Raleigh Little TheatreGilbert and Sullivan meet Gene Krupa. Who wins? Hopefully the audience of Hot Mikado, the latest production at the Raleigh Little Theatre. Set in a version of Titpu done up to resemble the Cotton Club, Mikado chronicles the love triangle between our kimono/ zoot-suited hero, Nanki-Poo (Jason Justice), the lovely Yum-Yum (Katherine Anderson) and her fiancé, the Lord High Executioner. Suffice to say, it’s a dangerous love, but when the tap-dancing “biggest cat” in Japan, the Mikado (Warren Keyes), comes to town, love is sure to triumph. This production opens tonight and runs through Aug. 31, with 3 p.m. Sunday matinees. Tickets are $18, $15 for seniors/students and $10 on the first Sunday. For more info and tickets, call 821-3111 or visit www.raleighlittletheatre.org. Zack Smith
Jesse Kalisher GalleryJesse Kalisher and his camera have traveled the world, but at the end of the day, there’s no place like home. The Chapel Hill resident’s newest address is his eponymously named gallery located on Main Street in Carrboro, which will have its grand opening during 2nd Friday. After a career in marketing, the New York native turned to photography in 1996; Kalisher started traveling and “rediscovered my love affair with the camera,” he says.
Along with the walls of his new gallery, Kalisher’s prints hang in museums and homes across the country. Many of them are iconic images of well-known places but with a unique twist, such as clouds swirling behind the Eiffel Tower, or men cleaning the pathway to the Taj Mahal. The gallery also has a space with a rotating theme, with the first being “Art Watching,” a collection of candid shots of visitors at museums around the world. In his piece “Mona Lisa at the Mona Lisa,” a woman, listening intently to the audio museum tour, passes in front of the famous da Vinci work and appears to mirror the stare and smile of the famous subject.
Patrons can choose images, matting styles and frames that fit their home and their budget, as well as buy matted works for as little as $20. “I’m excited to be able to offer this to Carrboro and Chapel Hill. I think we have great prices and a great range of images.” Come see the space, meet Kalisher and enjoy food and drink from 6-9 p.m. Jessica Fuller
2nd Friday Open Jazz Jam
The ArtscenterTake a load off after Carrboro’s ArtWalk with some summer swing and cool jazz at The ArtsCenter’s recently reinstated Open Jazz Jam. The tunes, generously provided by the center’s own house band, span from punchy Dixieland swing to bebop and spicy Latin grooves. The atmosphere is set to sultry with plenty of dark corners, café tables and candles. Dance or sing along at 8 p.m. for $5. Kathy Justice
Captain Luke, Macavine Hayes, Big Ron Hunter, The Sol Creech Band
Warehouse Blues at West VillageOn the Music Maker-produced Drinkhouse to Churchhouse, Captain Luke and Cool John Ferguson team up for “Rainy Night in Georgia.” Their rendition is a quick reminder that it’s often only a stone’s throw from blues to soul to gospela distance measured by the amount of moan in the guitar and hope in the vocals. In other words, just how long is the sky gonna stay gray? A clear evening would be nice when Captain Luke and three other of Music Maker’s best (Macavine Hayes, Big Ron Hunter, The Sol Creech Band) join forces for a free 6 p.m. show. But it’ll go on regardless: The blues (and soul and gospel) is nothing if not resilient. Rick Cornell
Pico vs. Island Trees, Jukebox the Ghost, Modern Skirts
Lincoln TheatreRaleigh boys Pico vs. Island Trees has been jogging in place since leaving the Triangle for Los Angeles in January 2006: Now making its home in Nashville, the band returns to Raleigh to headline the same venue it did on Valentine’s Day four-and-a-half years ago. Naturally, Pico’s still sitting on the album it worked on for eight months in California, the full-length follow-up to 2004’s Just Wait. Though Pico has been stagnant, it continues to churn out smooth, sophisticated pop-rock chock full of hooks. Fronted by Ben Thornewill, D.C.’s Jukebox the Ghost combines elements from some more-heralded BensFolds, Kweller, Leeand pulls it off quite well. Athens’ Modern Skirts, who might as well call the Triangle its second home, is rightly praised by R.E.M. for roots-flavored indie pop nugs. Spencer Griffith
Encounters at the End of the World
Area art housesThe great Werner Herzog is 65 years old and shows few signs of slowing down. His 40-year career took him to six continents before he added a seventh notch on the belt of his traveling pants with Encounters at the End of the World, his latest film. Seen here is a diver exploring the world under the ice of Antarctica. The film opens in area art houses Friday; read our review. David Fellerath