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Highlights for Dec. 14 to Dec. 21

Music, Art, The Christmas Lamb


MUSIC

One of the things we love the best about Northwest Arkansas during the holidays is the abundance of art shows and music shows by local artists and musicians.

This week there are a number of music shows by the slightly amped acoustic musical groups Strange Heroes, Still on the Hill and Outside the Lines and a Toys for Tots benefit with five rock and metal bands.

A Friday night Toys for Tots benefit at George’s will feature Phase One, Bob Kramer Incident, Keith Nicholson, Wrought and the Dave Stiles Band.

Saturday night at Jose’s on Dickson, the fun and creative good time band Strange Heroes will do a benefit show for the Peace at Home family shelter. A $5 donation gets you in the door.

A Saturday night show at GoodFolk with the folk duo Still on the Hill is sold out, but a repeat of “Cirque du Solstice” has been scheduled for 7 p.m. Sunday.

Joining Still on the Hill will be John and Dirje Smith of Athens, Tex. who will be adding vaudeville type skits, cello and percussion.

“It’s one of the only times that we get to do a real concert in Fayetteville,” said Kelly Mulhollan, who along with Donna Stjerna makes up Still on the Hill. “We do lots of benefits and rallies and such in town, but as for ‘real shows,’ those are mostly on the road. It is such a thrill to do a show at home.”

The duo also performs children’s shows as Toucan Jam. A cut from the new “Toucan Jam CD has been selected for an upcoming Putumayo compilation.

Tickets are $12 by calling 521-1812.

The rare convergence of talent can be witnessed Dec. 21 and Dec. 22 at GoodFolk when Outside the Lines will play a reunion show with former NWA fiddler Jenee’ Keener Fleenor.

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The eclectic acoustic trio made up of Emily Kaitz, Stan D’Aubin and Ed Nicholson will be joined by Fleenor who played with OTL before moving to Nashville five years ago.
This will be the fifth reunion show for the group. The annual holiday shows with Fleenor have been sold-out shows, which prompted the addition of a second show this year.
Fleenor, who as a member of Terri Clark’s band often performs to arena-sized crowds, said the opportunity to play a smaller venue is refreshing.
“Playing on a big stage to thousands of people is incredibly exciting. But this show is really special in its own way. I get to “stretch out” and improvise a lot—sometimes we never really know where the music might go next.”
The shows will begin at 7 p.m. Dec. 21 and at 8 p.m. Dec. 22. $12 cover charge. Reservations recommended. 521-1812.
ART
The new ddp gallery at 7 E. Mountain St. near the Fayetteville Square will open Small Work 2006 with a reception from 5-8 p.m. today. The show and sale will run through Jan. 20. Featured will be the work of two San Francisco photographers, Douglass Legg and Henrik Kam, and 10 Northwest Arkansas artists: Ben Strawn, whimsical illustrations; Benjamin Edwards, mugs and teapots; Bryan Moats—who has recently relocated to Kentucky—old photographs reworked with pastels; Duane Garner, paintings; Kathy P. Thompson, platters; Megan Chapman, paintings; Tonya Tubbs, dolls made from vintage fabrics; Cindy Arsaga, oil and encaustic; Dede Peters, mixed media and photographs; Adam Posnak, pottery with a contemporary twist.

The Art Experience at 641 W. 6th St. in Fayetteville will hold an open house from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Featured will be prints, cards and paintings by Jo Ann Kaminsky; sculpture by Hank Kaminsky—best known as the creator of the Town Center Peace Fountain; felted bowls by Fawn Potter; hand crocheted hats by Dorothy Marcy. Also for sale will be local honey and beeswax items and wooden puzzles and toys.

THE CHRISTMAS LAMB

A free holiday theatrical performance, “The Christmas Lamb,” which was written by Ron and Patricia Owens of Bella Vista, will be presented at 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the First Baptist Church of Fayetteville.

“The Christmas Lamb” premiered in Moscow at the Hall of the Composers in 2002 and debuted in Northwest Arkansas last year. The production includes a 70-voice choir, full orchestra, dramatic sets and costumes and a ballet segment. The featured tenor will be Scot Cameron of Dallas.

Ron wrote the Libretto and Patricia composed the music which was scored by Russian composer Viktor Ekimovsky. Another Northwest Arkansas resident, Laah Tucker adapted the script for American audiences.

The original play was set in contemporary Russia and revolved around a family reading a book entitled “The Christmas Lamb” about the birth of Jesus.

Tucker, working with FBC music director Mike Paslay, adapted the play by setting it in the Stalinist era when Christian churches were being persecuted by the Communist government.

“I wanted the work to feel more like a secular musical drama driven by a strong, Christian theme; as opposed to it being a Christian/church drama….,” Paslay said.

The performance follows the same storyline that was presented at the American debut last year, with a few changes. This year, one of the soldiers will have an expanded role to create a tension that was absent in the original production.

Paslay said it is quite different from most church productions. “It has certainly been the apex of my 35 years as a minister of music.”

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