Saturday, June 30, 2012

Techy teen musical at CAST

Posted By on Sat, Jun 30, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Not to rag on technology, but in all its glory it still manages to screw things up every now and then. Anyone who has experienced the butt-dialed mom at 3 a.m. or had gum auto-corrected to cum knows what we mean. Whatever the issue, The Treehouse Acting Company's CyberSoul makes them seem minuscule compared with the vastness of technology on our daily lives.

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The rock musical, written by and starring local teens, focuses on communication struggles in a cyber-dominated world. The show's writers, who range from 14 to 18, offer insightful perspectives. Just don't forget to silence your phone. $10-$20. June 30, 2 p.m. & 7 p.m. and July 1, 2 p.m. Carolina Actors Studio Theatre, 2424 N. Davidson St. 704-455-8542. www.nccast.com.

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Beauty and the Beast presents its rose

Posted By on Sat, Jun 30, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Since its general conception as a fairytale in the 1700s, Beauty and the Beast has had so many adaptations that it's neatly reflective of Disney's "Tale as Old as Time," a song from its animated version of the story.

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Complete with lively additions (including dancing cutlery and home furnishings), the Broadway musical - coming to Charlotte for a six-day run at Belk Theater - tells the familiar story of beautiful Belle and the ill-tempered, yet soft-hearted Beast who risks remaining a hideous creature if his inner beauty doesn't capture someone's heart. The Broadway version is an over-the-top production (c'mon, what'd you expect when Disney and Broadway meshed?) with plenty of special effects, costumes and theatrics. $20 and up. June 29, 8 p.m.; June 30, 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.; July 1, 1:30 & 7 p.m. Belk Theater, 130 N. Tryon St. 704-372-1000. www.blumenthalarts.org.

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Thornton Dial's Hard Truths unveils

Posted By on Sat, Jun 30, 2012 at 9:00 AM

In the heyday of his youth, African-American artist Thornton Dial wasn't assembling masterpieces to dazzle the art world. He was toiling on a farm and later, in an Alabama factory for his hard-earned dollars. But the self-taught Dial, whose education left him functionally illiterate, was sweating creative juices.

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Combining a hodgepodge of raw materials and found objects (from plastics to bones) with paint, he forms deeply symbolic creations with strong ties to the social, political and economic constraints that have shaped his experience. Charlotteans can get a glimpse of his works when Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial opens at Mint Museum Uptown on June 30. The exhibit features more than 30 large-scale paintings, sculptures and wall assemblages that touch on a range of thought-provoking issues. $5-$10. Exhibit opens on June 30 and runs through Sept. 30. Mint Museum Uptown, 500 S. Tryon St. 704-337-2000. www.mintmuseum.org.

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America I Am: The African American Imprint opens

Posted By on Sat, Jun 30, 2012 at 8:30 AM

What does the robe of Muhammad Ali, one of Prince's guitars, Alex Haley's typewriter, and a key from a Birmingham jail cell that held Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., have in common? They are all artifacts from the lives of African Americans who irrevocably changed our society. In Tavis Smiley's touring exhibit, America I Am: The African American Imprint, these objects and others related to innovative artists, activists and inventors make up more than 200 pieces that Smiley gathered from museums across the country.

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The exhibit, opening at Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, examines African-Americans' impact across four core areas (economic, socio-political, cultural, and spiritual) throughout the country's history. Among the most powerful objects are "The Doors of No Return," original doors that captive Africans passed through when boarding slave ships to America from Ghana. $8-$12. Exhibit opens June 30 and continues through Jan. 1. Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, 551 S. Tryon St. 704-547-3700. www.ganttcenter.org.

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Technicolor luster The Black Pirate

Posted By on Sat, Jun 30, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Known for sporting one of the earliest versions of Technicolor, The Black Pirate caused so many problems for movie theaters back in 1926 that producer-star Douglas Fairbanks eventually had to release a black-and-white version to better accommodate projectors not used to the bulky nature of the two-strip Technicolor reels. In recent times, Kino Video took it upon itself to lovingly restore the film to its original luster, and this is the version that will be screened in Charlotte as part of the Main Library's series Ships Ahoy!!: 8 Classic Seafaring Films.

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Fairbanks, the most popular cinematic swashbuckler of the silent era (and, incidentally, the physical model for Superman in the comics), plays a young duke whose father is murdered by a band of pirates. He joins the group incognito in hopes of exacting his revenge, but he soon becomes distracted by a shapely hostage (Billie Dove). Local musician Ethan Uslan will provide the live piano accompaniment at the screening. Free. June 30, 2 p.m. ImaginOn's Wells Fargo Playhouse, 300 E. 7th St. 704-416-4600.

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Friday, June 29, 2012

The Screwtape Letters stops in at Knight

Posted By on Fri, Jun 29, 2012 at 3:47 PM

My dear Wormwood: Never fear the faithfulness of converted Charlotteans, as we shall twist their eager little minds with a mere stage adaptation of C.S. Lewis' demonic showcase, The Screwtape Letters. Presented by Fellowship for the Performing Arts - whose mission statement is "to produce theatre from a Christian worldview that engages a diverse audience" - we'll lure them in, only to divert their attention away from our diabolical casting - and the enemy - with an extremely logical point of view.

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This will set them to questioning their creator's real agenda. Plus, it sounds like a hell of a good time, right? The national touring production, which stops in at Knight Theater for three shows, stars Max McLean as the wicked Screwtape. $29-$89. June 29, 8 p.m.; June 30, 4 p.m. & 8 p.m. Knight Theater, 430 S. Tryon St. 704-372-1000. www.blumenthalarts.org.

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General Assembly tries to tackle sea level rise by outlawing facts

Posted By on Fri, Jun 29, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Science costing you money? Outlaw it!

A bill circulating the North Carolina General Assembly would require the state to use only historical data when calculating sea-level rise, instead of using climate scientists' current projections. They predict the shoreline will be three feet underwater by the end of that century.

That doesn't jive with real estate developers, who seem to have crafted H819. They would like to build lovely and expensive homes along the shoreline and aren't about to let inevitable natural events get in the way of their profits. They are going to handle this like Americans and tell Planet Earth its sea level whims aren't welcome in the zoning and regulatory process.

Stephen Colbert pointed out the absurdity of the bill earlier this month on his Comedy Central show. He likened it to predicting his death by considering only historical data: "I've been alive all my life, therefore, I always will be."

The sad reality is, one day Colbert will no longer be with us. And whether North Carolina legislators realize the futility of the bill, or continue to embarrass their constituents by even considering this idiocy, the sea level will rise.

Acknowledging this fact may cause an economic headache now, but failing to prepare for it so the state can coddle real-estate developers will cause a complete catastrophe for all future generations of North Carolinians. Even the money their grandfathers made off oceanfront properties won't be able to save them.

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Today's Top 5: Friday

Posted By on Fri, Jun 29, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Here are the five best events going down in Charlotte and the surrounding area today, June 29, 2012 as selected by the folks at Creative Loafing.

* Salmon Fishing in the Yemen at UNC Charlotte

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* CyberSoul at Carolina Actors Studio Theatre

* Kony at Milestone

* Chiddy Bang at Amos' Southend

* The Screwtape Letters at Knight Theater

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Supreme Court's decision on Obamacare celebrated in Charlotte

Posted By on Thu, Jun 28, 2012 at 4:58 PM

The mood was jovial as about 30 activists in town celebrated the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Healthcare Act on Wednesday.

Celebratory songs and cheering punctuated the meeting, held at the Gaffney Health Services building. Toward the end, one attendee broke into a gospel rendition of "Do You Know the Man from Galilee."

Groups represented at the meeting included the Charlotte Healthcare Coalition, ActionNC and the League of Women voters among others.

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