Reynolds Theater, Duke University—In 458 B.C., Aeschylus wrote the Oresteia, a Greek tragedy that opens up a debate about justice in Athens. Nearly 2,500 years later, South African playwright and director Yael Farber adapted Aeschylus' classic into MoLoRa to restore that same debate, but this time about South Africa. The Farber Foundry Theatre Company examines post-apartheid South Africa by resetting the story within the context of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee hearings. The Ngqoko Cultural Group, a seven-member group committed to performing the songs of South Africa's rural Xhosa communities, will perform as the chorus for the play. Due to the emotional intensity of the performance, we're told that MoLoRa is not appropriate for those under 13. Read our interview with Farber. The show is at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $5 for Duke students and $22–$28 for the general public. Visit www.dukeperformances.org. —Belem Destefani
The Pinhook—Here's your chance to shake your ass for good causes two nights in a row: Friday night dance on over to The Pinhook to support Choice USA, an organization aimed at promoting and protecting reproductive rights. DJ Dude Femme, spin-mistress of The Pinhook's monthly dance parties, lays down the tunes, with Mary Johnson Rockers opening the night with its fiery folk-rock. Saturday, all booty shaking will be in support of sending people to the Human Rights Conference at The Hague. As yet, there are no firm details on who'll be laying down vinyl.
This marriage of donation and dance at The Pinhook has been in the works for a bit. "We've been wanting to do more action-oriented events and still support the local music scene," says co-founder Kym Register. "There's a lot of good community organizing going on in Durham, and it just so happens that a lot of good community organizers like to get down, too." Entry is $5 for each 10 p.m. party. See www.thepinhook.com. —Ashley Melzer
Goodnight's—In one of Plato's dialogues, Socrates posits the notion that comedy merges pleasure with pain. Christopher Titus is practically the poster boy for this assumption. He's known for his tumultuous life, including the incident when falling into a bonfire inspired him to try comedy, which he parlayed into an eponymous sitcom that merited a three-season run on Fox early in the aughts. For the show, Titus drew from his successful "Norman Rockwell is Bleeding" act, and his program subsequently featured a dysfunctional family and examined such noncomic issues as rape, abuse and terrorism (the latter topic was probably a factor in the series' cancellation in 2002). Performances run at 8 and 10:15 tonight and tomorrow, and at 8 p.m. Sunday. Visit www.goodnightscomedy.com. —Sarah Ewald
Berkeley Cafe—Shannon Whitworth tempers Americana twang with honeyed, bluesy vocals. The former banjoist and founder of The Biscuit Burners finds the medium between traditional Appalachian ballads and slow-burning torch songs in front of this new quintet. The lonesome sound of pedal steel enforces the words of a jaded lover, but a shuffling, bounding energy pushes songs forward. Then Whitworth purrs something jaw-droppingly sexy like, "I ain't got no expectations, just come on home and talk to me." The singer-songwriter folk duo Mandolin Orange opens. Pay $10 at 9 p.m. See www.berkeleycafe.net. —Andrew Ritchey