Cultural Calendar: 12/1/2005-12/08/2005

THURSDAY, December 1
Blackfriars Theater
10 S. Market St., Staunton.
Santaland Diaries:
For those who missed him last year and for those who need to see their favorite oversized Santa's helper again, John Harrell climbs back into his elf knickers to embark on another humiliating seasonal career as an elf named Crumpet in this "anti-holiday" show for grown-ups by David Sedaris. Recommended for mature audiences. 7:30pm. Preview performance; pay what you will.

The Homecoming Comes Home: The novella that spawned the beloved TV series The Waltons has been adapted for the stage by Peter Coy. "It's a great Christmas story it always was, in the tradition of It's a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol," says Coy. Earl Hamner himself says, "Of all the books or film scripts I've written, The Homecoming has been the closest to my heart." Shows December 1-3 and 8-10 at 7:30pm and December 4 and 11 at 2pm. $10 adults, children under 15 $5. Reservations suggested. Earl Hamner Theater, 190 Rockfish School Lane, Nellysford. 361-1999.

Merry Christmas, Fido!:
Make the holiday special for your dogs by bringing them to the SPCA's mobile spay/neuter van for surgery today and tomorrow. Low-cost surgeries are available for income-qualifying pet owners. All Pit Bulls, regardless of owner income, will be spayed or neutered for free. All dogs must weigh less than 75 pounds. Advance appointments required. 3355 Berkmar Drive. Call 973-5959, ext. 249, to make an appointment.

Family First:
The Greene County Library's Book Discussion Group meets to discuss We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates. 7pm in the Library Meeting Room. All are welcome. 985-5227.

Invasion Persuasion:
Today is the deadline for young outdoor types in 1-5 grades to participate in the national 2005-2006 Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl Garden Club poster contest. This year's contest is dedicated to helping prevent the spread of invasive species in our nation's forests, but posters do not necessarily need to have this thrust. Posters need to be delivered to the Dogwood Garden Club Chairman today. For rules and to arrange for pick up of posters, call 979-9900.

Tales for Tots: The 5 and under crowd can enjoy storybook favorites about holidays throughout the year at Barnes & Noble's preschool story time. 10:30am. Free. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.

Tripping the Light Fantastic:
"Choice: Movement in the Moment" includes a variety of original choreography, music, costumes, and set designs by PVCC students, and concludes with an audience discussion with faculty members Anne Megibow and Cat Maguire. 7:30pm, $5. Maxwell Theater, V. Earl Dickinson Building, 500 College Road. 434-961-5376.

Las Gitanas:
It was largely in response to constant fan requests that Las Gitanas decided to finally record an album. If I Were A Rose, to be released at Fellini's tonight, blends gypsy music with the four-piece ensemble's Appalachian roots. Mission accomplished... so what now? "We're trying to take that next step as a band," says Michaux Hood. "We're looking at booking festivals and traveling." In other words, living the gypsy life...

Las Gitanas at Fellini's #9. No cover, 7pm.

Danny Schmidt at Gravity Lounge. $8, 7pm.

Karaoke at the Lazy Parrot Grill. No cover, 8:30pm.

The Nice Jenkins at Mellow Mushroom. No cover, 10:30pm.

Thompson/D'earth at Miller's. $4, 10:30pm.

Mosley Rose and the Dixie Rebels at the Outback Lodge. $5, 10pm.

Lake Trout and Moneypenny at Starr Hill. $12/$10, 9pm.

Christmas with the Poets featuring Fred Boyce at The Prism. Donations accepted, 8pm.

The George Turner Trio at Zocalo. No cover, 9pm.

FRIDAY, December 2
Gary on Gary:
Gary Baseman: Bedtime for Toby opens today at Second Street Gallery. Baseman offers a lecture at UVA's Newcomb Hall Theater today at 2pm. Gallery: 115 Second St. SE. 977-7284.

Rhino Release: Africa, A Little Rhino Coloring Book, is the fourth book to be written and illustrated by local artist Bob Anderson. Anderson signs copies at the release party today at 5:30pm and tomorrow from 10:30am to 1:30pm at the McGuffey Art Center. 201 Second St. NW.

Artisans Bazaar: Two dozen selected artists and craftspeople from around the region offer a variety of handmade goods for holiday gifts today and tomorrow. Door prize drawings and live music happen throughout the event. Members of the University community present special programs noon-5pm. Complimentary gift wrapping (both days) and children's activities Saturday. 10:30am-6pm. Third floor, Newcomb Hall, UVA. 924-3286.

Get Real:
Real boys…and girls too…take the stage at the Old Michie Theatre in Pinocchio. The play, based on the classic Carlo Collodi tale, tells the story of a marionette puppet who yearns to become a real boy. 7pm. $7.50. 221 E. Water St. 977-3690.

Sing a Song: Various artists perform in a special concert for kids. Snacks included. 4-5pm. Free. Gravity Lounge, just off the Downtown Mall. 977-5590.

Star Struck:
Look to the skies with the Charlottesville Astronomical Society at their monthly observing session at McCormick Observatory. Members Sean Matt and Daniel Wik assist beginners and share information about the night sky. 7pm. 978-3671.

Merry Christmas, Fido!: See Thursday, December 1. Info: 973-5959 ext. 249.

Adopt-A-Highway: Help the Wintergreen Nature Foundation make Route 664 beautiful and safe for wildlife. 10am. Free. 325-7473 to sign up.

Information Session: The Outdoor Adventure Social Club offers a photo show and social hour for potential members. 8pm. Free if you RSVP. 420 E. Main St. #3. 760-HIKE.

Wreath Workshops at Monticello: These ever-popular workshops result in a beautiful Christmas wreath for each participant to take home. Learn to make your own, then get busy. 9:30am. $40 fee covers the workshop and all materials. Reservations required. 984-9822. (Additional workshops December 3, 5, 7,9, and 10)

Holiday Market: Mark the holiday season at the Holiday City Market at the Downtown Pavilion. 10am-5pm. Browse through handmade gifts, crafts, jewelry, baked goods, toys, decorations, wreaths, and fresh greenery. 970-3371.

The American Hemisphere: Special tours at Ash Lawn-Highland mark the anniversary of the Monroe Doctrine. The great man himself even pays a visit. 1-4pm 293-9539.

Report from Iraq:
George Packer, who has covered the Iraq war for The New Yorker, discusses his work in the Middle East and his pro-war stance at the Miller Center Forum. Packer will also sign copies of his new book, The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq, following his presentation. 10:30am. 2201 Old Ivy Road. Free. 924-7236.

Art in Life: Dana Giolia, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, speaks on the role of the arts in modern life. Free, 10-11am. Auditorium of the Small Special Collections Library at UVA. 243-8656.

Addiction as a Dream: Wake up to the reality of your compulsive desires while gaining a deeper understanding of the problem with Len Worley7-9pm. $15. 211 W. Main St. Bozart Gallery on the Downtown Mall. 293-3271.

Race and Public Opinion: Lynn Sanders, professor of politics at UVA, discusses her new book, Integrated Opinion in a Divided Democracy, as part of the Miller Center's American Political Development Colloquium. 12:15pm, free. 2201 Old Ivy Road. RSVP to or 924-4694.

The Homecoming Comes Home:
See Thursday, December 1.

Blackfriars Theater
10 S. Market St., Staunton. 540-885-5588
Santaland Diaries:

See Thursday, December 1. Tonight is opening night.

Chuffa Chuffa:
Old School Freight Train is getting used to playing progressively larger venues, but tonight they'll downsize with a show at the Prism. "When you play huge venues, things are echoing off the walls and people are drinking and you just try to get everybody riled up," says guitarist Jesse Harper. "With this one, you can really grasp the subtleties as an audience member. It's totally silent. It's a listening room, so I think just being in that room, you focus more on your sound."
Old School Freight Train with Jay Pun and Morwenna Lasko at the Prism. $18/$15, 8pm.

What's the Trouble?: The Trouble With Harry visits Dürty Nelly's tonight with a healthy dose of bluesy rock. They play there about once a month, so the release of their next album is only a few gigs away. "I'm working on a record right now. I think it'll be out around February or March," says songwriter Harry Faulkner. The trouble [with Harry], though, is that he's prone to losing focus: "I've been dawdling for a couple of years," he laughs. "I need a producer, probably. I need someone riding me to get it done."

The Trouble With Harry at Dürty Nelly's. $3, 9pm.

Just Voices: The UVA University Singers, arguably the mother of all a cappella groups, present their Holiday Concert this evening. So how much eggnog does it take to get these students, er, primed for the performance? "Well, how much do you have?" quips first-year alto Maria McCall.

The Charlottesville and University Symphony Orchestra and the University Singers at Old Cabell Hall. $11-$25, 7:30pm.

Jim Waive and the Young Divorcees at Sidetracks. Free, 5:30 pm.

Carol Lash at Art Upstairs. No cover, 6pm.

Carla Ulbrich at the Barking Cherry House Concert Series. Reservations required, 434-974-6702 or Donations accepted, 8pm.

Faster Than Walking at Fellini's #9. No cover, 9pm.

Catie Curtis and Melissa McClain at Gravity Lounge. $18/$15, 8pm.

Jackass Flats with Special Ed and the Shortbus at the Outback Lodge. $6, 10pm.

Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver at the Paramount. $23/$26/$29, 8pm.

Las Gitanas at Plan 9 on the Corner. No cover, noon and at the McGuffey Art Center. No cover, 5pm.

Ivan Shantz at Rapunzel's, 7:30pm.

Sparky's Flaw, Kenin, and Shapiro at Starr Hill. $5, 8pm.

Little Brother at the UVA Student Activities Building. $20/$15/$10, 7:30pm.

Karaoke at Damon's Sports Bar and Grill. No cover, 9pm.

Vernon Fisher at Fossett's at Keswick Hall. 6:30pm.

SATURDAY, December 3
Annual Holiday Sale:
Kluge-Ruhe gets off to an early start with their annual holiday sale. New this year: note card packs from the National Gallery of Victoria, Injalak and Jukurrpa 2006 calendars, children's books, original art from Yuendumu and the unveiling of a brand new Kluge-Ruhe color poster. Shopping, cookies and cider, 2-5pm. See Art feature.

Open House: The McGuffey Art Center presents its annual Holiday Group Show, where visitors are invited to cash-and-carry away artworks of their choosing. Opening Open House today. The exhibition runs through January 1. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.

Artisans Bazaar: See Friday, December 1.

The Homecoming Comes Home:
See Thursday, December 1.

Prepare to Try Out: If you're thinking of trying out for a role in Ovid's Metamorphoses playing March 3-25 at Live Arts, come to this pre-tryout workshop. Needed: 10-13 adult actors and one young girl aged 9-12. Movement/dance experience desirable. 1:30-3:30pm. City Center for Contemporary Arts, 123 E. Water St. 977-4177.

Traveling Travesty: The Persimmon Tree Players perform Christmas Carol: A Traveling Travesty in Two Tumultuous Acts today and tomorrow. The play is a comedy about a downtrodden traveling troupe of actors who perform Dickens' A Christmas Carol every year at the holidays and with hilarious results. $8 advance, $10 at the door. 8pm today, 3pm Sunday. Fork Union Community Center on Route 15. 434-589-1864.

Blackfriars Theater
10 S. Market St., Staunton.
Santaland Diaries:
See Thursday, December 1. Today there are two shows, a 2pm matinee and a 7:30pm show.

Tell Us a Tale:
The popular Sunday afternoon storytelling program on WTJU comes to the Prism for a live taping of their holiday show. Peter Jones and Jen Hoffman tell Christmas and Chanukah tales with music from Jan Smith and Jeff Vogelgesang, and Morwenna Lasko and Jay Pun. Fans can join the fun at one of two performances from 1-2pm or 2:30-3:30pm. Free, donations accepted. 214 Rugby Road. 978-3603.

Bazaar Experience: Revelers can start their holiday celebrating early at the Charlottesville Waldorf School's 19th annual Holiday Bazaar. One of the best bazaars around, this event delivers more than the usual craftiness including a marionette show of Rumplestiltskin, candle dipping and wreath making, lunch, local musicians, and more than 20 vendors. 10am-4pm. Free. 1408 Crozet Ave. 823-6800.

Village Fair: The Village School hosts its annual Craft Fair with handmade baked goods, stationery, jewelry, soaps, needlework, ornaments, holiday items, and more. Kids can get into the spirit making their own crafts. 20 percent of the proceeds goes to charity. 10am-2pm. 215 E. High St. 293-3804.

Christmas Fair on the Farm: City folks are invited out to the country to walk around the farm, pet the animals and snap some Kodak moments at Mangham Wool and Mohair Farm's Open House. Hot cider, cookies, and some holiday shopping are included, with warm wool socks, hand knit sweaters, blankets, hats, and yarns for sale. Wear boots if it's been wet. Noon-5pm. 901 Hammocks Gap Road. 973-2222.

Puppets in the City: Esther, the country mouse, and Priscilla, the city mouse, discover the true meaning of friendship after each one visits the other's home. Old Michie Theatre presents a whimsical puppet adaptation of this classic children's tale. 11am, 2 and 4 pm. $5. 221 E. Water St. 977-3690.

Tasty Tomes: Teens who love to read come together for Chips and Chapters, the teen book discussion group at the Central Library. Kids in grades 6-12 meet once a month to talk about the book of the month. Snacks are involved. 2-3pm. Free. 201 E. Market St. 979-7151, ext. 3.

Get Real: See Friday, December 2.

Crafty: Free Union Country School hosts the 20th annual Christmas in Free Union– A Craft Boutique today and tomorrow. Crafts include pottery, gold-smithing, fibers and beading, belts and hand-tooled leather accessories, exotic wood bowls, handmade journals, glass, and hand-weaving. Refreshments available. 10-4pm. 4220 Free Union Road. 973-6846.

Shoe the Children:
Winters in Afghanistan are brutal, and Major Douglas A. McKewan and his U.S. Army troops stationed in Kandahar want to show the people of their host country that Americans have a heart. Tommy Garrett, host o WCAV's Somewhere In Time, is helping this effort by collecting clean kid's winter clothing and boots, which the troops will distribute to children in Afghanistan. Drop off donations at the station this week, or stop by today from noon-5pm when Tommy will be there to receive them. 999 Second St. SE. 983-5633.

Batesville Bazaar: Savor art, food, wine and live music at the 5th Annual Batesville-area holiday bazaar. Gifts by local artists, wine tastings from Cardinal Point Winery, hot soup and treats, holiday wreaths, native plants, home-style pies, woven and knit scarves, jewelry, paintings and linoleum prints, hand-made soaps, herbal products, and much more. 11am-5pm. Free admission. 8085 Batesville Road. 456-6328.

Wreath Workshops at Monticello:
See Friday, December 2. Today there are workshops at 9:30am and 2pm. Reservations required. 984-9822.

Holiday Spotlight: The Paramount Theater features 18 local singers, musicians, dancers, and actors in this annual "Downtown for the Holidays" show. Free, 9am-6pm. 979-1922. List of performers at

Holiday Wine: Sample Vin chaud, a traditional European holiday drink made with hot wine, at First Colony Winery and learn how to make it for all your holiday parties. There will also be grapevine wreath making, live carols, an angel tree, special discounts, and holiday gift wrapping. $5. 11am-5pm. 979-7105.

Hill Top Open House: Enjoy wine/food pairings, homemade soups, hors d'oeuvres, hot mulled wine, and unique gifts at Hill Top Berry Farm and Winery. 2800 Berry Hill Road, Nellysford 361-1266.

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.

First Saturday Bird Walk: Virginia's winter residents are the highlight of the December bird walk at the Ivy Creek Natural Area, led by Dave Hogg of the Monticello Bird Club. Beginners welcome. Meet in the parking lot. 7:30am. Earlysville Road. 973-7772.

King Family Open House: Come for wine tastings by the fireplace, stay for the holiday shopping and wine specials. 11am-5pm. King Family Vineyards, 6550 Roseland Farm in Crozet. 823-7800.

Holiday Market: Mark the holiday season at the Holiday City Market at the Downtown Pavilion. 10am-5pm. Browse through handmade gifts, crafts, jewelry, baked goods, toys, decorations, wreaths, and fresh greenery. 970-3371.

Cardinal Point Holiday Open House: Do your Christmas shopping at Cardinal Point Vineyard and Winery. Wine, crafts, foods, and a variety of holiday treats available all week long. 9423 Batesville Road, Afton. 540-456-8400.

Holiday Craft Festival: Browse handmade wood crafts, festive decorations, baked goods, greeting cards, and much more at this annual event. Free and open to the public. 10am-2pm. Sutherland Middle School in the Hollymead subdivision. 985-8157.

Change of Pace: If you've had enough wreath-making and wine tasting, join other environmental-minded souls for a stream monitoring workshop. StreamWatch hosts a training for volunteer stream monitors today covering the fundamentals of stream biological sampling– catching and identifying aquatic invertebrates for the purpose of evaluating water quality and stream health. Bring a lunch and dress for the outdoors. 10am-5pm. Free, reservations required. 923-8642.

Pressure Drop: Free blood pressure screening happens the first Saturday of every month. No appointment necessary– walk in and stay healthy. 10am-noon. Martha Jefferson main lobby. Locust Avenue. Free parking. 971-5959.

Party for Pearlington: Just 'Cause Parties hosts a fundraiser to benefit the Charlottesville Pearlington Relief and the Building Goodness Foundation to provide building services to communities in need. The Holiday Gala features music by Metanoia. $45 per person includes hors d'œuvres, music and dancing. Cash bar. 8pm. Fry's Spring Beach Club, 2512 Jefferson Park Ave. 979-7227.

Zabor Social:
Dance the night away at the old Live Arts space on Market St. next to Garden of Sheba. $5 per person at the door. Casual dress. Alcohol and smoke free. 8-10pm. Edwin Roa, instructor. 804-852-4123.-

Jazz Ensemble:
The UVA Jazz Ensemble delivers one of its three major concerts this weekend, spicing up the expected program with a few Christmas favorites. As a freshman, bassist Dhara Goradia is still adjusting to the program. "People really know the style and the history here, so there's more emphasis on rehearsal," she says. Be at Old Cabell Hall tonight to see the results of that tireless practicing.

The UVA Jazz Ensemble at Old Cabell Hall. $10/$5, 8pm.

The Karelian Folk Music Ensemble at The Prism. $18/$15, 8pm.

Holiday Spotlight at the Paramount. Free, all day.

Mindless Faith and 51 Peg at the Outback Lodge. $6, 10pm.

Jan Smith at Rapunzel's, 7:30pm.

Bob Williamson at Fellini's #9. No cover, 6pm.

Fulltones at Fellini's #9. No cover, 10pm.

Jazz night at the Blue Bird Café. No cover, 7pm.

Vernon Fisher at Fossett's at Keswick Hall. 6:30pm.

SUNDAY, December 4
Blackfriars Theater
10 S. Market St., Staunton.
Santaland Diaries:
See Thursday, December 1. Today's show is a 2pm matinee.

Changeable Auditions: Try out for a role in Ovid's Metamorphoses, adapted for the stage by Mary Zimmerman, to be performed at Live Arts March 3-25. Needed: 10-13 adult actors and one young girl 9-12. Movement/dance experience desirable. 7pn today and tomorrow. 123 E. Water St. 977-4177.

The Homecoming Comes Home: See Thursday, December 1. Today's show is a 2pm matinee.

Christmas Fair on the Farm: See Saturday, December 3.

Batesville Bazaar: See Saturday, December 3. Time today noon-5pm.

Get Real: See Friday, December 2. Time today is 3pm.

Holiday Bazaar:
See Saturday, December 2.

Lights of Love: UVA Hospital auxiliary sponsors the annual "lights of love" tree lighting ceremony today. Community members are invited to remember and honor friends and loved ones by sponsoring lights on the tree. At $10, each light benefits the UVA Children's Hospital. Call to sign up: 924-5251.

Batesville Bazaar: See Saturday, December 3. Noon-5pm. Free admission. 8085 Batesville Road. 456-6328.

Santa Paws Pet Photos: No kids? Have your dog or cat's picture taken with Santa. Proceeds to benefit the SPCA and local animal rescue groups. 11am-5pm at The Animal Connection, 1701E Allied St. in McIntire Business Park. Also Sunday, December 11, 11am-5pm. $12. 296-7048.

Christmas Parade: It's an old-fashioned, small town Christmas parade through downtown Lovingston, complete with an appearance by Santa himself. 3pm.

Afton's Winter Open House: Sample Afton Mountain Vineyards' new sparkling wine at the annual Winter Open House. Also barrel tastings of the 2005 vintages, minestrone soup, holiday gifts, and more. Free. 234 Vineyard Lane in Afton. 10am-6pm. 540-456-8667.

Holiday Wine: See Saturday, December 3.

Hill Top Open House: See Saturday, December 3. 2800 Berry Hill Road, Nellysford. 361-1266.

Get in the Spirit:
The Piedmont Virginia Community College Chorus rings in the holidays with a free concert today. 3pm. V. Earl Dickinson Building. 500 College Road. 245.2671.

Las Gitanas and Low Skies at the Satellite Ballroom. $5, 18+, 9pm.

King Golden Banshee at Fellini's #9. No cover, 6pm.

UVA Small Jazz Groups at Garrett Hall. No cover, 7pm.

Christine Lavin at Gravity Lounge. $27/$22, 7pm.

CounterPoints at the Cardinal Café in Scottsville. $5, 6pm.

Charlottesville High School's Winter Concert. Free, 2pm.

Dan Sebring and Bill Edmonds at the Blue Bird Café. No cover, 6pm.

B.C. at Miller's. No cover, 11pm.

MONDAY, December 5
See Sunday, December 4.

Club Fantasy:
Fans of fantasy can explore magical worlds and alternative realities in Northside Library's fantasy book discussion group for teens. Snacks are involved, along with great books and lively conversation. 6:30-7:30pm. Registration required. Albemarle Square. 973-7893.

Wreath Workshops at Monticello:
See Friday, December 3. Today the time is 9:30am.

Comparative Wine Tasting: Sample the best that Virginia's and New York's wine regions have to offer at this comparative tasting covering the major varieties and blends from the different wine growing regions in each state and providing a forum for comparing them. At Keswick Hall. Call 979-3440 for reservations and details.

Medical Lit:
Karen Cushman's Midwife's Apprentice is the subject of the December meeting of the James River Book Club. Scottsville doctor Denise Williams leads the discussion of this Newbery award-winning novel. 7:30pm in the Helen Wieneke room at the Scottsville Library. 286-3541.

George Melvin at the South Street Brewery. No cover, 7pm.

Bentley Rhodes and Aaron Evans at Starr Hill.

Open mic night at Baja Bean. No cover, signups at 8:30pm, show at 9pm.

Matthew Willner at Miller's. No cover, 10pm.

Travis Elliott at The Virginian. No cover, 10pm.

TUESDAY, December 6
Try It!:
The Old Michie Theatre holds open auditions for children and youth for its winter main-stage production of The Prince and the Pauper today and tomorrow. Needed: actors to play the prince and the pauper, in addition to five male and five female characters. Interested students should contact the theatre at 977-3690 to schedule a 15-minute audition time. A production fee helps defray production costs and nets complimentary tickets for each actor's family. 4-6:30pm. 221 E. Water St.

Blackfriars Theater
10 S. Market St., Staunton. 540-885-5588
Santaland Diaries:
See Thursday, December 1.

Brian Kingston and Robbie Collins at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8pm.

The UVA Early Music Ensemble at Old Cabell Hall. Free, 8pm.

Jimmie's Chicken Shack and Sickshot at Starr Hill. $12/$10, 9pm.

Karaoke at City Limits. No cover, 9pm.

Ezra Hamilton at Mono Loco. No cover, 10pm.

WEDNESDAY, December 7
Try It!:
See Tuesday, December 6.

Blackfriars Theater
10 S. Market St., Staunton.
Santaland Diaries:
See Thursday, December 1. Tonight's show is at 7:30.

A Christmas Carol: The three Christmas ghosts, the Cratchits, and Tiny Tim are all here to take Ebenezer Scrooge on the ride of his money-grubbing life. Expect to be right in the middle of this well-known tale and experience new twists, surprises, and a production filled with music and cheer for the whole family. Today's performance is a school matinee at 10:30am.

Two Marys, Five Jacks, and a Very Big Shoe:
Wee Willie Winkie and the Old Woman Who Lives in a Shoe perform Mother Goose tales in a showcase of rhymes, finger plays, pantomime, song, and dance at the Old Michie Theatre. The production features an interactive experience especially designed for small children and preschoolers using audience participation. 10:30am. $5. Water St. across from the Parking Garage. 977-3690.

Snow Family: An old mitten, some rice, a wooden ball, a bit of this, a scrap of that, and voila! A snow person! The folks at Gordon Avenue Library show kids ages 7 and up how it's done today at 4pm. Free. Registration required. 1500 Gordon Ave. 296-5544.

More Tales for Tots: The 5 and under crowd can enjoy storybook favorites about holidays throughout the year at Barnes & Noble's preschool story time. 10:30am. Free. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.

Mental Wellness Support Group:
This new group meets every Wednesday evening at On Our Own of Charlottesville starting tonight. 123 Fourth St. NW. 6-7pm. All are welcome. 465-1674.

Wreath Workshops at Monticello: See Friday, December 2. Today's workshop is at 9:30am.

On Staying True:
Drew Trotter talks about the book The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe at the Center for Christian Study. 8pm. 128 Chancellor St. 817-1050.

The Amanda Monaco 4 at Gravity Lounge. $7, 7pm.

Mary Robinson and Friends at the Blue Bird Café. No cover, 6pm.

B.C. at the Buddhist Biker Bar. No cover, 11pm.

Bennie Dodd at Coupe DeVille's. No cover, 10pm.

Karaoke at Fat Daddy's. No cover, 9pm.

Evan Mook at Fellini's #9. No cover, 8-11pm.

Karaoke at Jaberwoke. No cover, 21+, 10pm.

The Mike Rosensky and Jeff Decker Quartet at Miller's. No cover, 10:30pm.

Acoustic Groove Trio at Mono Loco. No cover, 10pm.

Open jam at Rapunzel's, 7pm.

THURSDAY, December 8
Blackfriars Theater
10 S. Market St., Staunton.
Santaland Diaries:
See Thursday, December 1. Stay after tonight's 7:30 show to chat with the cast and crew.

A Christmas Carol: See Wednesday, December 7.

Camera Doesn't Lie:
Bill Allard, Michael Nichols, and Bob Llewellyn talk about "Truth Telling in Photography" and invite audience members to chime in. 7pm, free. McGuffey Art Center, 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.

Salsa Night at Satellite Ballroom. Lessons 8-9pm and dancing all night long! $6.

More Tales for Tots:
See Wednesday, December 7.

A History of Marriage:
Conceptions of love and marriage are at the heart of the political debate over "values." Stephanie Coontz, director of research and public education for the Council on Contemporary Families, describes the dramatic shift in many cultures' views of the emotional, social, economic and legal consequences of marriage at the Miller Center Forum. She also signs copies of her book, Marriage, A History, following her talk. 11am. 2201 Old Ivy Road. Free. 924-7236.

George Melvin at Fellini's #9. No cover, 6:30pm.

Tarbox Ramblers and Last Train Home at Gravity Lounge. $10, 8pm.

Soul Sledge and Agents of the Sun at the Outback Lodge. $5, 10pm.

Thompson/D'earth at Miller's. $4, 10:30pm.

Karaoke at the Lazy Parrot Grill. No cover, 8:30pm.

The Nice Jenkins at Mellow Mushroom. No cover, 10:30pm.

Upcoming and Ongoing
Cut a Rug:
Terry Dean's Dance Studio has a new slate of classes for beginners: rumba (Monday, 7:30-8:15pm); swing (Tuesday, 7:30-8:15pm); foxtrot (Wednesday, 7:30-8:15pm); salsa (Thursday, 7:30-8:15pm); cha-cha (Friday, day, 7:30-8:15pm). Dance Party every Friday, 9-10:30pm. Individual classes $10 per person per class. Friday class and dance party $10 inclusive. 1309 A. Seminole Trail. Details: 977-3327 or

Square Dance Classes: Learn to do-si-do with the pros. The Virginia Reelers Square dance club offers beginning square dance classes on Tuesday nights. 7pm at Woodbrook School. Open to all, no experience necessary. Details: 296-9704.

Dancing 'Round the World: Learn circle, line, and partner folk dances from all over the world to authentic music from the Balkans, Middle East, South America, USA, and Africa. Beginners welcome. Ezher N. Uremiz instructs at the Senior Center, Pepsi Place. Tuesdays 6-8:30pm. 823-9705.

Sunday Salsa: The Charlottesville Salsa Club sponsors a weekly opportunity to learn and practice salsa and other dances in a smoke-free nightclub atmosphere. A basic lesson (usually salsa) gets the evening started at 8pm. Complimentary water and sodas. The Outback Lodge, 917 Preston Ave. 8pm-midnight. $3-5. or 979-7211.

Michie Tavern:
Local residents can preview the Tavern Museum's Jamestown 1607-2007 commemorative exhibit and its 18th century fashion display. Free. Open daily 9am-5pm. Rt. 53 opposite Monticello. 977-1234.

Spruce Up: Through December 24, cut your own tree at Ash Lawn-Highland. Donations will be used to help preserve the historic presidential home. Check in at the Gift Shop for directions to the cutting fields. Bring a saw and a rope to tie the tree to your vehicle. 10am-4pm daily. 293-9539.

Celebrate the Season: The Science Museum of Virginia celebrates the holiday season with "Joy from the World," displays and events highlighting a variety of cultural traditions from around the world, through January 1. Included in the price of admission. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 800-659-1727.

Job Seekers Support Group: Encouragement, motivation, and a circle of support for those in search of employment. Meets the second and fourth Thursdays of the month at the FOCUS house, 1508 Grady Avenue. 10am. Details: 293-2222 x23.

Arts for Peace Gala: Celebrate solidarity at a benefit December 10 for the Charlottesville Center for Peace & Justice, featuring arts and craft vendors, vegetarian gourmet food, beer and wine, and a live auction of goods and services. Dance to the music of Corey Harris with Darrel Rose, John Gilmore, and Huston Ross. 6pm-midnight. Greek Orthodox Church, 100 Perry Drive. $10, children 12 and under free with adult. 434 842-1647 or

Monticello Winter Tour: Learn all about Thomas Jefferson's friends and neighbors on this extended, seasonal tour of the house. 9am-4:30pm, through February. Included in price of general admission.

Mental Wellness: The holidays can be a stressful time. A new support group for mental wellness meets every Wednesday beginning December 7, 6-7pm. On Our own of Charlottesville, 123 Fourth St. NW. 465-1674.

Senior Basketball: Charlottesville Parks and Recreation offers basketball for seniors 55-up at the Key Recreation Center, Mondays 9:30-11:30am through February. 800 E. Market St. 970-3271.

UVA Polo: Polo goes year round (well, almost). The university's nationally ranked squad has an indoor/outdoor facility on Forest Lodge, on the left off Fifth Street Extended, and they play every Friday night at 7pm, rain or shine. $2 students, $4 non-students. Info: 979-0293.

Know When to Fold 'Em: The local chapter of Gamblers Anonymous meets every Tuesday night at the Unitarian Universalist Church at 717 Rugby Road. 296-2284.

Ninja Yoga: Toward a revolution of consciousness. Suitable for all levels of expertise. Free and open to the public at "Better than Television," a new community center in the art space under the Jefferson Theater. Times vary. 295-0872.

Christmas Past:
All this month the Frontier Culture Museum hosts Holidays in History. Historic farm sites are decorated for Christmas and costumed interpreters tell of the traditions of our past. 10am-4pm daily. Included in the cost of admission. Rt. 250 west in Staunton. 540-332-7850.

Take a Hike: Young outdoorsmen can discover what camping is all about at a new exhibit at the Back Gallery at the Virginia Discovery Museum. Visitors can follow a map to their campsite in the deciduous forest of the Blue Ridge, pitch a tent and settle into a sleeping bag, or enjoy all the outdoors has to offer including hiking, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and wildlife. Through January 15. Included in the price of admission. East end of the Downtown Mall. 977-1025.

Well, Are You Coming?: Visitors of the Science Museum of Virginia get swept up with a trainload of children on a holiday adventure with The Polar Express: The IMAX Experience. Based on the classic Caldecott Medal-winning children's book by Chris Van Allsburg, the movie tells the story of a doubting young boy who takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole in a journey of self-discovery. Through January 22. $8.50. Call for advance tickets and show times. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 800-659-1727.

Out of the Closet: Peter and Lucy venture into the magical land of Narnia as the Carpenter Science Theatre Company performs The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. This main stage production runs through January 1. 1pm and 3pm on weekends, 11am Tuesday-Friday. $8. 2500 W. Broad St. 800-659-1727.

Playing Doctor: The Health Hut comes to the Virginia Discovery Museum from its former home at the UVA Children's Hospital. This interactive collection of activities helps kids learn about their bodies, health care, and making healthy choices. Slim Goodbody, for example, gives the inside scoop on the heart, lungs, and other organs. In the doctor's office, kids can view x-rays and examine patients. Discover the five senses, find out how much you weigh and how tall you are, and much more. This exhibit will be displayed in the Back Gallery for the next year. Included in the price of admission. East end of the Downtown Mall. 977-1025.

First Friday, December 2
The McGuffey Art Center will be filled with treats to celebrate the return of its annual Holiday Group Show, 5:30-7:30pm. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.

Second Street Gallery welcomes "Ju-Yeon Kim: Recent Paintings" and "True Defenders of the Craft: Drawings by Warren Cragshead" with an opening, 6-8pm. Artists' talks at 6:30pm. 115 Second St. SE in City Center for Contemporary Arts. 977-7284.

Join Blake Hurt to celebrate the opening of an exhibition of his oils depicting Paris in the fall at the Mezzanine Gallery at the New Dominion Book Shop on the Downtown Mall. 4:30-7:30pm.

Les Yeux du Monde opens its December exhibition of illustrations by internationally renowned artist Gary Baseman and its display of "Interactions 2," featuring local students' photographs, with a reception. 5:30-7:30pm. Artist's talk, 6:30pm. 115 S. First St. 973-5566.

The C&O Gallery welcomes "Transitions– Botanicals and New Panoramic Imagery by John Grant." Stop by 5-7pm for nibbles and sips. 515 E. Water St. (next to the C&O Restaurant). 971-7044.

Transient Crafters will have holiday treats to celebrate the opening of "Bead Beings: Sculptures with Personality," a show of works created by Steve Cunningham. 6-9pm. 118 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 972-9500.

Belmont's Creature Gallery hosts a reception for photographer Hal Brindley's exhibition, "Polar Opposites: the Icons of Penguins and Polar Bears." 6-10pm. 824 Hinton Ave.284-1800.

The Charlottesville Community Design Center opens "In Our Backyard– the Neighborhood Design Day Exhibit." Meet your neighbors and snack on goodies 5-9pm. 101 E. Main St. 984-2232.

The BozArt Gallery hosts a reception to open its annual All Members Show, 6-9pm. 211 W. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 296-3919.

The Gallery @ 5th & Water welcomes its exhibition of still life and landscape oils by Lindsay Michie Eades, with a reception, 5:30-8pm. 107 Water St. 979-9825.

Sage Moon Gallery hosts a reception to welcome Andre Lucero's oil paintings. On the mezzanine they'll have the usual celebratory goodies, 6-9pm. 420 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 977-9997.

Fellini's #9 hosts an opening for artist Marla McNamara with treats from 5:30-7:30pm. 200 W. Market St. 979-4279.

La Galeria celebrates its exhibition, "Fruits and Flowers," by Anne de LaTour Hopper, with a reception. 5-8pm. 218 W. Market St. (next to Vinegar Hill Theater). 293-7003.

Retroformat Gallery opens its December inaugural exhibition "Charlottesville Transformations" by Boris Starosta, with a reception. In the basement of 300 W. Main St. (below UVA's Off Grounds Gallery). More info:

On December 5, the University of Virginia Art Museum opens "Portraiture: Identity," an exhibition featuring paintings, prints, and photographs from the permanent collection. Also on view: "Mi Cuerpo, Mi Pais: Cuban Art Today." Both shows are on display through December 23. 155 Rugby Road. 924-3592.

Photographs of Vietnam by Georgia Barbour are on view at the Vietnamese restaurant, White Orchid, through March 31. 420 W. Main St. 297-4400.

In December, Blake Hurt's oils depicting Paris in the fall are on display on the Mezzanine Gallery at the New Dominion Book Shop on the Downtown Mall.

The McGuffey Art Center presents its annual Holiday Group Show, where visitors are invited to cash-and-carry away artworks of their choosing. The exhibition runs through January 1, with a special Open House, Saturday, December 3. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.

On December 2, Second Street Gallery opens "Gary Baseman: Bedtime for Toby" in the Main Gallery, and "Interactions 2," a show of black and white photographs by local children and their UVA-student mentors, in the Dové Gallery. Both exhibitions run through January 28.115 Second St. SE (in the Charlottesville City Center for the Arts). 977-7284.

Les Yeux du Monde features two exhibitions, on view through January 14: "Rabbits and Fairies" by Lincoln Perry and a "Holiday Happening," featuring work by numerous artists, including Anne Chestnut, Shelby Fischer, William Mead, and Gerald Mitchell. 115 S. First St. 973-5566.

The University of Virginia's ArtSpace hosts a group exhibition by the Virginia Stonecarvers Guild, featuring 46 sculptures by 11 members. The show is on view through January 12. Newcomb Hall. More info: 434-823-1007.

The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection features "Yilpinji: Love Magic and Ceremony," exploring love magic rituals of the Kukajta and Warlpiri peoples of the Tanami Desert region. On view through February 18. 400 Worrell Drive (Pantops). 244-0234. See Art feature.

During December, Transient Crafters presents "Bead Beings: Sculptures with Personality," a show of works created by Steve Cunningham. 118 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 972-9500.

For the month of December, the C&O Gallery offers "Transitions– Botanicals and New Panoramic Imagery by John Grant." 515 E. Water St. (next to the C&O Restaurant). 971-7044 

Photographer Hal Brindley displays his exhibition of wildlife images, "Polar Opposites: the Icons of Penguins and Polar Bears," during December at Creature Gallery. 824 Hinton Ave. 284-1800.

Through January 30, the Charlottesville Community Design Center presents "In Our Backyard– the Neighborhood Design Day Exhibit," which features individual neighborhood plans that resulted from information gathered on October 8, Neighborhood Design Day. 101 E. Main St. 984-2232.

Angelo presents watercolorist Nga Bui Katz's exhibition, "Windows of the Soul," on view through December 31. 220 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 971-9256.

During December, Fellini's #9 features artwork by Marla McNamara. 200 W. Market St. 979-4279.

For its December show, The Gallery @ 5th & Water presents still life and landscape oils by Lindsay Michie Eades. Located in the upstairs foyer of Henderson & Everett and Stoneking/vonStorch. 107 Fifth St. 979-9825.

In December, Sage Moon Gallery showcases the oil paintings of Andre Lucero. 420 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 977-9997.

Brand new venue Retroformat Gallery opens in December with an inaugural exhibition entitled "Charlottesville Transformations," featuring of stereo slides and framed prints by Boris Starosta. In the basement of 300 W. Main St. (below UVA's Off Grounds Gallery). More info:

For the month of December, BozArt Gallery presents its annual All Members Show. 211 W. Main St. 296-3919.

La Galeria presents a December showcase exhibition, "Fruits and Flowers," featuring oils and pastels by Anne de LaTour Hopper. 218 W. Market St. (next to Vinegar Hill Theater). 293-7003.

The Central Virginia Watercolor Guild has new work hanging at the Albemarle County Courthouse through November. 410 E. High St. 964-1423.

Glo is currently showing paintings by Christian Peri. 225 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 295-7432.

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


Gordonsville's Galerie LaParliere & Studios presents "Couleurs d'autmne," work by Paula Pritchett and Bill Remington, on view through December 9. 117 A S. Main St. 540-832-3786.

The Artisans Center of Virginia hosts "A Handmade Season," an invitational exhibition of Virginia crafts. The show remains on view through December 31. 601 Shenandoah Village Drive (exit 94 off I64), Waynesboro. 540-946-3294.

The Williams School of Commerce at Washington and Lee University in Lexington offers a dual exhibition entitled "North and South," by painter Eric Fitzpatrick, through December. 540-458-8602

Richmond's Virginia Museum of Fine Arts presents "Dazzle" the first of four exhibitions under the title "Look Here," highlighting the museum's permanent collection, on view through January 29. The VMFA also features a rotating series of paintings under the umbrella title of "An Enduring Legacy: Paintings Acquired Through the J. Harwood and Louis B. Cochrane Fund for American Art." 200 N. Boulevard. 804-204-2704.

The new Virginia Holocaust Museum Art Gallery presents an exhibition of paintings by G. Roy Levin, on view through December 31. 2000 E. Cary St., Richmond. 804-257-5400.

The Arts Center in Orange features "Equus II," a collection of work by area artists celebrating horses, on view through December 31. 149 E. Main St., Orange. 540-672-7311.

Madison's Sevenoaks Pathwork Center features "Healing Artists," an exhibition of work by Magali Boehlen, Karen Collins, Cindy Haney, Trilbie Knapp,, and Alegria Barbara Strauss, which runs through December 3. "Chapters Before," a show featuring mixed-media work by J. Garcia, opens December 6 and runs through March 5. 540-948-6544.

Lovingston's The Eye of the Beholder gallery offers "Stopping Points," featuring paintings, drawings, and photographs by Elizabeth Hutson. Located in the Packing Shed on Front St. 996-5058.

The Barn Swallow features pottery by Janice Arone and Mary Ann Burke, plus other handcrafted artwork. Route 682 off 250W. 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

Love rituals: Aboriginal stories of passion

If ever there was a universal, it's humans' thirst for tales of passion– in particular, stories of illicit love leading to disaster. Whether it's Romeo and Juliet dying for each other or Oedipus gouging out his eyes because he married his mother (whoops!), love gone wrong is a universal font of artistic inspiration.

Consider the stories underlying the prints in the traveling exhibition "Yilpinji Love Magic and Ceremony," currently on view at the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection. The etchings and screen prints may strike non-Aboriginal viewers as geometric and abstract, but each represents a tale of misplaced love and its consequences, with references to specific locations and characters.

The show's curators asked famed artists from three Walpiri and Kukatja communities in the Tanami Desert region to create works based on the theme of Yilpinji– rituals performed separately by men and women to attract the objects of their affection. Because marriage among Aboriginal kinship groups is strictly regulated, many chose to tell ancestral stories about the misfortune of desire directed toward those of the "wrong skin."

In making the limited-edition prints, the artists adapted designs traditionally painted on the body, traced on the ground, or carved into wood. Concentric circles refer to particular geographic sites. Horseshoe shapes represent people sitting in the sand. And waves of parallel lines indicate sand hills for the Balgo Hills artists, whose work is displayed in the library and its adjacent room.

Prints by Yuendumu artists hang in Kluge-Ruhe's small interior room, and pieces by Lajamanu members in the far fireplace room. Extensive signage throughout the exhibition explains not only the stories depicted but also the complex kinship network that prescribes and proscribes Aboriginal relationships.

But pushing love and lust aside, what about the artworks as works of art? Ignoring their origin, encountered simply as non-representational abstract images, the prints remain powerful. The artists' dynamic compositions and use of color create a different kind of universal.

Knowing Abie Jangala's embossed etching, "Rainbow Men," represents the story of how the rain father's sons recklessly dazzled unsuitable women gives depth and surprise to the black and white print, but it's not needed to evoke a response to the strong marks on the page. Likewise, the beauty of Paddy Sims Japaljarri's blue etching "Yanjirlpiri-Star" extends beyond its telling of seven sisters who escaped a relentless stalker by becoming the stars of the Pleiades.

"Yilpinji Love Magic and Ceremony" hangs at the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection through February 18. On December 3, the museum hosts its annual Holiday Sale, 2-5pm. 400 Worrell Drive, Peter Jefferson Pl. 244-0234.