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See & Do

Smog, Steve Harvey, Spelling Bee

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Wednesday, October 4

Bill Callahan, singer/songwriter and a catalyst of the indie lo-fi movement, is Smog. His muse can swing from sonic guitar manipulations to "creepy guy in the corner" folk. Callahan's Leonard Cohen-styled jaunts may seem self-absorbed, but they are more about personal turmoil and reflection. The lyrics can be sardonic yet are interspersed with elements of hope and joy. Smog can be seen at Visulite tonight at 9pm. Tickets are $10-$12. Details: www.visulite.com. (Shukla)

White kids sporting dreads is the focus of Dreadheads: Portrait Of A Subculture. This 77-minute documentary by Atlanta filmmakers Steven R. Hurlburt and Flournoy Holmes follows these modern-day hippies as they form a familial caravan of ganja and Gaia on the heels of bands that envoke the aura of Jerry Garcia's Grateful Dead like (aptly named) The Dead, Phish and Widespread Panic. Note: These kids are not a part of Jamaica's Rastafarian movement. See their story for yourself, tonight at Neighborhood Theatre. Screening begins at 8pm; tickets are $5. Q & A with Hurlburt to follow. More info at www.dreadheads.com. (Calloway)

Thursday, October 05

Just imagine... You can take advantage of Five Women Wearing the Same Dress at Spirit Square! BareBones Theatre Group, the fringe guerillas producing this dishy comedy by Alan Ball ("Six Feet Under" and American Beauty), is participating in the national Free Night of Theater 2006 on Oct. 19 for intrepid adventurers willing to risk the allure of live theatre. Warning: This stuff can be addictive! And with such stellar Charlotte talents as Donna Scott, Meghan Lowther, and Kristen Jones in the cast, these Women are worth paying for at Duke Power Theatre for the remainder of its run through Oct. 22. Not to worry, the five dames aren't literally packed into one dress: they're bridesmaids hiding out from a Knoxville wedding ceremony. Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm, plus Sunday matinees at 2:30pm on Oct. 15 and 22. Tannenbaum post-show talkback tonight. Tickets are $15 on Thursdays and Sundays, $20 on Fridays and Saturdays. Call 704-372-1000 or check out www.freenightoftheater.net. (Tannenbaum)

The Birmingham native, as in England not Alabama, Julie Dexter is a singer/songwriter and composer combining neosoul, touch of reggae, jazz and funky pop into a distinct sound. Think legendary female jazz vocal stylists such as Abbey Lincoln singing for a contemporary audience. Dexter and her band bring their soulful and moody songs to Tempo beginning at 8pm as part of the Charlotte Urban Film Series. Details: 704-391-8909. (Shukla)

Friday, October 06

No, there's nothing particularly square about Pi Productions if you're looking for credulous religious drama. After airing out some dirty Boston linen in Sin: A Cardinal Deposed last fall, Pi pokes into The Eyes of God in a world premiere from Charlotte playwright Ann Marie Oliva. We journey further north to Montreal with Oliva's protagonist, a destitute young woman who takes refuge at a church that is suspected of fronting a terrorist cult. The schedule, at Actor's Theatre of Charlotte (650 E. Stonewall St.) is as dizzying as the plot, Oct. 6-8, 11-15, and 19-21. Wednesday and Thursday performances at 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2:30pm. Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and groups, and $12 for students. Call 704-367-1345 or click www.piproductions.org. (Tannenbaum)

For Charlotte audiences who remember last season's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Children's Theatre's The Magician's Nephew will provide another delicious escape to the fantastical Narnia universe of C.S. Lewis. Through Oct. 29, wondrous McColl Family Theatre will also be a refuge for some of the finest remnants of Charlotte's professional acting corps, including Duke Ernsberger, Barbi VanSchaick, Mark Sutton, and CL's reigning Actress of the Year, Susan Roberts Knowlson. Speaking of royalty, Catherine Smith gives us another dose of that sensuous malignity, Queen Jadis, while artistic director Alan Poindexter, reigning CL-MTA Theatreperson of the Year, concepts the storytelling and pilots the ImaginOn tech/design juggernaut. Fridays at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 3pm, and Sundays at 2pm. Simpler yet, front orchestra is $18 and general admission is $14. Call 704-973-2828 or click www.ctcharlotte.org. (Tannenbaum)

Saturday, October 07

"Big Time"-r Steve Harvey leaves New York City, home base of his popular radio show "The Steve Harvey Morning Show," for the Dirty South on a return to his start as a stand-up comedian (you know he is one of the original "Kings of Comedy" that launched at Charlotte's Grady Cole Center). The King and Young King Comedy Tour features Harvey and his nephew, Thomas "Tommy" Miles, showing off the family's gift for making people laugh. The tour stops at Ovens Auditorium, 2700 E. Independence Blvd, tonight at 8pm. Tickets are $46 and available online at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 704-522-6500. For more on Steve, go to www.steveharvey.com. (Calloway)

If you like to explore the elegant titillating tastes of North Carolina's best wines or enjoy eating mass quantities of cheese, the 4th Annual Great Grapes! Wine, Arts & Food Festival will beckon your buds. This year's festival features live culinary and wine demonstrations featuring famed Food Network chef Juan-Carlos Cruz! Learn great BBQ secrets and how to make a $10 bottle taste like $30. Beginners can also learn "the knowledge" of wine" (swish, sip, gurgle, repeat -- wait! you did remember to swallow, right?). The outdoor festival takes place at the Symphony Park at South Park Mall from 11am-7pm. Come by and cut your culinary teeth, or meet other wine enthusiasts. Tickets are $20 at the door, $17 in advance, and $10 for Designated Drivers. For ticket info, go to www.uncorkthefun.com. (Adam Padgett)

Tuesday, October 10

Prepubescent dreams of glory mix hilariously with childish gawkiness in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee -- an orgy of wholesome regression. Audience members get to join in onstage at Belk Theater, as a select few become contestants in the ritual spell-off. It's a gratifying -- if admittedly fluffy -- return to form for composer/lyricist William Finn, fondly remembered for his Falsettos. Not to be outdone, scriptwriter Rachel Sheinkin took the Tony Award in an upset victory over comedian Eric Idle. Surely, voters were swayed by the spelling exploits and gross-out artistry of the aptly named William Barfee. Tuesday through Saturday at 8pm, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2pm, and a closing 7:30pm performance on Sunday, Oct. 15. Single tickets are $20-$63 at 704-372-1000 or www.BlumenthalCenter.org. (Tannenbaum)

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