We’re deep in the summer now. I hope that you’ve enjoyed this momentary respite from the heat that we’ve gotten these past couple of days, completing some of those tasks that you could just not complete when it was hot out like taking care of the garden or living your life how you want. As I type this, all that work will be worthwhile for the weekend is now here. There is a lot of stuff happening around town this weekend such as concerts, dance parties and more general doings that will appeal to a variety of folks, not just jaded 20-somethings like myself. Let’s explore what Iowa City has to offer us.
Party in the Park // Mercer Park // 6:30 PM // Free, All Ages
Every week, the IC Parks & Rec Department hosts an event at one of the lovely parks that cover this city. The aim is to build neighborhood unity as the Party in the Park can be a way to meet your neighbors and find out more about your city. This edition will take place at the Southeast Side Mercer park and feature Pennies on the Rail as the musical artist. There will be events to occupy the kids like games and arts & crafts along with ice cream to amuse everyone. Check the City of Iowa City, Iowa website to find out when it will be coming to your local park.
Lost in Yonkers // E.C. Mabie Theatre, UI Theater Building // 8:00 PM // $5-26, 11+
Celebrating its 20th anniversary following its Broadway debut, Neil Simon’s Lost in Yonkers follows the lives of brothers Arty and Jay as they take care of their difficult grandmother and loopy aunt while scheming to escape and rebuild their broken family. Stressing ideas about love, respect and responsibility, Lost in Yonkers is a critically acclaimed play, receiving both a Tony for Best Play upon its Broadway opening as well as a Pulitzer Prize for Drama. This work will be brought to life on the stage by the members of the Iowa Summer Repertory Theatre as the last play of their season. Tickets for the play, which will be up all of this and next weekend, are available through Hancher Box Office.
Little Village Dance Party // Blue Moose Tap House // 9:00 PM // Free, 21+
If you were not able to figure it out from the June issue of the magazine or the huge anniversary show that we just threw at the Blue Moose with Del, this year is the 10th Anniversary of this fine artistic/literary/documentary establishment. As long as I’ve been in Iowa City, I’ve known there to be two halves: the folk half and the dance half. I’m not sure where they merge, but I imagine that it’s somewhere around the Washington St. Java House. Little Village celebrates the folk side frequently on Little Village Live, so there’s no need for a special show for that. The dance side: we covered it once with Del (if you are asking about how that makes sense, you weren’t there) and we’re going to cover it again. Our Arts Editor here Kent Williams aka Chaircrusher has secured David Powers & Max Jacobson from Chicago for an epic night of dance music. As noted in the invitation I got on Facebook, this dance party “will NOT be 5 hours of repetetive (sic) Oontz Oontz techno.” Instead, these three men will be taking you on a musical odyssey, playing deep house, disco, 80s pop, and whatever else they can cram in there. All of this for the rock bottom price of nothing. That should be incentive enough to check it out. It’s almost immaterial that all three are quality on the turntables and will show so by doing this whole night on vinyl. Check out this page to find some tracks from all of the DJs, so you know what’s going to happen.
Heaven & Hell // Yacht Club & Studio 13 // 9:00 PM // $5, 21+
While Little Village is throwing it up for the party people all around, house music might not be your game. Don’t fear. Two clubs have you covered. Studio 13 and the Yacht Club have decided to unite their building and have a huge party. Studio 13 is Heaven while The Yacht Club is Hell. In Heaven, there will be a drag show by Sasha Belle and Friends that will be followed by DJ B-Fast spinning hip-hop and club tracks. In Hell, there is no drag show, but there will be dubstep and other electronic sounds ensured to make you move.
Iowa City Book Festival // Gibson Square & Downtown Iowa City // 10:00 AM // Free, All Ages
As you know from the endless signs and all of the writing that is done about it, Iowa City is a city that likes to read…a lot. Sometimes, I wonder how much of this is for real and how much of it’s just jive. The University Libraries knows all about skeptics like me, so they put on a yearly Book Festival so they can dust off the championship belt and show why people come from far and wide to experience what this city has to offer in terms of literature. The Iowa City Book Festival has a number of events to please the bibliophile within us all. There are an extensive number of readings at a variety of locations on Saturday and Sunday that will feature local, national and international writers. In addition, there will be a book fair in Gibson Square a/k/a the park in front of the UI main library, near the intersection of Burlington and Madison streets. Everyone in town is hosting their own literary event, including Little Village. We’ll be hosting the Roast of Iowa City on Sunday, a lovely event where Iowa City residents give Iowa City the business it so rightly deserves. If you would like to find out more about locations, authors, presses, and anything else book festival related, visit the Iowa City Book Festival Website.
Clearly, there is a lot going on. Stay busy this weekend and have a good one!
Do you have an event that you want to see here? Email dates and details to Weekender@LittleVillageMag.com!