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ENTERTAINMENT NOTES: Opera in the Ozarks opens summer music festival

by Eric E. Harrison | June 23, 2022 at 1:31 a.m.
Opera in the Ozarks singers will present two Broadway Cabarets, July 14 i Fayetteville and July 19 in Eureka Springs. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)

Elsewhere in entertainment, events and the arts this weekend:

MUSIC: Mountainside opera

Opera in the Ozarks kicks off its 2022 summer music festival with Giacomo Puccini's opera "La Rondine," 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Inspiration Point Fine Arts Colony Theatre, 16311 U.S. 62, five miles west of Eureka Springs.

The 2022 season, titled "Love on the Rocks," focuses on love gone wrong and features a company of 37 young singers and a professional orchestra assembled from across the country in a total of 22 fully staged and costumed opera performances through July 22.

"La Rondine" runs in repertory (7:30 p.m. Wednesday and July 2, 6, 13, 16 and 22 and 3 p.m. July 10) with productions of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Cosi fan tutte" (7:30 p.m. Saturday and June 30, July 5, 8, 12 and 21 and 3 p.m. July 17) and Stephen Sondheim's "A Little Night Music" (7:30 p.m. Tuesday and July 1, 7, 9, 15 and 20 and 3 p.m. July 3).

The season also includes:

◼️ "Pinocchio," a children's outreach production (adapted and with a libretto by John Davies, set to music by Mozart, Jacques Offenbach, Gaetano Donizetti, Giovani Pergolesi, Sir Arthur Sullivan and Giuseppe Verdi) at venues throughout Northwest Arkansas.

◼️ A chamber music concert, 7:30 p.m. July 18 at Inspiration Point.

◼️ Two Broadway Cabarets, 7:30 p.m. July 14 at Millar Lodge at Mount Sequoyah, 150 N. Skyline Drive, Fayetteville, including heavy hors d'oeuvres, and 6 p.m. July 19 at the Crescent Hotel, 75 Prospect Ave., Eureka Springs, that includes dinner. (Both cabaret venues will have cash bars.)

Single tickets are $25-$30, with discounts for children and students under 18; $40 for the Fayetteville cabaret, $65 for the Eureka Springs cabaret. Call (479) 253-8595 or visit

Kids' beat

The Arkansas Arts Council and Mosaic Templars Cultural Center will host "And the Beat Don't Stop," a kids' performance for hip-hop lyrics, 10 a.m.-noon Saturday at the center, 501 W. Ninth St., Little Rock. Youngsters will perform songs they created at a May 28 workshop at the center. Admission is free. The workshop is a partnership between the center, the Central Arkansas Library System — in particular, the Hillary Rodham Clinton Library and Learning Center — and the Arkansas Arts Council, and is in conjunction with the current center exhibition, "And the Beat Don't Stop: 50 Years of Hip-Hop." Visit or email or

THEATER: 'Practical Cats'

Jonesboro's Foundation of Arts stages the musical "Cats" (music by by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" by T.S. Eliot), 7:30 p.m. today-Friday, 6 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Forum Theater 115 E. Monroe Ave., Jonesboro. Neale Bartee conducts the Delta Symphony Orchestra. Sponsors are St. Bernards Healthcare and Medical Group Tickets are $18-$20, $16-$18 for children, senior citizens, military and Arkansas State University students, faculty and staff. Sunday's show is pay what you can. Call (870) 935-2726 or visit

FUN: Celebrating elk

The Buffalo River Elk Festival returns to Jasper's downtown square, off Arkansas 7, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, featuring entertainment, local art and handmade goods, food vendors, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's annual elk-tag lottery and outdoor activities. (Newton County is billed as "the elk capital of Arkansas," according to a news release.)

Friday's schedule includes music starting at 1 p.m., culminating in headliner 7 South performing country and Southern rock. Saturday's activities actually kick off at 7 a.m. with a pancake breakfast at the American Legion Hut, followed by a kids' fishing derby at Bradley Park (registration starts at 8). Judging for the Dutch Oven Cook-off starts at 1 p.m. at Harp's Realty on Arkansas 7, after which festival attendees can taste the results; the winner will be announced at 3. The Arkansas State Championship Elk Calling Contest starts at 1:15. After a series of live musical performances, the festival ends with a fireworks show at 9:50 p.m.

Festival admission is free; there's a charge for tasting bowls for the cook-off. Find a complete schedule and an activities map at Call (870) 416-2708.

  photo  Ian Holm (from left), Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich save the world from the ultimate evil in "The Fifth Element." (Special to the Democrat-Gazette/Fathom Events)
'Elemental' screenings

Fathom Events and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment are marking the 25th anniversary of the release of Luc Besson's "The Fifth Element" by bringing it back to big screens, 3 p.m. Sunday and 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Breckenridge 12 and Colonel Glenn 18 in Little Rock, the Cinemark Town Centre in Conway, the Razorback Cinema in Fayetteville and the Malco Ft. Smith Cinema in Fort Smith. The screening will also feature an interview with Besson plus outtakes from the film. For ticket information, visit

ETC.: 'Potluck, Poison Ivy'

Stephanie Streett, executive director of the Clinton Foundation, "headlines" this month's Potluck & Poison Ivy, today at The Joint, 301 Main St., North Little Rock. Doors open at 6 p.m. The Salty Dogs will be the "musical guests." Tickets, $35, include dinner. Visit

Streett oversees the strategy and management of the Clinton Presidential Center and the Presidential Leadership Scholars program on behalf of the foundation. Streett served for eight years in the Clinton White House and previously worked on Capitol Hill as a staff member for the United States Senate Committee on the Budget.

  photo  Isabelle McCalla (from left), Christy Altomare, Syndee Winters and Susan Egan will "be" Disney princesses for “Disney Princess — The Concert,” Oct. 29 at Little Rock’s Robinson Center Performance Hall. Tickets go on sale Friday. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)
Singing princesses

Tickets — $31-$66 plus possible fees — go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday for "Disney Princess — The Concert," 7 p.m. Oct. 29 at Little Rock's Robinson Center Performance Hall, 426 W. Markham St. at Broadway. "An all-star quartet of Broadway and animated film icons" — Christy Altomare, Susan Egan, Courtney Reed and Syndee Winters (subject to change) — will perform more than 30 Disney Princess songs with "their magical music director [Benjamin Rauhala] and enchanting Prince [Adam J. Levy], celebrating all the Disney Princesses in an unforgettable evening of songs, animation and stories," according to a news release. Call (501) 244-8800 or (800) 745-3000 or visit or

Royal Comedy tour

Comedians Sommore, Bruce Bruce, Arnez J and Lavell Crawford, on a 17-city Royal Comedy tour this fall, will make a North Little Rock stop, 8 p.m. Oct. 28 at The Theater@Simmons Bank Arena, the arena's reduced-seating, more intimate footprint. Tickets — $63-$103 plus taxes and fees — go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday via or at the arena box office.


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