Spring has come early to the Carolinas, with daffodils already in bloom and trees cascading their blossoms over streets and highways from the mountains to the coast. So now is the time to break away from being stuck inside and venture out to theatres, concerts, festivals and more. With that said, here are some idea starters to whet qnotes’ readers’ appetites.


March 11-Aug. 13
Various times
“The Wyeths: Three Generations, Works from the Bank of America Collection”
Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Rd.
Charlotte, N.C.
For more than a century, the members of the Wyeth family have created works of art that have stirred the imagination and fascinated art lovers worldwide. The exhibition of Bank of America’s largest collection of unique works by one family, provides a window into the Wyeth family’s artists through more than 60 paintings, drawings, and photographs. Among the special guests during the exhibition’s run will be Victoria Wyeth, granddaughter of Andrew Wyeth, who will appear for a free “Evening with Victoria Wyeth” talk on March 29, 6 p.m. Tickets are $12/adult and $9/senior and student are available online.

March 24
12 p.m.
“Brown Bag Gam: Women Pirates”
N.C. Maritime Museum
315 Front St.
Beaufort, N.C.
Whether by association, partnership or practice, women were very involved in the world of pirates. The pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read are the program focus, with a look at other women in supporting roles. Free.


March 24-April 2
Various times
“Hank Williams: Lost Highway”
Theatre Alliance
1047 Northwest Blvd.
Winston-Salem, N.C.
“Hank Williams: Lost Highway” is a musical biography of the legendary singer-songwriter frequently mentioned alongside Louis Armstrong, Robert Johnson, Duke Ellington, Elvis and Bob Dylan as one of the great innovators of American popular music. The play follows Williams’ rise from his beginnings on the Louisiana Hayride to his triumphs on the Grand Ole Opry to his eventual self-destruction at 29. Tickets are $18/adults and $16/students and seniors and are available online.

April 27-May 6
Various times
“The Pride”
Queen City Theatre Company
Duke Energy Theatre at Spirit Square
345 N. College St.
Charlotte, N.C.
Philip, Oliver and Sylvia exist in a complex love triangle, which spans over half a century, living and loving simultaneously in 1958 and the present against a background of changing attitudes towards being gay. Tickets go on sale soon and will be available online.

May 10
7:30 p.m.
Julianne and Derek Hough: Move — Beyond — Live On Tour
Ovens Auditorium
2700 E. Independence Blvd.
Charlotte, N.C.
“Dancing with the Stars” Julianne and Derek Hough promise fans their biggest and best show yet, with brand-new stage production inspired by the elements — earth, wind, fire, and water — which the duo have infused into fresh, high impact choreography that only they can deliver. Tickets start at $39.50 and are available online.

June 2-18
Various times
“Avenue Q”
Raleigh Little Theatre
301 Pogue St.
Raleigh, N.C.
In this classic production, recent college grad Princeton moves into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q. Along with his new friends, Princeton struggles to find a job, date and discover an ever-elusive purpose in life. Tickets range from $21.55 to $25.29 and are available online.

June 27-July 2
Various times
“Fun Home”
Knight Theatre at Levine Center for the Arts
500 S. Tryon St.
Charlotte, N.C.
The Tony Award-winning stage play comes to the Queen City. Based on Alison Bechdel’s best-selling graphic memoir, Fun Home introduces the audience to Alison at three different ages as she explores and unravels the many mysteries of her childhood. Tickets start at $25 and are available online.


There are hundreds of musical performances across the Carolinas and way too many to feature here. Venues range from cozy clubs to arenas, and some are even outdoors. Artists and groups include global fan favorites, as well as more local and regional acts. Check local listings for a “tune” outing.

This is just a sampling of options. Visit Blumenthal’s website for a full list of concerts and musical performances.

March 17-18, 8 p.m.
Charlotte Symphony: Music of the Beatles
Belk Theatre
Experience the sound of the fab four in concert with Beatles favorites.

March 21-22, 7:30 p.m.
Black Violin
Knight Theatre
Black Violin is the blend of classical, hip-hop, rock, R&B, and bluegrass music.

April 6, 7:30 p.m.
Citizen Cope — An Intimate Solo/Acoustic Listing Performance
McGlohon Theatre at Spirit Square
Citizen Cope is a self-realized musical/poetic/production entity, a one-man band, trying to make sense of all the nonsense that marks the 21st Century.

(check the website for ticket costs)
Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, 130 N. Tryon St.
Knight Theatre, 500 S. Tryon St.
McGlohon Theatre, 345 N. College St.


April 27-30
Wilkes Community College
Wilkesboro, N.C.
Begun in 1988 in memory of Eddy Merle Watson as a fundraiser for Wilkes Community College, MerleFest is a celebration which features some of the best in folk, bluegrass and traditional music. MerleFest’s lineup reflects the diversity and quality of performers who are the hallmark of the festival. MerleFest is known for its unique mix of traditional, roots-oriented music from the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and old-time music, Americana, blues, country, Celtic, Cajun, cowboy, zydeco, rock and many other styles that the late Doc Watson referred to as “traditional plus.”A sampling of the nearly 100 acts to perform are: Zac Brown Band, The Avett Brothers, Béla Fleck, and more. A songwriting contest is held each year. Jamming, vendors and other activities help to fill the four-day event schedule. Attendees can find hotel accommodations in surrounding area or camping at campgrounds close by. A full list of “dos and don’ts” are available on the festival website. Ticket are $155/three-day general admission, $180/four-day general admission and $235/four-day reserved seating until April 27 with higher gate pricing thereafter beginning on the festival start date.

May 18-21
Various times and locations
Durham, N.C.
Moogfest has stood its ground as an independent music and tech festival that offers a safe space for artists and attendees alike, as well as workshops. Iconic thought-leaders and prolific artists have joined Moogfest to break down barriers and elevate inclusivity. This year will be no different. Its organizers shared, “There’s no other music/tech festival that compares in its mission to bring the dream of a more equal society to all humans.” Most notably is Moogfest’s statement about recent events and North Carolina’s failure to repeal HB2. Moogfest issued an open letter on Feb. 7 (see eepurl.com/cAKqGj) which serves as “a call to action against discriminatory politics in North Carolina and across the U.S. Now, more than ever, the festival is determined to make its home in North Carolina a welcoming space for all.” Tickets range from $249-$1,500 and are available online.

May 26-June 11
Spoleto Festival
Various locations and times
Charleston, S.C.
For 17 days and nights, Spoleto Festival USA fills Charleston’s historic theaters, churches and outdoor spaces with performances by renowned artists, as well as emerging performers in opera, theater, dance and chamber, symphonic, choral and jazz music. Ticket costs and other information are available online.


March 11, 18, 25
“Women at Reed Gold Mine”
1 p.m.
Reed Gold Mine
9621 Reed Mine Rd.
Midland, N.C.
Tours highlight the role women played in America’s first gold rush at Reed Gold Mine, inside and outside the homestead and how they defined themselves in a patriarchal, antebellum society. $2.

May 5-6
Kings Drive Art Walk
11 a.m.-6 p.m./Saturday; 11 a.m.-5 p.m./Sunday
Little Sugar Creek Greenway
between E. Morehead St and Pearle Park Way Bridge along Kings Dr.
Charlotte, N.C.
Spring fine arts event focusing on fine and emerging artists.

May 6-8
Walking Tours of Belmont and NoDa
10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. – NoDa
2 p.m. – Belmont
A walking tour of the historic neighborhood as part of the City Walks month-long event that offers a range of walking tours that explore Charlotte. The Charlotte Museum of History will partner with the Belmont Neighborhood Association and NoDa Neighborhood to offer free walking tours, followed by a reception. On the tour will be the Red Front Department Store building at 1125 Belmont Ave. and Louise Cotton Mill, 1101 Hawthorne Ln. Check the website for more updated information on start point as the time nears. Other walking tour during the month include: East Charlotte Munching Tour, May 1, 16, 4:30-7 p.m., food from across the globe; A Walk on the West Side, May 6, 10 a.m.; Plaza-Midwood History Stroll, May 7, 1:30 p.m.; Evolution of Dilworth, May 7, 2 p.m.; and others.

May 10
The Naked Magicians
7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
McGlohon Theatre at Spirit Square
345 N. College St.
Charlotte, N.C.
Direct from Australia, the show features magic, mirth and more than a touch of mayhem as two hot and hilarious magicians say abracadabra and take magic to a whole new level. Left without sleeves or pockets, their “saucy” magic is baffling and entertaining, bringing a new meaning to “now you see it.” This R-rated magic show strips away the top hats and capes, promising full frontal illusions. Tickets range from $19.50 to $59.50 and are available online.

May 20-21
Asheville Fine Arts Show
10 a.m.-5 p.m.
U.S. Cellular Center
87 Haywood St.
Asheville, N.C.
A two-day juried art show featuring up to 175 artists which focuses on visual arts, diversity, community enrichment and fostering art education among youth within Asheville and its surrounding areas. Juried works are original and personally handmade by artists who personally present at the show. They sell their art in all discipline including paintings, sculpture, clay, glass, jewelry, wood, photography and more. Various price ranges. Admission: $8/one-day pass, $10/two-day pass and 12 and under free.

May 25-27
Circle K Speed Street
presented by Coca-Cola
12-11 p.m.
Romare Bearden Park
300 S. Church St.
Charlotte, N.C.
Three days of music, food and more heats up Uptown Charlotte’s streets for this souped up, charged event that takes place during the races at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Two stages (Coca-Cola and Mello Yello) with live entertainment, access to racing’s brightest stars, giveaways and interactive displays. Enjoy vendor displays, kid’s activities, racing-related fun and more until 8 p.m. Local, regional and national headliners will take the stages at 6:30 p.m. Tickets: $15/Friday and Saturday night headliners, $10/Thursday entertainment. All other activities, free. PNC Speed Street 5K will be held on May 25. Other events take place during the month leading up to the festival such as Movies on the Campus (Kannapolis), the Haulers on Union Parade and Fan Fest (Concord, N.C.) and Little 600 (Mooresville, N.C.).

Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.