Monthly Archives: April 2015

Review: The Winning Numbers a winning lesson

Chris Boggs-T


April is coming to a close, meaning the chance to see S. Christopher Boggs’ first written and directed play, The Winning Numbers, is over. The Community Theater of Little Rock volunteer’s one-weekend-only production at The Studio Theatre included an entertaining VIP night April 23, the day before its actual premiere.

The play follows office workers who pool money for the state lottery with the hopes of changing their lives. While proving the commitment he has to raising money for the organization’s 60th season, Boggs also demonstrated just how corrupt we can become when money is involved.

Audience members were greeted by a glowing television screen on the right side of the stage showing Randal Kaplan (Kevin Crumpler), a cheery news anchor who announces the state lottery is at an all-time high of $600 million. Shortly after, stage lights reveal an office, equipped with desks, a break room, an elevator and a few individual offices.

Workers of The Offices of Dingle, Martin and Associates then make themselves known, beginning with Alex Sawyer (played by Drew Baltzley on VIP night and Jerry Woods the other nights), the silent mail clerk who, as he delivers packages, leaves a rose on one … Read more >

Quick Picks: UCA Film Festival, Toad Suck Daze, more

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo


The 11th annual UCA Film Festival takes place at the Ron Robinson Theater at 7 p.m. The festival highlights films in the categories of five minutes or less, music video and experimental, narrative short and documentary. The event kicked off in 2005 and highlights the work of University of Central Arkansas students. The festival is free and open to the public. For more information, click here.


Toad Suck Daze, an annual free-admission, family-friendly festival, will include arts, food, live entertainment, a rock wall, petting zoo and more on the streets of downtown Conway beginning at 3:30 p.m. Since the early 1980s, the education-centered festival has raised money to support educational initiatives and scholarships, and it hosts the World Championship Toad Races. The festival closes Sunday. Visit here for more information.


Relay for Life begins at the Clinton Presidential Center at 6 p.m. The event, part of a national effort to raise money for the American Cancer Society, honors those who have had cancer and to remember lost loved ones. So far, according to the society’s Relay for Life website, there are 33 teams and 294 participants who have raised more than … Read more >

Quick Picks: Food Truck Fridays, An Evening With Lance Armstrong, more

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo


Support Autism Speaks Arkansas and A-Camp, a summer camp for children with autism, at the Blue Tie Blue Jean Ball at Noah’s Event Venue from 6:30-9 p.m. There will be hors d’oeuvres, drinks, music and auctions — including hotel stays, jewelry and artwork by local artists. Attendees are asked to be hip, chic and dressed in blue. Tickets are $45 per person and $80 per couple. Visit here for more information.


Rev Room will host The Tawanna Chronicles: The Life of Tawanna Campbell, a chronological telling of local R&B and soul artist Campbell’s life and influences in the music business. Tomorrow Maybe will be Campbell’s backing band for the 8:30 p.m. show. Paul Campbell, Lucas Murray, Corey Harris, Lucious Spiller and Dre Franklin will open the show. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $20 for VIP and $50 for reserved seating. Click here to purchase tickets.


This year’s Main Street Food Truck Fridays kicks off at 10:45 a.m. at the corner of Main Street and Capitol Avenue. The weekly event, which ends June 26, will feature food trucks such as Bryant’s BBQ, Southern Gourmasian and The Pie Hole. The event will … Read more >

Quick Picks: Around the World Thursday, Rock Star Lounge, more

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo


The third Thursday of April will bring the taste of the Philippines to the metro when Forty Two at the Clinton Presidential Center hosts its Around the World Thursday. Reservations are required for the three-course dinner that gives diners a taste of various countries every month. Tickets are $27.95. Call (501) 537-0042 to make a reservation.


Who’s Bad, a Michael Jackson tribute band, encourages dancers to grab their best sequined glove and perfect their moonwalk for the Rock Star Lounge, presented by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ Cancer Institute. The event will be held at Rock Town Distillery and will include food trucks such as Southern Salt Co. and Loblolly Creamery. Attendees are asked to don their best rock star outfits. The party kicks off at 7 p.m. and costs $75 in advance, $100 at the door. For more information, click here.


The Point 94.1 FM and Searcy’s Sunrise Motorsports presents the Pipes and Tails Crawfish Boil and Bike Show at theRiver Market pavilions. The motorcycle show will feature live music and more than $1,500 in prizes. The show begins at 10 a.m. Admission is $5, … Read more >

Review: Nine a local take on an Italian tale

Photo by Grant Dillion

Heather Smith (left) as Luisa Contini, Antisha Anderson-Scruggs (top center) as Carla Albanese, Rachel Van (right) as Claudia Nardi and James Norris (bottom center) as Guido Contini. Photo by Grant Dillion

In a little theater in downtown Little Rock, there’s a Venetian spa where Italian film director Guido Contini is stressed about his next project but distracted by the many women of his past and present.

And there’s an intimate — but committed — audience watching it all unfold.

This isn’t the 2003 revival or 2009 film you may have seen. This is Nine: The Musical at The Studio Theatre, and it’s got a style of its own.

Knowing that this is Arkansas Repertory Theater Production Manager Rafael Colon Castanera’s directorial debut in Little Rock, it’s refreshing to see how 14 people move on and off a stage as compact as The Studio Theatre’s. And viewing this show on its second night, it’s easy to picture how the cast and crew progress as the show completes its run.

Contini (James Norris) takes off to a spa with his wife, Luisa (Heather Smith), but he is still pressured by producer Liliane La Fleur (Mary Ann Hansen) to create a new film … Read more >

Quick Picks: Ragin’ Cajun, Fashion Footprints, more

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo


Bolo Bash Luncheon, an annual event to aid Baptist Health Medical Center in continuing programs, buying equipment and supporting nurses, begins with a silent auction at 11 a.m. at the J.A. Gilbreath Conference Center at the hospital’s Little Rock campus. This year’s speaker is American fashion designer Nicole Miller. Tickets for the luncheon are $150. For more information, click here.


CARTI’s Ragin Cajun Bash, presented by Iberiabank, takes place from 6-9 p.m. at the River Market pavilions. The all-you-can-eat crawfish boil includes all the trimmings, live music, drinks, an auction and raffle items. Tickets are $45 in advance and $50 at the door. Learn more about the Louisiana-inspired event here.


Esse Pursue Museum will host Fashion Footprints: Purse-onal Stories, a celebration of the personal ties mothers, daughters, sisters and more share through clothing and accessories. A collaborative effort between the museum, the Capital Hotel, Oxford American and designer Linda Rowe Thomas, the event will feature drinks, bar fare and a confessional camera to share personal stories. Tickets are $35 and can be bought here.


Breakfast at Tiffany’s will show at Ron Robinson Theater at … Read more >

Be Italian: Nine to premiere at Studio Theatre

Photo by Grant Dillion

Photo by Grant Dillion

With just 12 women and one man — played by both a child and adult — the story of Italian film director Guido Contini comes to life onstage when Nine: The Musical premieres Friday at The Studio Theatre.

As an adult, Contini struggles with forming a plot for his next production while balancing his romantic troubles, which stem from pivotal experiences in his childhood. As a boy, Contini attended a strict Catholic school with corporal punishment and scary nuns that left a traumatic effect, says James Norris, who plays Contini.

But near the school was a beach where a prostitute lived and taught young Contini about love, and he became consumed. The title relates to key moments in Contini’s life at age 9.

Throughout Nine, viewers are taken on a surrealistic journey where, like a Greek chorus, 12 women surround Contini and embody characters from his past and imagination — and even the imagination of other characters. The women include his wife, mother, muse, mistress, producer Liliane Le Fleur and more, and they also take on roles as reporters, fans, aunts and churchgoers.

Le Fleur, dressed in a fur coat, black gloves and flashy … 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.