THURSDAY, May 5
Cast Your Ballot: Flower arrangements created as part of the Around the World in 40 Days exhibit at the Arts Center in Orange are on view today through the weekend. Enjoy today's reception 5-7pm and cast your ballot for best arrangement. The paintings will be up through June 3. 129 E. Main St., across from the Orange train station. 540-672-7311.
Viva la Fiesta!: Kids 5 and up can celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Gordon Avenue Library with Mexican games, music, crafts, and snacks. 4pm. Free. Registration required. 1500 Gordon Ave. 296-5544.
Tales for Tots: The 5 and under crowd can celebrate mom with stories at Barnes & Noble's preschool story time. 10:30am. Free. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.
Hooray for Rural Health Care Efforts: The UVA School of Nursing celebrates the opening of its new Rural Health Care Research Center, beginning with a talk by national institute director Patricia A. Grady on "Rural Health Research: The Road to Improved Health Care Outcomes." 9am. Harrison Small Library Auditorium. UVA. Lunch and afternoon discussions take place in McLeod Hall. 924-0085.
Get Out the Fluvanna Vote: The League of Women Voters of Fluvanna County invites all to an open house. Get to know your neighbors and the issues. 6pm. John Maple Room, Lake Monticello Fire & Rescue Building, 10 Slice Road (Route 600, near the Lake Center Shopping Center), Palmyra. 589-6221.
Brothers Turn Pen Pals: Who doesn't know the slogan "Virginia Is for Lovers"? The guys who created it, brothers Stephen and David Martin, have turned their creative synergy into a novel, The Color of Demons, which starts from a vaguely likely premise– two powerhouse women, one black and one white, run against each other for U.S. president– and then spins out into fantastic possibilities. The sibs meet, greet, and sign books at Barnes & Noble. 7pm. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-0461.
Off the Cuff: Whole World Theater presents live improv comedy at Garden of Sheba. 8pm, $5 (free with dinner).
Lattehouse: The Live Arts Teen Theatre Ensemble presents Lattehouse VII: Consumed, an exploration of mass consumption, poverty, inequity, and environmental degradation– the classic themes of youth angst wrapped in a conspicuous display of talent. Runs for 12 performances through May. Opening night. 7:30pm. Live Arts UpStage, 123 E. Water St. $7. 977-4177.
Raisin: Lorraine Hansberry's 1959 play, A Raisin in the Sun, portrays a few weeks in the life of a black family living in Chicago on the eve of the civil rights movement. Racial tensions spark when they decide to buy a house in an all-white neighborhood. This was the first Broadway drama written by an African American. 7:30pm. Live Arts DownStage, 123 E. Water St. $10-17. 977-4177. See Performance feature,.
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. Lecture at 6pm; chat with the cast after tonight's performance. 7:30pm. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $14-28. 540-851-1733.
Seussical the Musical: The Waynesboro Players present a tapestry of your favorite Dr. Seuss characters– the Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, the Whos and the Grinch– who will tickle your funny bone and touch your heart. 8pm. Louis Spilman Auditorium, Waynesboro High School, 1200 W. Main St. $6-10. Info: waynesboroplayers.org or 540-949-7464.
Golf for a Cure: Raise money for the Alzheimer's Association at the 7th annual Bill Howard Golf Tournament at Birdwood Golf Course. $800 for a team of four includes everything: range balls, cart, greens fees, and dinner for the team with live music from the Houserockers. 8am-6pm. 817-1240
Spanish Conversation Group: La Tertulia, a Spanish conversation group, meets the first Thursday of each month in the Jefferson Room at the Central Library to brush up on studies. All levels welcome. 7pm. 979-7151 or email@example.com.
Honey Handlers: Learn all about the world of buzzy and honey at the monthly meeting of the Central Virginia Beekeepers. 7pm. Free, and open to the public. Education Building at the Ivy Creek Natural Area. 973-7772.
Cozumel, Virginia: The Farm Shop at Kluge Estate Winery celebrates Cinco de Mayo by injecting a bit of South of the Border flair and flavor to their drinks and foods. 984-4855.
French Conversation Luncheons: Allez the first Thursday of every month to L'etoile restaurant on W. Main St., across from the train station. 11:30am. Info: 971-1118 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dub Power Tour (Tru Mystic Dub Raggae Band with members from Dub Side of the Moon) at Garden of Sheba. 10pm, $5.
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.
Karaoke with Mike Beene and Rick Haggard at Fat Daddy's. $5 18-20/ No cover, 9-11pm. 21+
Cinco De Mayo Party with Las Gitanas at Fellini's No. 9. No cover, 10pm.
The Mosquitos at Gravity Lounge. $8, 7pm.
Thompson / D'earth and friends (freeform jazz) at Miller's. $4, 10pm.
William Walter & Co. at Orbit. No cover, 10:30pm.
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.
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Bio Ritmo at Satellite Ballroom. $8, 9pm (salsa lessons from 8-9), 18+.
Vertical Horizon with Small Town Workers at Starr Hill. $18/$15, 8pm.
Open Mic Night at Kokopelli's Cafe. No cover, 6:30 signup/ 7pm.
November's Child at Outback Lodge. $5, 10pm.
Vertical Horizon with Small Town Workers at Starr Hill. $18/$15 advance, 8pm.
FRIDAY, May 6
What Did LBJ Know and When? Some people believe that LBJ had more to do with JFK's assassination than we know. Hear from folks with the inside scoop: Kent Germany and David Shreve, both Miller Center faculty, who have been working with papers and tapes from the critical first 10 weeks of the Johnson administration. They talk today– and play secretly recorded tapes– about what happened in the White House in the aftermath of the tragedy. 11am. 2201 Old Ivy Road. 924-7236.
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.
Roll On: Ever wonder how they pack all that tobacco into those little wrappers? Aficionados Smoke Shop is prepared to demonstrate. Don Lino Africa & Don Lino cigars will be rolled out for your enlightenment. 6-10pm. 108 Fourth St. NE. 975-1175.
Pagan Party: Celebrate the arrival of spring with the Blue Ridge Pagan Alliance at Beltane 2005. Through Sunday. Fees vary. Info: brpagan.com. See Walkabout feature.
Information Session: The Outdoor Adventure Social Club offers a photo show and social hour. 8-10pm. Free if you RSVP. 420 E. Main St. #3. outdoorsocial.com or 760-HIKE.
Lattehouse: See Thursday, May 5. Tonight's show is at 8pm.
Raisin: See Thursday, May 5. Tonight's show is at 8pm.
Seussical: See Thursday, May 5.
Harvey: Four County Players presents the 1944 classic Harvey, a Broadway musical by Mary Coyle Chase. Written to help grieving families find some joy and laughter after World War II, it was one of the longest running plays of its time. Get refreshments before each show. Runs through May. 8pm. Barboursville Community Center, 721 Central Ave., Barboursville. $8-12. 540-832-5355.
She Stoops to Conquer: Playwright Oliver Goldsmith penned this late 18th century comedy, and now Shenandoah Shakespeare brings it 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.
Dance Collage: Piedmont Virginia Community College students and faculty present "A Collage of Collaborations," an interdisciplinary performance combining dance, movement, sculpture, painting, props, poetry, and live music. 7:30pm. Main stage of the V. Earl Dickinson Building, PVCC. Free. 961-5376.
Playback Charlottesville: One of the finest improv troupes in town presents short forms for First Friday opener. 6-7pm. McGuffey Art Center, 201 Second St. NW. Free. 295-7973
Lunch with Bach: Countertenor Paul Walker performs the first of this year's Bach's Lunch Concert Series accompanied by the University of Virginia Early Music Ensemble. 12pm. Christ Episcopal Church, 120 W. High St. 293-2347.
Showtime at the Apollo at the Paramount: Colton Berry, Armonie Brown III, Danny Brown, Marvin Brown, "Lil Kee," Keiyon Downing, and so many more. Local stars try to go far. $33/$30/$27, 8pm.
Turning Break at Rapunzel's: Playing mostly original tunes and a few well-chosen covers, this is Turning Break's second show at Rapunzel's in two weeks- and the staff their know their music. $5, 8pm.
Pete and Lindsey Osborne (folk singers/songwriters) at Basic Necessities. No cover, 6:30pm.
Red Deet and Klessmer Funk at Garden of Sheba. $3, 10pm.
Peyton Tochterman & High Society featuring John D'earth, Andy Thacker, Pete Spaar, and James McLaughlin at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8pm.
Vernon Fisher ("romantic side of jazz") at Keswick Hall. No cover, 6:30pm.
Kip Michaels (keyboards, guitar, vocals) at the Laughing Lion Gallery 103 E. Water St, above Londons. Free, 6pm.
Shayar and Krooshal Force (reggae) at Miller's. $3, 10:30pm.
The Alan Ponton Project (jazz) at Kokopelli's Cafe. $5, 8pm.
Sundried Opossum and Sin City Revival at Outback Lodge. 21+. $6, 10pm.
Tim O'Brien Acoustic Trio at the Prism. $25/$20 advance, 7/9:30pm.
TYFT (jazz) at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar. $5, 9:30pm.
SATURDAY, May 7
Walk the Beach, Thinking of Aberdeen Cathedral: Charlottesville author Ellen Gwynn introduces her new book, Gifts of Passage. Gwynn combines biography, evolutionary science, architecture, and wildlife sightings, along with her own distinctive take on the world out there and within. Noon. New Dominion Bookshop, 404 E. Main St. 295-2552. See Words feature
Wildflowers a-Bloomin': Leonard M. Adkins, wildflower expert from Fincastle, columnist for the Roanoker and contributor to Blue Ridge Outdoors, has just published a new book, Wildflowers of the Blue Ridge and the Great Smoky Mountains. Adkins presents a multimedia show based on his book and flowers that can be identified in bloom now. 1pm. Byrd Visitor Center across from Big Meadows. Skyline Drive Milepost 51. 540-999-3500.
Free Comic Books! Today is free comic book day across the country. Run over to Rio Hill Center and go home with Betty and Veronica and the Hulk under your arm. Details at freecomicbookday.com. Atlas Comics, 1750 Rio Hill Center, 974-7512 email@example.com
Wintergreen Ascent: This six-mile hill climb is the ultimate test of strength and endurance. Cheer on the area's toughest cyclists as they pedal skyward. 10am. Free. 325-2200.
Pet Blessing: Animals of all shapes and sizes are welcome at Unity Church's non-denominational "Blessing of the Animals" ceremony. 11am. Unity Church, 2825 Hydraulic Road. 978-1062.
Spring Bird Walk: Learn the basics of bird identification and explore a variety of habitats in this three-hour interpretive bird walk. 6:30-9:30am, departing from Monticello's Tufton Farm. Registration required. 984-9822.
Market Options: Now open: the Nelson County Farmer's Market features live music, fresh produce, crafts, plants, and more– under the tent in Nellysford. Open every Saturday until September. 8am-noon. 244-2399.
Crozet Arts & Crafts Festival: Browse 125 arts and crafts vendors in Crozet's Claudius Crozet Park. Pottery, textiles, leather, glass, wood, metal, photography, and more. 10am-5:30pm. Fee. 823-2211.
Mother's Day Open House: Honor mom with a relaxing visit to the Wintergreen Winery. There will be wine and gift shop specials, door prizes, and gourmet food samples available. 10am-6pm. No fee. 361-2519.
Pagan Party: See Friday, May 6, and Walkabout feature, page 40.
Arthritis Walk: Form a team, be a sponsor, walk on your own, or volunteer– you can do it all at arthritiswalkcharlottesville.kintera.org. This annual event happens at The Park on UVA's North Grounds at 9am. 975-0548.
Bird Walk: Walk with Cricket Barlow of the Monticello Bird Club for a sneak peak into the spring warbler migration. Beginners are always welcome. Meet in the parking lot at the Ivy Creek Natural Area at 7:30am. Free. 973-7772.
International Compassion 5K: Join the Charlottesville and UVA communities in a 5K run to benefit World Vision's work in Sudan. 8:30am start. Pick up a registration form at Ragged Mountain Running Shop, or sign up on the day of the race. Meet in the field behind Memorial Gymnasium. 244-2713.
Plant Sale: Piedmont Master Gardeners host their annual spring Plant Sale at the Meadowbrook Shopping Center. Buy vegetables, herbs, annuals, perennials, and shrubs grown by the Master Gardeners, and ask your garden-related questions. 9am-noon. 872-4580.
Moms Rule: Enjoy live music, free tastings, raffles, gourmet treats, and games out on the lawn at Farfelu Vineyards. 11am-5pm. $5/person. 540-364-2930 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WALKABOUT AND FAMILY
Sign Up for Studies: On-line registration for summer semester 2005 at Piedmont Virginia Community College is available 24 hours a day through May 20. Classes begin Monday, May 23. A 10-week session and a five-week session begin May 23 and a second five-week session begins June 27. Tuition is $68 per credit hour for Virginia residents, $214 for out-of-state students. Payment is required at the time of registration. For complete registration information, consult pvcc.edu and click on PowerWeb.
Takes a Village: School, that is, to have a Fun Fair today, with games and activities for children ages 3 and up plus a raffle for all ages. 10am-2pm. Central Place on the Downtown Mall. 984-4404.
Hooked on Fishin': The lakes at Mint Springs Park will be well stocked for the eleventh annual Kid's Fishing Day. Kids ages 12 and under are invited to fish for free, and no license is required. Only one fishing rod per child is permitted. A raffle will be held for a fishing outfit. Some bait and tackle will be offered for sale. 9am-3pm. Rt. 684 in Crozet. 296-5844.
Women's Work: The group Holy Land Treasures hosts an exhibition and pre-Mother's Day sale of Palestinian Heritage Embroidery at Westminster Presbyterian Church. A Mediterranean lunch will be served along with the chance to learn about Palestinian embroidery, Middle Eastern culture, and the lives of Palestinian women. The many fine items for sale generate income for refugee and disabled women and for Palestinian olive farm families. 11am-4pm. 190 Rugby Rd. email@example.com.
Princess Diaries: Barnes & Noble celebrates the Disney Princesses in a special story-time event that includes creating your own crown and a snack. 11:30am. Free. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.
Crafty in Crozet: Live music, entertainment, food, and 125 artists and craftspeople return for the spring version of the Crozet Arts and Crafts Festival. 10am-5pm. Entrance fee $4 for adult, $1 for children 6-12. Claudius Crozet Park. 823-2211.
Science Daze: The Science Museum of Virginia invites visitors to discover the animals and plants living in your backyard and across Virginia. Science Days is an all-day program that includes hands-on science workshops, demonstrations, exhibits, an IMAX film, and planetarium show. $18 per child. For every six children, one adult chaperon is required. Required adults are $9. Additional adults are $18. Registration is required. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 804-864-1447.
Aviation Adventure: High flyers can let their imaginations soar with Aviation Adventure: Helicopters at the Virginia Aviation Museum. Hands-on activities let kids of all ages experiment with the forces of flight. 10am-noon. Included in the price of admission. Richmond International Airport, 5701 Huntsman Road. 804-236-3622.
Behind Closed Doors: Visitors ages 5 and up are invited to walk through the "Employees Only" door for a special peek at the inner workings of Maymont's new Nature Center. Children must be accompanied by a parent. Register at the visitors center when you arrive. 1pm. $5. 1700 Hampton St., Richmond. 804-358-7166, ext. 333.
Lattehouse: See Thursday, May 5.
Mas Baile: Mas tapas bar presents a disco extravaganza with DJ Lem spinning in the restaurant's "downstairs fun room." 10:30pm-2am. 501 Monticello Road. No cover. 979-0990.
Piper is Calling: The award-winning belly dancer known simply as Piper headlines a showcase of folk and professional styles from Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Greece, with an American twist on presentation and style. 7:30pm. Main stage of the V. Earl Dickinson Building, PVCC. $8-10. 961-5376.
Raisin: See Thursday, May 5.
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. 2pm. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $14-28. 540-851-1733.
Twelfth Night: See Thursday, May 5.
Seussical the Musical: See Thursday, May 5.
Harvey: See Friday, May 6.
"The Battle of the Jans" at Rapunzel's: The folk/pop sounds of Jan Smith and singer/songwriter Jan Glennie Smith- two ladies with a single moniker– a recipe for hilarity! $5, 8pm.
Dromedary with Morwenna Lasko and Jay Pun at Outback Lodge. Andrew Ressigen and Rob McMaken are known as "masters of multiple instruments," bringing in such things as the Bolivian charango, the Appalachian dulcimer, and the Turkish cumbus with more familiar favorites. $15/$12 advance, 8pm.
Mother's Day Music Festival with John D'earth, Greg Howard, Dinah Pearson-Day, Red Beat, Hot Club of Charlottesville, and the Tandem Jazz Ensemble at the Tandem Friends School: A benefit concert for the Tandem Diversity Scholarship Fund in its 20th year, this annual festival is a afternoon of food, games, and games of chance (a raffle)! $10/$5 students, 12:30pm.
Heretics In the Lab CD Release Party with Terror Couple and Synthetic Nightmare at Outback Lodge. $6, 10pm.
Mammie (Michael Mulvaney and friends) at Inn at Afton, 9pm-1am.
Victor Cabas (blues) at Basic Necessities. No cover, 6:30pm. .
Populist Dancing at Club Rio. $10, 9pm.
Greg Howard and friends featuring Darrell Rose at Gravity Lounge. $7/$5 students, 8pm.
Vernon Fisher ("romantic side of jazz") at Keswick Hall. No cover, 6:30pm.
Liz Clark and the Whiskey Breath Travelers (rock n' roll with country) at Miller's. $3, 10:30pm.
Blues Soup at Kokopell's Cafe. $5, 8pm.
Royal Pine (old time) at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar. No cover, 9:30pm.
SUNDAY, May 8
ART AND WORDS
Dress Optional?: Kicking off a six-week photography show, former curator Stephen Margulies offers a gallery talk on the new exhibition and the questions it raises about changing morality and aesthetics regarding the human body. 2pm. UVA Art Museum, 155 Rugby Road. 924-3592 or virginia.edu/artmuseum.
Midsummer Auditions: Four County Players is looking for four-county players to fill two hours' traffic at the Barboursville Ruins this summer. A Midsummer Night's Dream will run over four weekends through July. Seeking 11 men, 4 women, and 8 children, ages 6-17. Musicians encouraged. Production volunteers welcome. Cold readings. 7pm. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St.
Raisin: See Thursday, May 5. Today's show is a 2pm matinee.
Seussical the Musical: See Thursday, May 5. Today's performance is a 2pm matinee.
She Stoops to Conquer: See Friday, May 6. Today's performance is a matinee at 2pm.
Harvey: See Friday, May 6. Today's show is at 2:30pm.
Crafty in Crozet: See Saturday, May 7.
Sips and Soups: Treat Mom to a wine tasting and some soups at Cardinal Point Vineyard & Winery's Mother's Day Open House. You don't even have to tell her that it's all free. 10am-6pm. 9423 Batesville Road in Afton. 540-456-8400.
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. 325-8169.
Moms Rule: See Saturday, May 7.
Crozet Arts & Crafts Festival: See Saturday, May 7.
Mother's Day Open House: See Saturday, May 7.
Celtic Festival, featuring music by Debbie & Peter Hunter at Gravity Lounge: Beginning with Patrick, Aran, and Mathew Olwell (flute, dance, and fiddle), Greenwood, the early music ensemble (harp, fiddle, recorder, dulcimer, and viola da gamba) brings four voices and four instruments to Irish-up your Saturday night. $7, 7pm.
Karaoke with Tammy at City Limits. No cover, 7-11pm.
Barling and Collins at Miller's. No cover, 10:30pm.
Caribou, Junior Boys, Russian Futurists at the Satellite Ballroom. $8, 8pm.
Irish Music Session at Shebeen. No cover, 3-6pm.
Clarence Green's Chamelon Project (island-based pop) at Kokopell's Cafe. $3, 7pm.
MONDAY, May 9
Brown v. Board Dynamics: Hear Michael J. Klarman speak on "Brown vs. the Board of Education and the Civil Rights Movement" at the main branch of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library. 7pm. 201 E. Market St., 1-866-882-6887. virginia.edu/engagingthemind/.
Midsummer Auditions: See Sunday, May 8. Today's auditions are (at the Barboursville Community Center, 721 Central Ave., Barboursville.)
Talk About It: Black Women, White Women, All Women In Dialogue holds its monthly meeting in the Madison Room at the Central Library. 5:45-7:15pm. All are welcome to join in the discussion. 295-2612.
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.
All Aboard: The National Railway Historical Society's Rivanna Chapter convenes at Golden Corral on U.S. 29 for their monthly meeting, featuring a presentation by Kim Parker, manager of the O. Winston Link Museum in Roanoke. Pay-as-you-go dinner/social at 6pm, followed by the program at 7. Visitors welcome.
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.
Avi and Sebastian at Miller's. No cover, 10:30pm.
Cinema & Drafthouse: "The Killers" (1946, William Conrad, Charles McGraw 105 min, All Ages) at Satellite Ballroom. 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.
Open Mic Night with Josh Mayo at Gravity Lounge. 7pm, $5.
TUESDAY, May 10
Modernize Tibet: Thieves' Island is UVA undergraduate Mary Rodeghier's black and white photographic essay on a rapidly changing neighborhood of Lhasa, Tibet, People's Republic of China. Meet her at a reception today at 7pm. Newcomb Hall Art Gallery (3rd floor). UVA. 295-9720.
Civil Rights as Testament of Faith: Charles Marsh, director of UVA's project on Lived Theology, cites Martin Luther King,Jr.'s statement, "The end is reconciliation, the end is redemption, the end is the creation of the beloved community" and titles his talk (and his new book) Beloved Community: How Faith Shapes Social Justice, from the Civil Rights Movement to Today. Marsh speaks at 5:30pm at the Miller Center. 2201 Old Ivy Road. 924-7136.
She Stoops to Conquer: See Friday, May 6. Today's show is a school matinee at 10:30am.
Midsummer Auditions: See Sunday, May 8. Today's auditions are at the Barboursville Community Center, 721 Central Ave., Barboursville.
Be Prepared: Learn how to protect your family in the event of disaster. This 8-week emergency preparedness class meets each Tuesday night at the Senior Center. 7-9pm. Fee, and registration is required. 971-1263 or charlottesvillecert.org for details.
It's a Snap: The Charlottesville camera club meets to discuss photographic successes and tips, this month with a focus on moods. Visitors welcome. 6:30pm. Westminster Canterbury, 250 Pantops Mountain Road. 973-4856.
Planning Ahead: Lambert Barrett-Johnson and Associates presents a series of financial planning lectures geared to folks over 50. This week's topic: more on managing your retirement income. 6-7:30pm in Room C at the Senior Center. Free. 974-7756.
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.
Joseph Mills at Fat Daddy's. $5 18-20/ No cover 21+, 9-11pm
Faster Than Walking at Miller's. $3, 9:30pm.
$2 Tuesdays with Big Circle at Outback Lodge. No cover, 10pm.
Old School Freight Train (bluegrass) Plan 9 on the Corner. Free, 3:30pm.
WEDNESDAY, May 11
Why They Can't Catch Bin Laden: Miller Center scholar Timothy Naftali traces the history of U.S. anti-terrorism efforts to the present day, using that background as a way to analyze current failures to track down Osama bin Laden. Naftali, director of the both the Presidential Recordings Program and the Kremlin decision-making project at the Miller Center speaks today on the inability of American presidents to recognize the dangers posed by bin Laden at 11am. 2201 Old Ivy Road, 924-7136.
Sowing Seeds: Ellora Young talks about the Kew Garden Millennium Seed Project and efforts to collect seeds of Virginia's native plants for this project at a meeting of the Jefferson Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society. 7:30pm. Education Center at Ivy Creek Natural Center. 293-8997.
Raisin: See Thursday, May 5. Tonight's 8pm performance is pay-what-you-will.
Twelfth Night: See Thursday, May 5. Today's 10:30am performance is a school matinee.
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. Tonight's video is Born in the USA followed by a discussion led by midwife Julia Weissman. 6:30-8:30pm. Free. Weeville, 218 W. Water St. 978-4779. InformedBirthOptions.org.
More Tales for Tots: The 5 and under crowd can hear favorite picture book stories about flowers at Barnes & Noble's preschool story time. 10:30am. Free. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.
Sparky's Flaw at Gravity Lounge: Teenage angst has yet to pay off for Sparky's Flaw, but they seem to be on the way. Rock/pop with an ear for the hook. $5, 8pm.
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.
Benny Dodd (rock covers) at Coupe DeVille's. No cover, 10pm.
Open Mic Night at Dew Drop Inn. No cover, 7:30pm.
Josh Mayo at Fat Daddy's. $5 18-20/ No cover 21+, 9-11pm
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.
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.
Jimmy O at the South River Grill in Waynesboro. No cover, 7:30pm.
Chris Jameson (acoustic rock and blues) at the Virginian. No cover, 10pm.
Karaoke Night at West Main. No Cover, 10pm.
Sightings at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar. $5, 9:30pm.
THURSDAY, May 12
Fit Kids: Barracks Road Shopping Center and AlbemarleFamily.com celebrate Fit Forever Day. This month's Mommy & Me (& Daddies, Too) activities are all about fitness and health. 10am-noon. Free. 977-4583.
More Tales for Tots: See Wednesday, May 11.
Lattehouse: See Thursday, May 5.
Raisin: See Thursday, May 5.
Bird Business: The Monticello Bird Club flocks to its monthly meeting for a member-led slide show of nature photos. 7:30pm. No fee. Meet in the Education Building at Ivy Creek Natural Area. Visitors welcome. 244-2688.
Grow Slow: Advocates for a Sustainable Albemarle Population gather for their monthly meeting. 7:30pm at the Westminster Presbyterian Church library. All members of the community are welcome. 974-6390 or stopgrowthasap.org.
Death Vessel at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar: Joel Thibodeau and company mix a little alt/country with some folk, all done up in the fascinating soprano of the man in charge. No cover, 9:30. See Tunes feature.
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.
Karaoke with Mike Beene and Rick Haggard at Fat Daddy's. $5 18-20/ No cover 21+, 9-11pm
R.B. Smith Memorial Concert and CD release at Gravity Lounge. $10, 8pm.
Thompson / D'earth and friends (freeform jazz) at Miller's. $4, 10pm.
Chance Element with The Nice Jenkins (original rock with projection video) at Outback Lodge. $5, 10pm.
Satisfaction with Noel Sanger (18 and up dance party) at Rapture. $3/Ladies free, 10:30pm.
Open Mic Night at Kokopelli's Cafe. No cover, 6:30signup/7pm music.
ONGOING AND UPCOMING
Song of Himself: An exhibition of UVA's remarkable collection of Walt Whitman's papers, publications, and memorabilia, including photos of the poet himself, continues in UVA's Harrison Small first-floor gallery until June 30. 924-6040.
South American Transformation: Artifacts from before, during, and after the first contacts of Europe with South America form the student-initiated exhibit at UVA's Harrison Small Library titled "South America's Gran Columbia: From Native Empires to Independent Nations," on view until August 16. 924-6040.
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.
River Ramble: Call now for your tickets to join one of the James River Rambler railroad excursions happening on May 14 and 21 and June 4. This popular train ride wanders through the rolling hills and deep forests of Buckingham County from Dillwyn along the historic Buckingham Branch rail line. Choose from a 90-minute or 3.5-hour tour. Sponsored by the Old Dominion Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. Call between 10am-4pm Saturdays, 1-4pm Sundays: 800-451-6318. odcnrhs.org.
TJ for Children: Monticello offers Tours for Children and their Families on weekends through June 12. Throughout the summer they happen every day. Families should request this special tour at the admission desk. 1 and 3pm. Included in the price of general admission. Thomas Jefferson Parkway, Rt. 53. 984-9822.
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.
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. firstname.lastname@example.org, 243-6421, or naturespirit.info.
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. Info: 295-1395.
During May, the McGuffey Art Center devotes its entire space to The Virginia Watercolor Society's annual juried show, which hangs through May 29. Also, on May 8, 3-6pm, Tandem Friends senior Isabella "Maggie" Scott presents her multi-media project, "Constant Comment: A Tea Party of Inspirational Women of Charlottesville," which should make for a fascinating Mother's Day celebration. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.
On May 6, the University of Virginia Art Museum opens "The Naked and the Clothed: Photographs from the Collection," which will hang through June 19. Stephen Margulies presents a gallery talk on the show on May 8 at 2pm. Also on view: 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. Visitors can also enjoy "Aspects of Influence: Lincoln Perry Mines the Collection," an exhibition about artistic influence curated by painter Lincoln Perry (but not featuring his paintings), which runs through May 22. The museum 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.
Watercolor artist Edith Arbaugh presents a 10-painting, Lawn-celebrating exhibition, "Jefferson Legacy Series," in UVA's Rotunda Dome Room through May 19. University Ave. 924-1019.
On May 6, Second Street Gallery opens "uglyplaces: Installation by Bogdan Achimescu," which will be on view through May 28. The artist will give a talk at 6:30pm, May 6. 115 Second St. SE in City Center for Contemporary Arts. 977-7284.
During May, Les Yeux du Monde, in cooperation with Second Street Gallery, extends Bogdan Achimescu's installation "uglyplaces" into its downstairs gallery. 115 S. First St. 973-5566.
For its May show, The Gallery@Studio 302 features "Paintings and Photographs by Andrew Hersey." 300 W. Main St. (above the UVA Off Grounds Studio). 924-5405.
The Main Street Market Galleria displays Bill Weaver's paintings of Charlottesville, which will remain on view through May 31. 416 W. Main St. 244-7800.
During May, Transient Crafters presents "East Meets West: A Multimedia Approach to Communications," featuring the calligraphy and sculpture of Virginia Moore. 118 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 972-9500.
New Dominion Bookshop features "Sea & Sky," watercolors by Janet Anderson, on its mezzanine level during May. 404 W. Main St. 295-2552.
The Charlottesville Community Design Center presents a May exhibition entitled "ecoMOD House Number One," which examines a new design/build project at the University of Virginia School of Architecture. 101 E. Main St. 984-2232.
CODG's May show, "Spastic Plastic," features sculpture and mixed media done with plastic toys by Roddrick Rhodes. 112 E. Main St., under the Jefferson Theater. 242-4212.
With a reception on May 8, The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church welcomes Tim Lingo's "The Beauty of Women." Noon. 717 Rugby Road. 977-5411.
During May, the C&O Gallery features "Darkness & Light– Mexican Architecture, Culture, and Time," a collaborative exhibition by photographer Philip Beaurline and writer Kyle Copas. 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.
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.
Through May 28, The King Building hosts "An Intimate Study: Photographs by Alexis Day," and "unscapes," images by photographer Catherine Wyatt. 410 E. Water St. 242-6196.
During May, the 5th Floor Gallery at Keller Williams displays watercolors by Judith Ely and bronze sculptures by Craig Murphy. 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 June, Angelo displays "Glimpses," landscape monotypes and etchings by Tim Michel. 220 E. Main St. 971-9256.
The Kluge-Ruhe Collection of Aboriginal Art presents "Seeing the Other: The Human Image by Indigenous and non-Indigenous Artists," on view through August 13. 400 Worrell Drive, Peter Jefferson Place (off Route 250 East at Pantops). 244-0234. See Art feature.
For its May show, The Gallery @ 5th & Water offers paintings by Frank Hobbs, who "interprets the complex sensory feast of nature into succinct powerful statements of the essential visual experience" (whew). 107 Fifth St. 979-9825.
Sage Moon Gallery presents May exhibitions of sculpture by Chris MacAndrew and paintings by Ruth Hembree. 420 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 977-9997.
View Frank Feigert's exhibition of photographs entitled "Pieces of Places" at Art Upstairs during May. 316 E. Main St., above The Hardware Store, on the Downtown Mall. 923-3900.
The Laughing Lion Gallery offers a May show of Terrence Pratt's graphite portraits on paper.103 E. Water St. (above Londons). 984-4000.
For the month of May, BozArt Gallery features "Newly Uncovered Paintings," works in oil, beeswax, and mixed media by Amy Mitchell Howard. 211 W. Main St. 296-3919.
Glo is currently showing paintings by Christian Peri. 225 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 295-7432.
During May, Gravity Lounge presents "Junkyard Culture," an exhibition of photographs by Joey Parent. 103 S. First St. 977-5590.
Belmont's Better Than Television Community Center/Infoshop displays midlife-focused collages by Vanthi Nguyen during May. 106 Goodman St. 295-0872.
Fellini's #9 presents "Flowers & Bugs," oil paintings by Lynn Jamgochian (who also has work on view at Barnes & Noble) through the end of May. 209 W. Market St. 286-2898.
Blue Ridge Beads & Glass displays new paintings and art glass by Jerry O'Dell. 1724 Allied St. 434.293.2876.
L'étoile Restaurant is shwoing 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 Sharon Zarambo's "Mixed Media & Fiber" exhibition, which will remain on view through May 31. 601 Shenandoah Dr. (Exit 94 off I-64), Waynesboro. 540-946-3294.
The Scottsville Council for the Arts presents its "Scottsville Photography Show," on view through May 15 at Victory Hall Theatre. 401 Valley St., Scottsville. 434-286-3179.
The Arts Center in Orange features "Around the World in 40 Days," an exhibition of paintings from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Poland, and Russia. The show runs through June 4. 149 E. Main St., Orange. 540-672-7311.
Through May, Washington and Lee University presents an exhibition of work by Anne Sherwood Pundyk. Lexington. 540-458-8954.
Madison's Sevenoaks Pathwork Center features "Rebellion Held in Compassion," an exhibition of pastel paintings by Cynthia Haney, through July 13. 403 Pathwork Way, Madison. 434-295-8315.
The Barn Swallow features pottery by Janice Arone and Mary Ann Burke, plus other handcrafted artwork. Route 682 off 250W. 434-979-4884.
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 pvlc.org. 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. Details and specific guidelines: 984-2232 or email@example.com.
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. For more information, contact Lili Grabbi at 434-243-6830 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
First Friday, May 6
The McGuffey Art Center celebrates its May display of The Virginia Watercolor Society's annual juried show with a reception, 5:30-7:30pm. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.
Second Street Gallery welcomes Bogdan Achimescu's installation "uglyplaces," with an opening, 6-8pm. Artist's talk at 6:30pm. 115 Second St. SE in City Center for Contemporary Arts. 977-7284.
Les Yeux du Monde also celebrates its part of Bogdan Achimescu's "uglyplaces" with a reception, 5:30-8pm 115 S. First St. 973-5566.
The Gallery@Studio 302 opens its exhibition of Andrew Hersey's paintings and photographs with a reception, 5:30-9pm. 300 W. Main St. (above the UVA Off Grounds Studio). 924-5405.
Transient Crafters welcomes Virginia Moore's calligraphy and sculpture exhibition, "East Meets West: A Multimedia Approach to Communications," with an artist's reception, 6-9pm. 118 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 972-9500.
The Charlottesville Community Design Center opens its exhibition "EcoMOD: House Number One." 6-9pm. 101 E. Main St. 984-2232.
CODG opens its May show "Spastic Plastic," work incorporating plastic toys by Roddrick Rhodes. 6-10pm. 112 E. Main St., under the Jefferson Theater. 242-4212.
The BozArt Gallery opens "Newly Uncovered Paintings," mixed-media work by Amy Mitchell Howard. 6-9pm. 211 W. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 296-3919.
Angelo welcomes "Glimpses," landscape monotypes and etchings by Tim Michel, with a reception, 5:30-8pm. 220 E. Main St. 971-9256.
Art Upstairs holds an artist's reception for photographer Frank Feigert's show, "Pieces of Places." 5:30-9pm. 316 E. Main St., above The Hardware Store, on the Downtown Mall. 923-3900.
The Gallery @ 5th & Water welcomes its exhibition of paintings by Frank Hobbs with a reception, 5:30-8:30pm. 107 Water St. 979-9825.
The Laughing Lion Gallery celebrates Terrence Pratt's portraits in graphite with live jazz by Kip Michaels. 6-8pm. 103 E. Water St. (above Londons). 984-4000.
Sage Moon Gallery celebrates its exhibition of sculptures by Chris MacAndrew and paintings by Ruth Hembree, with an opening reception, 6-9pm. 420 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 977-9997.
New Dominion Bookshop opens "Sea & Sky," watercolors by Janet Anderson, with a reception, 5-7pm. 404 W. Main St. 295-2552.
The C&O Gallery celebrates "Darkness & Light– Mexican Architecture, Culture, and Time," a collaborative exhibition by photographer Philip Beaurline and writer Kyle Copas. 5-7pm. 511 E. Water St. (next to the C&O Restaurant). 971-7044.
The King Building hosts an opening for "An Intimate Study: Photographs by Alexis Day," and "unscapes," images by photographer Catherine Wyatt. 5-8pm. 410 E. Water St. 242-6196.
The 5th Floor Gallery at Keller Williams opens its display of watercolors by Judith Ely and bronze sculptures by Craig Murphy with a reception, 5-7pm. Suite 500, Citizens Commonwealth Building (UVA Credit Union), 300 Preston Ave. 220-2200.
Glo hosts a reception to open the exhibition of paintings by Christian Peri, 5-8pm. 225 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 295-7432.
Gravity Lounge welcomes "Junkyard Culture," an exhibition of photographs by Joey Parent with an opening, 5-7pm. 103 S. First St. 977-5590.
Belmont's Better Than Television Community Center/Infoshop hosts an opening for the midlife-focused collages by Vanthi Nguyen. 6-8pm. 106 Goodman St. 295-0872.
Fellini's #9 opens "Flowers & Bugs," oil paintings by Lynn Jamgochian, with a reception, 5:30-7:30pm. 209 W. Market St. 286-2898.
Identity theft- Uncovering the other
BY LAURA PARSONS ART@READTHEHOOK.COM
When it comes to abysmal treatment of indigenous peoples, the United States has nothing on Australia. While the U.S. forced Native American children to attend special Indian boarding schools during the first-half of the 20th century, Australia snatched Aboriginal children and placed them in missionary academies or gave them to white families to rear.
Here's another jaw-dropping fact I learned while visiting "Seeing the Other," the current exhibition at the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection. Aborigines gained access to Australian citizenship only in 1943 when "exemption certificates" (derogatorily called "dog tags" by Aborigines) were granted to applicants if they renounced contact with non-exempt people, including family members living in Aboriginal settlements. In other words, to become citizens of their own country, they had to whiten up.
Fortunately and unfortunately, such imposed assimilation and social discrimination has proved fertile terrain for the contemporary Australian artists exhibited at Kluge-Ruhe.
The current wide-ranging show encompasses photography, painting, prints, and sculpture by both Aborigines and non-Aborigines. Its theme is "the human image," but it pulses with a strong political subtext. In fact, the library/conference room contains works that specifically address social justice, including Sally Morgan's stylized black-and-white lithograph, "Citizenship" (its accompanying signage explains the above-mentioned "dog tags"), and Derek Glaskin's six acrylic-on-canvas paintings cartoonishly lampooning Australian Prime Minister John Howard.
Kluge-Ruhe's central room displays pieces by non-Aborigines. Rod Moss's "Man with Dogs" pulls the viewer into the work along the back of a centrally positioned pup with its paws on the lap of a middle-aged Aboriginal man sitting on a red milk crate beside a corrugated tin building. Moss, who depicts only Aborigines he knows, uses graphite to separate his indigenous figures from the surrounding multi-colored landscapes.
Traditional and contemporary Aboriginal works hang in the anteroom, and the far fireplace room explores "otherness" through pieces exploring intersections of Western and Aboriginal cultures. Title plates enable visitors to distinguish Aboriginal from non-Aboriginal works by printing Aboriginal artists in black ink and non-Aboriginals in gray. Interestingly, even the most modern Aboriginal works incorporate traces of traditional painting styles and motifs.
Not to be missed are three paintings by Aboriginal artist Julie Dowling. Subtly layered, these acrylic-on-canvas works gorgeously expose aspects of historical attempts to westernize Aborigines. Dowling's pieces may not be happy, but they sparkle with fire and ethnic pride.
"Seeing the Other: The Human Image by Indigenous and non-Indigenous Artists" is on view through August 13 at the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection. 400 Worrell Drive, Peter Jefferson Place. 244-0234.
Timely topic: Raisin raises race questions
BY ROBERT ARMENGOL PERFORMANCE@READTHEHOOK.COM
When old classics are brought back to life, it's usually because they remain more relevant than we would like to admit. This is no different in the case of A Raisin the Sun, an acclaimed 1959 Broadway musical– and the first to be written by a black woman (or man).
At age 29, Lorraine Hansberry created the fictional Younger family during a period in American history pregnant with change, just as the civil rights movement was gaining ground. Audiences in New York responded with unexpected enthusiasm and sympathy for members of the African-American cast (including a young Sidney Poitier), who for once were playing roles that weren't static or stereotyped.
New York responded again last year with an award-winning reproduction of Raisin starring notables like Phylicia Rashad and Sean "P. Diddy" Combs. Live Arts, at once aiming for the retro and the cutting edge, has brought the play to Charlottesville, to play this month under the direction of Satch Huizenga.
"In my opinion, Americans have poor awareness or knowledge of history," Huizenga says. "I think it's important for us as a developing society to consider, read, work on, and see plays like Hansberry's great piece, to remind us of where we have been, or we may be destined to repeat our mistakes. Not only is A Raisin in the Sun politically important, but the writing alone is worth the price of admission."
Named after a line in a Langston Hughes poem, the show came out of Hansberry's imagination, but its storyline was close to home. Struggling to get by in a cramped apartment on the South Side of Chicago, the Youngers come in to a $10,000 life-insurance payout and have to decide what to do with it. They consider moving to an all-white suburb– and you can imagine where this goes.
Hughes, of course, didn't have to imagine it. When she was a child, her own father, a successful real-estate broker, tried to move her family to a white neighborhood in Chicago, setting off a violent showdown that led to the courts and, eventually, a repeal of laws keeping blacks from moving to certain parts of town.
Things change and don't change. In some places, African-Americans still face hardships buying homes and overcoming institutionalized racial discrimination, and Charlottesville is no exception. A town with a cosmopolitan self-image, critics claim it lives in self-denial about its own segregation. This is an apt place to bring a drama like Raisin.
We can only hope that Hansberry– who died of cancer at 34– still has the power to get us thinking about issues like race relations, to encourage integration not only in theater but in the theater of life.
Raisin in the Sun runs through May 21. Check this issue's calendar and livearts.org for show times. Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. 977-4177.
Day camp: Swim a stream, create a farm
BY LINDA KOBERT FAMKLY@READTHEHOOK.COM
What would summer be without camp? It's the thing my kids look forward to all year. There's little more than a month of school left, but it's not too late to sign up for one or more of the dozens of local camp programs. To find out about sessions for every age and interest, check out The Hook's Summer Camp Guide. Here are a couple of my personal favorites:
For the past 17 years, Tandem Friends School's summer program, Spectrum, has offered an array of imaginative classes that give kids in grades 1-12 the chance to wander down new avenues of self expression or charge further along a well-loved creative path. Three two-week sessions with four class options each day give explorers a wide variety of possibilities.
Just for starters, first-to-third graders can have fun with fairy tales, get silly with Seuss, or go buggy with spiders, bees, and centipedes. Grades 4-6 have the chance to learn to dance like Missy Elliot, enter the world of wizard crafts, paint on the walls, and feel the beat of the African drums. Those in grades 6-8 can do the monster mash, super-size their sculpture, battle the forces of evil with magic and medieval weapons, or explore the mysteries of history.
This year Spectrum has added programs in theater and photography along with an open art studio for high school kids. Also new this year is a full morning farm program for middle schoolers who really dig it. The outdoor Adventure Camp is back again. Parents can even participate in an early morning sunrise yoga class.
Living Earth School is relatively new in town– they've been teaching earth skills and appreciation for about four years– but their programs are ancient. With two "day camps" and three week-long overnight camps, LES helps kids get back to nature in a way that lets them feel comfortable and gain self-confidence in the wilderness.
Kids ages 7-11 can explore mountains, streams, and other wild places during day camp sessions. They work together learning about plants, mammals, tracking, birds, awareness skills, and navigation. Hands-on games, activities, adventures, and challenges make the learning fun.
Older adventurers go deeper into survival skills during overnight sessions. Learning skills such as starting a fire without matches, building a debris hut, carving a bowl and spoon, swimming in a mountain stream, and foraging in the forest for safe edibles not only gives kids confidence in the woods but also helps them discover who they are. Evenings are spent around the campfire telling stories, star gazing, and making native crafts. Life doesn't get much better than that.
Spectrum sessions start June 20 at Tandem Friends School, 279 Tandem Lane across the street from Monticello High School. 296-1303, ext. 245. The schedule of classes and applications available at tandemfs.org. Living Earth School camps start June 27 at the Sugar Hollow Girl Scout Camp in White Hall. 540-456-7339. Information and applications available at circleofseeds.com. The Summer Camp Guide is at readthehook.com/camp.html.
Beach music: Poetry disguised as prose
BY SUSAN TYLER HITCHCOCK WORDS@READTHEHOOK.COM
It takes a solid core of self-belief to do what Charlottesville resident Ellen Gwynn has done: write and self-publish, with great style and professional know-how, not one, but now two, books of her own idiosyncratic writing. Many people self-publish, but so often details signal an amateur: a clip-art cover, unbalanced page design, illustrations that ought not to have gone any farther than the page they were drawn on.
But Gwynn does it right, judging from her new book, Gifts from Passage. And, since we all do judge books by their covers anyway, her presentation invites one into the wanderings of her mind, which ebb and flow, gush and trickle like the waves she is constantly describing. It's a difficult path but worth the effort to follow.
In Gifts from Passage, Gwynn juxtaposes two subjects– the project of moving a vintage beach hotel from one North Carolina coastal site to another, and her grandfather, John Ninian Comper, an early 20th-century English architect distinguished by his work on a new cathedral in Aberdeen, Scotland.
Narratives about each of these disparate topics back up against the ever-present backdrop of the Outer Banks: its waves, its plants, its birds, especially the diversity of gull species that Gwynn so intimately knows. Comper's cathedral drawings harmonize gracefully with beach vignettes by Charlottesville resident Wilma Bradbeer.
Gwynn writes both impressionistically and scientifically, her writing weaving in and out of those two opposing modes in a way that ultimately makes one trust, wonder, and dive deeper into its meaning.
"Time is no longer held fast by such vastness, and by the sea, biography writes itself as change"– this comment comes after an observation of skimmers scooping up small fish from the ocean surface in the night, and before a description of the evolution of tiny marine creatures called sea squirts.
"Could I sail on wind waves to a night in the Devonian," imagines Gwynn, "I would find scattered softwood trees with trunks two feet wide lifting their fronds toward the moon shining on a still pool." Having set that visionary stage, she imagines the lungfish, starved for oxygen in a stagnant pool, creeping up to the surface: a personal glimpse of that key step in the evolution of earth's animals.
Like a poem, or many poems, Gifts of Passage does not easily give up its meaning. The rhythm of Gwynn's writing, her ways of looking and seeing, her willingness to take risks and juxtapose, keep ringing in the mind. But what's it all about? I suspect Ellen Gwynn would tell you that only the waves of the ocean really know.
Ellen Gwynn reads from and signs Gifts of Passage at New Dominion Bookshop Saturday, May 7, at noon. 404 E. Main St. 293-5494.
Pagan party: No bonfires, just bonhomie
BY TIM SPRINKLE WALKABOUT@READTHEHOOK.COM
I've come across some loaded words in my time, but few of them are quite as inflammatory as "pagan." It's a term that conjures up images of dark hooded worshippers, ancient stone temples, and shadowy ceremonies held in the dead of night. But for all the stereotypes, all the mystery, a lot of folks&endash; me included&endash; don't really understand what paganism is all about.
This weekend, the Blue Ridge Pagan Alliance (BRPA) hopes to rectify that situation at their annual Beltane festival. Part outdoor party, part public relations event, Beltane is a chance for central Virginia pagans to gather and celebrate their Earth-based faith. But, as always, it's also an opportunity for the group to open the doors and share their beliefs with the Charlottesville community.
According to organizers, the whole weekend– from the sandwich vendors to the ritual workshops– will be open and accessible "to anybody who's reasonably tolerant" and is interested in learning more.
"At its root, [Beltane is] a celebration of spring," explains Kirstin Fendig with the BRPA. "Basically, it's a community get-together in the outdoors, a lot like any festival that you'd go to."
The weekend includes time-honored festival mainstays like food and craft vendors, music, and children's games, with more traditional activities like dancing, drumming, pagan rituals, and workshops– on topics ranging from herbalism to belly dancing– rounding out the offerings.
On Saturday, members present the popular Maypole ceremony to greet the spring. Camp on site and hang out all weekend, or buy a Saturday pass and take in the experience for an afternoon.
The word "Beltane" itself is a Gaelic term than means "fertility," a primal concept at the heart of many early pagan rituals. "Back then, fertility was more of a big deal, especially since people were living off the land," Fendig says. "But now we look at it as 'summertime ahead,' and a welcome to spring."
In that welcoming spirit, donations will be collected for the Food Bank of Greene and Friends of Animal Shelters. Both groups have a variety of needs, and drop-off points with additional information will be at the registration desk.
"A pagan festival at heart, Beltane is also pretty friendly and open to just about anybody with an open mind. This is really just a weekend-long celebration of the Beltane holiday," according to Fendig.
With any luck, some folks just might go home with a better understanding of paganism and other Earth-based faiths– images of dark cloaks and bonfires banished from their imagination.
Beltane 2005 happens Friday through Sunday at Heavenly Acres Campground in Stanardsville. Admission fees vary depending on how long you want to stay, but everything is open to the public. More information about the Beltane 2005 festival or the Blue Ridge Pagan Alliance is available at brpagan.com or email email@example.com.
Lonesome soprano: A brand new drug
BY MARK GRABOWSKI TUNES@READTHEHOOK.COM
Even if you're so cold and emotionally battened-down that you can't be moved by the first glance of your newborn, the death of one of your parents, or the taste of a really good steak, you'd have to be a tungsten-wired monster not to have a little place in your heart for the Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar.
No matter what your musical taste, you are most likely going to find it being performed at the venue at least once every two months, for the reasonable price of nothing (donations to the artists are accepted). Freak-out jazz, indie-rock, a percussion experience– whatever– you can locate it downtown, thanks to your friends at the Tea Bazaar. This week, the "physical manifestation of Lu Yu's 'Pavilion along the Pathway to the Immortals'" (their description of themselves), features Death Vessel, an alt-country/folk group from Providence, Rhode Island.
Death Vessel, though composed of seven "honorary and/or performing members" is actually a constellation of orbiting planets around the sun, which in this case is known as Joel Thibodeau, a man possessed with a soprano that blurs the line between the sexes (when the first song came on, I looked at the liner notes to determine the name of the female vocalist guesting on the track).
His latest album, Stay Close, is a generally acoustic outing, notably Appalachian in form and tone, where you can almost see the group performing their sad and lonesome songs to the empty valleys below and high peaks above.
Stay Close begins with "Mean Streak," a lushly orchestrated piece of poetic prose where the "ba-boom-boom" of brush-stroked drums begins not so much a tale as a series of images. "Dueling beam on Robichaud, the 18-wheeler holds an aching load, toot-toot won't pull her over- we'll be laying down on white-crossed shoulders," Thibodeau begins in his high voice, winding picked and strummed acoustic in the background. An electric guitar solo later, and the chorus less erupts than slides in with the tide.
"Later in Life Lift" is almost all Thibodeau, though three sets of backing vocals from guests and percussion provided by one of those drumming monkey dolls mar the solo-ness. The front man is a fine guitarist, not too flashy but well above competent. His finger-picking on this piece would easily find a place on any well-respected bluegrass or country/folk album.
"Mandan Dink" is a mandolin driven up-tempo almost rabble-rouser, which will most likely break out of its slightly buttoned-up life and bring the house down with its shuffle beat. Technically speaking, fewer than 15 words are used in the entire song, but a picture is painted in vibrant colors– one lover inviting another to their mutual doom (that's what I think). Death Vessel frequently uses standard old-time song forms to present their auditory hallucinations, but like their use of language, they are generally twisted out of their old shapes into strange new manners of presentation– unexpected beginnings, endings, and instrumentation.
Do you like bluegrass or country/folk but consider yourself too set in your ways for something new? Death Vessel may be your gateway drug.