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Kinky, Carlos Mencia comedy

Wednesday, November 08

Bimbos? Why, hush your filthy mouth! The aging ladies of the evening in Paula Vogel's The Oldest Profession can remember their salad days back in New Orleans when Mae's parlor was a classy joint -- frequented by gentlemen. Now it's the dawn of the Reagan administration, miladies have relocated to New York -- where Mayor Ed Koch has the "noive" to clean up the streets -- and younger, skinnier tramps are muscling in on the trade. It's not all Chicago-like irony and comedy as Vogel zeroes in the pathos of growing old and female in youth-obsessed America. Polly Adkins, Ginger Heath, Pat Heiss, and Anmnette Gill star in this Actor's Theatre production, old pros who can switch from comedy to tragedy in the blink of a false eyelash. Through Nov. 25 at 650 E. Stonewall St. Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Saturday night tickets are $28, Fridays are $25, and just $23 for Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Call 704-342-2251. (Tannenbaum)

Don't let the name fool you. The Monterey, Mexico quintet Kinky concocts funk, rock, techno and house into a polyrhythmic, multi-cultural dance vibe. They are touring in support of their third album Reina. They can get a little too slick at times, but add plenty of Latin elements, from norteño to Tejano, and you've got one irresistible party. La Marea will warm-up the crowd beginning around 9 p.m. at Amos' SouthEnd. Tickets are $12-$15. Details: www.amossouthend.com. (Shukla)

Thursday, November 09

Both hither and yon, it's an NPR week in the Queen City. Hither would be Thursday evening at Halton Theater, where the personable pianist Christopher O'Riley hosts From The Top Live Taping. This cool/adorable NPR show, destined for future broadcast nationwide and on WFAE-FM, features O'Riley interviewing and accompanying up-and-coming musicians from the Charlotte area -- with the occasional segment of monkeyshines to lighten the classical tone. That "On the Air" light begins shining at 7:30 p.m. with tickets priced at $30 orchestra and $25 balcony. Call 704-330-6534. Yon? It's An Afternoon With Terry Gross on Sunday at 3 p.m. at Belk Theater. Gross is radio's reigning queen of the thoughtful, penetrating interview -- daily on NPR's Fresh Air -- so the big hall is likely to be packed with devoted brainy fans. Tickets are $17.50-$27.50 at 704-372-1000. (Tannenbaum)

Whatever happened to good old Tom Vance? Well, after CPCC sent him packing, the dean of Charlotte's musical comedy scene slipped over to Queens University, where he's directing Grease. This rockin' paean to adolescent hormones features more than the usual cast of 17. Auditions went that well at Queens, according to Vance, so look out, y'all! Performed through November 12 at nearby Hadley Theater, an appendage to Myers Park Traditional Elementary, accessible off Selwyn Avenue via Radcliffe or Wellesley Avenue. Evenings at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday with a 2:30 p.m. matinee on Sunday. All tickets are $10 and available at the box office as you arrive. (Tannenbaum)

Friday, November 10

So ... there's a lot of bad stuff floating around the Internet on the originality of Carlos Mencia's comedy. The host of Comedy Central's "Mind of Mencia" has been called both the 12th "Worst Comedian of all time" by Maxim and second among the top 25 stand up comics in Comedy Central's "2006 Stand Up Showdown" (sensing a little bias on this ranking). Pick your own side when Comedy Central Live Presents Carlos Mencia: The Punisher Tour pulls into Charlotte. Tickets range from $41.50-$36.50. Showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to www.carlosmencia.com. (Calloway)

Las Vegas‚ emo-pop neophytes Panic! at the Disco are inspired youngsters with a knack for twisting energetic riffs into pop gems. One listen to tunes like "The Only Difference between Martyrdom and Suicide is Press Coverage," which is peppered with new wave, prog-rock, disco and punk smarts, and you'll be hooked. The fashionable showmen began playing at Vegas clubs as a Blink 182 cover band and have quickly evolved as witty and socially-astute headliners. Also on the bill are Bloc Party and Jack's Mannequin. The show begins at 7 p.m. at Cricket Arena. Tickets are $30. Details: 704-522-6500 or www.ticketmaster.com. (Shukla)

There'll be many opportunities to honor the people who serve our country this Veteran's Day, but Eyes Wide Open is among the standouts. The free exhibit at Spirit Square this weekend is expected to feature 62 pairs of boots in honor of North Carolina servicemen and women killed in the war, according to an release from the pacifist American Friends Service Committee. Also planned are a display of shoes to memorialize dead Iraqis and a multimedia display exploring the history and consequences of the conflict. At stops in other cities, people have left notes, American flags, flowers, photographs and other mementos in honor of those who gave their lives. Friday, noon to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. www.afsc.org/eyes. (Shugart)

Sunday, November 12

Resident conductor Alan Yamamoto continues to wave the banner for modern and contemporary composers at Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. But this weekend, he does his flag-waving on the road, guest conducting Charlotte Civic Orchestra's Melody and Motion concert at University City United Methodist Church. In addition to relatively antique serenades by Strauss and Brahms, the Y-ster leads the Civics in a world premiere performance of Ronald Parks' Torque, specially commissioned by CCO. Melody begins at 3 p.m. up in Charlotte's alpine region, 3835 W.T. Harris Blvd., about equidistant between the Harris exits on I-77 and I-85. Adult tickets are worshipfully priced at $10, students and seniors $8, and -- do your math -- families at $22. Call 704-344-0098. (Tannenbaum)

Tuesday, November 14

Experimental music is still a rare commodity in Charlotte, but this trio of local, regional and national acts could go toward changing that on Tuesday. Hosted by the vintage store Century on Central Ave, the bill includes Chicago's The Lay All Over Its, a two-piece comprised of Dragons 1976‚ Jason Ajemian (bass and vocals) and Nori Tanaka (drums), who play a type of folk-based free form (the duo also play in the trio Cushicle, which features Tortoise's Jeff Parker). Josh Berman (cornet) and Keefe Jackson (tenor sax, bass clarinet) will perform as a duo in the middle set, and the night closes with original music from Project Bluebird, comprised of Pyramid members Ben Kennedy (strings) and event coordinator Brent Bagwell (reeds), Ron Brendle on bass, and Raleigh's Crowmeat Bob (reeds) of the Savage Knights and Carrie Shull (oboe, English horn) of Blue Rose Case. The sonic fun starts at 8 p.m. Century is located at 1508 Central Ave; for information on tickets, call 704-344-1005. (Schacht)

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