John Brown University, Siloam Springs


It’s not often that one sees a comical imitation of a Thomas Hart Benton painting depicting rough sorts gigging fish at night. For that painting alone, if not the portrait of Judge Isaac Parker looking out the window at a hanging reflected in a window pane, or of Maya Angelou with birds tied to her wrists, or of Eldridge Cleaver rendered with playing cards, should make a trip to Siloam Springs worthwhile. Works by 65 Arkansas artists were selected for the “Arkansas Territory Collection,” an exhibition commemorating the bicentennial of the incorporation of the Arkansas Territory in 1819 with paintings and mixed media about the people and places of Arkansas and Oklahoma. The traveling exhibition, assembled by the Heart of America Artists’ Association, a nonprofit established last year by John P. Lasater IV and Todd Williams, both of Siloam Springs, opens at John Brown University’s Windgate Gallery. Central Arkansas artists represented in the show include Susan Baker Chambers, Cary Smith, Lynda Deer (all of Little Rock), Rashawn Penister (Pine Bluff) and Neilann Brown (Sherwood). Altogether, there are 78 works in the show, by artists from nine states. Donations are being sought for the publication of a catalog for the exhibition at The show is slated to travel to the Cane Hill Museum in May, the Historic Arkansas Museum in July and the South Arkansas Arts Center in May 2020, along with sites in Oklahoma, which was part of the Arkansas Territory. LNP

4/11/-4/14 | 7:10 p.m. Thu.-Fri., 6:10 p.m. Sat., 2:10 p.m. Sun.
Dickey-Stephens Park | $7-$13.

For many, the start of spring is marked not by a groundhog’s shadow or by a date on a calendar, but by the smell of freshly cut grass, the crack of a wooden bat, and the cherished sight of an overeager dizzy bat racer careening wildly down the third base line. Kicking off their 13th home season at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock, their 112th season overall and 54th consecutive in the Texas League, the Travelers will once again seek to provide the time-honored mixture of professional baseball and amateur theatrics that minor league diehards crave. The 2019 season offers something for everyone: For those who want to see how close they can get to a sporting event without paying any attention at all, the beer garden awaits. For those more interested in the product on the field, many of the Seattle Mariners’ best prospects should spend time in Central Arkansas this year, with former first-round picks Kyle Lewis (OF) and Evan White (1B) expected to play at the AA level. Regardless of your interest in our national pastime, the Travelers offer one of the best places in town to just pass time, particularly as the sun sets on the Little Rock skyline, the craft beer flows freely, and Otey the Possum lurks around looking terrifying. DF


4/1-5/15 | Windgate Center of Art and Design | UA Little Rock.

Arthur Hash is an assistant professor in the jewelry and metalsmith department at the Rhode Island School of Design, and Ben Dory is an artist-in-residence at UA Little Rock in metals and teaching a class in 3D printing/jewelry this semester. Lucky UA Little Rock art students and for those of us who love a little weirdness in our art: Hash’s exhibition, in the Small Gallery (level one), will feature fabricated jewelry that nods to a love of his “daily carry.” A news release explains Hash feels these items — good luck charms, river stones, folding knives — help shape his identity. Toothpaste, does, too, as evidenced by his necklace pendant of a mostly used toothpaste tube, “Rarer than hens’ teeth as common as an old shoe.” The show also includes work in silver and gemstones. Hash has shown his work at Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Virginia Beach, Va.; the Wayne Art Center in Philadelphia; and the Museum of Art in Delaware, Ohio. Hash will give a talk at 5:30 p.m. April 19 at the Windgate Center, Room 101.


Saturday-Sunday 4/6-4/7
Verizon Arena

Here is a nonexclusive list of the vehicular majesty one can likely witness at Monster Jam 2019: A truck named Megalodon doing something called a “slap wheelie,” Grave Digger pulling off a rad “pogo,” Raminator and Rammunition competing to determine who rams the hardest, and a 12,000-pound piece of machinery known menacingly as Monster Mutt engaged in a donut-off with the less-menacingly named Scooby-Doo. Eight trucks will compete in a variety of events, including timed and head-to-head races, a two-wheel skill challenge, donut competitions and a freestyle period. If the 1,500-horsepower tomfoolery taking place on the track isn’t your cup of Natural Light, then come for the people watching; there will be no shortage of babies in comically large over-the-ear headphones. One of numerous stops on Monster Jam’s 2019 journey to the World Finals in Orlando, this year offers the opportunity for you yourself to serve as a judge. If you are able to shoulder such serious responsibility, then head to the arena, pull out your phone and, if you dare, let Bounty Hunter know how unimpressed you were by its “sky wheelie.” DF

Murry’s Dinner Playhouse

At any given minute during the last 20-plus years you could have scrolled through your cable guide and the 1992 Whoopi Goldberg-starring “Sister Act” would have been playing. Watching Country Music Television at 3 a.m.? “Sister Act.” SyFy on a Sunday afternoon? Probably “Sister Act.” The film takes a wild batch of ingredients — Vegas lounge singers, mobsters, nuns, the Pope himself, ’60s girl-group pop music, immaculately arranged hymns, my personal favorite dame (Maggie Smith) — and cooks up an exceedingly watchable fish-out-of-water musical comedy that was a smash hit upon release and has refused to fade from public consciousness since. It is cinema of the very highest order: The power of music converts San Francisco street toughs to Catholicism. Nuns fly to Reno, Nev., in a helicopter and overrun a casino. In 2006, this timeless tale of a nun on the run won five Tony Award nominations for the Broadway production, including one for Best Musical. Curtain is 7:30 p.m. Tue.-Sat. (dinner 6-7:20 p.m.) and 12:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. Sun. (lunch 11 a.m.-12:40 p.m., dinner 5:30-6:40 p.m.). DF


4/13 | First post 12:30 p.m.
Oaklawn Racing & Gaming | Free.

According to Oaklawn’s glossary of horse racing terms, the “Holy Ghost” is a betting strategy that relies on the fact that good things come in threes. So, if a certain jockey or trainer wins twice, chances are they’ll win again — or, if a horse wins both the Rebel Stakes and the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn, they’re more than likely to take the title at the Kentucky Derby as well. The Holy Ghost blessed Smarty Jones in 2004, winning him all three races and winning his owners a $5 million cash bonus on top of their winners’ purses. In 2015, the Holy Ghost did American Pharoah one better, getting him not just the Kentucky title, but the whole hallowed Triple Crown. So, Derby Day is the time to put on your church clothes, foray out to the race track and place your bets on just how exactly the spirit will move. And, for nonbelievers — or maybe for the equine-ambivalent — you can see and be seen in the fashionable crowd beneath the dogwood trees in Oaklawn’s infield, where beer and corned beef sandwiches abound. General admission is free, but seat reservations can be purchased starting at $4.50, if you feel so called. CL

Melba Theater, University of Arkansas Community College, Batesville

The Ozark Foothills FilmFest has been rockin’ along for 18 years, bringing panels, workshops and screenings of all sorts to Batesville every April. This year, though, will be extra special, with the festival’s opening weekend being hosted at the Melba Theater, a recently restored art deco jewel in downtown Batesville. The festival will open with a screening of Charlie Chaplin’s “The Gold Rush,” a restored version of the original 1925 comedic masterpiece, accompanied by live music from local guitarist Danny Dozier. From there, the festival will pack its two weekends with films of all shapes and sizes, including four programs that feature narrative and documentary shorts from the States and abroad. Documentary features will include Pat Mire’s “Sushi and Sauce Piquante: The Life and Music of Jerry McGee”; Jessica Ynez Simmons’ “I Can Only Be Mary Lane,” about a Chicago blues singer originally from Clarendon; and Katharina Stieffenhofer’s “From Seed to Seed,” a look at ecological agriculture. The festival will also reprise its focus on rural America in film with its “Reel Rural” program, which will screen on the final day of the festival in UACCB’s Independence Hall. This year’s series features James Choi’s “Empty Space,” Daniel Peddle’s “Moss” and Andrew Paul Davis’s “Palace,” and all three filmmakers will stick around for a panel discussion and post-screening Q&As. You’ll get your money’s worth and then some with an all-access pass for just $30; tickets for individual screenings and blocks are $3-$7. CL

4/13-4/14 | 7:30 p.m. Sat., 3 p.m. Sun.
Robinson Performance Hall

The great thing about the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra having done this casual-classical shindig for so long? Patrons know that every spring, they’ll get a chance to go wrap themselves in a blanket of heady musical drama, in duds no fancier than those they’d wear for a quick trip to Kroger for eggs. The drawback, if there is one, is that slating the annual concert under Ludwig’s namesake risks masking the surprise and variety on the bill. Take this year’s repertoire, for example, in which violinist Gareth Johnson interprets Beethoven’s sweetly frolicsome “Romance for Violin and Orchestra No. 2,” a stark departure from the magisterial “Ode to Joy” the ASO tackled in February. That’s programmed alongside the “Bacchanale” from Saint-Saens’ “Samson et Dalila” —hands down, the Best Orgy Banger of 1877 — along with the serpentine, frenzied “Tzigane” from Ravel and other delights: Tchaikovsky’s “Sleeping Beauty” suite and the first of George Enescu’s three Roumenian Rhapsodies. It’s all ear candy, every bit of it, prepared in petit four-sized servings.

TUESDAY 4/16 | 7 p.m.
Riverdale 10 Cinema | $9.

Look, until holograms and virtual reality can make us smell colors and experience Thanksgiving dinner in a single bite, it’s pretty inconceivable that we are going to bear witness to the art rock of Talking Heads in live concert form. Excepting, perhaps, here, in this screening of Jonathan Demme’s hallowed film from 1984, up on the big screen as part of the Arkansas Times Film Series. Therein, framed by the vision of Demme and his then-girlfriend, Sandy McLeod, are crystallized snapshots of all the things that made this rock quartet so pivotal: David Byrne’s intensity and jerky physicality, Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth’s shared bounce and joie de vivre, the conspicuous absence of anything that resembled a confessional love song. With “Stop Making Sense,” it was as if the Talking Heads, armed with its inimitably normcore comportment, was saying, “Look at this! We are going to wear gray, do peculiar things with our hips and trim any fat that might distract from what’s really important to us: the beat, our bodies and the joy of marrying the two together.” Arkansas Times screens the film in partnership with Film Quotes Film and Riverdale 10 Cinema. SS

White Water Tavern.

In a world ruled by fairness, Ben Dickey’s 2016 solo record “Sexy Birds & Salt Water Classics” and its 2019 follow-up “A Glimmer on the Outskirts” would be enough to make his a household name. It was, however, the fortuitous events of that three-year interim that would do the trick. The Little Rock native — formerly of ’90s-era local post-hardcore act Shake Ray Turbine — found his name on the tongues of critics at Rolling Stone and Sundance last year after his friend Ethan Hawke cast him at the center of “Blaze,” a film depicting the life of Malvern native/songwriting legend Blaze Foley. What emerged was hailed as the best biopic of 2018; Dickey’s film debut grappled with its subject unflinchingly, giving a wider audience not only awareness of Foley’s catalogue and stunning biography, but an awareness of Dickey’s own artistry. Even better, Bob Dylan’s longtime guitarist Charlie Sexton — who played Townes Van Zandt in “Blaze” — produced “A Glimmer on the Outskirts,” selecting its track list and its studio musicians. It’s a mesmerizing collection of tracks, earnest and beatific, and worthy of getting lost in more than once, with vivid turns of phrase like “the Great Rearranger drippin’ all his venom into our eyes.” Dickey performs from it for this Saturday engagement at the White Water Tavern, where he debuted “Sexy Birds” in 2016, before he became an indie film darling. SS