Nightlife has taken on a new face in downtown Little Rock.
On any evening, a swarm of 20-somethings hits the River Market district for barroom blues and rock bands, sing-along dueling piano bars and imported beer. But an ever-growing group of night owls — more cultured, or maybe just slightly older — who find the River Market scene a bit too one-sided are finding a home elsewhere.
The Easy Street Piano Bar, which opened a year ago at the corner of Seventh and Center streets, is working to offer the ambiance of a New York piano bar like Rose’s Turn or Marie’s Crisis in Greenwich Village or Sam’s in the Broadway theater district. Owner Michael Henderson says the environment Easy Street provides fills out the downtown experience.
“I really think [the bar] fills a void for people who are looking for something different, or just need some decent music,” Henderson says.
Henderson, who worked at various piano bars in New York for about 13 years while pursuing a career in the theater, has brought jazz, pop standards and showtunes and more to Easy Street. For the jazz fan, every Thursday features the trio of trumpeter Walter Henderson, bass Joe Cripps and pianist Buddy Habig. Walter Henderson also can be found occasionally at the Afterthought and its Monday Jazz Project shows. Habig also plays on Friday and Saturday nights at Easy Street with Michael Henderson at the microphone as host and singer.
The cast and crew from various theaters — the Arkansas Rep, Murry’s Dinner Playhouse, Weekend Theater and especially the Public Theatre, which Michael Henderson co-founded — make regular appearances after performances, he said.
Henderson, who occasionally sings on other nights at the bar, says he’s elated by the success of the place. “It’s amazing how quickly we’ve hit the ground running,” he says. Henderson wasn’t so lucky seven years ago, when the piano bar he managed, Stage Left, next door to the Weekend Theater, closed after a short run.
Henderson said he opened Easy Street “on a shoestring,” but has expanded twice in the past year, adding a game area with pool tables and dart boards. He’s planning to add a miniature golf course with three permanent holes and six temporary holes. Two holes will be outside on the club’s deck.
In October, Easy Street will continue to expand into the business next door to include a cabaret that will showcase local music and films, sketch comedies, and its own group of magicians.
Also, Easy Street is featuring regular wine tastings. Jay Bruno will be the host for the next monthly wine tasting Sept. 21 at 6:30 p.m. Henderson says the program is a fit with Easy Street’s long wine list — 58 wines. Mediterranean whites will be Bruno’s first subject. The tastings will be held every third Wednesday of the month.
The phone number is 372-3530. Henderson notes that the club “never” has a cover charge.
BENTON — The Royal Players’ production of “Guys and Dolls” is a treat for those wanting to catch a great family event at the tail end of summer, complete with great acting performances and a live quartet that -– despite the musical’s New York setting –-
With the production of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” the Rep, for the first time all year at shows this reviewer has attended, lives up to its reputation for being Arkansas’s leading voice in theater. For all the talent available to the Rep ov
While the small and volunteer Weekend Theater struggled to pull off the complex story of “Ragtime” with its 30-plus acting roles — often the stage seemed too crowded and singing voices not quite up to par — the newly opened show is one you can easily love
Next week a series of meetings on the use of technology to tackle global problems will be held in Little Rock by Club de Madrid — a coalition of more than 100 former democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world — and the P80 Group, a coalition of large public pension and sovereign wealth funds founded by Prince Charles to combat climate change. The conference will discuss deploying existing technologies to increase access to food, water, energy, clean environment, and medical care.
Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway) was on "Capitol View" on KARK, Channel 4, this morning, and among other things that will likely inspire you to yell at your computer screen, he said he expects someone in the legislature to file a bill to do ... something about changing the name of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.
So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
There is almost nothing real about "reality TV." All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice" are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump's previous claim to fame.
Before Pearls breaks its brief silent treatment about Razorback basketball's latest bid to shake off listless irrelevance, we'll spend a word or two on the Belk Bowl, where the football team draws a Dec. 29 matchup with Virginia Tech in Charlotte.