Entertainment » To-Do List

George Takei to UCA

Also, 'The Halloween Tree' at Ron Robinson, Arkansas Times Craft Beer Festival, Fourche Creek Discovery Day, Halloween on the River, Chanticleer at Christ Episcopal Church and Andrew W.K. at Revolution.

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THURSDAY 10/27

'THE HALLOWEEN TREE'

7:30 p.m. Ron Robinson Theater. $10 donation suggested.

In an imaginative collaboration between the Schedler Honors College at the University of Central Arkansas, El Zocalo Immigrant Resource Center and the Conway Symphony Orchestra, Ray Bradbury's 1972 fantasy novella "The Halloween Tree" gets a shadow puppet retelling with an original score by four contributing composers: UCA composition and music theory professor Paul Dickinson; Hendrix College Chamber Orchestra conductor and Arkansas Symphony Orchestra violist Karen Griebling; jazz pianist and conductor Michael Pagan; and Cory Winters, a former composition student of Dickinson's. With help from the UCA Foundation, the Arkansas Arts Council and the Mid-America Arts Alliance, the show's mastermind and artistic director Adam Frank engaged Jim Henderson Family Foundation Grant recipient Kate Campbell and Puppeteers of America's Jan Wolfe to lead puppetry workshops at UCA and at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to spearhead the creation of over 100 puppets. They'll be projected onto a screen to depict Bradbury's time-travel adventure through celebrations of the dead in Egypt, Stonehenge, Notre Dame and Mexico. "From the introduction of the story, to the creation of the music and puppetry, to the organization of the puppetry workshops, this has been a truly collaborative effort and a great way to connect arts with underserved communities in Arkansas," Frank said. "Our hope is that the project will involve those communities both as audience members and, through the puppetry workshops, as art makers." The pay-what-you-can performance benefits the support services El Zocalo provides to the immigrant community. A marketplace featuring crafts and clothing made by artists in the local immigrant community precedes the show at 6:30 p.m.

THURSDAY 10/27

GEORGE TAKEI

7:30 p.m. Reynolds Performance Hall, UCA, Conway. $15.

Fans of "Star Trek" probably would have been perfectly happy to collect selfies and signatures with George Takei for the rest of his life based just on his performance as Lt. Sulu on the original series. Takei's certainly not demurred from riffing on the beloved character in cameos on "Scrubs" and in a number of alternate Sulu storylines. But it's for his activism and humanitarian efforts — often by way of comedy, as in the 2007 mock PSA directed at NBA player Tim Hardaway — that he's gained a devoted following on Facebook and on Twitter, where a legion of followers tuned in for his live tweets of the presidential debates. Takei made his longtime relationship with partner Brad Altman public in 2005, and they later became the first couple to apply for a same-sex marriage license in West Hollywood and the first same-sex couple to be featured on television's "The Newlywed Game." He's worked for the Human Rights Campaign's "Coming Out Project," had an asteroid named in his honor, grand marshaled countless pride parades, and publicly called out those who spoke in opposition to LGBT rights: then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for his veto of same-sex marriage legislation, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for his opposition to the Obergefell v. Hodges decision on same-sex marriage and Midland, Ark., school board member Clint McCance for making homophobic comments on Facebook. (McCance later resigned.) For tickets, visit ucs.edu/publicappearances.

FRIDAY 10/28

ARKANSAS TIMES CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL

6 p.m. Argenta Plaza. $35-$40.

"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" writer Washington Irving is credited with having said, "They who drink beer will think beer," a truth evident in the sparkle in a craft beer-maker's eyes when she explains why she added blueberry here or wild yeast there. With help from Edwards Food Giant, Ben E. Keith and The Water Buffalo Brewing and Gardening Supply, Arkansas Times has arranged a convergence of over 250 beers, poured from cooler taps by representatives from brew giants like Sam Adams, local upstarts like Blue Canoe Brewing Co. and regional fermenters like Ghost River and Public House. We don't recommend that you sample all those on an empty stomach, so temper your tasting with food from Skinny J's Argenta, Zaffino's by Nori, Whole Hog Cafe, Arkansas Ale House, Taziki's, Damgoode Pies, Cafe Bossa Nova and Old Chicago Pizza, and dig the mountain music-inspired sounds of Eureka Springs' Opal Agafia & The Sweet Nothings. Proceeds benefit the Argenta Arts District, and tickets are available at centralarkansastickets.com. Be quick about it; the festival frequently sells out.

SATURDAY 10/29

FOURCHE CREEK DISCOVERY DAY

8 a.m. Interstate Park. Free.

It may not get as much love from nature photographers as Hawksbill Crag or Hemmed-In Hollow, but we've got Fourche Creek to thank for storing up to about a billion gallons of floodwater during heavy storms. Audubon Arkansas, whose coalition Friends of Fourche Creek hosts this event, estimates that 73 percent of Little Rock's surface area drains into the Fourche (pronounced "fush"). The enormous urban watershed is home to 300-year-old bald cypress trees, about 50 different species of fish and an array of migratory birds, which you can view and photograph on this "discovery day," a guided cleanup program with an eye to introducing volunteers to the beauty of the Fourche. An expert can guide you on a hike if you prefer to go on foot (Audubon recommends "long pants and sturdy shoes"), or you can bring your canoe, kayak or flat-bottomed boat (along with a flotation device for each passenger) to put in at Interstate Park and float the waterway. Friends of Fourche Creek will provide lunch at noon, as well as gloves and trash bags for tidying up the creek along the way. For more information, call 501-244-2229.

SUNDAY 10/30

HALLOWEEN ON THE RIVER

4 p.m. Riverfront Park. Donations accepted.

Halloween's on a Monday, and if that bums you out, celebrate All Hallow's Eve on its eve on Sunday at Riverfront Park. "Halloween on the River" is headed up by nightlife coordinator Michael Brown's Brownie Luv Foundation in conjunction with The Van, an outreach service that provides resources to Little Rock's homeless population. The "mini-festival" features a live music stage with performances from Stephen Neeper & The Wild Hearts, Joey Farr & the Fuggins Wheat Band, Rodney Block, Jeff Coleman and The Feeders and Freeverse; an EDM (electronic dance music) stage with a light show; an acoustic stage on the patio at Revolution; a karaoke stage; and a kids zone complete with bouncy houses and a "haunted cave" that starts up at 8 p.m. Frio will host a beer tent and local vendors will be set up with their wares as well as a stash of candy for trick-or-treaters. Bring blankets and chairs to sit on if you like (no coolers, please), as well as donations to The Van in the form of coats, blankets or cash to help keep members of Little Rock's homeless community warm and dry this winter.

SATURDAY 10/29

CHANTICLEER

8 p.m. Christ Episcopal Church. $20-$35.

If you're a person who's sung in a choir for any length of time, you probably already know what Chanticleer is. In 1978, the original lineup of singers toured the United States in a van, surviving on meals cooked in motel kitchenettes by founder Louis Botto, who bragged that he could feed the entire choir for under $50. Since then, the revolving roster of men has been walking on stage — without a conductor or any instruments — as Chanticleer, named after the "clear singing" rooster in Chaucer's "The Nun's Priest's Tale." The group has commissioned over 90 premiere pieces from over 70 composers, collaborated with musicologists to shed light on otherwise unknown composers and scored two Grammy Awards for ensemble work. This program features works from Vincenzo Bertolusi, Francisco Guerrero, Tomas Luis de Victoria, Claude Goudimel, Entraigues, Mikhail Glinka, Eric Whitacre, Stephen Foster, Cole Porter, Noel Coward, Augusta Read Thomas and Jaakko Mantyjarvi. Keep an eye and an ear out for basso profundo superstar Eric Alattore (he's the one with the gravity-defying handlebar mustache), who's been holding down the low end of Chanticleer tunes for 26 years.

SUNDAY 10/30

ANDREW W.K: 'THE POWER OF PARTYING: 50 STATE SPEAKING TOUR'

8 p.m. Revolution. $20.

There's the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, the Green Party, and then there's the Party Party, the apolitical faction launched earlier this year by rocker and author of "The Party Bible" Andrew W.K. as an antidote to political division. To advance — and maybe to explain — the idea that bringing people together in a room is powerful in itself, W.K.'s embarked on a tour giving what he calls "a pep rally for the human spirit," an idea that found its legs after W.K. gave a four-hour speech at New York University's Skirball Center to a sold-out crowd. He says on his website: "This tour is a coming together for the sake of partying together."

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