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See & Do 

02 - WEDNESDAY
Ohio-born soul singer and pianist John Legend is hotter than a Senate confirmation hearing these days. You've heard him before, of course: on Jay Z's "Encore," and most notably on Kanye West's spiritual smash "Jesus Walks." Far from the horny bleating that too often passes for soul these days, Legend's debut, Get Lifted, suggests a star — a Legend? — in the making. For more info, call Amos' SouthEnd at 704-377-6874. (Davis)

03 - THURSDAY
Get ready for a tutu potpourri as Martha Connerton/Kinetic Works brings the North Carolina Dance Festival to Charlotte for the second consecutive year. Three completely different programs will be presented at the Afro-American Cultural Center. Each of the evening's programs through Saturday will feature at least five dance ensembles. Be there for the entire three-night extravaganza and you'll see 16 groups in all, eight of them touring and eight of them local. Out-of-towners hitting the spotlight include X Factor Dance from Boone, Postcards Project from Raleigh, and Sidelong Dance Company from Winston-Salem. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Call 704-338-1533 for reservations and for details about daytime Outreach Master Classes during the festival. (Tannenbaum)

If you saw and liked Melissa James Gibson's curiously bracketed comedy, [sic], in either of its local productions during the past two years, here's good news. Gibson makes a return journey to Charlotte via Suitcase, a comedy crammed full of oddballs who put adulthood on hold. Allison Modafferi, who directed both [sic] productions independently, carries Suitcase into SouthEnd Performing Arts for this BareBones Theatre Group effort, checking in at 211 Rampart Street through February 20. Greta Marie Zandstra and Amy Campbell star as procrastinating grad students who decide to keep their boyfriends (Lee Thomas and Glenn Hutchinson) at phones'-length until they complete their dissertations. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students, with a "Pay What You Can" night scheduled for February 7. Call 704-332-5300. (Tannenbaum)

Author Sharyn McCrumb has made a name for herself as a classic contemporary Southern voice. Many of her novels are set against the backdrop of Appalachia, but her new novel, St. Dale (see our review in this issue), focuses on another cultural aspect of the region: stock-car racing. A kind of Dixiefied Canterbury Tales, St. Dale features a group of racing fans, the Number Three Pilgrims, who take a guided tour of Southern speedways to lay a wreath at each one, in honor of the newest Southern saint (after Elvis), The Intimidator. McCrumb will be at Park Road Books today at 7pm. She'll be signing books, but feel free to ask her about the alleged miracles that some NASCAR fans claim have occurred through the intercession of Dale Earnhardt, Sr. Call 704-525-9239 for more details. (Grooms)

The Light Factory's 2nd Annual Project Lovelight Movie Lover's Weekend and Film Competition will be held today through Sunday at various Charlotte venues. The event kicks off at 6pm tonight with an opening gala reception at the J. Richards Gallery at Phillips Place, followed by a 7:30pm screening of 1967's The Incident at Phillips Place Cinemas (see Film Clips for a review). The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with the film's director, Larry Peerce. Tickets for the reception and screening are $20. Friday will feature a showing of the Oscar-winning documentary short, Twin Towers, at 7pm in the McGlohon Theatre at Spirit Square. Director Rob Port will be in attendance. Admission is $10. Port will also lead a daylong seminar titled "From Pen to Script: Writing for Hollywood" from 10am until 4pm Saturday at Phillips Place Cinemas. Cost for the event, which will include a showing of Twin Towers, is $100. The festivities wind down with the Project Lovelight Wrap Party and Awards Bash, beginning at 8pm Saturday night at Time Lounge on College Street. The shindig will include the announcement of the winners of the Light Factory's recent Project Lovelight Film Competition. Tickets are $15 at the door. Finally, the winning entries will be screened from 3 to 5pm Sunday at The Light Factory at Spirit Square. Admission is free. An All Access Weekend Pass is available for $110. For further details, call 704-333-9755, or go online to www.lightfactory.org. (Brunson)

04 - FRIDAY
Lots of people once thought that sitting on Death Row for a crime you didn't commit was a rare fluke — until DNA technology kicked in. We're not saying that local chapters of wrongfully convicted killers are in the works (except in Texas), but Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen's The Exonerated gives you the feeling of what such a club meeting would be like. Its concentrated theatrical power is on display through February 20 in the Drama Desk Award winner's Southeastern premiere, staged at Booth Playhouse by Charlotte Repertory Theatre. Six true stories, gathered by the playwrights from a sobering assortment of vindicated convicts — not all-male and not all-black — make a sizzling indictment of American justice. These people were on Death Row for 2-20 years! David Mowers returns to direct, with a cluster of CL Award winners in the cast, including Claudia Carter Covington, Pam Galle, George Gray, Carver Johns, and Carl McIntyre. Tickets are $31.50-$37.50, with special prices for previews, seniors and students. Call 704-372-1000. (Tannenbaum)

In that glittery realm of elite crossover where the names of Pavarotti and Fleming reign supreme, Jean-Yves Thibaudet may be best-known as La Renée's favorite accompanist. Or Cecilia Bartoli's, take your pick. But beneath that rarefied ether, in the hardcore world of classical enthusiasts, Thibaudet is famed for his immaculate technique and unerring sensitivity — particularly in French repertoire. He's the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra's guest of honor this week at the Belk, presiding over the ivories in Ravel's Piano Concerto in G on Friday and Saturday. If there's any enterprise in the man, Thibaudet will unveil a solo Ravel piece or two for encores and have oodles of CD's in the lobby, including his prize-winning complete set of Ravel. Ah, but he's French! CSO will precede his majesty with Offenbach's "Overture to Orpheus in the Underworld" before ladling on Schubert's Symphony #9 ("The Great"). One extra tip: check out Thibaudet's Conversations with Bill Evans, a tribute to the late great jazz pianist. Tickets for the CSO program are $14-$68 and can be purchased 704-972-2000. (Tannenbaum)

Women of a New Tribe II is one of two photographic exhibits coming to The Afro-American Cultural Center in February in celebration of African-American Heritage Month and the 30th anniversary of the Center. The exhibit Women of a New Tribe II features B&W photos by photojournalist Jerry Taliaferro. It premieres today and runs through March, which is also Women's History Month. Running parallel to this exhibit, the Center is introducing Windows on Another Time, featuring a collection of vintage photographs reflecting the lives of African Americans in the Shreveport, LA, area in the early 1900s. For more information call 704-374-1565. (Shukla)

05 - SATURDAY
WCNC-TV's Colleen Odegaard hosts the fifth annual Art With Heart art auction at the Extravaganza Depot tonight at 7pm. This fundraiser for United Family Services' domestic violence programs includes silent and live auctions featuring over 100 pieces of art from many notable Charlotte artists. This year's featured artist is Tony Griffin, who has created a piece specifically for the live auction. The ticket price of $40 in advance and $50 at the door includes admission to both auctions, refreshments and hors d'oeuvres. For information and tickets, call 704-367-2708 or visit www.unitedfamilyservices.org. (Vespa)

06 - SUNDAY
It's all come down to this. All the (assume sonorous announcer voice) glory...guts...and pain witnessed over the last four months of NFL football brings us to one event and one event only: America's favorite unofficial religious holiday, the Super Bowl. This year's game brings with it a number of stories to watch. Will the New England Patriots win their third championship in four years? Will the Philadelphia Eagles' Terrell Owens return from injury in time to lead his team, Willis Reed-like, to victory? Will Pats coach Bill Belechick retire after the game, as has been rumored? Finally, will halftime entertainer Paul McCartney bare a boob? Tune into Fox today to find out — we're sure it'll be on all day. (Davis)

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