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ENTERTAINMENT NOTES: ‘Messiah,’ Men’s Chorus top weekend schedule

by Eric E. Harrison | December 1, 2022 at 1:31 a.m.
Arkansas Festival Ballet dancers perform parts of "The Nutcracker" and Israel Getzov conducts the Conway Symphony its "Holiday Spectacular!" Saturday at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)

Elsewhere in entertainment, events and the arts this weekend:

MUSIC: 90th 'Hallelujah'

The Arkansas Choral Society performs, for the 90th time, portions of George Frideric Handel's "Messiah" at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the sanctuary of Calvary Baptist Church, 5700 Cantrell Road, Little Rock. Music Director Kent Skinner will conduct the 60-plus-member chorus, musicians from the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and soloists Suzanne Banister, soprano; Diana Skinner Salesky, alto; and Scott Bearden, bass-baritone. The performance will include recitatives, arias and choruses from all three portions of Handel's oratorio, concluding with the "Hallelujah" chorus. Tickets are $20, $15 for students. Visit

'Holiday! 2022'

The River City Men's Chorus' "Holiday! 2022" concert, 2 p.m. Sunday, 7 p.m. Monday and Dec. 8 in the sanctuary of Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church, 4823 Woodlawn Drive, Little Rock, features traditional Christmas carols, hymns and contemporary holiday tunes. The Episcopal Collegiate School Wildcat Chorale will sing two pieces and join the chorus in another. David A. Glaze conducts. Doors open one hour ahead of "curtain time." Admission is free. The concert will be performed without an intermission. Call (501) 377-1080 or visit

Conway 'Spectacular!'

The Conway Men's Chorus, Arkansas Festival Ballet dancers (performing highlights from Peter Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker") and Santa Claus join the Conway Symphony Orchestra and conductor Israel Getzov for a "Holiday Spectacular!," 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Reynolds Performance Hall, University of Central Arkansas, 201 Donaghey Ave., Conway. Tickets are $25-$45, $10 for children (with paying adult) and UCA students (with ID). Call (501) 450-3265 or visit

Traveling singers

The Arkansas Chamber Singers and guest conductor Gabriel Staton take their Christmas concert on the road Sunday with performances in east and southeastern Arkansas: 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 717 W. 32nd Ave., Pine Bluff, and 7 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center at the University of Arkansas-Phillips Community College, 1000 Campus Road, Helena. Admission to both concerts is free; underwriting comes from the Warfield Concert Series. Call (501) 377-1121 or visit

  photo  Arkansas Circus Arts performs reimagines Peter Tchaikovsky’s ballet “The Nutcracker” through aerial and acrobatic performances in “The Nutcracker Circus” Saturday at the Maumelle Performing Arts Center. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)
 'Nutcracker Circus'

Arkansas Circus Arts performs "The Nutcracker Circus," with a cast of professional performers and child and adult students (according to a news release) re-imagining Peter Tchaikovsky's ballet through aerial and acrobatic performances, 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Maumelle Performing Arts Center, Maumelle High School, 100 Victory Lane, North Little Rock. Doors open at 5:30. Tickets are $25 in advance — visit; $35 at the door; $60 VIP (includes front of house seating, complimentary treats and swag bag and a non-alcoholic beverage). Call (501) 725-4975 or visit


Festival of Christmas Movers and Shakers, dancers, a festival choir, student-led vocal ensembles, handbells and a live pit band perform for Ouachita Baptist University's School of Fine Arts' "A Festival of Christmas," 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2:30 p.m. Saturday in the university's Jones Performing Arts Center, 409 Ouachita St., Arkadelphia. The program features 17 traditional Christmas songs and modern favorites, including "Silver Bells," "Winter Wonderland," "Run, Run Rudolph," "Once in Royal David's City," "Breath of Heaven," "Mary, Did You Know?" and "O Holy Night." Joshua Brown conducts. Tickets are $12, one free per student with OBU ID. Call (870) 245-5555 or visit

  photo  Ouachita Baptist University’s School of Fine Arts holds its “Festival of Christmas” Friday and Saturday. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette/Sarah Dean)
Sherwood parade

The city of Sherwood holds its annual Christmas parade at 2 p.m. Saturday, starting at Kiehl Avenue and Lantrip Road, continuing west down Kiehl Avenue and ending at Oakbrooke Drive. This year's theme is "Christmas in Toyland." Parade judges will award first- and second-place trophies in church, commercial, nonprofit, band, dance/spirit/cheer and school/civic categories, with the Mayor's Award going to the best overall. Rain date is Sunday. Sponsors are the Sherwood Advertising and Promotion Commission and the city's Parks and Recreation Department. Sign up at; for more information, call (501) 413-8030 or email

ASU-Beebe tree

Arkansas State University-Beebe, 1000 W. Iowa St., Beebe, holds its annual Tree Lighting Ceremony today in "The Grove" behind State Hall. Festivities get under way at 3 p.m. with a pottery sale benefiting the ASU-Beebe Student Emergency Hope Fund and performances by the ASU-Beebe Symphonic Band, the Arkansas National Guard 5-Star Brass, 106th Army Band, the Studio 360 Dancers and the ASU-Beebe Chamber Singers. There will also be crafts, refreshments, hayrides (courtesy of the John Deere agriculture technology program) and a visit from Santa Claus. Call (501) 882-3600 or visit

Camden courthouse

The lighting of the Ouachita County Courthouse, 145 Jefferson St. SW, Camden, takes place at 5:30 p.m. Friday, with live music and visits with Santa. A Flashlight Candy Cane Hunt for children 10 and younger follows at 7 p.m. in the nearby Farmer's Bank parking lot, with more than 700 candy canes hidden throughout Camden's downtown area and specially colored canes for prizes. Sponsor is the Camden Police Department. The Christmas Train provides free rides for the night through downtown. Visit

'Run, Run Rudolph'

Benton Parks and Recreation holds its fourth "Run, Run Rudolph 5K and Fun Run," in partnership with the Saline County Striders, Saturday at the River Center, 1800 Citizens Drive, Benton. Check in is at 6:30 a.m.; registration is $30 (free with a toy donation to the Saline County Boys & Girls Club) and includes a T-shirt; wear Christmas attire — there's a best-dressed prize. The 5K starts at 7:30; the Fun Run, open to children 12 and younger, starts at 8:30 and registration is free. Email Following at 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (10-11 a.m. is "low sensory hour"): "Santa in the Park," featuring arts and crafts, a cookie-decorating station, carriage rides, bounce houses and area vendors. Admission is free. Sponsor is State Farm agent D.J. Motley. Email

THEATER: 'Christmas Carol' I

The Royal Players stage "A Christmas Carol — The Musical" (music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, book by Mike Ockrent and Lynn Ahrens), 7 p.m. Thurday-Saturday and Dec. 8-10 and 2 p.m. Sunday Dec. 4 and Dec. 11 at the Royal Theatre, 111 S. Market St., Benton. Sponsor is Everett Buick GMC. Tickets are $18; $15 for senior citizens 60 and older, college students and members of the military; $8 for youngsters in grade 12 and younger. Visit For more information, call (501) 315-5483 or email

'Christmas Carol' II

Fayetteville's TheatreSquared stages "Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol," Amy Herzberg and Robert Ford's adaptation of Dickens' seasonal tale in which four spirits (don't forget Jacob Marley) attempt reform miserly Ebenezer Scrooge and show him the meaning of Christmas. The show opens tonight; shows are at 7 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday through Dec. 24 in TheatreSquared's West Theatre, 477 W. Spring St. Fayetteville. There will also be special matinees at 2 p.m. Dec. 23 and 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Dec. 24. Tickets are $20-$54. Call (479) 777-7477 or visit

'Roaring for the Arts'

"Potpourri: Roaring for the Arts," the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas' biennial fundraiser, takes place 6-11 p.m. Saturday at The ARTSpace on Main, 623 S. Main St., Pine Bluff. The gala will include dinner prepared by chef Jamie McAfee of the Pine Bluff Country Club; drinks sponsored by M.K. Distributors; silent art and spirits auctions; live music by Dave Sadler; and a live auction. Tickets are $250, $200 for center members. Proceeds support free gallery admission and "high-caliber programming." Call (870) 536-3375 or visit

COMEDY: Bargatze on tour

Comedian Nate Bargatze, on his "Raincheck Tour," performs at 7 p.m. Saturday at North Little Rock's Simmons Bank Arena. Tickets are $39.75-$79.75. And Bargatze's trek, which by then will be called "The Be Funny Tour," makes another Arkansas stop, 7 p.m. Jan. 13 at First National Bank Arena, 217 Olympic Drive, Jonesboro. Tickets are $35.75-$65.75. Visit

ART: Spa City gallery

Paintings by Sammy Peters and Steven Wise headline the December exhibit at Justus Fine Art Gallery, 827A Central Ave., Hot Springs, opening with a monthly Gallery Walk reception, 5-9 p.m. Friday. The exhibit will be on display through Dec. 31. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and by appointment. Call (501) 321-2335 or visit


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