A venture to this state park is on the must-do list for many, the park being the only spot in North America where you can dig for diamonds and other gemstones and keep your finds.
'MEMPHIS HEAT: THE TRUE STORY
OF MEMPHIS WRASSLIN' '
7 p.m., Market Street Cinema. $6-$8.
Before cable got involved, local and regional wrasslin' was big business, and nowhere was it bigger than in Memphis, Tenn. The new documentary "Memphis Heat" captures the movement's heyday, beginning in the late '50s with the likes of Sputnik Monroe (an early civil rights champion with a skunk-colored pompadour) and continuing into the '70s and '80s, when modern wrestling legends like Jerry "The King" Lawler and Jimmy Hart dominated the scene. The Southern territory wrestlers traveled, which included Jonesboro, Blytheville and Fayetteville, merits some coverage. And Lawler, the doughy, trash-talking, self-styled king of the ring, gets a lot of welcome screen time, both in archival footage and from contemporary interviews. Reliving his feud with Andy Kaufman, from the Memphis wrestling community's perspective, is great fun. And of course fans of piledrivers, top-rope dives and folding chair smashes can look forward to dozens of montages. The film sticks around at Market Street for one week. Co-producer Ron Hall will be on hand Friday to sign copies of his book "Sputnik, Masked Men, and Midgets," which inspired the film and makes a fantastic coffee table book. LM
FESTIVAL ON THE BORDER
7 p.m. Harry E. Kelley Park, Fort Smith. $10.
Well here's something that few people saw coming: an awesome, multi-day music and theater festival in good ol' Fort Smith. The inaugural Festival on the Border seems to have something for just about everyone: classical, pop, country, rock and "Hairspray." Oh, and Girl Talk. If there's one thing seemingly everyone loves, it's Girl Talk, the dude who plays a laptop while dancing around in his skivvies. Friday night's show kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at Harry E. Kelley Park downtown, with red-dirt maestros The Randy Rogers Band and the modern country troubadour Dierks Bentley. Saturday night includes two venues. Starting at 7 p.m., the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith hosts the empty-calorie pop sounds of Andy Grammer, the aforementioned mash-up giant Girl Talk and The Fray, a rock quartet that will satisfy those who just can't get enough majestic, sweepingly Coldplay-esque balladry. At 8 p.m., the Fort Smith Convention Center hosts The Fort Smith Symphony Orchestra, featuring Mark O'Connor, the virtuoso violinist and composer. At 4 p.m. on Sunday, The Young Actor's Guild presents the musical "Hairspray," also at the convention center. Tickets are $10 a day, and proceeds from the festival will benefit 10 charities in the region. RB
WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL
6:30 p.m. Wildwood Park for the Arts. $75.
This whole "foodie" whatchamacallit is getting a bit tiresome, but mainly because it's frustrating that it's taken this long for so many Americans to get on board with the idea that of course food and drink are among the most enjoyable, essential elements of life. Well nobody can accuse the folks at Wildwood of being late to the party. This is the 14th year that the park has hosted the Wine & Food Festival. Little Rock has some pretty good restaurants, and this event gives you the chance to sample a bunch of them, including Ferneau, Acadia, Lulav, Ashley's, ZaZa's, Dizzy's Gypsy Bistro and more. The festival also includes scores of wines from all over the world, a grape stomping, silent auction, prizes and music from The Meshugga Klezmer Band and The Itinerant Locals. Proceeds from the festival benefit Art To Go!, which takes Wildwood's touring show to elementary schools around the state. RB
7:30 p.m. The Weekend Theater. $12-$16.
There has been no shortage of creative efforts — films, books, visual art, music, theater — that have sprung from the unmitigated heartbreak of Sept. 11. Those that will most likely prove to be enduring works of art, though, will be those that center on people — on the individual stories of loss that too often are swept up in the big-picture narrative. Journalism professor Anne Nelson wrote "The Guys" in the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11. She had volunteered to help a New York City fire captain write eulogies for the eight men he lost. The two-character, one-act play is based on those eulogies, and tells the story of four firefighters' lives through a series of overlapping monologues and dialogues between Jane, a journalist, and Nick, a fire captain who is overwhelmed by grief. The play has been performed all over the country, as well as overseas to glowing reviews. The Weekend Theater's production runs through Sept. 24. RB