[image-1]COMEDY | The Have Nots! earn their coal

Sugar, spice, and everything nice? I don’t think so! The Have Nots! are putting on a show they call “Naughty Improv for Nice People.” An annual event since 1997, Brandy, Greg, and Timmy put a new spin on sappy holiday shows with spicy improv. “This is not The Nutcracker,” says Brandy. “Some nuts might get cracked but … did I say that!?” Two hours of these guys is enough to chase away anyone’s holiday blues. Previous themes of the Extravaganza have been “Not A Christmas Carol,” “Holidaytona 500,” and “Holiday Ham,” and have included everything from short films to sketches. This year, they return to what they love most, improv. No scripts, no best-laid plans, just pure improvisation. With topics taken from the audience’s wild imagination, what could go wrong? —Madelyne Adams FRIDAY & SATURDAY Dec. 21-22, 8 p.m. $12.50, (843) 853-6687. Theatre 99, 280 Meeting St. www.thehavenots.com

[image-2]ART | Diary of the changing landscape

Now that Lorna Simpson has moved on, the Gibbes will debut a new exhibit featuring William Christenberry’s photographs from 1961-2005. The show is a photographic record of Christenberry’s hometown of Hale, Ala. Simple and surprisingly intimate, Christenberry’s photographs reflect the passing of time and its effects on the landscape around us. Although most of his subject matter comes from the South, his pictures have a universal appeal as they document the changing of the seasons in what could be any small town in America. His subjects vary from hillsides to country shacks, and old Studebakers to graveyards. Regardless of the subject, each of Christenberry’s photographs has a distinctly human feel and a déja vu quality. They are real and familiar, like a long-forgotten childhood memory. Christenberry is considered a pioneer in color photography and has gained recognition for his works in the mediums of painting, sculpting, and drawing. He’s an honored recipient of several awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Washington D.C. Mayor’s Arts Award, and a fellowship from National Endowment for the Arts. In addition to the exhibit at the Gibbes, his works are on display at the Smithsonian, the National Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art. —Madelyne Adams OPENS FRIDAY Dec. 21-March 16. Gibbes Museum of Art, 135 Meeting St., (843) 722-2706. www.gibbesmuseum.org



Truthiness has been a little hard to find these days. Coming off of the media gold of his failed run for president (in South Carolina), Charleston native Stephen Colbert announced last month that to honor the writers strike, the lights would go dark on The Colbert Report, his nightly skewering of the day’s news. When the king of sarcasm announced his holiday special in Charleston, no one realized this would be the first time fans would see their favorite faux conservative in weeks — turning a treat for local fans into a hit for strung-out junkies in Colbert withdrawal. Colbert will read from his new best-seller, I Am America (And So Can You!), and talk about growing up in Charleston to become a national celebrity. There will also be a Q&A with the audience. The event will benefit Charleston Stage and its arts education program. —Greg Hambrick SUNDAY Dec. 23, 7 p.m. $24/students, $75/general, $250/VIP, (843) 577-7183. Sottile Theatre, 44 George St.

STAGE| Packed like a slice of fruitcake

The Company Company’s squeaky clean Good Time Variety Hour has been running for eight years, and it’s back in business this weekend for a special holiday edition. Often compared to Prairie Home Companion, the Company’s signature show hosts a variety of performers — some familiar to the show, some newcomers. After years of trying to get him involved in Variety Hour, classically-trained singing chef Robert Dickson, of Robert’s of Charleston, will make a special appearance. Company producing director and singing/story-telling host Bill Schlitt joins Dickson in a cooking show-like performance that will have the pair harmonizing and baking fruitcake. Don’t turn your noses up too fast — fruitcake-hater Dickson promises that his is actually pretty good, as audience members will taste for themselves after the show. Other new guests include “soprano sensation” Elizabeth Ferrano and comedienne Joy Vandervort Cobb, who will perform a special holiday monologue. Also included in the lineup are Schlitt’s wife, Broadway pianist Maida Libkin and their tap-dancing daughter Johanna, the Variety Hour Singers, and a special visitor from the North Pole. —Erica Jackson FRIDAY & SATURDAY Dec. 21, 7 p.m. Dec. 22, 3 & 7 p.m. $16-$18. Village Playhouse, 730 Coleman Blvd. Mt. Pleasant. (843) 856-1579. www.villageplayhouse.com

[image-4]KIDS | Who’s your hero, now?

Long before Dora, Diego, or Blue, Sesame Street’s Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, and Cookie Monster sang songs that taught children life lessons — and they’re still going strong. For 25 years, Sesame Street Live has been bringing those lessons to the big stage in towns across America. They’ve added a few friends since then and moved on to bigger and better things: Now they’re superheroes. This weekend, the super Sesame Street crew, now including Elmo, Zoe, Rosita, and Telly, will make an appearance to spread the word about healthy eating, exercise, and good sleep and hygiene habits. The lessons are built into the story of Super Grover losing his “superness” — but don’t worry, the Sesame heroes will save the day! Of course, it wouldn’t be Sesame Street without the old song and dance routines, so the show features favorites like “Sunny Days,” “Splish Splash,” “Old MacDonald,” and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” —Madelyne Adams FRIDAY-SUNDAY Dec. 21, 7 p.m., Dec. 22, 10:30 a.m. & 2 p.m. Dec. 23, 1 & 4:30 p.m. $12-26, (843) 554-6060. Gaillard Auditorium, 77 Calhoun St. www.sesamestreetlive.com

THEATER | That gentle good night

Dylan Thomas is most famous for writing “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night,” a poem that resounds within the human soul and somehow speaks to all of us. Not as well remembered, however, is radio a broadcast called A Child’s Christmas in Wales, which opens Friday on stage at the Footlight Players Theatre in conjunction with the Actors’ Theater of South Carolina and Chamber Music Charleston. Clarence Felder, a formidable presence and a good fit for Thomas’ larger-than-life personality, returns to play the poet as he recounts his childhood. There are tales of uncles eating too much, of boys getting into mischief, of crazy relatives and their weird habits, and of the joy that such fellowship brings to us during this season. “Thomas makes his adventures so dazzlingly personal,” says Chris Weatherhead, director. “It sparks similar memories that ripple through the audience.” Indeed, he had a gift for creating imagery using a few simple phrases. When it came to working with the English language, Dylan Thomas was magic. —William Bryan Dec. 21-22, 7 p.m. Dec. 22-24, 3 p.m. $15, Footlight Players Theatre, 20 Queen St. (843) 722-4487, www.footlightplayers.net.

MUSIC | Off the wall

Despite the past 10 or so years of freakiness, Michael Jackson still manages to cling to his King of Pop title (though JT might have him beat if he can stick around for another decade or two). Chapel Hill outfit Who’s Bad pay tribute to the gloved one’s best years, from “ABC” to “Thriller” to “Black or White.” Together since 2004, the group consists of drummer Stephen Coffman, trumpeter Ray McCall, guitarist Hugh Swaso, saxophonist Vamski Tadepalli, bassist Kevin Timmons, and new lead singer Joseph Bell Jr. (aka JoBel Star). In glitzy jackets and gloves, Who’s Bad specializes in “an intricate performance complete with synchronized dance routines, blaring horn section, and down-deep rhythms — each delivered with a precision that could only be superseded by the King himself.” If you find yourself turning into a “Dancing Machine,” “Blame it on the Boogie,” and just know “You Are Not Alone” — “I’ll Be There.” Sorry, that was “Bad.” —Erica Jackson FRIDAY Dec. 21, 10 p.m. $6. The Pour House, 1977 Maybank Hwy. (843) 571-4343