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ENTERTAINMENT NOTES: Gymnasts on tour, comedy and theater entertainment options

by Eric E. Harrison | July 22, 2021 at 1:33 a.m.
Gymnast Simone Biles headlines the Athleta Presents Gold Over America Tour, coming Oct. 10 to North Little Rock’s Simmons Bank Arena. (AP file photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Elsewhere in entertainment, events and the arts:

'Inherit' ... 'Our Town'

The Arkansas Public Theatre will stage American classics "Inherit the Wind" by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee and "Our Town" by Thornton Wilder in repertory, with the same cast of 20-plus actors, today-Sunday, July 29-Aug. 1 and Aug. 5-8 at the Victory Theater, 116 S. Second St., Rogers.

"Our Town," depicting the daily lives of two neighboring New England families, will be on stage at 8 p.m. today, Saturday and July 30 and Aug. 5 and 7, and 2 p.m. Aug. 1.

"Inherit the Wind," pitting two legal giants in the test-case trial over the teaching of evolution in a Tennessee public school, will be on stage 8 p.m. Friday, July 29, 31 and Aug. 6, and 2 p.m. Sunday and Aug. 8.

Doors and concessions open an hour before curtain. Main-floor cabaret seats are $30; balcony tickets are $20, $10 for students. Call (479) 631-8988 or visit

Summer on Square

Summer on the Square, Saturday on the El Dorado courthouse square, features another Grill Wars competition, this month focusing on street tacos, salsa and margaritas. Cook check-in and setup starts at 8 a.m. at the intersection of Elm and Jefferson streets. Entry fees are $25 for tacos, $15 for salsa and $15 for margaritas. Vote for "people's choice" 4-5 p.m. by buying three tacos from any of the participating competitors for $10. First, second and third-place payouts: tacos, $250, $125 and $75; salsa and margaritas, each $150, $75 and $25. To register, call (870) 862-4747 or visit

The lineup for the daylong festival also includes the Cruise Night Classic Car Show, "Showdown at Sunset," vendors, a blood drive and a fun zone. On the Jefferson Street Courthouse Stage, Jacob Flores performs 12:30-2 p.m., followed by DJ Taco Bout It, 2:30-3:30, and Jordan Sheppard, 4-5:30 p.m. Jazzman Rodney Block performs for an 8 p.m. "Jam Glow Party & Concert" in the First Financial Music Hall, 101 E. Locust St. in El Dorado's Murphy Arts District. Tickets are $10; visit

Otherwise, admission is free. Take lawn chairs. Presenting sponsors are Mainstreet El Dorado and Noalmark Broadcasting. Call (870) 862-4747 or visit

Two-play auditions

The Weekend Theater, 1001 W. Seventh St., will hold auditions at 10 a.m. Saturday and 6 p.m. Sunday for two shows:

  • ◼️ "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" by Ken Kesey. Parts are available for three males, four females and 10-plus "gender nonspecific roles." Production dates are Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees Sept. 10-25. Byron Taylor will direct.
  • ◼️ "Arsenic and Old Lace" by Joseph Kesselring. Production dates are Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees Oct. 22-Nov. 7. Brian Chambers will direct.

Auditioners only need to attend one session; no prior experience in acting is required and nothing need be prepared in advance. Find more information and a full character breakdown on available roles at

Gymnastics on tour

Gymnast Simone Biles headlines the Athleta Presents Gold Over America Tour, 7 p.m. Oct. 10 at North Little Rock's Simmons Bank Arena. Tickets — $28.50-$148.50 — for what is being billed as "the high-energy, gymnastics-meets-pop-concert spectacular" centering on an all-star team of female gymnastic champions, go on sale at 10 a.m. today via the arena box office or at Visit For information on VIP packages and a chance to participate in the show finale, visit

Laugh-fest tickets

Comedian Sommore is on the bill for the “Festival of Laughs,” Oct. 30 at Simmons Bank Arena. (Democrat-Gazette file photo)
Comedian Sommore is on the bill for the “Festival of Laughs,” Oct. 30 at Simmons Bank Arena. (Democrat-Gazette file photo)

Sommore, billed as "Queen of Comedy," headlines the touring "Festival of Laughs," coming to North Little Rock's Simmons Bank Arena 8 p.m. Oct. 30. Also on the bill: comedians Lavell Crawford, Earthquake and Gary Owen. Tickets — $63, $79 and $103 — go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at the arena box office and via

Murry's to reopen

Murry's Dinner Playhouse, 6323 Colonel Glenn Road, Little Rock, will reopen in mid-August with three productions it has rescheduled from the 2020 season that the pandemic wiped out.

The three shows:

  • ◼️ Aug. 17-Sept. 11: "Squabbles" by Marshall Karp
  • ◼️ Sept 14-Oct. 9: "A Comedy of Tenors," Ken Ludwig's sequel to "Lend Me a Tenor"
  • ◼️ Oct. 13-Nov. 13: "The 39 Steps," original concept and production of a four-actor version by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon, rewritten by Patrick Barlow, adapted from the 1915 novel by John Buchan and the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock film.

The dinner theater will start taking reservations on Monday. Call (501) 562-3131 or visit It will announce the remainder of the 2021 lineup "soon," according to a Facebook post, and will announce its 2022 season Oct. 1.

Murry's will initially be operating at one-third capacity and adjust seating as needed; guests and staff who are not fully vaccinated must wear a face mask when not eating or drinking and "everyone is encouraged to practice social distancing while moving throughout the building," the Facebook post notes. And the theater has installed a bipolar ionization system into its air-conditioning units to reduce airborne viruses, bacteria, mold and odors.

Preservation Awards

Aug. 31 is the deadline to submit nominations for Preserve Arkansas' 2021 Arkansas Preservation Awards, which "recognize outstanding preservation achievements, people who make a difference in their communities and projects that inspire others to protect Arkansas' special historic places," according to a news release.

Submit nominations for eligible projects in 13 categories:

  • ◼️ Outstanding Service in Neighborhood Preservation
  • ◼️ Outstanding Work by a Craftsperson
  • ◼️ Excellence in Preservation through Rehabilitation
  • ◼️ Excellence in Preservation through Restoration
  • ◼️ Outstanding Achievement in Adaptive Reuse
  • ◼️ Excellence in Personal Preservation Projects
  • ◼️ Outstanding Achievement in Preservation Advocacy
  • ◼️ Outstanding New Construction in a Historic Setting
  • ◼️ Outstanding Preservation Reporting in the Media
  • ◼️ Ned Shank Award for Outstanding Preservation Publication
  • ◼️ Outstanding Achievement in Preservation Education
  • ◼️ Excellence in Heritage Preservation
  • ◼️ Parker Westbrook Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Make nominations by phone (501) 372-4757; email; or online


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