Blood Done Sign My Name: The Movie
Hayti Heritage Center—Timothy B. Tyson's Blood Done Sign My Name continues to migrate through the arts. After the premiere of Mike Wiley's stage adaptation last year, the Hayti Heritage Film Festival unveils the film version. Directed by Jeb Stuart (best known as the screenwriter of the original Die Hard and The Fugitive), the film stars Rick Schroder (NYPD Blue, Silver Spoons) as Tyson's father, the Rev. Vern Tyson. The true story, as the book's fans know, concerns the murder of a black man in Oxford, N.C., and the subsequent failure to convict the killers. While the Wiley adaptation was a one-man show, the film pulls out the stops with scores and scores of characters. It was filmed in and around Charlotte and Shelby last spring, and it's set for release early next year. The film is being shown as part of the Hayti Heritage Film Festival's monthly "Friday Night at the Movies" series. After the 7:30 p.m. screening, Stuart, the younger Tyson and actress Mary Williams will host a Q&A. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the Hayti Heritage Center box office or by calling 683-1709. Visit www.hayti.org. —David Fellerath
Pittsboro & Carrboro
Red Clay Ramblers
Chatham Mills & The ArtsCenter—Some bands sound good in the recording studio but don't offer much else live. The Red Clay Ramblers, however, exist for live performances. In fact, the roots institution, around in some form or another since 1972, doesn't just play concerts. It writes and performs ballets and suites. The Ramblers have performed with both the Carolina Ballet and the North Carolina Symphony in recent years. They've scored films and created musicals on and off Broadway. Their collaboration on the musical Fool Moon garnered a special Tony Award in 1999.
On concert hall stages, the Ramblers fill their shows with excitement through a hodgepodge of Americana instrumentation. The quartet jumps around instruments—piano can drive fiddle and trumpet, but the group is just as likely to throw a tuba and an accordion at a song as a guitar and mandolin. Combined with tight vocal harmonies, the full Ramblers experience opens a mixed bag of vaudeville performances, traveling medicine shows, New Orleans jazz bands, back porches and string-band convocations. Their latest album, Old North State, was released last week and indeed feels comfortable on that porch. Friday's show in Pittsboro kicks off at 8 p.m. Saturday in Carrboro has an 8:30 p.m. start time. Both shows are $17. Visit www.artscenterlive.org. —Andrew Ritchey
The Mystery of Irma Vep
Theatre in the Park—Charles Ludlam's penny-dreadful take on the theater began its life off Broadway in 1984 and, less than a decade later, was the most-produced play in the country. Two actors portray eight characters ... and portray them very, very quickly. The play takes on elements of every over-the-top melodrama you can imagine, ranging from Rebecca to something more supernatural (take a close look at the anagrammatic possibilities of the title). This performance by the Jailbreak Theatre Company and Theatre in the Park is a benefit to support Theatre in the Park's A Christmas Carol tour of France. There will be three performances, at 7 p.m., 9:30 p.m. and midnight; tickets are $15. All tickets sold will be eligible to win one of two pairs of tickets to A Christmas Carol. For more information, visit www.theatreinthepark.com or call 831-6936. —Zack Smith
Waiting for Godot
Reynolds Industries Theater, Duke University—In Waiting for Godot, two men loiter around a tree, awaiting the arrival of a man they do not remember very well. The mystery man is supposed to answer a question they do not know. After two acts of waiting and a few strange interactions with two wanderers, the men are no closer to seeing Godot.
This revolutionary and influential absurdist play was, unbelievably, playwright Samuel Beckett's first major work. After its premiere in Paris in 1953, it became associated with the Theatre of the Absurd, a group of plays that focus on human beings trapped in an illogical and nonsensical world, and later inspired other great playwrights like Harold Pinter. The genius and success of Waiting for Godot stems from the fact that it's open to a variety of interpretations. This time around, the Classical Theatre of Harlem, a nonprofit theater group from New York that dedicates itself to presenting the classics, tries to decipher it. Performances are at 8 p.m. this Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. this Sunday. Tickets are $22 and $28 or $5 for Duke students. For tickets and info, visit www.tickets.duke.edu. —Belem Destefani