If any Charlotte musician's going to hit the big time, it'll likely be Unknown Hinson. The King of the CawntryWesturn Troubadours (that's how he pronounces it -- assume any misspellings from here on are my attempt at dialect) packed the house at the Double Door Inn on Friday. Hinson's the rare breed that manages to be interesting to most everyone. To an intellectual or would-be hipster, he's a caricature of Southern Culture, remarkable in the thoroughness of the Chart-Toppin' character he (Danny Baker) portrays. To an unreconstructed redneck -- there were a few of them there, too -- he's The Man Show, Bocephus, and Frankenstein all rolled into one. To others, he's possibly the best guitarist in the Charlotte area. And, judging by the folks wearing Dockers in attendance, he's also a chance to say "I saw him back at this quaint little roadhouse in Chah-lotte." How Capitol, his new recording home, will market him is anyone's guess. Do they market him to the Rawk audience and endure Hinson's wrath? To the womerns, in hopes of creating a sex symbol? Or to the idiot common denominator, the aforementioned Maxim-reading knuckleheads above? Ding ding ding! We have a winner!
I likes me a little bit of theatre, especially if its got some womerns in it (sorry -- the Unknown accent's a little hard to shake). As such, I headed to my favorite little theatre, the Off-Tryon Theatre Company space, to see Chickspeare's presentation of Shakespeare's R&J, a story of a group of young girls at a boarding school who perform Shakespeare for fun to escape the strict, parochial rules that govern them. The work of the Bard means different things to the different girls, and by the end of their recitation, the girls are no longer the same people they were at the beginning. It's a fine adaptation of the most famous work by ol' Shakesy, The Would-be Greatest Screenwriter Alive Were He Actually, and the Chickspeare people do a fine job of crafting an entertainment with the most puritan set imaginable. It had nothing, I repeat, nothing to do with the fact that the play had four young girls in Catholic schoolgirl outfits kissing and rolling around on the floor for an hour and a half. Really. No, really.