Aug. 26–Sept. 17 After the Revolution: Amy Herzog's play about an American family rooted three generations deep in radical activism, and the way history and country can make victims of its citizens, presented by the Deep Dish Theater Company of Chapel Hill.
2–4 D.L. Hughley: One of the original four "Kings of Comedy" brings his lampooning, glibly executed stand-up act to the Goodnights Comedy Club in Raleigh.
4 North Carolina Symphony: With a program ranging from Tchaikovsky to John Williams, "Sample Your Symphony" is a free concert to kick off the symphony's 2011–12 season, at the Raleigh Amphitheater.
4 Duke Symphony Orchestra: Bring chairs and a picnic to this annual free "pops" concert on the university's East Campus quad.
8–10 North Carolina Symphony: The state's symphony pays respect to those lost on 9/11 with three performances of Mozart's powerful "Requiem" at Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh.
8–10 The Indy's own Hopscotch music festival lights up Raleigh with the talent of 152 bands from around the Triangle and around the nation.
10 24Live Marathon: Live comedy marathan for a good cause— Chapel Hill- Carrboro YMCA We Build People Campaign—at DSI Comedy in Carrboro.
10–11 The Scrap Exchange: Durham's nationally recognized creative reuse center celebrates its 20th anniversary, and the grand opening of its huge new store, with a day of crafts and festivities.
- Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures
- Man on Wire
11 Man on Wire: The award-winning 2008 documentary about Phillipe Petit's 1974 tightrope walk between the Two Towers resurrects the fallen landmark's skyscraping symbolism and beauty. Presented by Cinema, Inc., at the Rialto theater in Raleigh.
8–24 Glass: Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern reimagines the brokenness of J.D. Salinger's Glass family and Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie at Durham's Common Ground Theatre.
8–25 Enron: Financial catastrophe turned spirited musical, complete with dance numbers, all-too-human characters and dinosaurs (yes, really). By the Burning Coal Theatre Company at the Murphey School Auditorium in Raleigh.
9–11 Paperhand Puppet Intervention: Giant puppets and pageantry bring to life humanity's place in the ever-changing universe to the audiences at the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh.
- Allen Toussaint
14 Allen Toussaint and Mavis Staples: Two decorated and influential R&B idols perform at UNC's Memorial Hall.
16 Styx: A hard rock blast of '80s nostalgia hits the Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary.
16 Ruthie Foster: With a voice favorably compared with Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald, the singer-songwriter blends old-school blues with contemporary folk at N.C. State's Walnut Room.
17 Steve Earle: The songwriting and folk-rock legend tours with his band, the Dukes (and Duchesses) at the Durham Performing Arts Center.
18 Lupe Fiasco: The rapper brings his characteristic smooth flow, spirited lyrics and slick sound to the Raleigh Amphitheatre.
19 Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs: The Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter, famously introverted, comes with band in tow to Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary.
- Fleet Foxes
21 Fleet Foxes: The folk band from Seattle with the smooth sound and polished lyrics comes to Raleigh Amphitheatre.
21 Blondie: The band whose music, fashion and attitude was iconic of the '70s tours for its 2011 Panic of Girls album at the Durham Performing Arts Center.
21–Oct. 9 In the Next Room: Playmakers Repertory Company performs the invention of the vibrator, used to treat "female hysteria," in a human tale of husbands and wives, desire and understanding, at the Paul Green Theatre in Chapel Hill.
22 Elvis Costello & the Imposters: The noted lyricist and decorated veteran of the punk rock '70s visits the Durham Performing Arts Center.
23 Moneyball: The best book on baseball of the last decade finally comes to the big screen. Brad Pitt stars in this adaptation of the Michael Lewis bestseller about Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane.
23 Brazil: The Terry Gilliam classic kicks off a surrealism-themed series at N.C. Museum of Art. Indy contributor Zack Smith introduces City of Lost Children Nov. 4, and the series is curated by Indy contributor Laura Boyes.
23–24 Widespread Panic: On its 25th anniversary national tour before going on hiatus, the legendary jam band stops for two nights at the Raleigh Amphitheater.
25 Brad Paisley: The country-rock stalwart brings his radio-ready hits to the Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion in Raleigh.
27–Oct. 2 Come Fly Away: Four couples seek love in this Broadway musical on tour choreographed by Twyla Tharp to the voice and tunes of Frank Sinatra, at the Durham Performing Arts Center.
27 Wilco: The Grammy Award-winning band brings its blend of alternative rock, country and experimental rock to the Raleigh Amphitheatre.
29–Oct 15 Middletown: An everytown of unremarkable people made profound and timeless in the way of the stage, at the Manbites Dog Theater in Durham.
30 Zakir Hussain & Rakesh Chaurasia: Two former child prodigies and heirs to musical family dynasties play traditional Indian instruments at Duke University's Page Auditorium.
1 Cesar Millan: The famous "dog whisperer" shares life experiences and his understanding of animals at the Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh.
1 Rusted Root: Listen for this band's ineffable global mix of acoustic, rock, jam band and ethnic percussion at the Raleigh Amphitheater.
1 Lindsey Buckingham: The lead singer of Fleetwood Mac and resident of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame visits the Carolina Theatre in Durham.
5 Frampton: The Grammy award-winner plays his famous Frampton Comes Alive! album and assorted hits from a long career that goes back to his teens, at the Durham Performing Arts Center.
5 Dark Dark Dark: The chamber-folk sextet with the transcendent sound joins A Hawk & A Hacksaw and Pillars & Tongues at The Pinhook in Durham.
6 Charlie Wilson: The former frontman of The Gap Band, "Uncle Charlie" brings his critically successful R&B rebirth to the Durham Performing Arts Center.
6–7 The Cloud Gate Dance Theater of Taiwan: One of Asia's foremost dance companies brings its trademark fusions of beauty and wonder, movement and music, Eastern and Western to UNC's Memorial Hall.
7 Dayglow: With all the wildness of a carnival, the intensity of a rave and the spirited mess of a paint party, the global phenomenon comes to Raleigh Amphitheater.
7 Lizz Wright: The soulful jazz and R&B songstress comes to Duke University's Reynolds Industries Theater.
7 Carolina Hurricanes: In its regular season opener, the NHL franchise faces off versus the Tampa Bay Lightning at the RBC Center.
- The Ides of March
7 The Ides of March: Ryan Gosling teams with George Clooney, who steps behind the camera as well for this adaptation of Beau Willimon's play Farragut North. Oh, yes: Paul Giamatti and Philip Seymour Hoffman are in this, too. And Evan Rachel Wood.
7–9 The Escapism Film Festival: A weekend of '80s movies you're reluctant to admit you watched and liked: Beetlejuice, Gremlins, Scrooged and more, presented by the Carolina Theatre.
7–23 The Woman in Black: The play adapted from the horror novel that has chilled audiences in London's West End for more than 20 years comes to roost at Raleigh's Cantey V. Sutton Main Stage Theatre.
9 Weird Al Yankovic: The one and only name in pop music parody rides with his Alpocalypse tour into Durham Performing Arts Center.
9 Hot Rize: On a limited tour for its first studio album in 20 years, the '80s bluegrass band makes a stop at Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh.
12 The Importance of Being Earnest: The Aquila Theatre brings all the wit and satire of Oscar Wilde's signature play to N.C. State's Stewart Theatre.
13–23 N.C. State Fair: The state fair's annual incarnation at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, with prize-winning livestock and agriculture, fairground rides, carnival games, monstrous fair food (both deep-fried and not), and musical acts including George Jones, Dionne Warwick, Tift Merritt, Kansas, Craig Campbell, Skillet, Easton Corbin, Steel Magnolia, David Nail, Newsboys and Kellie Pickler.
13–30 Carolina Ballet: With inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe's The Masque of the Red Death, the ballet thrills audiences all the way to the night before Halloween at the Fletcher Opera Theater in Raleigh.
14–15 North Carolina Symphony: Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony: (tickets not available)
15 Duke Football: The recovering football power Florida State visits the long dormant "Iron Dukes" at Wallace Wade Stadium.
16 Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul holds court at the Durham Performing Arts Center.
16 Goran Bregovic & His Wedding and Funeral Orchestra: Bringing the sway and zest of Balkan music to the world, the energetic bandleader comes with his orchestra to Duke University's Page Auditorium.
18 Mary Chapin Carpenter: Musically accessible and lyrically introspective, the five-time Grammy Award winner plays at UNC's Memorial Hall.
19 Charlotte Bobcats: North Carolina's NBA franchise hosts the Eastern Conference Champions and NBA Finalists, the Miami Heat, at RBC Center in Raleigh.
20 Ledisi: A soulful voice and fluent jazz vocabulary will be a given when the four-time Grammy nominee visits the Carolina Theatre in Durham.
21–30 Evita: The North Carolina Theatre's production of the Broadway classic at Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh.
21 Darius Rucker: The founder and lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish croons his solo R&B and country tunes at the Raleigh Amphitheater.
22 John Oliver: The writer, expert satirist, and correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart comes with his stand-up act to the Durham Performing Arts Center.
22 Alexi Murdoch + Mount Moriah: These two complex musical sensibilities are Durham's own, and they return from national success for a night at Duke University's Reynolds Industries Theater.
23 Loretta Lynn: The Coal Miner's Daughter proves why she's a time-tested and widely respected artist at the Durham Performing Arts Center.
24 John Hiatt and the Combo: A night of folk-rock-blues with one of the most decorated and respected singer-songwriters, at the Carolina Theatre in Durham.
25–30 Rock of Ages: The impish Broadway musical with the exclusively '80s rock soundtrack stops on its second national tour at the Durham Performing Arts Center.
26 The Jayhawks: Recently reunited and with a new album in the wings, the alternative country-rock band comes to the Carolina Theatre in Durham.
26–Nov. 14 The Parchman Hour: Mike Wiley's play about the Freedom Riders, and the societal and personal strife of the civil rights movement, enjoys its professional debut with the Playmakers Repertory Company at the Paul Green Theatre in Chapel Hill.
26 Philippe Jaroussky + Apollo's Fire: A superb countertenor—an extremely rare voice type—and the States' best baroque orchestra perform a soaring, gorgeous program of Handel and Vivaldi at Duke University's Reynolds Industries Theater.
- Odd Future
27 Odd Future: The controversial rap crew arrives in full force at Cat's Cradle.
28–Nov. 19 Nathan the Wise: A play the 18th-century German intellectual Gotthold Lessing unravels a surprisingly relevant message about tolerance and religious understanding. By the Deep Dish Theater Company of Chapel Hill.
28 Chunky Move: Presenting "Connected," the final touring piece of the ensemble's innovative founder Gideon Obarzanek, at Duke University's Reynolds Industries Theater.
3 The Kruger Brothers: These rising stars of the American folk scene promise to be imaginative and evocative at the Fletcher Opera Theater in Raleigh.
3 Adam Carolla: The closest we've got to a modern-day radio star, the host of the best-selling daily comedy podcast performs at the Carolina Theatre in Durham.
3–12 The Birthday Party: Harold Pinter's paranoiac play reinterpreted with the idiosyncratic zest of Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern, at Common Ground Theatre in Durham.
- A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas
4 A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas: OK, it's only November, but these refugees from Guantánamo want to celebrate early. And in 3-D.
4 Ingrid Filter: The Argentinean pianist plays her renowned Chopin interpretations, with two Beethoven sonatas, at Duke University's Reynolds Industries Theater.
5 Football: UNC at N.C. State: Two crosstown rivals battle on the gridiron.
5 Boney James: The jazz world's modern-day superstar and three-time Grammy nominee arrives—with ever-present fedora—at the Carolina Theatre in Durham.
- Photo by Michael Wilson
- Bill Frisell
5 Bill Frisell + Bill Morrison: The blues guitar virtuoso pairs with the experimental filmmaker for a meditation on the migration of blues musicians from the South during "The Great Flood" of 1927, at Duke University's Reynolds Industries Theater.
10–27 Radio City Christmas Spectacular: Get a taste of New York City Christmas when the Rockettes glitz into the Durham Performing Arts Center.
11 J. Edgar: First Howard Hughes, now Hoover. Join Leonardo DiCaprio on his tour of the 20th century's most enigmatic control freaks. Clint Eastwood directs.
- Wooden Ships
12 Wooden Ships: The psychedelic lords team with Birds of Avalon at Kings.
13 Chris Thile: The man who brought mandolin to the mainstream plays original bluegrass, and then transcribed Bach partitas, at the Carolina Theatre in Durham.
17 Taylor Swift: The first lady of country-pop on her world tour at the RBC Center in Raleigh.
18–20 STOMP: With its percussion soundtrack drawn from the everyday—from matchboxes to broomsticks to hubcaps—the international stage sensation comes to Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh.
19 FatMouth Improv: Audience suggestions will be the seeds for the improv troupe's oddball humor, presented in both short and long sketches, at the Common Ground Theater in Durham.
29–Dec. 4 A Christmas Story: The Musical: The beloved and hilarious Christmas classic comes to life on stage at the Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh.
30–Dec. 18 Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?: The Playmakers Repertory Company presents the play famous for its incisive sarcasm, unabashed scandal and sort-of winning the 1963 Pulitzer Prize in drama at the Paul Green Theatre in Chapel Hill.
1–17 Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them: In the heartlands of America, three kids neglected by their parents face life and love with all the honest desperation of children threatened with growing old. At the Manbites Dog Theater in Durham.
2 Carolina Chocolate Drops + Luminescent Orchestrii: With a recent Grammy win in tow, the Durham-grown traditional folk band (with an opening set by a rising gypsy-punk band) returns to Duke University's Page Auditorium.
3 Andre Watts: The celebrated pianist plays a full program of Liszt—whose work won Watts his fame—at Duke University's Page Auditorium.
- Photo by Stephen J. Larson
- A Christmas Carol
3–14 A Christmas Carol: Theatre in the Park presents its original musical comedy adaptation of the Dickens holiday classic for the 37th consecutive year. Dec. 3–4 at the Durham Performing Arts Center and Dec. 8-14 at Raleigh's Memorial Auditorium.
3–24 Carolina Ballet's Nutcracker: It wouldn't be the holidays without the classic ballet set to the brilliant Tchaikovsky score, playing at UNC's Memorial Hall Dec. 3-4, the Durham Performing Arts Center Dec. 10–11 and Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh Dec. 16-24.
7 Leahy Family: Touring for more than two decades, these eight musical brothers and sisters bring their guitars, fiddles and pianos to a night of Celtic melodies and Christmas favorites at the Carolina Theatre in Durham.
7–11 Disney on Ice: Disney's two newest princesses—Rapunzel and Tiana—join Cinderella to bring the trademark Disney magic to the RBC Center in Raleigh.
15 George Winston: A free-ranging program of holiday tunes, New Orleans R&B, jazz piano and Vince Guaraldi's Peanuts classics at the Carolina Theatre in Durham.
16–17 Straight No Chaser: The spontaneity and fun of a college a cappella group, but polished to a national and international caliber, at the Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh.
21 Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol: Why in God's name are we picking the fourth entry in a Tom Cruise action franchise? Because the director's Brad Bird, the mind behind since animation masterworks as The Iron Giant and The Incredibles.
23 The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn: Steven Spielberg's new film, produced in collaboration with Peter Jackson, is an adaptation of the classic Belgian adventure comic long a mainstay at libraries, and rendered in the ever-controversial motion-capture format.
Indy intern Jason Lee scoured press releases, season brochures and websites to come up with your guide to the fall in the Triangle. Additional research was contributed by Zack Smith, Grayson Currin and David Fellerath.