TUESDAY 7/13-SUNDAY 8/1. War Memorial Park. $45.
The Arkansas Repertory Theatre, much to the delight of anyone who’s watched it navigate the twists and turns of a financial roller coaster over the last few years, is back, with outdoor productions in July and August. “If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s how much we all crave being out in the world, and sharing experiences with our families, friends and neighbors,” The Rep Executive Artistic Director Will Trice said. “That’s exactly what live theater provides, and these immersive productions give us the chance to enjoy our city’s beautiful community spaces in a whole new way.” The first of those productions, “Marie & Rosetta,” puts the spotlight on Cotton Plant native and gospel/rock icon Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and on her relationship with contralto Marie Knight. Steve H. Broadnax — Little Rock native, Penn State University professor and longtime Rep collaborator — directs this production of George Brant’s 2017 musical, which takes place in a “Rep Revival Tent” on the grounds of War Memorial Park. Tickets go on sale July 1; visit therep.org.
MOVIES IN THE PARK
WEDNESDAYS 7/7, 7/14, 7/21, 7/28. First Security Ampitheater. Sundown (8:30 p.m., approximately). Free.
The Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau and River Market Operations are bringing back this summer movie series on the riverfront, with screenings of “Wonder Woman 1984,” July 7; “Raya and the Last Dragon,” July 14; “Bill and Ted Face the Music,” July 21; and Clark Duke’s “Arkansas,” July 28. Don’t bring: glass containers. Do bring: lawnchairs or picnic blankets, bug spray, leashed pets and picnic snacks. An adult must accompany all children under the age of 18, and an ID is required.
SUNDAY 7/18. Fayetteville Roots HQ, 1 E. Mountain St., Fayetteville. 7:30 p.m. $60-$120.
From the minds that brought the food/music hybrid Fayetteville Roots Fest to Arkansas since 2010 comes an outdoor series worth the road trip up to Northwest Arkansas, particularly when the series offers you a chance to see the likes of Rodney Crowell, Parker Millsap and Mary Gauthier. Gauthier, whose own confrontations with homophobia and heroin form the backbone of her formidable talents, is the folk sage behind “Mercy Now,” “I Drink” and “The War After the War,” and is possessed of a knack for quieting a room with a whisper instead of a wail. When we went to press, the option to reserve a table for three was out, but tables for two or four were still available. See fayettevilleroots.org for tickets, and check out the rest of a compelling series lineup while you’re there.
ARGENTA PLAZA SUMMER SERIES: SYNRG, THE RODNEY BLOCK COLLECTIVE
SATURDAY 7/17. Argenta Plaza, 510 Main St., North Little Rock. 5 p.m. Free.
Even well before the pandemic forced such a skill set upon them, The Rodney Block Collective was great at funneling energy into a room even when there wasn’t a “room” to fill. With trumpet player Block at the core and the SYNRG trio opening the show at 5 p.m., this free outdoor summer series of concerts beckons Little Rock residents to heed the Dogtown mantra local creator Bang-Up Betty recently cemented into a T-shirt slogan: “Stop being a snob about coming to North Little Rock.” Bring lawnchairs.
‘COOL GLOBES: HOT IDEAS FOR A COOLER PLANET’
THROUGH 12/31. Clinton Presidential Center. Free.
The Clinton Presidential Library and Museum reopens July 1 after its pandemic-induced hiatus, but you won’t need a ticket for its newest temporary exhibit, which illuminates the crisis and impending challenges of climate change through a series of 26 globe-shaped sculptures, each designed by a different artist. Situated around the park’s outdoor landscape and designed for self-guided wandering, the globes have been circling the actual globe since 2007, positing accessible solutions to environmental crises in their themes: “Carpool,” “Conserve Water,” “Bee Mindful.” (Is it too late to add a “Hold Giant Corporations Accountable” globe? Asking for a friend.)