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See & Do 

Returning from a month-long hiatus, the Charlotte Sting, including their Olympian athlete Dawn Staley, start off September by hosting the Connecticut Sun tonight at 7pm at Charlotte Coliseum. Charlotte holds a 1-1 record against the Sun this season, winning their last match-up in overtime. Tickets start at $10 -- get yours by calling 1-877-WNBA-TIX. (Grossman)

A few days remain to catch a fantastical exhibit at the Mint Museum of Art, closing at the end of the weekend. Julie Heffernan: Interior Transformations includes seven fairytale-like "self-portraits" that resemble Heffernan in appearance, but serve more as a mechanism to challenge the conventional perception of women in Western society. The Museum is located at 2730 Randolph Road. Admission is $6 adults, $5 seniors, $3 students and free ages 5 and under. Call 704-337-2000 for details. (Grossman)

Promising cuisine and barbecue out the wazoo -- and engorging nearly every other arts event under its promotional umbrella -- Charlotte Shout celebrates all that's fine and tasty in the Queen City through September 28. Wolfgang Puck himself is the headliner at this year's Culinary Arts Experience, ascending the Gateway Village Promenade Stage for a live cooking demonstration on September 23. Meanwhile, the 2004 holler begins with a decorous splash at Ballantyne Resort where couples forking out $299 per head can luxuriate in a chichi Best of Our State weekend through Sunday, with entertainment such as sauce boss Bill Wharton, beach musicmeisters The Embers, and local scribe Amy Rogers. Plus breakfasts, dinners, free rides and tix to all uptown events. Action is more populist uptown at the Historic South End Gallery Crawl, 6pm-10pm. The 6pm artist reception for Santa Fe painter Tom Perkinson at Elder Gallery, 1427 South Boulevard, Suite 101, makes the crawl worth crawling to. Perkinson's "Romantic Impressions" goes on exhibit amid the imbibing and glad-handing. A $10 Rewards Pass gets you discounts on Perkinson's paintings plus a whole slew of other discounts and freebies. Call 704-331-2753. (Tannenbaum)

The tantric one -- Sting to us mere mortals -- returns to Charlotte with Miss Best Song Academy Award winner Annie Lennox in tow for the Sacred Love World Tour. Sting is a talented musician, but one whose songs are most likely to appear in proximity of the adjectives "pretentious" and/or "pompous." Once a post-punk icon with The Police (and even a pre-punk icon as Bellboy in the film version of the Who's Quadrophenia), Sting's solo career has been a steady decline into New Age goop as deep as the moat surrounding his castle. Between the political manifestos, Bravo specials, crummy animation songs and New Age hoodoo, the one-time school teacher and ditch digger has morphed into a Super-Ego of titanic proportions -- sad proof that the post-punk generation isn't growing old gracefully, either. See our cover story for more. Tickets for the show at Verizon range from $34.50 to $87, the group hug begins at 7pm. For more information go to (Schacht)

One truly great thing that we have New Yorkers to thank for is Labor Day. Celebrate workers in Charlotte by not working today and attend the Carolina Labor Day Parade, uptown beginning at 11am with cartoonist and author Doug Marlette as head marshal. Also, it's "Labor Day/Fan Appreciation Day" and "Principal Financial Group Family Fun Fest" at Knights Stadium where the Charlotte Knights host the Durham Bulls at 12:15pm. Single game tickets start at $6 (affordable on any laborer's salary) and may be purchased by calling 704-36-HOMER. Go to the game, the parade, or sit around on the couch watching Lifetime movies. Just enjoy your day off. (Grossman)

Any key that supreme melodist Antonin Dvorak writes in is the right key, including his most famous piano trio, the Dumky in E minor. Chamber Music at St. Peter's offers up this fine musical morsel as its premiere First Tuesday Concert of the new season. In reality, a "dumka" is a type of Slavic folk ballad. So "dumky" is merely a bunch of "em, not a Clydesdale wannabe. St. Pete Chamber's artistic director, Alan Black, anchors the trio on cello. Pianist Philip Bush and Charlotte Symphony assistant concertmaster John Lee do most of the heavy lifting. Both the lunchtime 12:10 and after-work 5:30pm concerts are free, so plan to arrive early at the 7th Street and Tryon landmark for a prime seat. (Tannenbaum)

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