The Apology of Socrates
Paul Green Theatre, UNC Campus—The philosopher Plato claimed to have been present at the trial of his mentor, Socrates, when he was accused in 339 B.C. of corrupting the youth of Athens. Plato's recounting of Socrates' defense is somewhat circumspect, but it provides a witty and thought-provoking look at Socrates' philosophy. In a two-night event, Emmy-winner Yannis Simonides performs his unique interpretation of Plato's dialogue, followed by a question-and-answer session. Simonides' acclaimed interpretation has been performed at the United Nations, on the Today show, and in universities and libraries all over the world. Show times are tonight and Friday at 8:15 p.m.; tickets are $15-$18 for youth, seniors and students, and $20-$25 for adults. For more information, visit www.ncplato.com. —Zack Smith
Durham Performing Arts Center—The recent addition of Bravo to Time Warner cable packages means that Triangle residents can finally experience Kathy Griffin's Emmy-winning reality series My Life on the D-List. With the fifth season set to premiere in June, you can check out Griffin's acerbic brand of comedy when she performs at DPAC—and possibly end up in show footage. Goodnights Comedy Club sponsors. Tickets are $49-$79 for the 8 p.m. show. For more info, visit www.dpacnc.com. —Zack Smith
NOTE: This show has been cancelled. The acid-tongued comedian has strep throat, according to her Web site, forcing the cancellation of three shows this week. DPAC confirms the cancellation and says the show will be rescheduled.
This American Life: Live
North Hills Stadium 14 and Brier Creek Stadium 14—Tonight, Ira Glass and contributors to his immensely popular Public Radio International program will bring their show—plus some extra treats—to the big screen in a live broadcast to movie theaters around the nation.
Many fans of This American Life are already familiar with a visual version of the radio show. Last year, Showtime produced a television version, turning its format of stories-by-real-people-connected-by-theme into brief, documentary shorts.
Tonight's event will be an actual staged version of the radio broadcast, complete with a desk, microphone and mixer set-up. The latter bit of radio equipment isn't strictly necessary—it's a security blanket of sorts that Glass began to use to reduce tension from when he first did a staged version of the show. "I thought if I can just pretend I'm in a radio studio, I'll be fine," he told us in a conference call.
The idea of a live broadcast arose after Glass and company attempted to do a theatrical tour and discovered how stressful and expensive such an operation can be.
"Return to the Scene of the Crime" is the theme of this week's performance, featuring stories by popular This American Life contributors such as sex columnist Dan Savage, comedians Mike Birbiglia and Dave Hill, a cartoon by Chris Ware with musical guest Joss Whedon (the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the hit Internet musical Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog), and many more.
Glass says that much of the audience, having only heard the show, find it strange to see the people behind the disembodied voices. "People tend to be shocked by what we look like, and that will often carry us for the first part of the show," Glass said with a laugh.
This American Life Live broadcasts to two screens in Raleigh at 8 p.m. For tickets and information, go to www.thislife.org/About_TALLive.aspx. —Hobert Thompson
Volume 11—Formed in the rubble of At The Gates—the Swedish melodic death metal crew whose Slaughter of the Soul is a metal milestone—The Haunted focuses on the foundational chugging that gave At The Gates its heft. The result is a punk-metal juggernaut that feels more tightly wound and agitated. The Haunted has yet to match Slaughter of the Soul's delicate balance of melody and brutality, and The Haunted vocalist Peter Dolving's hardcore bark can't match the shredded-esophagus screams of ATG's Tomas Lindberg. Still, this band's worth seeing. Nachtmystium canceled its recent tour due to frontman Blake Judd's broken leg, so Merauder, The Agonist, Age of Despair and Hated Existence open. Tickets are $15 in advance and jump to $20 day of show. Doors open at 7 p.m. —Bryan Reed
The ArtsCenter—A series of Sunday night gospel jams in Lower Manhattan named as a tribute to Ashe County, N.C., folk singer Ola Belle Reed birthed the Brooklyn quintet Ollabelle. Solo and in splendid harmony, each of the collective's members deliver vocals that are more refined than Reed's Appalachian twang. While taking on roots music from a smooth, soulful and not particularly ardent approach, its rich textures crosshatch blues, folk and gospel backgrounds on originals and traditionals more suited to a cup of Sunday afternoon coffee than a late-night cocktail. Pay $14-$16 at 8:30 p.m. —Spencer Griffith