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See & Do

May 25 - Wednesday
The Charlotte Knights take on the Indianapolis Indians today through Saturday at 7:15pm at Knights Stadium. The Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox has struggled early this season, enduring a string of painful losses and the loss of two players to steroid-based suspensions. There is good news, however. Their parent club was the best team in baseball at press time, and the Knights' current designated hitter/first baseman is none other than Frank "The Big Hurt" Thomas — he of the 400-plus career homers — in town on an injury rehab assignment. Tickets for the four-game home stand are $6-10, available by calling 704-36-HOMER. (Timothy C. Davis)

Picture the fractured still-life work of George Braque, or the re-arranged faces of Picasso's portraits — dissonant images that somehow capture more of the subject's essence and soul than, say, a photograph. What the hell does this po-mo mumbo-jumbo have to do with the Eastern Seaboard/Calabi Yau show at the Room tonight? Everything. An acoustic drums/bass/sax trio (the latter instrument played by local Pyramidist Brent Bagwell), the Seaboard thrives on deconstructing any genre — from post-punk to hot club to cool jazz — that crosses its improvisational radar. Add screeching electric neon and sharp, angular edges, and you have a close approximation of Calabi Yau's sound. At the Room tonight, details at or 704-527-4511. (Schacht)

May 26 - Thursday
It's race week in Charlotte and if Food Lion Speed Street conjures up visions of racing up and down Tryon Street, you've had one too many funnel cakes. At this annual extravaganza, hundreds of thousands of race fans jam the downtown streets for non-stop entertainment, appearances by Nextel Cup Drivers, NASCAR exhibits and paraphernalia and plenty of festival food and drinks. Oh, did we mention all those famous musicians? Among them: Too Much Sylvia, Boyz II Men, 3 Doors Down, Bridge, Jo Dee Messina, U-Phonik, the Charlie Daniels Band, even Styx for Christ's sake! Also, family fare like the Disney movie Finding Nemo and Mascot Mania. The fun starts today and runs through Saturday. The not-so-fun street closings start Wednesday. Go to for complete entertainment and autograph session schedules, and for info on street closings. (Vespa)

May 27 - Friday
Catch It If You Can: Given the popularity of practically every recent film aimed at family audiences — even the critically maligned The Pacifier cleared more than $100 million at the box office — the animated effort Madagascar hardly needs a push here. Yet after the dismal likes of Shark Tale and Robots, it's an immense pleasure to see a toon flick that's genuinely amusing and imaginative. The story proper focuses on four pampered zoo animals who wind up stranded on the title island, yet it's the peripherals that make this such a treat. For a review, see this issue's Film section; for theaters and showtimes, go to the Moviefone link at (Brunson)

The finest performing arts festival in the Americas, Spoleto Festival USA transforms the classiest city in the Carolinas into a paradise of musical and theatrical delight for the next 17 days. If the international notables gathered in Charleston don't capture your fancy at the big festival, pumping out over 120 performances, there's Piccolo Spoleto Festival — with 700 additional events showcasing regional artists all around town through June 12. The festivals are a great way to enhance your cultural IQ while introducing you to one of the world's most fascinating cities. Best place to dip into the glorious profusion of Spoleto is at the festival websites, and (Tannenbaum)

You don't have to cross the border during Speed Week if you're theater-hungry and NASCAR-challenged. Head to the hills! Up in Asheville, the Stoneleaf Theatre Festival fills the last five days of May and the first five days of June with wall-to-wall theater from early in the afternoon until late at night. Four Charlotte companies are among the 26 North Carolina groups converging on Asheville for the debut of Stoneleaf. Over 125 performances are scattered in multiple venues around town, some free, some in the $13.50-$15 range, and none higher than those priced at $18-$22.50. Browse online at or call 828-257-4500. (Tannenbaum)

May 28 - Saturday
Here's a new exhibit that kids of all ages should love. Based on the book Grossology, an exhibit of the same name opens at Discovery Place today and explores why the human body produces mushy, crusty, scaly and stinky stuff. The interactive and educational exhibit includes "Urine: The Game," a GI slide, large-scale replica of human skin, a pinball game called "Gas Attack" and the amazing "Burp Machine." Bring out the giggly kid in you and take in what the author of Grossology Sylvia Branzei calls "science in disguise." For further details call 704-372-6261 or hop on over to (Shukla)

May 29 - Sunday
The King Daddy of all Lowe's Motor Speedway races, the Coca-Cola 600, takes place today. Four hundred laps, 600 miles — that's a long time, and a great chance to get yourself a whole lot of beer and chicken and T-shirts. There will be pre-race entertainment in the form of a circus-style aerial thrills act, performed at heights equal to a 14-story building, plus a 150-foot human cannonball, and, whether you like it or not, performers from American Idol will also do their thing. The race itself begins at 5:40pm, and will be televised on FOX18. Tickets start at $49 and can be purchased by calling 1-800-FANS, or by going to (Grooms)

Scribblejam, the annual showcase of DJs, MCs, Graffiti artists and all else connected with hip-hop, enters its 10th year and makes an appearance at Neighborhood Theatre tonight. The Southeast preliminary, one of 12 across the country, bypassed Atlanta and landed in our fair city this year. In addition to the Emcee Battle there will be performances by Mr. Dibbs (of Atmosphere), Blueprint, Glue, MarsILL, The Others, Mr. Invisible, and more. Tickets are $15-$18 and showtime is at 7pm. For more details call 704-358-9298 or visit (Shukla)

May 31 - Tuesday
Trevor Nunn brought a darker dimension to Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma! in his London revival of 1998 — and launched Hugh Jackman on a trajectory toward superstardom. No less audacious, Susan Stroman swept aside the famed Agnes De Mille choreography and dumped the signature Laurey ballet. Sans Jackman, the Broadway transplant of the Nunn/Stroman version received mixed reviews — including a yawn or two. Now Charlotte gets a chance to register its verdict as the radically reimagined Okie musical comes to Belk Theater through June 5. Hopefully, it's not as bad as the lame TV promos have led us to believe. Tickets are priced at $23-$61, with evening performances at 8pm Tuesday through Thursday, 8:15pm on Friday and Saturday, and 7:30pm on Sunday. Matinees are scheduled at 2pm on Saturday and Sunday. Call 704-372-1000. (Tannenbaum)

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