Published: Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 6:03 p.m.
Force of habit: Final performances of “Nunsense” at the High Springs Community Theater are Friday through Sunday. The award-winning musical comedy follows the travails of the Little Sisters of Hoboken in their mission to raise funds for the burial of two sisters accidentally poisoned by the convent’s cook, Sister Julia (Child of God). Performances start at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15, $12 for seniors on Sunday only and $9 all seats for children 12 and younger.
Fresh-mouthed felt: The Hippodrome’s production of the Tony Award-winning musical “Avenue Q” has been extended through July 21. The summer production of the Gainesville theater’s 40th season features actors performing with puppet characters as young people navigating early adulthood in a fictionalized urban setting. Performances 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, which are $30-$35, $25 for senior citizens, $15 for students.
July 4-Sept. 7:
Blues bash: The Thomas Center hosts the current exhibition, “Blues Pioneers and Their Progeny,” in the center’s Mezzanine Gallery. The exhibit features portraits of nationally known blues musicians, historic and contemporary, in a folk-art style. And don’t forget your smartphone: Music by each of the artists can be heard while touring the exhibit via Grooveshark. Viewing is available during Thomas Center hours of 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday (open to 7 p.m. Tuesday) and 1-4 p.m. Saturday, through Sept. 7.
July 4-Sept. 26:
Quincentennial kites: A new installation of handmade silk kites titled “Winds of Change” is planned this summer at three locations on the University of Florida campus. The pieces, created by Gainesville artists Ruth Whiting and Tim Elverston, represent the sails of Spanish ships to commemorate Ponce de Leon’s arrival in the area that became known as Florida and are on display at Shands Cancer Center through Aug. 17; the Harn Museum of Art through Sept. 15; and at the UF Engineering Building through Sept. 26. A lecture is planned by the artists at 6:30 p.m. July 11 at the Harn.
The news from Lake Wauberg: Each year during the week of the Fourth of July, the city of Gainesville’s “Free Fridays” Concert Series presents an All-American Song Fest themed to the holiday. In years past, the performance featured the American songbook, highlighting traditional American songs from throughout the nation’s history. This year’s production, the “All-American Paynes Prairie Home Companion,” takes a different approach. Inspired by the Garrison Keillor-helmed radio variety show, the production features musical performances by Quartermoon and the New Prairie Dogs, which includes Mike Boulware, Cathy DeWitt, Mick Marino, Rob Rothschild and Ron Thomas, along with radio stories, mock commercials and comedy from Gregg Jones. Admission is free to the performance, which runs from 8 to 10 p.m.
A Jazz Man’s Project: Tuesday’s season-finale concert presented by the Gainesville Friends of Jazz features Gary Langford & The Jazz Project at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. Langford, an area trumpeter and flugelhorn player who directed the UF Concert Band, Marching Band and Jazz Band during a 37-year career at UF, will be joined by pianist Frank Sullivan, bassist Ali Che’Ree, drummer Tim Murray, trumpeter Scott Wilson, trombonist Chris Sharp, and saxophonists Bruce Shepard, Todd Eckstein and Michael Summers in the 7:30 p.m . performance. Tickets $20, $15 for Gainesville Friends of Jazz members and $10 for students.
Brighton Beach boy: Beginning Tuesday, the University of Florida’s School of Theatre and Dance stages a second run of the comedy, “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” which continues through July 14. The semi-autobiographical play by Neil Simon tells the story of Eugene Jerome and his immigrant family growing up in the Jewish enclave of Brighton Beach in New York on the brink of World War II. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through July 13, and 2 p.m. on July 14. Tickets for all shows are $13-$17, available through the University Box Office at 392-1653 and Ticketmaster.com.
Dark days and spontaneous spiels: Starting Wednesday and continuing through July 13, the Acrosstown Repertory Theatre presents another edition of its recurring “Dark Nights” series. Held during off-weekends between plays, these events invite audience participation, showcase works in progress or otherwise share the process with the community. This round showcases improvisational theater, with performances from the Much Ado About Doris Improv Group on Wednesday and July 11, from UF’s Theatre Strike Force on July 12 and “In Heat,” four short plays written, directed, acted and performed within 24 hours by the Alachua County Rapscallions on July 13. All performances begin at 8 p.m. Admission for each performance is $10.