Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Alive After Five returns to uptown April 5

Warm weather is back, and with it comes a Charlotte tradition: Alive After Five, which will be celebrating its 11th Anniversary this year.

Sponsored by AT&T, the Thursday after-work party takes place at 5 p.m. at Wells Fargo Plaza, 301 S. Tryon St. The 2012 season kicks off with a performance by Charlotte party band Hot Sauce.

Wells Fargo Plaza will host Alive After Five each Thursday during April. Beginning May 3, the event shifts to the Pavilion at EpiCentre, 210 E. Trade St., where it will continue every Thursday through Sept. 13.

The Pavilion has purchased two huge tents to keep guests sheltered from the elements during summer showers, and when it rains, Alive After Five will pour with drink specials including $3 Bud Light drafts.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Want to rappel down an uptown skyscraper?

There are two types of people in the world: Those whose eyes widen with excitement at the prospect of rappelling hundreds of feet down the side of a 51-story building … and those whose eyes widen with terror.

Which side are you on?

Well, if you're up for a little adventure -- OK, a big one -- on Saturday, Oct. 13, Special Olympics North Carolina is offering thrill-seekers an opportunity to rappel 35 stories down The VUE Charlotte, an uptown skyscraper that houses luxury condominium residences.

It's an experience that will take about 15 minutes. The price tag? $1,000. Sounds like a lot, and it is. But while you'll have to drop down the building by yourself, you won't have to come up with the money on your own if you don't want to. And better yet, all the dough goes to a good cause. Participants are asked to create an online fundraising page at www.firstgiving.com/sonc; then family and friends can support you in helping to raise the minimum required donation of $1,000. The money ultimately will go to support the 38,000 Special Olympics athletes in North Carolina.

Assuming they don't chicken out, rapellers will start their descent from the 43rd floor of The VUE, at 404 W. Fifth St., and drop until they land on the eighth floor. Participants will wear a full-body industrial harness and use an industrial descender to go down; they can go as slowly as they like (or can go fast -- up to a point). No experience is necessary.

More information on this year's event as well as pictures from last year can be found at www.overtheedgenc.com.

The minimum age requirement for the Charlotte event is 14, and anyone under 18 must have a waiver signed by a legal guardian. To rappel, you must weigh between 110 and 300 pounds.

If you have additional questions, you can contact Susan Doggett at 704-358-1935, Ext. 4, at sdoggett@sonc.net.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Discovery Place extends 'Mummies' hours

"Mummies of the World," the largest exhibition of real mummies and related artifacts ever assembled, is in its final weeks at Discovery Place.

To accommodate crowds and provide visitors and residents of Charlotte a final chance to see the exhibit before it continues its national tour, the science museum is extending hours for "Mummies" (which closes on April 8, Easter Sunday).

Beginning Saturday, March 31, Discovery Place hours will be:

  • Saturday, March 31: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.;
  • Sunday, April 1, 2012: Noon to 7 p.m.;
  • Monday, April 2 through Wednesday, April 4: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.;
  • Thursday, April 5 and Friday, April 6: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.;
  • Saturday, April 7: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.;
  • Sunday, April 8 (Easter Sunday): 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Last admission to Mummies of the World is one hour before the Museum closes. Advance reservations are highly recommended. Tickets: 704-372-6261 or www.discoveryplace.org. Details: www.mummiesoftheworld.com.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Symphony announces 2012-13 Pops season

The Charlotte Symphony announced today the 2012-2013 Pops season, which will include homages to swinging rhythms, the progression of American rock ‘n roll and iconic Hollywood film music.

The lineup is:


Friday September 14 & Saturday September 15, 2012, 8:00 pm, Belk Theater

Michael Cavanaugh, vocals and piano


Friday October 26 & Saturday October 27, 2012, 8:00 pm, Belk Theater

Albert-George Schram, conducting

TRIBUTE TO BENNY GOODMAN, featuring Dave Bennett

Friday November 9 & Saturday November 10, 2012, 8:00 pm, Knight Theater

Albert-George Schram, conducting


Friday November 30, 8:00 pm, Saturday December 1, 2:30 & 8:00 pm, & Sunday December 2, 2:30 pm, Belk Theater

Albert-George Schram, conducting


Tribute to Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper

Friday January 11 & Saturday January 12, 2013, 8:00 pm, Knight Theater


Saturday February 2, 2013, 2:30 & 8:00 pm, Belk Theater

Albert-George Schram, conducting


Friday February 22 & Saturday February 23, Belk Theater

Jacomo Rafael Bairos, conducting


Saturday March 23, 2013, 8:00 pm, Belk Theater


Friday May 3 & Saturday May 4, 2013, 8:00 pm, Knight Theater

Christopher Warren-Green, conducting

For the first time ever, all concerts will take place in uptown Charlotte at the Belk and Knight theaters. Subscriptions to any six concerts start at just $139 and are available by calling the Charlotte Symphony Ticket Office at(704) 972-2000, or at www.charlottesymphony.org.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

See 'Bachelorette' a couple months early

Emily Maynard and the cast and crew of ABC's "The Bachelorette" will be filming at the N.C. Music Factory on Friday, according to a source at the uptown venue.

Maynard and her date reportedly will have dinner at the new Osso Restaurant & Lounge, following a 9 p.m. red-carpet arrival. After dinner (at approximately 10:30 p.m.), the couple will watch a concert by country-music band Gloriana on the Music Factory's outdoor stage, the source says.

The concert and the opportunity to catch wind of the show's taping is free and open to the public, although space will of course be limited.

Meanwhile, ABC on Monday announced the official premiere date for eighth edition of "The Bachelorette": Monday, May 14. The star, Maynard, is a 26-year-old single mom who lives in Charlotte; she was engaged to NASCAR driver Ricky Hendrick, who died in a plane crash in 2004.

Maynard won "The Bachelor" last year and became engaged to Brad Womack, but they broke off their relationship in June. She was named the new "Bachelorette" in January.

The show will film here in Charlotte -- where Maynard is raising her 6-year-old daughter Ricki, 6 -- as well as in other locations.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Score passes to '21 Jump Street'!

The Charlotte Observer is giving away 200 “Admit One” passes to a special advance screening next Thursday of the new film “21 Jump Street,” starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum.

In the action-comedy, Hill and Tatum play new cops who are recruited into the secret “Jump Street” unit, and use their youthful appearances to go undercover in a local high school.

The special advance screening will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 15, with the location of the theater to be revealed when you pick up your passes. “21 Jump Street” will be released in Charlotte on Friday, March 16.

How to get your free pass: Come to the security console in the main lobby of the Charlotte Observer building, 600 S. Tryon St., between noon and 1 p.m. FRIDAY, March 9. You may take a maximum of two “Admit One” passes, while supplies last.

The film is rated R. No one under 17 will be admitted without a parent or legal guardian.

On the night of the screening, it is recommended to arrive early since seating is not guaranteed and on a first-come, first-served basis.

For details on the movie, visit www.21jumpstreet-movie.com.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

'Bachelorette' finds a home in Charlotte

According to Zillow Blog, ABC reality show "The Bachelorette" will be filming its forthcoming season in a six-bedroom, 8.5-bath European-style mansion in Charlotte. (Photo above courtesy of Zillow.com.)

Why are cast and crew coming here instead of staying in Agoura, Calif., where the show's premiere has always been set? Because Charlotte is the hometown of new Bachelorette Emily Maynard, who has a 6-year-old daughter and didn't want to uproot both of their lives for the filming.

The house features 12,000 square feet of living space, an outdoor kitchen and pool, and a ballroom perfect for the show's famous rose ceremonies. According to Zillow, the new home has been on the market since 2008 and is currently listed at $3.9 million. ABC has not confirmed that the house is being used for the show, Zillow reports, but the listing agent said one of his brokerage's properties was being used to film an ABC show.

See more photos here.