Cultural calendar, February 17-24, 2005


The HooK: Cultural calendar, February 17-24, 2005



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Holiday 36


THURSDAY, February 17
Tales for Tots:
The 5 and under crowd can hear some favorite picture book stories featuring monkey tales at Barnes & Noble's preschool story time. 10:30am. Free. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.

Black History Heroes: Northside Library tells the stories of the heroic men and women of the African Diaspora, their brave feats and contributions to humanity. 4pm. Free. Registration required. Albemarle Square. 973-7893.

Conflict Resolution: PREP/Parent Resource Center offers parents of special ed students help in understanding how to work with the system with a workshop called "Resolving Disagreements: Dispute Resolution in Special Education Complaints, Mediation, and Due Process" at the Albemarle Resource Center. Presenters are Jonnell Lilly and Patrick Andriano from the Virginia Department of Education. Refreshments served. 6-8pm. Free. Registration requested. 1200 Forest St. 975-9400, ext. 2342.

Monticello Wine Dinner:
Indulge in this five-course dinner in the Old Mill Room at the Boar's Head Inn featuring Monticello wines paired with the cuisine of Chef Douglas Knopp. 6pm. $80 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Call 972-2230 for reservations and more information.

Sparkly Seminar: Studio Baboo offers "Bead Stringing Basics" today 11am-1:30pm and 5:30-7:30pm. $25 includes materials. 106 Fifth St. SE. 244-2905.

Memory Medicine: Join the Alzheimer's Association of Central and Western Virginia as they explore practical suggestions on Alzheimer's treatment. 1-3pm in Room B at the Senior Center. No fee. 973-6122 or

Know Your Rights: On the third Thursday of every month, the UVA Women's Center offers 30-minute advising appointments with a lawyer, available to University faculty and staff and Charlottesville community members. 14th Street and University Ave. 7-9pm. 982-2902 or

No To Nuclear?: Join the People's Alliance for Clean Energy as they protest proposed nuclear reactors at Dominion Virginia Power's public hearing. 6pm at Louisa Middle School (a carpool will leave Charlottesville at 5). All are welcome. 409-6392 for more information.

Taming of the Shrew:
Long seen as the ultimate battle of the sexes, this robust comedy also illustrates how nonconformists can outwit society. Shenandoah Shakespeare blends romance and outlandish farce in this story of psychological liberation. 10:30am (school matinee). This performance is a school matinee. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $14-26. 540-885-5588. See Performance feature.

The Dazzle: Obsessive meets compulsive in this new Richard Greenberg play loosely based on New York's Collyer brothers and the 136 tons of uncontrolled clutter they filled their mansion with. A high stakes sibling rivalry in which zinging epigrams do battle with existential despair. 7:30pm. Live Arts UpStage, 123 E. Water St. $10. 977-4177.

Highway Child: Piedmont Virginia Community College presents this a modern fable incorporating American Indian mythology into a contemporary landscape, by Sean Harvey and Drew Bergman. A "heavily staged" reading. 7:30 pm. Maxwell Theatre (Black Box), PVCC. $8-10. 961-5376.

Tamer Tamed: John Fletcher's hilarious sequel to The Taming of the Shrew was written 20 years after Shakespeare's play. Petruchio marries a second wife, who seeks revenge on behalf of Kate (and browbeaten women everywhere) by denying her husband earthly pleasures– that recalls the sex strike in Aristophanes's Lysistrata. 7:30pm. Attend a pre-show lecture at 6pm. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. 7:30 pm (Pre-show lecture at 6. Chat with the cast after the show. $14-26) $14-26. 540-885-5588. See Performance feature.

The Ives Have It: Get out of the cold and into the mind of David Ives, whose clever collection of one-act comedies is sure to warm your spirit. All the skits, featuring young Manhattanites riding the highs and lows of life, boast the playwright's popular wit. UVA's Richard Warner directs. 8pm. Culbreth Theatre. $7-12.

Wind Blowing? UVA's improv group, the Whethermen, present shows today and tomorrow. 5pm. Admission TBA. Chemistry Auditorium, 409 McCormick Road.

Bold Belle:
Richmond native Mary Buford Hitz discusses her book, Never Ask Permission, which details how Hitz's Southern grande dame mother, Elizabeth Scott Bobcock (yes, think Scott Stadium), worked to restore and beautify Richmond's Fan District and portions of the Blue Ridge. 5:30pm. UVA's Miller Center for Public Affairs, 2201 Old Ivy Road. 924-7236.

Less Lewis, More Clark: Langdon Y. Jones, author of William Clark and the Shaping of the West, discusses the book at a meeting of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation 7:30pm. St. Paul's Church, Ivy. 296-5162.

Gráda at the Prism:
Contemporary Irish group Gráda includes Alan Doherty, solo flutist on the Lord of the Rings soundtrack. $18/$15, 8pm. $15 advance/$18 at the door or online.

Barling and Collins (cello-pop) at Atomic Burrito. No cover, 10:30pm.

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

Dance Music with 5 Star D.J. Express at Charlie's. No cover, 9pm.

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

Karaoke Night at Damon's Sports Bar. Free, 9-12am.

Chicken Head Blues Band at Dürty Nelly's. $5, 9pm.

Whole World Theatre (live improv comedy) followed by Reggae Sound System featuring Culture Biff and Iron Lion at Garden of Sheba. $8, 8pm/10pm.

Peter Markush (piano) at Gravity Lounge. Free, 12:30pm.

Mark Erelli w/ Jeff Romano at Gravity Lounge. $15/$10, 8pm.

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

Fletcher Bridge at Outback Lodge. $5, 10pm.

Gráda at the Prism. $18/$15, 8pm.

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.

Donna the Buffalo at Starr Hill. $16/$14, 8pm.

FRIDAY, February 18
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.

Taming of the Shrew:
See Thursday, February 17. Today's show 7:30pm. See Performance feature.

The Dazzle: See Thursday, February 17. Tonight's show 8pm.

Highway Child: See Thursday, February 17.

The Ives Have It: See Thursday, February 17.

Contra Dance: The Albemarle Chapter of the Country Dance & Song Society is back with its monthly contra dance, featuring live traditional music from The Morrison Brothers. Ann Fallon calls. 8-11pm. Free beginners workshop 7:30pm. $7; children under 12 free. or 973-4984.

Bell Weather: Grammy-Award winning violinist Joshua Bell returns with pianist Jeremy Denk to perform works by Brahms, Saint-Saëns, Janáèek, Bartok, and Wieniawski. 8pm. Paramount Theater, Downtown Mall. At press time, only $100 tickets were available. 979-1333.

Pathwork Workshop:
Learn to embrace your life during this weekend of meditation, Dharma talks, and reflective exercises at the Sevenoaks Pathwork Center. This three-day workshop for runs from 8pm Friday until 2pm Sunday. 540-948-6544 or for registration information.

Walker Talker: Marie Coles Baker presents Gertrude Woodruff Marlowe's A Right Worthy Grand Mission: Maggie Lena Walker and the Quest for Black Economic Development as part of the Friends of the Library's lunchtime "Books Sandwiched In" program. 12-1pm. Northside Library. Albemarle Square. 973-7893.

Life's Surprises: Joseph Blotner, WWII POW and biographer of William Faulkner and Robert Penn Warren, introduces his memoir, An Unexpected Life, at 5:30pm at the New Dominion Bookshop. 404 E. Main St. 295-2552.

Jack Williams House Concert:
Join South Carolina singer/songwriter Jack Williams, creator of the weekly theme for NPR's Car Talk, in an intimate setting. Limited to 40 people. Call 974-6702 before 9pm for more info. Suggested donation $10, 8pm.

Erin James and Laura Eve Engell at Rapunzel's: Debuting as solo artists, these gals have performed previously at Rapunzel's infamous Open Mic Night to audience acclaim. No cover, 8pm.

Pete and Lindsey Osborne (folk singers and songwriters, originals and covers) at Basic Necessities. No cover, 6:30pm.

Atomic Trio at Atomic Burrito. Free, 10:30pm.

Borderline at Charlie's. No cover, 9pm.

Barling & Collins at Fellini's No. 9. No cover, 10pm.

Morwena Lasko and Jan Punn at Garden of Sheba. $3, 8pm.

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

William Walter & Co. (acoustic rock) at Orbit. No cover, 10pm.

The Treatment, Fingerpainters, Crash Everlast, and The Sad Lives of the Hollywood Lovers at Outback Lodge. $7, 10pm.

SATURDAY, February 19
Wine & Cheese Weekend:
Learn all about cheese and wine while nibbling tasty treats from all over the world. 11am-4pm at Burnley Vineyards. $5 per person. 540-832-2828 or

Make Your Own: Studio Baboo offers a class in making fashion earrings. 10am-1pm. $35 includes materials. 106 Fifth St. SE. 244-2905.

Ice Action: The Virginia hockey team's last home game of the season is 5pm at the Downtown Ice Park. UVA students free, general public, $6.

Democratic Breakfast: Al Weed discusses his new initiative, "Public Policy Virginia," at the monthly Albemarle/Charlottesville Democratic Breakfast. 9:30am at the Jefferson Area Board for Aging, 674 Hillsdale Drive. No fee. The general public is welcome. or 971-8082.

Trail Race: Hit the trails of Foxhaven Farm during the Kinabalu 10k trail race. 8am. 293-7115 or for registration information.

Mountain Morning: Join a Wintergreen Nature Foundation naturalist for an interpretive hike through the mountains of Wintergreen. Moderate difficulty. $3 members, $5 non-members. 10am. 325-8169.

Wintergreen Lecture: Hear the history of Wintergreen from members of the original development team. 7pm at the Rockfish Valley Community Center. or 325-8169 for details.

Film Workshop: Learn all about video editing with iMovie and local pro Joe Babarsky at Light House Studio. 2-5pm. $75. Class space is limited. 293-6992 or for reservations.

Freestyle Demo Day: Come try out all the latest ski and snowboard equipment on the slopes at Wintergreen. 325-8054 or

Get It Together: Women rediscover the paradigm for creating success in business using intuition, synchronicity and inspiration. 2pm, no charge. Crozet Library. 989-3514.

Advanced Glassblowing Workshop- This four-hour workshop continues intro and hot glass classes. Space limited to three students (exceptions made for small groups signing up together). 8am-noon. $150. Corner of Lewis and Middlebrook streets in downtown Staunton, across from the train station. 540-885-0678.

Follow the man in the big yellow hat to Barnes & Noble to meet Curious George himself and hear some stories about that silly little monkey. Snacks served. 11:30am. Free. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.

Behind Closed Doors: Visitors ages 5 and up are invited to walk through the "Employees Only" door for a special peek at the inner workings of Maymont's new Nature Center. Children must be accompanied by a parent. Register the day of the program. 1pm. $5. 1700 Hampton St., Richmond. 804-358-7166, ext. 333.

Taming of the Shrew:
See Thursday, February 17. Today's show 7:30pm. See Performance feature.

The Dazzle: See Thursday, February 17. Tonight's show 8pm.

Highway Child: See Thursday, February 17.

Tamer Tamed: See Thursday, February 17. Today's show 2pm. See Performance feature.

The Ives Have It: See Thursday, February 17.

Drowned World: Piedmont Virginia Community College presents this original play by Gary Owen. 7:30pm Maxwell Theatre (Black Box). $6-10. 961-5376.

Crooked Still at the Prism:
Bluegrass, old-time, and contemporary folk inform this quartet of cello, banjo, bass, and vocals, playing a sound the Prism defines as "low lonesome." $15/$12, 8pm.

The Tye River Band at Rapunzel's: Pristine vocal harmonies and a blend of originals and twisted covers make the Saturday debut of the Tye River Band at Rapunzel's a must-see. $5, 8pm.

UVA Jazz Ensemble at Old Cabell Hall: Under the direction of trumpeter John D'earth, the Ensemble continues its run, featuring tenor saxophonists Bob Mintzer. $10/$5 students, 8pm. 924-3984

Ralph Rush at Scottsville's Victory Hall Theater: The monthly series continues with Ralph Rush, recently one of the featured performers on the Hooktown Blues CD. Area acoustic musicians can sign-up for one of the opening slots by calling 979-SONG. $4, 7:30pm.

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

Borderline at Charlie's. No cover, 9pm.

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

Osmatic (jazz, funk, fusion) at Garden of Sheba. $3, 9pm.

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

Robin Wynn with Mark Rock and Evan Esch at Kokopelli's Café in Crozet. $5, 8pm.

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

This Means You with Synthetic Nightmare at Outback Lodge. $6, 10pm.

The Hamiltons (soul-rock) at the Starr Hill Cocktail Lounge. Free, 9pm.

SUNDAY, February 20
Tricky Tales:
Storyteller and artist Ralph Schulz tells spider trickster tales at Central Library. The interactive program includes songs and the creation of original spider stories. 3pm. Free. 201 E. Market St. 979-7151, ext. 3.

Y'all Come: The Blue Ridge Barn Dance returns to the Greenwood Community Center with live music and lots of dancing. No partner necessary. Beginners welcome. 6:30pm. $6. Greenwood Road. (Rt. 691) near Crozet. 540-836-9445.

Highway Child:
See Thursday, February 17. Today's 2pm performance is the final show of the run.

Tamer Tamed: See Thursday, February 17. Today's 2pm show is signed. See Performance feature.

DanceFit: Get down. get funky, and get loose! Move to the live beat of drums for fun and fitness. Africian hip-hop, jazz funk led by Edna-Jakki Miller. Drumming by Darrell Rose. $7. 3:30-5pm. 609 E. Market St. Studio 10. dancefit! or 295-4774.

Drowned World: See Saturday, February 19.

Bring 'Em Back: Shenandoah Shakespeare Presents The Broken Heart by John Ford in this next installment of the Bring 'Em Back Alive series. Regional actors come together, scripts in hand, to perform lesser-known Renaissance works. Enjoy coffee and light refreshments with the actors at intermission. 7:30pm. Blackfriars Playhouse. Pay what you will. 540-885-5588

The Duke: The legendary Duke Ellington Orchestra comes to town led by Barrie Lee Hall Jr. A limited number of seats were still available at press time, so hop to it. 3pm. Paramount Theater, Downtown Mall. $23-29. 979-1333.

Raisin Audition: Live Arts holds 7pm auditions for its upcoming production of Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. With Momma to guide three generations of the Younger family, they shall overcome. Performances runs April-March. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. 977-4177.

Judging Juveniles:
The Central Virginia Secular Humanists present UVA clinical and developmental psychology prof Nicholas D. Reppucci talking about "Juvenile Justice: A Brief History & Some Current Issues." 1:30pm. Northside Library. Albemarle Square. 974-4582.

Wine & Cheese Weekend:
See Saturday, February 19. 11am-4pm at Burnley Vineyards. $5 per person. 540-832-2828 or

Pulling Strings: Mr. Mojo's Magikal Puppet Troupe comes to town– for adults only. Mr. Mojo says, "Inaugurate or liberate the slave revolt to the present day." Live music helps Mr. M. do his thing. $5 suggested donation, 8pm. Better Than Television, 106 Goodman St., A-3. 205-0872

Summer Opportunities Fair: Day camps, teen tours, academic programs, wilderness adventures, oh my! Over 40 different summer activities to investigate at St. Anne's-Belfield. 1-4pm. No fee. Open to all. 975-4711 or

Cabin Tours: In commemoration of Black History Month, Montpelier opens its newly restored freedman's cabin with guided tours and a Civil War encampment. 2pm. Included in regular admission, though reservations are required. 540-672-2728 or

Freestyle Demo Day: See Saturday, February 19. 325-8054 or

Gov't Mule at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Performing Arts Center:
Sounding like they come from a time when big rock stallions like Zeppelin and Black Sabbath ruled the earth, rockers Gov't Mule are touring around their new album, DÉJÀ VOODOO, out of ATO records. Melodic riff rock, with a Southern vibe, at its best. $25/$20, 8pm.

Karaoke with Tammy at Charlie's. No cover, 7pm.

Kait Dunton Trio with John D'Earth at Fellini's No. 9. No cover, 6pm.

Richelle Claiborne and Friends at Gravity Lounge. $5, 7pm.

Blue Ridge Barn Dance (no partner needed, beginners welcome) at the Greenwood Community Center off 250. No cover, 6:30-9:30pm. 540-836-9445.

Barling and Collins (cello-pop) at Miller's. No cover, 10:30pm.

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

MONDAY, February 21
Drumming for Peace:
On this President's Day, Drums No Guns presents "The Power of the Beat: The Legacy of Drumming" at the Children's Museum of Richmond. Children and adults are invited to take a journey from Africa to America through expressive music, dance, and poetry. Noon and 2pm. Included with the price of admission. 2626 W. Broad St. 877-295-CMOR.

Presidents' Chat:
Spend President's Day at Ash Lawn-Highland with the man himself, President James Monroe (portrayed by Dennis Bigelow). 1-4pm. 293-9539 or for more information.

Drowned World:
See Saturday, February 19.

Outspoken Students:
UVA's Undergraduate Reading Series presents Esther Brown and Jordon Dotson (poetry), and You Young Lee and Leigha McReynolds (fiction). 6:30pm. UVA Bookstore. 924-6675.

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

The Rusticators at the Biltmore. No cover, 10pm.

Pool Tournament at Charlie's. No cover, 7pm.

Open Mic night with Bennie Dodd at Charlie's. No cover, 9pm.

Benvolio at Gravity Lounge. $5, 7pm.

Lloyd Halverson Duo (acoustic) 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, February 22
Lends a Hand: Each Tuesday in February, photographer and documentary filmmaker Lon Holmberg invites shutterbugs to bring their photographs for discussion and tips. 4-5pm. Arts Center in Orange. Bring pictures. This program is free and is open to everyone. or 540-672-7311. 129 E. Main St., Orange.

Tucker Box Tour: Enjoy a guided tour of the current "Black & White & Red Ochre" show followed by lunch in the gallery. Bring your own lunch or order one for $7. 12:15-1:30pm. Reservations required. 400 Worrell Drive, Peter Jefferson Place, off Route 250 east at Pantops. 244-0234.

The Dazzle:
See Thursday, February 17.

Drowned World: See Saturday, February 19. Today's show 2:30pm.

Making It Up: Whole World Theatre, a successful improv comedy troupe offers their Improv Comedy Show at the Garden of Sheba every Thursday this month. 8-10pm. $8. Live reggae following show. 609 E. Market St. 466-9574 or

Discussion at the Depot:
Head out to the Crozet Library for a rousing discussion of the book A Right Worthy Grand Mission: Maggie Lena Walker and the Quest for Black Economic Empowerment. 7pm. Free and open to the public. Call 823-4050 for more information.

Exiles: The Virginia Film Society screens the rediscovered 1961 independent classic, The Exiles. The action in Kent Mackenzie's 1961 film that blurs the boundaries between documentary and drama, takes place over a 12-hour period and focuses on a group of Arizona Indians who spend an anguished, but apparently typical, evening fighting, gambling, and drinking in cars barreling down Los Angeles streets. $7.50. 7pm. Vinegar Hill Theatre, Market St.

Music in the Air:
The Youth Orchestra of Charlottesville-Albemarle presents a concerto concert featuring performances by the Youth Orchestra, Brass Ensemble, Saxophone Orchestra and performances by piano, flute, and violin competition winners. Carolyn Bancroft conducts. 7pm. Old Cabell Hall. 974-7776.

The Nature Boys Jazz Quartet
(Jason Lyman and Jaye Urgo on guitar, Lew Burrus on electric upright bass and Steve Urgo on drums– swing, hard bop, soul jazz and Latin) at Gravity Lounge. $5, 7pm.

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

Karaoke with Tammy at Charlie's. No cover, 9pm.

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

Tom Proutt (country-folk) at Fat Daddy's. No cover, 8:30-11pm.

Banty Rooster (bluegrass) at Miller's. $3, 9:30pm.

William Walter's Acoustic Trio (T.Rogers, H. Jones, W. Walter &endash; acoustic rock) at Orbit. No cover, 10pm.

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

WEDNESDAY, February 23
Author! Author!:
Aspiring authors need not wait to be discovered. Gordon Avenue Library invites writers ages 8 and up to make their own book, decorate the hardbound cover in their own style, then take it home and fill it with their own stories and drawings. 4pm. Free. Registration required. 1500 Gordon Ave. 296-5544.

More Tales for Tots: The 5 and under crowd can hear picture book stories featuring new releases and old favorites at Barnes & Noble's preschool story time. 10:30am. Free. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.

Swingin' Good Time:
Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats fly into town for a show that mixes acrobatics, traditional dance, spectacular costumes, and ancient and contemporary theatrical techniques to present a show of breathtaking skill and spellbinding beauty. Doors at 6pm, show 7pm. Martin Luther King Jr. Performing Arts Center at CHS. $7-9, children 12 and under; $15-20 adults. or 1-800-594-8499.

Taming of the Shrew: See Thursday, February 17. Today's show is a school matinee at 10:30am. See Performance feature.

The Dazzle: See Thursday, February 17. Tonight's show is at 8pm. Pay-what-you-will.

Seven Brides: "Goin' courting" has never been as much fun as it is in the musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Deep in the Oregon wilderness in the 1850s, Young Millie hatches a plan to marry off her six brothers-in-law, but it all backfires when the brothers kidnap their brides-to-be. 8pm. Paramount Theater, Downtown Mall. $39-48. 979-1333.

Dazzling Diamonds:
Studio Baboo offers a class in "dazzling diamonds bracelet." 10am-2pm. $35 includes materials. 106 Fifth St. SE. 244-2905.

World War I Redux: Jim Bond, president of the Charlottesville-based All-American Honor Guard, speaks at an Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society lecture. Bond, an expert on World War I trench warfare, discusses the experiences of American doughboys in France. 2pm in Room A at the Senior Center, Pepsi Place. Free. Open to the public. 974-7756.

Outdoor School: The National Outdoor Leadership School's vegetable-powered education program rolls into Charlottesville with outdoor skills demonstrations, alternative energy information, and more. 5-8pm in the parking lot in front of Blue Ridge Mountain Sports in the Barrack's Road Shopping Center. No fee. 977-4400.

Kotz Double Dose:
Pulitzer Prize winner Nick Kotz talks on, "Why Not Now? How Martin Luther King, Jr. and Lyndon Baines Johnson Changed America," at 11am at UVA's Miller Center of Public Affairs. 2201 Old Ivy Road. 924-7236. Later Kotz discusses and signs his new book, Judgment Days: Lyndon Baines Johnson, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Laws that Changed America, at 5:30pm at the New Dominion Bookshop. 404 E. Main St. 295-2552. See Words feature.

God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It. Book discussion group for the latest book by Jim Wallis, editor of Sojourners magazine. Wednesday nights. 7-8pm. C-ville Coffee, intersection of Harris St. and McIntire Road.

Man Mountain Jr. at Orbit:
Join the unbelievably funky Man Mountain Jr. for another evening of booty-shakin' fervor. No cover, 10:30pm.

Jim Waive Trio (country-folk) at Atomic Burrito. Free, 10:30pm.

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

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

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

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

Josh Mayo and Dane North at Fat Daddy's. No cover, 8:30-11pm.

Jimmie Dale Gilmore with Jan Smith at Gravity Lounge. $25/$20 advance, 7pm.

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

Stable Roots (reggae) at Outback Lodge. $5, 10pm.

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

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

Jimmy O at the South River Grill in Waynesboro. No cover, 7:30pm.

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

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

THURSDAY, February 24
More Tales for Tots:
See Wednesday, February 23.

Taming of the Shrew:
See Thursday, February 17. See Performance feature.

The Dazzle: See Thursday, February 17.

Literary Cure:
Monticello presents East Carolina prof Todd Savitt talking about "Fevers, Cures and Such: A Look Back at Slave Medicine." 4pm at Kenwood, just beyond Monticello on Route 53. 984-9822.

Interstate Poetry: Poets Greg Donovan, Laurie Kutchens, and David Wojahn inaugurate the "Route 64 Reading Series," a semi-annual presentation by writers located along, you guessed it, the I-64 corridor. 8pm. UVA Bookstore. 924-6675.

Poetry for Puss: Charlotte Matthews and nine other poets display their talents at Charlottesville's first Writer's Gallery reading to benefit Cat's Cradle, a feline rescue organization. Enjoy dessert and coffee after words are spoken. $8 advance; $10 at the door. 7:30 pm. Holiday Inn. 1901 Emmet St. 987-9500.

Hackensaw Boys and Gone Dead Train at Starr Hill:
The Hacks are back, all six of 'em, though with a line-up change– Tom Peloso (aka Pee Paw) has defected to join up with Modest Mouse. N.C. fiddler Fred Moyce takes his place. Come see Charlottesville's finest rip it up with their punk-laced bluegrass mayhem. $12/$10 advance, 8pm. See Tunes feature.

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

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

Karaoke Night at Damon's Sports Bar. Free, 9-12am.

Chicken Head Blues Band at Durty Nelly's. $5, 9pm.

Peter Markush (piano) at Gravity Lounge. Free, 12:30pm.

Susan Greenbaum with Julie Clark at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8pm.

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

Rocket Queen at Outback Lodge. $3, 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.

The Funktastic 5 at Station. No cover, 9pm.

Ongoing and Future
Knitting for Felting:
Stony Mountain Fibers offers a class February 26-27 to help with the winter doldrums. Using textured yarns, students will knit a small bag out of wool and novelty yarn and then felt it in the washing machine. Pre-registration required. $75 includes all supplies. 295-2008.

Spelunking: The Virginia Discovery Museum goes underground with its latest Back Gallery exhibit "Under the Earth: A Cave Exploration." Through May 22, young children can squeeze through tiny spaces to explore caves and critters from deep inside the earth. Included in the price of admission. East end of the Downtown Mall. 977-1025.

Get Moving: Move your body, free your mind, lift your spirits and have loads of fun at Dancefit Movement Center. Cardio Hip-Hop (Mon 5:30pm); Cardio-Flex (T/Th 5:30pm and Sat 12:30pm); Dancefit (T/Th 6:30pm and Sat 1:30pm); Yoga Being (T/Th 7:30pm and Sat 2:30pm) and Kids Dancefit (ages 3-7, Sat 10:30am; ages 8-12, Sat 11:30 am). Classes and coaching in pageantry, image & style, and modeling available. Beginner through advanced; no experience required. 609 E. Market St., Studio 110 (across from Market St. garage). 295-4774. or

Boning Up: Find out what you're really made of at the Science Museum of Virginia's new exhibit, Bones: An Exhibit Inside You. Visitors can examine bone biology, find out how proper diet and exercise keep bones healthy, explore how technology helps us "see" our bones, and learn the ways bones are used as tools, jewelry, art, and musical instruments in cultures around the world. Through May 1. Included in the price of admission. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 800-659-1727.

Write On: WHTJ's annual Reading Rainbow Young Writers & Illustrators Contest is now on. Authors and artists from kindergarten through third grade are encouraged to get creative with words and pictures and submit their stories for the prize. All contest participants, their friends, and families are invited to a celebration on Saturday, March 19 at the Jefferson Theater on the Downtown Mall, and every participant receives a certificate signed by Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton. Winners will read their stories aloud. Entry deadline is February 28. Entry forms and guidelines can be downloaded at 295-7671.

Dances of the Divine Feminine:
Instructor Kimberly Gladysz focuses each week on a different goddess from around the world. Drawing on yoga as well as Tahitian and West African dance, these workshops claim to inspire an awakening of "primal energies in a sacred circle." No experience necessary. Wednesdays, 7:30-8:30pm. Studio 206 Belmont. 960-1092 or

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.

Contra Dance: Monthly contra dances with live music held 8-11pm every second Saturday at the Dayton Learning Center, 90 Mill St. in Dayton, about 4 miles southwest of Harrisonburg off Route 257. Free beginner's workshop starts at 7:15pm. Alcohol-free, smoke-free. $5. Call Lisa McCumsey, 540-234-8379, or Mike Williams, 540-269-2035.

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

Ninja Yoga:
Toward a revolution of consciousness. Free yoga classes at 9:15am Thursdays. Bring a mat. Silent meditation 8am. Suitable for all levels of expertise. Free and open to the public at "Better than Television," 106 A3 Goodman St. 295-0872. Yoga classes also offered at the Downtown Library, Market St., at 5pm Thursday.

Glassy Classes: Among the weekend and weekday classes offered by the Glass Palette through March are kiln forming, fusing and slumping, glass jewelry with precious metal clay, and stained glass. Class sizes limited. Call 977-9009 to register, or visit the shop at 110 Fifth St. NE on the Downtown Mall.

City Garden: City residents who did not rent a plot in the Charlottesville City Garden last year may sign up for a new plot starting February 14. Garden plot rentals will be open to everyone beginning February 22. 970-3592.

Water Watchers: StreamWatch needs 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.

Fair Volunteers: The Albemarle County Fair is looking for volunteers, not only at fair time, but also for planning and promotions throughout the coming year. 293-6396.

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.

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.

Got Forgiveness?:
Len Worley invites those who have a personal account of forgiveness of self and others to share it as part of the Forgiveness Project. Anonymous voice-recorded interviews are being sought for the upcoming Psychology of Forgiveness Seminar, planned for early summer. 434-293-3271 or

Asian-American Poets Alert: Kundiman is now accepting applications for the 2005 Poetry Retreat, including workshops led by nationally renowned poets and one-on-one mentoring sessions. The retreat, especially for Asian-American poets, takes place at UVA July 13-17. To apply, send three copies of five to seven paginated and stapled pages of poetry, with your name on each page. Include name, address, phone number, email address, and a brief paragraph describing your goals for attending the retreat. Mail all, with SAS postcard if you want receipt acknowledged, to Kundiman, 245 Eighth Ave. #151, New York, NY 10011. Deadline 3/1/05.

Second Street Gallery offers two shows during February. "Attention Spans: Kinetic Sculpture by Andy Holtin" sets the main gallery in motion, while the Dové Gallery ripens with "Tomato Baby," a multi-media video environment created by high school students who participated in Light House's 2004 "Video as Art" workshop. 115 Second St. SE. 977-7284. See Art Feature.

In February, the McGuffey Art Center presents "Findings," paintings by Farida Hughes in the Main Gallery. On view in the downstairs hall: painter Randi Hvatum's oil exhibition "Along Shore," and Will Kerner's photographs of the village of L'Acul in Haiti. Upstairs, McGuffey and Second Street Gallery jointly present "Mapping a Day in the Life," 22 photographs by city school students who took part in a two-week workshop at UVA. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.

The University of Virginia Art Museum presents "Anastasi / Bradshaw / Cage / Cunningham," an exhibition exploring the relationships of the four artists during 1950-2004, on display through March 27. Also on view: "Corapeake," a visual documentary of the community of Corapeake, N.C., by photographer and filmmaker Kendall Messick, which runs through February 27, and "After Collage," a show of mixed-element work by contemporary artists, including John Baldessari, Katherine Porter, and Frank Stella, up through August 27. 155 Rugby Road. 924-3592.

Coinciding with the UVA show of their work, Bill Anastasi and Dove Bradshaw are the featured artists at Les Yuex du Monde during February. 115 S. First St. 973-5566.

UVA's McIntire Department of Art presents "Dwellings," an exhibition of works on paper by Dragana Crnjak, on view at the new Off Grounds Gallery through February 28. 300 W. Main St. 924-6123.

Artspace shows "Installations/Abstractions," new work by Paul C. Hitopoulos, on view through March 9 in UVA's Newcomb Hall.

The Satellite Ballroom features the photography of fifth-year UVA Aunspaugh Fellow Alice Bailey in February. Under and behind Michael's Bistro on the Corner. 1427 University Ave. 825-6914.

The UVA School of Architecture's Victor and Sono Elmaleh Gallery shows the landscape designs of Michael Van Valkenburgh and Associates through March 4. 982-2921.

The Main Street Market Galleria displays "dreams/experiences," paintings by Michal Mitchell through February. 416 W. Main St. 244-7800.

Transient Crafters presents the hand-painted pottery of Maggie Stultz in February. 118 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 972-9500.

New Dominion Book Shop displays "Familiar Views," new paintings by Richard Crozier, in February. 404 W. Main St. 295-2552.

Virginia Glenn presents an exhibition of her work jointly at Fellini's #9 and Reflections Salon during February. Fellini's #9, corner of Market and Second St. NW, 979-4279. Reflections Salon, 223 W. Main St., 962-7865.

Monticello hosts "Nathaniel Gibbs Paintings of African-American Life at Monticello" through February 25, in honor of African-American history month. 10am-4pm weekdays at Kenwood, Route 53, two miles beyond Monticello. 984-7500.

Hundreds of works by Albemarle County Public School students are on view at Fashion Square Mall through February 27. 972-4055.

During February, the Charlottesville Community Design Center presents "Postcards from the Field," an exhibition of work by the Frederick P. Rose Architectural Fellows. 101 E. Main St. 984-2232.

Kelly Lonergan displays "Places to Be/People to See," an exhibition of his paintings and mixed-media work, at Mudhouse during February. 213 W. Main St. 984-6833.

Take It Away features "Jazz at UVA," photographs by John Mason, through February. 115 Elliewood Ave. 924-6492.

Dorothy Siu-ling Chan displays her Chinese brush paintings on rice paper at the UVA Cancer Center through March 2. UVA Hospital. 924-4333.

Nurse Marissa Minnerly shows her oil paintings in the second-floor Martha Jefferson Hospital Surgery Lounge through February 28. 459 Locust Ave. 249-7723,

The Renaissance School presents a retrospective exhibition, "From Prague to Charlottesville," featuring the paintings of John Hetzel through February 28. 406 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 984-1952.

Nature Visionary Art displays the dark and mysterious paintings of Laurel Hausler through the end of March. 110 Fourth St. NE. 296-8482.

CODG's February show, "Color World," features the work of Jennifer Santos, Rob Grachus, and John Grachus. 112 E. Main St., under the Jefferson Theater. 242-4212.

The C&O Gallery offers "Discerning Focus," interpretive and abstract landscapes by Kelly Gravely Mattox, during February. 511 E. Water St. (next to the C&O Restaurant). 971-7044.

During February, Fusion displays "Twigs," paintings by Nancy Jane Dodge. 412 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 984-2819.

Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church offers Craig Spaulding's photography exhibition, " Dignity & Despair: Images of Iraq" through March 6. 717 Rugby Road. 293-8179.

The Charlottesville/Albemarle District of VSA Arts Virginia presents its Fifth Annual Visual Art show, featuring work by over 70 disabled artists through March 6. Martin Luther King Jr. Performing Arts Center. CHS. 970-3264 or 296-3518.

On February 23, Piedmont Virginia Community College opens painter Vidu Palta's "Cat and Mouse" and painter Nancy Galloway's "Poppy 1." After a reception March 5, the exhibitions hang through March 23. V. Earl Dickinson Building. 961-5203.

The 5th Floor Gallery at Keller Williams offers explorations of realism by painter Tom Tartaglino, paintings of Italy by Doris daSha, and photography by Candace Schoner. Ten percent of proceeds from artwork sold goes to Habitat for Humanity. Suite 500, Citizens Commonwealth Building (UVA Credit Union), 300 Preston Ave. 220-2200.

Through February, Angelo displays "Generous Nature," works in watercolor, oil, pencil, and collage by J. Scott Robinson. 220 E. Main St. 971-9256.

Kluge-Ruhe Collection of Aboriginal Art presents "Small Wonders: Aboriginal Art Miniatures," on view through April 16. "Black & White & Red Ochre" has been extended through February 26. 400 Worrell Drive, Peter Jefferson Place (off Route 250 East at Pantops). 244-0234..

For its February show, The Gallery @ 5th & Water offers the fruit pastels of Juliann Godine. 107 Fifth St. 979-9825.

Sage Moon Gallery presents "Ancestral Footsteps: Vision, Beauty, Courage, Life," works by Hoover Wantue Major, plus "Mother Nature Double Crossed," photography by Karla Berger through February. 420 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 977-9997.

New work 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 St., Court Square. 296-8484.

View Coy Roy's exhibition "Water, water, everywhere…" at Art Upstairs during February. 316 E. Main St., above The Hardware Store, on the Downtown Mall. 923-3900.

For February, Bozart Gallery features "Lowest Common Denominator," works in oil by Dave Bascom. 211 W. Main St. 296-3919.

Gravity Lounge presents "Reality Bites!," two consecutive shows of paintings by Lynn Jangochian during February and March. 103 S. First St. 977-5590.

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


During February, the Artisans Center of Virginia presents a show juried, created, and presented by junior and senior high school students who participated in the Shenandoah Valley Governor's School Visual Arts Program. 601 Shenandoah Drive. (Exit 94 off I-64), Waynesboro. 540-946-3294.

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

Washington and Lee University presents an exhibition of work by Anne Sherwood Pundyk. The show will be on display until June. Lexington. 540-458-8954.

Madison's Sevenoaks Pathwork Center displays the pastel and oil paintings of Janice Dunn Rosenberg through February 22. 403 Pathwork Way, Madison. 434-295-8315.

In celebration of African American History Month, The Arts Center in Orange presents "Ancestral Rhythms," paintings by Darrell Rose (yes, that Darrell Rose), plus "Brown vs. The Board of Education: The Orange County Experience," a documentary photography retrospective. 129 E. Main St., Orange. 540-672-7311.

Through February 28, Richmond's Rentz Gallery presents its "Small Works Invitational" of over 150 works. 1700 W. Main St. 804-358-5338.

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.

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.

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.


ArtinPlace invites entries for its annual Charlottesville in 2 Dimensions Art Show, "Views of Charlottesville," which will be on display at the McGuffey Art Center during March. Submit entries on February 26, 1-5pm, on the second floor of the McGuffey Art Center. $25 prizes for youth: $500 prize for adults. 979-5388.

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. $20 entry fee. Deadline February 19. 540-946-3294 or

Juicy: Vine art at SSG
You know Murphy's Law– if anything can go wrong, it will? Well, here's another truism I'm calling the SSG Law: if it's a short month, say February, Second Street Gallery will mount two dazzling exhibitions that come down almost as soon as they go up (corollary: SSG's two-month extravaganzas are inevitably more yawn-worthy than its shorter-run shows).

Cases in point: "Attention Spans: Kinetic Sculpture by Andy Holtin" and "Tomato Baby," a multimedia installation by high school students who participated in a Light House workshop. Both exhibitions are innovative, absorbing, and fun, and both are slated to end next week after an all-too-brief 22-day run.

In the Main Gallery, Holtin's mechanized sculptures defy conventional beauty, but their slow-moving metal parts, subtle cycles, amplified sounds, and illuminating spyglasses are nevertheless seductive. Unabashedly industrial– wires, bolts, and reels in plain view– Holtin's "Now, no…now, no…now, no…wait" provides a surprisingly sensual experience as the two metal-stripped arms bend down, one erasing what the other draws, after which each rises slowly, arching gracefully 10 feet into the air.

Although it's easy to get caught in a cycle of wandering from one Holtin sculpture to the next ("What's that one doing now?"), don't overlook "Tomato Baby" in the Dové Gallery. The installation– featuring two videos, ambient sound, and a soft-sculpture environment– is the collaborative effort of Ross Bollinger, Isabella Scott, Ryan Souder, Vanessa Stangil, Sophia Stoller, and Casey Wagner, all of whom participated in Light House's fall "Video as Art" workshop.

SSG director Leah Stoddard, who served as a workshop mentor, notes with amazement that the students seemed to be oblivious to the sexual connotations of tomatoes and to the fact that the fruit was once considered poisonous. Yet it's all in there.

One wall screens a large video loop of two hands pulverizing a tomato as the juice and seeds spill over the fingers. At the point of dissolution, a mirror loop in reverse fades in, with the hands now reaching up to reconstitute the tomato as red pulp drips from above. Below the image, a speaker provides accompanying squishes and splats.

But the piece de resistance of "Tomato Baby" is a short stop-action animation film, in which a tomato god (or devil) sends "tomato baby"– a plastic figure stuck in a Roma tomato– out in his milk-carton van to collect/kidnap all the ripe tomatoes. Fantastically imagined, skillfully shot and edited, and accompanied by hilarious accordion music, it's a small work of genius.

"Attention Spans: Kinetic Sculpture by Andy Holtin" and "Tomato Baby" are on view at Second Street Gallery through February 26, so run, don't walk, to see them. 115 Second St. SE. 977-7284.

Go deep: Museum takes kids down

Yes, the awesome vistas and tree-lined slopes of the Blue Ridge are spectacular, but those who care to go deeper will find an equally dramatic landscape under the ground. More than 4,000 caves, mostly carved out of limestone and dolostone, tunnel beneath 27 counties in western Virginia. A number of commercial operations, including Grand Caverns just north of Waynesboro, allow the public to probe beneath the surface without much trouble. Exploring wild caves, however, can be a daunting proposition.

The Virginia Discovery Museum offers less intrepid young adventurers an easy taste of the nether regions at its new rotating exhibit, "Under the Earth: A Cave Exploration." Stalactites and stalagmites have formed in the Back Gallery, offering wee ones a truly kid-style adventure.

It's safety first at the cave entrance where spelunkers don helmets and gloves, grab water bottles, compass, and three light sources, and sign in at the log book before popping into the fissure in the mountain. Just as in Grand Caverns, massive columns, beautiful stone draperies, rippling flowstone, and rare shield formations can be found in this cave, but my guess is all the fun is in climbing over pretend boulders, squirming through the exposed tunnels, or bouncing in the sinkhole/ball pit.

Glow worms can be found, if you know where to look (hint: crawl in and look up). Bats are a typical entrance-zone cave dweller, and explorers are challenged to find all 19 flying around inside this pseudo-subterranean playground.

Kids can stage a puppet show with salamanders, cave beetles, and spiders in the twilight zone (that's the part of the cave beyond the entrance where critters come and go, but mostly stay inside). Deeper down, in the dark zone, young speleologists can find the really wild life: crayfish, worms, fish, and other creatures that have adapted to the total darkness by becoming colorless and blind.

The magnet wall lets little ones form their own tunnels and caves in a maze game. Stamps, crayons, colored pencils, and paper are available for drawing the experience. Two electronic matching games challenge older explorers to connect the dots. And little geologists can dig out buried gems and identify them using clues mounted on the wall.

With lots of other interactive (and just plain active) displays, this exhibit goes underground in a very kid-friendly way.

Under the Earth: A Cave Exploration can be experienced at the Virginia Discovery Museum through May 22. The exhibit is included in the price of admission. East end of the Downtown Mall. 977-1025. Grand Caverns is open weekends through the end of March, seven days a week April 1-October 31. 1-888-430-CAVE.

Getting real: Baring nothing at Blackfriars

Authenticity is a curious fiction. We're crazy for it. We want everything from hamburgers to vote counts to "be real" and our friends and celebrities to "keep it real." We want our history to be true, too, even as we make it up to suit our self-image.

But who am I to complain when Shenandoah Shakespeare claims to have recaptured the Renaissance? The highly successful Staunton-based theater company has been wowing audiences at the Blackfriars Playhouse since it opened a few days after 9/11. Billed as a re-creation of the Elizabethan theater experience, Blackfriars is, if nothing else, a lovely place.

Officials unveiled their latest addition to the intimate playhouse last month: a fabulously painted stage front (or frons scenae, for you theater geeks). To the untrained among us, this new look seems at first glance to clash with the soft, earth-tone Blackfriars ambience we were used to. Artist Jeff Stockberger created a marbleized effect on parts of the old facade and painted the rest in "classic Italian style," supposedly popular in olde England.

S2 executive director Ralph Alan Cohen explains the update this way: "The Elizabethans never left wood bare. Unless we followed through with the painting of the frons scenae, the Blackfriars would not truly be an authentic space ... this was a necessary step."

If you say so, Ralph. I'm sure it will grow on us. As for authentic, well, who knows who the Elizabethans thought they were copying.

In any case, the A-word has become a recurring theme for Shenandoah Shakespeare, and it's reflected this season in the troupe's performances as much as its performance space. The new stage front appeared just in time for the opening of the bard's Taming of the Shrew and the lesser-known The Tamer Tamed, a hilarious sequel attributed to 17th-century playwright John Fletcher, a contemporary of Shakespeare's.

Both plays have been reworked as part of a project S2 calls the Actor's Renaissance Season. The idea is to "cut out the middlemen"– the pesky directors, designers, and long rehearsals typical in today's theater– and see what a bunch of actors working together on a script can come up with. The company says the project aims for a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants effect that better mimics how the King's Men operated.

You've heard this story before: Let the inmates run the asylum. And no two works might be more suited to test the theory. Shrew, often understood as the ultimate battle of the sexes, is just as much an illustration of how nonconformists can outwit society.

But in Fletcher's sequel, Shakespeare's shameless Petruchio meets his match with his second wife, who avenges the browbeaten Kate by denying her husband earthly pleasures, a situation that recalls the sex strike in Aristophanes's Lysistrata. Keep it real, S2.

Taming of the Shrew and The Tamer Tamed run in repertory through March along with King and No King, also part of the Actor's Renaissance Season. See the Hook's calendar for this week's show times or visit for more info. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $14-26. 540-885-5588.

Mary, Mary: Dig in and watch garden grow

The calendar's still claiming February, but– yippee!– it's getting dark a little later, the sun is shining more often, and temperatures have slowly been creeping up.

Yep, it's time to take stock of the garden and begin thinking about planting season.

Of course, gardening can be an intimidating subject for some of us, what with insects, watering, weeds. But thanks to the Piedmont Master Gardeners, even the most inexperienced gnome can march into spring with the know-how and confidence to tackle everything from anemones to zinnias.

On Wednesday, February 23, the group's 2005 education program sprouts with the first in a series of horticulture workshops in partnership with Virginia Cooperative Extension. Guest speaker Robert McDuffie, a horticulture guru from Virginia Tech, offers a lecture on the gardens of Italy that's meant to be inspirational, not intimidating.

This week is just the beginning. Each Wednesday in March, the genius gardeners host a different speaker, with topics ranging from tree care to urban wildlife to organic gardening.

"Every one of these speakers is an expert in their given field," says group spokesperson Joyce Grunewald, "and this is their passion. You won't find better information anywhere."

There are Master Gardener programs all over the country providing novice gardeners with "unbiased, research-based horticultural information." But Grunewald is quick to point out that the group is "not a garden club"– don't expect tips on flower arranging contests.

Their primary purpose is education. Need to know the best blueberry to grow in central Virginia, when to plant your acorn squash, or what on earth to do about the pine bark beetle? The Master Gardeners know, and that expertise will be directed to getting Charlottesville's gardens up and blooming.

The Piedmont Master Gardeners' 2005 Spring Garden Lecture Series happens every Wednesday in March at 7pm in Lane Auditorium at the County Office Building. $6 per session / $30 for the series. Registration and information, 872-4580 or

Texan tales: Kotz's King and Johnson
Following a national tragedy that stunned U.S. citizens, a president from Texas– thought by many to be crass, egotistical, and secretive– took advantage of the moment to reform federal laws before becoming mired in a costly and unpopular war half a world away.

No, I'm not talking about George W. Bush; I'm referring to Lyndon Baines Johnson. But that's where Bush's and Johnson's similarity ends. Whereas the events of 9/11 pushed Bush to restrict civil liberties via the Patriot Act and other means, LBJ used the years following John F. Kennedy's 1963 assassination to expand civil rights and to eliminate government-sanctioned discrimination.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and upcoming Miller Center speaker Nick Kotz revisits this critical and hopeful period in his new book, Judgment Days: Lyndon Baines Johnson, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Laws that Changed America. While un-spooling a dramatic dual narrative contrasting Johnson's actions in Washington with King's activism on the streets, Kotz deftly reveals the courageous and flawed personalities of the two principal players, who briefly danced a complicated pas de deux that had lasting consequences for America.

On the one hand, Kotz presents Johnson– the consummate wheeler-dealer, a former Senate leader of humble birth who aspired to surpass Franklin D. Roosevelt's record of social progress but feared he was disrespected and his efforts would go unrecognized.

On the other, the author gives us King, the educated and inspirational Washington outsider, who worried himself literally sick that he could not live up to the saintly mantel conferred by an adoring public.

Taking wicked advantage of both their weaknesses was J. Edgar Hoover, in the role of a 1960s Karl Rove, who instigated FBI-led whisper campaigns against King and sought to undermine Johnson and King's relationship. In fact, Kotz demonstrates, it was King's and Johnson's clashing views of the Vietnam War that ultimately unraveled their tentative partnership.

To prepare this engrossing, page-turning treatise (if that's not an oxymoron), Kotz pored over stacks of transcripts and tapes and conducted more than 200 interviews. Gifted with the benefit of hindsight, he teases out meaningful quotations, such as LBJ's remark on media-reported sex scandals: "Whether [a Senate official] had a girl or whether he didn't is not a matter of what is going to settle this country, but whether we have equality or justice is pretty damn important."

Given our current president's contentious social agenda, it's enlightening to re-examine when "justice for all" meant something concrete to a Texan president.

Nick Kotz speaks on "Why Not Now? How Martin Luther King Jr. and Lyndon Baines Johnson Changed America," at 11am Wednesday, February 23, at the Miller Center, 2201 Old Ivy Road. 924-7236. Kotz also discusses and signs his book at 5:30pm the same day at the New Dominion Bookshop. 404 E. Main St. 295-2552.

Hacks are back!: Back with the spoils of tour(ing)

If the punky bluegrass sextet the Hackensaw Boys were suddenly to blink out of existence, horrible victims of some temporal anomaly or time travel glitch, who would mourn at their empty graves?

Possibly the members of Cake, De La Soul, Cheap Trick, Modest Mouse, and others with whom the band performed during their stint as special guests on the Unlimited Sunshine tour 2002 and 2003. (Modest Mouse might be even more broken up, as the Hackensaws also toured with them twice including for their most recent hit album, Good News For People Who Love Bad News).

Perhaps others like The Flaming Lips and Neil Young and Crazy Horse, groups the Hacks performed with at the 2003 Bonnaroo festival. Perchance groups like the Walkmen, Camper Van Beethoven, the Violent Femmes, and the Del McCoury Band that the group has opened for lately. And I've not even mentioned the fans.

The Hackensaws began coalescing in the autumn of 1999, playing their signature high-octane blend of old-time and bluegrass with wanton abandon on Charlottesville streets. Moving indoors in the colder months was a necessity, and the now-defunct Blue Moon Diner became home for the act, where they picked up members and fans while honing their sound.

The boys released their lo-fi exuberance on a plastic disc Get Some in 2000, a mixture of traditional tunes and originals, and began touring like gentlemen with some sort of oxidation reaction below their posteriors in their 1964 GMC coach the "Dirty Bird." 2001 saw the band's first national tour as a 12-piece in that very coach, a situation that, due to the vehicle's size and lack of A/C, would probably described by those who enjoy fresh scents as "icky."

Returning to Charlottesville, the group recorded their 2002 release Keep It Simple, a collection of all original tunes which, unlike Get Some's single up-tempo purpose, matched the group's new rabble-rousing numbers with softer tunes. An article on the group in the influential College Music Journal sparked some buzz, which led to dramatically increased sales for the group's two albums, which led to opening with Cake, which led to a snowballing of shows, festival performances, and even touring in Europe in 2004.

And what, you may ask after 400 words, do the Hacks sound like? If you have Internet access, go to and find out for yourself. Both live concerts and samples of their albums appear for your cochlear pleasure.

If you're not wired, catch 'em live. The gang's blitzkrieg of shouting vocals, instrumental cacophonies, and great catchy songwriting lands on Starr Hill next Thursday.

Suffice to say, if the winds of change saw fit to end the Hackensaws' rocket ride to the top, whether through movie-means or a Skynyrd-style disaster, we would lose local luminaries who through gumption and opportunity have spread the joy to the world outside the Wal-Mart / Fontaine boundaries of our town.

They would be missed.

Hackensaw Boys and Gone Dead Train perform at Starr Hill, February 24. $12/$10 advance, 8pm.


100 2nd st nw . charlottesville va 22902 . 434.295.8700 . fax 434.295.8097 >> buy HooK schwag

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