C-VILLE Writers



RVA’s stormwater planters function like an elevated rain garden. Photo: Stephen Barling

Water works

By Bonnie Price Lofton If rainwater doesn’t seep, sponge-like, into the soil around us, it runs away somewhere. In Charlottesville, where much of the ground is covered with impermeable asphalt, it runs into stormwater drainage systems, ditches, and streams that eventually lead into the Rivanna River. That creates two problems: first, without earth to filter […]

Phosphorescent is at the Jefferson on Wednesday. Image: Daniel Arnold

ARTS Pick: Phosphorescent

Milestone milieu: It’s been a tumultuous five years for Phosphorescent (née Matthew Houck, left). He fell in love, had two kids, moved to Nashville, and “somewhere along the way, he nearly died of meningitis.” This life-altering period also sourced his critically lauded new album, C’est La Vie, another set of tunes elevated by Houck’s signature […]

Writer, director, and actor, Priyanka Shetty puts on a double features at Live Arts on Tuesday. Image: Martyn Kyle

ARTS Pick: #charlottesville and The Elephant in the Room

Unfolding history: Why did the traumatic events of August 2017 happen in the first place? Why did they happen here? Priyanka Shetty seeks answers to these questions in her new theater piece #charlottesville. Shetty crafted her script verbatim from conversations with Charlottesville residents who shared firsthand accounts about their experiences, and from the community’s response […]

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is at the Culbreth Theatre through April 27. Publicity image.

ARTS Pick: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Spelling bound: Contestants in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee process their dreams and self-doubts through song in this quirky, Tony Award-winning musical created by William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin. The cast gives words new meaning as students, teachers, and townspeople belt out numbers such as “The Spelling Rules,” “My Unfortunate Erection/Distraction (Chip’s Lament),” […]

Storytellers from Hoot & Holler share their musical adventures on Friday. Publicity image.

ARTS Pick: Hoot & Holler’s Soundtrack of My Life

Backstage pass: Musically connected trans-formations are the theme at Hoot & Holler’s Soundtrack of My Life, an evening of storytelling that draws from personal experiences involving songs, concerts, and listening. Find out what happened at an after-hours hotel room party involving The Replacements and way too much tequila; hear how a banjo literally saved one […]

Jeff Dunham gets Passively Aggressive with puppets at John Paul Jones Arena on Friday. 
Jeff Dunham Imagery.

ARTS Pick: Jeff Dunham

Hand to mouth: In a show built around bad behavior and puppets, Jeff Dunham dishes out political and cultural commentary through multiple characters. As a ventriloquist, Dunham has carved out a unique space in comedy, and his act is hugely popular—he’s the third-highest-paid comedian in the U.S., behind Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock. Peanut, Walter, […]

William Shakespeare's pals save his legacy in Live Arts' The Book of Will. Image: Will Kerner

ARTS Pick: The Book of Will

Hindsight is 1616: It’s a battle to save the legacy of William Shakespeare when the Bard’s mates go on a mad scramble to gather up his disparate writings in Lauren Gunderson’s The Book of Will. At the time of his death in 1616, Shakespeare was well-off and popular, but had his friends John Heminges and […]

Get outside and rock with Red & The Romantics on Friday. Publicity image

ARTS Pick: Red & The Romantics

Red rocks: The launch of the outdoor music season finds Red & The Romantics playing original tunes in the fresh air at Fridays After Five. Erik “Red” Knierim leads his band through joyful grooves that draw from Americana, blues, roots, and gospel. Friday 4/12. Free, 5:30pm. Sprint Pavilion, 700 E. Main St., Downtown Mall. 245-4910.

Alan Ayckbourne’s “Time of My Life,” a classic sad comedy contemplating one family’s experience is at PVCC's Dickinson Theatre through 4/7. ©Robert Borszich

ARTS Pick: Time of Your Life

Funny not funny: Contemporary playwright Alan Ayckbourn weaves themes of domestic strife, family dysfunction, and a longing for lost love through the perspectives of three different couples in Time of Your Life. After a birthday toast to happy times, Gerry Stratton and his two sons split the narrative in a play that uses time travel—backward […]

Solas’ frontman goes solo on Saturday. Publicity image

ARTS Pick: Seamus Egan

Brilliant moves: In the mid-’90s, Solas found stateside success crafting an accessible blend of modern and traditional Celtic folk. The band’s founder, Seamus Egan, has spent decades nurturing the evolution of Irish music from his groundbreaking 1996 album, When Juniper Sleeps, through a 20-year recording career with Solas, and now on his first solo tour […]

Dee White, country music’s new kid in town, performs at the Southern on Friday. Publicity image

ARTS Pick: Dee White

Early stages: At 21 years old, Dee White is enjoying the accolades and opportunities of a music veteran. Just a few years ago, a teenage White was spending his afternoons as a competitive fisherman, cueing up popular country songs to play on his boat.Today, thanks to being discovered by a music mogul friend, the Alabama […]

The Neave Trio performs a trio of trios at Old Cabell Hall on Friday. Image: Mark Roemisch

ARTS Pick: Neave Trio

Rule of three:How many trios are in a Neave Trio (below) concert? If you count the musical works—Rebecca Clarke’s Piano Trio; Amy Beach’s Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 150; and Louise Farrenc’s Piano Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 33—you can count up to four for this one. Since forming in 2010, the chamber ensemble, […]

Playwright Nick Drake will discuss his research on George Drake, the personal valet of John F. Kennedy. Publicity image.

ARTS Pick: Nick Drake

Influential figure: While developing a play about a meeting between former president John F. Kennedy and former British prime minister Harold Macmillan, screenwriter and playwright Nick Drake came across another figure in Kennedy’s life that piqued his interest—George Thomas, who was JFK’s personal valet from his time in the Senate until his death. Drake’s research […]

Olga Orlovskaya joins the Washington Balalaika Society Orchestra on Sunday at PVCC. Publicity image.

ARTS Pick: Washington Balalaika Society Orchestra

Folk forward: Award-winning soprano Olga Orlovskaya performs as part of the Washington Balalaika Society Orchestra, with more than 60 musicians playing music from Russia, Ukraine, and Eastern Europe on traditional instruments. The balalaika is a three-stringed instrument of Russian origin with a triangular body that varies in tone depending on its size. Though it’s been […]