THURSDAY, JAN. 16 >> Mike Birbiglia at the Wharton Center
Comedian/storyteller Mike Birbiglia comes to the Wharton Center, and just in the nick of time: Nothing warms you up like a good belly laugh. Birbiglia last graced the Wharton Center stage in 2012 with his one-man show “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend”; his new show, “Thank God For Jokes,” tells the joy and pain that comes from his profression. Birbiglia crosses all socially acceptable lines as he makes fun of allergies and describes the difficulty of being the follow-up performer to a Muppet act. 7:30 p.m. $35/$22 for the first 500 students. Wharton Center’s Cobb Great Hall, 750 E. Shaw Lane, East Lansing. (800) WHARTON, whartoncenter.com.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Events
Friday, Jan. 17 >> Music of the Dream A concert featuring performances by Brian Hurst, Kim Burrell and Tye Tribbett. Wharton Center’s Cobb Great Hall, 750 E. Shaw Lane, East Lansing. 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17.
Sunday, Jan. 19 >> MSU College of Music Pays Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. The MSU College of Music will take part in the campus-wide celebration commemorating the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. with two free concerts: “Jazz: Spirituals, Prayer and Protest.” The theme of the concert is women in jazz. The concert is part of MSU’s year long initiative, “Project 60/50,” which commemorates two of the 20th Century’s watershed civil rights events: the 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education, and the 50th anniversary of the passage and signing into law of the Civil Rights Act.In addition to MSU’S Jazz Orchestras, directed by Rodney T. Whitaker, other performers include the MSU Children’s Choir and the Earl Nelson Singers, as well as vocalists Twyla Birdsong, Ramona Collins, Rockelle Fortin, Kimmie Horne, Mardra Thomas and Jasmine Hamilton-Wray. Two performances: 3 p.m. & 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19. FREE. Wharton Center’s Pasant Theatre, 750 W. Shaw Lane, East Lansing. (517) 353-9958.
Sunday, Jan. 19 >> Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration.
St. Matthew A.M.E Church. 4 p.m. 522 W. Maple St., Lansing. (517) 482-5329.
The theme is “Our Lives Begin to End the Day We Become Silent about Things,” featuring speaker Ernest Green. Green was one of the first students to walk through the doors of Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., after segregation was declared illegal. J. Moss will be the guest vocalist for the program. 11 a.m. $35/person or $280/ table of eight. Lansing Center, 333 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. (517) 483-7400.
SATURDAY, JAN. 18 >> Lansing Entertainment Art Faire at The Green Union
Artists from around the Great Lakes will showcase their works, including Lansing recycling artist Tom Sherrin. Live music will be provided by 250 Calories, Northern Throne, Steve Usey, Jo Taylor, Justin Holcomb and Fade to Black. There will also be local vendors dishing out grub. Think Live Music is a Lansing-based production company that opened last year, based in an 8,500-square-foot studio. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Think Live Music, 1200 Marquette St., Lansing. FREE, but you must RSVP by Thursday, Jan. 16 on the event’s Facebook page or by calling (517) 420-1873.
MONDAY, JAN. 20 >> Beer and Bacon Pairing
Beer and bacon come together for one special night. Tickets include five 4- or 6-ounce Michigan crafted beer samples and bacon pairings with each sample. The first round of pairings, at REO Town Pub features beer from Odd Side Ales and bacon from Jerome Country Market. (There will be another at 7 p.m., Jan. 27 at BAD Brewery, 440 S. Jefferson St. in Mason.) You’ll have a chance to try bacon flavors Willy Wonka couldn’t even imagine like cherry, pineapple or jalapeno bacon. 7 p.m. $20. REO Town Pub, 1147 S. Washington Ave., Lansing. (517) 485-4863, imabeerhound.com.
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 22-SUNDAY, JAN. 26 >> “Peter and the Starcatcher” at the Wharton Center
Figure out why Captain Hook is such a grouch and where Tinkerbell comes from. Even though “Starcatcher” is a “grownup version” of the story of Peter Pan, it still remains mystical. “It speaks to the child in adults,” says Nathan Hosner, who plays Lord Aster, one of the good guys in the show. “It’s about dreams coming true and how people can inspire one another to become more than they thought they could.” Hosner got his professional start and received his equity card at BoarsHead Theatre in Lansing. “It feels like I’m coming home,” he said. “Our show in particular has a lot of humor in it that appeals to adults. It’s really delight the audiences we’ve had so far across the country.” “Peter and the Starcatcher,” presented by the Wharton Center for Performing Arts. $27-$62/$25 Wharton Center’s Cobb Great Hall, 750 E. Shaw Lane, East Lansing. (800) WHARTON, whartoncenter.com.