What is there to do in Charlotte this weekend? Here’s our expert picks on everything from entertainment – movies to music to theater – to food and wine, beer and restaurants. And shopping, of course...
▪ Children’s Theatre of Charlotte closes out its three-week winter Wonderfest! with the final weekend of its current trio of family-friendly shows. Each show is aimed at a particular age group. “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” (age 4 and up) is the hottest of the three, with a handful of tickets remaining for Saturday’s 11 a.m. and Sunday’s 2 and 4 p.m. shows. Seats are available for Friday’s 7:30 p.m. and Saturday’s 1 p.m. show of “The Imaginators” (7 and up) and the final two performances of “Balloonacy” (3 and up) at 3 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday. $12-$26 per show. Wells Fargo Theater.
▪ Charlotte Ballet’s “Innovative Works” returns for a month-long run of contemporary (and yes, innovative) dance from resident choreographer Sasha Janes, three-time Princess Grace choreography award winner Robyn Mineko Williams, and Myles Thatcher, who has worked with the San Francisco, Joffrey, and New York City ballets. Tickets include after-show dessert and reception with the dancers. This week’s shows are nearly sold out but the show runs every Thurday through Saturday for the next three weeks. $40-$80. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Patricia McBride and Jean Pierre Bonnefoux Center for Dance.
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▪ The Charlotte Symphony Pops goes where it’s rarely gone before as it pays homage to the disco era’s original “Mama Mia,” with the help of Swedish tribute group Arrival channeling Bjorn, Benny, Agnatha, and Anni-Frid. That’s right: Classical meets sugary, harmonious ’70s and early ’80s pop with “Dancing Queen: The Music of Abba.” $48-$219. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Knight Theater.
▪ The annual HeroesCon is still five months away, but comic book fans can get their fix at Charlotte Mini-Con. The one-day convention boasts a number of guest artists, writers, and other behind-the-scenes folks including “Firestorm” creator Al Milgrom and familiar faces Dustin Harbin, Rico Renzi, Bridgit Connell, Andy Smith, and John Hairston, Jr. While HeroesCon continues to expand, Mini-Con remains rather intimate. There are 45 vendors and plenty of art, but there’s also an old-school focus on the medium that started it all – comics. $5, 12 and younger free. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Grady Cole Center.
▪ The latest installment of Charlotte Symphony’s Lollipops’ “Stone Soup” is the story of Barker Bill and his pack of rescue dogs, which stars Drew Allison and Grey Seal Puppets. Lollipops is a special family-friendly one-hour concert series geared at children ages 4 to 9. Pre-concert festivities begin at 10 a.m. in the lobby with performances from the Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestra, a musical petting zoo, crafts, and other activities. $14-$24, 11 a.m., Knight Theater.
▪ Have four-legged friends? Need one? The Greater Charlotte SPCA and Birdsong Brewing team up for a fundraiser that celebrates pets with a beverage specially brewed for the event. A dollar from the sale of each pint of Hop the Fence – a New England-style IPA sweetened with cranberry and pineapple (yum) – will go to the GSPCA, which will also have dogs onsite for adoption. 3 p.m. Birdsong Brewing.
NC Gallery 27 in Lincolnton hosts its first Micro Film Festival, featuring four films by filmmakers with N.C. ties whose works happen to be under the 20-minute mark. Subject matter ranges from an introverted squirrel-man in Shaun Swift’s “Chester” to a young girl dealing with her mother’s death in Austin Abdo’s “Petrichor.” UNC School of the Arts grads Clayton Witmer (“I Only Smile in Pictures”) and Michael Helms (“When the Land is Sick”) complete the lineup. A talk with area filmmakers will follow the screenings and reimagined movie posters by area artists and students will be on exhibit. Free. 7 to 9 p.m.
Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens and Clover’s Saltwater Markets host their second annual Oyster Roast at the Garden with all-you-can-eat steamed oysters with standard fixings and live music from David Demperio and Chris Hertz. Oyster dumps begin at 1 p.m. and continue each half hour. Wine, beer, non-alcoholic beverages and Sproutycakes Bakery’s desserts will be available for purchase. $50 per person. $12 for children 12 and younger. Tickets include admission to the gardens. Advance tickets are recommended, but if you miss out, Reid’s Myers Park location is having a free oyster roast at 4 p.m. Saturday that’s first come first served.
If you were alive in 1985 – even if you knew zilch about football – chances are you knew the Chicago Bears by name. Jim McMahon, Walter Payton, and William “the Refrigerator” Perry Super-Bowl-shuffled into Americans’ hearts, then went on to win Super Bowl XX, and the legend of “Da Bears” was born. “85: The Greatest Team in Football History” chronicles their story on film through interviews with team members, peers and those who remember their cultural impact, from Bill Murray to former President Barack Obama. The one-time theatrical screening includes an introduction and interviews. $9.50-$13.38, 7:30 p.m. Stonecrest at Piper Glen 22, Concord Mills 24, and Tinseltown Salisbury.
Tonya Harding may have turned an Olympic failure into Oscar gold, but there’s still successful magic to be found on the ice. The Wonderful World of Disney on Ice offers a five-day, eight-show run at Bojangles’ Coliseum,featuring a sort of greatest-hits of stories and characters, including “Frozen’s” Elsa and Anna, Mickey & Minnie, the Lion King, and Disney princesses galore. 7 p.m. Wednesday-Friday with 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. shows Saturday, Feb. 3, and at noon and 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4.