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THEATER: Black Pearl Sings!

Wednesday, Feb. 24

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Actor's Theatre of Charlotte's latest production of playwright Frank Higgins' Black Pearl Sings!, directed by Dennis Delamar, is diving deep in racial waters, as two women -- a Caucasian woman and an African-American woman -- surface together to mend the depths and divides of their mindsets. As Randall Jarrell's saying goes, "Every pearl has its oyster," and 'tis the case with Alberta "Pearl" Johnson (played by Terry Henry-Norman), a black woman with soulful vocal chords who is serving time at a Texas prison. Discovered by Susannah (Stephanie DiPaolo), a white worker for the Library of Congress on the search for old folk songs -- both for historical purposes and her claim to treasure -- Pearl possesses a number of musical gems rooted in her ancestors' African heritage. With the possibility of being released from her jailhouse keeping, Pearl struggles with whether to unveil the well-preserved songs for her ticket to freedom. $10-$29. Feb. 24-25, 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 26-27, 8 p.m.; Feb. 28, 2:30 p.m.; March 3-4, 7:30 p.m.; March 5-6, 8 p.m. Actor's Theatre of Charlotte, 650 E. Stonewall St. 704-342-2251. www.actorstheatrecharlotte.org.

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