Best Bets February 2011

Your best bets for what to see and do this month.
La Traviata

Opera Carolina continues its season with one of Verdi’s most enduring operas, a quintessential Bohemian tale that makes Moulin Rouge look precious. When a provincial Frenchman, Alfredo, falls for Violetta, the coveted courtesan, his affections are thwarted by the ill-intentioned Baron Douphal, who is a touch possessive of his ex-girlfriends. The production debuts soprano Jennifer Black, who, we are confident, will blow Nicole Kidman’s rendition of “One Day I’ll Fly Away” out of the water. February 3-6 at Belk Theater. Details here.

Robert Plant

Plant, the wild-haired former Led Zeppelin front man, has been returning to his (or someone’s) roots over the past few years. Between his Grammy-winning album with Allison Krauss and the frequent Patty Griffin duets on his latest release, the Golden God is rocking a decidedly folksier sound these days. His tour, Robert Plant and the Band of Joy, honors the band Plant sang with before (wisely) leaving to join Zeppelin. February 7 at Ovens Auditorium. Details here.

Loretta Lynn

Well, we’ll be damned. The original honky tonk girl still honks. Lynn, an icon of country divahood, debuted in Nashville in 1960 with “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl,” and went on to be the first female recipient of the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year award. Her signature twang and down-home lyrics even inspired a tribute album in 2010 called Coal Miner’s Daughter, which featured Lee Ann Womack and Miranda Lambert. February 26 at Ovens Auditorium. Details here.

The Graduate

The life of a postgrad has always been uneasy, but no job hunt will ever quite match Benjamin Braddock’s now-legendary predicament. Theatre Charlotte is shaking up your typical community theater fare with this scandalous but classic story of boundary-crossing romance. Through February 6 at Theatre Charlotte. Details here.

Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture

This month, the Gantt Center opens What My Mother Told Me: The Art of Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, which features the paintings of this Cuban-born artist. Since the early 1980s, Campos-Pons has created abstract, political works that feature deceptively realistic female figures. Her work explores the intersection of sexuality, race, and nationality in contemporary society. Details here.

Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons

Valli and the Four Seasons may be in the winter of their stardom, but this tour, not to mention the massive success of the biographical musical Jersey Boys, proves that big stars don’t die. The high-pitched icon behind “Walk Like a Man” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” is performing twice in Charlotte. February 26 and 28 at Belk Theater. Details here.

Momix: Botanica

If Cirque du Soleil ever goes small-scale and eco-conscious, it might resemble this production from Momix, a Texas-based dance troupe known for bringing far more than pirouettes to its performances. In its newest show, Momix uses colorful lighting, larger-than-life props, and rhythmic acrobatics to bring botanical life to the stage—expect lilies to bloom from the curtains, and blades of grass (with feet) to twirl across stage. February 22-27 at Knight Theater. Details here.

Sweeney Todd

CPCC presents this morbid musical, in which a disturbed barber slays his customers and donates them to his neighbor for her meat pie factory. While it’s hard to live up to a Sweeney as deranged as Johnny Depp’s, we think CPCC’s production will offer all the stomach-turning fun we love about this show. February 11-20 at CPCC Halton Theater. Details here.


Once upon a time, it was almost a rule that a true rock star had to have a perm. Donning a top hat with a perm, though, is patented by Slash, the former lead guitarist for Guns N’ Roses. Since he and Axl Rose said “adios” in the 1990s, Slash has pursued a solo recording and touring career, competing, ironically, with his own cover bands for stage time. February 17 at the Fillmore. Details here.

In the Heights

Since West Side Story, Latin music hasn’t gotten a whole lot of love on Broadway. Luckily, In the Heights, which won Best Musical at the 2008 Tony Awards, is spicing up your average musical with samba, merengue, and R&B numbers. This production, whose national tour is coming to Charlotte this month, follows three days in Washington Heights, a Manhattan neighborhood with lots of international flavor. February 15-20 at Belk Theater. Details here.

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