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Critic's picks: Alan Doyle, Xzibit, and Langham Court Theatre

Times Colonist arts writer Mike Devlin picks his favourite upcoming events, including Alan Doyle at McPherson Playhouse tonight.
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Alan Doyle and his band perform tonight at McPherson Playhouse. MEGHAN TANSEY WHITTON

ALAN DOYLE

Where: McPherson Playhouse, 3 Centennial Sq.

When: Today, 8 p.m.

Tickets: Sold out

Why: It should come as no surprise that the Victoria date on Alan Doyle’s 44-stop Welcome Home Tour (which kicked off Wednesday in Kelowna) sold out well in advance, considering his popularity in the city. The product of Petty Harbour, N.L. was introduced to local audiences several decades ago with Great Big Sea, but remains popular on several fronts, including as an author and actor. Fans will get their fill during the headliners’ set, but arrive early as Doyle and his band — which features Victoria’s Kendel Carson on fiddle and vocals — will be joined on the bill by opening act Adam Baldwin, a superb Dartmouth, N.S. singer-songwriter.

XZIBIT

Where: Wicket Hall, 919 Douglas St.

When: Today, 8 p.m.

Tickets: $55.54 from showpass.com/xzibit-victoria

Why: The former Pimp My Ride host has not been to Victoria in well over a decade, so his return to the Strathcona Hotel is long overdue. His performance is strictly for his longtime fans, as there’s no new music from the former Dr. Dre collaborator, nor is there much in the way of recent film or television projects. What the rapper born Alvin Joiner does have, however, is a catalogue of verbally dynamic, hard-hitting anthems, from early singles What U See Is What U Get and Paparazzi to tracks alongside Snoop Dogg (B— Please) and Eminem (What’s the Difference). His performance at the former Distrikt nightclub (now Wicket Hall) was a good one in 2012, so there should be plenty of high-energy hip-hop in his return.

MURDER WEEKEND

Where: Langham Court Theatre, 805 Langham Ct.

When: Feb. 21-March 10

Tickets: $19-$26 from the Langham Court box office (250-384-2142) or langhamtheatre.ca

Why: Dad’s Army star Frank Williams wrote this appealing whodunit, one that will keep the audience guessing until the final seconds. A country house provides the setting for guests who have booked a “murder weekend” — an elaborate parlour game where participants attempt to re-enact a true murder from the past, all while attempting to solve the mystery. Lots of dramatic fodder here: The format is a rich one, and tailor-made for the close proximity of the Langham Court stage.

mdevlin@timescolonist.com