Here’s the thing about celebrity impersonators: They’re either really good, in which case you’re laughing with them, or they’re really bad, in which case you’re laughing at them. Either way, you’re laughing … that’s what you want from comedy, no? Leading Ladies Cabaret comes to the Comedy House Theatre at 8 p.m.; the show features Lawanda Jackson, known for impersonating Michael and Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige and Tina Turner, among others. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Call 798-9898 to order or visit comedyhouse.us for more information.
Back in the fall of 2010, Free Times published a story about the probing documentary photography of Jan Banning that far too few of you read. (We know: We track these things in Google Analytics. It’s kind of like the NSA, but, you know, not as creepy.) Anyway, back then the Dutch photographer had an exhibition at the 701 Center for Contemporary Art. Now he has another one: Down and Out in the South features dignified, cliché-free photographs of homeless people, some of which were taken during his 2010 residency at 701 CCA. The show opens tonight with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. and runs through March 2. Then on Saturday, Banning gives a gallery talk at 1 p.m. and former City Councilwoman Anne Sinclair leads a panel discussion about homelessness at 2 p.m. Visit 701cca.org or call 779-4571 for more information.
It’s your last day to see Defying the Quiet, a photography show documenting the civil rights movement in South Carolina, at McKissick Museum on the University of South Carolina campus. So, go do that. The museum is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Visit artsandsciences.sc.edu/mckissickmuseum for more info.
Speaking of civil rights, why is The Most Racist Show on Ear … no, wait; we must have misread that. Take two: The Most RACES Show on Earth (or MRSOE! if you prefer), a multicultural stand-up comedy tour is coming to the Red Door Tavern on State Street in West Columbia. The tour highlights rising young comedians of multiple races and ethnicities gleefully skewering your sacred cows and charging you for the privilege. They’re not charging you much, though: Show time is 8 p.m. and tickets are a mere $5. Visit reddoortavern.net for advance tickets or more info.
You read Free Times. (Don’t deny it, you’re reading it right now.) Therefore, it stands to reason that you also like beer. And not just one beer, but lots of beers. They’ll have lots of beers at the World Beer Festival, which is at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center today. The festival runs in two separate sessions — one from noon to 4 p.m., the other from 6 to 10 p.m. — and features more than 150 craft beers. Tickets are $40; order at etix.com or visit allaboutbeer.com for more info.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is tomorrow, but it’s not too early to celebrate. (The University of South Carolina started celebrating on Thursday and it’s going to keep celebrating until Jan. 25.) The Koger Center hosts Martin Luther King Jr. Remembered Through The Songs of Freedom, an evening of gospel music featuring the USC Gospel Choir, The Gospel Legends from Hopkins and more. Show time is 6 p.m.; tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students.
When you see a major concert pianist on the stage at the Koger Center, you ever wonder where they got that piano? Well, if they’re not using the in-house piano, then there’s a good chance that Rice Music House provided one for the occasion. Rice Music House is a longtime supporter of the arts and also proves it by presenting concerts now and then. Pianist Ryan White, assistant professor of music at Coker College, performs at Rice Music House at 3 p.m. in the Village at Sandhill. The concert will cost you nothing, but seats are limited; call 254-2777 for more info — such as whether there’s a seat left for you before you drive out to Sandhill.
It’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day. USC commemorates the occasion with the MLK Day of Service at Davis Field. For the full rundown on USC’s MLK events, visit sc.edu and search “MLK Week 2014”.
As Free Times went to press, there were still tickets left for TEDxColumbiaSC at Harbison Theatre. Among this year’s speakers are some kick-ass local people such as Tayloe Harding, who’s been attracting world-class talent to Columbia as dean of the USC School of Music; Terrance Henderson, an excellent local choreographer ;Kayce Singletary, community education director for Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands; and Ed Madden — well, really, you should know him already. (If you don’t, he’s an amazing poet and a professor of Irish literature and creative writing at USC.) Visit tedxcolumbiasc.com for more information.
The state of our city is … really messed up! No, mayors never say that. Get ready for “the state of our city is strong and getting stronger,” or something like that. Mayor Steve Benjamin gives the State of the City address at 6 p.m. at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.
You know how people always like to brag about how they saw a play or a film before you did because they were up in New York City? Yeah, those people suck. And besides, now you can see it too just by going to the Nickelodeon Theatre. The Nick presents the New York Film Critics Circle Series, in which you get to see a live-streaming film as it debuts in New York and then listen to a live discussion with top actors and filmmakers afterward. First film up is At Middleton starring Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga as a couple of single parents who fall for each other while taking their kids on a college admissions tour. Show time is 8 p.m.; cost is $18. Visit nickelodeon.org or call 254-8234 for details.
Alex Kastan is a collector of Japanese Satsuma porcelain. Morohiko Nakahara is the music director of the South Carolina Philharmonic, and he is from the island of Satsuma. At 5:30 p.m., they’ll be at the Columbia Museum of Art talking about the show Meiji Magic. Want to go? Call 799-2810 for details.
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