The Grand Island Parks & Rec Department will kick off its summer concert series with Nashville musician Paul Christian at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 6, in Buechler Park, 2316 W. Division.

Christian will present “a country performance full of life and energy. Come sing along and dance the night away!”

The concerts will be presented Thursday evenings through July 18 (no concert on the Fourth of July) at Buechler and Grace Abbott parks. The schedule includes:

Thursday, June 13: Mohanna with Red Shoes, 8 p.m., Grace Abbott Park, West State and Cleburn streets. The program will feature “a broad variety of classic songs including some history and humor.”

Thursday, June 20: Blue Plate Special, 8 p.m., Buechler Park. The band’s songs “give the audience a feeling for American Roots music, covering R&B, jazz-infused Americana, and a touch of rock.”

Thursday, June 27: Thalken, Tesdall, Thalken, 8 p.m., Grace Abbott Park. “Seasoned performers on vocals, keyboard, sax, flute and percussion, playing classics from the American songbook!”

Thursday, July 11: The Jessy Karr Band, 8 p.m., Grace Abbott Park. “A variety of music that should suit a diverse crowd.”

Thursday, July 18: Code Blue, 8 p.m., Buechler Park. “You will walk away dancing after hearing this band. Its music is eclectic, covering many different musical styles.”

There is no admission charge for any of these summer concerts; bring lawn chairs or blankets. For more information, call (308) 389-0290.

Czech festival set for Saturday in Hastings

HASTINGS — The South Central Nebraska Czechs will host their 44th annual South Central Nebraska Czech Festival from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Hastings Eagles Club, 107 N. Denver.

Festival events will include coffee and kolaches at 9:30, a bake sale featuring kolaches, a flag ceremony and veterans recognition, a Czech baking demonstration, a raffle and vendors with Czech wares. An accordion jamboree will start at 10 a.m. with musicians from across the state.

An authentic Czech meal will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m;., featuring a choice of roast pork loin, polish sausage, Czech goulash and a limited number of roast duck servings. The meat choice is served with sauerkraut and dumplings, mashed potatoes, dill or brown gravy, a vegetable and rye bread. Sandwiches will also be available.

Nebraska Czech queens will be present. The Brad Husak Trio will provide music for listening or dancing from 1 to 3 p.m.

The festival is sponsored in part by Western Fraternal Life Association.

Admission is free to all events and everyone is invited to join in celebrating the Czech heritage.

For information on the festival or the Nebraska Czechs, Inc. call (402) 469-6986 or check online at www.nebraskaczechs.org/.

Youth theater company plans auditions for summer productions

DEBUT! Youth Theatre Company will open auditions for its eighth annual summer production on Sunday, June 9, and Monday, June 10.

Auditions for “Disney’s Alice In Wonderland Jr.,” will be from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday and 5 to 6:30 p.m. Monday at St. Pauls Lutheran Church, 1515 S. Harrison. They are open to children entering third grade through those leaving eighth grade. They will be asked to read from the script and sing a short prepared song.

Every child who auditions will be cast. There is no fee to participate.

Rehearsals will be scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday and Thursdays from July 18 through July 3, then 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays starting July 9 (some Wednesday rehearsals may also be needed). Production dates are July 19-21 at Barr Middle School.\

DEBUT! Youth Theatre Company was founded in 2012 by Pam Ahlman and Deb Scheel in honor of the late Betty Powell Lofgreen, the late Shirley Anderson and the late Lori Boughton in order to give area youth the opportunity to participate in a full scale musical.

For questions please contact co-director Pam Ahlman at (308) 370-6586 or musictchrmom@gmail.com

Horse racing documentary coming to Ord theater

ORD — “Born to Rein,” a full-length documentary film paying tribute to three legendary horse trainers, will be shown June 6 and 7 in Ord.

Show time is 7 p.m. both days at the Golden Husk, 129 S. 16th St. in Ord.

“Born to Rein” commemorates the lives and accomplishments of native Nebraskans and National Hall of Fame Horsemen — John A. Nerud of Minatare and father-and-son Marion and Jack Van Berg of the Columbus/Grand Island area.

Nerud, a Navy veteran and one of America’s most accomplished and revered thoroughbred horse trainers and breeders, co- founded the prestigious Breeders’ Cup Classic. He was inducted into the National Museum of Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 1972.

Marion Van Berg was the nation’s leading owner in racing victories 14 times and was the first Nebraskan inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1970. Like his father, Jack Van Berg set records for the most wins. His best horse, Alysheba, won the 1987 Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Classic, and was Horse of the Year in 1988.

The film features historic film footage and images of some of America’s thoroughbred horse racing’s Triple Crown races — the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. The timing of the documentary at the Golden Husk precedes the last race of the Triple Crown series, the Belmont Stakes, which is scheduled for June 8 and coincides with 100th anniversary of America’s first Triple Crown Winner, Sir Barton, who after retiring from racing also spent time in Nebraska, as a U.S. Army Remount Service Stallion at Fort Robinson near Crawford.

Filmmakers and co-producers Jody L. Lamp and Melody Dobson say “Born to Rein” honors and acknowledges for the first time on film the connections, contributions and lives and careers of the three native and the how their horsemanship impacted and continues to influence the national thoroughbred industry today.

“Most Nebraskans have never heard the name of John Nerud or realize that National Hall of Fame trainers like Bob Baffert and D.Wayne Lukas credit his influence in the industry for their success,” says Lamp, who was raised near his birthplace at the Nerud family homestead near Lake Minatare in western Nebraska. “Mr. Nerud certainly has been not recognized in any ‘Notable Nebraskan’ narratives prior to us working on the film, so we hope others will enjoy seeing historic footage of his history and learn something new about their state of Nebraska.”

Lamp and Dobson will be at the screening to answer questions and talk about the film.

Tickets are $10 and are available at the Golden Husk, (308)-730-8133; the Ord Area Chamber of Commerce, (308) 728-7875; or online at ShopOrd.com.

Flatwater Shakespeare presents ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’

LINCOLN — A tradition of theater under the stars continues this summer when the Flatwater Shakespeare Company presents “The Two Gentleman of Verona during a two-week run in the Swan Theatre at the Stables and a series of free performances in several Lincoln parks.

But this won’t be your typical Shakespeare performance. Director Patsy Koch Johns and choreographer Vijay Olander have brought one of Shakespeare’s earliest comedies into the 1990s, complete with popping and locking to hip-hop grooves. This production compresses the play’s running time while retaining its humor, drama and honest looks at how even idealistic forms of love have their shadow sides.

Performance times are 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 6-9 and June 13-16 in the Swan Theatre, the Stables at Wyuka, 3600 O St. Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors, $15 for students and $5 for kids 10 and younger.

Starting June 20, the company takes “Two Gentlemen” on tour with performances set for 7 p.m. June 20, Belmont Park, 12th and Judson; 7 p.m. June 21, Trago Park, North 22nd and U streets; 7 p.m. June 22, Cooper Park, Eighth and D streets; and 7 p.m. June 23, Havelock Park, 63rd and Ballard. There is no charge for the park performances. The show runs about 75 minutes with no intermission.

For more information, check online at flatwatershakespearecompany.org

This weekend at the Grand …

“Long Shot“ is showing this weekend at the Grand Theatre, 316 W. Third St. Showtimes are 7:15 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Fred Flarsky is a gifted and free-spirited journalist who has a knack for getting into trouble. Charlotte Field is one of the most influential women in the world — a smart, sophisticated and accomplished politician. When Fred unexpectedly runs into Charlotte, he soon realizes that she was his former baby sitter and childhood crush. When Charlotte decides to make a run for the presidency, she impulsively hires Fred as her speechwriter — much to the dismay of her trusted advisers. Rated R.

Admission is $3.50 for adults, $2.50 for children 12 and younger. For more information call (308) 381-2667 or visit grandmovietheatre.com

Your Ticket briefs are published every Thursday in print and online at theindependent.com. To submit arts and entertainment announcements, submit to Terri Hahn at terri.hahn@theindependent.com at least two weeks prior to the event. No information will be accepted over the phone. There is no charge for publication, but announcements must follow newspaper policy. For more information, email Hahn or call her at (308) 381-9463.

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