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WEDNESDAY 24

Charlotte Repertory Theatre wraps up its season with Proof, winner of last year's Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The show will run tonight through May 5 at the Booth Playhouse of the Performing Arts Center. Tonight's performance begins at 7:30pm, and others follow at 8pm throughout the rest of the run. Tickets range from $22-$29.50. For more information, call 704-372-1000 or visit online at www.charlotterep.org.

The Charlotte Knights take on the Norfolk Tides at Knights Stadium at 7:15pm. Tickets are $6-9, available by calling 704-36-HOMER.

The Seventh Annual Charlotte Taste of the Nation fundraising event, featuring signature dishes from three dozen local restaurants, fine wines and other complimentary beverages, live entertainment and a silent auction is tonight from 6:30-10:30pm. The event will be held at Two Wachovia Center Atrium, 301 S. Tryon Street. One hundred percent of ticket proceeds go to hunger relief; local beneficiaries are Second Harvest Food Bank and Community Food Rescue. Tickets to the main event are $50, tickets which include the preview hour are $75. For more information, call 704-376-1785.

The Gay & Lesbian Film Series continues at the Mint Museum of Craft + Design with two films. The first, Kevin's Room, will be shown at 7pm, and the second film, Queen of the Whole Wide World, will be shown at 9pm. Tickets are $7 for each film at the door. For more information, call

704-563-2699 or visit online at www.outcharlotte.org.

THURSDAY 25

Not in the mood to stand outside on the pavement listening to rock bands? How about standing out in a field listening to country/roots bands? If so, you'll definitely want to check out Merlefest, which begins today and runs through Sunday at Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro. Featured acts include Doc Watson, Tim O'Brien, Sam Bush, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Earl Scruggs and Friends, Jim Lauderdale, Alison Krauss and Union Station, Nickel Creek, Patty Loveless, Tony Rice and Peter Rowan and (pause for breath) loads more. For more information about the numerous showtimes and ticket prices, log onto www.merlefest.org.

The Mint Museum Home and Garden Tour will take place today through Sunday at five area homes. Tour hours are 10am-4pm every day except Sunday (1-5pm). Advance tickets are $15, and may be purchased at the Mint Museum, The Mint Museum of Craft + Design, First Trust Banks, Arzberger Engravers, Razook's, and Reid's Supermarkets. Admission at each home is $20 during the tour. Also being held are a Decorative Arts Symposium, a "Tour and Lunch at the Mint," and an Evening Gala. For more information on these events, call 704-377-2095.

The Charlotte Knights take on the Columbus Clippers, the top farm team of the mighty, big-spending New York Yankees, tonight through Sunday at 7:15pm. Tickets are $6-9, available by calling 704-36-HOMER.

BareBones Theatre Group presents The Pitchfork Disney, a story of isolation and fear of the unknown shown through the eyes of two 28-year-old twins struggling to remain children. The show runs tonight through April 27 at 8pm and on April 28 at 2pm at the Off-Tryon Theatre, 3430 Cullman Ave. Tickets are $10 on Thursday and Sunday and $12 on Friday and Saturday. For more information, call 704-577-7274 or visit online at www.barebones.org.

The Light Factory's 30th Anniversary Benefit Art Auction will take place at the Light Factory (809 West Hill St.). A reception will be held at 6pm, followed by an auction from 7-11pm. The auctioneer is artist Herb Jackson, and all proceeds benefit the Light Factory's programs. Tickets are $30 for non-members, and $25 for members. For more information, call 704-333-9755.

FRIDAY 26

Cityfest Live, formerly known as Center Cityfest, takes place today, tomorrow, and Sunday in the Cedar Yard Station near Ericsson Stadium. Festival organizers have said they have addressed some of the issues folks raised last year about the event, including overcrowding, lack of signage, and security. Of course, time will tell. As far as the music goes, there's Kid Rock, Bush, No Doubt, Stone Temple Pilots, Jethro Tull, a slew of beach bands, and loads more of your radio favorites. Advance weekend tickets are $35, and advance single day tickets are $20. For more information, check www.cityfestlive.com. See our full coverage, including interviews, a preview, and more in the Vibes section of this paper.

The Charlotte Children's Choir, with special guest Daryle Rice will perform tonight at 8pm at Spirit Square's McGlohon Theatre. Tickets are $20 and $25, available by calling 704-372-1000.

The Charlotte Symphony Classics will present Northern Lights, featuring guest conductor Leonid Grin and concertmaster Jinny Leem. The show will run tonight and tomorrow evening at 8pm at the Performing Arts Center. The program will feature works by Rautavaara, Prokofiev, and Tchaikovsky. Tickets range from $12-$55. For more information, call 704-972-2000 or visit online at www.charlottesymphony.org.

Quilts from the Carolinas, the Mint Museum of Craft + Design's latest exhibit, opens today. The show features 14 quilts selected from 120 entries in a Juried Carolina Quilt Invitational. The quilts range from traditional fiber techniques to current design, material and construction innovations. The show will be on display through September 8 in the Jones Gallery. For more information, call 704-337-2000 or visit online at www.mintmuseum.org.

In My Life, an exhibit of artwork by John Lennon, will be on display today through Sunday at The Park Hotel, 2200 Rexford Road. Show hours are 5-9pm tonight, 11am-7pm on Saturday, and 11am-6pm on Sunday. There is a suggested donation of $2 to benefit Children's Surgery International, an organization offering surgeries to children born with facial deformities. For more information, call 704-364-8220.

Children's Theatre of Charlotte continues with its presentation of The Crane Wife, the tale of a poor peasant whose good fortune gives way to greed. The show will run at multiple times through April 28. Tickets are $9 for center seats, $6 for side seats, and are available for all shows with the exception of the April 21 2pm show, which is sold out. For more information, call 704-333-8983 or visit online at www.ctcharlotte.org.

SATURDAY 27

The United States Tennis Association has selected Olde Providence Racquet Club to host the 2002 United States vs. Austria Fed Cup first round today and tomorrow. The US Fed Cup team, featuring Jennifer Capriati and Monica Seles and led by captain Billie Jean King, will face the Austrians in a best-of-five match series. Call 888-334-8782 for tickets and times.

Charlotte's preeminent horse racing event, the Queen's Cup Steeplechase will take place today at Brooklandwood in Mineral Springs. Granted, it may be Charlotte's only horse racing event, but it's a hell of a social event, with swells galore, women in flashy hats and guys drinking away the stress of a six-figure salary. Plus the horses, of course. Admission ranges from $20 to an unbelievable $6,000 for a primo lawn box/PSL. Check out www.queenscup.org for more, or call 704-843-7070.

Comedienne Margaret Cho will appear at UNC-Charlotte's McKnight Hall tonight in a benefit for Time Out Youth. Cho will attempt to raise cash for the gay/lesbian/bisexual transgender advocacy and support group. Tickets are $35 for students and UNCC faculty and staff, and $50, $100, and $200 for the general public (the $200 ticket includes a pre-show cocktail party at the University Hilton and a private, post-show reception with Cho.) See our story in this issue. For more information, call 704-344-8335.

The Christian music festival Sonburst 2002 will take place today at Paramount's Carowinds Paladium Amphitheatre. The event will feature major Christian music stars such as Michael W. Smith, 4HIM, and more. For ticket prices and times, call 704-588-2600 or 1-800-888-4FUN.

SUNDAY 28

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band of New Orleans will perform tonight at the Performing Arts Center at 7:30pm. The show aims to transform the evening into an era when Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton ruled the New Orleans music scene. Tickets to the performance range from $18-$35. For more information, call 704-372-1000 or visit online at www.performingartsctr.org.

Downtown Davidson's Sunday Concerts on the Green series returns with its first installment this evening from 6-8pm. Tonight's concert will feature the Davidson College Jazz Ensemble and Vocal Groups. The shows take place on the town green and are free and open to the public. For more information check out the concert website at www.concertsonthegreen.com.

Quidam wraps up their remarkable run with two final performances today at 1pm and 5pm at Lowes Motor Speedway. Tickets range from $45-$65 for adults and $31.50-$45.50 for children. For more information, call 800-678-5440 or visit online at www.cirquedusoleil.com.

WEDNESDAY 1

Rapper Ludacris will bring his tongue-twisting antics to Davidson College's Belk Arena tonight at 8pm. Tickets are $25, available by calling 704-522-6500.

Authors Josephine Humphreys and Robert Morgan will lecture tonight at 7:30pm in the McGlohon Theatre of Spirit Square as part of the Levine Museum of the New South and the Trust For Public Land's "Writers of the Land" series. Tickets are $15, with a book signing to follow at the Museum of the New South. For more information, call 704-372-1000. *

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