AGEnda Signs of Life A play that features more than a dozen diverse characters isn’t so unusual. A play in which one actress plays them all? That’s something. Henley Street Theatre’s take on the play originally made famous by Lily Tomlin, “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe,” runs at Richmond CenterStage, 600 E. Grace St., Dec. 6-31. henleystreettheatre.org. — E.J.
J ulie Geen, Elizabeth J ewett and H ilary Langford C o m piled by
Sugar Therapy Perhaps the answer to your soul sickness is in the pages of “Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar” (Vintage, $14.95). Author and advice columnist Cheryl Strayed writes with poetic, gritty fierceness, showing that the way out often is more complex, loving and mysterious than the boxes in which we put ourselves. — J.G.
Just Looking When author Eliezer Sobel noticed his Alzheimer’s disease-afflicted mother still enjoyed looking at pictures in magazines and reading phrases, he wrote “Blue Sky, White Clouds: a Book for Memory-Challenged Adults” (Rainbow Ridge Books, $19.95). Beautifully photographed, everyday objects are accompanied by simple captions in large print, each a story in itself, no memory required. — J.G. Speaking of Lincoln At this point a Spielberg appearance in Richmond is almost routine. But the director, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and “Lincoln” screenwriter Tony Kushner will be back, discussing the art of bringing history to life on the big screen. If you’re lucky you’ll find a ticket to the Richmond Forum, set for Jan. 5 at 8 p.m. at the Landmark Theater, 6 N. Laurel St. Call 330-3993 or visit landmarktheater.net. — E.J.
Party Purchase If you like art, shopping and historical renovations, there’s no better place than Artisan Café’s winter edition and oneyear anniversary party at Dovetail Construction’s Emerald Barn, a renovated electric trolley shed at 1620 Brook Road. Enjoy the ambiance and browse local creations such as jewelry and art objects in this curated, multiart-form show Dec. 8 from 6-10 p.m. artisancafeva.com. — E.J.
In the Hips Colombia’s Bomba Estéreo specializes in hip-stirring grooves that draw on cumbia beats and sultry chill-wave sounds. Unlike the band’s previous album of club bangers, “Blow Up,” “Elegancia Tropical” (Polen Records) settles down a bit and finds vocalist Li Saumet showing off diverse stylings. One moment she plays the dreamy chanteuse, the next an emboldened scat spitter. While it often undulates like the stuff of hip, dimly lighted bars, this collection of songs shows tremendous growth and promise for a bright, fusion band. — H.L.
Wave Riders School of Seven Bells (Vanguard Records) has lightened up a bit. Benjamin Curtis and Alejandra Deheza admit they had fun making their latest EP, “Put Your Sad Down.” Short and sweet, these five songs ooze with sticky bass lines and ethereal vocals without being entirely trip-hop or dated. Songs merge and offer the opportunity to get lost in a web of synth-laden, new wave and the occasional psychedelic trip. Trading heavy-handed, industrial chops for mysterious, sensual sounds proves a wise move. — H.L.
DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013 | 31 |