Hoo boy do we know how to cram a ton of fine culture all into the same weekend or what?

My Master’s Voice

Friday and Saturday nights at the Clay Center, The West Virginia Symphony presents a pops program featuring nearly a dozen local talents performing Broadway hits. Among that group of folks is my “Animated Discussions” co-conspirator (and main squeeze) Melanie Larch. So now all you lucky people can rush out and hear the same lovely voice that I get to hear every time I ask Mel to sing back what we’ve written so far while working on a piece for the Gazz.

In addition to Mel, you’ll get to hear homegrown talents Stephanie Adlington, Micah Atkinson, Alexandra Ayoob, Elisabeth Baer, Jonathon Cavendish, Mark Hornbaker, Bill Rainey, Joe Romagnoli, Evie Victorson and Eva Vidavska Kumar. They’ll be tackling standards from the Great White Way, with tunes from South Pacific, Oklahoma, A Chorus Line and more. I’ll be there Friday night. The show kicks off both nights at 8 p.m. Everybody ought to get out and support the symphony. If this goes over well, maybe they’ll cast the next opera entirely with local singers.

A Rave For Old People

Saturday Night is also when the Friends of the Avampato Discovery Museum will be hosting the sixth annual Fidelio Party in the old Montgomery Ward space at the Charleston Town Center. Now, aside from the fact that scheduling a fund raiser for the Clay Center’s museum on the same night as a concert at the Clay Center is not the swiftest move in the world, this is a fun way to raise money for a good cause. It’ll be like a little taste of Mardi Gras right here in Charleston. And you don’t have to wade through hurricane devastation to get to it!

The venue is intriguing. By holding the party in the mostly empty husk of an abandoned apartment store, Fidelio will have a unique industrial vibe. It’ll be like a RAVE for grown-ups, only there’ll be live music from Marci Stanely and The Ride Kings instead of droning electronica. And instead of Ectasy, there will be “legal beverages.” Psychics, magicians and showgirls will mill about the partygoers. And they promise “exquisite desserts,” which could be taken to mean almost anything. Admission is $55 at the door, unless you bought your tickets in advance, in which case you probably didn’t bother to read this item. Proceeds go to the Avampato Museum.

The Big Event

All this culture and elegance is a build up to the big day — SUPER BOWL SUNDAY! For the first time in 11 years, I will actually be watching the commercials AND the game. Melanie, who hates football, will be worn out from the concert, so I can just park myself in front the tube, and hope for a Steelers victory. But I will be at work. PopCulting while rooting on “The Bus.” You see, the commercials that they run during the Super Bowl pretty much set the tone for the advertising that we see on TV for the rest of the year. On Monday, I’ll give you my reaction to this year’s crop of Super Bowl ads, and let you know which commercials you’ll be sick of, and which ones you’ll remember fondly.

The symphony, a benefit for a museum, and the Super Bowl, all in the space of three days! Just look at all the culture!