When: Fri., Aug. 25, 6:30 & 7 p.m. and Fri., Sept. 29, 6:30 & 7 p.m.
Musical. Performed at the sculpture.
They're taking our jobs! (Machines, not immigrants.) The arts aren't safe. In 2013, Francesca Talenti cast a robot as the lead in The Uncanny Valley. Talenti, a filmmaker and animator, worked with a team at UNC-Chapel Hill to build and program the robot, which gradually took on the voice and aspect of its human costar over the course of the play. In a very modern way, Talenti probed very modern questions about artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and selfhood. Now she's back with, basically, the opposite. Wants Upon a Time is a "family friendly, Commedia dell'arte-inspired" take on Rapunzel, bringing sixteenth-century style to a nineteenth-century fairy tale. Its site is Patrick Dougherty's A Sight to Behold stickwork sculpture on the Hillsborough Riverwalk, where it will be performed on the last Friday of each month through September. With Talenti's track record and the presences of noted local performers like comedian Deborah Aronin and actor Drina Dunlap, we're very intrigued. —Brian Howe