Kasper Wilson grew up listening to comedians like Flip Wilson and Richard Pryor — and, eventually, hoping to make a living like they did. But that was a long time ago. Now he’s a touring comedian known as Black Kasper, and he brings his act to the Comedy House Theatre for a five-night run beginning tonight at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10; call 798-9898 or visit comedyhouse.us to order.
So you think the arts scene is slowing down because it’s summer? Well, it’s not slowing down on Main Street. This month’s First Thursday on Main series is absurdly packed with action. Here are a few highlights: Philharmonic players will be playing outdoors on the 1200 block of Main Street; Latino-oriented arts organization Palmetto y Luna presents its outdoor Arts in Motion project on the 1500 block; the Tapp’s Arts Center (1600 block) presents tattoo art in Cola: Inked and hosts five contemporary classical chamber ensembles (see page 28); the Gallery at City Hall (1700 block) will be open to show the About Face exhibition; and Villa Tronco (1213 Blanding St.) presents Opera Night. The fun runs from 6 to 10 p.m., and, as always, it’s free. Visit firstthursdaysonmain.com for a complete rundown.
Art Garfunkel plays the Columbia Museum of Art tonight. Let’s repeat that slowly so it sinks in: Art … Garfunkel … plays … the … Columbia Museum of Art … tonight. Doors open at 7 p.m., the show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $65. And before you start complaining about the price, might we remind you that we’re talking about Art Garfunkel. See the music section on page 46 for more information.
How many times have your kids seen Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs? Seeing as it came out in 2009, we’re going to guess — conservatively — that they’ve seen it a minimum of five times, and possibly as many as 100. So it won’t really matter if they’re watching or just running around like the crazy rugrats they are when you head to the Summer Movie Series at Riverfront Park. Hell, depending on your kids’ bedtime, you might not even want to stay for the movie at all. You can still go: Games and face painting start at 7 p.m.; the movie starts at 8:30 p.m.; and the screening is free. The series continues every Friday through July 25. Call the city’s Parks & Recreation Department at 545-3100 for more information.
If you’re a parent, you know exactly what happens when the school year ends: Kids go into relaxation mode — sleeping later, hanging out at lakes and pools, watching way too much TV and spending way too many hours playing video games or watching YouTube. That’s all well and good for a week or so — everybody needs a break — but if it persists, then you’re entering brain rot territory, and no one wants that. Enter the fourth annual StoryFest at the South Carolina State Museum. The free festival features authors, librarians and storytellers, as well as face painting, a craft area, visits from Cocky and SCETV’s SmartCat and more. All in all, it’s just what you need to get the kids re-engaged with books at the start of the summer. The festival runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
OK, adults, we’d love to tell you what’s going on this week — but frankly, most everything scheduled the week after school ended is for kids. EdVenture Children’s Museum presents Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice. You know what it’s about — huge dinosaurs that will fascinate some kids and scare the crap out of others. More specifically, you’ll see familiar warm-weather dinosaurs such as Triceratops and T-Rex along with less familiar cold-weather creatures, including Troodon and Edmontosaurus. (Get it, like Edmonton, Alberta?) The exhibit opens today and runs through Sept. 14. Visit edventure.org or call 779-3100 for more information.
If you’re unclear on the rules, roller derby teams have five players — one who scores points by lapping members of the other team in a raucous race, and four who strive to help their compatriot while hindering the other team. Intrigued? Well, today’s a great chance to get a first taste, as the Columbia QuadSquad Rollergirls host a triple-header at the Jamil Temple. $10 gets you into all of the bouts, which kick off at 12:30 p.m. See columbiaquadsquad.com for details.
For 29 years, the Conductors Institute of South Carolina at the University of South Carolina has offered an opportunity for aspiring maestros to learn their craft and for their more experienced peers to refine their skills. And while the corresponding workshops and classes might seem boring to the average non-conductor, the Institute keeps all of its sessions free and open to the public, making the two-week gathering a swell opportunity to take in some classical music — and to see up-close how conductors interact with players. Want to see the (classical) sausage being made? Just show up at the Koger Center Mon-Sat between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. or between 2 and 4:30 p.m. The Institute continues through June 21. Visit conductorsinstitute.com for more info.
What better way to celebrate the tastes of summer than by sampling a “super-charged” menu of sustainable and farm-to-table dishes at one of Columbia’s most revered restaurants? You’ll get just that at Motor Supply Co.’s Summer Harvest Week, with new and unique food specials each night and a selection of handcrafted cocktails available through June 15. For more, visit motorsupplycobistro.com.
Not hungry? How about some jazz? The Township Auditorium kicks off its affordable Summer Sets Jazz Series tonight with a performance by the Mike Frost Band at 6 p.m. For more on the $5 concert, see this week’s Music & Nightlife section or visit thetownship.org.
Celebrating the sacrifices of our armed forces shouldn’t be reserved for holidays. So hit up tonight’s mid-week Concert to Honor Green Berets, where members of the South Carolina Philharmonic will offer a selection of patriotic tunes to honor some of the most elite members of the U.S. Army. The special event takes place at 7 p.m. at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Tickets cost $12. More info available at scphilharmonic.com.
Find more things to do at free-times.com/events.
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