Collins to work toward increasing visitation to Arkansas by groups and promoting the state's appeal
8 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $18-$31.
Look out, nostalgia fiends. Probably the most enduring tribute act touring today will try to resurrect Beatlemania on Thursday. Since 1984, “1964…The Tribute” has traveled the globe impersonating, as its name suggests, the pre-weed, pre-“Rubber Soul,” more cuddly mop-topped Fab Four. Of course, at least several of the guys impersonating the teen dreams are in their 50s, but they’ll be wearing lots of makeup and talking in convincing accents and you probably won’t sit close. Further bona fides: George Harrison’s sister enjoyed a performance of the band so much that she invited them home for a party. Dick Clark likes them. Alistair Taylor, a former president of Apple Records, says 1964 “sent shivers down [his] spine.” They’ve been on The Nashville Network, and in 2004, they ranked 167 out of the Top 200 touring acts in box office gross.
‘ROCKY HORROR SHOW’
7:30 p.m., the Weekend Theater. $14-$18.
Let’s do the time warp again … and again and again. For the uninitiated, the enduring popularity of participatory “Rocky Horror Picture Show” nights remains baffling. For the really uninitiated, all the hype surrounds a 1975 low-budget film that follows a young white-bread couple who get introduced to the bacchanalian world of Dr. Frank N. Furter, a mad scientist/transvestite who claims to be from another planet and is soon to unveil his latest Frankenstein-like creation, a beefcake named Rocky Horror. There’s lots of singing and dancing. After the film’s cult success, a stage-musical adaptation made its way to Broadway (and, beginning tonight, to the Weekend Theater). Since then it’s become arguably the definitive cult parody around. Folks dress up to see performances, sing along and holler at the screen. For those unfamiliar with the details of the interactivity, the Weekend Theater offers up several guidelines: 1. Don’t throw rice, umbrellas, bread, toast or anything, really. 2. Talk back, but only when appropriate (“The golden rule: make it funny, make it fit, make it fast”) 3. Pre-assembled bags of approved props will be sold at the theater. 4. Dress up. Fishnets, stilettos and wigs are encouraged. The performance runs Thursday through Saturday until Aug. 4 and on Sundays until July 29.
9:30 p.m., Deep. $5.
Earlier this year, local DJ g-force worked the decks at a rap show at the Village in a hooded robe that all but shielded his face. From afar, he looked like the emperor from “Star Wars.” He wore it as a gag — to go with a theme the headliner had devised — but it fit. The 30-something is arguably the hottest DJ in town, but he’s not one to self-aggrandize. You won’t find him posing for pictures with local celebs or slapping his mug on promo flyers or even talking during his sets. Instead, he mans his turntables placidly, almost always underneath a black bowler cap, and lets his DJing speak for itself. His tastes run deep and wide. One of the early champions of Under the Ground, the local hip-hop collective, he’s always got his ear to the ground for new rap and R&B, but his set lists always go further, encompassing everything from techno to classic rock to dance music. He’s also an accomplished mash-up artist. His latest mix, a collaboration with DJ Max — together, they’re the Bracy Brothers — finds him connecting the likes of Lil Jon with Kenny Loggins and “Back in Black” with “Party Like a Rockstar.” (You can download the mix on the Arkansas Times’ entertainment blog, Rock Candy.) You can catch g-force at Deep (accessible through Willie D’s piano bar), Discovery and Club 2720 weekly.
RUMBLE AT THE RIVER
8 p.m., Riverfest Amphitheatre. $18-$40.
Mixed martial arts is getting out-of-control popular. Already, there’ve been at least three major MMA bouts this summer in Central Arkansas. On Friday, SUBzero Fighting hosts “Rumble at the River,” an 11-fight card, featuring one Muy Thai bout (a sort of kickboxing) and 10 MMA matches. Amateur teams from across the mid-South will compete. Mike “The Juggernaut” Wessel, a 29-year-old assistant strength coach for the Razorbacks, is being billed as the undefeated headliner, even though he’s only fought a handful of times. He looks pretty big and has at least one mean-looking tattoo, so the crowds will likely be in full force to see if Wessel or any of the other 20-odd participants have the stuff to make the leap to the pros. Tickets are available at www.subzerofighting.com.
8 p.m., RiverTop Party at the Peabody. $5.
One of Little Rock’s premier party bands plays the penultimate RiverTop Party at the Peabody. The Gettys, a four-piece, cover an expansive variety of genres and eras. Just in the “H’s,” their online set list jumps from “Hey Ya” to “Heartbreak Hotel” to Cypress Hill’s “Hits from the Bong” to Temple of the Dog’s “Hunger Strike.” This week, as part of the festivities, in case you were feeling like expanding your horizons, there will be mango “bump it ups” shots and Hornitos Margaritas made with DeKuyper Sour Apple, Cheri-Beri and pomegranate. Also on display: the lovely ladies of West Little Rock boutique Scarlet will put on a nautical-themed fashion show, featuring navy, cobalt and lots of stripes. The party runs until midnight.
SAMPRAS V. McENROE
3 p.m., Alltel Arena. $30-$75.
Tennis is one of those physically depleting sports where, at least at the pro level, there’s a small age window in which to excel before knees and elbows give. Of course, to us mortals, the minutiae of a lost step or a dip in racket speed is far from obvious. Which is to say, if you manage to wrangle front row seats for Little Rock ’n’ Rackets’ match-up of Pete Sampras vs. John McEnroe, you’ll be scared. McEnroe may be creeping towards AARP eligibility (he’s 48), but he was still spry enough to win a doubles tournament last year in ATP play. Sampras, on the other hand, is only 35, and you can be sure that he can still hum a serve. Together, they constitute surely two of the top five tennis players ever. In 1979, when he was 20, McEnroe became the youngest player to win a major. Eleven years later, Sampras defeated McEnroe on the way to breaking his record, winning his first major at 19. Over the course of his career, McEnroe made his mark with tenacity and impudence, earning seven Grand Slam singles titles and nine doubles titles, while Sampras was almost equally tenacious, but quietly so. He served and volleyed his way to 14 Grand Slam singles titles.
48 HOUR FILM FEST
7 p.m., Riverdale 10. $10.
Last weekend, from 7 p.m. Friday until the same time on Sunday, nearly 40 teams flexed their inner auteur, writing, designing sets, acting, filming, scoring and editing to create a short film. Tuesday through Thursday, those teams who completed the project will screen their work. At the kickoff on Friday, teams drew to determine the genre of film they’d be making. This year, there were 15 possibilities — everything from buddy film to fantasy to horror to a musical or a spy flick. Along with genre guidelines, teams are given one line of dialogue and a prop that they must include in their films, which have to be between four and seven minutes long. This year, filmmakers will vie for a $1,000 best-in-city prize — the highest in the country — and for the chance to win $7,500 in the world competition. There will be a new champion this go ’round: Reigning two-year champs Rockets Go! didn’t enter the competition this year. Films will screen through Thursday at 7 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 9 p.m. and, tentatively, at 9:30 p.m. Visit www.48hourfilm.com for more info.
‘FRONTROW’ WITH THE BOONDOGS
7 p.m., AETN, Conway. Free.
The Boondogs, perhaps Central Arkansas’s foremost pop-rockers, will play a special taping of AETN’s “Frontrow,” a semi-regular program that focuses on Arkansas musicians. Last month, the the group released “A Thousand Ships,” their second album with Little Rock’s Max Recordings and sixth overall. The self-described “low-watt avant pop” act is led by husband-and-wife duo Jason Weinheimer and Indy Grotto. The couple share songwriting duties and frame their albums like a conversation, with sentiments and moods and tones reflected between vocals. Grotto, who was born in Australia, sings in a sweetly rich alto, while Weinheimer’s vocals have a rougher, whisky-tinged quality. “A Thousand Ships” and the ’Dogs previous album “Fever Dreams” both trade heavily in melancholy, though not oppressively. It’s rainy day music to wrap yourself up in. Guitarist Charles Wyrick and bassist Chris Michaels round out the line-up along with two drummers, Dylan Turner and Isaac Alexander. Ideally, at least for AETN producers, the Boondogs will engage in a little storytelling between songs. Maybe they’ll even answer questions. Be sure and ask about Charles Wyrick’s array of distortion pedals. The show will be aired on Aug. 15. To attend, make sure you RSVP at www.aetn.org or 800-662-2386 by Monday, July 23, and arrive at the studio by 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday.