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Saturday 12.06 

click to enlarge Savoy-Doucet Band
  • Savoy-Doucet Band

Carrboro
Rock for Reproductive Rights: A Benefit for IPAS
The Artcenter—Tonight's reason to rock is IPAS (www.ipas.org), a Chapel Hill-based organization fighting for women's health and reproductive rights in your neighborhood and around the world. The fifth installment of this annual fundraiser comes together with equal parts spice and life: Local alt.country favorite Caitlin Cary fills the creative space of The ArtsCenter with her cross-section of honey-smooth vocals and rootsy charm, followed by the celebrated swampy rhythms and fiddle swoops of Louisiana's favorite Cajun outfit, The Savoy-Doucet Band. Pay it forward for $16 at 8 p.m. —Kathy Justice


click to enlarge 12.3ae.8.sat.xmaslttrs.1.gif

Chapel Hill
Christmas Letters
Deep Dish Theater—Looking for inspired prose to complement your holiday cards' graphic mangers, mistletoe and menorahs? A form letter and photograph—while better than nothing—just isn't cutting it anymore, and you know it. Christmas Letters, the one-woman play adapting Lee Smith's eponymous novella, ought to thaw your icy correspondence, and remind you why 42 cents, and words from the heart, are priceless. (Or, if you bought one of those "Forever" stamps—those really are priceless.) Barbara Bates Smith, who previously adapted Lee Smith's On Agate Hill at Deep Dish Theater, tells the story of three generations of North Carolina women, in the form of Christmas greetings. (Yes, recipes are included.)

Hillsborough's Lee Smith, who was born in the Blue Ridge Mountains and previously taught at North Carolina State University, has written nine novels, many of them exploring the history of women in the South. "Nobody knows Southern women better," the Chicago Tribune declared in praise of Christmas Letters. Written in 1996, the epistolary novella traces the history of the Pickett family, from a World War II bride to a Peace Corps volunteer. Inspired by her mother's and grandmother's writing, Melanie Pickett writes her first Christmas letter as a grown woman. Maybe after the show, you'll write your first too. At Deep Dish Theater, starting tonight at 8 p.m. and continuing through Sunday, Dec. 14. Visit www.deepdishtheater.org for more information. —Matt Saldaña


Cary
Cary Playwrights Forum: Holiday Journeys
Herb young community center—Calling all writers, playwriters, and especially you folks with the next great Christmas fable in your drawer about the dad who battles his oil furnace and buys his kid the Red Rider air rifle—OK, you're too late with that one. But these staged readings are definitely for you—with scenes from 11 new plays by local writers at a brisk pace—if you're a patron of the arts, love winter scenes or are otherwise drawn to the possibilities of holiday comedy and/or drama. Elements of the Cary Players will be doing double, triple or, in the case of Tracie Merwitzer, quadruple duty in performance, according to the playbill. Presented by the Cary Playwrights Forum, which exists to nurture writers. And it's free. At the Herb Young Community Center, Room A, 3-5:30 p.m. with an intermission and concessions. RSVP recommended: rsvp@caryplaywrightsforum.org. —Bob Geary


Chapel Hill
Radar Bros.
Local 506—On Auditorium—the fifth album and second on Merge Records from long-running Los Angeles masters of slowburn pop The Radar Bros.—things finally come into sharp focus. The trio's songs still creep, but there's a lyrical and musical clarity here that suggests early Grandaddy, sweeping away brambles of distraction. Lud, our own long-running champions who also released a fine album this year, open. Pay $8 at 10 p.m. —Grayson Currin


Raleigh
American Aquarium
The Pour House—Inspired by Yankee Hotel Foxtrot with regard to nomenclature only, Raleigh's American Aquarium are more closely aligned to Wilco's alt.country origins, with a plenty big dose of starry-eyed roots pop to justify inevitable Whiskeytown comparisons. On stage, frontman BJ Barham summons a heavy dose of Waylon's outlaw spirit through half-scornful, half-scorned yarns from a heart that professes the licks it's taken. American Gun will feel right at home with "Drunk Girls" then, though the Columbia five-piece is as likely to take up the flutter 'n' moan of mandolin and steel guitar as the scorch of an electric. Also, Athens singer-songwriter Bain Mattox of Shot From Guns. Cover is $8-$10 at 9 p.m. Mattox also plays Friday night with Tripp at Chapel Hill's Jack Sprat. —Spencer Griffith

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