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Weekend In Entertainment: Charlie Brown Live, Kwanzaa, Sinbad And More!


It’s the day after Christmas and many people are still in the holiday spirit and looking for something to do with friends or family in town, so there’s a lot to do out there in the QC. There’s Charlie Brown Live On Stage, A Tribute to Prince, Sinbad’s in town and Kwanzaa celebrations. Joining WFAE's "All Things Considered" host Gwendolyn Glenn to talk about these arts and entertainment events for this edition of Weekend In Entertainment is WFAE’s "All Things Considered" producer Sarafina Wright.  

Gwendolyn Glenn: Hi Sarafina. 

Sarafina Wright: Hi Gwen. 

Glenn: Let’s start with the holiday classic Charlie Brown. I watch it every year and I think I know the entire script by heart. But this is a live on-stage production! "A Charlie Brown Christmas" is happening tomorrow night at Oven’s Auditorium. Sarafina tell us about the show.  

Wright: Yes. So this is the live rendition of the classic Charlie Brown cartoon that comes on every holiday. And so this is the new touring production that features the Peanuts gang. That's Linus, Lucy, Snoopy, Sally and you know, all those people and of course, the lovable Charlie Brown. And it's all about discovering the meaning of Christmas. In typical Charlie Brown fashion things go awry when he selects that tiny fir tree. 

Sarafina Wright
WFAE's Sarafina Wright

Glenn: I have that tiny Charlie Brown tree, and I love it. I put it up every year. 

Wright: And that's where you get that cultural reference for Charlie Brown trees from. And I remember hearing that growing up. I'm like, OK, what is a Charlie Brown tree?

Glenn: The one with one bell!

Wright: Right. And so it's up to Linus to like save the day and remind everyone of the real meaning of the holiday. So this is just a timeless Christmas story for all ages. 

Glenn: When and what time? 

Wright: That's at Ovens Auditorium Friday night at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6. So head over there. 

Glenn: Okay. And if you're in the mood for some laughs. Actor and comedian Sinbad is performing live at the Comedy Zone all weekend long. 

Wright: Sinbad is a storied comedian. Some may remember him from the 1990s. That's when he was like, really big. A lot of his own HBO specials. And he appeared in several television series like "A Different World." He starred in films like "Unnecessary Roughness," "Houseguests," "First Kid." He was in like a lot of kid-centered movies where he kind of played the sidekick.

Glenn: He's kind of what a lot of people call him, the clean comedian. And Sinbad will be at the Comedy Zone this weekend. Next up is a tribute to the late icon Prince. This local tribute to the superstar is called Purple Madness. Tell us about them.

Glenn: So this is a tribute band lovingly called Purple Madness. And they tour all over the world honoring the late musician Prince. This group is led by a Prince impersonator. He looks just like Prince. If you go, you'll hear songs like "When Doves Cry," "Little Red Corvette." And one of my favorites "Kiss!"

Glenn: And finally, today kicks off Kwanzaa, an African American and Pan-African holiday celebrated by millions around the world. Tell us about Kwanzaa and where folks can celebrate?  

Wright: Kwanzaa was created a little over 50 years ago. So for a week, there are seven core principles that are celebrated. Some of them are Umojia, which stands for Unity. Nia, our purpose and Imani for Faith, basically each day a different principle is observed. And families typically celebrate in many ways, by gift-giving, candle lighting, and other ceremonial customs. 

Glenn: My family, we've celebrated Kwanzaa for many, many years and the candles are red, black and green and you light a different one each day for the principles. And my nieces and nephews each one wanted to be the one to light the candle that day. We didn't give a lot of gifts that we bought from stores. My nieces and nephews would do things like maybe a dance, plays. We did all kinds of things like that. Not commercial kinds of things. 

Glenn: Right. And that's really the spirit of Kwanzaa. Reinforcement of family values, of history, of self, of all those things that many people hold dear and that you just have to kind of be reminded of. But many people like to celebrate Kwanzaa in the community with other people. That's kind of the point. And if you're looking to celebrate, the Harvey Gantt Center will have their annual Kwanzaa celebration. That's on Saturday from 12 - 5 p.m. People can view exhibits, but you can also create your own Kwanzaa candle display. And there’ll also be wellness activities like yoga and guided meditation. And the afternoon ends with a drum circle. 

Glenn: I'm sure there are lots of other Kwanzaa celebrations going on around town. Thanks, Sarafina. 

Wright: Thank you. 

Glenn: That's Sarafina Wright, producer for WFAE's "All Things Considered." 

Sarafina Wright is the "All Things Considered" producer for WFAE 90.7 Charlotte’s NPR Source. Before coming to WFAE, she worked as a political correspondent for EBONY.com, staff writer at the Washington Informer and editor-in-chief of the WI Bridge in Washington, DC. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Howard University. When she's not writing professionally, Sarafina can be found blogging at www.sarafinasaid.com or hanging out with her book club, Charlotte West.
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.