Favorite

Mark your calendars 

Summer is the banner season for art and culture in Central Arkansas. But we know you've got vacations to take, pools to swim in and air conditioning to aimlessly enjoy, so for planning purposes, we've distilled the calendar down to only the biggest and best.

Coming up next Wednesday, the Little Rock Film Festival (May 13-17), now expanded to five full days, kicks off with the latest from Ray McKinnon, “That Evening Sun.” There's a wealth of buzzy indies, documentaries, foreign films, Arkansas fare and shorts featured this year. Look for the complete lowdown in our cover package next week.

Long a May tradition, the Greek Food Festival (May 15-17) returns to Annunciation Church with all the gyros and baklava you can eat. Meanwhile, the Jimmy Buffett of contemporary country, Kenny Chesney, (May 16) comes back to Alltel, with the queen of the woman-scorned song, Miranda Lambert, in tow.

Nineties survivors Fastball (May 19, Juanita's) continue plying the same guitar-pop they have since “The Way” launched them into stardom more than a decade ago. One of the Pacific Northwest's favorite indie acts, the Thermals (May 20, Revolution), blends catchy pop hooks with the urgency of punk-riffs.

Of course, Riverfest, held annually on Memorial Day Weekend (May 22-24), is the state's biggest entertainment event. Last year, it drew more than a quarter million people. Look for similar numbers with headliners like the B-52s, Willie Nelson, Heart, Hinder, Buddy Guy, Bobby Brown and Flyleaf. Plus, in a tradition begun last year, the Arkansas Tent and the daytime spots on the main stages host the best in local talent.

This year's Timberwood Amphitheater Concert Series at Magic Springs (May 30-Aug. 29) kicks off with Southern rock hero Charlie Daniels and features the likes of folk-pop star Colbie Calliat (June 13), soul crooner Eric Benet (June 27), teen idol Raven Symone (July 18) and classic rockers Three Dog Night (Aug. 29).

As it does annually, the Hot Springs Music Festival (May 31-June 13) brings together some 250 international classical musicians for dozens of performances in venues throughout Spa City. For those who prefer their music a little rawer, the Detroit Cobras (June 2) play a fiery, R&B-inflected style of garage rock at Sticky Fingerz. The next day, same club, experimental, socially conscious rapper Mr. Lif (June 3) performs.

Or for movie lovers nostalgic for the days of drive-ins, Movies in the Park (June 3), the annual free weekly movie event at Riverfest Amphitheatre, officially kicks off with “Ferris Bueller's Day Off.” Other films in the series, which runs until July 29, include “Batman Begins” (June 17), “When Harry Met Sally” (July 1) and “The Bourne Supremacy” (July 8).

Oakland's Too Short (June 5, the Village) was rapping, laconically and deliberately, years before Snoop and his ilk. The grandson of North Mississippi blues legend R.L. Burnside, Cedric Burnside (June 5, White Water), together with his partner Lightnin' Malcolm, plays some of the most transfixing, dance-party-inciting blues you'll find anywhere.

The Rep finishes its season with a classic rock musical about a pinball wizard, “The Who's Tommy” (June 5). Meanwhile, the Weekend Theater begins its 2009-2010 season with “Oliver!” (June 5), a musical based on Dickens' “Oliver Twist.” Other summer productions from the Weekend Theater include “Rent” (July 10) and “Jeykll & Hyde” (Aug. 14).

Even at 72, Merle Haggard (June 7, Robinson) remains one of country music's most compelling performers. One of the most admired and obfuscating singer/songwriters in indiedom, Bonnie “Prince” Billy (June 8, Sticky Fingerz) comes to town for perhaps the first time. After last year's meteoric rise, the anthemic electro-pop group MGMT (June 9) plays a much-anticipated concert at the Village.

Now in its third year, the Arkansas Shakespeare Festival (June 10-28) takes on “Macbeth,” “The Taming of the Shrew,” and those great Shakespeare (well, maybe not) classics, “The Producers” and “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” at Reynolds Performance Hall at UCA in Conway.

The massively (and inexplicably) popular Celtic Woman (June 27) marks only the latest of what's been a recent flood of traditional Irish and Scottish singing groups in Central Arkansas. The newest tween idol from the Disney factory, Demi Lovato (July 2), comes to Alltel with last year's apple-cheeked “American Idol” runner-up David Archuleta in tow.

On a break from producing a reality TV show tentatively called “Marriage Ref” (really?), Jerry Seinfeld (July 10) comes to Robinson to tell jokes.

And expect a full and fervent crowd to cheer Conway's Kris Allen when the top 10 on “American Idol” (July 25) come to Alltel.

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Most Shared

  • "Nasty Woman" at HSU: 32 artists celebrate Women's History Month

    A photograph of a woman doing a headstand so you can see her red underpants. A sculpture by Robyn Horn titled "Approaching Collapse." Those and other works that assistant professor of photography Margo Duvall says "celebrates the female voice in art" for Women's History Month go on exhibit March 1 in the gallery in the Russell Fine Arts Building.
  • Home again

    The plan, formulated months ago, was this: Ellen and I were going to go to Washington for inauguration festivities, then fly out the morning after the balls for Panama City and a long planned cruise to begin with a Panama Canal passage.
  • Who needs courts?

    Not since the John Birch Society's "Impeach Earl Warren" billboards littered Southern roadsides after the Supreme Court's school-integration decision in 1954 has the American judicial system been under such siege, but who would have thought the trifling Arkansas legislature would lead the charge?
  • Bungling

    If the late, great Donald Westlake had written spy thrillers instead of crime capers, they'd read a lot like the opening weeks of the Trump administration.
  • UPDATE: Campus carry bill amended by Senate to require training

    The Senate this morning added an amendment to Rep. Charlie Collins campus carry bill that incorporates the effort denied in committee yesterday to require a 16-hour additional training period before university staff members with concealed carry permits may take the weapons on campus.

Latest in Top Stories

  • Good for the soul

    The return of Say McIntosh, restaurateur
    • Jun 1, 2010
  • Robocalls are illegal

    Robocalls -- recorded messages sent to thousands of phone numbers -- are a fact of life in political campaigns. The public doesn't like them much, judging by the gripes about them, but campaign managers and politicians still believe in their utility.
    • May 31, 2010
  • Riverfest winds down

    With Cedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm, Steve Miller Band, Robert Cray, Ludacris and more performing.
    • May 30, 2010
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

New Crystal Bridges exhibit explores Mexican-American border

New Crystal Bridges exhibit explores Mexican-American border

Border Cantos is a timely, new and free exhibit now on view at Crystal Bridges.

Event Calendar

« »

February

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28  
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation