Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area

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Three shows closing this weekend in Central Ark

Fiddler ACTTonight, Fiddler on the Roof continues at the Argenta Community Theatre.  It runs through Sunday evening.  Tickets range from $30 to $50.  Directed by Bob Hupp of the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Fiddler on the Roof is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The show opened on Broadway in September 1964. Choreographers are Christen Burke Pitts and Kristof Waltermire, with Kurt Kennedy as music director.


Rent CTLRTwo other productions are closing this weekend.  Community Theatre of Little Rock’s Rent closes on Sunday at the new Studio Theatre space.  Winner of both the 1996 Pulitzer Prize and Tony for Best Musical, Jonathan Larsen’s musical is an updated version of La Boheme.  Directed by Frank O. Butler with music direction by Matthew Tatus, tickets for this production range from $8 to $18.


Next-to-Normal_smThe Weekend Theater’s Next to Normal, also a Pulitzer Prize winner, closes on Sunday, as well.  The story of a family dealing with the mother’s mental illness, it is both heart-wrenching and humorous.  Directed by Ralph Hyman, with music direction by Lori Isner, tickets range from $16 to $20.

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Wednesday Night Movie is FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS at Movies in the Park

MitP10 FriNightLightThe weather in July has had some nights that have seemed apt for football.  And let’s face it, players from middle school up to the pros will be reporting soon for practice. To get everyone in the mood, Movies in the Park is screening the 2004 film FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS.

Central Arkansas native Billy Bob Thornton heads the cast which also features Connie Britton, Lucas Black, Jay Hernandez, Garrett Hedlund, Derek Luke, Lee Jackson, Lee Thompson Young, Grover Coulson, Connie Cooper, Kasey Stevens, Ryanne Duzich and Amber Heard. Award winning singer Tim McGraw also stars in the film.

The movie was directed by Peter Berg from a screen play he and David Aaron Cohen wrote.  It is based upon Buzz Bissinger’s non-fiction book Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream.  The movie was adapted into a TV series which ran from 2006 to 2011.  Britton starred in that series too, but it was more fictionalized and her her character had a different name.

Now in its 10th season, Movies in the Park is a free outdoor film series at the First Security Amphitheater in Riverfront Park.  The move starts at dark (around 8:30).

Movies in the Park has grown to a season of eight films per year, on average, reaching audiences of up to 7,000 people. It’s a staple event in Central Arkansas. Communities from across the state, and the country, have reached out for guidance as they have tried to implement similar programs in the own communities.

Since 2008, the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau has been managing Movies in the Park.

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“Well, Not Exactly” is exactly the theme at tonight’s Tales from the South at Stickyz

talesfromthesouth“Well, not exactly.”  We’ve all said those words at least once in our life.  Tonight is a chance to hear stories built around that feeling.

Each Tuesday, Tales from the South features stories about life in the South told by the people who experienced them.  Tonight’s theme is “Well, Not Exactly.”

Tonight, Tales from the South takes place at Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack.

The featured guests are Deana Nall, Alan Reese, and Daniel Koehler.

Live music is by Amy Garland and blues guitarist Mark Simpson.

“Tales From the South” is a radio show created and produced by Paula Martin Morell, who is also the show’s host. The show is taped live on Tuesday. The night is a cross between a house concert and a reading/show, with incredible food and great company. Tickets must be purchased before the show, as shows are usually standing-room only.

“Tales from the South” is a showcase of writers reading their own true stories. While the show itself is unrehearsed, the literary memoirs have been worked on for weeks leading up to the readings. Stories range from funny to touching, from everyday occurrences to life-altering tragedies.

Dinner is served from 5pm to 6:30pm, the show starts at 7pm.  Admission is $10.

You MUST purchase your ticket before the show.

Previous episodes of “Tales from the South” air on KUAR Public Radio on Thursdays at 7pm.  This program will air on August 7.

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Read and LEED – Two CALS library branches have received LEED Green Building Certification

Two Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) branches have been awarded prestigious LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (CBGI). The first LEED certified project for CALS, Oley E. Rooker Library has been certified LEED Silver, and Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library & Learning Center has been certified LEED Gold.

LEED is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. In the central Arkansas area, Rooker Library is one of only nine LEED Silver projects, and the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library & Learning Center is one of only ten LEED Gold projects.

OLEY ROOKER LIBRARY (photo courtesy of CALS)

OLEY ROOKER LIBRARY (photo courtesy of CALS)

A building’s structure, access, and personality reflect the materials and design that went into its construction. CALS strives to show its respect for the history of our community and for its natural resources in its building design and choice of materials. With CALS’ commitment to sustainable building techniques or adaptable reuse of existing facilities in mind, Allison Architects designed the Rooker Library and James H. Cone, Inc. served as general contractor. Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects managed the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library & Learning Center design and East-Harding Construction provided construction services.

The Rooker Library and Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library & Learning Center achieved LEED certification for energy use, lights, water, and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. By using less energy and water, LEED certified buildings save money for families, businesses, and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers, and the larger community.

LEED certification of the libraries was based on a number of green design and construction features including:

  • Geothermal heating and cooling systems and high performance building envelopes which reduce the energy needed to maintain the buildings
  • High performance glazing with sunscreens which allow for abundant daylight
  • Deep roof overhang with fritted glass filtering system
  • Maximizing open space on the site
  • Use of local materials, rapidly renewable materials, and materials with recycled content
  • Bioswale and open-grid paving
  • Use of mature tree to provide natural shade
  • Water management system including a butterfly roof and wetland for water efficient landscaping, with native plants to help break down pollutants
  • Bicycle storage on site
  • Low flow water fixtures
  • Construction practices which include reducing construction site waste, preventing pollution from erosion, and managing the building to limit air contamination


Oley E. Rooker Library

The $5 million, 13,450 square-foot Rooker Library includes sustainable features such as a geothermal HVAC system and cork or linoleum flooring throughout, and building materials include copper and Arkansas sandstone. Amenities at the library include public meeting rooms, smaller study rooms, and public access computers. Exterior features include a reflecting pool with three sculpture otters and a pavilion that can be used for library and community functions.

Funding for the Rooker Library was made available by Little Rock voters’ approval of a bond issue in 2004.


Hillary Clinton Children' s Library and Learning Center (photo courtesy of Polk Stanley Wilcox)

Hillary Clinton Children’ s Library and Learning Center (photo courtesy of Polk Stanley Wilcox)

Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library & Learning Center

Set on a six-acre site, the $12 million, 30,000 square foot Children’s Library includes a computer lab with fourteen computers, teaching kitchen, large activity area, individual and group study rooms, theater, and community room in addition to a collection of more than 21,000 books, DVDs, and CDs.

In 2007, Little Rock voters approved a bond issue to provide funding for the Children’s Library.

The Children’s Library’s grounds are integral to the entire facility’s program. A greenhouse and teaching garden help children learn about growing healthy foods as well as provide produce that will be used in the teaching kitchen programs. The grounds reflect the topography of Arkansas’s ecosystems, from the native hardwood trees in the highlands to vegetation of the wetland areas, which are both planted and original to the site. Walking paths offer families an attractive place for exercise while learning the names of the trees and plants, and an amphitheater has seating for outdoor programs or nature watching.

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FIDDLER with a Hupp

20140720-134424.jpgToday is the birthday of Arkansas Repertory Theatre Producing Artistic Director Robert Hupp.

While the Rep’s 2014-2015 season hasn’t started yet, he is busy nonetheless. In addition to working on behind-the-scenes work on the upcoming season and planning for the Rep’s new black box and education space as part of Little Rock’s Creative Corridor, he is directing the Argenta Community Theater production of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF.

FIDDLER opens on July 23 and runs through July 27. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Broadway opening of this Tony winning musical by Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick and Joseph Stein.

This marks the third summer the Argenta Community Theater has presented a summer musical. The first one was CABARET, which was also directed by Hupp.

In recognition of all of his efforts for the arts, Hupp was a 2013 recipient of the Governor’s Arts Awards.

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48 Hour Film Project Awards Program tonight!

2014 48hrThe Little Rock Film Festival  produced the 2014 48 Hour Film Project that kicked off June 27-29.  They had a great weekend of premiere screenings last week and are gearing up for the Awards Ceremony and screening of the Top 10 Audience Choice films.

The ceremony will be held at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater in the River Market in downtown Little Rock, home of the Little Rock Film Festival. The show starts at 7pm and tickets are only $12! The Top 10 audience picks will be screened throughout the ceremony as well as awards handed out for Best Story, Best Performance, Best Cinematography, Best Film and more.


Grundle Productions – “Silent But Deadly”
Team Bearshark – “Book of Lambs”
Flokati Films – “Sensitivity Training”
Just a Bunch of Losers Making a Movie – “Open Bar Closed Casket”
Misfit Cyclops – “Tellervisions”
Take 6 – “My Stepdad Zoltar”
Trieschmann Productions – “Tunnel Vision”
Rambunctious Roughians – “Manifesto”
Walkie Talke – “Tempus Voyage”
Faux Pas Productions – “Fortune’s Fool”



Best Film

  • Joshua Harrison, Team Bearshark “Book of Lambs”
  • Tim Trieschmann, Trieschmann Productions “Tunnel Vision”
  • Johnnie Brannon, Flokati Films “Sensitivity Training”
  • Alison Minor, Take 6 “My Stepdad Zoltar”


Best Director

  • Joshua Harrison, Team Bearshark, “Book of Lambs
  • David Bogard/Tim Trieschmann, Trieschmann Productions “Tunnel Vision”
  • Johnnie Brannon, Flokati Films, “Sensitivity Training”
  • Scott McEntire, Clever Alibi Productions, “Avarice”


Best Performance

  •  Jay SC Morgan, Grundle Productions “Silent But Deadly”
  • Alanna Newton, Trieschmann Productions “Tunnel Vision”
  • Bradley Gamble, Filmmaker’s Corner “Zoltar the Great!”
  • Tom Kagy, Clever Alibi Productions “Avarice”


Best Story

  • Take 6 “My Stepdad Zoltar”
  • Faux Pas Productions “Fortune’s Fool”
  • Misfit Cyclops “Teller Visions”
  • My Place Productions “Fate’s Helping Hand”


Best Editing

  • Team Bearshark “Book of Lambs”
  • Evan Pierce Productions “The Run Through”
  • Agency 501 “Into The Black”
  • East 8 Productions “Zoltar’s Wacky Adventure”


Best Music

  • Four on the Floor “Innocence Lost”
  • Walkie Talkie Productions “Tempus Voyage”
  • Take 6 “My Stepdad Zoltar”
  • Wah Bit “Clarity”


Best Cinematography

  • Agency 501 “Into the Black”
  • Walkie Talkie Productions “Tempus Voyage”
  • Trieschmann Productions “Tunnel Vision”
  • Faux Pas Productions “Fortune’s Fool”


Best Use of Character

  • Rambunctious Roughians “Manifesto”
  • Reel J “Fast Forward”
  • Misfit Cyclops “Teller Visions”
  • Take 6 “My Stepdad Zoltar”


Best Use of Prop

  • Not For You Productions “Who the Hell is SP?”
  • Just a Bunch of Losers Making a Movie “Open Bar Closed Casket”
  • East8 Productions “Zoltar’s Wacky Adventure”
  • New Trick Productions “Crossed”


Best Use of Dialogue

  • Arkansas Film & Music “Last Ride”
  • Grundle Productions “Silent But Deadly”
  • Agency 501 “Into the Black
  • Flokati Films “Sensitivity Training”
You can purchase your tickets to the Best of Ceremony and Top 10 Screening on Saturday, July 19th at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater here


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Little Rock Look Back: Harold “Sonney” Henson LR’s 56th Mayor

On July 18, 1928, future Little Rock Mayor Harold E. “Sonney” Henson, Jr. was born in Fayetteville to Harold E Henson Sr. and Dollie Croxdale Henson.  He and his sister Sara Sue grew up in Springdale.

Henson graduated from Springdale High School and was later inducted as one of the first inductees into the Springdale High School Hall of Fame where he participated in the state high school championship in football and basketball. He attended the University of Arkansas in 1945 on an athletic scholarship where he participated in three sports, golf, basketball and football, and graduated in 1949 with a degree in Business Administration.

He was active in ROTC at the university and graduated as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Henson served in Korea as a captain and commander during the Korean conflict. He attained the rank of major as an active member of the Army reserve post his duty in Korea.

Henson’s professional career began with First National Bank of Springdale and soon moved to Little Rock where he served as Vice President at the Worthen Bank on Asher Avenue. In 1962 he was elected to the City of Little Rock Board of Directors.  From January 1965 to December 1966, he served as mayor of Little Rock.  In November 1966, he was unopposed in his bid for a second term on the City Board.  However in October 1967, he resigned from the City Board because he was taking a position with a bank in Joplin, Missouri.

From 1966 to 1972, he served as President of Security National Bank Joplin.  While there, he was a Missouri amateur championship golfer.  Herbert Thomas then asked him to move to Ft. Smith to head up City National Bank (present Bank Corp South) where he served as President and CEO from 1972 to his retirement in 1993 at the age of 65. He continued his service to Bank Corp South as an active board member for several years.

Among his many civic activities throughout his career were the Springdale Junior Chamber of Commerce,  Sparks Regional Medical Center board of directors of Fort Smith, president and active member of the board for the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame and Razorback Foundation, on the board for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences foundation, the Westark area council for Boy Scouts, the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, the Small Colleges of Arkansas, Leadership Fort Smith, the Community Rescue Mission and the President of the Arkansas Bankers Association to name a few.  In 1995 he received the meritorious service award by the Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor for his lifelong commitment to Arkansas sports.

Henson was married for 53 years to Helen Garrott Henson. He had four children, 16 grandchildren and one great-grand child.


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