Smart Bets

Runaway Circus and the Loose Caboose

Ever heard of a "Portal Party"? Apparently it's what happens when a mysterious gift is delivered to a boring birthday party. It's also the name of the fifth annual community circus by Asheville's Runaway Circus and the Loose Caboose. Acrobatics, juggling, trapezes and tricks are just some of what will take place at the Odyssey School gymnasium, Fridays and Saturdays, April 1-3 and 8-9 at 7 p.m., Sundays April 3 and 10 at 2 p.m. (Join a sidewalk parade from Pritchard Park to Odyssey School on April 3 at noon, with pre-show entertainment by Secret Agent 23 Skidoo and the Pond Brothers.) $10 suggested donation. runawaycircus.com.

Cornbread

Those instantly-recognizable folk art paintings of animals — flocks of polka-dotted guinea chicks, a bright red cardinal against a snowy backdrop, a possum at night with eyes round and dark — those are the works of John “Cornbread” Anderson. The Georgia-born painter is widely collected (there are waiting lists for his work) and he's the featured artist at American Folk Art & Framing's new exhibit. The show runs through Thursday, April 21. Meet Cornbread at an artist's reception on Friday, April 1, 5-8 p.m. amerifolk.com.

Jonathan Scales CD release

By this time you've probably seen the video for "Muddy Vishnu," a track from the forthcoming album, Character Farm & Other Short Stories by local steel-pan fusion artist Jonathan Scales. The finished record includes guest appearances by the likes of Jeff Coffin (Bela Fleck & the Flecktones), Yonrico Scott and Kofi Burbridge (Derek Trucks Band) and fiddle virtuoso Casey Driessen. Driessen opens the show on Friday, April 1 when The Jonathan Scales Fourchestra officially releases Character Farm. Emerald Lounge, 10 p.m., $7 (or $15 includes CD). jonscales.com.

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