5 Things

This weekend, it’s time to catch a little culture. See an opera, hear a world-class organist, check out some groundbreaking art, ponder some rants, and throw really heavy things while wearing a skirt.

This weekend, it’s time to catch a little culture. See an opera, hear a world-class organist, check out some groundbreaking art, ponder some rants, and throw really heavy things while wearing a skirt.

1. The Pearl Fishers

My favorite type of forbidden love is the kind that takes place in a small fishing village. Think about it: wool sweaters, nets, and sexy, sexy barnacles. The Pearl Fishers is a George Bizet classic, featuring islands and virgins and, if I know the Virginia Opera, some serious talent and beautifully designed sets and costumes. Check out their new site to learn more, and maybe you’ll just crack the opera code and be one of that elite set of operagoers in their sequins and satin and silk, murmuring things to each other over glasses of prosecco and remarking on the soprano’s remarkable range. Actually, last time I went, a really sweet old lady next to me explained what it was like to watch Verdi in Italy. I learned things, just saying.

  • Fri. Oct. 19 • 8:00 PM and Sun. Oct. 21 • 2:30 PM
  • Carpenter Theatre at CenterStage, 600 E. Grace St.
  • $20 – $119

2. A Night with the Mighty Wurlitzer

My out-of-town friends rarely have a forgettable time when they visit me in Richmond, and why should they? We’ve got one of the only MIGHTY WURLITZERS in the country or something.1 Anyway, a really amusing thing to do to visitors is to take them to the Byrd on a Saturday night, sit them down, get them all excited about Magic Mike or whatever, and then turn to them with one eyebrow raised to watch their expression as that dang organ rises out of the stage and turns that ol’ theater into the most happening place in the city for about 15 minutes. Celebrate this privilege by joining world-renowned Wurlitzer-er Cameron Carpenter to see if we can push this antique beast to its organy limit. (Seriously, read more about this night, it’s pretty cool.)

  • Sat. Oct. 20 • 8:00 PM
  • The Byrd Theatre, 2908 W. Cary St.
  • $30

3. Chihuly at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Chihuly! It’s all anyone can talk about, once they figure out how to pronounce it! It’s not free, and it’s pretty breakable, but you should take your kids and yourselves and discover this fairyland of glass art by iconic artist Dale Chihuly. Oh yeah! I used “fairyland,” one of the most impassioned compliments in my arsenal! Throughout this coveted exhibit’s run (which starts this Saturday), the VMFA’s got classes and such to help feed the glass art obsession you’re about to have. We’ve seen it, we endorse it. Chihuly! Chihuly. (Chihuly).

  • Sat. Oct. 20 – Sun. Feb. 10 • see site for museum hours
  • Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 200 N. Boulevard
  • Free for members, young children, military personnel, and their families, $16 – $20 for the rest of us

4. Central Virginia Celtic Festival and Highland Games

GATHER THE CLANS TOGETHER! No, for real, gather the clans together. It’s Celtic Festival time, and you’ve got kilts to wear. You’ll learn and play and learn about playing and play while learning. There’s olde ales and reenactments and traditional games, plus a ton of stuff for your kids to do. The CVCF&HG has a rabid following, and isn’t it time you found out why? (Hint, just glancing at the map…flying axes? blacksmithing? sword fighting? pipe band competition? What could you possibly be doing that is more fun than this festival promises to be?)

  • Sat. Oct. 20 – Sun. Oct. 21 • 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Richmond Raceway Complex, 600 E. Laburnum Ave.
  • $15 – $25 (pets get in for $5!)

5. Henry Rollins: Capitalism

Henry Rollins: singer, orator, haver of opinions, statesman, architect, author of the Declaration of Independence2. If you haven’t seen Rollins take the stage in his “I HAVE THINGS TO SAY TO YOU” way, now’s your chance to take the plunge. This time, he’s discussing ‘Murika stuff, so go be “USA! USA!” or “I’M MOVING TO CANADA! I’M MOVING TO CANADA!” Whichever way you lean, it’ll be an interesting time that you won’t soon forget.

  • Sun. Oct. 21 • 7:00 PM
  • The National, 708 E. Broad St.
  • $20 – $25

— ∮∮∮ —


  1. Vaguely supported fact. 
  2. Not at all supported. 


Stock photo by: alexdecarvalho

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Susan Howson

Susan Howson is managing editor for this very website. She writes THE BEST bios.

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