N.C. Museum of Life and Science—Picture a gaggle of highly specialized silicon agents engaged in gladiatorial combat. Designed by tech-savvy wunderkinds, with algorithms optimized to crush the competition, these warriors-by-proxy go at each other with such ruthless efficiency that, when the smoke clears, their human accomplices can only marvel at the scene of destruction.
No, it's not the New York Stock Exchange, it's a Robot Rumble, and nobody loses their retirement savings or otherwise gets hurt (dented, maybe). Local and national robotics experts, including the Triangle Amateur Robotics Club and N.C. State's Underwater Robotics Club, will give demonstrations. Visitors can also battle bots or attend a workshop in making solar-powered robots (pre-registration required). Activities run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and most are free with admission (adults $10.85, kids $7.85). Check www.ncmls.org/node/866 for specific times and more information. —Marc Maximov
Carolina RailHawks vs. New England Revolution
WakeMed Soccer Park—The RailHawks play in the United Soccer League's first division (USL-1), which is commonly held to be a rung below Major League Soccer (MLS), much in the manner of AAA baseball's relationship to the majors. But the USL is an independent league, not a farm system, and its teams can and do knock off the better-financed clubs of the MLS. Those fans who are following the CONCACAF Champions League, a tournament of top pro teams from North and Central America, know that two USL teams reached the quarter-finals, one is now in the semifinals, and that all the MLS teams were knocked out early.
Still, the RailHawks will have their work cut out for them in this exhibition against the Massachusetts-based side: All but a handful are new to the team and are still learning to play together—and to play for a brand new coach, Martin Rennie (read our story about Rennie). The Revolution, meanwhile, bring such top talents as U.S. internationals Taylor Twellman and Steve Ralston. Also of note on the Revolution roster is former Duke star Michael Videira, who put in time last summer on the RailHawks' Under-23 developmental team. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Visit www.carolinarailhawks.com for more information. —David Fellerath
Hillsborough Street—It's only fitting that if Hillsborough Street is getting a new look, visitors to the kickoff party for the thoroughfare's makeover can scope out new outfits for themselves. The Redress Raleigh Eco-Fashion Show will serve as the sartorial sister to the Hillsborough Street Renaissance Festival's music and cooking events, with an eye to eco-friendly fashion.
The fashion show's green theme will spotlight clothes constructed with organic and bamboo fabrics, as well as vintage clothes reworked and revamped into new creations. Local designers and students from N.C. State's College of Textiles will send models down the catwalk at 5:30 p.m.
Grab seats for $15 to $25, or hang out for free in the standing-room section. The proceeds from the show will benefit local charity MorLove, a student-run organization that supports the Amani Baby Cottage in Uganda. MorLove will also have a store set up at the festival with recycled purses, clothing and jewelry.
Visit www.redressraleigh.com for tickets and more info. —Karlie Justus
Per Redress Raleigh: RAIN PLAN: If it is raining the fashion show will still go on at 5:30 p.m. at Aurora Nightclub, 2526 Hillsborough St.
Durham Performing Arts Center—Why is George Lopez so popular? Actually, we're not sure. Nothing we've seen in his act is particularly different from others' jokes about wives, mothers and kids, along with being Hispanic.
Nonetheless, The George Lopez Show is on all the time in reruns. There's an hour of it in syndication at the same time there's an hour of it on Nick at Nite, and then both hours repeat simultaneously. It's actually on more than Cheers or M*A*S*H. Not bad for a show Family Guy once accused of furthering "the stereotype that George Lopez is funny."
Currently on his "Tall, Dark and Chicano" tour, Lopez was scheduled to follow the tough act of Robin Williams, but his long-sold-out show for Friday, March 13 was postponed last week due to his heart surgery. For better or worse, Lopez has the weekend to himself. Visit www.dpacnc.com. —Zack Smith
The Rosebuds Acoustic
Marsh Woodwinds Upstairs—Serving both as a practice before Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp ship to South by Southwest next week and as a chance to hear The Rosebuds' songs stripped to their acoustic-and-keys core, tonight's intimate set on Person Street promises to be a rarity. "There will be a bunch of surprises and this will be one of the few times The Rosebuds will interpret their songs in this kind of forum," says the band . Expect some instrumentalist additions and—we can hope—that Adam Franklin tune Howard that used to do. The $7 show starts at 8 p.m. and is BYOB. —Grayson Currin