“I am the greatest. And I’m better than I was. I’m experienced, professional, bad. And all you chumps are gonna bow down.” Comedian Doo Doo Brown samples Muhammad Ali in his video “What Dey Hatin’ On?”; apparently he’s got some kind of chip on his shoulder after 20 years of touring clubs and trying to get you chumps to laugh. But you don’t care about any of that: You either dig his in-your-face, thug-life routine, or you don’t. So if you do, get your ass to the Comedy House Theatre sometime in the next few nights; his run starts tonight at 8:30 p.m., with additional shows through Sunday. Tickets are $10. Call 798-9898 or visit comedyhouse.us to order.
It wasn’t that long ago when astronomers were excited to find one planet that could potentially support life. These days, the number of potentially life-supporting planets is somewhere between 20 billion and 60 billion, depending on which study you read. All this is just to say that space is really exciting these days. And who better to express the the excitement of space today than a NASA engineer who knows all about Mars exploration? The dynamic young Kobie Boykins is at Harbison Theatre at 7:30 p.m. He’ll tell you all about his work in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he’s helped design and deploy Mars rovers. Awesome. Tickets are $18; visit harbisontheatre.org to order.
When you watch the University of South Carolina Symphony Orchestra, you’re always going to be watching students. Most of the time, though, the student orchestra is playing with touring guest artists who are not students. This time, however, the soloists are students, too — winners of USC’s concerto and aria competition. First up is Jonathan Rouse on double bass, followed by Evan Clark on saxophone. Also on the program: Mendelssohn’s overture The Hebrides, the overture from Nabucco by Verdi and Tchaikovsky’s Marche Slave, op. 31. The concert is at 7:30 p.m. at the Koger Center; tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for seniors and USC faculty and staff, and $8 for students. Call 251-2222 or visit capitoltickets.com to order.
Act One: It’s 1959, and the leaders of the Clybourne Park community are trying to figure out how to prevent a black family from buying a home in the neighborhood. Act Two: It’s 50 years later, and Clybourne Park has become a black community — now trying to resist the process of gentrification. Welcome to the Pulitzer-winning play Clybourne Park, the newest offering at Trustus Theatre. Directed by Jim O’Connor and featuring scenic design by Christian Thee, Clybourne Park is a direct response to A Raisin in the Sun and explores race relations in a provocative, funny way. Curtain time is 8 p.m.; tickets are $22 for adults. Visit trustus.org or 254-9732 to order.
If you know anything about the Contemporaries at the Columbia Museum of Art, you know they’re a young membership group — and that they know how to throw a party. The Contemporaries Fire and Ice Ball is tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets are $65; $50 for members. Visit columbiamuseum.org for details.
Country singer Jason Aldean brings his Night Train Tour to the Colonial Life Arena at 7:30 p.m. See the music section for more information.
When singers compete, you win! No, it’s not The Voice; it’s Metropolitan Opera auditions taking place right here in little ol’ Columbia. Nationwide, more than 1,500 singers between the ages of 20 and 30 are competing for cash prizes and the chance to perform at the Met. Columbia’s competition takes place at 10 a.m. at the Spears Music and Arts Center on the Columbia College campus. Three winners will go on to the Southeastern auditions in Atlanta. What does it cost you to hear such talent? That would be nothing. Call 787-0287 for more information.
Speaking of singers, remember the Von Trapp family? Well, maybe you’re too young to remember them. Anyway, they were the family depicted in the musical The Sound of Music, and lo and behold, Elisabeth von Trapp — granddaughter of Maria and Baron von Trapp — performs today at Shandon Presbyterian Church as part of the Arts at Shandon series. Admission is … free! (Though donations will be graciously accepted). Call 771-4408 or visit shandonpres.org for more information.
If you went to the South Carolina Philharmonic’s Beethoven & Blue Jeans concert a couple weeks ago, then you have heard the work of local composer John Fitz Rogers. If you didn’t go, then you missed Rogers’ piece The Passing Sun, which showcased Rogers’ deft handling of orchestration, tonal color and harmony. Well, here’s your chance to make up for it: Rogers’ choral work Magna Mysteria will be performed at Trinity Episcopal at 4 p.m. Upon its 2010 premiere, Free Times’ reviewer David Lowry wrote that it will one day “join the ranks of important American choral works.” Tickets range from $12 to $49. Call 461-7326 for more information or visit trinitysc.org to order.
[Oops! The print edition listed this show on Monday. It's actually on Sunday.] Gustafer Yellowgold! If this name means nothing to you, bear with us — we’ll try to explain. Gustafer Yellowgold is a cute little animated character who came “from the sun and landed in the Minnesota woods.” Not getting it yet? The New York Times describes him as “a cross between Yellow Submarine and Dr. Seuss.” That sounds like an unholy alliance to us, but whatever: Everybody else seems to love the little yellow guy. And besides, there’s actually a real guy behind all this, Morgan Taylor. He writes children’s songs, but he’s also shared bills with Guided By Voices and The Polyphonic Spree, among many others. And he’ll be at Richland Library at 3 p.m. to give a free concert. Go, Gustafer!
It's National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Week. We couldn't make that up if we tried.
We love Phillip Bush! And if Phillip Bush is playing with Steve Cohen, then we love Steve Cohen, too! Pianist Phillip Bush accompanies clarinest Steve Cohen in a faculty recital at the USC School of Music Recital Hall. The recital is free and starts at 7:30 p.m.
It’s opera! In Columbia! Well, actually it’s in Newberry, but surely you can drive 30 minutes to see The Elixir of Love (or L’elixir d’Amore, if you prefer), a comic opera by Donizetti produced by Teatro Lirico D’Europa. The plot: Nemorino, a love-struck peasant, swoons at the sight of Adina, a beautiful and wealthy landowner, but she has eyes only for the dashing Sergeant Belcore. Yes, love stinks — but it’s funny, too. Show time is 8 p.m.; tickets are $40 (with half-price tickets for students and $30 tickets for groups). Call 803-276-6264 to order, or visit newberryoperahouse.com for more information.
Going someplace cool this weekend?
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Hickory Tavern Is Now Open!
Find us on Facebook, Twitter (@TheHickoryTav), Instagram (@HickoryTavern), and visit our website for more info. 907 Senate Street in the Vista!
Great Gifts for the Whole Family
Don’t miss Half Moon Outfitters’ holiday sale! Up to 30% off Prana, Patagonia, The North Face, and other great brands. Location and hours here.
Ice Skate on Main Street
Columbia’s famously hot skating rink is now open! Additional information and discounts can be found here.
A Family-Friendly New Year’s Eve Carnival
From 6-11 PM on December 31st on Main Street, enjoy rides, games, karaoke, food, drinks and more! More information here.
Relaxation, Pain Management, and Stress Relief
Licensed massage therapist Allison Morris of AMR Massage offers 50% off your first session and every 5th session free of charge. Click here for location, hours, and more information.
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Holiday Wish ListWhere to shop for gift ideas in Columbia this season:
U.S. Security Associates
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Real Estate Spotlight
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