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Friday 11.21

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Durham
Between a Ballad and a Blues
Hayti Cultural Center—The story of Howard "Louie Bluie" Armstrong's 70-year career has a classically American undercurrent—spend your hardscrabble youth mastering the twangy dynamism of Appalachian string music only to see it fall out of vogue as country, guitar blues and its other familiars become more popular. Exist for years in the nether region between fame and obscurity—a legend among music archivists and an unknown to virtually everyone else—only to rise to stardom when, decades later, your music is discovered, again. Written by Linda Parris-Bailey, Between a Ballad and a Blues puts to the stage the music and tumult of an American treasure, as performed by Tennessee's Carpetbag Theater. Curtain goes up tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students with a valid ID. For more information, visit www.hayti.org. —Vernal Coleman


Chapel Hill
The Breasts of Tiresias
Hill Hall Auditorium, UNC Campus—In 1903, a Polish-Italian poet writing in French, Guillaume Apollinaire, became the first writer to characterize his work as surrealism. "When man wanted to imitate walking, he created the wheel, which does not resemble a leg. In the same way he has created surrealism unconsciously," he wrote of The Breasts of Tiresias, his play that made its premiere 14 years later, at the height of World War I. "After all, the stage is no more the life it represents than the wheel is a leg." Exactly three decades later, as Europe worked to recover from World War II, the piece had its second premiere. This time, it was an opera adapted by Francis Poulenc to an imaginary town on the French Riviera named Zanzibar. In Poulenc's hands, the play's shocking content—a woman tires of womanhood and watches her breasts float away like balloons; her husband births 40,049 children—became a surprising hit. Now, as our own generation's little war marches on, UNC Opera presents Poulenc's take tonight and tomorrow night at 8 p.m. —Grayson Currin


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Raleigh
Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid
N.C. Museum of Art—"Laugh ... or I'll blow your lips off." Steve Martin and Carl Reiner originally intended to do a straight-up 1930s story called Depression, but after Reiner incorporated some old footage into the movie, there was a change of plans and Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid was born. The "plot" puts Martin's P.I. Rigby Reardon in the middle of a case involving the death of a scientist, which quickly turns into a rapid-fire parody of dozens of other noir movies. Thanks to some clever editing, Martin flirts with Ingrid Bergman in Notorious, gets a wrong number with Barbra Stanwyck in Sorry, Wrong Number, and even shares cookies with Alan Ladd in This Gun for Hire. Plaid was the last film for both costume designer Edith Head and composer Miklós Rózsa, both of whom had many previous films referenced throughout Plaid. A fun trip for fans of noir, Plaid closes out the N.C. Museum of Art's Fall Film Series. The screening starts at 8 p.m.; tickets are $5 for non-members. For more information, visit www.ncartmuseum.org/events/films.shtml. —Zack Smith

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