Durham Performing Arts CenterWas grease ever not the word? A giant in the high-school-musical repertory, Grease paved the way for loveable T-Birds and good girls who go bad for their men. Despite the kitschy aura that surrounds this show today, it’s worth remembering the fact that the musical and subsequent 1978 movie offer more of a parody of the period than nostalgia. (Exhibit A: Porn actor Harry Reems, then famous for Deep Throat, was originally cast to play Coach Calhoun.) Both versions contain references that wouldn’t pass muster in today’s Disneyfied musicals (check out the lyrics to “Greased Lightnin’”). This version will include songs from both the original musical and the movie. Taylor Hicks, American Idol‘s fifth-season winner (remember the Soul Patrol?) makes an appearance as Teen Angel, complete with angelic harmonizing on the chorus. The show runs through Oct. 11. Tickets are $25-$70. For more information, visit www.dpacnc.com. Sarah Ewald

Sam & Ruby

Berkeley CafeWith their soulful, breathy delivery, Sam Brooker and Ruby Amanfu create sensual, seductive duets. Brooker does quiet guitar work beneath lyrics exploring love, the innovative Gershwin-style arrangements wrapping around everything. Amanfu, born in Ghana, compares herself to traveling luggage on “The Suitcase Song,” singing “Your kids don’t like me/ when they see me on your bed/ and they try to hide me/ they think you love me best.” Off their August release, The Here and The Now, the track has a country shuffle that reveals the duo’s Nashville base. Shaped by country, jazz and soul, the slow-burning longing conveyed is universal. Pay $10 at 8 p.m. See www.berkeleycafe.net. Andrew Ritchey