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The top things to do and places to be

By The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

This article was published December 12, 2013 at 3:16 a.m.


Ballet Arkansas company members Toby Lewellen (left) plays the Toy Soldier and Amanda Sewell is the Ballerina Doll in Act I of The Nutcracker.

Mitchell Knox (second from left) and Jude Petini (far right) get an eye-level view of moving scale model trains at the 2012 “All Aboard! Lionels at La...


With its 10 professional company members and a handful of guest artists leading two casts totaling more than 200 dancers, actors and students (of all ages) from across the state, Ballet Arkansas will perform Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky’s Christmas classic ballet The Nutcracker, with members of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and conductor Geoffrey Robson in the pit, 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Robinson Center Music Hall, West Markham Street and Little Rock. Tickets are $20-$52. Call (501) 666-1761 or visit

Andrea Maciel De Faria, formerly of the Orlando Ballet, and Brooklyn Mack, principal dancer of the Washington Ballet, will dance the roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier with the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet and the South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra in a Nutcracker production at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the El Dorado Municipal Auditorium, 100 W. Eighth St., El Dorado. Tickets are $25, $15 for children in grades K-12. Sponsors are Teague Auto Group and Southern Bancorp. Call (870) 862-0521 or visit

Western Arkansas Ballet’s 28th annual presentation of The Nutcracker will feature a cast of more than 115 area dancers, with professionals Antoinette Klimek as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Arion Tanabe as her Cavalier, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Arkansas Best Corp. Performing Arts Center, Fort Smith Convention Center, 55 S. Seventh St., Fort Smith. Tickets are $25 and $20, $15 for students with ID. Call (479) 785-0152 or visit

And Arkansas Festival Ballet dancers will perform Nutcracker excerpts with the Pine Bluff Symphony Orchestra during its Christmas concert, “Holiday Traditions: Music of the Season,” 7 p.m. Saturday at the Pine Bluff Convention Center Auditorium, 500 E. Eighth Ave., Pine Bluff. The program will also feature the First United Methodist Church of Monticello’s hand bell choir, baritone Matt Soto singing “Ave Maria” and “White Christmas” and Jennifer Fox narrating “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Charles Jones Evans conducts. Tickets are $30 (preferred seating) and $25, $12 and $8 for K-12 students. Call (870) 536-7666.


Little Rock’s official Christmas kick-off event comes a week late, with the Big Jingle Jubilee Holiday Parade postponed because of last week’s weather to 2 p.m. Saturday. The collection of floats, dancers and bands with grand marshal Cody Belew will follow a route from Second Street and Broadway to the state Capitol where, at 6 p.m., guests can witness the lighting of the Capitol building and a fireworks display. Admission is free. Call (501) 835-3399 or visit

Preceding his marshaling duties, Belew presents “A Belew Christmas” at 8 p.m. Friday in the Lucy Lockett Cabe Festival Theatre at Wildwood Park for the Arts, 20919 Denny Road, Little Rock. Tickets are $20 for students, $25 for reserved seating, $50 for VIP. Call (501) 821-7275 or visit


“Arkansas Women to Watch 2013,”

featuring woven tapestries, felted and mixed-media works, “textile paintings” and hand-dyed and painted quilts by Louise M. Halsey of Little Rock; Barbara Cade of Hot Springs; Jennifer Libby Fay, formerly of Rogers; Jane Hartfield of Fort Smith; and Deborah Kuster of Conway; opens Friday in the Butler Center Galleries, 401 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock. A reception, 5-8 p.m. Friday, is in conjunction with Second Friday Art Night and admission is free. The exhibition, up through Feb. 22, is a project of the Arkansas state committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Admission is free. Call (501) 918-3033.


The Arkansas Chamber Singers will celebrate the “Spirit of the Season” with three free concerts — 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at the Old State House Museum, 300 W. Markham St., Little Rock. Conductor John Erwin’s program will include new works by Arkansas composers Adam Stanley, Michael Ekbladh and Jordan Bennett, along with a selection of carols and sacred and secular seasonal tunes. Admission is free; reserve a seat via (501) 377-1121 or


Red Octopus Theater continues its run of Christmas sketch-comedy shows with Pagans on Bobsleds XXII: Nice and Naughty!, 8 p.m. today-Saturday at the Public Theatre, 616 Center St., Little Rock. Doors open at 7:30. Tickets are $10, $8 for students, senior citizens and military personnel. Call (501) 291-3896, email or visit


Hobbyists and members of the Lionel Collectors Club of America will put up their largest-yet “All Aboard! Lionels at Laman” hands-on train display, starting with an opening ceremony at 10 a.m. today at the Main Branch of the William F. Laman Public Library, 2801 Orange St., North Little Rock. The exhibit will be up through Dec. 31, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday (closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). Admission is free. Call (501) 758-1720 or visit


North Little Rock’s Burns Park has, once again, been turned into a sparkly extravaganza of Christmas light displays that will flash and twinkle 6-10 p.m. through Dec. 30. The display is drive-through ($5 per car, $10 per van, $15 per bus) but this Saturday, you have the chance to see the lights on foot. The Dash’n Thru the Lights run or walk through the park is scheduled for 5 to 6 p.m. Registration is $5, $10 per family. Afterward, guests can participate in games and activities at the Burns Park Winter Festival, 6-8 p.m. Admission is free. Call (501) 753-7307 or visit


See who makes the best traditional holiday drink in town as contestants duke it out in the Ninth Ever Nog-off, 5-8 p.m. Friday at the Historic Arkansas Museum. Admission is free. Call (501) 324-9351 or visit


On Saturday, which is Holly Trolley Day, ride the River Rail trolley for free, 8:30 a.m.-midnight through Little Rock’s River Market District — where the East River Market Pavilion (400 President Clinton Ave.) and the nearby St. Vincent Plaza & Patio will feature a holiday craft bazaar with homemade crafts, candies, gifts and baubles, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. — and across the Arkansas River to North Little Rock’s Argenta. At the Trolley Barn at Seventh and Main streets at that north end, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., have your picture taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus (take your own camera). A Holly Trolley Day promotions card entitles you to deals at participating businesses along the trolley route. Call (501) 375-1377.


Stop off at Historic Washington State Park for traditional decorations, candlelit streets, good food and Christmas music. The annual Christmas and Candlelight celebration continues Saturday with daylight tours 1-5 p.m. and evening tours 5-8 p.m. Admission is $10, $5 for children. Call (870) 983-2684 or visit

Weekend, Pages 34 on 12/12/2013

Print Headline: THE WEEKEND TEN

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