Arkansas’s first environmental education state park interprets the importance of the natural world and our place within it.
"KASSIM THE DREAM"
7 p.m. Argenta Community Theater. $8.
The latest in the Little Rock Film Festival's ongoing Argenta Film Series is a documentary about a former child soldier from Uganda who escaped his brutal upbringing and moved to the United States. Kassim "The Dream" Ouma was drafted into the National Resistance Army at the age of 6. He began boxing a few years later and realized the sport could be his way out. Ouma came to the states on a trip with a Ugandan boxing team and decided to stay, a move that was not without its awful consequences. He was considered a deserter, and his father was beaten to death by soldiers, according to a 2007 profile in The Guardian. His boxing career included several high-profile victories, and allowed him to support his large family, with members both in the states and back in Uganda. This film follows Ouma as he trains for a bout with Jermain Taylor in North Little Rock. Director Kief Davidson ("The Devil's Miner") will attend the screening.
8 p.m. Stickyz. $15.
This is definitely one that the bona fide blues buffs out there won't want to miss, but they've probably been hip to Tab Benoit for a minute and have been looking forward to this show for weeks. For those who aren't, this South Louisiana axe-man has been wringing swampy white-boy blues out of his Telecaster for a couple of decades now, earning an induction into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame last year. The whole time, he's eschewed welding any trendy alt-rock affectations onto his craft, instead faithfully continuing on the trail blazed by the likes of Albert King and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Across more than a dozen albums Benoit has collaborated with the likes of Jimmy Thackery, Charlie Musselwhite, various Nevilles and members of Beausoleil, Louisiana's LeRoux and Vaughan's band Double Trouble. In terms of subject matter, he's tackled the trad blues themes: women, drinkin', trouble, etc. But he's also a vocal advocate for wetlands preservation, heading up the Voice of the Wetlands nonprofit. On "A Whole Lotta Soul," from this year's "Medicine," Benoit asks "What you gonna tell the spirit / when the heart of the bayou bleeds." Opening up the 18-and-older show is local blues quartet Brown Soul Shoes, which has been stirring up a potent mix of Delta-style blues and classic Memphis soul for a couple of years now.
'JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG'
7:30 p.m. The Weekend Theater. $12-$16.
This play is based on the 1961 film of the same name, which was in turn based on the trials at the Nuremberg Military Tribunals of four German judges whose rulings during the Third Reich allowed for the Nazi murders of the Holocaust. The work examines the ways that seemingly compassionate, reasonable individuals can become party to atrocities and how they are held responsible for their actions within the framework of a larger societal crime. "The reason I wanted to produce and direct 'Judgment at Nuremberg' this year is because I believe that people forget about how abusive all humans can become if we do not get reminded over and over that it is so easy to slip into denial and rationalization," said Ralph Hyman, director of the production. The show runs at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 17.
JONATHAN TYLER & THE NORTHERN LIGHTS
9:30 p.m. Stickyz. $10.
This right here is some Black Crowes-style bloozey Southern rock, complete with a touch of gospel, a back-pocket full of boogie and a hogleg packed with the goody-good stuck in the brim of a perfectly broken-in floppy Keith Richards hat. Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights got started a few years ago in a little hamlet called Dallas, Texas. Of course, no Crowes discipleship would be complete without a stint at the Rolling Stones Academy of Rock 'n' Roll Decadence, and JT&TNL have done their time. According to the band's bio, the early years were somewhat fraught with substances: "We played until we were about 20, and that's when we discovered booze and drugs, and we quit. Just basically started experimenting with everything. I'm not trying to glamorize any of it, but we went from pure as driven snow to really into some really crazy stuff. It was a real wakeup call when one of my closest friends was lost to an overdose." Now, we're all aware of how the youngsters in the PADIFW (that'd be the Plano-Arlington-Dallas-Irving-Fort Worth metro) have struggled over the years with "chiva" or "cheese" or whatever weird, low-price permutation of heroin is currently in vogue. But credit Tyler with living and learning: Drugs? Drugs are bad, m'kay? They can be useful in terms of songwriting material, but you gotta get off that ride at some point and the sooner that happens the likelier you are to live to sing about it. Zach Williams and The Reformation opens up this 18-and-older show.