Blog Archives

Quick Picks: Mac-O-Lanterns, Boo!seum Bash, more

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10/28

Fantastic Cinema presents Fantastically Horrifying Shorts at The Studio Theater from 7-9:45 p.m. The brainchild of the Film Society of Little Rock, Fantastic Cinema will show 18 short films in celebration of Halloween. Films include J.T. Seaton’s The Peripheral, Jerry Ochoa’s This Neighborhood and more. Tickets are $8.

10/29

Metro museums host the annual Big Boo!seum Bash from 6-8:30 p.m. Now in its 20th year, the bash will have several downtown locations — including the Arkansas Arts Center, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and more — providing a safe place for families to trick-or-treat and engage in games and other activities. The Old State House Museum’s Big Boo!seum’s theme is Monsters! A free shuttle to the locations will be provided.

10/30

The Clinton Presidential Center hosts a “culinary experience unlike any other” when The Next Course Fundraiser fills its Great Hall at 6 p.m. in support of Youth Home. As the meal moves from wine reception to five-course dining experience, executive chefs Shane Henderson and Stephen Burrow will provide instruction preparing the courses. Seating is limited to 192 guests, and tickets are $125.

10/30

Balloon Glow and Mac-O-Lanterns begins at 5:30 p.m. with pumpkin carving and tethered balloon … Read more >

‘Spelling Bee’ makes awkward pretty cool

Charming, engaging and laced with a whole lotta awkward, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre allows the chance to look back at the junior high years from a different — and much funnier — perspective.

Although dealing with a group of competitive youngsters can be challenging, the glue that keeps the bee together is Rona Lisa Peretti (Andi Watson), the ladylike, peppy but nostalgic spelling bee announcer who encourages every child while reminiscing on her own champion days. Vice Principal Douglas Panch (Scott McLean Harrison) obviously struggles to be taken seriously, but the character’s delivery of improvised lines and hilariously crafted one-liners is not to be missed.

Patrick Halley as William Morris Barfee

Patrick Halley as William Morris Barfee

Most of the bee’s participants are outcasts at their own schools but manage to form relationships of some sort at the competition. But since the production relies heavily on improv, the musical gets added hilarity when volunteer audience members join the cast — some spelling words as simple as “cow,” and others spelling more difficult terms I wouldn’t dare attempt in front of a live audience.

Character Olive Ostrovsky (Conly Basham), luckily, comes into the bee with her best friend, the … Read more >

Quick Picks: Mud Run, Fountain Fest, more

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo

10/22

The Charity Olive Hour features a live and silent auction at Next Level Events to support Special Olympics Arkansas. There will be 10 live-auction items, as well as more than 350 silent-auction goodies that athletes across Arkansas have created. The event’s $30 entry fee also includes hors d’oeuvres and complimentary drinks. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door.

10/22

The Arkansas Arts Center’s third annual Fountain Fest presents another unveiling of the work of the center’s art-design-contest winner. Fountain Fest also features tastes from ZAZA Fine Salad & Wood-Oven Pizza Co., David’s Burgers and Cupcakes on Kavanaugh. A Louis Vuitton purse worth more than $1,200 will be raffled. The outdoor fest takes place around the Carrie Remmel Dickinson fountain at the center. Tickets are $40.

10/22

Arkansas Life magazine presents The Modern Arkansas Table Launch and Tasting Party at Loft 1023 in downtown Little Rock from 6-8 p.m. The Modern Arkansas Table is the magazine’s first-ever cookbook and features 40 recipes from some of Arkansas’ best chefs. The admission fee to the launch event includes a recipe tasting, a copy of the book, drinks and a three-month subscription to Arkansas Life. … Read more >

Quick Picks: ‘Spelling Bee,’ Senior Expo, more

Tommy Martinez as Chip Tolentino in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Tommy Martinez as Chip Tolentino in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

10/15

W.O.W.APALOOZA returns to support Women’s Own Worth, an organization that offers financial support, therapy and programs to those affected by domestic violence and other violent crimes. The fundraiser — which includes drinks, dinner and a silent auction — takes place at the Governor’s Mansion from 6-8 p.m. Tickets are $50.

10/16

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee opens at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre at 8 p.m. The Tony Award-winning comedic musical follows junior high students on the cutthroat quest of becoming a spelling bee champion while dealing with the nuances of adolescence. Opening night includes a post-show reception with champagne and hors d’oeuvres. Tickets are $30-$55.

10/16

Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art opens to the public at the Arkansas Arts Center. The exhibit features 93 works of modern and contemporary Latino art provided by the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. The Arts Center is open 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

10/17

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Senior Expo takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Statehouse Convention Center. … Read more >

‘Spelling Bee’ misfits take stage at The Rep

Submitted Photo

Submitted Photo

Sixth grade is making a W-O-R-D-Y comeback.

Beginning Friday, cutthroat middle school students will compete for the spelling bee title when Tony Award-winning musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee opens at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, reminding audiences of the quirks and nuances that come with growing up.

For the bee’s youngest competitor, Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre, the spelling bee is about taking part in healthy competition — and winning.

“Some of these characters are maybe thrown in there by their parents or do this every year, or maybe they’re the type of kid that competes in spelling but also plays softball and also plays basketball and takes art classes,” says Tessa Faye, who plays Logainne. “[For] my character, Logainne, this is an academic competition, and she’s there to win.”

Chip Tolentino is the previous year’s champion who comes from a very supportive background, but this time around throws him for a loop when he experiences “some of the changes that occur as you grow into manhood,” says Tommy Martinez, who plays Chip.

For other students, awkward moments kicked in a lot earlier.

William Morris Barfee (pronounced “bar-fay”) wears huge glasses, a middle part, has lots of sweat and … Read more >

Sherwood tattoo artist makes Top 3 on ‘Ink Master’

Courtesy of SpikeTV

Courtesy of Spike TV

Back in June, Sherwood tattoo artist Matt O’Baugh and his apprentice, Katie McGowan, embarked on an inky journey to the top spot of Spike TV’s Ink Master.

Now, weeks after McGowan’s elimination, O’Baugh holds a spot in the show’s Top 3.

With the grand prize of $100,000 and an editorial feature in Inked magazine in mind, Black Cobra Tattoos owner O’Baugh won Tuesday night’s challenge on composition, contrast, saturation and details. The remaining artists were tasked with tattooing four different designs in four different ways, each drafting a design based on skulls that all the artists would tattoo on a human canvas within 90 minutes.

Winning the 15th challenge of the season automatically placed O’Baugh in the Top 3.

Be sure to tune in to the Oct. 13 live finale, a first in Ink Master history, to see which artist takes the grand prize.

For more on O’Baugh and McGowan, click here and here.… Read more >

Quick Picks: Ghost Hunting, Arkansas’s Reel History, more

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10/07

The Legacies & Lunch program presents Arkansas Sounds Gone By at noon at the Central Arkansas Library System’s Main Library. The free program highlights songs about Arkansas or written by state natives. Using tunes taken from the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies’ Ron Robinson Sheet Music Collection, performers such as Bob Boyd, Richard Hunter, Stephanie Smittle and more will lead the showcase. Click here for more information.

10/08

Wildwood Park for the Arts hosts Dreaming Sophia, a six-piece band that specializes in “eclectic folk,” at 7 p.m. Drawing inspiration from Ozark culture, the band has created songs featuring jazz and alternative-rock characteristics, too. Entry is a suggested donation of $15, and doors open at 6:30 p.m. The concert takes place at Wildwood’s pavilion.

10/08

In a city said to have plenty of haunted locations, one ghost hunter is presenting a way for locals to see it for themselves. Pulaski Technical College and Rhonda Burton of Arkansas Ghost Catchers present a Ghost Hunting Class and Investigation at MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History at 6:30 p.m. The $25 class will guide students on hunting equipment and techniques, along with providing evidence of spirits. Students will also participate in … Read more >

Quick Picks: Festival of Wines, Hawgs for a Cause, more

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09/30

In celebration of Banned Books Week, Ron Robinson Theater presents a 6:30 p.m. program in honor of the 1982 Pulitzer Prize-winning Alice Walker novel The Color Purple, which has been criticized for its language, sexuality and violence. Actresses Verda Davenport Booher and Vivian Norman will re-enact an interview with Walker. The program includes a writing competition and screening of the novel’s 1985 film adaptation. The event is free and open to the public.

10/01

Festival of Wines at Dickey-Stephens Park’s concourse area features cuisine from area restaurants and hundreds of wines from around the globe. From 6-8:30 p.m., the benefit for the American Heart Association includes tastes from Ciao Baci, The Pantry and more. Tickets are $60.

10/01

The seventh annual Hawgs for a Cause is the “ultimate tailgate party” in support of the Arkansas Enterprises for the Developmentally Disabled (AEDD). The evening includes a barbecue dinner, a beverage bar, local news personalities and live music. The event takes place at the AEDD Multipurpose Center at 6 p.m. Entry is $50 in advance, $55 at the door.

10/02

Helena native and blues artist CeDell Davis has plenty of stories. As a child, he was diagnosed with polio, … Read more >

Quick Picks: A Taste for Business, Science After Dark, more

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09/24

Panera Bread Co., Diamond Bear Brewery, Cantina Laredo and others will gather when A Taste for Business, formerly known as Taste of the Town, visits Verizon Arena to feature more than 30 eateries from 5-7:30 p.m. On the concourse level of the arena, a mix of local restaurants and caterers, national chains, and drink distributors will provide samples, and local businesses will have vendor booths. A $20 ticket — $15 in advance — gets you in the door of this annual food showcase presented by the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce.

09/24

The Museum of Discovery hosts another installment of its monthly Science After Dark from 6-9 p.m. With a little help from local breweries, SeptemBEER will present the science of brewing beer. Demonstrations, samples and games will be available during the 21-and-up educational event. Science After Dark also allows adults to experience exhibits within the museum. Entry is $5 and free for museum members. Bring extra cash for drinks and pizza.

09/26

The Alchemy Songwriting Showcase is the closing of the 2015 Alchemy Songwriting Competition. In Conway’s The Brick Room Event Center at 7:30 p.m., the Top 10 songwriters from the competition will perform for a … Read more >

Fight for the throne: ‘Macbeth’ opens at The Rep

John David Pittman

Photo by John David Pittman

Something’s stirring inside The Rep.

And though it’s certainly due to the swelling excitement surrounding the company’s 40th season, right now, it’s probably the greed and paranoia of one 11th century Scot.

Centuries-old Shakespearean play Macbeth, directed by The Rep Producing Artistic Director Robert Hupp, opened Sept. 11, confidently mixing bloody revenge with a bit of spook.

From the first scene, Marianne Custer’s costume design and Robert Pickens’ wig design talents, complemented strategically by the stage’s stone-based set up, transport audience members back in time.

But the audience is also taken to a place more supernatural, more enchanted, more … ghouly. The three witches — played by Courtney Bennett, Heather Dupree and Joseph J. Menino — are androgynous in appearance, mystifying in voice. Their predictions kick-start Macbeth’s deadly quest to the throne, starting with the murder of King Duncan (Mitch Tebo) and eventually leading to the death of Banquo (Damian Thompson).

Macbeth (Michael Stewart Allen), drowning in guilt, begins to see things, ramble things and become increasingly removed from real-life situations. While his mind is plagued, he still has the throne to protect. Luckily, he’s got Lady Macbeth, one hell of an enabler, … Read more >

Quick Picks: ‘Puss in Boots,’ Dining in the Dark, more

Submitted Photo

Puss in Boots rehearsal | Submitted Photo

09/16-17

The Arkansas Hospitality Vendor Showcase & Convention takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Statehouse Convention Center. A joint effort from the Arkansas Restaurant Association, the Arkansas Travel Council and the Arkansas Lodging Association, the showcase features seminars and training to help attendees improve running a business in the restaurant or tourism industry. A bartending competition and gala will take place. Entry is $5.

09/17

The Arkansas Lighthouse for the Blind marks 75 years with Dining in the Dark, a dinner experience that teaches how darkness enhances one’s senses, at Noah’s Event Venue from 6:30-9 p.m. The fundraiser supports the Arkansas Lighthouse for the Blind’s mission of employing individuals who are blind and visually impaired. The event also includes a lighted reception and auction. Tickets are $150.

09/17

The Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre kicks off its season with Puss in Boots, which runs Friday through Oct. 4 but holds a special Pay-What-You-Can preview night Thursday at 7 p.m. The family-friendly musical follows Puss the Cat as he uses his feline smarts to conquer obstacles and help lift his owner’s spirits. A $1 minimum is required … Read more >

Quick Picks: An Evening With Dianne Reeves, Thea Paves the Way, more

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo

9/10

Rock the Runway takes place from 7:30-11 p.m. at Twin City Limousines and Event Center in downtown Little Rock. The third annual fashion show raises support for Fighting Fancy, a nonprofit that provides beauty products to women in chemotherapy. The event will feature designs and trends from local boutiques and designers. The dress code is black-and-white cocktail attire. Tickets are $100, $150 for VIP, and doors open at 6:30 p.m.

09/10

The Albert Pike Masonic Center holds the seventh annual Shine A Light on Literacy fundraiser from 6-9 p.m. The event will educate guests on Literacy Action of Central Arkansas’ efforts to promote literacy in the metro area. Its programs promote job literacy, family literacy and health literacy. Drinks, a wine pull and an auction will be featured. Tickets are $50.

09/11

An Evening With Dianne Reeves fills the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center from 7:30-10 p.m. Five-time Grammy-winning jazz singer Dianne Reeves will perform at this fundraiser, which will benefit outreach and educational programs through Mosaic Templars. The opening act will be Rodney Block and The Real Music Lovers. Tickets are $100 for general admission, $75 for premium balcony seating and $50 for regular balcony … Read more >

Quick Picks: Tequila Tasting Party, Jazz in the Park, more

09/02-06

Canadian comedian Landry visits the The Loony Bin this week, bringing inspiration from his personal life into his stand-up routine. Landry, who has appeared on the third season of TV One’s Bill Bellamy’s Who’s Got Jokes?, is also the winner of the 2011 Boston Comedy Festival and Best Male Comic at the Atlanta Stands Up Awards in 2010. He will perform at 7:30 p.m. each night, with additional performances at 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $7 on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, and $10 Friday and Saturday.

09/02

Jazz in the Park begins its fall lineup with a free performance by Dizzy 7 from 6-8 p.m. at the History Pavilion at Riverfront Park. Dizzy 7 play big band, Latin and other musical styles, and the members have performed at metro area events and locations such as Riverfest, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre and more. Jazz in the Park is a partnership with Art Porter Music Education Inc. and takes place each Wednesday. The performance is open to the public.

09/03

Jazz musician Anat Cohen performs at 8 p.m. at South on Main. Cohen is a clarinetist and saxophonist who grew up with musical influences in her … Read more >

Quick Picks: Meet the Ballet Arkansas artists, more

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo

8/20

North Little Rock’s Good Food by Ferneau hosts a Meet the Artists Party in honor of Ballet Arkansas at 6:30-8:30 p.m. The $40 event allows visitors to kick off Ballet Arkansas’ new season by meeting the company’s new ballet mistress, Laura Hood Babcock, along with five choreographers. Menu items include fresh jalapeno, hummus-stuffed mushrooms with almonds, deviled eggs, smoked chicken salad sliders and more.

08/21

Youth Home’s annual Steak and Eggs Benefit Breakfast takes place at The Butcher Shop from 6-10 a.m. The menu features steak, biscuits, eggs and more. Hosts from KABZ-FM, 103.7 The Buzz will be present. Tickets are $10 and go toward purchasing school supplies for students in need.

08/22

Easter Seals holds its Rollin’ on the River event at 7 a.m. at the Clinton Presidential Center. The event features a 5K and 2K family fun walk to raise money for the organization, which aids individuals who have disabilities. There will also be games and activities for children. Registration is $10 for ages 2-10 and $25 for ages 13 and older.

08/22

Ron Robinson Theater will show two films, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and Roar. The 1971 Willy Read more >

The Rep, Stone’s Throw to launch beer-naming contest

 

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In honor of the Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s opening production for its 40th season, the theater company is partnering with Stone’s Throw Brewery to launch a Macbeth-inspired beer, the theater announced Aug. 12.

There’s just one little thing missing: a name.

Beginning Aug. 17, The Rep and Stone’s Throw will open the Macbeth Beer-Naming Contest, and they’re asking for your help. Need some inspiration? The beer will be a Scottish red ale, with the red paying tribute to the battles of Macbeth, and there will be a hint of rye for spice. “It’s a malty, full-bodied beer that is easy to drink,” the theater says in a news release.

Entries will be allowed until Aug. 21, and the top five names will be announced Aug. 24. From Aug. 24-26, voting will be open, with the winner being announced Aug. 27 at the brewery’s 402 E. Ninth St. location in Little Rock at 6:30 p.m.

A free growler and pair of tickets to Macbeth will be awarded to the person who submits the name that receives the most Facebook likes by the end of the voting period.

Submit entries here.

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth shows at The Rep from … 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.