Steep Canyon Rangers
Lincoln Theatre—Steep Canyon Rangers serve meat-and-potatoes bluegrass, everything fitting together like a well-used family recipe. After gaining wider recognition as Steve Martin's backing band, the North Carolina quintet released its fourth album, Deep in the Shade, last year. These songs are simple and filling, with Woody Platt's smooth lead vocals comforting atop rolling banjo and flitting fiddle. The duo of Craig (bass) and Bennett (guitar and mandolin) Thompson open. The brothers play together regularly in the quartet Old Habits. The $10-$12 show starts at 8 p.m. See www.lincolntheatre.com. —Andrew Ritchey
Lines of Attack: Conflicts of Caricature
Nasher Museum of Art—What fun would politics be without cartoons? In a recent hot-button illustration, a New Yorker cover showed a turban-clad Barack Obama fist-bumping in the Oval Office with his wife, who was sporting camouflage pants and an Angela Davis 'fro. The time-honored tradition dates to the 1700s and illustrator Honore Daumier, who poked fun at French king Louis-Philippe with savage sketches. This exhibition will "highlight the development of graphic satire as a significant journalistic medium," says program literature, while focusing mainly on the Clinton and Dubya terms. Tonight's event features a cash bar at 5:30 p.m. and a lecture at 6 p.m. The lecture will be led by College of Charleston communications professor Chris Lamb, who wrote Drawn to Extremes: The Use and Abuse of Editorial Cartoons in the United States. The exhibit runs through May 16. Visit www.nasher.duke.edu or call 684-5135. —Sarah Ewald
Meymandi Theatre, Murphey School—"Watch me close, watch me close now," intones Booth, half the duo from Suzan-Lori Parks' 2002 Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Topdog/ Underdog. The same phrase could apply to this 2006 work by Conor McPherson (The Weir) named after an Old English poem and featuring a gambling motif. The action centers on a Christmas Eve poker game involving two Irish brothers, one of whom is blind. There's a great tradition of battling brothers in theater, from True West to The Lonesome West, and we expect more of the same here. Indeed, Burning Coal Theatre promises "there will be Hell to pay."
The play runs through Feb. 21. Tickets are $15-$20 on weekends, $10 on Thursdays. If you're into poker, there's an added incentive: Free with ticket purchase is a chance to see poker pro David Enoch and poker book author Matt Flynn during Burning Coal's Lobby Lecture on Feb. 20. Visit www.burningcoal.org or call 834-4001. —Sarah Ewald