Since their founding in 2004, members of HRVRD — originally spelled Harvard — have been setting a standard in the local scene for musicianship and songwriting. In an environment that often seems more defined by short runs and relocations than staying power, HRVRD has lasted, stayed local and at the same time broken out into the wider world. This year, the members released the album From the Bird’s Cage on Albany, N.Y.,-based label Equal Vision Records. It continues the band’s tight, yet atmospheric sonic experimentations, but this time with an even more focused edge. HRVRD hasn’t entirely abandoned its progressive roots, but they are certainly less pronounced in the band’s latest effort. The songs are more driving and intense, but one imagines them loosening and flexing a bit in live versions. However they’re presented, you will be seeing one of the finer outfits our local music scene has created during this past decade.
Corny as it is, the folks at Carolina Actors Studio Theatre are bringing back A Tuna Christmas, its favorite (or so we’re guessing, based on numerous past runs — last year was an exception) holiday hell-raiser. Set in the “third smallest town in Texas,” a rambunctious Christmas Eve simmers with the vandalism of Christmas lawn displays, a production of A Christmas Carol that’s threatened by unpaid bills and the arrival of aliens from outer space. Actors Tom Ollis and Jack Utrata portray more than 20 characters (yep — that’s a lot of costume changes), including a duo of radio personalities, snowed in at the station, who report on the town’s chaotic current affairs over the airwaves. (Anita Overcash) $18-$28
CAST brings back the comedy classic "A Tuna Christmas" by Jaston Williams, Ed Howard and Joe Sears with the same zany antics that make audiences roar holiday season after holiday season. Tom Ollis and Jack Utrata play more than 20 characters with 364 costume changes. Expect 1,003 laughs. The directors are Lena Olson and Michael R. Simmons, CAST's Artistic Director. $28 adults; $22 seniors (60+); $18 students.
Comedy that takes audience on a journey back through American history. Presented by Stephen Seay Productions.
Charlotte’s premier sketch comedy group performs their monthly show at Upstage in NoDa. Its hilarious, live and it does use some colorful language so you should assume it is R-Rated. Come for the comedy, stay for Upstage’s full bar and food. See facebook.com/robotjohnson for further details and humorous cat pictures. Doors open at 9:00, show starts at 9:30. $7
THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF AMERICA (abridged) Written by Adam Long, Reed Martin & Austin Tichenor Starring: Rob Brafford, Chris Herring, Christopher Jones, Tania Kelly, Jay Russell & Stephen Seay 6 actors will take you on a hilarious journey through American history. This fast-paced comedy hits everything from discovery of America to Obama Care. "History of America (abridged)" will be the perfect way to spend some time with your family this holiday season ... or the perfect excuse to get away from them ... $12 advance online. $17 at the door