5 Things To Do Today: Monster Jam, "Broadway's Next Hit Musical," Rusty Cleavers, Latin Night and more ...

By Volcano Staff on January 4, 2013

FRIDAY, JAN. 4 2013 >>>

1. A January tradition within the cold, concrete environs of the Tacoma Dome, Monster Jam - the Superbowl of Motorsports - brings together the top vehicles in outdoor entertainment for an engrossing evening of car-crunching, wheelie-popping, mud-churning action. By this point, the bill-topping position of morbid monstrosity Grave Digger is beyond a given - GD, after all, is to monster trucks what Jenelle Evans is to public arrests - but even the acolytes among us are getting somewhat weary of the green-and-black marauder's protracted dominance of the sport. So a rebellious impulse deep inside us is pulling for an upset win by Robosaurus or Maximum Destruction. Monster Jam rolls into the Tacoma Dome at 7:30 p.m. for a three-day smash.

2. The merengue, as well as the bachata and salsa, are taught in mini-versions, with or without partner, at varying levels of experience, every Friday night at Studio 6 Ballroom in Tacoma. After the last instruction, the club lights flip on, disco ball drops and Studio 6 fills with cross body leads, hand throws and hammerlocks. Read Nikki McCoy's full feature on Studio 6 Ballroom's Latin dance Night in the Weekly Volcano's Clubs/Bars Section.

3. The hysterical Broadway's Next Hit Musical is the only unscripted theatrical awards show. Audience members submit song titles on a slip of paper. These go into a fishbowl; four cast members draw "titles," develop a backstory for the musical the song appears in and create a scene and song on the spot. The first half ends as the audience votes on the "winner," who receives "the coveted Phony Award." A second half features a full "musical," featuring the winning song, four-six scenes, costumes and new improvised songs. Catch it at 8 p.m. inside the Washington Center in Olympia.

4. Something seems so right about the marriage between punk rock and the washboard. Skidding your hand along the grooves of a washboard elicits nothing more than a visceral rattle - a crude affront to the idea of percussion and what it means to be a member of a band. Punk rock similarly shatters the idea of a rock 'n' roll band. It seems only natural to combine the worlds of bluegrass and punk, and the Rusty Cleavers do so magnificently, with all manner of mandolin, banjo and backyard clatter coming together in a cacophony of spirited group-singing and hoops and hollers. Catch the band at 8 p.m. inside The New Frontier Lounge.

5. The Loch's in downtown Tacoma hosts Friday Night Flowcase, a night of hip-hop featuring D.J. Reign on the tables and performances by J.U.I., W.O.L.G. Gang, Cauze-n-Efekt, Sic Ill, Gho$t Kapone and 36uh0. Of course Josh Rizeberg is hosting it. It kicks up at 8 p.m.

LINK: Friday, Jan. 4 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area