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Steve Martin and Martin Short come to Verizon

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THURSDAY 11/29

'ANNUAL HOLIDAY SHOW' RECEPTION
6-9 p.m. Boswell Mourot Fine Art.

Anais Dasse. Jeff Horton. McCanns Dennis, Connie and Jason. Keith Runkle. Cynthia Kresse. Kathy Bay. Andy Huss. Michael Warrick. Diana Ashley. Delita Martin. Kyle Boswell. Melissa Cowper-Smith. Eleanor Dickinson. Alice Andrews. Matthew Lopas. David Bailin. Ray Parker. Louis Watts. Kellie Lehr. Elizabeth Weber. Yelena Petroukhina. Laura Carenbauer. Brad Cushman. Susan Goss. Danny Broadway. Donala Jordan. Luis Garcia Nerey. Donnelle Williams. Susan Chambers. John Sykes. Eugen Tenander. Gayle Batson. Sheila Cotton. Nancy Wilson. Robin Hazard. Hamid Ebrahimifar. Marleen De Bock. Carla Davis. Need we say more? Through Jan. 5. LNP

STEVE MARTIN AND MARTIN SHORT
  • STEVE MARTIN AND MARTIN SHORT

FRIDAY 11/30

STEVE MARTIN & MARTIN SHORT
8 p.m. Verizon Arena.

Two out of Three Amigos are on tour together, roasting each other in the way that longtime comedy compeers are wont to do, billing the successive shows as "An Evening You Will Forget For The Rest Of Your Life." Steve Martin and Martin Short — the closest a comedy duo bill will ever come to being a palindrome — take the stage at Verizon Arena, reviving a Vaudevillian broad comedy sensibility and peppering it with reciprocal jabs and Martin's bluegrass banjo. Another supergroup — folk trio Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O'Donovan, who play together under the name I'm With Her — opens the show. SS

THURSDAY 11/29

STEVE DAVISON
6 p.m. The Joint Theater & Coffeehouse. $20.

Little wonder that the guy responsible for bringing some of the finest fingerstyle guitarists in the world to a tiny theater in Argenta is a fine player and composer himself. Steve Davison curates the Argenta Acoustic Music Series every month at The Joint Theater & Coffeehouse, and only on occasions like the release of "The Best of Friends"— recorded by Davison and collaborators at Blue Chair Studio — are we reminded of how much his programming choices are an extension of his own study. The album babbles as sweetly and placidly as the waterways after which its tunes are named: "Dancing Rabbit Creek" and "White Water Suite, Redux." The latter, as the name suggests, is a revision of the suite with which Davison closed his 2010 album. If tranquil, contemplative guitar with swirling violin is your thing, check out "Lord God Bird" — a track the internet tells me is named after the ivory-billed woodpecker, but which I think much better describes the leggy blue herons that hang out on the banks of Arkansas lakes, the ones that make your breath catch in your throat for a split second when they take flight with those impossibly wide wings. Davison is joined Thursday night by Danny Dozier on lap steel, Micky Rigby on guitar, Tim Crouch on stringed things, Irl Hees and Kenny Loggains. The Dozier Hill Band opens the show. SS

GURF MORLIX
  • GURF MORLIX

FRIDAY 11/30

GURF MORLIX
8:30 p.m. Low Key Arts, Hot Springs. $10.

If guitarist Gurf Morlix's name has come to the forefront of your mind in the last few months, perhaps it's because of "Blaze Foley's 113th Wet Dream," Morlix's tribute album to the Malvern native whose legend is experiencing a revival following Ethan Hawke's 2018 biopic, "Blaze." Fair or not, it wouldn't be the first time Morlix was mentioned by way of association; his marriage of intuition and technique has long borne fruits for his more famous collaborators, including Lucinda Williams and Warren Zevon. If you know him best as a sideman, check out "Deeper Down," the track that opens 2017's "The Soul and the Heal" with swampy organ and menacing candor: "You're right/I'm down here in a hole/I dug it myself with a shovel I stole ... You're so perspicacious/So quickly you grasp my situation/You perceived in an instant my lack of elevation." If your weekend dance card's full or doesn't warrant a Friday night trip to Hot Springs, catch Morlix Thursday night at the White Water Tavern in Little Rock's Capitol View/Stifft Station neighborhood. SS

FRIDAY 11/30-SUNDAY 12/16

'STEEL MAGNOLIAS'
7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 2:30 p.m. Sun. The Weekend Theater. $12-$16.


The loveable characters of Robert Harling's "Steel Magnolias" will once again occupy Truvy's Beauty Salon in Chinquapin, La., as The Weekend Theater opens its weekend run of the play. Duane Jackson directs the story of six bold and brassy Southern women who gather each week in the salon to talk about their lives and their neighbors' lives, and to support each other through grueling tragedy. Jane Morgan Balgavy portrays M'Lynn, the dedicated mother of Shelby, played by Ivy McGrew. Shelby's headstrong presence in the shop is in strong contrast to the meekness of new arrival Annelle, played by Angela Morgan. Roben Sullivant portrays Truvy, the wise shop owner and a manifestation of the Southern truism "the higher the hair, the closer to God." The combatant and brash Ouiser is played by Kandy Jones, and her cheerful, gossiping counterpart, Clairee, is portrayed by Donna Singleton. Tickets are available online at weekendtheater.org. RH

SATURDAY 12/1

'BLOOD MOON'
7 p.m. Arkansas Repertory Theatre. $10.

John Haman — playwright, wealth management adviser for Northwestern Mutual and a former reporter for the Arkansas Times — lives on a homestead with dairy goats, chickens and bees, and his new play "Blood Moon" draws directly from that barnyard experience. Conceptualized while one of Haman's goats gave birth, "Blood Moon" is set in an alternate version of 1959 in which Project Horizon, the real U.S. military plan to build a manned U.S. base on the moon before the Soviets did, actually came to fruition. The central character, June, is the wife of a Project Horizon aeronaut. As she grapples with her diminishing identity, she falls in with a group of Soviet spies. "What I've done is created an alternate reality story where a woman creates her own alternate reality within that story," Haman told us in October. "That's really what I was going for — a story about a person who decides to change their reality in order to live a different and more exciting life. And it just happens to be that I've ripped history apart in some interesting ways to make it possible." This performance of Haman's work goes up at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre as part of a pilot series called "Plays In Progress," in which lightly staged readings of new works provide "Plays in Progress" founders — Haman, Judy Goss and Werner Trieschmann — a chance to connect, share new work and receive helpful edits and feedback on projects. "It's the process of sanding away the splinters so you've got a smooth experience," Haman said. "In an intimate audience like this one is going to be, you can hear in the way people breathe, whether they're feeling the beats in your writing or not, whether they're following you, whether they're shocked or dismayed. Ninety-five percent of what you need, you can hear from the audience, and you can't hear it without the audience. It's a big step up from actors reading things at a table." RH

PUDDLES PITY PARTY
  • PUDDLES PITY PARTY

SATURDAY 12/1

PUDDLES PITY PARTY
7:30 p.m. Center for the Humanities and Arts, Pulaski Technical College. $25-$55.

The cabaret aesthetic is an exercise in dualities. Comedy and tragedy are presented as a unified idea. Levity is made out of very dark subjects, and subjects of levity are made into ghastly caricatures of themselves. I think it's that duality that Puddles Pity Party taps into so dexterously. On its face, what could be more of a gimmick than a towering crooner interpreting Lorde's "Royals" from behind a full clown costume, right? Gimmick seems to transmogrify into something more like an ancient Greek prosopon, though, when Mike Geier — the 6-foot, 8-inch-tall clown in question — opens his mouth. Paradoxically, the egregiousness of the adopted persona lends Geier sincerity, and the entire idea of presenting a song as one's authentic self is parodied by way of an excruciatingly beautiful baritone voice. See charts.uaptc.edu for tickets. SS

SUNDAY 12/2

HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSES
Varying times. Historic Arkansas Museum, Old State House Museum, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, Arkansas Governor's Mansion. Free.

OK, the Thanksgiving leftovers are et up and it's officially time to go whole ho-ho-ho hog with the kiddos. HAM, OSHM and MTCC are throwing parties that celebrate both the holidays and the museums' missions. At HAM (1-4 p.m.), there will be hot cider and ginger cake, living history on the grounds, dancing, blacksmithing demonstrations and pioneer games a la 19th century mode, and the museum store will be open for a little Christmas shopping. At the Old State House (1-5 p.m.), musicians will sing carols while children make holiday cards and enjoy other activities in the state's original capitol. Mosaic Templars (2-5 p.m.) has the tasty "Say It Ain't Say's" sweet potato pie contest; visitors can sample and judge pies by professional and amateur contestants in this event named for Little Rock's Black Santa Say McIntosh; there will be music and a dance performance, too. The Governor's Mansion will be receiving from 1-4 p.m. for tours of its public rooms decorated in the theme "An Arkansas Natural Christmas." Then head for home to light the candles of the menorah in celebration of the miracle of Hanukkah, which starts at sundown and lasts until sundown Dec. 10. LNP

MONDAY 12/3

GOV. MIKE BEEBE
  • GOV. MIKE BEEBE

CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF THE ARKANSAS CENTER FOR HEALTH IMPROVEMENT: A HEALTHCARE DISCUSSION WITH FORMER GOVERNORS MIKE HUCKABEE AND MIKE BEEBE.
6 p.m. Wally Allen Ballroom, Statehouse Convention Center. Free.

Wonder why Arkansas's health insurance marketplace rates were stable over five years until a significant leap in 2017? The Arkansas Center for Health Improvement can answer that question — because President Trump ended federal subsidies to insurance companies — and more about health care in Arkansas and nationally. The ACHI was founded in 1998, during the Huckabee administration, and since then has focused on initiatives from obesity to access to health care and insurance. Governor Hutchinson will welcome his predecessors to this discussion of Arkansas health care policy, ACHI Director Dr. Joe Thompson will moderate and awards will be presented to UAMS oncologist Dr. Kent Westbrook and retired St. Bernards Healthcare CEO Ben E. Owens Sr. of Jonesboro. Will the subject of requiring people in a state ranked 46th nationally for internet access to apply for health insurance online come up? Let's hope so. LNP

TUESDAY 12/4

WHITE HOUSE COLLECTION OF AMERICAN CRAFTS ARTISTS PANEL
6 p.m. Clinton Presidential Center. Free.

Three nationally known artists whose work is part of the "White House Collection of American Crafts: 25th Anniversary Exhibit" at the Clinton Center will talk about their work during a panel discussion led by Betsy Broun, a former director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery. Panelists include glass artist Sonja Blomdahl of Seattle, whose luminous vessel "Crimson/Green Blue" is in the exhibit; ceramic artist James C. Watkins of Lubbock, Texas, whose double-walled stoneware vessel "Ritual Display" is in the exhibit; and sculptor Zachary Oxman, whose cast bronze menorah "Festival of Light" is in the exhibit. RSVP at clintonfoundation.org. LNP

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