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JANUARY 14 - WEDNESDAY
UNCC's Martin Luther King birthday celebration, "You Are The Dream," will be held today through Friday. A panel discussion: "Once Upon a Time: Reflections From the Past to Build on the Future," kicks off this series of events today from 11am-1pm in the Cone Center, followed by a Timeline Exhibit in the Lucas Room from 3-9pm. The highlight of the celebration is the MLK, Jr. formal program tomorrow night, featuring Ben Ruffin. Ruffin was the first African-American to chair the NC Board of Governors and was a VP at RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co. The program begins at 7pm in McKnight Hall. Other events include a screening of A Walk to Remember and a candlelight vigil. For a complete schedule of events (which are all free), call 704-687-4160. (Grossman)

The Winter's Tale is perhaps the most medieval of Shakespeare's works, with a fairytale plot that unfolds and resolves in multiple layers. King Leontes pays dearly for mistrusting his wife and best friend -- and so do they over a long arc of years. Successfully staging this wizened tale doesn't come as easily as rendering the Bard's more youthful or bloody pieces, but the Chickspeare banditas are accepting the challenge at Off Tryon Theatre through January 24. Off Tryon's artistic director, Glenn Griffin, crashes through the gender barrier, directing the all-female troupe for the first time. Call 704-375-2826. (Tannenbaum)

JANUARY 15 - THURSDAY
A New York-based trio, the Mosquitos make their first Carolinas visit Thursday. The plot line is almost as good as their debut, and serves as song fodder more than once: guitarist/songwriter Chris Root overhears Brazilian singer Juju Stulbach on a New York film set and is instantly smitten. She flies home to Rio, he follows, and in a shack at the edge of Ipanema Beach, they find a recording studio and lay down the basic tracks for their first release, a self-titled blend of light indie rock touches and an unstoppable Sergio Mendes bossa nova vibe. A few months later, their unique mix earns them NPR buzz-band status, their lithe sounds and Stulbach's erotic, Astrud Gilberto-flavored voice transporting listeners to a sun-kissed tropical beach of the mind. At the Visulite, doors open at 8pm, and tickets are $10 in advance and $12 the day of the show. For more information call 704-358-9200. (Schacht)

The city of Charlotte honors the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with "One Nation One Dream: Let Freedom Ring," the 2004 Dr. Martin Luther King Community Holiday Celebration. The 5-day string of events begins today at noon with a Memorial and Wreath Laying Service at Marshall Park's famous "World's Ugliest Statue of Martin Luther King." Screenings of PBS Race: The Power of Illusion Series will be held at the Main Branch of the Public Library today, Friday and Saturday. The festivities also include a Cultural Diversity Celebration and the 5th annual Legacy Basketball Classic (Livingstone vs. NCCU and JCSU vs. WSSU). On Monday, the official day of observance, several events will be held to commemorate Dr. King, culminating with the MLK, Jr. Holiday Parade in uptown Charlotte at 11:30am. With the exception of the MLK Prayer Breakfast and the Legacy Classic, all events are free. For further information, call 704-336-5271 or visit www.charmeck.org. (Grossman)

JANUARY 16 - FRIDAY
The Short Film Showcase series continues at 8pm tonight with The Legacy of Black Women, featuring movies from rising black female filmmakers. Shorts such as Vivian, Room 302 and Two Seasons will encompass comedy, drama and romance in an evening being presented by The Deltas of Charlotte. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. For details, call Spirit Square at 704-372-1000 or Dennis Darrell at 704-379-5458. (Brunson)

Pennsylvania singer/songwriter Dawn Kinnard sold her beloved Harley Davidson to scrounge up the funds for her self-titled release, which was recorded last summer in her father's Baptist Church. Is that "No Depression" enough for you? If not, how about this: of all the Lucinda Williams acolytes out there, Kinnard (along with Kathleen Edwards), comes closest to capturing the lyrical simplicity and beauty of the Queen of Country Rock. Inspired by her Harley-driven cross-country trips, Kinnard's stories positively swell with authenticity. And the production and instrumentation (vibes/wurlitzer/accordion) is off-kilter and just dark enough to make things more interesting than the standard country-rock fare. Kinnard and band take to the Evening Muse stage at 10:30pm, and tickets are just $5. For more information call 704-376-3737. (Schacht)

Jazz diva Dianne Reeves had the nerve to turn her shapely back on Spoleto Festival USA because of the l'il ole Confederate Flag that was still flying over the Capitol in Columbia. Well, the flag came down and Reeves sang -- triumphantly -- at Spoleto the following spring. That's sass! Now she arrives at Belk Theater to sing with Charlotte Symphony for two nights in a tribute to Sarah Vaughan. More sass! Wish I admired Reeves' Grammy Award-winning The Calling, celebrating Vaughan, as much as her talent. More crassy than sassy. Calling 704-972-2000 reveals whether tickets are still available. (Tannenbaum)

JANUARY 17 - SATURDAY
Great songs are often considered great poetry, but with The Dead Poets Poetry Band, great poems also make great songs. Combining bits of classic poetry by the likes of Emily Dickenson, W.H. Auden, and William Blake with finger-snapping music, this Asheville-based acoustic trio lets the "muse" in music bring out the "Oh!" in poetry. They're performing tonight at 8pm at the McCelvey Center in York, SC. Tickets are $15 per person, $5 for students. For more information, call 803-684-3948, ext. 21. (Vespa)

You've occasionally heard a great radio station where the music rolls from folk to country, rock to blues, jazz to world music and back around again. Well, here's a concert shindig where you can hear top-notch, genre-bending performers doing the same thing live. This is the first quarterly Tosco Music Party of 2004 where all artists perform for 10-15 minutes, so there's always something fresh coming right up. Performers lined up so far include: Life in General (pop band), Michelle Malone (Georgia roots-rocker), justincase (teen rockers), Martha's Trouble, Southern Tradition Bluegrass Band, The Pitchforks (Duke University a cappella men's group), Eric Lovell, Kendall Gurske, Jim Boyce and the Steel Pros (steel drum band), Shana Blake, Donna Duncan, Susan Sherlock, and Shatericka Turman. At Spirit Square at 7pm. Tickets: $11 (Adults), $5.50 (under 16), $9 (over 65). For further details call 704-372-1000 or visit www.toscomusicparty.org (Shukla)

JANUARY 18 - SUNDAY
It seems like some kind of dream, but the Carolina Panthers are one win away from the Super Bowl. Now that they've made it to the second conference championship game in the team's history, a slew of local fans are headed to Franklin Field in Philadelphia for today's 6:45pm showdown with the Philadelphia Eagles and their amazing quarterback Donovan McNabb. Neither team seems capable of realizing when it's beat so expect the game to go down to the wire. For those of us who can't make the trek, the game will be televised on FOX18. Find someone who's having a game party, or throw one yourself, or head to a sports bar, or do whatever the hell you want, but don't miss the game. (Grooms)

JANUARY 20 - TUESDAY
"When you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way," and when you're Katia and Marielle Labeque, you're the sisters who've dominated the repertoire of four-hand piano compositions for over 20 years. In this Carolinas Concert Association event at Belk Theater, the dynamic piano duo meets the music of Leonard Bernstein in a newly unveiled instrumental version of West Side Story. Composer/instrumentalist Dave Maric delivers additional Latin beat when he -- and two percussionists -- accompany the Labeques in "Exile," Maric's latest opus. Toss in three Gershwin preludes, and you have a fairly rockin' classical evening. Call 704-527-6680. (Tannenbaum)

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