Get ready for the grandmother of all road races. It’s so big the mayor has proclaimed Saturday “Elizabeth Day,” in honor of the neighborhood that birthed it. It’s so big that Legion Brewing has named an ale for it, Big E! It’s so big you won’t find mere rappers, rockers or acoustic strummers serenading the racers — no, these racers get full-on opera (OK, actually “Xpress Opera,” but we’re splitting hairs). Spectating free; participation $10-31
“Round 1 ... Ready ... Party!” Charlotte’s first bar arcade has made it through that milestone first year, so it’s time to throw down. Their first birthday celebration will feature an outdoor arcade; a pop-up market, grub from food trucks like Mel’s BLT Kitchen; and live music from some of Charlotte’s best bands, including Junior Astronomers, The Eyebrows and Modern Primitives. Who would have thought gaming could be so cool? That’s right, Abari did. Funds raised go to the North Mecklenburg Animal Rescue. $5 suggested donation.
If we were going back to the ’80s in our fantasies, we might choose a stronger lineup: Run-DMC, Salt-N-Pepa, L.L. Cool J, Stetsasonic, Eric B. & Rakim, Queen Latifah. . . Ah, but this isn’t a fantasy concert and we’re not booking it. Besides, you won’t go wrong with the real lineup at this hip-hop nostalgia show: Whodini, Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, Force MDs, Al B. Sure! and a few others. Just remember: It was better than this back in the day. $39-103
A handful of fleet-fingered acoustic guitar slingers excel at classical, jazz, North African or Celtic styles. French-Algerian guitarist Pierre Bensusan plays them all in a fluid and playful blend of traditional and improvisational music that defies categories. Bensusan augments his nimble picking and sensual strumming with genre-jumping bilingual vocals that fuse whistling with resonant low notes. It’s international music for a hopeful future – a soundtrack for a world without borders. $22-25
With their commitment to empowering women, Donna Scott Productions and Chickspeare have long been on the same artistic page, but this is the first time they’ve joined forces to produce a show. When an actress auditions for Ophelia, but lands the plum role of Hamlet instead, Women Playing Hamlet gives ”to be, or not to be” a new spin, questioning the roles that are expected of us vs. the ones we choose. $22
Spend Saturday with Jordan Casteel’s “Harlem Notes,” an exhibit of the New Yorker’s massive paintings that are colorful and fantastical, but also moody. Her detailed studies celebrate the everyday people of a Harlem that is becoming increasingly obscured by gentrification. Casteel captures, in photographic detail, the people and settings that she sees outside of her upper Manhattan studio. Free - $9http://www.ganttcenter.org/exhibitions/jordan-casteel-harlem-notes/