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Suggestions from the Enjoy Bloggers on events and activities to attend this weekend:

 

What: Hamilton Loomis DVD release party.

When: 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13.

Where: Bones Brewing, 1425 Broadwater Ave.

Why: Loomis, from Texas, serves up blues guitar in a rare, energetic show for ages 18 and older. It's the kind of music that we don't have many opportunities to hear in Billings.

Cost and information: $10 at door: 839-9231; bonesbrewing.com.


What: "Ragtime (Concert Version)."

When: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Jan. 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28; 2 p.m. Sundays Jan. 15, 22 and 29; and 7:30 p.m. Jan. 26.

Where: Venture Theatre, 2317 Montana Ave.

Why: "Ragtime" is based on the 1975 novel by E.L. Doctorow that follows the lives of three groups of Americans striving for their piece of the dream. The main characters are fictional, but they are surrounded by historical figures, including Harry Houdini, Booker T. Washington, J.P. Morgan and Admiral Peary.

When "Ragtime" opened in 1998, it was nominated for 13 Tony Awards and won four, including Best Original Score and Best Orchestration. This production features 20 vocalists performing 30 songs in formal evening gowns and tuxedos.

Rimrock Opera Company vocalist and Lockwood music teacher Quentin Staton plays the role of Tateh, an immigrant father. His real-life daughter Skyylar, 10, joins him as his stage daughter. Another parent-child pairing is Skyview High music teacher Amy Logan, who plays the matriarch of a WASP family in New Rochelle, N.Y., and her 10-year-old son, Jacob.

Cost and information: $20. 591-9535; venturetheatre.org.


What: Marvin Hamlisch at Alberta Bair Theater's 25th anniversary celebration.

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14.

Where: Alberta Bair Theater, 2801 Third Ave. N.

Why: Conductor/composer Hamlisch will play piano and conduct the Billings Symphony Orchestra in a formal black-tie concert.

Hamlisch is one of the few people to receive an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony and Pulitzer Prize. Some of his most famous compositions include the score for "A Chorus Line," for which he won both a Tony and Pulitzer Prize. His first hit was "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows," which was recorded by Leslie Gore in 1965 when Hamlisch was 21.

The gala benefits the theater.

Also scheduled for the gala event is a founder's reception for the ABT's largest sponsors and an after-party with Hamlisch at the Crowne Plaza.

Cost and information: Tickets cost $55, $75 and $150. The $150 ticket includes the after party and a commemorative CD featuring some of Hamlisch's previously recorded music with a special ABT 25th anniversary label. 256-6052. www.albertabairtheater.org.


What: Zombie short film shoot.

When: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Riverfront Park.

Why: This isn't your usual event -- it's the shoot for a promotional video for the Zombie Prom.

Someone will be there to zombify those who arrive to be in the film. How often do you get that chance?

Information: Call or text Laurie, 406-850-5152.


What: Second annual "I Am Billings" community photo shoot.

When: Noon Saturday.

Where: Top floor, Montana State University Billings parking garage.

Why: The community comes together to celebrate diversity and nonviolence and to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with the shooting of the photo. Everyone is welcome to participate. Coffee and hot cocoa will be served.

The event will open with a greeting from the Not In Our Town Billings Chairman Eran Thompson and several Billings community leaders.

Cost and information: Free. Coffee, hot cocoa served. 406-225-5915. www.niotbillings.org.

Bonus events:

* Martin Luther King Jr. unity dinner at 6 p.m. Saturday in South Park Senior Center, 901 S. 30th St. $25, adults; $15, students. Presented by the Black Heritage Foundation. A silent auction and soul-food dinner are planned. For reservations or information, call 690-3644 or email chair@bhfbillings.org

* At 9:45 a.m. Monday, a bell-ringing ceremony to mark the holiday will be held at Montana State University Billings' Peaks to Prairie Park, followed by a program at the Student Union Building.

* At 6:30 p.m. Monday, a candlelight vigil and short program will be held on the Yellowstone County Courthouse lawn at Second Avenue North and North 27th Street. Participants then walk to Lincoln Education Center, 415 N. 30th St., for a 7 p.m. program that will feature a talk by Albert Paul Brinson, a friend and colleague of Martin Luther King Jr.

Brinson's appearance and other events are sponsored by the Black Heritage Foundation, Not in Our Town and MSU Billings.

For more ideas about things to do on the weekend and throughout the week, see billingsgazette.com/calendar, where you can also provide information about your upcoming public events. Martin Luther King Jr. unity dinner: 6 p.m. South Park Senior Center, 901 S. 30th St. $25, adults; $15, students. Silent auction and soul-food dinner. Reservations or information: 690-3644; chair@bhfbillings.org

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