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Catie Curtis; more

Saturday 1.16 

click to enlarge Catie Curtis
  • Catie Curtis

Carrboro
Catie Curtis

The ArtsCenter—Folksingers are a lot like romantic comedies—the best are smart enough to transcend stylistic expectations and reach beyond the form's dedicated audience. At their worst, they're predictable, overly sentimental and a tad precious. Curtis hasn't always cleared the high bar set by peers like Dar Williams and Patty Griffin, though since moving to Compass Records in 2006 she's released her three best albums, highlighted by the fully realized roots pop of 2008's Sweet Life. Last year's surprising string-band album, Hello Stranger, offering a half-dozen covers and several rustic reinterpretations of her own songs, delivered with a fine feel and presence. Tonight, Lindsay Mac opens, and tickets cost $18 for the 8:30 p.m. show. See www.artscenterlive.org. —Chris Parker


click to enlarge Carmen
  • Carmen

Raleigh
Carmen

Regal Brier Creek and North Hills cinemas—In an attempt to bring opera to a wider audience, the Metropolitan Opera has broadcast its performances to local theaters around the U.S. for the past four years. This month, the Met's production of Carmen takes the stage for the special broadcast. Georges Bizet's sexy story about Carmen—a promiscuous woman who seduces a betrothed military officer, Don José, and subsequently brings about his downfall—is infamous, with its "Habanera" spawning numerous adaptations and parodies. It's a timeless tale that has been adapted for the screen many times over, including MTV's Hip Hopera: Carmen with Beyoncé Knowles in the title role. Accomplished conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin guides the orchestra in this opéra comique with Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Elîna Garanca as Carmen and tenor Roberto Alagna as Don José (pictured). For those who want to enjoy opera without all the fuss of getting dressed up (and throwing down the C-notes), this event is sure to please. Both theaters will host the performance at 1 p.m. Tickets are $22 for adults, $15 for children and $20 for seniors. There will be an encore performance Feb. 3 at 6:30 p.m. Visit www.metopera.org. —Belem Destefani


Carrboro
Who's Bad?

Cat's Cradle—Who's Bad? is not a cover band. It's a tribute band that attempts to capture the spirit, presence and songs of none other than Michael Jackson. Personal troubles and details of his death aside, Jackson remains an unrivaled entertainment package—an amazing singer, an uncanny dancer, an unforgettable performer. His last tour, however, ended in 1997. The hype over his planned show in London attests to the fact that people instinctively connect with his music. So if any artist deserves to have a tribute band, Michael Jackson does. Founded in 2003, Who's Bad? currently has seven members—two of whom fill in for Michael Jackson (yes, they're both black, if that matters). Two Kings of Pop are necessary, considering the vocal work, costume changes and active choreography inherent in knowing 38 Jackson tunes. Is seeing Who's Bad? the same as seeing Michael Jackson live? Of course not. But it's the closest you can get, and it's a lot of fun. The high-energy local rock trio SWASO opens. Pay $15 at 9:30 p.m. Check www.catscradle.com. —Andrew Ritchey


Raleigh
An Unforgettable Gift

Memorial Auditorium, Progress Energy Center—Founded in 2006 and closely linked with the Falun Gong religious movement, Shen Yun Divine Performing Arts specializes in bringing to life classical Chinese dance and music in a colorful stage show. In An Unforgettable Gift, the New York-based company of dancers, soloist musicians and an orchestra presents its best works from past years, employing colorful costumes and animated digital backdrops that include English lyrics for the numbers being performed. The result is an absorbing experience in Chinese culture that draws extensively from the country's rich history and mythology. Shows are at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; ticket are $29-$119. Visit www.shenyunperformingarts.org. —Zack Smith

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