Alt-country rockers The Gourds are back for their second appearance at Alive After Five. The five-man band out of Austin, Texas, includes Kevin Russell on guitar, mandolin and vocals; Jimmy Smith on bass, guitar and vocals; Claude Bernard on accordion, guitar, keyboard and vocals; Keith Langford on drums, percussion and harmonica; and Max Johnston on fiddle, banjo, lap steel, guitar and mandolin, and he sings, too.
5-8 p.m., FREE, Boise Grove Plaza, downtown.
Yearning to Learn
Students ages 6 to 18 years old spent three weeks immersed in the Nampa Civic Center's summer Musical Theater Camp, and now they are sharing the skills they picked up in a performance of the Emmy-winning TV series, Schoolhouse Rock LIVE! Jr. The story by the new generation of knowledge-hungry pupils is about a new teacher nervous about her first day of school. She tries to relax by watching television and is startled when a bunch of Schoolhouse Rock characters pop out of the screen and remind her that the best way to teach is through humor, imagination and music. It's a blast from the past for anyone who remembers the catchy little ditties such as Conjunction Junction, Just a Bill and Interplanet Janet.
7 p.m., $9 adults; $7 seniors/children, Nampa Civic Center, 311 Third St. S., Nampa, MTIshows.com.
Boys and Bands
Climbing Tree Productions is set to open its first production, Boys' Life. The Howard Korder comedy is about Don, Phil and Jack, a group of best friends suspended between the desire to party and the necessity of growing up. The $10 admission includes live music following each play. Beer and wine are available, so only those 21 and older can see the show at Visual Arts Collective. If you go just to see the bands, pay a five spot half an hour before the band tunes up. After Thursday's performance, see Juntura perform at 10:30 p.m. Catch the show again on Aug. 1 with music by Le Fleur and 3 Sides of the Cube at 11:30 p.m., and on Aug. 2, Malachi brings the evening to a close. The doors for the August shows are at 8 p.m., with the curtain at 9 p.m.
8 p.m., $10, Visual Arts Collective, 3638 Osage St., Garden City, myspace.com/ctproductionsboise.
Walk, gawk and talk
Preservation Idaho hosts a series of ArchWalks, architectural tours of Boise neighborhoods. Each ArchWalk begins at a place of the guides' choosing, and guides lead groups around and share interesting facts about the city. On July 31, guide Julie Archambeault tours the East End. Space is limited, so reservations are required. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Janelle Wilson of the Boise City Arts and History Department at 208-433-5671 or e-mail email@example.com.
Noon and 6:30 p.m., $10 for nonmembers; $8 for Preservation Idaho members, preservationidaho.org.
Do it Your Way
The Anarchy Poetry Slam is your chance to bust out some prose and drive your point home using any props fit for a spotlight. At the regular slams hosted by Big Tree Arts, spoken word artists are limited to their own poetry and vocal intonations, but during this round, words can be accompanied by music, mime acts or puppets. Organizer Cheryl Maddalena says the format matches the structure and audience participation of a slam to the diversity of performance during an open mic. The other difference is the way the entrants are judged. They've had the judges score with random items such as pictures of celebrities (which is a better score, Johnny Depp or Angelina Jolie?) and even candy. Maddalena personally received a score of five gold-wrapped and two silver-wrapped chocolate bunnies once, and said it was her favorite score of the year. May the best slam win.
7 p.m., FREE, donation suggested, Woman of Steel Gallery and Wine Bar, 3640 W. Chinden Blvd., Garden City, boisepoetry.com.
The fifth-annual Fandemonium offers all the sci-fi, anime and infotainment-based interactive discussion panels and workshops gaming enthusiasts could ever want. Meet and greet entertainment industry guests such as WebComic author Miya Edwards, anime director Jan Scott-Frazier and comic book artist and inker Steve Willhite.
Aug. 1-3, 10 a.m., $35 adult (13-54) three-day pass; $30 youth/senior (6-12 and 55+); children younger than 5 free, 208-384-3858, fandemonium.org, Nampa Civic Center, 311 3rd St. S., Nampa.
Flying Monkeys meet Flying Pie
Attend a special screening of The Wizard of Oz for the 30th anniversary of the Flying Pie Pizzeria. Dress up as a good witch, a geographically challenged farm girl or a cowardly lion and enjoy the show with all proceeds donated to the Idaho Ronald McDonald House. Here's hoping for 30 more years of Flying Pie. Imagine the future possibilities of alternative forms of transportation—pizza delivery by Flying Monkeys?
10 a.m., $6, The Egyptian Theatre, 700 W. Main St., flyingpie.com.