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Adam Sandler, Charlotte Roller Derby and more this 'Weekend in Entertainment'

Charlotte Roller Derby

It’s time to see what’s on tap in entertainment for the Charlotte area this weekend. The Charlotte Roller Derby is back and there are a lot of concerts and comedians on stage. With "All Things Considered" host Gwendolyn Glenn for this edition of Weekend in Entertainment is Ryan Pitkin, editor-in-chief of Queen City Nerve.

Gwendolyn Glenn: Ryan, there are a couple of big comedians in town this weekend. Let's start with Adam Sandler.

Ryan Pitkin: Sandler is returning to his standup roots after two decades of starring in blockbuster comedies like "The Waterboy," "The Wedding Singer," and more recently, dramatic roles such as "Rain Over Me" and "Uncut Gems."

I grew up loving Adam Sandler, and I've had a love-hate relationship with some of his movies. Saturday night, he'll be doing a mix of songs and regular stand-up, and I think he really shines in that arena, pun intended. He definitely kills it on stage all the way back to his SNL days.

Glenn: OK. Time and place?

Pitkin: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. at the Spectrum Center.

Glenn: Also on stage is veteran comedian Katt Williams.

Pitkin: If you're not familiar with Katt's standup, you might recognize him from "Norbit," "Friday After Next," things like that. He's actually just recently dropped a new standup special called "2023 and Me." He really had a rough time growing up. Left his home in Ohio at 13 years old and just sort of hitched rides down to Miami and tried to make it on his own. Had a crazy time of it. But he's definitely one of the best stand-up comedians doing it today. And that's going to be at Bojangles Coliseum on Friday at 8 p.m..

Glenn: OK. And Ryan, what about the return of the Charlotte Roller Derby? Tell us about them and briefly explain the rules.

Pitkin: So this is something I'm most excited about. They have not been in town doing home matches since pre-COVID. This is a sport in which they're racing around a track on roller skates about 14 women. The jammers are the people who score and their job is to lap the other team around the track. And the blockers job is to stop the other team's jammer, basically. So it is like a full contact sport. That's going to be at Grady Cole Center at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Glenn: OK. And this is their season opener against Rogue Roller Girls of Fayetteville. And Ryan on the music front?

Pitkin: This is a reggaeton artist from Venezuela. It's a Latin American sort of Caribbean mix of dancehall and hip-hop. Danny Ocean is huge in Latin America, and he's going to be playing at the Fillmore at 8 p.m.

Glenn: OK. And Adam Melchor is in town Saturday.

Pitkin: Adam sort of made his come up singing lullabies, and he is sort of adapted this sound since then to be more of a laid-back, emphatic indie pop with acoustic singer-songwriter style. His first album, "Melchor Lullaby Hotline Volume I," was in March 2021, and he's just only grown in popularity since then. I think the Underground will be a great place for that show. At 8 p.m. Saturday at the Underground, next to the Fillmore.

Glenn: And Ryan, a favorite of mine, is also in town. We said lots of concerts this weekend. The Prince of Sophisticated Soul Will Downing with special guest saxophonist Adrian Crutchfield.

Pitkin: Will Downing has been doing this for 32 years, a career that spans over 22 albums. He's one of the most versatile loved voices of our time. His repertoire consists of R&B classics like "I Go Crazy," "Wishin' on a Star," "I try." And he's also playing with Adrian Crutchfield. You know, he used to be one of Prince's right hand men, played saxophone with him, and he's played with a hundred other heavy hitters — Lionel Richie, Bette Midler. These are two super accomplished musicians in their fields. They are actually at Knight Theater on Sunday night at 7 p.m.

Glenn: And in celebration of Black History Month, the Charlotte Ballet, too, has a performance called "As We Journey Through." Tell us about it, Ryan.

Pitkin: So this is part of a series of events at the Gantt Center has been holding all month around their exhibit, "Men of Change, Power, Triumph, Truth." This one involves Charlotte Ballet, too. Choreographer Ashley Lindsay focuses on the revolutionary men of color who have come before us, similar to the way the exhibit is. Tickets are still going for that 2 p.m. show on Saturday.

Glenn: And Ryan also for Black History Month, the Gaston County Museum, in partnership with Phi Delta Kappa Epsilon Sigma chapter, has an event with the keynote speaker and national treasure Dorothy Count Scoggins.

Pitkin: So Dorothy Scoggins is known for integrating Harding High School back in 1957 at just 15 years old. You've probably seen the picture of her walking to school with a group of very angry and aggressive white folks trying to intimidate her away from doing what she came to do. She's been active in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools for many, many years since then, and she's speaking in King's Mountain at First Congregational United Church of Christ on Saturday at noon.

Glenn: What a legend. And Ryan and other events this weekend, "Classical Mystery Tour" a tribute to The Beatles is on stage at the night theater Friday night at 7:30. And opening Friday at the Elder Gallery is "In Transition," an art exhibition featuring works by J. Stacy Utley. Comedian Drew Lynch is also in town at Ovens Auditorium, Sunday at 7 p.m.


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Gwendolyn is an award-winning journalist who has covered a broad range of stories on the local and national levels. Her experience includes producing on-air reports for National Public Radio and she worked full-time as a producer for NPR’s All Things Considered news program for five years. She worked for several years as an on-air contract reporter for CNN in Atlanta and worked in print as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun Media Group, The Washington Post and covered Congress and various federal agencies for the Daily Environment Report and Real Estate Finance Today. Glenn has won awards for her reports from the Maryland-DC-Delaware Press Association, SNA and the first-place radio award from the National Association of Black Journalists.