Cultural calendar, May 19-26, 2005

Too Much?: "Emerging Creativity in a Media Storm. How Much is Too Much?" a discussion in the McGuffey Art Center's "Spotlight Series," happens tonight at 7pm. Discussion led by Josh Stewart-Silver, Jason Jones and Monty Montgomery. Free and open to all. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.


Tales for Tots:
The 5 and under crowd can hear splish, splash stories about rainy days at Barnes & Noble's preschool story time. 10:30am. Free. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.

Images of the Sacred Feminine:
Powerpoint slideshow presentation led by Jalaja Bonheim, author Aphrodite's Daughters. 7:30pm. $10 at the door, $5 students and seniors at JABA, 674 Hillsdale Drive (next to Courtyard Marriott). 823-4454

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. 7:30pm. Live Arts UpStage, 123 E. Water St. $7. 977-4177.

Raisin: Lorraine Hansberry's 1959 play, A Raisin in the Sun, relives 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.

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. 7:30pm. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $14-28. 540-851-1733.

The Hamiltons at Gravity Lounge. $5, 9pm.

Salsa Night at the Satellite Ballroom. 18+, $6, 8pm.

CJ Stagger at Atomic Burrito. Free, 11pm.

Tea Leaf Green with Calf Mounain Jam at Starr Hill 8pm,

Ominotago and Atlas at Outback Lodge, $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 21+, 9-11pm.

George Melvin (piano wizard) at Fellini's No. 9. No cover, 6-9pm.

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

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

FRIDAY, May 20
Book Lunch:
UVA chemistry professor Ralph Allen discusses Coal: A Human History, by Barbara Freese at this month's Books Sandwiched In meeting at the Northside Library. Free and open to the public; you don't even need to have read the book. Noon. 823-4050 or

Help the Wintergreen Nature Foundation make Route 664 beautiful and safe for wildlife. Meet at the Foundation. No fee. Info: 325-7473.

Get Active: ACAC throws open its doors free to the public this weekend as part of the International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association's fight against obesity. Visitors have full access to facilities, trainers, and classes today and tomorrow, all gratis. 978-3800.

Hello Dolley:
It's Dolley Madison's birthday and, in the tradition of her legendary gracious hospitality, Montpelier celebrates with birthday cake for all. Admission to Montpelier is free today for anyone who shares this birth date with Dolley Madison. Rt. 20 near Orange. 540-672-0014.

O Baby:
Award-winning medical writer and childbirth expert Henci Goer speaks on how to have a safe, satisfying birth at Mt. Zion First Baptist Church. The lecture exposes all the current maternity options for childbearing women and responds to common misconceptions. Childcare available. Sponsored by Informed Birth Options of Central Virginia and Midwifery Options for Mothers. 7 -9pm. Free admission, $10 requested donation. 105 Lankford Ave. 823-2613.

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.

See Thursday, May 19. Tonight's show is at 8pm.

Raisin: See Thursday, May 19. Tonight's show is at 8pm.

She Stoops to Conquer: Playwright Oliver Goldsmith penned this late 18th century comedy, and now Shenandoah Shakespeare brings the 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.

Harvey: Four County Players presents the 1944 classic Harvey, a Broadway comedy 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. 8pm. Barboursville Community Center, 721 Central Ave., Barboursville. $8-12. 540-832-5355.

Boys Are Back:
Guano Boys and Stable Roots rock Fridays After Five's new location on Garrett Street near Gleason's and Standard Produce. Boogey down, but be careful crossing the tracks.

Marthe Rowen with Linda Blondel in an evening of French cabaret at Bashir's Taverna. No cover, 7pm.

Erin James and Bill and Linda Staton at Rapunzel's. Free, 8pm.

Willy Porter at Gravity Lounge. $12/$10, 7:30pm.

Dance Night at Satellite Ballroom. Free, 21+, 11pm.

American Dumpster at Atomic Burrito. Free, 11pm.

The Company Store (traditional Americana) at Kokopelli's. $5, 8pm.

Graduation Bash with William Walter & Co. at Orbit. No cover, 21+, 10:30.

Butterhouse Band at Outback Lodge, $6.

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

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

Beach Party with Super Jock JJ (beach tunes) at Lazy Parrot. No cover, 8pm.

Razzle Dazzle Gala and Silent Auction:
Wingding benefits the Staunton Performing Arts Center's efforts to restore the Dixie Theatre. Tonight at Mary Baldwin Hunt Hall, bid on 100s of items ranging from original art to personal services to a week at Smith Mountain Lake. 7:30pm-midnight. Come decked out to fit the 30s and 40s movies theme, or stuffed shirts can wear the optional black tie. Music by the 17-piece swing band For Dancers Only. $60 tickets available at 540-885-3211.

Royal Revelry: T
he Virginia Renaissance Faire opens today. See Family feature.

Whoop It Up: Native dancers, drummers, storytellers, and craftspeople celebrate and share their cultural heritage at the 13th annual Monacan Indian Powwow. Live buffalo, birds of prey, painters, carvers, basket makers, and great food. Rain or shine. 10am-9pm. $7 adults, $5 seniors and children 5-12. Rt. 130, six miles west of Rt. 29 near Lynchburg. 946-0389.

Mind/Eye Coordination: Those who seek a full perspective can explore the depth, breadth, and thickness of the three-dimensional world at the Science Museum of Virginia. The latest rotating exhibit "Adventures in 3 Dimensions" looks at illusions, perspective, and 3-D technology and applications starting today through September 5. Included in the price of admission. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 804-864-1447.

Garden Variety: Peter Rabbit hops out of Mr. McGregor's cabbage patch to tell of his adventures at Barnes & Noble in a special story time for wee ones and others. 11:30am. Free. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.

Batesville Day:
The annual Batesville Day celebration includes the challenging and scenic Batesville 10K race (registrations accepted up to race time 8am); the Batesville Day Parade (shortest in the world!) at 10:30am, with food, live music, performances, and more all day. 8am-3pm. Plank Road (Rt. 692) and Page's Field in Batesville. 293-3367 for 10k info.

Nelson Farmer's Market:
It's that time of year again– live music, fresh local produce, crafts, plants, and more under the tent in downtown Nellysford. 8am-noon every Saturday through September. 244-2399.

Virginia Vines: Imbibe the day away with a wide variety of Virginia wines, gourmet food, Monroe house tours, live music from Ban Caribe, and more at the 11th annual Virginia Wine Festival. 11am-5pm at Ash Lawn-Highland. $10 in advance, $15 at the door, $7 kids under 12. 293-9539. See Walkabout feature.

Get Active: See Friday, May 20. 978-3800.

Pine Knot Party: Celebrate 100 years of First Lady Edith Roosevelt's Pine Knot property with horse & carriage rides, special exhibitions, discussions with Teddy Roosevelt experts, hikes, a reception, and more. Noon at Pine Knot in Keene. Fee. Info: 286-6054.

Coin Show: At the Monticello Coin Club coin show today, check out a variety of coinage from around the world, and enjoy hourly raffles and prizes. Holiday Inn North. Emmet St. 9:30am-4:30pm. Fee. 295-1765.

Democratic Roundtable: Three candidates for the Democratic nomination to succeed Mitch Van Yahres in the Virginia House of Delegate speak at the Charlottesville/Albemarle Democratic Breakfast at JABA. 9:30am. 647 Hillsdale Drive. 971-8082.

Field Studies: Learn how to identify and understand local wildflowers and ferns. Chip Morgan and Emily Ferguson teach participants to recognize plant family characteristics in an effort to deepen appreciation of the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge. 10am today and tomorrow. Fee. Register at 325-8169.

Following Footsteps: Hub Knott of the Living Earth School searches for signs of wildlife at Ivy Creek Natural Area. Nature lovers are invited to join him and learn to read the story of animal life in the landscape. 9am. Free. Meet at the Ivy Creek barn. 973-7772.

Brown's Mountain, Jefferson-Style: Yearning to visit Brown's Mountain, now re-christened Montalto now that Monticello owns it? Follow Monticello grounds guru Peter Hatch on a near-vertical hike through hardwood forests to the glorious pastureland on the mountaintop, and get the best perspective on the property that Mr. Jefferson called home. Hatch leads the strenuous but educational hike starting at the lower trailhead of the Thomas Jefferson Parkway at 9:30am. $10 fee, advance reservations required. Route 53, 984-9822.

Stories in Sacred Space:
A one-day retreat for women led by Jalaja Bonheim. $100, bring your lunch. 10am-4pm. 823-4454.

New Wrinkle: Proal Heartwell, headmaster of the Village School, leads a discussion of Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. 10:30am. New Dominion Book Shop. 404 E. Main St. 295-2552.

See Thursday, May 19. Tonight's performance, the last in the run, is at 8pm.

Raisin: See Thursday, May 19. Tonight's 8pm performance is the last.

Twelfth Night: See Thursday, May 19.

Harvey: See Friday, May 20.

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. 11am. Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $14-28. 540-851-1733.

Do Drop In:
Head to Scottsville to hear George Melvin and Caron Bridges (trumpet) rock the Dew Drop with jazz, blues, Latin, swing and pop. Can the little Inn contain it all? $2 cover. 9-12pm.

Foster's Branch at Kokopelli's: Last chance before the summer doldrums kick in to hear this group of allstars rock the little Crozet venue right into the stratosphere! $5. 8pm.

Virginia Jihad at Rapunzel's, $5, 8pm.

Virginia Glee Club at Old Cabell Hall. $10. Students and seniors, $5. 9:30pm.

Simchah! at Gravity Lounge, $5, 2pm.

The Keel Brothers at Gravity Lounge, $10, 8pm.

No Gods No Monsters and Octane Saints at Atomic Burrito. Free, 11pm.

George Turner and Dave Kannensohn at Hamiltons', 7pm.

Without Warning at Outback Lodge, $6.

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

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

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

SUNDAY, May 22
She Stoops to Conquer:
See Friday, May 20. Today's show is a 2pm matinee.

Harvey: See Friday, May 20. Today's performance, the last in the run, is a 2:30 matinee.

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.

Virginia Vines: See Saturday, May 21. 11am-5pm at Ash Lawn-Highland. $10 advance, $15 at the door, $7 for kids under 12. 293-9539. See Walkabout feature.

First Colony Dinner: Enjoy an elegant four-course dinner paired with a variety of wines from First Colony Winery. $70, prepaid reservations required. 6:30pm reception, dinner at 7. 979-7105.

Gizmo Guys:
Champion jugglers Allan Jacobs and Barrett Felker amaze and amuse with original routines, infectious humor, and world class juggling at PVCC's V. Earl Dickinson Building. 1pm and 3pm. $5. 961-5376.

Playing with Fire: Intrepid adventurers can learn the ins and outs of making a fire without matches with Hub Knott of the Living Earth School. This is a great family activity, Knott says, that can be used on family outings in the woods. Participants will make their very own bowdrill fire set to take home. 10am-4pm. $45. 540-456-7339.

Whoop It Up: See Saturday, May 21. 10am-6pm.

Monticello High School Orchestra:
The 120 members of the MHS concert orchestra offer their spring concert featuring many of the 30 graduating seniors in solo performances. Free. 7:30pm. 245-2726 or

The Vintage Brothers (classic rock dance tunes) at Kokopelli's Café. $5, 7pm.

A.J. Roach and Danny Smith at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8pm.

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

Barling and Collins at Miller's. No cover, 10:30pm.

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

MONDAY, May 16
Business Meets Government:
PVCC and the Virginia Department of Business Assistant host a workshop designed to educate small business owners about opportunities to sell to the Commonwealth of Virginia. 9am-noon at the V. Earl Dickinson building, 501 College Drive at PVCC. Registration begins at 8am. No fee. 961-5354.

Spring Benefit:
The Staunton Music Festival hosts a fund-raiser featuring works by Vivaldi, Froberger, Kodaly, Grieg, Debussy, Brahms and Hilliard, with Amanda Balestrieri, soprano; Carrie Stevens, mezzo-soprano; Lori Piitz and Gabriel Dobner on piano; James Wilson, cello; and Carsten Schmidt, harpsichord and piano. 7:30pm Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $9-18. 540-885-7873.

Open Mic at Gravity Lounge, $5, 8pm

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, 7pm.

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.

Dark as a Dungeon:
UVA chemistry professor Ralph Allen leads this month's Crozet Library Discussion at the Depot, focusing on the book Coal: A Human History by Barbara Freese. Freese's book combines history and environmentalism into a cautionary tale. Even if you have not read the book, come for a good discussion at 7pm today. 5791 Three Notch'd Road, Crozet, 823-4050.

The Reagan Mystique: Stephen Knott and Jeff Chidester, coauthors of The Reagan Years, offer an overview of their comprehensive history of America's 40th president. Hear Knott and Chidester's in-depth comments on the Reagan legacy in person or on the web, simulcast through the Miller Center website, 2201 Old Ivy Road. 11am. 924-7236.

Home Grown:
Find out all about wildlife in your backyard with Charlottesville's favorite naturalist, Marlene Condon. She visits "Virginia Home Grown" on PBS tonight at 8pm.

Jubeus at Buddhist Biker Bar & Grill. No cover, 10 pm.

Think (intelligent jam rock from Richmond) at Coupe de Ville's. Free, 10pm.

Adam Smith, Wade Jeffries and Space Face at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar. No cover, 9pm.

Athens Boys Choir at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8pm.

Travis Elliott at Atomic Burrito. Free, 11pm.

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.

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

She Stoops to Conquer:
See Friday, May 20. Today's 10:30am performance is a school matinee.

What Was it Like?:
The Center for Christian Study presents "Israel in the Time of Jesus," a public lecture by Christopher Stanley, professor of theology at St. Bonaventure University. 7pm. 128 Chancellor St. Free. 817-1050.

Day Hike: Enjoy the unspoiled beauty of St. Mary's Wilderness with a Wintergreen Nature Foundation naturalist. Bring a bag lunch and plenty of water. Moderate difficulty. 9am. $5 members, $10 non-members. 325-7451.

Antitrust Whiz Kid:
UVA alumna Deborah Majoras made her name by crafting the case and arguing for the prosecution in the federal appeals court hearing of U.S. v. Microsoft. She speaks today on "From Spam to Obesity: Confronting the Challenges of the New Economy." 5:30pm. Miller Center. 2201 Old Ivy Road. 924-7236.

More Tales for Tots:
The 5 and under crowd can enjoy stories about getting dirty at Barnes & Noble's preschool story time. 10:30am. Free. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.

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

Innerspace at Orbit. Free, 10:30pm.

Jim Waive and the Young Divorcees at Atomic Burrito. Free, 11pm.

Open Jam at Rapunzel's. No cover, 7-10pm,

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

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.

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

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

Chris Jameson (acoustic rock and blues) at the Virginian. No cover, 10pm.

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

More Tales for Tots:
See Wednesday, May 25.

She Stoops to Conquer:
See Friday, May 20.

Shall We Dance? Monticello High School's orchestra and drama students present The King and I with help from students from Cale, Stone Robinson, Stony Point, Montessori, and Woodbrook elementary schools and Burley Middle School, who play the king's children. 7pm tonight and Friday, May 27. 1pm matinee Saturday, May 28. $7. Tickets available at Greenberry's and the Music and Art Center next to Starbucks on Rt. 29. PVCC's V. Earl Dickinson Building. 500 College Drive. Info: 295-3338.

Cook's Class:
Learn how to create scallopine-inspired masterpieces like veal picatta, chicken pomodoro, phyllo cheese kisses, creamy orzo, and more with the pros at Mona Lisa Pasta. 7pm at 921 Preston Ave. $45 per person. Info: 295-2494 or

Acoustic Muse:
Camp Albemarle songwriters' reunion at Gravity Lounge. Featuring "Omega Survivors," songwriters and musicians who practice together once a year. Now that should be something to hear. $8, 8pm.

Young Artist Night at Kokopelli's Café. Western Albemarle songstress Loretta Vitt takes the stage. 8pm.

CJ Stagger at Atomic Burrito. Free, 11pm.

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.

Jimmy O at Lazy Parrot. No cover, 7pm-close.

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

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

The Scent of Old Roses:
Monticello has declared May 28 its "Day of Gardening at the Center for Historic Plants." Get reservations now for one or both morning talks on historic spring flowers, then drop by for the 13th annual afternoon open house at the Center for Historic Plants at Tufton Farm, including a free rose identification workshop from 1pm to 2:30pm. Lectures $5 each; reservations required. Open house free; refreshments served and plants for sale. Info: 984-9816 or visit

More Books in Crozet: The Crozet branch of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library is establishing another book group, this one first Monday evenings of every month. Plan ahead by reading Khaled Hosseini's book on Afghanistan in wartime, The Kite Runner, to be discussed on Monday, June 6, from 7pm to 8:30pm. For July, read John Steinbeck's East of Eden. 5791 Three Notch'd Road, Crozet, 823-4050.

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.

Summer Camp:
Old Michie Theatre, now in its 16th year of providing drama instruction and puppetry arts for children and youth, sponsors a summer theater programs in June, July, and August. Each session stages a play to awaken individual talents and self-expression. Emphasis on fun and learning. There's something for all age groups and levels of ability. Coming soon: Pre-Theatre for ages 5-7 June 6-10. Morning session 9am-12pm; afternoon session 1-4pm. Tuition varies, $175-$350. 221 E. Water St. 977-3690.

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 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.

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.

Woods Walk:
Tour the 250-yeard-old wonder of James Madison's Landmark Forest at Montpelier. Guided tours every Sunday at 2pm. Included in general admission fee. 540-672-2728.

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.

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.

This month the McGuffey Art Center devotes its entire space to The Virginia Watercolor Society's annual juried show, which hangs through May 29. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.

The University of Virginia Art Museum features "The Naked and the Clothed: Photographs from the Collection, through June 19. 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.

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.

Second Street Gallery is overtaken by "uglyplaces: Installation by Bogdan Achimescu," on view through May 28. 115 Second St. SE in City Center for Contemporary Arts. 977-7284. See Art feature.

During May, Les Yeux du Monde, in cooperation with Second Street Gallery, extends Bogdan Achimescu's installation "uglyplaces" into its downstairs gallery, and features a select retrospective of Achimescu's work upstairs 115 S. First St. 973-5566. See Art feature.

The Off Grounds Gallery offers the "Aunspaugh Fellow Art Show," featuring work by the six fifth-year UVA Art Department Fellows. 300 W. Main St. (entrance on Ridge St.)

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.

Transient Crafters presents "East Meets West: A Multimedia Approach to Communications," featuring the calligraphy and sculpture of Virginia Moore, during May. 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.

During May, The Charlottesville Community Design Center presents an 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.

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church presents Tim Lingo's "The Beauty of Women," on view through June 5. 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.

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.

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


On May 19, Richmond's Virginia Museum of Fine Arts opens "Capturing Beauty: American Impressionist and Realist Paintings from the McGlothian Collection." The exhibition of 35 noteworthy works, including pieces by Mary Cassatt, John Singer Sargent, and Winslow Homer, among others, continues through September 18. 200 N. Boulevard. 804-204-2704.

The Artisans Center of Virginia presents Sharon Zarambo's "Mixed Media & Fiber" exhibition, which will remain on view through May 31. On May 19, the Center opens "Sacred Icons: A Collective Vision of Symbolic & Ritual Objects," a juried exhibition that will remain on view through June 29. 601 Shenandoah Drive. (Exit 94 off I-64), Waynesboro. 540-946-3294.

Crozet's Kokopelli's Café features "Form and Shadow," an exhibition of black and white photographs by UVA professor John Bunch, through June 30. 5793 The Square. 823-5645.

Painter Lindsey Michie Eades displays her work at Jarman's Gap Restaurant in Crozet through May 23. 5790 Three Notch'd Road. 823-4626

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.

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

Madison's Sevenoaks Pathwork Center features "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 accepted through June 30. The kick-off for the touring public display of finalists and an awards ceremony are scheduled for October 14. Get contest rules and the entry form at 700 E. Franklin St., Suite 14T1, Richmond. 804-782-9430.

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: 434-243-6830 or

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, 984-2232 or

Dark humor Achimescu gets ugly

Before we go any further, a confession: I cannot be objective about Bogdan Achimescu's work. While making the First Friday rounds two weeks ago, I heard the gallery talk by Achimescu, whom Second Street's Leah Stoddard calls "Romania's It Boy," and I fell under his spell.

Achimescu was introducing "uglyplaces," his first large-scale U.S. installation, occupying both Second Street Gallery and Les Yeux du Monde. He stood at the back of Second Street, waving a cardboard sign emblazoned with a drawing of the two galleries connected by an arrow.

Stoddard asked, "Why 'uglyplaces'?"

"I don't really know the answer to that," Achimescu coyly replied, "but I've made up a few replacement answers." And he was off. He described the endless transformation of Eastern Europe. He speculated about globalization's impact. He related a story about a yurt-dwelling Mongolian construction worker. And he recalled how someone "lobbed" a dog at him in Ulan Bator. I was powerless to resist him.

Looking at Achimescu's work is like watching his roving, observant mind spill onto the paper. He is consumed by people's impulse to construct– literally– meaning, and he aesthetically contemplates religion, permanence and transience, and environmental manipulation, all with a keen sense of the absurd. His pieces are private jokes he makes with himself, and we're allowed to listen in to see if we get it.

To venture into Achimescu's self-proclaimed "uglosphere," begin at Les Yeux du Monde. Upstairs five human-sized monoprints/etchings from the artist's 1994 "Bunai Series" distantly echo the Shroud of Turin. Overhead the artist has strung numerous small portraits like prayer flags across the space (don't skip Achimescu's explanation of this work, "Third City," on the back of the gallery list).

Downstairs, pen-and-ink drawings introduce the iconic vocabulary of semi-industrial structures, odd botany, and stupa-like monuments that Achimescu uses throughout his other installation a block away.

At Second Street, an elongated Achimescu drawing, "Good Bacteria/Bad Bacteria" (2002), undulates around the main gallery's perimeter, while a tent-like structure, embellished with Achimescu-ian icons, sits at its center. Walking inside this parachute-covered dome is like entering one of the artist's drawings.

"uglyplaces" culminates in SSG's Dové gallery, where Achimescu has arranged five aerial views of an imagined cityscape. A visual fugue, each image expands upon the previous one, progressively adding peripheral elements, until the cycle begins all over again in the final drawing.

Achimescu's uglyplaces is a dark, funny, strangely beautiful world to visit. (But then again, I'm under his charm.)

Bogdan Achimescu's "uglyplaces" is on view at Second Street Gallery and Les Yeux du Monde through May 28. An ingenious map-like publication accompanies the exhibition and contains several essays, including a hilarious piece by Polish journalist Marek Keskrawiec ($10). Second Street Gallery, 115 Second St. SE. 977-7284. Les Yeux du Monde, 115 S. First St. 973-5566.

What a hoot: Audiences grin at Goldsmith's gem

We could all use a little more farce in our lives. That's what Oliver Goldsmith was going for, anyway, when he revived laughter in the English theater from the long, slow demise it had faced in the century after Shakespeare's death.

Goldsmith was a one-hit-wonder, but his 1773 comedy She Stoops to Conquer is still a favorite of London playhouses and English majors the world over. Shenandoah Shakespeare is staging its own revival of the classic comedy in Staunton through June 12.

The plotline is enough to drive you batty, but we can sum it up this way: a practical joke, a blind date, and a lot of laughs. Or, a young jokester and his cronies lead a lost traveler to show up at the home of his betrothed thinking it's a country inn. Then Marlow, our hero, mistakes the lovely Kate for a barmaid– which turns out to be useful since he suffers from a serious case of shyness except when hitting on working-class women.

This is so farcically English it makes Bridget Jones's Diary seem like an impenetrable French drama.

But had it not been for the likes of Goldsmith, history might have proved otherwise.

S2's Jim Warren, who directs the show, explains it this way. After the bard died, the major venues, including the original Blackfriars, were flooded with B-quality work from writers more interested in making money and high-society chums than, you know, being immortal. The result was scores of forgettable "masques" modeled after French haute bourgeois life– lavish and corny plays popular through the mid-1600s.

Then the Puritans took over and shut the theaters down altogether. Considering how things were going, this wasn't so bad. With the monarchy restored and theaters reopened in 1660, playwrights slid naturally from masques into "sentimental comedies," with sappy scripts and clichéd characters.

So the crowds not surprisingly welcomed Goldsmith's departure from this trend in Stoops. Produced the very year before its author kicked the bucket, this play defied convention and gave theatergoers a respite from the usual stereotypes.

"Goldsmith's laughing comedy is aimed at amusing rather than at telling an audience what to feel," Warren says in an essay on the play. "It reveals man's ridiculousness rather than his sorrow. It unmasks corruption instead of displaying righteousness.

"Most of all," he says, "it's funny."

Laugh out loud with American Shakespeare Center's (Shenandoah Shakepeare's) production of Oliver Goldsmith's classic She Stoops to Conquer, playing through June 12 at the Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $14-28. 540-851-1733. See calendar listings for times or see

Travel back: Knights, ladies, fools greet the Queen
Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth cordially requests the presence of all her loyal subjects to the setting of Staffordshire, England this weekend for the opening of the Virginia Renaissance Faire.

It is the year of our Lord 1568, and the fair towne of Stafford, currently situated on the grounds of Lake Anna Winery in Spotsylvania, suffered a great fire. As its citizens attempt to rebuild, Her Grace is expected to arrive to lay a new cornerstone for this charming country village where she will greet citizens and visitor alike.

Visitors may wish to arrive in their own costume, since they will surely be drawn, willing or not, into 16th century England during the reign of this beloved queen. In this contemporary reenactment, costumed characters affect the language, mannerisms, and style of Renaissance nobles, fools, merchants, peasants, minstrels, and dancers– all for the edification and entertainment of the masses.

It is the age of chivalry and romance, and the enchantment moves from multiple stages into the streets of the village where fair wenches may be shuffled away to the dance rehearsal and gentlemen may be marched off to train with the militia. One may encounter Sir Walter Raleigh who is alive and well and very busy wielding swords, wooing beautiful maidens, and challenging all rivals. Or Sir John Woodward, son of a noble landowner, his flirtatious sister Mistress Joan, and the itinerant actor from London Ned Allyn, all of whom create a riotous drama. One may even find oneself in the presence of her majesty, Elizabeth Tudor, Queen of England.

Throughout the picturesque grounds, knights demonstrate tilt-yard talent and skilled swordsmen show off fencing savvy. Minstrels wander the streets playing period music on recorder, tin whistle, wooden flute, and violin. And townsfolk, in high spirits at the arrival of the queen, eagerly engage visitors in the streets to infect them with the spirit of revelry.

Produced and performed completely by volunteers through the non-profit Out of the Woodwork Productions, the Virginia Renaissance Faire aims to educate at least as much as it entertains. The setting, music, costumes, and every character are meticulously researched and rehearsed to represent a truly authentic experience of Renaissance England.

The Virginia Renaissance Faire happens 10am-6pm on Saturdays, Sundays, and Memorial Day from May 21-June 12 at the Lake Anna Winery, 5621 Courthouse Road, Spotsylvania. June 18-19 the faire is at Green Hill Park, 2501 Parkside Road, Salem. Admission is $5 for 6 years old and over. Info:

Miracle worker: Finals speaker blazed trails
Vivan Pinn has so many firsts to her credit that they cloud her real accomplishments. First African-American woman to graduate from UVA's medical school, in 1967 (and the only woman and the only person of color in her class). First woman to chair Howard University's pathology department. First full-time director of NIH's Office of Research on Women's Health.

Magazines like Essence, Ladies Home Journal, and Cosmopolitan have featured her. Her professional awards would fill this page. And now, when the Wahoos walk down the Lawn on Sunday, she will be the first black woman to give the university's commencement address. The U has come a long way in 38 years.

But let's give Pinn the spotlight. She grew up in Halifax and Lynchburg in the 1940s, before many dared question Virginia's segregated public school system. She was a caregiver from the start, administering insulin shots to her diabetic grandmother. She took time off from Wellesley College to tend her mother, diagnosed with a bone tumor. Drawn to the challenge, something made her refuse to accept the limits of convention.

"When I started, there were very few women and African Americans in the healthcare system to speak out," Pinn said in a 2004 interview. "Sometimes it would be just me speaking up, and it was really rough. I had seen a lot of pain and suffering in my own family."

She refers especially to the impact of her mother's illness. With little money, the ailing woman got no early medical attention. When the tumor was diagnosed, the family had to refinance their house, approaching bankruptcy, to pay for intense hospitalization. Still, Pinn's mother died at the age of 46.

Since those days, with Wellesley and UVA degrees in hand, Pinn taught at Tufts and Harvard, then Howard. Hired in 1991 by NIH to run its new Office of Research on Women's Health Issues, Pinn has overseen its growth into a significant national and international center for education and research on topics from pure science– sex differentiation at the cellular level– to clinical and public health issues– PMS, menopause, uterine fibroids, lesbian health. It takes a booklet 122 pages long to list all the research initiatives funded by ORWH.

Equally vital to the ORWH's mission is advocacy for women in medical research. Vivian Pinn may no longer be administering insulin with her hands, but she extends care to millions with funding and inspiration.

"Those I've helped, taught, and mentored over the years have gone on to do things far exceeding what I've done," she says. "Seeing them expand the horizon of medicine is my greatest accomplishment."

Vivian W. Pinn speaks at 10am on Sunday, May 22, on the UVA Lawn, commencement speaker at this year's Final Exercises.

Serious sipping: Ban Caribe sparks wine fest

From a ragtag collection of vineyards to a multi-million dollar player in the international beverage trade, Virginia's wine industry has come a long way in the last 30 years. These days, in fact, 80 Commonwealth-based producers crank out nearly 300,000 cases of the red and white stuff every year. Not too shabby for a state that didn't even show up on the winemaker's radar as of the late 1970s.

Sure, none of this is particularly news for anyone who's tipped a glass lately. Virginia's grape-stomping prowess has been building for decades. But that's not to say it's been easy; all this growth has been a long, slow climb for the state's winemakers. But, hey, sometimes it's just fun to get everyone together and celebrate how far we've come.

Enjoy the fruits of their labor this weekend at the 11th annual Virginia Wine Festival. A wide variety of local wineries– including Barboursville, Cardinal Point, Cooper, Horton, Jefferson, Old House, Peaks of Otter, Rebec, and Wintergreen&endash; offer tastes at James Monroe's Ash Lawn-Highland.

The knowledgeable pros from the Virginia Wine and Food Society and the Virginia Wine of the Month Club will be available to answer questions– as will many of the winemakers themselves– ready to help even casual fans get fired up about Virginia wine.

"Festival visitors can expect an interesting selection of wines, tasty food, groovy music, a selective craft and gourmet market, and more," says Wine Festival coordinator Nancy McAdams, adding, "while wine tasting is serious business, it never should be boring."

But wine is just the beginning. There will also be a variety of food vendors on hand to accompany the tastings, and a gourmet market filled with tasty treats to take home. The craft and culinary market will feature "locally created garden art, amazing photographs, tasty nuts and oils, hand-crafted jewelry, Australian hats, hand-crafted bags…and much, much more." Richmond's own "Rumba with Soul" band, Ban Caribe, will be providing the background music.

"I've been doing this for four years," McAdams says, "and I really think this is the best year yet. I really love this band; we're really excited."

The 11th annual Virginia Wine Festival happens this Saturday and Sunday at Ash Lawn-Highland, 11am-5pm each day. $10 in advance, $15 at the door, $7 for children under 12. Info: 293-9539 or