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Eight Days a Week 

The daily guide to life in the Triangle

Chapel Hill
Playmakers Rep

What does it take to get one of the three 5-star reviews the Independent has given since 2003? Start with major achievements in acting and directing--say, when two actors like Kathryn Hunter Williams and Sam Wellington fill the stage with a vivid cast of characters 10 times that size. A riveting script is also a must--like Dael Orlandersmith's account of Gullah children coming of age while being torn apart by racism within the African-American community toward blacks of differing skin color. Want more info? Shows are March 16-19 at 8 p.m. and March 20 at 2 p.m. Call 962-7529 for tickets. --Byron Woods

Cathie Ryan
Stewart Theatre, NCSU

It speaks to the regard in which PineCone, the Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, is held that they could book one of Irish music's most celebrated vocalists for a St. Patrick's Day concert. Motowner by birth, Celt by the grace of God, the award-winning Cathie Ryan (named Irish Female Vocalist of the Decade in 2000 by the Irish American News, for starters) will sing Irish folk standards and her own expertly woven compositions backed by a five-piece band. Show's at 8 p.m., tickets are $25 or $12 students; call 515-1100. --Rick Cornell

Jason Harrod
Six String Cafe

Ever have the words get caught in your throat? Well, Harrod has apparently, because he's been promising this album for more than a year, and it's been more than four years since his solo debut. With his latest, Bright As You, Harrod seems to be feeling his stride and forging his own identity outside of the popular '90s folk-blues duo Harrod & Funck. Sonya Lorelle opens. --Chris Parker

King Kong
N.C. Museum of Art

The museum presents a brief foray into primate biography and the roots of modern horror and creature flicks in the form of an enormous but gentle King Kong and a shrieking Fay Wray. This film would itself go on to shape countless others with the genre's most beloved archetypes. Not unlike, perhaps, New Kids on the Block. The movie starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5 or $3.50 students; call 715-5923. --Russel Nash

Fiddlin' Bill Hicks
Open Eye Cafe

An original member of the Red Clay Ramblers, Mr. Hicks knows how to bow his fiddle just fine, but, when not playing with his talented wife Libby, he often performs his own songs on guitar. His experience--from contra dances to big concerts--makes for a treat in the intimate environs of the Open Eye. 8 p.m. --Chris Toenes

Shadows of the Past
Pittsboro Memorial Library

Amateur archeologist Crist Holden has been scouring the creekbeds and fields of Chatham and Orange counties since childhood. He'll share some of his finds--including a recent 14,000-year-old clovis era artifact--and help you identify yours. Shadows of the Past: The Native American Story Told in Stone runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is free.

Chapel Hill
Choreo Collective's Current Collection
Chapel Hill High School

The dance collective's sixth annual showing underscores their penchant for the unconventional. Political activist--and non-choreographer--Anne Franklin collaborates with the group on a dance about public transportation. Dancers/choreographers Rain Leander and Jennie Sussman probe desire with visual artist Chris Dye, before Leander attempts a Butoh-influenced "moving painting." Nancy Simpson Carter explores the culture of disposability, while natives Susan Quinn and Amy Beth Schneider return from the Big City with new sights to see. In the midst, Susan Saenger and Bridget Kelly investigate the secret life of dresses. Performances in Hanes Auditorium are Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 or $8 students; call 949-0849. --Byron Woods

Collage Dance Company
N.C. School of Science & Math

The Collage Dance Company celebrates its 20th anniversary with Kujichagulia--Self Determination 2005. Taken from Swahili, kujichagulia is the second day of Kwanza and represents the idea that self-expression is an essential human liberty. Sadiyah Shakur and Toni K. Hall have taken those cues in directing the performance. Dozens of dancers who have benefited from the 19-year partnership of Collage and the Durham Arts Council become professional dancers and educators. There are two performances: Sunday, March 19 at 7:30 p.m. and Monday, March 20 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 or $7 children; call 683-1709. --Eric Weddle

Robyn Hitchcock
The Pour House

Robyn Hitchcock rubs noggins with all stripes of music makers. From his heady days with The Soft Boys to his own band The Egyptians and solo records, his acerbic wit and downright silly humor buoy his solid songwriting. His latest, Spooked, was recorded with Gillian Welch and David Rawlings in Nashville, their reverent folk and country tinge mixing with Hitchcock's songs and forays on electric sitar. This solo show starts promptly at 8 p.m. and costs $15. --Chris Toenes

Chapel Hill
The National, Bellglide
Local 506

Fans of sauntering beauty, slow motion romance and haunting textures--mark this show down. Ohio quintet The National have the languid, graceful charms of a twilight boat ride, the gentle lilt of their sadcore country pace gilded by an aching romanticism that recalls Red House Painters in a lush chamber pop mood. The National aren't all tortured beauty. They play some dark-hued indie rock too, which is good, because openers Bellglide have a bracing, visceral sound led by singer Kate "Slappy" Gregory's rich vocal plumage. --Chris Parker

Wednesday next
Chapel Hill
John Howie Jr., Bill McCormick

Two talented songwriters whose compositions key their bands (Two Dollar Pistols and Evil Weiner, respectively), but who write in entirely different languages. Not French or German, but light and dark. McCormick's alter ego, Billy Sugarfix, spins surreal tales and lyrical commentary reminiscent of Jonathan Richman or Robyn Hitchcock in its occasionally goofy, skewed perspective. The shadowy flip side of the bill is John Howie Jr. Not because there's anything hidden--his songs are naked as a newborn. Howie delivers his truths uncomfortably straight, no chaser. 10 p.m. --Chris Parker

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