Like to read? Want to fill out the bookshelves at home or pick up some gently used titles you have always desired but never ordered? Maybe you just like being surprised with works you haven’t encountered or heard about.

If you’re nodding along to any of those descriptions, it sounds like the book sale by the Friends of the Public Library is right up your alley. Head out to the Abba Shrine Center (7701 Hitt Road, just off Schillinger) on Saturday, April 18, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. or Sunday, April 19, 3 to 7 p.m. to hit the mother lode.

The support group for Mobile’s public library system is staging this gigantic sale to benefit a public institution that supports so many endeavors of our varied cultural institutions, it would be impossible to list them all in this space. That is in addition to its primary role stimulating the intellectual development of our society.

Donations of additional books to be sold are being accepted now at all library locations. The group is also looking for volunteers for sorting and set up.

A preview sale for Friends of the Library members will be held Friday, April 17, 3 to 7 p.m. A limit of 50 items per member will be in place.
For more information, call 251-208-7902.


USA Drama stages classic Roman series
American playwright and director Mary Zimmerman had her work cut out for her. Any attempt to tackle Roman poet Ovid’s Metamorphoses was Herculean since the original work was 250 myths squeezed into 15 books and spanned the world’s creation to the deification of Julius Caesar.

Zimmerman settled a limited number of them, changed the storytelling techniques for modern tastes and staged the first presentation in Chicago in 1996. It opened off Broadway in October 2001 then moved to the Great White Way five months later, then to the winner’s circle for the Tony Awards.

The wealth of stories touches on characters that are ingrained in Western civilization: Midas and his Golden Touch; the lovers Orpheus and Eurydice who are separated by frailty; Narcissus and his self-destructive self-love; Phaeton who learns the pitfalls of driving lessons from his father Apollo; Eros and Psyche whose loneliness unearths deeper love; the couple Baucis and Philemon whose kindness gives them an unusual gift and many others.

Theatre USA will stage their version of these timeless tales at the Laidlaw Performing Arts Center on the South Alabama campus, April 17-19 and April 23-25. Evening shows are at 7:30 p.m. and the Sunday matinee at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $14, $12 for seniors/USA faculty and staff/department alumni /active military/groups and $10 for students.
For more info, call 251-460-6305.


Heavenly voices in down-to-earth locale
Unlike in Europe, going to the opera in America is an affair awash in visions of tuxedos, fine jewelry and evening gowns. Though the voices and talents are certainly refined, errant stereotypes sometimes build impressions of a wide gulf between the hoi polloi and the art form.

Mobile Opera breaks down those imagined barriers by offering Mobilians a chance to rub elbows in a more intimate setting with the vocal talents that bring their masterpieces to life. The occasion is dubbed “A Night of Song” and it unfolds the third Monday of the month at Legacy Bar and Grill (9 Du Rhu Dr.).

Don’t expect just Puccini, Wagner or Mozart. The songlist contains classics of musical theatre more familiar to the American ear than arias in foreign tongue.

The event is free. The next one is Monday, April 20, 6:30 to 9 p.m.
For more information, call 251-432-6772.


Ladies line the walls at Mobile Arts Council
They make up more just under half the world’s population and play an immeasurable role in all our fates. We might love our fathers but there’s no bond like that between mother and child.

Despite this, women still bear a wage gap. Their presence in business and governmental leadership positions is often diminished.

Photographer Devin Ford has captured portraiture of 18 notable Mobile women who provide inspiration for all of us and presents them in her show “In Her Shoes.” They range from Holocaust survivor Agnes Tennenbaum, to Camp Grace Director Melissa Pilot Whatley, to Art Instructor Lucy Gafford, to Mobile County Commission President Connie Hudson.

The show remains in place throughout April along with an exhibit of recycled and repurposed materials organized by the aforementioned Gafford and Yoko Jordan, plus a show of mixed media works by the immensely talented Mateo. Joining them is a display of art by students of Rebecca Wright from Hutchens and Spencer-Westlawn elementary schools.

For more info, call 251-432-9796 or go to mobilearts.org.