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Cuckoos, Willie Wonka, Fools, &North Carolina Dance Theatre

As spring bursts into bloom the artists in Polk County are throwing open their doors and offering a bit of colorful reprieve from the stark weather and financial news. Tryon Arts & Crafts has a new workshops this weekend to start your own creativity flowing. The Lilac Wine Bar has thumbed their nose at the economy and added a touch of class to Tryon&squo;s music scene. Every night of the week you&squo;ll find a uniquely talented player at the piano to draw in listeners with selective taste. Elmo&squo;s & Elmo&squo;s Too while keeping the karaoke tradition alive are also bringing a interesting mix of new local and regional bands through their doors to liven up a Friday or Saturday night. Check the music listings to see who&squo;s playing each night and sample the variety of musicianship for yourself. &bsp; Today In Saluda, The Purple Onion has a long running tradition for a great variety of music to match your dining experience. My pick for this week is the lively percussive guitar and intriguing songs of Jacob Johnson at starting at 7 p.m. tonight. Jacob is the only singer songwriter I&squo;ve ever seen completely silence the rowdy camp counselors at the Back Room in Flat Rock on a summer open mic night and make them really listen to what he was singing and playing. In fact, I was so impressed I immediately went home and looked up his myspace page just so I could hear more of his music. Don&squo;t miss this chance to catch him live. The buzz is out from those who&squo;ve seen the show that One Flew over the Cuckoo&squo;s Nest is a hit. From retired psychiatrists to editors and other entertainers, the rave reviews keep reaching my ears. I already have my tickets reserved for the last performance. Don&squo;t be caught in the cold, seating is limited in the workshop. Call the box office to reserve your tickets today. Cuckoo&squo;s Nest continues tonight at the Tryon Little Theatre Workshop running Thurs.-Sat. at 8 p.m. and Sun. at 3 p.m. For information call 828-859-2466 or visit www.tltinfo.org.&bsp; For a small community, there are still new treasures to find each week. Sometime, when I have an evening free again, I want to visit The Cellar at Saluda Inn. Each month they bring in a new show of artwork from one of the area&squo;s fine artists. You might consider every night a reception with wine and art, but tonight is your chance to &dquo;Meet the Artist.&dquo; Join in celebrating the newly completed work on display from wood turner Dave Prudhomme at 7 p.m. Dave has spent 30 years working with wood and moved to Saluda from Florida to be closer to the source of the trees that he finds make the most interesting art. For more information and directions to their location at 229 Greenville Street in Saluda please call 828-749-9698. &bsp; Friday In the summer the theatre is all about the kids in the region, but don&squo;t miss the chance to see the talented youth of our community in Ronald Dahl&squo;s amazing story that takes you behind the scenes of a chocolate factory. Polk County High School presents Willie Wonka this weekend with performances Friday & Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Donna Everett has these kids singing, dancing, and even flying thanks to flight director Stu Cox with ZFX flying. &bsp; Saturday Most of us have been overly serious during the work week wrestling dollars and sense. Kick the blahs by donning your most foolish attire for Tryon&squo;s 3rd Annual April Fools Festival from 11 a.m. ‐ 5 p.m. on Trade Street. Tryon Downtown Development Association invites the community to come together downtown for a frivolous day of fun. Bring along the family&squo;s best friend dressed up for the day as well and meet at St. Luke&squo;s Thrift Store parking lot for the Doggie Costume Contest at 11 a.m. All proceeds from the entry fees will be donated in the name of the winning foolish canine to Foothills Humane Society. As you stroll down the street you&squo;ll discover live music in front of Merle Norman and some Rhythm Rascals jazzing it up at the Gallery Coffeehouse. Individuals and groups are invited to flaunt their creative spirit in a parade down Trade Street at 12:30 p.m. Meet at the corner of Market and Trade streets to join the line up. The foolish sports portion of the day involves the infamous Outhouse Races and a brand new Big Wheel Race for adults. New contestants are always welcome. For more information about how your group of friends or organization can participate please call 864-978-0056. The day wraps up with a free performance in the Shops of Tryon parking lot from a talented group of musicians the Lone Derangers in a rare local appearance. &bsp; Monday Tryon Fine Arts Center welcomes the North Carolina Dance Theatre to the stage at 7:30 p.m. Allow yourself to be swept away by the beauty of elegant artists who blend athleticism with grace and music. Marvel at their interpretations of classic choreographers including Alivin Ailey, George Balanchine, and Twyla Tharp. Contact the TFAC box office at 828-859-8322 ext. 214 to secure your tickets today. Interested in meeting the artists themselves? Inquire when you purchase tickets about reservations for the Post Show Reception sponsored by Persimmons Bistro.