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VENUES: New Spots Out of Town


Sycamore Rouge, Petersburg

Christopher Shorr is doing his best to give Sycamore Rouge that opium-and-absinthe feel. The cabaret-style theater is housed in what used to be Betsy's Courtyard, a restaurant that had hired a set builder from Hollywood to make the place look like a New Orleans streetscape. "It's a little amusement parky," Shorr says. "We're tweaking it to look more Paris."

The venue will have a grand opening in December, kicking off a program of weekly movies, theater and musical performances — mostly jazz — in a theater space lined with couches, armchairs and café tables. Films will also be screened in the courtyard. Until then, there'll be sporadic events and fund-raisers; the bar and gallery will be open; and the box office will sell tickets for events throughout Petersburg. You can monitor their progress at www.sycamore or call (804) 957-5707.

Charlottesville Pavilion

Ms. Loretta Lynn herself christened the Charlottesville Pavilion with its first ticketed show in July. A fabric roof covers 2,500 seats and a lawn area that will eventually accommodate 1,500 people.

Kirby Hutto, a spokesman for the Pavilion, says the venue's going for an eclectic mix of national acts. So far, so good: Widespread Panic, The Pixies and The Spin Doctors are all on the menu, and that's just for September.

Hutto estimates that roughly half of the events will be free to the public, most notably an ongoing Fridays After Five featuring local bands. The Pavilion's season will run from early May to mid-October. Check out or call (434) 817-0220 for tickets.

Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News

The Ferguson Center for the Arts will open with a bang this month. Michael Crawford, who originated the role of the phantom in "Phantom of the Opera," will perform with the New York Pops at the new venue on Christopher Newport University's campus. New York architectural firm I.M. Pei designed the facility to include a theater, a black-box performance space and an education center.

Look for other national and international acts including the world-famous tenor Andrea Bocelli, who will be giving his only public performance in the United States at the Ferguson. For more information, visit or call (757) 594-8752.

UVa. Arena, Charlottesville

The University of Virginia has begun construction on a 16,000 seat arena for its college basketball teams, but according to Larry Wilson, formerly with the Richmond Coliseum and now a spokesman for the arena, the John Paul Jones arena will have "every kind of family show and touring act you can imagine." The project will be ready next July. — Amy Biegelsen

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