Leave it to Las Vegas to come all the way to the Triad on the very same weekend your intrepid arts columnist departs for Sin City. That means I won’t be able to see how Jeff Hill’s variety show, Vegas Live, sits with the denizens of Chair City. The show opens at T. Finch Auditorium in Thomasville on Friday. Tickets are available online at www.vegaslivetheshow.com or by phone at 336.804.1325. Also on Friday, SECCA presents a pair of exhibitions — the first after its complete overhaul by North Carolina’s culture office. Photographs by Dutch artist Erwin Olaf, quilts by a variety of contemporary textile artists and psychedelic films will all be on display at the venerable Winston-Salem museum starting Friday. It kicks off with a reception open to the public. Greensboro’s Green Hill Center hosts an opening reception for the oxymoronically named Allegorical Realism on Friday. As usual, the show features work by artists based in and around the Triad. Artist/chef extraordinaire Annie Reichert, a member of New York’s Flux Factory, discourses on fabric, installation and comestibles, her media of choice, on Friday at 8 p.m. at Elsewhere. The next day in the alley, work continues on the hanging gardens between 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Press 53 author Denzil Strickland launches his new book, Swimmers in the Sea, on Saturday afternoon at the Bookmarks Book Festival in Winston- Salem. The book is available this week at area Barnes & Nobles and Borders Books and Music. New Garden Friends Meeting in Greensboro welcomes a slate of anti-torture events on Sunday that culminates with the one-act play “Nightwind” about the arrest and torture of Hector Aristizabal in Columbia. The performance will be followed by creative workshops and dinner. Donations will be accepted at the door. Poetry GSO rolls into town this week with a bunch of events, including the workshop Community Artistry, which is aimed at engaging marginalized communities through verse. Space in the workshop is limited, so RSVP at the library if you want to attend. A public poetry reading follows the workshop and is open to everyone. The Greensboro Fringe Festival is gearing up for its 2009 edition by opening the floodgates of its application process. All aspiring Willy Shakespeares should send their appropriately fringy creations to Todd Fisher at email@example.com. The Kernersville Little Theatre announced a grant from Target last week that will support their 2008-2009 endeavors. The money specifically funds youth opportunities in two of the company’s biggest productions, The Christmas Bus and You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.