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See & Do 

OCTOBER 14 - THURSDAY
Twenty years after her first CD, native Canadian k.d. lang remains a disarmingly honest and genuine performer, holding on to humility and authenticity in the face of numerous platinum albums. A solid corps of devotees and aficionados have set the 42-year-old torch-singing rocker on a high pedestal, esteeming her among the best of her generation, her capital letters disorder notwithstanding. lang's appearance at Ovens Auditorium is the highlight of Charlotte Symphony's pops lineup for 2004-05 -- but it stands apart from the subscription series. So chances of nabbing a choice seat at retro Ovens are better for non-subscribers. lang brings her own tight quartet with her to complement the Symphony under Albert-George Schramm's baton. Tickets are $22-$65, depending on which county you wish to be seated in. Call 704-972-2000. (Tannenbaum)

OCTOBER 15 - FRIDAY
In the tradition of Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Richard Pryor and Bill Hicks, comedian Margaret Cho is extremely funny -- at times appallingly funny -- by pulling no punches. And that's putting it mildly. Her stand-up act comes close at times to the feel of performance art -- a woman taking the circumstances of her life, society's norms, and the media and re-shaping them into monologues/performances that are alternately liberating and self-absorbed, but nearly always side-aching hilarious. Absolutely no topic is off-limits in Cho's onstage performances, from the X-rated to body image issues to Asian stereotyping to gay sex to George W. Bush. For more on Cho, see our cover story in this issue. She brings her State of Emergency tour, in which she adds a healthy dose of presidential politics, to Ovens Auditorium at 8pm. Tickets are $29.50 and $39.50 and can be obtained at the Cricket Arena on Independence Blvd., or by calling Ticketmaster at 704-522-6500. (Grooms)

Big-hatted country singers Brooks & Dunn will bring their Vegas-style stage show to Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre tonight at 7pm. The late Dale Earnhardt once said the boys were his favorite band, and judging by the 22 million records they've sold, they're evidently a lot of people's favorite band. Tickets are $24.75 and $44.75, available by calling 704-522-6500 or by logging on to www.ticketmaster.com. (Davis)

Something wicked -- or charitable -- this way comes as Queen City Jazz Company offers its second concert jazz dance program, Hot October Night, at Booth Playhouse. Among multiple premieres, QCJC is offering a new piece by Corrine McFadden, associate choreographer for last season's Tony Award-winning musical, Wicked, and the upcoming Broadway revival of Sweet Charity. McFadden's new original, Queen Gemini, was commissioned especially for this performance and figures to showcase QCJC's trademark precision and athleticism. Tickets are $20. Call 704-372-1000 or order online at www.blumenthalcenter.org. (Tannenbaum)

OCTOBER 16 - SATURDAY
With the recent release of the much-anticipated first installment of the three-part Bob Dylan biography, Chronicles, Vol. 1, what better time to put on a Bob Dylan Tribute Night? Musicians from across Charlotte's musical spectrum will take the Evening Muse stage tonight beginning at 7pm to offer up their renditions of Mr. Zimmerman's time-tested songs. Included in the lineup, among many others, will be: David Hotzclaw, Lenny Federal, Lindsey Horne, Mike Strauss, Vance Carlisle, Shana Blake, Chris Ravenscroft and justincase. A blow-out singalong is planned, as well. For more information, go to www.theeveningmuse.com or call 704-376-3737. (Schacht)

The Mint Museum of Art presents Andrew Wyeth: The Helga Pictures -- the meticulous study of one model by one of America's most notable visual artists. Unbeknownst to anyone including his wife, Wyeth spent 14 years creating more than 200 haunting portraits of Helga Testorf, his neighbor in Pennsylvania. Opening today and continuing through January 9, 2005, this exhibit displays 70 works in tempera, drybrush, watercolors and pencil sketches. The Mint is located at 2730 Randolph Rd. Museum hours are Tuesday from 10am-10pm; Wednesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; and Sunday, 12noon-5pm. Non-member admission costs $3-$6 with free admission on Tuesdays from 5-10pm. Call 704-337-2000 for further information. (Grossman)

After Dale Earnhardt, Jr. had the gall to publicly utter the word "shit" after he won a race two weeks ago at Talladega, he was penalized 25 points in his chase for the Nextel Cup. This has polarized racing fans -- some think the punishment was deserved (the same penalty had recently been levied against a couple of Busch Series drivers), while others think the whole thing was a crock of shit. Either way, look for Junior and Kurt Busch and the rest of NASCAR's young guns to trade plenty of sheet metal in today's UAW-GM Quality 500, one of the key races in stock car racing's new playoff-style system to decide the points championship. The race starts at 7:30 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, but pre-race festivities will start somewhere around noon (and, for many fans, probably the night before). Tickets are $39-$131, available at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 800-455-FANS. (Davis)

Our four-legged friends will get their dog day afternoon thanks to the Barkitecture Show and Auction, held today in the Atrium at Two Wachovia Center. A fundraiser to benefit the Humane Society of Charlotte, this event will feature 20 dream doghouses created by a number of Charlotte's top architects, designers and builders. The event kicks off at 10am with a downtown parade, and the auction will be held at 6pm. See Scott Lucas' story in this issue. Tickets cost $25 in advance and $35 at the door. For more info, call 704-342-9876 or go online to www.barkitecture.org.

OCTOBER 18 - MONDAY
The Green Foundation combines NASCAR and stand-up comedy in a unique event that benefits the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Comedian Killer Beaz headlines the first ever Hilarity for Charity at the Comedy Zone tonight at 6pm. NASCAR stars including the captains of this crusade, Michael Waltrip, Jeff Green and Mark Green, will be in attendance. $35 includes hors d'oeuvres, soft drinks, hobnobbing with racing celebs, and the chance to bid on items in the live and silent auctions. Call 704-348-HAHA for reservations. Visit www.thegreenfoundation.org for details. (Grossman)

OCTOBER 19 - TUESDAY
Looks like Charlotte is in luck as The Producers rolls into Ovens Auditorium for a lordly two-week engagement through October 31. This Mel Brooks musical adaptation of his own 1968 film set new all-time records for Tony Award wins -- and ticket prices. Yet somehow, Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick were woven into the mystique of The Producers, as if missing them meant missing the show. Nonsense! This laugh riot is crafted in 24-carat comedy gold from beginning to end, with an Act 1 closer at an old age home that bids to eclipse even the legendary hilarity of Brooks' signature "Springtime for Hitler." Alan Ruck, whose association with Broderick stretches back to Ferris Bueller's Day Off, appears as Leo Bloom, the nebbishy role Matthew introduced at the St. James Theatre. Ruck must be doing something right, since he's slated to take over the role on Broadway in January. Lewis J. Stadlen is Max Bialystock, the lovably corrupt impresario who seeks to concoct the surefire Broadway flop. Tickets are $25-$70. Call 704-372-1000. (Tannenbaum)

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