Family, alcohol, love, death, devotion and military service are among the themes of South Carolina novelist Pat Conroy’s 1976 novel The Great Santini. These themes resonate with families dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, and they’ll be explored at the main branch of Richland Library at 6:30 p.m. as part of the discussion “Getting the Boots Off: PTSD and The Great Santini.” The free event will be held in the Bostick Auditorium and features counselor Jennifer Miller talking about her own experiences in Iraq and afterward. Visit richlandlibrary.com for more information.
Readers, we know you are a smart bunch, so we generally try to refrain from scolding you as if you were too dull to comprehend what we are telling you. But sometimes we need to be blunt: Every time cellist Edward Arron comes to town, he brings with him some of the most accomplished classical musicians in the world. And yet, too many of you think the Chamber on Main series is for old people, so you don’t go. By making this decision, you are being stupid. So, stop being stupid and go. We’re especially talking to you music students, who can soak in these fantastic sounds for a mere $5, whereas the rest of us have to pay $40 (which is still worth it). On the program: Rossini, Bartok, Schubert and fiddler Mark O’Connor’s Appalachia Waltz. The concert starts at 7 p.m. [online copy corrected]; visit columbiamuseum.org for tickets or more information.
Last week’s First Thursday art crawl was a sparsely attended affair, thanks to a cold drizzle that kept many of the usual attendees away. But you wouldn’t have known it from the enthusiasm emanating from the cast of the musical See Rock City & Other Destinations, who gave a spirited preview of the work opening tonight at Trustus Theatre. A contemporary musical about connections missed and made at such tourist destinations as Roswell, N.M., Niagara Falls and the Alamo, each story builds to create a vivid travelogue of Americans learning to overcome their fears. Curtains are at 8 p.m., and the show runs through April 5. Tickets are $27 for adults, $25 for military and seniors, and $20 for students. Visit trustus.org for more information or call 254-9732 for reservations.
Who’s the funniest stand-up comic in town? We have no idea, but there should be a clear winner after tonight’s Soda City Showdown Comedy Competition Final at the Red Door Tavern on State Street. The laughs start at 8 p.m.; call 764-5196 or visit reddoortavern.net for more information.
It’s the weekend for the Carolina Classic Home & Garden Show, which features more than 250 exhibitors at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds today through Sunday. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. But wait! There’s more! Tonight from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. is the Wine Walk. And what’s better than drinking wine while you ponder all those upcoming home improvement projects? Admission to the Home & Garden show is $6; admission to the Wine Walk, which includes show admission, is $25 in advance and $30 at the door. For more information, visit columbiabuilders.com.
Many thousands of you will be in Five Points today. And then there are those of you who will be actively avoiding the St. Pat’s festivities. For you, we suggest you take this opportunity to soak in some local civil rights history. The Columbia SC 63 project is offering free civil rights bus tours starting at Zion Baptist Church on Washington Street at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Register at civilrightsbustours.eventbrite.com.
You love him! You hate him! You want more politicians to be like him! Or … you don’t. Whatever your opinion of him is, we’d be surprised if you don’t have strongly held views about former U.S. Senator Jim DeMint, now president of the staunchly conservative and increasingly incendiary Heritage Foundation. DeMint visits Barnes & Noble on Forest Drive at 3 p.m. to sign copies of his new book, Falling in Love with America Again. Call 787-5600 for more information.
The art of Tyrone Geter is direct and purposeful: He aims to speak for those with no voice, lifting up the poor and excluded with a message of hope and perseverance. The versatile multimedia artist and Benedict College art professor opens his Elgin studio today at 2:30 p.m. to talk about his work; visit columbiamuseum.org/events to register.
We keep hearing good things about Evan Meaney, a filmmaker and assistant professor of media arts at the University of South Carolina. Lo and behold, here’s a chance to talk to him in person: The Nickelodeon Theatre presents a screening of the 1984 film The Last Starfighter — about a video-game obsessed boy who’s recruited for an alien defense force — as part of its Science on Screen series; Meaney, who knows a lot about both gaming and cinema, leads a discussion after the film. Show time is 5:30 p.m., and tickets are $8. Visit nickelodeon.org for more information.
If there is indeed a connection between music and astronomy, we suspect that Matthew Whitehouse can do a better job of finding it than most. Whitehouse is observatory manager at the S.C. State Museum and holds a doctorate in organ performance. At 7 p.m., he gives a free lecture and recital at Shandon United Methodist at 3407 Devine St. Call 772-1492 for more information.
Pittsburgh-based C Street Brass prides itself on genre-hopping gymnastics, moving from Baroque to dubstep with ease. They’re equally eclectic in the types of gigs they play — everything from street busking and house parties to high-society chamber performances. Tonight, the five-piece ensemble will be at the University of South Carolina’s School of Music Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m. The performance is free. Call 777-4280 for more.
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