Harry Connick Jr. & Orchestra
Durham Performing Arts Center—Men might envy his cool, self-sure delivery, and women might swoon. Smooth and rich, Harry Connick Jr.'s voice betrays and beckons. Indeed, the singer/ pianist/ actor could demand attention by simply reading the nutrition facts off a box of cereal. His latest album, Your Songs, takes a Great American Songbook approach to pop songs, adding strings to a big band gracefully taking turns at tunes by The Beatles, Billy Joel, Elton John, Elvis Presley and Burt Bacharach. While cheesy at times, the end result is more sincere than cloying, and Connick Jr.'s voice is too compelling to deny. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show are $48-$95. See www.dpacnc.com. —Andrew Ritchey
UNC Campus—Obvious statement: Technology is fundamentally influencing the ways in which we create and experience a number of art forms, and it's also changing the ways in which we socially interact. Now for the not-so-obvious follow-up: With its unique combination of universities, bleeding-edge technology firms and artists, our region is actually on the cusp of becoming one of the top centers for "innovative digital arts and humanities pursuits."
So says the founders of the first-of-its-kind CHAT festival—which stands for "Collaborations: Humanities, Arts and Technology" —a digital arts and humanities festival starting today at UNC.Attendees can take part in hands-on workshops (like today's sessions on VoiceThread and PB Works), experience interactive exhibits (like Francesca Talenti's Bathysphere, which uses real-time motion capture in an "underwater opera"), see performances (like an electro-acoustic concert tonight) and take part in discussions (including this afternoon's panel on area entrepreneurs who've successfully merged content with technology). The keynote speech (at 3:30 p.m.) is by Robert J. Bach, UNC alum—and president of the entertainment and devices division of Microsoft.
The festival continues through Saturday. For detailed scheduling information and to register, go to www.chatfestival2010.com. —Byron Woods
Kabuki Lady Macbeth
Studio Theatre, Jones Hall, Meredith College Campus—Everyone who read Macbeth in high school knows the perils of ambition. But maybe we wouldn't be so quick to judge if we'd just understood where Lady Macbeth was coming from. Employing a feminist slant, playwright Karen Sunde tells the story from Lady Macbeth's perspective. Three witches named Light, Shadow and Destiny bear witness to her transformation from meek wife to ambitious up-and-comer. This production, which was first produced in Chicago, is presented through Kabuki, and it incorporates stage traps and a walkway through the audience. Performances run through Feb. 21. Tickets are $5, $10 or free for Meredith students, faculty and staff. Visit www.meredith.edu or call 760-2840. —Sarah Ewald