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.
6:30 p.m. CALS Main Library. Free.
The idea that a woman wouldn't be paid the same as a man for doing the same job is offensive to the basic sense of fairness most people would agree that society should aspire to. So it's logical then that a woman who was paid substantially less than her male colleagues for doing the same job as them for nearly two decades would seek relief from the courts. That's what Alabaman Lilly Ledbetter did, and she was awarded $3.3 million (though according to an article in Time, that amount was later reduced to $300,000). The case made its way to the Supreme Court, where the conservative wing struck down the ruling in a 5-4 vote, stating that because Ledbetter did not complain about the discriminatory nature of her pay within 180 days of receiving her first paycheck, that she was not entitled to any judgment against her former employer, Goodyear. Of course, compensation details are confidential at most corporations, and Ledbetter only learned of the pay disparity as she was preparing to retire, after a colleague slipped her a note anonymously. The Supreme Court's decision seems to ignore this important detail. Ledbetter was a guest on Stephen Colbert's show last fall. He summed up the decision thusly: "Their logic was, you should have known before you knew." While Ledbetter undoubtedly received unjust treatment at the hands of her employer and, arguably, the nation's highest court, she did get some satisfaction when President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009, the first piece of legislation he signed into law. She'll be signing copies of her new book, "Grace & Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond."
JOHN WILLIS EP RELEASE SHOW
9:30 p.m. The Joint. $7.
If you've been following original local music the last few years, the odds are good that Little Rock native John Willis' name will be a familiar one. The UCA graduate is an arranger and an ace piano player who has accompanied many of the state's finest singer/songwriters. And it turns out that Willis is a fine singer/songwriter himself, as evidenced by the sophisticated, lush-sounding pop contained on his six-song EP, "King of the Cocktail Party," which will be available at this show. Willis's Facebook bio states that he grew up "listening to equal parts MoTown, 60's-70's singer/songwriters, and Gospel," as well as classical, jazz and world music. All those influences certainly shine through on his new EP, especially on the title track, with its range of sounds: a gentle Brazilian lilt here, a jaunty chorus of background singers, what sounds like a harmonium in the distance, and wry observations throughout. Opener "The Ladder" is a jaunty, piano-led number with rich, gorgeous vocal harmonies and an ending that recalls Harry Nilsson in his prime. Also on the bill: Sammy Williams, of Midwest Caravan, and headliner Isaac Alexander, performing with a full band.
THURSDAY 8/22- SUNDAY 8/24
RED OCTOPUS THEATER: '#OCTOPILITTLEROCK'
8 p.m. The Public Theatre. $8-$10.
If you're looking at that title and thinking to yourself (or perhaps to someone else, if you've got ESP), "Now, just what in the Sam Hill are those Red Octopi up to this go around?" well pardner, I'll tell you what: They're lampooning protesters and political dissidents, shut-ins, organic food snobs, moshing, "Downton Abbey" and the Good Lord only knows what else. How about some of these sketch titles: "It's the '90s — It's Not All About Flannel," "Def Jill's Comedy Showcase," "Hillcrest Now Sells Coyote Meat" — and those were just the ones we could print! Just kidding, but seriously, as is usually the case with Red Octopus productions, you should leave your kiddos at home, as this shiz is for grownups only now. Take note: The first 10 people who show up each night at 7:30 p.m. who are so inclined can enter for half price, so long as they agree to protest the show (signs will be provided).