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Tickets for many local events are sold through Ticketmaster (tel. 614/431-3600; www.ticketmaster.com).

The Performing Arts--There is no shortage of arts and entertainment here. Columbus Association for the Performing Arts (tel. 614/975-2787; www.capa.com/columbus) presents national and international touring artists and classic films, with three venues: one in Columbus, Chicago and New Haven. The organization is noteworthy for saving the historic 1928 Ohio State Theater from being razed in 1969 and has been a pioneer in downtown revitalization. The programming consists of its classic film Summer Movie Series, Signature Series, which brings classic theater programming, and a smattering of comedy, children's, world entertainment and folk, pop, jazz and country music. Now in its eighth season, the Contemporary American Theatre Company (tel. 614/469-0939; www.catco.org) is central Ohio's only professional resident theater company. Included in the repertoire are the best new original plays by playwrights such as David Mamet, American and international classics, new works such as the award-winning play The Exhonerated, and little-known but excellent works from around the world. Columbus Symphony Orchestra (tel. 205/322-6737; www.columbussymphony.com) stages fall and spring classical music productions, special appearances by guest artists (Renee Fleming appeared recently), and a Pops series that includes vocal performances of popular works and special seasonal performances around Christmas and, recently, Celtic music around St. Patrick's Day. Located on the Ohio State University Campus, the Wexner Center for the Arts, 1200 10th Ave. S. (tel. 614/292-3535; www.wexarts.org), a unique multidisciplinary arts venue on the campus of Ohio State University. In addition to gallery space, a large auditorium and small black box theater, film/video screenings, and even a bookshop and cafe, housed under one roof after a recent renovation.

The Bar & Club Scene--To find out what's happening, pick up a copy of the Columbus Alive, or check their website at www.columbusalive.com. There's always a big-name act coming to the Nationwide Arena (tel. 614/246-2000; www.nationwidearena.com), located in the planned development area called the Arena District. Recent headliners include Destiny's Child, the Rolling Stones, and Elton John.

Blues lovers should make a point of stopping by Blues Station, 147 W. Vine St. (tel. 614/884-BLUE; www.onasmusicroom.com), the preeminent Columbus blues joint. Their slogan is "come for the blues, stay for the BBQ"-they're equally known for music and their Southern Memphis-styled menu. It's a large venue with several seating areas, including an outdoor patio. Top regional and national blues acts come through here every night except Sunday and Monday. If a bar with a humidor, light fare and jazzy lounge music is your idea of a fine evening out, try The Lounge at BrownStone, 122 E. Main St. (tel. 614-222-3005;) Another favored spot is the Shadowbox Cabaret, 164 Easton Town Center (tel. 614/416-7625; www.shadowboxcabaret.com), home to an eclectic mix of comedy, theatrical sketches, and live rock-n-roll, Thursday through Saturday nights. The atmosphere is high-energy and they have a menu with appetizers, salads, homemade pizza and a standard bar: "no fu-fu drinks." Oldfield's on High, 2590 N. High St. (tel. 614/784-0477), is a neighborhood bar located between Ohio State and Clintonville that turns into a wild nightspot that is a must for fans of the local music scene-the HooDooSoulBand, appearing on Sundays, is especially revered. There's music nearly every night of the week; regional and national acts come through infrequently. The beer is cheap, the service is speedy, and the wide range of music is tops.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.