Blood Done Sign My Name
Sheafer Theater, Duke Campus—Tim Tyson was just a boy when three of his fellow white Oxford, N.C. residents were acquitted for the murder of one Henry "Dickie" Morris, a black soldier who was found beaten and shot dead outside a convenience store in 1970. The racial strife that followed is the subject of Tyson's now famous memoir, Blood Done Sign My Name, a merciless exploration of history and race in the post Civil Rights South in which the now middle-aged Duke University professor spares no one, not even himself. Veteran actor and playwright Mike Wiley premiers his one-man adaptation of Tyson's book at Duke University's Sheafer Theater tonight at 8 p.m. and runs through Nov. 9. A discussion with Tyson follows each performance. Tickets are available at the Duke University Box Office for $20, or $10 for students. For more info visit events.duke.edu. —Vernal Coleman
Goodnight's—By the time Richard Lewis begins his latest gig at Charlie Goodnight's on Thursday, the United States should have a new president. The tone and content of the comedian's stand-up act hinges on the winner: "This is sort of a wild gig," says the lifelong Democrat. "I'm going to be on fire either way. If Obama wins, I'm going to be in an extraordinary mood. If he loses ... honestly, it might be a better show. I'm curious to see how I might be feeling: elated or absolutely distraught."
Lewis has become one of the best-known stand-up comedians in America for his neurotic, cynical stage persona, though, as even he admits, there is little difference between who he is on stage and who he is in real life. Over the course of our conversation, he apologized at least four times for rambling, changing the subject or saying things he felt were uninteresting. His performance at Goodnight's will be drawn, he says, from roughly four or five hours of material he has on his computer, plus what's on his mind: "It's like a bad MapQuest, my show. But hopefully, I'll get to the destination, and make some comedic points."
Goodnight's promises to be a "relaxing gig" for Lewis, who adds that it's a welcome change of pace from his recent gigs, which have included multiple town halls and TV appearances (he had done three in the week before the interview). He's gained new fans from his TV work, ranging from a guest role on the family drama 7th Heaven ("Kids come up to me and go 'You're that rabbi!'") and his long-running role as a version of himself on HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm, which was recently renewed for a seventh season. For Lewis, playing himself is a strange experience. "You do so much improvising, you have no idea what [Curb creator and star Larry David is] going to use in an episode," Lewis says. "It's the oddest sensation. I have no idea if I'm acting." Considering how far being himself has taken him, it's obviously a formula that works. —Zack SmithRichard Lewis performs through Nov. 9 at Goodnight's. Visit www.ticketbiscuit.com/goodnightscomedy for more information.
Transportation, Dawn Chorus
The Cave—Chapel Hill's Fractured Discs claims two of the most endearing local pop records of the year in Transportation's Daydreams and Dawn Chorus' Florida St. Serenade. Both bands make dreaming-or-driving pop-rock, though Dawn Chorus is the Britpop bite to Transportation's American album rock earnestness. 10 p.m. —Grayson Currin