Elvis, Ja Rule, Great Talk and more of the week's best events in the Baltimore area

Elvis’ Birthday Fight Club

Elvis + burlesque + mock fighting. Seriously, is there a better time to be had anywhere in Baltimore this weekend? For 90 minutes, The King and his sidekick, Kittie Glitter, referee bouts between — well, the actual line-up is a closely guarded secret, but previous years’ combatants have included a chicken going up against Colonel Sanders and Godzilla taking on Bridezilla (the two later got married). The carnage is great (not really), the music even greater (definitely), and the occasion? Hey, Elvis would have been 83 on Jan. 8, and were he still alive, you know this is where he’d be. 8 p.m. Friday, 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday at the Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave. $22-$28. creativealliance.org.

Baltimore Restaurant Week

Time to try something different, and to enjoy something of a discount for doing so. Choose from more than 80 area restaurants, from Aggio to XS, all offering specially priced fixed-menu dinners (three courses for $20-$35) and brunch/lunches (two courses for $12-$20). Eat hearty. Kicks off Friday and runs through Jan. 21. baltimorerestaurantweek.com.

Great Talk: ‘We the People: A Crisis of Identity’

This latest in a series of public discussions on important topics will focus on how politics, gender, religion and other criteria have served to fragment society in ways perhaps never intended. Participants include Johns Hopkins professor Lawrence Jackson, author of “Chester B. Himes: A Biography,” Maryland Democratic party chair Kathleen Matthews, social scientist Ernesto Castaneda and Moody’s analyst Joshua Grundleger. Los Angeles Times White House reporter Noah Bierman will moderate. 7 p.m. Tuesday at Maryland Public Television, 11767 Owings Mills Blvd. $15-$25. greattalk.org.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

Commemorate the upcoming birthday of the great civil rights leader (who would have turned 89 on Jan. 15) with various activities, including oratory from the Baltimore Urban Debate League, a concert by the Joyful Noise Gospel Singers, and civic engagement with Synergy Baltimore. Also crafts and a photo booth. 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Thursday at the Walters Art Museum, 600 N. Charles St. Free. thewalters.org.

Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists

It’s a local musical talent showcase, as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs native son Philip Glass’ "Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists," while Baltimore’s own Wordsmith provides hip hop narration for Saint-Saëns' "Carnival of the Animals." 8 p.m. Thursday at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. $30-$99. Also 3 p.m. next Sunday at the Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane in North Bethesda. $35-$99. bsomusic.org.

‘The Dream: The Art of Skateboarding’

Professional skaters Joey Jett and Mike Vallely will be on hand for the world premiere of Jett’s film, “The Dream: The Art of Skateboarding,” shot during their world tour. Includes local beer and food, live music, skate demos by Bustin’ Boards and silent and live auctions. Proceeds benefit Jake’s Skatepark, planned for the west side of Rash Field. 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Saturday at Bustin’ Boards in City Garage, 101 W. Dickman St. $5-$10. Tickets through eventbrite.com.

Ja Rule

An evening of rap, from one of the best; hard to believe this guy’s been at it for 25 years. Also on the bill: Donnie Breeze, Duck Myers and Jaymoney Hackett. 8 p.m. Wednesday at Baltimore Soundstage, 124 Market Place. $25-$30. baltimoresoundstage.com.

The Last Year

Alt rock from one of Baltimore’s own, featuring front-girl Niki Barr, Scott Ensign on bass and synth, BJ Kerwin on drums, and Scott Griffith on guitar. Quite the light show, too. Also making music: Megosh, Smantx and Fatally Yours. 8 p.m. Friday at Metro Gallery, 1700 N. Charles St. $10-$12. themetrogallery.net.

‘The Post’

Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks are Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham and executive editor Ben Bradlee in director Steven Spielberg’s dramatization of events surrounding the Post’s publishing of the Pentagon Papers in 1971, detailing how the country was misled on what was going on in Vietnam. Lots of Oscar buzz surrounding this one. In theaters Thursday.

The 75th Golden Globe Awards

Speaking of “The Post,” it’s up for six Golden Globes, including Best Motion Picture — Drama, Best Actor in a Drama (Hanks), Best Actress in a Drama (Streep) and Best Director (Spielberg). Could Globes success mark the start of its march to Oscar glory? Or might other nominated films — including “Call Me By Your Name,” “Dunkirk,” “Lady Bird” and “Get Out” — have something to say about that? Find out what the Hollywood Foreign Press thinks was the best of cinema in 2017, and start weighing your Oscar odds. Seth Meyers hosts. 8 tonight on NBC (WBAL, Channel 11).

ckaltenbach@baltsun.com

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