You might or might not have heard that the U.S. Army Special Forces Association is holding its annual convention here in Columbia. (And the Special Forces Association might neither confirm nor deny that they’re in town, anyway.) Well, we hear that Morihiko Nakahara and the South Carolina Philharmonic will be at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center tonight to play some patriotic music in conjunction with said convention. The concert, presented by the Celebrate Freedom Foundation, starts at 7:30 p.m. and costs $12. Visit scphilharmonic.com for tickets or more information.
Ever wanted to make your way through Elmwood Cemetery but felt sort of weird about just randomly walking through a cemetery? Here’s your chance: Historic Columbia presents its Secrets from the Grave tour at 7:30 p.m., followed by its Moonlight Cemetery tours at 8 and 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $12; visit historiccolumbia.org or call 252-1770 x 23 for details.
Pop star Bruno Mars is at the Colonial Life Arena tonight. If you don’t know who that is, then you probably don’t want to go. But take our word for it: Like him or not, the guy has ridiculous amounts of talent. Read about the show on page 61.
It’s not Snow White, it’s Commedia Snow White, and that means the names and scenarios have been altered somewhat to produce a comedic effect — and, uh, avoid copyright issues. Plus, Snow White is in a yellow dress. The Columbia Children’s Theatre presents Commedia Snow White at 7 p.m. in its space on the second floor of Richland Mall (3400 Forest Drive). Tickets are $10, and the show runs through June 22. Additional shows are Saturday at 10:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (Saturday evening shows are only $5) and Sunday at 3 p.m. Visit
columbiachildrenstheatre.com or call 691-4548 for more information.
If you didn’t live in Columbia in 1994, you might find it hard to imagine the extent to which Hootiemania gripped the city. Sure, there were detractors in certain circles, but many people adored the easygoing pop group that gave us songs like “Hold My Hand” and — despite its “overnight” success in ‘94 — had already been playing bars in Columbia and beyond since forming in 1986. Plus, there were thousands of new converts even locally — people who weren’t part of the bar scene and were just learning of Hootie’s existence at the same time the rest of the country did. Anyway, all this is background for saying that the breakthrough album Cracked Rear View came out 20 years ago, and drummer Jim Sonefeld and music writer Mike Miller (author of a Hootie biography) will be talking about what it was like in the early days today at Richland Library at 3 p.m. Call 929-3402 for details.
What’s the Maker Faire? It’s a place where creative, scientific and curious people get together — techies, crafters, authors, artists, inventors, teachers and more — and where you can learn about rockets, robots, music, DIY science projects, local food and more. In short, it’s a huge celebration of inventiveness and creativity, and who doesn’t like that? The Maker Faire is at EdVenture Children’s Museum from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $11.50 — or free if you have an EdVenture membership. Details? Visit makerfairecolumbiasc.com.
The Southeastern Piano Festival, a big-deal gathering for key tinklers across the nation, kicks off with tonight’s Piano Extravaganza, wherein the South Carolina Philharmonic teams with a selection of pianists — including Marina Lomazov, Phillip Bush, Joseph Rackers and Charles Fugo — often with two or more pianos going simultaneously. On the program: Bizet’s Carmen Fantasy for Two Pianos, John Adams’ Grand Pianola Musuc, Saint-Saëns’ Dance Macabre: Hootenanny for Five Pianos, Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2, Mozart’s Papageno: Fantasy on Arias from The Magic Flute and Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 1. The Koger Center concert also marks the end of the Philharmonic’s 50th season, so expect a particularly impassioned performance. Today’s extravaganza starts at 4 p.m. and costs between $17 and $47. Visit scphilharmonic.com for tickets. For more on the piano festival, see page 48 or visit sepf.music.sc.edu.
With The Return rolling into the Township Auditorium tonight, Columbia will have now played host to two of the world’s more respected Beatles cover bands in the past two months. Yay us? Unlike ABBEY Road Live!, which played Five Points’ Five After Five series last month, The Return tries to look like the real-deal Beatles, in addition to sounding like them, sticking closer to the tunes that the legends played when they were still functioning as an actual live band. The 7:30 p.m. show costs between $25 and $35. (Or you could just go buy Revolver on CD — $13.88 on Amazon.com.) More at thetownship.org.
If you’ve always wanted to venture to England, stopping in at Shakespeare’s birthplace of Stratford-upon-Avon to take in one of his plays, the Nickelodeon Theatre is getting you as close possible without boarding a boat or plane. Today it hosts a live screening of Henry IV Part I broadcast straight from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. The presentation runs at 8 p.m. today, after a 2 p.m. screening on Sunday. Tickets are $18. More at nickelodeon.org.
Struggling for a fun way to teach your kids to make healthy choices? The Cooper branch of the Richland Library has your back. Bright Star Touring Theatre presents Professor Parsnip’s Lab of Healthy Choices, taking young’uns on an “adventure through science,” using the excitement of live experiments to make good habits seem more exciting. The free event starts at 10:30 a.m. For more info, head to brightstartheatre.com.
Though he’s more famous for helping to instigate the outlandish virtuosity of the indie-pop collective Dirty Projectors, Nat Baldwin’s new solo album was inspired by the isolation and extreme effort of training for a marathon. Read more about his profound journey in this week’s Music & Nightlife section before tonight’s concert at Conundrum Music Hall, which starts at 8 p.m. and costs $12 at the door, $10 in advance.
Find more things to do at free-times.com/events.
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