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APRIL 9 WEDNESDAY

The eighth annual Taste of the Nation will take place today in Wachovia Atrium. The event, a fundraising project of Share Our Strength, raises funds for organizations fighting hunger and poverty in the Charlotte area. Over 30 area restaurants, food suppliers and wineries are supplying the food and drink to accompany the auctions and other entertainment. The participating restaurants will vie for several awards. Tickets are $50 general admission for the 7:30pm event or $75 which includes a 6:30pm preview. Call 704-376-1785 for info or tickets. (Wicker)

APRIL 10 THURSDAY

Off-Tryon Theatre Company is presenting John Logan's Never the Sinner starting tonight at the theater on Cullman Avenue in NoDa. Never the Sinner is the story of a "crime of the century" that occurred in Chicago in 1924. Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb set out to commit the perfect crime and murdered a 14-year-old boy. Defended by none other than Clarence Darrow, the two managed to escape being hanged. Performances will be tonight through Saturday and April 16-19 at 8pm. Tickets are $15. Call 704-375-2826 or email offtryon@yahoo.com. (Wicker)

Playwright David Mamet has a genius' knack for creating stories filled with greed, betrayal and deceit while lacing them with dry, hard-edged comedy. His Speed The Plow is a look at the world of Hollywood execs in which artistic integrity goes up against the desire to clinch a deal with the industry's biggest star. The opening of this production, by Inner Voices Theatre Company, was delayed from last week. Performances are now scheduled today through Saturday and April 16-19 at 8pm each evening at Central Avenue Studio Theatre (CAST), 1118 Clement Ave. Tickets are $15. Call 704-502-8423. (Grooms)

The Actor's Gym is doing some of the most interesting theater in town these days. Now, they're presenting one of the highlights of Shakespeare's work, Othello, featuring John Price in the title role. Shows continue tonight at 7:30pm at the SouthEnd Performing Arts Center. Othello will run through April 19 -- Thursdays and Sundays at 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm. Tickets are $12, $10 for students. Call 704-376-7418 for information or reservations. (Grooms)

APRIL 11 FRIDAY

Celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Loch Norman Highland Games this weekend up at Rural Hill Farm outside Huntersville. The events begin Friday with seminars on Scottish genealogy, heraldry and single Malt whisky beginning at 11am followed by the Call to the Clans on Friday night. Events on Saturday and Sunday include the field games and competitions in dance, piping and drumming. Music during the weekend will be provided by Nancy Hurrell, Edward Scott Pearlman, Scottish troubadour Bruce Davies, Celtic Air, Gael Warning and Celtic Soul. Gates open at 8am both days. Tickets for Saturday are $15 and for Sunday, $10; two day advance pass is $20. For more info, call 704-875-3113 or go to www.lochnorman.org. (MacWicker)

APRIL 12 SATURDAY

The fifth annual Frolic at CPCC starts at noon today on the central campus green off Elizabeth Avenue. Headliners will be Carolina blues legend Etta Baker, The Cockman Family, the Badgett Sisters, George Higgs and A Sign of the Times. Plus there'll be storytelling by Ron and Brooks Gulledge and Ramona Moore Big Eagle, not to mention arts and crafts booths and food. The festival is free. For more info, call 704-330-6584 or go to www.cpcc.edu. (Wicker)

APRIL 16WEDNESDAY

Pearl Jam, still going strong almost 15 years after the marketing term "grunge" broke, play the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre tonight, along with opening act Sleater-Kinney. Come see what some say is the best band in America (Sleater-Kinney)! Come see Eddie Vedder fight the war from the stage! Come see hit after hit (after hit!). Tickets are $38 for a lawn ticket and $42 otherwise. For more information, call 704-522-6500. (Davis)

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