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Dr. Sanjay Gupta at Robinson 

THURSDAY 6/27

DR. SANJAY GUPTA

6 p.m. Robinson Center Music Hall. Free.

Medical correspondents don't come much more qualified than Dr. Sanjay Gupta. The Michigander is an author, MD and host for CNN. He notably turned down an offer from the Obama administration to become surgeon general. He's had his fair share of critics, including filmmaker Michael Moore. But seriously, let's get real. The dude is a practicing neurosurgeon, and more than once, he's leapt into action to save someone's life while in the course of reporting a story in, say, Iraq or immediately after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. I suppose Gupta's actions could be seen as some sort of violation of journalistic neutrality and blah-blah-blah. Whatever. I bet he'll have an interesting lecture in store. It's going to be about "the intersection of media and medicine," according to the Clinton School of Public Service. It's part of the Frank and Kula Kumpuris Distinguished Lecture Series.

THURSDAY 6/27

ARKANSAS SHAKESPEARE THEATRE: 'KING LEAR'

7:30 p.m. Reynolds Performance Hall, UCA. $27.

Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre continues its 2013 season with one of the Bard's most highly acclaimed works, the dark, philosophically complex "King Lear." The titular ruler seeks to divide his kingdom, apportioning it to his daughters on the basis of which one loves him most. He finds only empty flattery, betrayal, trickery and, of course, tragedy. Rebekah Scallet, producing artistic director of AST and the one at the helm of this production, has been enthralled by "King Lear" since college. According to her director's note, Scallet enrolled in "Advanced Shakespeare" expecting to delve deep into more obscure works such as "Troilus and Cressida," only to learn that the entire semester would be spent solely on "King Lear." "I thought, 'A whole semester on one play? How is that possible? What will talk about all those classes?' I was in for an adventure, though, because not only did we have plenty to talk about, I left that class thinking I could spend at least two or three more semesters exploring the play. I also left with a strong desire to direct it: to engage with the text in a performance context and continue on the road to discovery and understanding." Scallet has gotten her chance to direct the great tragedy. Given the general acclaim that AST has earned over the last several years, I predict it will be an illuminating performance. Check the calendar listings for more performance dates.

FRIDAY 6/28

RWAKE

8:30 p.m. Revolution. $8.

Oh man, this all-ages show is gonna be a do-not-miss for metal fiends. You've got Snakedriver, the totally badass purveyors of crusty, metallic hardcore in the vein of His Hero is Gone or Despise You (though the band is becoming increasingly more musically complex). You've got 2013 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase winners The Sound of the Mountain, bringing in the sweepingly cinematic and cerebral post-rock heaviness. You've got Memphis stalwarts The Dirty Streets with their amp-exploding power-trio psych-blooze damage. And then you've got Rwake, who probably don't need much of an introduction in these pages. The band has released four albums, at least four of which are unquestionably classics of inspired, inventive Southern metal. This show will be the first to feature three guitarists, with former member Chris Newman rejoining the ranks for what's sure to be a triple-threat six-string metal meltdown. Rwake will be playing tunes off their most recent long-player, "Rest," as well as cuts from "Voices of Omens," including the epic "Leviticus" and "Of Grievous Abominations."

SATURDAY 6/29

ARKANSAS TIMES FARM TO TABLE DINNER PARTY

5:30 p.m. Scott Plantation Settlement. $110.

You might have noticed over the last few months that the Arkansas Times has been putting on some fun events. Our Craft Beer Festival last October was a hit, with hundreds of thirsty beer-lovers showing up to sample dozens of delicious brews. Our Heritage Hog Roast saw some unseasonable, hell, just downright weird weather, but it was a great time nonetheless. Our inaugural wine event, Celebrate the Grape, was a sellout. And now, we'll be offering y'all a chance to enjoy a stellar meal in the country, under the stars and with delightful company and live music. Country Club of Little Rock chef Brian Kearns (whose team won our Heritage Hog Roast) has crafted a compelling four-course meal, preceded by champagne and canapes. The always lovely and entertaining Bonnie Montgomery will perform. It's gonna be a very good time, so don't miss out. Buy tickets and get more info at arktimes.com/farmtotable.

SATURDAY 6/29

'SPANK! THE FIFTY SHADES PARODY'

8 p.m. Walton Arts Center, Fayetteville. $20-$45.

If ever there were a cultural phenomenon that was ripe for mercilessly sadistic mockery, it is the so-called erotic novel "Fifty Shades of Grey." I mean seriously, y'all. I know that the reception to the book was largely all like, "ooh, BDSM, how controversial," and that a good number of critics took issue with its depiction of dom-sub relationships or whatever. But remember this thing started off as "Twilight" fan fiction. Now, that would be a pretty clever put-down right there, only it's actually true. Here's another pretty good one, from Salman Rushdie: "I've never read anything so badly written that got published. It made 'Twilight' look like 'War and Peace.' " So the only reasonable response to the novel — aside from the bummer of realizing just how banal so many people's lives are — is laughter. Thus, "Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody," which is apparently a pretty good bet for a fun girls' night out.

SATURDAY 6/29

ARKANSANS FOR EQUALITY BENEFIT SHOW

9 p.m. Revolution. $5.

Here's the sort of show you can go to and rock out with your friends and throw down and all that, but you'll also be supporting a great cause. That way, the next morning, when you're all hungover and feeling like a truck drove through your cranium, you can look back and think, "OK, I don't feel so great right now, but dammit, it was worth it!" That's because Arkansans For Equality is a worthy cause. The nonprofit works to ensure equality for all Arkansans, with a mission to "repeal any legislation codifying discrimination in the state of Arkansas." With the legislature we've got now, they'll likely have their hands full. It's also potentially a huge week for the cause, with the Supreme Court expected to hand down a verdict regarding marriage equality. As of press time, that verdict was still unknown, but here's hoping that the justices will rule in favor of equal treatment under the law, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. But getting back to the show, this benefit concert features rock machine Magic Hassle, punk/glam/power-pop outfit Glittercore and psychedelic improv explorers Herding Kittens.

WEDNESDAY 7/3

SPA BLAST

5:30 p.m. Oaklawn. Free.

OK, so technically this celebration doesn't officially fall on the actual Independence Day. That'd be the fourth. But to complain about extending Our Nation's Most Important Holiday (other than Christmas — you'll always be No. 1, JC!) you'd have to really be some kind of freedom-hatin', coconut-water-drinkin', local-food-eatin', Bikram-yoga-practicin', Agenda 21-supportin', fact-believin', black-helicopter-denyin', 30-round-magazine outlawin', totally-unfair-IRS-scrutiny-approvin', fluoridation-favorin', Pledge-of-Allegiance-not-sayin', Max-Brantley-readin' liberal. There, I said it. If you take issue with a Fourth of July celebration taking place on the Third of July, you hate America. And the only way you can prove otherwise is to get on over to Oaklawn's Spa Blast and be up front at the Lee Greenwood concert, singing along to every word of "God Bless the U.S.A." while the fireworks are bursting overhead and the Lord Almighty Himself is looking down on it all and nodding his head in approval.

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