Courtesy of Melinda Whittington
Source: Charlotte Observer
Even a newcomer would guess a city our size had a ballet company that did “The Nutcracker,” a symphony that held a holiday concert with a title such as “Magic of Christmas” and a venue where touring shows on the order of “Hamilton” come and go. (We do, we do, and we do.) Yet there’s more to Charlotte culture than the obvious. If you’ve landed in the Queen City recently and are starting from scratch, these events will give you the flavor of the performing arts.
Sept. 14-Oct. 17: “Mainframe”
Check out “Mainframe,” the third juried exhibition organized by the Young Affiliates of the Mint (YAM), an organization you might want to get involved in as either a newbie or aficionado. This exhibition explores an accessible topic – technology – with a number of complicated, yet engaging, interactive works. Yes, there are even paintings about (sometimes made with) technology in this show! Sure, you have to enter the exhibition through the Mint Museum, but if you are worried about a stuffy scene you won’t find it here, especially in the Museum’s unfinished, raw fifth-floor space. – LN
Sept. 20 (McColl) and Nov. 30 (Goodyear):
Meet-the-artist events, particularly in open studio settings, give you a chance not only to talk with them but to get an inside look at their creative processes. These events usually have a social feel (read: not intimidating), since artists won’t be presenting lectures or formal talks about their work at this time. It’s an opportunity to look at artwork, some in process, and ask questions. Goodyear Arts typically has artists in residence from this community (Nov. 30 is a showcase for its October/November artists), while McColl Center for Art + Innovation hosts residencies for both local artists and those from outside the area, including many who are nationally recognized (Sept. 20 will let you meet five fall residents and see a new exhibition of alumni artists as well). – LN
Sept. 28-Oct. 21: “Matilda The Musical”
You don’t have to be or bring a child to enjoy work at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, and this song-and-dance version of Roald Dahl’s book provides the proof. It earned 12 Tony nominations and ran more than 1500 performances on Broadway, telling the story of a plucky little genius who defeats her tyrannical headmistress. CTC, one of the city’s two fully professional theaters along with Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte, often adapts smaller works (such as “Last Stop on Market Street,” the production that follows this one). But the company likes to open with a pull-out-the-stops musical that tests its designers.
Nov. 2-3: Charlotte Symphony
Guest conductor Roberto Abbado leads Luciano Berio’s “Return to Madrid,” Mendelssohn’s Fourth Symphony (“Italian”) and Paganini’s First Violin Concerto (Sergej Krylov, soloist). The Charlotte Symphony has begun to introduce relatively new works to conservative Charlotte audiences, so this is a typical lineup now: a less mainstream short piece, a cornerstone of the symphonic literature and a great but less frequently played concerto. In fact, the Classical season will have a work that local audiences don’t know well on every program, from Beethoven’s overture to “The Ruins of Athens” to Eric Whitacre’s “Deep Field.”