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Albom’s ‘Morrie’ opens at Rep 

click to enlarge 'TUESDAYS': On Friday.
  • 'TUESDAYS': On Friday.

“Tuesdays With Morrie,” the Mitch Albom best-selling book adapted for the stage by Jeffrey Hatcher, opens at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s Main Stage on Friday, March 10.

David Grapes, formerly the producing artistic director of the Tennessee Repertory Theatre in Nashville and director of “Tuesdays With Morrie,” will lead a pre-show discussion before a sneak preview of the show on Thursday, March 9, beginning at 7:15 p.m.

“Tuesdays With Morrie” runs through March 26. It’s based on visits Albom, a popular Detroit sports columnist and national radio personality, made to his beloved and dying former college sociology professor, Morrie Schwartz. In doing so, Albom learned more of life’s lessons, one of which is to appreciate the little things.

Grapes is now a full-time professor of theater and director of the school of theater arts and dance at the University of Northern Colorado. Grapes, who directed “My Way” and “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” at the Rep, will direct a cast of two in “Tuesdays With Morrie”: Christopher Cass, who originated the role of Bill in last season’s “The Sleeper” at the Rep, and Frank Lowe, who was in the 2001 Rep production “You Can’t Take It With You.” Grapes said, “This play really does have wonderful things to say about the importance of living your life in a positive and loving way. I think we all remember those special teachers like Morrie Schwartz who change our lives for the better with wisdom and love.”

Performance times are 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday and 7 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets are $30 for orchestra seating, $28 for lower mezzanine and $20 for upper mezzanine, with some half-priced tickets available for the March 9 sneak preview. Call 378-0405 or 866-684-3737.



Opera star visits
The internationally renowned opera star Denyce Graves will perform at Reynolds Performance Hall at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway Saturday, March 11. The mezzo soprano will give a full recital beginning at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices range from $12 to $25. Call 866-810-0012 or 501-450-3265. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.

Graves will give a partial recital program at the Great Hall of the Clinton Presidential Center Sunday, March 12, beginning at 3 p.m. The appearance is part of the UCA Arts and Presidency Series, and admission is by invitation only.

Graves combines expressive vocalism with a dynamic stage presence. Her programs include German, French and English art songs as well as the popular music of Broadway, jazz and American spirituals.



Get tough
The Budweiser Toughman Contest, in its 26th year, takes over the Statehouse Convention Center for fights Friday and Saturday, March 10-11, beginning at 8 p.m. The event will pit about 40 local men and women in a two-day, last-man-or-woman-standing amateur boxing tournament, with fighters divided into weight classifications.

Interested fighters should call 800-883-4897 or visit Fitness Tech to enter. Winners will move on to the world championships, where up to $40,000 in prize money will be awarded.

Tickets range from $15 to $25 and are available at Little Rock Bumper to Bumper stores, Crossroads Western Wear in North Little Rock and Fitness Tech, or by calling 800-883-4897. Tickets will also be sold at the door.



Eddie’s Elvis 
Entertainer Eddie Miles returns with his annual March shows at Murry’s Dinner Playhouse, giving his tribute to “The King,” Elvis Presley. His show also includes a salute to the legends of country music. Miles is regarded as one of the best Elvis impersonators in the business, and his March 10-19 shows mark his third run at Murry’s.

Ticket prices are $28 for Sunday through Thursday shows, $30 for Friday and Saturday shows and $26 for matinees. Showtimes are 7:45 p.m. (dinner at 6 p.m.) Tuesday though Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday (dinner at 5:30 p.m.) and matinees at 1 p.m. Wednesday and Sunday (dinner at 11 a.m.). Call 562-3131 for reservations.



Drift away
The Junior League of Little Rock invites folks to take in the classic sounds of the “original” Drifters and enjoy international-style cuisine from Sesame’s/Jasmine’s restaurant at its Building Gala on Saturday, celebrating the fifth anniversary of the renovation of the Woman’s City Club. The event, which includes live and silent auctions, begins at 7 p.m. and tickets are $175. Call 375-5557. The Woman’s City Club is at 401 S. Scott St.



Chefs’ night
Don’t miss out on one of the best meals for the money anywhere. The Arkansas Culinary Federation will be holding its annual ACF/CAC Chef’s Ball and awards dinner on Saturday, March 11, at the Statehouse Convention Center’s Wally Allen Ballroom. The $50-per-person ticket entitles the holder to a five-course dinner with paired wines, plus live music. Each course is prepared by one of the chefs of the ACF. The evening begins with hors d’oeuvres at 6 p.m.

The ACF will honor its top chef, pastry chef, sous chef and student of the year. Tickets are available by calling Todd Gold at 252-6140.



Mysterious music
The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra will entertain the kids and their families on Sunday with a Family Series show, “Secrets of the Orchestra: Mysterious Melody,” led by ASO assistant conductor Izzy Getzov. The 3 p.m. show is at Robinson Center Music Hall. All seats are $8. Free activities for the kids begin outside the performance hall at 2 p.m. Call 666-1761 for more information.

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