'RAGTIIME:" At Weekend Theater.
Acoustic guitar at Oval Gallery
The Arkansas Times Summer Music Series kicks off with award-winning guitarist Steve Davison and Mickey Rigby on Saturday, June 18, starting at 7:30 p.m. at Oval Gallery, 201 W. Capitol Ave.
Davison, who lives in Little Rock, is a contemporary finger-style guitarist who won the 2005 Arkansas Acoustic Festival Showdown after previously finishing second in the contest’s first two years. He has recently released a CD of original compositions. Rigby has performed at Acoustic Sounds Cafe.
Doors open at 7 p.m., and admission is $25. The room will be limited to 75 people, and food and drink will be available. A season ticket for the four series shows is $90. Call 244-0800.
Watch a reenactment of Arkansas soldiers leaving Little Rock for war in 1846 at the Old State House Museum on Saturday, June 18, as it kicks off its newest exhibit, “Arkansas and the U.S.-Mexican War.” Interact with historical characters, hear patriotic speeches and experience living history between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday. Barbecue will be served, and on Saturday evening the museum will hold a “send-off ball” for the “troops” on the Old State House’s front lawn, featuring period dances and authentic music. The festivities, as well as admission to the museum, are free. The exhibit will run daily through Dec. 31. Call 324-9685 or visit www.oldstatehouse.com.
The Museum of Discovery will feature all types of bugs, insects and spiders at its exhibit “Insectomania,” running Thursday through Saturday, June 16-18. See a Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula, a Rainforest Bird-Eating Tarantula, and learn all about spiders while hissing cockroaches race around the Discovery Court. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission is $6.35 for adults and teens, $5.35 for seniors, and $5.85 for children ages 3-12. Call 396-7050. The museum is at 500 President Clinton Ave. in the River Market district.
Travel back in time to the funky ’70s and return to the era of hip-hop at the annual Juneteenth Celebration, “Retro Soul 2005,” at the Riverfest Amphitheatre.
The classic funk band Parliament Funkadelic will rock with Whodini on Friday, June 17, while Omarion and Mike Jones will headline a huge hip-hop show on Saturday that will also include Marques Johnson, Tyra, Pretty Ricky, Tank, Do or Die and more.
Gates open Friday at 6 p.m. and tickets for the 7 p.m. show are $25 in advance and $35 at the gate. On Saturday, the gates open at 2 p.m. and the first of 20 acts will start at 3 p.m.; tickets are $20 in advance and $30 at the gate. Tickets are available at Ugly Mike’s, Uncle T’s, Norris Furniture, Pine Bluff’s Record Rack, Ann’s in North Little Rock, Butler Furniture and the Philander Smith College Bookstore.
The show is sponsored by Power92, KOKY-FM and Citadel Communications. Call 401-0200.
Sounds of ‘Ragtime’
The Weekend Theater’s newest musical, opening Friday, is the Tony Award-winning “Ragtime,” highlighting the vibrant music of African Americans with real and historic figures. John Thompson will direct the show, which focuses on three culturally diverse families whose lives in the early 1900s intersect as they are influenced by social challenges. Admission is $18 for adults and $14 for seniors and students, and showtimes are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The musical will run for three consecutive weekends. Call 374-3761 for reservations.
Saturday will be “Batman Night” at Alltel Arena and the first 1,000 fans will receive Popeye’s Batman Rally Towels as the struggling Arkansas Twisters try to turn their fortunes around with an indoor football game against the South Georgia Wildcats. Kickoff is 7 p.m. and doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets start at $10, and children 2 and under are admitted free. Also, Baptist Health will offer free blood pressure and blood sugar screenings, and men who participate in the screenings get $2 off the admission price. Call 975-5425.
Brassy Dad’s Day
Spend Father’s Day listening to the Natural State Brass Band in a free concert at Immanuel Baptist Church beginning at 3 p.m. Sunday. Selections will include “March Patriotica” by Stephen Bulla; “Music for a Festival” by Philip Sparke; “The Cross of Honour” by William Rimmer; and “A Buffalo Bill Bonanza!” by Goff Richards.
Russell Morris conducts. Immanuel is at 501 N. Shackleford in West Little Rock. Call 217-8785 or visit www.nsbb.org.
Pride Festival Sunday
The Pride Festival, the highlight of the two-week Capitol Pride 2005, celebrating gay and lesbian pride and diversity in Central Arkansas, is Sunday, June 19, at Allsopp Park. The festival is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature music, drinks, food, prizes and the annual men vs. women softball game. The event is free.
A complete schedule of Capitol Pride 2005 events can be found at www.littlerockgaypride.com.
They’re in the Red
Red Octopus, the local sketch comedy improv troupe in its 14th year, will hold a benefit performance at Easy Street Piano Bar, 307 W. Seventh St., on Tuesday, June 21, starting at 7 p.m. Admission is a $5 donation and you can see some of the group’s current projects, including the newest venture, short film, as well as the typical sketch and musical mayhem. Call 372-3530 or 940-2484, or visit www.redoctopustheater.com.
Horticulturalists will give advice on how to grow exotic flowers and tropical foliage in an Arkansas garden when the Master Gardeners holds its summer seminar Thursday, June 23, at the Arkansas 4-H Center in Ferndale.
Norman Winter, the author of “Paradise Found: Growing Tropicals in Your Own Backyard,” will talk about tropical plants and the Arkansas climate. Gordon Powell, co-owner of Bear Creek Nursery and Ozark Bamboo Garden in Eureka Springs, will give a talk, “Bamboo Behaved.” Dr. Gerald Klingamen, professor of Oriental Horticulture at the University of Arkansas, will also speak, and a retirement party for him will follow the program.
The seminar runs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and costs $30, which includes breakfast, lunch, refreshments and handouts. Winter will sign his books and Bear Creek will offer plants for sale. To register, call 340-6650 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.