Friday, November 30, 2012

Weekend Film Review: Anna Karenina; plus, film gift guide

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 4:28 PM

Click on the title to be taken to the review.


Anna Karenina

Blazing Saddles, discussed in the new Mel Brooks box set
  • Blazing Saddles, discussed in the new Mel Brooks box set

Also, be sure to check out our coverage of worthy new box sets dedicated to Alfred Hitchcock, Mel Brooks, James Bond and All in the Family.

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Greenpeace reacts to Jim Rogers' retirement from Duke Energy

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Greenpeace representatives were quick to respond to news that Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers will retire at the end of 2013. His departure - as well as an executive-level shake-up - is part of an agreement with regulators to end an investigation into the Charlotte-based company's merger with Progress Energy.

  • Rogers

Greenpeace has criticized Rogers for never fully committing to renewable energy, though the CEO has consistently advocated its use.

"The disparity between Jim Rogers' rhetoric and the reality of his actions has been a disappointment to say the least, but Rogers has a choice to make," Greenpeace Climate Campaigner Robert Gardener wrote in a press release. "He can leave the company amidst scandal and saddled with plans to increase investment in dirty energy or he can use this time to fulfill his promises to act on climate change. This weak settlement can't undo the damage that's been done, but Rogers still has the opportunity to change his legacy."

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Question the Queen City: What remains of PTL?

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Editor's note: In this series, local author David Aaron Moore answers reader-submitted questions about historic places in Charlotte. Submit inquires about unusual, noteworthy or historic people, places and things to

I grew up in Charlotte but left with my family when I was a teenager in the mid 1980s. I moved back earlier this year. The holidays have brought back memories of things we would do during the season, like going to see the Christmas lights in McAdenville and PTL's Heritage USA, which is in Fort Mill. I know PTL's gone now, but what about the massive compound they built? What's left of it? - Bonnie Swift, Charlotte

Queen of the Castle: Tammy Faye on a promotional holiday postcard at the height of PTLs success.
  • Phil Egert
  • Queen of the Castle: Tammy Faye on a promotional holiday postcard at the height of PTL's success.

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Theater review: Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 12:16 PM

My first live sampling of Anna Deavere Smith in action was at the landmark National Performing Arts Convention in 2008, which I attended as a member of the Music Critics Association of North America. After the mayor of Denver, John Hickenlooper, welcomed all convention participants from across the nation to his city, Smith took the stage to fire up all the performing artists present in an overflowing auditorium - mincing no words in letting us know how unwelcome critics of all stripes were to her.

It wasn't exactly a faithful echo of Rodney King's most famous plea, "Why can't we all just get along?" Yet this was the same playwright who took up King's cause in Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 - earning a Tony Award nomination in 1994. Driven by the explosive repercussions from the farcical trial of the policemen who brutalized King, Smith had devoted herself to searching out the truth, as told by people closely involved in the beating and in the contrasting trials that followed for the acquitted brutes who assaulted King and, not long later, the convicted rioters who bludgeoned Reginald Denny.

So what had changed since Smith had stitched together the meatiest portions of interviews she herself taped with relatives, defendants, activists, community leaders, and a colorful sampling of famed and relatively anonymous Angelenos? Not much, as witnessed by the vividly imagined, meticulously produced On Q production, currently at Duke Energy Theater through December 8.

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Three chances to see Black Nativity

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Forget standing in the cold for a glimpse of a "live" nativity - that won't get your blood rushing like Langston Hughes' Black Nativity. The production, a staple among the Yuletide classics in circuit this time of year, is presented by Tomorrow's R.O.A.D. (Roots Of the African Diaspora) at McGlohon Theater.

Crystal Little directs a cast of young African-American performers reenacting the great Harlem Renaissance poet's story of Jesus' birth through dancing, gospel singing, scripture and spoken word. Lance Hamright directs the music and the piece was choreographed by La'Tanya Johnson and Toi A. R. Johnson.

Check out the video (below) of the Black Nativity Ensemble performing at The Congressional Black Caucus Institute Breakfast in Charlotte.

$12-$20. Nov. 30, 7 p.m.; Dec. 1, 7 p.m.; Dec. 2, 4 p.m. McGlohon Theater, 345 N. College St. 704-372-1000.

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Barbie visits Women Centered Art

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Women aren't the only focus of Women Centered Art's Focused exhibit, but they sure do dominate in both subtle and obvious ways. The gallery's facilitators and curators, Shane Agostinelli and Diana Arvanites, are showcasing the works of six area photographers in a new exhibit that comments on identity, societal roles and common expectations of women, in addition to other female-related topics.

Carolyn DeMeritts
  • Carolyn DeMeritt's "Jim with Barbies"

Carolyn DeMeritt is one of the participating artists. For her piece, "Jim with Barbies," she shot the bare midriff of a man standing with naked Barbie dolls. Should we see this as a commentary on the increasing misogynistic views of how women's bodies should look? Probably.

Image by Jen Crickenberg
  • Image by Jen Crickenberg

Other artists include Jen Crickenberg, Cordelia Williams, Laurie Schorr, Rachel Foley and Molly Wilbanks. Opening reception on Nov. 30, from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Free admission. Exhibit continues through Jan. 11, 2013. Women Centered Art, 711 Pressley Road.

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Today's Top 5: Friday

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Here are the five best events going down in Charlotte and the surrounding area today, Nov. 30, 2012 as selected by the folks at Creative Loafing.

* Red at Actor's Theatre of Charlotte


* Water Liars at Snug Harbor

* Bob Saget at The Comedy Zone

* The Pharmacy at Milestone

* A Farndale Avenue Christmas Carol at Armour Street Theatre

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Opening Friday

Posted By on Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 1:47 PM

Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina - Keira Knightley, Jude Law

The Collection - Josh Stewart, Randall Archer

Killing Them Softly - Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini

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Some N.C. legislators willing to compromise to avoid fiscal cliff

Posted By on Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Good news on the fiscal cliff front: North Carolina legislators in Washington, D.C., say they are willing to compromise on some "hardened positions" to reach a deal before Bush-era tax cuts end and other costs go into effect, increasing taxes for all Americans.


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Today's Top 5: Thursday

Posted By on Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 9:00 AM

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

* Silversun Pickups at The Fillmore


* SpeeDating at Crave Dessert Bar

* Red at Actor's Theatre of Charlotte

* Allison Luce: The Serpent Tree at CPCC

* Trans-Siberian Orchestra at Time Warner Cable Arena

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