If you’re like most Mobilians, spring’s warmth brings with it visions of tropical locales and exotic sounds. The University of South Alabama Steel Band and World Music Ensemble will invoke this atmosphere at its spring concert focusing on another land renowned for Carnival celebrations: Brazil.

The performance, slated for April 30, 7:30 p.m. in the Laidlaw Performing Arts Center (5751 USA Drive S.), will open with steel band performances of soca, Brazilian baiao and student arrangements of American pop rock songs.

Featured guest for the show is Dr. Julie Hill, professor of percussion at the University of Tennessee-Martin. Hill is described on the USA Music Department’s website as “one of the nation’s leading pedagogues on Brazilian percussion.” As a member of the Caixa Percussion Trio, Hill has performed in Mexico, Brazil, France, Puerto Rico, South Korea, across the U.S. and at the Percussive Arts Society International Conventions. She is co-author of a collection of solos/duets entitled “Music for Multi Percussion: A World View,” has numerous publications with Innovative Percussion and her scholarly research has been published in Percussive Notes and the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music.

From the jungles below the equator, the show then moves across the Atlantic. Following the steel band, the USA Celtic Crue will perform a set of Irish polkas with the World Music Ensemble.

Entrance is $8, $5 for USA students/faculty/staff, seniors and youth under 18. Cash or check only.
For more information, call 251-460-7116.


Theatre 98 stages empty nest comedy
Fairhope’s community playhouse Theatre 98, 350 Morphy Ave., aims to put familial relationships under the microscope with their new presentation, “This Day and Age.” The play by Nagle Jackson was a smash hit when it premiered at the 1995 Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Newly widowed Marjorie sees her life’s change as relief. Her days of luxuriating poolside are short-lived, though, when her adult children visit.
The daughter, packing her British-American hubby and her sibling brother, joined by his Asian-American ex-ballerina wife, are keeping secrets from each other. Both are scheming to move back into their mother’s newly liberated and thankfully quiet abode.

When Marjorie informs the junior schemers of her plans to sell the estate and move to New Zealand, bedlam ensues. Even the dearly departed weigh in before Marjorie decides on a course of action that catches everyone by surprise.
Performances are May 7–10, and May 13–17. Evening curtain is at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $18, $12 for students. For more information, call 251-928-4366 or go to theatre98.org.


Battlefield medicine in USA library exhibit
War, what is it good for? A lot, medically speaking.

Humanity’s horrific habit created the necessity for medical and surgical innovations that saved multitudes both under fire and afterward. Inoculation, vaccination, sanitation, prosthetics, intravenous and blood transfusion techniques, cardiac and vascular surgery, antibiotics and, of course, medical triage systems all were propelled forward by warfare’s carnage.

The Mobile Medical Museum has assembled the “War and Medicine” exhibit at the University of South Alabama Marx Library, scheduled to run through Oct. 2. Utilizing artifacts on loan, the show highlights medical and surgical practices used in America’s major engagements and focuses on how each war propelled medicine and surgery into new territory. The exhibit is on the third floor in the Mary Elizabeth and Charles Bernard Rodning Gallery of Art.

Library hours are Monday to Thursday, 7:45 a.m. until midnight; Friday, 7:45 a.m. until 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sunday, 1 p.m. until midnight.

For more information, call 251-460-7021.


Barton meeting to highlight restoration
Built in 1836 as Alabama’s first public school, Barton Academy has no doubt seen its share of neglect. Some pointed to its decay over the last decades as appropriate for a symbol of public schools but the system is looking to reverse that trend.

Mobile County Public Schools plan to repurpose the historic structure as Barton Academy for Advanced World Studies. The project is designed to become a specialty school for grades 6 through 12 where students will acquire the tools for international success through the study of foreign languages, world cultures and the like.

Members of the Mobile County Public School System and Barton Academy Foundation will hold a town hall meeting at the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce (451 Government St.) on Wednesday, May 6 at 5:30 p.m. The session will highlight renovation efforts, answer questions and inform attendees about creating a homegrown workforce for a global economy.