by Louisa Hufstader
Not only is there plenty to choose from among the valley’s arts events this week, but many of the options are free as the breeze. Here are a few of my selections –find complete listings online at www.nvarts.org.
Jan. 4: There’s always something to do on Monday evenings, thanks to the St. Helena Public Library’s weekly free film screenings. Over the past few months, the library’s adventurous programming has brought us movies about witchcraft, under-the-radar foreign films, and adaptations of novels by Truman Capote and Nelle Harper Lee. The library starts 2010 with silent films from the last century: Its “Masters of Silent Comedy” series kicks off tonight with Buster Keaton’s masterpiece “The General,” (1926) which in 2007 was ranked #18 in the American Film Institute’s list of Greatest Movies of All Time. 7 p.m., 1492 Library Lane, St. Helena.
Jan. 5: It’s rockabilly night at the Oxbow Public Market, with a free performance by the ever-energetic Bluenotecats.The trio has honed its roots-rocking sound over five years and hundreds of shows–catch them from 6 to 8 p.m. in the market’s main hall, 610 First Street in Napa.
Jan. 6: Wednesdays can swing as hard as weekends when Philip Smith & the Gentlemen of Jazz play Uva Trattoria in downtown Napa. Enjoy their instrumental prowess and tight vocal harmonies from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. tonight, 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. Fridays. 1040 Clinton St., (707) 255-6646.
Jan. 7: Bluegrass returns to the Pizza Hut on Jefferson Street in Napa, where members of California Bluegrass play every non-holiday Thursday from 7 to 9:30 p.m. 3150 Jefferson St., (707) 318-1913.
Jan. 8: The Napa City‐County Library invites the public to an “Art in the Library” reception featuring the mixed-media artwork of Pam Selvaraj. Born in Chennai, India, Selvaraj spent most of her childhood in Great Britain, where she developed a love of art and history that led her to explore the rich color and textures of her native land. Her work, on display at the library this month, is driven by emotion and color. Tonight’s reception, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Community Meeting Room, will include an art talk beginning at 6:30. 580 Coombs St., Napa.
Also tonight: Dreamweavers’ latest show, “Lend Me a Tenor,” opens with a gala reception, with wine and snacks at no extra charge, before the 8 p.m. curtain time. See Jan. 9 for details.
Jan. 9: A sensation on Broadway and in London’s West End, Ken Ludwig’s hilarious “Lend Me A Tenor” plays weekends through Jan. 24 at Dreamweavers Theatre in Napa. The laughs begin at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays; details at www.dreamweaverstheatre.org.
Jan. 10: The monthly gathering of the Napa Valley Dixieland Band Society takes place this afternoon with a live band, a dance floor and refreshments available from 1 to 5 p.m. in the Chardonnay Room at Napa’s Embassy Suites. (707) 939-9018.