Culture and local history come together this season for Charlotte's arts community.Some of the city's leading cultural groups are busy celebrating the life and work of artist Romare Bearden, who was born in Mecklenburg County 100 years ago and went on to become one of the United States' leading African-American artists. Especially in his action-packed collages, he captured the vibrant life of the three places he knew best: Mecklenburg, Harlem and the Caribbean.Bearden's centennial is primarily fodder for groups that deal in visual art, such as the Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture and the Mint Museum Uptown. But the Charlotte Symphony will also pay tribute to the music-loving artist.As the Bearden observances die down, the orchestra and other performing groups will have a big project of their own: a Tchaikovsky festival.In a way, of course, the ever-popular Russian has a festival every Christmastime as N.C. Dance Theatre and other dance troupes blanket the area with their annual renditions of his "Nutcracker." But what happens in March will go way beyond that.N.C. Dance Theatre will perform "Sleeping Beauty" for the first time. Opera Carolina, in a first for it, will stage Tchaikovsky's "Eugene Onegin," a melody-filled drama whose emotional center is the ardent young woman who suffers - then prevails over - the title character's rejection. The symphony, opera and NCDT will get together on a performance that interweaves Tchaikovsky's music and life.Many of the Bearden and Tchaikovsky events will take place at the Levine Center for the Arts, the cluster of venues that opened during the past two years on South Tryon Street uptown. On North Tryon, the two-theater Blumenthal Performing Arts Center also hosts an array of cultural events.The center's Broadway Lights series mainly brings in the touring versions of recent shows from the Great White Way. This year's list includes "Million Dollar Quartet," inspired by a real-life recording session uniting Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins; and "Come Fly Away," a Frank Sinatra extravaganza devised by Twyla Tharp, creator of the Billy Joel hit "Movin' Out." Revivals of "West Side Story" and "La Cage Aux Folles" are also in store.Among Charlotte's homegrown theatrical groups, the largest is the Children's Theatre of Charlotte, which has two theaters in its uptown home - the ImaginOn learning center - and takes plays on the road. This year, it plans to delight youngsters with "Seussical" and scare them with "Tales of Edgar Allan Poe."Theatre Charlotte will mix crowd-pleasers such as "The Music Man" with more intense fare, such as the church drama "Doubt." Actor's Theater of Charlotte will offer the cult favorite "Rocky Horror Show" and the Pulitzer Prize-winner "Clybourne Park," about a black family that moves into a white neighborhood in 1950s Chicago.Whether you're a newcomer to Charlotte or a longtime resident, your handiest opportunity to make acquaintance with these groups will come Oct. 29.That's the date of the Wells Fargo Community Celebration, an all-day cultural festival centering on uptown's Tryon Street. With the bank as sponsor, museums will fling open their doors, and performing groups will show off what they do - all for free. They'll be trying to whet your appetite for more.
Wednesday, Sep. 21, 2011
Thriving cultural scene offers wide variety of shows
"Million Dollar Quartet," inspired by a real-life recording session with Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins, is part of the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center's Broadway Lights series. JOAN MARCUS
The Charlotte Observer has an online arts-and-entertainment guide thats searchable by type of event, city and date: events.charlotteobserver.com.
Carolina Crown Drum And Bugle Corps: 803-547-2270. www.carolinacrown.org.
Carolina Pro Musica: Period-instrument ensemble. 704-334-3468. www.carolinapromusica.org.
Carolina Voices: Performs a variety of shows, including "The Singing Christmas Tree." 704-374-1564. www.carolinavoices.org.
Charlotte Chamber Music: Free monthly concerts Sept.-May. 200 W. Trade St. 704-335-0009. www.charlottechambermusic.org.
Charlotte Children's Choir: Education-based organization serving children ages 8-18. 704-374-1892. www.charlottechildrenschoir.org.
Charlotte Civic Orchestra: All-volunteer orchestra. 704-344-0098. www.charlottecivicorchestra.org.
Charlotte Concert Band: Professional and amateur musicians and a classic band repertoire. www.charlotteconcertband.org.
Charlotte Concerts: Touring performing artists. 704-527-6680.
Charlotte Folk Society: Presents monthly folk concerts. 704-372-3655. www.folksociety.org.
Charlotte Symphony Orchestra: Classics, pops and family concerts. 704-972-2000. www.charlottesymphony.org.
Opera Carolina: Stages professional productions in Belk Theater. 704-332-7177. www.operacarolina.org.
Charlotte Youth Ballet: 980-322-5522. www.charlotteyouthballet.com.
N.C. Dance Theatre: Professional contemporary ballet. 704-372-0101. www.ncdance.org.
Martha Connerton/Kinetic Works: Contemporary dance troupe. 704-338-1533. www.mckineticworks.org.
Actor's Theatre of Charlotte: Innovative works by contemporary playwrights. 650 E. Stonewall St. 704-342-2251. www.actorstheatrecharlotte.org.
Carolina Actors Studio Theatre: Specializes in "experiential" theater. 1118 Clement Ave. 704-455-8542. www.nccast.com.
Central Piedmont Community College: Elizabeth Avenue at Kings Drive. 704-330-6534. arts.cpcc.edu/arts.
Children's Theatre of Charlotte: Performances, educational programs for all ages. 300 E. Seventh St. 704-973-2828. www.ctcharlotte.org.
Davidson College: Main Street, Davidson. 704-894-2135. www.davidson.edu.
Theatre Charlotte: In its 82nd year. 501 Queens Road. 704-376-3777. www.theatrecharlotte.org.
UNC Charlotte: 704-687-2599. www.uncc.edu.
Fort Mill Community Playhouse: 615 Banks St., Fort Mill. 803-548-8102. www.fortmillplayhouse.org.
Little Theatre of Gastonia: 238 S. Clay St., Gastonia. 704-865-0160. www.littletheaterofgastonia.com.
Matthews Playhouse: 100 McDowell St., Matthews. 704-846-8343. www.matthewsplayhouse.com.
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art: 420 S. Tryon St. 704-353-9200. www.bechtler.org.
Charlotte Museum of History: 3500 Shamrock Drive. 704-568-1774. www.charlottemuseum.org.
Discovery Place: 301 N. Tryon St. 704-372-6261. www.discoveryplace.org.
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture: 551 S. Tryon St. 704-547-3700. www.ganttcenter.org.
Levine Museum of the New South: 200 E. Seventh St. 704-333-1887. www.museumofthenewsouth.org.
Mint Museum of Art: 500 S. Tryon St. 704-337-2000. www.themintmuseums.org.
NASCAR Hall of Fame: 400 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. 704-654-4400. www.nascarhall.com.
Blumenthal Performing Arts Center: 130 N. Tryon St. 704-372-1000. www.blumenthalcenter.org.
Knight Theater: 430 S. Tryon St. www.blumenthalcenter.org.
Ovens Auditorium: 2700 E. Independence Blvd. 704-372-3600. www.ovensauditorium.com.
Spirit Square: Multi-arts site. 345 N. College St. 704-372-1000. www.carolinatix.org.
Fundraising, arts education
Arts & Science Council: 704-333-2272. www.artsandscience.org.
Mccoll Center for Visual Art: 721 N. Tryon St. 704-332-5535. www.mccollcenter.org.