One of the most frustrating experiences for community activists (i.e., grassroots organizers/liberal troublemakers) can be feeling hostility from potential allies due to class differences — a cultural faux pas, a careless word, or simple dollar-resentment have derailed valuable projects. Betsy Leondar-Wright has made this speedbump on the road to justice her special field as the communications director for the national non-profit United for a Fair Economy, and now as the author of Class Matters: Cross-class Alliance Building for Middle-class Activists. She is in Charlotte today, leading a workshop on Cross-Class Alliance Building, beginning at 7pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church on N. Sharon Amity Rd. For more info, call the church at 704-366-8623. (Grooms)
APRIL 29 - Friday
Catch It If You Can: Whitwell, Tennessee, might just be the last place one would associate with the Holocaust, but the poignant documentary Paper Clips centers on a class that spent years collecting the title objects to represent the number of Jews slaughtered during World War II. The project garnered national attention but, more importantly, taught the residents in this middle-of-nowhere town lessons in civility, compassion and basic human understanding. For a review, see this issue's Film section; for theaters and showtimes, go to the Moviefone link at charlotte.creativeloafing.com/flicks_toc.html. (Brunson)
We don't know if she plays a mean pinball, but we do know that Evelyn Glennie plays a mean xylophone — and an encyclopedia of other percussion instruments — even though she has her own unique way of hearing them. We've been anticipating her Charlotte Symphony Orchestra debut for close to two years now, which makes it appropriate that she'll be bringing two concertos to Belk Theatre that have never been performed here. There's a Vivaldi Piccolo Concerto arranged by Glennie for percussion and, more intriguing still, a Joseph Schwantner Percussion Concerto with an unearthly yet unmistakably classical sound. Christopher Warren-Green will also be making his CSO debut on the podium, preparing the ensemble for an additional local premiere, Vaughan Williams' lovely Symphony #5. Performances begin at 8pm Friday and Saturday, and tickets are priced at $15-$73. Call 704-972-2000. (Tannenbaum)
Club Shows of Note: The Two-Dollar Pistols twang up the Evening Muse...Snagglepuss brings their off-kilter stage show to the Milestone...The Virginia Reel lay down some VU-inspired melodies at the Neighborhood Theatre opening for Abe Reid & the Spikedrivers
APRIL 30 - Saturday
The governor says it's Kite Month North Carolina, so the Charlotte Museum of History launches a new multi-media interactive exhibit today, Kites to Kitty Hawk, chronicling kite innovations and their inventors as they pursued the goal of man-powered flight. Beginning with early pioneers, the exhibit celebrates the final achievement of taking to the air with the Wright Brothers and their first flight at Kitty Hawk. The exhibition includes seven historical kite reproductions. Today's opening day activities include hands-on activities, paper airplane contest, a chance to explore an airplane, and learn about modern kite flying and design. It takes place from 1-4pm at the museum at 3500 Shamrock Dr. The exhibit will be on display until early September. For more information call 704-568-1774 or visit www.charlottemuseum.org.
Pull out the fancy hats, the sundresses and crisp white slacks for the annual The Queen's Cup Steeplechase at Brooklandwood today. The Steeplechase is where athletic thoroughbreds compete to clear four-foot challenging jumps while racing around a 3-mile rolling course. For the first time in steeplechase history, and so you don't have to elbow your way around nicely dressed ladies, Personal Space Licenses (PSLs) are being offered to race patrons. Along with the racing horses there will be Jack Russell Terrier races, a hat contest, charity raffle and more. Spend a Saturday afternoon in the country. Some of the proceeds go to Catawba Lands Conservancy. General admission is $25, kids 12 and under free. For full details log on to www.queenscup.org. (Shukla)
The 11th annual Festival of India, which showcases the cultural heritage of the Asian-Indian community, returns to Wachovia Atrium this weekend. The two-day festival features the diversity of Indian foods, music, dance and cultures without having to spend 20 hours in an airplane. Plenty of vendors of sweet and spicy food will be there, plus displays of the arts and crafts of India, information about historical and other places of interest there, and a special focus on the effects of the recent tsunami and recovery efforts. Yoga demonstrations, classical and folk dances, a fashion parade showcasing brides of India, henna artists, and numerous other activities round out the weekend. It takes place today 11:30am-7:30pm and Sunday from 12pm-5pm. Admission is $3, kids under 10 free. Wachovia Atrium is at 301 S. Tryon St. For more information visit www.festivalindia.org. (Shukla)
Friends of the Fourth Ward are hosting the Fourth Ward Frolic: A Celebration of Art, History and Music today and tomorrow in the Fourth Ward Park at the corner of Sixth and Poplar streets. Showcasing local artists and craftspeople, regional and heritage offerings, wine and beer tastings (yes, please), kid's activities, guided walking tours (left foot, right foot!) and enough food to sate even the hungriest guided walking tour veteran. And what would a frolic be sans music? Formerly hosted by CPCC the past six years, the Fourth Ward has taken over this showcase of blues, folk, bluegrass, Americana, R&B and international music. Appearing are national, regional and local bands ranging from the Brown Liquor Pickers to Clarinda Harvey Ensemble (all the way from Arkansas), Mock Turtle Soup and Robin & Tony Rogers, among others. For more information and set times, go to www.fofw.com or call 704-651-4183. (Schacht)
Club Shows of Note: Guitar wizard Chris Duarte and his group dirty up the Double Door with some low-down blues as nasty as anything this side of Stevie Ray Vaughan...Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks yuk it up and swing-folk their way through the night at the Neighborhood Theatre...Recently named one of the Southeast's top 10 bands to keep an eye on, Baleen brings their unique blend to The Room...the ever-improving Babyshaker (and they're plenty shakin' already, baby) tear it up at the Milestone...young local metal practioners Tribe of More celebrate a CD release at Tremont.
MAY 01 - Sunday
Murder's on the menu at the Palomino Restaurant Rotisseria Bar tonight at 6. Death Is a Cabernet, Ol' Chum, featuring the About Town Tours' ComeSolveIt-Charlotte Players, is a murder mystery dinner theatre production that asks the audience to help discover WhoDunIt. Cocktails and salads are served at 6pm; the entrée and dessert will be served during the performance and the crime solving starts at 7pm. The three-course meal is $50 per person, including tax and tip. The Palomino Restaurant is at 525 N. Tryon Street. For reservations and more information, call 704-373-9499. (Vespa)
Club Shows of Note: You'll never see anything like Captured! By Robots, who bring their human slave to the Milestone tonight.
MAY 04 - Wednesday
Now in its fifth year of international productions, Menopause the Musical opens with a local cast tonight at the newly renovated Capri Theatre at 3500 East Independence Boulevard. The musical celebrates women who are on the brink of, in the middle of, or have survived The Change. The 90-minute show features 26 "relyricized" classic boomer hits like "I Heard It Thru the Grapevine You No Longer See 39," and the disco favorite, "Stayin' Awake! Stayin' Awake!" Performances are Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm, with matinees at 4pm on Saturday and 2pm on Sunday. Tickets are $39.50 and can be purchased by calling 704-563-3332. For more info, visit www.menopausethemusical.com or www.capritheatre.com. (Vespa)