- Complexions Contemporary Ballet
Complexions Contemporary Ballet
Stewart Theatre, N.C. State Campus—In the recent remake of Fame, one dancer gets selected to join a troupe called Complexions. When I saw the movie, I assumed it was a fictitious company, but little did I know how celebrated the dance troupe actually is. Created by former Alvin Ailey dancers Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson in 1994, the company aims to blend various styles to transcend all categories. They've worked in a range of media, from the Joffrey Ballet to VH1. The 13-member company also holds global appeal: They'll travel to Egypt, France and Russia within the first half of this year. A preshow discussion is at 6:45 p.m. at the Gregg Museum of Art & Design; the performance in Stewart Theatre begins at 8. Tickets are $26 or $30. Visit www.ncsu.edu/centerstage. —Sarah Ewald
Found Footage Film Festival
Rialto Theater—Some of the best Internet videos were created before the Internet existed. A steady stream of VHS-era detritus has found a second life on the Net, with sites like Everything Is Terrible! offering up video junk from past decades for modern ridicule. Were it not for the Web, classic A/V like "The World's Angriest R.V. Salesman," the alternate-voiceover AFSCME commercial and Mr. T's motivational video for kids would have languished on dusty shelves, slowly disintegrating, beyond the grasp of the larger audiences they deserve.
If 2009 found you short of the time needed to properly comb through retro-video-aggregating Web sites, there's a film fest to rectify that. The Found Footage Festival will personally hand-deliver some of the year's highlights, with commentary. Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett (recently of The Onion and The Colbert Report) have been collecting discarded videotapes since 1991, and for the last five years they've turned a solitary second-screen activity into an evening of live entertainment.
Some of the clips will be familiar to Web video cognoscenti (cringe-inducing footage of clueless bachelors from a 1980s video dating service, obtained from David Cross, is not to be missed), but Prueher and Pickett are constantly finding new material. I was surprised to recognize my junior high school English teacher, Jenny Getter, in a video they ranked their No. 1 find of 2009. Our class knew that the slightly eccentric Ms. Getter moonlighted as a rabbit trainer, but a clip from a 1983 Tucson public access show, in which she coaxes a piano-playing performance out of her semivoluntary star performer, B.B. Bunny, shows the depth of her obsession. It's unintentional-comedy gold.
The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be bought at the venue or reserved in advance at www.foundfootagefest.com. —Marc Maximov
Static Minds, Goner, Magic Babies
TIR NA NOG—The MC5-channeling Raleigh quartet Static Minds—veterans of nearly a dozen other hard, fast and loud rock outfits like The T's, The Greatest Hits and The Cherry Valence—appropriately lists its influences as "alcohol, good times, jobs that suck, people you hate, girls you want." It's hard to argue with the buzz saw guitars, which rip through hip-shaking rhythms. Goner remains the best bar band in town, though, studding stout, synth-driven sprees with sticky hook-filled centers, while The Magic Babies ties organ into harmony-rich, Beatles-bred pop tunes. The free show rolls around 10:30 p.m. See www.tnnirishpub.com. —Spencer Griffith
Galaxy Cinema—For her debut appearance at Her Majesty's Theatre in 1843, Lola Montes kicked up a commotion with her unconventional performance, stomping her feet and flashing her calves. Her production of The Barber of Seville nearly caused the Victorian ladies' lorgnettes and gentlemen's monocles to shatter in shock. This broad knew how to leave an impression.
Starring Martine Carol as the famed courtesan, Max Ophuls' last film follows her life through flashbacks. And what a life it was. She seduced many a notable who crossed her path, including Ludwig I and Franz Liszt. The 7:30 p.m. screening is part of the N.C. Museum of Art series, and tickets are $5. Visit www.mygalaxycinema.com. —Sarah Ewald
Memorial Auditorium, Progress Energy Center—Even if brand expansion had existed in the 19th century, it's doubtful that Samuel Taylor Coleridge would've thought up a glittery, disco-flavored musical combining hints of Greek mythology with a Lisa Frank-esque color palette as a suitable vehicle for his poem "Kubla Khan." But in 1980, that's exactly what happened. In the film version, Olivia Newton-John originated the role of Kira, a goddess who falls in love with talented artist Sonny and runs afoul of her father, the all-powerful Zeus. Twenty-seven years later, the muses came down from Mount Olympus again to whisk us mortals away from our troubles when the tale made its Broadway debut. Despite the film's lack of critical and commercial success, the stage show ran for more than 500 performances and won Drama Desk and Critics Circle awards. Shows run through Jan. 31. Tickets are $21-$70. Visit www.broadwayseriessouth.com.—Sarah Ewald
How Can I Keep From Singing?
St. Matthew's Episcopal Church—Lee Smith can't keep from writing, having churned out 10 novels and dozens of short stories and inspiring a musical. In tonight's program celebrating spoken and sung words, Smith will read from On Agate Hill, Saving Grace and The Devil's Dream. The St. Matthew's Women's Singing Circle will provide choral accompaniment for the program, which starts at 7:30 p.m. and is part of the church's Faith and the Arts series. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door or through The Burwell School or St. Matthew's parish office. Proceeds go to The Burwell School Historic Site and programming for Faith and the Arts. Visit www.stmatthewshillsborough.org or call Mary Rocap at 732-9308. —Sarah Ewald