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Friday, July 28, 2017

The Science Museum Is Hosting a Solar Eclipse Viewing Party Aug. 21

Posted By on Fri, Jul 28, 2017 at 2:40 PM

Things are going to get weird on Aug. 21.
  • Things are going to get weird on Aug. 21.

Who's excited for the solar eclipse on Aug. 21?

Don't be the Debbie Downer who bemoans that only 86 percent of the sun will be blocked from our vantage point here in Richmond. It's still going to be cool, fool.

And don't you think everyone could use a little break from politics as usual, horrific news posts about shootings or fair ride crashes, and online vitriol gone wild? Just a day where people go outside as if in a communal trance, holds hands and stare intensely into the sky (with appropriate eyewear, of course!) Disclaimer: Don't ever look directly at the hot thing up there.

The Science Museum of Virginia is stoked, too. They're holding a large-scale viewing party on their front lawn from noon to 4 p.m. The big event will include "sun, moon and star-themed activities" as well as food and drinks, free eclipse glasses and t-shirts for the first 500 guests, according to a press release.

“The solar eclipse gives us a rare glimpse into the workings of our solar system, which is a real reason to throw a party,” notes Elizabeth Voelkel, director of guest operations and inspiration.

Word, Elizabeth. Seriously, some of us lie awake at night hoping the aliens get here sooner than later. That'll be a good party, too.

Last time something like this happened was in 1994. However, if you miss this one, don't blow a gasket: You only have to wait another 7 years until April 8, 2024.

Here's more from the press release:

The eclipse will begin to be visible in Richmond at 1:17 p.m. By 2:45 p.m., almost 86 percent of the sun will be blocked. Things will return to normal by 4:05 p.m. To avoid eye damage, eclipse viewing glasses should be worn while viewing the eclipse.

Museum activities will begin at noon and will take place both inside and outside the Museum. Guests can enjoy several interactive activities such as creating an Earth, moon and sun model to learn how eclipses work; a mobile of the Earth, moon and sun; a star map to identify constellations; or a star clock, which can help tell time using the constellations’ positions. Guests can also enjoy eclipse-themed Cosmic Expeditions in the Dome Theatre throughout the day.

Local food trucks Cheezilla, King of Pops and Intergalactic Tacos will be onsite, and food and drinks – including special eclipse-themed craft beers – will be available for purchase at the Museum’s Periodic Table Café.

Outdoor activities are free. Museum admission is required for indoor activities. The first 500 guests will receive free eclipse viewing glasses and an eclipse t-shirt with paid Museum admission. For more information, please call 804.864.1400 or visit www.smv.org.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Solange Knowles Goes Shopping in Richmond For Kids' Clothes

Posted By on Thu, Jul 20, 2017 at 3:50 PM

A photo of Little Nomad owner Anthony Bryant and Solange Knowles that he posted on the store's Instagram. Used with permission.
  • A photo of Little Nomad owner Anthony Bryant and Solange Knowles that he posted on the store's Instagram. Used with permission.

On Wednesday around 3 p.m., Anthony Bryant was busy working in his new hip-hop inspired kids' clothing store, Little Nomad at 104 W. Broad St.

It had only been open since Saturday, which was designed to take advantage of foot traffic from the Maggie Walker statue unveiling.

He was busy but he noticed a couple customers come in, in particular one striking young woman.

“She was very pretty, but they were deep in conversation, so I just put my head back down,” he says. “When I looked back up, a guy had rushed in the store who knew right away who she was, he was star-struck.”

“That’s when I realized, 'Oh wow, Solange is in the store right now,'” Bryant says.

Knowles, a Grammy-winning artist and sister of global superstar and official living deity, Beyonce Knowles, had wandered into the clothing store with a relative in tow. Bryant didn't know who it was, but Knowles’ husband is a former Richmonder who still has family in the area. And she was staying at Quirk Hotel.

Bryant says Knowles was very graceful and took photos with the male fan, then she shopped for 45 minutes, buying clothing of all sizes, books and pens.

“We had a good conversation about Broad Street and Jackson Ward. She really wanted to know the history behind it,” Bryant says. “And she was curious about how we got started as a store.”

You can read more about Little Nomad in this story Style did when it was ramping up the project.

Bryant didn’t know why Knowles was in town, but assumed it was to visit family. He also wasn’t sure if she was buying kids' clothes for her famous sister's new twins who recently arrived.

“She didn’t say, but she did mention her son,” he recalls.

After she left the store, she visited Saadia's Juice Box. And Bryant says he gave her some tips for places to eat dinner and she chose Laura Lee's Restaurant.

Pick: Butcher Brown at the Vagabond on Friday, July 21

Posted By on Thu, Jul 20, 2017 at 1:50 PM

A Richmond "supergroup," Butcher Brown gets intimate this Friday at the Vagabond, a small venue that has been killing it lately.
  • A Richmond "supergroup," Butcher Brown gets intimate this Friday at the Vagabond, a small venue that has been killing it lately.

Things change. It once was an everyday thing for Butcher Brown to play RVA. Now, just back from a west coast tour, with drummer Corey Fonville relocated to Baltimore, a local gig is something of an event.

Their sound is at once retro and innovative, polished '70s soul and jazz/rock fusion updated with a hip-hop bite. It is as close as Richmond comes to a supergroup. The rhythm sections are the core. Fonville’s powerhouse drumming makes him a standout on the international jazz scene. Wunderkind keyboardist Devonne Harris is the ubiquitous genius of the local scene, playing with everyone in town and building a cult following with his DJ Harrison electronica. Harris’ longtime collaborator, bassist Andrew Randazzo, is a perfect complement. Playing on top are two of the best instrumentalists in town: veteran Marcus Tenney (NoBS! Brass, Tennison) and the youthful Morgan Burrs (Future Prospect).

There is a familiar saying that you don't know what you have until it's gone. It is possible for a band this loaded with talent to be around for a while, but the opportunity to see them in a venue as plush and intimate as the Vagabond may not be.

Butcher Brown plays Vagabond this Friday, July 21 at 10 p.m. Admission is $10. Doors open at 9 p.m.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Pick: Rei Alvarez, Marlysse Simmons and Laura Ann Singh at Sub Rosa

Posted By on Sat, Jul 15, 2017 at 7:00 PM

Marlysse, Rei and Laura.
  • Marlysse, Rei and Laura.

The trio playing at Sub Rosa this Sunday night is not quite Miramar, the great RVA bolero group whose “Dedication to Sylvia Rexarch” was on multiple “best of” lists last year. But it brings together the heart of that bands distinctive, lovely sound: the brilliantly-matched vocals of Laura Ann Singh (Quatro Na Bossa) and Rei Alvarez (Bio Ritmo), complemented by the inventive keyboards of Marlysse Rose Simmons (also Bio Ritmo). With Singh now living in the Bay Area, and Simmons studying in Brooklyn, the next four weeks are a rare opportunity to see them together. On alternate weeks, starting on July 16, they play from 7-9 as an accompaniment to Sub Rosato- a natural wine pop-up. (With 5-7 sets on non-Sub Rosato weekends.) Expect a mix of boleros, Brazilian songs, and new music. And there will be some excellent wines.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

U.N.I.T.Y. Street Project Unveils New Arthur Ashe Mural in Battery Park

Posted By on Wed, Jul 12, 2017 at 8:15 PM

Muralists Sir James Thornhill (left) and Hamilton Glass stand in front of the entrance to the tunnel between the tennis courts and basketball courts in Battery Park. - SCOTT ELMQUIST
  • Scott Elmquist
  • Muralists Sir James Thornhill (left) and Hamilton Glass stand in front of the entrance to the tunnel between the tennis courts and basketball courts in Battery Park.

The U.N.I.T.Y Street Project — which stands for Upholding Networking Inspiring Togetherness in Celebration of Yesterday — continues to earn kudos by creating eye-catching neighborhood murals that celebrate history makers in Richmond.

Artists Sir James Thornhill and Hamilton Glass were on hand in Battery Park on a hot and humid Wednesday afternoon to unveil their latest project: a colorful tunnel mural featuring tennis great Arthur Ashe and a timeline of his life.

“We want to involve the communities,” says Glass. “Last year we did three projects in Jackson Ward. This is the first this year with maybe one or two more planned. … It’s really a grassroots thing. We don’t have a main base, we’re not supported by the city or by one corporation. We come together to make this happen. So community support is really appreciated.”

A large crowd, with many kids playing tennis, showed up for the unveiling on the occasion of Ashe’s 74th birthday, July 12. Members of Ashe's extended family were there, as well as dancers from Ezibu Muntu African Dance Company, and comments by former Governor Douglas Wilder were read.

The mural covers the 2,200-square-foot area inside and outside the tunnel that connects the basketball side to the tennis side beneath Overbrook Road. While Ashe learned to play on Brookfield Gardens tennis courts, he played in Battery Park on occasion, and his father worked for the Department of Recreation and Parks.

“This tunnel has been abandoned for a long time. Sometimes kids come here [and] they’re afraid to go across to go the bathroom,” Thornhill says, noting that the playground was recently refurbished with donated mulch. “So we decided to do a walkthrough timeline of his history. They’ll learn some things they never knew.”

Ashe's accomplishments are written inside the tunnel in a series of  short statements such as “Arthur Ashe graduated from Maggie L. Walker High School” and “Ashe won the Wimbledon finals, becoming the first African-American male to be ranked No. 1 in the world."

Glass says that with every project they do, the U.N.I.T.Y Street Project tries to highlight a historical figure.

“They’re not just for the community — the inspiration comes from the community,” he says. “We had corporate partners [such as Altria], but also asked the community to help fund it online.”

The group has a lots of projects it hopes to do in the future, Glass says, but funding is always an issue.

This article has been updated to reflect the correct name of the dance group that was in attendance. Style regrets the error.

To learn more, visit the organization's Facebook page, U.N.I.T.Y. Street Project.


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Check Out Some Highlights From the Modlin Center's 2017-2018 Season

Posted By on Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 3:30 PM

New Orleans soul queen, Irma Thomas, and the Blind Boys of Alabama.
  • New Orleans soul queen, Irma Thomas, and the Blind Boys of Alabama.

The Modlin Center for the Arts at University of Richmond recently announced its 2017-2018 season of performances in its 21st season of regular programming.

Instead of reprinting the entire list of musical, theatrical and dance events, which you can find on their website along with ticket information, we thought we’d include some YouTube videos of performances that we think will be surefire bets (not in order of appearance).

The Heart and Soul Queen of New Orleans, Irma Thomas with the Blind Boys of Alabama and the Preservation Hall Legacy Quartet on Saturday, Nov. 11 at Camp Concert Hall, Booker Hall of Music at 7:30 p.m.

Eddie Palmieri Latin Jazz Orchestra "Eddie at 80" on Saturday, Oct. 21 at the Alice Jepson Theatre at 7:30 p.m.

Rhiannon Giddens Freedom Highway Tour – Wednesday, Oct. 4 at Alice Jepson Theatre at 7:30 p.m.

Shovels & Rope on Thursday, Oct. 19 at Alice Jepson Theatre, 7:30 p.m.

THEATER

James Baldwin’s “Blues for Mr. Charlie” runs Thursday – Saturday, April 19 – 21, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 22, 2018 at 2 p.m. at Alice Jepson Theatre

Ethan Lipton & His Orchestra presents “The Outer Space” on Friday – Saturday, Dec. 1 – 2 at Alice Jepson Theatre, 7:30 p.m.

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