This weekend, the Lawrence Arts Center presents "Pinocchio," the familiar story of a wooden puppet's wish to become a real boy. This true-to-the-original community production features puppetry by local artist/actor Spencer Lott, live music by Drakkar Sauna and "Kansas Nutcracker" conductor Jeff Dearinger and community actors and students from the Arts Center's School of Dance. "Pinocchio" opens Friday night at 7 p.m. with additional performances Saturday and Sunday; tickets are $20 adults, $17 seniors and $14 students/children.
The popularity of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, a soul/funk ensemble formed in 1999, continues to grow three years after their last release, and now they've struck again with their fifth and latest album "Give the People What They Want" and a slew of shows and TV appearances. A limited number of general admission tickets are still available for their appearance at Liberty Hall on Saturday night. Doors will open at 7 p.m., show starts at 8. Visit libertyhall.net for ticket information.
Gorilla Music is presenting its world famous Battle of the Bands concerts in Lawrence, with a huge list of names including White Shores, Apple Grove, NOVA, Jazz Cigarettes, Merge Without Looking and more taking the stage. The musical melee is set to begin at the Granada on Sunday afternoon beginning at 4:30 p.m. Doors open at 4 p.m.; tickets are $10 advance and $12 at the door.
As part of the Lawrence Public Library's Read Across Lawrence program, Woodruff Auditorium will be screening the film adaptation of the book "Housekeeping" Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. Directed by Bill Forsyth and starring Christine Lahti, "Housekeeping" features two abandoned young sisters living with their aunt whose views don't quite match up with the 1950s society they live in. The screening is free for all ages.
Animal Eyes is a four-part world music- and folk-influenced pop group who emigrated from rural Alaska to the music scene of Portland while they were fresh out of school, the experience documented in their debut album "Found in the Forest" released in 2011. They're on tour to support their latest release, the five-track EP Ursus, and will be stopping at the Replay Lounge on Wednesday at 9 p.m. to play with our very own Stone Cowboys.
Final Fridays is upon us once again, and of course we recommend you go to that. Here's an itinerary of what's going on downtown, in the arts district and everyplace else this month. But just to show you that that isn't the only thing happening this weekend, here's some other stuff:
The Kansas University Libraries present “The Magic of Oz: A Collection Celebrating a Classic,” an exhibit featuring rare items and artifacts pertaining to author L. Frank Baum and his "Wizard of Oz" book series, including early editions and foreign translations, illustrations, materials from the 1903 Broadway musical and more. The magic will be on display at the Kenneth Spencer Research Library through April 19.
The Fox and the Bird is a small folk collective of singers and songwriters who emerged from the Annex House, a now-defunct suburban music venue in Dallas, to touring, producing and self-releasing their own music. They've taken their orchestral folk music on the road in support of their sophomore album, "Darkest Hours," and Friday they'll be bringing Everyone But Pete along with them to the Replay Lounge for a 6 p.m. show. (Don't worry, Pete's invited as well.)
Liberty Hall presents the 2014 Kansas Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, honoring the state of Kansas’ top musical acts of yesteryear. This year’s inductees include the KC pop-fusion band Glow, Jimmy Dee and the Fabulous Destinations and the early-'70s rock ‘n’ roll R&B group Beast out of Hays, the Wichita Linemen out of, um, Wichita, and many more. The ceremony is Saturday starting at 6:30 p.m., with the doors opening at 6; general admission tickets are $30.
The Lawrence Arts Center presents the 2010 movie "Howl," the story about the eponymous beat generation poem, the life and influence of its author, Allen Ginsberg (played by James Franco), and the obscenity trial that followed its publication in 1957. The screening is part of the William S. Burroughs "Creative Observer" exhibit running now through March 2. "Howl" will be showing Monday night at 7 p.m.; the screening is free and open to the public.
A discussion on evolutionary theory in Kansas? Surely not... Free State Brewing Company's Science on Tap presents KU herpetology curator Rich Glor, who breaks down Darwin's controversial theory into smaller insights with their own history and degree of acceptance a la biologist Ernst Mayr to root out its unscientific criticisms. The discussion is Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
The Replay Lounge is throwing a birthday party for the late country legend Johnny Cash with a show beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday. LA FAHY and the Argyle Sky, James Rose, Michael Paull, Billy Ebeling, and the duo of Walt Babbit and Adrys Lamburg are part of the lineup. Cover is $3.
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll... not to mention quite costly. That's why the Jackpot and I Heart Local Music are throwing a two-night benefit concert Friday and Saturday for those making the long journey to Austin for this year's SXSW music festival, a rite of passage for many a Lawrence musician. Night one features the Josh Berwanger Band, Psychic Heat, Stiff Middle Fingers and CS Luxem; night two will see The Sluts, Approach, Black on Black and Haunt Ananta take the stage. Both shows will start at 8 p.m., it costs $3 and are for 18+ audiences.
Yoshiko Jinzenji is a Japanese fabric designer, plant artist, author and quilter who will be visiting the Spencer Museum of Art this Saturday at 2 p.m. to discuss her practice, such as the technique of dying fabric with bamboo, and her influences, which include Amish and Mennonite design and Mandala symbolism. Some of her quilts will be on display at the museum as part of the "Personal Geometry" exhibit through May 18 alongside quilts from Kansas artist Virginia Jean Cox Mitchell. The lecture is free and open to the public.
New Orleans jazz/punk/barrelhouse musician Stephanie Nilles has studied piano and cello as far back as the age of 6, and has since applied her musical knowledge to four full-length albums and shows throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe, playing everywhere from New York City to NPR to SXSW to the remains of a bombed-out Nuremburg cathedral. Stephanie will be playing at Frank's North Star Tavern with Robert Sarazin Black on Sunday evening at 7 p.m.
Mayer Hawthorne, long known for his retro Motown music, heads into previously unexplored territory on his third album, the aptly named "Where Does This Door Go," with his first use of synthesizers, his first collaboration with a rapper, his first time working with other producers...so if you go down to hear him performing with Quadron at the Granada on Tuesday night and he sounds a little different than when he was last here in 2011, now you know why. Doors open at 7 p.m., all-ages show starts at 8; tickets are $18 advance and $20 at the door. Lawrence.com talked to him about his new album; you can read the interview here.
The Peking Acrobats are bringing 2,000 years of Chinese acrobatic traditions to the Lied Center this Tuesday night, with gymnastics, trick cycling, juggling, tumbling, displays of contortion and flexibility and live traditional music for a festival of gravity-defying feats for all ages. Tickets are available at lied.ku.edu and at the Lied Center box office.
A reggae rock triple threat is coming to the Bottleneck on Tuesday with Passafire from Savannah, Ga., coming off the group's latest album, "Vines," released last November, playing with Pacific Dub and the justifiably-named Ballyhoo! on their Winter BrewhHaHa tour. Doors open at 8 p.m., and the all ages show starts at 9; tickets are $16 advance and $19 at the door.
The Townie Supper Club presents a Valentine's Day variety show "Heart on For You" at the Bottleneck, beginning at 8 p.m. with cocktails presented by Miss Lonely Hearts and featuring music by Olassa, Godzillionaire and The Telephone Line and intermission performances by Heather & Andy, comedian Zach White, and the Door Guy Dating Game. Bring toiletry donations for the Ballard Center for a chance to win door prizes. Cover is $5 and $20 for reserved tables (ladies get in free!).
The Lied Center presents director and Kansas University professor Kevin Willmott's film "Jayhawkers," the story of how a Kansas coaching legend and a 7-foot African-American basketball player transformed Lawrence in the midst of the civil rights movement and changed college athletics forever. Featuring current Jayhawk forward Justin Wesley as Wilt Chamberlain, "Jayhawkers" will premiere Friday night at 7 p.m., and additional screenings will be held throughout the weekend. For ticket information, visit lied.ku.edu or visit the Lied Center box office. Read more about the film here.
KPR's award-winning radio comedy "Right Between the Ears" returns to Liberty Hall Saturday night at 8 p.m., and this month the group is taking on the Sochi Winter Olympics. Plus, "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson talks gay marriage on "Fishing with Dwayne," get a glimpse at the inner life of President Obama, and more of the usual commercial spoofs and celebrity jabs. Tickets are available at the Liberty Hall box office, Ticketmaster and at rightbetweentheears.com.
The Revivalists come to us from New Orleans after signing up with a new label last November and are expected to release a new album later this year. Their music is best described as a genre-transcending jam-style rock with NOLA-brand funk and a more traditional rock sound with a saxophone, trumpet and pedal steel guitar added in...well, maybe you can come up with a better description than mine if you go down to hear them Monday night at the Bottleneck, where they'll be playing with Katty Guillen and the Girls. Doors open at 8 p.m., the all-ages show starts at 9; tickets are $13.
Also on Monday, the Lawrence Arts Center presents "Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages," the 1922 cinematic dissertation of demons and witches in cultural history directed by Benjamin Christensen and narrated by William S. Burroughs, as part of a series of events related to the Arts Center's "William S. Burroughs: Creative Observer" exhibit. The free screening will begin at 7 p.m.
On Wednesday, the Lied Center presents the macabre comedy/musical "The Addams Family," featuring Charles Addams' beloved morbidly funny cartoon clan. Wednesday (the daughter) has fallen in love with a respectable "normal" boy, and when he and his "normal" parents come over for dinner one evening, who knows what will happen? Adapted by Jersey Boys authors Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, "The Addams Family" will play at the Lied Center at 7:30 p.m. For ticket information, visit the Lied Center website at lied.ku.edu.
DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE
Our very own electro-funk duo Matt and Mark Hill, a.k.a. The Floozies, are headlining a two-night engagement this weekend at the Bottleneck this weekend. Friday night they'll be playing with Manic Focus and Purusa, and on Saturday they'll play alongside Muzzy and Thumpur. Mathematically, that should average out to one Floozie per show, but why deprive the fans on either night? Both shows begin at 9 p.m., and the doors will open at 8; tickets to either show is $10.50 advance and $15 at the door.
Pachamama's Alton Ballroom will be hosting a LOLA Valentine art show, a one-day boutique shopping experience featuring arts and crafts created by some of the women of Lawrence's art scene. Stop in and browse for some one-of-a-kind Valentine's Day gift ideas, or maybe just pick out something for yourself. The show is this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
As far back as he can remember, Tom Moore has always wanted to be an artist, and trained as a painter and silkscreen printmaker at the KU School of Fine Arts. At the age of 50 he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and other health issues that eventually forced him to give up painting, but his urge to create has not dwindled. The Antecedent Gallery at the Lawrence Arts Center will be hosting a solo exhibition of Moore's casual sketches from now through March 30.
Hailing from Boston, Dopapod describe themselves as a band that doesn't so much jam as they improvise, producing a sound that transcends genres and leaves room for limitless experimentation. In their three-year existence they've released three studio albums — "Radar," "Drawn Onward" and their most recent "Redivider" — and the winter tour they're currently on will take them to the Bottleneck for a Tuesday night show with Kansas City's 3 Son Green. Doors open at 8 p.m., the all-ages show starts at 9; tickets are $7 advance and $10 at the door.
KU Student Union Activities presents an evening with Retta, the actress/stand-up comedian best known as Donna Meagle on NBC's "Parks and Recreation," Wednesday night at Liberty Hall. Doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m.; tickets are $7 for the general public and are available at the Liberty Hall Box office and the Union Programs box office in the Kansas Union on campus.