Circle Modern Dance launches 28th season

Betsy PickleOur Town Arts

As of early this morning, there were exactly two tickets left for the Wilco show tonight at the Bjiou Theatre. But if you didn’t get your act together in time to buy them, never fear. Knoxville has music, theater, art and more tonight and every day if you open your eyes.

Seriously, tonight is a busy night for entertainment. For starters, it’s Variety Thursday on Market Square. Knoxville-based West Virginia native Mike Snodgrass will perform 7-9 p.m. in this installment of the free weekly series. Snodgrass sings and plays guitar and harmonica, in a variety of genres.

(Don’t miss Jazz on the Square on Tuesday, June 11, when the Vance Thompson Quintet will perform 8-10 p.m.)

Tonight you can also be among the first to enjoy “Circle in the City,” a performance that opens the 28th anniversary season of Circle Modern Dance. This is a donation-based “pay what you can” open dress rehearsal, starting at 6 p.m. The official shows are at 5 and 8 p.m. Saturday, June 8, and 2 p.m. Sunday, June 9, all at The Emporium Center, 100 S. Gay St.

Tickets are $12 in advance at or $15 at the door.

“Circle in the City” will feature “various styles of dance, spoken word, improvisation, and projected imagery,” according to the website. “The unforgettable performance showcases work by local dancers and choreographers, including Deborah Whelan, Kimberly Matibag, Angela Hill and Jeny Jones. Also included are works from guest artists with Momentum Dance Lab and Riversong Dance Studio.”

Suitable for all ages, “Circle in the City” is participating in the Penny4Arts program, allowing children to attend for one penny when accompanied by an adult.

More info: 865-309-5309.

TVP tackles “Mamma Mia!”

If you’re an ABBA fan, here’s your chance to enjoy the musical “Mamma Mia!” once again. This time, the performance is by the Tennessee Valley Players, in collaboration with the University of Tennessee School of Music, in the round at the Carousel Theatre, 1714 Andy Holt Ave.

“Mamma Mia!” – a hit from the West End that took Broadway by storm and then was turned into a blockbuster film starring Meryl Streep – is a sweeping collection of ABBA songs with a little bit of story mixed in. There’s also lots of dancing as a young woman schemes to get her mother to tell her the identity of her father.

Shows are at 7:30 p.m. June 6, 7, 8, 13, 14 and 15 and 3 p.m. June 9 and 16. Admission is $20 adults, $10 children 12 and younger.

Ticket info and more: or 865-203-2673.

Find your art at First Friday

Tomorrow is the first Friday in June, and that means you can get your fix of art pretty much all over downtown Knoxville. One big opening is the Dogwood Arts Regional Exhibition at The Emporium Center, 100 S. Gay St.

Works by some 55 artists will be exhibited, representing a variety of styles and genres. Brian and Carolyn Jobe, co-founders and co-directors of Locate Arts, made the selections.

An awards ceremony begins at 6 p.m. The show will remain up through June 28. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays.

Check out more first Friday happenings here.

Happy Birthday, Bob!

President Barack Obama presents the Medal of Freedom to Bob Dylan in 2012. (Photo by Bill Ingalls/NASA)

The 15th annual Bob Dylan’s Birthday Bash takes place 5-10 p.m. Friday, June 7, on Market Square. Technically, Dylan’s birthday is May 24, but when you’re 78 and a legend, people should celebrate you any chance they get.

Hosted by WDVX, the celebration of the iconic musician will feature a wide mix of artists covering his tunes. Performers include the Will Boyd Group, Eli Fox, Griffin Vann Band, Crawlspace, Y’uns, Colonel Williams House Band, Jubal and Left Foot Dave & the Magic Hats.

It’s funny to think that probably most of the musicians performing tomorrow night weren’t even alive when Dylan was at his peak of popularity or influence. It just proves the validity of celebrating the Medal of Freedom winner, year after year.

Wonder if any of the acts will take requests? Since thunderstorms are predicted Friday, I would suggest not playing “Hurricane.” Better stick to “Shelter From the Storm.”

Whassup, WOZO?

Music continues through the weekend, June 8-9, with WOZO Fest 2019, a fundraiser for the low-power FM station WOZO, 103.9. WOZO operates from the Birdhouse, the community center in Fourth & Gill, and is run by a volunteer staff.

Saturday’s show starts at 9 p.m. at Barley’s, 200 E. Jackson Ave., in the Old City. Sunday’s show starts at 6:30 p.m. at Brickyard Bar & BBQ, 4928 Homberg Drive. Admission is $5 for one day or $8 for both days.

Performers include Dead Man’s Lifestyle, David Webb’s Burning Bush, Utopia, YoungFreeman, RK Bottom Line, Dee Smiff, Sunkiller, Eric Caldwell and the Cruise Control, Max Dope and Civil Strife.

There will also be poetry by Devan Burton, Sharon Mishler Fox, John C. Mannone, Mirage(ish) and Heather Davis and comedy from Friendlytown, the Knox by Night Band and an open mic fundraiser. Hosts will be Wayne Bledsoe, Anam and Beth Tomkins.




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