Every Friday, we highlight three shows from great local performing artists that you can see this coming weekend.

Guest Artist Recital: Melinda Whittington & Vanessa Isiguen
Friday, January 24th at 8 PM at Hill Hall Auditorium

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Two opera divas sharing a stage? It might be a recipe for conflict, if the divas in question weren’t old friends Vanessa Isiguen and Melinda Whittington. The two Charlotte natives and UNC ’05 alumnae return to their roots on Friday night when they perform a special recital at the music department that fostered them. And these aren’t just amateurs; both sopranos have gone on to illustrious professional careers in the operatic world. They’ll bring high polish and vocal fireworks to their renditions of arias and songs by composers from Mozart and Strauss to Debussy and Rachmaninoff. It’s a rare chance for local audiences to see the fruits of Tar Heel training (along with a bit of diva glamor!).

Carolina’s Funniest Comic: Semi-Final
Saturday, January 25th at 9 PM at DSI Comedy Theater


For the past three weeks, a ruthless competition has been brewing in Carrboro. It started with 40 of North Carolina’s funniest comics, and each week has pared the slate down until only six remain. This Saturday, they’ll try out their best laugh lines in a bid to continue on to February’s finals. The winners will face off with South Carolina’s finest, with the winner taking the title of Carolina’s Funniest comic, a spot in the NC Comedy Arts Festival, and a $1000 grand prize. That means more pressure for the comics, but more laughs for you the audience. Be there to support your favorites, and keep following them on their drive to comedy greatness.

ArtsCenter Variety Night
Sunday, January 26th at 7 PM at the ArtsCenter


For more than fifty years, vaudeville dominated American entertainment. A vaudeville performance was like an overstuffed sandwich of the variety arts; a classical pianist, a magician, a Shakespearean actor, a dancing bear and a juggler might all show up on the same bill. The days of vaudeville are long gone now, but the ArtsCenter is doing its best to keep the form alive with the return of its semi-annual Variety Night.

The headliner for Sunday’s show is powerhouse local musician Shana Tucker. The cellist and singer plays a jazz-pop-soul hybrid all her own (and moonlights for Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas). But in the spirit of vaudeville, she’s not alone on the program; you’ll see outstanding tap dancers, percussionists, comedians, and even a master of the eerie electronic instrument called the Theremin. Make a date with an old-school art form with a new-school twist!

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