C-VILLE Writers



James Franco and Chris O’Dowd share dreams and denial as George and Lenny in London National Theatre’s Of Mice and Men. Publicity photo.

ARTS Pick: Of Mice and Men

John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men takes the stage at London’s National Theatre as part of its HD broadcast series. The play is a powerful and raw depiction of struggles during the Great Depression and the heart-wrenching bonds of friendship. James Franco and Chris O’Dowd step out of their comedic comfort zones to play two […]

Learn how Thomas Jefferson celebrated the holiday season at a nighttime tour of Monticello. Photo courtesy of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello.

LIVING To Do: Monticello Evening Tours

Get an after-hours glimpse of Thomas Jefferson’s iconic Monticello. This hour-long small group tour winds through the historic house to give you an intimate look at 19th century holiday traditions. Through 12/30. $45, 5:30pm. Monticello, 931 Thomas Jefferson Pkwy. 984-9800.

Sing along with your festive favorites as conductor Michael Slon directs the region’s longest running chorus in two rounds of holiday cheer. Publicity photo.

ARTS Pick: The Oratorio Society’s Christmas at The Paramount

The longest running local community chorus returns for what has become an annual holiday highlight: The Oratorio Society’s Christmas at The Paramount. Celebrate with song as conductor Michael Slon (below) leads a program of classic favorites that soars to its highest point during an audience sing-along in this spirited seasonal event that joins area school […]

Thanks to relentless touring and a ton of radio airplay, guitar-wielding storyteller Ellis Paul is more relevant than ever. He plays the Southern on Friday. Photo: Jack Looney.

ARTS Pick: Ellis Paul

Over his 20-year career, singer-songwriter Ellis Paul has released 19 records, received 14 Boston Music awards (along with a slew of other honors and decorations) and played close to 200 shows per year across the globe. With a leading role in the folk revival of the ’90s, Paul is often compared to legendary predecessors Bob […]

The (All New) Acorn Sisters featuring Sarah White and Sian Richards lead the annual Country Christmas Show into its second decade at the Southern on Sunday. Publicity image

ARTS Pick: The Country Christmas Show

Sarah White and Siân Richards are back with their annual songbird tradition, The Country Christmas Show. The angel voiced duo welcomes Peyton Tochterman to the tinseled stage for this year’s tribute to the season, as well as long-standing favorite Jim Waive and the Young Divorcees, who always rock our stocking’s off. And if we’re lucky, […]

Photo: Courtesy Kristen Smith Baine

Critic Barbara Rich dies

Longtime local reviewer Barbara Rich did not mince words, even in death. “She did not ‘pass,’ she died,” reads her obituary, which did not note how old she was. Rich, who died December 8, wrote for most publications in town, and in the 1990s was a theater critic for C-VILLE Weekly. Her most notable review […]

With clues to the menu unveiled at a recent dinner, excitement is building for Junction, Melissa Close-
Hart’s soon-to-open Mexican restaurant in Belmont. Photo: Jeffrey C. Gleason.

New Close-Hart led kitchen to craft modern Mexican cuisine, Hamiltons’ Sandwich Lab whips up a locally sourced banh mi and more local restaurant news

Junction’s function Even chef Melissa Close-Hart seemed surprised when she revealed the concept behind the new Belmont eatery she’s opening with The Local owner Adam Frazier: It’ll be called Junction and serve up modern Mexican with a touch of “cowboy cuisine” thrown in. Close-Hart said she’s never cooked Tex-Mex professionally—hence the surprise—but said it’s something […]

Photo: Eric Kelly

Two young men killed in separate crashes

Albemarle High grad Riley M. Cole, 22, died Thursday afternoon, December 11, on Route 20 in Buckingham on his way home from his first semester at Longwood University, according to his obituary. Virginia State Police say Cole was traveling north in a 1997 Infiniti when he ran off the road, overcorrected and hit a southbound […]

Friendship Court, where LEAP has helped fund energy-saving updates that contributed to its carbon credits. Photo: Josh Britt

Local energy nonprofit to start selling carbon credits

Charlottesville’s Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) announced this week that it’s entering the “voluntary carbon market,” and will be selling carbon credits generated by energy-saving weatherization projects to individuals and companies that want to buy their way to a smaller carbon footprint. According to a statement released Monday, LEAP’s Save a Ton Program will issue […]

Construction on Market Plaza is set to begin next summer. Photo courtesy Woodard Properties

City Council okays Market Plaza

City Market came one step closer to a permanent home by 2017 after City Council unanimously approved a permit for Market Plaza on December 1. The nine-story, L-shaped structure and plaza will occupy the parking lot used by City Market since 1993 and now owned by developer Keith Woodard. Market Plaza will house up to […]

Henry Wiencek's The Hairstons makes Jonathan Yardley's list of 30 faves.

The Hairstons on Yardley’s last list

Pulitzer Prize-winning book reviewer Jonathan Yardley bowed out this week after 33 years as a critic with The Washington Post. On his list of 30 favorite books, he included local author Henry Wiencek’s The Hairstons. Published in 2000, the nonfiction account of a Virginia family’s white and black sides “is a milestone in the history […]

Nathanael Greene Primary School called police when a 4-year-old went out of control. Photo: Greene County Schools

Preschooler handcuffed and shackled in Greene

An allegedly out-of-control 4-year-old prompted a call to the Greene County Sheriff’s Office in October, according to a report by Hawes Spencer on WVTF radio. The child apparently raised a ruckus in a pre-K classroom at Nathanael Greene Elementary School in Stanardsville when he allegedly threw blocks, climbed over desks, and hit, scratched and kicked […]

Local students from the Wilson School of Dance perform in Ash Lawn Opera's annual production of Amahl and the Night Visitors. Photo: Natalie Krovetz.

ARTS Pick: Amahl and the Night Visitors

Ash Lawn Opera’s seasonal offering Amahl and the Night Visitors is the perfect excuse to bundle up in formal attire and take in a show. The popular 60-minute holiday story about three kings stopping by en route to Bethlehem is performed in English and accessible to the whole family. The cast features 16-year-old Georgia Castleman, who […]

Members of the Skyline Country Cloggers will kick up their heels at the Paramount’s annual community show Holiday Spotlight. Publicity photo.

ARTS Pick: Holiday Spotlight

Break away from the repetitive carols and TV reruns by checking out the day-long local lineup at the 13th annual Holiday Spotlight. Get jazzy with Dr. Jeff Vaughan and Greg C. Brown, tap into your Appalachian roots with the Skyline Country Cloggers (below) or spice up your night with the Latin flair of Zabor Dance […]

Works of art are seen best in the dark at PVCC’s annual winter solstice celebration Let There Be Light. Photo: Chris Haske.

ARTS Pick: Let There Be Light

PVCC’s Visual Arts Department ushers in the longest nights of the year with its illuminating December tradition Let There Be Light. For one night only, curator James Yates and a slew of local artists will show their outdoor exhibit on the grounds surrounding the V. Earl Dickinson Building. The eighth installment of the winter gala […]

The house on Rugby Avenue where a mother and her 17-year-old daughter were found dead. Their deaths are being investigated as homicides, police announced today. Photo: Hawes Spencer

Police: Mother, daughter found dead in burned Rugby Ave. home suffered blunt force trauma

Police announced this afternoon that their investigation into what was initially believed to be a fatal fire on Rugby Avenue is now a homicide investigation. The bodies of 58-year-old Robin Christine Aldridge and her daughter, 17-year-old Mani Viktoria Aldridge, were found inside their home at 1627 Rugby Ave., where police and firefighters responded to a blaze late Friday night. […]

The annual Holiday Classic 5K winds around Thomas Jefferson's historic stomping grounds. Photo courtesy of Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello.

LIVING To Do: Holiday Classic 5K

Get your blood pumping and work off those last lingering Thanksgiving calories with a brisk run at the Holiday Classic 5K. This annual course, beginning at the East Walk of Monticello and ending at the Thomas Jefferson Vistor Center, supports trail preservation. The under-12 crowd can get in on the action with the Deck the […]

Distinguished cellist Steven Isserlis will be joined by Raphael Bell, Steven Doane and Connie Shih on Saturday at the Paramount. Publicity photo.

ARTS Pick: Steven Isserlis

December begins on a classy note with a program of Schumann, Bach and more that features internationally renowned cellist Steven Isserlis. The concerto soloist and chamber musician is one of only two living cellists in the Gramophone Hall of Fame, and in this sonata-centered performance he is joined by Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival co-founder, and accomplished […]

Karate Tango is a big, bold off-Broadway musical filled with local connections, tight choreography and extravagant costumes. Publicity photo.

ARTS Pick: Karate Tango

PVCC’s theater and dance departments team up for the first time in a revamped production of local award-winning playwright Peter Ryan’s off-Broadway musical Karate Tango. The bold and witty plot weaves romance and show biz into a bittersweet exploration of marriage’s ups and downs. Choreographers Katharine Hall and Amanda Liscouski lead a cast of nearly […]

This year’s Holiday Burlesque stars Deanna Danger and a wide-ranging cast of comedians and dancers in a tantalizing seasonal event. Publicity photo.

ARTS Pick: Holiday Burlesque

While the holiday season doesn’t necessarily conjure visions of scantily clad women doing the bump ‘n’ grind, Deanna Danger and her crew of vaudevillian and burlesque performers see no harm in weaving some risqué into your merry making. Performer, producer and instructor, Danger leads the second annual Holiday Burlesque—her personally crafted erotic comedy and dance […]

Live Arts launches its season centerpiece, the stirring epic Les Misérables (with Jon Cobb and Elizabeth Howard) on Friday. Photo: Martyn Kyle.

ARTS Pick: Les Miserables

Matt Joslyn directs an extensive local cast in the much-loved musical Les Misérables. The epic story captures the plight of Parisian Jean Valjean and his niece Cosette in a quest for redemption that eventually leads to the June Rebellion in 1832. The original theatrical production of Victor Hugo’s famous novel spent 16 years on Broadway, […]

The third annual Alternative Gift Fair brings area nonprofits in one place for quick and easy donations. Photo courtesy of The Paramount Theater.

LIVING To Do: Alternative Gift Fair

If your inner Cindy Lou Who or Charlie Brown has you feeling down about an overly commercialized Christmas, try charitable shopping on for size. Browse a variety of nonprofit booths at the third annual Alternative Gift Fair and make a donation in a loved one’s name. Past participants have included the Blue Ridge Area Food […]

Jefferson's iconic Rotunda gets set aglow this Thursday. Photo: Jack Looney.

LIVING To Do: Lighting of the Lawn

Deck the halls with a Wa-hoo-wa as UVA’s historic Lawn illuminates in anticipation of the holiday season. Seasonal music accompanies this wintertime tradition setting Jefferson’s iconic Rotunda a-twinkling. Thursday 12/4. Free, 7pm. The Lawn, UVA. 924-0311.