Into the Woods

Stewart Theatre, NCSU CampusMost of us grew up listening to or reading the Brothers Grimm tales, and as adults we could probably still recite the stories by heart. Stephen Sondheim’s musical Into the Woods shows what happened long after the respective wishes of Cinderella, Jack (of the beanstalk) and Little Red Riding Hood were granted. The 1987 debut featured Broadway diva Bernadette Peters as the evil witch who steals the infant Rapunzel, while the 2002 revival saw Vanessa L. Williams, Gregg Edelman and Dame Judi Dench take on the roles. Starting tonight, N.C. State students inhabit the fairy tale characters. Performances run through Feb. 21. Visit www.ncsu.edu/theatre. Sarah Ewald

The Press: Balance, Bias and the Freedom of Speech

Nasher Museum of ArtFreedom of speech is a cherished right of Americans. But how free is it? The Supreme Court recently ruled that corporations have the right to political speechwhich they’re happy to purchase with their campaign contributions. The Internet gives everyone a voice: Can there be reasoned and productive debate in the clamor of this free speech free-for-all? This panel, part of the ongoing Lines of Attack: Conflicts in Caricature show at the Nasher, promises to explore “the role of print media in fostering political debate in contemporary America.” There’ll be lots to discuss and, presumably, to learn. The event begins at 7 p.m. Visit www.nasher.duke.edu. Sarah Ewald

John Mayall

The ArtsCenterJohn Mayall helped bring Chicago-inspired British blues to the masses. Though his most famous sideman is Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac founder Peter Green and the Stones’ Mick Taylor both spent time backing Mayall as Bluesbreakers, too. Mayall has released more than 50 albums during a career spanning more than 40 years, with the United Kingdom even naming him an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2005. Through it all, the heart of Mayall’s sound has remained steadfast: Hard-hitting drums pound out an aggressive beat, and electric guitar wails with sexual energy. Harmonica jumps in, racing up and down the scale, twitching with the excitement of virtuosity. The years have taken some of the air out of Mayall’s high-flying vocals, but it works for the more reflective and slower bubbling songs. Still, his guitar and harmonica work remains pretty amazing. Pay $27-$29 for the 8:30 p.m. show. See www.artscenterlive.org. Andrew Ritchey