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See & Do

As part of the continuing Novello Festival of Reading, the library presents A Novello Evening with Jamaica Kincaid tonight at 7:30pm in the Francis Auditorium of Main Library. The author of such books as Annie John, Lucy, At the Bottom of the River and A Small Place, the native Antiguan became a staff writer for the The New Yorker in 1976 and is now a visiting professor at Harvard. Tickets are $15, available by calling 704-372-1000 or logging onto (Davis)

It's a toss-up as the region's two top theater departments premiere their most important productions of the season through Sunday. At UNC Charlotte, a former CL Actor of the Year guest stars in Harper Lee's classic To Kill a Mockingbird, as Duke Ernsberger portrays Atticus Finch. Up on the Davidson College campus, the electricity is generated by the world premiere of Frankenstein: The Rock Opera, written by two Wildcat alums and starring Bryant Kirkland in the title role and Alan Stevens as his hellspawn. Cruising up I-85 to 49er country, call 704-687-2599 for reservations; up I-77 to Davidson, call 704-894-2135. (Tannenbaum)

You can smell Halloween lurking around the corner when you're tempted by a tender tale of the final days of Marquis de Sade. Quills was an onscreen sensation in 2000 when Geoffrey Rush portrayed the brilliant lunatic. But the screenplay was actually Doug Wright's adaptation of his award-winning 1996 stage play, which is what Off-Tryon Theatre Company is bringing into its quonset on 3143 Cullman Avenue. So journey back to the arts wars of the 90s and watch the fertilizer fly as Hank West greets us from the asylum in this Halloween treat. Call 704-375-2826. (Tannenbaum)

No local company is more into Halloween than the Moving Poets Theatre of Dance. The outre company that brought you Dracula in the ruins of Carolina Theatre now brings you their fantastical reworking of Goethe's Faust, A Devil's Dance. You'll find the usual Poets suspects onstage echoing one another in acting and dancing -- including Mike Harris as the Doctor and the unearthly Philip Sprinkle as the Devil. Poets artistic director Till Schmidt-Rimpler is Harris' dance counterpart and Joseph Curry is Sprinkle's shadow. Through November 1 at the new Hart-Witzen Gallery, 136 E. 36th Street. Call 704-527-6683. (Tannenbaum)

The IMAX feature Space Station opens today in the OMNIMAX Theatre at Discovery Place. Narrated by Tom Cruise, the film centers on the construction of the International Space Station, which is being built through the collaborative efforts of 16 nations. Adult and teen admission to either Discovery Place or the OMNIMAX Theatre is $7.50; other rates are also available. For a review of the movie, see this issue's Films section; for screening hours and other info, call 704-372-6261. (Brunson)

The biggest Halloween party of the year takes place all weekend long at the Renaissance Festival. The name's corny -- Halloween Daze and Spooky Knights -- but it's great, and at times gruesome, fun. Today and tomorrow, children get in free and they're kept happy with free treats and a lot of kid-friendly activities. But our favorite thing is the, um, lively jousting by the Knights of the Living Dead -- let your imagination take over -- which will be presented three times daily this weekend. Wearing a Halloween costume at Renaissance Featival this weekend is encouraged but certainly not required. Adult tickets are $15 at the gate. The Festival is on Poplar Tent Road between I-77 and I-85, For more info call 704-896-5544, or toll-free 1-877-896-5544. (Grooms)

First off, don't confuse Oc Fest with Oktoberfest; as the press release states, "We will not be wearing funny hats and singing German beer songs." Specifically, Oc Fest, a collaboration between Southern Tip Film and the Charlotte Chamber's Black Professional Network, is an evening of culture featuring music, art, literature, film and fashion. Held at Spirit Square, the lineup includes works by New York artist Danny Simmons, a lineup of award-winning short films, a fashion show featuring styles from NYC and DC designers (who will be in attendance), author appearances, live performances by area R&B and jazz artists, and more. Oc Fest will be held from 6-11pm tonight; film showtimes are 7:15pm and 9:15pm, while the fashion show will be presented at 7pm and 9pm. Admittance to the films is $8; all other activities are free. For details, call 704-492-2519. (Brunson)

Songwriter US Tour brings together four high-powered female singer/songwriters together on one stage: Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin, Patty Griffin and Dar Williams. Carpenter became a country star and has lately taken a quieter, more introspective approach that still sparks with her gift for melody. Shawn Colvin and Dar Williams are simply two of the finest songwriters working in American music today -- no wonder they each have their own rabid cult following; Colvin's sharp-edged tunes and wry lyrics will be a great counterpoint to Williams' poppier tunes drenched in drama and humor. Patty Griffin is almost the quintessential modern singer/songwriter: intimate, sardonic, able to easily navigate around and through various genres. The four will perform their own material as well as combine their talents while swapping songs and performing together. The four best songwriters playing Charlotte this week, and they're all on the same bill. Should be great. They're at Ovens Auditorium at 7:30pm, tickets are $35-55. Call Ticketmaster at 704-522-6500 for more details. (Shukla/Grooms)

Catch the Charlotte Checkers in their second regular season home game of the year as they face off against the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies at Cricket Arena tonight at 7pm. "Wet Your Whistle Wednesdays" offers the enticing combination of $1 beers and watching a bunch of guys beat the crap out each other. It doesn't get any better than that. Tickets range from $7-$20 and may be purchased at the Cricket Arena box office in person or by calling 704-335-3100. Visit for details. (Herman)

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