Collins to work toward increasing visitation to Arkansas by groups and promoting the state's appeal
'FIDDLER ON THE ROOF'
7:30 p.m. Robinson Center Music Hall. $17-$50.
The first production of "Fiddler on the Roof" opened on Broadway nearly 50 years ago. The smash-hit musical was based on a short story by Sholem Aleichem called "Tevye and his Daughters," published in 1894. Then, as now, the theme of striving to hold on to one's traditions in the face of enormous changes and societal upheaval was a relevant one. Tevye, a poor Jewish milkman in early 20th century Russia, wrestles with a variety of internal and external forces that are threatening big changes for his family and his way of life: a wealthy, middle-aged suitor seeks his eldest daughter's hand in marriage, though she's in love with a poor young tailor. Another daughter seeks to marry a Marxist revolutionary (disregarding the traditional role of the matchmaker) and yet another of his daughters falls in love with a young Russian gentile despite Tevye's disapproval. Meanwhile word is spreading of an imminent pogrom and the expulsion of Jews from Russia. Throughout it all, Tevye must search his soul for the answers to these modern dilemmas. This production runs again Dec. 1, same time and price.
WING SPUR WILD HORSES BENEFIT
6 p.m. Argenta Community Theater. $50.
Out west, herds of wild horses that are supposed to be protected by the Bureau of Land Management are sometimes rounded up and sent to Mexico for slaughter, their meat shipped overseas, to places where the consumption of horse is considered acceptable. I know this will shock you, but it turns out BLM has a very cozy and incestuous relationship with oil and gas companies, which lease federal lands for drilling. Those companies pay a nominal fee to the feds, and in return, they can do pretty much as they please with the land, extracting their fill of the fossil fuels and then leaving the mess for someone else to clean up. It seems that herds of wild horses have a tendency to inconvenience these companies, hence the animals' poor treatment at the hands of the agency that is ostensibly supposed to protect them, under the Wild Horses and Burros Act of 1971. But some accommodating legislation from former Montana Republican Sen. Conrad Burns negated critical parts of the act, allowing for the removal of the wild horses. Burns snuck the changes into an appropriations bill in 2005 without any public notice or debate in Congress. "Wild Horses and Renegades" is a documentary that tells this story of corporate greed and animal cruelty abetted by bureaucratic negligence. The film contains some pretty shocking footage of abuse, though, so if that sort of thing bothers you, then you should definitely make a donation to Wing Spur Wild Horses, which cares for two families of wild mustangs rescued from a grisly fate at the abattoir. The nonprofit sanctuary, located at Wye, is among several that were started by kindhearted folks around the country who wanted to make sure these majestic creatures get a chance to survive. There will be drinks and hors d'oeuvres in addition to a screening of the film.
8 p.m. Cornerstone Pub and Grill. $7.
If you dig listening to guitar-centric, crunchy modern rock and you also want to help The Boys & Girls Clubs spread some holiday cheer to the less fortunate this season, this benefit show that the band headlines is probably where you should be on Friday night. Se7en Sharp is self-described as "Eagles in Chains," which sounds right on the money to these ears. "Classic grunge" could also accurately describe the band, which has little in common with much of the hyper-compressed modern radio rock that barrels out of truck speakers all over the nation. The band's tunes are by turns heavy and quiet, dynamic and melodic, with the acoustic guitars playing nice with the electric ones. If that sounds like it's up your alley, make sure to bring a gently worn coat, three cans of nonperishable food or a new toy and help someone stay warm, fed and a maybe just a little bit happier.
SLOBBERBONE, TWO COW GARAGE
9:30 p.m. White Water Tavern. $10.
So you missed out on seeing the last Two Cow Garage all-weekend blowout back in September because you didn't buy tickets in advance. Well don't make that same mistake again, because this time, the Ohio cow-punkers are playing a double-header with those Denton, Texas, trouble-causers in Slobberbone. There will be plenty of other performers as well -- including the much-loved Tennessee act Glossary -- at what will no doubt be a rowdy, boozy ear- and liver-punishing good time. On that topic, I would encourage any of you imbibers of alcohol to consult my hangover prevention/remediation guide that was published in last week's Times as part of the Smoke Up Johnny preview. The simple guidelines contained therein will serve you well, especially if you're hoss enough to take on both nights of this here throw-down.
ALCHEMY SONGWRITING COMPETITION
7:30 p.m. Hendrix College's Worsham Hall. $10.
Blackbird Academy of the Arts is a nonprofit arts education program based in Conway that offers affordable classes for all ages, with a curriculum that runs the gamut from visual arts to music and dance to filmmaking and creative writing. Founder Jennie Strange got the idea for the school a few years ago, but now it's a 6,000-square foot building with a staff of 23 that offers full and partial scholarships. The Alchemy Songwriting Competition is a fundraiser for the nonprofit. Ten finalists will perform their songs for the judges, who include Kris Allen, the Conway native and American Idol winner; David Hodges, a Little Rock native who's earned Grammys for his work with Evanescence and Kelly Clarkson, and Andy Davis, a former marketing exec who is involved with several music-centered nonprofits. Of the finalists, six are from Arkansas and the other four are from Amherst, N.Y., Ontario, Alexandria, Va. and Bidnija, Malta, respectively. The grand prize is an expenses-paid trip to Los Angeles to record the winning song in a studio with producers Ryan Peterson and Nolan Sipe. Proceeds from the competition, including entry fees, sponsorships and showcase tickets, will benefit Blackbird Academy.
KINGSDOWN, FREE MICAH, BELAIR
8:30 p.m. Revolution. $5 with new toy, $8 without.
Here's another chance to see some of that rock 'n' roll music the kids keep talking about while also doing a small turn to help out the less fortunate among us. Is there anything sadder than the thought of a boy or girl going without a present this Christmas because mom or dad lost a job or had to put every penny toward paying the mortgage and bills? This is the third year that indie rawk outfit Kingsdown has hosted a Toys for Tots benefit to help make sure that all kids in Central Arkansas get a toy for Christmas, regardless of their circumstances. It's been a big year for the band, playing supporting slots alongside such acts as Poison, REO Speedwagon, Jet and others, so the group — along with many other bands, venues, promoters and others — is giving something back. The folk-rock free spirits in Free Micah and the pop-punk quartet Belair are also playing the show.
LITTLE ROCK WIND SYMPHONY
3 p.m. Second Presbyterian Church. Free.
The Little Rock Wind Symphony's "A Christmas Extravaganza" includes performances from the LRWS brass choir, woodwind ensemble, soprano Laura Storm singing "O Holy Night," the Don Roberts Elementary School Children's Choir singing "Sleigh Bells," "Peace on Earth ... and Lots of Little Crickets," and "Sweet Songs of Christmas," as well as classics such as Strauss' "Unter Donner und Blitz," "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," "It's Christmas!" and more.
RIVER CITY MEN'S CHORUS
3 p.m. Trinity United Methodist Church. Free.
It's time once again for the River City Men's Chorus Christmas show. This year marks the 10th holiday concert by the group, but as usual, expect to hear many of your favorites. On the play list for this year are: "The First Noel," "I Saw Three Ships," "Gloria in Excelsis," "Do You Hear What I Hear?" "Silent Night," "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," "Deck the Hall" and many more. In addition to Sunday's show, the choir will perform at 7 p.m. on Dec. 5 and Dec. 8 at Trinity United Methodist.