Hot Dates: Beatles tribute, Dirty Dancin’, diggin’ with Dad and more

John Tosco, founder Tosco Music Parties and open mic series, performs at one of his parties.
John Tosco, founder Tosco Music Parties and open mic series, performs at one of his parties. Monty Chandler

A tribute to The Beatles, Saturday, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. at Knight Theater, 430 S. Tryon St. Charlotte guitar teacher John Tosco brings his popular 12th annual Tosco Music Party tribute to the lads from Liverpool with 20 local musicians performing their favorite Beatles songs. If you’ve never been, the parties highlight local talent – many past and current Tosco students.

The parties started in 1988 in Tosco and wife Holly’s living room, where up to 30 local musicians gathered each month for jam sessions. They were BYOB and S (snacks) and M (music) affairs.

Soon, Tosco was urging his students to play for an audience and the parties became too big for Tosco’s house. They moved to larger venues, eventually landing at theaters such as McGlohon Theatre at Spirit Square, Halton Theater at CPCC and now, the Knight Theater in uptown.

Tosco turned the parties into a nonprofit that host concerts four times a year. The Beatles Tribute Night parties each June are the most popular and usually sell out quickly. They include 15 acts paying homage to the Fab Four.

As Tosco told my colleague Theoden Janes last year on the 50th anniversary of The Beatles playing on the Ed Sullivan Show:

“Some singer-songwriters come out and do a faithful rendition of a Beatles tune. But others will do their own spin, like a jazz version or a bluegrass version or whatever. A barbershop quartet version ... It's our most successful show.”

Get more details here.

A sampling from last year’s party:

Opening Tuesday at Belk Theater, “Dirty Dancing,” the national tour of the musical adapted from the 1987 movie shot in and around the Rutherford County town of Lake Lure. The play version keeps the soundtrack of the film more or less intact and adds a few scenes. It runs at The Belk through Sunday.

The movie transformed Lake Lure, once a playground for the rich and famous, into a popular destination again.

In 1988, I wrote this about the transformation:

“For months, they've come by the hundreds to this Rutherford County lake of emerald-green waters and quaint boathouses. Not necessarily to sleep in the 62-year-old Lake Lure Inn, once a playground for the rich and famous, or to climb the mass of granite called Chimney Rock. They come loaded in cars and vans to see a weathered clapboard shack in the woods, a shack that in the midday heat is swarming with black gnats.

“It is Johnny's cabin. You know, The Cabin – where in the low-budget hit movie “Dirty Dancing,” Baby Houseman (actress Jennifer Grey) tells Johnny Castle (actor Patrick Swayze): “I’m scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my life the way I feel when I'm with you.”

Learn more about the national tour here.

Before taking in the show, eat at one of more than 85 restaurants on Tuesday and earn some money for Communities in Schools, the drop-out prevention nonprofit that works to keep Charlotte-Mecklenburg students in school. Click here to get a list of the restaurants participating in the 16th annual Dine Out For Kids. Each restaurant has committed to contributing a portion of Tuesday’s sales to CIS.

Thursday at The Jazz Room of the Stage Door Theater, 8:15 p.m., saxophonist John Ellis performs the avant-garde music of Sonny Rollins in this Jazz Arts Initiative tribute concert. Rollins is considered one of the most enduring saxophonists of the bebop and bop era. He also is one of the greatest contemporary jazz saxophonists. Ellis is considered one of New York City’s best jazz saxophonists. Get details here.

John Ellis performs:

Opening Friday at a theater near you: “Inside Out.” This animated Pixar comedy is about a little girl whose emotions – joy, fear, anger, disgust and sadness – get the better of her, as we see the story from inside and outside of her head.

Saturday, 7 p.m., Minnesota Boychoir at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 115 W. Seventh St. uptown. The 53-year-old choir, with appearances with the Minnesota Orchestra and on “A Prairie Home Companion,” comes to Charlotte on its 2015 tour. Details, click here.

Here’s some things to do with Dad on Sunday, Father’s Day 2015: At the Historic Rosedale Plantation, they call it “Diggin’ with Dad,” where you take Dad and dig for artifacts on the grounds of the 200-year-old plantation. You learn about archaeology, with a staff anthropologist showing you where and how to dig and helping you determine whatever you may find. Two sessions at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.

While you’re at Rosedale, 20 visitors will be offered a tour of the grounds from 9 to 10:30 p.m. and attempt to make contact with the great beyond. You’ll use the latest technology in partnership with the Charlotte Area Paranormal Society. Their team will lead the investigation. Want to participate? You’ll need to wear flat, comfortable – and quiet – shoes and bring a small flashlight.

Details, click here.

Perlmutt: 704-358-5061