Fun things to do in Thurston County this week

The Black Box Jazz series features guitarist Dan Balmer on Friday.
The Black Box Jazz series features guitarist Dan Balmer on Friday. Courtesy of Michael Olson

Friday (Jan. 11)

Guitarist Balmer in the Black Box

Black Box Jazz series returns for the new year with Dan Balmer, considered one of the finest guitarists, composers and music educators in the Northwest. He played with the Tom Grand Band in the ‘90s, toured with Grammy Award winner Diane Schuur, and recently released his ninth studio album, “No A, THE.” His performance will begin at 8 p.m. Friday in the intimate space of the Black Box Theater in the Washington Center for Performing Arts, 512 Washington Ave. SE, Olympia. Tickets are $25 and available by phone or online; 360-753-8586, washingtoncenter.org


Follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Washington Center

With a nod to the iconic 1939 film, the national tour of the stage musical version of “The Wizard of Oz” has all the trimmings, including munchkins and flying monkeys. See it live at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Washington Center for Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia. Tickets are $52, $87 and $117, and are available by phone or online; 360-753-8586, washingtoncenter.org


Tell your story

StoryOly brings the community together monthly to share stories based on a theme. January’s theme for the story slam is “Uncharted Territory” and the personal tales will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Do you have a story to tell? Go to storyoly.com to find out how. The 21-and-older-only event is at Rhythm & Rye, 311 Capitol Way N., Olympia. Tickets are pay-what-you-can with a suggested donation of $5-$10; a portion of ticket sales go to local charities.


The magic of ink on paper

The documentary “Pressing On: The Letterpress Film” explores the contemporary world of letterpress printing, asking the question: Why has letterpress survived in a digital age? The Brotherhood Lounge, 119 Capitol Way N., Olympia, and Community Print Olympia are coming together for a happy hour screening of the film at 4 p.m. Sunday. Half of the bar sales between 3 and 7 p.m. will be donated to Community Print Olympia.


Folk meets pop for a free concert

Described as “self-help acoustic,” the music of Scott Steven Erickson features accordian, keyboard and ukelele to create a folk/pop sound. Erickson has lived in Olympia for the greater part of a decade, and has performed with The Olympia Free Choir and Lord Franzannian’s Royal Olympian vaudeville show. He’ll put on a free concert at 7 p.m. Friday at the Hotel RL, 2300 Evergreen Park Drive, Olympia.

Soulful Grammy nominee promotes album in Oly

New Orleans musician Andrew Duhon is stopping in Olympia as part of his tour in support of his new album, “False River.” The Grammy Award nominated artist will perform at 8 p.m. Friday at Prosperity Grange, 3701 Steamboat Loop NW, Olympia. Tickets are $20 and available at brownpapertickets.com/event/3924665


Get the lowdown on human trafficking

The Lacey Timberland Library will host an interactive workshop, Human Trafficking Awareness, presented by Khurshida Begum, who shares her personal experience, from 1-3 p.m. Saturday. Learn how to recognize people who might be vulnerable to traffickers, identify red flags, find resources, develop appropriate responses, and understand why this crime can happen in any community. The library is at 500 College St. SE, Lacey. To learn more about the event, call 360-491-3860.

Thursday — Feb. 9

Harlequin presents Neil Simon’s Hollywood story

Neil Simon’s “I Ought To Be In Pictures” is being brought to the stage by Harlequin Productions. It’s the story of scriptwriter Herb, his relatively quiet life, his love Steffy and the unexpected arrival of a teenage daughter he hasn’t seen in 16 years. It opens Thursday and will continue through Feb. 9 at the State Theater, 202 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $35 general admission, $32 for seniors and military, $20 for students and youth. Call or go online to get yours; 360-786-0151, harlequinproductions.org