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ENTERTAINMENT NOTES: Argenta Community Theatre off to stage ‘The Wizard’

by Eric E. Harrison | April 28, 2022 at 1:31 a.m.
Caroline Perry (from left) as the Tinman, Madisyn Sallas as Dorothy Gale, Brandon Nichols as the Cowardly Lion and Matthew Sewell as the Scarecrow speculate on what will happen when the Lion becomes "King of the Forest" in “The Wizard of Oz” at Argenta Commuity Theater. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette/Royce West)

Elsewhere in entertainment, events and the arts this weekend:

THEATER: Yellow Brick street?

The Judy Kohn Tenenbaum Argenta Community Theater, 405 Main St., North Little Rock, stages "The Wizard of Oz" (music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. "Yip" Harburg, based on the classic movie, derived in turn from the classic by L. Frank Baum, adapted by John Kane for the Royal Shakespeare Company). The show at 7 p.m. today is billed as a preview. Subsequent shows are 7 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday through May 7.

Madisyn Sallas plays Dorothy Gale, with Shelly Hall (also the costume designer) as the Wicked Witch, Matthew Sewell as the Scarecrow, Caroline Perry as the Tinman, Brandon Nichols as the Cowardly Lion, Jessica Mylonas as Glinda, Keith Norris as the Wizard and Rizzo the Dog as Toto. Vincent Insalaco directs, with vocal direction by Jamie Stewart, orchestrations by Michael Heavner, choreography by Brian Earles and set design by Sara Cooke.

Tickets for tonight's preview are $25; to all other performances, $35. Visit Covid-19 protocols require proof of vaccination (except in cases of medical or religious exemption) and the wearing of masks inside the theater, except when patrons are actively eating or drinking.

Studio 'Shawshank'

The Studio Theatre, 320 W. Seventh St., Little Rock, stages "The Shawshank Redemption," adapted by Owen O'Neill and Dave Johns from Stephen King's novella "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption" and the 1994 film also based on it, 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and May 5-7, 2:30 p.m. Sunday and May 8. Tickets are $25 in advance, via; $30 at the door. For more information, call (501) 374-2615 or visit

Pine Bluff 'Outsiders'

"The Outsiders," adapted by Christopher Sergel from the novel by S.E. Hinton, is onstage at 7:30 p.m. today, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas, 701 S. Main St., Pine Bluff. Sponsors are Robinson & Fuller Funeral Homes and Express Employment Professionals. Tickets are $18, $13 for center members and senior citizens, $10 for students. Call (870) 536-3375 or visit

MUSIC: Windy classics

The Little Rock Winds' program titled "The Classics," rescheduled from Feb. 24, is at 7:30 p.m. today at Second Presbyterian Church, 600 Pleasant Valley Drive, Little Rock. Israel Getzov conducts.

The program: "An Outdoor Overture" by Aaron Copland; the finale to Camille Saint-Saens' "Symphony No. 3," "Organ," featuring the church's new pipe organ; music from "Swan Lake" by Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky; an arrangement of the "Little" g-minor "Fugue," BWV 578, by Johann Sebastian Bach; "Colloquy" by William Goldstein, with trombone soloist Sean Scot Reed; "Festive Overture" by Dmitri Shostakovich; and "The Stars and Stripes Forever" by John Philip Sousa.

Tickets are $15 for adults, free for students. Visit

American composers

The Conway Symphony Orchestra closes out its 2021-22 season at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Reynolds Hall at the University of Central Arkansas, 201 Donaghey Ave., Conway, with a program of American symphonic music: Leonard Bernstein's "Three Dance Episodes from 'On the Town'"; Scott McAllister's "X: concerto for clarinet and orchestra," with Dahre Miller as soloist; and the "Symphony No. 2" by Howard Hanson. Israel Getzov conducts. The concert also pays tribute to the hall as the orchestra moves to UCA's Windgate Center for Fine and Performing Arts for its 2022-23 season. Tickets are $20-$40, $10 for UCA staff and faculty, $5 for students with ID and children (with an adult ticket purchase). Call (501) 450-3265 or visit

Dulcimer Jamboree

The Ozark Folk Center State Park, 1302 Park St., Mountain View, hosts the annual Dulcimer Jamboree Friday-Saturday, with music workshops in the daytime and 7-9 p.m. concerts each evening featuring national champions and touring performers Aubrey Atwater, Bing Futch, Duane Porterfield, Janis Huff, Erin Mae, Ben Haguewood, Joe Jewell and Rick Thum. Tickets are $12, $7 for children, $29.50 for a family pass. Visit

ASU-Beebe Band

The Arkansas State University-Beebe Symphonic Band performs works by Robert W. Smith, Robert Longfield, Charles Booker, Randall Standridge, Ed Huckeby, Eric Morales, Rob Romeyn and Thomas Doss at 7:30 p.m. today at the Owen Center Theatre, 1102 W. College St., Beebe. Brent Bristow conducts. Admission is free. Call (501) 882-3600 or visit

ART: 'Potluck & Poison Ivy'

Arkansas artist Jane F. Hankins will be the focus of today's "Potluck and Poison Ivy" program at the Joint Theater and Coffeehouse, 301 Main St., North Little Rock. The Jonesboro native specializes in drawing, painting and sculpture in porcelain and stoneware. Doors open at 6 p.m. The $35 ticket includes a box dinner. Call (501) 425-1528 or visit

Pine Bluff project

Join professional University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff alumni and faculty artists and art students on Main Street in Pine Bluff for a community art festival, starting at 601 Main Street Plaza, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Activities include the installation of a sculpture at the Arts and Science Center, 701 S. Main St. Five open-to-the-public art stations along Main Street will focus on drawing, painting, sculpture, screen printing and ceramics; supplies will be provided. The festival will also feature food trucks, live performances and an art gift shop. Presenter is the UAPB department of art and design in conjunction with the Windgate Foundation.

  photo  “Sea of Tranquility” by Emily St. John Mandel is the Arkansas Center for the Book’s choice for the 2022 “If All Arkansas Read the Same Book” program. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)
LITERATURE: 'Tranquil' reading

The Arkansas Center for the Book has chosen Emily St. John Mandel's latest novel, "Sea of Tranquility" (Alfred A. Knopf, 2022), for the 2022 "If All Arkansas Read the Same Book" program. The novel "of art, time, love and plague ... takes the reader from Vancouver Island in 1912 to a dark colony on the moon 500 years later, unfurling a story of humanity across centuries and space," according to a news release. Copies of the book will soon be available at all public libraries throughout the state.

"If All Arkansas Read the Same Book" is a statewide reading program in which Arkansans are encouraged to read the book and participate in discussions concerning it, as well as the ideas the author explores, at public libraries, schools, bookstores and other venues where people gather to enjoy books and conversation.

Mandel will discuss "Sea of Tranquility" and the craft of writing in a virtual visit via Zoom Webinar at 6:30 p.m. July 28. The program will also be livestreamed on the Arkansas State Library's YouTube Channel. Admission is free. Register at

ETC.: 501 Day

For 501 Day, Sunday, celebrating Central Arkansas and what it has to offer, communities across the 501 area code are putting together special activities, including public art displays, and offering special merchandise. See what's going on at, or via #Celebrate501 and @Celebrate501 on Instagram and Facebook.

The Downtown Little Rock Partnership and a couple of partners are putting on 501Fest, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday at 1301 Main St., Little Rock, with music by the Funkanites, Dee Dee Jones, DeFrance and Steve James Indie, plus vendors, food, kids' activities and a video gaming trailer. Admission is free (food and beverages, of course, will cost money).

In North Little Rock, the festivities spread out over two days, including, on Saturday a baseball tournament at Burns Park, the Arkansas Chapter of Alzheimer's Association's Walk to End Alzheimer's, free classes with and a performance by Ballet Arkansas at Argenta Plaza, the Argenta Farmers Market and the 2022 Central Arkansas Heart Walk at North Little Rock Riverfront Park. On Sunday, the Blue Pumpkin Food Truck sets up at 516 Parkdale St. and Ballet Arkansas performs in Argenta Plaza. Several merchants are offering special deals.


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