C-VILLE Writers

Virginia Wawner and Lena Malcolm face off in Four County Players' God of Carnage. Linda Hogan Photography.

ARTS Pick: God of Carnage

Parental misguidance: When a pair of 11-year-old boys get into a fight at the park, one leaves with two less teeth. God of Carnage begins after the violent incident, when all four parents of the boys gather for a discussion of the matter over drinks. What begins as civil discourse devolves into a rum-soaked screaming […]

Keyboard player PJ Morton is at The Southern on Wednesday. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: PJ Morton

Savory hooks: When he’s not on tour or performing at the Super Bowl with Maroon 5, keyboardist PJ Morton can be found playing his own gigs to promote the recent Grammy-nominated album Gumbo. Accompanying Morton (who is fresh from the 50th annual NOLA jazz fest) on his Keys & A Mic Acoustic Tour are Jakiya […]

Lowland Hum performs at the Southern on Friday. Publicity image.

ARTS Pick: Lowland Hum

A quiet place: Gentleness is a way of life for Lowland Hum, the highly successful duo that founded the #SupportQuietMusic movement. Daniel and Lauren Goans “maintain that among our society’s insufferably growing volume, quiet is the most powerful offering one can make.” New album Glyphonic (out May 10) is another masterful exploration of lyric and […]

The Oratorio Society of Virginia concert at Old Cabelll Hall. Photo/Andrew Shurtleff Photography, LLC

ARTS Pick: MaySong

Promise to the world: The Oratorio Society of Virginia rounds out its season with MaySong featuring Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem). The large-scale work is a “true choral blockbuster” says Executive Director Rowena Pinto Zimmermann. Christina Pier (soprano) and Trevor Scheunemann (baritone) appear as guest soloists, and an encore of The World Called, […]

Learn hands-on skills from experts at the How-to Festival on Saturday. Publicity image.

ARTS Pick: How-to Festival

Learning IRL: Want to learn how to build a robot? Would you like to jazz up your cooking prep with chef-level knife skills? Or maybe you’re interested in the medicinal properties of the herbs in your kitchen spice rack, learning to ride a unicycle, or caring for goats? The How-to Festival trumps YouTube, advice columns, […]

Wild Common rocks your soul at Fridays After Five this week. Image: Carla Kasun

Arts Pick: Wild Common

Playing well with others: Genre is meaningless in the best way for locally based rock-soul group Wild Common. After collaborating informally for a fundraiser gig in 2017, the talented friends—including vocal powerhouse and former member of The Wailers Davina Jackson; Galax Old Fiddler’s Convention prodigy Nate Leath; accomplished reggae drummer Rob Hubbard; jazz bassist Dhara […]

Austin Bouchard as Jim and Crystal Day as Laura in Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie at Gorilla Theater. Image: Jack Rakes

ARTS Pick: The Glass Menagerie

Stark vision: Tennessee Williams arrived as a playwright when The Glass Menagerie premiered in Chicago in 1944, and then quickly moved to Broadway where it won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award in 1945. Williams’ semi-autobiographical story of a struggling family, set in a St. Louis apartment, gets a stripped-down black box treatment by […]

Todd Snider plays from his latest release, Cash Cabin Sessions Vol. 3, at The Jefferson on Thursday. publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Todd Snider

Speaks volumes: Todd Snider has an impressive history with legendary musicians­­—his discovery by a member of Jimmy Buffett’s band led to a long kinship with John Prine (and helped shape Snider’s smart, witty folk tunes). So it’s perfectly natural that he would dream about Johnny Cash after a co-writing session with Loretta Lynn at Cash […]

Parachute lands at home to play the Jefferson on Tuesday. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Parachute

It’s been over 10 years since pop group Parachute (formed at Charlottesville High School) found itself sharing a stage with the Jonas Brothers and Taylor Swift on New Year’s Eve in Times Square. The appearance was a promo for the band’s locally produced debut album, Losing Sleep, which climbed to No. 2 on the Billboard […]

Che Apalache plays the Prism Coffeehouse Series at C'ville Coffee on Sunday. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Che Apalache

When North Carolina native Joe Troop moved to Argentina in 2010, the multi-talented musician carved out a niche in the local scene by teaching bluegrass and old-time music. Eventually Troop, along with a few of his quick-picking students, formed Che Apalache, and drawing on various musical styles from Argentina, Mexico, and the United States, recorded […]

Leslie Scott-Jones (left) and Richelle Claiborne (right) sing the songs of Nina Simone at The Front Porch on Saturday, April 27. Photo by Jay Pun

ARTS Pick: A Night With Nina

When Nina Simone died in 2003, Elton John sent flowers with the message, “You were the greatest and I love you.” That sentiment has been echoed by countless others, and tributes to Simone aim to capture her seductive, hypnotic genius. Richelle Claiborne and Leslie-Scott Jones rekindle the vocal magic during A Night With Nina, with […]

Bernadette “BJ” Brown will perform with Sun Sing on Friday. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Sun Sing

In a evening of art-inspired protest that includes puppetry, music, and video, Water is life. Protect it. and ARTivism Virginia members unite as the Sun Sing collective to premiere the song “To The River,” aimed at stopping the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines. The activists recently focused their creative energies around original songs dedicated […]

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 transformations 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, […]