Your 5-minute guide to the best things to do in Charlotte | Dec. 28-Jan. 3

“Dancing With The Stars Live!” comes to Ovens Auditorium on Monday night for a New Year’s Eve performance.
“Dancing With The Stars Live!” comes to Ovens Auditorium on Monday night for a New Year’s Eve performance. Courtesy of Dancing With The Stars Live!


▪ Steven Spielberg’s “Stranger Things”-inspiring 1982 sci-fi classic gets the orchestral treatment with Charlotte Symphony Orchestra’s E.T: Movie in Concert. Even without the intensity of a live symphony recreating the film’s score, “E.T.” is an uplifting, heart-tugging examination of the differences between how children and adults approach friendship, love, tolerance and humanity —and shows how much adults can learn from youngsters. Bring a hanky. 7:30 p.m. (also Saturday). Ovens Auditorium. $19-$99.

▪ From hard-luck roots as a young single mom doing jail time in the mid-’90s to a successful actress and comedian with roles in “Borat,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “Hotel Transylvania,” Luenell — aka the Bad Girl of Comedy — continues her first Comedy Zone run. 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Friday (also 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday). $20-$25.

▪ Spandex, Aquanet, acid-washed jeans and the Sunset Strip of the ’80s come back to life during the 10th-anniversary tour of Broadway’s Tony-nominated “Rock of Ages,” which features a soundtrack that includes music and squealing guitar solos by Poison, Whitesnake and Styx. 8 p.m. Friday (also 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 1:30 and 7 p.m. Sunday, and 3 p.m. Monday). Belk Theater. $25-$74.50 ($99.50 for VIP).


▪ If you were a fan of director Tommy Wiseau’s cult classic “The Room” (the 2003 so-bad-it’s-good romantic drama that inspired James Franco’s “The Disaster Artist”), check out the Charlotte Film Society’s screening of Las Vegas-based auteur Neil Breen’s latest head-scratcher “Twisted Pair.” Breen — who writes, directs, produces and acts in his fifth film — plays A.I. twins headed in opposite directions in the CGI-heavy metaphysical study of good and evil. 7:30 p.m. C3 Lab. $11.


▪ Hometown musical heroes the Avett Brothers return for their annual New Year’s Eve show, which has moved around the Carolinas ever since the band first started the NYE tradition at Neighborhood Theatre more than 15 years ago. This time they’ve downsized the venue (returning from Spectrum Center to Bojangles’ Coliseum, where the band recorded its “Live Vol. 3”) and added an extra show beginning with this Sunday-night warm-up. While tickets are technically sold out, Ticketmaster has plenty of its customer-to-customer “verified resale” tickets up for grabs — although prices vary wildly. 8:30 p.m. Sunday (also Monday).


▪ Standup comedian Collin Moultin, whose family-friendly comedy is a rarity on the club circuit, says goodbye to 2018 with two shows. He explores clean subjects like parenthood and growing old, the similarities between humans and animals, and other oddities on his latest album, “Collin Cleans Up Well.” 7:30 and 10 p.m. The Comedy Zone. $30-$42.50.

▪ Val, Witney, Gleb and your other favorite pros from ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” waltz into Ovens Auditorium for the show’s latest tour, Dancing With the Stars Live! Showcasing Latin, jazz, ballroom, hip-hop and sparkling costumes, the DWTS pros are joined by season 27’s Milo Manheim (star of Disney’s “Zombies”), who placed second during the latest season’s November finale. 8 p.m. $59.50-$161.50.

▪ The city celebrates the promise of a fresh start with its annual uptown festivities: CLT New Year’s Eve. There’ll be a hit-spinning DJ set followed by live music from Mo Money, while local food trucks will serve up sustenance and non-alcoholic beverages, then — at midnight — revelers can celebrate with the lighting of the Queen City Crown and a fireworks display. 8 p.m.-12:15 a.m. Levine Avenue for the Arts. Free.

▪ The Charlotte Symphony’s New Year’s Eve program serves as an interlude to the countdown to the Crown lighting with waltzes by Strauss waltzes and favorites by Gershwin. But the music doesn’t stop when conductor Christopher Warren-Green takes his bow. The concert will be followed by dancing, dessert, live jazz and champagne as guests ring in 2019. 9 p.m. Knight Theater. $55-$148.