8 Days a Week

The 39 Steps at Longstreet Theatre

Plus: EdVenture After Dark Thursday

By Free Times
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Quiet, you! | Theatre South Carolina opens The 39 Steps on Friday. courtesy photo

Wednesday 19

In 2008, then 35-year-old Benjamin Todd Jealous became the youngest director the NAACP has ever had in its 100-plus years of existence. During his tenure, the civil rights organization raised its national profile, substantially increasing its base of activists and donors. Now Jealous is on to other things, among them speaking at the University of South Carolina’s Russell House Ballroom today at 6 p.m. The talk is free and open to the public; it’s being presented as part of USC’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of desegregation.

Thursday 20

Admit it, parents: There’s at least a small part of you that watches your kids run around EdVenture Children’s Museum with wild abandon and wishes you could just throw off your inhibitions and join them. Well, now you can — except the kids won’t be there. The event is called Glow, and it promises an evening full of glow-in-the-dark fun with laser tag, body paint, pizza, beer and cocktails — all while exploring the museum. And, if you’re not throwing back too many cocktails, you can pick up a few scientific nuggets along the way. The event runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and a $20 ticket includes two drinks. Visit edventure.org for more information.

Friday 21

The Auntie Karen Foundation always puts on a stunning gala and concert for its big annual fundraiser at the Koger Center, but this year’s event is a real triple shot of musical talent. Billed as a tribute to George Duke, the concert features Jonathan Butler, Kirk Whalum and Lalah Hathaway. Butler is a jazz guitarist and vocalist, a star of the smooth jazz format for many years. Whalum is a saxophonist who has worked with Bob James, Whitney Houston and many others. Hathaway’s career has spanned several decades as an R&B singer, including a 2014 Grammy award for Best R&B Performance with the jazz fusion group Snarky Puppy. Tickets range from $46 to $76; call 251-2222 or visit capitoltickets.com to order. For more information, visit auntiekaren.org.

Debonair hero Richard Hannay “finds himself mixed up with Annabella, a femme fatale on the run from assassins who believe she holds information about a nefarious plan to steal vital British military secrets.” Sounds like the basis for an engaging enough tale, but it gets even better: The 39 Steps is an inventive remake of the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name, and as such it’s full of Hitchcockian intrigue and clever references to his works. It also features just four actors taking on a mind-boggling 140 different roles. Show time is 8 p.m. at Longstreet Theatre at 1400 Greene St. on the University of South Carolina campus. Tickets are $18; $16 for USC faculty and staff, military and seniors; and $12 for students. Call 777-2551 or visit the Longstreet box office to order.

Saturday 22

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but perhaps you can still convince your object of desire that you’re a cultivated person with taste. The University of South Carolina Symphony Orchestra presents a tribute to musical theater composers Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe in a concert that was originally scheduled for Feb. 11. Together, Lerner and Loewe penned such songs as “It’s Almost Like Being in Love,” “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?” “The Rain in Spain” and “I Could Have Danced All Night.” Don’t know the tunes? Go get yourself some education. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Koger Center.  Tickets are $30; $25 for USC faculty and staff and seniors; and $8 for students. Call 251-2222 or visit capitoltickets.com to order.

Eight Days knows people who love musicals, and Eight Days knows people who hate musicals. What we don’t know are many people who don’t have an opinion on the matter. If you’re in the “hate” camp, you might want to skip the aforementioned Lerner and Loewe tribute and instead get yourself to the Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County for its annual Gospel Fest. The concert features several local gospel choirs — among them the Gospel Cavaliers, Sanders Creek Male Chorus and New Life Trio — and costs a mere $8. Show time is 6 p.m. in the center’s Wood Auditorium. Call 803-425-7676 or visit fineartscenter.org for more information.

Sunday 23

The latest incarnation of Columbia’s Jewish Film Festival is about a month away, but its organizers offer a warm shalom with a pre-event screening of Haim Hecht’s The Return of the Violin. The film will be followed by a performance from violin-and-piano duo Rebecca Hunter and Marina Lomazov, and a panel of professors will lead an interactive discussion. The free event kicks off at 3 p.m. at the University of South Carolina’s School of Music Recital Hall. For more information, visit columbiajewishfilmfestival.com.

Continuing its ongoing Civil Rights Sundays series, the Nickelodeon Theatre screens The Central Park Five, a documentary investigating the 1989 rape and assault of Tricha Melli, a female jogger in New York’s Central Park. The screening starts at 3 p.m. Visit nickelodeon.org for details.

Monday 24

No holiday would be complete without a drink, right? Well, World Bartender Day certainly shouldn’t pass you by without a refreshing libation. Head on down to one of Columbia’s many comfy and well-appointed bars, order an elaborate cocktail or a nice beer, and — as always — tip well, maybe a little bit better than usual.

Tuesday 25

Tatsuya Nakatani is an unusual percussionist, preferring the long and fragile tones of bowed cymbals and singing bowls to the smacking of snares and toms. His eponymous orchestra expands these ideas with 10 players and 40 gongs. Check out the music section for a feature on the project, which performs today at the Columbia Museum of Art.

Finally ready to write that screenplay you’ve been talking about all these years? There’s a class for that. In his Columbia Screenwriting course, media lecturer Ron Hagell will teach the basics of the craft in six convenient sessions. The first of four classes meets tonight; the cost of the entire regimen is $150, $100 for students and teachers. Call 917-216-2098. [online copy corrected]

Wednesday 26

In an early-morning, student-targeted complement to its upcoming production of Sleeping Beauty, which opens Feb. 28, the Columbia Classical Ballet offers a quick trip to Oz, presenting the show from today through Friday at the Koger Center. After all, what day wouldn’t be better if it started with a trip down Yellow Brick Road? All shows start at 10 a.m., and tickets are $5. Call 252-9112 for more information.

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