Thursday, January 14, 2010

The weekend is here - but oddly nothing tonight

Friday, Jan. 15
 It worked in the summer
Last summer some folks got together to beat the summer and art doldrums with several Friday night events that of visual art, music, theater and a goofy and impossible games.
“Playing After Dark” is back in a cold-weather edition. And before it even got rolling the organizers had to add another day due to heavy response. (No advance tickets so get there early).

At what's being called “The Free Form” tonight and Saturday you can see dance done by Sherry Warren with choreography by Journy Wilkes-Davis and original music by David Wright, film by Wade Sellars and photography by Kirill Simin, dancers with the Carolina Ballet and Vista Ballroom, painting on site by Karen Storay and Marianna Simina, poetry by Charlene Spearen accompanied by dancer and choreographer Stephen Ferguson.

Good lord there’s more: alt-metal band The Noise, photography by Thomas Hammond and bits of the musical “Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris.”

“Free Form” takes place both nights from 8 to 10:30 (although I bet with all this it goes later) at the Columbia Music Festival Association, 914 Pulaski St. $5. For information call (803) 456-6822 or (803) 800-7716

Art and coffee
“Sticks, Straws, Sleeves and Lids: An Installation by Jonathan Brilliant” can be seen starting today at the USC art department gallery. (See Sunday story below for more details.)

Classic comedy opens at Town
Town Theatre brings to stage the tale of two unlikely roommates (the slob and the priss) in “The Odd Couple.” Stage vets Scott Stepp and Lee O. Smith play the two middle-aged guys trying to make a new life late in life.
“The Odd Couple” runs through Jan. 30.
(803) 799-2510 or

Young dancers
The Youth America Gran Prix ballet competition comes to Columbia for the first time. It's for dancers from 9 to 19 from throughout the Southeast and takes place at USC's Drayton Hall Theatre. The event runs through Sunday and admission is $5. For all the details you'll have to go to

Saturday, Jan. 16

Dress down or up for Phil
S.C. Philharmonic music director Morihiko Nakahara is away on another gig this weekend. Guest conductor Erin Freeman will lead the orchestra in its annual “Beethoven and Blues Jeans” concert. (The title is a nod to the quaint notion that people actually dress up to go out, but don’t need to for this one.)
The associate conductor of the Richmond Symphony, Freeman will lead the Philharmonic in Beethoven’s Second Symphony; Russian composer Mikhail Glinka’s Overture to “Ruslan and Ludmilla;” English composer Frederick Delius’ “The Walk to the Paradise Garden” and piano works by Prokofiev played by winners of the Southeastern Piano Festival competition held at USC last summer.
For tickets (803) 251-2222 or

Sex, violence, racism
It's all there in Georges Bizet's opera "Carmen." The Metropolitan Opera production gets a live broadcast at 1 p.m. locally at the Regal Sandhill Cinema. Call (800) 638-6737,

Sunday, Jan. 17
Sing out
You don't have to read music or be a trained singer to take part in “Wide Open Spaces: A Sacred Harp Gathering” at the Columbia Museum of Art. The event a kind of educational sing along of what's called shape-note singing. It's fun and it's easy and its free at 3 p.m. This educational sign-along is being held in conjunction with the Ansel Adams exhibition at the museum. And this is the last day to see that show. Expect crowds. 
(803) 799-2810.

Monday, Jan. 18

Kid’s opera for free

Here’s a free taste of opera for both you and the kids. “Pinocchio,” an original opera by FBN Productions, Inc., uses music by Mozart, Offenbach and Rossini to tell the story of the marionette boy who wants to become a real boy.
FBN Productions/ Opera for Kids is a 15-year-old professional company specializing in bringing operas to children throughout the Southeast and is headed by Ellen Douglas Schlaefer, who is also head of opera studies at the USC school of music.
The show is at 11:30 a.m. at the Columbia Music Festival Association, 914 Pulaski St. (803) 237-1849. 

Show closes, catalog opens 
A retrospective exhibition by Columbia artists Jeff Donovan sort 0f wraps up tonight  from 7 to 9 at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios with a release of a catalog about the artist and his art.  The show is up through 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Tuesday, Jan. 19
Slide zone
Trombone player Michael Becker, principal trombonist of the Tucson Symphony and Visiting Professor at the University of Georgia, gives a free concert at 5:30 at the USC School of Music. 777-4280.

Wednesday, Jan. 20

Saxophone from France
Saxophonist Philippe Geiss has been playing all around the world for two decades in a whole bunch of styles and on 20 recordings. His "Saxophones and Percussions" won the French Recording Award for Chamber Music.
The teacher at the Strasbourg Music Conservatory gives a free concert at 7:30 p.m. at the USC music school. 777-4280.

Talking about Olympia
The second installment of a series of event connected to the exhibition "Olympia" takes place at 7:30. "I Remember When" is composed of stories about the Olympia mill village by the people who live and have lived there. The free event is s at the 701 Center for Contemporary Art, 701 Whaley St. 238-2351.

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