Will to Live Cautiously Returning? Here's a Few Things to Do This Week. | Arts

Will to Live Cautiously Returning? Here's a Few Things to Do This Week.

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Joe Sellman-Leava in Labels - PHOTO COURTESY OF CAROLINA PERFORMING ARTS
  • photo courtesy of Carolina Performing Arts
  • Joe Sellman-Leava in Labels

STAGE
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15–SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20
SPAMALOT

“Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!” We’ve become so much more politically sophisticated since the time of King Arthur. Still, anyone feeling nostalgic for the days of the Round Table—or the Tony award-winning 2005 musical based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail—should catch NC Theatre’s revival of Spamalot, starring Broadway’s Jeff McCarthy and Ta’Rea Campbell. Jennifer Werner directs. —Byron Woods
RALEIGH MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM, RALEIGH

STAGE
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16–THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17
LABELS

When Joe Sellman-Leava was four his father was told that, given the anti-immigrant sentiments rising in England at the time, his Indian surname might be preventing him from getting a job. So the family changed its name—and the change worked. One week after an American election hinged in part on similar prejudices, Sellman-Leava brings his solo show Labels to Chapel Hill. In it, he places his family’s story within an international debate on diversity, multiculturalism, and equality, as he literally puts a series of labels on himself and his audience to bring greater visibility to the process of prejudice. —Byron Woods
HISTORIC PLAYMAKERS THEATRE, CHAPEL HILL

PAGE
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17
CHRISTINE SIMOLKE: CHILDREN OF ITALY

As a child, Christine Simolke was taught the importance of the “old country”—its food, culture, and high regard for family. Like many first-time novelists, she drew on these childhood lessons for her debut novel Children of Italy, a historical fiction inspired by her family’s journey from Italy to America. In 1924 after twelve years in a coal mine, Luigi Falconi (aka Simolke’s great-grandfather) finally earned enough money to bring his family to the States. What follows is an engrossing tale about the classic immigrant conflicts: unfair labor practices, struggles with assimilation, and deep longings for home. Simolke also depicts the inner struggles that her family faced, from infidelity and young love to being gay in the 1920s. Simolke will sign and speak about her novel and experiences as an Italian American at Page 158 Books in Wake Forest on Thursday. —Erica Johnson
PAGE 158 BOOKS, WAKE FOREST


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