Historical entertainment planned for joint celebration of three Southwest Arkansas milestone anniversaries
7 p.m., Market Street Cinema. $7.50.
As “Andy Warhol: 15 Weeks of Fame” draws near its conclusion at the Arts Center, the Times is teaming with the museum and Market Street to host a mini, three-week film festival. There'll be silver Mylar balloons, Campbell's soup cans, a red carpet and, possibly, people dressed as Edie Sedgwick and Warhol at the opener, “Factory Girl.” I can see how people could manage the film's subject: blonde hair, raccoon eyes and something slinky. But who to play the gaunt, bloodless zombie? I declined, thanks. In this biopic, Guy Pearce, famous mostly for playing a by-the-book cop in “L.A. Confidential,” dusts his face in baby powder and turns up the fey to inhabit the pop artist. Sienna Miller, who you'll remember from the gossip magazines, stars as the gaunt zombie's number one muse, convincingly, if reviews are to be believed, thanks, in large part, to her distinct physical resemblance. Then there's Hayden Christensen, no one's favorite Darth Vader, as an unnamed, but unmistakable Bob Dylan. Love triangle! Next week it's “Basquiat,” followed by “I Shot Andy Warhol.” LM.
OFF CENTER OPENS
8 p.m., Off Center, $5.
Last night was the grand opening, but the hits keep coming at Off Center, the latest incarnation of the space on Seventh Street that previously housed Easy Street. Established local musicians, a wall devoted to consigned artworks by visual artists, a healthy happy hour (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday), special events and cozy theater space should inspire the throngs. Cover charges, which go entirely to performers, are $3 Monday and Tuesday, $2 Wednesday, $5 Thursday and Saturday, and $4 Friday. All performances begin at 8 p.m. Tonight and all Thursdays in the near future offer jazz with saxophonist Gerald Johnson. General manager Jordan VanNess invites visual artists with works to display to contact him at 374-4699. PP.
7:30 p.m., Weekend Theater. $10-$14.
Never one to shy away from difficult subject matter, the Weekend Theater opens the New Year with a tragicomedy from British playwright Mike Nichols. Based on his own experiences, Nichols weaves an intimate portrait of a couple struggling to raise their only child, a severely handicapped girl, who's incontinent and unable to communicate. Since her birth, her care has dominated the couple's marriage, and it's taken a toll. But even within such a grim set-up, there's levity. To escape the pain, the father, Bri, has become a perpetual clown, parodying the world around him. The escape is well needed in a work that includes serious arguments about euthanasia. Duane Jackson directs the play, which runs through Jan. 31. LM.
7:30 p.m., Alltel Arena. $32-$46.50.
Brad Paisley's on quite a roll. Last year, the West Virgina-born picker and grinner took home both the Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association Male Vocalist of the Year Awards. Earlier this year, he garnered his ninth consecutive number one single with “Start a Band,” a duet with Keith Urban. It's a record unmatched in the 20 years Nielsen's been keeping track of such things. The fresh-faced performer might be the biggest star in country music these days. Adding to the appeal, Dierks Bentley and Darius Rucker appear as openers. Look for Bentley, who's a rising star in country music with a neo-traditionalist streak, to debut some new songs. He's got an album coming out in February. Rucker, of course, is the former front man of Hootie and the Blowfish, who's found new life on the twangier side of things. LM.
OPENING DAY AT OAKLAWN
1 p.m. Oaklawn Park, Hot Springs. $2.
If the weathermen's prediction holds firm, look for some 15,000 racing fans to congregate at Oaklawn Park for the opening four-day weekend. As usual, the season kicks off with throwback 50-cent corned beef sandwiches and 10-cent soft drinks. Sadly, but for the greater good, booze prices stay the same. Saturday marks the first big race of the season: the $50,000 American Beauty, for fillies and mares. On Monday, the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, the park kicks off its three-year-old stakes season with the inaugural $50,000 Smarty Jones Stakes. Smarty Jones bobbleheads will be available at the gate while supplies last. LM.
10 p.m., Juanita's. $12.
Long one of Central Arkansas's favorites, the Gourds return to Juanita's fresh off the release of their brand spanking new album, “Haymaker!” Like all of Austin's favorite sons' albums, it's a rollicking collection of country rock, filled with accordion breakdowns, keen fiddle work and all sorts of other gypsy-hillbilly flourishes. The lyrics remain oblique as ever. Firinstance, from “Hey Thurman”: “We got some funky trees / Need a whirlybird / To get above a canopy / Me and your boys / Picking through the debris / Benny and Roky back in the mid '60s.” But listen enough to alternating lead singers Kevin “Shinyribs” Russell and Jimmy Smith's distinctive vocals and you'll start to see the light. Fellow Austin-ite Ramsay Midwood opens the show with literate, soul-tinged country. LM.
‘THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE'
7:30 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $20-$50.
This musical comedy, which enjoyed a Tony-award winning run on Broadway in 2005, took the long road to the big stage — from small improv stage to a cafeteria-turned-auditorium to Off Broadway's Second Stage (where it broke box office records) to Broadway's Circle on the Square. It's a fitting arc for what's been described, complimentarily, as a modest production — an antidote to lavish commercial works that have come to dominate modern big-time theater. The show's spark lies in its humor, which the New York Times likened to the spirit of films like “Waiting for Guffman” and “Best in Show.” The story, set in a middle school gymnasium, revolves around six young nerds who're vying for the county prize. Along the way, songs are sung, dances danced and morals learned. It's liable to be smart and funny enough for the whole family. The musical sticks around for two more performances, on Wednesday and Thursday, same time. LM.
10 a.m., Mosaic Templars Cultural Center. Free.
7 p.m., Clear Channel Metroplex. $50.
9 p.m., Revolution. $5.
It's time to celebrate, y'all. Start the day with a long, strategically timed lunch break. The swearing in happens at 11 a.m. our time, with the inaugural address following thereafter. The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center simulcasts the ceremony beginning at 11 a.m. in the building's third floor. After President Obama's address, the Washington Magnet Elementary School Choir sings “You Can Grow Up to Be President.” The event is free, but reservations, made by calling 683-3592, are required. Later, at the Metroplex, the King Commission hosts a semi-formal ball with food and music by two local bands that know how to extend a groove, Velvet Kende and Eclipse Glasses. For the GLBQT community, Revolution presents the “Be the Change Inaugural Ball.” It's hosted by an Obama impressionist and features drag impersonations of the likes of Patti Labelle, Liza Minnelli and Madonna. DJ Debbi T spins dance music, too. The price of admission includes a non-perishable food item. LM
7 p.m., Alltel Arena. $19-$94.25.
As they seem to do just about every year, the winningest basketball team ever barnstorms its way into Alltel Arena. Some of the players may've changed since last year, though there's still the requisite number of guys with names like Airport and Tiny. The tricks, in this era of touch-the-top-of-the-backboard dunks, might seem a little passe (I bet they still do granny shots). But once you add the greatest theme song of all time (“Sweet Georgia Brown,” natch) and that iconic red, white and blue ball into the mix, even the hardest-hearted basketball snob can't resist the 'Trotters effortless cool. LM