Features

Firefly Festival Sunday

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Photo By Tony Boyd

Firefly Festival

The Botanical Garden of the Ozarks will be glimmering with 10,000 fairy lights, puppets, fairies, live music and all sorts of magic on a midsummer’s eve for the Firefly Festival. The benefit for the BGO will be from 6 to 11 p.m. Sunday.

There will be jugglers, unicyclists and fire spinners and artist Jo Ann Kaminsky and friends will present a puppet play.

Popular local bands David’s Pegasus, Mountain Sprout, Hosta, Devil’s Promenade and Justches will perform. Also entertaining will be the musical group Shaky Bugs, whose songs are geared for kids. Art bicycles known as the Axels of Evil will parade around the grounds while Night Blossom will perform a firefly themed fire performance. Justches will present an interactive video installation and audience members will be able to try their hand at mixing video of themselves. Kids can make masks and wands and participate in the procession of giant puppets.

“It’s a fun and eclectic mix, perfect for Fayetteville,” said Haley Duke, who organized the event that is celebrating its second year. “People of all ages who love gardens, art and music will have a great time at the Firefly Festival.”

Costumes, masks and picnicking are encouraged. Arsaga’s, Yancey’s and Petra Café will sell refreshments and cold drinks.

BGO is at 4703 N. Crossover Road in northeast Fayetteville. Tickets are $6 or $20 for a family.

Bleacher Bums

Are you ready for a lighthearted comedy about baseball? Yes? Well let the Boar’s Head Players entertain you during their eight-show run of “Bleacher Bums.” Set in the bleachers of Chicago’s historic Wrigley Field, the play revolves around a game between the Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals. The stars of the play are the die-hard Cubs fans who gather in the “cheap seats” with their hot dogs and beer to heckle the outfielders, party and bet on their picks.

The idea for the play was conceived by Chicago native, actor Joe Mantegna and written by Chicago’s Organic Theater Company in 1977. In 2002, the play became a made-for-TV movie.

The Boar’s Head production is directed by Kate Frank and is appropriate for all ages. Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and June 24-27 and at 2 p.m. Sunday and June 28 at the Walton Arts Center’s Nadine Baum Studios. NBS is located at the south end of the municipal parking lot at the corner of Dickson Street and West Avenue. Tickets are $14 adults and $5 students. For reservations call 575-4752.

Art and Music

Just in time for some summer stimulus are a bevy of free events happening this week. There are art walks, art openings and musical performances that won’t cost you a dime.

Friday from 4 to 8 p.m., historic downtown Rogers will be hopping with live music on the Frisco Stage (the outdoor stage near the train tracks) and galleries showing the work of local artists. There will be activities for kids and downtown merchants will be open and offering some shopping specials.

In Fayetteville there will be two notable art openings on Saturday. From 6 to 9 p.m. at the Ruby Room in the Washington Willow Historic District at 111 W. Maple St., meet artists Debi Grimm, Nathan Beatty and Lisa Bauer who will be showing their work. There will be music by Brian Yandell and Grimm will be signing copies of her book “The Crocodile Song.” From 4 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Fayetteville photographer Elaine Terrell will show her work at White Lotus Salon, 4750 E. Mission Boulevard in east Fayetteville.

On the music side of things, you can take your pick from several musical genres and venues for free shows. There’s everything from big band music by the Jack Mitchell Band, chamber music and award-winning singer-songwriters 3 Penny Acre and Effron White. Check the 8 Days music section for times and places.

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A Scene from Opera in the Ozarks 2008 presentation of “La Boheme”

Opera in the Ozarks

If you’ve never sat through an opera and aren’t sure that it’s your cup of tea, take a little test drive at Opera in the Ozarks. Although the talent is top notch — university and graduate singers come from throughout the nation to perform — the outdoor venue near Eureka Springs is just funky enough that you won’t feel intimidated as an opera newcomer.

Opera fans flock to Opera in the Ozarks, which was founded in the 1950s, because of the talent and the fact that we just don’t get that much opera here in the Ozarks. But between this Friday, when the opera opens and July 17, opera fans can enjoy “Manon,” “Pagliacci,” “Hansel & Gretel,” and “Albert Herring.” It’s a rare opportunity for us Ozarkans.

Along with the talented performers, luscious sets and costumes, is the influence of artistic director, Roger Cantrell. Cantrell has taken the baton to lead many city orchestras, including orchestras of Houston, Seattle, San Francisco and Miami. He was co-music director of “The Phantom of the Opera” at the Music Center in Los Angeles.

Seating is bleacher style, so take the most comfortable cushion you have. Tickets are $15-$20 and all seats are reserved. Call 253-8595 for tickets.

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