Chris Barrett

Brian Wheeler on gas, the water supply, and more

 Charlottesville--Right Now  Comments Off on Brian Wheeler on gas, the water supply, and more
Oct 162008

Brian Wheeler is the Executive Director of Charlottesville Tomorrow, a non-partisan organization that covers growth and development issues in our community. He appears on Tuesdays on Coy Barefoot’s “Charlottesville–Right Now!” on WINA.

  • Charlottesville has the most expensive gas in the state. (Daily Progress)
  • Brian comments on Citizens for a Sustainable Water Supply and the water task force.
  • Brian explains the conflict between those who support expansion of the Ragged Mountain Reservoir and those who do not.
  • The task force is seeking public input.  (Charlottesville Tomorrow)
  • Several callers responded including Betty Mooney and former City Councilor Kevin Lynch.

Dec 062007

Live Arts proudly presents Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s A Little Night Music, directed by John Owen, musical direction by Greg Harris. A Little Night Music will run in our DownStage Theater December 07, 2007 through December 22, 2007.

Set in Sweden at the turn-of-the century, A Little Night Music tells the story of Frederik Egerman, Desiree Armfeldt and Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm, and their revolving love interests. They attempt to sort and resort their relationships in order to fill the voids in their lives. When the characters retreat to Desiree Armfeldt’s chateau in the country, they find themselves in the depths of emotions with everything (and everyone) they were trying to escape.

A Little Night Music is a musical whirlwind about what happens when couples explore their relationships, sexuality and each other. Frederick Egerman takes his young, virgin wife Anne to the theatre, forcing her naivety to take a reality check with her husband’s infidelity. Anne confides in her friend Charlotte, only to discover that Charlotte’s husband, Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm is involved in his own illicit romance. Desiree Armfeldt, an actress, finds herself in the limelight of it all. The musical waltzes through the lives of two couples and their affairs, as they exchange partners and sentiments to explore their frenzied relationships. There is no shortage of laughter, confrontation and lusty temptation.

A Little Night Music features a book by Hugh Wheeler with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Wheeler is a multiple Tony Award winner, including his win for A Little Night Music in 1973, a musical inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s motion picture, Smiles of a Summer Night. A Little Night Music was adapted to the screen in a film version starring Elizabeth Taylor in 1978. Sondheim is an Academy Award winner, and an unprecedented seven-time Tony Award winner. His 1973 Tony Award win was for Best Score of A Little Night Music. He has also received several Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize and has written renowned music compositions, including the score for West Side Story.

Cast, alphabetically: Taylor Baltimore, Ruth Anne Bishop, Rosa Brown, Maya Cichon, Jeff Dreyfus, Dan Finn, Stephanie Finn, Sonya Hayden, Nick Heiderstadt, Luke Hudnall, Marthe Rowen, Dan Stern, Linda Waller, Heather Waters, and Gary White.

Free tickets to the Thursday, December 06, 2007 Preview are available in person at
C-VILLE Weekly. This ticket giveaway will be available on a first come, first served basis, and will continue until gone. Limit is 2 tickets per person, and FREE admission is only via these tickets.

Reserved Seating $19.50/ $22.50 (Fri & Sat) • Members $17.50 / $20.50 (Fri & Sat) • General Seating (Balcony) $10.00 • Tickets on-sale November 20, 2007

LIVE ARTS PRESENTS American Buffalo, by David Mamet

 Arts, CPN Original, Live Arts  Comments Off on LIVE ARTS PRESENTS American Buffalo, by David Mamet
Sep 262007

Philip Green, Steve Tharp and Michael Volpendesta hunt the American BuffaloSet in a junkshop and occurring over the course of one very bad day, American Buffalo tells the story of three blue-collar men — Don Dubrow, Walter “Teach” Cole, and Bob — as they scheme and dream of better lives. After realizing he’s sold a rare Buffalo nickel for a fraction of its value, Don comes up with a harebrained plan to steal it back with the help of Teach and Bob.

American Buffalo is about much more than a simple heist. Don and Teach’s scheme is merely the latest offensive in their ever losing battle to make something of their lives. Don resolves to right the wrong done to him. Teach seeks to lie and cheat his way to the top and thus forces himself into Don’s plan. All the while, young Bob reverently, and mistakenly, seeks the respect of the two older but not necessarily wiser men. Through the interactions of the three men, the play provides an intimate, candid, and comedic look at the men’s attempts to improve their lot.

Director Mark Valahovic has a long history at Live Arts. If you dropped in on our Streetcar Named Desire this Summer, you’re probably still haunted by his Stanley Kowalski.

Valahovic says that, “Since David Mamet is an advocate of an acting technique to which I subscribe, this production gives me the opportunity to train actors to tell a story in a way that would make the playwright very proud if he were to see it. You’re invited, David.

“My goal is to tell a story that is so compelling and so funny that a Charlottesville audience member would pay to see it again.”

American Buffalo was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet, famous for his innovative and unrestrained dialogue. In addition to American Buffalo, Mamet also penned many other works such as Glengarry Glen Ross and Speed-the-Plow, both of which earned Mamet Tony Award nominations (and both of which have been produced at Live Arts). A writer for the screen as well as stage, Mamet also wrote the screenplay when American Buffalo was made into a feature film in 1996, with Dustin Hoffman and Dennis Franz starring in the roles of Teach and Don respectively. His other screenwriting credits include the Oscar-nominated films The Verdict and Wag the Dog.

Cast for the Live Arts production of American Buffalo features Steve Tharp as Don, Michael Volpendesta as Teach and Philip Green as Bob.

For tickets or schedule information, visit or ring 434-977-41777 ext. 108.

Live Arts Presents: Old Times – An evening of Classic Pinter

 Arts, CPN Original, Live Arts  Comments Off on Live Arts Presents: Old Times – An evening of Classic Pinter
Jun 052007

How does one describe a play in which more goes unsaid than said? Is there such a thing as a triple entendre? Decide for yourself after seeing Harold Pinter’s Old Times at Live Arts.

When Anna goes to visit her old friend Kate and husband Deeley in the English countryside, each of the characters seems to relive and revise their pasts while reminiscing. The pastoral setting becomes quickly tainted, however, as Anna and Deeley politely spar for control of Kate. Under the direction of Francine Smith, this play explores the power of memory and the dangers inherent in trying to manipulate your own … or others’.

Francine Smith, Live Arts Director in Residence, is director of this production. When asked about Old Times, Smith said, “The essence of the play can be summed up in one of Anna’s lines: ‘There are some things one remembers even though they may never have happened, but as I recall them so they take place.’ Pinter’s work is distinctive and provocative in that what is not said (in the pauses) speaks more than the words themselves and the questions or recollections found in the play are ever answered or validated. Lots of bits and pieces leave the viewer free to conclude what really went on twenty years ago between Anna (played by Boomie Pedersen), Kate (played by Daria Okugawa), and Deeley (played by Chris Baumer).”

First performed on June 1, 1971 by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Aldwych Theater in London, Old Times has continued to gain audiences across the globe through its universal examination of shifting time and definitions of truth. Written by Harold Pinter, renowned British playwright, actor, director and political activist, Old Times is one among a long line of his plays that have won him critical acclaim. It is with great excitement that Live Arts brings the work of this theatrical pioneer to our UpStage theater.

Tickets for Old Times go on sale to the public Monday May 28 and may be purchased in one of three ways. Tickets are sold via phone at the Live Arts Box Office, in person Monday through Friday 10 am. – 6 pm., or 1 hour before the performance. The preview performance of Old Times is June 7 at 8 pm. Free tickets to this continue

Season media sponsor is C-Ville Weekly. Photos in this entry are by Jack Looney of C-Ville weekly.