Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at the Township

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer lives at the Township Auditorium on Tuesday.

Wednesday 12

Last month, Columbia photojournalists Thomas Hammond and Sean Rayford went to the U.S. border crossing at Tijuana, Mexico, to photograph a group of refugees from Central America. They were there when U.S. border patrol agents fired tear gas at members of the migrant caravan who were protesting, and the U.S. temporarily shut down the border. Joining Hammond and Rayford on this panel at Tapp’s Art Center to discuss the caravan will be Ivan Segura, executive director of Palmetto Luna Arts, and David Rodriquez-Gomez, a Honduran artist who lives in the Upstate. The discussion, which kicks off at 7 p.m., is free. More info available at — Eva Moore

Thursday 13

We often hear how easy it is to hide behind a computer keyboard rather than be face-to-face with people, but comedian Kountry Wayne has handled the transition pretty smoothly, going from posting funny videos to doing stand-up within just a few years. Kountry Wayne’s stand-up is curse-free but not always family-friendly, and he often freestyles during his shows, so bring a thick skin if you’re sitting up front at the Comedy House, because you might become part of the joke. The comedian’s five-night stand continues tonight with an 8 p.m. performance, and concludes on Sunday. Ticket prices vary. Visit for more showtimes. — Vincent Harris

Friday 14

If you needed any further evidence that we have one of the coolest public library systems in the country, look no further than Overdue, the after-hours arts and music party that the Richland Library regularly holds at their flagship branch on Assembly Street. Virtual reality experiences, typewriter poetry and a tacky sweater station share the floor with screenings of Christmas Vacation and Scrooged and a cash bar by The Whig. The event runs from 7 to 11 p.m., and  admission is free. More info available at — Kyle Petersen

If you haven’t noticed by now, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Like, everywhere you look. If you’re still in holiday humbug mode, buck your yuletide rut at The Mothers Holiday Sketch show, wherein Trustus Theatre’s resident improv and sketch comedy troupe riffs on the inherent farce that is the Christmas season. Laugh your way to the naughty list: The show starts at 11 p.m., and tickets are $10. Visit for more information. — Patrick Wall

Saturday 15

There are few better intersections of popular family entertainment and culturally valuable works of art than Tchaikovsky’s 1892 ballet The Nutcracker. Kids love it, grandparents love it, classical music snobs love it, and the Columbia City Ballet and the Koger Center most certainly love it. In fact, it’s the Koger Center’s longest-running holiday production. The City Ballet will perform The Nutcracker twice on today at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., so the kids can go to one and you can go to the other for some peace and quiet. This year’s production closes with a 3 p.m. performance on Sunday. For ticket info, visit — Vincent Harris

Larger Than Life: The Ultimate Boyband Tribute scoffs at those useless groups that only pay tribute to one measly band. Larger Than Life will bring you the synchronized dance moves and heartfelt-but-simple emoting of the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, New Kids On The Block, 98 Degrees, O-Town, Boyz II Men, LFO, and One Direction, and it can even go back to classic hits by The Jackson 5, The Temptations, and The Four Seasons. That’s a lot of love at Tin Roof, girl. Showtime is 9:30 p.m., and tickets range from $5 to $15. Visit for more info. — Vincent Harris

Sunday 16

The community Palmetto Chamber Orchestra is billing this December show as their holiday concert, but it takes some surprising swings by eschewing familiar carols in favor of Bach, original compositions from local composers Bert Ligon and Dick Goodwin and a jazz tune from Louis Prima. The numerous professional guest musicians will more than bring the festiveness, though. Music starts at 3 p.m. at the main branch of the Richland Library, admission is free. Head to for more info. — Kyle Petersen

By now, the long-running Jam Room Christmas Party is as much a venerable Christmas tradition in Columbia, as much as, say, the annual Nutcracker gauntlet or the Governor’s Carolighting. The august Rosewood studio decks Art Bar’s halls at 7 p.m.; Joe Turkaly will whip up a holiday buffet, celebrity DJs will spin some tunes and there’ll be some quote-unquote surprise entertainment, we’re told. Jay Matheson in a Santa suit? Maybe. Admission is free; visit for more information. — Patrick Wall

Monday 17

Look, no one knows all the words to George Frideric Handel’s Messiah, which comprises 53 separate movements in three parts depicting the nativity, passion, resurrection and ascension of Christ. We don’t even think Handel knew all the words to Handel’s Messiah. So if the only words you know are the ones to the “Hallelujah Chorus,” don’t let that preclude you from participating in the annual Sing-Along Messiah at 7 p.m. at Washington Street United Methodist Church. Sheet music and lyric sheets will be provided. The concert is free and open to the public, even to those who can’t carry a tune in a bucket — but if you can’t, maybe just sit back and enjoy the music, OK? Visit for more information. — Patrick Wall

Tuesday 18

Yes, you could just watch the classic stop-motion Christmas special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on DVD or on CBS All Access. But wouldn’t you rather venture out to the Township Auditorium to watch real people in creepy-accurate costume recreations of the reindeer and Bumbles perform for you live and in person? We won’t judge you, no matter how you answer when it comes to this touring production based on the perennial holiday viewing staple — and no matter what you choose to drink or inhale prior to attending. Tickets for the 7 p.m. performance range from $31 to $51. Head to to find out more. — Jordan Lawrence

Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell … jazz? Mark Rapp, the Soda City Brass Band and a manger full of Columbia jazz performers get into the holiday swing of things tonight at the Jingle Bell Jazz concert at Trustus Theatre; Rapp and company put some Creole spice on some yuletide classics starting at 7:30 p.m. The second line spin should make for some funky holiday spirit — like putting a double shot of bourbon in your eggnog. Tickets are $35. Laissez les noël temps rouler; visit for more information. — Patrick Wall

Columbia Baroque, a local ensemble dedicated to performing baroque music on period instruments, celebrates the 350th anniversary of the birth of the French composer, organist and harpsichordist François Couperin while also managing to bring in enough holiday season tunage to match the spirit (via Clérambault’s “Hymn of the Angels” and French carols interwoven with music of Chedeville and Loeilletf the season). Music scholar Peter Hoyt will give a pre-concert talk at 7 p.m., with the performance starting at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall at the University of South Carolina School of Music. Tickets are $20 ($15 in advance; students are free). Visit for more info. — Kyle Petersen

Wednesday 19

Tired of holiday parties yet? Don’t sleep on the chance to pair two of the best parts of the holiday season together — beer and Christmas cookies! From 6 to 9 p.m., River Rat Brewery has a lineup of four pours that will go great with four desserts — including what they hope is a way to make you actually enjoy fruitcake. Each $20 admission gets you eight-ounce pours of each beer, plus cookies. Get tickets from — April Blake

La Negrada, a 2018 movie directed by Jorge Perez Solano, is both a testament to DIY, low-budget filmmaking and a font of controversy. The movie was shot entirely in small towns in Oaxaca’s Costa Chica with non-professional actors, all to tell the story of two women, Juana and Magdalena, romantically involved with the same man, Neri. La Negrada also drew a great deal of criticism for its portrayal of black Mexicans, which is why the Nickelodeon Theatre will host a discussion after the movie is shown. Showtime is 7 p.m., and tickets cost $11. More info available at — Vincent Harris  

Find more things to do at

We're improving out commenting experience.

We’ve temporarily removed comments from articles while we work on a new and better commenting experience. In the meantime, subscribers are encouraged to join the conversation on our Free Times Facebook page.