It's been nearly 10 years since Broadway got the bold new hit it desperately needed. In 1996, Times Square was being cleaned up, but the plays were the same old warhorses: Les Miserables, Cats and Phantom of the Opera. However, the arrival of Jonathan Larson's Rent provided a new musical for a new theater district. The irony is that the subculture celebrated in Larson's updating of Puccini's La Bohéme was fast being priced out of its downtown existence. Chris Columbus' film of the play features most of the original Broadway cast, including Anthony Rapp, Taye Diggs and Wilson Heredia. Rosario Dawson is the key newcomer, playing the tragic prostitute Mimi.--David Fellerath
Thanksgiving night at Kings without Raleigh hip-hop outfit Pro-L is like the tofurkey without the vegan stuffing. Their live instrument-based organic sound has natural flow and an original signature. Tune in after you fill up for a rollicking end to the day. --Chris Toenes
The Cave, it is a-changin'. It's now, in the name of liquor sales, a membership-required club, and there's no smoking in the front room. But the annual Thanksgiving Potluck lives on for transplants, nontraveling students and regulars alike. Bring a dish to pass and, if you're so inclined, a guitar because the mic'll be open. The first fork hits paydirt at 5 p.m. --Rick Cornell
Post-Thanksgiving indie rock karaoke celebration
Bickett Gallery surely has your best interest in mind this post-Thanksgiving. Instead of waking up well on the ante-side of the crack of dawn, maybe you and your new turkey can sleep in, wake up around noon and stretch those vocal chords: It's Indie Rock Karaoke time. Sure, lethargy may lean more toward an excess bodyweight version of something by Will Oldham or perhaps something pretty and slow from The Clientele, but Superchunk's "Hyper Enough" or Blur's "We've Got a File on You" may be better for distilling down that cranberry sauce. And if you really want to have two goes at something from Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, Indie Rock Karaoke migrates to Local 506 in Chapel Hill on Saturday, while solo songman Ryan Pound plays with the electric warmth of Mount Moriah at Bickett.
The Dandy Warhols
Three months after Brian Jonestown Massacre puts out a solid EP and plays the smaller indie rock club in Chapel Hill, The Dandy Warhols put out a blasé EP at the trough side of one of Courtney Taylor's perpetual sine waves and plays the bigger indie rock club in Chapel Hill. What's more, original Jonestown Massacre man Matt Hollywood brings his new bag, The Out Crowd, out for the one-spot, and it's the best reason to see this show. Daringly eclectic stoner rock hopped up on weed and thick whiskey, with a sweet side and sublime vocals from Sarah Jane. The show starts at 8:45 p.m., and being on a major must demand $18-$20. --Grayson Currin
Paws for Thanks
The icon for this cat show with a purpose is a smiling turkey spreading its feathers and inviting the love of two cats and a goofy dog. The probability of seeing such a spectacle at this two-day event (today 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and tomorrow 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.) is low, but the chance to see cats and kittens from most CFA registered breeds is alluring enough. Finals occur in six rings at the Holshouser Building, and the public is invited to watch the judging. Tickets run $5 adults, $4 seniors and students, and kids are free.
Mama Dip's Family Cookbook
Quail Ridge Books
In the follow-up to her highly regarded Mama Dip's Kitchen, Mildred Council includes recipes for curds and cakes, gravies and gizzards, mushrooms and meats. She even writes about the staples of her kitchen--from pots and pans to spices and seasonings--and tips on how to construct a quality buffet. But she doesn't include any tricks on how to put a prison-break tool into a cake, which may or may not be useful for the suspect who robbed Quail Ridge Books & Music during Council's reading there on Nov. 13. As store owner Nancy Olson put it: "Why didn't he go to a Barnes & Noble and rob them?" Council comes back to Quail Ridge to sign books at 3 p.m.
Family Guy night
Words of wisdom from Stewie Griffin--the mommy-hating sharpwit from Family Guy--that may have been useful over Thanksgiving: "Sooo, broccoli, mother says you're very good for me. But I'm afraid I'm no good for you." "What the hell is this? I said egg whites only! Are you trying to give me a bloody heart attack?" "It wasn't even about the eggs, really. Frankly, I like the yolks.... There's always been a lot of tension between Lois and me. And it's not so much that I want to kill her, it's just, I want her not to be alive anymore." "I require a window seat and an inflight Happy Meal, and no pickles. God help you if I find pickles." "Well, I'd love to stay and chat, but you're a total bitch." Oh, Stewie. Brush up on your insults at Kings' irregular Family Guy night.
On its latest trek across the country, the Broadway classic Hairspray stops in Raleigh at the Progress Energy Center for the next six days. For the uninitiated, its an adaptation of John Waters film by the same name, where young Tracy Turnbladstuck in 1962 Baltimore with big hair and bigger dreamshopes to land a spot on The Corny Collins Show when they hold auditions in Baltimore. Rivals plot to stop her plans, but she emerges victorious by catching the eye of the shows star, Link Larkin. For more on the show and for tickets, visit www.hairsprayontour.com or www.broadwayseriessouth.com.
The Pour House
A trip to the 2004 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival was the impetus for Mayhap, the two-piece funk outfit of organ and drums led by Brian Werner and Paul Madigan. If you're thinking of another duo, the Benevento-Russo comparison is inevitable but not entirely accurate. Mayhap pushes past theoretical quandries, pulsing more to a hard Jimmy Smith groove than a complex Monk circuit. An exciting new strain willing to go at the party and at the brain simultaneously. --Grayson Currin
Market dictates and cyclical trends have mandated that the post-millennial underground be overstocked with witty, literate song--as opposed to tune--writing solo artists. (They ought to negotiate a discount with AAA.) Dave Dondero's frank, unpretentious songs echo with the spirit of both Townes Van Zandt and Elvis Costello. His wit is evident on tracks such as the amazing, extended commerce/love equation of "If You Break My Heart" ("You pay for it," Dondero sullenly threatens, like a curmudgeonly shopkeeper). Opener Chris Mills is not as dusty, rustic or road-worn as Dondero, instead favoring a mix of roots-flavored heartland rock, working man anthems and pocket-orchestra pop. Davis also has a bit of a pop ken, finding a sonic space between the warm shimmer of Mercury Haze and the folk-rock amble of Elliott Smith. The barding starts at 10 p.m. for $7. --Chris Parker