Spring Cultural Calendar 

The Next Big Thing

March 16

Former local sensation, writer/performer Clay McLeod Chapman tries out on Richmond his latest batch of high-energy Southern gothic storytelling, "The Pumpkin Pie Show," before moving the mayhem to the Big Apple. Fieldens Cabaret Theatre. With recording artists One Ring Zero. 8 p.m. Through March 19.

It's baaaack — Theatre IV revives "Quilters," its popular production from last fall. This collection of inspirational stories about frontier women remains one of Richmond's all-time audience-pleasers. Through April 2 at the Cultural Arts Center of Glen Allen. $24, $10 students. 344-8040.

March 17

The ninth annual New Scholars/New Ideas Symposium takes place at VCU's Grace Street Theater. This year's event features internationally famous pre-Columbian art historian Mary Ellen Miller of Yale University speaking on "The World of Maya Wall Painting" at 6 p.m. The symposium continues March 18 when current and recent graduates of art history programs worldwide present scholarly papers., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. 828-2784.

Yellow House Productions presents "The House of Yes," in which a young woman meets her boyfriend's whacked-out fraternal twin sister and the rest of his off-center family, and finds that getting to know them can be murder. Firehouse Theatre. Through April 8. $12.

Blue Shift Theatre Ensemble presents "SPORT," a fast-paced parody about the commercialization of sports, in which three unconventional athletes fumble their way through everything from basketball to bowling. Alice Jepson Theater at the University of Richmond. 8 p.m. The event is free, but tickets are required. Call 289-8980 to reserve.

Theater VCU's production of "Betrayal" by Harold Pinter, the story of a crumbling marriage, opens at Shafer Street Playhouse. Runs through March 25. $10. 828-6026.

March 18

Violinist Lara St. John performs during a VCU Mary Anne Rennolds Chamber Concert at 8 p.m. This acclaimed, young violinist will also host a master class at 2 p.m. $22. 828-6776.

Mendelssohn's "Elijah," one of the greatest masterpieces of vocal literature, will be performed by the Richmond Symphony and sung in English by the Richmond Symphony Chorus. Carpenter Center. Also on March 20 at 8 p.m. $10-$48. 262-8100.

March 21

Poets David St. John and Molly Bendall read from their work at the Virginia Museum's Poetic Principles series. 7 p.m. $5. 340-1405.

March 22

University of Richmond's CURRENTS new music ensemble performs with guest tenor Keith Jameson and the University Vocal Quartet in a program featuring vocal selections in praise of birds. Camp Concert Hall at UR. 8 p.m. Free. 289-8980.

The Virginia Festival of the Book begins in Charlottesville. This five-day festival features Cokie and Steve Roberts, Reynolds Price, Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni and more than 200 writers in programs and events for adults, children and families. All programs, and most events, are free. Through March 26. (804) 924-6890. www.vabook.org

March 23

Award-winning film and video shorts from the most recent Black Maria Film and Video Festival will be screened at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. 8 p.m. Free. 340-1400.

March 24

Performance artist Michael Moschen gives new meaning to the art of juggling in a performance at the University of Richmond's Alice Jepson Theatre. 8 p.m. $12-$16. 289-8980.

The fourth National Works on Paper Biennial opens at the Marsh Art Gallery at the University of Richmond celebrating contemporary art at the turn of the millennium. Through June 24. 289-8276.

Theater VCU presents "Violent Delights," a collage of comic combat scenes, at Grace Street Theater. Also March 25. 7:30 p.m. $10. 828-6026.

March 25

The Virginia Museum's Fast/Forward series presents Basso Bongo with Amy Knoles on electronic and MIDI percussion, and Robert Black on electronic bass performing new electronic music. $16 members, $18 others. 8 p.m. 340-1405.

The Valentine Museum's fourth-annual symposium on issues related to the early republic examines women's lives outside the traditional domestic sphere of the home in Federal-era America. "A Place for Women in the New Nation," runs 9 a.m.-5 p.m. $50. 649-0711

March 26

Mark Russell Smith leads the Richmond Symphony in a Kicked Back Classics concert featuring Rossini's Barber of Seville Overture, Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante and Jupiter Symphony. 5 p.m. The Canal Club. $12. 788-1212.

Blues/folk legend Catfish Hodge performs at Poe's Pub followed by Paige Wilson and Reckless Abandon. $10. 9:30 p.m. 648-2120.

March 27

John Ashbery, considered by many to be the greatest living American poet, reads from his work as a part of the Virginia Museum's Poetic Principles series. 6 p.m. $5. 340-1450.

March 29

Chamberlayne Actors Theatre present "Angel Street," the taut thriller that was the basis for the movie "Gaslight." A sinister husband plots to drive his wife insane while under the watchful eye of a Scotland Yard detective. Through April 15. $8. 262-9760.

The Shanghai Quartet, one of the leading quartets of its generation, celebrates its 10th anniversary at the University of Richmond with a free concert at the Modlin Center's Camp Concert Hall. The quartet will premiere a new work commissioned for their anniversary by Chinese composer Bright Sheng. Tickets must be reserved. Call 289-8980.

Virginia Opera performs Puccini's "Turandot" at the Carpenter Center. 8 p.m. Also March 31 and April 2 at 2:30 p.m. $26-$66.262-8100.

March 31

The Richmond Symphony launches its Beethoven Festival with a performance of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony and his Violin Concerto. 8 p.m. at VCU's Performing Arts Center. Also April 2 at 3 p.m. at UR's Modlin Center. $14-26. 788-1212.

April 1

Be a "Fool for Art" and support a good cause at 1708 Gallery's annual art auction. Paintings, photographs and sculptures from more than 75 local and regional artists will be available. Willem de Kooning's lithograph "Figures in a Landscape VI' will also be raffled. Works can be previewed, and bid on, at 1708, 103 E. Broad St., starting March 3. $25 to register to bid. Silent auction 7 p.m.; live auction 8 p.m. Call 643-7829 for details.

Virginia Commonwealth University's French Film Festival features the U.S. debuts of 13 new French films, including five critically acclaimed features. Question and answer sessions with visiting actors and directors will follow each screening. A VIP Friends of the Festival Pass is $35, $25 for students, and includes admission to a reception and all screenings. A $75 pass includes admission to the gala dinner. Tickets to individual films are $4. Films will be shown at the Byrd Theatre. 278-0210. www.vcu.edu/outreach/FrenchFilmFestival

Avant-garde composer and violinist Jason Wong performs at Grace Street Theater, 8 p.m. $12. 828-2020.

April 4

The Virginia Museum celebrates contemporary art with the reopening of the Sydney and Frances Lewis Galleries and openings of "Vanitas: Meditations on Life and Death in Contemporary Art" and an exhibition of 19th- and 20th-century photographs from the museum's permanent collections.

April 5

Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham brings her seamless operatic voice to UR's Camp Concert Hall. 8 p.m. $10-$14. 289-8980.

The Richmond Symphony and the Symphony's senior youth orchestra come together for a mostly Beethoven program. The Carpenter Center. 7 p.m. $5 in advance, $10 at the door. 788-1212.

April 6

Theater VCU presents "Time of Your Life" by William Saroyan at Hodges Theater, through April 15. $10. 828-6026.

Art critic Max Kozloff discusses critical issues in American art of the 1960s at the Virginia Museum. $3-$5. 6 p.m. 340-1405.

April 7

Reynolds Gallery opens "The Family and the Land," an exhibition of photographs by Sally Mann. The exhibition includes works from Mann's "Deep South," "Virginia," and "Family" series. 7-9 p.m. Through May 20. 355-6553.

Country-music great George Jones plays the Landmark Theater with Collin Raye. 7:30 p.m. $29.50-36. 262-8100

Dirk Powell, Tim O'Brien and John Hermann perform songs inspired by Charles Frazier's best-selling Civil War novel "Cold Mountain" at the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. 7:30 p.m. $16 in advance, $18 at the door. 320-7067.

"Fashion Recycled" opens at the Valentine Museum. This exhibition examines the creative ways people have reused, remade, revived and reclaimed clothing and textiles from the late 1700s to today. Free open house April 9, noon -4 p.m., Exhibition runs through Sept. 3, 2001. 649-0711.

The Richmond Symphony presents "Beethoven Lives Upstairs" during a family concert in Chesterfield County. 7 p.m. Also April 9 at 3 p.m. at Cultural Arts Center of Glen Allen. $10 adults, $5 children. 788-1212.

April 8

Oww! Hey! James Brown raises the roof and shakes his still-funky stuff at the Landmark Theater. $40-$42.50. 262-8100.

April 10

The 7th annual James River Film Festival kicks off. This year the festival will host its biennial nationwide juried competition of short films and animation works. Winning entries will be shown during the festival. On April 16 at 1 p.m., the festival's last day, ex-Television guitarist Tom Verlaine performs his new scores to avant-garde classics by Dreyer, Leger and Man Ray. (Advance tickets available March 16). To receive a program by mail, send name and address to JRFF, P.O. Box 7469, Richmond 23221, e-mail njchenau@vcu.edu

April 11

Widespread Panic brings its popular jam-band act to the Landmark Theater. $22.50. 262-8100.

April 13

The Virginia Museum's Fast/Forward series hosts a screening of "Cremaster 4" and "Cremaster 5," Matthew Barney's visually complex video works which reference medical science, sports, performance art, mythology and sex. Recommended for adults only. $7. 340-1405.

April 14

The Barksdale Theatre presents "Wit," the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about a brilliant professor battling cancer. Mary Sue Carroll, who was spectacular in last year's "Three Tall Women," is scheduled to star. Through April 30. $13-$22, 282-2620.

April 15

Hank Williams III continues the family tradition of tear-in-your-beer country at Alley Katz. Doors at 9:30 p.m. $5. 643-2816.

The Kalichstein, Laredo, Robinson Trio performs for VCU's final concert in this season's Mary Anne Rennolds Chamber Concert series. This trio is made up of three internationally known soloists who have been playing together since 1977. 8 p.m. $22. 828-6776.

Guest conductor Kenneth Jean leads the Richmond Symphony and guest pianist James Tocco in Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto and Sixth Symphony. 8 p.m. Carpenter Center. Also April 17. $10-$48. 262-8100.

April 22

Grateful Dead-inspired jam band Indecision reunites at Alley Katz. With special guests Regan and Andrew Winn Doors at 9 p.m. $6 advance, $8 door. 643-2816.

April 25

"Rob Becker's Defending the Caveman" opens at the Carpenter Center. The longest running solo play in Broadway history, this hysterical look at the war between the sexes has spawned "cavemania" as it has toured across the country. Through April 30. $30-$44.50. 262-8100.

April 26

Richmond Triangle Players present "Hysterical Blindness and Other Southern Tragedies That Have Plagued My Life Thus Far," in which New York's Leslie Jordan tells his story with the help of a troupe of backup singers. This show was an off-Broadway fave. Through May 13. $12, 346-8113.

April 27

The Brazilian Guitar Quartet with Paul Gailbraith perform in the Virginia Museum's Soundframes series. 6 p.m. $8. 340-1405.

The Groovin' in the Garden music series kicks off at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Event runs every Thursday (except May 18) through June 8. 6:30-9:30 p.m. 262-9887.

The Virginia Waterfront International Arts Festival kicks off. This 25-day festival showcases a diverse array of world-class performers in the areas of classical music, chamber music, dance, world music and opera. Events are held from Portsmouth to Gloucester. Tickets to individual events are $10-$60. Event runs through May 21. For details, call (757)664-6492.

April 28

Richmond native and soul sensation D'Angelo performs at the Landmark Theater. 8 p.m. $36.50. 262-8100.

Novelist Jill McCorkle reads from her work during Poetic Principles at the Virginia Museum. 6 p.m. $5. 340-1405.

April 29

The Richmond Jazz Society lets the good times roll during its Virginia Jazz Carnivale fundraising gala at the Renaissance Banquet and Conference Center, 107 W. Broad St.

Creole and Cajun cuisine, casino games and the finest jazz acts from across Virginia. $65 single, $125 couple in advance; $75 at the door. 643-1972.

May 4

The Junior League of Richmond hosts its 55th Annual Book and Author Dinner at the Richmond Marriott Hotel. Paul Duke serves as moderator for the event in which five distinguished authors (to be announced) will address the Richmond community. 7 p.m. $55. 643-4886.

First the Holocaust and now this. Firehouse Theater Project follows up its fantasy-drama "Lebensraum" with "Buried Child," Sam Shepard's gripping tale of familial abuse. Through May 20. $12, 355-2001.

Pianist Ignat Solzhenitsyn performs at the Virginia Museum for its Soundframes series. 7 p.m. $8. 340-1405.

May 5

Richmond's popular free outdoor concert series Friday Cheers kicks off at Nina F. Abady Festival Park. Series continues every Friday, 6-9:30 p.m., through Sept. 1

The Spoken Hand Orchestra, a 16-person hand-drumming orchestra gives voice to the sounds of Afro-Cuban bata, Brazilian samba, north Indian tabla and West African djembe during a performance at the Virginia Museum, 8 p.m. Also May 6 at 8 p.m. $16 members, $18 others. 340-1405.

"Monsters and Heroes," a show of Richmond symbolist painters, curated by Christina Newton, opens at 1708 Gallery, 8-10 p.m. Continues through May 27. 643-7829.

May 10

Virginia Opera brings its internationally acclaimed production of "Porgy and Bess" to the Carpenter Center. 8 p.m. Also May 12 and 13 and May 14 at 2:30 p.m. $46-$66. 262-8100.

Renowned photographer Sally Mann will discuss her life and career, as well as some of the controversy surrounding her innovative photographs at the Virginia Museum. 6 p.m. 340-1405.

Richmond Ballet presents its spring repertory concert featuring "Djangology," by Val Caniparoli, "Runaway Horses" by Chris Burnside, "Three Preludes" by Ben Stevenson, artistic director of Houston Ballet, and the world premiere of a work by Colin Connor. UR's Modlin Center. 8 p.m. Performances run through May 13. $10-$25. 262-8100.

May 11

Margaret Gibson reads form her work during Poetic Principles at the Virginia Museum. 6 p.m. $5. 340-1405.

May 17

Expect plenty of laughs — with an existentially profound undertone — in TheatreVirginia's "Picasso at the Lapin Agile," a dramatization of a fictional meeting between Picasso and Einstein, penned by comedian Steve Martin. Through June 10. $21-$33, 353-6100.

May 18

Marita Golden and Tom De Haven read from their work at "Poetic Principles" at the Virginia Museum. 6 p.m. $5. 340-1405.

May 21

The Valentine Museum hosts its own version of the "Antiques Roadshow" with "Bring Us Your Treasures," where Richmonders can bring items from their collections to qualified appraisers, 1-4 p.m. $10. Reservations suggested.

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