WOOD RIVER — The Celebrate Wood River Performing Arts Series opens its new season on Thursday, Sept. 26, with a performance from The String Beans.
Showtime is 7 p.m. in the Wood River High School Performing Arts Theater.
The String Beans “make music that makes kids move!” Clever lyrics, catchy tunes and crazy antics are the hallmarks of their live show. Mixing country, rock n’ roll, pop, polka, and even rap, the “Beans” perform original, family-friendly songs about the things kids love, and the things parents can’t stop laughing about.
Since forming in 2004, this group has become increasingly popular and in demand, and has performed in many parts of the United States. In their hometown of Lincoln, the “Beans” sold out the Lied Center for Performing Arts and are becoming Nebraska’s favorite entertainers for pre-school through elementary-aged audiences, not to mention parents, teachers, and communities.
Other performances this season include:
- Jim Salestrom, 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24. Salestrom has roots in Nebraska and is an Emmy Award-winning songwriter who has been writing and recording music since he was 13. He has recorded and performed with such stellar artists as John Denver, Kenny Roger and Dolly Parton. His son James will be performing with him in this concert.
- “The Thrill of Hope,” presented by the Wood River Community Choir, 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. This new cantata is based on the Festival of Lessons and Carols, going back to the 18th century, but has been given a “fresh” twist to blend some of the old carols and new contemporary carols.
- Easter Cantata, presented by the Wood River Community Choir, 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 5. More details will be announced later.
- “She Rocks,” featuring Tara Vaughn and her band, 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 19. “She Rocks” celebrates women artists and songwriters. Featured will be music of such artists as Janis Joplin, Linda Ronstadt, Aretha Franklin, Blondie, Heart and many more.
Celebrate Wood River Performing Arts Series is free to the public because of the generous support of the Donna Lee Moyer Performing Arts Gift, Nebraska Arts Council, Humanties Nebraska, and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment. Free-will donations are always welcome in order to perpetuate this series into the future.
The Celebrate Wood River Performing Arts Council will again sponsor free Saturday Morning Friendship Gatherings at 9:30 a.m. in the theater lobby.
The series starts Saturday, Sept. 21, with “Willa Cather and Quilts,” presented by Evelyn Holler Harris.
Cather’s earliest memory of art was sitting under quilting frames as a child. Her early experiences of art as craft remained with her throughout her life. Slides of quilts Cather named in fiction as well as related Cather sites and materials will be used to illustrate the presentation.
Harris, currently a professor of English and chair of the Fine Arts/Humanities Division at Doane College is a part of the Speakers Bureau of Humanities Nebraska.
Other Saturday gatherings include “Tales from Hans Christian Anderson” on March 14; and “Demystifying Meteorology” on April 4.
For more information, contact Georgene Smidt at (308) 583-2606, or Vince Boudreau at (308) 583-2961.
The concert series brochure is online at www.wrcommunityfoundation.com/celebratewr.