On the darker side: Raleigh Little Theatre is focusing on war this month with a series of plays that explore the often overlooked experiences of women, both those who served overseas and at home. The company’s Women and War series kicks off with “A Piece of My Heart,” Shirley Lauro’s true drama about six women who went to Vietnam: nurses, a Red Cross volunteer and a USO country-western singer. It runs May 5-21. In conjunction, the theater will host Kathryn Watson Quigg, author of “To Any Soldier, A Novel of Vietnam Letters,” at 7 p.m. May 11. Quigg will talk about the novel and actors will perform several of the letters. Then at 7 p.m. May 18, RLT’s artistic director Patrick Torres interviews Larry Hines, a Red Cross volunteer in Vietnam from 1968 to 69, and James R. Wilson, a journalist and Army press officer in Vietnam. Neither event requires a ticket or reservation. Tickets for the show are $24, $20 for seniors and students. On the first Sunday, May 7, all tickets are $15.
Also planned for the series: “Downrange: Voice from the Homefront,” Chapel Hill playwright Mike Wiley’s drama about how deployment affects N.C. military families, on May 26-27, and Sonorous Road’s production of “Grounded,” the story of a female fighter pilot, May 27-28. More details: 919-821-3111 or raleighlittletheatre.org/
For the family: Calling Roald Dahl fans. N.C. Theatre/Broadway Series South is bringing us “Matilda.” The musical about the brilliant bookworm with a vivid imagination won four Tony Awards. From the reviews of the touring production, we’d say expect dark humor, clever songs and a fantastical set. Shows are May 23-28 in Memorial Auditorium, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., Raleigh. Tickets start at $25. www.dukeenergycenterraleigh.com
For the family, part 2: The N.C. Symphony Presents “An Afternoon Of Dr. Seuss” at 1 and 4 p.m. on May 13 in Meymandi Concert Hall, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. The full orchestra performs music for Dr. Seuss’s stories, including “The Sneeches” and “Green Eggs & Ham.” Tickets are $25. If you prefer more grown-up symphonies, the orchestra wraps its classical season with “Russian Nights” on May 18 and 20 with a guest performance by violinist Augustin Hadelich, a 2016 Grammy Award winner. Tickets start at $18. 919-733-2750 or http://ncsymphony.org/
British invasion: The British trio The xx played Coachella last month to kick off the North American tour that brings them to Red Hat Amphitheater on May 14. The threesome – Oliver Sim, Romy Madley Croft and Jamie xx (who was born James Smith) – have their first new album out in more than four years, “I See You.” (The band’s last two were No. 1 in the U.K.) Their sound is hush and sparse which makes The xx an odd choice for stadiums and festivals, but they have been selling out just such venues. But there are still tickets available for the Red Hat show. British singer-songwriter Sampha opens. Tickets start at $25. 800-745-3000
100 Great Pots: “Great Pots from the Traditions of North & South Carolina,” opened Saturday at the N.C. Pottery Center in Seagrove and will be on view through July 22. The exhibit’s curator is Pittsboro potter Mark Hewitt, who says it’s rare for so many of these pots to be together in one place at one time. The exhibit includes pots from the Moravian and St. Asaph’s earthenware traditions, Moore and Randolph County salt glaze, Alamance County salt glaze, and Catawba Valley alkaline-glaze as well as pots from South Carolina, including some made by enslaved African potter David Drake. Drake cut poems into his pots (this was a period when a slave who knew how to read and write could be killed). Details: http://ncpotterycenter.org