Below is a list of things to do in Charlotte that we compose for each print issue of Queen City Nerve. Our city is kind of opening, kind of not, so not all of these are virtual events as we were highlighting at the beginning of the lockdown, but plenty are. COVID is still going strong, however, so party at your own risk. Wear a mask.
Saturdays & Sundays | 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. | Discovery Place Science
What: Interested in poison dart frogs, tomato frogs, Pacman frogs, Vietnamese mossy frogs, Solomon Island Leaf frogs and harlequin toads? Of course you are! Fantastic Frogs, a 3,500-square-foot exhibition detailing the life and times of amazing amphibians has hopped back into Discovery Place Science. Visitors will learn about the “superpowers” frogs use to escape predators, catch food and reproduce. Taking a graphic novel approach, Fantastic Frogs includes approximately 40 live animals as well as several multimedia experiences. “This is a story about extraordinary frogs and their ability to survive,” says Discovery Place’s Sarah Macey, who helped design the exhibition. “It is a story focused on how these amphibians move, camouflage themselves, live in the winter months and more.” And about that poison dart frog? It’s the most poisonous amphibian — and perhaps animal — in the world.
More: $15-$19; By appointment only
November 19 | 7 p.m. | Camp North End
What: This David vs. Goliath chronicle of the feisty Americans hockey team’s path to Olympic gold seems to promise all the tropes of an underdog sports movie — and then deftly sidesteps each and every cliché. Instead the film focuses on the team’s intense and somewhat aloof coach Herb Brooks. As played by Kurt Russell, Brooks is a complex character who can sometimes be a bit of a dick. The film excels as a character study of a quirky, complex man. Miracle is one of a slate of films playing at Camp North End’s Skyline Drive-in, which screens every Thursday through Dec. 17.
More: $30 per car
November 19 | 7 p.m. | Virtual | Neighborhood Theatre
What: Neighborhood Theatre presents a pair of beloved Charlotte indie rock troupes streaming on Mandolin and Facebook. Alright is built upon the core of married couple Josh Robbins and Sarah Blumenthal, both active Charlotte music incubators as founders of Self Aware Records. Blumenthal is also part of faye, along with classically trained pianist Susan Plante. Faye takes a ’90s indie revival approach to their music that’s reminiscent of 2010 Rilo Kiley and mix it with personal lyrics and a driving melodies. Portions of the proceeds will go to help save the Neighborhood Theatre.
November 19 | 6 p.m. | Studio 229
What: Studio 229 offers an evening of live jazz, spoken word and classic jams, hosted by Boris “Bluz” Rogers, who joined Blumenthal Performing Arts as director of creative engagement in September. That’s just the main event in a bill that includes live music by D. Friday of 5th & York and a DJ Set by Shogun. Rogers, an artist, teacher, mentor and Emmy-winning poet and author, is no stranger to deejaying, having hosted We Are Hip Hop: The Reveal earlier this month, which featured an old school DJ competition
November 19-21 | 8 p.m. | Virtual | Three Bone Theatre
What: Three Bone Theatre presents seven playwrights with seven testaments. Following the police killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and John Crawford III in Beavercreek, Ohio, among many others, The New Black Fest commissioned seven emerging Black playwrights to write a collection of monologues that explore their feelings about the well-being of Black people in a culture of institutional profiling. An all-Black cast of Charlotte actors, under the direction of Quentin Talley, brings these stories to life in this virtual theatre event. For three nights, viewers will have a front row seat (from the comfort of their own home) as the artists perform monologues live from the Duke Energy Theatre at Spirit Square. This show contains adult language and themes, including discussion of trauma to Black Americans.
November 20 | 7:30 p.m. | Virtual | UNC Charlotte
What: UNC Charlottte’s Department of Dance presents a virtual dance concert featuring student performers in works by faculty choreographers. This blend of dance-for-camera video and filmed site-specific and staged dance pieces will be livestreamed via Zoom. Among the pieces in the program are a metaphorical commentary on the loss of youth potency and vitality due to gun violence, a contemporary work evoking a Venetian masquerade, and a prerecorded dance performance focused on Ring Shout
November 26 | 2 p.m. & 3:30 p.m. | Single Barrel Room
What: It may be hard for some to believe that in 2020, many members of the LGBTQIA community are still excluded from family functions during the holidays. Queen City Nerve partners with Single Barrel Room in Plaza Midwood for our second annual inclusive Thanksgiving dinner for all in search of community care. For safety considerations, we will host two different serving sessions, spaced out between Single Barrel Room and the adjacent Whiskey Warehouse space.
November 27 & November 29 | Times vary | Middle C Jazz
What: Buena Vista Legacy Band originated in Charleston, S.C., after Charles Carmody called Gino Castillo, band leader of the Cuban Cowboys, with a proposal to do a tribute to the iconic band immortalized in Wim Wender’s 1999 documentary film Buena Vista Social Club. The project gathered several young Cuban musicians who had performed with original members of Buena Vista. Buena Vista Legacy Band features talented Cuban musicians including Yusa on the Cuban tres and vocals, Oliver Valdes on drums, and Julito Padron on trumpet and vocals.
November 29 | 1 p.m. | Mint Museum Randolph
What: Plan a Sunday in the park at Mint Museum Randolph, including a visit to the museum, a cash bar on the front terrace and live music from The Mike Strauss Band. Timed tickets must be reserved in advance. In the museum, check out “Classic Black: The Basalt Sculpture of Wedgwood and his Contemporaries.” It’s the first exhibit to focus exclusively on the black basalt sculpture made by Josiah Wedgwood in late 18th-century England. Even more important, it represents the confluence of classic sculpture and contemporary street artist Owl, whose reputation is based on her colorful and immersive murals.
Always | On your own time | Virtual
What: In Survival Skills, friendly policeman Jim tries to resolve a domestic violence case and gets exposed to the dark underbelly of his perfect community. Soon Jim begins to question his assumptions about good guys and bad guys as he takes matters into his own hands. In The Twentieth Century, an aspiring young politician dreams of becoming the prime minister of Canada in 1899. But his romantic vacillation between a British soldier and a French nurse may well bring about his downfall.
More: $10-$12 for 72 hours