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See & Do

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Wednesday, June 14

Texas singer-songwriter James McMurtry has bookended a slew of potent recordings, beginning with the brilliant debut Too Long in the Wasteland and continuing with last year's Childish Things. The secret is in the lively characters McMurtry creates -- maybe its in the genes as James is the son of novelist Larry McMurtry -- along with tightly-knitted Texas twang. The show is tonight at Visulite beginning at 9pm. Tickets are $14 in advance and $16 at the door. Details at www.visulite.com. (Shukla)

Thursday, June 8

They're celebrating the immortal Dutch Master's 400th birthday at CAST, but look who's doing the giving. Through July 1, we're getting Rembrandt's Gift -- along with New York photographer Polly Shaw, the beleaguered protagonist in Tina Howe's new romantic comedy. Sporting the Dutch accent as the resurrected painter will be Tom Scott, CL's reigning Best Dramatic Actor. CAST is actually throwing in some extra goodies in this regional premiere -- two tasty theater appetizers as you enter the renovated lobby at 1118 Clement Ave., Samuel Beckett's "Act Without Words" and Jon Jory's "CAMERA." All conjured by CAST artistic director Michael R. Simmons, CL's Theatreperson of the Year. Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm. Adult tickets $20, students and seniors $18. Call 704-455-8542. (Tannenbaum)

Friday, June 9

She twirls, she's sartorially splendid in chiffon and bespoke platforms, she's the embodiment of rock romance and rings down Valhalla with her powerful nasal bleat of a voice. No wannabe rock goddess has rivaled Stevie Nicks since she first howled her ode to the Welsh witch "Rhiannon." Fortunately, this velvet-sheathed road warrior and Joplin heiress will celebrate ex-paramour Tom Petty's 30th anniversary tour by performing with him and his Heartbreakers at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre on June 9. Come all ye night birds to Concord at 7pm and tickets are $30-75, available at www.ticketmaster.com. (Crazy Horse)

Does anybody have a problem with Bill Maher LIVE! making an exclusive Carolinas appearance at Belk Theater? Yep, and that leaves more seats for literate folk. The host of HBO's Real Time -- and the prince of ABC's shitcanned Politically Incorrect -- must have done his homework and found us to be the lone glimmer of electoral enlightenment amid the bushel of Bushophilia. So Maher is here, full-strength, with all his pointed observations on the current cavalcade of national catastrophes, including NSA, FEMA and W. This welcome freedom-of-speech interlude begins at 8pm with tickets priced at $39.50-$65. Call 704-372-1000. (Tannenbaum)

CPCC Summer Theatre makes its long-anticipated debut at the new Halton Theater with The Wizard of Oz through June 17. The greatest musical that its composer, Harold Arlen, never saw onstage was specially adapted for the Royal Shakespeare Company. So all the beloved, accept-no-substitutes songs from the 1939 MGM classic are intact. Laura Hix makes her Charlotte debut as the Toto-toting Dorothy, surrounded by a starry cast -- in dual roles, of course -- that includes local faves Patrick Ratchford, Katherine Goforth, Kevin Campbell and reigning CL Actress of the Year, Susan Knowlson. Plus more adorable monkeys and winkies and Ozians than you can shake a ruby slipper at. Friday and Saturday this week at 8pm, Wednesday through Saturday next week at 8pm. Curtain time for Matinee Madness at Halton, June 11 and 17, is 2:30pm, plus a 7pm performance on June 13. Tickets are $14-$20. Call 704-330-6534. (Tannenbaum)

Saturday, June 10

Sure, the music's still abrasive as hell, but strip it down (as Johnny Cash did to such lovely effect with his cover of "Hurt," and there's no denying that Nine Inch Nails' (hereafter referred to as NIN -- how do you make a backwards "N"?) Trent Reznor's a hell of a songwriter. One of the few industrial artists ever to make a dent on the pop-rock landscape (as well as one of the few Nirvana-era alternative titans still making challenging albums (see the recent With Teeth, an album that truly lives up to its title), NIN show no signs of slowing down 15 years into the game. As an added benefit, tonight's 7pm Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre show also features goth genuises Bauhaus, a band that not only almost defines a style of music all by its lonesome, but also a lifestyle as well -- Bela Lugosi's not dead, boys. Starting the whole evening off are buzz-binners TV on the Radio. Tickets for the show are a damn reasonable $23.50-$43.00, available by calling 704-522-6500, or by logging on to www.ticketmaster.com. (Fun fact: "Children under 2 are free on ticketholder's lap." Not that I would advise it.) (Davis)

"I keep a close watch on this heart of mine/I keep my eyes wide open all the time/I keep the ends out for the tie that binds/Because you're mine, I walk the line." The immortal words of the Man in Black's "I Walk The Line" is a great way to break in the Rockabilly BBQ and Car Show. Johnny Cash is a pioneer in the world of rockabilly, which refers to the resurrection of '50s style and music with a modern twist. There shouldn't be any line of any kind at Puckett's, 2740 W. Sugar Creek Road, today as the vintage car show kicks things off at noon. The concert begins at 3:30pm, featuring the best the East Coast has to offer in rockabilly and honky tonk; admission is $15. Party lasts till 2am. For band information, visit www.rockabillyBBQ.com or call 704-433-8154. (Calloway)

If you're female, there's a good chance you've had the dream where a handsome prince rides in to sweep you away to some gorgeous locale and you live out the rest of your life being worshipped by prince and country. (Quick note: attempt to remain calm as you read the rest of this announcement.) It's all coming true! ABC's hit The Bachelor is currently casting to find someone just like you to become a real-life princess. Be one of 25 Americans destined to travel to Rome (Europe, for those suffering from Lorelai Lee syndrome) to meet and woo Italian Prince Lorenzo Borghese. Starting point to fulfilling your childhood dream: Come to Cans Bar and Canteen, 500 West 5th St. from 1pm-4pm. Good luck and try to be a lady. More info at www.thebachelor.tv or www.cansbar.com. (Calloway)

One of the signs to look for in determining the staying power of a new band (save, perhaps, obvious drug and alcohol addiction and arrest records) is how many new songs they're penning. Which is not to say you can't polish up some of the better ones for release, as the Sammies have done on their fine new self-titled MoRisen debut. But to see a band as young as this (less than three years in) have such a back catalog (50+ and counting, I'd say) bodes well for the future. They're "getting their legs," as sports announcers like to say, and introducing meatier, mid-tempo tracks to their rumpusroom full of raucous rawkers. At this rate, the Sams are on the verge of pulling a LeBron, skipping the prelims and heading straight to the pros. Tonight at Visulite. Showtime is at 10 pm and $8 gets you in. Info at www.visulite.com. (Davis)

Sunday, June 11

The American Theatre Wing and CBS will be teaming up for the 60th presentation of the Antoinette Perry Awards, emblematic of excellence in Broadway theatre. While the live telecast begins at 8pm (and drags on till 11pm), the Performing Arts Center opens up the Booth Playhouse at 7:30pm for its 2nd Annual Tony Awards Party. Since the PAC is a member of the Independent Presenters Network, there was plenty excitement last year when IPN's hit production Spamalot carted off the Tony Award for Best Musical. Hopes are running high for an encore as IPN is one of the major producers, along with somebody named Oprah, of The Color Purple. With Color Purple nominated for 11 Tonies in the musical category, cheers and groans should be plentiful all evening long at this free event as winners are announced on the big-screen telecast. Free light refreshments, cash bar, door prizes and a sneak preview of the 2006-07 Broadway Lights season are also on the bill. RSVP at 704-348-5816. (Tannenbaum)

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