To-Do List: Columbia arts and entertainment picks (June 2-9) | Arts


“Meltdown in Dixie”

In conjunction with John Sims’ “AfroDixia” exhibition, which features arresting recolorations of Confederate flags, the 701 Center for Contemporary Art hosts the premiere screening of “Meltdown in Dixie.” The documentary comes from filmmaker Emily Harrold, an Orangeburg native who directed the 2018 Bakari Sellers documentary “While I Breathe, I Hope.” It explores the battle between an Orangeburg ice cream shop there and the Sons of Confederate Veterans, who decided to fly a Confederate flag on the small parcel they owned next to the shop. “I hope the film will encourage dialogue about an issue that has divided our country for far too long,” Harrold said in a release. The free screening on June 3 starts at 7:30 p.m. More info is available at JORDAN LAWRENCE


First Thursday on Main

First Thursday on Main is back this week in abridged fashion. The reduced programming at the first outing for the art crawl since March 2020 is anchored by a free concert on Boyd Plaza, featuring two emotive and purgative local indie rock bands, Stagbriar and Dear Blanca, whose 2020 albums finished at No. 1 and 2, respectively, in Free Times’ annual Best of South Carolina Music poll. Also on tap is free access to the Columbia Museum of Art’s “The Imaginative Worlds of M.C. Escher,” which closes on June 6, and the CMA affinity group Friends of African American Art & Culture will celebrate its 10th anniversary with special tours of the collection. The museum is open until 8 p.m. on June 3. The concert starts at 6:30 p.m. Find out more at JORDAN LAWRENCE

Columbia leaders allow alcohol on Main Street for First Thursday in reversal


“Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill”

The happy returns continue. This week, Trustus Theatre, Columbia’s reliably adventurous professional theater company, will mount its first production for a live audience since COVID-19 shut the room down in March 2020. “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” recreates a late-night concert from jazz icon Billie Holiday, promising an intimate and resonant experience for those ready to get back into the theater. ““It feels apparent that our community is becoming more active due to the availability of vaccines, and other performing arts groups have seen good turnout this spring,” Executive Director Chad Henderson told Free Times in May. Seating will be distanced and masks will be required when not seated. The production runs from June 4 to 20. Tickets cost between $30 and $35. For more deatails, head to JORDAN LAWRENCE


Drift Jam

Drift Jam, the first of two annual flotilla boat festivals on Lake Murray, will take place once again on Spencer Island on June 5. While the appeal of this festival usually comes down to ambiance and access to a boat, as the floating stage is accessible only by water (drift, get it?), the festival features a nice dose of local talent, with a seven-act lineup headlined by the reformed Southern rock group Sourwood Honey and the always-consummate bassist and bandleader Reggie Sullivan. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Don’t forget the sunscreen. More info available at KYLE PETERSEN


Three Solo Exhibitions at if ART

Works on paper by Washington Color School and Color Field legend Paul Reed, who died in 2015, headline the three new solo exhibitions opening at if ART Gallery this weekend. Reed, a Washington, D.C. native, was part of a six-member collective in the city who embraced color field painting, a kind of abstract expressionism that featured large solid areas of paint and focused less on the technical aspects of painting and on consistency of form and process. He also innovated and experimented with different media and techniques widely throughout his career. Greenville abstract painter Katie Walker and German artist Reiner Mählein will also have new pieces on display. The exhibitions are on view through June 19 at if ART Gallery. Find out more at ifartgallery.blogspot.comKYLE PETERSEN

SC Pride returns from COVID-19 hiatus with Outfest Columbia this week


Chamber Ensemble at Saluda Shoals

The South Carolina Philharmonic’s commitment to chamber music in alternative spaces leads to concerts like this one in Saluda Shoals Park, where the polish and professionalism of classical music gets to interact with the natural world on the outdoor deck at the Environment Center. It’s also still one of the safest ways to get your music fix in the waning days of the pandemic — masks will still be required, and you can either bring your own chair or post up on one of the center’s picnic benches. Concert starts at 4 p.m. on June 6, and tickets are $15. Find out more at KYLE PETERSEN


Dark Star Orchestra

“Dark Star,” the quintessential Grateful Dead tune, has spawned labyrinthine improvisations spun around Robert Hunter’s lyrics, which are as opaque as the titular stellar object. The song gives its title to the popular touring tribute band launched by longtime Dead associate Bob Matthews. Each DSO show replicates a historic Dead show, complete with identical setlist. The band stops at the Columbia Speedway Entertainment Center for a two-night stand June 5 and 6, playing the latest dates in the socially distanced Cola Concerts series. Tickets cost between $50 and $100, with two-show packages available. Must purchase at least two tickets. Find out more at colaconcerts.comPAT MORAN

Columbia International Festival back for 25th outing after COVID-19 cancellation


Jmichael Peeples

Guitarist Jmichael Peeples comfortably traverses the grounds of jazz, funk, blues and pop across his solo material, and like many who operate in this space, he is always adept at finding simpatico musicians to fill out his jams. And it’s good to support Chayz Lounge, where he plays June 4, one of the many music venues that have struggled through the pandemic as they continue to operate at less than half capacity. Tickets are $30, and the show starts at 8 p.m. More details can be found at KYLE PETERSEN


John Anderson

Touting his genuine blue collar appeal — he worked as a roofer at the Grand Ole Opry before hitting it big — John Anderson has focused on plain-spoken poetry, a love of rock ‘n’ roll and his resonant baritone through a career that has spanned more than four decades, scoring a number of country chart-toppers. His popular tunes include “Swingin,” which is the biggest-selling country single in Warner Bros. history. He plays the Newberry Opera House on June 4 at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $135. More info is available at PAT MORAN

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