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...
▪ The touring Broadway production of “The King and I” – the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical about a British schoolteacher hired by a 19th-century Thai monarch to instruct his children – closes out its run at Belk Theater this weekend, with shows at 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 and 7 p.m. Sunday. Reconceived by director Bartlett Sher, the show won a Tony for Best Musical Revival in 2015. Among the cast: Charlotte 6-year-old Rylie Sickles (a Munchkin whom you Matthews Playhouse fans may remember from a 2015 “Wizard of Oz”). – TJ
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▪ Adapted from C.S. Lewis’s own writings, “The Most Reluctant Convert” stars Max McLean, who portrays “The Screwtape Letters” author as he opens up about the experiences that transformed him from being a staunch atheist into one of the most vibrant and influential Christian intellectuals of the 20th century. Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday, with a running time of 80 minutes and no intermission. A brief post-show talk-back with McLean will follow. – TJ
▪ Join the McColl Center Contemporaries at 6-8 p.m. for “Art + Craft” at Free Range Brewing, an event series that highlights McColl Center alumni and friends. Free Range is hosting an exhibition of work by McColl Center Alumni and Charlottean Janet Lasher. Her mixed media work involves textiles, fibers, printmaking and ceramics and typically investigates the female experience. – GC
▪ Who needs an air-conditioned theater with recliner seats? Blumenthal Performing Arts Movie Nights in the Square series continues with an 8:45 p.m. screening of “Breakin’ ” in uptown’s Spirit Square, at the corner of College and Seventh Street. Enjoy free popcorn, food and drinks for sale, and movies under the stars. Bring your own lawn chair. – CI
▪ Free Range Brewing (2320 N. Davidson St.) and Wooden Robot Brewery (1440 S. Tryon St. #110) turn two this month and you’re invited to the birthday celebrations. Free Range’s party will be noon to 11 p.m., and your ticket will include a custom anniversary glass, music, food, and, of course, plenty of beer. Wooden Robot will be celebrating noon-midnight with special beer releases, a commemorative glass, food and live music. They grow up so fast, don’t they? – CI
▪ Speaking of breweries, the beach comes to you at the Sugar Creek Island Luau from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. The new patio at the brewery (215 Southside Drive) will be transformed into an island paradise complete with an outdoor bar, pig roast, lei-making thanks to Crowned Sparrow Co., dance classes and live music. Who says you need to drive to the coast for an island getaway? – CI
▪ The Schiele Museum of Natural History and Planetarium presents a day of adventure of Jurassic proportions: Its Dino Safari Expedition, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., will feature the brand-new Dino Safari exhibit. Safari guides will lead excursions through the exhibit, “living fossils” will be exhibited during a live animal show, there’ll be opportunities to create and take home dino crafts, and much more. $3 for members; $3 plus general admission ($4-$7) for non-members. – TJ
▪ Experimental trio Primus returns to the road following lead vocalist/bassist Les Claypool’s 2016 collaboration with Sean Lennon, this time teaming with another road dog in Clutch at Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre. Both bands skirt the fringes of hard rock and metal, both have a devoted, Grateful Dead-like following (without the hippie association), and both were given the thumbs-up from MTV’s “Beavis & Butthead” in the ’90s. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. – CD
▪ The Asbury’s annual Gin + Watermelon dinner, part of the summer Collaborative Dinner Series, is becoming a summer tradition. This year, Sam Stachon of Highland Avenue Restaurant in Hickory – a Charlotte alum of King’s Kitchen – joins chef Matthew Krenz for the five-course dinner at 6:30 p.m. It’s $65 and includes the watermelon and gin drinks, too. – KP
▪ A girl leaves her watery world for an airy one in the touring Broadway production of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” which boasts an Alan Menken score with old lyrics by Howard Ashman and new ones by Glenn Slater. It opens a six-day run at uptown’s Belk Theater with a 7 p.m. performance. – LT
▪ Fans of Willamette Valley pinot noir (translation: All pinot noir fans) will want to add the Andrew Rich wine dinner at the Fig Tree to their calendars. Rich himself will be there for the five-course dinner featuring Andrew Rich wines. It’s $70 per person, plus tax and tip. Reservations: 704-332-3322. – KP
▪ Olivia Fortson, the Observer’s former Scene & Heard columnist, is still talking society and style at The O Report online, and you can meet her from 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday when she hosts the WP Feeds the Need fundraising dinner at WP Kitchen + Bar (6706 Phillips Place). Ten percent of all proceeds from the dinner benefit Charity League of Charlotte, which works with local children. Reservations: 704-295-0101. – CD
Next Friday and Saturday
▪ Southside Drive is always jumping, what with the Broken Spoke, the Great Wagon Road Distillery, Sugar Creek Brewery and Old Mecklenburg Brewing. Next weekend, it will jump literally, with the second annual Charlotte Street Vault: Two days of pole vaulting in the Broken Spoke parking lot, starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday and going on all day Saturday. Yes, that would be people with very long poles and very high bars. If the idea makes you jumpy, get the details and registration at charlottestreetvault.com. – KP