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CL's picks for the week 

Thanksgiving parade and festival, The Sammies

Thursday, November 23

The 59th Annual Carolinas' Carrousel Thanksgiving Parade and Festival is a part of Charlottean tradition at its best. Keep an eye out for the Carrousel Queen and her court, and a marching band contingent from every high school in Charlotte (in case you ain't from here -- we got a lot). Potentially joining the festivities: Mayor Pat McCrory or former Charlotte Hornet/current Sting coach, Muggsy Bogues (cross those fingers for the latter who's always a crowd pleaser). However, even Bogues can't compete with the real star of the parade -- Santa Claus! Springing the crowd into the holiday season, Santa will make all forget about their possible desire to sleep off or purge the food eaten prior to the parade. Marching begins at 1 p.m., at the corner of North Tryon and 11th streets. More details at -- Anita Overcash

Friday, November 24

You've heard that old saying, "the family that prays together, stays together," right? A new gospel play coming to Ovens Auditorium plans on giving all of us a refresher course. The Man He Used To Be stars Trent Roberts along with Dave Hollister (former lead singer of Blackstreet who was just here last week), Monifa and that dreamy Christopher Williams. The story revolves around two houses torn apart from within. Of course, hope still springs eternal (with the help of Roberts puttin' on his best Madea impersonation) and all is set right with the life-affirming message that you just gotta have faith. Tickets are $35; $10 for the first 200 seats. Can't catch the show tonight at 8 p.m.? There will be two more showings tomorrow at 3 and 8 p.m. Log onto or call 704-522-6500. -- Branna Calloway

Memories are made of skits, jingles, and theme songs as vocal quintet Five by Design revisit The Golden Age of Television for two nights at Belk Theater. The jazzy ensemble, who began their nostalgic voyages with Radio Days, complete the matched set accompanied by the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra with the ingratiating Albert-George Schram wielding the baton. Screens were small and images were a dreary black-and-white in those antique times, but the music they packed into those boob tubes was ... amazing in its nouveau radio way. Five by Design touches all bases -- commercials, comedy sketches, and themes -- in their revues, beginning Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets for the Pops Concert are $16-$65. Call 704-972-2000 or click ­-- Perry Tannenbaum

Saturday, November 25

Contemporary bass master Victor Wooten is member of Bela Fleck & the Flecktones and has also played with numerous musicians and been featured on umpteen recordings. Bass is only the tip of the iceberg. Wooten breathes extended jams and unexpected improvisation, electro-funk and jazz. There's not much the composer, arranger, producer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist can't do, except maybe fly. He's working on that. Victor Wooten's Soul Circus plays the Neighborhood Theatre with openers Incognito Mosquito. Tickets are $22. Showtime: 9 p.m. Details: 704-358-9298 or -- Samir Shukla

North Carolina rockers The Sammies know how to throwdown a rollicking set where they mash mid-tempo rock with shards of punk while lurking in lo-fi guitar-driven garage-pop for a spell. It's kinda like southern rockers going way over the speed limit through alleys while dodging trends. The Sammies released their self-titled debut on MoRisen this past summer, and also landed a song on the Employee of the Month soundtrack. They'll play tonight at 10 p.m. at Visulite. Tickets are $8. Details: -- Shukla

Sunday, November 26

Anything goes after Muggsy and Santa have paraded down Tryon Street, and with Charlotte Philharmonic's Christmas Spectacular at Belk Theater, you can bet anything will. Our very own Great One, gregarious maestro Albert Moehring, is gathering his customary extravaganza to greet the season -- so count on the Spectacular to range far beyond mundane classical moorings. The Charlotte City Ballet, Eddie Mabry Dancers, Philharmonic Community Chorus, and the Holiday Singers will all be in the mix. More than 400 performers, y'all, dressed to dazzle and brimming with Yuletide spirit. If you witnessed last month's concert with classical guitar virtuoso Denis Azabagic, you already realize there's plenty musician behind Moehring's showbiz façade. The really big shew begins at 8 p.m., with tickets $20-$50. Call 704-543-5551 or 704-372-1000. -- Tannenbaum

Monday, November 27

Lovedrug, led by singer/guitarist Michael Shepard, navigate moody, pop-rock in the melodic vein of Sunny Day Real Estate. The Ohio-based quartet's songcraft has that certain warmth which makes them stand a couple rungs above the hordes. Lovedrug will play an all-ages show along with Brandtson and the Myraid at Tremont Music Hall beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets $10-12. Details: -- Shukla

Tuesday, November 28

Happy Feet, the new animated yarn featuring the voice talents of Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman and Elijah Wood, didn't just open at a handful of area multiplexes last Friday -- this toon tale about penguins also premiered locally in the IMAX Dome Theatre at Discovery Place. And today, the venue will offer an offshoot attraction: Moms at the IMAX. At these special shows, moms and dads will be joining other like-minded audience members who doubtless will fully expect their kids to get rowdy, talk up a storm and bounce endlessly in their seats. Kid-friendly options include raised lighting so parents can keep track of their offspring, reduced volume so the infants won't be too startled, and a stroller valet service. Showings will be held at noon every Tuesday through Dec. 19. Admission is $11 for ages 14-59, $9 for ages 2-13, and free for toddlers under 2 and elders 60 and over. For more info, call 704-372-6261 or go to ­­­­--­ Matt Brunson

Beware the killer rabbits! This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with silliness as Monty Python's Spamalot tours the land, arriving at Ovens Auditorium for a two-week sojourn. Still horseless after all these years, the knights-errant of Merrie Olde England go questing for the legendary Holy Grail -- "lovingly ripped off" the movie -- jousting most effectively with our funnybones. Tuesday through Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 7:30 p.m., with 2 p.m. matinees Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 10. $25-$75. 704-372-1000. -- Tannenbaum

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