Monthly Archives: January 2015

The Whipping Man makes you think, and that’s a really good thing

Michael A. Shepperd, Ryan Berry and Damian Thompson as Simon, Caleb and John in The Whipping Man. Photo courtesy of The Rep

Michael A. Shepperd, Ryan Berry and Damian Thompson as Simon, Caleb and John in The Whipping Man. Photo courtesy of The Rep

Almost a week removed from my experience viewing The Whipping Man (because that’s what it is, an experience) at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, I’m still trying to piece together my feelings about it. I’m still replaying scenes — some racing with dialogue, some tense in silence — as I try to work out questions left unanswered by the play that follows a Confederate Jewish soldier who waits with two former slaves for his family’s return.

In a pre-show interview several weeks ago, the actors said The Whipping Man would be a show about relationships. At its core, that’s what it is. It’s a reminder that despite our own notions about how different groups of people — black and white, young and old, religious and not — interact or should interact in theory, there’s really no compass for how those interactions will play out, neither now nor in the context of the play’s Civil War era. Wounded soldier Caleb and former slaves John and Simon (played by Ryan Barry, Damian Thompson and Michael A. Shepperd, respectively) challenge one another’s

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Quick Picks: Whirling Dervishes, pizza, beer, science + more

Whiling Dervishes performs at Albert Pike Memorial Center in Little Rock on Saturday and Sunday. / Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo

Whiling Dervishes performs at Albert Pike Memorial Center in Little Rock on Saturday and Sunday. / Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo


Celebrate a collaboration between Moody Brews and Damgoode Pies with this Moody Brews debut at Damgoode Pies’ 6706 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, location. There will also be $2 pizza slices.


Science After Dark returns with the Science of Mixology from 6-9 p.m. at the Museum of Discovery. General admission is $5 per person and free for museum members. This event is reserved for ages 21 and up.


Celebrate the release of Swampbird’s newest album, Something To See, with a party at Stickyz. Also on the bill are Dead Soldiers and Blackwater ‘64. The 18-and-up show begins at 9 p.m., and cover is $7.… Read more >

Science After Dark extends hours, moves to Thursdays


Museum of Discovery’s monthly after-hours program, Science After Dark is back — and it’s moving. Instead of the last Wednesday of the month, the science-based happy hour will recur on the last Thursday of the month and has been extended by an hour.

The next event is Jan. 29 from 6-9 p.m., and the theme of the evening is The Science of Mixology. The night’s programming includes Louis Uzcategui of Big Orange Midtown, molecular mixology with chef Stephen Burrow of Forty Two, lessons in distilling with Rock Town Distillery, the history of prohibition with the Old State House Museum and more.

There’s a cash bar by Juanita’s, beer from Stone’s Throw Brewing, and pizza by the slice by Damgoode Pies. The event is 21 and up. Admission is free for museum members and $5 for nonmembers. For more information, visit Science After Dark’s Facebook page.… Read more >

Rumpelstiltskin opens at Children’s Theatre


Friday is the opening production of Rumpelstiltskin by the Arkansas Arts Center’s Children’s Theatre. The center presents the Brothers Grimm fairy tale Fridays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. through Feb. 8. Tickets for adults and children are $12.50.

For more information, visit

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ASO, Opera in the Rock present Mozart’s Magic Flute


The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and Opera in the Rock present Mozart’s The Magic Flute as part of the symphony’s Intimate Neighborhood Concerts.
The Magic Flute premiered in 1791 in Vienna; this interpretation of the classic opera will take place at Albert Pike Masonic Center at 712 Scott St., Little Rock.

The Friday evening show is sold out, but there are still tickets available for 7 p.m. Thursday. General admission is $25, and students get in for $10. Visit for more information.… Read more >

Big Buck Classic returns to Barton Coliseum, State Fair Complex


The 25th annual Big Buck Classic returns to Barton Coliseum and the Arkansas State Fair Complex from 1-9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. The event features the Big Buzz Championship Chili Cook-off from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in addition to various vendors, contests and attractions. Tasting cups for the Chili Cook-off are $3 in addition to admission, and proceeds benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Also not to be missed is the deer scoring and hall of antlers in Barton Coliseum. Antlers must be checked in by 5 p.m. Saturday to be considered for a variety of prizes in different divisions. (It’s worth noting that the judging includes a polygraph test — no fibbing!)

Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for kids ages 5-12. Visit for more information.… Read more >

Indiana Jones, more at Ron Robinson Theater

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo

Free and $5 film screenings and performances? Now that’s an idea we can get behind. Ron Robinson Theater’s recent listing of upcoming programs has us pretty excited. Here are some of the highlights:

Monthly Lunch with TED

The Central Arkansas Library System continues free screenings of TED talks during the lunch hour. Each screening is based around a theme — for example, January’s theme is “Level Up: Talks to help you succeed in work and life,” and February’s is “Life is a Grand Adventure” (which is quite vague but nonetheless intriguing).

The talks screen from noon to 2 p.m. and each piece varies in length. You’re encouraged to bring a lunch and pop in for whatever length of time your schedules allows.… Read more >

Quick Picks: Big Buck Classic + concerts, screenings, theater openings

Bill Krallman hangs a deer mount for a contest display at the Arkansas Big Buck Classic in 2011. The event is the largest deer hunting expo in the state. / Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo


Lunch with TED at Ron Robinson: Free screening, begins at noon. More info here.


Argenta Acoustic Music Series: Al Petteway at The Joint, $20, begins at 7:30 p.m.


The Magic Flute by Mozart at Albert Pike Masonic Center; 7 p.m. both days, $25 general admission


Screening of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark at Ron Robinson Theater, $5. Begins at 7 p.m. More info here.


Cat on a Hot Tin Roof opens at Precipice Theatre: 7:30 p.m., tickets are $14 for adults (show continues on weekends through Feb. 1)


Opening night of The Whipping Man at The Rep; curtain is at 8 p.m., and show dates continue through Feb. 8.


Opening of Rumpelstiltskin at Arkansas Arts Center. Show runs through Feb. 8, and tickets are $12.50 for adults and children.


Big Buck Classic at the Arkansas State Fair Complex, featuring a  Chili Cook-off at Barton Coliseum from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.… Read more >

Arkansas Arts Center announces Tabriz 2015

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The Arkansas Arts Center has officially announced details for Tabriz 2015, the biennial fundraising event that secures funding for the center’s exhibits and educational programs.

Tabriz is a twofold event. First, the Bazaar of Tabriz on March 12 features a silent auction, drinks, hot dogs and snacks. According to a news release, the auction will feature more than 300 items ranging from parties to travel opportunities, art and antiques. Tickets are $50 per person.

Second, the Gala of Tabriz is a black-tie affair held in the Townsend Wolfe and Jeannette Edris Rockefeller galleries on March 14. The release indicates the event will be “fresh, exotic, creative, different and at the same time, authentic.” Tickets are $750 per person, and only 350 tickets are available.

All proceeds benefit the Arkansas Arts Center. For more details, visit… Read more >

Quick Picks: Monster Jam, exhibit opening, homebrew competition, bridal fair and more

Rap Attack, one of the monster trucks

Rap Attack, one of the monster trucks


Rather than a focus on one particular city, the focus of Around the World Thursday at Forty Two in the Clinton Presidential Center this month is Wine Around the World. Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m., and reservations are required. Tickets are $27.95 per person.


No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre opens at The Weekend Theatre on Friday with shows continuing Fridays and Saturdays through Jan. 31. No Exit is an existentialist play written in 1944 by Jean-Paul Sartre and adapted from the French by Paul Bowles. Tickets are $16 for adults and $12 for students and seniors, and showtime is 7:30 p.m. each night.… Read more >

Clinton School announces January public programs


The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service has announced its January lineup of public programs and speakers. The programs are free, but reservations are recommended and can be made by emailing or calling (501) 683-5239.

Below is a list of programs and descriptions from the school’s press release. All events listed here take place in the Clinton School’s Sturgis Hall, unless listed otherwise.

A panel discussion: “Young and African-American in 2015,” Jan. 19 at 6 p.m. 

The Clinton School and the Clinton School’s Center on Community Philanthropy are hosting a panel discussion: “Young and African-American in 2015” on Jan. 19 at 6 p.m. to commemorate the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. This timely discussion follows the deaths of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fl.; Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.; Eric Garner in New York City; and New York City police officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos.… Read more >

Quick Picks: Documentary screenings, live music, beer dinner

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo

Top events this week in central Arkansas: 


Catch a screening of The Identity Theft of Mitch Mustain at Riverdale 10 Cinema. A $10 admission fee includes a discussion and Q&A with Mustain and the director, Matthew Wolfe, following the documentary. The screening begins at 7 p.m.


The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra presents a Capital Hotel Concert at 5:15 p.m. at the Capital Hotel. The event is free and open to the public.… Read more >

Syd Hayman is a beauty, entertainment and pop culture fanatic who enjoys trying different metro restaurants that satisfy picky eaters. Tweet her at @TheSydRichi.