You might know Larry Reni Thomas as the voice of Sunday Night Jazz on grassroots community radio station WCOM, or as the reliable presence at the jazz jam on Friday nights at The Know Bookstore and Restaurant in Durham. Now hear him in a new role: The Chapel Hill-based historian, teacher and jazz scholar will read this weekend from his first book of fiction, Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit!: A Fictional Account of the Wilmington Ten Incident of 1971. Thomas holds that the incident was retaliation for the Wilmington Race Riot of 1898, and shows how four days of widespread violence changed the course of the city's history. He'll make appearances on Tuesday, May 23, at 7 p.m. at the Regulator Bookshop and on Friday, May 26 at 7 p.m. at The Know Bookstore.
In that time of year
In charitable (and democratic) laughter
A benefit concert where you vote on the recipient of your largesse? That's the twist when inDecision Theater, one of the region's finest improv groups, slates two shows this weekend to benefit the AIDS Community Residence Association, the Durham Crisis Response Center, the Piedmont Wildlife Center and Triangle Beagle Rescue. After audience members vote for their favorite charity, the profits will be split accordingly. At Durham's Common Ground Theater, Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are $8; for reservations call 810-1255. For more info, see www.indecisiontheater.com. --Byron Woods
In not the same-ol'
You are The Sames. At least, that's what Durham rock thunderstorms have had us all believing for years. Now they're hanging up the distortion pedals with an all-in-the-family showcase at the Cat's Cradle Friday, May 19 with friends The Rosebuds, Schooner, Pleasant, North Elementary, Audubon Park, The Torch Marauder and the Pox Family Singers. While tracers of crackling fuzz hover, The Sames always anchor their songs with tent peg-sized barbed hooks. Onlookers slapped the "shoegazer" label on them, but for my bloody money, their rock is in the fore, not buried in hiss. Guitarist Marc Faris reaches tonal bliss as Zeno Gill arches his voice to emphasize the tenuous proceedings. Gill runs the label Pox World Empire, home to many of the brightest lightning bugs in our fair backyard. Go family style at 8:30 p.m. It's free. For more info, see www.catscradle.com. --Chris Toenes
In deep water
The orthodox branches of many religions enforce their most extreme tenants by subjugating women. Water's production was physically threatened by Hindu fundamentalists and eventually was filmed secretly in Sri Lanka. Mehta's controversial feminist view of some of India's thorniest problems suggests that even if idealism at first appears to be a weak response to injustice, sometimes it contains hidden powers. Opening Friday in local independent theaters. --Laura Boyes