Brian’s picks – January 19

1) The rather free-form, spontaneous nature of the dueling pianos concept of entertainment somehow reminds me slightly of group improv comedy. No script. Few rules, except keep it moving and keep it funny. So I’m curious about Dueling Pianos International’s “An Evening of Musical Comedy” at 7 p.m. Jan. 27 at The Commons, 300 Washington St. in Columbus. Proceeds from the all-request song show benefit the Ivy Tech Foundation. Tickets are $50 per person or $90 per couple. Information: 812-374-5342 or https://connect.ivytech.edy/events/columbus/duelingpianos

2) I must still be a kid at heart. I love to see members of the Columbus Area Railroad Club at the annual Festival of Lights Christmas Village with their trains chugging into yesteryear. But if you missed them there, the group’s monthly open house will be noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Johnson County Park headquarters building at Camp Atterbury. Information: Greg Harter, 812-350-8636;; or

3) To be embarrassingly honest, I couldn’t immediately tell you the difference between pickleball and pickled pigs feet. But I do know the sport is growing exponentially nationwide according to nearly every statistic I research online. So it fits that free Pickleball Beginner Clinics are slated at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday and Jan. 31 at Foundation For Youth, 405 Hope Ave. in Columbus and also at noon Jan. 25 at Mill Race Center, 900 Lindsey St. in Columbus. Equipment and instruction is provided for the racquet activity that mixes elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis. Information: 812-379-1266 or

4) Appreciating Columbus sculptor Robert Pulley’s considerable work, such as his Third Street shapes called “Ancestral Way,” is one thing. Appreciating his considerable humility only adds to his local contributions. His latest free exhibit, “Mud and Fire,” runs through Feb. 24 at the IU Center for Art + Design, 310 Jackson St. in downtown Columbus. It features large-scale ceramic sculptures and even a group of models he shaped for his projects. Information: 812-375-7550 or

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5672.