Central Arkansas venues have a full week of commemorative events planned
By Lindsey Millar
and paul peterson
7 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $47-$77.
Several years back, Comedy Central named Jerry Seinfeld the 12th greatest comedian of all time. Just ahead of Robin Williams and behind Johnny Carson. It's a list made for debate (Ellen ahead of Bill Hicks, really?), but I've got few quibbles with the top 15 (Pryor is, rightly, number one). Among that number, most are dead, out to pasture or retired to TV or movies. In fact, among the top 15, only four — Chris Rock, Bill Cosby, Robin Williams and Seinfeld — do stand-up with any regularity anymore. With Williams coming to Verizon Arena in October, you've got the rare chance to cross two of the all-time greats off your list this year and not even drive very far. On Friday, expect an hour and a half or so of the same sort of observational, philosophical humor that made “Seinfeld” a sitcom juggernaut for almost a decade. If prior shows are any indication, look for jokes on the likes of marriage, prescription drug commercials, coffee and the crawl at the bottom of newscasts. A short Q&A is likely to follow the set, too. Actor and comedian Larry Miller (“Best in Show,” “Waiting for Guffman”) opens. LM.
7:30 p.m., Weekend Theater. $14-$18.
It's one of the most acclaimed musicals in modern times. A Pulitzer Prize winner. A four-time Tony Award winner. One of the longest running shows in Broadway history. An update on Giacomo Puccini's tragic opera “La Boheme,” “Rent” trades in modern themes like drug addiction, homelessness, homophobia and AIDS, but still manages to convey, as the Weekend Theater bills it, “the sweet spirit of a kid's show.” Or, as Neil Patrick Harris reminded us on a recent “SNL,” chirpy overexuberance. You say tomato, I say toe-mato. All that buoyancy comes wrapped in a rock musical. It's the story of a group of young, poor artists and musicians living in the Lower East Side. Whatever you think of the production, you're bound to have “Seasons of Love” and its “525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear” line stuck in your head for weeks. John Thompson directs and Lori Isner provides musical direction. LM.
8:30 p.m., Vino's, $6.
Warming up for a string of dates for its third outing on the Vans Warped Tour, Nashville's punk 'n' roll poster boys bring heavy, sing-along anthems to town on Friday. The band's logged serious road mileage, supporting acts such as Circle Jerks and the Queers, and they've survived hardships ranging from lineup changes to terminal illness. Blacklist Royals delivers overwhelming punk attitude at 99 miles per hour with songs like “Fuck It, Let's Roll,” but the band's hardly one-note. Look out for well-placed, rollicking piano and occasional harmonica interludes, which makes for arrangements that don't sound too rehashed or borrowed. Expect a preview of new tunes from its yet-to-be released “Semper Liberi” from Paper And Plastick Records. This should be a good show for some old-school Vino's patrons. PP
8 p.m., Revolution. $12 adv., $15 d.o.s.
In his defense, he got into rapping with a partner, Lil Black. But his new imprint, Wyte Music? Pull back. In that spirit of identity through race, a slightly backhanded compliment: Lil Wyte is probably the best white rapper in the South. Raised in Memphis' notorious Frayser Home projects, Wyte — real name Patrick Lanshaw — put out a mixtape as a teen-ager as part of an all-white rap group that caught the attention of Three 6 Mafia's Juicy J and DJ Paul. With their backing, he sold some 135,000 copies of his 2003 debut, “Doubt Me Now,” with little to no promotion. Those kinds of numbers tend to get you noticed, and Warner Bros. snatched the rapper up for its Aslyum imprint, where he released two more albums. His new one, due, according to one report out of Memphis, sometime this month, looks like it'll come out on the aforementioned Wyte Music. Like most everything from the Hypnotize Minds camp, the rapper's songs are built on creepy, minor key synths, big bass tracks and raw lyrics about all things street. But unlike his mentors, Wyte's flow is rapid fire. An act with a less defensible name opens: Taco and Da Mofros. It's a not so novel take on rap rock. Also, after a long hiatus, Little Rock's favorite rapper, 607, returns to the stage. LM.
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