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Thursday 7.23 

click to enlarge Mark Morris Dance Group
  • Mark Morris Dance Group

Durham
Mark Morris Dance Group

Durham Performing Arts Center—This year's American Dance Festival takes its closing bows with Mark Morris Dance Group tonight through Saturday at 8 p.m. Since 1980, when Mark Morris, called the "most important choreographer since Balanchine" by the Boston Globe, unveiled the company, it has racked up accolades and accomplishments. In 1989, the company took up residence as Belgium's national dance company, then returned to the U.S. in 1991 and has garnered raves ever since. Of their production of Dido and Aeneas in June 2009, The New York Times noted "the entire Morris dance group shines in it." The ADF program includes Going Away Party, A Lake, Peccadillos, Candleflowerdance and Excursions, all created since 1990. For more information, visit www.americandancefestival.com and www.dpacnc.com. —Sarah Ewald



click to enlarge Ghostface Killah
  • Ghostface Killah

Raleigh
Method Man & Redman, Ghostface Killah

Lincoln Theatre—Before co-starring in the American cinematic masterpiece How High and rapping with Nickelodeon's Fairly Oddparents in School's Out! The Musical, Clifford Smith and Reggie Noble—Method Man and Redman, to friends—united the Wu-Tang Clan and Def Squad, trading sharp barbs with one another over hard-hitting beats. R&B-flavored singles "Mrs. International" and "A-Yo" notwithstanding, Blackout! 2 proves that The Funk Doc and Mr. Meth haven't lost their step (or their bite) in the decade since releasing Blackout!—the duo's first full-length collaboration—despite the cartoon voiceovers.

The rhymes are as boastful and quick-witted as ever: "What you find hard, I do it easy/ I can see why the next guy wanna be me," Red drops in his first verse, while Meth counters with, "My flow is heavy/ As Katrina when she broke the levees." Although there are a couple of unfortunate run-ins with Auto-Tune, the production generally maintains the original's dark but funky feel. Along for the tour is fellow Wu-Tang member Ghostface Killah, the streetwise storyteller who has appeared on both of the duo's albums while stringing together a half-dozen stellar solo LPs. The show starts at 9:30 with openers Duo Live, L.E.G.A.C.Y. and DJ Battle. Tickets run $32.50 in advance and $36 day of show. —Spencer Griffith


Durham
Julius Caesar

Common Ground Theatre—William Shakespeare's historical tragedy Julius Caesar gets a fresh workout courtesy of Bare Theatre. Dating to 1599, Julius Caesar is not the story of the eponymous Roman dictator, but rather his most trusted friend, Marcus Brutus. The story follows Brutus as he and the senate plot, and eventually succeed in, their coup d'état with Caesar's assassination. The production is by Rogue Company, a student division of Bare Theatre that provides free summer training for theater students ages 14-21. Previous Bare productions, such as Titus Adronicus, have received acclaim from both The News & Observer and the Indy ("And intense it was..."). The play has been done before and done well, so let's hope these teens do the Bard's words justice. It runs this weekend only, tonight through Sunday, with 8 p.m. shows Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. shows Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for students, seniors and military. For more information, visit, www.baretheatre.org or call 332-0317. —Belem Destefani

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