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'The Nerd' comes to Murry's 

Also, other happenings.

click to enlarge MURRY'S TURNS 50: Michael Klucher plays Rick Steadman, the titular nerd in the Murry's Dinner Playhouse production of Larry Shue's two-act farce, playing through Feb. 18.
  • MURRY'S TURNS 50: Michael Klucher plays Rick Steadman, the titular nerd in the Murry's Dinner Playhouse production of Larry Shue's two-act farce, playing through Feb. 18.

THURSDAY 1/19

WORDS AND CURDS
6:30 p.m. Kent Walker Artisan Cheese. Free.

Pockets of poetry can be hard to come by in Little Rock. There are spoken word open-mic sessions every Friday (8 p.m.) at the House of Art in the Argenta District and the Rocktown Slam sessions. In 2016, Kent Walker Artisan Cheese launched its "Words and Curds" series, featuring a handful of writers on the third Thursday of each month. Two members of Little Rock Central High School's Writeous Poetry Club — Lux and Q-Squared (Chauncey Williams), who hosts the Writeous Radio Hour on KWCP-LP FM, 98.9, a student-driven community radio station — perform at this installment of the series. You'll hear from Cobris, a self-described "banker by day and poet by night" and past winner of the annual Rocktown Slam competition, as well as Karen Hayes, who calls herself "a poet and a problem." Hayes is an alumna of the Dairy Hollow Writers Colony, and she's the one you may have seen at the Argenta ArtWalk, crafting spontaneous rhymes on her 1971 Olivetti manual typewriter. Finally, there's a performance from Leron Charles McAdoo, known to some as Ron MC, "the Hip Hoptimist," who's been teaching in Little Rock schools since 1994. Plus, the shop has expanded its space in the last few months, so you'll have a nice view of the giant cheese wheels aging on shelves in the "cave." SS

THURSDAY 1/19

HAYDN BY CANDLELIGHT
7 p.m. Trinity Episcopal Church. $10-$25.

If the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra only did works that required the full breadth of its payroll, the musicians and the audiences alike would be missing out on a whole treasure trove of works for smaller ensembles. It's those pieces that inspire the ASO's Intimate Neighborhood concert series. A spot like Trinity Episcopal, an English Gothic cruciform filled with soaring wooden beams, stained glass and pointed arches, is a perfectly solemn hall for chamber music, and for this program it will be candlelit. Alan Hovhaness' dark, mysterious "Celestial Fantasy" opens the program. It's a meditation on a single theme, and the fruit of Hovhaness' Armenian heritage — and probably inspired by his travels to Soviet-controlled Armenia as part of the many fellowships the composer earned after bailing on his studies at the Tanglewood Music Center and buddying up with Hermon di Giovanno, the Greek painter and mystic. (And hey, Hovanhess famously burned or otherwise destroyed a lot of his own works, so we're lucky to have this ditty around.) The "Fantasy" is followed by Wagner's sublime "Wesendonck Lieder," five songs for a female voice that Wagner wrote when he was working on the opera "Tristan und Isolde." The Eastman-trained Maria Fasciano sings the Lieder, and nobody will give a whit that the songs — most often performed by mezzo-sopranos — are being sung instead by someone with a leviathan high C in her possession, because the richness of Fasciano's middle range rivals that of most mezzos anyway. Haydn's "Symphony No. 43," the so-called "Mercury" symphony for double reeds, horns and strings, will end the concert. SS

THURSDAY 1/19

MICHAEL CHAPDELAINE
7:30 p.m. The Joint. $25.

There is one person who's won first prize in two of the top competitions in classical and fingerstyle guitar: the National Fingerpicking Champion title and the Guitar Foundation of America International Classical Guitar Competition. He's the next featured artist in the Argenta Arts Acoustic Music Series at The Joint, and one you should catch if you're a person who has ever saved a guitar tutorial in your YouTube's "Watch Later" folder. Michael Chapdelaine has the distinction of having studied under Andrés Segovia, the virtuoso Spanish maestro who's considered the chief pioneer of modern classical guitar. (Before Segovia, classical guitarists used catgut strings instead of nylon, and picked primarily with their fingernails; Segovia changed both of those traditions irrevocably.) These days, Chapdelaine teaches guitar at the University of New Mexico, gives master classes around the world, enjoys the immense popularity of his transcription for Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" and, one hopes, inspires up-and-coming guitarists to dig into the classical canon with albums like his 2004 release, "Bach Is Cool." SS

THURSDAY 1/19-SATURDAY 2/18

'THE NERD'
7:30 p.m. Tue.-Sat., 12:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. Sun. Murry's Dinner Playhouse. $15-$37.

Murry's turns 50 this year, and celebrates that anniversary with a play about a birthday: Larry Shue's two-act comedy "The Nerd." The titular nerd here is a list of social no-no's embodied: the death of the party, the tambourine player willing to practice in the presence of other humans, the imposing houseguest. He saved the life of our straight-man protagonist (Willum Cubbert, played here by James Mainard O'Connell) in Vietnam and he's back to cash in on all that good will. It's broad farce, a favored milieu for dinner theaters everywhere, and exactly the kind of snappy dialogue Murry's can polish to a finish, particularly with nearly 40 performances scheduled. A buffet dinner from Chef Larry Shields precedes each performance, to be served at 6 p.m. Tue.-Sat., 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Sun. The company puts on a few matinee performances, too, on the first, second and third Wednesday of each production; in this case, Jan. 18, Jan, 25 and Feb. 1, with an 11 a.m. dinner and a 12:45 curtain time. SS

click to enlarge GET GONE: Shreveport quartet Seratones makes a landing at Stickyz Thursday night, with an opening set from Bad Match, 9 p.m., $10-$12.
  • GET GONE: Shreveport quartet Seratones makes a landing at Stickyz Thursday night, with an opening set from Bad Match, 9 p.m., $10-$12.

THURSDAY 1/19

SERATONES
9 p.m. Stickyz. $10-$12.

Exactly two years before this concert, the Shreveport quartet Seratones posted the video for "Kingdom Come" on YouTube, stating name and business at the song's opening to meet the qualifications of NPR's Tiny Desk Contest. Somehow, frontwoman A.J. Haynes' thereminesque spooky scat and the band's nimble underpinning didn't score them a win, but they got invited to play a Tiny Desk Concert, anyway. Since then, they've linked up with Fat Possum Records and become terrifically tight. What's more, Haynes' steamy swagger as a frontwoman has moved into the category of "undeniable," as evidenced in her commanding performance last May at the White Water Tavern (does that dive bar in the band's video for "Sun" look familiar, Capitol View denizens?). As long as we're talking about lead singers with swagger: Bad Match opens the show. SS

FRIDAY 1/20

'THE TAMING'
7 p.m. 21c Museum Hotel. $5 suggested donation.

In a message and "special Inauguration Day offer," playwright Lauren Gunderson wrote, "The communal embrace of theatre was always an ancient way of processing politics, society, and great change. I believe it still is." In that spirit, she and her publisher Playscripts waived the rights to "any theatre company, group, or band of ragtag persons who want to stage a reading of 'The Taming' on Inauguration Day 2017. ... In a theatre, in a house, on a street. It's on us." One such company, ArkansasStaged, is doing exactly that at Bentonville's 21C Museum Hotel; it's a benefit for Planned Parenthood. University of Arkansas theater instructor Jenny McKnight directs a cast and musical ensemble of women in the self-described "all-female political farce," set against the backdrop of the Miss America pageant in which Miss Georgia has enlisted a right-wing Southern senator and a left-wing blogger to help her rewrite the U.S. Constitution. The performance lasts about 90 minutes. If you can't make it to Northwest Arkansas, but like the idea of staging your own living room reading of "The Taming," search for the play on playscripts.com and follow Gunderson's instructions: "Place an order for the rights and select an "offline" form of payment: check or purchase order. Email info@playscripts.com and tell them that your reading is a part of the Inauguration Day project and you will not be charged. Gather, read, laugh, rage, post pics." Over 40 companies or "bands of ragtag persons" across the U.S. have signed on to the project and listed their reading on the play's Tumblr page. SS

FRIDAY 1/20

THE LATINO ART PROJECT
6-9 p.m. Core Public House.

The Latino Art Project, whose members have exhibited sometimes extraordinary work in North Little Rock venues for the past couple of years, will this Friday open "Eye of the Beholder" at Core (411 Main St.). Artists Luis Atilano, Luis Saldana, Martin Flores, Carla Ramos, Susana Casillas, Matt Teravest, Toni Arnone, Hannah Hinojosa, Becky Botos, Chris James and Vickie Hendrix-Siebenmorgen will show work in a variety of mediums. The reception will be 6-9 p.m. Verbal art joins the visual art at 8:30 p.m. when the poetry duo Half Sestina 811 performs. LNP

click to enlarge A DAY OF PASSAGE: The Velvet Kente Arkestra plays "Winter Soulstice V: A Benefit for Lucie's Place," following a silent auction and preceding a set from DJ Baldego, 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20, White Water Tavern. $10.
  • A DAY OF PASSAGE: The Velvet Kente Arkestra plays "Winter Soulstice V: A Benefit for Lucie's Place," following a silent auction and preceding a set from DJ Baldego, 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20, White Water Tavern. $10.

FRIDAY 1/20

WINTER SOULSTICE V
10 p.m. White Water Tavern. $10 suggested donation.

If you're bummed about having missed Joshua Asante with Amasa Hines at the White Water last Friday, and if "soulful songs of protest" sound like the balm you'll need to soothe your aching whatevers after a day that began with Trump's swearing-in ceremony, this is where you'll need to be after dark on Inauguration Day. (Actual solar dark, that is — not the darkness that consumed your hopes and dreams earlier that day, as Toby Keith sang the words "You'll be sorry that you messed with The U.S. of A, we'll put a boot in your ass; it's the American way" with unblinking sincerity.) If you can make it earlier in the evening, a silent auction upstairs begins at 7 p.m. and features goods from Miranda Young-Rice, Brittany Hallmark, Jennifer Steck, Joshua Asante, Cheyenne Matthews, Raduno, The Fold and more. Proceeds from the auction boost the evening's contribution to Lucie's Place, a nonprofit providing homeless LGBT youth in Central Arkansas with health and counseling services, housing, and basic items like toiletries, "go phones" and bus passes. The auction ends at 10 p.m. sharp, followed by a performance from the Velvet Kente Arkestra, an outsized version of the funk-forward ensemble that claimed the title at 2009's Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase. If you've got energy to expend afterward, there's a set from DJ Baldego (known to some as Seth Baldy, the host of Wednesday night's "Heartbreakers & Rumpshakers" on KABF-FM, 88.3). A solstice is a day of passage, and chances are you'll remember where you were on this one. Make it count. SS

click to enlarge FROM MEMORY: Laura Raborn's painting is part of her exhibition "Island Dreams and Memories" opening Friday at the Argenta branch of the Laman Library.
  • FROM MEMORY: Laura Raborn's painting is part of her exhibition "Island Dreams and Memories" opening Friday at the Argenta branch of the Laman Library.

FRIDAY 1/20

ARGENTA ARTWALK
5-8 p.m. Downtown NLR venues.

The third Friday of the month puts North Little Rock's downtown gallery scene in gear with the Argenta ArtWalk after-hours event up and down Main Street (and a little off to the side). "Island Dreams and Memories," Little Rock artist Laura Raborn's exploration of scenes remembered and revisited, opens at the Argenta branch of the Laman Library (420 Main St.); the show features both paintings and mixed media. An exhibition by noted Southern artist William Dunlap, "Landscape and Variable: Recent Works," continues at Greg Thompson Fine Art at (429 Main St.); note that Dunlap will give a talk at the gallery at 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4. At Mugs Cafe (515 Main St.), "Nature Inside and Out," an exhibition of printmaking by Daniella Napolitano and Carmen Alexandria that touches on the intersection between our exterior and interior worlds, opens. Other venues include the Southern Women's Artisans Guild (606 N. Olive St.) and Argenta Gallery (413 Main St.). LNP

SATURDAY 1/21

WOMEN'S MARCH ON ARKANSAS
11 a.m. Arkansas State Capitol. Free.

As a show of solidarity with the Women's March on Washington and the affiliated sisters marches around the world — over 370 of them, 55 of them outside the U.S. — Arkansans will march for the mission they cite on the event's Facebook page: "In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore." The march, it's hoped, "will send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world, that women's rights are human rights." This sister march begins with a 10 a.m. check-in and sign-making station at the corner of Pulaski and Capitol, followed by an 11 a.m. march to the steps of the Capitol, where a rally will take place. At 1 p.m., an information expo at the Willie L. Hinton Community Center (3805 W. 12th St.) highlights ways to communicate with your legislators and to stay involved. March organizers encourage participants to wear purple, and participants who cannot march can be dropped off at the southeast corner of the Capitol steps or at the southwest corner of Capitol and Woodlane, where there will be volunteers on hand to assist. SS

click to enlarge AT BOSWELL MOUROT: Anais Dasse's "Kids are Terrible People, Too" and other works by Arkansas artists who showed work during Miami's Art Basel  Week are in a show opening with a reception Saturday at the Heights gallery.
  • AT BOSWELL MOUROT: Anais Dasse's "Kids are Terrible People, Too" and other works by Arkansas artists who showed work during Miami's Art Basel Week are in a show opening with a reception Saturday at the Heights gallery.

SATURDAY 1/21

'ARKANSAS ARTISTS OF SPECTRUM' RECEPTION
6 p.m., Boswell Mourot Fine Art.

Art Basel's prestigious art fairs in Basel, Switzerland; Hong Kong; and Miami Beach draw hundreds of gallery owners. Boswell Mourot Fine Art, located here and in Miami, no doubt attracted some pretty powerful players in the art world when it took part in the Spectrum Art Fair of Art Basel Art Week in Miami the first week of December. Now, Boswell Mourot is exhibiting works by the Arkansas artists of Spectrum: Anais Dasse, whose work "Kids Are Terrible People Too" was featured in the 2016 Delta Exhibition; Delita Martin, who has decamped to Texas but is widely admired in Arkansas for her monumental mixed-media lithographs; Jeff Horton, a Little Rock architect and geometric abstract painter; Dennis McCann, whose hard-edge pastels have appeared in more Delta exhibitions than you can count on both hands; Keith Runkle, painter of fabulist allegories; and Kyle Boswell, who when not running the gallery is a terrific glass artist who combines textiles with his vessels. The gallery is at 5815 Kavanaugh Blvd. The show runs through Feb. 4. LNP

SUNDAY 1/22

INSIDE OUT POETRY READING
7 p.m. Vino's. $10-$15.

Unless you have an immediate or familial connection to someone who's incarcerated, it's easy to forget the thousands of people — 18,965 Arkansans, according to the 2015 numbers from the Arkansas Department of Correction — locked away from the public eye. For this reading, Decarcerate, a self-described "grassroots community group focused on reducing the prison population in Arkansas through smart legislation and community action," brings the voices of incarcerated poets into the public sphere. From 115 pages of submissions collected from prisons around the state, Decarcerate selected 29 poems to be read aloud by local writers. They'll donate proceeds for the event to fund "Pipeline," a feature-length documentary about the "cradle to prison" pipeline in Arkansas, which has the most rapidly growing prison population in the country. Arkansas. As stated on the film's website, "Pipeline" explores "how racial disparities and inequitable policies have funneled Black and Latino children into prisons at largely disproportionate rates through punitive criminal and juvenile justice systems, lack of health care, elevated rates of poverty, and inadequate education." Decarcerate's fundraiser, "Pipeline" Director Zachary Crow says, "was kind of a marriage of a lot of things I care about." "Pipeline" is slated to begin filming in February, he says, and the team is "closing in on the funds to get through the research process" — tax-deductible, thanks to a partnership with the Janus Institute for Justice. Once there's footage to show, Crow's crew will fine-tune the film's production budget with the hopes of incorporating animation elements into the film and a score from local musicians. SS


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