ENTERTAINMENT: Downtown Little Rock hosts cornbread, family, Day of Dead festivals

Kara Bibb (left) and Patricia Quilantan (right) put together cornbread and chili samples in the Boulevard Bread Company booth at the 2019 Arkansas Cornbread Festival. (Democrat-Gazette file photo/Thomas Metthe)


Cornbread competition

The Arkansas Cornbread Festival returns, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday on Main Street between the 14th and 16th streets, centering on the Bernice Garden, 1401 Main, in Little Rock's SoMa neighborhood. The benefit for the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance promises cornbread variations that pay homage to traditional Southern recipes and innovative twists, from classic buttermilk to zesty jalapeño as chefs and culinary experts compete for cash prizes for best cornbread and side item. Admission is free; a $20 Cornbread Tasting Ticket will let you sample and vote for favorites. The festival also features live music and "engaging activities for all ages," according to a news release, and an artisan market. Visit arkansascornbreadfestival.com.

Dia de Muertos

The Downtown Little Rock Partnership, Central Arkansas Library System and the Mexican Consulate of Little Rock are putting on an official Day of the Dead (Dia de Muertos) celebration as an alley party, 5-8 p.m. today in the alley next to the Ron Robinson Theater, between River Market Avenue and Rock Street off President Clinton Avenue. The library campus will feature vendors and activities including music, food, crafts, traditional dance performances and an altar display. Sponsors include U.S. Bank, the Windgate Foundation and Plaza Frida. Admission is free. Visit facebook.com/events/677933070958796.

Family Fall Festival

Ronald McDonald House Charities, Central Arkansas Library System, the Little Rock Zoo, the Little Rock School District and a group of local child- and family-theme businesses and organizations are participating in the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau's Family Fall Festival, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at the River Market Pavilions, behind the Ottenheimer Market Hall, 400 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock. Attractions include face painting, arts and crafts, a photo area, a raffle (for a prize package donated by the event), live entertainment and a meet-and-greet with Happily Ever After Princess Parties' Anna and Elsa. Kids can also play on the nearby playground near the Junction Bridge. Visitors can participate in an on-site scavenger hunt to win a gift bag. Food trucks Grilled Sandwich Company, Mr. Keith's Gourmet Kettle Corn and Big D's Dogs will be vending comestibles; Flyway Brewing is supplying beverages. It's part of the bureau's River Market Live series. Admission is free. Visit littlerock.com.


Music plus acrobatics

The Fourth Wall, an ensemble that blends music with acrobatics -- "Experience the twirling topsy-turvy trombonist (C. Neil Parsons), the fabulous flipping flutist (Hilary Abigana), the death-defying drummer!" (Greg Jukes), according to a news release -- performs at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, 501 E. Ninth St., Little Rock. The concert is under the aegis of the Chamber Music Society of Little Rock. The program, titled "Without a Net," includes arrangements of works by Julius Fucík, J.S. Bach, Juventino Rosas, William Grant Still, Gershwin, Florence Price, Astor Piazzolla, Camille Saint-Saëns and Maurice Ravel. Tickets are $25, free for students. Visit chambermusicLR.com.

  photo  The Fourth Wall — (from left) Hilary Abigana, Greg Jukes and C. Neil Parsons — performs Friday Nov. 3 at the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts in Little Rock. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette/Alex Wohlhueter)

Banding together

The North Little Rock Community Concert Band closes its 2023 concert season with a performance at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Patrick Henry Hays Center, 401 W. Pershing Blvd., North Little Rock. Music Director Rico Belotti's program, titled "Celebrations," includes John Philip Sousa's "Golden Jubilee" march (honoring Belotti's 50th year as a band director) and "Naval Reserve March" (honoring Sousa's Nov. 6 birthday), plus "The Stars and Stripes Forever"; Warren Barker's arrangement of selections from "The Phantom of the Opera"; James Curnow's Voluntary on Henry Purcell's "Old Hundreth" (for Thanksgiving) and Gustav Holst's "Christmas Day"; "The Seventies," arranged by Paul Jennings and Paul Lavender; "United States Armed Forces Salute" arranged by Douglas E. Wagner; the official song of the U.S. Space Force, "Semper Supra," arranged by Jari Villanueva; and "Our Director," honoring the band's founder, J. Raymond Brandon. Admission is free. Call (501) 920-2539 or visit nlrcommunityband.com.

'Coco' in concert

The 20-member Orquesta Folclórico Nacional de México performs Michael Giacchino's score to the Disney Pixar animated film "Coco" while the complete film screens in a "Coco Live-To-Film Concert," 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Reynolds Performance Hall, University of Central Arkansas, 201 Donaghey Ave., Conway. Tickets are $30-$50, $10 for children and students. Call (501) 450-3265 or (866) 810-0012 or visit uca.edu/reynolds.

  photo  The Orquesta Folclórico Nacional de México performs the score to "Coco" as the film screens in a "Coco Live-To-Film Concert," Saturday at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)
  photo  The Orquesta Folclórico Nacional de México performs the score to "Coco" as the film screens in a "Coco Live-To-Film Concert," Saturday at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)

Homecoming 'Poppins'

Harding University stages "Mary Poppins" (music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman with additional music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, book by Julian Fellowes, based on the Walt Disney film and the series of books by P.L. Travers), 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday in the university's Benson Auditorium, 201 S. Blakeney St., Searcy. It's part of the university's 99th Homecoming. Members of the cast will take part in a meet-and-greet immediately following each performance in the Hammon Student Center. Tickets are $20 in advance (visit hardingtickets.com), $25 at the door.

'Titanic' musical I

Arkansas State University-Beebe's theater department stages the musical "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" (music and lyrics by Meredith Willson, book by Richard Morris), 7 p.m. today and Friday, 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Owen Center theater, 1102 W. College St. on the university's Beebe campus. Tickets are $5. Call (501) 882-8855 or visit asub.ticketleap.com.

  photo  A UK production of "Titanic The Musical" hits area movie screens this week. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette/Pamela Raith)

'Titanic' musical II

The theatrical production "Titanic the Musical" (music and lyrics by Maury Yeston, book by Peter Stone) will be on more than 700 movie screens, including Little Rock's Movie Tavern, the Jonesboro Towne Cinema, the Razorback Cinema in Fayetteville and the Pinnacle Hills Cinema in Rogers, 3 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Wednesday. The production, captured live on stage in the United Kingdom, marks the the 26th anniversary of the Broadway production and the 10th anniversary of the show's London premiere. Ticket information is available at fathomevents.com/events/Titanic-the-Musical.


'Last Waltz' keeps dancing

Martin Scorsese's 1978 concert film "The Last Waltz" returns to theaters, 4 and 7 p.m. Sunday at the Colonel Glenn 18 and Movie Tavern in Little Rock, the Jonesboro Towne Cinema in Jonesboro, the Razorback Cinema in Fayetteville, the Pinnacle Hills Cinema in Rogers and the Fort Smith Cinema in Fort Smith. The screening includes an introduction from Robbie Robertson, put together before his death Aug. 9. Ticket information is available at fathomevents.com.

  photo  "The Last Waltz" is on big screens around the state Sunday. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)


'Objects of Reverie'

"Objects of Reverie" -- multi-layered sculpture from recycled objects gleaned from Goodwill bins by Catherine Siri Nugent; wood sculptures by Sandra Sell; and pastels, paintings, sculptures and prints by Dominique Simmons -- is on display, noon-6 p.m. Saturday-Nov. 9 at New Deal Gallery, 2003 Louisiana St., Little Rock. The artists host a reception 6-8 p.m. Saturday at the gallery. Call (501) 960-0548 or email nustudio@comcast.net.

'Exhibition on Screen'

The Central Arkansas Library System screens two Seventh Art Productions' "Exhibition on Screen" films at the Ron Robinson Theater, 100 River Market Ave., Little Rock:

◼️ "Vermeer: The Greatest Exhibition," 4 p.m. Saturday, a look at Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum's Vermeer exhibition, with 28 of the artist's 35 known works, including "Girl with a Pearl Earring," "The Geographer," "The Milkmaid" and the newly restored "Girl Reading a Letter at the Open Window."

◼️ "Klimt & The Kiss," 4 p.m. Dec. 2.

Tickets are $10 for each screening. Visit RonRobinsonTheater.org.

Sculptures and paintings

Mixed-media wall-hanging sculptures depicting domestic life by Mark Blaney and Matthew Hasty's paintings of the Southern Delta are among the works on display, starting with a 5-9 p.m. Gallery Walk reception Friday and through the end of November at Justus Fine Art Gallery, 827A Central Ave., Hot Springs. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and by appointment. Admission is free. Call (501) 321-2335 or visit justusfineart.com.


Log house tour

The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program will tour the Taylor Log House at Hollywood Plantation, 184 Plantation Lane, Tillar, at noon Friday as part of its Sandwiching in History program. Admission is free. The two-story, dogtrot-style house on the west bank of Bayou Bartholomew, built in 1846 by Dr. John Taylor and his wife, Mary Robertson Taylor, was the hub of the 11,000-acre plantation. It was donated to the University of Arkansas at Monticello in 2012; extensive restoration work was completed in 2022. Visit arkansasheritage.com/arkansas-preservation/programs/tours.


Comedic cabbie

Comedian Ben Bailey, perhaps best known as the cab-driving host of the TV game show "Cash Cab," performs at 7 p.m. March 7 at First Financial Music Hall, 101 E. Locust St., in El Dorado's Murphy Arts District. Tickets, $35-$40 with $50 for front pit tables that includes a post-show meet-greet, go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday. Visit tinyurl.com/yckytrh8.