C-VILLE Writers



The Harlem Globetrotters trot into town this weekend. See them at John Paul Jones Arena on Friday. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: The Harlem Globetrotters

The Harlem Globetrotters’ combination of easy athleticism and circus-worthy moves elevates the team to a supernatural level on the basketball court. Since 2013, their sporty antics have led to entries in The Guinness Book of World Records, and in 2018 they added five new records, including: Most basketball under-the-leg tumbles in one minute (female), most […]

Italian flat picker (and fan of American roots music) Beppe Gambetta plays The Prism Coffeehouse Series at C'ville Coffee this Friday. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Beppe Gambetta

Beppe Gambetta loves American roots music as much as the music of his native Italy, and he pairs the two in his mastery of the acoustic guitar. Gambetta has wooed fans worldwide with his intricate flatpicking style, open tuning, and fluid slides—a style that’s led to stage appearances with contemporaries such as David Grisman, Gene […]

ARTS Pick: Mumford & Sons

ARTS Pick: Mumford & Sons

British folk-rock quartet Mumford & Sons makes no secret of taking inspiration from American bands. Since the days of pub gigs in West London, the group has practiced a modern blend of old-timey music and bluegrass, pioneered by bands like Old Crow Medicine Show. Marcus Mumford credits the Harrisonburg group with shaping his sound: “I […]

Photo: Skyclad Aerial

The (multi-) million dollar parking lot

The City Yard is large, central, under-used, and under government control–so why hasn’t it been developed? By Jake Mooney To attempt a walk west from Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall, through the former site of Vinegar Hill and towards Preston Avenue, is to feel the full weight of city leaders’ historic disregard for the people and places […]

Mike Mallinoff points to similarities between Charlottesville and Annapolis, where he was city manager. Photo by Eze Amos

Meet the (possible) city manager

By Shrey Dua Three finalists, out of a field of 37, are vying for the job of Charlottesville city manager, and roughly 100 people showed up to see them at an open-to-the-public interview. City councilors questioned the candidates at a Jefferson School African American Heritage Center event on March 6, which was followed by a […]

Blue Highway plays The Front Porch's Soul Suppers series at Fry's Spring Beach Club on Sunday. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Blue Highway

The three-way harmonies and tight musicianship of Blue Highway have earned it 25 IBMA Awards, six SPBGMA Awards, one Dove Award, and three Grammy nominations in the 20 years since the band formed in Kingsport, Tennessee. The group’s legacy has come full circle with the addition of its newest member, vocalist and resophonic guitarist Gary […]

The BANFF Mountain Film Festival comes to town this weekend. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: BANFF Mountain Film Festival

Get the thrill of an outdoor adventure while staying warm and comfy at the BANFF Mountain Film Festival. Filmed in spectacular locations around the planet, BANFF’s lineup of impossible climbs, extreme bike rides, dramatic free falls, and environmental eye-openers, which range from five to 45 minutes in length, offers viewers a breathtaking journey from their […]

Accomplished singer-songwriter Sean 
McConnell plays the Southern on Sunday. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Sean McConnell

Growing up with musician parents made songwriting a natural part of life for Sean McConnell, who penned his first song at age 10. That one didn’t make it to the recording studio, but others he’s written have been put out by Tim McGraw, Martina McBride, Rascal Flatts, Meat Loaf, Jake Owen, Christina Aguilera, Buddy Miller, […]

The Charlottesville Ballet gives two performances of "Cinderella" on Saturday. Photo by Laura Carstensen

ARTS Pick: Cinderella

Charlottesville Ballet’s Cinderella finds the fairy tale’s cast of characters lacing up their slippers for a production accompanied by Prokofiev’s famous score. Thirty professional artists from Charlottesville and around the world come together to dance through the classic romance filled with humor, hope, and love. Saturday, March 9. $20-75, 2 and 7pm. The Paramount Theater, […]

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

Rule of three: How many trios are in a Neave Trio 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, […]

Rev. Sekou celebrates the release of  Live At The Shell with the Nashville Freedom Fighters and Tracy Howe at The Haven on Monday. Publicity image.

ARTS Pick: Tracy Howe, Rev. Sekou, and The Nashville Freedom Fighters

New trails: Tracy Howe’s social gospel soul album Things That Grow honors marginalized communities while celebrating beauty and resilience. Tracks like “Frack Me” and “Our Strength” are rallying cries against misogyny and predatory capitalism, and “Bury Me,” a protest song about white supremacy, has gained traction around the country. Howe is co-headlining with Rev. Sekou […]

Mojo Parker plugs in at The Front Porch on Saturday. Image: Justin Knott

ARTS Pick: Mojo Parker

Amped up: With his acoustic duo Parker & Gray, Staunton-based vocalist and guitarist Daniel Parker took home a first-place award for Best Solo/Duo in the River City Blues Society of Richmond’s Blues Challenge in 2017, and made the semifinals at the 2016 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. When Parker wants to plug in, he uses […]

UVA Drama presents Stick Fly is at Ruth Caplin Theatre. Martyn Kyle.

ARTS Pick: Stick Fly

Cross examination: In Lydia R. Diamond’s Stick Fly, tension builds over the course of a weekend family getaway to Martha’s Vineyard, where debates about race and privilege cause destructive secrets to be revealed. Director Jennifer L. Nelson says she appreciates the play’s focus on a segment of African American society not frequently seen onstage. “You […]

Dori Freeman plays The Prism Coffeehouse Series Friday, February 22. Photo by Gary Alter

ARTS Pick: Dori Freeman

Raised in the fertile musical region of Galax, Virginia, Dori Freeman was never far from the sound of a bluegrass tune. She began to sing and play at a young age, and despite entering college and becoming a single mom, she gravitated to the role of musician. After a bold move—Freeman reached out to singer-songwriter […]

The Suffers play The Southern Cafe & Music Hall on Thursday, February 21. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: The Suffers

Big things happen when The Suffers go to work on their fusion of jazz, R&B, reggae, and funk. The eight-piece act plays Gulf Coast soul defined by the sultry vocals of Kam Franklin, whose warmth is so energetic she was asked to be a spokeswoman for tourism in the group’s hometown of Houston. The good […]

Gorilla Theater brings the Victorian tropes of Hedda Gabler, starring Rachel Paisley, into the modern era. Photo by Anna Lien

ARTS Pick: Hedda Gabler

In Hedda Gabler, Henrik Ibsen crafted a painfully real representation of the 19th-century angel in the house. Stripped of her individuality, Hedda is repressed by her roles as daughter and wife. The production channels themes of subtle misogyny through love, rage, and a gripping sense of cruelty that leaves Hedda and those around her to […]

London’s National Theatre Live broadcasts I’m Not Running, a new play from critically acclaimed playwright David Hare, to The Paramount Theater on Sunday.

ARTS Pick: I’m Not Running

London’s National Theatre Live broadcasts I’m Not Running, a new play from critically acclaimed playwright David Hare. The drama centers around Pauline Gibson (Siân Brooke, right), a doctor turned politician who has her life turned upside down after a run-in with a stalwart loyalist of the Labour Party, who also happens to be her ex-boyfriend. […]

Jontavious Willis peforms on Sunday at Fry's Spring Beach Club. Publicity image.

ARTS Pick: Jontavious Willis

Blues on the side: A gospel singer as a child, Jontavious Willis made a life-changing discovery around age 14 when he came across a YouTube video of Muddy Waters’ “Hoochie Coochie Man.” The Georgia native became an instant fan, and began his mastery of the Delta, Piedmont, and Texas blues, honing his chops as a fingerpicker, […]

Dance the night away with Wes Swing and company as they celebrate the waltz. Image: Kristen Finn.

ARTS Pick: A Tribute to Waltz

Waltz with me:Wes Swing says the intention behind his Fern Hill concert series is to present beautiful music in beautiful spaces, offering “qualities I’d like to see more of in the world of music.” His latest endeavor, A Tribute to Waltz, showcases the enchantment of the dance, and invites the audience to pair up, and […]

Kirsten Hemrich

In brief: Frat reprimand, Northam’s numbers, SNL target and more

Bad choices Photos appeared February 3 of Kappa Sigma fraternity members wearing American Indian headdresses (pictured above), and a since-deleted social media post captured Zeta Tau Alpha sorority sisters in sombreros and carrying maracas. UVA’s Inter-Fraternity Council condemned Kappa Sig’s “cultural appropriation” as being “prejudiced and culturally insensitive.” Governor Ralph Northam, in his first televised […]

Pretty Things Vaudeville Show plays with sharp objects on Wednesday at the Southern. Publicity image.

ARTS Pick: Pretty Things Vaudeville Show

Hollywood offscreen: In a throwback to the pre-pixel days of entertainment, the Pretty Things Vaudeville Show wows from the stage with sword swallowers, contortionists, and traditional magic. The Hollywood-based ensemble features the mind-reading dog Scraps, and the daring Rachel Atlas, whose special props include a bed of nails, razorblades, a machete ladder, and a human chopping block. Wednesday […]