FunStuff: Charlottesville events October 4 and beyond

Eugene Ionesco's 1959 play, Rhinoceros, is one of the better known titles from the so-called "Theatre of the Absurd" drama movement, and certainly, the story, set in a provincial French town pre-World War II and revolving around a man named Berenger who watches his fellow villagers turn into rhinoceroses, seems silly. In fact, the play, though humorous, is widely interpreted to be a serious criticism of the dangers of conformity from a playwright contemplating the rise of the Communist, Fascist, and Nazi parties. It's presented by the UVA Drama Department over the next two weekends.
October 4-6 and 10-12, Helms Theatre, 8pm, $8-14


Tree hunt
To hug a tree, sometimes it's necessary to hunt a tree. That's the idea behind the "tree hunt," an all-month event sponsored by the Charlottesville Tree Commission that's designed to bring families out into city parks where they can show some love for the city's distinguished trees. Among those on the hunt are a Gingko, an Eastern Red Cedar, and a Black Walnut. Participants can find the search form, which asks observational questions about the trees and their surroundings, on the city website at Participants can earn extra points by bringing along extra kids, walking or biking to find the trees, and picking up trash along the way. After submitting completed forms, winners receive prizes from local businesses including Eppie's restaurant, Splendora's gelato, The Local restaurant, and the Southern States co-op.
Through October, Charlottesville green spaces, your time, free


Rink warriors
If you haven't been out to see a bunch of tough chicks on wheels battle their way to victory, this Friday's your last chance as the Charlottesville Derby Dames host their final home bout of the season at the Augusta Expo in Fishersville (It's off I-64 at exit 91, just past Waynesboro). Dubbed "Blocktoberfest," this event features the Dames up against the Mason Dixon Roller Vixens out of Hagerstown, Maryland. It's sports theater, with costumes and crazy names like MatilDaMolish and Little Miss Pissed, and the crowd is a boisterous bunch as well. Derby "bouts" always benefit a local charity, and this time, 10 percent of profits are going to Hospice of the Piedmont.
October 6, Augusta Expo, 6pm doors, $7 advance/$10 door


Pitch perfect
The soccer season's well underway, and UVA men and women are always a thrill to watch. Friday night, the women– including sophomore midfield standout Morgan Brian– take on Wake Forest at Klockner Stadium. Then Tuesday, it's the men, with high-scorer Will Bates (shown here), who'll take the pitch to play High Point. Those who've been to games know it's fun for the whole family since Klockner– unlike Scott Stadium or John Paul Jones– offers kids who might not otherwise sit through a whole sporting event the chance to do their own running and kicking on the grassy areas around the field.
October 5 (women), October 9 (men), Klockner Stadium, 7pm


When Donald Trump purchased Kluge Vineyards last year, it might have seemed to some that he'd be "hair today," gone tomorrow. But the recent news that Trump paid just $6.5 million for Albemarle House, the redonkulously ornate estate in southern Albemarle that was once listed by original owner Patricia Kluge for $100 million, suggests that the sometimes cantankerous gajillionaire has more than a passing interest in this area. Incidentally, the Trump Winery provides a fine way to toast his recent purchase with a first anniversary weekend event. On Friday, there's 2-for-1 tastings from 4-6pm with the smooth sounds of the Olivarez Duo playing in the background. Saturday, from noon to 3pm, taste all 10 wines for $10, with Latin rhythm band Algeria playing. The Olivarez Duo's back for an encore Sunday, from 4-6pm.
October 5-7, Trump Winery, 3550 Blenheim Road, free to watch


Fall fun
The nights are cooler and the first leaves are beginning to turn, but nothing says fall quite like the arrival of pumpkins. Out at the Layz S Ranch in Palmyra, the patch is ripe and ready for visitors– and pumpkins are far from the only draw. Hay rides, mazes, a corn pit and corn slide, even pony rides (which carry an extra charge). Bigger people are allowed in the corn slide, but they may also enjoy picking up local veggies, fruits, cheese, butter, gourds, and mums from the farm stand at 2253 Thomas Jefferson Parkway. Open 4-8 Friday and 10-6 on Saturday.
October 5 and 6, Layz S Ranch, $7/person w/ $25/family max


First Friday
The first Friday of every month is an art extravaganzaРand an excuse to schmooze and sip with other art lovers. But how to choose which galleries to hit up? Chroma Projects: An Art Laboratory is a great start this week, with four different artists whose work covers a range of media presented in three different galleries. Painter Ray Kass (whose painting "Influorescence" is pictured here) and sculptor John Ruppert combine their works in a show titled "Centripetal and Centrifugal Forces," while Leigh Ann Chambers alters household objects "in order to seek their meaning and question society’s notions of both taste and time." Photographer Stacey Evans rounds out the gallery's offerings with photographs taken from train windows. "They are the places that time has left behind, where old tires lay discarded and people live in modest circumstances," according to her artist's statement. The gallery is at 418 East Main on the Downtown Mall in the former University Florist space.
October 5, Chroma Projects, Downtown Mall, 5:30pm


Live and Out Loud
Birthdays come and birthdays go, but the 250th is a big deal, and there's plenty of celebrating to be had around Charlottesville as it passes its quarter of a millenium mark. This week, the Celebrate 250 committee presents Live and Out Loud, a free talent show style event held at the Martin Luther King Performing Arts Center at Charlottesville High School featuring performers, writers, dancers, and artists who add color and breadth to the fabric of our lives. Musical guests include Sam Voelkel, Jon Thompson & Friends, Lovell Coleman, Pete and Ellen Vigour & Friends playing Old Time music, and among the writers are the essayist and frequent Hook contributor Janis Jaquith, and the subject of a Hook story, the prolific Deborah Prum, shown here.
October 7, MLK Performing Arts Center, 6-7:30pm, free


Tall tales 'n tunes
He's a giant in music. Seriously. He's huge. Six-feet seven inches, to be exact, and he's got an outsized personality to match that height. That, along with his musical chops, has just helped Andrew Kelly Simons win the American Songwriter Magazine Coffeehouse Tour competition. He has a clear voice that reminds one listener of David Gray, and he'll bring his song/dance/laugh act to the purple-hued coffeeshop near the end of Elliewood Avenue on Saturday night.
October 7, Para Coffee, 8pm, free



Want the feel of a big city nightclub? This Friday, the Jefferson will give it to you as DJ Kap Slap brings his mash-ups to get the crowd moving. Kap Slap, aka Jared Lucas, took his name from a frat drinking method in Kappa Alpha in which one "funnels" a beer, topped by a shot of Bacardi 151, which provides the "slap." But hard-partying suggestion aside, the guy's a serious business and engineering student at Lehigh University most of the week, until he lets loose on the club scene up and down the East Coast on weekends. With DJ XSV opening.
October 6, Jefferson Theater, 9pm, $15-17

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