• HOT TICKETS

Music and Nightlife: The gospel according to Kenya

THE KENYA HALL BAND will play Portland’s annual Music & Gospel Concert Friday in celebration of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. The concert, presented by the NAACP Portland Branch, is meant to lift spirits and voices.

WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday

WHERE: Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle St., Portland

HOW MUCH: $11 in advance; $17 day of show

INFO: Porttix.com

Art and Theater: Three to see at Portland Stage

PORTLAND STAGE Studio Rep, a mini-festival featuring plays in repertory written by local playwrights and performed by local theater companies, continues with: “The Brown Clouds of Courage: The Musical,” “Act One, Scene Two” and “Temporary Living Arrangements” by, respectively, MTWTFSS, the Improvised Puppet Project and Lanyard Theatre Company.

WHEN: 8 p.m. Thursday and Saturday for “Act One, Scene Two”; 8 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Sunday and 8 p.m. Wednesday for “Temporary Living Arrangements”; and 3 p.m. Saturday for “Brown Clouds.” All have additional performances through Feb. 2.

WHERE: Portland Stage Studio Theater, 25A Forest Ave., Portland

HOW MUCH: $15 per show, or $35 for a festival pass

INFO: 774-0465 or portlandstage.org

Dining and Drink: Bibo’s boasts January dinners

AN APPETIZER OF LOBSTER MASCARPONE RAVIOLI will launch Bibo’s January Wine Dinner Fridays. The dinners will be offered throughout the evening, along with the regular menu, on Friday and after 7:30 p.m. on the 24th and 31st.

WHEN: 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday

WHERE: Bibo’s Madd Apple Cafe, 23 Forest Ave., Portland

HOW MUCH: $40 per person, plus tax and gratuity

INFO: 774-9698

Et Cetera: Wanted: Kids acting out

PLAY ME A Story lets kids experience the theater for themselves. Children ages 4 to 10 are read a book, and then they get help acting out the story in an interactive workshop.

WHEN: 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. Saturday

WHERE: Portland Stage, 25A Forest Ave., Portland

HOW MUCH: $15

INFO: portlandstage.org

• CHEAP THRILLS

Music and Nightlife: Soundgarden, Alice in super showdown

WITH A SUPER BOWL possibly in New England fans’ futures, it’s time to think about the importance of competition. Warm up Wednesday with a “Clash” series at Empire, featuring the music of Soundgarden versus the music of Alice in Chains.

WHEN: 10 p.m. Wednesday

WHERE: Empire, 575 Congress St., Portland

HOW MUCH: $6

INFO: Portlandempire.com

Art and Theater: Faculty art show a farewell of sorts

THIS YEAR’S University of Southern Maine art department faculty exhibition is especially meaningful. It marks the last such show for retiring professor George Burk, an associate professor of painting and drawing. He is known for his small, exquisite landscapes done in acrylic on board.

WHEN: Opens Jan. 23, on view through Feb. 14; noon to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.

WHERE: Art Gallery, 37 College Ave., USM Gorham

HOW MUCH: Free

INFO: usm.maine.edu/gallery

Dining and Drink: Wine and cheese to warm your winter

A WINTER WINE AND CHEESE TASTING will help chase some of those January blues away. Learn about cheeses and how to pair them with your favorite wines.

WHEN: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. tonight

WHERE: Maine Beer & Beverage Co., Public Market House, 28 Monument Square, Portland

HOW MUCH: Free

INFO: 228-2024

Et Cetera: Gelland-Frost to read poetry

MAINE-BASED poet Carolyn Gelland-Frost will read from her new book of poetry, “Dream-Shuttle,” Friday at the Portland Public Library. The reading is part of the library’s Friday Local Author Series.

WHEN: Noon to 1 p.m. Friday

WHERE: Portland Public Library, 5 Monument Square, Portland

HOW MUCH: Free

INFO: portlandlibrary.com