Caesar and Cleopatra
Center for Dramatic Art
The preview of George Bernard Shaw's historical comedy presented by the Playmakers Repertory Company and directed by David Hammond begins at 8 p.m. with performances Tuesdays-Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through May 1. Visit www.playmakersrep.org for details.
Six String Café
FJ Ventre is one of the area's most in-demand upright bass thumpers; among other gigs, you can catch him playing in the Jon Shain Trio and serving as one of Mel Melton's Wicked Mojos. The primal-rock quartet Edsel 500 finds Ventre out front and tearing through songs by Elvis, Chuck, Johnny, and others. 8 p.m./$5. --Rick Cornell
Not About Nightingales
This early Tennessee Williams play depicts prison life during a massive Philadelphia prison riot in the 1930s. Performances are April 7-9 and 13-15 at 8 p.m. and April 10 and 17 at 3 p.m.
Ward is a Kottke-type guitarist who plays the full body and all six strings, slapping husky rhythms and picking pretty melodies. He works from warm little dreams and inside surrealistic soliloquies, covering Bowie on his 2003 classic Transfiguration of Vincent and cryin' gospel about deep, dark wells on his beautiful follow-up, Transistor Radio. --Grayson Currin
Martin Street Music Hall
I love it when commercial radio advocates claim their blend of bland pop sticks in the head because it's good, not because it's repetitive. By that reasoning, Of Montreal--the electronic saccharine pop brainchild of Kevin Barnes that emerged from the Elephant 6 collective with contagion sensibilities, pairing Beach Boys sonority and Flaming Lips psychedelics--should be a radio smash. Case in point: I've listened to 2004's Satanic Panic in the Attic, and I know every word. These days, The Sunlandic Twins, out now on Polyvinyl, is the confectioner's cream clogging my cortex. St. Thomas and Port Huron Statement open. The show's at 9 p.m.; tickets are $7. --Grayson Currin
The Sojourner and Mollie Sinclair
Hill Hall, UNC
UNC Opera presents Carlisle Floyd's The Sojourner and Mollie Sinclair, a comedy opera set along the mid-18th-century Cape Fear River. The two title characters, one a fiercely traditional Scotsman vainly maintaining the ways of the Old World and the other a middle-aged woman consumed by the fervor of the impending paradigm shift, reveal historical aspects of pre-Revolutionary America that are rarely considered. Performances are on Friday, April 8 and Saturday, April 9. --Russell Nash
A collection of the Triangle's funk, hip-hop and jazz units have banded together for Project Elevation, a day-long benefit for the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Organized by DiRTY5THiRTY, all proceeds (from ticket sales to T-shirts) will go to the research center. Expounding jazzers The Pulsar Triyo and recent Duke/UNC Battle of the Bands winners will be alongside the disco-R&B dance of Bazungu, House of Reps, Seven Minute Bender and the rap-attack-meets-jams of DiRTY5THiRTY. Baltimore's Written Prisms may be the highlight, with their Fishbone energy rooted in hip hop and sly, Tortoise-like mood changes that allow beds for vocalists Jason Crawford and Andy Hall to drop their science in. DJs Pez and Greensleeves spin between sets. Music starts at 1 p.m.; tickets are $9, $5 after 9 p.m. --Eric Weddle
The Great Human Race
American Tobacco Complex
This 5k competitive run/nonprofit walk, sponsored by the Volunteer Center of Durham, is a fundraiser for Triangle nonprofits. The race starts at the American Tobacco Complex at 9:30 a.m. with on-site registration opening at 8 a.m. To see a list of participating organizations or register online (until April 7), go to www.greathumanrace.org. The race fee is $25.
Thre Pour House
Another Sunday at The Pour House, another dream roots line-up. Jessi Alexander has had Jayhawk Gary Louris sing her praises and Trisha Yearwood sing one of her songs, while Jon Randall has supported Emylou Harris and covered Lowell George. There's no room to drop the names of all 11 guys who make up the alt-country collective Last Train Home. The show's at 7 p.m.; tickets are $10. --Rick Cornell
Time: Honored and Embodied
BTI Center for the Performing Arts
Even Exchange Dance Theater presents Time: Honored and Embodied, an original work in three distinct sections exploring, respectively, pop culture in each generation, the aging process through multimedia interpretation, and injuries and experiences of EEDT members. Shows in Fletcher Theater are Saturday, April 9 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 10 at 2 p.m. Sunday's performance includes a pre-show talk at 1:30 p.m. Visit www.evenexchange.com for more information. Tickets are $15, $10 students and seniors.
At long last, Columbus, Ohio's The Sun is on tour again in anticipation of their upcoming full-length debut, Blame It on the Youth, exactly two years after their punchy Jay Bennett-produced EP first hit. Drenching indie angularity with a spitfire swagger sported previously by The Kinks and The Pretty Things, The Sun seems like a candidate worthy for this summer's Modest Mouse placement--that is, to give rock radio a much needed downtown, college kick in the ass. The Young Idea and Dom Casual open. Be there by 10 p.m. --Grayson Currin
Dixon's brought his performance career out of mothballs of late, appearing solo with Chris Stamey and resurrecting The Arrogance for a series of shows. Dixon's proved across his nine albums to be a terrific, underrated songwriter, coaxing his gruff baritone through effortless melodies and clever wordplay. Though he's best known for his production acumen (working with Mitch Easter on R.E.M's seminal first two albums, as well as Matthew Sweet, The Connells and Hootie), and is credited with helping spawn the '80s jangle-pop movement. He's currently supporting The Entire Combustible World in One Small Room, for which this will be the local album release party. The show's at 8:30 p.m.; tickets are $10. --Chris Parker
Brandtson, The Rocket Summer
The pond's discolored with all the crap that's been dumped into it, but there are still some gems within the sewer of pop-punk. Cleveland quartet Brandtson's moving into its 10th year of existence, and all those dives and unending miles of asphalt have honed the group into a well-oiled power-punk machine, chugging through razor sharp riffs and bustling punk rhythms. The Rocket Summer are as wet behind the ear as Brandtson is experienced. The brainchild of Bryce Avary, The Rocket Summer's 2003 infectiously catchy power-pop debut, Calendar Days, is a remarkable triumph, particularly as Avary wrote, produced and performed the entire album himself when he was only 20. It should be interesting to see what a live performance holds. --Chris Parker