BY GWEN DERU
**COMEDIAN MIKE EPPS at the StarDome Comedy Club.
**READ THE BIRMINGHAM TIMES. Get all the latest news.
**WATCH LOTS OF MOVIES …after dinner and with the family and friends.
**ALICIA KEYS TRIBUTE featuring VOCALIST HALO at Perfect Note.
**COMEDIAN MIKE EPPS at the StarDome Comedy Club.
**ENJOY THE DAY …the food, reading books, watching movies, taking a nap or just talking with loved ones and friends on the phone. Please… get a little sun if you can.
**SATURDAYS IN THE GARDENS at Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
**WINE DOWN HAPPY HOUR, 4-9 p.m. at Saferoom Lounge Bar.
**COMEDIAN MIKE EPPS at the StarDome Comedy Club.
**FUN, GAMES, YARD AND HOUSE WORK including Uno, Monopoly, Solitaire, Shopping, Eating. Times are changing soon.
**COMEDIAN MIKE EPPS at the StarDome Comedy Club.
**FAMILY TIME, GOOD FOOD AND MOVIES.
**Head to the Birmingham Zoo GLOW WILD…enjoy the weather and the fun.
**READ A GOOD BOOK…There are a few on the bookshelves, just lying around are some to read …or you can get an e-book. BOOK: LEAVING PIPE SHOP-MEMORIES OF KIN on February 6, 6- 7:15 p.m. an online event.
**LIVE FROM THE STARDOME with RICKEY SMILEY KARAOKE.
**READ A REAL GOOD BOOK…You might like cookbooks, to-do books, game books, picture books. You might like
COMEDIAN MIKE EPPS’ BOOK: UNSUCCESSFUL THUG. Check it out!
**INTERFAITH NOONDAY PRAYER SERVICES every Wednesday, Noon at Linn Park in Downtown Birmingham.
**IT IS COLD WEATHER …focus on NEW RESOLUTIONS, HEALTHY EATING HABITS and so much more. A NEW YEAR, A NEW DAY!!
**READ THE BIRMINGHAM TIMES. Catch up on the news!
**MOVIE NIGHT: Rent and Watch movies at Sidewalkfest.com. Don’t miss ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI…and other movies at Sidewalk Cinema.
**COMEDIAN SHUAN JONES at the StarDome Comedy Club.
**LIT FRIDAYS WITH RIPCORD, 8 p.m. – 2 a.m. at 4501 Gary Avenue in Fairfield.
FOR BOOK LOVERS…
…HERE are a few good books… for children that they should enjoy sharing, again and again with their friends. (Some taken from Oxford University Press and Book Riot)
**BOOK: THE MIDDLE WAY – HOW THREE PRESIDENTS SHAPED AMERICA’S ROLE IN THE WORLD by DEREK CHOLLET explains how America’s most effective foreign policy presidents were the ones who listened to all sides and followed the course of prudence and balance: the middle way. It reflects on the author’s unique experience as a senior official at the White House, the State Department, and the Pentagon to show how Washington works from the inside. It also draws from new archival research at the Eisenhower and Bush presidential libraries, and interviews with former Obama officials. Lastly, it reveals key foreign policy episodes from the presidencies of Dwight Eisenhower, George H.W. Bush, and Barack Obama showing how these unique leaders are more similar than previously thought.
**BOOK: LEAVING PIPE SHOP-MEMORIES OF KIN on February 6, 6- 7:15 p.m. is an online event. (Check facebook for more.)
**BOOK: UNSUCCESSFUL THUG by MIKE EPPS. From Naptown to Tinseltown – legendary stand-up comedian and actor Mike Epps finally tells all in in this outrageous, hilarious, no-holds-barred memoir. Unsuccessful Thug is about growing up Black in America, facing down racism in Hollywood, and ultimately how it feels to fail at thugdom, pull yourself up by the bootstraps, and end up selling out arenas and starring in movies across the country.
**FOOD FREEBIES FOR SENIORS – Sisters From AARP are sharing FREE things related to food each month…JANUARY – January 31: National Hot Chocolate Day
What’s better than a warm cup of cocoa on a cold winter’s day? Check with local restaurants.
FEBRUARY – February 6: National Frozen Yogurt Day – Perhaps the timing of this holiday is meant to help with those New Year’s resolutions. In any case, frozen yogurt fans can usually scoop up the sweet treat for free at chains like TCBY, sweetFrog and Yogurtland. February 9: National Pizza Day – Wherever you buy pizza, you’re likely to find a deal on this day. Pizza chains typically run discounts and promotions, so be sure to check with your favorite pizza place. February 12: Chinese New Year – Bring in the Year of the Ox with promotions from Panda Express, Manchu Wok and other Chinese and Asian food chains. In years past, customers have scored free food, merchandise and even trips. (Look for more.) February 14: Valentine’s Day. – BOGO deals abound on this day, so bring your boo, bestie and anyone you love along with you. Previous years’ deals include BOGO drinks from Starbucks and BOGO heart-shaped pretzels from Auntie Anne’s. (Look for more each month.)
FOR THE COMMUNITY…
**PRESIDENT PARKER WORKS WITH PARK BOARD TO UTILIZE LEGION FIELD…The Birmingham Park Board will vote to approve measures that will allow for Legion Field to be utilized as a 24/7 COVID-19 vaccine distribution center.
**AT VULCAN PARK AND MUSEUM…
The 2020 (Last Year) Vulcans Community Awards Honorees FOR LAST YEAR /2020 – Vulcan Park Foundation announces the 2020 honorees on January 28, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. for the annual The Vulcans Community Awards presented by Medical Properties Trust. The virtual program hosted by EUNICE ELLIOTT. Vulcan Park & Museum annual banquet celebration will be a year of sharing stories and honoring selfless individuals. Honorees will be recognized in two ways – a virtual awards celebration and an exhibit. The five-month exhibit showcasing the work and efforts of these great individuals will open inside the Linn-Henley Gallery. These prestigious awards honor 10 citizens who exemplify civic pride, leadership and progress in four award categories: Lifetime Achievement, Hero, Game Changer and Servant Leadership. Last year’s 2020 Honorees are: THE VULCANS – Lifetime Achievement: Dr. Perry W. Ward of Lawson State Community College, Hero: Madison Kerns Conrad of Urban Avenues, Game Changer: Amanda Storey of Jones Valley Teaching Farms and Servant Leadership: T. Marie King. SPEARS – Heroes: Milton King of Determined 2 Be Mentor and Leadership Program (D2B), Dr. Sarah Elizabeth Moreman, Game Changers: Keith Richards of Taziki’s Mediterranean Café/The HOPE Program, Alicia Johnson Williams of Make It Happen Theatre, and Servant Leadership: Dr. Karim Budwhani of CerFlux, Inc., Quan & Nga Nguyen of Dang’s Alterations. For more, contact the Vulcan Park and Museum Development Department at 205.203.4822 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
**BIRMINGHAM JEWISH FEDERATION CAMPAIGN – The Birmingham Jewish Federation campaigns ‘Federation Today for a Brighter Tomorrow’ starts FEBRUARY 6 with A FAMILY CAMPAIGN KICKOFF AND VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION, 6:30 p.m. at Grand River Drive In with a special movie screening of ‘An American Tale’ for children, parents, grandparents and those who are young at heart. MARCH 10 is the COMMUNITY CAMPAIGN PROGRAM: A Conversation with the SON OF HAMAS – MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF on Zoom at 7 p.m. APRIL 17 is the NEXT GEN AND YBIB CAMPAIGN EVENT, 7-9 p.m. with the location for be announced later. For more info call (205) 879-0416 or email@example.com.
FOR MOVIE LOVERS…
**MOVIE: ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (2020) directed by REGINA KING is a fictional account of one incredible night where icons Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown gathered discussing their roles in the civil rights movement and cultural upheaval of the ’60s. Screening January 15 – 28 at Sidewalkfest.com.
**MOVIE: WONDER WOMAN 1984 (2020) is directed by PATTY JENKINS. The movie fast forwards to the 1980s as Wonder Woman’s next big screen adventure finds her facing two all-new foes: Max Lord and The Cheetah. Screening is through TODAY at Sidewalkfest.com.
**SIDEWALK PARTNERS WITH SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL 2021 – Join movie lovers in downtown Birmingham from January 28 through February 3 at Sidewalk Cinema and at the Starlite Pop-Up Drive-In. (For more, go to: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Here are a few of the films….
**MOVIE: JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH (2020) sponsored by AIDS Alabama is a narrative and directed by SHAKA KING. The story of Fred Hampton, Chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party and his fateful betrayal by FBI informant William O’Neal.
**MOVIE: SON OF MONARCHS (2020) is a narrative directed by ALEXIS GAMBIS. A Mexican biologist living in New York returns to his hometown, nestled in the majestic butterfly forests on Michoacan. The journey forces him to confront past traumas and reflect on his hybrid identity, sparking a personal metamorphosis.
**MOVIE: BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD (2012) is a narrative directed by BENH ZEITLIN. Highlighting one of the most successful films to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival was shot in Terrebonne Parish, Montegut and New Orleans, Louisiana. Faced with both her hot-tempered father’s fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy must learn the ways of courage and love.
**MOVIE: HIVE (2021) is a narrative directed by Blerta Basholli. Fahrije’s husband has been missing since the war in Kosovo. She sets up her own small business to provide for her kids, but as she fights against a patriarchal society that does not support her, she faces a crucial decision.
**MOVIE: COMING HOME IN THE DARK (2021) is a narrative directed by JAMES ASHCROFT. A school teacher is forced to confront a brutal act from his past when a pair of ruthless drifters takes him and his family on a nightmare road trip.
**MOTHER SCHMUCKERS (2021) is a narrative directed by HARPO GUIT and LENNY GUIT. Issachar and Zabulon, two brothers in their twenties, are supremely stupid and never bored, as madness is part of their daily lives. When they lost their mother’s beloved dog, they have 24 hours to find it – or she will kick them out.
**MOVIE: MRS. DOUBTFIRE Live Score Drive-In Party, is Saturday, January 31, 11 p.m. An alternate soundtrack to the 1993 film Mrs. Doubtfire will be performed live at the drive-in by DJ Hollywood. The film will be captioned along with the live score which will be broadcast via your car radio. The is event is FREE, but registration is required.
MOVIE LINEUP: Censor, The Most Beautiful Boy in the World, Cryptozoo, In the Earth, R#J, Passing, Misha and the Wolves, Hive, Jockey, Mother Schmuckers, Coming Home in the Dark, Life in a Day 2020, Philly D.A. and Night of the Kings,
Look for more at sidewalkfest.com.
**STOWE STORY LABS 2021 APPLICATION SEASON OPENS – Sidewalk Film Fest is partnering with the Labs for the Third Annual Sidewalk/Stowe Narrative Lab. The Stowe Story Labs was founded to help top emerging screenwriters, filmmakers and creative producers from around the world get work made and seen. The 2021 Programs include: MAY 14-18: Stowe Writers Retreat, JUNE 5-8: Stowe Narrative Lab, AUGUST 25-28: Sidewalk Narrative Lab (Remote) and SEPTEMBER 3-7: Stowe Writers’ Retreat. Apply at Sidewalkfest.com.
FOR LOVERS OF ART AND CULTURAL ENTERTAINMENT…
AT STEPHEN SMITH FINE ART…
**HEALERS IN THE SKY, PENTACLE IN MY HEART is a solo exhibition by LANETTE BLANKENSHIP. The Gallery is open Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturday 12-5 p.m. at the Stephen Smith Fine Art Gallery in Fairfield. This exhibition will coincide with the Grand Opening of GYPSY TREASURE, an antique emporium located within Stephen Smith Fine Art.
AT THE BIRMINGHAM MUSEUM OF ART…
**JACOB LAWRENCE: THE AMERICAN STRUGGLE through February 7, 2021.
**AN EPIC OF EARTH AND WATER Claire Leighton and the New England Industries Series through May 2, 2021.
**ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL through March, 2021, primarily from the Museum’s permanent collection that looks at themes of power and agency. This exhibition takes its name from a painting by Amy Sherald, whose portraits depict Black sitters with pride, dignity, and joy, representation historically only afforded to white people. Some artists in the exhibition look towards power in other creative endeavors, like music. Others contemplate the hidden potential of everyday objects by transforming them into works of art. Several artists engage the representation of space and architecture – including museum spaces – to discover the dynamics of power. Considered together, these works illustrate the importance of being seen, choosing how to be depicted, and telling one’s own history.
**WAYS OF SEEING – BUILDINGS AND MONUMENTS through March 2021
**WALL TO WALL – MERRITT JOHNSON through Spring 2021. BMA hours are Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sundays Noon – 5 p.m. with virtual offerings will continue, including live programs, meditation exercises, art-making activities and much more!
FOR OUTDOOR LOVERS…
AT THE BIRMINGHAM ZOO…
**GLOW WILD: An Animal Lantern Celebration! This extraordinary event will be held on select nights 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. during January. Guests will be captivated by visually stunning lantern creations of wildlife from around the world. The Zoo will come alive with hundreds of marvelous animal shapes of all sizes – from pandas, elephants, cheetahs, polar bears, and whales – soaring up to 30 feet high! Spend the winter with your Birmingham Zoo. GLOW WILD into the new year!
FOR DAYHIKES IN THE PARKS…
**SATURDAY DAY TRIP, 8:45 a.m. with Southeastern Outings Waterfowl Viewing Trip at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge (WNWR), Decatur, AL – DETAILS: Experience the thrilling sight of thousands of sandhill cranes, wild geese and ducks plus herons and other birds. The Refuge has the largest concentration of wintering geese and ducks in the entire state of Alabama! You don’t need to be a bird watcher to enjoy this outing! Experienced birders leading the trip will share their knowledge with all. This 35,000 acre refuge attracts thousands of wintering waterfowl each year. WNWR is comprised of diverse habitat types including bottomland hardwoods, wetlands, pine uplands, shoreline or riparian woodlands, agricultural fields, and backwater embayments. These habitats provide excellent feeding, resting, and roosting sites for wintering waterfowl, white pelicans, sandhill cranes and a few whooping cranes as well as nesting sites for migratory songbirds and many species of resident wildlife.
Bring binoculars, a birding field guide and a spotting telescope with you if you have them. The leader and Dan Frederick will each bring a spotting scope. Bring a mask with you. You are required to wear it if you are a passenger in the refuge’s van during the outing. You may wear it at other times during the day, too, if you wish. The WNWR has issued a permit to Southeastern Outings to visit the refuge behind locked gates on Saturday, January 23, 2021. Special conditions contained in the permit include to follow current CDC and State recommendations – mask, social distance, use hand sanitizer, stay home if you feel sick or have a fever. Hopefully, the positive cases statewide will be much lower than they are now, but if there is a high number of cases for this area at the time of the scheduled trip, the permit could be rescinded. This outing is rated easy, as there is very little walking involved, and we won’t be climbing any hills or walking through thick brush. Dress for the weather. The wind at the refuge can be biting, blowing across open water on cold days. Well-behaved, carefully supervised children age 10 and over who can remain quiet for extended periods of time (so as to not disturb the birds and bird watchers) are welcome. Possible optional dinner after the birding trip depending on what time we finish bird watching. Reservations Required: If you wish to participate in this outing, you are required to call Dan Frederick, 205/631-4680 or email your reservation to email@example.com by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 21, 2021, leave either your phone number or email address. If you are unwilling to carpool with other people during this outing, please do not register to participate in this event. Please don’t be a no-show. If you aren’t coming after making a reservation, please notify Dan. Info: Dan Frederick, 205/631-4680 or firstname.lastname@example.org
**SUNDAY DAYHIKE, Meet 12:45 p.m. with Southeastern Outings Dayhike on the Montevallo Parks Trail – DETAILS: Enjoy an easy four-mile hike on a trail in Montevallo. The main trail is two miles one way and goes through parks, by two picturesque, flowing streams, and around a beautiful University-owned lake in a wooded park. Total hiking distance is about four miles. Come with us for a guided tour of an easily walkable trail. Bring plenty of water and wear good walking shoes or boots. Dress appropriately for the weather. Meet 12:45 p.m. at the McDonald’s Galleria. Plan to depart at 1 p.m. or you may meet the group at 1:35 p.m. at the parking lot beside the larger bridge over Shoal Creek which is the wide creek that flows through Orr Park between the ball fields and the open recreational area in the park in Montevallo. The bridge is right beside the parking lot along the creek at the back of the ball fields. Email Dan if you would like driving directions from Hoover to Orr Park sent to you before the hike. Well-behaved, carefully supervised children age 7 and over able to complete the hike welcome. Optional dinner after the hike. Admission to Trail: Free. Information: Dan Frederick, email@example.com or 205/631-4680.
FOR COMEDY LOVERS…
AT THE STARDOME COMEDY CLUB…
**STAND-UP COMEDY CLASSES WITH EUNICE ELLIOTT…Whether you actually have dreams of becoming a stand-up comedian or you are looking to become a more confident, effective communicator…… this class is for YOU. Classes are taught by Comedian, Writer, Actor, Author Eunice Elliot. With over 10+years onstage and onscreen, Eunice has learned the importance of receiving creative feedback and critiques in becoming a sought-after speaker and performer. In addition to loving to perform stand-up comedy, this former television news anchor stays busy as a writer/actress for “It’s A Southern Thing”, author, and podcast host.
Beginner Class Starts on Thursday, January 14, 2021. In-person Class Every Other Thursday/Virtual Sessions Every Other Thursday (8 weeks total PLUS Graduation Showcase). Intermediate Class Starts on Thursday, January 21, 2021. In-person Class Every Other Thursday/Virtual Sessions Every Other Thursday (8 weeks total INCLUDING Graduation Showcase).
**FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY…COMEDIAN MIKE EPPS!! Mike Epps has generated an extraordinary amount of buzz among his peers within the entertainment industry for being one of the funniest comic actors to emerge in the Hollywood scene as of late. Epps appeared in the Universal Studios ensemble comedy “Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins,” opposite Martin Lawrence, James Earl Jones and Joy Bryant. He appeared in the indie film “The Grand,” directed by Zak Penn and starring Woody Harrelson and Cheryl Hines. He can also be seen in the: MGM’s “Soul Men” starring Samuel L. Jackson, Bernie Mac and Issac Hayes; Sony Pictures’ “Hancock” starring Will Smith and Charlize Theron and “Open Season 2” in which he lends his voice. Upcoming, Epps re-teams with Ice Cube to star in “Janky Promoters,” a comedy about two shady concert promoters (Cube and Epps) who get into hot water when their chance to book a superstar rapper goes awry. …That is just a little of what Mike has done. If you love laughter, then you have seen and you already know MIKE EPPS. He is always SOLD OUT!
**MONDAY…LIVE FROM THE STARDOME RICKEY SMILEY KARAOKE… Karaoke Night with Rickey Smiley is BACK and this time we’re bringing the fun directly to you! Join us for a NATIONWIDE live streaming event with host Rickey Smiley. Can’t make it to the StarDome to get in on the fun? Grab your virtual tickets and watch the show on the go! Enjoy incredible karaoke performances, surprise special guests, and a good time only Rickey Smiley can provide.
**NEXT FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY…COMEDIAN SHUAN JONES… For more than 19 years, the comedy world’s senses have been tantalized by both audio and visual artistry. The young man known as Shaun Jones is truly making his mark everywhere he goes, with his quick wit and fashionable flair. Born and raised in Newark, New Jersey and having lived in Los Angeles for a short time, Shaun now calls Atlanta, Ga. his home. He has traveled worldwide entertaining crowds, using many of his personal life experiences to get a good laugh. Like an accomplished chef, Shaun’s comedy combines a cup of truth, a tablespoon of originality, and a double twist of humor.
**COMING SOON – COMEDIANS RONNIE BULLARD, KELLY KELLZ AND JORDAN JACKSON, BRAD WILLIAMS, JON “POLAR BEAR” GONZALEZ, JJ WILLIAMSOM, CHICO BEAN and more… DON’T MISS THEM!
Well, that’s it. Tell you more ‘next’ time. People, Places and Things by Gwen DeRu is a weekly column. Send comments to my emails: gwenderu