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Creative Loafing Carolina Writers Night has earned a reputation as one of the best parts of the Novello Festival. The reasons: we present some of the best writers in the Carolinas, and it's free. This year's lineup is one of the best yet. Lee Smith holds a rare place in the ranks of Southern authors: a writer with a huge fan base who also garners utmost respect from the literati -- not to mention that her readings are loads of fun. She'll be there, as will author Jim Grimsley, whose gritty, heartfelt novels (Winter Dreams, Boulevard) have won him a strong following. Ron Rash, the author of One Foot In Eden (the winner of the 2002 Novello Literary Award) will also read, along with other Novello Festival Press authors Irene Honeycutt (Waiting For The Trout To Speak) and children's author Lauren Faulkenberry. It takes place at the Neighborhood Theatre in NoDa at 7:30pm and it's absolutely free. (Grooms)

A Raymond Pettibon artwork come to life, the Reverend Horton Heat, honorable exalter of hard living, booze, women and cars, will appear tonight at 10pm at the Visulite Theatre. The Reverend seamlessly mixes blues, punk, rockabilly and surf into a righteous Molotov cocktail, and ought to please fans of any one of those genres. Tickets for the show are $12 in advance and $15 at the door, and are available by calling 704-358-9200. (Davis)

If you haven't seen the Narratives of African American Art and Identity: The David C. Driskell Collection exhibit at the Mint Museum yet, you've still got till October 27 to avoid being one of those nerds who, when somebody brings up "that great African American paintings show they had at the Mint," you say, "Um, I meant to see that, but. . ." Don't miss this wonderful exhibit, along with the accompanying show of spectacular, practically kinetic Romare Bearden collages. The Narratives exhibit features over 100 paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries by the likes of Jacob Lawrence, Elizabeth Catlett, William Johnson, Bearden, and the painting you see on this page, "The Last Bar-B-Que" by Margo Humphrey. The Mint is open Tuesday through Sunday, and is free on Tuesday from 5-10pm. For more info, call 704-337-2000. (Grooms)


Six months after capping their 2001-02 season with a triumphant production of Rossini's The Barber of Seville, Opera Carolina launches their new season with Mozart's sequel. The Marriage of Figaro boasts the same stage director, Bernard Uzan, and the same music director, OC's own James Meena. The hero of The Barber, Count Almaviva, goes from tenor to baritone in The Marriage -- with a corresponding descent in morals. When his faithful valet Figaro makes ready to wed, the Count decides to exercise his claim on the bride-to-be. Bet on Figaro to outfox his betters. October 17 and 19 at 8pm, Sunday matinee at 2pm. Tickets $10-$78 at or call 704-372-1000. (Tannenbaum)


Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre's season comes to a close tonight when Korn brings their hard-hard-rocking "Pop Sux! Tour" noise to town. OK, so these guys may sell a lot of records (11 million and counting), but how seriously can you take a band with members who call themselves Munky and Head? We did like the video for "Freak On A Leash," but that was more for the incredible art by Spawn creator Todd McFarlane than anything Korn contributed. Disturbed and Trust Company will open the show at 7pm. Tickets cost $19.50 and $36.50. For more info, call the venue's hotline at 704-549-5555. (Farris, McKinney)

A kinder, gentler Halloween ghost tale haunts Spirit Square this year as Children's Theatre brings Oscar Wilde's The Canterville Ghost uptown. In this stage adaptation by Marisha Chamberlain, the Otis Family purchases the ancient estate of Lord Canterville and discounts his warning that a 300-year-old ghost comes along with the furnishings. Sure enough, the long-suffering Simon de Canterville pops out of the woodwork. But he has a frightful time trying to scare the kindly, scientific Otises. Mark Sutton stars as the Ghost with noteworthies April Jones, Jill Bloede, and Tony Wright also in the cast. Plenty of technical wizardry is promised with Alan Poindexter directing and a design team that includes Johann Stegmeir and Kevin Raper. Through October 27. Special reserved seats $15, general admission $10. Call 704-333-8983. (Tannenbaum)

Winner of the American Comedy Award for "Best Male Stand-Up Comic," Craig Shoemaker -- also known as "The Love Master" -- will perform at the Comedy Zone tonight and tomorrow night. Sure, he's been a frequent guest on Hollywood Squares (where celebrities go to die) and Barbara Wa-Wa's love-child The View, but try not to hold that against him. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 8 and 10:15pm. Tickets for all shows are $15. For more information call 704-348-4242 or visit online at (McKinney)


Charismatic singer/storyteller Cheryl Wheeler brings her humorous, vulnerable country-folk to NoDa's Neighborhood Theatre tonight. Showtime is 8pm and tickets cost $15. For more info, call the theatre at 704-358-9298. (Farris)

Rick Bragg, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and author of two best-selling memoirs, All Over But the Shoutin' and Ava's Man, will appear tonight at 7:30pm at the Great Aunt Stella Center. Tickets are reportedly sold out, but go ahead and call 704-372-1000 if you're the gambling type. (Davis)Finally, somebody is bringing David Henry Hwang's M. Butterfly to the Queen City. In a co-production with Syracuse Stage, Charlotte Rep is making it happen at last -- 14 years after the exotically erotic reversal of Puccini's tragic opera took Broadway's Tony Award. J LaRue tackles the challenging role of Song Liling, the Chinese opera diva who turns out to be a Maoist undercover agent. With a Y chromosome. Allen Fitzpatrick is the hapless French diplomat, Rene Gallimard, who somehow manages to delude himself for 20 years about his paramour's gender and politics. And it's based on a true story! Previews through October 23 (tickets $24-$26). Runs October 24-November 10 ($26-$31.50) at Booth Playhouse. Call 704-372-1000 for tickets or surf to (Tannenbaum)


Author/proud smoker/humorist/NPR commentator David Sedaris will appear tonight at Ovens Auditorium at 8pm. At 7:55pm, he will undoubtedly be right outside the back door frantically puffing a Gitane. The hilarious best-selling author sold out Spirit Square on his last visit, and seats have been selling quicksilver-fast for this show. To order tickets to see the man Time Out New York called "maybe the funniest man alive," call Ticketmaster at 704-522-6500. (Davis)


Multi-instrumentalists Darol Anger and Mike Marshall will perform tonight at the Neighborhood Theatre. The duo, who recently released At Home and On The Range, first met as members of David Grisman's Quintet and for a time were actually classified as "New Age," although "multi-culti acoustic jazz" would have been more suitable. Luckily, they got out of that stranglehold and have earned a near-cult following while performing with the likes of NewGrange and Bela Fleck, to name a few. The show begins at 8pm. Tickets cost $15. Call the theatre at 704-358-9298, for more details. (Farris)

You can get some exercise while helping a worthy cause at the Carolina Tennis Network Breast Cancer Championship. The single elimination, USTA-sanctioned tournament will include various skill levels, with men's and women's singles, as well as doubles and mixed doubles divisions. It's open to those 19 and older, with a current USTA membership. For more information, go to or call 1-800-990-8782. The tournament is scheduled for Oct. 31 to Nov. 3, and will be held at the Jeff Adams Tennis Center at 1700 W. Tyvola Rd. The registration deadline is Thursday, Oct. 24 (singles $30 each and doubles/mixed doubles $40 per team). This is the tournament's third year in Charlotte, with proceeds going to The American Cancer Society's "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" division. Call 704-553-9826 or email for more info. (Boykin)

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