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Picks Sept. 23-29 

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Weekend tour remembers civil rights struggle Little Rock will welcome the Voices of Civil Rights Bus Tour for a stop Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 25-26, as one of 35 cities on the 70-day tour to collect thousands of unrecorded memories of the civil rights era. The project to create the world's largest archive of first-half accounts of the civil rights movement, is led by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and the Library of Congress. Award-winning journalists and photojournalists a traveling with the tour and will help document the stories. An interactive display, the Digital Front Porch, will allow guests attending the event to submit oral or written stories. Actor Darryl Van Leer will present a dramatic presentation of some civil rights stories already submitted during the first-day's stop, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Peabody Little Rock's Arkansas Room. Civil rights legends will share stories, and panel discussions on "Civil Rights and Social Justice in Arkansas" will be held in conjunction with the new "Life Interrupted" exhibit on display at the Statehouse Convention Center foyers. The tour shifts to Central High School, 1500 Park St., on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., where a special ceremony will commemorate the 47th anniversary of the Central High integration. The program includes music, refreshments and remarks by the AARP's Jennie Chin Hansen. Actor Van Leer will reprise his dramatic presentation as former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Tours of the Central High Visitors Center will also be available. Sen. Mark Pryor will offer the keynote address at 1 p.m. at the dedication of the new reflecting pool. For more information, visit the website at www.voicesofcivilrights.org or call 374-1957. Kings of R&B in Conway Four of the biggest names in early rock 'n' roll music - Ben E. King, Lloyd Price, Gene Chandler and Jerry Butler - have united for the "Four Kings of Rhythm & Blues" tour that comes to Conway's Reynolds Performance Hall on Friday, Sept. 24. The show on the University of Central Arkansas campus, the first in the fifth season of UCA's Public Appearances slate, begins at 7:30 p.m. King is most famous during his solo career for "Stand By Me," "Spanish Harlem" and "Save the Last Dance for Me," but he was also a member of the do-wop Drifters, who hit it big with such songs as "Under the Boardwalk." King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. Chandler's career was launched with the classic "Duke of Earl." Price's biggest hits were "Stagger Lee" and "Personality." Butler, known as "the Iceman" and a former member of the Impressions with Curtis Mayfield, recorded "For Your Precious Love." He made the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991. Each man had a full catalog of R&B favorites in the 1960s - Chandler had 19 songs in the Top 40 from 1962-70. They will be joined by an 18-piece band and four backup singers. Tickets range from $10 for UCA students to $25 for the general public. Call 1-866-810-0012 or in Conway at 450-3265. Meeting deadline with Mears Walter R. Mears, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and former Associated Press reporter, will discuss "Deadlines Past," his book about 11 presidential campaigns and changes in political journalist, at the Main Library on Thursday, Sept. 23. The visit is part of the Central Arkansas Library System's Distinguished Lecturer series, this one honoring former Arkansas Gazette publisher J.N. Heiskell. The lecture begins at 7 p.m. in the Darragh Center Auditorium, 100 Rock St., and is free. It is followed by a catered reception and book signing. Call 918-3032 for reservations. Jazz pianist Joe Augustine, a life-long Steinway Artist, opens the "Trinity Presents …" season Sunday, Sept. 26, at 6 p.m. Augustine is a featured performer at a Midwest supper club and resort when not touring coast to coast. With more than 30 years of playing, he's developed the reputation as a master at creating meticulous, distinctive arrangements that allow listeners to hear tunes they may recognize in exciting new ways. The show at Trinity United Methodist Church, Mississippi and Evergreen, is free, but a ticket is required to "Trinity Presents …" shows. Call 377-1161 for reservations (child care is available by calling 666-2813). Five-time Grammy Award-winning jazz-pop singer Al Jarreau, whose hits include the theme from "Moonlighting" and "After All," performs at the Arkansas Cancer Research Center's annual benefit, the Gala for Life, on Wednesday, Sept. 29. The 6:30 p.m. cocktail reception, followed by dinner and Jarreau's show, will be held at the Peabody Little Rock. Local R&B group Ramona and the Soul Rhythms will also provide entertainment. Tickets for the black-tie event are $250 per person. Call 526-2277. Rock the Block Singer-songwriter Brian Kinder will be the headlining entertainment and Corky's barbecue will be on the table when First United Methodist Church sponsors its Rock the Block block party on Sunday, Sept. 26. The part is from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Seventh and Center Streets. Along with Kinder, the First Youth Band will also perform, as well as the First World Praise team singing group. The event is free, call 372-2256 for more information. Theater Watch: CTLR explores 'bedroom' The Community Theatre of Little Rock starts its 2004-05 season literally in the bedroom with the comedy "Bedroom Farce" opening Friday, Sept. 24. Shows are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Woolly Fine Arts Center in the School for the Blind on West Markham. The show continues Oct. 1-3. Alan Ayckbourn's play focuses on a couple who one night dump their marital troubles on three other couples in three bedrooms. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. Call 663-9494 for reservations. The Weekend Theater continues is drama "Tracers," about six soldiers in Vietnam, on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 24-25. Showtime is 8 p.m. both nights, and tickets are $14 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Call 374-3761 for reservations. The show concludes Oct. 2.
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