This Weekend in Charlotte (Oct. 18-20), Featuring Aida's Othalie Graham

What's happening in the Queen City?


Othalie Graham stars in Opera Carolina's rendition of Aida.


Warring nations. Star-crossed lovers. Dire choices.

That may be an atypical way to start our regular weekend preview, but it’s a fitting introduction when you consider the featured item. Aida, the production from Opera Carolina, comes to the Belk Theater Saturday. Area opera fans will surely be interested in the upcoming series of performances, but its star maintains its accessibility beyond diehards.

“This is an opera for anyone who hasn’t been before,” says Othalie Graham, who portrays the titular character. “It’s a basic story that anyone can relate to.”

Graham says that while the themes of “patriotism” and “love between a man and a woman” are aspects of Aida, the four-act tale penned by Giuseppe Verdi 142 years ago, “There’s also this lovely paternal story between Aida and her father,” she says.

In the story, an Ethiopian princess falls for her Egyptian captor, a military commander under the Pharaoh. Graham, joined by performers like Antonello Palombi, Irina Mishura, and Sun Yu, says that performing with veterans of the medium makes for a special experience.

“It’s a completely different ballgame when you sing with people who have done it for years,” she says, adding that those behind the scenes in Charlotte “have a wonderful ability to keep the company going at the highest level.”

Tickets run $15-$144. Saturday's performance begins at 8 p.m. Check out the schedule for other performances here.


Poor Old Shine, the Americana act from Storrs, Conn., is have a CD release party at the Evening Muse. From guitars and banjos to a pump organ and scrap metal, the band makes use of several and varied instruments for a singular, roots sound. $8-$10, 8 p.m.

Mint Museum Uptown is hosting the Mint to Move Cultural Dance Night, in which attendees can not only celebrate the art of dance, but partake. The featured guest is DJ Pepito, and salsa lessons begin at 8:30 p.m. Free for members, $10 for singles, $15 for couples; 8 p.m.


The first-ever Brewz Music & Arts Festival not only features a slew of local beermakers, recently covered by Matt McKenzie’s On Tap blog, but also performers like Of Montreal, The Whigs, Kool A.D. of Das Racist, and HRVRD. $25, 12 p.m.


Saint Patrick’s Episcopal Church's Solas Leighis concert series brings guitarist Richard Smith to Mooresville. The former child prodigy is a National Fingerstyle Champion, and he offers his varied genre expertise to this series. $15, 7 p.m.

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Andy Smith on Charlotte Arts & Culture

This is a variety show of a blog with up-to-date information on Charlotte’s best theater, museums, music, and cultural events. Look for behind-the-scenes chats with local and visiting stars, find previews of the best shows in town, and get updates on upcoming acts. Our  philosophy? Art and culture are everywhere. You just have to know where to look.


About Andy Smith

Andy Smith is a freelance writer and editor. A transplant from West Virginia, he aims to explore arts and culture in Charlotte on a weekly basis. If you see him, remind him to pick up some dog food on the way home.

Have a tip or suggestion? Contact him by email at or andysmithlol on Twitter.


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