“I’ve been a wild rover for many’s a year
I’ve spent all me money on whiskey and beer
But now I’m returning with gold in great store
And I never will play the wild rover no more.”
The warbling, barely discernible voice of the Pogues’ frontman Shane McGowan slurs out the traditional drinking song. The clank of pint glasses and then a rabble of voices join in for the chorus to sing as loudly as possible:
“And it’s No, Nay, never (NEVER!)
No, nay never no more
Will I play the wild rover,
No never no more.”
This week the grassy slopes of Nauvoo will ring with the music of the Land of Éire for three days during their first Celtic Week at the nonprofit Alabama Folk School. Campers will immerse themselves in Irish culture by taking a variety of classes and learning Gaelic traditions in fair isle knitting, dancing and music. The fiddle, guitar and Irish folk song courses will envelop participants in the lilting ballads and high-stepping melodies that Ireland is known for.
“…[T]he Alabama Folk School offers quality instruction from master artisans as a way to enrich lives and reconnect people to music, art, and each other,” the nonprofit explains on its website.
Rebecca Haller will instruct entrelac knitting, an intricate pattern of the diamond shapes seen in fair isle sweaters. Tom Morley will teach fiddle for beginning and intermediate fiddlers, while Russell Hopper will teach Fiddle 2: Mastering an Authentic Irish Fiddle Style. Dan Vogt will instruct Guitar 1: Celtic Guitar Accompaniment, and Scooter Muse will cover the basics of strumming techniques. The Irish folk dances, set and ceili, will be taught by instructor Roberta Stamp.
Alabama Folk School’s Celtic Week runs Tuesday, July 21 to Thursday, July 23. Tuition is $175. Lodging prices vary. The Folk School is located inside Camp McDowell at 105 Delong Road in Nauvoo. For more information, visit alabamafolkschool.com.
THURSDAY, JULY 16
The Voting Rights Act @ 50 Series — Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. 520 16th St. N. The second of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute’s three-part series, “Restoring Your Right to Vote as an Ex-Offender” aims to educate audiences about the Voting Rights Act and its ongoing legal challenges 50 years later. 6–8 p.m. Free. For more information, visit bcri.org.
Mary Poppins — Dorothy Jemison Day Theater. 800 19th St. N. The Banks children need a new nanny. Enter Mary Poppins, an inspiring, magical sitter with an unlimited imagination for fun and problem solving. The charming musical has won audiences since its debut. Tuesday–Saturday 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 2 p.m. Through Aug. 2. For more information, call (205) 490-2345.
FRIDAY, JULY 17
Alabama Theatre Summer Film Series — Alabama Theatre. 1817 Third Avenue N. Every Friday and Sunday from June through August, the “Showplace of the South” will screen a different audience-favorite. This week, see Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Wizard of Oz, Pulp Fiction and Singin’ in the Rain. Fridays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. $8. For the summer’s full lineup, visit alabamatheatre.com.
Paint the Town Red — Disability Rights and Resources. 1418 Sixth Ave. N. Disability Rights and Resources (DRR) invites the public to wear red this Friday and attend a silent auction fundraiser and reception in honor of Carlee Bradley Johnson and her “Spirit of Empowerment.” Proceeds support DRR. $10. 5:30–7:30. For more information, visit drradvocates.org.
Into the Woods — Leeds Theatre and Arts Center. 8140 Parkway Dr., Leeds. Stephen Sondheim’s enchanting musical trips down the path of fairy tale characters as they bump into one another, challenge their fate, go toe-to-toe with giants and allow the audience a glimpse into the real lives of beloved characters: Snow White, Rapunzel, Prince Charming, Jack (of beanstalk fame) and the witch. Fridays and Saturdays, 7 p.m. and Sunday July 26, 2 p.m. $15. For more information, visit leedsartscouncil.org.
SATURDAY, JULY 18
Trans*101: A PFLAG Primer — Magic City Acceptance Center. 412 37th St. S. PFLAG (Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) of Birmingham presents this free workshop to introduce and discuss the spectrum of transgender, gender-nonconforming and gender-questioning identities and expressions. PFLAG will also examine common issues faced by the trans community. 10:30 a.m.–3 p.m. Free. For more information, call (205) 863–0822
Jedi Training — Hoover Public Library. 200 Municipal Dr. Padawans of all ages are being called to support the rebellion. Trainees will brush up on using the force and learn new skills while playing games and meeting other members of the rebel force. Please, no wookies. 10:30–11:20 p.m. Free. For more information, visit hooverlibrary.org.
Village Creek/East Lake Park Cleanup — East Lake Park. 8149 Fourth Ave. N. The Village Creek Human and Environmental Justice Society Inc., Birmingham Audubon Society and Friends of East Lake Park are uniting to clean East Lake Park and the neighboring shores of Village Creek. Refreshments, gloves and pick-up sticks will be provided. 8 a.m.–12 p.m. Free. For more information, email email@example.com.
SUNDAY, JULY 19
Shakespeare Times: A Concert Reading — South City Theater. 2969 Pelham Pkwy, Pelham. The Seasoned Performers Salon Readers will present some of Shakespeare’s most famous and lesser known scenes and soliloquies in this concert reading. Audience members will hear the bard’s vibrant language from Birmingham actors. 2–4 p.m. $16. For more information, visit southcitytheatre.com.
MONDAY, JULY 20
WBHM Listening Party — Urban Standard. 2320 Second Ave. N. WBHM (90.3 FM) and the Lochamy brothers will host this listening party of Radiolab’s “American Football” episode. Will and Reed Lochamy will share clips from the podcast and discuss the great game of pigskin. Registration is required due to limited seating. Free. 6:30–8:30 p.m. For more information, visit wbhm.org.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 22
Iron Cinema: Donnie Darko — Iron City. 513 22nd St. S. Iron Cinema’s Summer Film Series “Cults, Classics and Comedies” continues with the 2001 science-fiction drama and break-out hit Donnie Darko. Before the screening, attendees may taste craft beers and spirits or order from a special dinner-theater menu. Door prizes will be awarded for best costume. Free. 7 p.m. For more information, call (205) 202-5483.
The Phoneys — Saturn Birmingham. Girls Rock Birmingham, Max Rykov Productions and Radio Free Alabama invite Birmingham to attend The Phoneys: An Award Show Honoring the Heroes of Music History. Local musicians will entertain in costume (as Madonna, Mozart, Freddie Mercury, etc.) and receive Phoney awards. The public will complete a survey prior to the event to determine winners of Biggest Ego, Most Disappointing Fall from Stardom and Biggest Musical Rivalry. Proceeds benefit Girls Rock Birmingham. 8 p.m. $15. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
THURSDAY, JULY 23
Secessia Book Signing — Alabama Booksmith. 2626 19th Place S. Author Kent Watson will be signing copies of his second novel, Secessia. Set in 1862 New Orleans, the story shifts first-person perspectives among a broken family torn by greed, loss and coming to grips with the post bellum South. Free. 4–6 p.m. For more information, visit alabamabooksmith.com.