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Friday 9.25

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James "Blood" Ulmer
  • James "Blood" Ulmer

Durham
James "Blood" Ulmer, Corey Harris

Duke University Reynolds Industries Theater—James "Blood" Ulmer's voice melts over his songs. Inspired by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, his most recent album, Bad Blood in the City, hits with a cleansing smack of anger, sadness and catharsis. Not bad for a man who's eligible for Social Security. Ulmer's recent forays have been in the blues world, but he began as a jazzman in the 1960s. His tenure includes a brief stint with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers before going on to woodshed and play with Ornette Coleman.

It's a daunting task to share the stage with a man of Ulmer's caliber. Guitarist Corey Harris (a MacArthur Fellow) draws on his world travels to infuse his blues with reggae and West African influences. With his quintet, Harris will feature songs from his album, blu.black, due Sept. 29. The 8 p.m. show costs $5-$28. For more information, visit www.dukeperformances.org. —Andrew Ritchey


Durham
Brian Regan

Durham Performing Arts Center—Brian Regan prowls a stage—that is, if it's physically possible for a guy this goofy to prowl—taking strides that are too big for their own good, even as he's sharing commentary that's too funny for its own good. His riff on fishing shows ("That two hours where absolutely nothing happened? You might want to tighten that up a bit.") remains an automatic crack-up, and it's far from a lonesome quip. Sure, go ahead and call Regan an observational comedian. It's just that his observations happen to be funnier than most everyone else's. Tickets are $37.50, and the laughs start at 8 p.m. See www.dpacnc.com for more.—Rick Cornell


Australia
  • Australia

Raleigh
Australia

North Carolina Museum of Art—Known for his romantic hits Moulin Rouge! and Romeo + Juliet, Australian director Baz Luhrmann shamelessly aims for the sweep of Gone with the Wind in this epic starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. Luhrmann spices this picturesque romantic tale with issues of discrimination against Australia's aborigines. It's getting late in the year for outdoor films, to be sure, so you'll want to catch this, the last outdoor film of the season and one of the last events—period—until the museum unveils its expanded facilities in April 2010. The movie will be screened at 8 p.m. For more information visit www.ncartmuseum.org. —Belem Destefani


Durham
Retrofantasma

Carolina Theatre—Cult films are not born, they're made. Compare the two cases of the latest films featured at the Carolina Theatre's Retrofantasma series: Shock Treatment and Meet the Feebles. The first is a sort-of sequel to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which still runs at midnight shows at Raleigh's Rialto Theater. Co-starring, co-written and scored by Richard O'Brien (Rocky Horror's Riff Raff), Shock Treatment recasts the characters of Brad and Janet with Cliff DeYoung and Jessica Harper, who find themselves in a town that's become a giant TV studio, and end up in a series of twisted, mind-warping "shows." In the days before reality TV caught on, this premise was a bit much for audiences to take, and the film actually flopped worse than Rocky Horror's original theatrical run. Admittedly, the title song is pretty catchy, though. While Shock Treatment's attempt to cash in on a large and loyal cult audience failed, Feebles earned an underground following over time—although it didn't hurt that its director, Peter Jackson, went on to do The Lord of the Rings. Very, very, very dirty, it's the tale of a group of sex-and-drug-crazed puppets whose antics involve nearly every human vice you can imagine. Almost trauma-inducing in its sheer wrongness, Feebles gives life to every weird thought you ever had about the Muppets. This thoroughly immoral double-feature begins at 7 p.m. For more information, visit festivals.carolinatheatre.org/retrofantasma. —Zack Smith


Don Giovanni
  • Don Giovanni

Raleigh
Don Giovanni

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship—Durham's Christine Weidinger, who had a career as an international opera performer, has co-founded Triangle Opera Society, a group that hopes to expose area audiences to high-quality renderings of the classical repertory at reasonable prices. Tonight and Sunday, this group will perform a semi-staged rendering of Mozart's Don Giovanni, with local talent and in Italian, with English translations projected above. Both shows begin at 7 p.m. Admission is free, but a $10 donation is suggested. Visit www.uufr.org for directions to the church. —David Fellerath

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