[image-1]COMEDY | Laughtrack to your life

After months of intense preparation and self-serving promotion, the fifth annual Comedy Fest is finally upon us. Bringing together a combination of local comics and national acts (21 in all), the festival is guaranteed to make you laugh so hard you’ll wet someone else’s pants. The 30 shows on the bill include popular local acts from Theatre 99 (which is producing the event, along with City Paper) like Neckprov, Moral Fixation, Doppelganger, The Have Nots!, Big Dicktionary, Maximum Brain Squad, and The Banana Monologues. Visiting from New York is the clean-cut Harvard Sailing Team, puppeteers The Josh and Tamra Show, spontaneous sparkly musical makers I Eat Pandas, former SNL writers Hot Sauce, 1940s radio variety show The Apple Sisters, and two acts from The Magnet Theater. From D.C., welcome Washington Improv Theatre acts Season Six (TV pilot actors) and Caveat (longform improv), along with two acts from D.C. Unscripted Players (DCUP). From Atlanta, Dad’s Garage Theater offers the whodunit Murder, She Improvised, and from Norfolk, Va., very un-PC comedy from The Pushers. Whew. Inspired by all the hilarity? Enter the Charleston Stand-up Competition on Wednesday at the Music Farm, hosted by Kenny Z, who’ll also perform on Friday and Saturday at Tonik. The whole thing ends with a finale on Saturday night at Theatre 99, featuring a pupu platter of performers from a variety of festival participants. That’s all we can fit here. See the insert for a full guide to the Charleston Comedy Festival. —Erica Jackson Through Jan. 19. (800) 514-ETIX, www.charlestoncomedyfestival.com. Theatre 99, 280 Meeting St.

EVENT | Cure in the corner pocket

Celebrities galore, including David Caruso of CSI Miami, top-ranked Women’s Professional Billiard Association (WPBA) pro Allison Fisher, and many other top WPBA players well known to ESPN viewers are coming to Charleston on a mission: to raise awareness of ovarian cancer, raise some much needed funding for good causes (proceeds benefit the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition and, locally, the Center for Women) and to show off some smooth moves on the pool tables. The ladies of the WPBA, by the way, enjoy a rare distinction in the world of sports. They receive more airtime on ESPN than their male counterparts and have more industry sponsors and endorsements. In fact, the prize money for their tournaments tends to be bigger than the boys. “Pool is the only pro sport where women lead the way,” says recent WPBA Hall of Fame inductee Shari Stauch of Summerville, who together with Veronica Walsh of Planning the Globe, helped organize the First Annual Chix with Stix Teal Tournament. Many of those top players from the WPBA will be joining Stauch, Walsh, and a few of their celebrity friends to show off some trick shots, pass along a wealth of information on the sport, and help out a very worthwhile cause. In addition to the star-studded Teal Tournament, there will be educational sessions, a “shoot straight” clinic to doctor up your pool skills, and lots of other goodies. “Chix with Stix is all about breaking the silence on ovarian cancer,” says Stauch. “We have some great events lined up, people are going to have a blast, and we’re going to use a really fun sport to bring attention to an extremely important topic.” —Jason A. Zwiker Jan. 18-20. www.chixwithstix.net. Francis Marion Hotel, 387 King St.

THEATER | Some girl(s) have all the fun

Neil LaBute specializes in writing about jerks, mainly those of the male variety. Like so many women out there, the prolific playwright embraces the mantra “men are pigs,” working it into many of his plays. Some Girl(s) is no different. It’s the story of Guy, a writer who, soon after his engagement to a sweet young thing, feels the urge to call up all his old girlfriends. But does he intend to make things right with them, as he says, or is he just looking to make more trouble? Set in a series of generic-looking hotel rooms, Guy goes through rather repetitive cycles with each of the women, including a high school sweetheart, a free-spirited sexual plaything, an older married woman, and the one woman he really loved. But, according to director Joy Vandervort Cobb, “Each time we think we have a bead on exactly what is happening, LaBute, as is his way, takes an unexpected twist, and you are left with your mouth agape, shaking your head in wonder, laughing while smacking your own forehead at the obtuseness of Guy.” Much like Nick Hornby’s similarly-themed book High Fidelity, this play is a wickedly funny, and sometimes painfully honest, look at the modern male. —Erica Jackson Through Jan. 16-27. $15, $10/students and seniors. (843) 953-5604, Chapel Theatre, 172 Calhoun St.

[image-2]THEATER | Drama king

Rodney Lee Rogers refers to Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth as the Brad Pitt of 19th century American theatre. Though not as infamous, his older brother, Edwin Booth, is more akin to Daniel Day-Lewis. The actor — argued by some to be the greatest American actor of the 19th century — specialized in tragedies, namely Shakespeare’s Hamlet, which he spent much of his life performing. PURE cofounder Rogers wrote and stars in The Tragedian, a one man show. He describes the writing process as a sort of editing/writing/DJing combination utilizing old letters and other historical documents to really get a sense of Edwin’s character. Particularly interesting are the parallels between his own life and his performances of Hamlet, and how they influenced each other as the years progressed. Peter Karapetkov directs. —Erica Jackson Jan. 17-Feb. 2. $25, www.puretheatre.org. PURE Theatre, 701 E. Bay St. (843) 723-4444.


ART | Gearin’ up

Back in December, the City Paper did a story on the Transit Antenna team as they completed preparations for their extended journey across North America. The eight-person team of artists plans to initiate collaborative community art projects in the various places where they travel in their converted city transit bus, which runs on vegetable oil. And now’s the time to pay your last respects to the Transit Antenna team before they hit the road. With all proceeds going directly to benefit and support Transit Antenna’s “mobile experiment,” the weekend’s big event is the Big Tent Revival Art Auction at Redux, which will feature works by Bob Snead, Seth Gadsden, Seth Curcio, Matt Phillips, Josef Kristofoletti, and many others. A preview of the available works begins at 6 p.m. with the auction itself kicking off at 8 p.m. There will be plenty of great music, food, and libations for the crowd. After the auction, stow your new purchases someplace secure and head right back to Redux for the Bedtime Jamboree, but don’t expect to get any shut-eye at this soiree. You’ll party all night with headliners Dark Meat: Vomit Lasers Family Band along with a host of other musicians including Lasso, Those Darlings, Nathan Koci, Plundershop, Ron Wiltrout, to name a few. The music will go until dawn, admission is only $15 at the door, and on the off chance you actually want to sleep, pup tents will be provided. But don’t sleep in; there will be breakfast Saturday morning and just enough time to run home and shower before the final event: the Redux Fifth-Year Anniversary Sidewalk Parade. Starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday, grab a costume or prepare an act and participate in the first-ever art parade in Charleston. The parade route which runs through downtown will begin and end at Redux. —Josh Eboch Jan. 18 & 19. www.transitantenna.com. Redux Contemporary Art Center, 136 St. Philip St. (843) 722-0697.

EVENT | Honor the King

Martin Luther King Day is all too often embraced as a welcome day off for some, and little else. But there are several events taking place in Charleston to help remind us of what the day’s all about. On Sunday, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra teams up with the CSO Gospel Choir, the CSO Chorus, and Resident Conductor David Stahl for a multimedia performance to honor the civil rights leader. The combination of music and historical audio and video footage is intended to bring King’s legacy to life, in his own words, focusing on his destiny, his legacy, his daughters, and his dream. Guest soloist, mezzo soprano Ruth Crumley-Perry will also perform. Donations will be accepted at the door. That same day at 6 p.m., over 15 churches and their congregations will gather to honor King at the 36th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Trident Area Ecumenical Service, hosted by the YWCA of Greater Charleston. On Monday, instead of sleeping late, head downtown to watch the parade (also hosted by the YWCA), which starts at Burke High School at 11 a.m. It’s intended as a community event for civic and social groups, law enforcement, public officials, and others. —Erica Jackson Sun. Jan. 20, 7 p.m. Free,. www.charlestonysymphony.com. Gaillard Auditorium, 77 Calhoun St. (843) 577-7400.

ART | Red State Blues

Everyone’s mind is on politics — at least here in the City Paper office — as we follow some of the most exciting presidential primaries in years. Just as the spotlight gets set to shine on the Palmetto State, the Halsey presents an exhibition of politically charged works by S.C. artists. Guest Curator Wim Roefs of Columbia will give a gallery talk during the opening reception with commentary from some participating artists. “Much of the work does not provide clear-cut answers or positions,” Roefs states in the press release. “Rather, it does what thoughtful art does best: trigger thought and discussion through visual means by providing a different point of entry into complex issues, asking questions rather than obscuring them with pat answers.” Participating artists include Russell Biles, Steven Chapp, Tonya Gregg, Jean Grosser, Mana Hewitt, Deanna Leamon, Larry Merriman, Alex Powers, Colin Quashie, Leo Twiggs, and John G. Wright. —Erica Jackson Jan. 18-Feb. 29. Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, 54 St. Philip St. (843) 953-5680.[image-4]