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See & Do 

Echo Foundation and the eclectic Moving Poets Theatre of Dance collaborate for the third straight year on a performance project designed to promote social justice through art. Using music, dance, theater, and multimedia, Island of Light celebrates the life of Dr. Bernard Kouchner and the Nobel Prize-winning organization he founded, Doctors Without Borders. Several of the stories packaged in the program are the real-life experiences gathered from refugees who've settled in our area. Mia Cunningham, on loan from NC Dance Theatre, spearheads the contemporary dance component of the narrative. Charlotte's gray eminence of rock & roll, Tom Constanten, performs live, and the distinguished acting corps includes Gina Stewart and Kevin Campbell. It takes place at Providence Day School, 5800 Sardis Road, through Sunday. Thursday through Saturday performances at 8pm, Sunday at 7pm. Call 704-527-6683. (Tannenbaum)

There's no higher authority in Celtic music than The Chieftains. Paddy Moloney has led the group to worldwide acclaim while bringing Celtic reels, jigs and waltzes to all corners of the globe. Not purists by any means, the group has also created some great cross-musical pollination by recording with hip artists in nearly every genre. Their latest recording, Further Down the Plank Road is another fine example of this genre-blending, done without sacrificing traditional authenticity. They're at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center at 8pm. Tickets range from $25-50. For details, call 704-372-1000. (Shukla)

Charlotte Symphony Orchestra's Classical Mystery Tour is waiting to take you away on a nostalgic trip to the music of the Beatles. Your tour guides, recreating the pop geniuses' hits, include original members of the Beatlemania production that ran forever on Broadway in 1977-79. Look for all the favorites from rock's most influential songbook: "Strawberry Fields Forever," "Hey Jude," "Something," "I Am the Walrus," "Yellow Submarine," and many others. Marvin Herman steps in to conduct the CSO at Ovens Auditorium. Performance at 8pm. Call 704-972-2000. (Tannenbaum)

Last month's ice storm forced organizer Bob Graham to reschedule the Alejandro Escovedo Benefit, but he's put it back together again, Humpty Dumpty-like, in much the same form. He's enlisted 13 local and regional acts (expect the occasional overlap and surprise guests) to donate their time, including Triangle natives Caitlin Cary, Tres Chicas and Patty Hurst Shifter. The rest of the lineup is a who's who of locals, including headliner David Childers & the Modern Don Juans, Les Dirtclods, Poprocket, Sea of Cortez, the Houston Brothers, and lots more. Proceeds will help pay Escovedo's medical bills. Like most full-time musicians, the acclaimed troubadour doesn't have health insurance -- bad news when he received a hepatitis-C diagnosis last year. Fellow musicians have been holding fund-raising benefits across the country, and now it's our turn. The show starts at 5pm at the Double Door Inn. Tickets are $9. For more information, call the Double Door at 704-376-1446. (Schacht)

Former Black Flag frontman and sometimes actor Henry Rollins will give a spoken-word performance at Tremont Music Hall tonight, beginning at 7pm. The content of Rollins' readings varies; sometimes you get stories of life on the road, bits of poetry, or activist rants -- other times you get a surprisingly subtle sense of humor. Either way, the man is a commanding presence, even if he's not screaming in your ear like in days past. Tickets for the 16-and-up show are $20, available by calling Ticketmaster at 705-522-6500 or by visiting Tremont from 3pm-6pm Tuesday through Friday. (Davis)

In the 19th century, P.T. Barnum started the American tradition of traveling circuses going town to town, thrilling the locals with exotic animals, freak shows and fakery, acrobats and tightrope walkers. These days, a full-length, three-ring circus program with all the bells and whistles is a good match, glitzwise, for even the most imaginative film or video game. The latest wrinkle in circuses' evolving place in society is the uproar stirred by animal rights activists over the treatment of all those elephants and tigers. That debate will no doubt go on for some time, but meanwhile, if it's your cup of tea, The Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus, aka The Greatest Show On Earth, is back in town, today through Sunday at the Charlotte Coliseum. The show starts tonight at 7:30pm; then Thursday and Friday at 10:30am and 7:30pm; Saturday at 11:30am and 3:30pm; and Sunday at 11:30am, 3:30pm and 7:30pm. Tickets range from $11 to $43. Call Ticketmaster at 704-522-6500. (Grooms)

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