Concerts, programs highlight upcoming arts and entertainment offerings


“Gone Too Soon” authentically captures the spirit and essence of experiencing a Michael Jackson performance, featuring music from the early Jackson 5 days to the heights of his career as a solo performer.

This production brings Michael’s best songs live on stage once again such as “Billie Jean,” “Beat It,” “Thriller,” “Man in the Mirror,” ”Black or White” and many more.







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“Gone Too Soon” brings Michael Jackson’s best songs live on stage once again, is coming to Grand Island for a show at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27, at the Heartland events Center. Tickets are now on sale through the HEC box office or online at www.etix.com.




And it’s coming to Grand Island for a show at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27, at the Heartland events Center.

Get the full Michael Jackson concert experience with an Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Artist who is accomplished and electrifying in his role as Michael Jackson — plus a live band, choreographed dancers, authentic costumes, state-of-the-art sound and lighting with full video presentation.

“A typical “Gone Too Soon” show will have audiences singing along and probably shedding a tear — out of joy, for one of the greatest American artists of all time.”

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Tickets are $25, $35 and $45 (plus fees); ADA seats are $25 and $35. Tickets are now on sale through the HEC box office or online at www.etix.com.

For more information visit www.HeartlandEventsCenter.com

Weekend program to feature antique

Christmas ornaments

Local collector and historian John Hanssen will display and explain antique Christmas decorations during a weekend program hosted by the Hall County Historical Society.

“Christmas Ornaments and Decorations from 1900 to World War II.” is planned for 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 14, at Burlington Station, Sixth and Plum streets. Hanssen will discuss the changes that occurred in ornaments over that 40-year span. He has been collecting for many years and is responsible for decorating the tree at Stuhr Museum and the Stolley House each Christmas. His January program has become a regular feature of the society’s Voices of the Past series.

This program is free for society members and $5 for nonmember. Guests will be invited to ask questions and share in refreshments.

For more information, call 308-380-2086.

Book club to focus on WWII homefront effort in Nebraska

The Bygone Book Club will discuss “World War II Nebraska” by Melissa Amateis, at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 13, at the Grand Island Public Library.

Stephanie Crosby will lead the discussion.

The fight against the Axis required sacrifice and dedication, and Nebraskans answered the call. Three ordnance plants and two naval munitions depots brought employment and economic opportunities but also housing shortages and racial disturbances. The U.S. Army Air Corps established 11 air bases in the state, leading to community engagement through USOs and war bond drives.

The North Platte Canteen welcomed thousands of service members en route to war on troop trains. Henry Doorly’s successful scrap campaign became a model for a nationwide operation. Local farmers fed the nation, K-9 war dogs trained at Fort Robinson and native sons Ben Kuroki and Andrew Higgins affected the war in very different ways.

Through detailed archival research, author Amateis tells the story of the Cornhusker State’s homefront.

The Bygone Book Club is a partnership between the library and the Hall County Historical Society. Local historians lead monthly discussions of books featuring Grand Island, Hall County, Nebraska, or regional history. Membership in the book club is monthly, participants can choose which month/book is of interest to them and do not need to commit to the entire program series.

For more information, contact the library, 1124 W. Second St., at 308-385-5333.

History program, meeting set for Sunday in Central City

CENTRAL CITY — The Merrick County Historical Museum will host its annual meeting at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 14, at the Merrick Foundation Venture Center, 1532 17th Ave., in Central City.

Members and guests will be featured in “Heritage Treasures,” a “show-and-tell” event in which all who bring an item shares its history in five minutes or less. The museum has previously hosted a similar event and much information was shared about the person and family presenting as well as the use of the item.

The business side of the meeting will include reports, both financial and progress on the new facility, and the election of six Board of Directors. Memberships for 2024 can be paid at the meeting.

For more information, call 308-624-3367 (leave a message) or email [email protected]

Hastings College trumpet recital to premier ‘Sonata for Trumpet and Piano’

HASTINGS — A world premiere of “Sonata for Trumpet and Piano” by Douglas Hedwig will be a highlight of Louie Eckhardt’s faculty trumpet recital set for 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 14, in the Hastings College Fuhr Hall of Music, 927 N. Ash Ave.

The performance is free and open to the public.

Additional repertoire will include Arthur Honegger’s “Intrada;” Kenny Wheeler’s “Solo One;” Dylan Findley’s “Lo!” (for trumpet, electronics and video); James MacMillan’s “In Splendoribus Sanctorum;” and Joseph Turrin’s arrangement of Gershwin’s “Someone to Watch Over Me.”

Assisting musicians during the recital will be Jonathan Sokasits, professor of piano, and the Hastings College Choir with Brett Epperson, assistant professor of music, conducting.

Eckhardt is associate professor of music, director of bands and chair of the Department of Music and Theatre.

“Sonata for Trumpet and Piano” was commissioned by Eckhardt with a summer 2022 research grant provided by the Hastings College Foundation.







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The Dallas Brass will perform at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, at the Central City Performing Arts Center, Edwin and Bernice Lock Theatre, Central City. The concert is presented as part of the Merrick Arts Council 2023-24 season.




Dallas Brass plans Central City performance

CENTRAL CITY — The Merrick Arts Council will bring the internationally acclaimed Dallas Brass to Central City for a performance at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, in the Central City Performing Arts Center, Edwin and Bernice Lock Theatre.

“American Musical Journey” will sample American music history from the time of George Washington to the present day. The concert will include feature pieces with members from the following schools’ bands: Central City Middle School and High School, Palmer, St. Paul, Cross County, Nebraska Christian and Hampton Public Schools.

The Dallas Brass has performed from New York to Rome and Tokyo, with gala appearances at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. It has been featured with symphony orchestras including the New York Pops, Philly Pops and Cincinnati Pops. The six-piece brass and percussion ensemble has a repertoire ranging from classical masterpieces to Broadway, Dixieland, swing and patriotic music.

A limited number of tickets are available ($15); online purchase at https://our.show/merrick-arts-council/91656 is recommended. Tickets may or may not be available at the door the day of the program, so it is advised to purchase online to guarantee a seat.

For more information, contact Merrick Arts Council at [email protected] or by calling 308-940-0274.

Scrabble group to meet Monday

Scrabble Game Night is set for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15, at Primrose Assisted Living, Capital Avenue and North Road.

The group usually meets the third Monday of each month in the Pub on the second floor at Primrose. All Scrabble players are welcome; bring a board if you have one. There is no registration required and there is no fee to play.

For more information, call La Vonne Catron at 308-382-2663.

This weekend at the Grand …

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

New student Cady Heron gets welcomed into the top of the social food chain by an elite group of popular girls called the Plastics, ruled by the conniving queen bee Regina George. However, when Cady makes the major misstep of falling for Regina’s ex-boyfriend, she soon finds herself caught in their crosshairs.

This film is rated PG-13 for sexual material, strong language, and teen drinking. Running time is just short of two hours.

Admission is $5 for adults, and $4 for children and seniors. For more information, call 308-381-2667 or visit grandmovietheatre.com.

Arts and entertainment briefs are published every Thursday in The Independent. To submit announcements, submit to Terri Hahn at [email protected] 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 style and policy.

Arts and entertainment briefs are published every Thursday in The Independent. To submit announcements, submit to Terri Hahn at [email protected] 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 style and policy.



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