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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.

Willie Nelson 'On The Road Again' To Headline Weekend Events In Charlotte

Willie Nelson
Mark Ludwick
Willie Nelson, shown here in 2017, is still going strong at age 88.

More events are back on the weekend schedule in the Charlotte area, including a meaningful theatrical performance, a book tour by actress Gabrielle Union and the return of festivals. WFAE’s “All Things Considered” host Gwendolyn Glenn talked with The Charlotte Post’s Ashley Mahoney about what to expect for this week’s edition of Weekend in Entertainment.

To listen to the full conversation, click the audio above.

The Outlaw Music Festival is Sunday at PNC Music Pavilion, and will feature country legend Willie Nelson, along with Sturgill Simpson as headliners. Nelson is still going strong and performing as he approaches his ninth decade.

“He is 88 years old and still out there producing fabulous entertainment,” Mahoney said. “And I'm sure that everyone, when they hear ‘On the Road Again,’ they immediately know that song and start humming along.”

This festival will have a twist that many are adding lately: either proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative coronavirus test within the past 72 hours.

Other events scheduled for this weekend include:

Lysander Trio
Jiyang Chen
Itamar Zorman on violin, Liza Stepanova on piano and Michael Katz on cello make up Lysander Trio.

  • The Lysander Piano Trio will be at Queens University on Saturday. The New York-based group – which includes a violinist, pianist and cellist — derives its name from a character in William Shakespeare's “A Midsummer Night's Dream.”
  • Matthews Playhouse will perform “Greenwood,” a play that centers around an African American couple who own a business in Tulsa, Oklahoma the year of the 1921 massacre. That happened when Black-owned, prosperous businesses in what was referred to as Black Wall Street, were destroyed by whites. Hundreds of Black people were killed.

    “The play itself focuses on a woman, Lucille, who suffers from extreme anxiety,” Mahoney said. “And she's unable to leave this boarding house that she lives in in Tulsa. Rather than trying to escape the carnage that surrounds her, as there are bombs falling from the sky, she decides that she will remain in this boarding house as everything is going up in smoke around her.”

    Performances are Friday and Saturday.

  • Actress Gabrielle Union will be in town Sunday evening for a tour to promote her new book, “You Got Anything Stronger?”

    “Gabrielle Union really focuses on the vulnerability of her stardom,” Mahoney said. “She opens up about everything from her journey with surrogacy and struggling to become a mother, as well as navigating married life -- she's married to former NBA player Dwyane Wade — as well as what it's like to age in this industry and how you're still able to expand upon and strengthen your career at this point.”

  • Returning To Yourself” is a self-care and restorative experience featuring a meditative sound bath session, followed by an immersive exploration of flavors of herbal teas and aromatherapy along with music from Cafe Amaretto Music group, all of which takes place Friday evening.
  • The Stage Door Theatre is hosting Douglas Tappin, lyricist, and composer of I Dream, an award-winning musical-dramatic production honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Friday evening.
  • FixaPlate is an event that will not only feature food, but some serious discussions on an issue that affects Charlotte and many other cities — gentrification. That takes place Friday through Sunday.

    "And (it’s) also exploring what things could look like in Charlotte when you use food as a means of connection and what that looks like for different communities in Charlotte, particularly in historic West End, where gentrification is currently running rampant,” Mahoney said.

Listen to the full conversation and other Weekend in Entertainment segments here.

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