Rialto Theatre—Spice up your summer evening with a film whose plot thrives on one part sheer romance, constructed from the love poems of Chile's Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda, and one part simplicity, as an unlikely friendship between an esteemed poet and his lovelorn letter carrier takes wing. Based on the novel Burning Patience by Chilean writer Antonio Skarmeta, the film tells the tale of Mario, a fisherman's son bored with his seaside life, and Neruda, a sensuous, womanizing poet who has been banned from his homeland and forced to live on the same island Mario inhabits. When Mario (played brilliantly by Massimo Troisi) signs up to deliver the letters Neruda (Philippe Noiret) sends to a voluptuous beauty, a scandal of small-town seduction fires up. But the film's main beauty lies in its earnest meditation on class relations and the magic seduction of words—the script was co-written by Troisi (who died just a day after shooting wrapped). Catch it tonight at 7 p.m. as part of Cinema Inc.'s 2008-09 season. Nonmembers can buy a prorated subscription at the door. Visit cinema-inc.org. —Kathy Justice
Koka Booth Amphitheatre—In December, just a month after seeing his contributions to Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign rewarded with a victory, John Legend performed at the grand opening of Durham's stately 2,800-seat theater, Durham Performing Arts Center. In a show where every song felt like a sermon, three things stood out: One, DPAC doesn't look like the rest of Durham. Two, Legend is really skinny for a soul crooner, which became apparent when he climbed atop his piano and sang "Green Light" in rocker-dude-tight leather pants. Third, I sat next to what seemed like Legend's entire Springfield, Ohio, family and was asked to hold one of his relative's kids for a few seconds. Wait, I thought this was baby-making music.
But the thing that stands out about Legend lately is his versatility: One moment, he's the featured artist at the Democratic National Convention, the next, he's singing and sporting in rapper Rick Ross' "Magnificent" video, one of two lavishly dressed fellas sipping on Bacardi Limon with some caramel-toned vixens and betting big cheese on a high-stakes horse race. Don't be surprised: After all, none other than Kanye West introduced Legend to the music business (and co-produced his diverse debut, Get Lifted) and seems to have passed his alliterative mantra—"flaunt, focus and fortitude"—to Legend. India.Arie and Vaughn Anthony open the outdoor show at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $41-$66; visit www.boothamphitheatre.com. —Eric Tullis
Slim's—Coed Brooklyn duo Object distills 10 years of American alternative rock into well-paced four-minute anthems of its own: The bass combines Dinosaur's lumbering, distorted pop and Nirvana's snarling angularity. At the surface, though, is a mix of Smashing Pumpkins' interest in the epic and involved, shifts in rhythm and motif running counter but augmenting the spartan simplicity of Object and its obsessions. Tonight, the band opens for Summers of Amber and Lonely H at 9 p.m. for $5. On Saturday, July 11, the band headlines at Jack Sprat at 9 p.m. —Grayson Currin