Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans
‘IF THEY SING IT, YOU WILL COME'
7:30 p.m., the Rep. $15.
Don't make the mistake of dismissing the Rep's latest performance by its Young Artists program as just another kids show. Because chances are, when you think of children's theater, you imagine school plays that are redeemed only by cuteness. And the Rep's Young Artist productions are worlds beyond simple cuteness. The program, an intensive summer workshop where more than 60 actors, ranging from ages 10 to 22, hone their craft and prepare a musical, molds young performers into unbelievable talents. This year, they offer a revue of songs of the cinema that stretches from “Casablanca” to “Napoleon Dynamite.” Heed the call of the title (it's the last weekend). Also, see our review of the musical (page 35) and our video feature on the production in our video player at arktimes.com.
BEN NICHOLS/CHUCK RAGAN/TIM BARRY/ TOM GABEL
9 p.m., Juanita's. $15.
Folk-punks have had this date circled for months. In what's dubbed the “Revival Tour” — a nod to the folk era, when solo artists often collaborated onstage — four of the genre's biggest names, Ben Nichols (Lucero), Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music), Tim Barry (Avail) and Tom Gabel (Against Me), come to town to play solo sets and provide backing support for each other. Nichols, who's no stranger to solo gigs in Little Rock, has said the idea of the tour grew from the pleasure of “stripping everything down to its basic form” and likened it to “sitting around a campfire every night playing music with some friends.” He's sure to be the big draw at Juanita's, but nationally, particularly in the punk scene, he might be the least well known, and he's definitely the odd man out among the coterie of protest-minded punk and hardcore. But where material might separate the quartet, everyone sings like he's spent a lifetime hollering and drinking grain alcohol, which is to say, grizzled. Don't expect that to stop the legions, which are likely to show up in force, from singing along.
10 p.m., Juanita's. $10.
The Boondogs abide. For almost a decade, the local pop-rock group's been a study of persistence, releasing new albums about every other year and playing out just enough that their shows always feel long-coming. The central dynamic, too, remains largely unchanged: Lead singers and songwriters and husband and wife Indy Grotto and Jason Weinheimer frame songs (each usually anchors songs alone) as if they're having a conversation, and one that often takes dark turns. But don't mistake persistence for creative sameness. With each album, the 'dogs have built on their formula, which has lately meant albums that deeply deserve an audience beyond Little Rock. Their new record, “Take Shelter,” a sunnier, bigger sounding rumination on love and loss, easily fits that bill. On Friday they'll celebrate its release. The famed producer, session man and singer/songwriter Jim Dickinson opens the show with a rare performance in his hometown. The $10 entry fee includes a copy of the album.
ANNE PRESSLY BENEFIT
7 p.m., the Grand Ballroom of the Peabody. $25.
In memory of Anne Pressly, local promoter Butch Stone presents a night of entertainment of all stripes. All proceeds will be donated according charities selected by Pressly's parents. The headliners include local cover band CRISIS, blue-eyed soul man Big John Miller, rising talent Cara Martin and the gospel act Glory Land Mass Choir. Randall Eller the Magician, Kassi Kimmons, Sherry Haywood, Kasi Lunsford, Barrett Baber and Heather Bennett are also on the bill. A number of local radio personalities, including Tom Wood, Jeff Allen, Heather and DC, will also be on hand; most will be broadcasting live. Admission includes two free drink tickets at door.
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