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...
▪ It’s the end of an era for Charlotte Ballet president and artistic director Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux: The three-night run of “Inspired Works” – which includes George Balanchine’s “Rubies,” Mark Godden’s “Angels in the Architecture” and more – marks the final performances of his 20-year tenure with the company. Show is at 7:30 p.m. at Knight Theater; there’s another at the same time and place Saturday. – TJ
▪ “Charlotte Squawks” returns for another round (this is the 13th year!) of biting satire that touches on pop culture, sports and politics both locally and nationally – meaning everything from the Panthers to President Trump are fair game. The first performance of “Charlotte, We Have a Problem” of the weekend is at 8 p.m. at Booth Playhouse; host Mike Collins and producer-lyricist Brian Kahn will give 19 more performances throughout the month of June. – TJ
▪ Feature films, documentaries and short films all have a role in the GayCharlotte Film Festival, through June 4 at Johnson C. Smith. On tap: “Kiki,” about the NYC underground ballroom scene; “Pushing Dead” with Danny Glover, about a poet HIV-positive for 22 years; “Free CeCe!” about Laverne Cox and Crishaun Reed “CeCe” McDonald (a transgender woman attacked and incarcerated); and more. Tickets $7 and $10; charlottelgbtfilm.com/tickets/. – HS
▪ One of Charlotte’s best known galleries opens “Gender and Sexuality” with the disclaimer “intended for an adult audience and parental discretion advised.” Elder Gallery will show figurative paintings, installation and sculptures by the late Carl Plansky and Raleigh artist Greg Siler; it’s aimed at adding to the conversation about gender and sexuality that have been at the forefront of N.C. political debate. This sentiment alone is enough to draw an educated art patron into the gallery, and it's something that we haven’t seen much of in the South End Gallery crawl before, so we are curious to see the work and Charlotte's reaction to it. Also, this will be Larry Elder’s last show at the helm of the gallery before new owners take over. This in itself is a reason not to miss out on the opening reception. – KS
▪ Adult-pop hit-maker Train, which turns 25 next year, rounds up live-rock stalwart O.A.R. and British pop vocalist/songwriter Natasha Bedingfield for its Play That Song Tour at 7 p.m. at PNC Music Pavilion. Between the three acts, there’s certainly a stream of hit songs to play. – CD
▪ For its sixth annual incarnation, Vintage Charlotte Summer Market moves to the historic Ford building at the new Camp North End. More than 80 vendors of vintage and handmade goods will offer their wares. Entry is $2 for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; pony up $5 and you get in an hour early, and a jump on the competition, shopping-wise. 1776 Statesville Ave.; www.facebook.com/VintageCharlotte. – HS
▪ And this is cool: South Carolina’s Batch Craft will have batch No. 10 of its latest limited-edition artisan dark chocolate bars ready for the Vintage Charlotte Summer Market. One of only two bean-to-bar S.C.-based chocolatiers, Batch Craft makes three to four batches per year, which are signed and numbered like any other work of art. Details: www.batchcraft.com. – CD
▪ It’s only fitting that the outdoor recreationalists over at Blue Blaze Brewing Co. (528 S. Turner Ave.) will celebrate its one-year anniversary on National Trails Day. The brewery will release its new Carolina Thread Trail Pale Ale at noon, with another yet-to-be-named beer to follow at 5 p.m. The Fresh Med food truck and Queen City Pretzel Factory will be outside, with Kick The Robot playing live throughout the day and That Guy Smitty spinning inside the taproom that night (the party ends at 10). Those riding in from the Stewart Creek Greenway will be happy to find a bike valet, free of charge. Tickets are required to purchase beers, and they will be available the day of the event. – DH
▪ Get cultured, for free, at the second annual #LongLiveArts Community Festival, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Think free art – the Bechtler, Gantt and Mint will all be free for the day (with tours, too). Think free entertainment: Live music and performance, from drum circle to roving puppeteer to paint-offs to Cuban jazz to African dancing to Hip Hop Orchestrated. Think free stuff to do: Art, interactive dance, family painting class, writing workshop and more. Think food trucks: OooWee BBQ, Spice Street, Sprinkles and My Sausage Buddy are slated to be on hand. – HS
▪ Pastry chef Ashley Bivens Boyd goes in front of the camera when “Order/Fire,” the locally produced chef documentary series by Peter Taylor and Marc Jacksina, wraps up its second season. Go watch at Free Range Brewing at 1 p.m., with samples of Boyd’s desserts served before and after. – KP
▪ At 6 p.m., Salud! Cooking School at Whole Foods Market will host Sliced! Live – its take on Food Network’s competition series “Chopped,” which throws surprise ingredients at chefs who improvise on three dishes. Chef Matt Martin of Fern, Flavors of the Garden, and Chef Julia Simon of Nourish will try to outdo each other using the mystery ingredients. The audience will judge their creations on taste, plating and creativity. Cost is $65. Details: www.wholefoodsmarket.com. – CD
▪ At 75, folk-rock pioneer Paul Simon makes Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre the fourth stop on his monthlong U.S. tour. With the number of living rock ’n’ roll legends beginning to dip, this summer trek is a good time to catch him if you’ve never heard classics from his six-decade career (“Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes,” “The Boxer”) played live before. Show starts at 8 p.m. – CD
▪ Community Culinary School of Charlotte celebrates its 20th anniversary with a free drop-in 5:30-7:30 p.m. Of course, there will be a little food: That’s what they do. What they also do, though, is train people for jobs in the food industry: 3,000 have gone through the program, more than 900 have graduated, and 60 percent still had jobs four years later. If you can’t make it by for the party, stop by the student-run cafe, 9315-D Monroe Road, for breakfast or lunch 8 a.m.-2 p.m. weekdays and get a taste of the mission. – KP.
▪ Known for his philanthropic concern for Chicago’s schools and gun violence as well as his 2016 album “Coloring Book” (which became the first exclusively streaming record to win Grammys), 24-year-old emcee Chance the Rapper is the hip-hop role model millennials need. The largely self-made rapper headlines PNC Music Pavilion at 8 p.m. – CD