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Arkansas Times Film Series screens "A New Leaf"

Also, Lucie's Place Cabaret, Okilly Dokilly, "Heathers: The Musical," Tiki Tuesdays, "Native Voices: Native Peoples' Concepts of Health and Illness," Fourth Wall Arts Ensemble and more

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A TWISTED TRIO: The Fourth Wall Arts Ensemble performs this Thursday night, capping off Wildwood Academy of Music & The Arts' Summer Festival.
  • A TWISTED TRIO: The Fourth Wall Arts Ensemble performs this Thursday night, capping off Wildwood Academy of Music & The Arts' Summer Festival.

THURSDAY 7/13

THE FOURTH WALL ENSEMBLE

7:30 p.m. Wildwood Park for the Arts. $15.

Flutist Hilary Abigana's feet do not touch the floor during the second half of Erik Satie's "Gymnopedie No. 1," arranged especially for this "hybrid ensemble" trio. Instead, she renders the curious, contemplative melody from atop the back of her colleague C. Neil Parsons, who's put down his trademark trombone to dance in tandem with Abigana, supporting her only with only his shoulder muscles and fingertips as she points her toes to the sky, upside down. In celebration of Independence Day this year, Abigana, Parsons and percussionist Greg Jukes made a 30-second video clip of John Philip Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever" involving acro-yoga techniques and a one-handed piccolo trill, with a parade of extras encircling the trio with sparklers. The ensemble is ruining it for all the talented musicians who just want to report for duty and play Bach's "Prelude in G Major" beautifully — and on standard instruments, maybe, instead of Boomwhackers. But the trio is also teaching students of music how to incorporate freedom of movement and a sense of play into their musicianship, in this case the students at this summer's Wildwood Academy of Music & The Arts (WAMA). The public is invited to attend this last WAMA Summer Festival concert. The $15 admission supports future scholarships for WAMA students. SS

TAYLOR HART MCKINNEY
  • Taylor Hart McKinney

THURSDAY 7/13-SUNDAY 7/30

'HEATHERS: THE MUSICAL'

7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 2:30 p.m. Sun. The Studio Theatre. $16-$18.

It's here, in musical form — the original "Mean Girls," the movie that gave us "What is your damage?" and "How very." The 1988 film "Heathers" pretty much flopped at the box office, but it crept into pop culture as a tutorial in first-rate snark and a dark sign of how destructively cutthroat high school can be. In 2010, the guy who wrote the musical adaptation of "Reefer Madness" gave "Heathers" the musical treatment, and in 2014, the play started making the rounds in smaller theaters nationwide. For the Community Theater of Little Rock's performance, the last production in CTLR's 61st season, Natalie Williams plays our hero Veronica, Grace Taylor plays fallen alpha Heather Chandler, Frank O. Butler directs, Tanner Ogelsby directs the music and Jerry Woods produces. Thursday's show is a Pocket Preview, in which the company accepts donations in exchange for viewing the show's final dress rehearsal. For all other shows, bringing along a gently used pair of running shoes to donate will knock $1 off your admission price. CTLR advises that the show is "not suitable for children and younger teens." SS

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THURSDAY 7/13

OKILLY DOKILLY

10 p.m. Four Quarter Bar. $12.

Owing as much to Christopher Guest, Weird Al and Megadeth as they do to Matt Groening, this is the kind of stuff mash-up dreams are made of. Made up of "two lefties and three righties going through conversion therapy," the band's lead singer said on a visit to The Onion's A.V. Club, the Phoenix quintet bills itself as "the world's only Nedal band." That is to say: These guys dress up like Ned Flanders from The Simpsons and play hardcore metal. Their latest, "Howdilly Doodilly," features tracks like "White Wine Spritzer," "More Animal Than Flan" and "Godspeed Little Doodle," all lovingly attributed to quotes from Homer Simpson's devoutly religious neighborino except for the album's closer, "All That Is Left," penned by frontman head Ned: "Come to the mall/There you will find all that is left/When you feel left out and everything right seems wrong/Set your paws to the south and there you will find all that is left." Local dream rockers I Was Afraid open the show. SS

'PAVEMENTS ARE BURNING': Red Octopus Theater's summer sketch comedy production, "Cruel Summer," opens at The Public Theatre on Thursday. - SARENA KAYE CROWE
  • Sarena Kaye Crowe
  • 'PAVEMENTS ARE BURNING': Red Octopus Theater's summer sketch comedy production, "Cruel Summer," opens at The Public Theatre on Thursday.

THURSDAY 7/13-SATURDAY 7/15

RED OCTOPUS THEATER: 'CRUEL SUMMER'

8 p.m. The Public Theatre, 616 Center St. $8-$10.

If, like pop pioneers/hoop earring aficionados Bananarama, you are "trying to smile but the air is so heavy and dry," Red Octopus Theater's new show is bound to help a little. "Cruel Summer," the troupe's beat-the-heat sketch comedy show, is "all about everyone's love-hate relationship with June through August in Arkansas," a press release read. "Sketch subjects range from the White House to the White River as Red Octopus pokes fun at the Summer of 2017." I'd wager they've got ample material to poke at since last summer's production, and the ensemble has welcomed a couple of new additions to the fold, Sarena Kaye Crowe and Jon Hatton. "Red Octopus, like any theater, really," longtime troupe member Jason Willey told us, "needs new blood, new faces and new voices from time to time to keep it fresh and relevant and exciting. If you don't find those new people, the thing will die." Crowe and Hatton perform with Willey, Alli Clark, Lesley Dancer, Josh Doering, Scott Dombroski, Sam Grubb, Jeremiah James Herman and Anderson Penix. SS

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SATURDAY 7/15

THE MIKE DILLON BAND

10 p.m. Four Quarter Bar. $8.

Brave Combo and freak jazz fans, you can tune out, because you already know who Mike Dillon is, anyway. For the uninitiated, though, Dillon is a wildly talented percussionist who's managed to take one of the least punk instruments ever — the vibraphone — and find lots of weird, trippy things to do with it. His list of past collaborators includes Les Claypool and Ani DiFranco, and he's made a habit of teaming up with saxophone provocateur Skerik in ensembles like The Dead Kenny G's, Critters Buggin and Garage a Trois. To see his percussion ensemble play is to get an immersive lesson in polyrhythm, and to hear the vibraphone do things it doesn't get to do very often: clink, clang, accelerate and be the focal point of pieces titled "Pansperdomic Space Dust" and "Bring Back Your Purse Full." If you've ever yawned at modern jazz, or found it too sanguine or too erudite, here's your antidote. SS

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SUNDAY 7/16

ZIGTEBRA, DAZZ & BRIE, THE DOSSIER

5 p.m. The House of Art. $5-$10 suggested donation.

Chicago's Zigtebra is an understated delight. Their videos each bear a single, neatly framed conceit, accompanied by imagery that's alternately cryptic and adorable. The two half-siblings – Emily Rose and Joe Zeph — met in 2010 by way of shared membership in a dance troupe called Pure Magical Love. The Zigtebra project, their label's website says, is "an investigative journey of lineage culminating in the discovery of shared blood" that started off with puppetry and short plays and morphed into a band. The two are hopping from city to city until September, taking selfies with Bernie Sanders, running around wearing animal masks and filming a music video — to a new song — every month. They land at The House of Art, a gallery in Argenta that's quietly been putting out some of the edgiest public performances in North Little Rock: confrontational poetry, erotic painting sessions and some low-key performances by "girl gang" (and Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase champions) Dazz & Brie. Dazz & Brie share the bill for this all-ages Sunday shindig, and they're joined by DJ Ike, Sammy Williams (you know him from local trio Midwest Caravan) and The Dossier, the latest (as far as we know) project from live-action poetry duo Half Sestina 811, with additional oomph from Chris Stewart on guitar. SS

CandySoul
  • CandySoul

MONDAY 7/17

LUCIE'S PLACE CABARET

7 p.m. The Studio Theater. $20.

Cabaret typically lies on the boudoir end of the musical theater spectrum, so it's not too often you get to take the kids along. Lucie's Place is throwing a family-friendly shindig of the revue variety, featuring sets from poets Crystal C. Mercer, Bryan Borland and Seth Pennington; vocalists Erin Martinez Warner, Mark Binns, CandySoul, Karen Q. Clark, Dustin Baylan, Bob Bidewell, Kenneth Gaddie, John Willis, Monica Clark-Robinson and Maddie Clark-Robinson; and performances from dancer Marisa Kirby and violinist Geoff Robson. Alyson Courtney from KATV, Channel 7, will emcee, and proceeds benefit Lucie's Place, a nonprofit that advocates for equality for LGBT communities and works to provide access to housing, job training and counseling services for homeless LGBT young adults. SS

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TUESDAY 7/18

TIKI TUESDAY: DANGLING TASSELS

9 p.m. South on Main. $5.

Landlocked states totally get the short end of the stick when it comes to surf music. I mean, blasting the Man or Astro-man? catalog just loses something in translation when it's emanating from a party barge on Lake Maumelle, right? Still, our swampy, freshwater digs can't stop us from playing make-believe, and an unlikely collaboration between "world-wide weird duo" Rural War Room and J. Bradley Minnick of "Arts & Letters" on KUAR-FM, 89.1, aims to provide the props and the setting. Minnick and the masterminds behind the longstanding bizarro mixtape that is Rural War Room — Donavan Suitt and Byron Werner — are heading up a series called Tiki Tuesdays at South on Main, in partnership with a new entertainment company called Pop-Up Little Rock. The restaurant will add a few tiki-inspired bites to the menu, bar manager Sarah Harrington will work up some tiki cocktails and RWR will book a surf rock band — this time around, the Dangling Tassels, a self-described "Hickxotica duo from Iki Pohaku," a decidedly Big Island-sounding town that Google Maps says is located in Hillcrest. SS

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TUESDAY 7/18

'A NEW LEAF'

7 p.m. Riverdale 10 Cinema. $8.50.

Elaine May directed only four features from 1971 to 1986. The first, "A New Leaf," will be screened this month for the Arkansas Times Film Series, curated by Film Quotes Films in partnership with Riverdale 10 Cinema. (The fourth was "Ishtar," considered such a colossal flop that it seems it more or less ended her career as a director, though she's continued on as a playwright and screenwriter, with a resume that includes both "The Birdcage" and "Primary Colors.") May stars in "A New Leaf" along with co-star Walter Matthau, who plays Henry Graham, a man who has inherited and spent a vast fortune. When he's faced with the prospect of living life as a pauper, he decides to kill himself. After being talked out of it, he resolves to marry an heiress to restore his wealth, though his ultimate plan is a bit more sinister. The Orwellian (Orson, not George) story of the film's production is a familiar one; the initial cut of the film that May delivered was three hours long, which Robert Evans cut down to 102 minutes. May then tried unsuccessfully to have her name removed from the film. Her reward was a Writers Guild Award nomination for screenplay adaptation. In his 1971 review, Roger Ebert called "A New Leaf" "one of the funniest movies of our unfunny age." So please join us, won't you? OJ

'NATIVE VOICES': An interview with Katherine Gottlieb, CEO of Alaska's South Central Foundation and founder of the Family Wellness Warriors initiative, is part of "Native Voices: Native Peoples' Concepts of Health and Illness," at UA Little Rock's Sequoyah National Research Center. - NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE
  • National Library of Medicine
  • 'NATIVE VOICES': An interview with Katherine Gottlieb, CEO of Alaska's South Central Foundation and founder of the Family Wellness Warriors initiative, is part of "Native Voices: Native Peoples' Concepts of Health and Illness," at UA Little Rock's Sequoyah National Research Center.

WEDNESDAY 7/19

'HEARTBEAT ALASKA' AND 'NATIVE VOICES'

Noon. UALR's Ottenheimer Library, Room 535, and the Sequoyah Center, 500 University Plaza.

Our country's history of policies and behaviors impacting the health of Native Americans is a long one. For starters, we know that epidemics of measles, malaria and smallpox set in after Europeans touched ground in the West — with feet full of icky foreign pathogens, no less. Most recently, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and sympathetic groups occupied the path of the Dakota Access Pipeline in an extended protest of oil running underneath the Missouri River, from which the tribe gets its drinking water, and across Ojibwe ancestral lands, where tribes gather the wild rice that makes up a substantial chunk of their diets. An exhibit at UA Little Rock's Sequoyah National Research Center through Aug. 3, "Native Voices: Native Peoples' Concepts of Health and Illness," takes a look at the wellness strategies native peoples have used over the years, and the ways in which those strategies are connected to the lands and cultures of Native Alaskans, Native Hawaiians and Native Americans. There are interviews with Sicangu Lakota medicine men, Shinnecock tribe telemedicine experts and Alaskan spiritual guides. Sequoyah will be the exhibit's only stop in Arkansas, and the first national traveling exhibit for Sequoyah. "We want visitors to understand the diversity of American Indian and Alaska Native perspectives and traditions," archivist Erin Fehr said, and "in particular, their views on health and wellness, and walk away with a new appreciation of Native American lifeways." In conjunction with the exhibit, Sequoyah will screen in the Ottenheimer Library a compilation of clips from its extensive Jeanie Green Heartbeat Alaska Film Collection, which Fehr says "covers a wide variety of topics like local festivals, the Iditarod, oral histories with elders, subsistence lifestyles and issues affecting local villages." For this noontime Wednesday screening, Fehr told us, Sequoyah's pared down its 1,263 "Heartbeat Alaska" films to those that focus on health and wellness among Native Alaskan communities, "topics like how and where elders gather plants for use in traditional medicines and how they are used; the impact that youth camps have on the prevention of drug and alcohol abuse; how living a traditional lifestyle leads to overall wellness; and diabetes prevention campaigns." SS


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