Arts Planner

otaylor@thestate.com (803) 771-8362May 5, 2013 

If you’re looking for puppets to hang out with this weekend, don’t ask for directions to Sesame Street; go to Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College at 2 p.m. Saturday for the Southeastern Family Puppet Slam. The slam, produced by Kimi Maeda and Lyon Hill of Belle et Bete, the coordinators of the Spork in Hand Puppet Slam at the Indie Grits Festival, will present colorful family humor. These puppets are cool enough for kids and adults to enjoy. Artists from Columbia and Asheville and Chapel Hill, N.C., will perform. The theater is at 7300 College St., Irmo. $10; www.harbisontheatre.org


“Red Social: Portraits of Collaboration by Alejandro Garcia-Lemos,” an exhibition of more than 20 portraits of people who orbit Columbia’s arts scene that opened in September at Columbia College’s Goodall Gallery, is being revisited. On Thursday, Muddy Ford Press will release “Red Social – Portraits of Collaboration,” a book that will feature Garcia-Lemos’ portraits and short fiction stories about the characters by Cynthia Boiter. Boiter also edits Jasper Magazine. This has the potential to be the most interesting art piece of the year. The book launch party is at 8 p.m. Thursday at The Friday Cottage, corner of Richland and Henderson streets. $25 per person or $30 for couples, which includes an open bar and signed copy of “Red Social”; www.muddyfordpress.com


“Miss Saigon,” the musical about a tragic romance between a Vietnamese girl and an American soldier during the last days of the Vietnam War, opens Friday at Town Theatre. The musical by Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil, who also collaborated on “Les Miserables,” is based on Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly,” another production featuring a love affair between a soldier and an Asian woman. At Town, Shelby Sessler plays Kim and Lanny Spires is Chris, the soldier she falls in love with. The production will be directed by Jamie Carr Harrington, with musical direction by Christopher A. McCroskey and choreography by Tracy Steele. The musical runs through May 26. Showtimes: 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday, except May 12. The theater is at 1012 Sumter St. $12-$25; www.towntheatre.com or (803) 799-2510


“Songs for a New World” opens Friday at Workshop Theatre. The show, a revue style musical in the same lane as other popular revues such as “Ain’t Misbehavin’” and “Smokey Joe’s Cafe,” is being directed by Chad Henderson. But this isn’t about pop or jazz standards. Rather, it’s the collected songs of Jason Robert Brown, one of musical theater’s most prolific composers. Brown’s “The Last 5 Years” was performed at Trustus Theatre in 2010. The songs in “Songs” are about “moments in life where circumstances and choice affects us greatly,” Henderson wrote in an e-mail. The cast includes Vicky Saye Henderson, Andy Bell, Elisabeth Baker, Samuel McWhite, Kendrick Marion, Kanika Moore, Mark Ziegler, Molly Schoolmeester and Paul Lindly. The show has partnered with The Columbia Summer Repertory Company, Bonnie Boiter-Jolley and Wayland Anderson’s company, to add dance. In the lobby, “Portraits of Workshop,” an exhibition of photos of the building taken by local photographers, will be up. Next season will be Workshop’s last in the building. The show runs through May 25. Showtimes: 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays. The theater is at 1136 Bull St. $12-$22; www.workshoptheatre.com


NiA Company will present “HOLLA!!!” with the Columbia Children’s Theatre at 2 p.m. Saturday. The show is a mix of theater, music and storytelling that encourages audience participation. The theater is at 3400 Forest Drive on the second floor of Richland Mall. $5; www.columbiachildrenstheatre.com or (803) 691-4548


Over the last year, residents of Gonzales Gardens and Lyon Street neighborhoods collaborated with seven artists to create a tapestry of their lives through photos.

The result is Community Visions, sponsored by USC’s College of Social Work, the Community Empowerment Center and the Institute for African American Research (IAAR). It features photos that show how the communities see themselves, and what they want others to see about them.

An exhibit of 12 photos in the 21-photo collection will open Tuesday. A reception is 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Benedict College Business Development Center, located at 2601 Read St.


Baseball contains lots of drama, so why shouldn’t it be dramatized as an opera?

Richard Maltz, professor of music at the University of South Carolina Aiken, has written a one-act baseball opera called “Bambino,” based not only on baseball legend Babe Ruth, but the travails (in mostly losing) of the Boston Red Sox for 80-odd years.

Kevin Eckard plays Ruth, who famously was traded in 1919 to the New York Yankees, where he became one of the greatest players in baseball. John Dooley plays Buck George, a fictional player whose fate is tied up in the team’s troubles.

The show is ending a weekend run at Etherredge Center’s theater in Aiken; it comes to USC this weekend.

“Bambino” shows are Friday-Sunday at Drayton Hall on the USC campus. Friday and Saturday performances are at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and military, and $5 for students. Details: (803) 777-5369.

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