Mark your calendar | Fall Guide | Indy Week
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Mark your calendar 

Our critics wade through the calendars for you

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Written by David Fellerath (DF), Classical Voice of North Carolina's John Lambert (JL), Michele Natale (MN), Sylvia Pfeiffenberger (SP) and Byron Woods (BW)

Edited by Grayson Currin (GC) and Fiona Morgan (FM)

You've seen the pamphlets, guides, flyers, brochures, handbills and Web sites, and it's obvious that there's an overwhelming amount of options for a season's entertainment. Any night of the week, multiple film, theater, dance, art and music options are available across the Triangle. It can be as bewildering as it is wonderful. We asked our critics to sort through their stacks of information on the upcoming four months and distill the season into a list of their top picks. Below, you will find the next 15 weeks canvassed from start to finish, Raleigh to Durham to Chapel Hill and beyond.

But, if you like being swamped in all of the options, see our online Music and Arts & Entertainment calendars. These calendars are constantly updated to provide you with the Triangle's most comprehensive listings of what's happening. Enjoy the fall.



Jump to a month: September | October | November | December | Venues List


September

9.13-17
I Am My Own Wife

This 2004 Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning biography about Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a Berlin transvestite who somehow survived the Third Reich and the subsequent Communist regime in East Germany, gets two local productions this fall. The first is a one-week encore presentation from Playmakers Repertory Company's June showing at Asheville's Stoneleaf Festival with John Feltch. Elizabeth Price Kenan Theatre. --BW


9.14-15
Ferocious Beauty: Genome

Liz Lerman Dance Exchange's three-year collaboration with scientists at the forefront of the human genome project continues. This performance will feature new sections added after the group's residency at Duke's Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy. Duke University's Reynolds Theater. --BW


9.15
Gran Noche Mexicana

This drag show and party in honor of Mexican Independence will benefit children in Durham living with HIV/AIDS. The event is sponsored by Entre Amigos, whose aim is HIV- and STD-prevention in the gay Latino community. Performers include Juan Gabriel, Yolanda Del Rio and Anais. Durham Days Inn/ $5/ 8 p.m. --SP


9.15
Culture Crawl

Join in downtown Durham's monthly Culture Crawl and visit Branch Gallery in its new, sleek location--a remodeled car dealership. The opening features work by Amanda Barr, who will unveil her "Jesus Jeans," a pair of giant blue jeans that will stretch across the gallery as part of a new installation two years in the making. Branch Gallery/ Free. --MN


9.16
Gesture

Raleigh's popular Artspace opens Gesture, an exploration of contemporary figurative work by three women: Jenna Bischel (N.Y.), Amy Fichter (Wisc.) and Yvonne Petkus (Ky.). The show runs through Nov. 4. Artspace. --MN

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9.16-17
CenterFest Arts Festival

There is a real hometown feel to CenterFest, the longest running street arts festival in the state, which takes place this year in the renovated Durham Central Park area. A juried art show on the hoof, CenterFest showcases 100 artists selling N.C. pottery, jewelry, photography, mixed media and visual art. Durham's Foster Street/ $3/ Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun. noon-6 p.m. --SP


9.16-20
Lee Smith

Arguably the Triangle's most celebrated lady of letters, Smith presents a new novel set in the post-Civil War South. Told through diary entries and letters discovered in a wrecked plantation house, On Agate Hill follows the adventures of an orphaned heroine over the course of some 50 years. Smith's local readings are likely to draw crowds. 9.16, Quail Ridge Books & Music; 9.19, McIntyre's; 9.20, Regulator Bookshop/ Free/7 p.m. all venues. --FM

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9.16
1984

How does controversial stage and film star Tim Robbins' noted Los Angeles company The Actor's Gang connect Orwell's work to the present? By focusing on the book that Goldstein, a character in the novel, writes, which claims that capitalism uses continual warfare to ensure economic exploitation and control. N.C. State's Stewart Theater/$24-$28. --BW

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9.17
Enloe Dance Benefit Concert

By now, it's a tradition: an annual gathering of the region's strongest modern dance choreographers and dancers to benefit the strongest modern dance program in a regional public school. It's the unofficial kickoff for the fall dance season and usually a tantalizing preview of work to come. Enloe High School/ $10. --BW


9.19
Pine Barrens

Theatre Nohgaku's cross-cultural collaboration between Japanese masters of noh and kyogen theater and American artists at the N.C. School of the Arts recounts the legend of an evil monster that is said to live in a deserted part ... of New Jersey? Live noh musicians contribute. Duke University's Reynolds Theater/ $18. --BW


9.20
Celebrating Sid

Friends of the late, beloved Cedar Creek Gallery founder Sid Oakley will gather in honor of his legacy as a painter, potter and touchstone of the artistic community. The eponymous exhibition Sid Oakley--Artist, Mentor, Friend is on view through Dec. 21 and includes works by Michael Sherrill, Ben Owen III and Bruce Gholson. N.C. State's Gallery of Art and Design/ Free/ 1-4 p.m. --MN


9.20-24
The Dumb Waiter

In one corner, director Carmen-Maria Mandley. In the other, Harold Pinter. One of our favorite minimal companies, Bare Theatre, takes on this unsettling, early minimal drama in which two men sit in a room, awaiting orders. Common Ground Theatre/ $7-$12. --BW


9.21-10.8
1776

Peter Stone's iconoclastic musical comedy provides a timely reminder that it was always an election year by examining just how close we came to not passing the Declaration of Independence--and the low-down on the deal-making it took to get the job done. Presented by Burning Coal Theater Company. St. Mary School's Pittman Auditorium/$10-$16. --BW


9.21-10.7
The Cherry Orchard

Director Jay O'Berski's latest twist on the Russian classics? Place Chekhov's last work about a crumbling aristocratic family on an all-black cast, including Thaddaeus Edwards, Byron Jennings II, Joan J., Jackie Marriott, Chaunesti Lyon and Holmes Morrison of the Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern. Manbites Dog Theater/ $10-$15. --BW


9.22
Buckner & Bachmann

So Sufjan Stevens' show at UNC-Chapel Hill's Memorial Hall sold out, and you're not sure what to do for entertainment this week? Richard Buckner's songs--written in ponderous broken ellipses from a guy who bends in every way--will be around long after the 50 states of Stevens' publicity stunt get boring (wait, Illinoise was). Archers of Loaf alumnus and Crooked Fingers frontman Eric Bachmann co-headlines. Local 506/ $12/ 9:30 p.m. --GC


9.23
The Last Poets

One of the most prescient and invaluable groups in American music history, The Last Poets waved the hip-hop flag for revolution before hip hop had entered into the cultural lexicon. After forming inside of a jail and officially naming themselves The Last Poets on Malcolm X's birthday, The Poets reached the American pop charts with music that was rightfully inflammatory and meter that was masterfully challenging. Umar bin Hassan and Abiodun Oyewole return to Durham as The Last Poets. Carolina Theatre/ $20-$26/ 8 p.m. --GC


9.23
Play Slam

No other theatrical event is quite like it: Budding regional playwrights--maybe including you?--bring their own actors or convince those in the audience to read three-minute snippets of their work. If the audience likes it, you go on to additional rounds until one playwright's left. That person wins $100. The ArtsCenter. --BW


9.23
Stacy Mitchell

This community activist writes about how to protect local communities from the toxic impact of Wal-Mart and the like. Her latest, Big Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America's Independent Businesses, aims to do for indie retailers what Nickel and Dimed did for the low-wage worker. Quail Ridge Books/ Free/ 7 p.m. --FM


9.24
Menomena & Megafaun

I Am the Fun Blame Monster--the first album from Portland's Menomena--is one of the great pop albums of this decade, groove-and-dynamic-heavy accents pulling curious lyrical motifs into arresting bas-relief. The follow-up, Under An Hour, is the best new dance score from an independent rock band this decade, hands down. Two very different albums, two very different masterpieces: Their Barsuk Records debut drops next year, and they'll be playing material from it. Megafaun--three-fourths of DeYarmond Edison--makes its premiere. Kings/ $7/ 10 p.m. --GC


9.24
Queen of the Triangle

The Indy's annual drag pageant at the Lincoln Theatre is a wild and decadent kickoff to Gay Pride season in the Triangle, benefiting The Alliance of AIDS Services--Carolina. Lincoln Theatre/ 8 p.m.--FM

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9.24
Rousse Project

How about this for an exciting, entirely privately funded model for public art? Frank Konhaus and Ellen Cassilly's brainchild unites French photographer Georges Rousse's spatial interventions with a wealth of downtown space ripe for transformation and hundreds of community volunteers and contributors. Rousse's Warehouse Interventions begin on Sept. 4 and continues through Sept. 24. Enjoy open-to-the-public events on Sept. 15 during the Durham Culture Crawl, Sept. 16 during CenterFest and a Family Education Day on Sept. 23. A reception at the Baldwin Building celebrates the completion of all four projects. For more, see www.rousseprojectdurham.com. Downtown Durham. --MN


9.25-26
Shostakovich Centennial

Dmitri Shostakovich was born 100 years ago, and Duke takes two days to honor the event. Monday night features a lecture, a Ciompi Quartet performance and a screening of Aranovich and Sokurov's Dmitri Shostakovich: Sonata for Viola. Day 2 will be Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin, for which our birthday boy composed the score. Duke University's Richard White Auditorium/ Free/ 7 p.m. --DF


9.27
Achamyelah Debela

Ethiopian-born artist and N.C. Central faculty member Achamyelah Debela's A Digital Journey, talks about his election of 26 computer-based artworks, which opens the fall season at the NCCU Art Museum on Sept. 17. Debela fuses traditional and computer imagery into an expression grounded in the spirituality of his Coptic Christian upbringing. The show runs through Oct. 27. N.C. Central Art Museum/ Free/ 7 p.m. --MN


9.28
Fast Times at Ridgemont High

The film professors at N.C. State were teenagers once, too. This career highlight from screenwriter Cameron Crowe wraps up a month-long series called "Rebels of International Cinema." Awesome, totally awesome. Witherspoon Student Cinema. --DF


9.28-30
Sparklefest

The long-running celebration of power pop and Brit Invasion rock finds yet another new home this year at The Pour House. The baby of Stratocruiser's Mike Nicholson, Sparklefest recruits premier guitar-rock acts from across the country. Boston's The Upper Crust-- AC/DC devotees in Victorian-era wigs--headlines night three, though regional talent including Mitch Easter, Jeff Hart & the Ruins and The Bleeding Hearts make the entire festival worth a sing-along or two. The Pour House/ $8/ 8 p.m.; $12/ 7 p.m.; $12/ 6 p.m. --GC


9.29
The Drive-By Truckers

When Athens, Ga., three-guitar Southern rock revivalists The Drive-By Truckers last played the Triangle in July, they were out of their element, playing an all-acoustic afternoon show at Schoolkids Records in Raleigh just hours before opening for The Black Crowes at Alltel Pavilion. And--while this visit to the Carolina Theatre will put one of the most swampy, décor-be-damned bands in America in stately surroundings--it will be nice to watch them turn the amps up in a room where you can still see their faces. 8 p.m. --GC


9.29-10.1
North Carolina Pride Parade and Festival

Pride isn't just one party, it's a weekend full of parties from early in the morning to ... early the next morning. And the performances and get-togethers are as diverse as the crowd: choral music, marching bands, dirty dancing and the prettiest drag queens you'll see all year. The main event is the annual parade through Old West Durham to Duke's East Campus. A full schedule is at www.ncpride.org. --FM


9.29
The U.S. vs. John Lennon

The smart Beatle gets his documentary. Gore Vidal says, "John Lennon was for life, and Nixon and Mr. Bush are for death." Come together, right now. --DF

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9.30
Orquesta GarDel

The newest Latin band on the scene plays standards by Eddie Palmieri, Ruben Blades and other salsa and cha cha cha of the '70s. David Garcia (tres guitar) and Nelson Delgado (voice, percussion) lead Orquesta GarDel, a "supergroup" of musicians from various local bands that will keep you dancing. The ArtsCenter/ $12/ 8 p.m. --SP

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9.30
The Southern Landscape

This weekend is your last chance to see this invitational exhibit, which features 24 artists from five states, including painting and drawings by Robert Dance, Ben Burns, Richard Fennell, Joyce Fillip, Ronan Peterson and Chris Stephens. Lee Hansley Gallery offers a reinterpretation of the Southern landscape that defies expectations. Lee Hansley Gallery/ Free. --MN


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October

THRU 10.22
The Lion King

Julie Taymor's brilliant fusion of puppetry, music, live performers and special effects starts in September. This touring version of Disney's Broadway spectacle is one of the top tickets of the season. Raleigh Memorial Auditorium/ $21.50-$126.50. --BW


10.3
Charles Frazier

Fans of Cold Mountain have been waiting for a decade for Frazier's second novel. This time, the winner of the National Book Award trains his historical fiction lens on the Cherokee Nation in the mountains of North Carolina with Thirteen Moons. The narrator, a white frontiersman, bears witness to the heartbreaking shame of the Trail of Tears before going to fight for the Confederacy. Jones Auditorium at Meredith College/ $6 or free with prepaid book order at Quail Ridge Books/ 7 p.m. --FM

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10.4
Duke Symphony Orchestra

Harry Davidson has rejuvenated the Duke Symphony Orchestra, making it an ensemble worthy of respect and admiration. Darrett Adkins returns for Shostakovich's Cello Concerto in the Russian's 100th anniversary year--and Mozart's "Jupiter" Symphony, in that master's 250th. Duke University's Baldwin Auditorium/ Free. --JL


10.5
(Smog)

You can't call yourself (Smog), write less-than-happy songs, sing them like you're always on the brink of something dark, and not expect some naysayers. Still, Drag City laureate Bill Callahan has railed against everything in the past 15 years, from dreaded men with connections to the lustful pornography of his past. In doing so, he's kind of unfolded as a genius capable of making his esoterically scribed troubles mine and yours and ours. Local 506/ $10/ 9:15 p.m. --GC


10.5-8
Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival

Three years after the first gathering, Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival has turned into a biannual roots music convocation capable of recruiting marquee national talent (this fall, Sam Bush and The Duhks) while staying loyal to the regional acts (Big Fat Gap, Jaafar, Jonathan Byrd, Two Dollar Pistols) that put the festival on the map. Also, look for a collaboration between The Carolina Chocolate Drops and Mebane mentor Joe Thompson. Shakori Hills at Silk Hope/ $65/ 10 a.m. --GC


10.5
Sonya Clark: Tangles, Teeth and Touch

N.C. State's Gallery of Art and Design presents Clark's narrative-beaded creations, which fuse Afro-Caribbean, Asian, contemporary and ancient inspirations. Free/ Reception, 5-8 p.m.; artist talk, 7 p.m. --MN


10.6
Little Children

This one is notable for three key names: star Kate Winslet, director Todd Field (In the Bedroom) and screenwriter Tom Perrotta (Election). We're sold. --DF


10.6
The Departed

Scorsese remakes the celebrated Hong Kong actioner Infernal Affairs, setting it in the world of crooked Boston Irish cops. DiCaprio, Damon, Nicholson, Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin and Ray Winstone bring the Guinness and testosterone. --DF

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10.6-15
Crowns

Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry's best-selling 2000 photo book documented the flamboyant "church hats" worn by women in African-American congregations. This rousing stage adaptation sets their stories to gospel music. N.C. Central's Theater. --BW


10.8-12.31
Depth of Field: Expanding Perspectives in 20th Century and Contemporary Photography

The Ackland will focus on bodies of work of eight mid-20th-century American photographers richly represented in their strong photography collection. They are Berenice Abbott, Robert Adams, Harold Edgerton, Robert Frank, Danny Lyon, Garry Winogrand, Aaron Siskind and Minor White. Ackland Art Museum. --MN


10.8
Iraq For Sale

Go to iraqforsale.org and start planning your house party for this latest bomb-throw from documentarian Robert Greenwald (Uncovered, Outfoxed, Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price). --DF

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10.10
UNC Symphony Orchestra

Percussionist Lynn Glassock solos with the UNC Symphony Orchestra. Tonu Kalam is the conductor in the world premiere of his own Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra on a program that includes Shostakovich's Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 54. UNC-Chapel Hill's Memorial Hall/ $15. --JL


10.14
Diwali

If you've been curious about the Triangle's thriving Indian community, check out the party of the year. Diwali (pronounced di-VAL-ee), one of India's most popular festivals, brings music, color and excitement to Cary's idyllic outdoor venue. Koka Booth Amphitheatre at Regency Park/ 11 a.m. --FM


10.14-15
HybriDance

NickWalk Dance Project, Footnotes Tap Ensemble and Choreo Collective join together to explore rhythmic and visual relationships between tap and modern dance in a concert of individual company and collaborative performances. This could be truly cool. Durham Arts Council's PSI Theater/ $5-$10. --BW


10.15
Eric Clapton

Sure, you could spend $85 to get close to Eric Clapton and watch him soft-shoe through the phases of his career, themselves but soft-shoes of the more innovative repertoires of his heroes. Fact is, Clapton is one of the most derivative, least passionate guitar players to ever be called famous, and--for that last tenet--he's able to recruit a young band capable of taking him to task: Doyle Bramhall II, Willie Weeks, Derek Trucks and a fiery horn section. RBC Center/ $45-$85 /6:30 p.m. --GC


10.15-1.14
Monet in Normandy

Certainly the area's fall season blockbuster, this selection of 50 landscapes focusing on Monet's inspirations from the Normandy landscape, from his LeHavre birthplace to his famed gardens in Giverny, is gathered from private and public collections for a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. What's not to love here? Though at first reviled by his contemporaries, this ground-breaking inventor of new visual language created what has become a most accessible, enduring and popularly embraced artistic style. The sheer beauty of these paintings can be shared across generations, making this the perfect family outing. The price tag is its only drawback. N.C. Museum of Art/ $15. --MN

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10.17
Scruggs, Cross & Merritt

It's to the N.C. State Fair's credit that the best night of this year's programming brings together three generations of the state's best performers: Earl Scruggs literally changed both the technique and sound of music with his three-fingered banjo style, while Mike Cross' three-decade shtick has been to combine the silly with the serious through a frenetic folk showmanship. Country-soul songstress Tift Merritt shares the bill. Dorton Arena/ $15/ 6:30 p.m. --GC


10.17-19
Troika Music Festival

Now in its second year, Troika--funded entirely by private sponsors and mustered entirely by a group of gung-ho Durham volunteers after The Durham Music Festival failed--continues to grow, sort of. After smartly having retracted last year's focus on spreading it Triangle-thin, Troika is now a huge, three-day Durham affair. Expect Okervill River, Portastatic, The Mountain Goats, The Rosebuds and dozens of locals. Downtown Durham. --GC


10.19
McCoy Tyner

McCoy Tyner is best known for his association with the increasing avant arch of John Coltrane's career before his death in 1967: Tyner got out on Ascension, Om, Impressions and Meditations, though his piano playing is at the root of 1964's holy grail, A Love Supreme. For the past four decades, Tyner has expanded a style he mastered long ago, an ivory innovation that's imitated nearly every time a new jazz piano player takes a seat. Here, he's in trio form. Page Auditorium/ $15-$25 /8 p.m. --GC


10.19-28
House of Desires

Rafael Lopez-Barrantes' new project is a comedy about love, honor and the mixed-up plans of devious lovers--one written by a nun who was one of the chief intellectuals and artists in 17th-century Mexico. Presented by Duke Theatre Studies. Duke University's Bryan Center/ $7-$10. --BW


10.20
Bart Ehrman

This UNC-Chapel Hill professor brought skepticism and scholarship to the popular conversation about religion with Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why, a mainstream-accessible culmination of his years of studying of the Bible's source materials--and reexamining his own born-again beliefs. His latest book, The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot explores revelations about the most recently discovered "Gnostic Gospel." Quail Ridge Books & Music/ Free/ 7 p.m. --FM


10.20
Marie Antoinette

The French booed it at Cannes, but they would treat Sofia Coppola that way, wouldn't they? The uber-cool director of The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation tackles 18th-century rich girls, with Kirsten Dunst in the lead. --DF


10.20
Flags of Our Fathers

Clint Eastwood does Iwo Jima, from the American perspective here, and from the Japanese point of view in Letters from Iwo Jima, to be released in December. Is this the Unforgiven of WWII movies, or the Dirty Harry? Maybe it will be both. --DF


10.20-22
Long Leaf Opera

Starting in 2007, Long Leaf Opera becomes a summer festival producer, so this staging of Samuel Barber's Vanessa--in English, of course--marks the last of their major winter-season offerings. It's a gripping work that should fare well within the hall's splendid acoustics. UNC-Chapel Hill's Memorial Hall. --JL


10.21
Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All

After he got burned on Broadway (by a 2003 version that stripped most of the dramatic urgency from his best-selling novel), author Allan Gurganus is adapting the work for stage himself this time. The Coals give it a staged reading tonight at 6 p.m., with the author in attendance. Burning Coal Theater/ $5. --BW

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10.22
Ekaantha Seetha (A Lonely Furrow)

Indian women who fight for freedom have been said to "plough a lonely furrow." Bharatanatyam Dance-Drama's ensemble of 16 classically trained dancers commemorates the lives and sacrifices of women like Rani Lakshmi Bai, who defied British colonialism. Duke University's Page Auditorium --BW


10.26
Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China

The Nasher caps a fall splash of new media with this unveiling. Its attraction will be the inclusion of some artists never before exhibited in the United States. Add that to New Media from the Rubell Family Collection, which runs through October, and Eve Sussman's ominous The Rape of the Sabine Women, and you'll get a compelling notion of international offerings in these cutting-edge media. In conjunction with this show, artists Hong Lei, Zhang Dali and Cui Xiuwen will discuss their work in a panel moderated by Wu Hung. Nasher Museum of Art/ 5:30 p.m. --MN


10.26
Doug Marlette

The second novel by the author of The Bridge, Magic Time relates a courtroom drama that oscillates from New York and Mississippi in the early '90s to the Freedom Summer of '64 and the murder trial of a civil rights worker. The novel's protagonist, who was in love with the murdered girl, faces revelations that his father, the judge in the case, may have been involved in a cover-up. 10.26, Regulator Bookshop; 11.10, Quail Ridge Books & Music/ Free/ 7 p.m. --FM


10.26-11.18
The Exonerated

Finally, a regional production of this compelling biographical stage play, which uses trial transcripts and interviews to present the stories of a series of modern-day death row inmates--all of whom were later found to be innocent. Deep Dish Theater/ $7-$16. --BW


10.27
Nine Hills One Valley

This vivid--and political--fusion of theater, imagery and music probes and critiques the underlying factors behind social unrest in the state of Manipur in northeast India via Ratan Thiyam's Chorus Repertory Theatre. UNC-Chapel Hill's Memorial Hall. --BW


10.29
Method Man

The most commercially successful star to emerge from Wu-Tang Clan, Method Man's potential as a solo artist has faded to dubious since every subsequent release following his highly hailed 1994 entrée, Tical. Still, he's turned in a dozen charting singles, scored a handful of fantastic collaborations with Redman, and become a household name as an actor. His latest, 4:21...The Day After, isn't an overwhelming achievement or diversion, but it's always nice to get a visit from a Staten mainstay. Cat's Cradle/ $25/ 9:30 p.m. --GC

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November

11.2
Crowell & Kimbrough

Rodney Crowell experienced mainstream country success and managed to survive--and, perhaps, improve--as an artist. The '80s were kind to his cash flow and to his love life: He spent the decade married to Roseanne Cash, who he penned hits for. He had a string of charters himself, along with songs he wrote for Crystal Gayle and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Lately, Crowell has been the auteur of empirically crafted albums. He plays with Will Kimbrough, the hot-property quadruple threat (instrumentalist, songwriter, singer, producer) playing six-string in his band. The ArtsCenter/ $28/ 8 p.m. --GC


11.2
Petah Coyne

Acclaimed New York artist Petah Coyne will deliver an artist's talk on her sculpture "Untitled #1111 (Little Ed's Daughter Margaret)," recently acquired by the Nasher. Nasher Museum/ Free/ 5:30 p.m. --MN


11.2-11
Bourbon at the Border

University Theater gave us Pearl Cleage's notable Blues for an Alabama Sky in 1997. This later work witnesses the return of a black activist couple, after 30 years, to the Mississippi neighborhood where they registered voters during the summer of 1964. How much--and how little--has changed? N.C. State's Thompson Theatre/ $5-$16. --BW


11.3
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

Sacha Baron Cohen is a Kazakhstani newsman who travels through America in search of Pamela Anderson. Larry Charles (Masked and Anonymous, Curb Your Enthusiasm) directs. Here's hoping that Kid Rock or Tommy Lee will turn up. --DF

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11.3-18
The Shadow Box

Michael Cristofer's play took the Tony and the Pulitzer in 1977 for its unblinking look at the American ways of death through the experiences of three terminally ill cancer patients. Flying Machine Theatre Company puts this one on. Common Ground Theatre/ $10-$14. --BW


11.3-18
The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?

Edward Albee's play, in which an extramarital--make that extraspecies--affair threatens a modern marriage, got the goat of New York audiences in 2002. Noted director Joseph Megel navigates the sociosexual minefield. Manbites Dog Theatre/ $10-$15. --BW


11.4
Triangle Brass Band

For 20 years, the Triangle Brass Band has set new standards of excellence in offering a wealth of unusual and engaging repertoire. This year's 20th anniversary gala, directed by Michael Votta Jr., should be one of the season's most important concerts. Fletcher Opera Theatre/ $10. --JL


11.5
Deadboy & the Elephantmen

Deadboy & the Elephantmen's male frontdude/female drummer configuration is a natural for comparisons to The White Stripes, and their blues-driven oeuvre and grimy delivery don't do much to change those opinions. But, unlike Jack White, former Acid Bath frontman Dax Riggs doesn't howl like he's got something to prove to the world, groaning and grimacing and delivering his itinerant toils. In fact, this sounds more like exhumation than proclamation. Kings/ 10 p.m. --GC

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11.5
Mallarmé Chamber Players

The Mallarmé Chamber Players embark on their 23rd and final season of wondrous musical mixes. At this matinee, Arturo Ciompi, clarinet, Jonathan Bagg, viola, and Donald Burman, piano, premiere music by Stephen Jaffe and play works by Levering, Ives and Schumann. Duke University's Nelson Music Room. --JL


11.8
The Caine Mutiny Court Martial

Eric Stoltz and David Selby star in L.A. Theatre Works' deliberately minimal "radio theater" production of the famous military courtroom drama, based on the recent off-Broadway revival. Duke University's Reynolds Theater/ $20-$25. --BW


11.8-11
Cuculorus Film Festival

This year, Wilmington's excellent, low-key festival moves to the fall, and we're betting it'll be an absolutely divine excuse for a late-season, pre-holiday getaway. --DF


11.9-11
Peace College Dance Company

This underrated company continues its collaborations with distinguished alumni and former teachers, including Urban Bush Women's Christal Brown. Peace College's Leggett Theater/ $2. --BW


11.10
Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus

OK, Diane Arbus looked more like Rhea Perlman than Nicole Kidman, but we're not complaining. This long-awaited biopic has a script by onetime Duke drama teacher Erin Cressida Wilson, and the director is Wilson's Secretary collaborator Steven Shainberg. (This date is for the LA/NYC release; local release date TBA.) --DF

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11.10-11
N.C. Symphony

In its 75th season, the N.C. Symphony celebrates Schubert in this program mixing the Quintet in C (played by the St. Lawrence String Quartet and cellist Bonnie Thron) and the Ninth Symphony (conducted by Ignat Solzhenitsyn). The Symphony brings the same program to UNC-Chapel Hill's Memorial Hall on Nov. 9. Meymandi Concert Hall. --JL


11.10-11
Yellow Swans & Mouthus

The two-day, two-band Triangle noise run of the fall: Yellow Swans runs the gamut from harsh, Throbbing Gristle force to brooding, building subdural tones. Mouhthus is one of the most demanding bands on the American noise circuit, and they've earned that distinction with largely standard rock instrumentation, making perfect sense from nothing but aleatoric events, free tom-tom drumming, sinister howling and mangled guitar playing. Duke Coffeehouse/ $5/ 9:30 p.m.; Nightlight/ $6/ 9 p.m. --GC


11.11
Nomad: Tea and Ink/Paper/Body

Presented in conjunction with Between Past and Future, an exhibit of Chinese video and photography, choreographer Yin Mei explores Chinese calligraphy as performance art and a ritual of transition and the theme of spiritual wondering in two brief works. Nasher Museum of Art Auditorium/ $18. --BW


11.12
Durham Art Guild's Juried Art Show

The Durham Art Guild will open its 52nd annual juried show, curated this year by Petah Coyne. Perhaps one of the few area show opportunities that juries from actual pieces hand-delivered to the gallery, the show inevitably takes inventory of regional talent, always yielding surprises. Durham Art Guild/Free/ 3-5 p.m. --MN


11.14
Califone

Chicago's Califone has been a band for a decade, and, in fact, it's little more than a restructured and reconceived version of Red Red Meat, the bluesy indie rock band Tim Rutili led in the mid-'90s. For that reason, it's remarkable that the band's latest, Roots & Crowns, is its most remarkable, cohesive output yet. Rutili's transcendent, hopefully melancholic songwriting and his band's sonic willingness finally fit like a dream. Local 506/ $10/ 9:30 p.m. --GC

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11.14
PLEASEEASAUR

The latest addition to Comedy Central's record label, PLEASEEASAUR is J.P. Hasson, a pop wizard with a rebarbative sense of humor. Hasson rips on American culture with audiovisual displays and jingles for fake products that are but hyperboles of themselves, trying to convince you that cobras are totally nice one minute while stumping for No Prob Limo Company the next. Kings/ 10 p.m.--GC


11.15-19
Blowfish

Dinner--and revenge--are both served in this unconventional drama where audiences will take in a full meal while they take in the life's story of their host, Lumiere. Just watch out for the bitter aftertaste. This is presented by the Raleigh Ensemble Players. Page-Walker House/ $25. --BW


11.15-12.10
Tuesdays With Morrie

Don't forget the Kleenex at this Playmakers Repertory Company production. Mitch Albom's moving 1997 best-seller chronicled his final "class" with sociologist and mentor Morrie Schwartz: a series of weekly conversations about the meaning of life that were ultimately conducted over the last 14 Tuesdays of Schwartz' life. Paul Green Theater/ $10-$40. --BW


11.16-19
Balanchine & Mozart

Artistic director Robert Weiss celebrates the choreographer and composer with the Raleigh premiere of Balanchine's Divertimento #15 and other dance works inspired by Mozart. Raleigh Memorial Auditorium/ $10-$55. --BW


11.16-18
Meredith Dance Theatre

Choreographer--and new dance faculty member--Talani Torres joins artistic director Carol Kyles Finley and current students in their biannual concert. Meredith College's Jones Auditorium/ $5-$10. --BW


11.17
Acoustic Masada Quartet

Tom Waits went on tour earlier this year and decided to saddle up with Duke Robillard and Larry Taylor, an appropriate choice considering that the lineup canned a good deal of Waits' ideal heat. Perhaps he should have given John Zorn a call: Acoustic Masada--Zorn's quartet with bassist Greg Cohen, trumpeter Dave Douglas and drummer Joey Baron--combines some of the most chops-heavy, experimentally exuberant players in music, both things that Waits' band could've used. Don't miss this rare show. Duke University's Page Auditorium/ $26/ 8 p.m.--GC


11.17
Stranger Than Fiction

Can Will Ferrell be stopped? This one looks to be a Charlie Kaufman-style curveball, with Emma Thompson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Queen Latifah, Dustin Hoffman and Kristin Chenowith. --DF


11.17
Ziggy Marley

Though he was the most recognizable progeny of Bob Marley until younger brother Damian "Junior Gong" hit airwaves last year, Ziggy Marley's career will always be earmarked by a sense of prodigal disappointment. True, he scored hits in the '80s with The Melody Makers and he's won three reggae Grammys, but Marley's music has always erred on the side of cautious hope, bringing his father's underlying message to the top while losing most of the incumbent grit. His new album, Love is My Religion, fits that trajectory. Lincoln Theatre/ $27/ 10 p.m. --GC


11.17
Fast Food Nation

Lukewarm early reviews for this Richard Linklater adaptation of the Eric Schlosser muckrake, but righteous vegetarians of the world will unite nonetheless. Bonus: a follow-up role for Catalina Sandino Moreno, much-loved for Maria Full of Grace. --DF

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11.17
For Your Consideration

Christopher Guest follows up his probing looks at community theater, dog shows and folk singing with his inside look at the hubbub surrounding a hit indie film called Home for Purim, a warm and fuzzy movie about Jews in the 1940s American South. You can start laughing right now. --DF


11.17
Drought and Rain, Vol. 2

Picture this: 12 dancers from the National Ballet of Vietnam, accompanied by a traditional music ensemble, reflect on the Vietnam War as it's viewed from the present in their culture. The French newspaper L'Humanite has termed the work "a purification." UNC-Chapel Hill's Memorial Hall/ $10-$50. --BW


11.17-18
N.C. State's Dance Program Fall Concert

Artistic director Robin Harris traditionally presents student, guest faculty and alumni work in this annual fall showcase. N.C. State's Stewart Theatre/ $10. --BW


11.18-19
November Dances 2006

What makes this concert of faculty works a little extra special? Renowned--and ferocious--choreographer/dancer Clay Taliaferro's victory lap before retiring at the end of the year. Respect is due, in a concert of modern, ballet and African dance forms. Duke Univeristy's Reynolds Theater/ $10-$15. --BW


11.18
Contemporary Fine Craft Show

This national, biennial contemporary fine craft show juried by Susan Brandeis opens with a collector's gala, including a live and silent auction, seated dinner and after-party for $125 per individual ticket. Table sponsorship is also available for this celebration of Artspace's 20th anniversary. Artspace. --MN


11.19
Carrboro Film Festival

This inaugural event is a one-day affair, and it will spotlight regional filmmaking. Submissions are still being accepted. See www.carrborofilmfestival.com for information. --DF


11.19
Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle

Lorenzo Muti leads the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle in an eclectic program of music by Bach--the "Overture" (Suite) No. 3 in D, S.1068--and Schoenberg's groundbreaking "Verklärte Nacht" ("Transfigured Night"). Admission to this matinee concert is $20, but students get in for free. Carolina Theatre. --JL


11.19-12.11
Contemporary North Carolina Photography from the Museum's Collection

The N.C. Museum of Art comes to the collection of photography a bit late in the game, having only initiated an active collecting strategy in 2003 under the aegis of curator Linda Johnson Dougherty and then-curator Huston Paschal. They have made a strong commitment by collecting folios of work by 10 of our state's finest photographers, which will be shown in two rotations. The first rotation of 54 photographs runs through Nov. 5. The second rotation goes up on Nov. 19. The 10 photographers are Rob Amberg, Bill Bamberger, Carolyn DeMerritt, Alex Harris, Titus Brooks Heagins, Elizabeth Matheson, John Menapace, Margaret Sartor, Dave Simonton and Caroline Vaughan. Free. --MN

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11.20-12.31
Tinsel Town

An outdoor ice-skating rink, decorated trees and Santa house will help you get your winter wonderland on. Koka Booth Amphitheatre at Regency Park. --FM


11.24
Volver

Penelope Cruz gets a badly needed post-Tom boost in Almodovar's latest, and his greatest leading lady Carmen Maura works with him for the first time since 1988's Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. --DF


11.29
Joanna Catherine Scott

The Road from Chapel Hill, the Civil War epic by an Aussie-reared, English denizen of the Triangle, tells of three lives thrown together: a slave seeking freedom, a farm boy charged with finding him, and an aristocratic girl pining for her lost life. 11.15, Regulator Bookshop; 11.29, Quail Ridge/ Free/ 7 p.m. both venues. --FM

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11.30-12.3
I Am My Own Wife

For those who couldn't catch Playmakers' brief September run, and students of the theater curious to see how different directors and actors interpret the same text, noted director Jay O'Berski should come up with something interesting when he directs Duke undergraduate Michael Ayers for Duke Theatre Studies' production. Duke University's Sheafer Theater/ $3-$5. --BW


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December

12.1
Duke Chapel Choir

Thousands of music lovers have heard the Duke Chapel Choir's complete performances of Handel's Messiah given in one of the region's most awe-inspiring places. Conductor Rodney Wynkoop leads distinguished soloists, the Orchestra Pro Cantores and the large chorus. Order tickets early. --JL


12.7-16
exactly what t(w)o do

In this both hands theatre company production, Cheryl Chamblee and Tamara Kissane "turn the tables, fork it over, eat their own words, and find out if ugly goes to the bone." A work about food is our best guess, performed this time by the creators themselves. We can't wait. Manbites Dog Theater/ $10-$15. --BW


12.8
The Good German

The plot sounds a little like The Third Man, which is fine by us as long as the ship is being steered by Steven Soderbergh, with first mates George Clooney and Cate Blanchett. --DF


12.10
Rhythm in Time

The generations meet as the region's top two tap groups--the N.C. Youth Tap Ensemble and the Footnotes Tap Ensemble--find common ground and rhythm in this end-of-season summit in Carrboro. The Artscenter. --BW


12.10
Roger Hannay

The world premiere of the "Quartet of Solos" by Roger Hannay (1930-2006) will be presented by the Ciompi Quartet during this Sights and Sounds on Sundays concert. The matinee performance benefits the Raleigh Chamber Music Guild and Classical Voice of North Carolina, Inc. N.C. Museum of Art. --JL

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12.18
Cat's Cradle Christmas

If it's your sort of thing, just believe Christmas is actually coming to Carrboro a week early: Several of the Triangle's best young bands--from the enchanting acoustic duo Bowerbirds to the sturm-und-drang electric pair Bellafea--meet with the twisted storytelling of The Mountain Goats and the quirky melodies of Billy Sugarfixx. David Kartsen Daniels, The Strugglers, Erie Choir and The Physics of Meaning make this a must-see 2006 outro. Cat's Cradle. --GC

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Venues List
An alphabetical list of the venues included in these listings

Ackland Art Museum
UNC-Chapel Hill, 101 S. Columbia St.
843-1611, www.ackland.org

The ArtsCenter
300-G E. Main St., Carrboro
929-2787, www.artscenterlive.org

Artspace
201 E. Davie St., Raleigh
821-2787, www.artspacenc.org

Baldwin Auditorium
Duke University East Campus, Durham
www.duke.edu/web/dukeperfs

Branch Gallery
401 Foster St., Durham
918-1116, www.branchgallery.com

Bryan Center
Duke University West Campus, Durham
www.duke.edu/web/dukeperfs

Burning Coal Theatre Company
512 St. Mary's St., Raleigh
834-4001, www.burningcoal.org

Carolina Theatre
309 W. Morgan St., Durham
560-3030, www.carolinatheatre.org

Cat's Cradle
300 E. Main St., Carrboro
967-9053, www.catscradle.com

Common Ground Theatre
4815-B Hillsborough Road, Durham
698-3870, www.cgtheatre.com

Days Inn
3460 Hillsborough Road, Durham
383-1551

Deep Dish Theater Company
University Mall, 201 S. Estes Drive, Chapel Hill 968-1515
www.deepdishtheater.org

Dorton Arena
N.C. State Fairgrounds, 1025 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh
www.ncstatefair.org

Duke Chapel
Duke University West Campus, Durham
www.chapel.duke.edu

Duke Coffeehouse
Duke University East Campus, Durham
www.duke.edu/web/coffeehouse

Durham Art Guild
120 Morris St., Durham
560-2713, www.durhamartguild.org

Durham Arts Council
120 Morris St., Durham
560-2713, www.durhamarts.org

Elizabeth Price Kenan Theatre
UNC-Chapel Hill, Center for Dramatic Art
www.unc.edu

Enloe High School
128 Clarendon Crescent, Raleigh
856-7918, www.wakeptacouncil.org

Fletcher Opera Theater
2 E. South St., Raleigh
831-6060, www.progressenergycenter.com

Jones Auditorium
Meredith College, 3800 Hillsborough St., Raleigh
www.meredith.edu/dance/theatre/upcoming_events.htm

Kings
424 E. McDowell St., Raleigh
831-1005, www.kingsbarcade.com

Koka Booth Amphitheatre at Regency Park
8003 Regency Pkwy., Cary
462-2052, www.boothamphitheatre.com

Lee Hansley Gallery
225 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh
828-7557, www.leehansleygallery.com

Lincoln Theatre
126 E. Cabarrus St., Raleigh
821-4111, www.lincolntheatre.com

Local 506
506 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill
942-5506, www.local506.com

Manbites Dog Theater
703 Foster St., Durham
682-4974, www.manbitesdogtheater.org

McIntyre's Bookstore
2000 Fearrington Village Center, Pittsboro
542-3030, www.fearrington.com/village/mcintyres.asp

Memorial Hall
UNC-Chapel Hill, Cameron Ave.
www.carolinaperformingarts.org

Meymandi Concert Hall
2 E. South St., Raleigh
www.progressenergycenter.com

Nasher Museum of Art
Duke University, 2001 Campus Drive, Durham
684-5135, www.nasher.duke.edu

Nelson Music Room
Duke University East Campus, Durham

Nightlight
405 1/2 W. Rosemary St., Chapel Hill
933-5550, freewebs.com/nofuturefest/nightlight.htm

North Carolina Central University Art Museum
1801 Fayetteville St., Durham
530-6211, www.nccu.edu/artmuseum

North Carolina Central University Drama
530-6242, www.nccu.edu/artsci/drama/prod.shtml

North Carolina Museum of Art
2110 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh
839-6262, www.ncartmuseum.org

North Carolina State University Gallery of Art and Design
Talley Student Center, 2610 Cates Ave., Raleigh
515-3503, gad.ncsu.edu

Page Auditorium
Duke University West Campus, Durham
www.duke.edu/web/dukeperfs

Page-Walker House
119 Ambassador Loop, Cary
460-4963, www.townofcary.org

Paul Green Theater
UNC-Chapel Hill, County Club Road
962-7529, www.playmakersrep.org

The Pour House
224 S. Blount St., Raleigh
821-1120, www.the-pour-house.com

Quail Ridge Books & Music
3522 Wade Ave., Raleigh
828-1588, www.quailridgebooks.booksense.com

Raleigh Memorial Auditorium
500 Fayetteville St., Raleigh
831-6011, www.raleighconvention.com

RBC Center
1400 Edwards Mill Road, Raleigh
www.rbccenter.com

Regulator Bookshop
720 Ninth St., Durham
286-2700, www.regbook.com

Reynolds Industry Theater
Bryan Center, Duke University West Campus, Durham
www.duke.edu/web/dukeperfs

Richard White Auditorium
Duke University East Campus, Durham

Shakori Hills
1439 Henderson Tanyard Road, Silk Hope
542-8142, www.shakorihills.org

Sheafer Theater
Bryan Center, Duke University West Campus, Durham
events.duke.edu/facility/schaefer.html

Stewart Theater
North Carolina State University, Talley Student Center, 2610 Cates Ave., Raleigh
www.fis.ncsu.edu/Arts

St. Mary's School
900 Hillsborough St., Raleigh
800-948-2557, www.saint-marys.edu

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
82 Kimberly Drive, Durham
493-5451, www.st-stephens-episcopal.org

Thompson Theater
North Carolina State University, Dunn Ave., Raleigh
www.ncsu.edu/arts

Witherspoon Student Cinema
North Carolina State University, Dan Allen Drive, Raleigh


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