Friday, Aug. 15
Tropic Thunder: Yes, TT opened on Wednesday, but todays your day to catch up. The action film-within-a-film is surprisingly hilarious, and will (almost!) make you forget the past flops of Ben Stiller. Ol Zoolander wisely shares the stage to let his co-stars shine, and each actor entices giggles from the audience. Robert Downy Jr. is fantastic, and a few surprising cameos will make your jaw drop. Be early for this one the first 10 minutes are not to be missed. Local theaters. www.charlotte.creativeloafing.com/gyrobase/Film.
Find more in Film.
Smashing darling: On a short nine-stop tour, Charlotte should feel lucky to have Smashing Pumpkins gearing up to play at Ovens Auditorium. Crafty, moody and always thought-provoking, Smashing Pumpkins music is what keeps many other bands going on (and fans too). Ovens Auditorium. www.livenation.com. Find more in Music.
LOL: Buzz about Billy Gardell has earned him guest appearances on a number of screens, silver and small (Bad Santa, CSI, Judging Amy, Desperate Housewives), but the actor and comedian is pretty big on the laughs, too. The Pineville Dinner Theater. www.pinevilledinnertheater.com. Find more in Arts.
Meskerem Ethiopian Cuisine: Family-owned, family-styled restaurant offering authentic stews and other culinary pleasures from an ancient culture. Reservations suggested for the coffee ceremony. 601 S. Kings Drive. 704-335-1197. Find more in Food.
Saturday, Aug. 16
Opening this week: American Teen, Bigger, Stronger, Faster*: *The Side Effects of Being American, Bottle Shock, Fly Me To The Moon 3-D, Henry Poole Is Here, Mirrors, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Vicky Christina Barcelona. Visit your favorite theater and be one of the first in Charlotte to catch these flicks. Local theaters. www.charlotte.creativeloafing.com/gyrobase/Film. Find more in Film.
Whig out: Solid rock that crosses over into grunge territory is hard to find these days, but The Whigs, whose newest album hit the stores back in January, hold up to their musical reputation even at live shows. The Old Ceremony to open. The Visulite Theatre. www.visulite.com. Find more in Music.
Word to the wise: Local poet/promoter J.C. Cowan has worked to keep the art of spoken word alive in Charlotte for nearly a decade. So, its only fitting that some of the citys (and the nations) top poetic talents would come out to celebrate Cowans birthday bash dubbed Poetry in Motion. Expect to see spoken word stars like Def Poetry Jam regular Georgia Me, the Q.C.s own Concrete Generation and many more. The Neighborhood Theatre. www.neighborhoodtheatre.com. Find more in Arts.
Namaste India Bar & Restaurant: This welcoming space offers a delightful riff on traditional northern Indian cuisine. Buffet offered at lunch. 4508 East Independence Blvd. 704-568-7979. Find more in Food.
Sunday, Aug. 17
Big Little Big Man: The Main Librarys Summer Film Series, Once Upon a Time in the West: Great Hollywood* Westerns (* and one Italian), continues today with a screening of Arthur Penns 1970 classic Little Big Man. This gem anticipates Forrest Gump in the manner in which it centers on a decent man who meets several notable figures while taking a volatile journey through a thorny chapter in American history. Dustin Hoffman delivers a towering performance as Jack Crabbe, a 121-year-old man who reflects on his experiences as a young boy raised by Indians. Free. 2 p.m. Wachovia Playhouse. www.plcmc.org. Find more in Film.
Pilot rock: Post-grunge rockers The Stone Temple Pilots will take the stage to perform their hard-rock, heavy-riffed best of 90s hits and newbies. To be sober or not to be sober? Thats the ultimate question, for frontman Scott Weiland, who is known for his frequent bouts of boozed up performances. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club to open. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre. www.livenation.com. Find more in Music.
May day: Comedian Ralphie May doesnt cater food to anyone, but he does cater entertainment. His second-place finish on season one of NBCs Last Comic Standing, might have left him disappointed, but when youve gained a solid fan base, what more can you ask for? Oh, yeah, food. McGlohon Theatre. www.blumenthalcenter.org. Find more in Arts.
Dim Sum Chinese Restaurant: Serves both excellent real and Americanized Chinese food with a wonderful dim sum assortment. 2920-B Central Ave. 704-569-1128. Find more in Food.