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See & Do 

Dec 12 - Thursday
The Gin Game was a regal vehicle for Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy when it won the Pulitzer Prize in 1978. Now D.L. Coburn's bittersweet comedy inaugurates a new company, Generations Theatre Group, taking up residence in Shalom Park. Veteran trouper Gene Kusterer will portray the cantankerous and volatile Weller Martin. Ann Owens plays Fonsia Dorsey, the fellow nursing home resident whose gin gamesmanship makes Weller explode. GTG is unabashedly senior-oriented, and so are the ticket prices -- $12 seniors, $15 general public. But watch out: the language is feisty. The show runs through December 15 at Gorelick Hall. Call 704-366-5007. (Tannenbaum)

The Light Factory's Factory Films series continues tonight with a screening of Cape Fear at the Visulite Theatre. This isn't the 1991 Martin Scorsese version but rather the 1962 take that's even better than its remake. That's primarily due to Robert Mitchum, delivering one of his finest performances as an ex-con who terrorizes the lawyer (Gregory Peck) who put him behind bars; Bernard Herrmann's superb score is also striking. The evening will also feature an airing of Charlotte filmmaker Rick Fisher's satirical short piece Plastic, which was recently screened at the Southern Exposure Film Forum and Reel Tuesdays @ Tonic. Admission to the Factory Films event is $7; doors open at 6:15pm for a social hour, followed by the movies at 7:15pm. For details call 704-333-9755. (Brunson)

Four adolescent students, at the dawn of their sexual awakening, immerse themselves in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet -- at a regimented Catholic boys' school. That was the daring concept when Joseph Calarco brought R&J to New York in 1998 and created an off-Broadway sensation. Now Chickspeare brings the same audacious adaptation to Charlotte -- with an all-female cast. Since the company was hatched out of a feminist frustration about being barred from the Bard's juiciest roles, results will be intriguing. Directed by Joanna Gerdy. At Off-Tryon Theatre through December 21. Special pay-what-you-can night on 12/18. Call for tickets ($10-$12) at 704-344-4546. (Tannenbaum)

It's a yearly Yuletide argument that rages worldwide. But it's the children of Charlotte, after seeing North Carolina Dance Theatre's glorious production, who can truthfully proclaim, "My Nutcracker is better than yours!" That's our perfectly unbiased opinion. Salvatore Aiello's choreography, Bjorn Wiinblad's design, and Mia Cunningham's eternally delectable Clara (alternating with Rebecca Carmazzi) are an unbeatable combo -- especially when more than 100 local children pile on and the Charlotte Symphony delivers Tchaikovsky's beloved music. Evenings at 7:30pm and matinees at 2pm through December 22 at Belk Theater. Call 704-372-1000 for complete schedule and tickets ($17-$55). Special $10 tickets one hour prior to performance with valid student ID. (Tannenbaum)

The exhibit Pen and Ink Politics: Thomas Nast's Reconstruction-era Cartoons and African American Equality will open at the Levine Museum of the New South tonight at 7pm. The evening will feature a panel discussion with three of the Carolinas' best known political cartoonists, including Doug Marlette. The exhibit will continue through September of 2003. For more information contact the museum at 704-333-1887. (McKinney)

Dec 13 - Friday
Woe and betide! Those wicked Herdman kids are once again on the loose at Spirit Square in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. So are the gossiping biddies who deplore them so unforgettably in this Children's Theatre holiday favorite. Jill Bloede takes over from Alan Poindexter as Ms. Armstrong, the leader of the biddie pack, and Mark Scarboro joins the unholy sisterhood in a cross-dressing gig. Lolly Foy and Mark Sutton are the upstanding parents striving to stage the church pageant as Christmas wrestles the Herdmans. Mereda Mason is Imogene, the sprite who tips the balance. The play can be seen through December 15. Call 704-333-8983. (Tannenbaum)

After putting together the hard-hitting documentaries Heidi Fleiss:Hollywood Madam and Kurt & Courtney, director-producer Nick Broomfield returns with Biggie & Tupac, which debuted earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival. As in his previous pictures, Broomfield continues to employ his confrontational interviewing style to try to get to the bottom of the still-unsolved murders of rap superstars Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. A special Charlotte screening of Biggie & Tupac will have its premiere at 7pm and 9pm tonight at The Cinema @ Eastland Mall. Tickets cost $10. For more info, call 704-492-2519. (Brunson)

Rags to Rap, a series of musical sessions that reflect how black music evolved during the 20th century, opens tonight at the Afro-American Cultural Center. This month will spotlight the evolution and influence of spiritual, blues, gospel and ragtime music. Tickets are $12. For more information call 704-374-1565 or visit online at (McKinney)

Local club Mythos will celebrate nine years of keeping the Queen city fueled with all the house, trance, jungle, etc. DJ's we can stand (and sometimes more) tonight with live performances from international recording artist Georgie Porgie and Latin salsa sensation Papo Sanchez. The evening is decidedly Chicago-flavored -- and the first 100 partygoers will get a free Mythos Anniversary Tee! Cover is $10 but please note this "fiesta" is limited to ages 18 and up. For more information call 704-375-8765. (McKinney)

Dec 14 - Saturday
A legend in his own time, Doc Watson will play the Neighborhood Theatre tonight with cohorts Jack Lawrence and Richard Watson. With a name like Doc's and music that's consistently solid -- you really can't go wrong with this gig. See our listing in this week's Music Menu for more details. For more information call 704-358-9298 or visit online at (McKinney)

Dec 15 - Sunday
The newest exhibit at the Main Library's Gallery L may seem like a mere collection of patchwork pieces to the casual observer. But Apron Strings: Ties to the Past is much more than a collection of 100 + aprons from over the years -- it's also a chronicle of women's history. It's hard to believe that so much could be stitched into the detailed workings of these beautiful (yes, beautiful) pieces of our past, but within every needle mark are tales of women's contributions to society before and after we gained the right to vote. Before women were recognized in the eyes of society as actual independent entities of some worth, they they were mothers and teachers, homemakers and housewives -- they raised the children, balanced the finances, shopped, cooked and cleaned -- and they didn't even get paid! The "Apron Strings" exhibit is a fine continuation of the increased study of women's "domestic arts" and how their creativity managed to show up in whatever they did, no matter how repressed the circumstances. The exhibit will be on display in Gallery L through Jan. 19, 2003. It is free and open to the public. Gallery L is located at Main Library, 310 N. Tryon St. Free parking is available at Seventh Street Station. Visit or call (704) 336-2020 for more information.(McKinney)

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