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See & Do

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July 20 - Wednesday
The wild costumes, nonsensical rhymes and mostly forgettable Andrew Lloyd Webber tunes are all back as CP Summer Theatre chooses Cats to close down Pease Auditorium. Cognoscenti long ago threw up their hands and surrendered to the dubious appeal of Grizabella, Rum Tum Tugger and Old Deuteronomy, so I'm dragging my wife to see them once again. Misery loves company, so please fill every seat with us through July 30. Tom Hollis directs, Eddie Mabry choreographs, and local faves Susan Knowlson and Corey Mitchell appear, respectively, as Grindlebone and Neuteronomy. Evening performances Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8pm, with a Sunday matinee July 24 at 2:30pm and a 7pm curtain on Tuesday, July 26. Tickets are $16. Call 704-330-6534. (Tannenbaum)

July 21 - Thursday
Rock Hill author Ron Chepesiuk (pronounced Chep-sik) has written three books on the international drug trade. He happens to know more about the political goings-on in Colombia than anyone around and will be at Barnes & Noble at the Arboretum to read from and sign copies of Drug Lords. It's the inside story of one of the world's most powerful crime syndicates, an astonishingly ruthless group that took control of much of the world's cocaine trade after the death of Pablo Escobar, the head of the rival Medellin cartel. For more information, call 704-341-9481. (Grooms)

July 23 - Saturday
The Charlotte Sting, winners of but three games before the WNBA All Star Game, face the Indiana Fever tonight at 6pm at the Charlotte Coliseum. The Fever are led by All-Star Tamika Catchings — a one-time star at women's-hoops powerhouse Tennessee — and Tan White, a high-scoring rookie (11.1 ppg) that the Sting recently passed over with its overall number-one draft pick in favor of "project" center Janel McCarville (2.7 ppg). Ghost of the Hornets, quit haunting us! Tickets begin at $10, and are available by calling 1-877-WNBA-TIX. (Timothy C. Davis)

While some artists coldly refer to their work as "outsider art" — as if only a select, inside group of intellectuals can understand the nuances — the group First in Families applies the more welcoming label of Boundless Art. This inclusive July exhibit at the Art Institute of Charlotte Gallery showcases the work of artists with developmental disabilities. On Saturday, July 23, the Art Institute hosts an artists' reception and fundraiser hosted by WSOC-TV's Vince Coakley. The $20 suggested donations benefit art programming and activities for people with developmental disabilities. A raffle also will be on hand, offering original art pieces and — for those less art-inclined who will be there just for the free hors d'oeuvres — Panthers tickets. The benefit is from 6-9pm. For more info, see http://aich.artinstitutes.edu. (William Fonvielle)

With her Billie Holiday-like delivery, cryptic lyrical content and rich sound, the Dallas, Texas-born singer/songwriter Eryka Badu helped define the neo-soul sound of the 90s on her 1997 debut, Badzium. If there was any single linking factor between the diverse artists in that loosely defined category, it was the absolute rejection of the over-produced faux grandeur of the Mariah Carey/Whitney Houston cookie-cutter diva school. Badu's music is organic, rich in palpable instrumentation and voicings. Badu's follow-ups haven't generated quite the same heat, but there's more than enough afterglow to this talented artist's material to warrant your attendance tonight. Tickets range from $28.50-$60. For more information, call 704-522-6500 or go to www.cellardoor.com. (John Schacht)

July 24 - Sunday
Bruce Springsteen is on the road pumping his new album Devils & Dust. Don't expect Clarence Clemmons to come out blowing his horn with the rest of the E-Street Band tearing the roof off the sucker. This is a Springsteen solo tour — his first, in fact, since his 1995-1996 The Ghost of Tom Joad tour. Springsteen will get down to the business of storytelling with just his gravelly voice and acoustic guitar. Do expect a passionate and dynamic, two-and-a-half hour show in which Springsteen lays down the law with songs running the gamut of his career, as well as his latest material laced with themes of desire, despair and regret. The concert starts at 7:30pm at the Charlotte Coliseum. Tickets are $75-$85. For more details call 704-522-6500 or visit ticketmaster.com. (Shukla)

July 26 - Tuesday
She's flying! Celebrated Olympian and Seussical survivor Cathy Rigby returns — for the last time — in the title role of Peter Pan at Belk Theater. Your opportunities to tell Rigby you do believe in fairies dwindle down to a precious few before the thing peters out on July 31. Even if you grew up on Mary Martin's springtime renditions of "I Gotta Crow," "Neverland," and "I Won't Grow Up," you'll be charmed by Rigby's energy and athleticism — not to mention the "swiniest swine of them all," Captain Hook. Rigby's farewell performances start at 8pm Tuesday through Thursday, moving back to 8:15pm on Friday and Saturday evenings, with a 7:30pm finale on Sunday. Will there be matinees for your favorite anklebiter? You bet! At 2pm Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are priced at $23-$58. Call 704-372-1000. (Tannenbaum)

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