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Thursday 8.07

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Raleigh
Personals
Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy, Progress Energy Center—Personal ads are a dangerous game; I know at least one person who found a loving, lasting relationship from one, and another who only attracted a series of women with excessive tattoos and daddy issues (OK, that was me). But what makes for trauma and discomfort in real life might make for a hilarious night at Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy. Years before creating TV's Friends, Marta Kaufman and David Crane were behind Personals, an off-Broadway revue featuring music and lyrics by six composers, including Broadway legends Stephen Schwartz and Alan Menken. The sketches include such topics as a couple who adds spice to their marriage with help from a dwarf; a man literally dealing with the baggage of his previous relationships; and plenty of gags about dating services and singles bars. Filled with moments that will doubtlessly make a few audience members squirm with recognition, Personals is a reminder that the quest for love is filled with many detours, some of which might involve hearing for 20 minutes about how your date is having trouble getting over their last, married boyfriend. I'm sorry, do I sound bitter? Showings are at 8 p.m. with 3 p.m. Sunday matinees. For more information, call the box office at 834-4000 or visit www.hotsummernightsatthekennedy.org. —Zack Smith


Durham
Backpack Drumset
Bull McCabe's—Durham filmmaker Eleni Vlachos' new documentary Backpack Drumset is only 12 and a half minutes long, but it manages to cover acres of territory. The film, a sequence of conversational clips and music-making montages between Vlachos and Durham resident and All Your Science band member David Z, focuses on the local musician's adoption of the "all bicycle lifestyle" and the transportation problems that lifestyle poses for moving equipment to and from shows. With an amazing creative spark, David Z turned his problem into a solution by dissecting his own drum set and transforming it into a smaller, more manageable kit that fits snuggly in a backpack. His creation is perfect for piling on your back and hitting the open road on two wheels. Vlachos' documentary illustrates the struggles and successes of maintaining an eco-friendly lifestyle as a musician. Tonight, you can celebrate the convergence of these two worlds with a bike ride and the debut screening of Backpack Drumset along with additional shorts by cyclist enthusiast, local leader of Critical Mass (a bike-awareness group that regularly fills the streets with bike riders) and filmmaker Phillip Barron. Fans of the 'cycle can join the Critical Mass ride at 5:30 p.m., while silver screen fans can catch the shorts at 8:30 p.m. at no cost. —Kathy Justice


Chapel Hill
Br'er, The Groves, Hermit Thrushes
Nightlight—Br'er sounds like a group of friends searching for meaning in an otherwise deserted junkyard world: Toy piano and harp pluck, looking for hope amid alien-sounding synths, distorted guitars and an onslaught of salvaged percussion. Combined with the lucid vocals of Ben Schurr, the music can be haunting, scary and beautiful. Fellow Philadelphia band and experimental roots act Hermit Thrushes has found a meadow in Br'er's world with more amps to plug into and a patch of sun to relax in. Cary's The Groves fills out the bill with feel-good pop rock at 9:30 p.m. —Andrew Ritchey

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