions and in all price ranges along with door prizes, live music, complimentary gift wrapping, and children's activities. 11am-5:30pm. Free. Newcomb Hall Ballroom. 924-3286.

New Children's Classic:
Local children's author Mary E. Lyons shares her new book, Roy Makes a Car, which she created from a tale collected by Zora Neale Hurston. 1pm. New Dominion Bookshop. 404 E. Main St. 295-2552.

Searching for a Jewish Self: Just in time for Hanukkah, Batesville seeker Eliezer Sobel shares his prizewinning novel, Minyan, at New Dominion Bookshop today at 4pm. 404 E. Main St. 295-2552. See Words feature.

The Frontier Culture Museum offers modern folks the chance to work with their hands the way our ancestors did at Folk Arts Academy Holiday Workshops. Morning sessions (9am-1pm) include handmade brooms or decorative boxes. In the afternoon (1-5pm), it's Yule logs and painted floor cloths. $40 per workshop. Advance registration required. Rt. 250 west in Staunton. 540-332-7850.

Down on the Farm: Mangham Wool & Mohair Farm host a country Christmas Fair on the farm. City folks can explore the farm and pet the animals, enjoy hot cider and cookies, and finish up some holiday shopping with wooly socks, hand knit sweaters, blankets, hats, and yarns. Noon-5pm. 901 Hammocks Gap Road. 973-2222.

Never Grow Up: Jefferson Youth Theater presents "Peter Pan" at Burnley-Moran Elementary School. This new millennium version of the classic musical features over 50 children along with Brad Stoller as Captain Hook. 5pm. $6. Off the 250 Bypass near Free Bridge. 249-2803.

If You Build It: Young architects ages four and up can build their house and eat it too at the Virginia Discovery Museum's Holiday Houses workshop. 10:30-11:15am. $5 members, $7 non-members. Pre-registration required. East end of the Downtown Mall. 977-1025.

On the Air: Tell Us A Tale, central Virginia's popular children's radio program, serves up latkes and roast beast this week at its fourth annual Christmas and Hanukkah live taping at the Prism. Hosts Peter Jones and Jen Hoffman share some of their favorite tales, including Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Eric Kimmel's Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, and the destined-to-be classic hybrid tale, How Murray Saved Christmas, a Christmas story for Jewish kids by former Simpsons writer and executive producer Mike Reiss. Tom Proutt and Emily McCormick handle the Christmas songs, while the Hanukkah tunes are covered by the award-winning klezmer band Vulgar Bulgars. The show airs on WTJU 91.1 FM Sundays noon-2pm. Fans can join either or both of two shows to be recorded today, one from 1-2pm, the second from 2:30-3:30. Donations accepted. 214 Rugby Road. 978-3603.

Tell Me a Story: Little literati ages five 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.

Traditions: Christmas will be celebrated in Japan during a special ceremony at Lynchburg's Amazement Square. See Family feature.

Best Ever: See Friday, December 3.

Wreath Workshops at Monticello:
These ever-popular workshops continue today. $40 covers the workshop and all materials. 984-9822 or

Donkey Roundtable: Get in on the ground floor at the first meeting of the Young Democrats of Charlottesville. 2pm at Gravity Lounge.

Days of Christmas Past: Learn about holiday traditions in years past at the Stonewall Jackson House's annual Christmas Remembered open house. Enjoy free tours of the house, costumed guides, and holiday music. Noon-4pm. 8 E. Washington St., Lexington. 540-463-2552 for reservations.

First Saturday Bird Walk: Lou Tanner of the Bird Club leads an early winter bird walk at the Ivy Creek Natural Area. 7:30am. Free and open to public. Beginners welcome. Contact Dede Smith at 973-7772.

Holiday Market: See Friday, December 3.

Winery Finery: Join the Blue Ridge WineWay wine trail for a progressive Christmas event at 10 area wineries. This weekend, Gray Ghost and Veramar Vineyards host open houses with wine discounts, tastings, tours, and more. 11am-5pm. Fees. or

Carols in the Cave: Farfelu Vineyards' annual Carols in the Cave open house is about more than just live music and hot mulled wine. You also get a roaring bonfire, a decorated winery, a variety of tastings, and Farfelu's Rappahannock River Trail. 11am-5pm. $5 per person. 540-364-2930 or

Trail Training: See Friday, December 3, and Walkabout feature.

Scottsville Christmas Festival: Sales at Scottsville-area shops, trolley rides, a Christmas tree lighting, and a live performance of The Nutcracker. End your day at the Scottsville Chamber's Penny Sale at the Old School Gymnasium. 10am-6pm. Fees vary. 286-6000 or

Hill Top Holidays: December at Hill Top Berry Farm & Winery is all about Southern hospitality. Enjoy seasonal refreshments, complimentary wine tastings, and a tour of the winery. 11am-5pm. Free. 361-1266.

Tavern Treasures: The General Store at Michie Tavern hosts their annual Open House featuring Virginia wine and food tastings, live music and special discounts. 9:30am-5:30pm. 977-1234 or

Best Christmas Pageant:
See Friday, December 3.

The Cherry Orchard: See Thursday, December 2. Tonight's show is the final performance of the run.

Get Lost in Santaland: See Friday, December 3 and Performance feature.

LATTE Grande: See Thursday, December 2. Tonight's 8pm performance is the final of the show's run.

Moving Alone: See Friday, December 3.

Candlelight Concert: The Virginia Women's Chorus hosts its annual Candlelight Concert at the UVA Chapel tonight. This choral ensemble draws on "peace" as its theme, with (oddly) Civil War folk songs, works by Gabriel Fauré and Orlandus Lassus, and more. McCormick Road and University Ave. $5-10. 249-5336.

Foster's Branch at Kokopelli's Café:
This kickin' five-man, Catherine Zuver-fronted gang help you relieve those post-shopping, holiday-coming-too-fast blues. Head out to Crozet and rave! Kokopelli's is a non-smoking venue– you won't have to leave your clothes outside and wash your hair the minute you get home. $5, 8pm. Reservations suggested. 823-5645.

Brass 5: This quintet of talented musicians is a favorite every time they visit. Their program of classical, Dixieland jazz, and contemporary music offers something for everyone. $15 ($12 advance). 8pm. Carysbrook Performing Arts Center, Route 15, Carysbrook. 434-842-1333.

Hooked on Music Bandfest: Six local high school bands perform to raise money for the Music Resource Center. 5-9pm. $3. 105 Ridge St. 979-5478.

The Deer Creek Boys at Rapunzel's Coffee & Books: "Genuine Blue Ridge Bluegrass" from this young band playing old songs– and playing them better than almost anyone else. $5, 7:30pm.

Keith Sweat Dance party at Tokyo Rose: Another wild night, where anything that you hope will be played, will be. Old rock favorites and new hip-hop classics, picked to get you to move. $5, 10pm.

An Evening of Operatic Masterpieces at Old Cabell Hall: Students of the McIntire Department of Music's opera class, joined by guest artists, directed by Louisa Panou-Takahashi present a selection of arias, quartets, duets and choruses from scenes from Mozart's " Idomeneo," Verdi's "Nabucco," Paisiello's "The Barber of Seville," and more. $10/$5 students, 8pm.

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

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

Abbey Road at Gravity Lounge. $8, 8pm.

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

Southside Funk Bros. at Orbit. No cover, 10pm.

Midnight Spaghetti with Calf Mountain Jam at Outback Lodge. $6, 10pm.

The Deer Creek Boys at Rapunzel's Coffee & Books. $5, 7:30pm.

SUNDAY, December 5
Best Christmas Pageant:
See Friday, December 3. Today's show is a matinee at 2:30pm.

Get Your Second-Wind: The Senior Center's Second-Wind Band celebrates its 10th anniversary with a public concert. Roy Ernst, a founder of the movement, guest-conducts the 60-plus members, including the Hook's own inimitable Don Berard! 3pm. $6. 1180 Pepsi Place. 974-7756.

Cry for Us: Audition tonight for Live Arts' forthcoming production of the opera Evita. Performances March 4-26. Audition at 7pm. 123 E. Water St. 977-4177x100.

Winter Concert: The acclaimed bands of Charlottesville High School present their 64th Winter Concert this afternoon. 2pm. 1400 Melbourne Road. Free. 295-8453.

Get Lost in Santaland: Today's performance is a matinee at 2pm. See Friday, December 3, and Performance feature.

Dance Around the World:
Congregation Beth Israel Preschool hosts Culturefest, a night of live music and dancing with bands including Simchah (UVA's Klezmer ensemble), Old Cabell Jam (old time and bluegrass), Zokela Seke of Cenrafrique (a Central African Republic family band), and the UVA African Drumming and Dance Ensemble (repertoire from Ghana/Togo and the African rainforest). Pizza and drinks available for purchase. Proceeds benefit CBI Preschool. 4-7pm. $10 adults, $7 students. CBI's O'Mansky Hall at 301 E. Jefferson St. 295-6382.

Airborn: High flyers can discover the history of flight and how the Wright brothers constructed the first airplane at the Virginia Aviation Museum Wright Brothers Symposium. Museum director Mike Boehme presents "The History of Flight-From Myth to the Moon" 10:30am-noon. Then Wright brothers' enthusiast Rick Young takes visitors on a guided tour of Wright reproductions, 1:30-3:30pm. Included in the price of admission: $6 adults, $4 children. 5701 Huntsman Road. 804-236-3622.

Batesville Area Bash: See Saturday, December 4.

Free Union Country School: See Saturday, December 4.

Down on the Farm: See Saturday, December 4.

Never Grow Up: See Saturday, December 4.

Best Ever: See Friday, December 3. Today's show 2:30pm. Santa will be on hand to hear whispered wants before the show.

Santa "Claws" Pet Pictures:
It's every dog and cat's favorite outing of the year; a chance to have his picture taken with "The Big Guy." If that's not your style, picture Rover or Boots in a jingle bell collar, Santa hat, or elf hat. The suggested donation is $10, with proceeds to benefit area SPCAs and animal rescue efforts. 12-6pm at the Animal Connection, 1701 E. Allied St., behind Cville Coffee. 296-7048.

Signature Chefs Auction:
Bid on items including weekend getaways, fine art, chef-for-a-night services, and jewelry at this festive evening to benefit the Piedmont-Shenandoah Valley Division of the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation. Ten of the area's finest chefs are on hand for a food and wine sampling reception. $50 per person. 800-868-5894.

Swing Kids: Christmas at the USO showcases a variety of talented musicians and instrumentalists, inviting guests to step up and swing just like the USO dance parties of the '40s. 3pm today, 8pm December 6-7. $20 tickets benefit the Senior Center. Fry's Spring Beach Club. 971-1433.

Winery Finery: See Saturday, December 4. 11am-5pm. Fees.

Carols in the Cave: See Saturday, December 4. 11am-5pm. $5 per person. 540-364-2930 or

Hill Top Holidays: See Saturday, December 4. 11am-5pm. Free. 361-1266.

Tavern Treasures: See Saturday, December 4. 9:30am-5:30pm. 977-1234 or

Wassail With Wool: See Saturday, December 4. Noon-5pm. 901 Hammocks Gap Road. 973-2222 or

StreamWatch Water Monitoring: Volunteer training workshop teaches about StreamWatch's work and covers the fundamentals of stream biological sampling– catching and identifying aquatic invertebrates for the purpose of evaluating water quality and stream health. 1-5pm. Free, but class size is limited. Ivy Creek Natural Area, Earlysville Road. Information and reservations, 923-8642 or

House Tour: The 32nd annual Staunton Christmas House Tour features a number of historic early 20th century houses decorated to the nines in their holiday finery. 1-5pm. Tickets $15 in advance, $20 at the door. 540-885-7676.

PVCC Chorus Holiday Concert at the Dickinson Building: Seven years have come and gone since the first annual PVCC holiday concert, but with each year its fan base grows. Free, 3pm.

UVA Wind Ensemble Fall Concert at Old Cabell Hall: Directed by William Pease, the UVA Wind Ensemble's fall concert features "The Chicago Tribune March" by Paris Chambers, Michael Colgrass' "Old Churches," Leonard Bernstein's "Overture to Candide" and more. $10 adults/$5 students, 3:30pm.

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

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

MONDAY, December 6
Mystery in Our Midst:
Local author Mary Alice Gunter's mystery, Murder in the Poe Room, mingles Lawn topography, Virginia history, and threads of intrigue and suspense. Discuss it at the Scottsville Library today in a monthly event sponsored by the James River Book Club. All welcome. 7:30pm. 330 Bird St. 286-3541.

Talkin' Conservation Easements:
Learn about this complicated legal and ethical subject with the Virginia Cooperative Extension's seminar on conservation easements. Hear a basic overview of the issue, the tax benefits associated with them, and details on the Virginia Land Preservation Tax Credit. Greene County Extension Office, 10013 Spotswood Trail in Stanardsville. Contact Bill Clements, Extension Agent, at 985.5236 for more information.

Swing Kids: See Sunday, December 5. 8pm tonight.

Cry for Us:
See Sunday, December 5.

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.

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, December 7
Wake Up to Your Dreams:
Jungian therapist Len Worley leads a discussion on "Nightmares as Merciful Intrusions," one in his monthly series of discussions on Archetypal Themes in Dreams. Reservations required. 7pm. $10. 211 W. Main St. 293-3271.

Draft Information:
Many people think it's coming despite a candidate's debate pledge to the contrary. Join Bob Hoffman for a discussion of the present and future possibility of compulsory military service in the United States, how it could affect you, and what your options are. Conscientious Objector status is also a topic. 7pm. Better Than Television, 106 A3 Goodman St., Belmont. 295-0872.

Swing Kids: See Sunday, December 5.

Holiday Entertaining 101: Chefs Victoria Dunham and Edwin Colvin and Farm Shop manager Jesse Harrison demonstrate how to achieve relaxed entertaining with a repertoire of simple hors d'oeuvres, cool drinks, and hot table-settings. $45 includes all materials. 6:30-8pm. Limit 15. Kluge Farm Shop, 100 Grand Cru Drive, Esmont. 977-3895.

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

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

Steve Kessler Trio at Orbit. No cover, 10pm.

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

Entrance (Fat Possum records) at Tokyo Rose. $5, 10pm.

Faster Than Walking at Millers. Free, 9-12

WEDNESDAY, December 8
A Christmas Carol:
This adaptation of the Dickens holiday classic will delight the whole family. Let's face it, Ebenezer, Tiny Tim, and those ghosts never get old. Today's performance is a school matinee. 10:30am. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $14-26. 540-855-5588. See Performance feature.

Calling All Dorothy Sayers Fans:
The Gordon Avenue Library's Wednesday Night Book Group discusses Dorothy Sayers' Gaudy Night, a mystery set at an Oxford University reunion. 7:30pm. 1500 Gordon Ave. 296-5544.

Last of the Season: MFA candidates in UVA's Creative Writing Program provide interesting listening this week as Justin Quarry reads fiction and Sarah Graham reads poetry. Hear them at 8:30pm at New Dominion Bookshop. 404 E. Main St, 924-6675.

Think Spring:
Leonard M. Adkins, known as "The Habitual Hiker," guest of the Jefferson Chapter of the Native Plant Society, presents a multimedia program highlighting the 17,000 miles of hiking he has done in North America, Europe, and the Caribbean and inspired by his book, Wilflowers of the Appalachian Trail. 7:30pm. Free. Education Building at Ivy Creek Natural Area, Route 743, Earlysville Road. 293-4217.

Underwater Art: Check out photographer Eric Peter Black's images from the Blue Ridge to the South Pacific at a showing of his large nature photos to benefit the National Geographic Society and Project AWARE. 7-9pm at Dive Connections. 909 Gardens Boulevard. 964-9200 for details.

Light up the Night:
Chabad of Charlottesville invite the entire Charlottesville community to celebrate Chanukah, the Jewish holiday of freedom. Festivities include lighting the giant menorah, singing, prizes, chocolate gelt (coins), and donuts (a traditional food served on Chanukah). 5:15pm. Free. Central Place on the Downtown Mall. 293-5994.

Holiday Tales: Kids ages 3-5 can bring their folks to Central Library for holiday stories and crafts. 11:30am. No registration required. 201 E. Market St. 979-7151, ext. 3.

Let It Snow: Winter fairies ages six and up create their own winter wonderland with a flurry of glittering beaded snowflakes at Gordon Avenue Library. 4pm. Free. 1500 Gordon Ave. 296-5544.

Tales for Tots: The five-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.

Gravity Lounge: Cabaret, pop, and some jazz are the principal elements of Clare Fader and the Vaudevillains, definitely one of the most original concoctions out there. $5, 7:30pm. See Tunes feature.

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. 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.

The Red Hot Chilly Pickers at Dr.Ho's. Free, 7-9pm.

THURSDAY, December 9
Colonial Revival:
UVA architect and historian Richard Guy Wilson shares his new book, The Colonial Revival House, at New Dominion Bookshop today at 5:30pm. 404 E. Main St. 295-2552.

Crozet Goes Gourmet: The Crozet Library hosts food and wine consultant Sarah Bender, creator of Channel 13's Perfect Pairings. Bender gives a cooking demonstration and a tasting of quick, inexpensive party foods for the holidays this evening at 7pm. Call ahead to reserve a spot. 5791 Three Notch'd Road. 823-4050.

Holiday Tales:
See Wednesday, December 8. Tales today are for two-year-olds and time is 10:30am.

A Christmas Carol:
See Wednesday, December 8, and Performance feature.

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.

Morwenna Lasko with Jay Pun & Julie Lloyd at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8pm.

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

Dj Scumbag at Orbit. No cover, 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

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

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

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 and More: Get kinky at the Berkmar Ballroom with lessons in everything from exotic dance to salsa and tango. Classes, schedules and prices vary. Visit for a complete listing or call for more information. 652 Rio Road W. 975-4611.

More Belly Dance: Studio 206 Belmont offers one-hour belly dance lessons every Tuesday with instructor Amalia Habibi. 7:15pm. 501 Monticello Road (above Mas tapas bar). $9-12. 296-6250.

Keep Rotating those Abs: 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.

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.

Bead Business: Studio Baboo presents weekly classes in bead stringing and jewelry making. Call the shop for specifics

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.

Second Street Gallery presents "Drawn into Light: Works on Paper by Kay Hwang and Imi Hwangbo," on view from December 3 through January 29. 115 Second St. SE. 977-7284.

An exhibit of the large format nature and underwater photography of Eric Peter Black to benefit the National Geographic Society and Project Aware opens Wednesday, December 8, with a reception, 7:30 -9:30pm at Dive Connections 909 Gardens Blvd (Behind Pier 1). 971-1670.

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 presents its annual Holiday Group Show, featuring work by over 50 artists, during December. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.

Rob Tarbell shows 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.

Vanity Salon features photography by Aimee Wade and Shannon Winter through December. 1112 High St. 977-3332.

Through December 30, The Art Box presents "Outside the Box," an exhibition of work by nine young female artists. 2125 Ivy Road, lower level. 295-5426.

The Main Street Market Galleria displays paintings by Kiki Slaughter during December. Join the artist at an opening celebration, December 2, 5-7pm. 416 W. Main St. 244-7800.

The 5th Floor Gallery at Keller Williams is currently showing the glass and metal sculpture of Bill Hess, landscape photography by Mary Withers, and oil cityscapes by Edward Thomas. 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.

Angelo displays "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 opens two new exhibitions in December: "Shades of Black: Photographs by Wayne Quilliam" and "Black & White & Red Ochre." Both shows run through January 29. 400 Worrell Drive, Peter Jefferson Place (off Route 250 East at Pantops). 244-0234.

Les Yeux du Monde presents "Places of Color and Light," paintings by Annie Harris Massie, through January 2. Also on display during December: "Small Treasures," a wide-ranging holiday group. 115 S. First St. 973-5566.

During December, Transient Crafters hosts "Horses: Drawings, Paintings, and Limited Editions by Milenko." 118 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 972-9500.

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 December show, The Gallery @ 5th & Water offers the Africa-inspired work of Gloria Mitchell, plus paintings by Lindsay Michie Eades. 107 Fifth St. 979-9825.

Can't get enough of Lindsay Michie Eades? Then head to New Dominion Bookshop, where her paintings are also on display through December 31. 404 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 295-2552.

During December, CODG presents "Abstract Ornamentation," spotlighting eight local artists working in a wide range of media. 112 E. Main St., under the Jefferson Theater. 242-4212.

The C&O Gallery features "A Secret Garden," an exhibition of botanical prints by John Grant, through December. Next door to the C&O Restaurant, 511 E. Water St. 971-7044.

Sage Moon Gallery highlights work by Elliott Twery during the month of December. 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.

During December, the Mudhouse shows "Snowflakes," paintings by Christian Peri.. 213 W. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 984-6833.

View Ray Wirth's photography exhibition, "Distillations from Larger Landscapes," at Art Upstairs during December. Also, this month the gallery features its annual members' exhibition and sale of miniature paintings. 316 E. Main St., above The Hardware Store, on the Downtown Mall. 923-3900.

For the month of December, Bozart Gallery offers a group show by Bozart members. 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 presents new large-scale paintings by Frank Hobbs, on display through January 7. Lexington. 540-458-8954.

During December, the Staunton Public Library displays the photographs of Bonnie Rutledge Edwards. 1 Churchville Ave., Staunton. 540-332-3902.

Madison's Sevenoaks Pathwork Center hosts "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. 434-295-2486.

Noon Whistle Pottery and Art Gallery presents 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. 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.

During the holidays, Sun's Traces Gallery displays three-dimensional pictures by Michie Taylor, shadow baskets by Charlotte LaRoy, as well as turned wood pieces by Richard Cruise, 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.


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. 540-946-3294 or

First Friday December 3

Second Street Gallery opens "Drawn into Light: Works on Paper by Kay Hwang and Imi Hwangbo" with a reception, 6-8pm. The artists talk about their work at 6:30pm. Corner of Second and Water streets. 977-7284.

CODG hosts an opening for its eight-artist group show, "Abstract Ornamentation," 6-9pm. Get artistically festive with eggnog. 112 E. Main St., under the Jefferson Theater. 242-4212.

Rob Tarbell re-opens his exhibition, "Bird by Bird by Bird," at Gallery 111, 5:30-9pm. 111 Fourth St. NW (in the old SNL building), across from Nature Visionary Art. 249-8157.

The McGuffey Art Center hosts an opening for its annual Holiday Group Show. 5:30-7:30pm. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.

C&O Gallery opens "A Secret Garden," an exhibition of botanical prints by John Grant with a reception, 5-7pm. Next to the C&O Restaurant, 511 E. Water St. 971-7044.

The Bozart Gallery opens its holiday group show with a festive reception, 6-9pm. 211 W. Main on the Downtown Mall. 296-3919.

The Kluge-Ruhe Collection of Aboriginal Art celebrates two new exhibitions, "Shades of Black: Photographs by Wayne Quilliam" and "Black & White & Red Ochre," with an opening, 5:30-7:30. 400 Worrell Drive, Peter Jefferson Place (off Route 250 East at Pantops). 244-0234.

Come to Les Yeux du Monde to enjoy a reception for "Small Treasures," 5:30-7:30pm. 115 S. First St. 973-5566.

Sage Moon Gallery welcomes Elliott Twery at a reception for the opening of his show, 6-9pm. 420 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 977-9997.

Art Upstairs holds an artist's reception for painter Ray Wirth's "Distillations from Larger Landscapes." 5:30-9pm. 316 E. Main St., above The Hardware Store, on the Downtown Mall. 923-3900.

Nosh and sip at Transient Crafters to celebrate the arrival of "Horses: Drawings, Paintings, and Limited Editions by Milenko," 6-9pm. 118 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 972-9500.

The 5th Floor Gallery at Keller Williams celebrates its showing of the glass and metal sculpture of Bill Hess, landscape photography by Mary Withers, and oil cityscapes by Edward Thomas, with a reception, 5-7pm. Suite 500, Citizens Commonwealth Building (UVA Credit Union), 300 Preston Ave. 220-2200.

Mudhouse opens "Snowflakes," paintings by Christian Peri, with a fete from 6 to 8pm. W. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 984-6833.

The Gallery @ 5th & Water opens its exhibition of the Africa-inspired work of Gloria Mitchell, plus paintings by Lindsay Michie Eades. Join the artists at a reception, 5:30-8:30pm. 107 Water St. 979-9825.

Extraordinary ordinary: Exploring change through film

Three times during UVA art professor Kevin Everson's film Spicebush, the camera focuses on 10 rules. The first and third times they appear scrawled in multi-colored chalk on a schoolroom blackboard. But the second time, they turn up printed in black on a sterile white sheet of paper tacked to a corporate bulletin board. The sixth rule reads, "Accept change as inevitable."

Everson's interest in change and perpetuation, particularly in working-class African-American life, fuels his two films, Spicebush and Fifeville, scheduled to show at the University of Virginia on December 3. Photography professor William Wylie will also screen his short film, Grassland.

Although his previous shorts have won numerous awards, and he's made repeat appearances at the Sundance Film Festival, Spicebush is Everson's first feature-length film. Structured as 16 chapters, book-ended by a prologue and an epilogue, the film's narrative is nevertheless intermittent and secondary to the carefully composed montage of images.

Mixing 16mm film, videotape, old photographs, archival film, and vintage Hollywood clips, Everson contrasts repetitive adult labor– from brick manufacturing to truck driving to office-cubicle paperwork– with a child's free exploration of her world and grown-up dreams of a different life, represented by the unlikely hope a lottery ticket provides. Almost always the adult realm of responsibility is shot in black and white while the child's world, lottery footage, and fantasy images are saturated with color.

The inherent deceptiveness of photography and film is also central to Everson's artistic agenda. Spicebush may seem to be a documentary, but, in fact, Everson scripted and staged the story, fusing elements of reality with the overall fiction. (Note to those who saw the Virginia Film Festival screening: Everson has re-cut and considerably revised it.)

In Fifeville, Everson incorporates the usually hidden mechanics of filmmaking into the editing of the final piece. His students shot and recorded the project in collaboration with UVA religious studies professor Corey D.B. Walker. The 14-minute film revolves around Fifeville residents' "half-empty/half-full glass" attitudes regarding the neighborhood's current state of flux.

Taking advantage of his students' struggle to master sound synching, Everson includes footage of the clapperboard as a poetic, unifying device that conceptually combines the collage of interviews and images.

William Wylie's eight-minute Grassland takes a wholly different approach to the mundane. Wylie presents a quiet series of western landscapes that appear to be still photographs until the tiniest bits of motion– a bird flying through the frame here, clouds drifting there– reveal time's passage.

Both Everson's and Wylie's filmic visions expose the ever changing if often unnoticed richness of everyday lives and views.

Kevin Everson's Spicebush (70 min.) and Fifeville (14 min.) and William Wylie's Grassland (8 min.), along with several short student films made during the Virginia Film Festival's Adrenaline Film Project, show at 3pm December 3 in Campbell Hall 160. 924-6123. Fifeville also shows at 2pm on December 3 at Christ Episcopal Church, 100 Jefferson St. 293-2347.

Directional signals: All-points bulletins for holiday fun
Just a short distance down the road, families can wend their way through a variety of culturally inspired holiday experiences this month at some of our neighbor's museums.

A light shines in the east at the Science Museum of Virginia, where a holiday celebration of lights, "Joy from the World," brightens the whole museum.

Fir trees, festively adorned with reminders of Scotland, the Ukraine, Mexico, and other countries, decorate the atrium. Intricately handcrafted dolls representing actual and mythical characters from these and other countries star in an exhibit entitled "The Gift Bearers."

The museum's Carpenter Theatre Company presents "One Bad Camel," a play featuring a fussy Bactrian camel who gets himself into a fine mess as he travels the Silk Road from Chang'an and Samarkand. Enchantment even creeps into the planetarium with the holiday-inspired show "First Star I See Tonight."

Next door at the Children's Museum of Richmond, "Our Community, Our World in Celebration" explores the sights, sounds, and tastes of holiday traditions and customs followed by Central Virginia families. The interactive exhibit features six miniature houses decorated in the traditions of Hanukkah, Diwali, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Lunar New Year, Ramadan, and Eid. Young visitors have the chance to play games such as Dreidel and Mancala, hear stories, make Kwanzaa candles, dance the dragon dance, and more.

Folks can head south to get to the Far East as well, where Lynchburg's Amazement Square presents "Japan and Nature: Spirits of the Seasons." The exhibit at this aptly named children's museum offers a hands-on exploration of a variety of Japanese traditions through all four seasons. Christmas will be celebrated in Japan during a special ceremony on Sunday, December 4, 1-2pm.

During December, Lynchburg visitors can also wander over to the Kaleidoscope Gallery to learn about the winter holidays of Christmas, Hanukah, and Kwanzaa through hands-on activities and crafts.

And to our west, the Frontier Culture Museum celebrates the roots of local customs with "Holidays in History." The four historic farms are festively decorated for the season, and costumed interpreters talk about holiday traditions from historic England, Scotland/Ireland, Germany, and the Shenandoah Valley during self-guided tours. Special "Holiday Lantern Tours" are also offered in the evenings starting December 10. Interpreters present family vignettes, and visitors can share the holiday cheer.

Holiday activities and exhibits are included in the price of admission and are open at least through the end of the year unless otherwise noted. The Science Museum of Virginia is at 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 800-659-1727. The Children's Museum of Richmond is at 2626 W. Broad St. 804-474-7006. Amazement Square is on 8th St. in Lynchburg just off the first Rt. 29 exit. 434-845-1888. The Frontier Culture Museum is on Rt. 250 west in Staunton. 540-332-7850. Advance reservations are required for the Lantern Tours, which leave every 30 minutes from 5:30-8:30pm and cost $12 for adults, $8 for children.

Almost a Minyan: Sobel's art of being Jewish
Minyan, the new novel by Batesville resident Eliezer Sobel, is funny, sad, poignant, absurd, raucous, self-deprecating, compassionate, irreverent, meditative– and Jewish through and through. Its title refers to the rule that a holy gathering must involve no fewer than 10 Jewish men– a minyan.

As Sobel's narrator, Norbert Wilner, explains it, "Jesus said, 'Wherever two or more are gathered in my name, there will I be also.' The Jews never had it so easy. They had to gather ten or more before God would show up. Nine other shleppers in the room and what you say counts. Otherwise your deepest soul cry is considered idle chatter upstairs." (Sobel subtitles his book Ten Jewish Men in a World That Is Heartbroken.)

But in the book it's nine Jewish men, plus the one whose death these characters gather to mourn. Wilner's minyan barely squeaks by, then shrinks to eight. Through deaths and near-marriages, antics and memories, we see the world through the eyes of a character who early on tells us that his family's Holocaust horrors so deeply affected him that he was a paranoid baby and he "has been scared of everything ever since."

Sobel says his book took 20 years to write. Then he'll exaggerate and predict that his next will take another 52 years. He shouldn't worry; he has led a rich, productive, exploratory life– including three appearances in the Hook.

He started his quest as a hippie wannabe, journeying through ashrams and meditation centers, going on spiritual retreats and religious pilgrimages.

He led his own workshops and wrote Wild Heart Dancing, a book about releasing one's creativity. From that was born the Wild Heart Journal, which survived five years, featuring local luminaries like Asha Greer, Elaine Sutton, Trew Bennett, and John D'Earth alongside New Age notables like Bhagavan Dass and Natalie Goldberg.

The Minyan manuscript traveled through the hands of three agents and almost 30 editors (all of whom sent it back) before it came in as one of 400 submissions for the University of Tennessee Press's Peter Taylor Prize. Judge John Casey didn't know, Sobel chuckles, that he was choosing an admirer and geographical neighbor of the late Charlottesville writer.

Eliezer Sobel reads from Minyan at New Dominion Bookshop Saturday, December 4, at 4pm. 404 E. Main St. 295-2552.

Spicy sugar: Sedaris, Cratchit vie in Staunton
If, like me, you didn't have time or weren't willing to shell out the necessary dough to see David Sedaris in the flesh when he came to the Performing Arts Center in October, there's once more chance to bask in the brilliance of his writing before year's end.

Sedaris is the author of several hilarious books, mostly about his eccentric family and peculiar life, growing up and discovering his homosexuality in the conservative South. But he's perhaps best known for the monologues he offers from time to time on NPR's This American Life and other radio shows.

Like much of his work, The Santaland Diaries first came to life on National Public Radio, with a reading Sedaris gave in 1992 on Morning Edition. Employing that wry wit and the understated monotone that have become his trademarks, Sedaris simply (or so it seemed) talked about his life as an unemployed writer in New York City.

One Christmas, the story goes, he takes a job as an elf in Santaland at Macy's department store, where he has to choose an elf name and discovers how those Santas plopping kiddies on their laps aren't always what they seem to be. After being adapted for the stage by the Atlantic Theatre in 1996, this one-man show comes to Staunton and the elegant Blackfriars Playhouse with veteran John Harrell starring as "Crumpet the Elf."

Shenandoah Shakespeare bills the production as the anti-holiday show for grownups and has scheduled it parallel to a more traditional (and, arguably, sappier) yuletide classic: an adaptation of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol.

I don't mean to disparage Dickens. When critics call this holiday story about Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come "timeless," the word actually has some meaning. Who among us can't remember some rendition of it– even if it was Mickey Mouse who played Bob Cratchit?

Rest assured, Shenandoah Shakespeare's version won't be Walt Disney stuff. This Carol, the playbill tells us, is about imagination rather than illusion, and great acting as usual will be the key in suspending the whole family's disbelief.

But let's just say if you're looking for something edgy this holiday season, the Sedaris show is a better bet. Even Shenandoah Shakespeare's own artistic director, Jim Warren, seems to think so. And hey, in the end, the moral isn't much different.

"What makes Santaland so delicious an alternative to A Christmas Carol," Warren says, "is that underneath the cynical, sarcastic, and often biting, crusty surface of the Sedaris worldview lies the same cream-filling redemption Dickens cooks up for us: 'It's not too late.' "

Of course, he adds, "The Santaland dish is slathered in hot sauce and won't rot your teeth."

John Harrell stars in The Santaland Diaries, which opens at 7:30pm Friday, December 3, and runs through the month. A Christmas Carol opens Wednesday, December 8, with a 10:30am matinee. Other times vary. For a detailed schedule of performances, visit or call the box office. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. Santaland, $10-21; Carol, $14-26. 540-885-5588.

Bid like mad: Visit Paris– and benefit ASG!
The buzz has been growing for well over a decade, but the truth about Central Virginia mountain biking is finally out in the open. It's true: The Commonwealth has more than its share of challenging climbs, steep descents, and technical single-track, much of which can be found just a short drive from town. Riders have discovered more than a few local hidden gems that have attracted visitors from up and down the East Coast.

But there's a downside to all of this exposure: crowds who wear down trails, fill up parking lots, and strain the efforts of people who maintain the trails at local hotspots like Walnut Creek Park.

Fortunately for trail advocates and local mountain bike fans, help is on the way. This weekend, a Trail Care Crew sponsored by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) comes to Charlottesville "to talk trails and teach 'sustainable' trail-building."

Their job is to help locals develop trails that require minimal maintenance, thereby reducing future trail damage and helping to protect the environment. The visit is sponsored by the Charlottesville Area Mountain Bike Club (CAMBC).

"There's a lot involved in trail maintenance," says CAMBC's Sue George, "so it never hurts to know about the latest tools and techniques. The weekend will be a great opportunity for people interested in trail care to learn from the pros."

Events kick off Thursday night with a slide show at the Performance Bike Shop in Seminole Square. IMBA representatives present photos of their travels in the U.S., Italy, Wales, Australia, and discuss the association's programs. On Friday, the group leads an after-dark night ride at Panorama Farm.

From there, it's on to IMBA's trail-building school Saturday morning. Looking for an excuse to get your hands dirty? This is the place. Participants learn how to design trails, control water flow, perform trail maintenance, and build effective bridges&endash; all in the woods at Walnut Creek Park. The weekend ends with a group ride at the park.

"A lot of people don't realize it, but with limited County budgets, most of the trail maintenance work at Walnut Creek is done by volunteers," George says. "This weekend is a great way to meet people who care about trails and give something back."

All events free and open to the public, no experience necessary. If you can't make it this weekend but are interested in trail maintenance, CAMBC holds workdays about once a month. Visit for information and schedule. To register, email

Euro combo: Not the band next door

If Clare Fader and the Vaudevillains were a disease, they'd be Ebola. Not because of their ability to cause fever, vomiting, and internal and external bleeding, but rather because they are so utterly rare in a world where mundane colds proliferate– the cold being pretty much every folk/rock/pop group out there, all playing their stale sets, secretly aware that two towns over, a group at that moment is playing music distressingly similar to their own.

Clare Fader and friends stand out in their surface protein-studded glory: a group that sounds distinct from some others around, combining elements of a past long forgotten with slices of the present day– unique and precious, and thankfully not causing serious risks for our health.

Clare Fader and the Vaudevillains hail from North Carolina, but headwoman Fader was born in London, raised in Ireland, and called nowhere home for very long. Something of this nomadic existence can be heard in her singing voice– it's accented, vaguely European, but impossible to place. The group's sound is also nearly impossible to categorize, relying strongly on cabaret tunes from late '20s Berlin, but also picking up dashes of klezmer and modern-day pop. Tom Waits is a touchstone, but only partially.

Fader released her first album, The Elephant's Baby, under her name only, although over 40 musicians contributed to the album's lush sonic palette. The Vaudevillains, consisting of percussion, guitar, cello, and bass (Fader plays the accordion in addition to singing) were added to her name prior release of her second disc, late 2003's Seventh and Trade.

The album begins with "Catch of the Day," an original tune that drops listeners into Fader's lush world of foreign delicacies and past-tense glory. "What did you do with today? Where did you while it away? Out with the tomcats, sprawled on their fatbacks, digesting the catch of the day," Fader croons, relating a story of either cats or men, backed by accordion and tambourine for the first verse, then cello, percussion, and bass for the second.

"Only the Neighbors Know" is a suspense-filled tune of the mysterious nature of the people next door ("Whose mother is fearful of being alone? Only the neighbors know"), sung in a quiet emotional voice, with only the barest of instrumentation; slow picked electric guitar, winding cello, haunting marimba, and occasional bass notes provide the wide open-spaces that create the perfect atmosphere for the content.

Mixing anxious slow numbers with uproarious songs, Clare Fader and The Vaudevillains don't sound like your neighbor's garage band– unless your neighbor has a time machine and one of those Telepods from The Fly. Then and only then could he gather together the musicians who make up the group's sound, and combine them into one pulsating cabaret/pop/jazz/Latin musical concoction.

Clare Fader and the Vaudevillains perform with MarkRock at Gravity Lounge, December 8. $5, 7:30pm.