In five-star theater

A change is coming, and those in the serving and ruling classes will have to renegotiate the social order. That’s how 15 vivid characters from three generations are caught in a tangled web of affections and obligations on a country estate in pre-revolutionary Russia. Director Jay O’Berski’s refreshing, contemporary adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s THE CHERRY ORCHARD explores the paralysis of privilege. The cast of this LITTLE GREEN PIG THEATRICAL CONCERN production at MANBITES DOG THEATER, including standouts Jackie Marriott, Chaunesti Lyon, Byron Jennings and Donnis Collins, constitutes the strongest on-stage ensemble we’ve seen in months. That’s why they earned only the fifth five-star review the Independent has ever given a local theater production. Catch it while you can: The show closes Saturday. Tickets are $10 to $15 and are available at–Byron Woods

In festivals far from home

On “Jim’s Room”–the opening cut from On Leaving, New York songwriter NINA NASTASIA‘s fourth album and her first released by Brighton-based Fat Cat Records–Nastasia inadvertently captures her own quintessence with a metaphor more effective than any jumbled phrase her music-crit following has produced since her 1999 debut. “Painting pictures of smoke,” she sings sweetly by way of a last line, easing it out, holding the first two syllables high before letting the last three words fall away like a trail of particulates. Her images unfurl in elliptical tumbles, as though she’s writing about moments too gorgeous to be constant, too nebulous to be captured. Sometimes, the smoke comes from destruction by fire–busted relationships, ruined egos–but, in Nastasia’s best moments, the smoke is from slow-mounting heat. Her love songs (see “Our Day Trip”) are delicate but vibrant. Nastasia headlines at LOCAL 506 on Tuesday, Oct. 10. Get there at 9 p.m. for DAVID KARSTEN DANIELS, the local bandleader who just signed to Fat Cat for his Sharp Teeth, due early next year. North Dakotan TOM BROSSEAU fits the middle of this Fat Cat festival in Carolina. Tickets are $10. –Grayson Currin

In mobile poetry

As a survivor of several short but raucous poetry tours, I’ll let you in on a little secret: All poets want to be rock stars. My touring crew rocks pretty hard–remind me to tell you the one about leaving several inches of my face on the parking lot of an Atlanta bar–but we’ve got nothing on the maniacs riding the WAVE BOOKS POETRY BUS. Seattle-based publishing house Wave Books, which tends toward the younger, hipper side of modern poetics, has piled a rotating cast of poets, filmmakers and musicians into a biodiesel bus and sent them tooling through 50 North American cities in as many days. The bus cruises into downtown Durham on Friday, Oct. 6, for a night of hi-jinks at BALDWIN LOFTS. Performers at this stop include Wave Books editor JOSHUA BECKMAN, MATTHEW ZAPRUDER, DAVID RODERICK, BOB HICOK and CARRIE ST. GEORGE COMER, along with locals KEN RUMBLE, who organizes the Desert City reading series at Internationalist Books, and TANYA OLSON, co-founder of the durham3 arts series. If you go to only one poetry event this year (especially if you weren’t planning on going to any), make it this one. Then go to a bunch more. The event starts at 7 p.m., and the suggested donation is $5. For further details, visit —Brian Howe

In good vibes

The term “positive vibrations” is 20 to 25 years past its prime, but it still describes the atmosphere, thick with goodwill and good tunes, at the SILK HOPE-based SHAKORI HILLS GRASSROOTS FESTIVAL. The fest, which was inspired by a similarly vibed gathering in the Northeast and which comes in fall and spring flavors, sprawls over four days and carries a lineup that defines eclectic. Acts range alphabetically and stylistically from traditionalists the APPLE CHILL CLOGGERS to funky genre-busters YO MAMA’S BIG FAT BOOTY BAND and numerically from octogenarian fiddler JOE THOMPSON to, well, it’s hard to say who’s the youngest. A sample must-see list might include the TWO DOLLAR PISTOLS, the EVERYBODYFIELDS, the CAROLINA CHOCOLATE DROPS, KEITH FRANK AND THE SOILEAU ZYDECO BAND and the SAM BUSH BAND. Gates open at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 5 and at 9 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 6 through Sunday, Oct. 8. One-day passes range from $15 to $30, but your best deal is a four-day pass for $65 in advance. See for more information. –Rick Cornell

In fall colors

This might not be a great year for public art in Raleigh, but the city’s art scene is flourishing nonetheless. The doors are wide open for this month’s FIRST FRIDAY ARTWALK on Oct. 6, with receptions at several galleries during the magic hours of 6 to 9 p.m. The CARTER BUILDING GALLERIES & ARTIST STUDIOS host a reception for the painting and mixed media by 13 of their artists. CROCKER’S MARK GALLERY celebrates its first anniversary with an exhibit titled FOUR NORTH CAROLINA PHOTOGRAPHERS: WRITING WITH LIGHT, which includes the lush images of THOMAS BULLINGTON, ARIANNA HOFFMAN, DAVID PAGE and LES PARKER. In the NATURE ART GALLERY of the N.C. MUSEUM OF NATURAL SCIENCES, check out prized pieces by BULLDOG POTTERY. Nearby, ARTSPACE celebrates the opening of GESTURES, a show of paintings and drawings of the human body by artists JENNA BISCHEL, AMY FICHTER and YVONNE PETKUS. A few blocks away, the always off-beat LUMP GALLERY gets GOOD & THUGGY with a traveling, multimedia collaboration between national artists and TEAM LUMP members exploring the impact of hip hop on the culture at large. For more information, check the Indy‘s searchable calendar online. –Fiona Morgan