Dog Day Afternoon
N.C. Museum of Art—If the 1970s cinema passed you by, you might be hard-pressed to understand the special place held by Al Pacino. Like his contemporary Robert De Niro, Pacino has managed to sustain his excellent reputation in the face of bombs, turkeys and duds, solely because of his brilliant run of work four decades ago.
Unlike Dustin Hoffman, for one, he hasn't been able to shake our memories and expectations set up by early roles—in Pacino's case, such as Michael Corleone and Serpico. And then there's his Sonny Wortzik in Sidney Lumet's indelible Dog Day Afternoon—the kind of '70s movie that people mean when they say they wish movies were still made like that.
Based on an actual event, the story is simple, yet radical in its pre-Harvey Milk forthrightness: Needing money to pay for his lover's sex change operation, Sonny and his buddy Sal (John Cazale) hold up a bank in New York City. A siege ensues, and Sonny becomes an unlikely folk hero. They truly don't make them like this anymore (instead, we get ultra-earnest fare like Milk). This film also marks a reunion of Michael and Fredo from The Godfather, made a year after the former whacked the latter in The Godfather: Part II. Cazale's role here as Sal is less flashy, but he occupies a special place in film history for a feature career that consisted of five canonical titles of the 1970s before he died prematurely in 1978.
The film begins at 8 p.m. and will be introduced by N.C. State film professor Devin Orgeron. Visit www.ncartmuseum.org for more info. —David Fellerath
Gabriela Montero/ Geri Allen & Patricia Allen
Duke University—This is an astounding triple-header of female piano players at Duke: Just 10 days after her performance of new music by John Williams at Barack Obama's inauguration, Venezuelan-born pianist Gabriela Montero visits Reynolds Theater Friday. She'll play a classical repertoire before taking audience suggestions for improvisational themes. Montero's fluid, lyrical movement at the keys is a marvel. The Geri Allen Trio and Patricia Barber Quartet share the Reynolds stage Saturday for the 25th anniversary celebration of Duke's Mary Williams Center for Black Culture. Allen will play Williams' Zodiac Suite, while Barber tackles her own cycle in Mythologies. Each show begins at 8 p.m.; tickets range from $5-$28. —Grayson Currin
Tir Na Nog—In November, news broke that a handful of Raleigh regulars hoped to reprise The Great Cover-Up, the wildly popular annual bash at Kings wherein local bands metamorphosed into their musical heroes for a night and donated the proceeds to charity. A slight kerfuffle ensued, as those loyal to the Kings throne proclaimed the event's sanctity, while the new organizers protested that bands and fans having fun and charitable donations mattered more than a club that may never reopen.
Of course, they were right: Tir Na Nog—which has become one of the city's most consistent rock venues over the last year almost by accident—begins Raleigh Undercover, its smartly programmed three-night cover of the Cover-Up, tonight. Ticket sales are earmarked for the Beehive Collective, an assembly of Oak City professionals who donate one-half percent of their yearly incomes to local causes. For $5 a night, you'll see some fantastic bands pay allegiance with altruism. Friday brings Valient Thorr, Embarrassing Fruits and three others through the oak doors; Saturday puts The T's, I Was Totally Destroying It and three others on the newly widened stage; and Sunday finds Gray Young and members of Patty Hurst Shifter closing it down. And remember to give those Shifter boys the finger, OK? Music starts at 9 p.m. nightly. —Grayson Currin
Scott Miller & the Commonwealth, Dave Wilson
Berkeley Cafe—To Scott Miller's singer/ songwriter/ ace picker/ bandleader tag, you can now add entrepreneur/ fundraiser/ graphic artist. To bankroll his upcoming album For Crying Out Loud, Miller peddled Appalachian Refugee, a homebrewed effort on which a batch of new songs shared space with covers from such sources as Dallas Frazier and late Knoxville outfit the Taoist Cowboys. And Miller hand-designed a different cover for each copy. The songs, as usual, displayed Roger Miller wit and the musical dexterity of Cowboy Outfit-era Nick Lowe. I haven't heard singer/ songwriter/ ace picker/ band leader Dave Wilson of Chatham County Line and Stillhouse in solo mode yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if he sounded a little like Miller stepping away from the hard-roots-rocking of Commonwealth. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door, and the music starts at 9 p.m. —Rick Cornell