Some music, some comedy - sometimes mixed - along with a little bit of art, and visiting with your friends and neighbors is just around the corner.
Take a look at some of the best entertainment North Iowa has to offer this weekend - and beyond.
Visit MacNider: Off the Clock on Friday
Another session of MacNider: Off the Clock is set for Friday, March 31, at the Charles H. MacNider Art Museum, 303 Second St. S.E., Mason City.
From 5 to 7 p.m., visitors can mingle, view the exhibits, enjoy complimentary wine and appetizers, and listen to music by North Iowa blues guitarist Melvin Lavert.
Currently on display are the exhibits “Mini Masters” 33rd Annual School Art Exhibition in the Center Space Gallery and “The Light Fantastic: Paintings on Glass by John Lyon Paul” exhibition in the Kinney Lindstrom Gallery.
The event is free and open to the public.
Museum hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.
The Commodores bring Rhythm & Blues, Pop and Funk to the Surf
The Commodores, known for their hits "Just to Be Close to You," "Easy," and "Brickhouse," bring their powerful music to the Surf Ballroom & Museum in Clear Lake on Friday, March 31. Doors open at 8 p.m.
Founded in 1968 when they were students at Tuskeegee University, the Commodores were discovered by Berry Gordy. They went on to sell more than 60 million records for Motown, with hits like “Machine Gun” and “Sail On.” In 1986, minus Lionel Richie, they found Grammy recognition with “Nightshift.”
The group continues to record on their own label, "the Commodores," including “Commodores Live,” made during the group's 1997 U.S. tour and released in 1998 along with a TV special.
Tickets are $38 in advance, $43 at the door, available at the Surf Ballroom box office, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, by calling 641-357-6151 or on-line at www.surfballroom.com.
Learn about a vanished city near Osage and how it plays into art when Colin Lyons presents "Sacrificial Landscapes” at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 1, in the Salsbury Room at the Charles H. MacNider Art Museum, 303 Second St. S.E., Mason City.
Admission is free, and seating is on a first come, first served basis.
Lyons' talk will include a brief history of Lithograph City, a town that was once located six miles south of Osage, and a discussion on how this enters into his projects.
His recent work fuses printmaking, sculpture, and chemical experiments, pushing the role of the etching plate beyond its traditional boundaries as a re-enactment of the rise and fall of industrial economies. He explores industry through the lens of fragility and impermanence, considering planned obsolescence and the nature of what we choose to preserve.
Lyons lives in Iowa City, where he holds the Grant Wood Fellowship at The University of Iowa. For more information, visit www.macniderart.org or call 641-421-3666.
Comedy opens April Fool's Day in Rowan
Catch a "Southern fried trailer park comedy" beginning April Fool's Day at the Iowa River Players Theater in Rowan.
“Doublewide, Texas,” by Jones, Hope and Wooten, opens at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 1, and runs for two weekends. The cast includes actors from Belmond, Clarion, Hampton Latimer and Rowan.
In this fast-paced comedy, the inhabitants of one of the smallest trailer parks in Texas — four doublewides and a shed — are thrown for a loop when they realize the nearby town of Tugaloo is determined to annex them. The mayhem escalates as the residents attempt to secede from Texas and discover a traitor in their midst.
Performances are 7 p.m. Saturday, April 1; 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 2; 7 p.m. Friday, April 7; 2:30 and 7 p.m. Saturday, April 8; 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 9. Individual and season tickets are on sale online at www.iowariverplayerstheater.org, the Facebook page, and at the door.
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Ah, oui! Springtime in Paris
Be transported to Springtime in Paris with the Charles City Community Chamber Orchestra on Sunday, April 2.
The concert is set for 2 p.m. at the 500 North Grand Auditorium in Charles City. Admission is free.
Conductor John Chiles (Cedar Falls) will lead the ensemble through a repertoire of music from French composers. Megan Grey, mezzo soprano from Cedar Falls, will perform two pieces from the opera, "Carmen," accompanied by the orchestra, as well as two solo pieces accompanied by pianist Elisabed Imerlishvili, a University of Northern Iowa graduate piano performance student.
Grey, in the Masters of Music program in voice performance at UNI, has had several roles with UNI Opera. She performed with the Chautauqua Opera Company last summer, and will return this summer as a studio artist, as well as playing the role of Proserpina in a Respighi orchestration of Monteverdi's L'Orfeo, a U.S. stage premier of this historic work. She holds an undergraduate degree in voice performance from UNI.
A reception will follow in the lobby with a variety of French pastries for sale. All proceeds will benefit the Charles City Community Chamber Orchestra (CCCCO).
A little bit country, a little bit bluegrass in Hampton
Get ready for another hoedown in Hampton on Monday, April 3.
The Hampton Old Time Country Hoedown will be from 6 to 9 p.m. at the historic Windsor Theatre in downtown Hampton. It's a music jam open to all levels of musicians and music lovers, offered the first Monday of each month.
The theater seats are ideal for people to sit and enjoy the old time country, bluegrass, and gospel songs. Admission is free, with a free will donation accepted. All proceeds go to the Windsor Theatre. Concessions will be open. Visit the Facebook page for pictures, videos, and updates, or contact event organizer Don Wrolson, 641-425-0909, with any questions.
Explore the roots of pop music
Mitchell County Concert Association members will be treated to the Roots of Pop in a concert Monday, April 3.
"Dave Bennett Presents America's Roots of Pop" will be at 7 p.m. Cedar River Complex, Krapek Family Fine Arts Center, 809 Sawyer Drive, in Osage.
The concert by Bennett, a multi-instrumentalist and clarinet virtuoso, will cover music from the swing era to early rockabilly and country, to Elvis Presley, the Beatles and more. Admission is by Mitchell County Concert Association membership, or $30 at the door. New 2017-2018 members get into this concert free. For information, visit www.mitchellcountyconcert.org.
Fascinating birds - the chimney swifts
Learn all about chimney swifts during a “For Seniors Only” program from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, April 5, at the Lime Creek Nature Center in Mason City.
Linda and Robert Scarth of Cedar Rapids will present "Restore It & They Will Come: The Althea R. Sherman Chimney Swifts Tower." They will share stories and photographs of the three chimney swift families that occupied the tower in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
The program will be followed by a catered lunch and social time. Cost is $5 for nature center members, and $7 for nonmembers. To register, call 641-423-5309 by April 3.
Make time for "Legally Blonde The Musical" at Waldorf University
The Waldorf University Theater Department is offering musical comedy with "Legally Blonde The Musical," which opens April 5 in the Smith Theatre in Voss Hall. Performances are 7:30 p.m. nightly, April 5-8.
An award-winning musical, based on the popular movie, "Legally Blonde The Musical" follows the transformation of Elle Woods as she tackles stereotypes, snobbery and scandal in pursuit of her dreams.
The cast of 24 students includes Abbie Wells as Elle Woods.
“Portraying the character of Elle Woods is a blast,” said Waldorf University student Abbie Wells. “Not only is she fun, but she is also such a bright and empowering female character. It's been an absolute privilege getting to step into her shoes.”
Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students, and $2 for Waldorf University students, and can be reserved by emailing email@example.com or by calling the box office at 641-585-8585.