A national TV series broadcasting live? A reunion of a rock band? A major music star performance? It’s all part of a rather active weekend on tap here in the Triangle. Let’s take a look at what’s up.
Good Morning America Live in Chapel Hill Saturday
If the excitement over the UNC-Virginia Tech football game later that day is not already enough, the longtime ABC series Good Morning America will be broadcasting live Saturday from 7-9 a.m. at Polk Place in Chapel Hill. It is the only stop the show will be making in North Carolina as part of its “50 States in 50 Days” tour, and it has appeared in town in the past as well, such as to showcase the fine cooking from Mama Dip’s Kitchen. If you want to appear on the show, better start sleeping now – UNC campus officials recommend that those who want a seat in the audience begin lining up at 5:45 a.m. (!) in front of Carroll Hall. (It is free to attend, though.)
Ben Folds Five Reunion
Chapel Hill is really on fire Saturday. That evening the rock group Ben Folds Five, which began in 1993 and folded in 2000 as members went to pursue other ventures, as they say, will come back together at Memorial Hall at UNC to perform in its entirety their 1999 release “The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner.” Forget about attending it unless you know someone going to the show or are willing to pay a scalper on Craigslist – the 1,600 tickets sold out almost immediately. For those of you who don’t know or remember, the group’s big hit was 1997’s “Brick”, and leader Ben Folds got his start performing here in the Triangle.
Mary J. Blige at Walnut Creek Sunday
Finally, something big not happening in Chapel Hill this weekend! Mary J. Blige, singer of who knows how many top pop and R&B hits, struts her sultry self at Walnut Creek Amphitheatre Sunday night. If that is not enough, her opening act at 7 p.m. is crooner Robin Thicke, who somehow managed a way to become very soulful despite being the son of bland Alan Thicke. Ought to be a good one. Tickets run from $53.75 to $194.75.
There are more things going on as well, such as Centerfest, Durham’s celebration of artists in its downtown district. For a full listing of what’s happening, click here and get out and enjoy what ought to be a beautiful, sunny and busy weekend in the Triangle.
Looking for something fun and educational to do this weekend? If so, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is the spot to be. Raleigh’s natural science museum is hosting a special dinosaur’s exhibit which will surely excite adults and children alike.
The exhibit, entitled Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries, will only be here for a limited time and is a great opportunity to learn about dinosaurs and what the Earth was like 130 million years ago. A few of the exhibit’s specific features include: a robotic six-foot-long mechanical Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton which is the most accurate 3D representation of a dinosaur in motion ever created, a 700 square foot diorama of a prehistoric environment, one of the largest ever built, and a 15-by-10-foot re-creation of the famous Davenport Ranch Trackway, a collection of sauropod and theropod dinosaur prints unearthed in Texas in the 1930s and 1940s.
With the above examples being only a few of the exhibits’ highlights, the Dinosaurs exhibit is definitely a “can’t miss” event. The exhibition, complementary lectures, workshops and other programs geared towards dinosaur aficionados will only be in the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh until Sunday March 2, so make a visit to the museum part of your plans now!
The exhibit is open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday-Saturday and 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. on Sundays. The cost for admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $5 for children younger than 12, with admission to all permanent exhibits at the museum being free. For more information about the special exhibit, Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils and New Discoveries, visit http://www.naturalsciences.org/exhibits/special_exhibits.html and take a day or Night at the Museum this weekend.
With spring quickly approaching, many people are flocking to the outdoors to enjoy a few of the many recreational opportunities that the Triangle offers. Raleigh is home to plenty of sporting events – we all love the Carolina Hurricanes and Carolina Mudcats – but if you’re looking for something a bit more interactive, look no further than the Triangle.
For those of you looking for a great greenway to run, bike or take a walk with your beloved family pet, the City of Raleigh has you covered. Resident favorites include the Alleghany Trail on Lassiter Mill Road and the Lake Johnson Trail System on Avent Ferry Rd. Cary is also adding more and more trails to their greenway systems, with Bond Park on High House Road and Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve providing pristine paved and unpaved trails to visit. For a map of all of the greenway trails in the area, visit www.raleighnc.gov for a Capital Area Greenway Map.
When the warm weather rolls around, there’s nothing like a visit to the lake to shake off the sun. Popular watering holes like Lake Wheeler, Lake Johnson and Lake Crabtree are perfect for residents who want to do a little fishing or some paddle boating and canoeing. If you’re looking for a place to play with your big kid toys (i.e. Jet Ski’s and speedboats), check out Jordan Lake – also a great place for camping. And keep your eye out for the bald eagle while you’re there!
If sports are more your thing, the Triangle has some great places for you and the family to get out and play. Pullen Park has tons of fun things to do, including tennis courts, ball fields, a carousel and huge playground. Check out their indoor aquatic center with heated pool! The Millbrook Exchange Tennis Center and the Cary Tennis Center provide multiple lighted tennis courts ready to accommodate the Serena Williams in all of us. If you’re into extreme sports, Sk8-Cary is the place for you. This 12,000 square foot street course is designed for skateboard, inline skates and BMX bikes.
Let’s not forget about man’s best friend. Take Spot on a big day out and visit one of the Triangle’s three dog parks. The Cary Dog Park is located on Maynard Road, while the Millbrook Exchange Off Leash Dog Park and the Oakwood Dog Park are both in Raleigh.
For more information about any of these recreational facilities or for a complete list, visit www.parks.raleigh.gov or www.townofcary.org. With so many options, you have no excuse not to get outdoors and have some fun in the sun. The weather is perfect and the parks are waiting.
Tags: Alleghany Trail, Avent Ferry Rd., Bond Park, Carolina Hurricanes, Carolina Mudcats, Cary, Cary Dog Park Millbrook Exchange Off Leash Dog Par, greenway trails, Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve, Lake Johnson Train System, Lake Wheeler, Lassiter Mill Road, Oakwood Dog Park, Pullen Park, Raleigh, recreation, Sk8-Cary, Triangle
Before you have to start sticking to your New Year’s resolutions, you have one night left to have fun without worrying about what you eat or how much you drink (unless you are driving, of course). Not sure what you should do to celebrate the New Year? There is plenty to do around the Triangle if you want to spend the night out on the town. Here are a few suggestions:
If you are the kind of person who enjoys being with the masses to ring in the New Year (i.e. Times Square in New York), then check out the Capitol City’s version with the family-friendly First Night Raleigh on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. There is a children’s celebration at 2 p.m., and the First Night celebrations begin at 6 p.m. with performances, music, fireworks and the acorn drop at midnight. Admission is $12 for adults and $10 for kids. Click here for the schedule.
The North Carolina Symphony is offering a New Year’s extravaganza starting with pre-concert cocktails at the Sheraton Capital Center in downtown Raleigh at 5 p.m., followed by the concert at the Meymandi Concert Hall at the Progress Energy Center, located at 2 E. South St., at 7:30 p.m. The performance features special guests the Red Clay Ramblers with their mix of folk, bluegrass and rock. After the concert, there will be a four-course dinner, dancing and a champagne toast at midnight back at the Sheraton. The cost is $225 per person. Call 919-733-2750 for reservations.
If you want to see how the country club-set lives for an evening, the Washington Duke Inn in Durham will hold its annual New Year’s festivities in the Fairview Dining Room. The celebration features a six-course dinner, dancing and live jazz beginning at 9 p.m. The cost of $270 per person or $435 per couple includes an overnight stay in one of the hotel’s guestrooms. Call 800-443-3853 for reservations.
If you aren’t looking for something quite so high-brow, then drink beer and watch men fight each other on the ice. The Carolina Hurricanes play the New York Islanders at 8 p.m. at the RBi Center in Raleigh. Click here for ticket information.
If you are looking for several options at one location, visit 510 Glenwood Ave. in downtown Raleigh. A $20 cover will gain you entrance into Bogart’s American Grill, the Red Room Tapas Lounge and HI5 Sports Restaurant, along with party favors and a champagne toast. Along with DJ entertainment, there will be music by the band Crash from 11 p.m. to midnight. If you are feeling nostalgic for the old days, head over to Bogart’s, a 1940s-inspired restaurant, for martinis and a $40 four-course dinner. If a Spanish-style fiesta is more to your liking, the Red Room is offering a special $50six-course tapas menu starting at 6 p.m. Hi5 is offering a special Four-course dinner for $40 as well.
Whatever you do tonight, be safe and act responsibly! Please don’t drink and drive.
Tags: 510 Glenwood Ave, Bogart's American Grill, Carolina Hurricanes, Chapel Hill, Durham, First Night Raleigh, Hi5 Sports Restaurant, New Years, North Carolina Symphony, Raleigh, Red Clay Ramblers, Red Room Tapas Lounge, Rocky Top Hospitality, Washington Duke Inn
Hopefully you have recovered from all the Christmas parties and are ready to ring in the New Year on Monday night. The last weekend of 2007 offers a bevy of events for you to
enjoy, so forget about making resolutions and go out. Here are a few of this weekend’s highlights:
If you are not completely sick of Christmas music by now, then be sure to see Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. Based on the classic 1954 movie, the story follows the comedic adventures of old army buddies Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, who are now a successful song-and-dance team. The pair follows two beautiful singing sisters, Betty and Judy, to a Vermont inn for the holidays. Bob and Phil then try to help save the inn, which is on verge of shutting down and just happens to be owned by Bob and Phil’s former commanding officer. Part of Broadway Series South, the show features the timeless Irving Berlin tunes “Happy Holidays,” “Sisters,” and “White Christmas.” Show times are 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Sunday at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium at the Progress Energy Center, located at 2 E. South St. in Raleigh. Tickets range from $21-$68 and may be purchased here or by calling 919-834-4000.
If you have spent too much time with your relatives over the holidays, you may be in need of some comic relief. Three Triangle improv groups will present Improv Bender 2, a sequel to last March’s Improv Bender, at Common Ground Theater on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. The show features two Raleigh teams: Big, Fat and Stealthy, a longform team of ComedyWork and iO South players, and Temporary Tag, created by iO South instructor Dan Sipp. The third team, Four String Samurai, is comprised of alums from New York City’s Upright Citizens Brigade, Chicaho’s iO Theater and Carrboro’s DSI. Common Ground Theatre is located at 4815B Hillsborough Road (look for Brenrose Circle) in Durham. Tickets are $9. Call 919-599-9823 for reservations.
You might be a redneck if … you leave your double-wide trailer, pile the family into the El Camino with a cooler of beer in the back and head to the RBC Center on Sunday at 7 p.m. to check out RAW Live, a live version of the WWE TV smackdown show RAW. The event features a superstar WWE Championship Match between the “First Undisputed WWE Champion” Chris Jericho and recent WWE Champion Randy Orton. Jericho is returning after a two-year hiatus (during which he offered his surprisingly witty commentary on pop culture for VH1 specials). RAW Live features four other displays of violence (a.k.a. matches), including a diva tag team match (not to be missed). Tickets cost between 20 and 60 bucks and can be purchased by clicking here.
There are a ton of options for New Year’s Eve, including staying home with Dick Clark on the TV. However, if you want to go out, First Night Raleigh on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh is a good choice. The event offers something for everyone with a variety of extravagant entertainment, including incendiary performances of fire juggling and dancing by Jason the Juggler and the Full Circle Dance Company. There is the mystifying performance art of the Zany Umbrella Circus and ad-lib comedy of Transactors Improv Co. Hang a New Year’s resolution on the Resolution Oak Tree, handcrafted by local sculptor Jennifer Van Orden or check out the artwork of Light Play, an artistic light installation illuminating Lichtin Plaza. There will also be a ballroom dancing event and rides in a Gold Leaf sleigh carriage before the acorn drops. The event starts at 6 p.m. on Monday, and admission is $12 for adults and $10 for kids. Click here for the schedule.
To view more New Year’s Eve events in the Triangle, visit the New Year’s Eve Party Planner on Citysearch.
Whatever you end up doing, have a great weekend and Happy New Year!
Tags: Broadway Series South, Chapel Hill, Common Ground Theatre, Durham, First Night Raleigh, Full Circle Dance Company, Improv Bender 2, Jason the Juggler, Raleigh, RAW Live, White Christmas, WWE, Zany Umbrella Circus
Another weekend … What to do? Well, if you haven’t finished your Christmas shopping, that is probably first on your to-do list. However, if you just can’t face the crowds at the shopping malls, here are a few other suggestions:
If you are looking to be entertained by talented young performers while supporting a good cause, check out the 5th Annual A Promise To Remember Winter Benefit for Arts in Education on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Carolina Theatre, located at 309 W. Morgan St. in Durham. Hosted by The Matthew Paul West Foundation, this is an evening of visual and performing arts — musical, vocals and dance, closing with a juried art show and reception. Scheduled performers include the Durham Youth Symphony Orchestra, Jenny Guse, Cameron Wade and Lucy Owen. All proceeds raised from this benefit are donated to the Durham High School arts programs and to provide six annual art education scholarships. Tickets are $15 and $20. Call 919-638-7365 for more information.
Graceful and powerful at the same time, big cats are fascinating creatures. Over 240 animals representing 15 endangered species are just a short drive away in Pittsboro. It is possible to view the endangered snow leopard, which is native to the Himalayas, as well as the kinkajou and binturong, tigers, jaguars, ocelots and other cats, at the Carnivore Preservation Trust, 1940 Hanks Chapel Road, Pittsboro. Guided tours are given every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Call 919-542-4684 for reservations. Tickets are $10-12 for adults and $5-7 for kids. Click here for directions.
Bundle up and get outside this weekend to view one of Raleigh’s lesser-known attractions, The Hobbit Garden. Located at 9400 Sauls Road, Raleigh, the garden is home to over 2,000 rare and unusual plants from around the world in a multitude of garden settings. Two-hour guided tours are available by appointment only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 10 a.m. Call 919-772-6761 for more information.
Get into the holiday spirit by taking the kids to see “The Polar Express” in IMAX 3D at the Marbles Kids Museum, located at 201 E. Hargett St. in downtown Raleigh. This holiday-themed film, which is rated G, is based on the classic Caldecott medal-winning children's book written by Chris Van Allsburg, is directed by Oscar winner Robert Zemeckis and stars two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks. Using state-of-the-art CGI and performance capture technology to create a unique blend of realism and fantasy, it tells of a doubting young boy who takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole and embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe. The IMAX theater is open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Call 919-882-IMAX for show times.
The N.C. Symphony will present its first Gospel Christmas Spectacular on Friday at 8 p.m. at the Meymandi Concert Hall at the Progress Energy Center, located at 2 E. South St. in Raleigh. Led by resident conductor William Curry, with featured soloists Tina Morris-Anderson and Rozlyn Sorrell, the symphony will be joined by church choirs from around the state capitol for a night of holiday spirituals and hymns. Be prepared for belting soloists, lush orchestration and plenty of holiday volume. Tickets range from $22-$40 and may be purchased by calling 919-834-4000.
Whatever you end up doing, have a great weekend!
We’ve made it through another week. Now it is time to enjoy the weekend and the return to more seasonable temperatures. (Not that 70 degrees isn’t nice, but it’s the holidays — it is suppose to be cold!) Here are a few events for you to check out:
What is that ringing in my ears? Or is it the Raleigh Ringers? The handbell ensemble will play their annual Christmas concert on Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Special guest Dean Shostak will add the gentle, high-pitched whir of the glass harmonica to the chiming of the bells as they ring out carols at Meymandi Concert Hall at the Progress Energy Center, located at 2 E. South St. in Raleigh. Tickets range from $13-$15 and may be purchased here or by calling 919-834-4000.
For all those Christmas cynics who can’t handle the mawkishness of the holiday season, there is the Common Ground Theatre’ s production of The Santaland Diaries. In his hilarious recollection of working as an elf at Macy’s in New York, essayist and Raleigh native David Sedaris (who is also the brother of Strangers With Candy’s Amy Sedaris) provides tales of maniacal elf trainers, foreigners lost in Santaland, a depressive Santa Claus and fist-fighting parents, all of which have been adapted by Joe Mantello for the theater. Directed by Rachel Klem, performances are this weekend and next, each night at 8 p.m. at the Common Ground Theatre, located at 4815B Hillsborough Road (look for Brenrose Circle) in Durham. Tickets are $14 and can be purchased by clicking here.
Themes of poverty, loneliness and death … sounds cheerful enough. Ira David Wood’s one-mane production of Truman Capote’s short story “A Christmas Memory” has its lighter moments as well (or so they claim). Described as “heartwarming” and “deeply moving” (a.k.a. maudlin), the Theatre in The Park production is sold out for Friday night, but seats are still available for Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. at Pullen Park Theatre, 107 Pullen Road in Raleigh. Tickets are $14 and can be purchased here.
How can you resist the Raleigh Little Theatre’s annual Christmas-time production of the musical adaptation of Cinderella? Now in its 24th year, it features an evil stepsister played by M. Dennis Poole in drag after all. The show has a devoted following of young girls dressed in princess gowns and tiaras. You can find out on whose foot Prince Charming’s glass slipper will fit (the suspense!) on Friday at 7;30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. at the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater at Progress Energy Center in Raleigh. Tickets are available here for $16 and $26.
Whatever you end up doing, have a great weekend!
There is plenty to do this time of the year in the Triangle, and now is the perfect opportunity to create special holiday memories with your friends and family. You and your loved ones can start a new holiday tradition by taking part in one of these local seasonal events:
Discover a magical winter wonderland at Tinsel Town complete with beautifully decorated trees, weekend visits with Santa, holiday music, tasty treats and an outdoor ice skating rink. Located at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre at 8003 Regency Parkway in Cary, Tinsel Town is open every day except Christmas until Monday, Dec. 31. Event times are 4-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 4-10 p.m. Friday, 2-10 p.m. Saturday, and noon-6 p.m. Sunday. Admission for kids ages 3-12 is $4 Monday-Thursday and $6 Friday-Sunday, ages 13 and over is $6 Monday-Thursday, $8 Friday-Sunday, and free for kids under 2. Skate rentals are $2 per person (including 2 and under). Admission is free if you do not plan to skate.
The Capitol Tree Lighting takes place on Wednesday, Dec. 5 on the Capitol grounds off Salisbury Street in Raleigh. Festivities begin with the lighting of luminaries and musical performances at 5 p.m., followed by the lighting of the State Christmas Tree by the Governor and First Lady during the traditional ceremony on the west grounds. After the ceremony, visitors are invited inside the Capitol for an open house to take in the Raleigh Garden Club's decorations. The Junior Women's Club of Raleigh will host a holiday festival featuring music and children's activities on the Union Square, in the museums and on Bicentennial Plaza. For a complete listing of events, click here.
Imagine you are at the North Pole by surrounding yourself with ice at the Raleigh IcePlex, which offers public ice skating all year long. You can have fun falling down in the cold every day, but hours for public skating vary by day, so call 919-878-9002 for hours. Located at 2601 Raleigh Blvd. in Raleigh, admission is $7 and skate rentals are $2.
The Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, located at 250 E. Franklin St. in Chapel Hill, presents the “Star of Bethlehem” throughout the month of December. In the show, science attempts to unveil the mystery surrounding the legendary, age-old celestial event as planetarium wizardry explores possible astronomical explanations for the Star, allowing viewers to decide for themselves. Show times are 7p.m. on Friday, 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is $6 for adults and $5 for children. For more information, call 919-962-1236.
You can visit The Twelve Days of Christmas 10th Anniversary Celebration at the Carolina Inn, located at 211 Pittsboro St. in Chapel Hill, now through Sunday, Jan. 6, 2008. View enchanting decorations inspired by the traditional holiday song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas." Following tradition, the Inn will be adding a new artist’s masterpiece to the displays, which range from the elegance of two live turtle doves to the festive whimsy of 12 lords a’ leaping, and a 12 days sand sculpture. For hours and reservations, click here or call 919-933-2001.
‘Tis the season for shopping, but if you are already tired of the crowds at the mall, there are plenty of shopping alternatives where you can find a unique, handcrafted gift. And after you have made your purchases, you can enjoy a performance of a holiday classic. Here are some ideas for this weekend:
You can do your Christmas shopping while walking around outside and getting exercise (so you don’t feel so guilty about all the money you are spending). The historic Boylan Heights neighborhood near downtown Raleigh will have its 15th Annual ArtWalk on Sunday, Dec. 2 from 1-5p.m. Over 100 artists display and sell their work from porches, homes and studios throughout the neighborhood. Stroll around and look at everything from handbags and jewelry to bird feeders and knives while burning off those Thanksgiving calories. A preview of items for sale is available by clicking here, and admission is free.
Children of all ages can celebrate the approach of winter with the Holiday Faire at the Emerson Waldorf School on Saturday, Dec. 1 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. In addition to handmade crafts, games, food and music, there will be a holiday pageant by the Paperhand Puppet Intervention. The renown group is known for their dramatic, unique performances featuring giant puppets, handmade masks and stilt dancing. Admission is free. For more information, call 919-967-1858.
Relive childhood memories with the Playmakers Repertory Company’s production of The Little Prince, based on the beloved book by Antoine de St. Exupéry. A disenchanted Aviator crashes his plane in the Sahara, where he is surprised to meet a visitor from a far away star. Through the startling insights shared by this “Little Prince,” the Aviator is reminded of what is truly important in life. Curtain times are at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30 and Saturday, Dec. 1 and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2 at the Paul Green Theatre, Center for Dramatic Art, on the UNC campus in Chapel Hill. The play runs through Sunday, Dec. 16. For more information or to buy tickets, call 919-962- PLAY (7529).
What would the holiday season be without a performance of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker? Performed by the Carolina Ballet, this classic children’s tale allows you to dream along with Clara and enter a fantasy world with the Mouse King, the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Land of Sweets and a Nutcracker that turns into a Prince. Part of The Carolina Performing Arts series, show times are Friday, Nov. 30 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 1 at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 2 at Memorial Hall on the UNC campus in Chapel Hill. Ticket prices range from $30-$60 for adults and $18 for children under 12 and can be purchased by calling 919-843-3333.
Whatever you end up doing, have a great weekend!
Tags: ArtWalk, Boylan Heights, Carolina Ballet, Carolina Performing Arts, Chapel Hill, Durham, Emerson Waldorf School, Holiday Faire, Paperhand Puppt Intervention, Playmakers Repertory Company, Raleigh, The Little Prince, The Nutcracker