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AMC’s ‘Mad Men' begins a 2-part final season

AMC’s “Mad Men” returns at 9 p.m. Sunday for the beginning of its swan song: The first seven episodes of season seven start airing this month (AMC calls it “The Beginning”), and the final seven episodes (aka “The End”) will air in 2015.

Performers say social messages in musical ‘Memphis’ are relevant today

Joey Elrose figures that during the course of the 2½-hour running time of “Memphis,” the 2010 Tony-winning best musical that opens Tuesday in Century II as the final show this year for Theater League, he’s only off stage for about 7½ minutes.

Great Plains Renaissance Festival to feature tomato hurling

The annual spring edition of the Great Plains Renaissance Festival, a celebration of all things medieval, will take over Sedgwick County Park this weekend, filling it with two days of jousting, Celtic singing, vendors and turkey legs.

Weekend events: Art at the Arb, ‘War Paint,’ ‘Songs from the Heartland’

Art at the Arb, an annual festival of music, art and nature at Belle Plaine’s Bartlett Arboretum, is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. The grounds, which are blooming with thousands of colorful tulips, will feature artists selling furniture, garden antiques, photographs, birdhouses and more. The Arboretum’s stage will stay busy both days with a diverse lineup of jazz, pop and bluegrass musicians such as Jerry Hahn, Sara Hickman and Lucky People. At noon on Sunday, Arboretum owners Robin Macy and Kentucky White will perform. The event also will feature several food vendors, including Mulvane favorite Luciano’s serving Italian food and also Freddy’s Frozen Custard. The event is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and admission is $5 at the gate. For more information and directions to the arboretum, visit http://www.bartlettarboretum.com/.

Weekend shows: Lydia Loveless, Rob Thomas and Sons of the Pioneers

Lydia Loveless at Lizard Lounge. Say that three times fast, then mark your calendar to attend her show, which is at 9 p.m. Friday at the venue, 300 S. Greenwich Road. Loveless is an alternative country singer and songwriter from Ohio who is touring in support of her just-released new album, “Somewhere Else.” The show starts at 9 p.m., and admission is $5 at the door. Attendees must be 21 or older. For more information, call 316-558-8426.

Downtown club will answer Wichita’s comedy cravings – and more

There’s been a bit of a laugh deficit in Wichita since the Loony Bin, the city’s only comedy club, closed 13 months ago.

Midwest’s Chevelle to bring hard rock to Cotillion

Hard-hitting rock bands aren’t as pervasive as they were a generation or two ago. But Chevelle can care less about trends.

Crown Uptown’s ‘I Love a Piano’ quite loveable

You probably can already hum the tunes. You may even know all the words. But you’re still going to love “I Love a Piano,” Crown Uptown Theatre’s fresh and energetic take on more than 60 of Irving Berlin’s classic and beloved songs.

Jackson Browne to play Orpheum Theatre on July 21

Singer Jackson Browne will perform 7:30 p.m. July 21 at the Orpheum Theatre, 200 N. Broadway, the venue announced Tuesday.

Wichitan Kaleigh Glanton is eliminated on ‘The Voice’

Wichitan Kaleigh Glanton did not make it to the Top 20 to move on Monday night on "The Voice."

Strait wins entertainer of the year at ACM Awards

George Strait won his second entertainer of the year — 25 years after he won his first — and Miranda Lambert and Keith Urban teamed up to earn top honors Sunday night at a jam-packed Academy of Country Music Awards that had a little something for everyone.

‘Game of Thrones’ pits readers against viewers

With the highly anticipated fourth season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” beginning Sunday night, the power dynamics have once again started to shift. Make no mistake, my ladies and lords, war is coming to Westeros.

Chorus of voices helps Wichita Symphony Orchestra close out Classics series

Four guest soloists, the Wichita Symphony Orchestra Chorus and the Friends University Singing Quakers joined the Wichita Symphony Orchestra for “Ode to Joy,” the last program of this season’s Classics series.

‘Gridiron’ annual spoof to open Thursday at Orpheum

Late-breaking Gridiron news: There may or may not be a musical number about a city whose name must not be mentioned when journalists take the stage to poke fun at newsmakers next week.

Sunday Arts calendar (April 6)

“In the Power of the Spirit,” drama, presented by the Guild Hall Players, 8 p.m. Sun., St. James Episcopal Church, 3750 E. Douglas. Tickets $12 adults, $7 students. Call 316-683-5686.

Best-sellers from Watermark Books and Eighth Day Books (March 6)

Best-sellers

Tallgrass Film Association fundraiser includes beer cocktail competition

Tallgrass Film Association, the organization that annually produces the Tallgrass Film Festival, is holding a fundraiser.

Verily, another installment of ‘Star Wars’ a la the Bard cometh

“The Empire Striketh Back” by Ian Doescher (Quirk, 170 pages, $14.95)

‘Every Day Is for the Thief’ portrays Nigeria as malevolent yet oddly captivating

“Every Day Is for the Thief” by Teju Cole (Random House, 162 pages, $23)

Poet’s latest collection is born of ‘the stepchild hour’

“Caribou: Poems” by Charles Wright (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 96 pages, $23)

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