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RVA Magazine
RVA Magazine

(804) 349-5890

Richmond, VA

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Richmond Free Press
Richmond Free Press

(804) 644-0496

422 E Franklin St
Richmond, VA 23219   Directions

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Richmond Times-Dispatch
Richmond Times-Dispatch

(804) 649-6000

300 E Franklin St
Richmond, VA 23219   Directions

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Style Weekly
Style Weekly

(804) 358-0825

24 E 3rd St
Richmond, VA 23224   Directions

Local News

Miracles and Misfires
12/05/2022 3:00am

The Mill hits the holiday sweet spot with South Division Street, while VA Rep whiffs with A Broadway Christmas. Curmudgeons like me wont admit it, but most people want their hearts tugged this time of year. However, successful efforts to expose an audiences emotions work best like Santa in the dark of night: sneaky, quick and light on their feet.Swift Creek Mills Miracle on South Division Street deftly accomplishes that mission in a tight, intermission-free 90 minutes thanks to a clever script, skillful direction and a flawless performance at its core. Meanwhile, Virginia Rep is offering a valiant but messy misfire called A Broadway Christmas on its Hanover Tavern stage, a musical review peppered with a few transcendent moments in an otherwise confounding muddle. Miracle tells the story of the Nowak family, working class Catholics who are the keepers of a shrine to the Virgin Mary, erected by their patriarch after the blessed mother appeared to him in his Buffalo barber shop. Jacqueline Jones plays Clara, whose father established the shrine in the 1950s and who remains devoted to its legacy, while her three children waver in their commitment. The story is fictional but the 20-foot tall shrine still stands in Buffalo today.On Christmas Eve, 2010, the nervous Ruth Audra Honaker has called the family together to reveal what she says is the true story of the shrine, which she can barely do in the midst of interjections from sassy sister Beverly Donna Marie Miller and sarcastic brother Jimmy Neal Gallini-Burdick. But once Ruths tale starts unfolding, revelations pour out that are both hilarious and heart-warming.Honaker and Miller starred in the Virginia Rep/Tavern production of the same show five years ago and they slip into their roles like hands into warm woolen mittens. Honaker in particular does exceptional work, perfectly balancing her characters anxious nerdiness, earnest affection for her family and resolute determination to complete her task.Shes assisted by Tom Widths insightful direction that precisely sets up the plot points in Tom Dudzicks fast moving script like dominoes so they achieve maximum impact when they fall. I dont know whether Ruth chugging an entire beer at a pivotal juncture is specified in the stage directions but its a great example of Width amplifying a scenes already heightened emotions.Jones uses her expert comic timing to score the shows biggest laughs as Claras self-perception starts to wobble. Millers centered, skillful performance as the bratty sister makes a great counterpoint to Honakers. While Gallini-Burdick cant quite compete with his castmates chops, he acquits himself sufficiently with his tossed off delivery of Jimmys asides.Widths spot-on set design gives the show a comfortably lived-in look and Joe Dorans lighting design accents the proceedings expertly, particularly as the action heats up. Miracle even manages to effortlessly slip in messages of forgiveness and inclusion as it cascades uproariously along to its satisfying conclusion. In contrast, A Broadway Christmas shoehorns callouts to Hanukkah and Kwanzaa into its slate of songs in a way that highlights how unfortunately unfocused it is. The musical review, curated by Jason Marks and directed by Irene Kuykendall, shows flashes of inspiration as an idea but ends up only occasionally engendering that holiday spirit.The show seems to be offering a saccharin-free alternative to holiday sappiness when it spotlights unexpected and funny Broadway compositions like Surabaya Santa from Songs For a New World or Never Fall in Love With An Elf from Elf: The Musical. Unfortunately, torpid renditions of tunes like White Christmas blatantly try and fail to milk classics for emotional resonance. It doesnt help that musical director Ryan Corbitt slows the tempo of some songs to a near crawl, making the two hour with intermission production seem to go on even longer.The cast features a rotating company of performers plus one featured guest who brings two songs they specifically chose. At the performance I saw, Jessi Johnson Peterson brought down the house with the spiritual Rise Up Shepherd and Follow and her Surabaya Santa was a delight. The other performers Emily Dandridge, Keydron Dunn, and Lindy Pokorny gamely attempted to inject energy into the evening.But, ultimately, the few sparks provided by Peterson dont ignite into a bigger bonfire of good cheer. Its surprising that, when it comes to these two shows at least, theres more magic to be found on the streets of Buffalo than Broadway. Swift Creek Mill Theatres Miracle of South Division Street runs through Dec. 31 tickets at https://www.swiftcreekmill.com/. Part of the Barksdale Season at Hanover Tavern, A Broadway Christmas runs through Jan. 1 tickets at https://va-rep.org/broadway-christmas-hanover-tavern.html.

Bend it Like Bennet
12/05/2022 3:00am

Virginia Reps Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley envisions a Jane Austen-inspired holiday. Two centuries since it was first published, Jane Austens Pride and Prejudice still appeals to us. Through numerous film, TV and theatrical adaptations including ones with zombies audiences have yet to tire of Elizabeth Bennet and her gradually growing affection for Mr. Darcy. Pride and Prejudice is especially beloved by a certain educated set of women who first encountered this Regency era novel of manners as teenagers. These same women may find themselves relating to Mary, the middle daughter of the Bennet family, in her transformation as the protagonist of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley. This unofficial sequel to Pride and Prejudice, penned by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon, has taken up residence at Virginia Reps November Theatre just in time for the holidays.Its been two years since the end of Austens novel, and four of the five Bennet sisters have gathered at the Darcy estate for Christmas. Elizabeth Ally Farzetta, the hero of Pride and Prejudice, is now happily married to Mr. Darcy Britt Michael Gordon Jane Patricia Austin, the eldest daughter, is happily married to Mr. Bingley Cameron Nickel and pregnant. Lydia Naomi Bertha, the youngest sister, is as headstrong and flirtatious as ever, pretending that all is well in her marriage to George Wickham.But this story centers on Mary Emily Franch, the serious middle sister who enjoys reading, playing the pianoforte and moralizing to her family. While Mary has never been shy about speaking her mind, shes come into own these past couple years. Though her sisters want her to find love, Mary is content with becoming a bookish spinster that is, until Lord Arthur Lukas DErrico crashes the proceedings. This intellectual but socially awkward friend of Mr. Darcy seems like he would be the perfect match for Mary, if only other people and they themselves stopped getting in the way.Under the direction of Sharon Ott, the well-cast ensemble is charming, with Franch and DErricos scenes having the sweet earnestness of young love. The cast is uniformly funny, with each getting their moments to shine the late addition of Tatjana Shields as Anne de Bourgh, a woman convinced that she and Arthur are engaged, adds some energy and intrigue to the proceedings. Overall, the show is unstuffy, and a warmer, lighter affair than you might imagine.Mercedes Schaums period set blends well with the classicism of the November Theatre, and Lynne M. Hartmans lighting adds beautifully to scenes. Carolan Corcorans costume design of Regency dresses, cutaway coats and cravats reflect the period while also speaking to each characters personality. While it isnt mandatory to re-read or watch an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice beforehand, perusing the synopsis doesnt hurt those who are more familiar with the novel will pick up references that the playwrights have planted.In telling the stories of two inelegant people who find each other while navigating social expectations, Miss Bennet humorously bridges Austens time and our own. Virginia Reps Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, plays through Jan. 1 at the November Theatre, 114 W. Broad St. For more information, visit va-rep.org or call 804282-2620.

Holiday Market Guide
12/02/2022 3:00am

For those who want to shop local and early, here is a sampler of markets. The first rule of the holiday season is not to get your tinsel in a tangle. Turning the calendar to December means that Richmonds holiday market season is cranking up, making it easier than ever to shop local. Why spend at big box stores when you can support local artists and artisans with gifts that are truly special One could even say that youre very Richmond if your gifts are made by Richmonders. Here is a list of some upcoming local holiday arts markets and events throughout December in chronological order: Maymonts Merry Market features 40 local artisans and small businesses on the carriage house lawn, with the added bonus of a crafts tent where kids can make their own special gifts and decorations. Snap a photo with St. Nicholas, snag something refreshing from the festive holiday bar, grab something to eat from one of the food vendors and sidle up to the fire pits to listen to jazz and a cappella groups setting a holiday mood. Friday, Dec. 2 from 6-9 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3 from 3-9 p.m. Maymont, 1700 Hampton St., maymont.org.Quirk Hotels Holiday Market promises to be as, well, quirky as the pink and gray hotel itself. The all-local goods market features pottery, photography, arts and edibles and benefits from the glow of a shimmering pink Christmas tree and the proximity of Quirks cozy bar offering seasonal libations. Check it out Sunday, Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. to 4p.m. Quirk Hotel, 201 W. Broad St., quirkhotels.com.Main Line Brewerys Artisan Market celebrates Shop Small Sunday. If your idea of shopping involves bringing Fido or shopping with a craft beer or gluten-free hard seltzer in hand, this is the outdoor market for you. Live music and food trucks add to the festive feeling, ideal for scoping out handmade home dcor, art, jewelry, apparel, and food products. The Artisan Market runs 1-5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4. Main Line Brewery, 1603 Ownby Lane, mainlinerva.com.Blue Bee Ciders Christkindlmarkt takes its inspiration from German Christmas markets, named after Christkindl, the German equivalent of Santa Claus. Sip on hot and cold cider options while shopping for gifts and goods from an array of local makers and artists. Truckle Cheesemongers will be on site selling grilled cheese sandwiches to pair with your cider and keep your energy up for the outdoor event. The Christkindlmarkt is Saturday, Dec. 10 from 1-5 p.m. Blue Bee Cider, 1320 Summit Ave., bluebeecider.com.Clayworks presents their 7th Annual Holiday in the Warehouse, showcasing the work of sixteen local potters. Smaller items make terrific stocking stuffers while larger piece bowls, vases, plates- make wonderful gifts for friends and family who appreciate the beauty of hand-thrown pottery. Shop Holiday in the Warehouse on Saturday, Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Clayworks, 2277 Dabney Rd., clayworkssupplies.com.The Carytown Artisan Market marks its 11th year with a two-day event featuring over 100 local artisans, plus food trucks, and live music at City Stadium. Hosted by the Carytown Farmers Market, the Artisan Market continues their run of outstanding local farmers markets with a holiday edition that showcases the best of local craftspeople and artisans on Saturday, Dec. 10 and Sunday, Dec. 11 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. City Stadium, 3201 Maplewood Ave., carytownmarket.com.Diversity Thrift and River City Witches co-host the 4th annual Yule Witch Market, a mischievous market that includes offerings by some of Richmonds most unorthodox creatives. With 65 vendors, youre sure to score your Winter Solstice supplies, not to mention gifts galore, food truck eats and performances. When youre through shopping, treat yourself to a Reiki session, grab some hot chocolate, tea or coffee or have your Tarot cards read. The Yule Witch Market is Sunday, Dec. 11 from noon to 6 p.m. Diversity Richmond, 1407 Sherwood Ave., diversitythrift.org.Art Works Made in RVA Holiday Shop features handmade gifts from local artists. What makes the RVA Holiday Shop unique is that theyre open daily through New Years Eve, so, you dont have to try to make it by on a Saturday when there are so many events and parties going on. Instead, you can stop by any day except Monday during the week. Besides the Made in RVA Holiday shop, you can also peruse 80 artists studios chock full of local art on display and for sale. Open Tuesday through Sunday 11-5 through Dec. 31. ArtWorks, 320 Hull St., artworksrva.com.The Bizarre Market has been around since 2004 and with good, quirky reason. The much-loved pop-up appears every year featuring the work of dozens of brilliant, funny, and talented makers who are inspired to create by their love of RVA. Once housed upstairs at Chop Suey Books, Bizarre Market Holiday 2022 now runs Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Dec. 23 at Richmond Young Writers. 2707 W. Cary St., bizarremarket.org.Studio Two Threes 7th annual Winter Market is a veritable island of misfit toys featuring over 125 artists and hundreds of handmade objects and art for gift-giving. If youre looking to support local artists, this is a festive way to do it since last years market raised over $130,000 in sales for Virginia makers. Open daily 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Dec. 24. Studio Two Three, 3300 W. Clay St., studiotwothree.org.

A Jazzy Christmas
12/01/2022 3:00am

Gathering a large slice of first-rate RVA musicians for a holiday concert is almost getting to be a holiday tradition. This is the fourth now sold out edition of A Richmond Big Band Christmas. The first two were in 2014 and 2015, and then there was a not-entirely COVID-driven gap until last year. Much has changed since, not least Barnette becoming the Virginia Commonwealth University director of jazz studies. But the essential elements have remained, including an emphasis on sacred songs, vocals from talented musicians with deep ties to the local scene, and the leadership of Taylor Barnett. This year, the singers are Desiree Roots, Laura Ann Singh, and Rufus Johnson. The concert resulted from Barnett and his wife Tiffanie Chans shared role as Worship Art directors at West End Presbyterian Church. The idea was to leverage Barnetts big band arranging chops to create a religious event for public consumption: a jazz analog of Handels Messiah. The 2022 edition, like the first, is a benefit for Church Hill Activities and Tutoring, a nonprofit serving students and families in the East End of Richmond. Barnett promises a fresh and memorable show. In addition to the new singers, we will have mostly new arrangements by Bryan Hooten NoBS Brass and myself. I think it will be some pretty exciting stuff. Which means either finding someone with a spare ticket, or acting faster next year, and reserving a space for one of the very promising December events.But if you missed out on the Big Band Christmas this year, Susan Greenbaum performs her annual holiday show on Sunday, Dec. 4 You know whats good about holiday shows in early December she writes. Its too early to be tired of Christmas music And a little later this month, you can catch a Christmas Eve performance at Gallery 5 featuring Michael Hawkins all-star Brotherhood quartet and singer Laura Ann Singh. A Richmond Big Band Christmas will take place at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts on Friday, Dec 2 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Dec 3 at 2 p.m. Susan Greenbaum appears at the Tin Pan on Sunday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. Admission is $25. Michael Hawkins and The Brotherhoods Holiday Jazz Night Special is at Gallery 5 on Dec. 23 at 7 p.m.

All The World’s A Stage
12/01/2022 3:00am

Virginia Theatre Machine brings its stage to audiences, wherever they may be. If all the worlds a stage, sometimes you must deal with inclement weather. Thats a lesson that the Virginia Theatre Machine experienced firsthand this past Sunday at a performance at the Williamsburg Christmas Market. Though the weather forecast was clear, the outdoor mobile theater was hit by a deluge at 3 oclock. We had everything all set up, so everything was getting drenched, says Mark J. Lerman, director and proprietor of the Virginia Theatre Machine, a 2,500-pound trailer that serves as a traveling stage. Dealing with the elements is a common quirk of the project: High wind can be interesting. Sometimes things can go flying off the stage.Previously, Lerman ran a theater company in Providence, Rhode Island. The trailer theater came about after Lermans wife, director, playwright and sociology professor K. Jenkins, got a job at William and Mary and the couple relocated to Williamsburg.With limited access to theater spaces in Virginias colonial capital, Lerman decided to build his own. He created the trailer theater with the help of a designer back in Providence and began staging shows in 2008. The Virginia Theatre Machine staged shows for 10 years before Lerman decided to take a break. Now, following the pandemic, VTM is ready to hit the road again.Part of the projects mission is to bring entertainment to the masses for free, instead of asking them to buy tickets and come inside a theater. The goal was to have all the accoutrements, all the production values of a small intimate theater lights, sound, costumes, scenery, puppets, special effects but on a small 8-by-8-foot stage that was movable and transportable, Lerman says. Its street theater, but its street theater with full production values.This weekend, the Virginia Theatre Machine will begin staging a run of Richmond performances of A Christmas Carol at various venues. Ive been doing it for years because its a great ghost story and its about a man and his redemption, Lerman says of A Christmas Carol.The Charles Dickens adaptation is something of the Virginia Theatre Machines calling card. Every year for 10 years, the traveling theater performed A Christmas Story with two actors and a variety of puppets. I rewrote the side story every year, and we always changed puppets every year to keep it interesting for return audiences, Lerman says. We built a big fan base over the 10 years in Williamsburg. We performed in Merchants Square in Colonial Williamsburg, and we would perform to 4,000 to 5,000 people every year.This weekend, Virginia Theatre Machine will stage two performances at Shockoe Illuminates on Friday and three shows on Saturday at Hardywood Brewerys West Creek location additional shows run through Dec. 23.This years production will star longtime VTM associate Ed Whitacre and Richmond-based actress Maggie McGurn. Lerman says acting on such a small stage is a unique experience for any performer. It teaches you a lot about acting because you have to be incredibly specific. Theres no room for wandering: Youll fall off the stage, Lerman says. Even though its street theater and we do audience participation, and we have a lot of fun, its very technical and precise.Part of the projects aim is to provide audiences with entertainment for free Lerman achieves this by securing sponsors for the performances. Past sponsors have included everything from schools and libraries to breweries and business associations. All Lerman needs, he says, is access to a common 15-amp electrical outlet to plug into thats 150 feet or less away.The project also accepts commissions. One of VTMs more interesting assignments was for an international symposium on the effects of mercury on the environment. Creating a show that had to appeal to young audiences but also entertain scientists and college students, Lerman created a War of the Worlds-style radio show, playing off the fact it was written by H.G. Wells and that mercurys elemental symbol is Hg.Next spring, Virginia Theatre Machine aims to perform a rendition of Hansel and Gretel. My goal is to eventually have a three-show season. It will primarily be a September through early May kind of season, he says, stating that both actors and audiences appreciate staying out of the heat. All the pieces need to be about 30 minutes, because when youre outside, youre competing with everything. We had a firetruck, a plane overhead if youre in Williamsburg, you may have a horse walk by with a carriage.Of A Christmas Carol, Lerman says his shows are aimed to appeal to all ages. The 30 minutes is packed full of surprises and special effects and puppetry, Lerman says. Its a great half-hour of entertainment for the holiday season.Virginia Theatre Machines A Christmas Carol will perform free shows at various locations from Dec. 2-23 in the Richmond area. Visit virginiatheatremachine.com for more information.

WCVE-TV
WCVE-TV

(804) 320-1301

23 Sesame St
Richmond, VA 23235   Directions

Local News

WRIC-TV
WRIC-TV

(804) 330-8888

301 Arboretum Pl
Richmond, VA 23236   Directions

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Loudoun schools should have prevented sexual assault, grand jury report finds
12/05/2022 6:50pm

The sexual assault of a Loudoun County high school student last year should have been prevented, and the school district bears the brunt of the blame, a grand jury investigation concluded.

Henrico task force takes action after rise in police calls to hotels, motels
12/05/2022 5:39pm

A spike in 911 calls to Henrico County hotels and motels has prompted the county to form a task force to take action.

'Cheers' star Kirstie Alley dies at 71, family says
12/05/2022 7:31pm

Actress Kirstie Alley has died at the age of 71, according to a statement from her family.

Virginia doctor accused of abusing two disabled children still holds medical license
12/05/2022 2:16pm

A Henrico doctor accused of sexually abusing two disabled children at a residential childrens hospital in New Kent County is still licensed to practice medicine in Virginia, according to state records.

'I could see legs hanging out of the door': Witness called 911 upon seeing Virginia State Police trooper 'dragged' on interstate
12/05/2022 1:57pm

His hat had flown out, and we were just like, Oh my gosh, the police officers in the vehicle. Hes being dragged, because he was hanging out of it, she said. As we were on the phone with the dispatcher, we kind of lost them. We could still see them swerving in and out of cars periodically. Then, all of a sudden, theres just a cloud of smoke.

WRLH-TV
WRLH-TV

(804) 358-3535

1925 Westmoreland St
Richmond, VA 23230   Directions

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WTVR-TV
WTVR-TV

(804) 254-3600

3301 W Broad St
Richmond, VA 23230   Directions

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WWBT
WWBT

(804) 230-1212

5710 Midlothian Turnpike
Richmond, VA 23225   Directions

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