Category Archives: Events

Trinessa’s Fab Weekend

By Trinessa Dubas

Are you sitting at home complaining that you are bored.com? Keep telling yourself that you don’t have the funds that it would take to get out and enjoy this thriving little city. Well first I’d like to suggest that you stop talking to yourself and then get up off your (bleep) and explore this wonderful and ever growing mecca for food, entertainment and great fun! Whether your pockets are flat or swollen, there is something in every nook or cranny in Columbia.

Ladies and gentlemen, I lean more on the flat side.  How am I everywhere in Columbia at the right times and around some of the most electric folks? It is because your girl here has a budget that includes having a life!

Here are a few of my ideas about how to have a fantastic couple of days out of your week around your own little city:

This week there seem to be a lot of options for Thursday May 15th. I for one will be at the Jasper #17 Release Party Benefit for Aaron and Jessica happening at the Whig 1200 Main St. This event is free. The menu is budget-friendly and delicious. PBR (our go to beer on the low) is $3. Join me I’ll get ya first beer.

Kicking off at the Colonial Life Arena is the 15th annual Black Expo. This year the theme is Mind, Body and Soul. It will feature over 200 vendors, as well as, local and national entertainment. Tickets for the event are $12 or $10 with a donation of four non-perishable food items. It is a three day event,. Pick a day and have fun! May 15th-17th .  Colonialifearena.com for more info.

Also that night just down a couple blocks or so. Edventure after dark “Chemistry of Cocktails”  is happening. This I may drop into. It is an adults-only event and they’re giving lessons on the science of transforming your average bar drink and making it spectacular. Tickets are $25 and proceeds will benefit Edventure’s Yes Every Child Fund. www.edventure.org

Saturday May 17th join Klean Kut Entertainment for a spring time wine down after the Black Expo. The Event is free and being held at Julep’s Bistro. 120 Sparkleberry Crossing Dr Suite 4 in northeast Columbia. Bring a lawn chair there will be a live music outdoor concert. Food and drink specials and wine tasting. This sounds like the beginning of a great spring/summer series.

This weekend some of the best theatre shows in Columbia will still be running and for most of them there is still time to purchase tickets. Young Frankenstein(workshop), House of Blue Leaves (Trustus), Shrek the Musical( Town). Pricing for tickets stay around $20-$25 (student and military discounts available).

So, get off of whatever you’re sitting on. These are just a few of the things happening this week in Columbia that I know you could have a great time experiencing and go home without feeling that you’ve spent too much.

Even if you have a Broke in Columbia budget, you can still get out and live!  

Honey, I’ll see ya.

Underwear Comedy Party TONIGHT!

Guest Post by Wayne Cousins

Some of the best comedians in the southeast are gearing up for Columbia’s first installment of the Underwear Comedy Party at Red Door Tavern this Friday, May 09, 2014!

The popular standup series was started by Joe Pettis at some point in the distant past, and he’s here with us tonight at Red Door to host the show and help release the hijinks that have made this series a standout in numerous other cities so far.

The idea is simple, a few local comedians (barring Joe Pettis and Devin Gollinge, both from the Atlanta area) dress down to their underoos and tell some jokes for as long as their egos will permit or until they get the signal to stop.  Constant cheering is encouraged.  This is the first show like this in Columbia, and I, Wayne Cousins, am happy and excited to say I’ll be taking part as well.

The show isn’t just for comedian eye-candy, though, because the audience can get in on the fun as well.  The price of admission is $5, but if you come in your own underwear, or someone else’s, you get in for free.  What a nice way to show solidarity and save money for more drinks, which should also make you feel even better about the whole underwear thing.  It’s a beautiful cycle.

group@WR

The show features local beloved comics: Jenn Snyder, Kelley Freeman, Matt Davis, and Myself, along with the ATLiens listed above.  It’s sure to be a breezy good time.

Red Door Tavern is located at 134½ State St, West Columbia, 29169.  803-764-5196.  Yes, it’s across the bridge, but you youngsters shouldn’t worry, they also have pinball and free pool just in case fun, comedic people in their underwear isn’t a big enough draw.  And as always, there are wonderful drink and food specials.

Hope to see everybody there!

WHAT:  Underwear Comedy Party

WHEN:  TONIGHT. May 9th at 9pm

WHERE:  Red Door Tavern 134½ State St, West Columbia, 29169.  803-764-5196.

comedy

Fall Into the House and Usher

BY FRANK THOMPSON

CRATCHIT: We shall buy some apples!

TINY TIM: Mum’ll love them so! Father, look! The theatre!

CRATCHIT: When we’re rich, we’ll go! (From Alan Menken’s musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol)

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Okay, so maybe you don’t slave long hours in a grim, Dickensian office, working for a tyrant who barely pays you enough to survive…well, wait, maybe you do and that’s why you’re reading this. In that case, put down your porringer of gruel, Oliver, and get ready to learn how you can see some of the best live theatre in The Midlands…for free!

Yes, I said free. Release that feeble burst of joy that was about to arise from your shivering, tubercular frame and weep no more…you’re going to the theatre! Most of the larger (and smaller) performing arts groups in Columbia actively recruit ushers and front-of-house volunteer help, providing an excellent opportunity for the cash-strapped to enjoy an evening’s entertainment (By which I mean the play onstage, although helping a 110-year-old on a Chardonnay and Metamucil bender find her seat after the second intermission of Carousel is entertaining in its own right).

After helping out before the show, ushers may seat themselves free of charge in any available space. But where to spend your free (see what I did there?) evenings? Well, that depends on where your tastes lie, but there’s definitely something for every theatrical palate in Columbia’s active theatre scene. Your first step is in deciding where you belong.

Town Theatre, located in its historic Sumter Street home, just a block from USC’s Horseshoe, is the most family oriented of the local houses, featuring primarily classic and new musicals and comedies, occasionally branching out into more grown-up, but still mainstream fare such as Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Miss Saigon. Ushering duties are generally light, consisting of handing out programs and assisting patrons to their seats, which are easily identifiable with the traditional “Row A, Seat 5” style numbering system. (Seriously, if you can’t figure it out in about a second, you’re either too drunk to stand or can entertain yourself just as well at home with a shoelace and a rock.)

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Sunday matinees attract an older crowd, so if you usher for one, don’t tell your grandma you can’t visit her that afternoon because you’re out of town…if she isn’t at the show, at least half her friends will be, and you’ll be cold busted either way.

Workshop Theatre Of South Carolina, another venerable Columbia arts institution, is about to depart from its current Bull Street location, and will be presenting its 2014-2015 season at 701 Whaley. Slightly more experimental than Town, but with at least one foot firmly in the traditional camp, Workshop offers thought-provoking drama by modern playwrights ranging from Tennessee Williams and A.R. Gurney, as well as new musicals i.e. The Wild Party alongside beloved classics like Dr. Doolittle and the catalog of Neil Simon.

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Although the new location is somewhat less conventionally structured, volunteers and assistants will definitely be needed in the coming months as a full slate of shows will be on offer in a cool, hip location.

Trustus Theatre is the place for those looking for something a bit edgier and (usually) more adult in an evening at the theatre. With an emphasis on contemporary works of significance, Trustus is where you’re most likely to see something you may have never heard of, so don’t be alarmed if Hello, Dolly! and Arsenic And Old Lace aren’t anywhere on the season. Ever eager to introduce newer plays and musicals, Trustus doesn’t shy away from including darker and more serious pieces alongside a few dramatic chestnuts and modern comedies. (Such scandalous things as curse words and boobies might sometimes be on display, so if you are of a delicate or prudish nature, you may want to call and ask about the specific show before volunteering.)

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Ushering jobs are a little tough to come by, as Trustus company members (the in-house actor/crew association) get first dibs, but sometimes extra help is needed. Ushers at Trustus are also required to help tidy up afterward, but this generally consists of picking up a few empty cups and a program or two, and hey…they often keep the bar open late, so you can enjoy a cold one with all the money you saved on a ticket.

Managing Director Jim Litzinger describes Columbia Children’s Theatre as “the easiest ushering gig in town”. Located in Richland Mall, CCT presents plays and musicals for children, performed by adults, in a kid-friendly environment offering floor seating (literally, on the floor) as well as a general admission section with chairs for those whose spines and bums aren’t as resilient as they once were. Ushers aren’t required to memorize any seating charts or deal with anything terribly stressful ( beyond the occasional meltdown over a dropped juice box or missed naptime.) Classic fairy tales along the lines of Cinderella and The Wizard Of Oz share the season with newer (but usually well-known) children’s stories such as Pinkalicious and A Charlie Brown Christmas. Things can get a little noisy sometimes, but that’s all part of the fun. Definitely a great gig for those who love kids, maybe not so much for those nursing a level 10 hangover.

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The smaller production companies around town also frequently need assistance with ushering gigs, and provide a wide variety of entertainment options. Theatre Rowe, also in Richland Mall, presents primarily dinner theatre/murder mysteries, Stage 5 offers original and experimental fare, South Carolina Shakespeare Company (which features free admission to most of its productions, but always welcomes volunteers) the works of The Bard as well as other classical playwrights to life in a fun outdoor setting, Chapin Theatre Company specializes in comedies and original works, and On Stage Productions in Lexington stages at least two large-scale plays per season as well as smaller touring shows.

“But how?”, you may wail, rending your poor, tattered garment (see, I didn’t forget the whole Dickens theme) “can I get involved with these fine organizations?” Weep no more, Little Nell, for the information is just below this paragraph. Now shake off that pesky consumption, stagger barefoot into the snow, and run…no, let’s go all the way and have you limp with a shabby crutch…down to the theatre and enjoy a show!

TOWN THEATRE: (803) 799.2510

WORKSHOP THEATRE OF SOUTH CAROLINA: (803) 799.6551

TRUSTUS: (803) 254.9732 COLUMBIA CHILDREN’S THEATRE: (803) 691.4548

THEATRE ROWE: (803) 200.2012

STAGE 5: (803) 834-1775

SOUTH CAROLINA SHAKESPEARE COMPANY: (803)787.BARD (2273)

CHAPIN THEATRE COMPANY: (803)240 .8544

ON STAGE PRODUCTIONS: (803) 351-6751