1. Eyes on Main Street transforms six blocks of Nash Street, the main street in Wilson, into an art gallery for 100 days. This annual event is always a treat. This year there will be 100 large-scale photographs from 100 photographers from 49 countries on display through July 16. There will be a street party opening day, Saturday, April 8. Free. 252-243-8440; eyesonmainsgtreetwilson.com.
2. Black Grace, New Zealand’s leading contemporary dance group, draws on South Pacific histories and traditions, and will perform as part of NC State Live for one night at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 11. The group currently is on a five-and-a-half week North American tour and will take the stage at Stewart Theatre in the Talley Student Union. Black Grace’s artistic director and founder is Neil Ieremia, whose work is influenced by his Samoan and New Zealand roots. He will lead a pre-show discussion at 7 p.m. in room 3222. Dancer Sean MacDonald describes Black Grace’s work as “highly athletic and dynamic but still fluid and lyrical. It incorporates complex rhythmical structure, including traditional Samoan Fa’ataupti or body percussion.” Five works will be showcased, with themes from childhood memories to the state of the world today. Tickets, $27-$32, can be ordered at 919-515-1100 or nando.com/4ox .
3. Can’t make it to Wilson? Then drive to Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh for “Looking South: Photographs by Eudora Welty,” a portfolio of photographs by the American novelist and short story writer. It will be at the N.C. Museum of Art on Blue Ridge Road from April 8 to Sept. 3. You might want to check it out on April 21 when NCMA hosts HOOPLA, a party in the museum park with food trucks, music and Cirque de Vol performers as a way to show off two new works: an interactive play structure SCULPT. C by Jaime Hayon and larger-than-life head sculptures Awilda & Irma by Jaume Plensa.
4. When the Carolina Ballet last performed “Rhapsody in Blue,” our reviewer called it “extremely appealing” and said company choreographer/dancer Zalman Raffael had an astute feel for George Gershwin’s changing rhythms and moods. The Ballet says Raffael has reimagined the work for Raleigh’s largest stage, Memorial Auditorium at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., Raleigh. Performances are at 8 p.m. April 20-22 with 2 p.m. matinees April 22 and 23. Tickets start at $30. carolinaballet.com or 919-719-0900.
5. Road Dahl wrote great books for kids that parents enjoy reading as well. His books also make for some pretty good films and plays, so we have high hopes for Raleigh Little Theatre’s “James and the Giant Peach,” the story of a boy who cuts down a fruit tree and discovers a magic potion. Adventures with large insects ensue. It stars Michael McKenna, a 10th grader at Voyager Academy, as James. Catch it April 21-30 with show times at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday, and 1 and 5 p.m., Saturday-Sunday in the Cantey V. Sutton Theatre, 301 Pogue St. Tickets are $17, $11 for ages 12 and under. raleighlittletheatre.org or 919-821-3111.
6. How cool is Durham’s Art of Cool festival? George Clinton cool. Common cool. The festival, from April 28-30, will feature shows by more than 50 musicians performing soul, hip hop, funk and jazz in clubs and other venues around the Bull City. The Saturday club pass ($65), the two-day club pass ($115) or the VIP experience ($265) gets you access to Clinton’s show and the Art of Cool club venues – except for Common, who plays April 29 at the DPAC, 123 Vivian St. Tickets to see the rapper/actor/poet start at $59.50. All shows at the Carolina Theatre including Clinton are general admission first-come first-served, unless you purchase a VIP ticket. For a schedule of performances and speakers go to aocfestival.org or call 919-672-0060.
Compiled by Linda Haac and Mary Cornatzer