Autumn temps are perfect for outdoor activities
THE RADIO CITY CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR
4 p.m. and 7 p.m., Alltel Arena. $25-$59.
The Rockettes call what they do precision dance for a reason. Every one of the 186 members worldwide, 24 of whom will perform at Alltel, stands between 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-10. All wear 3-inch heels. All dress identically in things like sequined puff squirts, candy-striped corsets and giant bows. All maintain toothy smiles. When they kick —approximately 300 times per show — two-dozen legs snap up precisely waist high. This is the 76th anniversary of the founding of the dance troupe, and in routines that involve chorus lines and sassy hats there's an obvious sense of that history. But those leg kicks, with their whiplash-inducing thrust and straight-line symmetry, will always be modern. Plus, there's “snow” falling on the crowd, an “immense” LED screen that projects all sorts of holiday scenes and, at one point, Santa somehow flies over in his sleigh. Read more on the Rockettes in the Dec. 11 A&E feature on-line at arktimes.com. LM.
ARKANSAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA YULETIDE SPECTACULAR
8 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $17-$72.
In his final Yuletide Spectacular — we're up to number five for those keeping score at home — Maestro David Itkin mines old favorites from his past 15 years at the helm of the ASO. Songs like “Santa's Gonna Rock and Roll,” “I Want a Hippopotamus for Chrismas,” “I'm Getting Nuttin' for Christmas,” “Silent Night” and “White Christmas.” As usual, the concert is chock full of guest performers, including dancers from the Shuffles and Ballet II, the Central Arkansas Youth Choir, the Old School Bluegrass Band and vocalists Mary Ann Robinson, Matt Newman, Leslie Harper and Mary Katelin Ward. The ASO reprises the spectacular with two Saturday performances, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. LM.
SCHOOL BOY HUMOR
8:30 p.m., Vino's. $8.
What do you get when you cross three Brogans and a Morgan? A band with not two, but three brothers and a fourth who has to endure them. I'm just guessing, but the band's name probably isn't the natural extension of PM Dawn. “We started out not in a band and then we got in one,” says PM Today on its web site, which is about as cool and funny a band quote as any I've read lately. Actively preparing for a road stint in early 2009, the fellas have three road shows in January before burning through the final half of March from Minnesota to Fort Smith. They're joined by fellow kings-of-the-local-emo-punk scene School Boy Humor, who not long ago made an album on Vagrant Records and who, at least on their MySpace page, count Vitamin Water and Crunk!!! Energy Drink among their sponsors. Don't Call Me Shirley and Tristan Betrayal also perform. PP.
9 p.m., Downtown Music. $5.
There's a regular, inevitable conversation between past movers and shakers in the local scene who've done got old. Or rather less active. It goes like this. Q: Where are all the kids doing what we did? A: They don't exist. Of course, that's how nostalgia works: the halcyon days are always in the past. Unless, that is, you're in your teens or 20s and like to dance. Because those hundreds are buying digital turntables, they're buying samplers, they're downloading more music in a week than most of us heard all year in the '80s and they're throwing some really live parties. Perhaps none more so than Cool Shoes, the monthly get-down at Downtown Music that's lately been packing in somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 folks. Last month, when the headlining DJ, a skinny kid from Conway who speeds up and glitches out Southern rap, took the stage, the crowd went berserk. On Friday, the lineup includes the experimental, beat-heavy instrumental act Western Meds (9 p.m.), Discovery regular Kecia (10 p.m.), event organizers and DJs Shawn Lee and Risky Biz (11 p.m.), impressive young MC Maxx and event curator and resident old dude (he's young at heart) Deeter (12:15- 2 a.m.). LM.