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See & Do

If last August's 40th anniversary commemorations of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech provided enlightenment, you won't be surprised by the main subject of Judy Simpson Cook's new drama, 1963. BareBones Theatre Group offers the premiere at SPAC in a co-production with Pam Galle's Torch Bearer company. In a small NC town, a young boy and girl discover the consequences of their black/white friendship. Rallying to the banner of Charlotte's most esteemed playwright is a cast studded with CL Theatre Award winners. Through February 22 at 201 Rampart Street. Cook herself will be present for the opening night dinner-and-a-play package -- and for talkbacks after Saturday night performances. Call 704-332-5300. (Tannenbaum)

The Light Factory will present the Project Lovelight Film Weekend today and Saturday. The program kicks off at 6pm with an appearance by Oscar-winning writer-producer Marc Norman, who will attend a reception in his honor at J. Richards Gallery at Phillips Place, and then hold a Q&A following a screening of his award-winning movie Shakespeare In Love at 7pm at the Phillips Place cinema. Tickets cost $30 and are available in advance by calling 704-333-9755. (Brunson)

The songs of Porgy and Bess are a parade of standards, including "Summertime," "I Got Plenty o' Nuttin'," "It Ain't Necessarily So," "Bess, You Is My Woman Now," and "I Loves You, Porgy." But the greatest opera in American history is rarely performed as Gershwin wrote it -- even in the Carolinas, where the story was born. Opera Carolina brings it to Belk Theater with Alvy Powell starring as the crippled Porgy, a role he has sung with New York City Opera on PBS. Roberta Laws and Marsha Thompson will alternate in the other title role as OC adds a fourth performance to meet anticipated demand. Better call 704-372-1000 pronto if you want a sporting chance at good seats. (Tannenbaum)

The documentary Negroes With Guns: Robert Williams and Black Power will be screened tonight at the Afro-American Cultural Center, beginning at 6pm. The film centers on the story of Robert Williams, a revolutionary black activist from Monroe, NC, who influenced the Black Panthers, was friends with Malcolm X, lived in exile in Cuba, and finally returned home to Monroe, where he's now buried (none other than Rosa Parks spoke at his 1996 funeral). Guest panelists will speak after the screening, and include Mabel Williams, the widow of Robert Williams; Tim Tyson of U. of Wisconsin; Glenda Gilmore of Yale; Gerald Horne from UNC-Chapel Hill; and Gregory Dixon of UNC-Charlotte. It's all free; for more information, call 704-374-1565. (Davis)

Belmont Abbey College's October production of Michael Frayn's Copenhagen is being reprised as part of Charlotte Rep's Slimfast overhaul of their current season. Rep's betting that this acclaimed, heady brew of atomic physics and high stakes World War II intrigue -- plus a free drink in the lobby -- will help subscribers forget about the cancellation of a big budget Hamlet. Talk show host Mike Collins returns to the Rep stage as the enigmatic Werner Heisenberg. Was he trying to pump Neils Bohr for info that would give Hitler the bomb -- or trying to gauge how much longer he needed to stall his Fuhrer? Simon Donoghue and Catherine Smith co-star in the 2000 Tony Award winner. Call 704-372-1000. (Tannenbaum)

The darling of drag queens nationwide and queen of Christian eye shadow, Tammy Faye Bakker Messner, will take time out from her new WB reality show The Surreal Life, costarring Vanilla Ice and porn star Ron Jeremy, to make a joint appearance with her daughter Tammy Sue Bakker in a fundraiser for the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (RAIN). The format will include talking about their current projects and their faith, as well as performing songs from Tammy Sue's new album. Together Again . . .An Evening With Tammy Faye and Tammy Sue will take place at 8pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church at 234 N. Sharon Amity. Tickets are $20 and are available at White Rabbit Books and Paper Skyscraper, or by calling 704-309-6712. (Grooms)

The Light Factory's Project Lovelight Film Weekend continues today with "The Awards Party" at Mythos at 8pm, which will feature the winning films in the Light Factory's recent "Make Your Own Movie" contest. For details, call 704-333-9755. (Brunson)

Robert Earl Keen is one of the more prolific Texas singer-songwriters and has built a loyal following far beyond the borders of the Lone Star state. His trademark sound is a mix of (occasionally syrupy) folk ballads and loud honkytonk delivered in tongue-in-cheek style. On his latest disc, 2003's Farm Fresh Onions, Keen highlights the latter, with the silliness still intact. There's still some moody downers to lament with, but the emphasis, live, is usually on the rockin' fun. For someone who does 200-plus dates a year, you'd sure hope so. Keen's at the Neighborhood Theatre Tuesday, with Matt King opening. Tickets are $25, the show starts at 8pm. For more information, call 704-358-9298. (Schacht)

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