As we all know, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision which made racially segregated public schools illegal. One of the best things about the anniversary has been the extraordinary Courage: The Carolina Story That Changed America exhibit at the Levine Museum of the New South in downtown Charlotte. Not too many people know that the Brown case actually began in South Carolina -- in Clarendon County, to be exact -- with a lawsuit filed by a preacher named Rev. J.A. DeLaine and his neighbors, demanding an end to separate, unequal schools for their kids. The Museum has been commemorating that historic, wrenching time in the nation's history for months, but if you've missed Courage, you've got till Sunday afternoon to catch it. The exhibit was created by the museum's historian Tom Hanchett, along with Darcie Fohrman, who designed the acclaimed "Daniel's Story" at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The Museum is at 200 E. Seventh Street and is open Tuesday - Saturday 10am-5pm; Sunday 12noon-5pm. Call 704-333-1887 for more information. (Grooms)
Woe unto the whistleblower! In Arthur Miller's adaptation of Ibsen's Enemy of the People, Dr. Thomas Stockmann diagnoses the common cause of illness among his town's tourists. But politicos, journos, economists, and the man on the street don't want to hear about the threat to their environment -- and Stockmann is something less than a master of diplomacy. What ensues for the town and public-spirited doctor is food for thought. With Theatre for Change serving up the meaty script in a 7pm reading at the Evening Muse, Henrik's problem play will be a rich intellectual meal. Nicia Carla, Scott Helm, Joanna Gerdy, and Gina Stewart are among the stalwarts stirring the pot to ensure flavor. Free to the people at 36th and N. Davidson Street, the reading will be followed by an audience talkback and discussion. (Tannenbaum)
Just a quick reminder that this is National Underwear Day, as declared by the self-serving folks at freshpair.com, so be sure to change your skivvies. If not for your sake, then for your loved ones. Here's some stuff we bet you didn't know about underwear: King Tutankhamen was buried with 145 of his loincloths; in France, lingerie takes up 20 percent of the average woman's clothing budget; married men change their underwear twice as often as single men; 8 out of 10 women wear the wrong size bra; 82 percent of women have tried on men's underwear; and, Ed Wood eat your heart out, 31 percent of men have tried on women's underwear. So go out there and have a happy underwear wearing experience, or whatever.
AUGUST 13 - FRIDAY
The Charlotte Film Society's Second Week/Second Chance series continues today at the Manor Theatre as well as next Friday at Movies at Birkdale. This month's international offerings are Israel's Broken Wings, Brazil's Carandiru, Iran's Crimson Gold and Denmark's The Five Obstructions. For capsule reviews, see this issue's Film section; for information on prices and times, call 704-414-2355 or go online to http://charlottefilmsociety.com. (Brunson)
A dream lineup of current country artists who actually play something resembling country music, the Sweet Harmony Traveling Review features the incomparable Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, Buddy Miller, and Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. While many of these folks have played on each other's records or together in live settings, this marks the first time they've played together as a unit, and this show will highlight both ensemble performances and solo numbers. The show is at the Paladium Amphitheatre at Carowinds, and tickets are $37.50 or $52.50. Admission to the park is free with a concert ticket after 5pm on the day of the show and just $10 prior to that with each concert ticket purchased. The concert time was yet to be determined at press time, but for more information go to www.carowinds.com. (Schacht)
A classic documentary film that also happens to contain some unbelievable music has been brought back to life and public circulation and you can see it today. On August 20, 1972, more than 100,000 people attended Wattstax, a seven-hour musical festival in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum as part of the Watts Summer Festival that grew out of the rubble of the 1965 Watts riots. It was a powerful socio-political event as well as a great show -- all about a new pride flowing through the black community. The stage featured an inspirational intro by Jesse Jackson, a hall-of-fame caliber lineup of Stax label artists like Isaac Hayes, Carla and Rufus Thomas, the Staple Singers, and blues great Albert King, and a little-known comedian named Richard Pryor. Much of the film's strength, though, comes from the filmmakers venturing into Watts' streets and stores and churches to get a feel for the community. Wattstax -- The Special Edition will shown at 7:30 and 9:30pm at the Afro-American Cultural Center. Tickets are $8.
AUGUST 14 - SATURDAY
If you're longing for the palms (the trees, not the restaurant) and can't get away, the 2004 Caribbean Summer Festival is the next best thing. Live music including the Jim Boyce Steel Orchestra, a limbo contest, arts and craft vendors, the Caribbean Queen contest and delectable Caribbean cuisine, are a few of the highlights this year. A street parade kicks off the festivities at noon, following a route down S. Tryon Street and ending in Marshall Park where the celebration continues from 1-9pm. Admission is free! Call 980-721-9209 for details or visit the CASUFE website at www.casufe.com. (Grossman)
Last month's Historic South End Artist Alley drew quite a crowd considering the sweltering Charlotte weather. Well, the second Saturday of the month is upon us once again, and from 10am-4pm, local emerging artists will showcase their works in the alleys between the Design Center buildings (off of Camden Road). Refreshments will be sold to beat the heat. Visit www.historicsouthend.com for details. (Grossman)
AUGUST 15 - SUNDAY
The reigning Queen of female singer-songwriters (at least of the country rock variety), Lucinda Williams -- appearing tonight at 8pm at the Visulite Theatre -- is practically "first-name only" music royalty at this point. Known for taking years between records -- most notably, six of 'em before releasing the 1998 Grammy winner Car Wheels on a Gravel Road -- Williams has picked up the pace with the last two, with varying results. Essence, from "01, disappointed some, but last year's World Without Tears was an excellent effort by any standard. With veteran country rockers The Bottle Rockets opening, this may be the roots rock event of the year -- too bad it's sold out. Check out www.visulite.com http://www.visulite.com for any ticket updates. (Schacht/Davis)
AUGUST 17 - TUESDAY
Singer and pianist Norah Jones launched her career working with trip-hop band Wax Poetic and as a member of Charlie Hunter's group. Jones' subtle, sultry delivery turned into multi-platinum success with her debut CD in 2002. Jones is a jazz-imbued singer with an inclination toward vocal pop, blues and country. Her musical blend is even more apparent in the recent sophomore release, Feels Like Home, where she does a duet with Dolly Parton. The singer has inherited her father Ravi Shankar's musical genes, but to her credit has made a name in a totally different genre of music. Norah Jones and Her Handsome Band will perform svelte originals and wide-ranging covers, from Hank Sr. to Tom Waits, at Ovens Auditorium, 7:30pm. Tickets: $28-$58. Details: 704-522-6500 (Shukla)
That most familiar spot for happy ever-aftering, Camelot, returns to Belk Theater through Sunday. Robert Goulet, however, will be switching places at the legendary Round Table. Way back in 1960, Goulet rode the role of Lancelot to stardom opposite Julie Andrews. Now he's moving to the head of the table as the cuckolded King Arthur -- and perhaps snatching a song or two off the knight-errant's plate. The last of the fabled Lerner & Loewe collaborations features "How to Handle a Woman," "If Ever I Would Leave You," and the title song that became emblematic of the Kennedy presidency. Tickets are $22-$64 and available at 704-372-1000. Evening performances are at 8pm through Thursday; Friday and Saturday, they begin at 8:15; and the final performance on Sunday begins at 7:30. There are also two 2pm matinees this weekend. (Tannenbaum)