Wednesday, January 13, 2021

PICK: Scott Clark at Firehouse Theatre on Friday, Jan. 15

Afternoon show being filmed for potential CBS local music pilot.

Posted By on Wed, Jan 13, 2021 at 4:00 AM

For most of the past decade, drummer Scott Clark has become one of the most innovative and creative musicians on the RVA scene.

His last two albums are "Bury My Heart" about historical injustices against Native Americans and "ToNow" updating the atrocities to Standing Rock's standoff. You get to hear highly focused, parsed improvisations on "Let This Darkness Be a Bell Tower" by early 20th Century poet Rainer Maria Rilke. The song titles come from the opening stanzas of the sonnet: "Quiet friend/Who/ Has come so far/Let this darkness be a bell tower/And you the bell."

This week's performance is streaming from the Firehouse Theater on Friday at 7 p.m. and opens with a solo bass set from Brooklyn transplant Adam Hopkins. An afternoon performance of the set is being filmed by Channel 6 (CBS) as a potential pilot for a local music show.

Tickets are available for the live stream here. Registration for the event is $10.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Native Richmonder Melody C. Roscher Debuting Short Film at Sundance

"White Wedding" was filmed in Windsor Farms at the Virginia House.

Posted By on Wed, Dec 16, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Filmmaker and native Richmonder Melody C. Roscher, known for producing indie films such as "Christine" and "James White," will have a new short, "White Wedding," premiering at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.

The short, which she wrote and directed, was filmed last February at the Virginia House in Richmond. Located in Windsor Farms, the Virginia House formerly was an English manor house relocated to Richmond and rebuilt in 1925. It is now owned and operated by the Virginia Historical Society, the parent organization of the Virginia Museum of History and Culture.

Sundance's website listing for the film offers some description: "Amidst a racially tense Southern wedding, a biracial bride has the chance to confront her estranged Black father after accidentally hiring his wedding band to perform."

Roscher, who is based in New York and Richmond, is currently developing her feature length directorial debut, "Bird in Hand." She also was a line producer on the indie film "Martha Marcy May Marlene" and the acclaimed miniseries "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst."

Here's a brief clip with her from Sundance:

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

PREVIEW: Bling It Out Recycled Art Show Fundraiser, Dec.10

Iridian Gallery at Diversity Richmond offers opening and online run.

Posted By on Tue, Dec 8, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Every two years like clockwork, Iridian Gallery at Diversity Richmond presents the ultimate recycled art show fundraiser, Bling it Out. This year, 35 artists were given access to $25 worth of select items from Diversity Thrift to transform into brilliant new pieces of art.

There’s a Trivial Pursuit game board that became the base for a gold-toned Byzantine-inspired piece that the artist calls “In Pursuit of Black Rabbit Happiness.” For another artist, a framed coat of arms got a facelift when instead of a family name and motto, it was transformed to read “We are Family.” An embroidered Hummel depiction of a little girl becomes almost tapestry-like when enhanced by cascading black beads echoing the girl’s outline.

These works and 32 more will debut at Iridian Gallery’s opening on Thursday, Dec. 10 from 6 – 9 p.m. Unlike past years, there will be no food or alcohol served at the opening and masks will be required. To comply with social distancing, Diversity Thrift will stay open late that evening so that people can shop or wait in the larger space for their turn in the gallery.

Iridian Gallery’s mission is to foster lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer+ artists and their community by exhibiting their art, as well as work that relates to their lived experiences.

“The idea of artists using thrift store finds and repurposing them made sense because of Diversity Thrift,” explains Michael-Birch Pierce, co-chair of the gallery and a Diversity board member. “Everyone knows the big, gay thrift store, so it was a way to get people excited.”

For those not comfortable going to a gallery setting, the artwork will also be immediately available to bid on at the gallery’s Instagram account and continue through Dec. 17.

Bidding on a piece of art is as simple as leaving a comment with the bid under the image of the piece of art and must be placed in multiples of $10 above the starting price, which is determined by the artist based on what they’d usually charge. For those new to bidding at auction, by commenting you agree to pay the full purchase price plus VA sales tax should you end up with the highest bid. Comments will be time-stamped and identical bids will be given to the first to comment. All profits made during "Bling It Out 3" will be used for Diversity Richmond’s programming, including Iridian Gallery.

For those not willing to take a chance on being outbid, all art pieces will have a knockout price, essentially higher than fair market value, so they’ll be available for instant purchase. Winning bidders will be contacted to arrange payment and the artwork needs to be picked up in person between Dec. 19 and 20 during the gallery’s open hours, Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

And because this is a group show, there will also be the selection of a Best in Show piece by Quirk Gallery and Hotel's Katie Ukrop on opening night, with the recipient being awarded $250. Another $250 prize will be awarded on Dec. 17 for audience favorite and that gets decided by Instagram likes. All bidding takes place from Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. until Dec. 17 at noon.

For the artists, who were chosen by the gallery’s committee members, Bling It Out 3 is an opportunity to step out of their comfort zone.

“Some artists worked in mediums they’d never worked in, one piece even has a motorized element and one did a still life based on the object, so there are all sorts of cool things in this show,” says Pierce. “Everyone produced work which is really interesting and really wild.”

"Bling It Out 3" runs Dec. 10 from 6 – 9 p.m. at Iridian Gallery at Diversity Richmond, 1407 Sherwood Ave., and online December 10-17 at instagram.com/iridiangallery.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

PICK: The Fuzzy Cactus Anniversary Special, Saturday, Dec. 5

Posted By on Sat, Dec 5, 2020 at 1:37 PM

Fuzzy Cactus, the great new venue/cool hangout/chicken spot in Brookland Park was just finding its legs when the pandemic dropped.

On Saturday, Dec. 5, at 8 p.m. the folks behind Fuzzy will broadcast its Anniversary Special through youtube.com on the website www.fuzzycactusrva.com/. There will be live performances from such esteemed groups as Har Mar Superstar, Fresh Graves, True Body, Sweet Spirit and many more.

The special will also feature Fuzzy Cactus drink recipes and skits featuring staff members, just the kind of thing to get you out of your own gloomy funk.

Here's a trailer:

Fuzzy Cactus is located at 221 W. Brookland Park Blvd.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Richmond Night Market Launches Virtual Holiday Villages

Posted By on Mon, Nov 30, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Coming next weekend, celebrating the holidays should kick into full gear. The Richmond Night Market is partnering with the city, the office of economic development and others to host Holiday Villages, a two-day virtual holiday shopping experience, Saturday, Dec. 5 and Sunday, Dec. 6.

Fans of Richmond culture can check out the goods featuring art, food and live music from independent artists. Also if you're interested in becoming a vendor, you can apply at www.richmondnightmarketva.com. Check out the website to join the mailing list and get alerts for local gift ideas.

“Richmond is an amazing city and we want to make sure folks don’t forget about that, especially during these challenging times,” said Melody Joy Short, co-founder of Richmond Night Market, in a recent press release. “We are a village and it’s important that we continue to support each other, including our artisan and small business community.”

A little background on the Richmond Night Market: It launched in April 2019 as a monthly gathering at 17th Street Farmers' Market in Shockoe Bottom and sold a variety of clothing, jewelry, visual art, home decor, skincare products and more. The press release notes that organizers have shifted their approach due to the COVID-19 surge, moving to a safer virtual shopping experience that looks to connect shoppers with independent, local small businesses.

Organizers want to remind you of the importance of shopping local, especially this year.

“We were able to retool the Night Market experience this summer by bringing designers, photographers and DJs to our livestream and right into people’s homes,” explained Adrienne Cole Johnson, co-founder of Richmond Night Market, in the press release. “Not only was it a social event where people gained exclusive access to artists [but] attendees were introduced to more local brands. The response to hosting an online shopping experience was so incredible, we decided to do it again.”

Monday, November 23, 2020

Legends on Grace Announces 2021 Season

Livestreaming and in-person options will be available starting tomorrow.

Posted By on Mon, Nov 23, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Legends on Grace has announced its 2021 season of events featuring legends of Richmond stage sharing the songs of legends of yesteryear. Due to the pandemic, there will be two performance experiences to fit audience comfort levels for the two-hour performances: livestream and in-person options.

Livestream tickets for all shows go on sale tomorrow morning (Nov. 24) at 9 a.m. as well as in-person tickets for the Feb. 6 performance of “Mister and Mrs. Showtime.” According to an email from organizers, “in-person tickets for remaining shows in the series will go on sale a month prior to each performance. Patrons can also purchase all four livestream performances for a discount.”

Here is a rundown of the shows with some more ticket information from a press release:


Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021 at 7 p.m.

Starring Scott Wichmann and Eva DeVirgilis Join the dynamic duo of Scott Wichmann and Eva DeVirgilis, for a throwback night of finger-snapping, crooning, swooning and side-splitting laughter – evoking the lost spirit of Vegas, the Catskills and the Carol Burnett Show-- right here in the River City!


Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 7 p.m.

Starring The Taters We are delighted to bring you Billboard Magazine’s award-winning Richmond band The Taters! Their 70’s infused performance will have you reminiscing about your 8-Track collection with songs from The Eagles, Elton John, Bee Gees, Paul McCartney and more. This "Roots-pop" band is sure to have you singing along!


Saturday, May 8, 2021 at 7 p.m.

Starring Debra Wagoner

Sponsored by SouthState Bank

From Somewhere Over the Rainbow to New York New York, Debra Wagoner brings the classic songs of Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli to life, along with her own favorites in this unforgettable Cabaret!


Saturday, July 10, 2021 at 7 p.m.

Starring Desirée Roots, Grey Garrett, Durron Tyre and Matt Shofner

From Gershwin to Sondheim, join us for this up-close and personal experience with our homegrown Richmond legends, as they bring you the songs and stories of Broadway!

Livestreaming from Dominion Energy Center in Rhythm Hall Tickets for individual livestream performances are $30 per household OR join us for the full season (4 performances) for only $100 per household! Each performance will be livestreamed from Rhythm Hall at 7:00pm on the dates listed below and also available for viewing for one week after each performance. A link to the YouTube performance will be sent to ticket buyers by email one week in advance of the performance(s) purchased.

In-Person Seating at Dominion Energy Center in Rhythm Hall At this time we are limiting seating to reserved tables. Each table is $200 and seats up to four patrons for the February performance. We are currently only selling in-person tickets for Mister & Mrs. Showtime. In-person seating for all other performances listed below will go on sale about one month prior to the performance date.

Richmond Ballet to Present 2019 “Nutcracker” Performance Online

Posted By on Mon, Nov 23, 2020 at 4:00 AM

If you were bummed about missing the nationally acclaimed version of “The Nutcracker” produced by Richmond Ballet, stress no further. For the first time in its history, the state ballet of Virginia is offering “The Nutcracker” virtually so people can watch from the safety of their own homes.

A previously recorded performance from December 2019, which includes the Richmond Symphony playing Tchaikovsky’s familiar score, will be available to stream Dec. 11 – Dec. 31 through a variety of virtual packages.

Heralded as “one of the country’s most perfect [“Nutcracker” productions]” by The New York Times, tickets this year will start at $25. To learn more, visit richmondballet.com/nutcracker.

Here’s a rundown of the packages listed in a recent press release from the Richmond Ballet.

The Nutcracker - $25

See why The New York Times called our production one of the country’s “most perfect.” From Friday, December 11th through Saturday, December 26th watch a recording of a previous performance of The Nutcracker as many times as you’d like! Get all dolled up in your holiday finest or put on your coziest pajamas and join Clara on her journey from beneath the branches of an enchanted Christmas tree through a winter white forest to the Kingdom of Sweets.

The Nutcracker with Bonus Features - $40 In addition to receiving The Nutcracker performance, get access to our ‘Behind the Curtain’ bonus videos featuring dancer commentaries, tales and traditions from backstage, and more.

Family Package* - $125

*includes The Nutcracker with Bonus Features

For the young and young at heart, receive a Nutcracker gift box including decorate-your-own cookies from Melissa’s Simply Sweet, a Nutcracker craft activity, a special gift from our Nutcracker Boutique and other surprises. All gift boxes must be picked up curbside from the Richmond Ballet building on either Saturday, December 12th from 11am – 3pm or Thursday, December 17th from 2pm – 6pm. Your pick-up will be highlighted by the chance to see some of our dancers in their Nutcracker party outfits and everyone’s favorite Russian Bear.

Premier Family Package * - $250

*includes The Nutcracker with Bonus Features

Make this holiday season extra special by sending a personalized video message from one of our dancers (in costume) to a loved one! The magic will come from a beloved Nutcracker character who will speak directly to you or your gift recipient. This package includes everything from the Family Package plus a personalized video message and an autographed pointe shoe.

Join us for the Magic * - $500

*includes The Nutcracker with Bonus Features

Are you looking for that special occasion to dress up in your holiday best and enjoy a safe and socially distanced theatre experience? On Sunday, December 13th at 1:00pm or 4:30pm at our Studio Theatre in downtown Richmond, you and up to three guests will be greeted by characters from The Nutcracker before watching the second act of our pre-recorded Nutcracker performance on our beautiful big screen in our Studio Theatre. The second act includes so many favorites like the Arabian Snake and Charmer, the Russian Bear, the Chinese Dragon and the adorable lambs. After the screening, a special surprise live performance will cap off the holiday fun. Your group will receive a Family Package Nutcracker gift box upon leaving the theatre to take more of the magic home with you!

Character Visit to Your Home* - $1,000 *includes The Nutcracker with Bonus Features

This holiday season, a once in a lifetime opportunity awaits! Journeying all the way from the Kingdom of Sweets, choose from the Russian Bear, Sugar Plum Fairy or Snow Queen to make a special visit to your home. This never before experience will include a socially-distanced visit and photo opportunity (masks required) outside of your home. You’ll also receive a Family Package Nutcracker gift box and a personally autographed, framed photo from one of their exquisite performances. There is no way to be closer to the magic of The Nutcracker this season.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

PICK: “Heard” documentary on Thursday, Nov. 12 (VPM PBS)

Posted By on Tue, Nov 10, 2020 at 4:00 AM

If you want to hear the personal stories behind public housing residents in Richmond, Va., don’t miss the new documentary, “Heard,” produced by Belltower Pictures.

Presented by VPM, “Heard," which features first-hand accounts, will air on VPM PBS on Thursday, Nov. 12 at 9 p.m.

The film, which was an official selection of this year’s Virginia Film Festival, includes the stories of four individuals who grew up in “the projects,” who have survived and thrived, returning to give back to their communities.

“The stories we usually hear about residents of America’s urban housing communities are about violence, death, gangs and drugs,” said David Powers, producer of the film, in a press release. “To most Americans, public housing and urban poverty are ‘issues’ that remain out of sight and out of mind. But there’s much more to the story.”

The film is directed and edited by Emmy-winner Martin Montgomery, with Angelina Kinard Kane as associate producer. Steve Humble and Mason Mills of VPM serves as executive producers.

The nonprofit Belltower Pictures released the film “By the Grace of Bob” in 2016. To learn more about its new film, “Heard,” or watch the trailer, visit belltowerpictures.com/Heard or vpm.org/heard.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Richmond Symphony Names Lacey Huszcza as new Executive Director

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Just in time for the 64th season, the Richmond Symphony has announced its new executive director, Lacey Huszcza, who will begin on Dec. 1.

She will succeed David Fisk, who earlier this year was named the head of the Charlotte Symphony.

Here's more from the Symphony's press release:

Ms. Huszcza brings significant experience in business development, organizational growth, strategic planning and digital innovation from the Las Vegas Philharmonic where she has served as Executive Director since December 2018. She previously served in successively more responsible roles at the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra for most of the prior decade, ultimately becoming its Associate Executive Director. She additionally has served on the Board of the Association of California Symphony Orchestras for more than five years, also holding positions as its Vice President and Secretary. Ms. Huszcza holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Music and Communications from the University of Colorado and an MBA from Pepperdine University with an emphasis in entrepreneurship.

“The search committee selected Lacey Huszcza unanimously from an outstanding field of candidates to become the Richmond Symphony’s next Executive Director,” said George L. Mahoney, Chairman of the Board of the Richmond Symphony. “Lacey brings with her an energetic commitment to digital innovation and an unusually rich and varied range of experience in arts management. She was named one of Musical America’s Top 30 Professionals in 2018 and has been recognized for her efforts to expand the diversity of American orchestras. Lacey is a terrific communicator and has an exceptional track record in patron development, musical education and community engagement, making her the perfect successor to David Fisk. The Board and I also would like to thank Michele Walter, our Interim Executive Director, for her amazing dedication to the Richmond Symphony during our search process.”

“I am thrilled to join the Richmond Symphony as Executive Director,” said Lacey Huszcza. “It is an honor to join internationally acclaimed Music Director Valentina Peleggi, the incredibly accomplished administrative team, the artistically rich orchestra members and the Symphony’s dedicated Board of Directors in its mission to change lives through the power of music. I am particularly excited to join an organization with so many wonderful initiatives already in progress, like the Richmond Symphony School of Music and look forward to building new ways to connect the arts to the community, bring people together and further enhance Richmond’s reputation as the cultural center of Virginia.”

“Lacey Huszcza’s contributions to our organization as Executive Director over the last two years were invaluable," says Las Vegas Philharmonic Board Chair Jeri Crawford. “Her contagious enthusiasm and passion for symphonic music combined with her years of expertise fostered community and confidence for the organization to strive for artistic excellence while strengthening our audience engagement and education programs. And it goes without saying that she played a vital role in re-imagining how we deliver on our commitment to music, culture and education during the pandemic. We are grateful for her leadership and are confident she will achieve great success in her role with Richmond Symphony.”

Monday, September 28, 2020

Pocahontas Reframed “Storytellers” Film Festival Postponed

Virtual mini-festival of shorts to take its place, Nov. 20-22.

Posted By on Mon, Sep 28, 2020 at 4:00 AM

The organizers of the Pocahontas Reframed Storytellers Film Festival have postponed this year's festival due to the pandemic until Nov. 19-21, 2021. They also announced a new partnership with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts for the 2021 fest.

"We are, however, excited about the opportunities ahead, to include a virtual mini-festival to be held on the November 2020 dates of the original festival," they said in an email.

This year's festival, Nov. 20-22, will include virtual screenings of four short films: "Tsenacommacah," by Federico Cuatlacuatl and Ethan Brown; "Pauline," by Shelley Niro; "Little Chief," by Erica Tremblay; "Dig it if you Can," by Kyle Bell.

To learn more information about the virtual festival, check with their website.

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