Seems like we're in for a wild ride whenever contemporary theater makes one of its infrequent sojourns in the American Southwest. Lynn Siefert's Coyote Ugly, set in a squalid shack out in the Arizona desert, is no exception, mixing raunchy humor and explosive violence in its incestuous rattlesnake coils. BareBones Theatre Group brings this cactus of a comedy to SouthEnd Performing Arts Center through May 22 with Matt Cosper, former agitator at Farm Theatre, directing at 211 Rampart Street for the first time. Performances begin at 8pm Thursdays through Saturdays, with a Pay-What-You-Can show at 8pm on Monday, May 9, and a Sunday matinee at 3pm on May 22. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students. Call 704-332-5300. (Tannenbaum)
There's an uncanny logic to NC Dance Theatre's 2004-05 season, beginning back in September with down-home bluegrass Barbecue and ending this week with a global World Beat at Belk Theater through Saturday. One of the company's favorite visiting choreographers, Alonzo King, offers the world premiere of "SALT." In his new piece, King joins forces with musicians from India and Morocco. They perform live with the NCDT dancers and a rainbow coalition of children. The program also features a revival of Nicolo Fonte's "Brave!" and a tribute to dancers who will be retiring at the end of the season. Performances are at 7:30pm Thursday and 8pm Friday and Saturday. A Saturday matinee is offered at 2pm. Tickets are $10-$55 and may be ordered by calling 704-372-1000. (Tannenbaum)
One of the few Big Hatters who keeps the country in country music, Alan Jackson has been a hit machine since his arrival 15 years ago, collecting something along the order of 20 number one singles (so far) and putting the lie to Music Row propaganda that old school country won't sell. Jackson writes most of his own material, and teamed up with George Strait in 2000 for "Murder on Music Row," which was a no-holds-barred attack on crossover stars and the like. Sara Evans and the Wrights open. For more information, go to www.verizon.com. (Schacht)
Take Federico Fellini's 8-1/2, round it off with Tony Award music and lyrics by Maury Yeston, and you get Nine, a debauched retrospective on the colorful career of a movie director in artistic — and psychological — decline. Ron Chisholm will choreograph and direct this decadent delight, playing at Theatre Charlotte through May 22, with Robert Nipper starring as Guido Contini (and Corey Cray as the flashback Guido). Nipper is new to most of us, but longtime Charlotte theater aficionados will recognize Polly Adkins, Rodena Barr, Daryl Gerber and Alyson Lowe as blue-chippers strewn among the ensemble. Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances begin at 8pm, and the Sunday matinees on May 15 and 22 begin at 2:30pm. Tickets are $17-$22. Call 704-334-9128. (Tannenbaum)
Club Shows of Note: If your shit ain't kicked by the three entries in this Milestone show -- Deke Dickerson & the Ecco-Fonics, David Childers and the Modern Don Juans, and Angry Johnny and the Killbillies -- then you've no shit to kick... Whatever it is that Wavy Gravy does, he'll be doing it at George Washington Bookstore & Tavern in Concord (and burning out on acid is too obvious an answer).
May 06 - Friday
You may know the story, but until you've experienced the marinara-sauce style of The Commedia Princess and the Pea, you and your favorite anklebiter may not know how hilarious Hans Christian Andersen can be. Children's Theatre revives one of Tarradiddle's best efforts ever for their final mainstage production of the 2004-05 season at the Morehead Street fantasy palace. Extra vowels and schtick are sprinkled everywhere like parmesan through May 15 as the Tarradiddle troupers play multiple roles — and vent hostilities toward each other along the way. Friday performances are at 7:30pm, Saturday matinees at 1pm and 3pm, Sundays at 2pm and 4pm. Center seats are already gone, but there are side seats for $10. Call 704-333-8983. (Tannenbaum)
The annual Charlotte Pride Festival is a 3-day celebration with events beginning today with Gay Bingo and ending Sunday with a picnic at Freedom Park. The fest celebrates the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community with speakers, performers and vendors. The main festival takes place on Saturday at Marshall Park, downtown, 11am-6pm. This year's entertainment is by Eric Himan, Jen Foster, Sacha Sacket, Josh Zuckerman, The Queen City Outlaws (exhibition Country Western dance team) and more. For more details and a complete list of the weekend's activities, call 888-626-2329 or visit www.charlottepride.org.
Club Shows of Note: Robert Earl Keen does his folk rock thing at the Neighborhood Theatre... The Atlanta trio Hot Young Priest bring their buzz to the Room with The Talk and Fashion Brigade in the rock show of the week... A punk potpourri headed by Queen City stalwarts My So-Called Band celebrate the CD release of the various artist disc Smash the States.
May 07 - Saturday
The amphitheater at Midwood Park is the place to be today for live local music, beer, food and the company of friends and neighbors at Midwood Maynia. The event kicks off at 1pm with Jon Singleton, Sandy Herrault and Friends, a high energy traditional Celtic trio. Guitarist and vocalist Tom Billotto and friends and 80s retro band Orange Crush also appear, and from 4-5pm Midwood Open Mic invites neighborhood musicians to tune up, tune in and turn out. Our Urban Explorer Handbook calls Plaza-Midwood "Charlotte's hippest neighborhood." See for yourself at Midwood Maynia. Midwood Park is at the intersection of Winter and Wilhelmina near Mecklenburg Avenue. For more info, go to http://bandtastic.com/midwoodmania. (Vespa)
The newest exhibition at Mint Museum of Craft + Design is Point of View III: North Carolina Artists as Collectors. The exhibit features the collections of Glass Artist Harvey Littleton, Ceramist Mark Hewitt and Furniture Maker and Interior Designer Randy Shull. The collection is on view today through October 9. For more information, call 704-337-2066 or visit www.mintmuseum.org.
Club Shows of Note: Chapel Hill Indie pop king Chris Stamey does a rare acoustic set at the Evening Muse... Dove, Horse Thief and candidate for band name of the year Facedowninshit blow the roof off your house if you live anywhere near the Milestone... Badfinger -- or rather, a portion of them (the knuckle?) — relive their bygone era at the Neighborhood Theatre.
May 11 - Wednesday
The good folks at ASCAP (if you happen to be acronym-phobic, the American Society of Composers, Artists and Publishers) are hosting an evening showcase of local talent at Amos' Southend starting at 7pm tonight. The nice but by no means exhaustive lineup for this year's schmoozefest includes Bellglide, Rudy Currence, U-Phonik and Secondhand Stories. Even if your band didn't make it on stage this night, it's a good opportunity to learn about publishing rights, and ASCAP encourages fledgling artists to check it out. Free entry, open bar until 8pm when the bands begin their short sets. For more information, go to www.ascap.com or call Amos at 704-377-6874. (Schacht)