Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area


Legacies and Lunch tomorrow

The Butler Center’s monthly “Legacies and Lunch” series continues tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012, noon to 1 p.m.
Darragh Center, Main Library
100 Rock St.
The Civil War in Arkansas

In conjunction with the Butler Center exhibition Invasion or Liberation? The Civil War in Arkansas, Dr. Carl Moneyhon will discuss opposition to the Civil War in Arkansas. Moneyhon, a faculty member in the University of Arkansas at Little Rock history department, is a specialist in the history of the American Civil War and the South and is widely published in the field.

Invasion or Liberation? will be on view on Concordia Hall (401 President Clinton Ave.) through October 27, 2012. Legacies & Lunch is sponsored in part by the Arkansas Humanities Council. Bring a sack lunch; drinks and dessert are provided.

Dr. Moneyhon joined the faculty in 1973 and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He is faculty liaison with the University History Institute, an organization that develops closer ties between the department and the community. He also serves on the editorial boards of the Arkansas Historical Quarterly and the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. He was won the UALR Faculty Excellent Award for Research and the UALR Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching.

Dr. Moneyhon is a specialist in the history of the American Civil War and the South and is widely published in the field. His work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and he recently received one of the first College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Summer Fellowships for Research. He is a Fellow of the Texas Historical Association. He is working on a book on the connection of war-time experience and developed identity among Confederate soldiers.


Ben Piazza’s THE EXACT AND VERY STRANGE TRUTH

Seventy-nine years ago today, actor and author Ben Piazza was born in Little Rock.  This is a good opportunity to discuss his 1964 novel The Exact and Very Strange Truth.  Published in 1964, it is a fictional memoir of a young man growing up in Little Rock during the 1940s.

Readers of the book will see references to once-familiar names of stores along Main Street and other Little Rock landmarks of the time.  Though the book is a work of fiction, Piazza based many of the young hero’s sites on his own.  Sadly many of the buildings which play important roles in the novel are no longer extant including the hero’s rock house on 14th Street, Centennial Elementary, Immanuel Baptist Church on Bishop Street, and the family’s shoe repair store at 8th and Main Street .  Little Rock Central High School (then Little Rock High School) is one of the few structures mentioned in the book which is still standing.

Following the success of To Kill a Mockingbird, publishers were looking for the next novel of fictional memoirs set in the American South.  Piazza finished the novel in early 1963 and it was published the next year.  It was met with nice reviews and was later published in paperback.  He dedicated the novel to his good friend Edward Albee; at the time the novel was released he was starring on Broadway in Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Though it was Piazza’s only novel, he did later write the plays The Sunday Agreement and Lime Green/Khaki Blue.

The Central Arkansas Library System has a copy of The Exact and Very Strange Truth available for checking out.  Copies are also usually available on eBay and other web-based purchase sites.


Sculpture Vulture: Forever Ready

Today’s Sculpture Vulture is once again in the Vogel-Schwartz Sculpture Garden. It is more fun to spend time in this garden where one can passively enjoy art with a nice cold bottle of water instead of having to labor in a vegetable or flower garden.

Ken Newman’s Forever Ready was donated in 2009 by the Sculpture at the River Market.  Mr. Newman is a member of the National Sculptors’ Guild.  One of Mr. Newman’s specialties is animals.  Cast in bronze, Forever Ready depicts a Labrador.  Here is Mr. Newman’s artist statement on the piece.

Forever Ready is based off my 30 years experiences with and my love of the Lab. The sculpture was created during the absence of a lab in my life, this was important, because I wanted to reflect on all the past labs, not a present companion. So, ‘Forever Ready’ is that reflection of the breed (hunter, companion and teacher)…Capturing its intense nature with discipline and loyalty, I have set the lab on edge so intense, that if not given the command to go, it will just fall off. But, it is able to maintain balance – wet and ready to go again. The lab’s shadow is cast in the water below, for a I cannot think of a lab without water.


Four Reps Farewell tomorrow night

THE FOUR REPS: Askew, Melhorn, Morley, Dowden

Fittingly, the farewell will take place where it all began.

Since their introduction in the 2009 SMTI production of Follie HolidaysThe Four Reps have been entertaining audiences with their  accappella/rock/doo-wop/barbershop group sounds.  For those who don’t know, The Four Reps are Charlie Askew, Henry Melhorn, Jack Dowden and Matt Morley.

Since 2009, they have representing The Reps’ young artists program and the Arkansas Repertory Theatre as they have performed all over Central Arkansas including the Clinton Library, the Governor’s Mansion, Little Rock City Hall, Barton Coliseum and The Rep’s Saints and Sinners Ball.

The Four Reps have also spent time cutting two albums, winning the Arkansas Democrat Gazette’s Pops on the River competition to sing the National Anthem with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and recently opening for the nationally recognized Yale University Whiffenpoofs.

But all good things must come to an end.  The Four Reps will give their farewell concert on Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s MainStage on Sunday, July 29 at 7 p.m. 

Produced by Nicole Capri, Karen Q. Clark and Arkansas Repertory Theatre, The Four Reps will entertain with audience favorites from their repertoire as we say goodbye to two of their members, Jack Dowden and Matt Morley, who recently graduated from high school.

Following the concert will be a screening of the film “Cain and Abel” (mentioned on yesterday’s Culture Vulture entry).
A few tickets still remain, but they are going fast.  Call the Arkansas Rep box office at 501-378-0405 or visit www.therep.org.


CAIN AND ABEL this Sunday night

CAIN AND ABEL Public Screening!  One Night Only!This Sunday at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, the award winning film short “CAIN AND ABEL” will be shown at 7pm.

Written and directed by Mark Thiedeman, the film stars Samuel Pettit and Keith Hudson.  They two actors also did the camera work for the film.  Also in the cast is local actor Tucker Steinmetz.

Theideman describes the film as “a loose interpretation of the Biblical story of the first murder, enacted as a rebellion against a God who favors some of his children over others.”

At the 2012 Little Rock Film Festival, Pettit received the award for Best Performance in an Arkansas made film.  The film was nominated for Best Film and Theideman was nominated for Best Director.  The team is hoping to enter “Cain and Abel” in other film festivals.

Pettit and Hudson are both alumni of the Arkansas Rep’s Summer Musical Theatre Intensive (SMTI).

A limited number of tickets are still available. They can be purchased at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre Box Office – 501-378-0405 or http://www.therep.org.


Start Celebrating with CABARET

Argenta Community Theater's CabaretThe Argenta Community Theatre is inaugurating producing its own productions with the Tony winning Cabaret.  Unfortunately, if you don’t already have a ticket, you won’t be able to “come to the Cabaret” because this production has been sold out for over a week.

Cabaret, which won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1967, is a musical adaptation of Christopher Isherwood’s “Berlin Stories” and John van Druten’s I Am a Camera.  It features a book by Joe Masteroff and score by John Kander and Fred Ebb.

Producer Vince Insalaco and director Robert Hupp have assembled a cast and creative team to transform the Argenta Community Theatre into the Kit Kat Klub.  The choreographers are Marisa Kirby and Christen Burke Pitts with Kurt Kennedy serving as musical director.

Kirby leads the cast as tragic heroine Sally Bowles. Cipher-like scribe Cliff Bradshaw is played by Michael Klucher.  Brandon Higdem is the leering MC of the Kit Kat Klub.  Also starring are Tricia Spione and Alan Rackley as a mismatched pair of older Germans struggling with their relationship in the midst of the onset of the Third Reich.

Others in the cast are David Weatherly, Jessica Smith, Carl Carter, Matt Morley, Kris Waltermire, Dylan Dugger, Sydney Ippolito, Emily Karnes, Bailey Lamb, RaeLeigh Narisi, Rachel Powell and Brittany “Sparkles” Rorie.

Insalaco hopes to produce a musical and a play at the Argenta Community Theatre each year.


Movies in the Park tonight: CADDYSHACK

A sure sign of summer — duffers with their mashies and niblicks — in other words GOLF.  The quintessential golf movie Caddyshack is on tap tonight at Movies in the Park.

Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Rodney Dangerfield and Ted Knight star in this 1980 movie. (The movie is as funny today as it was 32 years ago.)  The cast also includes Michael O’Keefe, Brian Doyle-Murray, Sarah Holcomb, Scott Colomby, Cindy Morgan and everyone’s favorite motorized gopher.  Harold Ramis directed this romp around the golf course.

Movies in the Park is a free outdoor movie series in Little Rock’s River Market. The mission of Movies in the Park is help foster a sense of community and enjoyment in downtown Little Rock and throughout Central Arkansas by bringing people together to enjoy a movie in a unique setting along the scenic banks of the Arkansas River.

Movies start at dark.You’re welcome to bring picnics but please no glass containers and pick up afterwards. If you choose not to bring your own picnic we do have concessions available for sale. Bring your bug spray, picnic and family and have a good time!

The park opens at 6:30 pm.

The Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau Technical Services department provides all the equipment for the movies.

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