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Annual impressions 

As the Triangle says goodbye to Monet, our writers remember the best of 2006 in the arts and look ahead to spring

See also...
2007 spring arts preview | The best films of 2006 | The best theater of 2006

If current weather patterns hold, January and February will soon be the new season of regeneration and fertility. In anticipation, our writers have scoured the freshly planted fields of Triangle culture to locate the highlights of the coming season.

So, this spring in ...

... film

Fridays, Jan. 5-March 30: N.C. Museum of Art Winter Film Series—Every Friday at 8 p.m., sojourn to the museum and catch a pristine print of cinematic classics. Log onto for a list of films and dates.

Four Thursdays in January and February: Youth Music Culture on Film—Sponsored by N.C. State's Film Studies program, this free series at will showcase 35mm prints of four films: A Hard Day's Night, The Kids Are Alright, Hustle & Flow and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. See for dates and times.

Jan. 13-14: Spotlight Film Series presents Alien Creations—Hosted by the Carolina Theatre in Durham, this series will salute the talents of special effects legends Doug Trumbell, Gregory Jein and Stan Winston by featuring three of their films: Close Encounters of the Third Kind, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Aliens.

Jan. 17-19: Martin Luther King Jr. Film Festival—In conjunction with the MLK Jr. birthday celebration, the Sonja Haynes Stone Center in Chapel Hill will offer free screenings of three films based on King's life and legacy: The Boy King, Martin Luther King: The Legacy and The Assassination of Martin Luther King.

Jan. 31: Flicker Film Festival—The venerable bi-monthly, super-short film festival rings in 2007 at the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro.

Feb. 23-25: Nevermore Film Festival—This annual horror/goth/fantasy fest at Durham's Carolina Theatre has grown in popularity and scope over its eight years.

April 12-15: Full Frame Documentary Film Festival—The Triangle's premiere film event returns to Durham's Carolina Theatre for its 10th anniversary.

April 21: Pinwheel Film Festival—Catch the fourth annual edition of this free spotlight on local and independent short films hosted by N.C. State's Campus Cinema. —Neil Morris

... theater

Jan. 18-Feb. 3: Playwright Michael Smith (A Mouthfulla Sacco & Vanzetti) turns to the author of Crime & Punishment for In the Doghouse: The Execution of Dostoevsky. A Little Green Pig production at Manbites Dog Theater.

Jan. 25-Feb. 11: Burning Coal reprises their hit 1998 production of Pentecost at Kennedy Theater in Raleigh.

Feb. 13-18: Broadway Series South brings it all back home, presenting Elizabeth Spencer's A Light in the Piazza at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium.

Feb. 14-March 4: Duke Theater Previews mounts another Broadway hopeful, a geopolitical drama called The Great Game, in Reynolds Theater.

Feb. 15-24: Raleigh Ensemble Players tackles Caryl Churchill's controversial A Number, at Artspace.

March 1-25: Playmakers Rep mounts an adaptation of Toni Morrison's landmark first novel, The Bluest Eye.

April 13-14: Justice Theater Project presents the culmination of two years' study of the death penalty in North Carolina in Still ... Life at Raleigh's Cardinal Gibbons High School.

April 13-28: Martin McDonagh's gripping black comedy The Pillowman shows at Manbites Dog Theater.

April 25-29: Worlds collide when N.C. Theatre and Broadway Series South team up for Disney's High School Musical at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium.

May 4-13: Paperhand Puppet Intervention collaborates with Raleigh Little Theater in Garden of the Wild.

May 17-June 3: Premiere of Quinn Hawkesworth's one-person show, Oldest Living Confederate Widow: Her Confession, based on Alan Gurganus' best-seller, at Theater of the American South in Wilson. —Byron Woods

... literature

Jan. 15: Valentino Achak Deng, the subject of Dave Eggers' new novel, What is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng, appears at 7 p.m. at the Regulator in Durham. (286-2700,

Jan. 18: Doug Frelke reads from his short story collection Croatan at 7 p.m. at Market Street Books in Southern Village in Chapel Hill. (933-5111, Also 3 p.m. on Jan. 21 at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, (828-7912,

Jan. 27: Popular micro-historian Mark Kurlansky reads from The Big Oyster at 11 a.m. at McIntyre's in Fearrington Village in Pittsboro. (542-2121,

Feb. 15: Haven Kimmel reads from the paperback edition of her latest, She Got Up Off the Couch, 7 p.m. at Quail Ridge Books. Also at the Regulator, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m.

March 28: Tracy Chevalier visits Quail Ridge with her new book Burning Bright at 7 p.m.

April 12: Gary Shteyngart reads from his critically hailed Absurdistan at 7 p.m. at the Regulator. —Megan Stein

... museums
click to enlarge Head from a statue of Thutmosis III, included in Temples and Tombs: Treasures of Egyptian Art from the British Museum at the N.C. Museum of Art beginning April 15. - PHOTO COURTESY OF AMERICAN FEDERATION OF ARTS/ NORTH CAROLINA MUSEUM OF ART
  • Photo courtesy of American Federation of Arts/ North Carolina Museum of Art
  • Head from a statue of Thutmosis III, included in Temples and Tombs: Treasures of Egyptian Art from the British Museum at the N.C. Museum of Art beginning April 15.

Jan. 21-March 27: Fashioning the Divine: South Asian Sculpture at the Ackland Art Museum is a collection examining divinity in Hindu, Buddist and Jain sculptures. Ackland Art Museum, Columbia Street near Franklin in Chapel Hill (

Feb. 5-May 28: The Children's Visions and Voices: Rights and Realities in South Africa exhibit explores childhood in post-apartheid South Africa through photographs in oral histories. Exploris, 201 E. Hargett St. in Raleigh (

March 22-June 17: Irwin Kremen's first retrospective, Irwin Kremen: Beyond Black Mountain (1966 to 2006), includes more than 160 works—collage, painting and sculpture—spanning each of the 40 years of Kremen's art-making since he began at age 41. Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, 2001 Campus Drive, Durham (684-5135,

April 15-July 8: Temples and Tombs: Treasures of Egyptian Art from the British Museum is a collection of more than 85 artifacts, including sculptures and jewelry, from the British Museum. North Carolina Museum of Art, 2110 Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh. —Iesha Brown

... just intonation

The Triangle's 2007 year in music will be full of dates, times and ticket costs, too, but there's more at stake this time around. Indeed, things could get interesting: David Karsten Daniels could become some sort of heartthrob for the sad eyes of indie rock. The dB's could (finally) be stars. Bellafea could be a welcome blister on the smooth surface of rock performance. Little Brother could step from beneath the Jay-Z-approved weight of 9th Wonder's shuffling beats. Fake Swedish could reignite its steaming psychedelic swagger. Yearling could add some metal-melded grit to pocket-sized emo laments. Squirrel Nut Zippers could be one of few really into nostalgia for swing nostalgia. Tift Merritt could finally take control over her own record label image. Jozeemo could breathe some reality and humility into street rap. Colossus could get bigger. Birds of Avalon could twist their riffs out on the road. North Elementary could sing us sweeter lullabies of gauze and guilt. The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers could get signed and finally afford that Corvette out front. Durham could sustain a few music venues. Goner's third could be a panacea for The Weakerthans' non-existent fourth. Clay Aiken could finally show Lynda Loveland his bedroom. Yeah, things could get pretty interesting. Then again, they already are. —Grayson Currin

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