BEST FIRST LEAP
Tom Gabbard, North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
The opening of Knight Theater in our spanking new cultural corridor, with North Carolina Dance Theatre headlining the “Light the Knight” grand opening gala on Jan. 8, ought to be sufficient cause for jubilation. Leave it to North Carolina Blumenthal PAC prez Tom Gabbard to find a way to ratchet the excitement even higher. Somehow, Gabbard has managed to book the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre for a jaw-dropping six-day, seven-performance run, Feb. 9-14, 2010, catapulting Knight Theater to the center of the dance universe during its first winter. Nor has Gabbard grown complacent after announcing one of the most exciting Broadway Light Series ever. Steve Martin is slated to peep into the Knight with his banjo on Oct. 2, and Garrison Keillor is booked at the Belk for Nov. 22.