Current Events

Maria Järvenhelmi, Janne Hyytiäinen

The Comedy Festival offers one more chance for last laughs, as the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival Film Program extends through Sunday, March 4. The Sunday schedule at the Isis Theatre includes the award-winners in a variety of categories, which were still to be determined. But also on the bill are three entries from the World Cinema segment. “Lights in the Dusk,” a Finnish dark crime comedy pairing an unpopular watchman and a beautiful blonde, shows at 10:30 a.m. The Dutch film “Schnitzel Paradise,” about a gifted young man and his aspirations to be a dishwasher, is at 3:15 p.m. The festival closes with “Ice Cream, I Scream,” about the business struggles of an ice-cream vendor in small-town Turkey, showing at 4:15 p.m.

After their first two albums, the North Mississippi Allstars, a trio led by brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson, seemed easy to sum up. The music was an update of the blues-rock that originated in the late ’60s with Cream and the Allman Brothers. But with 2003’s “Polaris,” which threw pop and modern rock into the mix, the Allstars became far more unpredictable, and the expansion of their sound bore fruit with 2005’s “Electric Blue Watermelon.” Among the guests on the catchy, expansive album was crunk rapper Al Kapone, who hails from Memphis, a stone’s throw from the Dickinsons’ north Mississippi stomping grounds. The Allstars perform with Kapone as their special guest when they play their latest two-night stand, Monday and Tuesday, March 5-6, at Belly Up.

For several years, stage director/choreographer John Goss, with a crew of dedicated parents, has been helping the student thespians at Basalt High School put on ambitious musical productions. This year the musical is “Little Shop of Horrors,” the irresistible, doo-wop-soaked tale that has made its way from B moviedom to Broadway stage and back to the big screen in a polished 1986 film starring Rick Moranis. Set on Skid Row, “Little Shop” tells of a fragile girl, a man-eating plant with visions of world domination, and Seymour, a nebbish struggling with how far he’ll go to rise up the social ladder. For his production, Goss has gone so far as to rent his menacing plant, Audrey II, from a professional company in Utah. “Little Shop” ” featuring such songs as “Suddenly Seymour,” “Dentist” and “Feed Me (Git It!)” ” is at the Basalt Middle School auditorium Friday through Sunday, March 9-11, and March 16-18. The Sunday performances are matinees.