Mike Doughty & Kevn Kinney
The Pour House—Mike Doughty and Kevn Kinney don't share the same bill tonight, but they will play the same stage on the same night. How appropriate: Doughty led bop/pop act Soul Coughing before going solo, singing above a stompbox and slimming the obtuseness from his playful lyricism. His latest songs come backed by a straightforward rock unit, spotlighting a romanticism similar to that which Kinney has suffered since the mid-'80s. The former frontman of Drivin' & Cryin' branched solo while still in the band, but he returns with his soulful Sun Tangled Angel Revival. Doughty plays at 7 p.m. for $15, followed by Kinney at 10 p.m. for $8-$10. Ask nicely and they may cut you a break for both bands. —Grayson Currin
To read an interview with Doughty and hear his song "White Lexus," see our Song of the Week.
Doubt, Topdog/ Underdog
Playmakers Rep, UNC Campus—UNC's Playmakers Repertory Company will be living up to its name when it opens its next two plays in rotating repertory today in Paul Green Theater. Doubt: A Parable leads off and alternates with Suzan-Lori Parks' Topdog/ Underdog. Both are recent winners of the Pulitzer Prize, and both tangle with big challenging matters in the way that only theater can.
John Patrick Shanley set Doubt in the Bronx, circa 1964, in a Catholic school named after one he attended. Although not based on actual incidents, it is rooted in his experience in this parochial world. Looking for a way to dramatize how difficult uncertainty is for people in contemporary life, he set his story in a place of absolute conviction—the Church. Doubt is the opposite of certainty, but also the opposite of faith, and therefore, to the faithful, of truth. The struggles of the five characters (one never seen or heard) take place over a school year, and one of the things in doubt is whether Father Flynn has had some sort of inappropriate relationship with a 12-year-old black student.
Where Doubt puts big ideas about the elusive nature of truth into individuals in a very particular situation, Topdog/ Underdog uses its two characters to represent the reality of many young African-American men. Lincoln and Booth, named so by their father who later abandoned them, grapple for position, as both their names and the name of the play indicate. Topdog/ Underdog is directed here by Raelle Myrick-Hodges, who was the assistant director of the original version. —Kate Dobbs Ariail
Tickets range from $10 to $40. For more info, visit www.playmakersrep.org or call 962-PLAY. Doubt runs Jan. 26-Feb. 29; Topdog runs Jan. 27-March 2.
Footnotes Tap Ensemble
Broad Street Café—Founded in 2002, Durham's Footnotes has performed with Bela Fleck & the Flecktones and the African American Dance Ensemble. They perform tonight at 6 p.m. (with a 5 p.m. workshop) in their benefit for Senior PHARMAssist, a Durham nonprofit organization that helps senior citizens receive needed medications. For more info, visit www.thebroadstreetcafe.com or call 698-8821. —Megan Stein