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See & Do 

Widespread Panic bring their rootsy jams to Cricket Arena tonight for a show with compatriots Leftover Salmon. It'll be one of the last chances "spreadheads" will have to see the band for a while as they've announced plans to take a yearlong break from the road. Doors open at 6pm and the jamming will commence at 7pm. All tickets cost $27.50 and are general admission and are available at the arena ticket office and through Ticketmaster. Call 704-522-6500 for more details. (Farris)

Folk/country artist Iris Dement has one of the purest traditional country music voices ever, even though the subjects of her songs are very contemporary and have earned her a rep as a critics' and fans' darling. She plays at the Neighborhood Theatre tonight. Showtime is 8pm and tickets cost $20. For more info, call the theatre at 704-358-9298. (Farris)

Four generations of black women, plus the odd lesbian girlfriend, get together to celebrate the family matriarch's 90th birthday in Jar the Floor. Charlotte Rep's new production comes to Booth Playhouse loaded with star power as Suzzanne Douglas (from School of Rock and The Parent "Hood TV series) takes the lead as college professor MayDee. Gretha Boston brings her Tony Award-winning talents to the role of MayDee's mom, Lola. Cheryl West's rich script tackles a broad range of racial, gender, aging, and lifestyle issues, delivering a motherlode of hilarity and pathos along the way. Through November 9. Call 704-372-1000. (Tannenbaum)

The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore contributed 58 European masterpieces to the Raphael to Monet exhibit at the Mint Museum of Art, which opens today and continues through January 11. Our critic, Scott Lucas, says the exhibit is a masterpiece in itself, delivering a 350-year overview of painting in Europe, from Raphael's 1513 "Madonna with Candelabra" to Edouard Manet's famed "At the Cafe" from 1879 (see cover story). The museum is located at 2730 Randolph Rd. Museum admission costs $6 for adults, $5 for college students and seniors, $3 for students ages 6-17 and children 5 and under are free. Call 704-337-2000 for details.

Author Neil Gaiman has done what few have done before him: won respect for his work in both the graphic novel and "regular" fiction fields. The British-born Gaiman is probably most well-known for his amazing Sandman comics series, which brought a new depth and complexity to the genre, but he's also penned some exciting fiction such as American Gods, an ambitious work that combined the all-American roadtrip with mythology and our age's techno-weirdness. Gaiman will speak as part of the Novello Festival at Neighborhood Theatre at 7:30pm. The event is sold out but you might want to see if our burg has progressed to the point of having literary scalpers. For more info, call 704-336-2725. (Grooms)

How "bout them cats?! The Carolina Panthers, whose winning streak has now reached five games after their impressive overtime win against the Indianapolis Colts, have a chance to go for a 6-0 record when they host the Tennessee Titans at Ericsson Stadium today at 1pm. Single game tickets are available for $40-$54. The way the Panthers are playing this season, they won't be available for long. Call 704-522-6500.

Even with the Bobcats' inaugural season a year away, Charlotteans can still see some live NBA basketball tonight with a pre-season game between the Washington Wizards and the Atlanta Hawks. Brendan Haywood, Juan Dixon, Jerry Stackhouse, Christian Laettner and Steve Blake are some of the familiar faces that fans can see in action at the Charlotte Coliseum at 7pm. Ticket prices range from $10-$100 and may be purchased by calling 704-522-6500. Visit www.charlotte for details. (Herman)

Bragging Rites: The Carolina-Clemson Rivalry, a documentary about one of college football's longest running and most intense (not to say crazed) feuds, will have a one-night-only showing at 7pm tonight at the Manchester Cinemas theater in Rock Hill. Produced in the Carolinas, the film dramatizes the intra-state rivalry between Clemson University and the University of South Carolina through a mixture of interviews, archival photos, vintage game footage and dramatizations. Admission is $5. If you can't make the screening, the movie is also available on DVD for $24.95 or VHS for $19.95. For details, call 1-877-4-RIVALS, or go online to (Brunson)

Brace yourself for Andrew Lloyd Webber at his high-tech, 3D glitziest as Starlight Express rumbles into town for a six-day engagement at Ovens Auditorium. The jejune storyline, inspired by The Little Engine That Could, is as rusty as ever, but some of the 1984 score has been retooled. Of course, all the non-stop locomotion is still on rollerskates, and you're given 3D glasses to fully experience the sensation of being dieseled to death. Like carnivals and cotton candy, the allure of Starlight Express is irresistible, something you have to do at least once in your life. Call 704-372-1000. (Tannenbaum)

This year's installment of Creative Loafing's Carolina Writers Night -- Co-sponsored by Novello Festival Press -- will take place tonight at 7:30pm at The Neighborhood Theatre. To begin the night, three authors will read from their work, all of which was published by the library's publishing imprint, the Novello Festival Press. Michelle Groce, a first-time author, will read from her young adult fiction book Jasper, "the story of a pragmatic stray cat with an uncanny knack for sensing the future." Poet Tony Abbott will read from his already-acclaimed first novel, Leaving Maggie Hope. Finally, Novello Festival Press founding editor Amy Rogers will read from her book of essays and recipes, Hungry for Home: Stories of Food from Across the Carolinas. Then comes the main event of authors Clyde Edgerton (Lunch at the Piccadilly, Raney), Lee Smith (Oral History, The Last Girls), and author/ professional musician Marshall Chapman. They will take the stage for an evening of Southern song, storytelling, and general sassiness. Admission is free. For more information, call 704-336-2074. (Davis)

As part of the continuing Novello Festival of Reading, the library presents A Novello Evening with Jamaica Kincaid tonight at 7:30pm in the Francis Auditorium of Main Library. The author of such books as Annie John, Lucy, At the Bottom of the River and A Small Place, the native Antiguan became a staff writer for the The New Yorker in 1976 and is now a visiting professor at Harvard. Tickets are $15, available by calling 704-372-1000 or logging onto (Davis)

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