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Weekend In Entertainment: Totally '80s, Madea, Marty Simpson & More!

Totally 80s
Carolina Tix

On tap this weekend, there’s a Tyler Perry play on stage, a NASCAR exhibit, a comedian who’s a South Carolina native performs in the QC and lots of nostalgia at an event called “Totally 80s.” Joining Gwendolyn Glenn to talk about this event and others for this edition of Weekend In Entertainment is WSOC anchor Brittney Johnson.

Gwendolyn Glenn: Hi Brittney. 

Brittney Johnson: Hi Gwen. 

Glenn: So Brittney give us the 411 on Totally '80s! 

Johnson: Well, Gwen, just close your eyes. Think about the shoulder pads, the stirrup pants, you know, the big hair, hairspray, and then put it to music. 

Brittney Johnson
Credit WSOC
Brittney Johnson, an anchor for WSOC.

Glenn: Oh my!

Johnson: And you can imagine how much fun they're expecting to have. The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, along with two vocalists, are going to be bringing the '80s to life on stage. They're going to be playing hits by Blondie, Michael Jackson, Billy Joel. It is sure to be a blast from the past.

Glenn: And it sounds like a chance to dance a lot, as well. 

Johnson: To dance a lot, and I think you can dress the part as well. So don't be shy. They encourage people to dress up '80s style. 

Glenn: OK, so when and where? 

Johnson: That’s Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Knight Theater. 

Glenn: Great. And just a few blocks away from the Knight Theater is the NASCAR Hall of Fame where there’s a limited-time exhibit called RCR 50: Only in America. Tell us about that. 

Johnson: Yes, this exhibit “RCR 50: Only in America,” is to honor the 50th anniversary of Richard Childress Racing, one of NASCAR’s elite and storied teams that got its start in 1969. Using artifacts, photos and race cars, this exhibit chronicles the story of Richard Childress Racing and its namesake Hall of Famer, Richard Childress. He’s also a North Carolinian from Winston-Salem. But the exhibit shows over five decades of RCR’s success. You've got the team members, the many people who helped build this dynasty, and they included current drivers in selecting some of the artifacts.

Glenn: And one of those people that helped build the dynasty, as you said, is local icon Dale Earnhardt Sr. who recorded 67 wins under the RCR banner. Brittney, how long will the exhibit be on display? 

Johnson: The exhibit will be up until Feb. 8. But along with the exhibit, they also have an audio component available online with several episodes where you can virtually walk through the exhibit and listen to the “podcast-like” series as well. 

Glenn: Well, that sounds like fun. Let’s move on to some comedy and theater. But staying uptown at the Spectrum Center there’s the Tyler Perry’s Madea Farewell Tour in town for two nights this weekend. Madea is actually saying goodbye?

Johnson: Hard to believe, right? It's been 30 years since Madea first took the stage. 

Glenn: It doesn't seem that long. 

Johnson: That’s how long it's been since Tyler Perry has been forming that character, the character that made him famous for sure.

Glenn: Show dates and times? 

Johnson: There are two shows each day, one in the afternoon and an evening performance as well. 

Glenn: Staying in the comedy vein there’s a performance by Marty Simpson at the Comedy Zone. Simpson is known as a clean comic and he’s also from Columbia, South Carolina, right?

Johnson: Yes, he's our neighbor. And "clean" is correct. Think about family-friendly comedy, here. Think about the jokes that maybe parents want to make and the kind they share amongst each other. That's his wheelhouse.

Glenn: What day and time will people be able to see him at the Comedy Zone? 

Johnson: Sunday, January 26. Doors Open at 6 p.m., show is at 7 p.m.

Glenn: Also this weekend, there is the 16th annual Greater Charlotte Home & Landscaping Show. A lot of folks look forward to this show every year. Tell us about it.

Johnson: I am one of those folks. 

Glenn: Are you? 

Johnson: I am. It's cold outside, but it's going to feel like spring inside of the arena. They're going to have all kinds of displays set up where you can walk around and get ideas about decor. You'll have builders there. You'll have developers there.

You'll have an HGTV star from the show "Flippers" who will be speaking, as well. So, people who love watching all those HGTV shows, it's going to bring it to life for them. And it'll be an opportunity for them to, of course, shop, but also to get some ideas about how they want to do their landscaping or some ideas about how to decorate for the spring. It'll be huge. 

Glenn: Another weekend of fun events. Thanks Brittney.

Johnson: Thank you, Gwen.