Any future comedians in the house? Break out your funny bone at Cary Tavern's comedy open mic night presented by the Stand-up Underground comedy troupe. Who knows, you could be the next Seinfeld or at the very least, Carrot Top. Register at 8 p.m., show starts at 8:30 p.m. 928 W. Chatham Rd., Cary. 467-1816, www.standupunderground.com. $2.
Fast, funny and furious Tim Miller performs his new show, Us, as part of Manbites Dog's annual Don't Ask Don't Tell festival of queer theater. Tonight, $5 from every ticket benefits Durham's AIDS Community Residence Association (ACRA), and Miller will stay for a post-performance discussion. Sept. 18-20, 8 p.m.; Sept. 21, 3:15 p.m., 703 Foster St., Durham. 682-3343, www.manbitesdogtheater.org. $15.
Come out and hear the "deep nasty stuff", as Big Bill Morganfield likes to call his hynotic grooves. The son of blues legend McKinley "Muddy Waters" Morganfield is coming to town and he's bringing his father's legacy. Watch the sparks fly as Big Bill reignites his father's blues. 9 p.m., Blue Bayou Club, 106 S. Churton St., Hillsborough. 732-2555. www.bluebayouclub.com, $12 advance, $15.
Got pride? Sport it at the 2003 NC PrideFest. The Pride Committee of NC sponsors the event, which includes a rally on Duke's East Campus and the "float-full" annual Gay Pride Parade. Music and fair lovers take note: this is also one of the largest LGBT vendor fairs in the state, and there will be plenty of entertainment .. Later on, head over to Raleigh for Nightfest along the Hargett St. area for further festivities. Noon-5 p.m., Duke East Campus. 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Hargett St. Area, Raleigh. www.ncpride.org. Free.
Artists have descended upon Lichtin Plaza in front of the BTI Center for the Performing Arts with chalk pastels in hand, creating art that depicts flight as part of the First Flight celebration. At the Raleigh Street Painting Festival, kids will have a chance to work on their own art square, and maybe they'll give you some chalk and let you revert to age 6, too. Sponsored by Visual Art Exchange. Fri-Sun, Sept. 19-21, 10 am-6 p.m., 2 E. South St., Raleigh. 828-7834, www.visualartexchange.org. Free.
The annual Writers at Meredith series brings Marilyn Nelson, celebrated African-American poet to the Triangle. Whether dealing with a complex family history dating from slavery or with ordinary life in the physical world or with the deep search for heaven, Nelson is a master of the craft. 7:30 p.m., Cate Center, Meredith College Campus. 760-8507. Free.
Follow an evening of wordsmithing and insight with more of the same: This afternoon, Arthur Kempton will read from Boogaloo, a hip and stylish tome which traces a timeline of popular African-American music from its roots in blues and gospel through soul and funk to hip hop. 3:30 p.m., Bull's Head Bookshop, Daniels Building, UNC-Chapel Hill Campus. 962-5060.