This small south Arkansas city was once one of the top oil producers in the nation.
LULA WASHINGTON DANCE THEATRE
7:30 p.m., Reynolds Hall, UCA, Conway. $23-$35.
For the first time in her illustrious career, England native Lula Washington brings her dance company to Arkansas. A latecomer to dance, Washington began training as an adult. At 22, she applied to UCLA's dance program, but was denied admission because she was deemed “too old.” Washington appealed the decision, was admitted and ultimately went on to earn a master's degree. She began to appear on stages across the country and in films like “Funny Lady” and “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.” In 1980, she and her husband founded the Lula Washington Dance Theatre in Los Angeles, which has become one of the country's most respected theaters, garnering rave reviews in just about every paper of note. On Thursday and Friday, Washington presents the world premiere of “The Nine,” a dance based on the Central High integration crisis. The repertoire also features “Songs of the Disinherited,” a dance suite that traces the black Diaspora in America. Tickets for UCA students are $10. AETN will film the Friday performance.
‘DANCING AT LUGHNASA'
7:30 p.m., the Weekend Theater. $10-$14.
The Weekend Theater once again presents a challenging, award-winning play. Set in a small village in Ireland in 1936, “Dancing” centers around the festival of Lughnasadh, a drunken celebration of the pagan god of harvest. Narrated by Michael, the 7-year-old illegitimate child of Christine Mundy, who together with her four unmarried sisters lives a spare existence in a cottage outside of a small village, Brian Friel's play finds its protagonists responding to the tensions between pagan traditions and Catholic prohibitions of divorce, contraception and abortion. Also in the mix is Jack, the Mundys' brother, who's recently returned home after 25 years in Africa. He returns enthralled with the freedoms of a non-Christian culture and suffering from malaria, which affects his memory.
THE GOOD FEAR
10 p.m., White Water Tavern. $5.
From the dark depths of the studio, the Good Fear emerges, hopefully hirsute and wearing sunglasses. A decade ago (or maybe it was more like nine months — who can remember?), the Fayetteville-based band started recording a follow-up to its widely beloved debut, “Keep in Touch.” Word from the Good Fear camp is that the record is finally finished, but I heard that in the fall, too, just before head knob twiddler Zach Holland (call him Axl) headed back into the studio. So you can't cop the new record and, according to Axl, the band won't play many new songs, but it's the Good Fear! Live on stage! One of our state's finest bands! They play infrequently! Look for a teeming crowd, singing along to the band's anthemic brand of Southern rock. If that's not enough pageantry for you, Justin Carr's Ghost Company opens. Carr, the former lead singer of Tin Fire Radio, sings exclusively of ghosts, with backing help by the Damn Bullets and dancing girls.
‘GOING TO SEE
7:30 p.m., Historic Arkansas Museum. $12-$14.
After their successful collaboration on the musical “Quilters,” the Historic Arkansas Museum and the Community Theatre once again join together to present a stage play in the museum's theater. Set outside a sod hut in the wilds of Kansas in the 1870s, “Going to See the Elephant” focuses on four frontier women: Ma, who's always dishing out homespun wisdom; Sara, her content daughter-in-law; Etta, a young girl still traumatized after being abducted by Cheyenne, and Mrs. Nichols, a refined lady from the East forced to remain on the frontier while her husband recovers from illness. As they battle wolves and worry over Indian attacks, they talk of “going to see the elephant” or “crossing the next hill to see what lies on the other side.” Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22, 23, 29 and March 1, and 2 p.m. Feb. 24 and March 2.