Center Stage: What's hot in the Midlands

FRIDAY, Feb. 19

The Palmetto Mastersingers will perform at 7:30 p.m. at Union United Methodist Church. The group will perform genres from spirituals to beach music. The church is at 7582 Woodrow St., Irmo. For more information, call (803) 781-3013.

Theatre South Carolina will open its production of "The Arabian Nights," Mary Zimmerman's tale of Shahryar, a Persian king. The production runs through Feb. 28 at Longstreet Theatre. Showtimes: 8 tonight, and Wednesday through Feb. 26; 7 and 11 p.m. Saturday; 7 p.m. Feb. 27; and 3 p.m. Feb. 28. The theater is at the corner of Green and Sumter streets. $10 to $16; (803) 777-2551

FRIDAY and SATURDAY, Feb. 19-20

Jazz pianist Jangeun Bae will perform a two-night residency at The Blue Martini. Sitting in with Bae, a native of South Korea, will be bassist Craig Butterfield, a USC professor, as well as drummer Rodrigo Villanueva, a professor at Northern Illinois University. Bae is known for combining elements of classical and jazz music. Both performances are from 9 p.m. to midnight. The Blue Martini is at 808 Lady St. Free; (803) 256-2442


So many who have participated in - and witnessed - gang violence have seen their dreams shattered. "Lost Dreams," a play written by Leasharn Hopkins, will tackle the implications at 5 p.m. at the Booker Washington Heights Cultural Arts Center. The center is at 2611 Grant St. Free

SUNDAY, Feb. 21

The WNOK Bridal Expo will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Tickets cost $7. The convention center is at 1101 Lincoln St. For more information, call (803) 545-0001.

MONDAY, Feb. 22

Barrage, a band with a performance called "a high-octane fiddle-fest," will perform at Richland District Two Auditorium. The Canadian-based band features an international cast of good-looking young people who can sing and dance while playing the fiddle, an instrument not typically associated with high-octane fests. You might have witnessed similar energy from the punk'd fiddlers performing at the opening ceremonies of the Winter Games last week. The auditorium is at 7500 Brookfield Road. $10 to $15; (803) 699-2896

TUESDAY, Feb. 23

Jimmy Buffett, the singer who likes to perform barefoot and in shorts, even if the city he's in is mired in a frigid winter, will bring his "Summerzcool" tour to the Colonial Life Arena. And you know Margaritaville - always the parking lots near the arena - will be the hot, hopping place to be. It will be the best place to get a cheeseburger that day, naturally.

The party will undoubtedly start early, so many Parrotheads will be out of work on the concert date - and probably the next day, too.

Tickets, which cost $38 to $128, can be purchased at the arena box office; Play It Again Sports stores; by calling (877) 489-2849; or by visiting http://www.TWCtix.com

- Otis R. Taylor Jr.

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