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See & Do 

MAY
21WEDNESDAY
The Children's Theatre Ensemble Company's production of Buddha premieres tonight at 7:30pm in the Black Box Theatre at Children's Theatre of Charlotte. The story centers around a rebellious son and daughter, returning home unexpectedly on the evening of the Great Festival honoring the Holy Passions of Buddha. Recommended for ages 12 and up. Other performances will be held May 22-25 at 7:30pm and May 24-25 at 2pm. Tickets cost $9 and should be purchased in advance, as seating is very limited. 704-333-8983.

The Charlotte Knights face off against Toledo in the first of a four-game series that continues through Saturday. Kids, stay after the game for fireworks on Saturday. Adults, be sure not to miss the cheap beer on Thirsty Thursday. All games are played at Knights Stadium in Fort Mill beginning at 7:15pm. Tickets cost $6-$9 and may be purchased by calling 704-36-HOMER. (Herman)

The New Rhythm and Blues Quartet, probably best known as the acronym NRBQ, will appear at the Neighborhood Theatre at 8pm. The veteran cult phenomenon country/blues/rockabilly/R&B band that Bonnie Raitt and others call "the best rock & roll band in the world" will hit the stage somewhere around 9pm. The Willy Evans Duo will open the show. Tickets are $15 -- charge via phone 704-358-9298, or log onto www.neighborhoodtheatre.com. (Davis) MAY
22THURSDAY
Tonight's your opportunity to live in the fast lane and fork over way too much money for a classic rock group who saw their heyday over 20 years ago. Yes, The Eagles land at the Charlotte Coliseum for a show. At least you get the real deal with Don Henley, Glen Frey, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit still anchoring the group. The tickets say "Farewell 1 Tour" so if you haven't saved enough dough for this particular show, chances are you'll get another shot in the near future, assuming the band members all live that long. Tickets cost, gulp, $175, $85 and $45. As press time neared, the $45 tickets were nearly gone but some really good seats still remained. The show starts at 8pm. Call the Coliseum ticket office at 704-357-4801, for more details. (Farris)

Top Speed, the latest IMAX extravaganza from the producers of Everest and the current Coral Reef Adventure, will open today at the OMNIMAX Theatre at Discovery Place. The movie focuses on the lives of several athletes and racing professionals and their need for speed (the physical phenomenon, not the drug); included are five-time Olympic Medalist (and NC native) Marion Jones and Le Mans champion racecar driver Lucas Luhr. Admissions vary; for complete details (including show times), call 704-372-6261. (Brunson)

What do David Lee Roth, Kyle Petty, Johnny Rivers, Aaron Tippin, and truckloads of ice-cold beer and sizzling hot veggie burgers have in common? They'll all make an appearance at the annual Food Lion Speed Street festival downtown. Live music, vendors, food, local artists and NASCAR drivers will fill the streets over several city blocks for three full days. The youngsters will have a whole city block for themselves filled with activities. And of course it wouldn't be race week without roaring cars shaking the windows of the skyscrapers. You can also find interactive exhibits with race themes for those road warriors harboring dreams of being racecar drivers. Check 600festival.com for complete lists and timings of music performers and driver appearances. Admission is free. Call 704-455-6814 for more info. (Shukla)

If you love theater but have a short attention span, the 3rd Annual 15-Minute Play Festival should be right up your alley. Barebones Theatre Group presents a collection of six 15-minute plays from all over the country. At the end of the festival, BBTG announces the Artistic Director's Choice and the Audience Favorite (yup, your vote counts for somethin'). If you haven't been to Southend Performing Arts Center, this would be a good time to check it out. The festival runs through Saturday. All performances begin at 8pm. Tickets are $10 at the door. 704-332-5300. (Herman) MAY
23FRIDAY
The Northwest School of the Arts, renowned for its theater productions, has put together a special show which opens tonight at 7:30pm. Stephen Sondheim's Putting It Together, a musical revue, will involve alumni from all six graduating classes from Northwest. The production will raise money in support of the music and theater programs at the school. Putting It Together was conceived by Sondheim and Julia McKenzie and uses music and lyrics by Sondheim from various shows, combining them to tell a story at an anniversary party. Performances will be tonight and tomorrow at 7:30pm in the McGlohon Theatre at Spirit Square. Tickets are $15 or $12 for students. Call 704-362-4100. (Wicker)

The Charlotte Sting play their first game of the regular season tonight at 7pm against the Washington Mystics. With a new owner and a new head coach, it's hard to tell what's in store for the Sting, but they look promising with all five starters from the last two seasons returning. Like all home games, this one will be played at Charlotte Coliseum, aka "The Hive." Tickets cost $8-$53 and may be purchased by calling 1-877-WNBA-TIX. (Herman)

The stage version of the award-winning, critically acclaimed The Lion King opens at Belk Theater at the Performing Arts Center tonight for a four week run. The musical will be performed Tuesday through Thursday evenings at 8pm, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:15pm and Sunday evenings at 7:30pm. There will also be Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Tickets range from $20-$100. For more info, call 704-372-1000. (Wicker)MAY
24SATURDAY
The Carquest Auto Parts 300, one of the bigger races on the Busch Grand National series docket, begins today at 1pm at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Last year's winner, Jeff Green, has only run one Busch race this year, and, as of press time, wasn't a lock for the field. However, current points leader David Green, Jeff's brother, looks to keep it in the family. Tickets for the race start at $17, and are available by calling 1-800-455-FANS or by going to www.lowesmotorspeedway.com. (Davis)

Mostly Mozart 4 is, you guessed it, the fourth concert in a series presented by the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, intended to let folks enjoy classical music in a casual, comfortable setting. The evening's repertoire of music is mostly not Mozart, with Schoenberg's wrenching Chamber Symphony No. 1 and two pieces by Schubert: Overture in the Italian Style and Symphony No. 4, "Tragic." Tonight's concert will be held at First Baptist Church at 8pm. Tickets cost $10. Call 704-972-2000 for more information. (Herman)MAY
25SUNDAY
The Coca-Cola 600, the king hell daddy of long stock car races, takes place at Lowe's Motor Speedway this evening beginning at 5:30pm. One of the crown jewels of Charlotte's racing season, along with The Winston and October's UAW-GM 500, the 600 is the longest race on the Winston Cup schedule. Driver Mark Martin will try to defend his title against a new slate of challengers, including current Winston Cup points leader Matt Kenseth, who, ironically enough, drives for a team owned by Martin. Tickets for the race start at $35 and may be purchased online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS. (Davis)MAY
28WEDNESDAY
Spirit Square should be rockin' when Actor's Theatre of Charlotte presents its production of the longtime Off Broadway musical theater hit (and recent film) Hedwig and the Angry Inch. It's the story of a man from communist East Berlin who changes his sex and marries an American in order to escape to the US and potential rock stardom. She winds up abandoned in a Kansas trailer park and determines to save herself by forming a glam/rock band, the Angry Inch (the name of which says a lot about the results of the sex change operation). We won't spoil the story, but suffice it to say the work runs the emotional gamut, in the end telling a compelling story and portraying a world-wounded soul reaching through the muck for freedom and love. The production starts tonight at 7:30pm and continues through June 15. Tuesday, June 3, is "Pay what you can" night, otherwise tickets are $15-20. Get the complete schedule (and tickets) at actorstheatrecharlotte.org, or call 704-372-1000. (Grooms)

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