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Highlights- Hamlet, Kodo and some great music

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Det Lille Turneteater does Hamlet
Denmark’s Det Lille Turneteater (The Little Touring Theater) will bring a fresh adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet to the Walton Arts Center Friday and Saturday. Billed as a theatrical experience, the group of four—two actors and two double bass players—manifest a performance that is geared for young audiences (ages 10 and up) and for those who have slept through Shakespeare live. To all you guilty ones: this is a chance to redeem yourself and say you have enjoyed The Bard! Performances at 7 p.m. Friday and at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday.

All About Words
Winners of the annual Free Weekly literary contest will be announced Friday night at a public reception at 7 p.m. at Nightbird Books, the contest sponsor. Some of the writers who entered the contest will read from their poems and short stories. Scheduled to read are: Laura Avery, Sabrina Chesne, Kirby Estes, Martha Hogan Estes, Cecelia Hitt, J.B. Hogan, Vickie J. Kelley, Eric Larson and Margot Lavoie. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place winners in poetry and short story categories. Nightbird Books is at 557 S. School Avenue in the old Mill District.

Music and more
Another big bow to the folks at George’s, who have once again scored a whopper of an act for our hometown. The hot, hot, hot Robert Randolph & the Family Band will play George’s Tuesday night before they head to legendary rooms like San Francisco’s Warfield and Seattle’s Moore Theater. The bad news is, the George’s show is sold out. All we can say is do what you can to score some tix or hang out where the music wafts to catch a bit of the sound that you’ll recognize from the “Stomp the Yard” soundtrack.

The good news is: George’s is bringing more great touring acts this way in the next couple of weeks. Shooter Jennings will be taking the stage on Wednesday night, followed by musical greats Tony Furtado on March 1, Junior Brown on March 2 and Michael Franti and Spearhead on March 6.

If pop-punk is what you’re looking for, check out Madison, Wisconsin’s Sleeping in the Aviary, who will be joining local bands An A+ Set Up and Pretty Pink Boa Monday night at The Gypsy. And, on Friday night for a little metal-core, three groups will converge at The Dart Room: Florida’s Phoenix Mourning and This Moment and Of Hearts and Shadows out of southern California.

For a laidback local get together, head to Mike Shirkey’s GoodFolk house on Block Avenue at 7 p.m. Saturday when local musicians are helping with a legal fund benefit. Shirkey is involved in a class action lawsuit pertaining to the monumental Divinity building that was approved to shadow and impinge on his Victorian home like Trump Tower. As we all know, lawyers don’t come cheap, so come with $10 in hand, to help out the guy who’s been opening his home for world class folk concerts for years and hear some of Fayetteville’s finest. So far scheduled to perform are Mike Sumler, Emily Kaitz and Susan Shore. And there will be more. It will be a fine little jam.

But before you go, drop by the Block Street Bakery anytime from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday and say good-bye to the bakery as we know it. The Arsaga’s have sold that location to the good folks at the Little Bread Company of Eureka Springs and Saturday will be the last day for BSB. There’ll be cake and coffee to celebrate the last 10 years of food, fun, and friends, says Cary Arsaga, who along with wife, Cindy, will be keeping the other Arsaga’s locations going strong with their fresh roasted coffee.

Kodo
When the Japanese drummers, Kodo, pay a visit to the Walton Arts Center on Tuesday night they will be sharing a vibrant living art form and carrying on an ages old tradition. Kodo explores the limitless possibilities of the traditional Japanese drum, the taiko, as well as other world music. Some of the drums are more than four feet in diameter. One of the instruments is a massive 882-pound O’daiko, which is made from the trunk of a large African Bubinga tree.

This group of 24 performers is devoted to preserving not only the music, but the culture of Japan’s Sado Island. When they are not touring, the group goes home to Sado Island, to the Kodo Cultural Foundation, which they established to preserve the different traditions of their island home. Apprentices age 18 and older of all nationalities are selected to study a variety of native Japanese traditions such as taiko, dance, song and other Japanese traditions like rice farming, tea ceremony and boat building.

Since their debut in at the Berlin Festival in 1981, Kodo’s “One Earth Tour” has been staged in 43 countries.

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