Your Weekly Recommendations (June 24-28)
Over the last few years, Kyle Kinane has become one of the stand out comedians of his generation. He also happens to have the best beard in show business. His comedy is smart, playful, and honest with a storytelling style that is second to none. His on-stage persona is a 30-something curmudgeon who is forever on the losing end of … well, just about everything. But he’s not looking for your pity. In fact, he’s hoping to show you that life is absurd and silly even at its darkest.
Kinane is a brilliant raconteur. His stories about life as a struggling comedian should connect with anyone who has pursued a dream.
“On my first album (Death of the Party) I complained a lot about my day jobs. I complained about my day jobs so well that I got to quit them,” he said in a phone interview last week.
He’s not struggling anymore. Aside from releasing very funny albums he is the voice of Comedy Central and a sought after comedian who has appeared on several television shows. But that success doesn’t stop him from talking about times when things weren’t so happy, and he hopes he can encourage others to laugh about their own past missteps as well.
“People always get uptight about the stupid stuff they used to do or the mistakes they’ve made,” he said. “Are you that person anymore? No. So, why not laugh about it because we all have that person in our past that we’re a little ashamed of.” $15, 8 p.m. Charlotte Comedy Zone, 900 Music Factory Blvd. 980-321-4702, cltcomedyzone.com.
This show is for mature audiences.
Some of Charlotte best comedians will pull out their best material in a head-to-head competition for the chance to perform before a nationally touring comedian. Audiences will vote on their favorite of the night with the winner moving on to the final round of competitions set for August. The show, put together by local comedian Blayr Nias, provides the best chance to see the city's top comics and gauge Charlotte's talents. It's also a nice touch to help a comedian get a little bit closer to realizing his or her dream. $10, 8 p.m. Charlotte Comedy Zone, 900 Music Factory Blvd. 980-321-4702, cltcomedyzone.com.
For nearly a decade Charlotte Squawks has taken on the city's powerful and elite in a send off that is part sketch show, part musical, and part roast. This show is the brainchild of WFAE mainstay Mike Collins and local lawyer Brian Kahn who created it nine years ago. This year's show includes a "Gangam Style" parody about Gov. Pat McCrory's conservative march to Raleigh and Mayor Anthony Foxx's headlong push for a streetcar to the tune of "Sweet Caroline." In all, more than 20 songs will be performed at the show. Read our interview with Mike Collins here. Begin at $24.50, 7:30 p.m. Booth Playhouse, 130 N. Tryon St. 704-372-1000, carolinatix.org.
This event will continue with performances through Sunday, but tickets for the remaining shows are selling fast.
This Stephen Sondheim Tony award winning classic is a study of the men and women who have attempted to assassinate the president. The musical begins at a carnival shooting gallery where the game’s proprietor entices a group of people to play with the bark “Shoot the prez win a prize.” A number of America’s most famous assassins like John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswalt and would-be assassins step up to play the game and explain their reasons for doing so. $18-$28, 8 p.m. Carolina Actors Studio Theatre, 2424 N. Davidson St. 704-455-8542, nccast.com.
This event will continue with performances throughout the weekend. Check the event website for dates and times.
Harvard Professor Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. will lead off the Gantt Symposium with a discussion entitled Finding Your Roots. Gates hosts a PBS program by the same name where he traces the lineage of celebrities and dignitaries through DNA analysis and records. It's a fascinating study about where we come from and the perserverance of our own genetics. Gates will discuss the practice of DNA analysis as well as share some of his own family history. A Q&A will follow.
Guests who attend the symposium will also get a chance to see the art exhibit The Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey before it is opened to the public on June 29. $10-$50, 6:30 p.m. Knight Theater, 430 S. Tryon St. 704-547-3700, ganttcenter.org.
The Mint Museum Randolph will host an opening reception for New Eyes on America: The Genius of Richard Caton Woodville, an exhibition comprised of nearly four dozen paintings and works by Richard Caton Woodville and his contemporaries. The show will be a comprehensive look at Woodville (1825-1855), whose short but prolific career offers insight into many facets of early 19th century America. Joy Peterson Heyrman, Deputy Director for Development of The Walters Arts Museum in Baltimore, will give a lecture on the exhibition at 7 p.m. Free for members, $15 for non-members, 6:30 p.m., The Mint Museum Randolph, 2730 Randolph Rd, 704-337-2000. mintmuseum.org