The quiet before the storm

My annual cold/flu/allergy/forced winter hibernation period happened at it’s usual time this year hitting the week before HAMAMGANZA, the charity variety show I have participated in for the last 6 or 7  years. I have performed in this show with a temperature of 104 degrees.  I have performed this show when I could not make a sound come out of my mouth (Organizer, Chris Dovi, thought it was absolutely hilarious to have a silent cheerleader in the show and I mouthed the words to cheers and songs all night).  But this year I was floored and missed the show entirely, staying home in bed to recover.  I was very sad about missing it, particularly since it is the final year of the show and I wanted to be a part of it ONE LAST TIME. C’est la vie.

I was bedridden for the entire weekend, not only missing Hamaganza,but also missing THE WILD PARTY at Firehouse in Richmond, The Virginia Consort concert, Ash Lawn Opera’s, AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS and  the performance of the programI facilitated for the Young Friends for the Christmas celebration at the Charlottesville Friends Meeting.

Therefore, outside of recording the first interview for WNRN’s new Arts and Culture radio show (Chase and Susan from Virginia Repertory Theatre airing January 5th) and that THE  RISE OF THE GUARDIANS makes a charming family holiday movie (LOVE ACTUALLY is still my fav for a more adult group holiday grope, with IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE being my number one all time Christmas favorite with MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET, the original, as a close second- yes, I watched a bunch of Christmas movies while resting can you tell? But only after watching up through part 1 of season 5 of BREAKING BAD on Netflix on demand which, in a most evil manner, makes one order the 2nd part of season 5 via snail mail DVD delivery. AGGGGGHHHH!!!), I have nothing to report.

The Good News: All of this bed rest, turmeric tea and chicken soup has worked. I am feeling much better- ready for the whirl of holiday activities before me.

Will keep you posted.

Until next week…

Mary

The Culture Maven

Rise-of-the-guardians

Film, Food, MoFo’s and Ham

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Charlottesville is a cool place to live because we some big city entertainment coupled with small town living.  Last week’s big city type entertainment was the Virginia Film Festival, an event that takes over our little village attracting people from all over the country to C-ville for 100 movies in 4 days.

I for one enjoy the people watching during this event usually more than the films themselves and somehow the VFF always falls on a weekend when I have fifty other obligations, limiting my ability to participate.  So this is how the weeks shook down in terms of my Arts & Culture experience:

On Wednesday I lunched at Farm as I waited to ambush Matthew Slatts, Executive Director of the Bridge Arts Center. Farm is a sandwichy/ salady type place that offers fresh food mostly locally sourced and a good selection of beers and wine.  It is charming and the noodle salad I pulled from the ready-mades cold case was delish.  A great place for a nice lunch and plenty of sunny outdoor seating.

Wednesday night I worked on my Bachata moves at Charlottesville Salsa Club’s Bachata night at club M&M.

Thursday was the first day of the VFF- good crowd watching on the Downtown Mall.  My daughter and I went to see the Lighthouse Films since she was a student over the summer.

Friday night was a family road trip to Staunton to the American Shakespeare Center with friends to see (for me a repeat viewing, I liked it so much the first time) RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET.  Every body LOVED it and I won a raffle ticket for answering a trivia question correctly. (yeah!)  The show is in its final weeks, closing at the end of November to make room for the three Christmas themed shows presented in December.

Saturday morning found me directing traffic at the Tandem Tag Sale which was a mother load of treasures.  If you missed it this year be sure to go next year because there is always some gooooood stuff for amazing prices.

Then a visit to the VFF Family day at UVA near the Culbreth theater.  All I am saying is work is needed on this event.

The next stop was one of my fav eateries – The Flat, behind the Jefferson Theater, for crepes al fresco then to Pearl’s Bake Shoppe for apple cider donuts. The Flat make fat savory or sweet crepes and is loved for the fresh local ingredients, ample portions and great prices.  It is fast food that is truly good for you. I had a veggie on buckwheat crepe – yummy.

Saturday night found me at the Downtown Grille for a quick drink and a sumptuous crab cake appetizer before popping over to Live Arts for closing night of MOTHER F**CKER WITH A HAT. The script itself was so-so with a superfluous final scene that watered down what might have been a spectacular ending but Ike Anderson as Jackie, the central character put in a dynamic performance.

Sunday was another VFF day which culminated for me and my daughter with the documentary, BIBLE QUIZ, about a bible quiz team and the personal dynamics of said team over the course of a critical competition.  Who even knew there was such a thing as Bible Quiz?  Somebody I guess…  We liked the film and were sad we missed so many other films due to scheduling or rating issues.

Sunday night we drove to Richmond for Hamaganza rehearsal in preparation for the last Hamaganza fundraiser for Feedmore ever.  Mark your calendars for December 13 & 14 to witness what is sure to be the most debauched, sophomoric and pathetic Hamaganza of all time – because some legends deserve to go down in flames.

Hopefully things will slow down a tad this week but you just never know what invitations might pop up!

Get out there and get Cultured, Ya’ll.

Best,

The Culture Maven

Hamaganza 2012 – A bunch of Hams raise money for Feed More

For the past five or six years I have schlogged myself out on cold dark nights to rehearse and perform in Hamaganza, a totally sick anti-Holiday show featuring acts of all nature including but not limited to go-go dancers, jugglers, cheerleaders, singers (of sorts) and this year Lady Arm Wrestlers for Richmond’s new branch of CLAW, RAWFL.  Why would an introvert like myself want to put myself out there, up on a stage with some really bizarre people and sing, dance or at one point, lead cheers?  Because it is for a good cause.  Media people, politicians and Richmond’s own classic drag queen, Dirt Woman put on this show every year to raise money for the Feed More (formerly known as the Central Virginia Food Bank).  It is only $10.00 or a ham at the door to get in and be entertained in ways you have never even imagined.

Please come and support our egos Feed More!

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