2015 Fall Arts Preview: Concerts, exhibits, shows, celebrities and more

Make space on your calendar for some of these informative, fun and funky events this season.

Make space on your calendar for some of these informative, fun and funky events this season.

Performing Arts

“Hands on a Hardbody”

7:30 p.m. (2:30 p.m. on Sundays) Sept. 18 through Oct. 4, Theatre Lawrence, $24.99 for evening performances or $23.99 for matinee performances


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"The Twilight Zone: To Serve Man"


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"The Boy Who Left Home to Find Out About the Shivers"


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"Midnight Visit to the Grave of Poe: A Grotesque Arabesque"

Theatre Lawrence kicks off its 2015-2016 season with “Hands on a Hardbody.” The 2012 hit tells the story of 10 ordinary people who, under the scorching Texas sun, must keep their hands on a brand-new Nissan truck for as long as possible in order to win the “hardbody” vehicle in a giveaway contest.

As time — in this case, days — go by, the contestants “share their unique stories about hopes, faith, racism and rivalry, through a variety of musical styles ranging from country to gospel, blues and rock,” teases Theatre Lawrence.

The Whirling Dervishes of Rumi, 6:30 p.m. Sept. 20, Lied Center, $15/$25 (free for KU students)

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” 7:30 p.m. Sept. 23, Lied Center, $21-$29/$40-$45

Card Table Theatre: “The Twilight Zone: To Serve Man,” 8 and 10 p.m. Sept. 26, Frank’s North Star Tavern, $6

Paul Taylor Dance Company, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29, Lied Center, $11-$19/$20-$35

"Suicide Girls: Blackheart Burlesque," 8 p.m. Sept. 29, The Granada, $25-$85

“Detroit ‘67,” Oct. 2-8, 2015, William Inge Memorial Theatre, KU campus, $10/$14/$15

“Truth Values: One Girl’s Romp Through M.I.T.’s Male Math Maze,” 7:30 p.m. Oct. 7, Lied Center, $16/$30

The Magic of Bill Blagg: Live, 7 p.m. Oct. 16, Lied Center, $14/$25

“The Boy Who Left Home to Find out About the Shivers,” 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Oct. 16-31, Lawrence Arts Center, $8/$10/$12

“Johanna: Facing Forward,” Oct. 16-25, Crafton-Preyer Theatre, KU campus, $10/$17/$18

“Midnight Visit to the Grave of Poe: A Grotesque Arabesque”

7:30 p.m. Oct. 22-31, Lawrence Arts Center, $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, $10 for students

Written and directed by the Lawrence Arts Center’s own Ric Averill, this spooky production is debuting just in time for Halloween. Featuring original music and local talent, “Midnight Visit” employs rock guitar, bass, drums, a Steinway piano, three modern dancers, three vocalists, one actor and digital scenery in a “total opera-esque experience of the life and works” of Edgar Allen Poe, the Arts Center promises.

If you catch the show on Halloween, be sure to wear your “best gothic Halloween costume.”

Thodos Dance Chicago with members of the University Dance Company, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 7, Lied Center, $11-$16/$20-$30

“A Doll’s House,” Nov. 14-22, Stage Too! in the Crafton-Preyer Theatre, KU campus, $10/$17/$18

“Mamma Mia!”, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 21, Lied Center, $21-$29/$40-$55

“Reckless,” Dec. 4-10, William Inge Memorial Theatre, KU campus, $10/$14/$15

"Variations on a Theme: Design for a Tapestry" by Albert Bloch

"Variations on a Theme: Design for a Tapestry" by Albert Bloch

Visual Arts

Immigration Film Series at Lawrence Arts Center

7 p.m. Sept. 15, 22 and 29; Lawrence Arts Center, free

Curated by retired Kansas University professor of English Paul Stephen Lim, this timely series focuses on the topic of immigration in the United States.


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Immigration Film Series


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Beginning with 1985’s “Alamo Bay” on Sept. 15 and followed by 2007’s “The Visitor” on Sept. 22 and 2011’s “A Better Life” on Sept. 29, each film explores the immigrant experience through a variety of cultural lenses, including that of a Vietnam veteran struggling with the arrival of Vietnamese immigrants in his Texas town, and will be preceded with introductions by Felix Moos, a retired KU professor of anthropology.

“Metropolis” with the Alloy Orchestra

7:30 p.m. Sept. 20, Lawrence Arts Center, $19

Revisit Fritz Lang’s groundbreaking 1927 sci-fi epic this fall at the Lawrence Arts Center.

Film-festival regulars the Alloy Orchestra will provide live musical accompaniment for the silent film, in which the wealthy son of the titular urban dystopia’s leader falls in love with a working-class woman who predicts the arrival of a mediator to bring peace between the city’s sharply divided classes.


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"Hunter S. Thompson: Freak Power"

“Freak Power” Hunter S. Thompson exhibition

Sept. 25-Jan. 2, Lawrence Arts Center, free

Curated by Gonzo Gallery founder Daniel Joseph Watkins, this multidisciplinary exhibition documents famed journalist Hunter S. Thompson’s unsuccessful 1970 campaign for sheriff of Pitkin County, Colo. Running on the “Freak Power” ticket, Thompson advocated the decriminalization of drugs, transforming roadways into grassy pedestrian malls, banning buildings that obscured views of the mountains and renaming Aspen as “Fat City” to deter investors. Painstakingly gathered through archives and private collections, much of the collection’s work — including art, writings, ephemera and photographs from the campaign — has not been displayed publicly since that period.

“Albert Bloch: Themes and Variations”

Sept. 25-Jan. 2, Lawrence Arts Center, free.

An upcoming exhibition of Albert Bloch paintings and watercolors that will go on display later this month at the Lawrence Arts Center features selected works from Bloch’s time with the Blue Rider in Munich in the early 1910s through the end of his career in Lawrence in the 1950s. The exhibit will give insight into over 40 years of painting as it explores the many themes Bloch treated in his art, ranging from portraits, landscapes and still-lifes to clowns and religious subjects. The exhibition will also include several works that have never before been on display.

Lawrence ArtWalk, Oct. 23-25, throughout Lawrence, free

Legendary rock band Kansas will perform Oct. 2 at the Lied Center.

Legendary rock band Kansas will perform Oct. 2 at the Lied Center.


Wavves, 7 p.m. Sept. 20, The Granada, $18

Radkey with Gnarley Davidson and The Peoples Punk Band, 8 p.m. Sept. 25, The Bottleneck, $11


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Beach House


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Toro y Moi


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"An Acoustic Evening with Lyle Lovett & John Hiatt," 7:30 p.m. Oct. 23

Beach House

7 p.m. Sept. 26, Liberty Hall, $25/$30

Baltimore-based dream-pop duo Beach House are bringing their sleepy, gorgeously crafted tunes to Lawrence this fall. The band comes to Liberty Hall on the heels of the release of their critically acclaimed fifth album, “Depression Cherry.”

KU Symphony Orchestra with special guest Benjamin Beilman on violin, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 26, Lied Center, $14/$25

The Growlers, 8 p.m. Sept. 27, The Bottleneck, $16

Vince Staples, 7 p.m. Sept. 29, Liberty Hall, $15

Black Violin, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 1, Lied Center, $14/$25


7:30 p.m. Oct. 2, Lied Center, $35/$45 for adults and $19/$24 for students/youth

Celebrate Kansas University’s 150th birthday with the return of KANSAS (the band) to its home state. The rockers known for hits like “Dust in the Wind” and “Carry On Wayward Son” have produced eight gold albums, three sextuple-platinum albums and one platinum live album since their formation in Topeka in 1969.

JR JR, 8 p.m. Oct. 2, The Bottleneck, $17

Tesla Quartet, 2 p.m. Oct. 4, Lied Center, $16/$30

Ghost, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5, Liberty Hall, $25-$50

Built to Spill, 8 p.m. Oct. 7, $17

Bully, 8 p.m. Oct. 8, The Bottleneck, $12

Vic Mensa, 8 p.m. Oct. 8, Lied Center, $10/$15

The Sword, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13, The Granada, $17

David Cook: Digital Vein Tour, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17, Lied Center, $20/$30

Hammerween, 4:30 p.m. Oct. 17, The Granada, $5-$10

Youth Lagoon, 8 p.m. Oct. 17, The Bottleneck, $15

Toro y Moi, 7 p.m. Oct. 18, The Granada, $17

Gorgon City, 7 p.m. Oct. 22, The Granada , $25

An Acoustic Evening with Lyle Lovett & John Hiatt, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 23, Lied Center, $19-$29/$35-$55

Blitzen Trapper, 8 p.m. Oct. 24, The Bottleneck, $15

Jeff Daniels and the Ben Daniels Band, 7 p.m. Oct. 27, The Granada, $25-$35

KU Symphony Orchestra Halloween Concert, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 30, Lied Center, $6/$8

Heartless Bastards, 8 p.m. Nov. 5, $17

Vanessa Carlton, 8 p.m. Nov. 6, The Bottleneck

Parquet Courts, 8 p.m. Nov. 11, The Bottleneck, $16

Young the Giant, 7 p.m. Nov. 12, Liberty Hall, $25

The Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 5, Lied Center, $11-$16/$20-$30

KU Jazz Ensemble I with special guest Sean Jones on trumpet, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 11, Lied Center, $14/$25

Kuok-Wai Lio & Zoltán Fejérvári, solo and duo piano recital, 2 p.m. Nov. 15, Lied Center, $16/$30

"Swamplandia!" author Karen Russell will be coming to Lawrence on Oct. 15 for a talk and book-signing.

"Swamplandia!" author Karen Russell will be coming to Lawrence on Oct. 15 for a talk and book-signing.


“Rick Perlstein: The Invisible Bridge”

7:30 p.m. Sept. 16, Woodruff Auditorium in the Kansas Union; 10 a.m. Sept. 17, Hall Center conference hall, free

Rick Perlstein, the best-selling author behind last year’s “The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan,” will visit the KU campus to discuss the changing political mores of the period between the Watergate scandal and birth of the modern conservative movement that began with Ronald Reagan’s 1976 presidential campaign.


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"The Invisible Bridge"


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Lawrence Arts Center's 40th Anniversary Street Party Celebration


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"On the Run"

Perlstein’s visit begins with a “The Invisible Bridge: From Nixon to Reagan to Palin and Beyond” presentation at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 16, followed by an informal conversation session the next day at the Hall Center for the Humanities, where audience members can ask questions and explore topics that may not have been addressed in the event the night before.

Ballard B3: Blues, Brews & Barbecue, 6 p.m. Sept. 18, Abe & Jake’s Landing, $60 in advance or $65 at the door, ages 21 and up

Lawrence Arts Center’s 40th Anniversary Street Party Celebration

5-9 p.m. Sept. 25, outside Lawrence Arts Center, free

The Lawrence Arts Center is turning 40 this fall, and to honor that momentous occasion, staffers are inviting everyone to “party like it’s 1975.” Guests are encouraged to bust out their “bell-bottoms, tube socks and roller skates” for an “old-style” block party along the 900 block of New Hampshire Street.

The event will include retro crafts, a 1970s-era sitcom marathon and instruction in “Disco 101” courtesy of the Arts Center’s School of Dance, plus live performances from Truckstop Honeymoon at 6:30 p.m. and Chuck Mead and the Grassy Knoll Boys at 8 p.m.

Refreshments from local restaurants and food trucks will also be available.

“An Evening with Karen Russell”

7:30 p.m. Oct. 15, Abe & Jake’s Landing, tickets are free and can be picked up at the Lawrence Public Library’s Welcome Desk starting Oct. 1

Karen Russell, author of “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves,” “Swamplandia!” and “Vampires in the Lemon Grove,” will share the inspiration behind her magical worlds in a talk sponsored by the Lawrence Public Library.

“Swamplandia!”, about a family of alligator wrestlers in Florida, was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Russell was also the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” in 2013.

Zombie Walk, 6 p.m. Oct. 15, walk starts in South Park, free

Maple Leaf Festival, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 17 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 18, Baldwin City, free

“A Conversation with Alice Goffman”

10 a.m. Oct. 23, Hall Center for the Humanities, free

Urban ethnographer Alice Goffman will visit KU this fall, first with a presentation of “On the Run: Fugitive Life in An American City” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21 at The Commons.

In “On the Run,” the University of Wisconsin associate professor of sociology examines the largely hidden world of police beatings, court fees, sentencing hearings, and low-level warrants that pervade the daily lives of young people in a poor, black neighborhood in Philadelphia.

An informal discussion, “A Conversation with Alice Goffman,” will take place Oct. 23 at the Hall Center for Humanities.

Downtown Lawrence Halloween Trick-or-Treat, 5 p.m. Oct. 31, along Massachusetts Street from Sixth Street to 11th Street, free

Bizarre Bazaar, 5-9 p.m. Nov. 27 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 28, Lawrence Arts Center, free


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