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click to enlarge (left to right) Ricco Ardemagni as Ricky Roma, James Norris as John Williamson, Neil Gillespie as George Aaronow, Paul Seminara as Dave Moss, Scott Minor as James Lingk, Larry Lapaglia as Shelley Levene - JENNIFER AND EMILY SEMINARA
  • Jennifer and Emily Seminara
  • (left to right) Ricco Ardemagni as Ricky Roma, James Norris as John Williamson, Neil Gillespie as George Aaronow, Paul Seminara as Dave Moss, Scott Minor as James Lingk, Larry Lapaglia as Shelley Levene

THURSDAY 1/11-SUNDAY 1/21

'GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS'

7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat, 2 p.m. Sun. through Jan. 21. The Studio Theatre. $15-$18.

For a sense of whether or not to take the kids to this one, refer to the YouTube montage titled "Glengarry Profanity Supercut" at a site called justtheswearing.com, just scant of 3 minutes long and filled to the nanosecond with unsavory exclamations. The 1992 film put playwright David Mamet's foul, fiery words into the mouths of Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin and Kevin Spacey to great effect, eviscerating the optimism of the American dream with a portrait of a sales environment as he saw it: cutthroat and cruel. Without "Glengarry," there might not have been a "Reservoir Dogs" or "The Wolf of Wall Street," and it's easy to see how a 2018 production could operate as critique of all the ways in which financial success in America has been linked with a toxic brand of masculinity. Or, perhaps that's just easier to imagine with this particular production, since there's a woman — Heather Norris — in the director's chair. She's an actor herself, and one with a knack for putting anger and betrayal under the spotlight. Norris dazzled, for example, with her wry retrospection as Alison in The Studio Theatre's production of "Fun Home" last September, and with the heat and danger of her emotional tumult as May when Precipice Theater put on Sam Shepard's "Fool For Love" in 2014. These eight performances of "Glengarry Glen Ross" are the work of Precipice Theatre, a self-described "actor's co-op" founded in 2011 with the idea that actors are at their best when they have some control over their choice of repertoire. Tickets are at centralarkansastickets.com. SS


click to enlarge "THE HAUNTS OF YOUTH": Nashville's Fort Defiance returns to Hot Springs with a show at Maxine's.
  • "THE HAUNTS OF YOUTH": Nashville's Fort Defiance returns to Hot Springs with a show at Maxine's.

THURSDAY 1/11

FORT DEFIANCE

9 p.m. Maxine's, Hot Springs. Free.

As adorable spousal country duos go, Fort Defiance (Jordan Eastman and Laurel Lane) crosses off a lot of the more predictable boxes: a winsome Dust Bowl-era wardrobe; plaintive, high-lonesome harmonies; mid-show flirtations; and a van that doubles as a hotel bed after the show. The crowdfunders that footed the bill for their 2017 release, "The Haunts of Youth," didn't dismiss them as a Johnny-June fantasy, though, and neither should you. Lane's Iris Dement-ish treble carries live performances of uptempo ditties like "Goetta Picnic" — the only song I know that ends with the word "sausage" — into do-si-do territory, but my favorite is the album's bitter, Dylanesque bonus track, "Warzone Serenade": "The buzzards all came flying in to feed on what was dying, and I found myself the victim of their ways/I guess I'm just the kind of kid who's had so much given to him/I'd claim I hit a triple when I was born on third base." SS

click to enlarge ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF PARKS & TOURISM
  • Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism

FRIDAY 1/12

OAKLAWN RACING: OPENING DAY

12:30 p.m. first post. Oaklawn Racing & Gaming.
$2 parking.

The horses are running again at Oaklawn and, depending on how long the rain lasts, Friday could be a great day to put the "Gone Fishin' " sign on the desk at work and go pick a trifecta. Or, bundle up and go Saturday for a nine-race card and the track's annual Corned Beef Day. When the Arkansas Times went to press, the forecast was mostly sunny in the high 30s, likely chilly enough to keep the lines for the track's famous 50-cent corned beef sandwiches and 10-cent soft drinks to a manageable minimum. On both Friday and Saturday, Hwy 124 kicks off a live music set in the casino's Pops Lounge at 5 p.m., and Mister Lucky entertains at the track's Silks Bar & Grill from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. SS

FRIDAY 1/12-SATURDAY 1/27

'AS BEES IN HONEY DROWN'

7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat. through Jan. 27, 2:30 p.m. Sun., Jan. 21 and 7:30 p.m. Thu., Jan. 25. The Weekend Theater. $12-$16.

In retrospect, it's pretty amazing that a play centered so incisively on someone who's "famous for being famous" opened back in 1997, pre-social media "influencers," pre-Kardashians, pre-Instagram. Douglas Carter Beane's ingenue, Alexa Vere de Vere, shares DNA with quasi-fictional predecessors like Truman Capote's Holly Golightly, and her attempts to craft her own public identity without regard to its truth make "As Bees in Honey Drown" arguably more relevant 20 years later, although were it set in 2018, Vere des Vere could have told her own fabulous fiction via social media instead of hiring a writer to do it for her. The story the play presents, Director Kayla Esmond told the Times last week, is one "everyone can relate to, but it is exceptionally relevant for artists." Walter Dodd plays the rising literary star Evan Wyler, and Amy Young plays Vere de Vere, the glam socialite conscripting Wyler to write her life story as a screenplay. SS

click to enlarge 26195634_531742250531164_4574258147728382690_n.jpg

FRIDAY 1/12

MIKE DILLON'S POCKET PERCUSSION CONSORTIUM

10 p.m. Four Quarter Bar. $8-$12.

If your New Year's Eve plans didn't include Mike Dillon at Four Quarter Bar, here's your chance to see a formally trained percussionist gone gonzo. Dillon, a beast of a vibraphonist and bandleader, has been getting punk rock with some decidedly un-punk instruments for years — timpani, chimes, timbales. And, with the rotating showcase of percussionists he invites onstage as part of his Pocket Percussion Consortium, he's dragging the likes of Ween's Claude Coleman and Clutch's Jean-Paul Gaster along with him. For this show, he's invited Jim Loughlin, longtime percussionist for jam gurus Moe, to collaborate and improvise. SS

click to enlarge JOSHUA ASANTE
  • Joshua Asante
click to enlarge "UNCERTAIN, BUT UNAFRAID": A photography show from Joshua Asante and Matt White opens Friday evening, on view for Second Friday Art Night. - MATT WHITE
  • Matt White
  • "UNCERTAIN, BUT UNAFRAID": A photography show from Joshua Asante and Matt White opens Friday evening, on view for Second Friday Art Night.

FRIDAY 1/12

2ND FRIDAY ART NIGHT

5-8 p.m. Downtown galleries. Free.

Musician Joshua Asante and White Water Tavern-owner Matt White are also photographers, and they have collaborated on an exhibition, "Uncertain but Unafraid: Contemporary Portraits of the American South," opening Friday at the Central Arkansas Library System River Market Books & Gifts (aka the Cox Creative Center, 120 River Market Ave.) for the monthly downtown gallery walk. The show features photographs, mostly portraits, taken in Arkansas and the region. (Later, hit the after-party at White Water where Adam Faucett & The Tall Grass will play.) The Butler Center Galleries (409 President Clinton Ave.) opens "Education in Exile: Student Experience at Rowher," from its collection of art and artifacts from the WWII Japanese internment camp. The Historic Arkansas Museum (200 E. Third St.) opens two new shows of items made more than 100 years apart: "These Various Threads I Drew" is an exhibition of 19th century needlepoint samplers from the permanent collection and "Going Unnoticed: Dustyn Bork and Carly Dahl" features the work husband-and-wife artists addressing the theme of the overlooked in different media. Water Buffalo Brewing will serve its craft beer and singer/songwriter Rena Wren of Hot Springs will perform. Catch a movie at the Old State House Museum (300 W. Markham St.), which is showing "Raiders of the Lost Ark," a nice accompaniment to its exhibition "Cabinet of Curiosities," artifacts from the University of Arkansas Museum. Other participating exhibitors are Gallery 221, Bella Vita, Matt McLeod Fine Art and Gallery and Mariposa Studio. LNP

click to enlarge BIG ON BACH: Violinist Lisa Shihoten and organist Ken Cowan play a recital at Christ Episcopal Church as guests of the Central Arkansas chapter of the American Guild of Organists. - LISA MARIE MAZZUCCO
  • Lisa Marie Mazzucco
  • BIG ON BACH: Violinist Lisa Shihoten and organist Ken Cowan play a recital at Christ Episcopal Church as guests of the Central Arkansas chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

FRIDAY 1/12

KEN COWAN AND LISA SHIHOTEN

8 p.m. Christ Episcopal Church. Free.

Between the two of them, violinist Lisa Shihoten and organist Ken Cowan have either studied or taught at nearly every formidable conservatory in the U.S.: Juilliard, Yale, Curtis, Princeton, Westminster College. The couple has made a career as recitalists between their commitments in New York City, playing virtuosic Bach behemoths in some of the finest acoustic spaces in the world, with some Korngold and Saint-Saens thrown in for romance. For this program, they'll take on Bach's "Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir," the "Sinfonia from Cantata No. 29" and Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor" — that villainous theme you know from "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" and pretty much every other movie that's ever wanted to broadcast "This is the bad guy!" to its audience. They'll also interpret a couple of violin sonatas from Belgian composer Eugene Ysaye; Max Reger's fantasy on "How Brightly Shines the Morning Star" and an organ version of Wotan's "Farewell and Magic Fire Music" from Wagner's "Die Walkure" on this organ, fashioned in 1990 by Little Rock's own Nichols & Simpson Inc. SS

click to enlarge Katy Perry - RONY ALWIN
  • Rony Alwin
  • Katy Perry

FRIDAY 1/12

KATY PERRY

7:30 p.m. Verizon Arena. $51-$151.

When Katy Perry's "Firework" came out in 2010, I was making plans to take my mother — a lifelong rural Arkansan who had never set foot on a plane — to San Juan, Puerto Rico. I'll confess: Sometime between the inception of the plan and the days leading up to takeoff, the empowered anthem (or workout staple, if that's how you roll) sloughed off its guilty pleasure, eye roll-inducing qualities and became a sort of theme for the trip — a soundtrack for identifying experiences that scare you a little and doing them anyway. Maybe that song felt similarly uplifting to you. Maybe you gave up on Katy Perry after watching her sum up her longstanding feud with Taylor Swift by breaking into "Let It Go" during "Witness World Wide," an event in which Perry moved into a house outfitted with cameras everywhere for four days and live streamed every minute. Maybe it's both. Either way, you're probably in luck with this arena show; recent setlists run the gamut from "I Kissed a Girl" to "Teenage Dream" to "Swish Swish." Carly Rae Jepsen opens the show. SS

SATURDAY 1/13

JOHN SYKES, NANCY WILSON

6-9 p.m. Boswell Mourot Fine Art.

Barbie heads and No Cash Value tokens are combined in one of photographer John Sykes' digital "Psykographs" that will go on exhibit starting Saturday at Heights gallery Boswell Mourot. "What I try to evoke in my art ... is a reaction," Sykes wrote in his artist's statement, "but something a bit more than being asked, 'What were you thinking when you created this?' I want something akin to the effect a great poem or short story has. A feeling of having come upon a bizarre surreal scene or an overheard conversation between illicit lovers." A wine and cheese reception for Sykes and artist Nancy Wilson, who is showing drawings (her statement: "We are made of water, we are born of water and by a river's water, I learned not to be afraid."), is set for Saturday; the shows run through Feb. 3. LNP

click to enlarge John Hiatt - MICHAEL WILSON
  • Michael Wilson
  • John Hiatt

SATURDAY 1/13

JOHN HIATT & THE GONERS

7 p.m. Center for the Humanities and Arts (CHARTS), Pulaski Technical College. $10-$125.

The brilliance and acclaim of last year's "Trinity Lane" mean that some of us may have spent spent more time listening to Lilly Hiatt than to her father John, especially that letter from daughter to father, "Imposter." That first line — "He said, 'I feel like an imposter/Took me 'til 62 to realize I'm good at what I do' " — is a bit difficult to imagine a songwriting sage like Hiatt uttering. After all, he's been backed by the likes of Ry Cooder and Nick Lowe, and the songs on 1987's "Bring the Family" have been covered by Jewel, Bon Jovi, Bill Frisell, Delbert McClinton and Carl Perkins. Hiatt's a musician's musician and has been writing in the "Americana" idiom since before we called it that. As for an album to dig into for an introduction or a refresher before this show at Pulaski Tech's expansive auditorium space, you've got 22 records to choose from, but I'll throw in a vote for the first one I fell in love with after hearing Hiatt at the River Market-era Juanita's, 2012's "Mystic Pinball." SS

click to enlarge HEIST: "Rififi," the 1955 flick that scored the blacklisted Jules Dassin the award of best director at Cannes, is next up in the Arkansas Times Film Series.
  • HEIST: "Rififi," the 1955 flick that scored the blacklisted Jules Dassin the award of best director at Cannes, is next up in the Arkansas Times Film Series.

TUESDAY 1/16

ARKANSAS TIMES FILM SERIES: 'RIFIFI'

7 p.m. Riverdale 10 Cinema. $9.

"Ocean's Eleven," "Bottle Rocket," "The Usual Suspects?" If you ask Roger Ebert, none of them exist without "Rififi," made on a shoestring budget in France by a director who was blacklisted from Hollywood during the so-called "Red Scare." "The modern heist movie," Ebert said in a 2002 review, "was invented in Paris in 1954 by Jules Dassin," who "built his film around a 28-minute safe-cracking sequence that is the father of all later movies in which thieves carry out complicated robberies." Join us for this, the next film in the Arkansas Times Film Series, hosted in partnership with Film Quotes Films and Riverdale 10 Cinema. SS

click to enlarge 17022406_1076060629165499_8793557088030426018_n.jpg

WEDNESDAY 11/17

WEDNESDAY NIGHT POETRY

6:30 p.m. Kollective Coffee + Tea, Hot Springs. Free.

If you're looking for proof positive that poets aren't as flaky as television makes them out to be, consider this: This weekly open mic and poetry showcase has spent time in 14 different venues over the last 29 years and has not missed a week since it was founded Feb. 1, 1989, according to the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism. It's currently hosted by its founder, Bud Kenny, and is home to a weekly feature poet, whose 20- to 30-minute set at 7 p.m. is bookended by two open mic sessions open to all ages. SS


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