Arts & Culture

Naked puppets, Paul Simon and ADF among the shows to see in June

Paul Simon’s 19-city summer tour brings him to Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheater Wednesday, June 7th.
Paul Simon’s 19-city summer tour brings him to Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheater Wednesday, June 7th. AFP/Getty Images

There’s a lot of good music to see outside this month. For your listening pleasure, we suggest you check out our Outdoor Music Guide online at and decide between amazing groupings (Joan Baez, Mary Chapin Carpenter and the Indigo Girls) at the N.C. Museum of Art, classics by the N.C. Symphony at Koka Booth in Cary or country licks (Lady Antebellum) at the Walnut Creek.

So where are we spending our hard-earned dollars? The coin flip went to Paul Simon. The 75-year-old has a new album (“The Concert in Hyde Park, which chronicles the 2012 concert), is reported to be working on another and is on a 19-city summer tour that brings him to Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheater Wednesday, June 7. We’re hoping he’ll sing the updated “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)” as he did on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” last month. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $49.50 to $149.50. The profits from this summer’s shows will be donated to the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation. The foundation, based in Durham, works through research and education initiatives to inform worldwide preservation of our biological heritage.

The American Dance Festival celebrates its 40th year in Durham by branching out to Raleigh and Cary for performances. The Raleigh show at the N.C. Museum of Art has passed (sorry, but it was sold out) but there are still tickets for the June 13-14 performances of “We Love Arabs” by the Hillel Kogan company at The Cary Theater. The company, based in Tel Aviv, Israel, is making its ADF debut. Hillel Kogan will also perform the work June 16-17 at Duke University’s Reynolds Industries Theater.

The ADF season – its 84th – runs through July 29 with 71 performances by 30 companies, including crowd favorites the African American Dance Ensemble, Pilobolus and Bill T. Jones. The official opening night gala is June 15 at the Durham Performing Arts Center and features an ADF commissioned world premiere and a slate of all-N.C. performers.

For ticket information and a full calendar of performances and locales, visit

Do not let the puppets fool you: “Avenue Q” is not for young kids. Raleigh Little Theatre warns that its production features adult content, nude puppets, bad language and drinking. The musical tells the story of a bright-eyed college grad who arrives in the big city with big dreams and no money. He moves into a shabby apartment on Avenue Q and starts to meet the neighbors, variously described as the slut, the Republican and the pervert. The show won three Tonys when it debuted on Broadway in 2003, including Best Musical. It runs through June 25. Tickets are $15 Sunday, June 4 (First Sunday). The rest of the time, students and seniors pay $24, and other adults $28. See for showtimes. The box office is 919-821-3111.

The N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh opens its new, expanded African Art Gallery in the East Building at the end of the month. The new gallery is three times as large as the one it’s replacing in the West Building, which means more works on display. Highlights include a masquerade area, a contemporary art section and a wall highlighting North Carolina collections. The oldest work on view will be a terracotta sculpture circa 600. The newest will be a site-specific chalk drawing by Nigerian-born artist Victor Ekpuk that he’ll be creating June 5-9. It will be up for just one year.