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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.

Stars, Music, Comedy: It's What's On Tap In Charlotte This Weekend

Akash Porthel

It’s time to check in on what’s up for the weekend in Charlotte and nearby areas. There are several comedy shows, including the Queen City Comedy Spotlight. The Stargazer Music Fest is on tap and will allow attendees to catch a musical festival under the stars, local entertainment troupe Nouveau Sud Circus Project returns this weekend, and the 2021 Queen City Summer Festival kicks off this weekend. QCity Metro senior writer Katrina Louis joins us for Weekend in Entertainment to help sort it all out.

Gwendolyn Glenn: Hi, Katrina.

Katrina Louis: Happy Thursday, Gwen.

Glenn: The same to you. So, Katrina, let's start with the Stargazer Music Fest, which is on Saturday. You can hear one of the performers, Phoenix Down, in the background. Now, Katrina, this music festival is billed as a multidimensional cosmic journey. What does that mean? Describe it.

Louis: So space is sort of the theme for the night. It'll be a night of stargazing. But there's also a lineup of bands like Space Ballet, SpacePants and Spacial (Forces). So you'll have a night to look at the stars while listening to some chill music. There will also be telescopes on site and a night market to grab some snacks and shop with a few local vendors.

Glenn: OK, sounds like fun. And there are some items that folks going to the Stargazer Music Fest to bring with them, right?

Louis: Correct. So you should definitely pack a blanket and/or a lawn chair. And if you want to go all out, you can bring a pair of binoculars and download a stargazing app. But like I mentioned, there will be telescopes on site.

Glenn: OK, so what time does the cosmic trip take off?

Louis: It'll be 8 p.m. at Hodge's Family Farm.

Glenn: OK, and Katrina, the Nuevo Sud circus troupe unveils a new act this weekend called La Besita. This is billed as a combination of what acrobatics and spoken word with a Latino and immigration theme. Tell us more about this.

Louis: So guests for this production will be one of the first to experience it before it officially premieres and goes on national tour. It pays homage to our Latino community and uses theatrics to open up a real discussion about immigration and the journey some immigrants face.

Glenn: So it's not just your normal acrobatics and things like that, but it's kind of like a play as well?

Louis: Correct. And there will be a post discussion where they'll talk to the attendees that will help kind of shape what this production will be once it kicks off.

Glenn: OK, and what time and place?

Louis: It's happening at the Booth Playhouse through Saturday, which shows at either 7:30 or 8.

Bogomil Mihaylov

[Poetry Slam Performer (recording): See, I was so focused on feeding my art that I left myself with nothing to eat. And I didn't notice it until I was actually physically hungry, until I realized that I couldn't consume the pages of my notebooks until my stomach growled for more than just stanzas. What's the point of my poetry saving everyone if I don't save myself?]

Glenn: Those tight rhythmic verses you just heard me that SlamCharlotte's Poetry Slam is returning this weekend. Katrina, for those who aren't familiar with the event, give us the backstory.

Louis: So it started off as Queen City Soul Slam back in 2003 under the vision and direction of Terry Creech, and they performed at the African-American Cultural Center. For those who don't know, that was before Charlotte had the Harvey B. Gantt Center. And Slam Charlotte, they host monthly poetry slams, where the artists perform in front of an audience and judges. And the team, Slam Charlotte, they're three-time national champions. And the current slam master is Boris "Bluz" Rogers, who is well known in Charlotte, and he's actually been ranked as one of the top poets in the world multiple times.

Glenn: Wow. Now this is a virtual event. How can folks see it and what day and time?

Louis: You can catch the live stream on Friday starting at 8 p.m. on Blumenthal Performing Arts' Facebook page.

Glenn: OK, Katrina. It is summertime, so this big hit from Kool and the Gang is so appropriate.

[Kool and the Gang's "Summer Madness" plays.]

Glenn: "Summer Madness," 1974. Brings back memories, and we're playing it because the 2021 Queen City Summer Festival is coming up. Katrina, what's coming up for this family-friendly free event?

Louis: There will be food, activities for the kids like face painting and bounce houses. There's raffles, a marketplace, entertainment. I'm sure I'm leaving things out, but that's just a taste of what people can expect there.

Glenn: What kind of entertainment?

Louis: There'll be dance performances from groups like Klimaxx Dance Studio and Company, the Diamond Dolls of the QC and Praise & Motion Outreach Dance Team.

Glenn: OK, and at this particular festival, I understand people will also be able to get a COVID-19 vaccination, right?

Louis: That's right. There will be free COVID-19 vaccines on site and a $25 gift card for whoever gets vaccinated.

Glenn: So what time does everything kick off?

Louis: The fun starts at noon on Saturday at Fran's Kids Boys & Girls Center in west Charlotte.

Glenn: And Katrina, we can all use a good laugh during these times. And the Queen City Comedy Spotlight will try to do just that this weekend with a full lineup of local comics, like Don Garrett.

[Don Garrett clip plays.]

Louis: Don Garrett's a Charlotte resident who calls himself the "chuff daddy" of comedy. You can't see me doing my air quotes, but I'm doing that. His clean comedy style means it's appropriate for all ages. But then there's also on the lineup the Brothers Grimmprov. They're a staple of the Clean City comedy series. They're two brothers who improvise their way through fairy tales. Then there's Evan Pittfield, who loves cats just as much as making people laugh. And then finally, there's the group known as Now are the Foxes, who you'll love if sattire is your thing.

Glenn: Sounds great. What time do the jokes start and where?

Louis: It's happening Friday, starting at 8 at the Stage Door Theater.

Glenn: OK, And also not to be missed, the Rooftop comedy at Devil’s Logic Brewing on East Fourth Street on Friday night. They’ll be featuring the Province of Thieves improv group. Centerstage: A Celebration of Black LGBTQ dancers and choreographers will be at Midwood International and Cultural Center tonight until 8 p.m. A Girl Tribe pop-up shop will be at Alexander Homestead on Sunday for a full day of shopping at various boutiques; Queen’s Feast: Charlotte’s Restaurant Week kicks off Friday at dozens of local restaurants with prix fixe meals, and the local band Pluto Gang will be headlining River Jam at the U.S National Whitewater Center on Saturday night. Let’s let them take us out. Katrina, thanks for joining us on this edition of Weekend in Entertainment.

Louis: Thanks, Gwen. Have a good weekend.

Glenn: You too. Katrina Lewis is a senior writer for QCity Metro.

[Pluto Gang music plays.]

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