Autumn temps are perfect for outdoor activities
ARKANSAS TRAVELERS HOME OPENER
7:10 p.m. Dickey-Stephens Park. $4-$12.
If you squint your ears just right, you can almost hear it: the crack of a bat, the roar of the crowd, the amplified voice of the announcer booming out across the stands. Baseball season is upon us once again. Of course, a lot of Arkansas Travelers fans will likely still have a bad taste in their mouths after the events of the most recent off-season, what with the unceremonious and very unpopular ditching of General Manager Pete Laven and Assistant GM David Kay. Travs President Russ Meeks ousted Laven and Kay back in November, with support from the organization's executive committee. In an interview with Arkansas Business, Meeks offered no criticisms or complaints about Laven or Kay, but spoke only of the need for change. To say that the move angered many longtime Travelers fans, supporters and board members would be an understatement. Irked fans started a Facebook page dedicated to venting their frustration over the firings and providing updates about changes within the organization, which had more than 1,800 members as of Monday. Laven found work overseeing ball clubs in Chicago, while Kay accepted a position with the Tulsa Drillers. But will lingering animosity and anger affect turnout for games this season? We'll probably have to wait and see. The Travs start the season with back-to-back three-game series against the Frisco RoughRiders and the Midland Rockhounds. Three of the Los Angeles Angels' top prospects will be playing with the Travelers this week: Third baseman Kaleb Coward, relief pitcher Nick Maronde and first baseman C.J. Cron. RB
THURSDAY 4/4-SUNDAY 4/7
OZARK FOOTHILLS FILMFEST
Various times and venues in Batesville. $3-$25.
The multi-day Ozark Foothills FilmFest returns to Batesville, with another intriguing lineup of short and feature-length narrative and documentary films, lectures and panel discussions. Of the latter, an interesting one will surely be "The Female Face of Indie Film," which includes, among others, Arkansas native Juli Jackson. With help from a grant from the festival, Jackson made "45RPM," a road movie shot in Arkansas about an obsessive record collector and a young woman trying to find a deeper understanding of her family. Another big highlight includes a screening of Josef von Sternberg's silent 1927 proto-gangster flick "Underworld," accompanied by live music from the Alloy Orchestra, the trio that also played at the festival in 2011 and includes Mission of Burma founder Roger Miller. Also, music geeks should check out "The Lost Souls," a 54-minute doc about The Lost Souls, a Jacksonville-based quartet that cut some legendary garage rock singles back in the mid-1960s. Filmmaker Harold Ott is also the man behind the "Lost Souls" series of compilation CDs, featuring tons of long-lost garage rock ravers from the Natural State. The full festival schedule is available at Ozarkfoothillsfilmfest.org. RB
'DOUBT: A PARABLE'
7:30 p.m. The Weekend Theater. $12-$16.
John Patrick Shanley's "Doubt: A Parable," won some pretty hefty awards, namely the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play. The play, which premiered in 2004, concerns the tension that arises between Father Flynn, a liberal young priest, and Sister Aloysius, the harsh and judgmental principal of the parish school. The play's full title is accurate; "Doubt" is indeed a parable, one about the bulldozing power of self-righteous certainty, the gnawing, toxic effects of uncertainty and the way truth often evaporates in the midst of the two forces. I haven't seen a stage production of "Doubt," but the 2008 film adaptation — directed by Shanley — was tense and engrossing, with a stellar cast. I don't want to give away too much about the story, but suffice it to say that Shanley, who grew up in the Catholic Church, has some strong feelings about the institution, and the way it exerts control and crushes the individual, planting the seeds of doubt. "Doubt" runs Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. through April 20. RB