But if you're more focused on what's happening this weekend, read on:
TONIGHT AND SATURDAY -- A woman's perspective: Olympia Little Theatre opens its season with GOODBYE CHARLIE, a 1959 comedy about a womanizer who dies and is reincarnated as a woman. Showtimes are 7:55 p.m. today and Saturday at the Olympia Little Theatre, 1925 Miller Ave. NE, Olympia. Tickets are $10-$14. (If you get season tickets to four or more plays, you'll get a $2 discount.) For more information, call 360-786-9484 or go to olympialittletheatre.org -- and check out Molly Gilmore's story on the play at www.theolympian.com/living.
TONIGHT AND SATURDAY -- Cynical take on politics: Harlequin Productions' AMERICANS ACROSS THE STREET, the front porch political comedy by Carter W. Lewis, wraps up this weekend at the State Theater, 202 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia. Showtimes are 8 p.m. today and Saturday. Tickets are $31; $28 for military and seniors; $20 for students. Call 360-786-0151 or go to harlequinproductions.org.
TONIGHT -- Accordion superstar: RAMON AYALA, an accordion maestro and godfather of contemporary norteno, has made music that has underscored Mexican and Mexican American life for nearly five decades. He will be joined by his band Brave Ones of the North at 9 tonight at Little Creek Casino, 91 state Route 108, Shelton. Tickets are $20-$40. Call 360-427-7711 or go to little-creek.com.
TONIGHT -- Fiddle-de-dee: Acclaimed Irish fiddler KEVIN BURKE will perform at 8 tonight at Traditions Cafe & World Folk Art, 300 Fifth Ave. SW, Olympia. He took up the fiddle at age 8, eventually acquiring a virtuosic technique in the Sligo fiddling style and winning the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship. He now lives in Portland. Tickets are $15; $10 students and those with low income. Call 360-705-2819.
SATURDAY AND SUNDAY -- Wealth of home ideas: Get all the latest ideas for your home and garden at OLYMPIA MASTER BUILDERS BIG HOME & GARDEN SHOW this weekend. Check out vendors and speakers. Hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday at Saint Martins Marcus Pavilion, 5300 Pacific Ave. SE, Lacey. Admission is $5; parking is free. From 9-10 a.m. Saturday, admission is half off; Sunday is senior day with half-off admission. Go to omb.org to get a $2 off coupon.
SATURDAY -- Bringing the King to life: Elvis impersonator JUSTIN SHANDOR, winner of Elvis Presley Enterprises 2010 Worlds ULTIMATE ELVIS competition, is known for his uncanny resemblance to the late singer. He'll perform songs from the span of Elvis' career starting at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. S.E., Olympia. Tickets are $25 and $35. For more information, call 360-753-8586 or go to washingtoncenter.org. And check out Molly's interview with Shandor at www.theolympian.com/living. You also can see Shandor in action singing I Cant Help Falling in Love With You at youtube.com/watch?v=JMs-InqN0_8.
SATURDAY -- These ladies rock: THE RIGHTEOUS MOTHERS brings a zany physical comedy along with harmonies and ideology into its music. The group will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday at Traditions Cafe & World Folk Art, 300 Fifth Ave. SW. Tickets are $15; $10 students and those with low income. Call 360-705-2819 for more information.
SUNDAY -- The renowned Seattle-based TOTAL EXPERIENCE GOSPEL CHOIR, which has performed around the world, visits Olympia for a fundraising show for SideWalk homeless advocacy center at 3 p.m. Sunday at St. Johns Episcopal Church, 114 20th Ave. SE, Olympia. Admission is by donation. For more event information, call 360-357-7224, or go to interfaith-works.org or totalexperiencegospelchoir.org. For more information about SideWalk, call 360-515-5587 or go to walkthurston.org. And if you're interested in volunteering for SideWalk, the next volunteer training begins Oct. 2.