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See & Do 

Wednesday, May 17

Get ready to funk it up when Ivan Neville, Aaron Neville's kid, brings his New Orleans posse Dumpstaphunk to the Neighborhood Theatre. This is freestyle funk with veteran musicians laying down those thick and jazzy beats that could only have originated in N'awlins. Tickets are $15 at the door and show starts at 8pm. Call 704-358-9298 for all the funky details. (Shukla)

For the 11th year, Charlotteans will gather at Wachovia Atrium to partake in some rather delicious repast, all for a great cause. Taste of the Nation offers food, entertainment and more in a nationwide campaign to fight hunger. Participating restaurants include, but are not limited to, ARPA Grill, the Art Institute, LaVecchia's Steaks & Seafood, Pewter Rose, Sonoma Modern-Town and Zink American Kitchen. This year there also will be a Top Home Chef competition with a prize package worth $5,600. The events begins at 7:30pm. Tickets are $60 (tax-deductible); $85 if you wish to be among the first to taste the goodies during Preview Hour. Call 704-376-1785 or go online to www.charlottetasteofthenation.org to purchase tickets. (Calloway)

Friday, May 19

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that Ellington. So comfort ye, my people, Carolina Voices is promising to package the Duke in their upcoming Gershwin and Other Greats! program at McGlohon Theatre through May 21. "Satin Doll" rubs shoulders with "I Got Rhythm," and "Got That Swing" sidles up to selections from Porgy and Bess as the group implicated in the "Singing Christmas Tree" does its springtime penance under the leadership of William McConnell. Guest appearances by local Star Search winner Micki Reid and the ubiquitous Eddie Mabry Dancers. Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm, and Sunday at 3pm. Listen up, it's adults $15 and $20, seniors or groups $12 and $17, and students $5 and $10. Call 704-372-1000 for reservations and the cabaret option. (Tannenbaum)

Cio-Cio San weighs in at the stately new Halton Theater for two fine nights -- and one Sunday matinee -- as CPCC Opera Theatre presents Madama Butterfly. Rebecca Cook-Carter steps out of her usual mentoring role at CP and (if she has been slim-fasting as she promised) into the teeny silk slippers of the ill-used Butterfly. Whatever the verdict on the avoirdupois scale, you can be sure Cook-Carter will successfully negotiate the musical scale of Puccini's imperishable "Un bel di." Anyone who saw CP's C-C as Tosca will vouch for that. Performed with English subtitles Friday and Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2:30pm, with tickets priced hospitably at $12 and $16. Call 704-330-6534. (Tannenbaum)

After selling out its entire engagement last October, Children's Theatre is only doing the fair, honorable and crassly lucrative thing by reprising its lavish production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Bearing the mantle of CL's Show of the Year award, the revival is an artistic triumph as well as a commercial one. So the remount gives anyone who missed last fall's production a second chance. Particularly welcome when you consider that Children's Theatre will revisit C.S. Lewis' fantastical universe this fall with The Magician's Nephew, the prequel to Lion-Witch. All the great people from last fall's watershed production are back in the speaking roles, intensifying the scramble for seats and 2006-07 subscriptions. Through May 28 at McColl Family Theatre in ImaginOn. Performances are Fridays at 7:30pm, with two afternoon performances per day this Saturday and Sunday, one per day on closing weekend. Front orchestra is $18 and general admission is $14. Call 704-973-2828. (Tannenbaum)

Saturday, May 20

Want more funk? The Red Hot Chili Peppers is performing as part of NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway this evening. The funkmeisters -- or should we call them popmeisters -- released the double-album Stadium Arcadium this month and are already releasing hits from it. Along with the Peppers' onstage shenanigans there'll be plenty of racin' and drinkin'. The winning driver of tonight's fumes-fest takes home $950,000. Festivities begin around 7:40pm. The Peppers will play a set between segments of the all-star event. Cheap tickets start at $21. For info call 800-455-FANS or visit www.lowesmotorspeedway.com. (Shukla)

The Athens, GA, dub reggae sextet Dubconscious releases its new live recording Realization tonight at the Visulite. There's plenty of hypnotic dub in this combo's tropical groove. The band adds a hint of jazz guitar along with the usual suspects of roots vibrations and reggae rhythms, with lyrics touting spirituality and social activism. The spirit of brotherhood runs deep, as there's no designated lead singer; almost all of the members step up to the mic at some point in their shows. Performance starts at 10pm and $8 gets you in. Details at www.visulite.com. (Shukla)

Sunday, May 21

Some time back, in a Music Menu column far, far away, I wrote the following: "While not the prototype for grunge and the 'alternative' sound that some writers would have you believe (to paraphrase Freud, sometimes a band is just a band), the Christ-loving King's X has carved out a nice little niche in the music world with their brand of melodic thrum. Guitarist Ty Tabor, bassist Doug Pinnick and drummer Jerry Gaskill might not be Nirvana as far as power trios go, but when they blend some three-part harmonies with the crunchy-sweet guitar work they're known for, you'll be enlightened." I stand by most of that, with the possible exception of the enlightened part. Entranced, perhaps. Enlivened. How about a nice, simple "you likely won't ask for your money back?" Catch the boys at Amos' SouthEnd for a reasonable $13.50 in advance ($16.50 day of) by logging onto www.amossouthend.com. (Davis)

Want to help End Genocide in Darfur? A trip to the Neighborhood Theatre will help you start. Members of Christ Central Church will host a one-hour informational event about the historical, political and humanitarian issues facing the western Sudan region. They hope to show a short documentary, pray and discuss how to get involved. "We want people to be indelibly moved by the genocide -- and moved to action, not just thought," Laurie Hibbett said in an e-mail. But she promises it's not about guilt-tripping. The event will be 7pm to 9pm on Sunday at the Neighborhood Theatre. For more information, call Hibbett at 704-335-1303. (Shugart)

Monday, May 22

The biggest eyes and the gooiest voice in showbiz are in town for a tantalizingly brief stay as CPCC presents An Evening with Carol Channing: The First Eighty Years Are The Hardest. Channing sightings will actually begin on Sunday, when the Broadway musical legend makes remarks at the closing performance of Madame Butterfly (usefully confirming to prospective ticket buyers that she can still walk and talk). The indefatigable Channing shows up to lead a master class the following afternoon at NW School of the Arts and then returns to Halton Theater for a two-night stand, both performances starting at 8pm. She won't be alone on the big stage performing her retrospective. Thirty of Charlotte's prized students, choreographed by the ubiquitous Eddie Mabry, will join Channing for one number -- perhaps an iconic Dolly hello? Show tickets are $25-$45 with special $50 tickets available for a "meet and greet" reception with Channing following the Tuesday performance. Call 704-330-6534. (Tannenbaum)

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