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Thursday, January 26

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If you missed I'm Not Rappaport last year at CAST -- or the last time they presented it at Theatre Charlotte in 1989 -- there's a pretty strong cast at the Queens Road barn to catch you up. Guest director Jim Yost tries his hand at the Herb Gardner comedy, with James K. Flynn stretching himself to star as Nat. You don't know Nat? He's a glib, irascible, troublemaking octagenarian whose life is centered on a Central Park bench. And he refuses to go gently into that good night. Thom McKinney is the quiet, reclusive Midge, the janitor Nat galvanizes disastrously into action. Through Feb. 12 at Theatre Charlotte, 501 Queens Road, with 8pm performances Thursday to Saturday and 2:30 matinees on February 5 and 12. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and $12 for students. Call 704-334-9128. (Tannenbaum)

Cough, cough. Hack, hack. Achoo! Although the tubercular Violetta of La Traviata may be the ideal heroine for flu-stricken wintertime audiences, Opera Carolina is not trying to tap the germ-carrying demographic. Instead, they're offering free tickets for those who show up at Belk Theater in impressive mid-19th century Paris costumes -- or in costumes based on movies that feature Verdi's familiar score. That would include Pretty Woman, The Godfather, The Importance of Being Earnest and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. So your evening with one of the greatest operas -- starring Dianne Alexander as Violetta and Jianyi Zhang as Alfredo -- will also be a uniquely colorful event. Naturally, the Loaf is a co-sponsor of this wild decadence, performed at 7:30pm on Thursday, 8pm on Friday (different cast) and Saturday, and 2:30pm on Sunday. Paying customers shell out $12-$82. Call 704-372-1000. (Tannenbaum)

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