8 Days a Week

Jeff Dunham at the Colonial Center Sunday

Plus: Columbia Restaurant Week Begins Thursday

By Free Times
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
jeff dunham
Who’re you calling a dummy?! | Jeff Dunham brings his puppet-oriented stand-up to the Colonial Life Arena on Sunday.

Wednesday 8

Broadway in Columbia presents the second night of Memphis’ two-night stand at the Koger Center tonight; the musical, which won four Tony Awards in 2010, is loosely based on Memphis disk jockey Dewey Phillips, one of the first white DJs to play black music in the 1950s. A musical based loosely on a white Memphis disc jockey who played black music in the 1950s? Why not write a musical about the common cat? Or the king of Siam? Curtain rises at 7:30 p.m.; tickets are $47 to $58. Visit broadwayincolumbia.com for more information.

Thursday 9

It’s the most delicious time of the year! It’s Restaurant Week in South Carolina once again, which means 11 days of special deals at Columbia restaurants. For the lowdown on where to chow down, check out Chew on This.

Friday 10

Llewyn Davis is at a crossroads. Guitar in tow, huddled against the unforgiving New York winter of 1961, Lewis struggles to make it as a folk musician against seemingly insurmountable obstacles — some of them of his own making. Sounds almost like the plot of a Coen brothers movie. Wait — it is the plot of a Coen brothers movie. The Nickelodeon Theatre opens Inside Llewyn Davis today, screening the film at 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m. This being a Coen brothers feature, expect unsparing portraiture and an excellent soundtrack — oh, and John Goodman. Call 254-3433 or visit nickelodeon.org for tickets and more information.

The Vista’s if ART Gallery opens two exhibitions today: Feathers to Fly, an exhibition of Laura Spong’s muted color fields; and Systematic Chance, a collection of Enid Williams’ vibrant abstract paintings. There’s an artists’ reception today from 6 to 9 p.m.; the exhibitions run through Feb. 1. Call 238-2351 or visit ifartgallery.blogspot.com for more information.

Saturday 11

Dun-dun-dun-duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun! The South Carolina Philharmonic performs Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony (and a few more pieces) at its Beethoven and Blue Jeans concert tonight at the Koger Center; the arts section has more.

Sunday 12

Beloved by audiences but loathed by critics, Jeff Dunham is one of the great dichotomies in American comedy. The ventriloquist navigates a slippery slope of cultural stereotypes and caricatures — included among his characters are Sweet Daddy Dee, a smooth-talking pimp; José, a jalapeño on a stick; Bubba J, a buck-toothed country bumpkin; and Achmed the Dead Terrorist (who Dunham often denies is a Muslim) — while mostly refusing to mock his own conservative Christian values. It’s not funny to Eight Days, but Dunham’s consistently one of the highest-grossing stand-up acts in North America, so he’s obviously doing something that connects with some people, anyway. Dunham’s Disorderly Conduct Tour comes to the Colonial Life Arena at 3 p.m.; tickets are $46.50. For more information, call 1-855-472-8499 or visit lmctix.com.

The Nickelodeon Theatre continues its Forever and a Day series, which showcases unique film adaptations of the plays of William Shakespeare, today with a screening of All Night Long at 12:30 p.m. The film is based loosely on Othello, the Bard’s tragic tale of ultimate duplicity, but set in the smoky jazz clubs of swinging ’60s London. The screening’s followed by a discussion led by Scott Blanks, managing director of the South Carolina Shakespeare Company. Admission is $10; call 254-3433 or visit nickelodeon.org for more information.

Monday 13

The average low temperature in Columbia in January is 37 degrees. That’s no problem for those among us with warm homes to retreat to, but for the city’s homeless population, it poses a serious problem. The Light the Way concert series, the proceeds from which benefit nonprofit organizations that serve homeless populations in the Midlands, hosts Warm Sounds for Cold Nights, its third concert, at 7:30 p.m. at the University of South Carolina School of Music Recital Hall; featured performers for this concert are The Sandlapper Singers and Duo de Vista. Tickets are $20; visit lightthewaysc.com for more information.

Tuesday 14

Called an “eclectic cultural tapestry” by The New York Times (and “the greatest break-up story ever told” by filmmaker Nina Paley), Sita Sings the Blues weaves the story of Paley’s collapsing marriage into the ancient Sanskrit epic the Ramayana. Of course, there’s a lot in store, including a Betty Boop-voluptuous heroine, a lustful 10-headed king, an army of monkeys, smart-alec shadow puppets and a tap-dancing moon. If it sounds wacky … well, it is. But it’s no kids’ cartoon, having screened at prestigious film festivals in France, Germany, Greece and Argentina. The Nickelodeon Theatre screens Sita Sings the Blues at 5:30 p.m. as part of its Beyond Bollywood series; admission is free. Call 254-3433 or visit nickelodeon.org for more information.

Wednesday 15

Guitar heroes Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks trade licks at the Township Auditorium tonight; in addition to being two of the world’s top blues-rock guitarists, Tedeschi and Trucks are also married. Wonder if there’s ever a fight about whose turn it is to strap on the Telecaster. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. concert run from $29.50 to $75; visit thetownship.org for more infomation.

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