'Towncraft' heading to Europe 

After a 27-city screening/concert tour, “Towncraft” is heading to Europe. The documentary/multimedia project on the Little Rock music scene found an unlikely champion in an owner of a Berlin art gallery/record store. He somehow happened on the film, loved it and has organized a two-week concert/tour in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Holland and Belgium beginning May 3. The complete schedule is at http://towncraftmovie.com/towncraft/screenings.

“Shotgun Stories,” the acclaimed first feature from Little Rock's Jeff Nichols, screened in New York last week and drew critical raves. Matt Zoller, writing in the New York Times, called the film “[A] here-and-now American potboiler and a stripped-down parable that can be appreciated by any culture.” David Edelstein, of New York magazine, described the film's cast as “flawless.”

The Rep has announced its 2008-2009 season. It opens Sept. 12 with “Les Miserables,” directed by Bob Hupp. The play runs through Oct. 12. The young artists of the Rep's summer program present “If You Sing It, They Will Come (Songs from the Silver Screen)” Nov. 5-16. Nicole Capri directs. From Dec. 5-28, “It's a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play” shows. Producing artistic director Bob Hupp directs. The one-man show “Looking Over the President's Shoulder” stars Lawrence Hamilton. Gilbert McCauley directs that play, which runs Jan. 30-Feb. 15. Nicole Capri helms “The Foreigner,” March 13-29.

“The Elephant Man” follows from April 24-May 10, with Cliff Fannin Baker directing. “The Who's Tommy” closes out the season, June 5-June 28. Lynn Kurdziel-Formatto directs.

The long awaited, much-anticipated Al Green record finally has a name and a release date: “Lay It Down” comes out May 27 via Blue Note. Produced by Green in collaboration with Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson (the Roots) and James Poyser (Erykah Badu, Common), it features vocal contributions from Anthony Hamilton, John Legend, and Corinne Bailey Rae and horn work from the Dap-Kings.

Rolling Stone recently reported that Wal-Mart, the nation's leading music seller, wants to be able to sell all CDs for $10 or less. According to the report, if record labels don't comply with the pricing demand, Wal-Mart execs have hinted that they would reduce or replace the store's CD stock.

There's a new film contest in town. For the Trip 7 Film Competition, filmmakers will have seven required elements, seven days to shoot and films must be seven minutes long. There's a $700 prize package to the winner. Contestants pick up packages with rules and required elements on May 3 and turn in their completed film on May 9. A public showing and judging will be held on May 10 at Easy Street. Early registration is encouraged. Call James Smith at 541-7326 or Michael Henderson at 372-3530 or 551-2478 for more info.

As the Arkansas Blog previously reported, it was announced recently that the producing team behind the Broadway hit “Avenue Q” will adapt “Tales of the City,” Armistead Maupin's novel about 1970s San Francisco, for the stage. Fayetteville native Jason Moore, who's currently working on “Shrek: the Musical,” is slated to direct. Jason Sellard (better known as Jake Shears) and John Garden, of the glam-pop band the Scissor Sisters, will compose the music.



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