This week's happenings offer music lovers who appreciate everything from disco to rock the chance to dance the night away. How's that? A Donna Summer tribute show starts the week Tuesday and Joan Jett and The Blackhearts wrap it up on Saturday – both are happening at Bell Auditorium. In between, comedian Theo Von will have you laughing and the Van Gogh Experience will have you immersed in colorful creations. There's a paddle festival in North Augusta and a Beach Blast in Evans.
Fans of '70s disco superstar Donna Summer can dance the robot, the hustle and more to her hits at the tribute show Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 31, at Bell Auditorium. Tickets start at $43 at aectix.com. This show was rescheduled from January and features more than 20 of Summer’s chart toppers, including “Love to Love You Baby,” “Bad Girls” and “Hot Stuff.”
From disco to rock 'n' roll – the Joan Jett and The Blackhearts of "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" and "Bad Reputation" fame – will take over the Bell Auditorium stage at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 4. Tickets start at 6:30 p.m. at aectix.com.
Stand-up comedian, podcaster, television personality, host, and actor Theo Von will have audience members laughing on Friday, June 3, with his "Return of the Rat Tour" at Bell Auditorium. He can be seen on his podcasts This Past Weekend and King and the Sting as well as on his new comedy special Regular People on Netflix. The show starts at 8 p.m. Get tickets at aectix.com.
Nightlife hotspots: Downtown Augusta offers food, music, drinks
Art brought to life
Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience is showing at James Brown Arena in downtown Augusta through June 25. The exhibit uses hi-tech projectors to create huge, multi-dimensional images of Van Gogh's works across the walls and floors with the artwork brought to life.
Tickets are available online at vangoghaugusta.com with entry times from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Guests will have to reserve a check-in time, but can stay as long as they want. The exhibit is open Tuesdays through Sundays. Admission prices start at $21.99 for children and $36.99 for adults with ages 4 and younger admitted free.
The city of North Augusta will kick off summer with the inaugural “Rockin’ and Raftin” paddle festival Saturday, June 4, at Riverside Village. Mayor Briton S. Williams will host and said the event was formed based on public input. Kayak, “custom raft” and stand-up paddle board races on a 250-meter track will require an entry fee, but the festival and live music will be free to the public. The event will feature food trucks and outdoor-oriented exhibitors.
In Evans, the Summer Beach Blast begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 4, at Evans Towne Center Park. Gates open at 5 p.m. There'll be live music by The Swingin' Medallions, food trucks, and other activities. Learn more at bit.ly/CCSummerBeachBlast.
The Market in The Alley series in downtown Aiken is happening from 6-8 p.m. on Thursdays in June. Visitors can hear live music and shop for produce, crafts, baked goods and other finds. The series is a partnership between the City of Aiken Parks, Recreation & Tourism Department and Aiken Downtown Development Association.
The Aiken County Farmers Market is also open 7:30-11:30 a.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 115 Williamsburg St. Learn more about both events at www.visitaikensc.com.
The Augusta Market is open Saturdays at the Eighth Street Plaza in downtown Augusta from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free to experience a variety of foods, produce, gifts and fun.
Special film screening
The Augusta Museum of History will host two screenings of the documentary, "Two Classes of 1968," as part of its month-long Juneteenth activities celebrating the legacy and achievements of African Americans in Augusta and the surrounding area. The film, along with a brief Q&A will be presented at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 5, and Sunday, June 26.
"Two Classes of 1968" is a film about a group of idyllic African-American Catholic school students shocked by the abrupt closure of their Immaculate Conception Academy High School, which was nestled inside a Black working class and professional neighborhood, called The Golden Blocks in Augusta. The museum describes the film as a "coming-of-age story under the bright lights of the Civil Rights Movement." Seating is limited so advance registration is required using the online form: https://bit.ly/AMH-TwoClasses
The museum, at 560 Reynolds St., is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Call (706) 722-8454 or visit augustamuseum.org.
Enopion Theatre Company is putting together a show of the Bible story of Cain and Abel to be staged May 27-July 21 at the theater on Commercial Court in Martinez. For showtimes and tickets, go online to enopion.com.
Looking ahead to next week, Augusta Mini Theatre returns to live performance June 10-12 with the new drama, "CAGED." The play, written by Tyrone Butler and directed by Judith Simon Butler, is about healing and a unified America and was inspired by the death of Charles Oatman, a mentally challenged African American youth found dead in a city jail cell. After receiving an unsatisfactory response from city officials, African American community frustrations boiled over into the Augusta Riot of 1970.
"CAGED" will be staged at 8 p.m. June 10 and at 3 and 8 p.m. June 11-12 at Augusta Mini Theatre, 2548 Deans Bridge Road. Tickets are limited for these socially-distanced live performances. Visit www.augustaminitheatre.org or call (706) 722-0598.
This article originally appeared on Augusta Chronicle: Augusta events: Paddle Fest, Beach Blast, Joan Jett, more