Published: Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 5, 2013 at 12:16 p.m.
FRESH-MOUTHED FELT: The multiple Tony Award-winning hit Broadway musical, “Avenue Q,” gets the Hippodrome treatment in the final production of the Gainesville theater’s 40th season. The play combines real-life performers with puppet characters singing and interacting as young people navigating early adulthood and professional frustrations in a fictionalized urban setting. Performances, which run through June 23, begin at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 8 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, 5:30 and 8 p.m. on Saturdays, and 2 and 7 p.m. on Sundays. The production is billed as being for mature audiences. Call 375-4477 for tickets.
June 6-Sept. 7:
BLUES BASH: The Thomas Center hosts a new exhibit, “Blues Pioneers and Their Progeny,” in the museum’s Spanish Court. The exhibit features portraiture of Blues musicians, historic and contemporary, local and nationally known in a folk-art style. The exhibition runs through Sept. 7 and is available for viewing during Thomas Center gallery hours; 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday (open to 7 p.m. Tuesday) and 1-4 p.m. Saturday.
JAKE IN JUNE: In June, the “Free Fridays” Concert Series celebrates African-American Music Appreciation Month and kicks it off Friday with Little Jake Mitchell and his band, the Soul Searchers, at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza. Mitchell has shared stages with James Brown, Jackie Wilson, Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye as well as mentored under B.B. King. Mitchell’s place in Gainesville history was assured when he broke the color barrier and became the first black entertainer to perform at UF’s Gator Growl in 1960. Admission is free. The concert is scheduled to run from 8 to 10 p.m.
RAIDERS OF THE LOST CACHES: Paynes Prairie hosts its own Geocaching Event as part of the Viva Florida 500 celebration. The event feature 50 new “geocaches” hidden around the park waiting to be found with the help of GPS devices. The event begins at the park entrance at 100 Savannah Blvd., Micanopy, and runs from 9 a.m. to dusk. Admission to the park is $4-$6 per vehicle.
VIVA FLORIDA: Popular local author J.T. Glisson will give a reading Saturday as part of the Viva Florida 500 Celebration. Glisson will reflect on the writing and inspiration for his two books, “The Creek,” inspired by his childhood in backwoods North Central Florida, and “Guardian Angel 911,” about his early adulthood, in addition to his experience living next to author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and his visual art. The reading is planned for 2 p.m. Saturday at the Hawthorne Branch Library, 6640 SE 221 St., Hawthorne. It will be followed by refreshments at the Hawthorne Historical Museum and Cultural Center. Admission is free.
OUT FOR SUMMER: Forage Farm hosts a School’s Out Art Festival, celebrating summer and intended toward children and families, on Saturday. The fest will feature music from local bands geared toward children along with local food, art, crafts and nature walks in addition to gardening workshops. The event is set for the Prairie Creek Lodge at Paynes Prairie from 1 to 7 p.m. Admission is $15, free for children 4 and younger.
CRUISIN’: The Gainesville Street Rods car club hosts its monthly car show/cruise in at the parking lot of the Spring Hill Commons Shopping Center. The event, held on the second Saturday of every month, invites the owners of classic and custom cars to display their vehicles with like-minded aficionados. The event runs from 6 to 9 p.m. and will feature raffle drawings, live music and food.
OPEN CALL WORKSHOP: The Gainesville Community Playhouse hosts its first-ever “Director’s Showcase” event Saturday at 6 p.m. The event is geared to prepare aspiring actors of all ages for the audition process. Aspirants can get advice and ask questions from the company’s directors and also take in performances of selections of the season’s upcoming plays. The event is
set for the Vam York Theater, 4039 NW 16th Blvd.
HAVE A BALL (OR THREE): Get your June juggling fix filled Sunday as Gainesville’s own Jongleur Jugglers bounce tricks at the Micanopy branch library. The Jongleurs delighted audience members at the April 20 installment of the city of Gainesville’s Jest Fest Series at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza. Admission is free and the demonstration runs from 2 to 2:45 p.m.
VOODIDDLEY: As part of the city of Gainesville’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs “Free Fridays” outdoor concert series and in honor of African-American Music Appreciation Month, Miami-born guitarist and singer/songwriter Wester Joseph performs his unique blend of rock, soul and Caribbean music at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza with his band, Stereo VuDu, on June 14. The performance will run from 8 to 10 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.