Note: Rates of COVID cases have been rising in the county and some events, especially band listings, are starting to be canceled as members catch COVID. Be sure to check with organizers to make sure an event is still on before venturing out. We try to do our best to catch cancelations before publication but sometimes they are canceled after we go to print, so be sure to check.
Jim Belushi & the Board of Comedy
Friday 1/14 | Grand Theater, Wausau
A Wausau favorite, Jim Belushi returns to The Grand for a hilarious night of improvisational comedy. Former member of Saturday Night Live and star of the TV Show According to Jim, Jim Belushi has more than thirty years of experience as a comedic actor. At this show, he is joined by the top-notch comedians of the Board of Comedy for a hilarious improv comedy sketch show. It’s interactive and looks to the audience for suggestions for each scene and according to Belushi himself it’s “less a ‘show’ and more a party.” 7:30 pm. Tickets start at $49. Grandtheater.org.
The Cryptics XL Tour
Sunday 12/16, Polack Inn, Wausau
With all the talk about post-rock and post-punk, it’s great to hear a band that’s just straight up modern punk, of the kind hitting the scene in the late 90s. The Cryptics music is loud and heavy on guitars, with a tight distortion sound that’s as high-energy as it is loud. These guys are making the rounds on their tour, heading around the state and the Midwest this month before heading down south to Texas and beyond. Joining these punk rockers is local punk band CASHED, who came out with their own album this past spring, and Elms. How often do you get a chance to rock out on a Sunday? 8 pm.
Center of the State Sports Card Show
Saturday 12/15, Elks Lodge, Stevens Point
If you were a kid in the 1980s, you were probably into baseball cards (and maybe football and hockey cards too). And while the conversation today is flooded with NFTs like NBA Top Shots, there’s still a place for those old cards of our sports heroes. This is the first year of the Center of the State Sports Card Show, and the name might be a touch misleading: According to the description, there is a place for all kinds of cards and memorabilia. Even trading card games like Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon, along with sports memorabilia. Hosted by Carson Cards, this event is free and there will be food and beverages available on site as well. Get your nerd on and get on over there for the nostalgic fun. 9 am-3 pm.
Strings Attached — Wausau Symphony with Janet Planet
Sunday 1/16, First Presbyterian Church, Wausau
Just to come right out with it, Janet Planet is a Wisconsin jazz legend. The singer has been performing for 35 years, and a couple of her albums including her latest have been under Grammy consideration: Her 2017 album celebrating the work of Bob Dylan (good choice!) and her latest, Under the Venus Moon, which is being considered by the 2022 Grammy Nomination Committee. And lucky you, you’ll get to see her right here in Wausau with the Wausau Symphony! Planet has a voice that perfectly complements a jazz arrangement, her warm tones washing over you like a gentle wave. Her range is incredible, going deep to high while somehow maintaining a breath ease that’s practically a lifetime of vocal lessons wrapped into a song. Here the Wausau Symphony Orchestra will celebrate the new years with its Strings Attached (get it?) show featuring some great American classics. $15 adults, $10 seniors, children 18 and under enter free.
Thursday 1/13, Whitewater Music Hall
Ever watch Shark Tank? Want to see Wisconsin’s version? Musky Lounge is like that famed show, but Wisconsin’s version. (So no Mark Cuban sorry.) Come check out local entrepreneurs from Central Wisconsin as they pitch their scalable businesses to an audience. And while the deals aren’t as crazy as those on Shark Tank, a panel of local innovators will be evaluating them for a chance to win $5,000 toward their business. And of course, it never hurts to have such a competition at a beer hall, with Whitewater’s own microbrews on tap. Come check it out! 7 pm.
Brewery Comedy Tour
Saturday 1/15, Mosinee Brewing Company, Mosinee
The Brewery Comedy Tour is one of those things that seems so obvious, you’re surprised you haven’t seen it yet. If there is one thing people love more than drinking beer, it’s laughing and drinking beer. So put the two together, with some of the best standup comics from New York to L.A. and everywhere in between and you have a recipe for success. These comics are on the circuit playing festivals, touring the clubs and even TV appearances so laughter is almost guaranteed. Pair that with some fine crafted beer from Mosinee Brewing Co. in its spacious locale in the center of downtown, and it’ll make one fine night of entertainment. $10, buy through Eventbrite. 8 pm.