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ENTERTAINMENT NOTES: ASO’s ‘Cirque de la Symphonie’ sets circus to music

by Eric E. Harrison | May 5, 2022 at 1:31 a.m.
“Cirque de la Symphonie” brings acrobats, aerialists, strongmen, jugglers and dancers together with the musicians of the Arkansas Symphony Saturday and Sunday at Little Rock's Robinson Center Performance Hall. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)

Elsewhere in entertainment, events and the arts this weekend:

MUSIC: Symphonic cirque

Acrobats, aerialists, strongmen, jugglers and dancers join the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra for "Cirque de la Symphonie," a pops concert pairing, 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at Robinson Center Performance Hall, 426 W. Markham St. at Broadway, Little Rock. The concerts close out the orchestra's 2021-22 Acxiom Pops Live! season.

Cirque performers, including gymnast/aerialist Christine Van Loo, contortionist Elena "The Lady in White" Tsarkova, juggler Vladimir Tsarkov, acrobat Vitalii Buza and the strength-and-balancing act Acro Duo (Vitaliy Prikhodko and Pavel Korshunov), leap, swing, soar, lift, toss and tumble choreographed to classical masterpieces and popular contemporary music, including Dmitri Shostakovich's "Festive Overture"; "Harry's Wondrous World" from "Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone" by John Williams; "Sabre Dance," "Dance of the Rose Maidens" and "Gopak" from "Gayane" by Aram Khachaturian; The Beatles' "Hey Jude"; the "1812 Overture" and portions of "Swan Lake" by Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky; the Overture from "Russlan and Ludmila" by Mikhail Glinka; "Danse Bacchanale" from "Samson and Delila" by Camille Saint-Saens; the "Polovtsian Dances" from "Prince Igor" by Alexander Borodin; and music from "The Firebird Suite" by Igor Stravinsky. Geoffrey Robson conducts.

Sponsor is Simmons Bank. Tickets are $16-$72, $10 for students and active-duty military, free for K-12 students with a paying adult through the Entergy Kids Ticket. Call (501) 666-1761, Extension 1, or visit

THEATER: Improv musical

  photo  “Broadway’s Next Hit Musical,” an improvisational theatrical show, is onstage Saturday at the University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College in North Little Rock. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)
"Broadway's Next Hit Musical,"
improvisational theater — a news release describes it as "'Whose Line Is It Anyway?' meets the Tony Awards" — is onstage at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Center for the Humanities and Arts Theater at the University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College, 3000 W. Scenic Drive, North Little Rock. Audience members make up song titles that the five performers turn into full blown "nominated songs" with choreography seeking to win the coveted Phony Award. The touring show was postponed from Jan. 22; previously bought tickets will be honored. Otherwise, tickets are $20-$65. Call (501) 812-2831 or visit

ART/CRAFTS: Spa City gallery

Paintings by gallery owner Dolores Justus and work by Mark Blaney, Susan Chambers, Mike Elsass, Robyn Horn, Sammy Peters, Michael Francis Reagan, Sandra Sell, Gene Sparling and Elizabeth Weber go on display with a Gallery Walk reception, 5-9 p.m. Friday at Justus Fine Art Gallery, 827A Central Ave., Hot Springs. The exhibit will be up, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesday-Saturday and by appointment, through May 31. Call (501) 321-2335 or visit

Collage quilting

Texas-based multimedia artist Alice "Aida" Ayers leads a collage quilting workshop, 1-3 p.m. Saturday at the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas, 701 S. Main St., Pine Bluff. Students 13 and older can learn how to create basic quilting patterns and use applique, embroidery and nontraditional techniques to create a mosaic collage from fabric. Cost — $35, $25 for center members — includes all materials. Register by calling (870) 536-3375 or by visiting For more information, email

ETC.: 'May on Main'

Music, a motorcycle poker run, games, inflatables, kids activities, a beer garden and crawfish plates are part of the lineup for "May on Main," 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday on Union Square, encompassing Washington, Elm, Jefferson and Main streets, El Dorado. The festival is in collaboration with the Mayhaw Festival, which starts at 8 a.m. on Jackson Street. Main Street El Dorado presents the second annual festival with El Dorado Metals. The music schedule starts at noon with Brooks Walthall, followed by Saving for Tuesday at 1:30 and Mason Halstead at 4. Admission is free; some activities require a small fee. Call (870) 862-4747 or visit

Iris Festival

An iris show, a photo contest, children's art-making, a car show, bands and the Saturday night "Iris Festival Street Dance" are part of the annual Mountain View Iris Festival, 107 W. Main St., Mountain View. Several varieties of tall bearded iris, including re-bloomers, will be for sale. The festival runs 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday-Saturday; music performances run 7-10 p.m. Admission is free. Call (913) 952-7001 or visit

Magic Springs opens

Magic Springs Theme and Water Park, U.S. 70 East (East Grand Avenue), Hot Springs, opens for the 2022 summer season Saturday. Illusionist Maxwell Blade performs opening-day tricks and illusions at 3 p.m. at the park's Split Rock Grill Deck. Park hours are noon to 6 p.m. weekends; weekday operations begin May 30. Daily admission is $59.99, $39.99 for children and senior citizens (all prices plus tax). Season passes are $59.99 and Silver Season Passes are $69.99 (purchase four or more); Gold Season Passes for are $139.98 plus tax. Visit

Mom-day reception

The North Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau hosts a special Mother's Day VIP Reception at 3 p.m. Sunday in conjunction with Ballet Arkansas' free "Live at the Plaza" performance at Argenta Plaza, 510 Main St., North Little Rock. Tickets, $75, include access to a shaded VIP area; a picnic basket for two of Arkansas treats (from Hodge Podge, Hoggs Meat Market, The Filling Station, Dogwood Hills Guest Farm and DolceLuna Bakery); and two drink tickets. Visit The reception is also the second 2022 event in North Little Rock's "Setting the Table Culinary Initiative," highlighting Arkansas makers and producers; 10% of ticket sales benefits North Little Rock nonprofit Potluck Food Rescue for Arkansas.

Texarkana grave tour

Costumed interpreters represent the "occupants" of Sacred Heart Cemetery, 1301 Texas Blvd., Texarkana, in the latest Texarkana Museums System Twilight Tour, 7 p.m. Saturday. The cemetery, dating to 1874, is one of the city's oldest. Participants should dress for the weather; the tour route is wheelchair-friendly. Tickets are $15, $10 for system members. Call (903) 793-4831 or visit


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