Cultural calendar, April 14-21, 2005

THURSDAY, April 14

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

Carnival: The Dogwood Festival is back again with amusement rides at McIntire Park. Ride all night for one price tonight. Opens at 6pm. Free parking at Charlottesville High School.

Parents of Teens: Children, Youth, and Family Services offers a six week class on "Surviving the Teen Years" starting tonight. 6-7:30pm. $15 for all six classes. Call to register. 296-4118, ext 257.

Figuring it Out: Albemarle's PREP/Parent Resource Center offers a parent workshop, "The IEP from Start to Finish" for families with special needs students. 6:30-8:30pm. Free. Call to register. Clark Elementary School Library. 975-9400, ext. 2342.

Bird Business:
The Monticello Bird Club flocks to its monthly meeting. American Bird Conservancy president George Fenwick discusses his organization's effort to preserve wild birds and their habitats in the Americas. 7:30pm. Ivy Creek Natural Area. Open to the public. 971-9271.

Grow Slow: Advocates for a Sustainable Albemarle Population (ASAP) gather for their monthly meeting, featuring a discussion on state government with retiring Delegate Mitch Van Yahres. 7:30pm. Westminster Presbyterian Church library. All welcome. 974-6390 or

Terror True/False: Dr. Christopher Holstege, Director of Medical Toxicology at UVA, discusses the facts and myths surrounding chemical and biological terrorism. 7-9pm. Woodberry Forest School. Free and open to the public. See Words feature.

Las Gitanas (5-piece gypsy music ensemble) at Atomic Burrito. Free, 10:30.

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

Dance Music with 5 Star D.J. Express at City Limits. No cover, 9pm.

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

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

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.

Reggae Night at Satellite Ballroom. $3/$5 under 21), 9pm.

Local Tea Poetry Reading at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar. Free, 7pm.

Rob Bergstrom, Michael McConkey, Arum Rae & Grasping At Laws at Victory Hall Theater (Main Street in Scottsville). $4, 7pm. 434-979-SONG

The George Turner Trio (jazz, Latin, funk, and originals) at Zocalo. No cover, 9pm.

Open Mic Night at Kokopelli's. No cover, signup 6:30/7pm.

FRIDAY, April 15
The Off Grounds Gallery opens an exhibition of painting, photography, sculpture, and an interactive installation by UVA students Kim Dylla, Patrick Edmunds, Janine Polak and Sean Lennon Salyards. Meet the talented students tonight at an opening reception, 6-9pm. 300 W. Main St. (entrance on Ridge St.). 924-6122.

Parlez-vous Victor Hugo?:
The French House hosts two talks by Parisian scholar Gérard Pouchain on the life and legacy of novelist Victor Hugo. This morning at 10am, Pouchain speaks (en français) on "Victor Hugo raconté par la caricature." This afternoon at 2pm, Pouchain continues the conversation with a talk about the love letters between Hugo and his longtime companion, Juliette Drouet, in a talk titled "Victor Hugo et Juliette Drouet: Cinquante ans de lettres d'amour." Lower West Oval Room, Rotunda, UVA, 982-2815.

Rising Up from Abuse: Karen McConnell suffered through sexual abuse and parental loss, rebounding to find her strength and found a safe house for teenagers, to spare them her experience. Working with author Eileen Brand, she tells her story in a new book, The House That Karen Built. McConnell and Brand visit New Dominion Bookshop today at noon. 404 E. Main St. 295-2552.

Oil Politics Past: Historian Karen Merrill visits from Williams College to speak on "The Illusions of Independence: Texas Oilmen and the Politics of Postwar Petroleum," shedding light on the 1944 U.S. government&endash;sponsored geological mission in the Persian Gulf, especially Saudi Arabia, which set Texas oilmen spewing forth arguments surrounding the question of domestic vs. Middle Eastern oil in America's future. Merrill speaks at the Miller Center at noon today. Lunch served. 2201 Old Ivy Road. 924-4694.

Glimpse into Iran: For this month's Books Sandwiched In luncheon meeting at Northside Library, Nesta Ramazani, Iranian-born local author, leads a discussion at noon of the bestselling memoir, Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi. Northside Library, Seminole Square Shopping Center. 973-7893.

Yard Dogs Road Show:
This traveling exhibition of neo-vaudeville and sideshow entertainment features sword swallowing, fire eating, black and blue burlesque, and rambling hobo poetry– all animated by live sounds from the Yard Dogs Cartoon Jug Band. Eddy Joe Cotton, author of Hobo: A Young Man's Thoughts on Trains and Tramping in America is on hand to pull it off. Doors open 8pm, show starts at 10. Live Arts UpStage, 123 E. Water St. $8. 295-0872. See performance feature.

Intro to Hip-Hop: This adult dance workshop session happens this week and next. Drop in to either or both sessions. 6:30-8pm. (Children's session tomorrow, 3-4:15pm.) Studio 206, 206 W. Market St. Cost $8-10.

Measure for Measure: Shakespeare explores the arrogance of power in a play that hovers tantalizingly between comedy and tragedy. Isabella, a nun in training and the play's heroine, must decide whether to ransom her brother from death by giving her body to the hypocritical bureaucrat who put him in jail. 7:30pm. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $14-28. 540-851-1733.

Pygmalion: Piedmont Virginia Community College presents George Bernard Shaw's brilliant comedy about a phonetics expert who wagers that he can transform a Cockney flower girl into a lady of cultured speech and pass her off in high society. V. Earl Dickinson Building, PVCC. 7:30pm. $8-10. 961-5376.

Behind the Garden Gate:
Old Michie Theatre has become Misselthwaite Manor, the 1910 English country home where orphaned Mary Lennox and her sickly young cousin Colin Craven transform and are transformed by The Secret Garden. Performances of this magical production will delight children of all ages. 7pm. $7.50. 221 E. Water St. 977-3690.

Star Struck: The view is out of this world at Public Night at McCormick Observatory from 9-11pm (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.

Seeing Stars: On the evening of May 4, our planet plows through a cloud of cosmic debris left in the wake of Halley's Comet. The result is the Eta Aquarid meteor shower, one of a dozen shows of shooting stars each year. Astronomer George Hastings explores the topic of meteor showers during this special LiveSky program at the Science Museum of Virginia's interactive planetarium show at 6pm. Afterward, members of the Richmond Astronomical Society show up on the Science Museum lawn and share their telescopes for Sky Watch (weather permitting). 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 800-659-1727.

Carnival: See Friday, April 14.

Better Than Television Presents:
The Yard Dogs Road Show with Eddy Joe Cotton at the Live Arts Upstage: "Neovaudeville" and sideshow entertainment come to the Live Arts Upstage with the Yard Dogs cartoon jug band. $7, 8pm. See Tunes feature and Performance feature.

Laura Eve Engell and Erin James at Rapunzel's: Singer/songwriters with divergent styles Engell and James still might play a few songs together. Come by and find out. No cover, 7:30pm.

Ezra Hamilton at Station: Hamilton's too talented for this town (I think that's alliteration), really, but we should enjoy his pop-soul while we can and be thankful. No cover, 10pm.

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

Ian Gilliam and the Fultones "Dance your taxwoes away" at the Dew Drop Inn. No cover, 8pm.

Harry Faulkner at Dürty Nelly's. $3, 9:30pm.

The Dreamsicles featuring Tom Prasada-Rao and Cary Cooper with Soul Canoe at Gravity Lounge. $10, 8pm.

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

Chicken Head Blues Band at Outback Lodge. $6, 10pm.

WAVE (bossa nova) at Miller's. $3, 10:30pm.

Meade Skelton (rock/country-pop) at Mudhouse on the Mall. No cover, 8pm.

Las Gitanas at Odell's Music Pub, Main St. Gordonsville, $5, 8pm.

Laura Eve Engell and Erin James at Rapunzel's. No cover, 7:30pm.

Dance Party at Satellite Ballroom. $5,11pm.

An Evening with The Codetalkers at Starr Hill. $18/$15 advance, 9pm.

Tigerlily at Kokopelli's. $3, 8pm.

SATURDAY, April 16
Talkin Down Under:
Representations of the Social in Aboriginal Australia speak about Aboriginal presentation of dance, poetry, photography, film, public performance, and art. Conference schedule available at Free. 9:30am-3pm. Rotunda Dome Room. Reservations suggested at 244-0234.

Aboriginal Religions in Australia: An anthology of recent aboriginal writings is released at a wine and cheese reception today, 5-6:30pm, at the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Center. Reservations suggested. Worrell Drive off Route 250 East. 244-0234.

Tiptoe through the Trilliums:
Today and April 23 botanical experts Fran Boninti, Peggy Cornett, and Peter Hatch lead three-hour wildflower hikes through the Monticello woods and down to the Rivanna River. Walks start at 9:30am at Monticello Garden Shop. $10, reservations required. 984-9822.

Butterfly Gardening: Join Deborah Judson-Ebbets and learn how to use native plants to attract butterflies to your garden. It's all about organic and ecologically sensitive pest control. 10am at the Ivy Creek Natural Area. Earlysville Road. 973-7772.

First Colony Garden Party: Celebrate the rites of spring with finger foods, music, gardening vendors, wine tastings, and more at First Colony's first annual spring garden party. $5/person, reservations recommended. Noon-5pm. 877-979-7105 or

Jefferson's Birthday: Jefferson Vineyards celebrates the release of its 2003 red wines in conjunction with its namesake's birthday. Taste a wide variety of their offerings, and go home with an oversized souvenir glass. 1-4pm. $15 per person, reservations required. 800-272-3042.

Barboursville Barrel Tasting: Sample the 2004 vintage straight from the source and nibble on light fare from Palladio Restaurant. $6/person. No reservations required. 10am-5pm. 11a.m.-5p.m. Sun. 540-832-3824.

Rivers and Birds: Meet award winning nature writer Merrill Gilfillan in the Education Building at Ivy Creek Natural Area for a reading and discussion of his work. Co-sponsored with UVA's Brown College. 2pm. Free. Earlysville Road. 973-7772.

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.

Spring Retreat: Drink in the mountain views, spring blossoms, and selection of newly bottled wines at Hill Top Berry Farm & Winery's spring celebration. Hors d'oeuvres and their signature Pear Sangria will also be available. 10am-5pm. Fee. 361-1266.

Wine in the Garden: Celebrate Historical Virginia Garden Week at Kluge Estate Winery with lectures and special box lunches. April 16-24. Call 984-4855 or visit

Pavement Pounding: Run, or just watch, more than a thousands runners compete in the now-annual Charlottesville Marathon; up, over, and through the beauty of Albemarle County. 7:30am start at Camp Holiday Trails. Fee varies. 293-7115 or

Mother Earth:
The Frontier Culture Museum celebrates Earth Day. See Family feature.

Put on a Happy Face: Dogwood Festival kids can dress it up with the Children's Character Fest at East Rivanna Fire House. Face painting, balloonists, crafts, games, special guests, and Clifford the Big Red Dog. 9am-11am. $5, tickets available at Staples Barber Shop, Gitchell's Studio, University Tire & Auto Center, and Tuel Jewelers.

Storybook Saturday: "Tell Us a Tale" comes to the stage of Lane Auditorium in a Party Parade event to benefit the Alzheimer's Association. WTJU's radio storytellers Peter Jones and Jen Hoffman are joined by Mary Gordon Hall, Tom Proutt, and Emily McCormick for an afternoon of stories, songs, and fun. After the show, kids get to build their own sundaes with Chaps Ice Cream. 2-4pm. $10. Albemarle County Office Building, 401 McIntire Road. 980-4397.

Falderal and Fiddledeedee: Old Michie Theatre takes kids on a magical journey to the prince's ball, pumpkin coach and all, with a marionette puppet play of the classic fairy tale Cinderella. 11am, 2 and 4pm. $5. 221 E. Water St. 977-3690.

Give Me Shelter: The Living Earth School offers a 24 Hour Survival Shelter workshop. Starting today at 10am, participants ages 8 and up can learn how to build a survival shelter using what nature provides, then sleep in their own shelter overnight. 10am-10am. $65. Located just west of town. 540-456-7339.

Healing Hearts: Hospice of the Piedmont offers "Journeys through the Seasons," a free bereavement camp for children and teens (6-14) who are affected by the serious illness or death of a loved one. The spring day camp happens today from 8:45-5pm at Triple C Camp. Activities include art therapy, high ropes course, caring for creatures, games, a nature walk, lunch, and a closing ceremony. Participation is free. 817-6900 or 800-975-5501.

Science Saturday: It's a busy day at the Science Museum of Virginia. Their National Astronomy Day celebration features a safe look at the sun, views of real meteorites, and a rocket-building workshop from 1-4pm. Science Games are also featured from 1-3pm and include a giant Koosh ball catapult, mirror madness, relay races, barge building, parachute drop, and more. In the evening, star gazers can search for heavenly visions with the Richmond Astronomical Society at 8pm (weather permitting). Afternoon events are included in the price of exhibits admission. The stars are free. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 800-659-1727.

Behind the Garden Gate: See Friday, April 15.

Carnival: See Friday, April 14. Opens at 1pm today.

See Friday, April 15.

Fine-Feathered Follies: This original musical by Langden Mason features the zany life of Theodore A. Wiseman, a 105-year-old owl who was the greatest Birdway producer of all time. 8pm. Carysbrook Performing Arts Center, Route 15, Fork Union. 842-1333. $12-15.

Swing Dance: The Charlottesville Swing Dance Society offers a high-energy night of swing and other dancing. Dave Moldover will DJ. Singles and couples welcome. Intermediate lesson 6-7pm, $10. Beginner's lesson 7-8pm included with admission. Dance 8-11pm. Greek Orthodox Fellowship Hall, 100 Perry Drive (at McIntire Road). $6-12. 980-2744 or visit

Cinderella on Strings: The Old Michie Theatre presents a traditional marionette rendition of the Cinderella fairy tale, based on the classic French version by Charles Perrault, and adapted for the puppet stage with hand-carved marionettes from the Czech Republic, sound effects and a flying coach. 11am, 2pm and 4pm. Old Michie Theatre, 221 E. Water St. $5. 977-3690.

She Stoops to Conquer: Playwright Oliver Goldsmith penned this late 18th century smash hit, and now Shenandoah Shakespeare brings a comic jewel back to life, lampooning the quirks and customs of old England. 7:30pm. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $14-28. 540-851-1733.

Twelfth Night: This Shakespeare classic creates comedy at every elevation, from low slapstick to high irony, offering a feast of language and a stage full of memorable characters such as the lovesick Viola and ale-sick Toby Belch. 2pm. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $14-28. 540-851-1733.

Russian Images:
Celebrate the Dogwood Festival with the Charlottesville and University Symphony Orchestra as it presents classical music from the great composers of Russia, including Stravinsky's Pulcinella Suite and Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2. Michael Slon, guest conductor. 8pm. Old Cabell Hall. $11-25. 924-3984.

Haydn Glee: The Virginia Glee Club and the Wellesley College Choir team up to perform Franz Joseph Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass. 2pm. $10/$5 students. Old Cabell Hall. 924-3984.

Mark Rock at Live Arts Rehearsal Space A:
The quirky pop of Mark Rock (the alter-ego of Peter Markush) will have everyone in an amazed trance, emptying their pockets in this fundraiser for the Living Education Center for Ecology and the Arts. $10, 3/8pm.

Auditions for Showtime at the Apollo on Tour at The Paramount: 15 or so acts will be selected to perform at the final performance of the Paramount's first season and one of these artists will perform at Harlem's Apollo Theater. The first 300 performers who arrive at the audition can perform for up to 90 seconds before the Apollo judges. Free, 10am.

Bill Clifton at the Prism: Bluegrass legend and UVA alumnus Clifton returns to Charlottesville with his tried-but-true sound. Performing with Clifton is multi-instrumentalist Raymond McLain, eldest sibling in Kentucky's McLain Family. $15/$12 advance, 8pm.

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

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

Flamenco Extravaganza at Gravity Lounge. Free, 7pm.

Afro-POP at Gravity Lounge. Free, 10:30pm.

The Atomic 3 featuring Davina Jackson (vocals), Houston Ross ( bass), Matthew Willner (guitar), and Drex Weaver (drums) at Jabberwocky. No cover, 10pm.

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

Black Heritage Orchestra at Kokopelli's. $5, 8pm.

Taylor Davis (stories and guitar) at Miller's. $3, 10:30pm.

Man Mountain Jr. (funk) at Orbit. No cover, 10:30pm.

Aquanett with Swollen Goat at Outback Lodge. $6, 10pm.

CiaoBaby! Presents American Dumpster at Rivanna Grill. $15, 8pm.

Citizen Cope at Starr Hill. $14/$12, 9pm.

Ex-local Doofgoblin with Plat of Iceland and Random Number (an electronic cornucopia) at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar. No cover, 9pm.

SUNDAY, April 17
Measure for Measure: See Friday, April 15. Today's show is a 2pm matinee.

Pygmalion: See Friday, April 15.

Fine-Feathered Follies: See Saturday, April 16. Today's show is at 3pm.

God's Trombones: This soul-stirring production, based on the poetry of James Weldon Johnson, benefits the Booker T. Washington High School Community Center. Directed by Olive Sheffey and Tommy Crawford. 6pm. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $15. 540-851-1733.

Barhoppers: Promising the best of local playwrights and plenty of beer, those gurus at Offstage Theatre present their 15th annual production of Barhoppers. This year's lineup of one-acts includes titles like "Still Blonde … Runs Deep," by Jamie Pacino, "Backing Up," by Tim Van Dyck, and "Lives of the Formerly French," by Lauren Yee. 7:30pm; doors open at 6 for food. Rapture, on the Downtown Mall. $8. 293-9526.

Russian Images: See Saturday, April 16. Today's show is at 3:30pm.

The Eye Travels:
Charlottesville photographer Jon Golden tells world travel tales in words and especially in photographs, in a presentation titled "100 Rolls of Film and a Plane Ticket." Golden speaks at the Lorna Sundberg International Center at 3pm. RSVP requested. 21 University Circle, free parking at Culbreth Theatre, 924-7980.

Poetry of Self in Nature: He's been called an inheritor of Basho, the haiku genius, and of Thoreau, the quintessential American Romantic. Merrill Gilfillan writes poetry and prose about inner and outer landscape. He visits Charlottesville as the guest of UVA's Brown College as it hosts its annual Environmental Writer Series. Today he reads at 2pm at Ivy Creek Natural Area. Route 743, 924-7859 or 973-7772.

Under Cover:
Young sleuths in first grade and up are invited to a confidential meeting at the Spy Training Academy. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to create secret files, make and crack codes, build a disguise for working undercover, and learn other secret agent strategies. 3pm. Free. Registration is required. Central Library. 201 E. Market St. 979-7151, ext. 3.

Beatle Mania: The Village School celebrates its tenth year with a benefit at the Paramount featuring the local Beatle's cover band Abbey Road (formerly #9 Dream) followed by a showing of the movie A Hard Day's Night. 2pm. $10 for adults, $8 for youth 12 and under. 293-3804.

Behind the Garden Gate: See Friday, April 15. Today's performance is at 3pm.

Carnival: See Friday, April 14. Opens at 1pm today.

Highland Hike:
Head up to the breathtaking Three Ridge Wilderness Area with the Outdoor Adventure Social Club. 10am departure. $5, plus membership fee. 760-HIKE or for details and registration.

Barboursville Barrel Tasting: See Saturday, April 16. 11am-5pm. 540-832-3824.

Spring Retreat: See Saturday, April 16. 10am-5pm. Fee. 361-1266.

The Charlottesville and University Symphony Orchestra present Russian Images at Old Cabell Hall. $11-$25, 3:30pm. See Saturday, April 16.

Karaoke with Tammy at City Limits. No cover, 7-11pm.

Steve Forbert with Larry Burnett at Gravity Lounge. $15, 7pm.

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

Blue Highway at Starr Hill. $14/$12, 8pm.

Pantops Trio at Kokopelli's. $3, 7-9pm.

MONDAY, April 18
Poet Reads Again:
He has been called an inheritor of Basho, the haiku genius, and of Thoreau, the quintessential American Romantic. Merrill Gilfillan writes poetry and prose about inner and outer landscape. He visits Charlottesville as the guest of UVA's Brown College as it hosts its annual Environmental Writer Series. Today he reads at 5pm at UVA's Jefferson Hall. West Range, UVA, 924-7859.

Tells It Like It Is: Anyone whose memoir is titled Another Bullshit Night in Suck City has to have something to say. It's the story of his ways of coping while his father drifted into homelessness and his mother committed suicide when he was 22. Poet Nick Flynn worked for six years in Boston's Pine Street Inn, the homeless shelter where his father sought refuge. He has also written two books of poetry and a poetry how-to book. He'll be reading as a guest of UVA's Creative Writing Program at 8pm. UVA Bookstore, atop the Central Grounds parking garage, 924-6675.

I Can Read!:
Children's librarian Nancy Cook leads a workshop for parents of preschoolers looking at what they can do to help their child be ready to read at Gordon Avenue Library. 6:30-7:30pm. Free. Registration required. 1500 Gordon Ave. 296-5544.

Carnival: See Friday, April 14.

God's Trombones:
See Sunday, April 17.

Barhoppers: See Sunday, April 17.

Flute Ensemble: UVA presents a flute recital directed by Alan Cox, featuring a number of duets, trios, quartets and quintets performing works by Boismortier, Kuhlau and others. Garrett Hall, UVA grounds, 8pm. Free.

No Parkway,
Yes Transit: Meet with others interested in walking and biking as ways to encourage sustainable development. 5:45pm in the Jefferson Room at the Downtown Library. No fee. 882-1069.

Sunset Stroll: Join the Outdoor Adventure Social Club for a refreshing late-day hike. 6pm departure. $5, plus membership fee. 760-HIKE or for more information.

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 City Limits. Free, 7:00p.m.

Open Mic night with Bennie Dodd at City Limits. No cover, 9pm.

George Melvin (piano merriment) at South Street Brewery. No cover, 7pm.

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

TUESDAY, April 19
Candidate for Cause:
David Kirby, health and science writer for the New York Times, presents his book on the controversy over mercury's role in the vast increase in childhood autism during the last two decades, as featured in last week's Hook cover story, "Generation Hg? Is Austism puzzle solved?" Publishers Weekly applauds Kirby for fairness and balance and for writing an accessible book about a difficult technical subject. Hear Kirby read and speak on the issue at New Dominion Bookshop today at 5:30pm. 404 E. Main St. 295-2552.

Free Cones:
Ben & Jerry's invites local patrons to exercise their free cone-stitutional right to celebrate life, liberty, and the pursuit of (free!) euphoria. Today is Free Cone Day, and they're giving it away. 12pm-8pm. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 244-7438.

More Bargain Cones: Kohr Bros. celebrates the good old days by offering their "real frozen custard" at 1922 prices. Cool kids of all ages can get a cone for just a nickel at both local establishments. Woodbrook and Fashion Square Mall. 975-1500.

Carnival: See Friday, April 14. Ride all night for one price tonight.

Our Favorite Son as Gardener:
Monticello's director of gardens and grounds, Peter Hatch, offers an illustrated lecture on Jefferson's passion for horticulture at 2pm today. A tour of the gardens at Monticello tops off the event. Space is limited, so reserve ahead. Monticello Visitors Center, 984-9822.

Spring Preparations:
Al Minutolo discusses the importance of early pruning and planting for year-round lawn care at the monthly meeting of the Charlottesville Horticulture Club. 7pm at the Senior Center, 1180 Pepsi Place. Free 734-6268.

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

Alterna-health: Dr. Denise Horton, Clinical Psychologist/Alternative Healer, discusses what's new and exciting in the field of alternative medicine, separating fact from myth in this interesting and beneficial field of healthcare. 6:30-8:30pm in the Board Room at the Senior Center, 1180 Pepsi Place. Free 734-6268.

See Sunday, April 17.

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

Karaoke with Tammy at City Limits. No cover, 7-11pm.

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

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

American Dumpster at Orbit. No cover, 10:30pm.

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

Local Night featuring Fletcher Bridge at Satellite Ballroom. $3/$5 under 21, 9pm.

Tift Merritt with Chatham County Line at Starr Hill. $15/$12, 8pm.

"Cigoli, Drawing, and Florentine Art":
Miles Chappell, Chancellor Professor of Art and Art History, The College of William & Mary, speaks about all things Italian (well, Cigoli anyway) today at 6pm. Campbell Hall, Room 153.

The Sisters Kahn:
Former Charlottesville resident Elizabeth Poliner returns to celebrate the publication of Mutual Life and Casualty, a book of linked short stories about a Jewish family in a small town. Poliner discovered how she needed to write to balance out a law career while she was in law school at UVA. She reads from her book and greets old friends at New Dominion Book Shop's brown bag lunch at noon. 404 E. Main St. 295-2552.

The Power of Words in Medicine: Susanna Bedell, Harvard cardiologist, and Eugene Corbett, UVA internist, speak on "Words that Harm, Words that Heal," during today's Medical Center Hour beginning at 12:30pm in the Jordan Hall Conference Center Auditorium. Jordan Hall. Jefferson Park Ave. 924-2094.

Vested Power: Sponsored by the Black Student Alliance and UVA's Office of African-American Affairs, Dr. Brenda Verner speaks about "What African American Men Can Do to Save Our Culture." She will discuss the part men can play in sustaining African-American culture and the relationships between black men and women. Her talk begins at 7pm in Gilmer Hall Auditorium. Gilmer Hall, Alderman Road. 924-7293.

Antique Green:
Peggy Cornett, Director of the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants, discusses how historic plants can be use din today's gardens. 2pm at the Monticello Visitors Center. Free. 984-9822.

Front Row Spring: A Wintergreen Nature Foundation naturalist leads this six-mile hike into the wilderness between Shamokin Springs and Reed's Gap. Bring a bag lunch and plenty of water. $6 fee ($3 for Foundation members). 10am. 325-7451.

Twelfth Night:
See Saturday, April 16. Today's show is a 10:30am school matinee.

She Stoops to Conquer: See Saturday, April 16. Tonight the pre-show lecture starts at 6pm.

Just Like Magic:
Kids ages 5 and up can make images on paper with the magic of the sun at Gordon Avenue Library. 4pm. Free. Registration required. 1500 Gordon Ave. 296-5544.

Kids on Drugs: Pharmacologist Ken Bransfield talks to parents about "Medications for Children: Risks and Benefits of Psychopharmacological Treatment." Curry School of Education hosts this lecture that confronts the controversy about what little is actually known from research about the psychotropic drugs that are prescribed every day for children. Child care and transportation available. 7-8:30pm. Free. Lane Auditorium at the County Office Building, McIntire Road. 242-1408.

Oh, Baby: Informed Birth Options offers "Birth Matters!" a free childbirth class and video series. Expectant parents, doulas, childbirth educators, physicians, grandparents, and the just plain interested can join an educational journey through the process of pregnancy and childbirth. Led by midwife Julia Weissman. 6:30-8:30pm. Free. Weeville, 218 W. Water St. 978-4779.

More Tales for Tots: The 5 and under crowd can get wacky with crazy dog stories at Barnes & Noble's preschool story time. 10:30am. Free. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.

Parenting: The art of "Transparenting" is discussed in a parenting education program offered by Children, Youth, and Family Services that 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.

Carnival: See Friday, April 14.

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

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

Karaoke with Paul Seale at City Limits. No cover, 7-11pm.

Calf Mountain Jam at The Clocktower Tavern in Staunton. 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.

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

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

Hot Buttered Rum String Band at Gravity Lounge. $8/$5 advanced, 8pm.

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

Swing Piggy at Orbit. No cover, 10:30pm.

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.

Brother's Past & RAQ at Starr Hill. $10/$8 advance, 8pm.

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, April 21
Mass Expert:
"Drawing as Drama in Eighteenth-Century France: Greuze and David" is the subject of a talk by Mark Ledbury of the Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Mass. 6pm. UVA School of Architecture, Campbell Hall, Room 153.

"Life and Debt": Come see this documentary film by Stephanie Black narrated by Jamaica Sinclaid with original music by Muta Baruka exposes the impact of the IMF and World Bank's globalization policies on the lives of everyday Jamaicans. The tourist image of Jamaica is debunked in this enlightening, dynamic and at times satirical film. The lessons learned at Life and Debt are relevant to countries worldwide. Sliding scale donation at door. 7:30pm at Better Than Television, 106 Goodman St. A3, Belmont.

More Tales for Tots:
See Wednesday, April 20.

Carnival: See Friday, April 14. Ride all night for one price tonight.

Measure for Measure:
See Friday, April 15. Signed performance, pay-what-you-will.

Feds Confab:
Dick Murphy, State Legislative Coordinator for VFC, speaks at the monthly meeting of the National Active & Retired Federal Employees Chapter 135. 11:30am at Golden Corral on 29 North. 293-3170.

Wine Dinner: Enjoy a four-course wine dinner prepared by Chef Alex Montiel and wine pairings presented by winemaker Michael Shaps, all in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains at King Family Vineyards. Limited seating, rain or shine. $85/person all-inclusive. 823-7800 or info@kingfamilyvineyards.

Save the Species:
Peggy Cornett, director of Monticello's TJ Center for Historic Plants, discusses the center's horticultural collections and its efforts to identify, propagate, and save historic species of plants that Jefferson knew and loved. Her talk includes illustrations and a tour of the center's Tufton Farm Nursery. Event begins at 2pm and is free, although space is limited, so make advance reservations by phone. Monticello Visitors Center, 984-9822.

Our Nuclear Future: Jon Wolfsthal, an expert on weapons of mass destruction – speaks on the worst nuclear challenges facing the U.S. today and what we should do about them. His talk begins at 5pm. 311 Cabell Hall. 982-2016.

Three More on Route 64: Greg Donovan, writer-in-residence at VCU and editor-in-chief of the poetry journal Blackbird; Laurie Kutchin, whose The Night Path won a Pulitzer nomination; and David Wojahn, author of six poetry volumes and teacher at both VCU and in the low-residency program at the University of Vermont reads at 8pm at UVA Bookstore. Atop the Central Grounds parking garage, 924-6675.

Get Naked– Not: The Center for Christian Study presents "An Evening With Lauren Winner," Charlottesville author of Real Sex: The Naked Truth about Chastity. 7pm. 128 Chancellor St. Free. 817-1050.

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

Dance Music with 5 Star D.J. Express at City Limits. No cover, 9pm.

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

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

The Virginia Ramblers with Jan Smith and Rebecca Hall and Ken Anderson at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8pm.

Greg Howard w/ Darell Rose and Matt Wyatt at Kokopelli's in Crozet. No cover, 8pm.

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

Rocket Queen 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.

Guano Boys, Rogan Bros., and Special Guest Darrell Rose at Satellite Ballroom. $4, 9pm.

Open Mic Night at Kokopelli's. No cover, signup 6:30/7pm.

Dark Star Orchestra at Starr Hill. $20, 8pm.

Matthew Willner and Atomic 3 at Station. No cover, 10pm.

Book Sale in Staunton:
If you just didn't get enough cheap books at Charlottesville's Friends of the Library sale, go over the mountain to Staunton, where their FOL sale runs from Thursday, April 14 until Monday, April 18, when afternoon shoppers get to fill a bag with any books that fit and pay just $3 a bag. Books free to students, teachers, and representatives from nonprofits Wednesday afternoon, too. 1 Churchville Ave., Staunton. 540-332-3902.

Improv Night:
Whole World Theatre has expanded from Atlanta to Charlottesville. Catch one of the most successful improv theaters of the southeast every Thursday night. 8-10pm at the Garden of Sheba. $8. Live reggae following show. 609 E. Market St. 466-9574 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.

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.

Bright Stars:
Albemarle County is accepting applications through mid-April for its preschool readiness program "Bright Stars" offered at Greer, Cale, Scottsville, Stone Robinson, Agnor-Hurt, and Woodbrook Elementary Schools. Bright Stars provides comprehensive prevention and school readiness services to at-risk 4-year-olds. Call for more information and application. 972-4011, ext. 3332.

Virginia Garden Week:
Green thumbs stand up and cheer; there are more garden-centric events happening across the Commonwealth this week than you can shake a pruning shear at. Locally, Montpelier, Ash Lawn-Highland, and Monticello, and others are offering special tours and programs, but you can find a complete schedule of happenings at

Glassy Classes: Try your hand at glass blowing with a one-day class at create a paperweight, ornament, or a hand-blown vase of your own. Class times and themes vary, as do fees. 202 S. Lewis St. in Staunton near the old train station. For details and registration information, call 540-885-0678 or email

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.

Downtown Tours: The Albemarle-Charlottesville Historical Society offers walking tours of historic downtown Charlottesville every Saturday at 10am. Tours leave from the McIntire Building across from Lee Park and cover over 250 years of community history in one hour. $3 suggested donation. 296-1492.

Come Clean: Drug addiction can leave an individual feeling helpless and out of control, especially family members and friends of an addict. Narconon Arrowhead can help. Narconon offers free counseling, assessments and referrals to rehabilitation centers nationwide. Call 1-800-468-6933 or log onto

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: Towards a revolution of consciousness! Free and open to the public, suitable for all levels of expertise. Mondays 9-10am, Thursdays 9-10:30am; meditation study group Wednesdays 8am, and silent meditation Thursdays 8am, all available at Better Than Television 106 Goodman st.A3, near Spudnuts. Ninja Yoga also available at Jefferson Madison Regional Library Mondays 1pm and Fridays 5pm, as well as at the Yoga Community Space 117 E. Market St. Tuesdays 1pm. Info: 295-0872.

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.

Woman Spirit: Become part of a community of women who rise up in the spring, create the green growth of summer, harvest autumn, and rest in winter. Explore your Spirit in magical power places in Nature with soulful, like-minded women, led by experienced healers & vision quest guides. A spring group is now forming, April-September. $225. Contact Denise Horton, PhD at 296-2930 for more information.

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 April, the McGuffey Art Center presents "Visual Textures x 3," an exhibition of work by Carol Grant, Janet Grahame, and Vee Osvalds, in the main gallery. On view in the first floor hall gallery: photographer Fleming Lunsford's "Adpatation," Polaroid emulsion lifts of natural forms, and collage artist Suzanne Chitwood's "Pages from Picture Books." Upstairs enjoy the annual High School Art Show. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.

The University of Virginia Art Museum presents the much-anticipated "Masterpieces of European Drawing," an exhibition of 62 works on loan from the Musée des Beaux-Arts et d'Archéologie. The only presentation of this collection in the U.S., the show features pieces by Courbet, Delacroix, Rubens, and Rembrandt, among others, and runs through June 5. Also on view: "Aspects of Influence: Lincoln Perry Mines the Collection," an exhibition about artistic influence curated by painter Lincoln Perry (but not featuring his paintings) that runs through May 22. In addition, the museum whoops it up with "Punch Line: Six Centuries of the Comic and the Grotesque in Prints, Drawings, and Photographs from the Collection," through April 30. The museum also presents "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.

The Satellite Ballroom presents "Facing Sexual Assault," an exhibition of portraits of assault survivors photographed by fifth-year UVA Aunspaugh Fellow Alice Bailey. The show, timed to coincide with Sexual Assault Awareness Month, runs through April 22. 1435 University Ave. 825-6914.

On April 15, the Off Grounds Gallery opens an exhibition of painting, photography, sculpture, and an interactive installation by UVA Art Department "Distinguished Major Program" students Kim Dylla, Patrick Edmunds, Janine Polak and Sean Lennon Salyards, which will be on view through April 23. Opening reception April 15, 6-9pm. 300 W. Main St. (entrance on Ridge St.). 924-6122.

Watercolor artist Edith Arbaugh presents a 10-painting, Lawn-celebrating exhibition entitled "Jefferson Legacy Series" in UVA's Rotunda Dome Room through May 19. University Ave. 924-1019.

During April, Les Yeux du Monde features "New Paintings" by UVA art professor Dean Dass. 115 S. First St. 973-5566. See Art feature.

The Gallery@Studio 302 features two shows during April: "Joy & Enlightenment," paintings by Nancy Jane Dodge, and "More Paintings" by Edward Thomas. 300 W. Main St. (above the UVA Off Grounds Studio). 924-5405.

The space formerly known as the Dave Moore Studio rises again in April with an exhibition of work by Dave Moore himself (how we've missed him) and Andy Acquaro. 414 E. Main St. (beneath Fusion and The Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar).

The Main Street Market Galleria displays "Collages," mixed-media work by Lora Lee Jones, during April. 416 W. Main St. 244-7800.

April 1-17, Ladd Fine Arts hosts the first American tour of work by the New English Art Club. 701 W. Main St. 977-4147.

Monty Montgomery gets personal with "Views," his new exhibition of acrylics on windows and canvas, on show at the Mudhouse during April. 213 W. Main St. 984-6833.

Transient Crafters presents the hardwood sculptures of Alan Cleveland during April. 118 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 972-9500.

New Dominion Bookshop features Meg West's latest exhibition, "Paintings Out of My Head: Discovered Landscapes," on its mezzanine during April. 404 W. Main St. 295-2552. See Art feature.

During April, The Charlottesville Community Design Center presents an exhibition entitled "What Architects Do" illustrating the process by which buildings and projects are conceived, developed, and realized by local architects. 101 E. Main St. 984-2232.

CODG's April show, "Recent Works," features mixed-media works and paintings by Carolyn Capps. 112 E. Main St., under the Jefferson Theater. 242-4212.

Through April, The Renaissance School shows "Steve Ingham: portraits and new works." 406 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 984-1952.

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church presents "Palestinian Embroidery Heritage," a collection of textiles organized by Charlottesville's Holy Land Treasures Group, which will be on display through May 8. 717 Rugby Road. 977-5411.

The C&O Gallery's April show features paintings by Eugenia Rausse. 511 E. Water St. (next to the C&O Restaurant). 971-7044.

Nature Visionary Art displays the work of Kristen Myers through June 1. 110 Fourth St. NE. 296-8482.

Piedmont Virginia Community College offers a show of student work that runs through April 20. V. Earl Dickinson Building. 961-5203.

La Galeria currently features "Virginia Barns and Florals" by Christine Kennedy. Also on view through April 30: work by Anne Hopper, Al Rossi, Doris deSha, Nga Bui Katz, and Mary Porter. 1919 Commonwealth Drive (next to Rococo's). 293-7003.

The 5th Floor Gallery at Keller Williams is currently showing explorations of realism by painter Tom Tartaglino, paintings of Italy by Doris deSha, 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.

Sidetracks (formerly Spencer's 206) features Asha Greer's "Musings from the Corpus Callosum" during April. 218 W. Water St. 295-3080.

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." Both shows run through April 16. 400 Worrell Drive, Peter Jefferson Place (off Route 250 East at Pantops). 244-0234..

For its April show, The Gallery @ 5th & Water offers "Nature's Textures," featuring woven tapestries by Joan Griffin and "airy" oils and acrylics by Anne Warren Holland. 107 Fifth St. 979-9825.

During April, Sage Moon Gallery presents an exhibition of photography by Bonny Bronson. 420 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 977-9997.

Industry features "Eggplant," drawings and paintings by Jim Callahan, through April 30. 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 Katherine B. March's exhibition of oils entitled "Our Beautiful Shenandoah Valley" at Art Upstairs during April. 316 E. Main St., above The Hardware Store, on the Downtown Mall. 923-3900.

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

For the month of April, BozArt Gallery features the landscape paintings of Anne DeLatour Hopper. 211 W. Main St. 296-3919.

Belmont's Better Than Television Community Center/Infoshop displays collages by Vanthi Nguyen during April. 106 Goodman St. 295-0872

Blue Ridge Beads & Glass displays new paintings and art glass by Jerry O'Dell. 1724 Allied St. 434.293.2876.

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


The Artisans Center of Virginia presents "New Vases, Bottles & Bowls," an exhibition of ceramics by Philip Guilfoyle, which runs through April 30. Also on view: the "Artisans Members Exhibition" through April 27. 601 Shenandoah Drive. (Exit 94 off I-64), Waynesboro. 540-946-3294.

The Arts Center in Orange offers a major show of Outsider Art, featuring over 49 national artists. Reception, 5-7pm. The exhibition runs through April 16149 E. Main St., Orange. 540-672-7311.

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 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 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.


The Virginia Poverty Law Center invites entries for its 2005 juried photography exhibition, "Through Different Eyes: The Faces of Poverty in Virginia." Submissions for consideration will be accepted through June 30. The kick-off for the touring public display of finalists and an awards ceremony are scheduled for October 14. Contest rules and the entry form may be found at 700 E. Franklin St., Suite 14T1, Richmond. 804-782-9430.

Habitat for Humanity and the Charlottesville Community Design Center invite entrants for the international "Urban Habitats" competition, which asks participants to design a 72-home community of mixed-use, mixed-income units. For details and specific guidelines, contact Katie Swenson, or 984-2232.

Practice your flower arranging in anticipation of participating in The Arts Center in Orange's "Around the World in 40 Days," which will display arrangements meant to complement the paintings from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Poland, and Russia. The flowers will be on display May 5-7. Those wishing to contribute an arrangement should call 540-672-7311. 129 E. Main St., Orange.

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, 974-6029.

Participate in the Photography Show of the Scottsville Council for the Arts, scheduled to run April 30-May15. Get application form from the Council website: Submit work by 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 members; $255 nonmembers. A limited number of full scholarships are available for students with financial needs. Info: Lili Grabbi at 434-243-6830 or

Abstract reality: Heirs of crazy impressionists

Claude Monet was a radical. It's true– the man whose work is now considered saccharine-safe enough for dentist offices and greeting cards was originally rejected by the 19th-century Paris art world for being too wild.

Monet busted wide all the rules, painting with conspicuous strokes in seemingly insane colors, abstract in the up-close but yielding luminous landscapes when viewed from a distance. Crazy, man, crazy.

Monet's impressionist legacy runs through two current local exhibitions: Meg West's pastoral landscapes hanging on the mezzanine of the New Dominion Bookshop, and Dean Dass's river views on display at Les Yeux du Monde.

West uses oils to paint comfortingly familiar central Virginia scenes with Blue Ridge backdrops. Although she favors sweeping horizontal compositions, she creates her agricultural scenes with short vertical strokes. Only her pale skies offer swaths of horizontal brushwork.

West's predominantly gold and ochre hay bale-strewn vistas make for pleasant if unchallenging viewing and work well in New Dominion's difficult-to-hang space. Her most engaging work, "New Crop," pulls the viewer in with an arc of alternating stripes of green and dirt-orange curving around a patch of un-threshed hay, while in the distance more fields and farm buildings lie in the indigo shadows of mountains.

Dass, on the other hand, takes greater risks with technique and palette and reaps far more intriguing results. For those who hear "Dean Dass" and think of abstract prints, his submersion in watery realism may come as a shock. But these oil paintings have more in common with his abstract work than one might think.

Seen from six inches away, Dass's paintings seem a bedlam of erratic marks heading in all directions– here the paint looks like smudgy thumb prints, there like drips, and over there like elongated brushstrokes.

Purples, oranges, yellow greens, and pinks are all in chaotic play. But viewed from afar (something Les Yeux's large gallery makes easy), Dass's riverscapes verge unexpectedly on photorealism. It's a neat trick, and whether riparian vistas appeal, what Dass accomplishes with his technique is extraordinary.

His landscapes also appear suffused with natural light that varies depending on the season and time of day depicted. In "Pond," Dass's commotion of strokes creates the impression of ethereal trees through which we see a small pool reflecting a washed-out winter sky. The hills to the left glow orange, as if the sun has just set behind them.

Crazy, man, crazy. Monet would have been impressed.

Meg West's show, "Paintings Out of My Head: Discovered Landscapes," is on view at the New Dominion Bookshop through April. 404 W. Main St. 295-2552. Dean Dass's "New Paintings" hangs at Les Yeux du Monde until May. 115 S. First St. 973-5566.

Take care: Earth Day fun teaches lessons
BY LINDA KOBERT FAMKLY@READTHEHOOK.COMIt's hard to believe it's been 35 years since the first official Earth Day was observed, mostly on college campuses, on April 22, 1970. After a 1990 revival, the earthy festivities have grown into a world-wide celebration of environmental awareness that especially favor kids. Here are some of this year's family friendly Earth Day events taking place locally.

The Frontier Culture Museum starts things off this weekend with their second annual Earth Day Celebration. Kids can learn about nature with a scavenger hunt, crafts, and hands-on activities. Earth-friendly organizations such as the Virginia Native Plant Society, Headwaters Soil and Conservation Society, and the Wildlife Center of Virginia will be on hand to guide the fun.

A Family Nature Walk at 10am and 1pm leads folks through one mile of the museum's woods, meadows, and gardens for a look at the flora and fauna. An Heirloom Garden Workshop from 9am-noon helps grown-ups plan their own historic garden.

The Virginia Discovery Museum hosts a series of fun Earth Day activities starting off with Wednesday's Toddler Time where pint-size environmentalists can make costumes from recycled materials. Young designers can bring their own fabric scraps, paper grocery bags, plastic soda cans, and other discards (or use those provided at the museum) to create fun, fab fashions. Then these and other trend-setters can show off their stylish duds in the museum's Recycled Fashion Parade that takes a Sunday stroll up and down the mall. (Bring your own drums and horns and noise makers to make a really big show of it.)

VDM hosts a garden party all day Friday where kids can drop some dirt into custom-decorated recycled containers, plant some seeds, and take it home to watch them grow. And on Saturday, kids ages 7 and up can learn what it means to "Leave No Trace." Folks from PEAK (Promoting Environmental Awareness in Kids) lead hands-on activities and interactive games that help young environmentalists learn minimum impact skills and ethics.

Ivy Creek Natural Area celebrates the earth once again with Natural History Day 2005 on Sunday, April 24. Lots of local environmental organizations and clubs will be on hand in the earthy environs around the education building with hands-on fun and information about all the great opportunities available for nature lovers in this area. The Virginia Native Plant Society hosts their very popular sale of cultivated native plants. Fans of this sale know they need to show up early for the best selection.

The Frontier Culture Museum's Earth Day Celebration takes place Saturday, April 16, 9am-4pm. Most activities are included in the price of admission. The Heirloom Garden Workshop is 9am-noon, costs $10, and requires registration. Rt. 250 west in Staunton. 540-332-7850. Toddler Time at the Virginia Discovery Museum happens Wednesday, April 20 at 10:30am and 3:30pm. The Recycled Fashion Parade on April 24 starts at the VDM at 2pm. All VDM activities are included with museum admission. Registration is required for the Saturday, April 23 workshop from 3:30-4:30pm. East end of the Downtown Mall. 977-1025. Ivy Creek Natural Area is on Earlysville Road. Natural History Day happens from 1-3pm. 973-777.

Don't swallow! Local doc names his poison
In 2002, when Chechen rebels held 750 Moscow theatergoers captive and Russian police pumped gas into the theater to incapacitate the terrorists, who did authorities call to identify the secret chemical?

UVA toxicologist Christopher Holstege, who had written a book on the suspected substance, 3-quinuclidinyl benzilate, or QNB or BZ. But after studying the Russian victims' symptoms, Holstege determined that it was a different toxin.

In 2003, when a dejected 16-year-old took a suicidal risk and drank a bottle of her mother's hypertension medicine, who sat with the girl for eight hours, watching her every move to make sure she survived?

Right. Christopher Holstege.

In 2004, when Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko developed welts and cysts all over his face– the illness coming just months before his remarkable upset victory– it was Holstege who flew to Vienna to examine him.

Since 9/11, Holstege, who speaks on April 14 at Woodberry Forest School, has led a divided life. On the one hand, he's a world traveler and international poison sleuth. Most of the time, though, as medical director of the Blue Ridge Poison Center, he manages the team now gearing up for the summer rush of phone calls from the center's 61-county service area.

Each year, the Blue Ridge Poison Center receives more than 38,000 calls, 33,000 of which require follow-ups. Of those, 94 percent are home-related incidents, and nearly half– 48 percent– involve a child under six years old. Beware of snake bites, recognize poisonous greens and berries, don't eat little brown mushrooms, keep household chemicals out of reach– the commonsense messages are repeated daily.

Although international intrigue calls, Holstege keeps his feet firmly on home ground. The father of six values the work his center does on behalf of families and children. And as a faculty member at a university long known for its drinking traditions, he has settled on another potentially poisonous substance: moonshine.

In recent research Holstege found toxic levels in 48 samples of illicit home brew he tested. Wonder if the center ever gets calls from people who've had too much bathtub gin?

Christopher Holstege speaks on "The Chemical and Biological Agents of Terrorism: Facts and Myths" at Woodberry Forest School in Orange at 7pm on Thursday, April 14. 924-0825.

A real circus: One random, zany night

There was a time, we're told, when the arrival of the circus in a small town was the event of the year, maybe even the decade. This was no Ringling Bros. production. These were elaborate caravans with sideshows and freak shows, dancing girls and elephants, fortunetellers reading palms, and would-be apothecaries hawking cure-alls for the ages.

Anthropologists will say that the circus linked audiences to a primordial past as much as it inspired dreams of a wondrous future– modernity and tradition collapsed into one. Gabriel García Márquez put the allegory to work in One Hundred Years of Solitude and gave us the wizard-like Melquíades, one of the most memorable minor characters of recent literature, who amazed his humble hosts with magnets of unusual power, indecipherable scripts, and ice.

This was all, presumably, before capitalism usurped even the carnivalesque and mass-produced it, and before interstates made road trips such a drag. Except for the few who still yearn for the mystical.

You might call Eddy Joe Cotton a real-life Melquíades. He's proof that pockets of society still exist where the gypsy life is held in high esteem. Some even say the mythic circus is making a comeback; the mainstream just hasn't caught on. Whatever's going on, Cotton is a part of it.

A child of '60s and '70s wanderers, Cotton was a mere lad when he parted ways with his working-class father and spent several years hitchhiking around the country and hopping freight trains, collecting the memories he would later gather into the critically acclaimed book Hobo: A Young Man's Thoughts on Trains and Tramping in America.

These days Cotton has settled, more or less, in Northern California. And when he travels, he travels in company with a dozen or so other "tramp artists," bringing a kind of vaudeville revival to venues all across the country. Their act– the Yard Dogs Road Show– stops in Charlottesville this weekend for one night, as usual, before moving on.

Drawing on classic circus fare, the Yard Dogs feature everything from fire eaters to hobo poetry, all set to a mix of old-time and rock-and-roll tunes.

A touch of autobiography lurks in there, no doubt. "I do storytelling," Cotton says, "bizarre exploits with women in strange and awful motel rooms, places where most people wouldn't want to go. Living in garages. Stuff like that."

Elusive, like they used to say of the gypsies. And Cotton doesn't like to elaborate. It's something we'll have to see for ourselves, like the dog-headed man, or Chang and Eng.

This traveling exhibition of neo-vaudeville and side show entertainment is animated by live sounds from the Yard Dogs Cartoon Jug Band. Friday, April 15. 8pm. Live Arts UpStage, 123 E. Water St. $8. Brought to town thanks to the local social center Better than Television. 295-0872.

Physics fun: More than levers and pulleys


The verdict is in: physics can be fun– and not just ramps and levers and frictionless pulleys. We're talking the sort of unbridled joy that can come only from explosions and levitations. It's enough to get a history major fired up about science class again.

That's the whole point of the UVA physics department's National Physics Day show. Dreamed up 11 years ago by Professor Steve Thornton as a way to get young people interested in his field (and, let's face it, physics has never really screamed "fun"), the show has become a mainstay for the department and a chance for Thornton and his colleges to let their hair down and get goofy in the lab.

"We really just try to inspire people and get them interested in physics," explains Mike Timmins. We "show them some cool enough stuff to get them excited about physics before we tell them how much math is involved."

And at a show where excitement is the name of the game, you can't do much better than a carbon dioxide-powered fire extinguisher rocket bike. That is, unless you're playing with liquid nitrogen, messing around with the properties of ultraviolet light, crushing a wine glass with a bowling ball, or blowing up an apple.

The fact is, physics is as much a part of everyday life as breathing and going to the gas station. You just have to know how to look at it.

This is a very special year in the world of physics: 2005 marks the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein's groundbreaking 1905 work. Einstein published three papers that year, including his now well-known theory of relativity, setting the stage for what would become some of the 20th century's biggest discoveries.

"We're going to discuss his work and give several demonstrations of his research," Timmins says. "It's kind of tough to demonstrate relativity, but we'll do some things with light to explain it."

If only our eighth-grade science classes had been like this!

The National Physics Day show happens at 6 and 7:15pm Tuesday, April 19, in Room 203 of the Beams Laboratory of Physics, 382 McCormick Road. Both shows are free and open to the public, but get there early as seats are first come, first served and tend to fill up. More info: Wanda Lawson at 924-3781 or <>;.

Yard Dogs Show: Something to howl about


Beneath the neon dross, the pollution fog, the dejecta membra of our gin rummy lives, something has been lying in wait. With each passing day, it grows more pregnant with an unstoppable will to finally strike against the cool blue glow of our modern society, its tentacles silently stretching out until it has encircled us all.

It's made smaller attempts lately at accomplishing its goal: a drum circle here, a yoga class there, but April 15 will see an attack of epic proportions. Better Than Television, the local artistic collective whose goal is to free man- and womankind from the mind deadening effects of modern technology, presents The Yard Dogs Road Show at Live Arts Upstage, a traveling carnival of sorts, where nary an iconoscope will be seen.

For the last seven years, The Yard Dogs Road Show has been traveling the states, putting their "neo-vaudeville" wares on display. Crediting the saloon vaudeville of the Wild West in the late 1800's as well as burlesque shows popular during and after that period, The Yard Dogs have created an all-encompassing organic multi-media display, where even if you get tired of the sword-swallowers, fire eaters, and the Black and Blue burlesque show, there's always more, like hobo poetry, to keep your interest.

The Yard Dogs have, at their centerpiece, Eddy Joe Cotton, best selling author of A Young Man's Thoughts on Trains and Tramping in America, and a founding member of the show. Tramps, traveling minstrels, and storytellers make up the Yard Dogs (there's no wall separating the three at the show), and these individuals know how to get around. They've performed with Jane's Addiction and Ween, but also in the lot behind the Denver county jail.

And what about the portion that enables the troupe to fit the description of a music piece after all, the electrified jug band? Bizarrely beautiful off-kilter, out-of-order sounds– spoons and assorted other kitchen-ware, whistling, and even a conventional sound like a trumpet or two– make up what reminds you of the soundtrack of a strange dream (check out the tunes for yourself at

Extraordinary, enticing, exhilarating, and edifying, the Yard Dogs Road Show is yet another example of truth being stranger than fiction. Leave your Friends for a night, and see the strange and complex friends you can make in the real world. Better Than Television will show you the way.

Better Than Television presents The Yard Dogs Road Show with Eddy Joe Cotton at Live Arts Upstage, April 15. $7, 8pm.