Local arts briefs

Laurens Wilson and Joy Vandervort-Cobb star in Pure Theatre’s 2013 production of “The Birds.”

The Charleston Jazz Orchestra closes its fifth season with a tribute to bebop.

The big band will offer two sets, at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., Saturday, at the Charleston Music Hall, 37 John St.

“World of Bebop” will explore the phase of American jazz that featured small ensembles, star players, virtuoso technique and imaginative improvisation.

Bebop, a phenomenon of the 1940s and 1950s, has become standard jazz language, and its practitioners — Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Clifford Brown, Charlie Christian and South Carolina’s own Dizzy Gillespie, among many others — remain the signature voices of the jazz pantheon.

Tickets are $30-$40; seniors pay $25-$35. Student discounts are available when tickets are purchased in person. On-site box office sales the day of the show begin at noon at the Charleston Music Hall.

Tickets are available online at www.charlestonjazz.com or by calling 641-0011.

Wall Street Journal columnist and book reviewer Barton Swaim, a South Carolina native, will be the featured speaker at the Wide Angle Lunch series on Thursday.

Swaim’s talk, titled “Why Red States are Red,” will challenge the notion that market economies undermine or erode traditional cultural values.

Exhibit A is the American South, which maintains a traditional culture and tends to sympathize with free market ideology.

Swaim writes for The Weekly Standard, The New Criterion and the Times Literary Supplement. He was a speechwriter for Gov. Mark Sanford from 2007 to the end of his term.

Swaim grew up in Greenville and Surfside Beach and now lives in Columbia.

The 12:30 p.m. talk, hosted by the Charleston Library Society, 164 King St., costs $25 for Library Society members and $30 for nonmembers. The price includes a boxed lunch.

Go to www.wideanglelunches.org for more information and tickets.

The CBT Center for Dance Education is presenting a special performance “Twas the Night Before Nutcracker,” scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Sottile Theatre, 44 George St. Tickets are $30-$45.

The production, featuring new choreography by Jill Eathorne Bahr, will feature nine professional dancers, including Alexey Kulpin, joined by dozens of Lowcountry students.

A school-day performance for local students is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tickets are $9.50 for students, $25 for adults.

Email nutcrackertix@charlestonballet.org for more information or to reserve tickets for either show.

Pure Theatre opens its production of Conor McPherson’s “The Birds” on Friday. The play is based on a short story by Daphne du Maurier, which also inspired Alfred Hitchcock’s famous film.

The play, directed by Artistic Director and co-founder Sharon Graci, runs through Nov. 23. A pay-what-you-will preview is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

The cast features core ensemble members Joy Vandervort-Cobb and Laurens Wilson and introduces Haydn Haring and Jimmy Flannery to the Pure Theatre stage.

“I am so intrigued by our current obsession with apocalyptic stories in which we exchange societal constructs for the opportunity to live by our wits, skill, strength, cunning and primal drive to survive,” Graci said. “I think there is something quite innate in all humans, a desire to be tested that is buried deep in our developed society.”

All evening shows are at 7:30 p.m., with one Saturday matinee at 4 p.m. Nov. 9.

Advance purchases are strongly recommended.

For more information and tickets, visit www.puretheatre.org or call 723-444, or visit the box office at 477 King Street.

Staff reports