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Best bets for Myrtle Beach area

TODAY-SATURDAY | 01.28-01.29

Shaggers strut their stuff in competition

The 28th National Shag Dance Championships events begin this weekend.

Festivities are 8 p.m.-midnight today and Saturday, with amateur preliminaries both nights, as pairs vie to advance to the finals, which are March 10-12.

Also, the fifth annual "Shagging with the Stars," which includes Tyrone Power Jr. from "Shag - The Movie" and both "Cocoon" films, is tonight, and the first Collegiate Shag Championship, including a pair from Coastal Carolina University, is Saturday.

All dances are at 2001 Nightclub, 920 Lake Arrowhead Road, near U.S. 17 and S.C. 22, between Myrtle Beach and Briarcliffe Acres.

Tickets for today and Saturday are $20 nightly, benefitting the Beth Mitchell Memorial Scholarship.

Details at 222-6706, www.shagnationals.com, or e-mail shagnationals@sc.rr.com.

THURSDAYS-SUNDAYS | THROUGH 02.13

'Dinner with Friends'

Atlantic Stage's fourth play this season, "Dinner with Friends," has opened for three weekends through Feb. 13 at the 79th Avenue Theatre at Coastal Carolina University Myrtle Beach Education Center, at U.S. 17 Bypass.

This 2000 Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy-drama follows the relationship ups and downs of two married couples - Karen and Gabe and Beth and Tom - who have been best friends for years. However, through perspectives shared with meals, vacations, flashbacks and late-night confessions, one marriage splits and leaves the other on rocky ground.

Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays.

Tickets are $25 general, $20 ages 55 and older, and $15 students, including Osher Lifelong Learning Institute members. Details at 877-287-8587 or www.atlanticstage.com.

TODAY-SUNDAY | 01.28-01.30

CCU concerts

Several concerts happen this weekend in Coastal Carolina University's Wheelwright Auditorium in Conway:

1:30 p.m. today | CCU music professors' faculty recital with excerpts from large works and etudes, including Amy Tully (flute), Jesse Willis (percussion), Tonya Propst (horn), Dan O'Reilly (saxophone) and Matthew Shrewsbury (trombone).

7:30 p.m. today | Fort Mill Middle School Concert Band

1:30 p.m. Saturday | Atlanta Wind Symphony

3 p.m. Sunday | Finale to the fourth annual Coastal Honor Band & Scholarship Festival: the Festival Wind Ensemble, and the Coastal Honor Band, comprising more than 100 high school students from South Carolina and the eastern United States.

All concerts are free, but tickets are required; call 349-2502. More information at www.coastal.edu/culturalarts.

OPENS TODAY | 01.28-02.13

'The Cemetery Club'

The Low Country Players of the Grand Strand Senior Center present their second play of the season for three weekends through Feb. 13.

Ivan Menchell's "The Cemetery Club" showcases three widows who are longtime friends.

Showtimes are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays at the senior center, 1268 21st Ave. N., Myrtle Beach, east of Robert Grissom Parkway.

Tickets are $12. Details at 626-3991.

SUNDAY | 01.30

Soul with Long Bay

The Long Bay Symphony 2010-11 season continues with its third performance, "Music for the Soul: A Celebration of Spirituals, Gospel and the Orchestra" at 4 p.m. Sunday.

The program, at the Myrtle Beach High School Music & Arts Center, off Robert Grissom Parkway, between 29th and 39th avenues North in Myrtle Beach, will show the common connection between the American gospel/spiritual heritage and the orchestra, with music by black composers William Grant Still and Duke Ellington, spiritual-inspired orchestral works by Copland and Gershwin, and symphonic arrangements of spirituals and gospel tunes, with special guests New Arts Six - a performing arts ensemble.

A pre-concert lecture with Charles Jones Evans, music director and conductor, is at 3:15 p.m.

Tickets are $35 and $35 general, $30 and $40 for seniors, and $10 for students. Details at 448-8379 or www.longbaysymphony.com.

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