Arts and entertainment briefs

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Salisbury Swing Band Combo will perform at The Blue Vine on Friday, Dec. 23 at 9 p.m. The combo is under the direction of Dr. Steve Etters.
The band’s repertoire ranges from the big band styles of the 30s, 40s and 50s (swing, blues, Latin, shuffle, ballads and rock and roll) to the popular dance styles of the 60s, 70s and 80s (beach music, R&B, disco and rock). They will also play some Christmas favorites.
The band, normally consisting of 19-20 members, will be showcasing its 10-piece combo and will feature vocals by Lonnie Carpenter.
For more information, visit or call 704-637-4476.
Winterfever train rides
SPENCER — The N.C. Transportation Museum offers special “Winter Fever Train Rides” during the down-time between Christmas and New Year’s. Enjoy a ride aboard classic train cars pulled by an antique diesel locomotive. The 25-minute train ride provides views of the town of Spencer and the former Southern Railway repair facility, including the Roundhouse, Back Shop and the Master Mechanics Office. Visitors may also tour the exhibits including classic and antique rail equipment, antique automobiles, a full size replica Wright Flyer and displays detailing the history of the Spencer Shops steam locomotive repair facility.
Tickets can be purchased at the Barber Junction Visitor’s Center at the N.C. Transportation Museum on Dec. 28- 31 at 11 a.m., 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Regular museum admission applies, $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and active military and $6 for children. Children 2 and under ride free. For information, call 704-636-2889, 877-NCTMFUN or go to
Photo Expo 2012
The Carolina Artists are preparing the first-ever Photo Expo 2012, an exclusive showing and competitive judging of photographs by amateur and professional photographers, ages 18 and up, in this region. Bill Ward, award-winning photographer, is chair.
Photographs may be entered in categories of color as well as black and white.
The expo is scheduled for March 21-23. Cash prizes and ribbons will be awarded, as well as a chance to win prizes in a raffle.
Information, including guidelines for entry, are at
Rose Post competition
WINSTON-SALEM — Each year the North Carolina Writers’ Network holds its Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition. This year is especially meaningful because Post passed away in October.
Coordinated by the creative writing program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, the Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition encourages the creation of lasting nonfiction work that is outside the realm of conventional journalism and has relevance to North Carolinians. Subjects may include traditional categories such as reviews, travel articles, profiles or interviews, place/history pieces, or culture criticism. The first-, second-, and third-place winners will receive $300, $200, and $100 respectively. The winning entry will be considered for publication by Southern Cultures magazine.
Submissions for this year’s contest must be postmarked by Monday, January 16, and mailed to: North Carolina Writers’ Network, Attn: Rose Post Competition, PO Box 21591, Winston-Salem, NC 27120
Checks should be made payable to the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Winners will be announced in March. Visit for complete guidelines.
Discovery Place offers extended hours for Mummies exhibit
CHARLOTTE —Discovery Place will extend its hours Dec. 26-30 to accommodate holiday crowds anticipated at the exhibition Mummies of the World, the largest collection of real mummies and related artifacts ever assembled. The exhibition, which has seen overwhelming demand, will offer last admission at 5 p.m. from Dec. 26-30. Discovery Place and the exhibition will both remain open until 6 p.m. on those days.
Advance reservations are highly recommended, tickets can be purchased at 704-372-6261 or Admission is $24 for adults; $18 for children ages 2-13; and, $20 for students with ID and seniors ages 60+.
Tosco’s New Years Eve
CHARLOTTE — Celebrate New Year’s Eve with a family-friendly variety show in the spirit of The Ed Sullivan Show at John Tosco’s New Year’s Eve Variety Show at The McGlohon Theatre, Saturday Dec. 31. Doors open at 7:30 and music begins at 8 p.m.
Hosted by John Tosco, this special event will feature local and regional talent. General admission tickets are $21.11 and can be purchased at the Box Office, online at CarolinaTix or by phone at 704-372-1000.
The theater is located at 345 North College St. in downtown Charlotte.
Reynolds Collection art sale
WINSTON-SALEM — The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County will conduct a public sale of hundreds of pieces of artwork from the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company art collection Friday-Sunday, Feb. 10-12. The three-day sale will be held in Mountcastle Forum and Reynolds Place in the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts in Downtown Winston-Salem. Hours are Friday and Saturday, Feb. 10-11, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 12, noon-5 p.m.
Earlier this year, The Arts Council received some 3,000 pieces of artwork from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. Proceeds from this sale of a portion of its art collection will benefit local arts organizations and individual artists who receive grants from The Arts Council.
The February sale is not an auction. All items will be priced and may be bought on the spot. Cash, checks and credit cards will be accepted. All artwork purchased must be removed by the close of the sale on Sunday.
Entry fee is a $5 donation to The Arts Council, and it provides access for all three days of the sale. Children under six will be admitted free.
Many of the works are by local and North Carolina artists and include oils, watercolors, prints, sculpture, pottery, ceramics and textiles as well as antiques and decorative items for home and office. There are substantial selections of dishes, flatware, and crystal.
For questions regarding the collection, contact Catherine Heitz New at 336-747-1412, or
OCAA Christmas
At 9 p.m. Friday Dec. 23 there will be a Christmas celebration fundraiser at A Little Sumthin’ Sumthin’. A portion of proceeds will benefit the work of the OCAA (Our Community Appreciation Awards), which recognizes the contributions of Salisbury businesses and residents to the community.
Dress to impress; $10 at the door. Live Jazz provided by the Sumthin’ Else Band. Additional information is available at the shop, 117 West Innes St., 704-245-6461.
Orchid spectacular
BELMONT — Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden invites guests to Join the Expedition during Orchid Spectacular, its annual showcase of orchids beginning Jan. 20. The event continues through March 18 with a focus on the explorers who risked life and limb in exotic jungles to discover new orchid species.
This year’s Orchid Spectacular will feature colorful naturalized displays created with The Garden’s collection of 5,000 orchids, plus “The Art of Orchids,” which showcases antique lithographs.
The Orchid Conservatory will be transformed into a 19th century orchid hunting ground so that guests can feel as if they are on an orchid expedition. Featuring expedition gear, canoes and tents, visitors will get to see what it was like to suffer from Orchidelirium – the Victorian name given to those who suffered the orchid equivalent of “gold fever.” And unlike those explorers who traveled for months and faced tropical diseases, wild animals and poisonous snakes, a visit to the garden is much safer and takes only a couple hours.
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden is located on the banks of Lake Wylie, 6500 S. New Hope Road, Belmont, 704-825-4490,
‘Agnes the Giant’
RALEIGH — Burning Coal Theatre Company’s New Works series presents a staged reading of “Agnes The Giant,” a new play by Kelly Doyle, on Thursday, Dec. 29 at 7 p.m. The reading is free.
“Agnes The Giant” is a dark comedy about a girl who grows up believing she is a giant and must live her life stuck in a (tiny) house. The reading takes place at the Murphey School, 224 Polk St., Raleigh.
Winter creatures
CHARLOTTE — Charlotte Nature Museum is offering days full of exciting programs through Dec. 31 so that families can explore the natural world together over the holidays.
The full schedule of interactive live shows and programming includes special shows, story time, animal feedings, a nature walk, close-up animal encounters, a puppet show and more.
For more specific information about daily showtimes or event details call 704-372-6261 x300 or visit
Opera world premiere
CHARLOTTE — The UNC Charlotte Department of Music presents the world premiere of “Songs of the Fisherman,” a chamber opera by Timothy Nelson, director of American Opera Theater, at 8 p.m., Monday, Jan. 9, in Belk Theater of the Robinson Hall for the Performing Arts.
Inspired by Homer’s “Odyssey” and the creation story in Genesis, “Songs of the Fisherman” presents the simultaneously intimate and universal journey of a life, from birth through self-discovery, alienation, reconciliation and ultimately, death. The premiere will feature UNC Charlotte Assistant Professor of Voice Brian Arreola and guest dancer Alison Mixon. Gretchen Alterowitz, assistant professor of dance at UNC Charlotte.
Tickets are $9, $7 for seniors and $6 for students. For more information, call 704-687-1849 or visit