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Cackalacky Film Festival, a flamenco-flavored Ferdinand the Bull

Wednesday, October 18

After an evening of warm-up events, the Cackalacky Film Festival officially kicks off today for a five-day run of screenings at various area venues. Over 50 movies in different formats -- features, documentaries, shorts and student films -- will be shown over the course of the festival, with many of the filmmakers in attendance. Among the titles being presented are the comedy The Boys & Girls Guide to Getting Down, the action thriller Johnny Was (starring Vinnie Jones, Eriq La Salle and Roger Daltry), and the documentaries Friendly Fire: Exposing Gulf War Syndrome and Plagues and Pleasures of the Salton Sea. The festival will conclude at 7 p.m. Sunday night with an awards ceremony in the Atrium at the Design Center in SouthEnd. Individual screening tickets cost $9, daily screening tickets are $30, all access screening passes run $125, and admission to the awards party is $50. To order, or for more info on titles, times and venues, call 704-330-6534 or go to (Brunson)

Thursday, October 19

OK, it's not opening night, but BareBones Theatre Group's participation in the nationwide Free Night of Theatre is a Charlotte first. With a fine production of Five Women Wearing the Same Dress -- featuring bravura comedy performances from Donna Scott and Meghan Lowther as two of the bridesmaids -- there's no excuse for not filling every seat at Duke Power Theatre at Spirit Square. This early bitch-fest from Alan Ball, who later wrote the Oscar-winning American Beauty and created HBO's Six Feet Under, is a bargain at regular ticket prices, $20 Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m., $15 Thursday night at 8 p.m. and Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. It's a honey of a deal for first-time theatergoers who call N.C. Theatre Conference toll-free at 877-530-5699. Paid reservations for your estrogen fix, through Oct. 22, are at 704-372-1000. (Tannenbaum)

Friday, October 20

Uh-oh. After numerous commedia spoofs of familiar tales, Tarradiddle Players are taking a new tack that promises to be lethally hilarious -- a flamenco-flavored Ferdinand the Bull. Raging bulls and rigid matadors upstage a hulking flower fancier and an aspiring dancer as Children's Theatre's ace touring company takes over Wachovia Playhouse at ImaginOn through Nov. 5. Olé! Friday evenings at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2 and 4 p.m. This Saturday, the matinee is at 3 p.m.; next Saturday, choose 1 p.m. or 3 p.m.; or go with the 1 p.m. on Nov. 4. Front orchestra tickets are $18 and general admission is $14. Call 704-973-2828 or click (Tannenbaum)

Saturday, October 21

You knew this was coming. After all the coverage of the "riot" on the 4th of July 2005 and its sequel this past holiday, it was bound to happen sooner or later. The tension that was thick enough when it was discovered that Blacks were being underserved in the uptown club district got still thicker after what went down during Independence Day. In response, the Charlotte Area Association of Black Journalists hosts Clearing the Air: A Discussion on Race & Media in Charlotte. It's an open forum featuring guest speakers from The Charlotte Observer, WCNC-TV, WSOC-TV, Mi Gente and others. The town hall-style meeting will be held at the Afro-American Cultural Center, 401 N. Myers St, today from 12 to 2 p.m. For directions or more information, call 704-374-1565 or RSVP to Melody Freeman at (Calloway)

Doesn't matter whether you associate it with the extinct Chrysler Cordoba or, knowing your stuff, with the Spanish gardens of King Phillip II, the villainous monarch of Don Carlos. Just three notes of this music are enough to remind you of the world's most familiar guitar concerto. Guest guitarist Denis Azabagic takes the seat of heat with the Charlotte Philharmonic Orchestra, playing the simmering solo lines on Joaquin Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez. Appropriately, gregarious maestro Albert E. Moehring has titled this concert "Hello Dolly," no doubt intending to counterbalance Azabagic's longhair classicism with as much fluff, shlock, and glitz as can be stuffed into the remainder of the evening at Ovens Auditorium. General admission tickets are $30 for the 8 p.m. event. Call 704-543-5551. (Tannenbaum)

Sunday, October 22

Best to take advantage of the rare opportunity to see Igor Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat, a musical burlesque written in 1918 -- and originally presented with narrative text and dance. Most of the ensemble in this Providence Chamber Music Series concert version are members of the Charlotte Symphony, including principal tubist David Mills, who narrates the C.F. Ramuz dialogue between soldier and Satan. Mills' heavy metal credentials should help! Eric Pereira conducts the modernist prank, which begins at 7 p.m. in the Providence United Methodist chapel, at the union of Providence and Sharon Amity roads. Free admission! Call 704-366-7442. (Tannenbaum)

Tuesday, October 24

Netherlands-based trance DJ Ferry Corsten is an innovative electronica master with an established perch in the dance world. His new batch of mixes and sets, L.E.F. (Loud Electronic Ferocious), finds Corsten weaving minimal sound effects into a trance record that has room to breathe. Corsten has also recorded as System F, Moonman and other monikers. Other DJs on tap tonight at Eden include Solsonic, Joe Sweeney, Michael Dunham, and Psychosis. Details: (Shukla)

Wednesday, October 25

The AC/DC-like song "It Takes Balls" answers most queries about Supagroup. The New Orleans quartet has no qualms about playing straight-up rock & roll in the vein of classic rockers of the '70s. The band's music would be easy to peg as "copycat shtick," if it wasn't so damn infectious. The power chords, the flailing hair and rock anthems will abound tonight at The Spot. Details: (Shukla)

The godfathers of Seattle-launched indie rock revolution, The Melvins are in its 20th year of slow-cooked sludge-laden rock & roll. Sure it can be slower and heavier than Black Sabbath, maybe even repetitive, but the band has never shied from experimentation. And it has walked its walk, trends be damned. The Melvins never quite reached the platinum heights of Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains or others from the fertile Northwest musical lands, but its influence on countless bands is priceless. Big Business, Porn and Altamont are also slated to play. Details: (Shukla)

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