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See & Do

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Thursday, June 22

An American landmark unto himself (sort of like a Stonerhenge), Tommy Chong continues to forge ahead in his zealous support of getting high. Chong, best-known as the other half of America's favorite stoner ne'er-do-wells Cheech & Chong (Cheech Marin was his partner), shakes up the Bible-belt as only he can. He likely won't be spoofing his recent legal troubles -- a nine-month sentence for conspiracy to distribute drug paraphernalia, recounted in the documentary a/k/a Tommy Chong -- because he's barred from profiting from them. Always resilient, Chong bounced back by turning his recurring role as hippie "Leo" on That '70s Show into a series regular. His wife Shelby opens during their three-day run at the Comedy Zone, 518 N. College St. Tickets range from $13-$19. Call 704-348-4242 for reservations. (Calloway)

Chamber Music at St. Pete's is sticking its toes into the summer season, offering its first Chamber Music for Teens Summer Workshop. While the middle and high school students are resting between workshops, June 19-23, their teachers will step forward with a Faculty Recital to show us all how it's done. The program is as fetching and adventurous as any of the monthly lunchtime chamber concerts during the fall, winter and spring -- with a biggie-sized helping of excellence. There's an infrequently heard Beethoven Trio for Piano, Flute and Bassoon and a foray into Gabriel Fauré's Piano Trio. Particularly intriguing is the unpredictable Peter Schickele's Music for an Evening for String Quartet and Piano Four-Hands. The concert, Thursday night only at Tryon and 7th, begins at 7:30pm. Workshop participants and parents get in free while general admission seats for the public are $10. Call 704-335-0009. (Tannenbaum)

Friday, June 23

For almost three decades, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band has brought classic New Orleans brass band shenanigans to the world. They've had ups and downs, releasing genre-bending classics along with stale standard fare, but the band never rests on its laurels and continues its quest to spread Crescent City joy through incessant touring. The prolific octet plays tonight at the Visulite. Tickets range from $18-$20. Show starts at 10pm. Details are at www.visulite.com. (Shukla)

You can't accuse CPCC Summer Theatre of playing it safe in its first season at the impressive Halton Theater. It stretched its technical wings to open its schedule with The Wizard of Oz. Now, it's getting serious with Parade through July 1, an audacious collaboration between playwright Alfred Uhry (Driving Miss Daisy) and composer Jason Robert Brown (The Last Five Years). Together, they retell the true story of Leo Frank, wrongly convicted of murder in a celebrated 1913 trial -- and the anti-Semitism that lurked beneath. One of our finest musical performers, Billy Ensley, is tackling the role of Frank, and CP director Tom Hollis -- with nearly equal bravery -- is attempting to fill his 1,000+ seat hall with a grim musical filled with trial, prison and hanging scenes. Justice will be served if their bravery succeeds. Tickets are $14-$20 with shows beginning at 8pm Wednesdays through Saturdays. Next week's run begins with a 2:30pm on Sunday and resumes with a 7pm curtain on Tuesday, June 27. Call 704-330-6534. (Tannenbaum)

Saturday, June 24

Atlanta's Nashville Pussy welds the bombast of Motörhead, the snarl of punk and the swagger of Southern rock into a drooling, dirty beast. The Southern rebel quartet features the bruising guitar/vocals of husband/wife tag team Blaine Cartwright and Ruyter Suys. They'll play with the Legendary Shack Shakers and other bands at the Horse Smokeout 7, a biker event at the Rowan County Fairgrounds in Salisbury. Tickets are $30 for the event. For details e-mail EdgeHorse@aol.com. (Shukla)

Sunday, June 25

From the Big Apple comes burlesque big top: The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus is touring the East Coast this season. If you dug HBO's late, lamented Carnivale, this hybrid vaudeville/sideshow, replete with whips, freaky-deke clowns and a badass ringmaster is for you (sans racism and religious portent). The Bindlestiffs' naughty Summer Variety Show is set to rock the Bible Belt this weekend, when they bring their gutter-meets-glitter aesthetic to the Visulite, on June 25 at 9pm. Tickets: $12 advance (with costume), $15 day of show. www.visulite.com. For mature audiences. (Crazy Horse)

If you've ever dreamed of being Indiana Jones, Princess Leia or even Seabiscuit ... well, we can't help you, but Discovery Place has a way to help capitalize on all those celluloid fantasies. The museum opens Action! An Adventure In Moviemaking, a large-scale exhibit that celebrates the magic of the movies. Films like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars, Seabiscuit, Titanic and Moulin Rouge will be represented in this exhibition, which allows patrons the opportunity to see how movies are made. Action! presents over 100 artifacts (including costumes and scripts) from major Hollywood films, interviews with top moviemakers, interactive events (such as adding sound effects to a Jackie Chan flick) and the chance to make a trailer for your own blockbuster film, Escape from Zircon. For info on prices and times, call 704-372-6261, ext. 300, or visit www.discoveryplace.org. (Brunson)

June is the perfect month for a little ... Vengeance. What with all the crazy weather and oil price gouging, it's enough to put anybody on edge. But this kind of vengeance is specifically for those high-flying marvels of the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), who will do a live, pay-per-view free-for-all at Bobcats Arena tonight. Big names putting in an appearance are: John Cena, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Kane, Big Show and Charlotte's own Ric Flair. Bring the kids for a night of nonstop action -- as an added bonus, you can even imagine your visiting mother-in-law's face on the guy getting slammed. Ticket prices range from $175 (ringside) to $20. Get them online at www.charlottebobcatsarena.com or by calling 1-800-495-2295. (Calloway)

Charlotte Symphony Orchestra is baring its Gypsy! soul at SouthPark -- without a single evocation of Vegas striptease. No, CSO's gypsy repertoire is judiciously selected from Dvorak, Bartok, Brahms, Strauss Jr. and the ever-popular Bizet. The ebullient Albert-George Schramm crosses the moat to the Symphony Park bandshell and conducts the main Summer Pops program at 8:15pm, but the musical Prelude begins at 7pm, and the scramble for free spots on the greensward begins even earlier than that. Great people watching throughout this unique phenomenon. Some, inspired by the music or their favorite picnic beverage, might indeed be howling at the gypsy moon by evening's end. (Tannenbaum)

The quartet Birdmonster, one of San Francisco's hottest exports, had labels major and minor in pursuit, but opted to put out its debut, No Midnight, by itself. The music is a mix of post-punk angles, banjo-powered country rock, Sabbath-riffs and Moon & Antarctica-era Modest Mouse. It shouldn't work together, but it does. Still unsigned, but probably not for long. With the Talk and the Heist & the Accomplice at Tremont Music Hall. $10 admission. More details are at www.tremontmusichall.com. (Schacht)

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