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See & Do 

Wednesday, May 31

Earlier this season, the infamous Reduced Shakespeare Company invaded Spirit Square with their very own All the Great Books (Abridged). Now Actor's Theatre of Charlotte picks up the gauntlet in its final production of the season, calling upon its go-to Reduced director, Jeannie Woods, to pilot its version of this rollicking Cliffs Notes desecration. No fewer than 90 of lit's greatest hits -- from Beowulf to Harry Potter -- will be targeted by a tag-team of irreverent assassins, including Chip Decker, Lee Thomas and Greg McGrath. Through June 17 at 650 E. Stonewall St., Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sunday (June 11 only) at 2:30pm. Tickets are $25 on Fridays and Saturdays; $20 on Wednesdays, Thursdays and the matinee; and "Pay What You Can" on Tuesday, June 6, at 7:30pm. Call 704-342-2251. (Tannenbaum)

Thursday, June 1

The Cynical Girls, aka Amy Rigby and Marty Jones, are a pair of singer-songwriters who have been around the proverbial block. Expect a stream of country, blues and even punk-pop ("Dancing with Joey Ramone" is a scream) full of razor-sharp dissection of relationship dilemmas and other witty observations. The ladies apparently invite the audience onstage to join the fun. The show starts at 8pm and tickets are $15 in advance and at the door. Hop onto for more information. (Shukla)

The 6th Annual Carolinas' Filmmakers Showcase will be held tonight in the Light Factory's Knight Gallery in Spirit Square. This year, Greensboro, Winston-Salem and, of course, Charlotte are among the NC cities represented. On the home front, Charlottean Carlos Brichaux II will present his short work Stanley, about a man coping with his addictions. Also on the schedule are Greensboro filmmaker Christopher Holmes' Arrowhead, about a skirmish between country folk, and Dear Sweet Emma, an animated effort from Winston-Salem's Out of Our Minds Studios. The filmmakers behind the various shorts will be in attendance for a post-screening Q&A. Admission is $7. For details, call 704-333-9755. (Brunson)

Actress-turned-playwright Tonya Shuffler takes us to the cutthroat world of women's cosmetics in Carrie Ann's Kiss. A quintet of predatory aces converges at the National Convention of duly anointed followers of mummified pancake icon Carrie Ann, vying for the coveted Ruby Kiss, signifying cosmetic sales supremacy. Ah, but one of these painted ladies seeks to undercut the very foundation (rim shot) of Carrie Ann Coz. Six CL Theater Award winners are involved in this world premiere at Theatre Charlotte through June 10, including Catherine Smith, Jill Bleode, Donna Scott, Mark Scarboro, Tim Ross and director Jim Gloster. Opening night of this comedy cat fight is a Theatre Charlotte benefit with proceeds going to programming at the Queens Road barn -- and a reception following the performance. Benefit tickets are $45. All other shows, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm, are $18. Call 704-334-9128. (Tannenbaum)

Any of the lank-haired kids currently rockin' the '70s garden cottage/farm 'n' furs look would do well to buy any album Bonnie Bramlett made with ex-husband Delaney (I'm partial to Accept No Substitutes), and learn just how much soul, blue-eyed or otherwise, comes with it. One might look at Ms. Bramlett's somewhat meager Web site today and think it quaint for someone who regularly partied (and played) with the likes of George Harrison, Leon Russell and Eric Clapton. (She even appeared as Rosanne's waitress sidekick on Rosanne.) With Kim Carper tonight at 9pm at Visulite. Tickets range from $18-$20. Full details can be found at (Davis)

Friday, June 2

Going eight years strong, the Taste of Charlotte returns to prove "it's not just about the food." Of course, it still boasts an appetizing array of cuisine, including Cajun, Southern, Tex-Mex, Americana and Asian, from 35 of Charlotte's best restaurants. In addition, there's the Adventure Village (a welcome detour for parents), the MarketPlace (open-air shopping for the elitist shop aficionado) and Jesse Brown's Tavern at the Taste (it's all about the beer, after all). Be a part of the fun and help out local charities at the same time (three days' worth starting today). Free; located at Tryon Street between 1st & 6th streets. Visit www.tasteofcharlotte for complete disclosure. (Calloway)

Saturday, June 3

Even if you can't find parking, you'll find plenty to do at Northlake Mall. The Discover Mercury Tour offers an array of incentives to check out their alliteration fest of vehicles in the mall's parking lot. Are you a poker junkie? Play the Mercury Texas Hold 'Em laptop game before test-driving the Montego. If you want to show off your strength for that hot date, you can tackle the Mercury Rock Wall; then go for a ride in the Mountaineer. Make-up looking a little rough? Get your hair and make-up retouched before zooming off in the stylish Milan. And if you feel the need for a cooldown, just visit the Mariner station and enjoy an Aromatherapy Oxygen Bar, guaranteed to "reinvigorate, rejuvenate, and relax." This free event begins at 9am at Northlake Mall, 6801 Northlake Mall Drive. Call 704-921-2005 for more info. (Christina Rumbaugh)

Sunday, June 4

The Main Library's Summer Film Series will present its latest season at its new viewing venue in ImaginOn's Wachovia Theatre. This year's theme is From Busby to Bollywood: Classic Musicals, and the series kicks off at 2pm today with choreographer Busby Berkeley's 1933 extravaganza Footlight Parade, starring James Cagney. Films throughout the summer will be shown at 2pm Sundays; upcoming titles include Top Hat, Meet Me In St. Louis and Hair. Admission is free. For further info, call 704-336-6217 or go to (Brunson)

In the land of music, the one certainty is that Parrotheads will help sell out any Jimmy Buffett & the Coral Reefer Band gig anywhere in the universe in a matter of hours. The rum, the brews and assorted non-liquid enhancers will begin flowing earlier in the day, continue through the "Party at the End of the World" 2006 Tour and likely long after the birds have flown home. Buffet and Co. play tonight at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater beginning at 8pm. The show is sold out, but go ahead and bug Ticketmaster at 704-522-6500 anyway. (Shukla)

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