The Last Minute Folk concert series draws from across the country acoustic, roots, bluegrass, and contemporary songwriters who sing from the heart and write from the gut. Virginia’s Doug and Telisha Williams weave haunting harmonies around their hard-luck tales. Part of the No Depression roots movement, the couple charms and chills with euphonic dispatches from ghost towns where run-down factories and old-time religion lean in across decrepit barstools.
Two of Christian music’s most iconic artists, Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith join forces to spread the good news, leading congregations in melodious worship on their 2 Friends Tour. Since 1982, this dynamic duo has engaged millions to flock to their catchy, ecclesiastical pop music, sharing a musical camaraderie as impenetrable as a fortress with abandonment issues. Amy Grant, author of No. 1 hits such as “El Shaddai” and “Baby Baby,” has shared her gift of song for more than 30 years, selling more than 30 million albums, garnering six Grammys, and earning a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Michael W. Smith has earned countless accolades with his tremendous songbook of head-bobbing hymns and choir-rousing hits. Sharing the stage for the first time in two decades, Amy and Michael thrill fans with new psalms and favorites from their sonic scroll, merging their sets with joyful duets and chemistry that crackles like Abbott and Costello after getting struck by lightning.
The Topeka Symphony Orchestra heralds its 66th year of performances, as well as the final season for conductor and music director Dr. John Strickler, with its upcoming 2011–2012 season. On opening night, "Czech Mates" tasks the professional soundsmiths with transmuting the pages of Dvorak's Symphony no. 6 and Tchaikovsky's violin concerto into an aural spectacle. Ivan Zenaty, an experienced maestro who currently resides in Dresden, leads the concerto's melodic charge and waves his baton with fingers nimble enough to play cat's cradle one-handed. "The 5th!" unfurls an ear-tickling soundscape that includes Beethoven's Symphony no. 5, as well as Britten's Sinfonia da Requiem and Rainbow Body by Theofanidis. White Concert Hall sports more than 1,000 seats, allowing patrons ample room to indulge in the orchestra's acoustic delights or privately conduct their own shadow-puppet rendition of Amadeus.
The illustrious instructors at Dance Gallery shepherd students of all skills levels through a variety of popular dance styles and techniques. Many of the professional teachers boast backgrounds performing in the Joffrey Ballet, musical theater, and jobs as human tops. Across the flexible summer schedule, students can receive guided gyration instruction in their choice of ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, aerobics, or tumbling and acrobatics. Though the majority of classes are for children, the studio schedules some adult night sessions in ballet, tap, aerobics, and jazz.
Dazzlers’s three-day summer dance camps busy the limbs of grade school girls in a 6,000-square-foot fully mirrored dance studio. At Fairy Tale Camp, each day’s activities revolve around a different fair maiden, including Glinda the Good Witch from The Wizard of Oz, Alice from Alice in Wonderland, Ariel, the mermaid princess from The Little Mermaid, and lesser-known royal Chaka Khan. Upcoming kindergarteners through prospective third graders assemble crafts, listen to music, nibble on complimentary snacks, and learn dance styles inspired by each character. Little ones can dress up as their favorite princesses or notable feminists to celebrate their last day of camp with a Mad Hatter’s tea party.
• For $8, you get two tickets to see "Yesterday and Today: The Interactive Beatles Experience" on Friday, September 30, at 9:30 p.m. (a $16 value). Doors open at 9 p.m. • For $16, you get four tickets to see "Yesterday and Today: The Interactive Beatles Experience" on Friday, September 30, at 9:30 p.m. (a $32 value). Doors open at 9 p.m. • For $8, you get one male or female Granada T-shirt (a $16 value). Shirts are black and emblazoned with The Granada logo, as seen on the venue's website.