Collins to work toward increasing visitation to Arkansas by groups and promoting the state's appeal
ARKANSAS FESTIVAL BALLET'S 'SNOW WHITE'
7:30 p.m. Arkansas Arts Center Children's Theatre. $10-$12.50.
It's the fairy-tales-for-grown-ups age, what with "Grimm" and "Once Upon a Time" on the tube and "Snow White and the Huntsman" and "Maleficent" on the silver screen. "Snow White" in toe shoes should be far and away more appealing to young fans of such tales. Arkansas Festival Ballet Artistic Director Rebecca Stalcup will choreograph the production, which will also be performed at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 17, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 18. LNP
FRIDAY 5/16– SUNDAY 5/18
GREEK FOOD FESTIVAL
11 a.m.-9 p.m. Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. Free.
Opa! No bundt cake here! No, the Greek Food Festival is all about such culinary delights as baklava (and chocolate baklava), tabbouleh, hummus dip, souvlaki, spanakopita and much more. The tradition carries on: Dine picnic style while being entertained by a multicultural lineup that includes Greek-American folk musicians, Irish and Indian dancers, cloggers, American rock by songbird Heather Batchelor, and more. After you've downed your gyros, you can set off for the Old World Market to pick up jewelry, Russian nesting dolls, ceramics, jewelry, artwork and other goodies. There's also a drive-through window and frozen foods to take home. It's Little Rock's rite of spring, and besides being fun, the festival is your way to contribute to the Arkansas Children's Hospital, CARTI, Community Connections, Easter Seals, Harmony Health Clinic, Wolfe Street Foundation and Youth Home while chowing down on chicken kebabs. In its 30 years, the Greek Food Festival has raised $1.3 million for Arkansas charities. LNP
FRIDAY 5/16 – SATURDAY 5/17
THICK SYRUP RECORDS ANNIVERSARY
9:30 p.m. White Water Tavern. $5.
Travis McElroy's Thick Syrup Records is a Little Rock institution, something we can all be proud of. Its roster is almost unaccountably wide-ranging and surprising, extending to celebrated outsiders like Half Japanese and Chrome Cranks, but it has always kept an ear to the ground in Arkansas as well, and will celebrate its eighth anniversary with a set of shows highlighting its local talent. First up, on Friday night, will be Brother Andy and His Big Damn Mouth (who sing about having been "baptized in a hot tub," and once described their sound to this paper as "Dinosaur Jr. plus Modest Mouse minus Modest Mouse"), plus Adam Faucett (back in town from taking over the country) and Nathan Brown, followed by a night of noise and haunted mayhem from Ginsu Wives, Twelve Tone Elevator and Jumbo Jet on Saturday. Both of these shows will be at White Water, and McElroy has been dropping hints that they'll also double as a celebration of owner Matt White's birthday, and that some secret, unannounced happenings will be going on after these bands play — "even the sound guy doesn't know what we're doing," is all he's willing to say at press time. Another lineup, at Maxine's Live in Hot Springs on May 24, will feature Bloodless Cooties, Ezra Lbs and Trophy Boyfriends. WS
Clinton Presidential Center
When Dale Chihuly's exhibit of blown glass seaforms and other organic creations opened at the Arkansas Arts Center in 2000, it was a blockbuster show in keeping with the event: the opening of the new wing of the Arts Center. On May 17, Arkansas's second Chihuly exhibit opens in Arkansas, at the Clinton Presidential Center, showing work from the Tacoma, Wash., artist whose name is synonymous with the rebirth of studio glass. In keeping with the occasion, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will come to Little Rock for a private artist's reception Friday, May 16. Chihuly will give a public lecture at 11 a.m. Saturday and will sign books from noon to 1 p.m. in the Great Hall. The lecture is free, but reservations are required; email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 501-748-0425. See examples of some of Chihuly's work — his red reeds, mille fiori and seaforms — at clintonfoundation.org. The exhibition runs through Jan. 5, 2015. LNP
6 p.m. North Little Rock Riverfront. $50-$75.
After five years in the Louisiana State Penitentiary, during which his legend and legacy only grew, like some Old West outlaw, Lil Boosie has returned to civilization more famous than he left it. He was always well known and respected by his target audience — fans of serious-minded country rap and sordid Southern storytelling — but now he's a kind of celebrity, with Rolling Stone reporting from his trial in Baton Rouge and with every rapper in the country begging for a feature on Twitter and pretending to have supported him all along. It's enough to restore your faith in the rap meritocracy (if maybe not the legal system), as Boosie is wildly, obviously talented, with one of the most inimitable voices in hip-hop. It's an alto, a pitched-up, syrupy drawl in the Pimp C lineage, and he's exhibit A in the argument that the South can be as lyrical as New York. Listen to "I Had A Dream," off "Ghetto Stories," or really anything from that album — the detail is cinematic and it goes beyond righteous to jaded and doomed. WS
BOOKS IN BLOOM LITERARY FESTIVAL
12:30 p.m. Crescent Hotel and Spa, Eureka Springs. Free.
The ninth annual Books in Bloom Literary Festival will be held Sunday afternoon at the Crescent Hotel and Spa, and festival chair Jean Elderwind wants you to know that "there will be parking." Apparently this has been an issue in the past. This year's lineup will include Elizabeth Berg, the New York Times bestseller who scored an Oprah's Book Club sticker for 2000's "Open House"; Michael Sheldon, an award-winning biographer of Mark Twain, Winston Churchill and George Orwell (for which he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist); Brian Walter, all-around Donald Harington scholar and director of the documentary film "Stay More: The World of Donald Harington," and Kathy and Kerry Reichs, the mother and daughter team who currently write for the television series "Bones," among many others. WS
8 p.m. Juanita's. $15 adv., $20 day of.
There is actually maybe not a better American rock 'n' roll single than Jackyl's "The Lumberjack," the opening bid from the band's 1992 self-titled debut. "I was born in the backwoods of a two bit nowhere town," sings front man Jesse James Dupree, who was born in metro Atlanta. The thing later devolves, though, into pure, beautiful metal machine music, with Dupree inviting us to "dig on my new stainless steel sound," before lurching into a chainsaw solo like they're Einstürzende Neubauten. That's not a metaphor either: Dupree revs up an actual chainsaw as if it's a natural fit on a hair metal anthem, which, of course, it is. It's not the band's fault that grunge happened either, they gave it their all — vying for public attention via appeals to the Guinness Book of World Records and post-9/11 Southern xenophobia — and anyway, "The Lumberjack" belongs to history now. WS