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Friday 8.22

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Australia's Strange Fruit
  • Australia's Strange Fruit

Raleigh
Art on the Edge
Lichtin Plaza—Starting Thursday and continuing through Saturday, Artsplosure puts the spotlight on a variety of offbeat local and international performing arts groups with "Art on the Edge." The event kicks off with the installation of Levity III, a 10,000-square-foot luminarium created by England's Architects of Air. Local theater groups performing at A.J. Fletcher Theatre include North Carolina Theatre's The Existents, a "new rock theatrical" featuring Shoshana Bean; Theatre in the Park's Give It Up, Turn It Loose; and Burning Coal Theatre Company's Howie the Rookie, with Lucius Robinson of the Delta Boys, which received a five-star review from the Indy earlier this year. Local bands performing include Birds of Avalon, The Huguenots, The Cartridge Family and Violet Vector and the Lovely Lovelies. In addition, there's the equestrian spoof "El Gleno Grande" and a performance by The Old Ceremony's Music for Earth and Sky in collaboration with an aerial dancer and various members of the Tangophilia group. On the last day of the festival, there will be three shows of Swoon, a performance by Australia's Strange Fruit, where the actors will be suspended 14 feet in the air. For tickets and schedules, go to www.artsaliveraleigh.com or call 832-8699. —Zack Smith


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Raleigh
Across The Universe
N.C. Museum of Art—Julie Taymor, whose biggest claim to fame is for bringing The Lion King to Broadway, has brought her visual invention to such out-there film subjects as Frida Kahlo and Titus Andronicus. Last year, she attempted the most ambitious movie about the music of the Beatles since the days of Help! and A Hard Day's Night. Her film, Across the Universe, didn't do much business—$29 million worldwide—but those who saw it tended to love it, thus suggesting that a cult classic could be in the making. See it under the stars tonight (with or without the, er, diamonds in the sky) and sing along. One-time Raleighite Evan Rachel Wood stars with Jim Sturgess. The film begins at 8:30 p.m. and admission is $3. Visit ncartmuseum.org for more info. —David Fellerath


Durham
Retrofantasma
Carolina Theatre—I confess I am way too excited about the return of the Carolina Theatre's monthly genre film showcase. Along with the magnificent screenings at the Colony in Raleigh, Retrofantasma is the best source in the Triangle for full-screen prints of classic SF/ horror/ damn strange cinema ... though Retrofantasma gets a few extra points for finding obscurities and including a kickin' opening credits sequence set to Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies' cover of "Science Fiction/ Double Feature" from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The new season kicks off with a double dose of John Sayles' paycheck work, Piranha and Alligator. It's a well-known fact that the indie film icon funds his personal projects with genre work, and these two efforts for Roger Corman are witty, suspenseful and, dare I say, cool. Next month it's double Dario Argento with Creepers and Demons. Life is good. The show starts with Alligator at 7:30 p.m.; for more information, visit festivals.carolinatheatre.org/retrofantasma. —Zack Smith


Raleigh
Kenny Chesney
Walnut Creek Amphitheatre—Two-night stands at big sheds like Walnut Creek used to be a bit less rare. Given the slumping music market and the little help it's receiving from a teetering economy, they're reserved almost exclusively for Chesney now. Here's how big this guy's touring apparatus and reputation at large has grown: Wednesday afternoon, one of his tour buses crashed near Jackson, Miss. No one was in it except a driver. Chesney, instead, was down in New Orleans, participating in the Saints' training camp. The 40-year-old is the only act that's not U2 or the Stones who can sell out NFL stadiums these days, and he recently headlined the annual bike rally in Sturgis, S.D., alongside KISS. They played KISS Alive in its entirety, and he covered U2, Bob Marley and Jimmy Buffett in the country's largest amphitheater. Big star, indeed. LeAnn Rimes opens. Tonight and tomorrow's 7:30 p.m. shows cost $41.75-$80. —Grayson Currin


Durham
Traction Happy Hour
Traction HQ—Calling all Secret Agents: Traction wants you for their end of summer Happy Hour and the unveiling of a Secret Plan. A la a good James Bond flick, this not-partisan, progressive scene will be filled with drinks, dames, dudes and democracy. The Tractivists' mission? To bring politics to the people (and the partiers). Rep. Pricey Harrison will be there to mingle with the masses, and the Indy's insider informant (classified files hint she may be Traction founder Lanya Shapiro) gave us this clue about the Secret Plan: It's a way that local Generation X and Y'ers will rock the upcoming election from the top to the bottom. How low can you go? If you choose to accept this assignment, meet at Traction's new International Headquarters at 1018 Broad St. next to the N.C. Detective Agency (coincidence?). No cover charge, though donations are accepted and encouraged. Synchronize your watches for a 5 p.m. start time. Visit www.gettraction.org. —Jessica Fuller


Durham
Queer Queens of Qomedy
Steel Blue—There's the Original Kings of Comedy (now sadly down Bernie Mac) and the Original Queens of Comedy, and now the Queer Queens of Qomedy are returning to Durham. In its third year, the group includes comedians Poppy Champlin, Sandra Vallis and Bridget McManus. We're not sure "Qomedy" works phonetically, but what the hell. Doors open at 6:30, with showtime at 8 p.m. and DJ LV spinning afterward. Tickets are $30. Seating is on a first come, first serve basis. Tickets available at the club or by phone at 596-5876. For more info, visit www.queerqueensofqomedy.com. —Zack Smith

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