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ENTERTAINMENT NOTES: Acansa Arts Festival announces schedule

by Eric E. Harrison | July 20, 2021 at 1:43 a.m.
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Bluegrass Band — (from left) Reginald Rueffer (fiddle/violin/vocals), Dave Walser (guitar/lead vocals), Bach Norwood (double bass/vocals) and Gerald Jones (banjo/mandolin) — performs Sept. 11 at Little Rock's Ron Robinson Theater, part of the Acansa Arts Festival of the South. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)

Elsewhere in entertainment, events and the arts:

Acansa Festival

The Acansa Arts Festival of the South returns in September after a year off because of the pandemic, with performances by more than a dozen music, dance and theater groups and solo artists over three weekends in multiple venues across Little Rock and North Little Rock.

Tickets are $30-$40; a $100 Festival Flex Pass covers four ticketed events. Festival Gold Passes, $250, include access to all ticketed events. And a 2021-22 Season Pass, $400, also includes a Dec. 6 performance of "A Carpenter's Christmas," the March 2022 Charlotte Gadberry Award Presentation and a June 2022 show to be announced.

  • The lineup:
  • ◼️ Opening Reception, 5:30 p.m. Sept. 9, Cranford Co. Studio, 512 Main St., Little Rock. Free
  • ◼️ "Fancifool!," 7 p.m. Sept. 9-10, Cranford Co. Studio. $30. Actor-dancer-comedian Ananda Bena-Weber, in her one-woman show, reveals the humorous side of life in New York through dramatic and comic dialogue, singing, dancing, mime, vocal impressions and film.
  • ◼️ Las Cafeteras, 8 p.m. Sept. 10, The Rail Yard, 1212 E. Sixth St, Little Rock. $30. Afro-Mexican ensemble.
  • ◼️ Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Bluegrass Band, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 11, Ron Robinson Theater, 100 River Market Ave., Little Rock. $35. Dave Walser (guitar/lead vocals), Bach Norwood (double bass/vocals), Reginald Rueffer (fiddle/violin/vocals) and Gerald Jones (banjo/mandolin).
  • ◼️ "Steel Magnolias" by Robert Harling, Sept. 15-26, Argenta Community Theater, 405 Main St., North Little Rock. $35.
  • ◼️ Pearl Django, 7 p.m. Sept. 16, The Joint Theater and Coffeehouse, 301 Main St., North Little Rock. $30. Hot Club-style jazz ensemble.
  • ◼️ Nick Shoulders, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 16, The Rail Yard. $30. Country roots music "with a penchant for the absurd."
  • ◼️ Bonnie Montgomery, 8 p.m. Sept. 17, Argenta Plaza, 510 Main St., North Little Rock. Free.
  • ◼️ Saxophonist Louis Fouche, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 17, Wildwood Park for the Arts, 20919 Denny Road, Little Rock. $30.
  • ◼️ Singer-guitarist David Starr, 7 p.m. Sept. 18, The Joint Theater and Coffeehouse. $30.
  • ◼️ Ranky Tanky, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 18, Ron Robinson Theater. $35. Grammy Award-winning Gullah quintet from Charleston, S.C.
  • ◼️ 10-Minute Play Showcase, 7 p.m. Sept. 22, Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, 204 E. Fourth St., North Little Rock. Free.
  • ◼️ The Reminders, 7 p.m. Sept. 23, The Rail Yard. $30. Roots duo — Brussels-born emcee Big Samir and Queens-born emcee/vocalist Aja Black.
  • ◼️ Jazz at the Joint, 7 p.m. Sept. 23, The Joint Theater and Coffeehouse. $30. Khari Allen Lee, saxophone; Ted Ludwig, guitar; Peter Slavov, bass; Geoff Clapp, drums.
  • ◼️ Rodney Marsalis and the Philadelphia Brass Band, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 24, Ron Robinson Theater. $35.
  • ◼️ "Cocktail Hour: The Show" by Ballets with a Twist, 8 p.m. Sept. 25, Center for Arts and Humanities Theater, University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College main campus, 3300 W. Scenic Drive, North Little Rock. $40.

Acansa will follow up-to-date covid protocols, including those issued by the CDC and festival venues, so seating could be limited even in larger venues. Call (501) 663-2287 or visit acansa.org.

UCA shows

“Summer – The Donna Summer Musical” will be onstage Jan. 24 at the University of Central Arkansas's Reynolds Performance Hall. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)
“Summer – The Donna Summer Musical” will be onstage Jan. 24 at the University of Central Arkansas's Reynolds Performance Hall. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)

Reynolds Performance Hall at the University of Central Arkansas, 201 Donaghey Ave., Conway, opens its 2021-22 season of full-capacity, live performances 7:30 p.m. Sept. 30 with "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story."

The rest of the hall's Broadway, Pops and Night Out Series will include 22 shows; except as noted, all performances are at 7:30 p.m.

  • Broadway Series (touring shows)
  • ◼️ Nov. 30: "An Officer and a Gentleman"
  • ◼️ Jan. 24: "Summer – The Donna Summer Musical"
  • ◼️ April 19: STOMP
  • ◼️ April 22: Rodgers & Hammerstein's "South Pacific"
  • Night Out Series
  • ◼️ Nov. 16: Cirque Mechanics Birdhouse Factory
  • ◼️ Jan. 29: Ballet Folklorico de Mexico
  • ◼️ Feb. 23: Yamato: The Drummers of Japan
  • ◼️ March 8: "Lucy Loves Desi: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Sitcom"
  • Pops Series
  • ◼️ Oct. 21: 38 Special
  • ◼️ Dec. 5: Postmodern Jukebox: The Grand Reopening Tour
  • ◼️ Dec. 10: "Christmas with CeCe Winans"
  • ◼️ Feb. 4: "Chris Thile Live in Concert"
  • Storytellers Series
  • ◼️ Feb. 8: "Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom" with Lynda Blackmon Lowery
  • ◼️ March 2: "Warriors Don't Cry," followed by Q&A with Stacy James McAdoo and performance by The Writeous Poets of Little Rock Central High School
  • ◼️ April 7: "Pachuquismo" with Catherine S. Ramirez
  • Main Stage EdUCAtion
  • ◼️ Jan. 27: "School House Rock Live!," 10 a.m. student show, 6 p.m. public show
  • ◼️ Feb. 8: "Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom," 10 a.m. student show
  • ◼️ Feb. 10: "Dog Man: The Musical," 10 a.m. student show, 6 p.m. public show.
  • ◼️ March 2: "Warriors Don't Cry," 10 a.m. student show
  • ◼️ March 17: "Paddington Gets in a Jam," 10 a.m. student show, 6 p.m. public show.
  • ◼️ April 7: "Pachuquismo," 10 a.m. student show
  • Add-On
  • ◼️ Feb. 1: "The World of Musicals"

Subscription renewals are available now; new subscriptions go on sale Aug. 2. Season performing arts packages are $245-$380; individual series packages (Night Out, Pops, Broadway) are $90-$130. Single tickets — $30-$40, with discounts for children and students — go on sale Sept. 7. Storytellers are $15, $5 for children/students. Call (501) 450-3265 or visit uca.edu/reynolds.

Roots to jazz

Wild Ponies kicks off the Walton Arts Center's 2021-22 West Street Live series Oct. 21. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)
Wild Ponies kicks off the Walton Arts Center's 2021-22 West Street Live series Oct. 21. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)

A 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21 show by Appalachian band Wild Ponies kicks off the 2021-22 West Street Live series of more intimate performances by bands, musicians and singer-songwriters a variety of genres from traditional roots music to immigrant folk songs at Fayetteville's Walton Arts Center, 495 W. Dickson St.

  • The rest of the lineup (all performances at 7:30 p.m. in the center's Starr Theater):
  • ◼️ Dec. 9: Bluesman Ray Bonneville
  • ◼️ Feb. 19: Roots ensemble American Patchwork Quartet
  • ◼️ March 4: Multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Darrell Scott
  • ◼️ May 5: Roots music by Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem

Tickets for the five-show package are $160.

And The Huntertones are opening the center's 2021-22 StarrlightJazz Club, Sept. 10 in the Starr Theater.

  • The rest of the lineup: (all performances at 7:30 p.m. in the Starr Theater):
  • ◼️ Oct. 22: Jane Bunnett and Maqueque
  • ◼️ Dec. 10: Samara Joy
  • ◼️ Feb. 18: Sullivan Fortner Trio
  • ◼️ March 5: Clark Gibson Quintet

Five-show packages are $155-$240.

Call (479) 443-5600 or visit waltonartscenter.org.

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