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The top five arts and culture events in Eastern Iowa this week

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Gazette Staff/SourceMedia  ::   UPDATED: 21 January 2014 | 3:43 pm   ::  

Each week Hoopla and the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance team up to showcase arts and culture events happening in Eastern Iowa. Below are the hidden gems.

It’s time for another great holiday tradition – the Thanksgiving Candlelight Tour at Ushers Ferry Historic Village. Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation invites families to Ushers Ferry to experience the warmth and joy of a small town Iowa Thanksgiving celebration from 1902 on the weekend before Thanksgiving, November 17 from 4:00-8:00 p.m. and November 18 from 12:00-4:00 p.m. Visitors will have the opportunity this year to celebrate the grand re-opening of the restored Blacksmith Shop with a tour and gather round a bonfire at the beautiful new outdoor fire pit built by the Eagle Scouts. Traditional holiday foods cooked on the old-fashioned cook stoves in the Usher House, Czech House and Telephone House will be available along with historic recipes to take home. Participants may visit the Town Hall and learn a reel or schottische, make wintry crafts and play Victorian parlor games. Beautiful live music by the mother and daughter duo, Jewel, will be performed in the Church. A holiday tea by the fireplace in the Hotel and face painting by Funny Face Designs are also available for an additional fee. Admission is $8/adults, $4/children ages 3-14, and is free for children under 2. The tea room and face painting are separate fees. Advance registration is available, but not required at 319.286.5731.

Hancher presents the St. Lawrence String Quartet this Friday, November 16, 7:30 p.m. at the Riverside Recital Hall, 405 North Riverside Drive in Iowa City. The Salt Lake Tribune may argue the St. Lawrence String Quartet is "beyond superlatives," but we'll give it our best shot. These passionate virtuosos are known for bringing classical music to life in vivid color though dramatic performances bristling with electricity. With "a rare gift for combining interpretive spontaneity and fierce musical commitment" (New York Times), the group's lush, rounded tone and vital, alert phrasing allow them to "stretch past conventional interpretation and probe the music's imaginative limits" (Washington Post). Tickets are $10-$37 available through the Hancher Box Office.

Join the Iowa Tango Club for a fun and creative Argentine Tango Workshop this weekend with professional teacher and dancer Maximiliano Gluzman. Classes are Friday, November 16 through Sunday, November 18, and will take place on a beautiful and convenient space at Cannon Studios in Cedar Rapids, 260 33rd Ave SW, Suite G. Since starting Tango in his hometown of Buenos Aires in 1997, Maximiliano Gluzman has devoted himself to social dancing. He emphasizes communication between dancers, expressive musical interpretation and creative use of space. Consequently, his lessons are based on posture, embrace, and leading and following technique. Internationally, Maximiliano has taught in numerous events in Argentine, Europe and the Unites States since 2005. Group and individual lessons are available. Class times and prices vary, visit www.iowatango.com for more information.

Mount Mercy University will present the 1952 play by American playwright Arthur Miller, The Crucible, November 16 - 17 at 7:30 p.m., and November 18 at 1:30 p.m. in Mount Mercy’s McAuley Theater. The Crucible is a dramatization of the Salem witch trials that took place in the Province of Massachusetts Bay during 1692 and 1693, in a time when suspicion, hysteria, and fear gripped the Puritan towns of New England. Seating will be arranged in the round, providing a unique vantage point for the audience, and will be limited. Reserving tickets in advance is strongly recommended. Tickets are $8 for the general public, $6 for students and senior citizens, and $2 for children ages 12 and under. For more information, or to order tickets, call 319.363.8213 ext. 1229.

Working Group Theatre invites you to Was the Word, their monthly spoken word and storytelling event, on Sunday, November 18, 7:00 p.m. at The Englert Theatre in downtown Iowa City. Each event brings together community members and local performers to share their words and experiences on stage to benefit local non-profits or community service groups. This evening poets and storytellers Megan Gogerty, Sean Lewis, Zora Hust, Micah Ariel James, and Kate Krohn will share their words with us and Mutiny in the Parlor will entertain us with their musical stylings. The evening will benefit Elder Services. To find out more about them visit: elderservicesinc.com. Admission to Was the Word is always PAY WHAT YOU CAN. Working Group Theatre believes in this method of ticket sales, because it allows everyone access to the theatre. It only works if some people pay more than others...if we all just PAY WHAT WE CAN. Suggested admission for one person is $10. Remember also, that the more you pay the greater the good for our non-profit beneficiaries.

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