The greatest hits of summer 


Michael Buble, the newest sensation in the Frank Sinatra/Harry Connick Jr. style of performing, will perform at Alltel Arena on Wednesday, July 12. Tickets, ranging in price from $51.25 to $66.75, go on sale May 5.

o other summer music concerts at Alltel have been announced, but major tours that could find their way to the North Little Rock venue this summer include Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Ashlee Simpson, Korn, and Nickelback.

If reviving your faith piques your interest, famed preacher and author Joel Osteen from Houston will appear at Alltel on Friday, June 9.

The Clear Channel Metroplex has begun presenting an array of heavy rock shows this year, and summer will have its share, though the schedule is slow to be set. One show that is slated is Ministry, a heavy rock amalgam of artists from such bands as Slipknot and Prong, playing Wednesday, July 19. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show starts at 9 p.m. with the Revolting Cocks and Pitbull Daycare. The local promoter Hitchhiker Entertainment is bringing the show, and tickets will be for sale at Juanita’s, Area 51 and other outlets.

Magic Springs and Crystal Falls Theme Park in Hot Springs continues to top itself in shows, starting with country legend Kenny Rogers on May 25 in a show for season-pass holders. Next up is the famed soul group The Commodores on June 3.

Here’s the rest of the schedule (shows start at 8 p.m., the park opens at 6:30 p.m., and concert admission is free with a paid park admission, otherwise it’s $20 per concert and $5 to upgrade to reserved seating in Timberwood Amphitheater). Call 501-624-0100 for more information:

JUNE 10: Restless Heart with Little Texas and Blackhawk. Country music.

JUNE 17: Shirley Caesar. Contemporary Christian music.

JUNE 24: Aaron Tippin. Country.

JULY 1: Click Five. Pop music.

JULY 2: The Spinners. R&B.

JULY 8: SHeDaisy. Country.

JULY 15: Foreigner. Classic rock.

JULY 22: Kansas. Classic rock.

JULY 29: B5. Hip-hop.

AUG. 5: FFH. Christian rock.

AUG. 12: Buddy Jewel. Country music.

AUG. 19: Air Supply. Classic pop/rock.

AUG. 26: The Temptations. R&B.

SEPT. 2: Bellamy Brothers. Country.

SEPT. 3: Rick Springfield. Classic rock.

The Little Rock Wind Symphony’s annual Stars and Stripes Concert is at 7 p.m. June 11, in MacArthur Park. Admission is free. Call 666-0777.

July 4 always means “Pops on the River” at the Riverfest Amphitheatre, with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra headlining the show. The music starts at 6:30 p.m., and fireworks begin at dark. Admission is free.

The Conway Symphony Orchestra’s “Pops in the Park” has become a popular patriotic music event in Faulkner County. Preliminary events start at 6:30 p.m., the Symphony performs beginning at 8, and the fireworks start about 9 p.m., all at Beaverfork Lake off Highway 25-North. Admission is free. 501-269-1066.

Blues great Taj Mahal will return to headline the Eureka Springs Blues Festival, scheduled for June 1-3 at the City Auditorium and clubs around town. Eureka’s blues concert season will get a kickoff on May 13, though, with Saffire: Uppity Blues Women, performing at 7 p.m. at The Auditorium. Tickets, which are $25 in advance, are available through www.PaperMoonAttractions.com or by calling 479-363-0363.

Eureka Springs’ Opera in the Ozarks summer spectacular includes a chamber music concert by the opera’s music players at 7 p.m. July 18 at Inspiration Point. Tickets are $12.

The opera schedule runs June 23-July 21, with “Opera in the Ozarks” presenting “La Traviata,” “Il Barbiere de Siviglia,” and “Gianni Schicci and Suor Angelica.” Inspiration Point is seven miles west of town at 16311 Highway 62 West. Tickets are $12 general seating, $17 first four rows. Call 479-253-8595 or visit www.estc.net/opera.

Hot Springs will welcome orchestra apprentices from top schools around the world, along with mentors, for the 10th anniversary season of the Hot Springs Music Festival beginning June 5. A ticket is required for the concerts. For tickets and complete schedule, visit www.hotmusic.org or call 501-623-4763.

Jerry Douglas, regarded as the greatest dobro player anywhere, returns to Mountain View and the Ozark Folk Center to headline the Resophonic Guitar Weekend on May 27. His concert May 27 will start at 7:30 p.m. and cost $20.

Roy Clark, Mike Snider and more will perform concerts at the Ozark Folk Center through the summer. Here’s the schedule (call 870-269-3851 for tickets or more information):

MAY 12-13: Merle Travis Guitar Festival and National Thumbpicking Guitar Contest.

MAY 27: Jerry Douglas, Celebrity Concert Series. 7:30 p.m., $20.

MAY 28: Sunday Gospel Concert. 7:30-9:30 p.m., Ozark Folk Center. $9 adults, $6 children 6-12. 870-269-3851.

JUNE 8-10: Autoharp Jamboree. Three days of concerts and workshops for various skill levels.

JUNE 23-24: Irish Music and Dance With St. Louis Irish Arts. 7:30 Fri.-Sat. $9 adults, $6 children.

JULY 1: Independence Day Celebration. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $9 adults, $6 children.

JULY 1: Tribute to Jimmy Driftwood. 7:30 p.m. $9 adults, $6 children.

JULY 22: The Women of Mountain Music. 7:30 p.m. $9 adults; $6 children 6-12.

AUG. 19: Old-Time String Band Concert. 7:30 p.m. $9 adults; $6 children 6-12.

SEPT. 1: Mike Snider and Ramona Jones and the Jones Family Band. Part of the “Tribute to Grandpa Jones” weekend. 7:30 p.m. $10.

SEPT. 2: Roy Clark with Ramona Jones and the Jones Family Band. Part of the “Tribute to Grandpa Jones” weekend. 7:30 p.m. $30.

Some other big events at Mountain View and the Ozark Folk Center include the Great Smokey Mountain Cloggers, performing three shows July 13-15, and the Cowboy Gathering & Folk Humor and Storytelling Weekend Aug. 11-12.


Riverfest. The family festival, with more than 100 acts on three main music stages and three smaller stages, has a big lineup again with such acts as Train, Live, Kook & the Gang, the Neville Brothers, Dwight Yoakam, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Doobie Brothers, Morris Day and the Time, the Del McCoury Band, Pat Green and Switchfoot. Plus, arts and crafts will be set up in a new location, just a few feet from the Arkansas River in the open air rather than the River Market pavilion, and everyone piles into the park for the Osborne Family Fireworks display late Sunday. Hours are 5 p.m.-11:30 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Saturday, and noon-10 p.m. Sun. The $7.50 three-day pass is available while supplies last, but at the gate it will cost you $15, even if it’s the last day. Call 255-3378.

Wildwood Park for the Performing Arts presents the opera “Carmen” on June 16.

Also, the musical show “An American in Paris” is scheduled for May 19. Call the park at 821-7275 for tickets or more information.

Brace for the animals, and maybe a visit by PETA, too. The Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus will be making its every-other-year stop at Alltel Arena Aug. 23-27. Times and ticket prices have yet to be announced. Check later this summer with Ticketmaster (975-7575, www.ticketmaster.com) or the arena box office (975-9000).

Warren will be celebrating the 50th Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival June 3-10. Look for live entertainment, a street dance and carnival midway on the town square, a parade and All-Tomato Luncheon, which both draw the statewide political candidates, along with arts and crafts, a 5K run, and other events. Most events are free, but some require a ticket.

Looking for a good night out and a great meal? The 20th Annual Great Chefs Event, “A Taste of Little Rock,” will be held June 26. The event benefits the National Kidney Foundation of Arkansas. Thirty local chefs, wine tasting, live and silent auctions. 5:30 p.m. (doors open), Clear Channel Metroplex. $50. 664-4343 or 1-800-488-2277.


Arkansas Repertory Theatre founder Cliff Fannin Baker returns to his old stomping grounds to direct “A Chorus Line” June 2-25. Call 378-0405 for tickets.

Murry’s Dinner Playhouse offers a cool spot to catch a cafeteria-style dinner with a musical featuring some of the region’s best performers. “Out of Order” will continue through May 27, and “I Take This Man” runs May 30-June 25. That’s followed by “The Rainmaker” June 27-July 23 and the always-fun “Fiddler on the Roof” July 25-Sept. 2. Call 562-3131 for reservations. Murry’s is open every day but Monday and has matinees on Sundays and the first two Wednesdays of the run.

Amateur theater in the region features some outstanding acting. The Weekend Theater has scheduled Stephen Sondheim’s “Passion” for May 19-June 4 with performances Friday through Sunday each of three weekends. The troupe follows up with “The Rocky Horror Show” June 16-July 2. Call 374-3761 for tickets or more information. The Pocket Theatre in Hot Springs has a new home, off Park Avenue at the intersection of Ramble and Ravine streets, and will present “You Can’t Take It With You” July 13-16 and July 20-23. Call 501-623-8585.

Northwest Arkansas has a diverse selection of theater during the summer, including work at the University Theatre in Fayetteville. The University Theater at UA-Fayetteville will feature “Closer Than Ever” June 16-25. Call 470-575-4752.

The Walton Arts Center will welcome the touring “Will Rogers Follies,” which played Little Rock in early 2006. The Broadway hit will be staged May 16-21. Call 479-443-5600. And Opera in the Ozarks will bring its “Il Barbiere De Siviglia” to the Walton Arts Center on July 8 beginning at 7 p.m. Call 479-443-5600 or visit www.estc.net/opera. The Rogers Little Theater has “Last of the Red Hot Lovers” scheduled for June 9-25, and the rousing musical “Oklahoma!” for July 28-Aug. 13. Call 479-631-8988.


The growing Arkansas Festival Ballet has partnered with the Arkansas Repertory Theatre to present “Snow White” May 13-14. The show will feature two dancers from the Nashville Ballet. Shows are 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Rep, 601 Main St. Tickets are $10. Call 227-5320 or 378-0405.


One of the fun hold-overs from last summer is the free Movies in the Park, held at Riverfest Amphitheatre. The schedule will be winding down as the heat of summer arrives: “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” May 17; “Men in Black,” May 31, and “Shrek,” June 7, round out the slate. Picnic baskets, coolers and lawn chairs are allowed, with popcorn and beverages available for purchase. No glass containers allowed.

The Little Rock Zoo’s “Zoovies” schedule wraps up with “Finding Nemo” on May 13 and “Stuart Little” on May 20. Admission is $3 for members and $4 for nonmembers. The films start at dark.


Texas League Baseball. The final year of Ray Winder Field as the home of the Arkansas Travelers will include the Texas League All-Star Game on June 20. Meanwhile, the homestands for the Travelers through the summer is: vs. Springfield, May 17-21; vs. Frisco RoughRiders, May 30-31, June 1; vs. Midland Rockhounds, June 2-4; vs. Wichita Wranglers, June 15-18; vs. Tulsa Drillers June 30, July 1 and 3-4; vs. San Antonio Missions July 10-13; vs. Corpus Christi Hooks July 14-15; vs. Wichita Wranglers July 28-29, July 31 and Aug. 1; vs. Springfield Cardinals, Aug. 2-5; vs. Frisco RoughRiders, Aug. 7-9; vs. Midland Rockhounds, Aug. 17-20; vs. Tulsa Drillers, Aug. 26-29; and vs. Springfield Cardinals, Aug. 30-31 and Sept. 1-3.

Game times are 7:10 p.m. except for occasional 6:30 p.m. Saturday doubleheaders and 2 p.m. Sunday games at Ray Winder Field, of I-630 and Fair Park. Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for children 14 and under; discounts are available to certain games through various local merchants. Call 664-1555.

Arena Football 2. Indoor football at Alltel Arena continues to be a nice, cool summer diversion drawing 6,000 to 8,000 per game. Here are the home games remaining for the Arkansas Twisters: vs. Oklahoma City, May 13; vs. Bossier-Shreveport, June 3; vs. Rio Grande Valley, June 17; vs. Spokane, July 1; vs. Tulsa, July 22; and vs. Macon, July 29.

Game times are usually 7 p.m. at Alltel Arena. Tickets start at $10 in the upper deck and $21 in the lower bowl. Call 975-5425 (975-KICK) or Ticketmaster at 975-7575.



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