When I moved to this area from New York City, the first thing I wanted to do was go see a show at the American Shakespeare Center. From the moment I learned of it, I was enamored of the dream it promised: a self-sustaining center of Shakespearean, Elizabethan, and early Modern drama in the heart of the Shenandoah, on a stage designed to the specs of the hallowed old Blackfriars Playhouse in London.
Life of illusion A magician since the age of 7, Wes Iseli dazzles audiences with illusory skills that combine crowd participation, comedic banter and the ol’ sleight of hand routine. He travels the East Coast regularly with his act, mentors aspiring illusionists and stays in good form by performing a weekly gig here in the [...]
The Southern Belles play testosterone-driven dirty country, honky-tonk, electric bluegrass, and psychedelic jams.
British steel The snarky, gossipy family and the conniving house staff you know and love are returning to T.V., and to the Paramount. The theater kicks off 2013 with a screening of the Season 3 premiere of “Downton Abbey.” The show will broadcast on the jumbo screen, and there’s a ticket option for a reception [...]
Pick up tuner According to Cody Purvis, you can’t have too much of a good thing, except maybe “Too Much Truck.” The soulfully deep-voiced 18-year-old is country through and through, capturing the outlaw spirit of Merle Haggard and the contemporary energy of Toby Keith. His tunes bounce with charisma, and at 6’5″ Purvis is a [...]
Whiter shade of pale Abstract art is all about blurring boundaries, but pushing two seemingly oppositional modes toward one another takes skill. The pieces in the McGuffey Art Center’s “abstractreal realabstract” exhibit drag realism into the realm of the abstract, and vice versa. In mostly oil-based paintings, five associate members—Nancy Bass, Robin Braun, Margaret Embree, [...]
The Infamous Stringdusters is a band set smack in the middle of the new bluegrass crusade. Active curators of the genre and tireless, intrepid meddlers, playing the spirit of the music however it manifests, and damn the math. Surgeons of the genre, helping to save it by cutting it open and expertly futzing with the innards.
Leave a light on Paying the heat bill has never sounded so enticing as at Rapunzel’s 11th Annual Christmas and All Other Holidays Party. Whether you’re celebrating the solstice or another traditional wintry holiday, the venue pulls together with warmth at its one and only yearly fundraiser. An impressive line-up of local artists donate their [...]
Happy ’til the end You may as well go out laughing. That’s what Play On! Theatre has in mind as it invites everyone to await the end of the Mayan calendar in humor at the Improvocalypse. With troupes from all over Virginia—Bent Theatre, No Strings Attached, West End Comedy, and Found Fathers—in the house, the [...]
The Oratorio Society of Virginia is nearly 50 years into its mission to enrich, inspire, and educate through the performance of choral masterworks, and it’s not slowing down in December.
Odds are, if you keep an eye on music in this town, you’re familiar with Pigeons Playing Ping Pong. Whether you’re one of the devoted and exponentially growing “Flock,” or simply a fan of the work of behavioral scientist B.F. Skinner, the name just sticks. To clarify to the latter group, it’s a band: a [...]
As if the truncated schedule of putting on a live show didn’t generate enough stress, a small assemblage of theater stalwarts have decided to put on The Red Eye Theatre Festival. Seven scripts, selected by a jury of playwrights, are given to seven directors and 25 actors in four locations across the United States. At 8am, [...]
Four County Players stages the amateur world premiere of Woman in a Tiled Room by local playwright Shawn B. Hirabayashi. The two-act, two-character dramatic thriller takes place in an abandoned bathhouse in New York City and plays out the intense and increasingly bizarre relationship between Piers and her recently acquired man-friend Mart.
The mark of a truly superlative Halloween costume is commitment. Sure, you can get by with a half-hearted zombie nurse, but tame decisions beget tepid treats. Let’s say that you get your band together and tog up like legitimate music legends—now you’re getting somewhere.
Stanley Ann Dunham falls in love and marries a Kenyan student in the early ’60s. She struggles through a second marriage to a corrupt civil servant in Indonesia, and comes through it to work in anthropology and assist poverty-stricken women in third world countries. All the while she is raising the 44th President of the [...]
Milo Greene is not a real person—it’s the result of some friends who decided to throw together a band and then created a fictitious agent (Milo Greene) to help land gigs. These are humble beginnings, but with a debut album issued in July, an ongoing headlining tour, and last month’s “Conan” performance all on the [...]
Amy Schumer’s comedy is sweet like saccharine, and crude enough to shame a sailor. Leaving no taboo untouched, she charms her way through an act, oftentimes turning her most eviscerating jibes on herself resulting in some of her best material. Schumer’s rise into the upper echelon has been swift. She gave testimony at the roasts [...]
Thomas Wolfe says you can’t go home again. Leah Naomi Green and Josh Garrett-Davis seem to disagree. After swapping his South Dakota home for New York’s cityscape, Garrett-Davis found himself drawn back through his recent novel, Ghost Dances: Proving Up on the Great Plains. Green never attempted to leave home behind, yet her upbringing in [...]
Stuart Davis is a man of many facets. You might even say he’s multi-faceted. He’s a musician with 14 albums to his credit, a comedian, a Bhuddist monk, a TV producer, a writer/actor, and a few dozen other things. The Minnesota-born punk monk is regularly referred to as the Twisted Mystic, earning his moniker with [...]
Taking the reins of an institution with deep community roots requires chutzpa, maybe even a little swagger, and in such situations, it is my understanding that the prevailing wisdom is to go big or go home. It does not appear that Live Arts’ new artistic director, Julie Hamberg, is headed home any time soon. Hamberg [...]
At 2am in Williamsburg, the motorcade is already warming up. It’s not an atypical start for His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. His schedule usually has him up at 3am for prayers and meditation. But today’s schedule is a bustling one, and His Holiness, his accompanying aides and representatives, and their police escort are racing down [...]
Barboursville’s eminent regional theater, Four County Players, is celebrating four solid decades of musicals, contemporaries, classics, 10-minute festivals, and all the various and delightful manifestations of staged drama with a one-weekend-only celebratory blowout, 40 and Fabulous. They’re bringing in some local heavy hitters to re-live the thrills in a musical revue: Jane Scatena, Joncey Boggs, [...]
2011 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and the 2012 recipient of the Best Play Tony Award, Bruce Norris’ dark comedy Clybourne Park centers on two families–one black and one white–buying the same house in 1959 and 2009, respectively. Crafted as a response to the 1959 Lorraine Hansberry play, A Raisin In The Sun, it [...]
Three of Jonathan Coleman’s four works of non-fiction are New York Times bestsellers, including the recent autobiography of basketball legend Jerry West, West By West: My Charmed, Tormented Life. Garnish his impressive career with an Edgar Allen Poe Award and you get the feeling of greatness in our midst. The prodigal UVA alum sits down [...]
Charlottesville has impressive music credentials. Huge international acts squeeze themselves into our little town so often that it’s easy to become a bit blasé about it. But the savvy chamber music connoisseur clears their calendar when the Tuesday Evening Concert Series kicks off in the fall. The series exists as one of the premier venues [...]