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Arts & Culture
Each Thursday, WFAE checks in with a local arts and entertainment reporter about things to do in Charlotte during the upcoming weekend.

'War Games,' Jazz And Wine: Plenty To Do In Charlotte

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U.S. Embassy Brasilia
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Flickr
Grammy-winner Branford Marsalis is playing Ibert and Schulhoff this weekend in Charlotte.

There’s a lot on tap entertainment-wise in the Charlotte area this weekend. A piece of Italy, the Sistine Chapel, is featured in an exhibit in west Charlotte. From the “first family of jazz,” Branford Marsalis plays two nights at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center and there’s a special showing of the 1983 movie “War Games.”

Joining WFAE’s “All Things Considered” host, Gwendolyn Glenn, to talk about it and more is Dashiell Coleman, co-writer of WFAE’s Tapestry arts and culture newsletter.

Gwendolyn Glenn: Hi, Dash.

Dashiell Coleman: Hey, Gwen. How are you doing today?

Glenn: I’m great. So, Dash, “War Games” came out almost 40 years ago, starring Matthew Broderick. Give us a brief synopsis of it and how the movie fits into an event this weekend at Discovery Place.

Coleman: So, “War Games” is a techno-thriller, It’s about a high school hacker who accidentally gets into an American military computer that’s meant to make nuclear war on the Soviet Union using artificial intelligence. And, long story short, World War 3 almost happens. That relates to the Discovery Center event, called Science on Screen, because it’s about the link between artificial intelligence and gaming. And there’s going to be a panel discussion on the intersection of games in war and diplomacy — and, of course, you get to watch the movie.

Glenn: How can people attend?

Coleman: You have to buy tickets in advance, and capacity is limited because of social distancing. And people will have to wear masks.

Glenn: OK. So, let’s talk about the Sistine Chapel. An exhibit at the Paper Warehouse at Savona Mill, I’m told, will make you feel as if you’re almost there viewing Michelangelo’s famous works. How so? Describe it for us, Dash.

Sistine Chapel exhibit
Jodie Valade
The Sistine Chapel exhibit is open until July 31 on Charlotte's west side.

Coleman: So, you walk into this huge industrial building, and it’s meant to give you an up-close, kind of intimate look art that you could typically only see in a crowded, very loud situation full of tourists. It has 34 panels of artwork depicting what's in the chapel. Some of them are going to be over your head, and others will be lining the walls of the building.

Glenn: And Dash, Tapestry, WFAE’s arts and culture newsletter, talked to Martin Biallis, CEO of See Global Entertainment that oversees “Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition,” who told Tapestry this:

Martin Biallis (recording): It doesn't replace the original. If you can, you want to see both. But this is a great alternative. A lot of people that have been there say, “Oh, now it kind of complements and concludes my experience.”

Coleman: People are being advised to spend about two hours in there if they really want to soak everything in. Social distancing will be required, of course. And one of the paintings is “The Last Judgment.” Of course, that’s world famous, so there’s a lot to see.

Glenn: And Dash, how long will it be on display?

Coleman: It’ll be in Charlotte through July 31, so plenty of time.

[Recording of a Branford Marsalis solo plays.]

Glenn: If you haven’t guessed, that’s the saxophone of Branford Marsalis. He’s coming to town for two shows at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center’s Belk Theatre. Dash, tell us more about Branford and the show.

Coleman: Branford Marsalis is a Grammy-winning saxophonist, composer and bandleader from Louisiana (who later moved to Durham). He’s internationally known -- mostly for the Branford Marsalis Quartet, his solo work and his former music with Buckshot LeFonque and the “Tonight Show” band.

He’ll be at the Blumenthal two nights in a row, and he’ll actually be performing with the Charlotte Symphony on compositions by Ibert and Schulhoff.

Glenn: Dates and times for the performances?

Coleman: They’re going to be Friday and Saturday, and they start at 7:30.

Glenn: Now, the Blumenthal is also hosting another event this weekend, called Acoustic Grace.

[Recording of Karen Poole singing plays.]

Glenn: That was Karen Poole singing at an earlier Acoustic Grace event. Dash, who’s performing for this weekend’s show?

Coleman: Acoustic Grace is a monthly showcase. It’s meant for singer-songwriters and a cappella performers in the uptown area. This month we’re going to hear from Eliah, a gospel singer, Isaiah Bell, also known as Zae the Singer, and Jay D. Jones, a modern-day "crooner,” who you can hear in the background.

Glenn: OK. What time? And do you have to register for it?

Coleman: You do have to register for it, but this is a free event. Space is limited, but you can also do a livestream on the Blumenthal’s Facebook page.

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Unsplash
It might just be a good weekend for a cold beer. You've earned it.

Glenn: Oh, OK. If you don’t get in, you can also see it live. Great. Next, the seventh annual South End Wine and Hops Fest kicks off this weekend. What’s in store there?

Coleman: Yeah, there’s going to be live music. They’re going to have wine (and beer) tastings, and there are going to be some COVID-safety protocols in place, including masks and social distancing requirements. It’s going to be in the outdoor space at Unknown Brewing and a craft tasting room there. Tickets have to be purchased about 24 hours in advance.

Glenn: And when is it?

Coleman: This starts today, and it goes through Sunday.

Glenn: There’s also the 18th annual Deltas of Charlotte Foundation film series, showcasing short films produced, directed and or featuring Black women. Tell us about that.

Coleman: It’s virtual this year because of COVID, and it’s one of the foundation’s biggest fundraisers. All the films are rated PG, and there’s going to be a tribute to Charlotte’s Black Wall Street and kind of a bit of history and a journey through the Brooklyn Collective.

Glenn: And that’s Charlotte’s Brooklyn African American neighborhood that now is just down to a couple of buildings, correct?

Coleman: That’s right.

Glenn: So, how can you join in for this virtual event?

Coleman: Tickets are available on Eventbrite. You just have to look for “Annual Legacy Film Showcase: Spotlight the Heart of Charlotte’s Brooklyn.” And that’s Saturday from 7 to 9.

Glenn: And Dash, I couldn’t resist playing the music for this event:

[Music plays in the background.]

Coleman: That’s Anna Lucia and Carlos (Crespo) of Café Amaretto. They will be performing what’s billed as uplifting Latin-American songs, and the song series is actually part of Culture Blocks. That’s a community partnership that’s funded by Mecklenburg County. It’s going to be streamed on Facebook at 4:30.

Glenn: So mellow. And also this weekend, the sixth annual Let’s Talk About It Mental Health Awareness Walk is Saturday at Northside Christian Academy; check-in at 8:30 a.m. Live music at Victoria Yards continues Thursday and Friday nights, the return of the Art in the Garden Tour goes to gardens in Eastover, Myers Park, Kingswood and others Saturday from 10-4 with master gardeners, painters and raffles. And on Sunday at 2 p.m., the Carolina Voices a cappella ensemble ... will perform at Queens University. Dash, thanks for joining us.

Coleman: Thanks for having me, Gwen. Happy to be here.

Glenn: Dashiell Coleman co-writes WFAE’s Tapestry arts and culture newsletter.

Do you want to know more about arts and culture in the Charlotte region? WFAE's weekly arts and entertainment email newsletter, Tapestry, will keep you in the loop. Sign up here to have Tapestry delivered straight to your inbox.