If you’ll recall a moment (and there are many) when a Disney princess is dancing through the air and just when her foot is about to make contact with ground that isn’t there, a “step” (or lilypad, or cloud, or what have you) appears beneath her feet, then you know what it looks like when Dolly Parton floats around the stage at Verizon Arena — or any large arena, for that matter.
Fans of '90s and '00s underground hip-hop were treated to a special performance of Kool Keith at The Joint on Thursday. It got pretty weird, as was to be expected from an eccentric performer like Keith.
You can’t help but feel the heat of summertime Memphis in 1958 as the forbidden love story of white radio DJ Huey Calhoun (Brent DiRoma) and black club singer Felicia Farrell (Jasmin Richardson) unfolds before you on the stage of the Arkansas Repertory Theater. It’s one of the hottest, loudest musicals I’ve ever seen at The Rep, and perhaps the most uplifting since “Les Mis” came to Main Street in 2008.
Looking around Verizon Arena ten minutes before James Taylor took the stage on Friday night, this writer, 19 himself, noted fans young and old alike — white-haired women in flashing red glasses scooting past a gaggle of teenagers, a wide-eyed boy of about seven clutching his father’s hand in a stairwell, and senior lawyers and businessmen sipping beer in a booth. When asked Taylor’s age, my own 14-year-old sister answered correctly. He’s 66.
When the man of the night finally showed his face to a compacted and subdued, Disney-Channel-and-dubstep demographic (most of whom had been sobering up for the better part of three hours, these kids banned from the bar and subject to a no-reentry rule), Waka Flocka Flame began to make with either a half-assed, cash grab show to a thin crowd or something accidentally truer and more intimate than that.
Appearances count. I was struck by a single sentence over the weekend in a full page of coverage in The New York Times devoted to the killing spree in Arkansas, beginning with a front-page account of the recent flurry of legal filings on pending executions and continuing inside with an interview with Damien Echols, the former death row inmate.
The strongest, most enduring calls for the death penalty come from those who feel deeply the moral righteousness of "eye-for-an-eye" justice, or retribution. From the depths of pain and the heights of moral offense comes the cry, "The suffering you cause is the suffering you shall receive!" From the true moral insight that punishment should fit the crime, cool logic concludes, "Killers should be killed." Yet I say: retribution yes; death penalty no.
Arkansas Times contributor Jacob Rosenberg is at the Cummins Unit in Grady filing dispatches tonight in advance of the expected execution of Ledell Lee, who was sentenced to death for the Feb. 9, 1993, murder of Debra Reese, 26, who was beaten to death in the bedroom of her home in Jacksonville.