Attack of the Monsters
N.C. Museum of Natural SciencesGiant turtles, “groovy spacegirls” and more: You owe it to your children to expose them to 1969’s Attack of the Monsters: Gamera vs. Guillon. Why, it teaches kids a valuable lesson about not getting onto strangers’… spacecraft. You could wind up on the mythical 10th planet of “Terra” (take that, Pluto!), only to discover your hosts actually want to eat your brains! And in real life, you’re unlikely to have a giant space turtle named Gamera appear to battle these cranium-crunching evildoers and their box-cutter-headed pet Guillon! This is the fifth entry in the Gamera series, a popular collection of daikaiju eiga (monster movies) produced by Daiei Motion Picture Company in Japan to rival the success of Toho Studios’ Godzilla movies during the 1960s. Also, it was popular on the late Mystery Science Theater 3000, where the robots would sing such songs as “Gamera’s full of turtle meat/ Gamera is good to eat/ You’ll love eating Gamera!” You had to be there. The free screening is on the big screen of the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences at 7 p.m. For more information, visit naturalsciences.org. Zack Smith

Antarctica: The Shadow ballet and Other Little Things
Manbites Dog TheaterBoy, Antarctica really became a breakout continent in the media the last few yearsMarch of the Penguins, An Inconvenient Truth, Encounters at the End of the World. This year will even see an adaptation of the graphic novel Whiteout, about a murder at a military base there. For those who can’t get enough of the South Pole’s home, Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern presents The Never’s concept album and storybook Antarctica: The Shadow Ballet and Other Little Things in a special multimedia show that includes actors, dancers, puppets, film and light. The Never has been touring with this album for the past several years, and Antarctica will be released by Turnkey Records along with a 50-page storybook later this year. Tickets for tonight’s and tomorrow’s 8 p.m. show are $8-$10. For more information, visit www.littlegreenpig.com. Zack Smith

Caitlin Cary & Thad Cockrell, Ivan Howard
The Pour HouseFour years and innumerable miles stand between now and the 2005 release of Begonias, the duet debut of Thad Cockrell and Caitlin Cary, two of the brightest stars in any constellation of voices you could gather. The duo played high-profile shows behind the album, including a stop at the Newport Folk Festival, before going their separate ways: Cockrell stayed in Nashville, where, over the next three years, he continued to build a writing and recording career. Cary returned to Raleigh before jetting to Europe for a Trés Chicas tour and an extended stay in a London studio, where the trio recorded its sophisticated second album, 2006’s Bloom, Red & the Ordinary Girl.

The Chicas are still working on a third LP; Cockrell, back in town now, is still working on his third solo LP, reacting slightly against his honky-tonk reputation with a much more brisk sound that reflects his affinity for soul, Van Morrison and crooning at large; and there’s still no official plan for a follow-up to Begonias. Good thing, then, that the pair’s precious 11-song collaboration sounds as fresh and inspired as ever, the work of two sympathetic souls taking risks together in a recording studio. The classic steel licks and shuffling flash of “Don’t Make It Better” sit nicely against the forlorn moan of “Whatever You Want,” and the seven-minute epic “Conversations About a Friend” illustrates the imagination necessary to bust the four-minute-ballad box. Mixed with each artist’s solo material tonight, listen for “Second Option,” Begonia‘s charging, clever little rocker that seemed to give Cockrell the gumption to move beyond his self-imposed genre confinements way back when. Rosebud Ivan Howard opens with a solo set. Pay $8 at 9:30 p.m. Grayson Currin

Maura O’Connell
The ArtsCenterMaura O’Connell connects her homeland of Ireland to America with a voice that sounds as deep and vibrant as an ocean. Introduced in the early ’80s via the Celtic group De Dannan, O’Connell soon fell into the New Grass movement. Appalachian and Irish ballads shared stories of love and loss, and blues crept in at the corners. Now, almost 30 years after that start, O’Connell’s strong, bluesy, Irish voice still swells like waves and dances like sea spray. Whether fronting a band or singing unaccompanied, these songs toss and turn, ultimately pulling the listener close. Tonight, she performs in a trio as part of The ArtsCenter’s 3rd annual Celtic Concert Series. Pay $18-$20 at 8:30 p.m. Andrew Ritchey

The Art of Bellydance
Fletcher Hall, Carolina TheatreDo you ever find yourself flipping channels on basic cable and seeing a bellydancing instructional show called Shimmy, and you watch it for a couple of minutes, realize what you’re doing and then change the channel, hating yourself? No? Anyway, those with a non-prurient interest in this ancient art may witness what publicity people are calling “the next dance phenomenon since Riverdance” when the Bellydance Superstars play the Carolina Theatre. The international hit has played everywhere from Lollapalooza to Monte Carlo, and the 8 p.m. show is $32 for A-level seats and $29 for B-level seats. For more information, visit www.carolinatheatre.org or www.bellydancesuperstars.com. Zack Smith