by Robert Bell
Well here's something that few people saw coming: an awesome, multi-day music and theater festival in good ol' Fort Smith. The inaugural Festival on the Border seems to have something for just about everyone: classical, pop, country, rock and "Hairspray." Oh, and Girl Talk. If there's one thing seemingly everyone loves, it's Girl Talk, the dude who plays a laptop while dancing around in his skivvies.
Friday night's show kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at Harry E. Kelley Park downtown, with red-dirt maestros The Randy Rogers Band and the modern country troubadour Dierks Bentley.
Saturday night includes two venues. Starting at 7 p.m., the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith hosts the empty-calorie pop sounds of Andy Grammer, the aforementioned mash-up giant Girl Talk and The Fray, a rock quartet that will satisfy those who just can't get enough majestic, sweepingly Coldplay-esque balladry. At 8 p.m., the Fort Smith Convention Center hosts The Fort Smith Symphony Orchestra, featuring Mark O'Connor, the virtuoso violinist and composer.
At 4 p.m. on Sunday, The Young Actor's Guild presents the musical "Hairspray," also at the convention center. Tickets are $10 a day, and proceeds from the festival will benefit 10 charities in the region.