Cultural calendar, March 10-17, 2005


The HooK: Cultural calendar, March 10-17, 2005



>> classifieds  >> personals  >> advertise  >> contacts  >> faq  >> archives 



Letters to the Editor
Rules / Send one now!
GoogleWeb Search
Hook site search by Google

Holiday 36


THURSDAY, March 10
Outsider Art:
The Arts Center in Orange opens a show of Outsider Art by over 49 national artists with a reception, 5-7pm today. The exhibition runs through April. 16149 E. Main St., Orange. 540-672-7311.

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

Bird Club:
The Monticello Bird Club meets for a slideshow by Thelma Dalmas featuring spring bird life and wildflowers in Virginia. 7:30pm. Meet in the Education Building at Ivy Creek Natural Area. Visitors welcome. 971-9271.

Don't cry, Charlottesville– one of Live Arts' most daring attempts at theater is hear. Evita, the classic musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber (with lyrics by Tim Rice), re-creates the life of that Argentinean demigoddess Eva Perón. 7:30pm. Live Arts DownStage, 123 E. Water St. $10-17. 977-4177.

Taming of the Shrew: Long seen as the ultimate battle of the sexes, this robust comedy is just as much an illustration of how nonconformists can outwit society. Shenandoah Shakespeare blends romance and outlandish farce to give us a story of psychological liberation. 7:30pm. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $14-26. 540-885-5588.

Open Mic Night at Kokopelli's Café:
Join those nice folks of Crozet for another of the their eclectic open mic nights- you never know what you'll get next. No cover, 6:30 signup/7pm music.

Travis Elliott at Atomic Burrito. Free, 10:30pm.

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

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

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

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

Vaden Cox at Gravity Lounge. Free, 8pm.

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

Chance Element at Outback Lodge. $5, 10pm.

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

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

William Walter and Tucker Rogers at the Starr Hill Cocktail Lounge. No cover, 10pm.

FRIDAY, March 11
Fine Arts Extravaganza:
Members of the Charlottesville High School Community Initiative sponsor a raffle, music, drama, and sale of food and art to benefit tsunami victims through Save the Children. Cilli Original Designs Gallery under the Jefferson Theater on the Downtown Mall. 5-10pm. Donations welcome. Info: or

Help the Royal Flying Doctor: Join local artist Steve Taylor at the Kluge-Ruhe Collection and help raise money to benefit the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), which provides health services to remote Aboriginal communities throughout Australia. Taylor will drive around the Australian bush in a vintage car as part of the RFDS 2005 Outback Trek. The evening includes raffle items, an auction, and more. 6-8pm. Reservations suggested. 244-0234.

Mountain Morning:
Join a Wintergreen Nature Foundation naturalist for an interpretive hike through the mountains of Wintergreen. Moderate difficulty. $3 members, $6 non-members. 10am. 325-7451.

Girls Read
: Barnes & Noble's new American Girl Book Club celebrates Women's History Month for girls ages 8-12. Tonight's discussion focuses on favorite American Girl characters and how life was different for each of them. Dolls welcome. 7pm. Free. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.

See Thursday, March 10. Tonight's performance is 8pm.

Not a Drag: Join host Kristina Kelly for a drag snow and dancing with DJ Frank Rivera at Club 216. Membership required (currently $30). Call for times.

Tamer Tamed: This is John Fletcher's hilarious sequel to The Taming of the Shrew, 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 &emdash; a reversal of roles that recalls the sex strike in Aristophanes's Lysistrata. 2pm. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $14-26. 540-885-5588.

1776: Join local actors with Four County Players as they relive the struggle for unanimity among the several colonies and poke fun at Mr. Adams in this witty musical on the crafting of the Declaration of Independence. 8pm. Barboursville Community Center, Barboursville. $10-14. 540-832-5355. See Performance feature.

Westminster Organ: The 25th anniversary season continues for the Westminster Organ Concert Series with works by Bach, Corelli, Handel and others with guest musicians from around the region. 8pm. Westminster Presbyterian Church, 190 Rugby Road. Free. 293-3133.

Double the Jazz: Legendary alto sax master David Sanborn joins pianist vocalist Patricia Barber for an evening concert. 8pm. Paramount Theater, Downtown Mall. $42-75. 979-1333.

Blue Ridge Irish Music benefit at Gravity Lounge:
The St. Patrick's Day festivities kick off with a benefit concert for the Blue Ridge Irish Music School, featuring traditional Irish Music, song and dance, and guests like local band Crooked Road (former members of The Ryegrass Rollers). $15 adults/$5 kids/$10 advance, 7pm.

One Slack Mind with Soul Sledge and Middle Ground at Outback Lodge: Like some kind of local Transformer, Soul Sledge is composed of interlocking parts. Another local supergroup, Soul Sledge is composed of the drummer from ThisMeansYou, the bassist from Navel, the guitarist from T.O.W., and features Richelle Claiborne on vocals. $6, 10pm.

David Sanborn and Patricia Barber at the Paramount: An outstanding one-two punch of jazz lamination from alto sax legend Sandborn and pianist Barber. From Springsteen to David Bowie, they've worked with the best. $48/$45/$42, 8pm. 979-1333

Dj's Boehling/Richmond at Atomic Burrito. Free, 10:30pm.

Pete and Lindsey Osborne (folk singer/songwriters) at Basic Necessities. No cover, 6:30pm.

Jerry Harmon at Kokopelli's Café. $8. 8pm.

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

Hasselhoff (med-school covers) at Orbit. No cover, 10pm.

Freeloader (rock n' roll) at Miller's. $3, 10:30pm.

Open Mic Night at Rapunzel's. No cover, 7:30pm.

Groove Nation with DJ RLS at R2 (Rapture). No cover, 10pm.

Guano Boys and American Dumpster at Starr Hill. No cover, 8pm.

SATURDAY, March 12
Bag It:
Children ages 6-12 are invited to make Silly Dilly Bags at the Kluge-Ruhe Collection. Inspired by art from down under, participants construct and decorate a colorful string bag. 1:30-3pm. Reservations required. 400 Worrell Drive, Peter Jefferson Place, Pantops. 244-0234.

Books and Barks:
Montessori Community School holds its 5th annual Scholastic Bookfair to benefit the school's library. The Bookfair also features a donation drive for dog food and other items for the local animal sanctuary Caring for Creatures. Demonstrations of Montessori educational materials, refreshments, door prizes, face painting, and other children's activities abound. 10am-3pm. 305 Rolkin Road, Pantops. 979-8886.

Books-a-Million: Jefferson-Madison Regional Library's annual Book Sale kicks off this weekend with children's, music, and academic books. Get in line early at Gordon Avenue Library for the best used book sale around. Benefits all the great free programming offered throughout the year at all JMRL branches. (This is a pre-sale of specialty items. Main sale happens March 19-28.) 9am-8pm. 1500 Gordon Ave. 296-5544.

The Sky is Falling:
Chicken Little will be joined by her friends from Aesop's Fables in a collection of puppet performances at the Old Michie Theatre. Author/comedian and improvisation actor Duncan Gale brings to life the classic tales of the Lion and the Mouse, the Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, and Chicken Little for some humorous, but timeless lessons. 11am, 2 and 4pm. $5. 221 E. Water St. 977-3690.

Down on the Farm: The whole family can learn about the exciting world of Virginia's farms at KidVention 2005. Lots of hands-on activities and door prizes. Free. PVCC. 977-1025.

Table Tennis Tournament:
The UVA Table Tennis Club hosts the largest ping-pong event in Virginia. Over 100 competitors and 18 tables of action. No fee. 10am at the Aquatic and Fitness Center. See Walkabout feature.

Basket Bingo: Compete for Longaberger baskets and raise money for the Ruckersville Volunteer Fire Department at the same time. 5pm at the fire company on Route 33 East. $20 for 20 games. 985-7433.

Hospital Run/Walk: Support Martha Jefferson Hospital's cancer and cardiac care centers at their ninth annual 8k run and 4k walk. 8am. Fees vary. 295-9153 for registration information.

Tracing the Past: Members discuss techniques for researching southern women at the monthly meeting of the Virginia Genealogical Association. 1:30pm at Northside Library. 973-7471 or

Trails Workday: Help the Rivanna Trails Foundation in its ongoing effort to build a trail network around Charlottesville, and get dirty in the process! 8:45am. 923-9022 or for details.

Wine 101: This class, led by Cardinal Point winemaker Tim Gorman, focuses on food pairing and understanding different varietals. 1pm. $40 per person. Full curriculum and details at 540-456-8400.

Grafting Workshop: Expand your garden and learn to graft plants like a pro at Vintage Virginia Apples. 10am-1pm at Rural Ridge Farm. $25. 297-2326 or to register.

Chef School: Spend a few hours in the kitchen at King Family Vineyards with Chef Alex Montiel and learn his culinary secrets. $50 fee includes class, wine, and lunch. 10am-12:30pm. 823-7800 or to register.

Starry Nights at Veritas: Enjoy live music, dancing, and wine at this Veritas Vineyards tradition. 6-10pm. Reservation accepted for tables, lawn always available if you like sitting in the snow. Fee. 540-456-8000 or

Luck of the Irish Weekend: Live Irish music, complimentary pea soup, and an all-around good time at Farfelu Vineyard. 11am-5pm. $5 per person. 540-364-2930 or

Film School: Create the next South Park! Learn the ins and outs of computer animation with Macromedia Flash and Guy Stables from Boxer Learning. 2-5pm at Lighthouse Studio. $75 fee. Open to everyone. 293-6992.

Paperweight Workshop: Staunton's Sunspots Studios offers a three-hour introduction to the basics and safe use of tools of the trade of glassblowing. Demonstration and hands-on help enable participants to create a colorful paperweight to take home. No experience necessary. Limited to four students. $85. 9am-noon. 202 S. Lewis St., Staunton. 540-885-8557 ext. 220.

See Thursday, March 10. Tonight's performance is 8pm.

Taming of the Shrew: See Thursday, March 10. Today's show is a 2pm matinee.

1776: See Friday, March 11, and Performance feature.

A King and No King: Written by Shakespeare groupies who dominated the theater scene in London after his retirement, A King and No King is a fantastical, dark comedy the bard could appreciate. Fairy-tale settings with triumphant and defeated kings, sensational plot twists, mistaken identities and (almost) accidental incest &emdash; it's all there in two hours' traffic. Opening night. 7:30pm. Attend a pre-show lecture at 6. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. Pay what you will. 540-885-5588.

The Charlottesville Vocal Arts Society at the Municipal Arts Center:
Numbers performed by duets to full choruses including the opening from Damn Yankees by Adler and Ross, "America" from Westside Story, "Before the Parade Passes By" from Hello Dolly, and others. $12.50/$10 seniors and students, 8pm.

Claude Bourbon at the Prism: An unsolicited CD later, the Prism has arranged for a show for singer/guitarist Claude Bourbon– indescribable by their fine estimation, brilliant by mine. $15/$12 advance, 8pm. See Tunes feature.

Patrick and Aaron Olwell and friends at Rapunzel's: This father and son duo are Nelson County's Celtic soul and intend to ring in St. Patrick's Day with a large combustion of some type. Find out what kind at Rapunzel's tonight! $5, 7:30pm.

Starry Nights with The StarCity Wildcats at Veritas Winery: Join Veritas for another of their Starry Nights evenings with rockabilly trio The StarCity Wildcats. Free, 7-11pm. 540-456-8000.

Dance all Night with DJ Frank Rivera at Club 216. Membership required (currently $30). Call for times.

The Elderly (punk) with The 40 Boys at Atomic Burrito. Free, 10:30pm.

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

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

Eli Cook's Red House Blues Band at Fellini's No. 9. $3, 10pm.

No Evil and Hooverville at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8pm.

Lockjaw at Kokopelli's Café. $5, 8pm.

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

Josh Mayo (acoustic pop) at Miller's. $3, 10:30pm.

Jubeus and Travis Elliott solo at Outback Lodge. $6, 10pm.

Smoove with Scotty B (aka Mountain Rasta) & Posterchild at R2 (Rapture). No cover, 10pm.

The Seldom Scene (bluegrass) at Starr Hill. $18/$15, 8pm.

SUNDAY, March 13
Tamer Tamed:
See Friday, March 11. Today's show is a 2pm matinee.

Evita: See Thursday, March 10. Today's performance is a 2pm matinee.

1776: See Friday, March 11, and Peformance feature. Today's show is at 2:30pm.

Holbrook as Twain: One of the longest-running shows in theater history brings a bit of history and a lot of wit to Charlottesville. Hal Holbrook stars in Mark Twain Tonight!, a remarkable one-man show he's been performing since 1954. Sadly, it's sold out. 8pm. Paramount Theater. $36-100. 977-1333.

Lattehouse VII: The Live Arts Teen Theatre Ensemble holds auditions tonight for its upcoming season. Perform your own stuff off the cuff and come ready to read from script submissions. The shows will run May 5-21. Audition 7-9pm. Live Arts UpStage, 123 E. Water St. 977-4177x100.

See Saturday, March 12.

Knit Night: Kids in grades 5-12 can learn to knit a scarf in just one day at a workshop at Northside Library. No experience needed. 2pm. Free. Registration required. Albemarle Square. 973-7893.

Newborns: Maymont celebrates its newest spring chickens and other critters at Barn Days. Visitors can meet and feed the baby ducks and lambs. Tram rides, activities, and entertainment, too. Fees for activities. Proceeds benefit Maymont's Adopt-A-Living Thing program to feed and care for the 750 animals that live at Maymont Park Children's Farm. Noon-4pm. 1700 Hampton St., Richmond. 804-358-7166.

St. Patrick's Day Dinner:
It's a real-deal Irish feast– old-fashioned corned beef, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, Irish soda breads, and more– at Shepherd of the Hills Catholic Church in Quinque. Route 633 off the 33W Bypass. 4:30-7pm. $8 adults, $5 children under 10. 985-3929.

Invasive Volunteers: Learn about the invasive plant species causing problems in central Virginia; then help remove some from the grounds of the Charlottesville Parks Department. 1pm. Outdoor Adventure Social Club. 760-HIKE or for info.

The Charlottesville Vocal Arts Society perform scenes and selections from classic musicals at the Municipal Arts Center:
See Saturday, March 12. $12.50/$10 seniors and students. 3pm.

Barling and Collins at Atomic Burrito. No cover, 10:30pm.

Kait Dunton Trio (jazz) with John D'Earth (on drums) and Pete Spaar (bass) at Fellini's #9. No cover, 10pm.

Elephant Minor at Gravity Lounge. $5, 7pm.

Greg Brown (singer/songwriter) at Kokopelli's Café. $3, 7-9pm.

Native American Flute Circle Meeting at Rapunzel's. Free, 1pm.

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

Freeloader (rock) at Starr Hill. No cover, 9:30pm.

MONDAY, March 14
Lattehouse VII:
See Sunday, March 13.

The Rusticators at the Biltmore:
What can we say about The Rusticators? Good songs, good sound, good time– check out the folk-rock duo every Monday at the Biltmore. No cover, 10pm.

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

Matthew Willner (loops and instruments) at Miller's. No cover, 10pm.

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

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

Paws To Ponder:
Caring For Creatures presents a free community lecture series designed to enhance your relationship with the animals in your life. 7pm. No fee (except for dinner, or course). Wild Greens Restaurant on Barracks Road. 591-6113 or

NAACP Meeting: The local chapter of the NAACP meets on the second Monday of each month. 7pm. Tonsler Park Community Center; Cherry Avenue near Fifth Street. 293-4044.

Women Voters: Hear from Jeff Warner of the Piedmont Environmental Council at the monthly meeting of the Fluvanna League of Women Voters. 4:30pm at the Public Safety Building on Route 53 in Palmyra. 589-6221.

All Aboard: The National Railway Historical Society - Rivanna Chapter convenes at Golden Corral on U.S. 29 for their monthly meeting. Steve Powell, Vice President and General Manager of Buckingham Branch Railroad is the speaker. Pay-as-you-go dinner/social at 6pm, followed by the program at 7. Visitors welcome.

Go Deep: SeaDevil Divers, a local scuba diving club serving Charlottesville-Albemarle and the UVA communities, meets at Rococo's Restaurant. This month's meeting features a slide show on diving Papua New Guinea with Andrew Snowhite. Everyone welcome. 6:30pm. 2001 Commonwealth Drive. 975-5570 or

TUESDAY, March 15
Civil War Round Table:
Join Civil War enthusiasts for an evening of historical discussion with noted authors and professors. 7:30pm at the UVA JAG School, North Grounds. Public welcome. 295-9463 or

Style Wars:
Albemarle Resource Center offers parents and others a glimpse into different learning styles and processes for working with each child's uniqueness. See Family feature.

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

Empower: Gay, bi, questioning young men ages 18-29 meet for American Idol Night. Good company, good food & sodas. 8-10pm, Club 216.

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

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

Richard Scott and Co. at Miller's. No cover, 9:30pm.

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

Justin Wolf/Jay Purdy at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar. No cover, 9pm.

See Thursday, March 10. Tonight's performance is 8pm. Pay what you will.

Taming of the Shrew: See Thursday, March 10. Today's show is a 10:30am school matinee.

We Knock upon Silence for an Answering Music:
Susan Hull, Charlotte Matthews, Kristen Rembold, and Peter Sheras read their poetic contributions to Tough Times Companion. 2pm. Gravity Lounge.

Living and Dancing: A poetry reading with Marie Howe and Ilya Kaminsky. 2pm. UVA Bookstore above the parking garage. Emmet Street.

Film Premiere and Discussion: View the documentary, Voices in Wartime, and join a discussion with poets Gregory Orr, Marie Howe, Ilya Kaminsky, and Roberta Culbertson. Moderated by Jeffrey Levine of Tupelo Press. Fee. 7pm.Vinegar Hill Theater.

The art of "Transparenting" is discussed in a parenting education program offered by Children, Youth, and Family Services. This educational seminar focuses on how to be an effective parent during a time of transition and to lessen the negative effect of divorce or parental separation on children. 4-8pm. $50. Registration required. Albemarle County Office Building. 296-4118, ext. 235.

All American Girl: Barnes & Noble hosts a Virginia Festival of the Book author event featuring American Girl author Catherine Gourley. 6pm. Free. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.

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

Madison Birthday Celebration:
Celebrate the day with a special ceremony and presentation by the U.S. Marine Corps at the Madison Family Cemetery at Montpelier. 1pm. Free admission. 540-672-2728 or

Democrat Discussions: Several candidates for Lt. Governor and Attorney General speak at the annual meeting of the Albemarle County Democratic Party. 6pm in the main auditorium of the Albemarle County Building, 401 McIntire Road. Open to the public. 973-8584.

Intro to Iyengar: This yoga style is excellent for beginners because it teaches a variety of different poses and works with the body's natural alignment. This Outdoor Adventure Social Club class offers individualized attention and a trained teacher. 6:30pm at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Charlottesville. $7 plus membership fee. or 760-HIKE.

Cello writer:
Cellist Steven Isserlis, author of Why Beethoven Threw the Stew, performs works by Bach, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky in conjunction with the Virginia Festival of the Book. 7:30pm. Paramount Theater, Downtown Mall. $10-30. 979-1333.

Small Town Workers with Travis Elliott at R2:
This is the second of a four-week residency for Small Town Workers at Charlottesville's new rock venue, R2. 18+, $3, 10pm.

Karaoke Night with Dave Harrington and Yellow Cab Karaoke at Damon's Sports Bar. Free, 9-1am.

Sarah White & The Pearls at Atomic Burrito. Free, 10:30pm.

Salsa night at Berkmar: Beginning and intermediate lessons offered from 8 to 9:15 p.m. Free, 8-10pm. 652 Rio Road W. 975-4611.

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.

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

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

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

Tarbox Ramblers at Gravity Lounge. No cover, 7pm.

Inner Space at Michael's Bistro. No cover, 10pm.

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.

Po-tato, Pot-a-to:
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a baked potato, winery tour, and tasting at First Colony Winery. Noon-5pm. $8, reservations recommended. 979-7105.

Helping Hands: The Sexual Abuse Resource Agency (SARA) sponsors an eight-week group for survivors of sexual assault, sexual abuse, and domestic violence. Pre-registration and pre-group meeting required. No fee. 5:30-7pm Thursdays through May at the SARA Offices, 1013 Little High St. Info: Pam Morgan at 295-7273.

Feds Confab: Brenda Walsh, Nurse supervisor for Hospice of the Piedmont, speaks at the monthly meeting of the National Active & Retired Federal Employees Chapter 135. 11:30am at Golden Corral on 29 North. 293-3170.

Salsa Night: Beginner's salsa class. 8pm. $6. Satellite Ballroom, 1427 University Ave. behind Michael's Bistro. (no tennis shoes) Info: Oscar 434-825-7115.

See Thursday, March 10.

A King and No King: See Saturday, March 12.

Far Away: There's a chill in the air at auntie's house, where Joan is sleeping over. From this simple start grows a sinister tale from Britain's master dramatist of the cautionary, Caryl Churchill. Sure to be among the most chilling nights you'll spend in a theater. Preview night. 8pm. Live Arts UpStage, 123 E. Water St. $10. 977-4177.

Sample Streetlight, Charlottesville's literary journal, by listening to readings by editors Susan Williamson, Sharon Leiter, Rod Schecter, and Jessica Myers. 2pm. Gravity Lounge.

What Do Men Want?: Hear stories of men on the move with Clint McCown, Brewster Milton Robertson, (Hook fiction winner) Eliezer Sobel, and Julian Mazor. 4pm. Barnes & Noble, Barracks Road Shopping Center.

Earth Rhythms: Goddesses, earth cycles, and incantations are the subjects of poems written and read by Lisa Russ Spaar and Stephen Cushman, with special performance by Annie Finch and Tim Seibles. 6pm. Prism Coffeehouse, Rugby Road.

Foster's Branch is Back!:
Head out to Crozet for another rollicking evening with Foster's Branch at Kokopelli's Café. Wear green, or Catherine will pinch you! $5, reservations recommended. 823-5645.

"Emergency Musical Theatre" featuring Stratton & friends at Atomic Burrito. Free, 10:30pm.

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

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

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

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

The Vulgar Bulgars and The Marzaks at Gravity Lounge. $5, 7pm.

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

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

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

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

Old Crow Medicine Show (bluegrass) at Starr Hill. $14/$12, 8pm.

Actors Lab:
Drop in at Live Arts every Saturday morning to sharpen your acting skills. 10-11am. Next full session runs March 19 to May 7. Rehearsal Room A, Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. $15 for drop-ins; $200 for the eight-week session. 977-4177x100.

Improv Lab: Alums of the Teen Acting Studio improv class at Live Arts are invited to build their skills in this workshop, which runs Sundays, March 13 to April 24 (but no class March 27). 1-3pm. Rehearsal Room A, Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. $75-90 for the session. 977-4177x100.

Play-Reading Series: Walk through the essential plays of theater history. Meets every third Sunday of the month. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. Free. 977-4177x100.

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.

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.

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

Shine On: Camp Holiday Trails offers Shine, a new group for siblings of children with special needs. Kids get together once a month to participate in traditional camp activities and get support from one another. First group meets April 19, 4-7pm at Camp Holiday Trails, off Fontaine Avenue. $30 for three-month program. For info packet, call 977-3781.

Artists Wanted: Teens in grades 6-12 can show their artistic skill throughout the month of March in the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library's tenth annual Logo Contest in preparation for Cheap Thrills, the Library's summer reading program for teens. Deadline for submission is March 26 to submit an original design to any library branch. Contest forms are now available at all JMRL branches. Winners receive gift certificates to Michael's Arts and Crafts Store, with the first place entry appearing on the front of the Cheap Thrills promotional brochure this summer. 434-979-7151, ext. 215.

Read Across America: Crozet Library wants folks to travel across the country by book. Readers can choose a book set in their favorite state (there's a list available). Those who complete the trip by the end of March can add their state to the Read Across America map and get a prize. In the old train station on Three Notch'd Road. 823-4050.

Deconstruct This:
The Habitat Store seeks volunteers to help staff the retail store and to participate in a new deconstruction program. All proceeds from the Habitat Store benefit Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Charlottesville Area. Info: Daniel @ 293-6331.

Acupuncture and you: How does acupuncture help you, your symptoms, your issues? First Tuesday of every month. Free. 7-8pm. 1110 Rose Hill Drive, Suite 100. Reservations requested. 962-2770.

Nature Spirit: Spending too much time indoors under florescent lighting? Discover the spiritual side of Nature with NatureSpirit. Explore different earth-centered traditions of spirituality, meet friends, and find meaningful new ways to connect with Nature in your busy life. Meets the first Sunday of every month at Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church. 6:30pm., 243-6421, 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.

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.

Second Street Gallery features two shows through April 16: "Thread Through the Crowd: Stitched Drawings and Collages by Darrel Morris" provides fiber for the art diet in the main gallery; and "Skin the Rabbit: A Mixed Media Installation by Lucy O'Connell" reflects childhood memories in the Dové Gallery. 115 Second St. SE. 977-7284.

During March, the McGuffey Art Center presents "Order and Character," botanical watercolors and ink drawings by Lara Call Gastinger in the main gallery. On view in the first-floor hall gallery: Judy McLeod's "Espacios Dorados," a collection of ornate mixed-media interiors, plus painter Jean R. Sampson's creations of order from chaos, entitled "Breakthrough." Upstairs, enjoy an annual fix of hometown perspectives with "C2D-2005: Charlottesville in 2D, Views of the City." 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973. See Art feature,

On March 12, the University of Virginia Art Museum opens "Lincoln Perry: Mining the Collection," an exhibition about artistic influence curated by painter Lincoln Perry (but not featuring his paintings). The museum also whoops it up with "Punch Line: Six Centuries of the Comic and the Grotesque in Prints, Drawings, and Photographs from the Collection," which will run through April 30. In addition, the museum features "Anastasi / Bradshaw / Cage / Cunningham," a major exhibition exploring the collaborative relationships of the four artists from the years 1950-2004. The show is on display through March 27. Also on view: "After Collage," a show of mixed-element work by contemporary artists, including John Baldessari, Katherine Porter, and Frank Stella, which continues through August 27. 155 Rugby Road. 924-3592.

Les Yeux du Monde features "Natural Histories: Egypt and Amazonia," paintings by UVA art professor Elizabeth Schoyer, on view through March 26. 115 S. First St. 973-5566.

The University of Virginia McIntire Department of Art presents "Colonies and Cultures: New Work by Christina Nguyen Hung," an exhibition of digital prints of sociopolitical maps created via living bacterial colonies (yes!), on view at the new Off Grounds Gallery through February 28. 300 W. Main St. (entrance is on Ridge St.) 924-6123.

The Gallery@Studio 302 inaugurates its space with "Travel Details," photographs by Eric Norcross, and "Paintings" by Edward Thomas. 300 W. Main St. (above the UVA Off Grounds Studio). 924-5405.

The Main Street Market Galleria displays "Basics," paintings by Doris deSha through the end of March. 416 W. Main St. 244-7800.

Transient Crafters presents the handcrafted jewelry of Tavia Brown during March. 118 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 972-9500.

New Dominion Bookshop features Nancy Campa's painting exhibition, "Then and Now," on its mezzanine during March. 404 W. Main St. 295-2552.

If you like what you see at McGuffey, wander down to Fellini's #9 and enjoy more paintings by Jean R. Sampson through March. Corner of Market and Second St. NW. 979-4279.

During March, The Charlottesville Community Design Center presents an exhibition of entrants in the C2C Home design and construction competition, which address specific sites in Roanoke using "Cradle to Cradle" concepts. 101 E. Main St. 984-2232.

Chris Mason displays new work at Mudhouse during February. 213 W. Main St. 984-6833.

Slated to coincide with the Virginia Festival of the Book, Nature Visionary Art displays Terri Long's "Festival of the Altered Book" through the end of March. 110 Fourth St. NE. 296-8482.

CODG's March show, "New Works," features the paintings of Leslie Allyn. 112 E. Main St., under the Jefferson Theater. 242-4212.

The C&O Gallery offers "Recent Work," flower paintings and lush still lifes by Jessie Coles during March. 511 E. Water St. (next to the C&O Restaurant). 971-7044.

On March 13, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church opens a show of landscapes by Isabell Ramsey's Bake Butler Elementary School students. Reception at noon. 717 Rugby Road. 977-5411.

Piedmont Virginia Community College features painter Vidu Palta's "Cat and Mouse" and painter Nancy Galloway's "Poppy 1" through March 23. V. Earl Dickinson Building. 961-5203.

The 5th Floor Gallery at Keller Williams is currently showing 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 April, Angelo displays recent works in oils by Stanley Woodward. 220 E. Main St. 971-9256.

The Kluge-Ruhe Collection of Aboriginal Art features "Fibre Optics: Woven Work in Aboriginal Art." Also on view: "Small Wonders: Aboriginal Art Miniatures," which runs through April 16. 400 Worrell Drive, Peter Jefferson Place (off Route 250 East at Pantops). 244-0234..

For its March show, The Gallery @ 5th & Water displays the rich local landscapes of Meg West. 107 Fifth St. 979-9825.

For the month of March, Sage Moon Gallery presents Milenko Katic's equine drawings and paintings in charcoal and pastel, plus Al Francis' stone sculptures. 420 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 977-9997.

During March, Industry features "Distant Testimonies," acrylic paintings by favorite local art maverick Monty Montgomery. 112 Second St. NE. 293-3338.

Through April, the Central Virginia Watercolor Guild presents over 50 watercolors by Central Virginia artists in the basement and on the first floor of the Albemarle County Courthouse. 501 E. Jefferson Court Square. 296-8484.

View photographer Mary Jane Freligh's exhibition of black and white photography entitled "Mixed Subjects" at Art Upstairs during March. 316 E. Main St., above The Hardware Store, on the Downtown Mall. 923-3900.

The Laughing Lion Gallery offers a March show of Terrence Pratt's graphite on paper works entitled, "Portraits of Dancers." 103 E. Water St. (above Londons). 984-4000.

Bozart Gallery's March show features "Breaking Patterns," a show of abstract mixed-media works by Ucky Light. 211 W. Main St. 296-3919.

Gravity Lounge presents "Reality Bites!," paintings by Lynn Jangochian through March 31. 103 South First St. 977-5590.

During March, Better than Television presents "Kids Art Show," featuring work by local children aged 12 and under. Tuesdays and Sundays, 4-9pm. 106 Goodman St., Apt. A3 (near Spudnuts). 295-0872.

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.


On March 17, the Artisans Center of Virginia opens its "Artisans Members Exhibition," which runs through April 27. Also on view during March: "Gifts from Nature," a display of willow furniture created by Dani Cage. 601 Shenandoah Drive (Exit 94 off I-64), Waynesboro. 540-946-3294.

Through May 1, Barboursville's Nichols Gallery features "Three Views," landscape paintings by Ron Boehmer, Lindsay Nolting, and Priscilla Whitlock. 540-832-3565.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts displays "Selections: 20th Century Latin American Art in the VMFA Collection" through April 17. 200 N. Broad St., Richmond. 804-340-1400.

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

Madison's Sevenoaks Pathwork Center features "Arising from the Unconscious," watercolors by Alegria Barbara Strauss. The show runs through April 23. 403 Pathwork Way, Madison. 434-295-8315.

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 West 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.


The University of Virginia Art Museum's Volunteer Board invites area gardeners of all ages to create flower arrangements inspired by works in the museum for display in the annual "Flowers Interpret Art" exhibition, scheduled for April 20, 10am-5pm. To learn more about the program and to sign up, call Virginia Paul, at 974-6029.

The Scottsville Council for the Arts invites regional photographers to participate in its Photography Show, scheduled to run April 30-May 15. An application form is available at the Council website: Works should be submitted Sunday, April 24, 2-5pm in person at the Victory Hall Theatre, 401 Valley St. in Scottsville. For more information, contact Chris Hogger at or 434-286-3179.

The University of Virginia Art Museum announces "Summer Arts @ the Ix," its creative programs for 4th-12th grade students. First session: July 18-22. Second Session: July 25-29. Students' art will be displayed August 16-24. Tuition: $220 for members; $255 for nonmembers. A limited number of full scholarships are available for students with financial needs. Info: Lili Grabbi, 434-243-6830, or

Laid bare: Gastinger goes au naturel
Looking at the wall of Lara Call Gastinger's precise pen-and-ink plant illustrations, currently on view at the McGuffey Art Center, a rush of jealousy washed over me.

"Where did that come from?" I wondered. Suddenly, there he was in my mind, wearing his ever-present white lab coat and spitting tobacco juice into an empty Coke bottle: Mr. Bond, my tenth-grade biology teacher.

Mr. Bond was notorious for slicing and dicing students with sarcasm, and he was all about the lab report. Post-experiment write-ups had to follow a prescribed order: hypothesis, materials, procedure, illustrations, results, and conclusions. And you couldn't just pencil in the illustrations willy-nilly. No, their black-penned lines had to be clean and exact, and their shading had to be meticulously stippled.

No doubt, Gastinger would have been Mr. Bond's class pet.

My inner 15-year-old's sneering envy aside, Gastinger's drawings, which she created to illustrate the field guide Flora of Virginia, are lovely in a no-frills way. Their spare lines and skilled stippling (argh!) point to Gastinger's practiced sure hand. Nevertheless, these black-on-white pieces feel antiseptic (not unlike a lab report) and seem disassociated from the living plants they represent.

Not so Gastinger's watercolors, which fill the rest of McGuffey's main gallery. Reminiscent of 19th century botanical drawings, Gastinger's images initially appear to be simply pretty illustrations. Upon closer examination, however, they reveal the artist's subtle flair for drama and sense of humor. Gastinger seems to revel in disclosing what's literally below the surface, exactly rendering the hairy, mud-caked root balls and warty tubers that sprout the frilly greenery we ooh and ahh over above ground.

In "Beta Vulgaris, Swiss Chard," a whisker-branched, purplish-brown knobby root curves upward like a misshapen horn of plenty, spewing overlapping brown husks from its mouth. Out of these husks shoot luridly red stems that lead upward to rosy-veined crinkling and curling green leaves. One large leaf bends to the right, creating a sinuous "s" from the root across the page. Although Gastinger's finely controlled brush accurately depicts her specimen, still there is something titillating and vulgar about this painting, perhaps inspired by the plant's Latin name.

Gastinger creates a different mood with "Winter." Here a few brittle vines and thorny twigs form an off-center composition that practically sighs with bare-bones desolation. Her ability to imbue her painstaking illustrations with this undercurrent of theatricality is the artistry in Gastinger's work.

She would have rocked Mr. Bond's world.

Lara Call Gastinger's exhibition "Order and Character" is on display at the McGuffey Art Center through March 27. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.

Different drummer: Parents learn how kids learn

One of my kids has a lot of trouble getting information by reading about it. He does very well in social studies classes where teachers tell the stories of important world leaders and historical events, but he struggles when he's asked to sit down and read 20 pages of The Catcher in the Rye.

As we discovered while listening to The Great Gatsby on tape during a long car ride, however, if he listens to an audio reading of a novel, he's right in there with the conversation. It turns out my son is an auditory learner. Recognizing distinctions in learning styles– not necessarily learning disabilities– can make a big difference in a child's success in school.

Helping kids be more successful scholars is what the Parent Resource Center is all about. PRC is a program of the Piedmont Regional Education Program (PREP) whose job it is to provide special education and related services to schools in the area.

On Tuesday, March 15, the Center offers parents and others a glimpse into how kids learn with a free public program about learning styles. The event features a 20-minute video from the Developing Minds series by Dr. Mel Levine, a pediatrician and nationally known expert in childhood learning.

Taking advantage of recent scientific findings from brain research, Levine asserts that all people are, neurologically speaking, wired differently. While my son, may favor a more auditory pathway, some individuals are especially visual in the way they take in and process new information. Still others may need a more hands-on approach.

There's nothing better or worse about these differences, but it's helpful for parents and educators to understand a student's strengths and weaknesses so they can guide the child into more advantageous learning activities.

Ideas raised in the film will be discussed by clinical psychologist and UVA professor Julia Blodgett, school psychologist Karen Ferrer, and psychology intern Andrea Esperat. These local experts talk about strategies for identifying developmental strengths and weaknesses and interventions that work to strengthen a child's functioning. Participants are welcome to bring their own questions into the discussion, too.

While the services of PRC are generally directed toward parents of children in special education in the public schools, they recognize that parents are a valuable resource in planning the education of every child. This program, therefore, is open to all parents.

"Developing Minds: Parent Strategies" will be shown and discussed on Tuesday, March 15, 7-9pm at the Albemarle Resource Center at Murray High School, 1200 Forest St. The program is free. For registration and information, call Sarah Blech at 975-9400, ext. 2342.

Paddlemania: Pings & pongs fill the weekend
Unlike paper football and lawn bowling, table tennis is one of those rare miniaturized sports that can be just as exciting as its full-sized sibling.

Sure, "Ping-Pong" has something of a church basement image here in the U.S., but table tennis is serious business in most other parts of the world, with high-level leagues, development camps, and all the trappings of professional sports. After all, the game has been an Olympic event since 1988, and is the second-most played sport in the world.

Here in Charlottesville, our link to the wide world of competitive Ping-Pong is the UVA Table Tennis Club, a 30-year-old organization coached by top-25 player Sean O'Neill. While most of their activities are relegated to regular practices and workouts, this weekend the club is emerging from Slaughter Hall to host "the largest table tennis event in the state of Virginia," the Stiga Virginia Open Tournament.

It's a USATT-sanctioned event, meaning it will attract competitive paddlers from up and down the Mid-Atlantic, with over $500 in prize money and 18 tables of table tennis action. Around 100 top amateurs from all over the region will be here, as well as some professionals (yes, they earn money playing table tennis!) hoping to work their way up the USATT rankings. In the world of competitive table tennis, this is the real deal.

"It's attracting high quality competition, including many from outside the usual college scene," says club president Martin Del Vecchio. "We'd definitely love to have people come out and watch. There should be some good matches, especially with some of the top-ranked players we have coming."

Spectators will be treated to a wide variety of play, starting with the amateur match rounds at 10am and going all the way up to the ranked open singles competitions at 1. Overall, it should be a great chance to experience the thrill of Olympic-style table tennis up close and personal.

Among the participants will be Charlottesville's own Sean O'Neill, a five-time national champion and two-time Olympian, and several other top-ranked American players. World-class table tennis, free of charge, and right here in Charlottesville? Now that's entertainment.

The Stiga Virginia Open table tennis tournament will be held Saturday, March 12, beginning at 10am (though the top players won't start until 1pm) at the Aquatic and Fitness Center, 450 Whitehead Road. Admission is free for spectators all day. For more information, visit the tournament web site at or call Martin Del Vecchio at 703-798-7206.

Founders' foibles: 1776 pokes fun at icons
When a friend of mine (who shall remain nameless) noticed I was writing about the musical 1776, she asked me, "Oh, is that the one about Christopher Columbus?"

This might tell us something about the sad state of history education in the United States, but I prefer to think otherwise, especially since my friend was an accomplished history major. I'll excuse the blunder instead and mention that she happened to be bleary-eyed and a bit disoriented when she crafted such a shrewd sentence.

And we'll let the matter lie there.

As for the play, which is coming to Barboursville this week thanks to Four County Players, it's not bad for a quick history lesson. An oldie but goodie, 1776 rethinks the birth of this country with sophistication and wit. It's clever, the songs are catchy, and the story is more or less accurate. Short of that, the show never would have survived 1,200 performances after landing on Broadway in 1969.

I first saw 1776 at a cozy dinner theater where my uncle played a most impartial John Hancock, who balances the weight of slave-owning interests against the bourgeois intellectuals who want to rid themselves of the yoke– and the taxes– of the British crown.

Tracing the events of the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, this story does not shirk from the hard truths of our nation's past, like the fact that Thomas Jefferson was a horny coot and Ben Franklin a shameless, if lovable, glutton. It turns out to be a great treat for history and musical buffs alike.

"I think this show has one of the strongest books in the Broadway repertoire," says director Robert Davis, a veteran actor and director with Four County. "It humanizes historical icons like Adams and Jefferson by exposing their flaws and foibles while remaining largely historically accurate and preserving sensitivity to the subject matter."

Besides, any play that manages to rhyme "predicate" with "Connecticut" and "bride" with "homicide" has to be worth seeing. Add to that the fact that the 7th Virginia Regiments, a Revolutionary War re-enactment group, will set up camp in Barboursville before the Saturday and Sunday shows this weekend, and you've got yourself a real outing.

The group will perform drills and militia firings, debate the hairbrained notion of Independence, and bring to life a wealthy couple of the era. But sorry, no cameos from Gérard Depardieu.

Join local actors as they relive the struggle for unanimity among the several colonies and poke fun at Mr. Adams in 1776, a witty musical on the crafting of the Declaration of Independence. Opens 8pm Friday, March 11. Runs weekends– 8pm Fridays and Saturdays, 2:30pm Sundays– through April 3. Barboursville Community Center, Barboursville. $10-14. 540-832-5355. for more.

Swap meet: Little literati share favorites
It's that time of year again– the Festival of the Book. For lovers of all things literary, it's the best five days of the year.

One aspect of the extravaganza is particularly dear to the hearts not just of folks who like to read books, but also of those who lust to collect them– to caress them, look at them lovingly on the shelf, or leaf through them, remembering favorite passages.

For those tactile bibliophiles, two events that coincide with the Festival are reason enough to celebrate the week. The Jefferson-Madison Library is gearing up for its 40th annual book sale March 19-27 with a little teaser weekend Saturday and Sunday, March 12-13.

That's when records, tapes, music books, CDs, videos, and DVDs– as well as academic and children's books– are up for grabs at the Gordon Avenue branch of the library.

But there's another– perhaps not so well known, but equally exciting– opportunity for kids ages 0-18 to try their luck at locating an old copy of Corduroy or a rare Tintin.

It's the 10th annual Kids' Book Swap at Oakley's Gently Used Books in York Place. But unlike the bigger library sale, no money is allowed at this exchange.

Here's the drill: all year long bookstore owner Chris Oakley collects children's books for the exchange, amassing upwards of 2,000 by the time the middle of March rolls around. On the morning of the swap– this year March 19– she sets up tables in the wide York Place hallway, spreads out the books, and waits for the youngsters to arrive.

Some come bearing one, some two, and some with shopping bags full. However many they bring, that's the number they can take away.

Oakley got the idea of a book swap from her sister who raved about the fun and success of a similar event at her child's school. The event has become so popular that last year approximately 100 kids swapped about 500 books during the four-hour event.

"Children of all ages love the chance to pick any book they want," Oakley says. "Last year I watched a little toddler about two years old methodically go through a whole stack trying to find one she wanted."

Oakley lists benefits of the swap beyond just taking home something fun to read. Friendships may be forged between kids elbowing each other out of the way of an unused copy of the latest Lemony Snicket. New interests may be piqued by the wide range of titles on offer.

All in all, it's a great way for kids to begin to forge a love of all things literary that keeps the Festival of the Book growing every year.

The Kids' Books Swap takes place Saturday, March 19, at Oakley's Gentle Used Books in York Place on the Downtown Mall. 11am-3pm. Bring a book to exchange. 977-3313.

Haunting blues: What secrets lurk beneath?

Blues fingerpicker and vocalist Claude Bourbon appears to be a man without a past. His own management company writes, "Who cares?" when asked (by themselves, in a press release no less) about the performer's pedigree.

Perhaps there's something lurking deep within the mists of time that Bourbon is hiding, a "…Tell-Tale Heart" of fantastic proportions. Perhaps he was a member of a mutinied crew who stranded their captain on a Pacific atoll. Perhaps he was the frontman for a long-forgotten '80s glam metal band lost in a sea of makeup and spandex. Perhaps it is something even darker.

We don't know, but there are hints of whatever it is in his music, which projects a sense of deep sorrow and isolation such as I've never heard in the blues before.

A few facts slip out as you troll for nuggets along the information superhighway. Bourbon is French-born ('The Frog with the Blues" is his tag line) and now resides in Portsmouth, U.K. His latest album, The Fifth, released December 12, is indeed his fifth LP. But other than useless items like "plays over 100 shows each year," the details of his life seem to have been rendered inconsequential by the power of his performances.

The Fifth is 18 tracks in length, including 10 originals and the rest composed of covers of extremely varied origination. In a drifting version of Gershwin's "Summertime," Bourbon's gravelly accented voice floats over his sauntering acoustic guitar notes at a pace that would probably make your skin crawl in a horror movie if it weren't so beautiful. Vocally, shades of '60s folk casualty Nick Drake can be heard, but Bourbon takes his mournful pipes along avenues quite distinct from those of that singer/songwriter, eschewing folk trends for the deep Mississippi blues.

"Traveling Man" is a fine example of Bourbon's trademark rambling style. Its story of a wandering minstrel is perfectly presented to reach the fullest possible effect– a walking beat, haunting vocals, and some utterly brilliant Hemingway-simple lyrics seem to make the tale come alive as you listen, entranced, to the melody.

"You Don't Know" finally reveals Bourbon's guitar virtuosity, with a Spanish intro before it shifts gears into the lackadaisical (and yet again, haunting) story of a conversation with the Lord.

Claude Bourbon is a unique figure today– with his influences deeply buried beneath the surface, what sallies forth from his playing is almost indescribable. The only way you can clear up the mystery is by going to hear him for yourself.

Claude Bourbon performs at The Prism, March 12. $15/$12 advance, 8pm.


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

Contents © Copyright in the year of its publication.