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See & Do

Here's a chance to honor a local jazzman -- Johnny "Chief" Holloway -- who has given this city an awful lot over the years, especially during a 35-year-stint teaching music at West Charlotte High. Holloway plays the saxophone, flute, clarinet and viola, and translated all that talent into a series of gigs with bands throughout New York and Ohio, as well as playing locally with his band the Hi-Tones. Sponsored by the Afro-American Cultural Center, the concert will feature A Sign of the Times big band, which has been swinging hard in Charlotte since 1999. The event begins at 8pm at the Fourpoints Sheraton. Tickets are $40 for individuals, and $75 for couples. Call 704-374-1565 for more information. (Schacht)

While most performing arts groups in town are devoutly recycling past holiday repertoire, Theatre Charlotte is blessing us with new and different family fare in Story Theatre. Paul Sills, under the direction of Matt Webster, has collected a group of famous fables by The Brothers Grimm and Aesop. That makes the barn at 501 Queens Road an attractive getaway from your turkey leftovers during a short run of three Sills solos ending with a 2:30 Sunday afternoon matinee. Curtain times on Friday and Saturday are 7:30pm for extra family-friendliness. All tickets are $7. Call 704-334-9128. (Tannenbaum)

NASCAR shoppers, rejoice! You have the most unique day-after-Thanksgiving sale in town. Lowe's Motor Speedway is offering a full line of NASCAR memorabilia and apparel, all discounted, during their Souvenir Blow-Out as the racing series sells off all their remaining Winston Cup-emblazoned memorabilia. Included in the sale are hats and T-shirts starting at just $3. In addition, haulers of such popular drivers as Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will be on hand selling Winston Cup memorabilia, in anticipation of next year's new title sponsor, Nextel. As a bonus, shoppers spending $50 or more will have the opportunity to drive their own vehicles a couple of laps around the 1.5-mile superspeedway. The event runs from 8am until 6pm. For more information, call 704-455-3235. (Davis)

Bluegrass ain't for everybody -- until they've seen some live, that is. Done well, it's as engaging a live genre of music as any. Maybe it's four-part harmony singing, or lightning mandolin runs, or the twang of the banjo, and the percussive guitars and up-right bass, but it can be a thrilling thing to experience, even if you've no intention of running out and buying Bill Monroe's whole catalogue. Mountain Heart, a two-year-old five-piece band reaping critical acclaim everywhere they stop, is made up of seasoned genre veterans (Alison Krauss, the Issacs, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver) who know how to hoe-down. They're appearing at the Neighborhood Theatre this evening at 8pm (local veteran Michael Reno Harrell opens). Seat-guaranteed tickets are $15. For more information, call 704-358-9298. (Schacht)

It's beginning to look a lot like Thanksgiving as Charlotte Rep brings A Tuna Christmas to town. Michael Edwards brings the hilarious grab-bag of Texas crazies to Booth Playhouse for a fifth holiday go-round, and Duke Ernsberger plays the other half of Tuna's townfolk for the second consecutive year. Yes, Charlotte adores this satirical Christmas confection. A crazy affirmation when you realize we still do have Christmas in America despite vulgar ex-convicts, Southern-fried bigots, animal preservationist radicals, and UFO nutballs. Prime family fun and a surefire way to please your seasonal guests through December 21. Call 704-372-1000. (Tannenbaum)

The Carolina Panthers, one of the biggest surprises in the NFL this year (among several), hope to continue their good fortune today when they play the Philadelpia Eagles at Ericsson Stadium at 1pm. The Eagles were erratic early in the season but under the leadership of Donovan McNabb, Rush Limbaugh's favorite quarterback, they've come back to win several games in a row. With any luck at all, this should be a hard-fought, entertaining game. Keep an eye out for available tickets, which cost $40-$54 and may be purchased at the Ericsson Stadium Ticket Office or by calling 704-522-6500. (Grooms)

There's no sanctuary from supersizing, not even at Chamber Music at St. Peter's. They've succumbed to spectacle on Tryon and Seventh Street as the winsome series celebrates WDAV's 25th anniversary with their biggest show ever. A 10-piece chamber orchestra performs Bach's Brandenburg Concerto #3 and Corelli's Christmas Concerto. Paul Huppert joins the ensemble to solo on the "Winter" section of Vivaldi's ever-popular Four Seasons. The lunchtime concert at 12:10pm will be broadcast live on 89.9 FM. Or mosey over at 5:30 for the after-work reprise. Free admission at St. Peter's Episcopal Church. (Tannenbaum)

Anyone who's heard David Sedaris' wry commentary on NPR will get a bellyache from laughing too hard after sitting through his Santaland Diaries, his acclaimed piece about working as an elf at Macy's during the holidays. Santaland Diaries will be performed in the Theatre Charlotte space as Actor's Theatre awaits the completion of their new home. This show will run December 3-13, Wednesdays & Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and December 7 at 2:30pm. December 9 at 7:30pm is "Pay What You Can Night" and opening night on December 3 is followed by a free wine and cheese reception. Tickets are $17-22, call 704-342-2251 or buy online at (Shukla)

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