Going Out: Battle the January blues

By Josette Keelor

After a week of Arctic winter, a warmer weekend awaits valley residents looking to prevent cabin fever from setting in.

So head out into the community where there’s a lot going on you might not know about. Drama, music, movies and more will provide a lively time for all ages.

Daytime music:
Weekends around the valley are when musical acts tend to hit the entertainment venues, but there’s no need to wait for evening to enjoy the music.

If you have some free time around noon Friday, then head on over to Handley Library in Winchester for A Little Noon Music, sponsored by The Friends of Handley Regional Library. Musician John Tole will perform from 12:15 to 1 p.m., offering works from American and Canadian singer/songwriters of the last 50 years. Information: 540-662-6046

Game time:
Friday, bring the whole family to Second Friday Game Night, beginning at 6 p.m. at The Winchester Book Gallery, 185 N. Loudoun St., Winchester. Information: info@winchesterbookgallery.com

Drama with a twist:
Friday, the curtain will open at Winchester Little Theatre where “What She Wants” tells the story of a daughter, mother and grandmother who need to work out their differences before they lose each other for good.

Director Paul Bailey said he chose to perform Jan Kirby’s original play for its theme.

“I liked the play because it’s three generations, so it should appeal to a wide variety,” he said. “Older people should want to bring younger people.”

“They’re all transitional figures,” he said, but the play isn’t all drama.

While the family battles the guilt of how they’ve hurt each other, the daughter’s boyfriend adds a spark of comic relief in his battles with Italian swordsmen only he can see.

He’s an imaginative person, said Paige Bailey, who plays the daughter Zei, “so no one’s really sure if he’s making them up or if they’re actually real.”

For two weekends, performances will be at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. Sunday and on Jan. 18, at 315 W. Boscawen St., Winchester. Tickets prices are $14.50, $16.75 or $18.75. Information: 540-662-3331, www.wltonline.org

Read away the blues
In Front Royal, Saturday, Books and Barks will match up beginning readers with trained canine listeners from 10:10 a.m. to noon at Samuels Public Library, 330 E. Criser Road. Sign up at the children’s reference desk. Information: 540-635-3153

See a movie:
If a week at home hiding out the polar vortex drove your household crazy, then the Cabin Fever Movie Night is just what you need. Head to the Cecil F. Gilkerson Community Activities Center, 305 South Dogwood Drive, Harrisonburg, where the family-friendly film “Rise of the Guardians” will send those winter blues running. From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, the movie welcomes all ages, though children younger than 14 must have an adult in attendance.

Bring a blanket or seat, or enjoy complimentary mats and chairs. Information: 433-9168 or 433-2474

Think spring:
If you’re already dreaming of warmer days, then head south for the 5th Annual Greater Roanoke Home and Garden Show, where the weekend-long plant and tree sale will have you planning out your garden in no time. Enjoy an art, gift and gourmet center, wine tasting, and interactive kid’s zone, a pet area with live pet adoptions and giveaways at the Roanoke Civic Center, 710 Williamson Road. Admission is $8.50, or free to children 16 and younger and active military with ID. Information: 210-408-0998, www.roanokehomeandgardenshow.com

Contact Community Engagement Editor Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or jkeelor@nvdaily.com