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John Menapace

NCSU--John Menapace is acknowledged as upping North Carolina's national reputation as a bed of photography. He helped select 60 of his photographs for this exhibition, which runs through May 14 in the Gallery of Art & Design. For details, see

The Countdown Quartet

The Pour House--They were a Triangle treasure even before New Orleans needed help keeping its own spirit alive. Look at the $5 cover for this 7 p.m. show as the price you pay for having fun.

Chapel Hill

Vanishing Marion

UNC-Chapel Hill--Jeanmarie Williams' deft drama (3 1/2 of 5 stars) probes elliptical communications among two generations of functional women, glimpsing behind some of the façades surrounding a bright, lower middle-class scholarship student at a prestigious prep school. Imaginative director Joseph Megel crafts workarounds for most structural difficulties here, but an otherwise notable Hollis Wansley as Marion is directed to avoid eye contact one time too many, while insufficient character development leaves mother Rita (Elisabeth Lewis Corley) too flat and cold without reason. A brisk pace--and supporting performances from Sarah Kocz, Amy Flynn, Sarah Roach, Noelle Barnard and Amelia Allore--propels things along. Still, we leave wondering how far most of these characters have really come--and what we know about them. If you miss today's 3 p.m. matinee, try Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. at Swain Hall, through April 23. Tix are $5-14. --Byron Woods

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