Center Stage: What's hot in the Midlands

FRIDAY, Nov. 6

Nikolai Oskolkov's "Laughter in the Sky" opens at Portfolio Gallery. The show will feature paintings and drawings. For the show's opening, Oskolkov will perform Russian and American folk music on the balalaika, a three-stringed Russian folk instrument. He'll also perform the blues, boogie and Southern rock on the piano. The opening reception is 4 to 9 p.m. The gallery is at 2007 Devine St. (803) 256-2434

"Moon Over Buffalo" opens at Town Theatre. Allan Fulmer Jr. and Kathy Hartzog reprise their roles as George and Charlotte Hay in the production first staged at the theater in 1998. A lot of "Moon Over Buffalo's" comedic approach relies on actors being in the right spots. It also demands a stage rapport that goes beyond reciting lines.

Town Theatre is at 1012 Sumter St. The show runs through Nov. 21. Showtimes: 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, with 3 p.m. shows Sunday and Nov. 15. $11 to $16; (803) 799-2510

The USC Dance Company will perform "American at Heart," a production of works by American choreographers, Friday and Saturday at the Koger Center.

A highlight of the performance: "If At First We Dance," choreographed by the company's Thaddeus Davis. It will feature Kyra Strasberg, the company's artist-in-residence, who will dance for the first time since retiring from the Boston Ballet in 2000. The piece will be accompanied live by violin and piano.

"Serenade" and "Bach Cello Suites" are also on the program.

Showtime is 7:30 p.m. both nights. The Koger Center is at 1051 Greene St. $10 to $16; (803) 777-5112

The Four Freshmen will perform at 8 p.m. at Newberry Opera House. The group has been around for more than 60 years. But the guys performing hits such as "Day By Day," "Blue World," "Something's Gotta Give" and "My One and Only Love," as well as jazz and pop standards, aren't the original Freshmen, of course. But you'll still get well-blended vocal harmonies. The opera house is at 1201 McKibben St., Newberry. $32.50; (803) 276-6264

Opera at USC will perform Adam Guettel's "The Light in the Piazza" at Drayton Hall Theatre at 7:30 tonight and 3 p.m. Sunday at Drayton Hall Theatre. "The Light in the Piazza" won the 2005 Tony Award for best musical.

The theater is on College Street, between Sumter and Greene streets. $5 to $18; (803) 777-5369


The Korean Fall Festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Korean Presbyterian Church. The festival, in its fifth year, will once again allow you to explore the richness of Korean culture. And you'll also get to eat great food. Here's a menu sampler: bugogi, kimchi, noodles and kimbab. There will also be Taekwondo demonstrations, folk and drum dances and sword martial arts. For the kids, there will be crafts stations where they can make Korean fans and kites, among other things. The church is at 1412 Richland St. Free; (803) 765-2500

The second annual Italian Festival and Bocce Tournament features Italian music, dancing, ballet, games and, of course, lots of food.

The festival, sponsored by Columbia's Sons of Italy Lodge 2808, is moving to Finlay Park after its initial run at Riverfront Park. The fest runs 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Admission is free.

Visitors to the South Carolina State Museum will shake, rattle and, possibly, roll Saturday. But the movement will have nothing to do with rock 'n' roll.

This will be about earthquakes. The museum will partner with the College of Charleston to present Earthquake Awareness Day 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Scientists from the College of Charleston's Department of Geology will present activities where you can: design a building and test it for stability; race against a seismic wave; register earthquakes on a seismometer; participate in a fault line activity; hear mythological stories about earthquakes; and participate in earthquake drills.

The museum is at 301 Gervais St. $3-$7; (803) 898-4921 or

FRIDAY, Nov. 6-SUNDAY, Nov. 8

The Native American Indian Film and Video Festival of the Southeastern United States continues through Sunday. Films will be screened at the Russell House Theater on Friday and Saturday and at the Nickelodeon Theatre on Sunday.

The festival, in its 12th year, once again offers exciting and educational programming. Filmgoers will see the lives and stories of Native Americans on the big screen.

"Hollywood cinema has not provided us with a lot of opportunities to tell our story," said Will Moreau Goins, the event coordinator. "I'm not sure why we as Native American Indians still have challenges."

Here are a few of the festival highlights:

"Jim Thorpe," 1 p.m. today: The biography of the football hero traces his steps from his boyhood as part of the Sac and Fox Nation.

"To Brooklyn and Back: A Mohawk Journey," 6 tonight: The documentary focuses on a Mohawk community in Brooklyn.

"Maria Tallchief," 11 a.m. Saturday: Maria Tallchief, who came from an Indian community in Oklahoma, helped create the New York City Ballet, one of the premiere dance companies in the world.

"In the Footsteps of Yellow Woman," 1 p.m. Sunday: A 13-year-old filmmaker follows the steps of her ancestor who survived the Navajo Long Walk in this docu-drama.

The festival is free today and Saturday. Tickets for Sunday's screenings at the Nick are $4.50 to $5.50.

- Otis R. Taylor Jr.