9 Things to Do at The University of Alabama that aren’t Football

Despite attending the Capstone for two years, I can honestly say that I attended maybe a handful of Football games and that was only because someone gave me free tickets. Unlike many of my former classmates, sports never interested me. Instead, I put my energy into finding other sources of entertainment around campus. I have compiled a list of things incoming and current students can enjoy, because UA is so much more than the tossing of the pigskin.

Guerilla Theatre

Guerrilla Theatre is a ten-act cabaret show held once a month by the Alpha Psi Omega ( APO) theatre fraternity.  The premise is simple: performers are given ten minutes to sing, dance, rap, or whatever if it doesn’t include full-frontal nudity or animal sacrifice. Guerilla is usually held in the miniscule Allen Bales theatres, so seating is limited and tends to sell out shortly after the doors open.

Tickets are an optional (but not really optional) $2 that goes toward the West Alabama Aids Outreach (WAAO).

Over the years, various APO members have gone on to make great strides in the entertainment industry including Nick Rashad Burroughs ( Kinky Boots, Something Rotten), Sonequa-Martin Green ( Walking Dead, Star Trek) and Michael Luwoye( Hamilton).

Watch a concert from the lawn

The Tuscaloosa Amphitheatre can accommodate almost 8,000 people, but sometimes even that isn’t enough. Luckily there is a hill adjacent to the venue that is almost like the real thing. The acoustics aren’t that bad and it doesn’t cost you a dime. Just make sure you bring a comfortable mat and plenty of mosquito repellent.

Dinner at Depalma’s

Located less than ten minutes from the Capstone, this small Italian bistro is a mecca for both students and locals. The food is great and incredibly affordable. Did I mention the food is great? The only downside is that seating is incredibly limited and they don’t take reservations. Valentine’s Day is one of their most popular dates, so if you can snag a table, you will make that special someone very happy.

Attend a Drag Show at Icon

With the growing success of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Icon has been the place for locals to get an up-and-close look of the unique performance art. As the sole LBGT-themed establishment in Tuscaloosa, the petit bar is the only place you can catch a show within a 40-mile radius. Whether straight or gay, no one cares. Everybody is just there to have a good time.

Midnight Sushsi

Why it’s called Midnight Sushi, I will never know. Every Thursday through Saturday, Surin of Thailand reopens their doors at 10 p.m. for a night of discounted sushi and sake. For the most part, everything is a dollar, but bigger meal options are available. Lines usually begin forming a little before doors open, so it is always advised to arrive early.

Attend a Neophyte Presentation

Commonly known as a probate, a neophyte presentation is a pivotal moment in black Greek letter organizations where new members are introduced to the public. Many attendees are usually fellow Greeks or family members, but probates are open to the public. The Alpha Kappa Alpha presentations always sell out, so it’s best to nab your tickets as soon as possible.

Attend A Gymnastic Meet

It’s not a game, it’s a meet. It took me a while to get the terminology right, so I’m imparting that tidbit of knowledge to you so you won’t make the same mistake. Like many, my only familiarity with gymnastics was the movie Stick It. While it is not as big as the football games, Coleman Coliseum is the place to be on a Friday night. Like many of the non-football sports, the meets are free for students. If you arrive extra early, you can sit in the coveted student box, where the odds of winning an Amazon fire stick or iPad mini are increased dramatically.

People watch from the 348-Express

From Thursday to Saturday, UA has a free bus service that runs throughout campus until the wee hours of the morning. If you board the bus after midnight, there is strong likelihood that you will encounter a horde of drunken students. If you have nothing better to do, just ride the bus and watch.  It’s better than reality T.V. If you’re lucky, a drunk sorority girl will ask to take random selfies with you.

Attend an event at the Bama Theatre

The historic theatre hosts a fair share of events throughout the year including pageants, plays, concerts and comedy shows. Two of the most popular events are the Bama Art House Independent Film Series and the annual live production of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Reggie Allen’s opinions do not reflect the opinions of the Planet Weekly.


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