Library hosts David Seay’s Train Songs and Tales’


Musician David Seay will present “Train Songs and Tales,” a free program for all ages, at 2 p.m. Friday, March 8, at the Grand Island Public Library.

This program is for all ages, but the library will provide a special train storytime and craft just for kids ages 3 and older at 1:30 p.m.

What is it about trains that so easily engages one’s imagination? Climb aboard with Seay as he shares a variety of railroad-inspired songs and stories that offer peeks into the past from various points of view. This upbeat excursion is accompanied by a guitar, banjo, harmonica, whistles and a sing-along or two.







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Musician David Seay will present “Train Songs and Tales,” a free program for all ages, at 2 p.m. Friday, March 8, at the Grand Island Public Library.




Combining his passions for music, history and storytelling, Seay (pronounced “see”) has presented programs through the Humanities Nebraska Speakers Bureau since 1997. He and his wife, Debby Greenblatt, also known as the musical duo Greenblatt & Seay, live in the old Avoca school building where they make their living playing, teaching and publishing music.

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Seay plays more than a dozen instruments, several of which you will hear in this program, which is free and open to the public and made possible through the support of Humanities Nebraska and the Central Plains Library System.

For more information about the program, call the Laura Fentress at 308-385-5333, or visit the library’s website at gilibrary.org.

“Train Songs and Tales” is one of approximately 300 programs offered through the Humanities Nebraska Speakers Bureau. The more than 165 available speakers include acclaimed scholars, writers, musicians, storytellers and folklorists on topics ranging from pioneer heritage to ethics and law to international and multicultural issues, making it the largest humanities speakers bureau in the nation.

Stuhr to host program on the influence of film fashion

“The Making of Everyday Hollywood: 1930s Film Influence on Everyday Women’s Fashion in Nebraska,” a “Stuhr-pendous” program presented by Anna Erdmann, is set for 11 a.m. Saturday at Stuhr Museum.

Erdmann will present research that examines the influence of film fashions on middle-class, Nebraskan women’s dress during the Great Depression (1932-1940). The Great Depression challenged the middle class: while standards of living remained high, the economic means to achieve those standards diminished. Despite the crisis, women strove to keep up with current fashion trends.

While previous literature has examined how Hollywood directly affected trends of the 1930s in major American metropolitan contexts, the manifestation of trends in the dress of middle to lower socio-economic classes in Middle America remains under-examined. Against the backdrop of Depression-era hardships specific to Nebraska’s agricultural economy, itself anchored to the financial and banking sectors of the time, this study contributes to the diversification of class and geographic specificity in fashion history.

Erdmann has a master of arts degree in Material Culture and Textile Studies with her area of study being history of costumes, with a focus on costume design and history. She has experience as the collections manager at the Historical Costume Collection at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the gallery manager at the Robert Hillestad Textile Gallery, a Historical dressmaker and living history interpreter at Stuhr Museum, an emerging designer at Omaha Fashion Week, and has designed or assisted in costuming several productions.

This program is included free with regular daily admission which is $14 for adults, $13 for seniors, $12 for youth 6-12, free for children 5 and younger. Those who receive food assistance through SNAP or WIC can show their card to receive reduced admission of $3 per person ages 6 and older. Stuhr Museum members receive free daily admission.

For more information, call 308-385-5316.







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University Theatre at Kearney is presenting the musical “Mirette” this week at UNK’s Miriam Drake Theatre. Performances are scheduled for Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoon.




UNK Theatre presents ‘Mirette’ through Sunday

KEARNEY — University Theatre at Kearney is presenting “Mirette,” a charming musical based on the award-winning children’s book by Emily Arnold McCully.

Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 1-3, at Miriam Drake Theatre on the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus. The show runs approximately two hours, including an intermission.

“Mirette” tells the enchanting tale of a most unusual friendship between a gutsy 10-year-old girl and a brooding tightrope walker. Set in a boarding house for circus performers in 1890s Paris, young Mirette is delighted when she discovers her mother’s grumpy new boarder is none other than The Great Bellini, whose glorious tightrope-walking days were cut short when he lost his nerve. Demonstrating an innate talent for balancing, she convinces the reluctant Bellini to teach her his craft. But when Bellini, determined not to disappoint the girl, stages a comeback performance, he finds himself paralyzed with fear, and it is Mirette who reveals the true meaning of courage.

The UNK production is directed by theater professor Janice Fronczak, with musical direction by vocal music professor Anne Foradori and choreography by associate professor and dance program director Noelle Bohaty. The cast includes UNK students Zane Blomenkamp, Chloe Bohaty, Daniel Con, Emma Jahn, Stephen Johnson, Isabelle Kathol, Bri Linden, Victoria Nimneh and Tetsuhito Tsutsumi, as well as December graduate Chris Terry.

General admission tickets are $15 for adults; $10 for seniors and youths ages 13-18; $9 per person for groups of 10 or more; $5 for youths ages 5-12; and $3 for UNK students with a valid ID.

The UNK Theatre Box Office is open 1:30 to 5 p.m. weekdays and one hour prior to each performance. All ticket purchases are payable by cash or check only. For reservations, call 308-865-8417 or email [email protected].

Family stories focus of Central City program

CENTRAL CITY — “Family Stories or True History?” will be the focus of a Merrick County Historical Museum meeting scheduled for Sunday, March 10.

Luddene Perry, a museum board director, will share how to distinguish between the two by giving an example from the museum’s collection. Members and guests are encouraged to attend and see what they can learn.

The meeting is set for 2 p.m. at the Merrick Foundation Venture Center, 1532 17th Ave., in Central City.

A brief business meeting will include a treasurer’s report and update on the progress of the new facility.

For more information, call 308-624-3367 or email [email protected]

Time for the String Beans in Wood River

WOOD RIVER — Celebrate Wood River Performing Arts Series kicks off the second half of the season with the String Beans at 6 p.m. Monday, March 11, in the Wood River High School Performing Arts Theater.







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Celebrate Wood River Performing Arts Series kicks off the second half of the season with the family-friendly String Beans at 6 p.m. Monday, March 11, in the Wood River High School Performing Arts Theater.




With a hilarious stage show and hundreds of catchy, original songs for kids, the String Beans have been a favorite choice for family-friendly entertainment in Nebraska since 2004. From pop and country to rap and rock n’ roll, the String Beans perform a wide variety of original songs about all the things kids love: animals, books, cartoons, food, history, play, science, sports and lots more. Each show is engaging, inclusive and spontaneous, and each catchy tune is designed to get every audience dancing and singing along!.

In addition to the evening performance, the String Beans will present a 2 p.m. matinée for elementary school students.

Celebrate Wood River series performances are free to the public and made possible by the Wood River Foundation, Donna Lee Moyer Performing Arts Gift, Humanities Nebraska, Nebraska Arts Council and Nebraska Cultural Endowment.

For more information, contact Vince Boudreau at 308-583-2961.

The entire series lineup is available at www.woodriverne.com/town/celebrate-wood-river

KSO’s ‘Cowboys and Caballeros’ features UNK student

KEARNEY — The next Kearney Symphony Orchestra concert, “Cowboys and Caballeros,” is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, in the University of Nebraska at Kearney’s Fine Arts Recital Hall.

The performance includes works by José Pablo Moncayo, Édouard Lalo, Morten Lauridsen and Aaron Copland.







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UNK student and violinist Noah Reimer of Bellevue will be the featured soloist when the Kearney Symphony Orchestra presents “Cowboys and Caballeros,” on Tuesday, March 5, in the University of Nebraska at Kearney’s Fine Arts Recital Hall.




UNK student and violinist Noah Reimer of Bellevue is the featured soloist. A sophomore studying music performance, Reimer is one of three winners of the 2023 Concerto/Aria Competition, which recognizes and celebrates outstanding student performers at UNK while providing opportunities for professional growth. He’ll perform the first movement of Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole in D Minor, Op. 21.

A pre-concert talk is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Building Room 243.

Tickets range from $5 to $13 and can be purchased through the UNK Theatre Box Office inside the Fine Arts Building. UNK Box Office hours are 1:30 to 5 p.m. weekdays and one hour prior to the performance. For reservations, call 308-865-8417 or email [email protected]. UNK students with a current ID can attend the concert free of charge.

Celebrating its 118th season, Kearney Symphony Orchestra is the oldest orchestra in Nebraska. Its members include UNK students and faculty, community volunteers and area professional musicians.

Chart-topping country singer Nate Smith to headline UNK concert

KEARNEY — Nate Smith’s world is on fire.

One of the most electrifying up-and-comers in country music, the Nashville talent will headline the spring concert at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

An Academy of Country Music Award nominee for 2023 New Male Artist of the Year, Smith will perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 10 at UNK’s Health and Sports Center. Tickets are $35, $45 and $55 plus fees. Tickets, which include general admission and reserve seating, go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, March 1, at www.unk.edu/natesmith or by calling 308-865-1563.







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One of the most electrifying up-and-comers in country music, Nate Smith will headline the spring concert set for April 10 at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.




Smith landed on the country charts in 2023 with his chart-topping “Whiskey on You,” and his current smash hit “World on Fire” just finished a 10-week run at No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart. The song was the longest-running No. 1 hit in the chart’s 34-year history.

One of the biggest new talents in country music, he is also known for his hits “Wreckage,” “Under My Skin,” “I Found You” and “Better Boy.”

The 2024 iHeartRadio Music Award nominee for Best New Country Artist, Smith’s new single “Bulletproof” was released Feb. 9 and is one of seven songs to be featured on his “Through the Smoke” EP being released April 5.

Smith kicked off his World on Fire tour in January and will join Morgan Wallen on his summer stadium tour in major cities across the U.S.

His 2023 debut album became the largest album debut from a new artist last year and the largest full-length debut since 2020. The album hit No. 6 on the Billboard Country Albums chart.

Opening for Smith is Lauren Watkins, a Nashville-born talent who was Billboard’s November 2023 Country Rookie of the Month and was named to CMT’s Next Women of Country Class of 2024. She released two EPs in 2023, and her hit single “Anybody But You” was spotlighted by SiriusXM as The Highway’s latest discovery.

UNK’s Loper Programming and Activities Council organizes and sponsors the spring concert.

Merryman PAC to host ‘Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo’

KEARNEY — The Merryman Performing Arts Center will host “Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live!” at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 10.

This stage show will “guide your family on a breathtaking tour through pre-historic Australia. You’ll meet an eye-popping collection of life-like dinosaurs in a theatrical performance that will thrill and entertain kids while stimulating their imaginations.”

Designed with the help of professional paleontologists, these puppets are so “extraordinarily realistic you may feel the urge to run and hide – but don’t! Because you won’t want to miss a minute of this fun, unique, entertaining and educational live show” created by Erth Visual & Physical of Sydney, Australia.

General admission tickets are $15; call the box office at 308-698-8297 or order online at merrymancenter.org/. Note: This show is not part of the Merryman season package.

MONA presents free movie, Disney Pixar’s ‘Soul’

KEARNEY — In celebration of Youth Art Month in March, the Museum of Nebraska Art presents the Disney Pixar movie “Soul” as a part of its “Beyond the Lens Movie Series in Partnership with the World Theatre in downtown Kearney.

Show time is 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 7, at the theater, 2318 Central Ave. There is no admission charge.

“Soul,” a “hilarious, heart-filled adventure,” introduces Joe, who lands the gig of his life at the best jazz club in town. But one misstep lands Joe in a fantastical place: The Great Before. There, he teams up with soul 22, and together they find the answers to some of life’s biggest questions.

Youth Art Month is a visual celebration of art emphasizing the value of art education for all children and to encourage support for quality school art programs. In addition, MONA will showcase the artwork of Kearney art students in a video prior to the movie; it starts at 5:30 p.m.

Film has the ability to reflect and connect humanity as a form of art and storytelling. Through the Beyond the Lens series, in partnership with The World Theatre, MONA presents a selection of films with cultural, aesthetic, or historical significance. At the center of each screening is the Museum’s mission to be a platform for the arts, bring people together and encourage critical and meaningful engagement.

This weekend at the Grand …

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

Reclusive author Elly Conway writes best-selling espionage novels about a secret agent named Argylle who’s on a mission to unravel a global spy syndicate. However, when the plots of her books start to mirror the covert actions of a real-life spy organization, the line between fiction and reality begin to blur.

This film is rated PG-13 for strong violence and action and some strong language. Running time is two hours, 19 minutes.

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







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Celebrate Wood River Performing Arts Series kicks off the second half of the season with the family-friendly String Beans at 6 p.m. Monday, March 11, in the Wood River High School Performing Arts Theater.










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UNK student and violinist Noah Reimer of Bellevue will be the featured soloist when the Kearney Symphony Orchestra presents “Cowboys and Caballeros,” on Tuesday, March 5, in the University of Nebraska at Kearney’s Fine Arts Recital Hall.










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One of the most electrifying up-and-comers in country music, Nate Smith will headline the spring concert set for April 10 at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.










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University Theatre at Kearney is presenting the musical “Mirette” this week at UNK’s Miriam Drake Theatre. Performances are scheduled for Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoon.










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Musician David Seay will present “Train Songs and Tales,” a free program for all ages, at 2 p.m. Friday, March 8, at the Grand Island Public Library.










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University Theatre at Kearney is presenting the musical “Mirette” this week at UNK’s Miriam Drake Theatre. Performances are scheduled for Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoon.




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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