What is there to do in Charlotte this weekend? Here’s our experts’ picks on everything from entertainment – movies to music to theater – to food and wine, beer and restaurants. And shopping, of course...
▪ CPCC Theatre has devoted itself to August Wilson’s plays as diligently as any company in town. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” his first success, introduces us to a domineering singer’s discontended blues band in the 1920s. Through April 9 at Pease Auditorium. – LT
▪ Pink Martini singer Storm Large has a storied past: She’s fronted rock bands and appeared as a contestant on the 2006 reality series “Rock Star: Supernova.” She also can sing pretty much anything – and sing it well. She’ll solo with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Knight Theater, tackling the Great American Songbook (classics like “My Funny Valentine” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”), as well as more contemporary standards. – CD
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▪ Get your comedy fix by catching one of Rod Man’s standup shows at The Comedy Zone. He had a small role in Judd Apatow’s film comedy “Funny People” in 2009, but broke big by winning NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” in 2014. His shows are at 7:30 and 9:45 p.m., with Saturday-night performances at 7 and 9:30. – TJ
▪ “A One-Woman Sex and the City” (subtitled “A Parody of Love, Friendship and Shoes”) provides an affectionate if barbed tribute to all six seasons of the popular TV series, with Kerry Ipema whirling through the major characters. At Stage Door Theater Friday and Saturday at 7 and 9:30 p.m. – LT
▪ And for his next trick, David Blaine will attempt to fill Charlotte’s Ovens Auditorium with fans of his unique brand of illusions and stunts. No, he’s not here this weekend; the 43-year-old magician will perform here July 11 as part of his first-ever North American tour. We’re just telling you now because tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. at LiveNation.com, Ticketmaster, or by phone at 800-745-3000. – TJ
▪ If you were an adolescent watching post-hardcore band Thursday in the early 2000s on Tremont Music Hall’s then-still-somewhat-new Casbah Stage, chances are you caught an unbridled, emotional, yet heavy performance. You can experience that intensity again (on a larger scale, in a larger club) when the group hits The Fillmore at 7:30 p.m., having reunited last year following a five-year break. With Basement, Touche Amore and Wax Idols. – CD
▪ Does J.S. Bach’s “St. John Passion” work better as pure music or a version that’s acted out? Decide this weekend, as Vox, the N.C. Baroque Orchestra and Wingate University Chamber Singers do it both ways under conductor David Tang: Semi-staged Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Sharon Presbyterian Church, concert-style Sunday at 4 p.m. in St. Ann’s Catholic Church. – LT
▪ Every child should hear “Peter and the Wolf” live at least once, with instruments delineating characters in the cautionary tale of a greedy wolf and the boy who traps him. The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra does it at 11 a.m. in Knight Theater, aided by dancers from Charlotte Ballet Academy. – LT
▪ For the poetry loving family, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture offers “Family First: The Literary Visionaries Workshop” 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. Area poets will share their favorite works of poetry and writing, and will guide participants through creating their own individual pieces as well as a collaborative poem. Free with museum admission. – CB
▪ Chris Brown can’t seem to stay out of trouble, but he also can’t seem to stay out of Charlotte. The R&B hip-hop star was last here in March 2015, when his “Between the Sheets” tour made it to Charlotte after a delay due to probation issues tied to his 2009 felony assault conviction on then-girlfriend Rihanna. His show at 7:30 p.m. at uptown’s Spectrum Center? It was announced last month, about an hour before another ex filed a restraining order against the singer after allegedly receiving death threats from him. – TJ
▪ MacArthur Genius Grant recipient George Saunders, author of the debut novel “Lincoln in the Bardo,” will talk on kindness at 10:30 a.m. in Halton Theater on the CPCC campus. At 8 p.m., he will read from and discuss his latest novel in Pease Auditorium. Both events are free and open to the public as part of Sensoria. – DP
▪ Patricia Smith, the beverage director at 5Church Charlotte, will take you through a tasting of four pinot-based wines, along with appetizers made by chef Jamie Lynch for “50 Shades of Gris” from 6-7:30 p.m., part of the Somm.Series classes this spring. Tickets are $38. Call 704-919-1322. – KP
▪ Award-winning poet and Rutgers professor A. Van Jordan will talk about the sources for his poetry at 11 a.m. in Tate Hall on the CPCC campus. At 7:30 p.m., Jordan will present a dramatic monologue on the Central Campus of CPCC. Both events are part of Sensoria. – DP
▪ Might want to get your tickets now so you can lift a glass for Craft Freedom, the movement to lift some restrictions on how beer is sold in North Carolina, at the Craft Freedom Festival 6-9 p.m. at Olde Mecklenburg Brewing. Tickets are $30 and include 11 breweries and live music. Tickets: craftfreedomfest.eventbrite.com. – KP