Be our guest - with artists, actors, and authors, some music, and even more drama. 

Check out the offerings of entertainment - some of the best North Iowa has to give - this week and beyond.

First, meet artist and educator Diane Blair Kunzler at NIACC

Oil paintings and pastels by Iowa artist and educator Diane Blair Kunzler are on display in the Auditorium Gallery at North Iowa Area Community College until May 5.

Meet the artist and enjoy refreshments and lively discussion during an Artist's Talk and Reception at 2 p.m. today, April 13, in the gallery. All are invited.

Blair Kunzler's work has been recognized and displayed in numerous galleries across America. Her work is also on exhibit at the Des Moines Art Center in its annual juried show.

"I have spent the majority of my adult life living in small, rural Iowa towns," she said in an artist's statement, "yet my artistic connection to the surrounding land and water was initially surprising to me. ...Over time and repeated exposure, the land and water of Iowa and the Midwest has gradually invaded my consciousness and shaped my imagery."

Next, meet Art on the Plaza's featured artist

Linda Sorensen is the featured artist of the month at "Art on the Plaza," 11 S. Federal Ave. The public is invited to meet her, and enjoy light refreshments from 3 to 6 p.m., today, April 13. Find Art on the Plaza on its Facebook page, Art on the Plaza Gallery Owned. 

"Meet the Artist" is offered the second Thursday of the month featuring a different artist.

Then, "Create a DIY photo canvas," during a night class at Art on the Plaza. It will be offered from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, April 18-19. Cost is $50, which includes all supplies.

Catch the farewell tour of Lucinda Holliday

Larry Moore stars in "Lipstick and Lashes," a One Wo"MAN" comedy show, on Saturday, April 15, at the Iowa River Players Theater, 901 Broadway St, in Rowan.

Moore, a Rowan native, is Lucinda Holliday, "a small-town boy with a city flair."

A reception will be at 5:30 p.m., featuring hors d'oeuvres and pictures with the actor. Tickets are $15.

The show begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are also $15.

For information, and to purchase tickets, visit iowariverplayerstheater.org.

Book signing, family fun night, planned for April 19

Willy Green of Mason City and his daughter, Amy S. Palmer of Clear Lake, have collaborated to create a new picture book, “Frosty Saves the Day!”

The duo will have a book signing from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, April 19, at Book World. The event coincides with “Family Fun Night” at Southbridge Mall.

Green has always been known has a storyteller — especially to his ten grandchildren. This story is largely inspired by real events and people from the author’s childhood in Mason City. The illustrations are by Palmer.

“I had a big learning curve of teaching myself to use an iPad drawing app as well as learning how to work with CreateSpace, a self-publishing company which is a division of Amazon," Palmer said.  

“Frosty Saves the Day!” is an engaging tale of young Willy and his dog, Frosty, a white cocker spaniel, and the happenings in their neighborhood. The heartwarming ending reinforces the idea of doing the right thing and helping others. 

The book is available on Amazon as well as several Clear Lake and Mason City locations. 

A brass quintet closes Clear Lake concert season

Be sure to catch Seraph Brass, a dynamic all-star classical brass quintet, in the final show of the current season for Clear Lake Area Concert Association (CLACA).

The concert is 7 p.m. Thursday, April 20, at E.B. Stillman Auditorium, 1601 Third Ave. N. in Clear Lake.

Memberships for the 2017-2018 season are on sale, and new members may attend the Seraph Brass show as a bonus. Season memberships, available at the door or the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce or Clear Lake Arts Center, are $45 for adults, $15 for students, and $95 for a family, and include reciprocity with Algona, Forest City, Osage, and Albert Lea, Minnesota.

Seraph Brass, drawn from a roster of America's top female brass players, presents a diverse repertoire that includes well-known classics, newly commissioned works, and original transcriptions. Members hold positions in the Richmond Symphony, the Louisville Orchestra, Sarasota Opera Orchestra, the Artosphere Orchestra, New Chicago Brass, Tennessee Tech University, and the University of Virginia.

The next season includes "Scarborough Fair," a homage to the music of Simon and Garfunkel, on Thursday, Sept. 7; the Anderson Brothers jazz trio, Thursday, Oct. 12; "Ireland's Happy Man" Cahal Dunne on April 10, 2018, and Prime Time Trio, with familiar show and movie tunes, pops standards, and sing-alongs, on Thursday, May 3.

Quodlibet 42 “Sing” is April 20, 21, and 23

Quodlibet variety show returns for its 42nd year, with three shows in the North Iowa Community Auditorium on the NIACC campus.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, April 20-21, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 23, presented by North Iowa Area Community College.

“The strength of this year’s vocal ensembles is in their ability to harmonize and blend together to make fantastic music," said Director Jayson Ryner.

Featuring performances by the NIACC Concert Choir and NIACC Singers, Quodlibet 42's theme “Sing” is from the song “Sing” written and performed by the vocal group Pentatonix. Contemporary and collegiate a cappella is featured in this year’s show.

“We have an a cappella version of Bohemian Rhapsody as well as a cappella settings of music by Marvin Gaye, Toto, and music from Pitch Perfect,” said Ryner. "We have a funky groove and melody set to Vanilla Ice’s Rap ‘Ice, Ice, Baby,’ a Disney Medley done with ukulele, and an original arrangement of Hallelujah, With You.”

Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students, available at both Hy-Vee locations, the NIACC Box Office, 641-422-4188, 1-888-466-4222, ext. 4188, and at the door.

Glee North Iowa returns with a "whodunit" mystery 

Glee North Iowa, a theater troupe featuring actors with disabilities, returns with another "whodunit" mystery at 7 p.m. Friday, April 21, at the Main Event, 112 Second St. S.E., Mason City. Doors open at 6:30.

Set in the 1900s, in the mansion of Mr. and Mrs. Hogswarth, Detective Claw and his “eye-spies” are called to the scene of a crime.

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The play, presented by NIVC Services, Inc., was written by Mickie Schuessler, and will be done in a one-act, one-show performance. Schuessler, a director, teacher, and choreographer, was director of the Studio of Performing Arts for 25 years.

Last season, the actors learned about their speaking voices, expressions, blocking scenes, creating sets, props, and costumes.

“It is our goal to give adults with disabilities a voice through theater,” Schuessler said. “I am so excited to have some new actors joining the group and I hope it continues to grow.”

Admission is free, but free will offerings will be accepted, and refreshments will follow the performance. People are asked to call the office at 641-423-3301 to register to help in planning.

Be enchanted with a "tale as old as time"

The well-known musical, “Beauty & the Beast,” opens Thursday, April 20, at Stebens Children’s Theatre in Mason City. Meet the heroine Belle, the "cursed" Beast, and the enchanted characters of his castle.

Performances are 7 p.m. April 20, 26, 27 and 29; 8 p.m. April 21 and 28; and 2 p.m. April 23 and 30. Tickets are $13 for adults, $10 for youth 18 and under, available at the theater, 616 N Delaware Ave., Mason City, 1-5 p.m. weekdays, 641-424-9802.

Funny and touching: The Big Five-Oh

The challenges of turning 50 are explored in the Mason City Community Theatre's production, "The Big Five-Oh," which opens April 20 at the theater, 215 S. Delaware Ave.

George Thomas is turning 50 and it has been a terrible week. His dog is sick, his son is a slacker, and his daughter wants to marry a Republican. With a neurotic wife and a widowed neighbor providing challenges, this may be the worst week of his life.

Performances will be 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, April 20-22 and 27-29; and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 23 and 30. Tickets are $15 adults, $10 students, at 641-424-6424. For information, visit www.mccommunitytheatre.com.

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