Boldly attempting to do what no other female singer has ever done before in Charlotte, Susan Tedeschi kicks off a two-night stand at the Neighborhood Theatre tonight. Tedeschi is a sassy vocalist and songwriter who's earned a Grammy nomination. She's become well known for belting out the blues but more recently she's also let her gospel influences shine through. Both shows begin at 8pm. Tickets cost $27.50 for each performance. Call the theater at 704-358-9298, for more info. (Farris)
OCTOBER 9 - THURSDAY
More than a decade has passed since The Rocky Horror Show first invaded Spirit Square in its inimitable style. After becoming a short-lived tradition, Rock madness returns, this time taking root at Central Avenue Playhouse. The new innerVoices production, running through November 1, stars iV co-founders Carver Johns and his newlywed bride Serena Ruden Johns. Also ramping up to Halloween are reigning CL Newcomer of the Year, Joey Baez as Riff Raff, and Wendy Edwards as Janet. But of course, Rocky Horror really stars its armed-and-dangerous audience of cult clairvoyants who know every word and come, um, prepared. A happening like no other. Call 704-502-8423. (Tannenbaum)
OCTOBER 10 - FRIDAY
The Charlotte Film Society's Second Week/Second Chance series continues today at the Manor Theatre as well as next Friday, October 17, at Movies at Birkdale. This month features Germany's Nowhere In Africa, which won the Oscar this year for Best Foreign-Language Film; Iceland's The Sea, a family drama set in a remote fishing village; and Stone Reader, a documentary that follows director-writer-producer Mark Moskowitz as he searches for the one-time author of a book he had purchased in his youth. In conjunction with the Public Library and Novello, Moskowitz will speak about his film after the 6:30pm showing on Saturday, October 11. For reviews of the films, see this issue's Film section; for info on prices and times, call 704-414-2355 or go online to http://charlottefilmsociety.com. (Brunson)
In one of its most exciting premieres in years, Children's Theatre is bringing Bridge to Terabithia to Spirit Square through October 18, in conjunction with the Novello Festival of Reading. On opening night at 7:30, they're also bringing Katherine Peterson, author of the Newberry Award-winning book, and Stephanie Tolan, the playwright who helped transport the 1978 fantasy classic to the stage. Mark Sutton and Meghan Lowther star as the Virginia schoolkids who soar to Terabithia on the viewless wings of their imaginations. Then Peterson and Tolan take the spotlight for a talkback session. Recommended for ages 8 and up -- way up. Call 704-333-8983 or 704-372-1000. (Tannenbaum)
For all you masochists who did not endure enough pain from his commercials, Carrot Top will perform his stand-up routine tonight at Ovens Auditorium at 8pm. For more info on the infamous redhead, visit www.carrottop.com. And yes, even his website is annoying. Tickets cost $26.50-29.50 and can be purchased by calling 704-522-6500 (not by dialing down the center).
Tonight the gutsy and always-in-the-news Dixie Chicks and longtime activist singer/songwriters Indigo Girls, along with the great Ben Folds, the former Carolina guy who somehow has made a career of mixing his gift for melody with a punk sensibility, will all perform in concert at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre to raise money for the Honor the Earth foundation (www.honorearth.org) -- a national organization that raises funds and public support for Native environmental groups. The show begins at 7pm and tickets cost $65, $45 and $25. For more details on the show, call the venue's hotline at 704-549-5555 (Farris)
OCTOBER 11 - SATURDAY
The highlight of this year's Race Week, the annual UAW-GM Quality 500 will take place for the first time under the lights at Lowe's Motor Speedway, beginning at 7:20pm. The drivers like night racing because it makes for more consistent track conditions, and fans like the somehow more intense atmosphere brought by an evening start time. In fact, since the Winston began running at night in 1992, the number of casual fans, as opposed to serious NASCAR hounds, has increased dramatically. All the big guns will be there and if you want to be, you can get tickets, which start at $19, online at lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.
Mmmmm. Beer. The 5th Annual Charlotte Oktoberfest Beer Festival will be held today from 2-9pm at the 2500 block of Park Rd. Festival highlights include over 70 beers from 39 breweries, live music, German food and Charlotte's largest traditional Oktoberfest tent. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Greater Carolinas Chapter of the American Red Cross. Donate blood at the Red Cross office, right across the street, beforehand and receive $10 off the price of admission. Great idea: give a pint of blood and then replace it with a pint of beer. Woo-hoo! That'll do wonders for anyone's BAC. But hey, it's for a good cause. Tickets cost $17 in advance and $20 at the door. Minors are free with a paying adult. Visit www.charlotteoktoberfest.com for details including ticket sale locations. (Herman)
OCTOBER 12 - SUNDAY
When they're not huddled by their fires, or combing the Arctic plains for fuel and kindling, the peasants of Siberia work and dance. Krasnoyarsk National Dance Company of Siberia, founded in 1960, brings the native dances of the frigid north to torrid Tryon Street at 7:30 in Belk Theater. One dance follows another kaleidoscopically, varying in tempo and theme. So we'll see the labors and the loves of the peasantry, evocations of the landscape, and recreations of Siberian folklore all blended into a visual symphony by Krasnoyarsk artistic director Mikhail Godenko. Call 704-372-1000. (Tannenbaum)