Weekend In Entertainment: All-Star Edition
The NBA’s All-Stars and thousands of their fans are descending on Charlotte for activities surrounding Sunday’s game at the Spectrum Center. More than 150 All-Star related events are on the calendar locally over the next few days.
There’s something for everyone, whether you have big bucks to spend, little or no entertainment budget, or you’re simply curious about all the NBA hoopla.
Francene Marie, of "The Francene Marie Show" on V101.9 joined "All Things Considered" host Mark Rumsey to discuss all the events and entertainment the city has to offer this weekend.
Rumsey: Alright. There are 150 events. We can't talk about all 150, but let's pick off a few of my guest editor's choices here for the weekend. Where would you start if you were suggesting some places for fans and others to hang out the next few days?
Marie: How about the Fillmore in Charlotte's Music Factory. Because everybody's familiar with the Fillmore, right? So we've got the NBA and they're partnering up with TNT American Express roadshow and you're going to be able to see some really cool players — retired, mostly. That’s happening Thursday night at 6:30. So, that's a good one. And Chris Tucker — the legendary Chris Tucker — is going to be entertaining. That will be cool.
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Rumsey: And that goes this Friday as well. Right?
Marie: Yeah — Thursday and Friday.
Rumsey: OK. So that's at the Fillmore. And you say there will be some mostly retired or former players there. What about for fans and maybe families who want to see some of the current big names and, you know, NBA All-Stars?
Marie: So, how about meeting professional players like Kemba Walker, Malik Monk and Cody Zeller? They're going to be at SouthPark Mall. That's going to be exciting because you can bring the kids.
Rumsey: They'll be just dribbling down the mall and cheering?
Marie: I tried to envision it as I was reading and I said well, that's going to be kind of fun. Everybody's going to have a basketball in their hand on Friday at SouthPark in Belk, and there's going to be photo opportunities then autograph opportunities, refreshments and music. I just call it a big ole party at Belk.
Rumsey: And so that sounds kid friendly and that's a freebie right?
Marie: It's a freebie. Some of these events are not free by a long shot right now. You can have $20 in your pocket or $8,000.
Rumsey: $8,000? There’s an $8,000 ticket out there?
Marie: There is an $8,000 ticket and that's going to be at the Oak Room, 200 East Bland Street, and the kickoff party for Floyd Money Mayweather. I’m not quite sure what you're going to get for $20, but the highest ticket there is $8,000.
Rumsey: I'll make note of that. Back to the masses in terms of fan access this weekend, is there a big event going on over the entire weekend Friday through Sunday uptown at the Epicentre?
Marie: The Epicentre is probably going to be the focus for a lot of people in Charlotte. They're going to Uber, they're going to walk, they're going to find some way to get to the Epicentre and see what's going on there. So if you go to the Epicentre, just go online and Google the times that you want to come because they're going to be happening all day. So for the family, that's going to be a good daytime place to go and in the evening a good party place.
Rumsey: And so, I mean, we know of the Epicenter as a party spot, a nighttime party spot basically attractive for a lot of young people. But there's going to be other things going on, a wider range of things going on this weekend, right?
Marie: You're going to have panel discussions. Like I said, some opportunities for some autographs and photographs. And it's just a good way for you to find some good memorabilia because this is history in Charlotte.
Rumsey: The last All-Star Game — I think it was in Charlotte in 1991. But that Epicentre event — it is free, but it does require a ticket. I understand that from NBAevents.com.
Marie: NBAevents.com is the place you want to go if you want some credible information about where's the party, what time's the party, how much is that party or that event.
Rumsey: So, it sounds Francene like and this is just kind of the tip of the iceberg with the events going on this weekend, but this weekend is about basketball obviously. The big attraction, the big game is on Sunday. But it's also about people getting together and having a good time.
Marie: That's the bottom line. You want to meet some new friends and bond with the ones that you have. Take the family out, so don't forget them. Take them out during the day so they can experience it.
Every Thursday tune into All Things Considered on WFAE 90.7 for our latest Weekend in Entertainment segment featuring voices from Charlotte’s media scene bringing you the latest music, cultural and social events.