by Lenise Willis

The NC Dance Festival is hosting a special event for the dance community Friday. The NCDF Bonus Day at the Cultural Arts Center offers the opportunity to take a morning class with artists Gary Taylor of the Winston-Salem Festival Ballet and EE Balcos of Charlotte-based E.E.MOTION. Dancers may also mingle with other NC dance artists and stay for the afternoon Audience Choice Show, featuring emerging NC choreographers Audrey Baran, Marcus White and Arlynn Zachary. The audience will help choose the dance that will go on to perform with the NC Dance Festival Greensboro performance in November 2013.

Hanesbrands Theatre presents the The Magistrate, starring John Lithgow, Friday and Monday as part of the National Theatre Live in HD Series. The comedy tells of amiable magistrate Posket (John Lithgow) after he marries his new wife Agatha. Little does he realize she’s dropped five years from her age — and her son’s. When her deception looks set to be revealed, it sparks a series of hilarious indignities and outrageous mishaps.

Saturday, the Hanesbrands Theatre hosts the New Song Music Showcase, featuring the music of Amy Speace with local opener Jeffrey Dean Foster.

Next Friday, Jan. 25, the professional New York-based comedy troupe the Water Coolers perform at High Point Theatre. The comics and singers will celebrate the crazy, funny, maddening, yet somehow comforting insanity of everyday life, as often discussed around the office water cooler.

In other news, Triad Stage announced last week that it reached its $250,000 fundraising goal. The Matching Campaign was launched Dec. 6 after the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation and The Cemala Foundation vowed to, together, commit $250,000 to the theater if Triad Stage could raise the matching funds.

The theater received an inspiring response from its community and audience, gaining a total of 877 gifts from 25 states around the country and 51 cities across North Carolina. The gifts totaled $270,320, of which 75 percent were from new donors.

With the expense of a production facility purchased last year, combined with a long-lasting recession, the theater proposed the fundraising effort as a solution, which will now enable the organization to eliminate debt and secure financial stability for the next 12 years.