C-VILLE Writers



The annual Let There Be Light installation at PVCC this Friday honors the approaching solstice with a series of illuminated works by local artists (shown here is Ashtin Bowman's "Swarm of Constellations").

ARTS Pick: Let There Be Light

Glow up: The longest night of the year is celebrated with beauty and promise at the annual Let There Be Light festival. To honor the approaching solstice, curator and artist James Yates features illuminated outdoor works by Circe Strauss, Patty Swygert, Chris Haske, Andrew Sherogan, Dom Morse, and a group of Murray High School students, […]

Violinist and dancer Lindsey Stirling twirls her holiday tour into John Paul Jones arena Sunday, December 15. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Lindsey Stirling

Well played: Growing up, Lindsey Stirling could not decide between dancing and playing the violin, so she chose both and developed a unique act mixing hip-hop, pop, and classical music. At 23, she landed a slot on the fifth season of “America’s Got Talent,” competing as a hip-hop violinist. The competition was tough—Jackie Evancho and […]

Deez nuts are ballet masters! Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker

Colorful spins: Nut cho ordinary take on the classical holiday tradition, Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker is a fantastic visual extravaganza that uses puppetry from around the globe, including Russia, the Czech Republic, and South America. Dubbed the Gift of Christmas tour, the show uses over 200 costumes, and Wes Anderson’s concept designer Carl Sprague […]

ARTS Pick: A Very Von Trapp Christmas

Favorite things: In September, Brian Clowdus, known for producing outdoor, site-specific theatrical feats, had his most successful musical event to date with a staging of The Sound of Music on the slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains that drew almost 10,000 attendees. Julie Trammel Key (Maria), Jayme Alilaw (Mother Abbess), and Blake Burgess (Captain von […]

Photo: Eze Amos

In brief: Climate petitions, faux cops, beer fears

Green light: Climate protesters seek ‘radical action’ The protesters chanted a straightforward call and response as they marched on the Downtown Mall: “What do we want?” “Climate justice!” “When do we want it?” “Now!”  Drums, tambourines, and mandolins accompanied the chants. The group held handmade signs with slogans ranging from “No Pipeline” to “That awkward […]

Partiers dress in their brightest whites to honor World AIDS Day at IX Art Park. Image Courtesy of Jason Elliott.

ARTS Pick: Little White Party

Feeling good: The annual Little White Party, held in honor of World AIDS Day, can trace its origins to the 1980s when an East Village disco launched the New York City White Party with a requirement that partygoers dress in all white to support the idea that having HIV does not make a person dirty […]

Willard Gayheart Family Band celebrates a lifetime achievement at C'ville Coffee on Sunday. Publicity image.

ARTS Pick: Willard Gayheart Family Band

Lifetime record: Born in 1932, Willard Gayheart recalls the early influence of hearing the 1936 recording of Mainer’s Mountaineers’ “Maple on the Hill.” “I listened to that record over and over,” he says. “I just couldn’t get enough of it.” So it may come as a surprise that the accomplished guitarist and songwriter only recently […]

Social justice activist Maria Varela’s “Time to Get Ready: fotografía social” is at The Fralin Museum of Art through January 5. Varela’s backstory is essential to understanding and appreciating her work, and her photography is a means to an end, a way of creating images of resistance for the resisters. © Maria Varela. Image courtesy of the National Museum of Mexican Art. Exhibition organized by the National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago. Sponsors: Chicago Park District, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Illinois Arts Council Agency and Southwest Airlines.

Training ground: Maria Varela captures a life of activism in ‘Time to Get Ready: fotografía social’ at The Fralin

By Ramona Martinez In “Time to Get Ready: fotografía social,” a National Museum of Mexican Art exhibit on view at The Fralin Museum of Art, you will find all the classic elements one expects in a “good” photography show. Maria Varela’s photographs are compositionally sophisticated and emotionally intimate. They are candids, yet they look like […]

Christa Bennett and her daughter Emma.

Pushing for play: The local mom behind an effort to bring a playground to Walker Elementary

By Alexis Gravely Christa Bennett is no stranger to community advocacy.  After earning a master’s degree from King’s College London in international relations with a focus on human rights, she directed an organization focused on ending the genocide in Sudan. She’s worked on community development projects in Rwanda and lobbied the British Parliament. Since moving […]

Hiss Golden Messenger perform with vulnerability on new album Terms of Surrender, and live at the Jefferson on Saturday.  Publicity image.

ARTS Pick: Hiss Golden Messenger

Hiss honesty. M.C. Taylor has been playing music as Hiss Golden Messenger for more than 10 years. His style, though memorable, is hard to categorize as squarely folk, Americana, or gospel. Sure, there is mandolin and a folky twang, but on the next track you might be surprised by an electronic piano. The things that […]

The Flying Karamazov Brothers unleash their wacky antics at The Paramount on Saturday. Publicity image.

ARTS Pick: The Flying Karamazov Brothers

Let it fly. Performing as clever pranksters since 1973, The Flying Karamazov Brothers have happily basked in the career-long praise from audiences and critics who call them zany, goofy, and creative. The Brothers mix juggling, theatrics, and comedy into their precisely calibrated act in which every joke and acrobatic stunt lands perfectly. According to Variety, […]

The Hangover Ball at the Jefferson a cure for the overstuffed with tunes from Erin & The Wildfire, Lord Nelson, and Will Overman. Publicity image.

ARTS Pick: Hangover Ball

Thanks, I’m out. Powder-dry turkey leftovers, crusty chunks of stuffing, gelatinous gravy, and pie that’s been hacked at all angles by a variety of utensils and fingers. This is the reality of the day after Thanksgiving. Get outta there before there’s another load of dishes to dry, and shake off the tryptophan at the Hangover […]

The original lineup of the groundbreaking quartet Béla Fleck & The Flecktones celebrate at the Paramount on Sunday. Image: Jim McGuire

ARTS Pick: Bela Fleck and the Flecktones

Bin buster. In the early days of their career Bela Fleck and the Flecktones posed a challenge to record store clerks. By incorporating classical and jazz, bluegrass and African music, plus electric blues and Eastern European folk into their music, the group defied catgorization while opening fresh perspectives among their peers. “I think we gave […]

Expert pickin' and a whole lot of grinnin' will hit C'ville Coffee on Saturday night when Dry Branch Fire Squad takes the stage.  Publicity image.

ARTS Pick: Dry Branch Fire Squad

Burnin’ bluegrass: Dry Branch Fire Squad has played at every single Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival, a bi-annual gathering that will celebrate its 80th concert in 2020. That’s 40 years of performances, and it speaks to why DBFS describes itself as “aggressively traditional.” Frontman Ron Thomason has been called the “Forrest Gump of Bluegrass” because he’s so […]

Four County Players welcomes the snow in Irving Berlin's White Christmas through December 15.  Image: Martyn Kyle

ARTS Pick: Irving Berlin’s White Christmas

Merry and bright: Post-World War II show business takes center stage in Four County Players’ production of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. In sync with the popular holiday film, the story follows sister act Betty and Judy as they meet up with singing Army buddies Bob and Phil, who, through a series of mishaps, end up […]

Spamalot rocks and mocks King Arthur's court at PVCC through November 24. Image: Neill Mitchell

ARTS Pick: Spamalot

Got wit? What happens when Camelot’s King Arthur and his knights get goofy, ridiculous, and even a bit nutty? You get Spamalot, the musical-comedy that swept the Tonys in 2005. The play is an adaptation of the comedy classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail, in which King Arthur recruits a band of disorganized misfit […]

Phillip Glass' Akhnaten premieres in The MET Live in HD at the Paramount on Saturday. Image: Richard Hubert Smith

ARTS Pick: Akhnaten

Ancient outlier: Phillip Glass’ mystical, trance-like opera Akhnaten transcends time to explore the life and psyche of the 13th-century B.C. pharaoh of ancient Egypt. The Met Live in HD’s premiere illuminates the fundamental ways that Akhnaten tried to change the way his people thought about their gods and spirituality by using creative lighting, soaring orchestral […]

Tigers Be Still is up at Live Arts through December 12.

ARTS Pick: Tigers Be Still

Rescue zoo: Sherry Wickman is on the way to achieving her professional dreams when she moves back home and faces a fruitless job search and the family dynamics that set her on the path to becoming a therapist. Relatives retreat into their anxiety and, as they struggle, a tiger escapes from the zoo, prowling freely […]

Jay Phillips leads the United Nations of Comedy on Saturday. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: United Nations of Comedy

Laughing all the way: As a shy kid growing up in Washington, D.C., United Nations of Comedy headliner Jay Phillips would watch “Saturday Night Live” and “An Evening at the Improv,” and play his mom’s comedy records on repeat, learning from the greats before he put his own routine on stage. He drew laughs at […]