Toni Morrison at the Jubilee for Reynolds Price
Duke Chapel—Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison visits Durham this week to take part in the three-day Reynolds Price Jubilee, held in honor of his 50 years as a member of Duke's English faculty. Originally hired in 1958 for a limited, three-year teaching appointment with "no chance of renewal," Price has taught at Duke since. During his years in Durham, he has written numerous books, from the 1962 novel A Long and Happy Life (winner of the William Faulkner Foundation Award for notable first novel) to 2006's reflective Letter to a Godchild: Concerning Faith. He is perhaps best known on campus for the Milton class he has taught for more than 40 years, as well as for his creative writing courses and another course on the gospels. His annual Halloween reading at Lilly Library is a long-standing campus tradition.
The jubilee begins Thursday, Jan. 31, at 4 p.m. with the screening of two Price-centric documentaries, followed by a reception and a talk between Price and television personality and Duke alum Charlie Rose at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, features talks and roundtable discussion with such literary personalities as Stanley Fish, Josephine Humphreys and Richard Ford. Today, Morrison reads and speaks at Duke Chapel at 11 a.m. Her talk is the only jubilee event that is free and open to the public, so we'll see you there. —Gerry Canavan
Toni Morrison will be introduced by Reynolds Price. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The registration deadline for other events has passed, although Duke students may attend events for free. Visit www.dukealumni.com/jubilee for schedule.
Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball
Chatham Mills—Beer, booze and beads are the typical fare for a Mardi Gras blowout in the Carolinas. But this year, Pittsboro joins in the Fat Tuesday fun with a Masquerade Ball fit for a king. Shake off the winter blues and dance the night away to the rhythms of San Francisco's Tangria Jazz, enjoy spicy Cajun delicacies from the kitchen of Chatham Marketplace, and check out the outrageous costumes (ball gowns and feathered masks, please) and spectacular "celebrity" karaoke event. All proceeds will support Katrina relief efforts, and an auction for a group service trip to New Orleans will be held. Tickets are $25-$30. Show up at 7 p.m. and dress to impress. —Kathy Justice
FrequNC Records Night
Nightlight—It seems as if Nightlight has been making more room for indie rock amid its usual anarcho-noise fare since new bookers took over late last year. But the FrequeNC Records crew doesn't know how to not get crunk, and this triple bill promises the sort of renegade electro dance-fuel for which the venue is renowned. Durham's Ex-Members is two-thirds ex-Gerty, one-third ex-Butchies, and three-thirds bad-ass new wave jams. Expect concertina-wire guitar lines and glittering synth stabs galore. Philly's Pony Pants plays razor-sharp riot-grrl pop in the vein of Le Tigre, a formula it's perfected on its latest album, Fives. Philly's Vytear rounds out the celebration with kinetic, haywire breakbeat shenanigans. Those of you who crave rainbow-bright melodies and block-rocking beats will want to show up promptly at 10 p.m. to catch all of this roundly satisfying bill. —Brian Howe
African American Dance Ensemble
Stewart Theatre, N.C. State campus—Chuck Davis, local African dance celebrity and master of foot-stomping, soul-shaking choreography, delivers two new works with big moves and big meaning, living up to his company's motto of "peace, love, respect for everybody." Nelson Mandela: A Light so Powerful and BlueGrass/ BrownEarth: From Africa to Bluegrass hit the stage at 8 p.m. For tickets, visit ticketcentral.ncsu.edu. —Sarah Lupton
Pink Floyd The Wall
Colony Theatre—An unparalleled psychedelic-escape fantasy, Pink Floyd's rock opera The Wall has played host to buzzed-out audiences and the warm glow of lasers since its 1982 premiere. And although its soundtrack is stellar, the sometimes secondary film also boasts an eternal energy with production and directorial styles that pay homage to the metaphysical creations of surrealist auteurs Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí. Put one more brick in the wall at midnight for $5. —Kathy Justice