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David Sedaris at Robinson Center

Also, Tom Petty, Joe Walsh, Sculpture at the River Market, The Wildflower Revue, Konarak Reddy, March for Science, Ballet Arkansas's 'Spring Fantasies,' Red Hot Chili Peppers and more

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KEEP UP: Solo Jaxon is among the performers at Capitol View Studio for "No Longer Unnoticed," a concert and documentary screening celebrating the launch of a new creative advocacy group called The Influence. - CRISS FLINT
  • Criss Flint
  • KEEP UP: Solo Jaxon is among the performers at Capitol View Studio for "No Longer Unnoticed," a concert and documentary screening celebrating the launch of a new creative advocacy group called The Influence.

THURSDAY 4/20

'NO LONGER UNNOTICED'

7 p.m. Capitol View Studio. $5.

Jasmine Blunt, senior communications major and track and field runner at UA Little Rock, founded The Influence last year with the idea of shedding light on creative work that might otherwise, as this event's name makes clear, go unnoticed. In partnership with teammate Kendrick Dunn and content manager (and fellow mass communications student) Al Warren, Blunt was looking to "support the work that our artists here at home are doing," as she stated in a press release. "So many times do we complain about the things that Arkansas is lacking, but I find beauty in the fact that we have so much underground and unknown talent. The state is full of creatives. You just have to open up your eyes to see them." One of the talents Blunt alludes to took home top honors at the 25th annual Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase this year: the duo Dazz & Brie. Anyone who caught their striking performance at the Showcase finals can attest to their energy and strength, along with their endlessly talented (did bass player Kamille Shaw just casually whip out a flute?) backing band, The Emotionalz. They'll perform at The Influence's launch event, along with always-bombastic fellow Showcase finalist Solo Jaxon (check out "Keep Up," produced by Jaxon's deceptively named collaborator Idle Kid), Lo Thraxx (check out "XAN" or Arkansas Times' feature on the rapper, "Swimming with Sharks") and Price the Poet (check out "Nu Fone, Hu Dis?"). A short documentary film from Blunt's group, "No Longer Unnoticed," will be screened; it depicts "a day in the life" of a handful of Arkansas creatives, including Dylan Rodriguez and fashion designer Maxi Dominguez (Raiz Apparel). SS

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THURSDAY 4/20

KONARAK REDDY

7:30 p.m. The Joint Theater & Coffeehouse. $25.

Though any evidence of it would be covered by his salt-and-pepper beard, Konarak Reddy burned his chin in a chemistry experiment as a child and had to stay home from school for a while. His parents — a Tamil filmmaker and a Spanish actor/flamenco dancer who Reddy says "lived for their art" — had given Reddy's sister a guitar, which he used to keep busy during his educational hiatus. He grew up in the early years of India's independence, surrounded by people who spoke English and were "not afraid to break with tradition," as Reddy told the Dream Guitars blog in an interview. "For people like me who grew up in an Indian environment speaking English and equally comfortable with Jimi Hendrix and Ravi Shankar from an early age, well versed with all the influences of post-colonial India, mixing styles and genres was a natural process of assimilation. We own it and can practice it with easy irreverence." Reddy has become known for that blending of styles, able to mix Indian styles and time signatures with European harmonies. Since 1993, he's lived in rural Bangalore, where he hosts the biennial World Guitar Nights, a showcase of fingerstyle guitarists from around the world, and runs the Infinite Souls Farm and Artists' Retreat. He comes to Arkansas as part of the Argenta Arts Acoustic Music Series, held every third Thursday of the month at The Joint. SS

STEVEN VEACH
  • Steven Veach

FRIDAY 4/21

THE WILDFLOWER REVUE

7 p.m. Ron Robinson Theater. $15.

By now, fans of The Wildflower Revue have had a chance to get acquainted with the group's eponymous album, 10 original tracks and three covers (Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer," Johnny Cash's "Bad News" and Blondie's "Heart of Glass") that run the gamut from divorce farewells ("Cut You A Check") to commentary on the current status of country music ("Don't Call It Country") to an elegy set in White County ("Seventeen"). The self-described "Southern gothic girl group" — Amy Garland Angel, Bonnie Montgomery and Mandy McBryde — takes the stage again this weekend as part of the Arkansas Sounds series, and if you've got Waylon or Emmylou anywhere in your playlist, you should be there, too. SS

'UNUSUAL REPERTOIRE:' Pianist Tatiana Roitman Mann highlights underperformed works in her New Deal Salon series, to feature Peter Schickele's "The Emperor's New Clothes" and Ravel's "Piano Trio in A Minor." - JASON MASTERS
  • Jason Masters
  • 'UNUSUAL REPERTOIRE:' Pianist Tatiana Roitman Mann highlights underperformed works in her New Deal Salon series, to feature Peter Schickele's "The Emperor's New Clothes" and Ravel's "Piano Trio in A Minor."

FRIDAY 4/21

'THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES'

7:30 p.m. New Deal Studios and Gallery, 2003 S. Louisiana St. $15 per person, $25 per couple (suggested donation).

Though Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Conductor Philip Mann is often in the public eye, he's by no means the only talent in the family. Tatiana Roitman Mann, a graduate of London's Royal Academy of Music and the Manhattan School of Music, who has recorded Villa-Lobos' "Sextour mystique" for NPR's Performance Today and Gershwin for the Naxos label, is an absolute force on the piano. Her biography notes a remark from the BBC about her rendition of "Rhapsody in Blue" with the Oxford Pops Orchestra: "formidable ... both accurate and with rarely seen joy." We're as fortunate to have her in Arkansas as we are her husband, and probably even luckier that she has a penchant for music from the margins — or, as her profile on the ASO website puts it, "underperformed" music. With John Hardy and Lee Weber, Tatiana established the New Deal Salon, a concert series that highlights "programs of unusual repertoire in an intimate setting," as her website states. "We hope to create a musical experience that is of exceptional quality — one that is exciting for the most sophisticated concert-goer and at the same time is accessible to the most novice listener." For this concert, Roitman Mann takes the lead in Ravel's "Piano Trio in A Minor," a piece Ravel finished in a frenzy so he could enlist to aid France's efforts in World War I (he didn't make the cut). Then, an ensemble of Roitman Mann's colleagues — violinist Trisha McGovern Freeney, cellist Ethan Young, violist Tze-Ying Wu and oboist Beth Wheeler — performs Peter Schickele's adaptation of the classic (and timely, if you've watched any Trump administration press conferences this month) tale, "The Emperor's New Clothes," with Philip Mann as narrator. Doors open at 7 p.m. SS

FRIDAY-SUNDAY 4/21-23

SCULPTURE AT THE RIVER MARKET

6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun., River Market Pavilions.

The 10th annual Sculpture at the River Market show and sale kicks off Friday with the $100-a-ticket preview of the 800-plus sculptures by 50 artists being brought in this year. Guests at this event will get to vote for their favorite proposal for a $60,000 commissioned sculpture for the city; the winner will be announced at 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free Saturday and Sunday, and both days will include docent-led tours of the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden in Riverfront Park. Food trucks will be out for the Sunday crowd. Among the Arkansans whose works will be included in this year's show are woodworker Gene Sparling of Hot Springs; bronze sculptor Patrick Fleming of Roland; Arkansas-born stone and bronze sculptor Ryan Mays (he has decamped to Vermont); ceramic artist Shelley Buonaiuto of Fayetteville; metal artist John Mark Baker of Glenwood; wood and metal sculptor Tod Switch of Little Rock; stone sculptor Bryan Winfred Massey Sr. of Conway; metal artist Hunter Brown of Conway; glass artist Ed Pennebaker of Osage; and bronze artist Michael Warwick of Little Rock. LNP

FRIDAY 4/21-SUNDAY 4/23

'SPRING FANTASIES'

7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sat.-Sun., Ballet Arkansas at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre. $35-$40.

When I visited Ballet Arkansas's new digs on Main Street in mid-February, the 13 full-time dancers in the company were rapt, completely attuned to choreographer Jimmy Orrante as he worked through a few bars in his head before relaying it to the ensemble. Orrante, a Los Angeles native, won Ballet Arkansas's 2016 Visions Competition, and was in residence teaching the dancers "Luminous," the finale, set to spirited music by Don Gillis, of Ballet Arkansas's spring repertoire show. The dancers would run eight or 16 bars, work out any kinks and then piece the segment together with the previous section with a degree of focus I suspect many choirmasters and bandleaders would envy. All of that work will be on stage at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, in a revue that begins with what is possibly the most prominent example of "grand pas classique," Marius Petipa's "Paquita." The dancers will also perform the world premiere of Kiyon Gaines' "Obscura," a piece with music by Avi Lasser and Garrett Overcash that Ballet Arkansas says is "the second installment of three commissioned works Gaines will bring to Arkansas audiences and is a departure from his choreographic style as it demonstrates more spherical movement than quicksilver footwork." Then, there's George Balanchine's "Valse-Fantasie," set to music by Mikhail Glinka, and finally, the Orrante collaboration. If you're skittish about the idea of committing to an entire ballet, this is a wildly varied show and a perfect opportunity to see what your local dance company is up to. SS

'LET'S EXPLORE DIABETES WITH OWLS:' Satirist David Sedaris ("Naked," "Me Talk Pretty One Day," "When You Are Engulfed in Flames") speaks and signs books at the Robinson Center Performance Hall. - ANNE FISHBEIN
  • Anne Fishbein
  • 'LET'S EXPLORE DIABETES WITH OWLS:' Satirist David Sedaris ("Naked," "Me Talk Pretty One Day," "When You Are Engulfed in Flames") speaks and signs books at the Robinson Center Performance Hall.

FRIDAY 4/21

DAVID SEDARIS

8 p.m. Robinson Center Performance Hall. $28-$53.

It's sort of a shame David Sedaris' books are always right there at eye-level on the shelves at every airport bookstore, because the type of person that will purchase a David Sedaris book at an airport bookstore is probably also the type of person moved to guffaw loudly at his early adventures in French butcher shops ("Is thems the thoughts of cows?") right there on the plane, and that's rude. If you've been into Sedaris since "Santaland Diaries" (which the Arkansas Repertory Theatre will stage in its black box theater in December), or discovered the author via his essays in The New Yorker or on NPR's "This American Life," you probably got your ticket the moment this show was announced. If not, now's your chance to get "Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls" signed; Wordsworth Books & Co. will have some of his catalog for sale, and Sedaris will sign books after the show. SS

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SATURDAY 4/22

SOUTHERN CENTER FOR AGROECOLOGY SPRING PLANT SALE

9 a.m. Little Rock Urban Farm. 5910 G St. Free admission.

If you've eaten at The Root, Mylo Coffee Co. or Three Fold Noodles and Dumpling Co., chances are you've sampled something that was grown at Little Rock Urban Farming, a community food cooperative located on a little plot down the hill from Central Arkansas Library System's Fletcher Library. LRUF's gardens, founded in 2007 on an intensive plot of less than 1,000 square feet, now covers more than an acre and encompasses high tunnel hoop houses, shiitake logs, rainwater harvesting installations and walking paths. Every year, the headquarters is home to one of the most undersung plant sales in town, and those savvy enough to have gotten there the last few years undoubtedly reaped the tomatoey benefits in years where tomatoes were a little unpredictable. This year, until closing time at 3 p.m., you can grab organically grown seedlings from LRUF, as well as Bell Urban Farm in Conway, Homecreek Farm in Cowell or the New South Nursery in Roland. At 10 a.m., Karl Heinbockel of LRUF hosts a Gardening 101 Workshop, followed by a Composting 101 Workshop at 11 a.m. from Claire Hodgson and Read Admire of The Urban Food Loop, a composting business that collects food waste in Central Arkansas to, in their words, spin it into "black gold." A seed exchange is slated for 1 p.m., and LRUF will have a kid's planting table and food vendors in place. Since most of the space at the farm is taken up by blooming vegetation, visitors are advised to park on North Pierce or near Fletcher Library. SS

DISCOVERY/SCIENCE CHANNEL
  • Discovery/Science Channel

SATURDAY 4/22

MARCH FOR SCIENCE

1 p.m. Capitol and Pulaski Streets. Free.

Once upon a time, it was the case that if someone read the following sentence to you, one of the first to appear on the national March for Science's website, "Science, scientists and evidence-based policymaking is under attack," you'd assume they were referring to climate change. If you ask organizers of the Little Rock March for Science, though, that attack's impact is much broader — and much more immediate for Arkansas. "Good science matters to everyone: hunters, farmers, anglers, environmentalists, health care professionals, parents and, yep, even scientists," Arkansas Sierra Club Director Glen Hooks told us. In partnership with the Museum of Discovery, the Sierra Club is sponsoring a rally at the state Capitol in the name of fact-based policy, featuring keynote speaker Kevin Delaney (of Discovery's "Street Science"); graduate student Haleigh Eubanks and Dr. Gwendolyn Carter of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences; Sarah Thomas, founder of MSDream, a nonprofit that advocates for those diagnosed with multiple sclerosis; and more. Following that, attendees will head to the Museum of Discovery for a science advocacy event and huddle with science-focused community groups. "Too often, our lawmaking seems to be about "governing by anecdote" instead of relying on science and data as a basis for decision-making," Hooks added. "We want our lawmakers to respect science, fund it, and rely upon it." SS

'FREAKY STYLEY:' Red Hot Chili Peppers bring tunes from 2016's "The Getaway," produced by Nigel Godrich and "Danger Mouse," to Verizon Arena. - STEVE KEROS
  • Steve Keros
  • 'FREAKY STYLEY:' Red Hot Chili Peppers bring tunes from 2016's "The Getaway," produced by Nigel Godrich and "Danger Mouse," to Verizon Arena.

SATURDAY 4/22

RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS

8 p.m. Verizon Arena. $52-$102.

You're entitled to agree with Nick Cave, who famously remarked, "I'm forever near a stereo saying, "What the fuck is this garbage? And the answer is always the Red Hot Chili Peppers." Still, I bet even the haters know all the words to "Under the Bridge." It probably did rip off that riff from T. Rex's "Rip Off," but it's one of the more glorious odes to the Big H in rock history (and with a song title like that, wasn't T. Rex sort of asking for it?). That was 1991, and despite being perpetually at the bottom of a dogpile of critics (google "Mr. Bungle Halloween show" for a most notable example), RHCP has stayed at it, only last year ditching the Rick Rubin touch for "Getaway," produced by Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton and Nigel Godrich, widely regarded as Radiohead's answer to George Martin. Babymetal opens the show. SS

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SUNDAY 4/23

TOM PETTY, JOE WALSH

7:30 p.m. Verizon Arena. $40-$130.

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers kick off their 40th anniversary tour the day this Arkansas Times issue hits newsstands. The four-month tour ahead was a daunting enough prospect for Petty to suggest it might be "the last big one," he told Rolling Stone. "We're all on the backside of our 60s. I have a granddaughter now I'd like to see as much as I can. I don't want to spend my life on the road." (His longtime bandmates insist he's pulled the "farewell" card before, to no avail.) Since the Mudcrutch days (reprised in an American tour last summer), Petty's no-frills rock has aged so gracefully it's got its own Sirius XM channel; he's always ballsy, but never so vogue he relegates himself to fad territory. Diehards will be happy to hear the band's not eschewing tracks like "American Girl" on the 2017 tour, but is working deeper cuts into the set list (fingers crossed for "When the Time Comes" or "I Should Have Known It"). Joe Walsh, the best thing that ever happened to The Eagles and one-third of the revered James Gang — a gritty, swaggering powerhouse trio whose influence can still be heard in contemporary trios like Dirty Streets and Mothership — opens the show. SS


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