Local Arts

Your 5-minute guide to the best things to do in Charlotte | July 20-27

Mayfield needs to give away 10,000 scoops of Moose Tracks ice cream to raise $10,000 for the Salvation Army.
Mayfield needs to give away 10,000 scoops of Moose Tracks ice cream to raise $10,000 for the Salvation Army. Observer files

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...


TJ Reddy in his studio
T.J. Reddy in his studio. Courtesy of Projective Eye Gallery

▪ Look at a lifetime of work and meet Charlotte artist T.J. Reddy at tonight’s reception (start time: 6 p.m.) for “Everything is Everything” at UNC Charlotte Center City’s Projective Eye Gallery. An activist who served jail time in the 1970s, Reddy, now 70, has been making art nearly his entire life and in his tight, colorful compositions you will see symbols that reflect our current times. One cannot help but see the world through this artist’s eyes with this show, and perhaps learn from the artist’s experiences how to respond to the challenges of today. The retrospective is on view until Aug. 20. – KS


▪ Now through July 30, some of Charlotte’s best restaurants are offering the chance to indulge in three courses for $30 or $35 during The Queen’s Feast (aka Charlotte Restaurant Week). Here’s how to do this right: First, make reservations. The best spots fill up fast. Second, make sure you’re actually getting a deal (read: don’t go to the burger place where you’d never spend $30). Finally, try the upscale local spot you’ve been hearing so much about. A few of this summer’s best bets for that include Oak Steakhouse, Bernardin’s at Ratcliffe and Carpe Diem. – CI

▪ Leave it to the U.S. National Whitewater Center to take something as challenging as a half marathon or 4-mile run and upgrade it by doing it after dark … on wooded trails. Up for the challenge? Bring your headlamp and your courage for the Tread Nightly run (with 8 and 8:30 p.m. start times). Feeling extra adventurous? Camp out post-run and wake up with the sun on Saturday morning for the Tread Brightly run (8 and 8:30 a.m. start times). – CI

▪ Bring your kids to meet Washington Mystics WNBA player Ivory Latta (a Rock Hill resident) and hear her read from her childen’s book, “Despite the Height,” 11 a.m.-noon at Brilliant Sky Toys & Books of Blakeney. – CB

“The Little Mermaid” as Broadway musical is at Blumenthal through Sunday. Mark & Tracy Photography

▪ 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 closes a six-day run at uptown’s Belk Theater with performances at 7 p.m. Friday, 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 p.m. Sunday. – TJ

▪ If you’re in the mood for a little comedy this weekend, your best bet is to catch Bryan Callen at The Comedy Zone (900 NC Music Factory Blvd.). The comic’s busy schedule has included regular roles on both the DirecTV drama “Kingdom” and ABC’s sitcom “The Goldbergs.” His stand-up performances are at 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Friday and 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. – TJ


▪ Couldn’t make it to Comic-Con in San Diego this weekend? Try “Imagi-CON” at ImaginOn (300 E. Seventh St.). It won’t have the big stars or the big screenings, of course, but the second annual event for ages 11 to 18 will celebrate comic books, graphic novels, manga and anime from noon-4 p.m. Pre-teens and teens can learn about the comics and graphic novel industry, meet local artists and check out a variety of superhero-themed activities. The event is free. – TJ

▪ Hickory Playground’s One-Act Play Festival – a second-year nonprofit project from three young area artists: Dylan Tashjian, Jordan Makant and Robert Fuller – offers eight original plays created and performed in the span of 48 hours, raising money for area high school arts programs. Watch the end result beginning at 7 p.m. at the SALT Block’s Drendel Auditorium (243 Third Ave. NE, Hickory). Admission is free; donations encouraged. – HS

▪ Thirsty Nomad Brewing (4402 Stuart Andrew Blvd. #A) will celebrate its first birthday 1-7 p.m. with live entertainment, local vendors and food trucks. They grow up so fast, don’t they? – CI

▪ Eat pizza and raise money for the Matthews Community Farmers Market, at the annual Pizza Fundraiser 5-8 p.m. at New Town Farms in Waxhaw. Tickets are $75 and include beer from Legion Brewing, wines from Chef’s Table (it’s adults-only, because of that), plus appetizers, salads, pastas, dessert and unlimited handmade pizzas from True Crafted Pizza. Tickets: www.matthewsfarmersmarket.com. – KP


▪ Some 3,300 BMX cyclists from more than 40 countries will compete in Rock Hill today through July 29 in the 2017 BMX World Championships at the Novant Health BMX Supercross Track (1307 Riverwalk Pkwy, Rock Hill). The last time the event was held in the U.S. was 2001. Tickets range from $12.50 for a single-day pass to $50 for a pass good for all five days. – CB


▪ In the midst of its 18th consecutive summer on the road, 311 is back at Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre with its annual Unity Tour following the June release of its latest album, “Mosaic.” This time, the group is joined by Danish pop-rock trio New Politics, whose sunny vibe on songs like its new single, “One of Us,” will undoubtedly help rally the crowd. Showtime is 7 p.m. – CD

▪ Make tracks to Trade and Tryon streets from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a free scoop of Mayfield Moose Tracks ice cream: For every scoop served, Mayfield will donate $1 to the Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte. The plan is to raise $10,00, so yes, that’s 10,000 scoops. A bunch of you need to get over there and eat some ice cream. – KP


▪ Attention art lovers: This month’s Uptown Crawl, 6-9 p.m., will feature fine art at seven venues in the Tryon Street corridor, including Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, New Gallery of Modern Art, Wells Fargo History Museum, Sozo Gallery, Allen Tate Center City Gallery, Projective Eye Gallery@UNC Center City and Sage Salon & Studio. The crawl includes free admission to all participating galleries and museums, as well as complimentary trolley rides between each exhibit. Details: https://goo.gl/T7NbdJ. – TJ

▪ Stella Artois wants your cup to run over at “The Art of the Chalice,” 7-10 p.m. at 400 E. M.L. King Jr. Blvd. It’s free and includes the unveiling of a Charlotte-inspired artwork by Osiris Rain, food by chef Larry Schreiber, glass artists from N.C. Glass Center, folk-rock from Time Sawyer, and a lesson in beer pouring by master cicerone (the beer version of a wine master) Max Bakker. Details are on Facebook. – KP

Coming up

▪ Best-selling author John Grisham has said he doesn’t do much guest speaking -- but he’s signed on for the third annual dinner benefitting The Joe Martin ALS Foundation, Aug. 3 at the Carmel Country Club. Tickets are $200 per person, $350 a pair, $1,650 for a table of 10. Grisham will talk about his novels, tell some personal stories and talk about the foundation, which provides free home care for people living with ALS. – HS

▪ At the Homegrown Tomato Festival at Seeds on 36th: Urban Farm Store, 200 E. 36th St. next Friday, you can spend the evening with Craig LeHoullier, better known as The N.C. Tomato Man for his book and his projects, such as the Dwarf Tomato Growing Project that develops tomato varieties for small spaces. Tickets are $15 (or two for $23) and include light refreshments. Tickets at eventbrite.com. – KP