The Weekender, Feb. 6-8, 2014: The Slight Thaw edition

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The thaw is setting in.

It’s still sort of freezing out there, but the days and getting longer and the sun seems to be getting stronger… doesn’t it?  With the butt end of winter comes a resurgence in First Friday, in the downtown districts of Greensboro and Winston-Salem tonight with dozens of installations, performances and other fun stuff that happens in cities. Wear layers.

WEEKEND

  • The Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus, the Greatest Show on Earth, runs through Sunday at the Greensboro Coliseum, performing under the theme CIRCUS XTREME. Of note is the female troupe of Mongolian riders who perform feats of skill while balanced atop two-humped camels. (GSO)
  • Dirty Blonde is the story of Mae West as seen 50 years later through the eyes of two of her biggest fans. It runs at Triad Stage through Feb. 15; the production of Other Desert Cities begins in Winston-Salem on Feb. 11. (GSO)

FRIDAY

  • Highlights of the February Winston-Salem gallery hop include Arrhythmia II, a Valentine’s art show at Reanimator, and Artworks Gallery has The Black & White Show by Ben Perini. In Greensboro, there’s a Paint and Pour at Uptowne Artworks and Greensboro Ballet stages Cesare Pugni’s Pas de Quatre at 7 p.m. There’s lots more to discover on the streets tonight. (GSO/W-S)
  • Heirloom Puppet Theatre creates historically based stories that run all winter and spring at the Frank L. Horton Museum Center at Old Salem Museums & Gardens. This month it’s A Night in the African-American Portrait Gallery. (W-S)
  • The third annual Greensboro Youth Council Fashion Show at the Caldcleugh Multicultural Center boasts the theme Alice in a Greener Land, showcasing fashions crafted from recycled materials.  (GSO)
  • Abstract expressionist Mariyah Sultan trains her eye on urban landscapes for the exhibit Elemental Emulsions, which debuts tonight at the Sechrest Gallery on the HPU campus, with a reception at 4 p.m. and an artist talk at 5. (HP)
  • Running every weekend through Feb. 22, Clybourne Park is the story of a neighborhood through the generations, spanning from 1959, when the first black family moves in, to 2009, when their house is about to be razed. It was intended to be a spinoff of the novel A Raisin in the Sun, and it’s at the Stained Glass Playhouse tonight. (W-S)
  • An acoustic guitar virtuoso in the mold of Andre Segovia, Steve Vai and Chet Atkins, Shaun Hopper’s instrumental music transcends genre, but at risk of raising technique and proficiency to the level of idolatry. Is there a point here besides one guitarist worshiping his heroes? He’s at the High Point Theatre at 8 p.m. (HP)

SATURDAY

  • This month’s Across the Blue Ridge concert, a series brought to you by the Blue Ridge Music Center, has already sold out SECCA. So you’ll have to hear about house band Paul Brown & the Piedmont Pals with the Buckstankle Boys from someone else. (W-S)
  • The kickoff for Scuppernong Books‘ one-year anniversary is at 6 p.m. It’s a celebration of the written word in downtown Greensboro, where Scuppernong has been feeding our brains for a year now. The event features live music from Little Mountain, mic time with owners and customers, prizes, specials and more. (GSO)
  • Consumption explores variations on that theme at ShelfLife gallery, underneath Geeksboro, with an opening reception at 6 p.m. (GSO)
  • If ever there were a show made for aging punk parents who hit their stride in the early ’90s and are looking for any opportunity to musically bond with their tween children, it would be tonight’s doubleheader of Stitches with the Raving Knaves at the Green Bean. Greensboro Montessori music teacher Jonathan McLean, who hosted Fugazi at his underground club Miracle House of Rock in ’91, holds down bass in Stitches. The rest of the members are at least a couple years shy of graduating from high school. David, McLean’s brother, plays guitar in the Raving Knaves, whose sound is an unholy marriage of high-octane late ’60s Detroit rock & roll and late ’70s English mod rock. Show starts at 9 p.m. (GSO)
  • In Winston-Salem’s post-rock scene it’s sometimes hard to tell where cultural recycling ends and innovation begins. While all the bands on the bill share a certain brooding posture and ambient sound, Echo Crush is the most classically rock. Aquatic Ceremony, fronted by Amy Fitzgerald, tends the most toward performance art. Spirits & the Melchizedek Children offers up highly stylized shoegaze. And Jared Draughon’s Must Be the Holy Ghost carries the torch the furthest with cathartic songs built on layers of guitar loops. Show starts at the Garage at 9 p.m. (W-S)

SUNDAY

  • Foothills Brewing imparts beer knowledge with Geeks-n-Taps, a tasting classroom held on Sunday at the brewpub at 6 p.m.. This installation features a guy from the Raleigh Brewing Co. who, it should be noted, drinks beer for a living. (W-S)