Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area

Go GOOD WILL HUNTING at 10pm tonight at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater

RRT Good WillThe 1997 Oscar winning GOOD WILL HUNTING will be shown at 10pm tonight at the Ron Robinson Theater.  Robin Williams (Best Supporting Actor), Matt Damon & Ben Affleck (Original Screenplay) took home the golden statuettes for their work on this film.

The movie also stars Minnie Driver, Stellan Skarsgård, Casey Affleck, and Cole Hauser. Directed by Gus Van Sant, it tells the story of a janitor at MIT who is a math savant.  As he tries to embrace his genius, he must also grapple with the impact this has on his own self-value and his relationships.

Filmed for an estimated $10 million, it grossed over $138 million in its initial release.

Admission is $5, with refreshments available for purchase.



DR. STRANGELOVE tonight at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater at 7pm

RRT Dr StrangeStop worrying and learn to love the bomb with Stanley Kubrick’s black (& white) comedy Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. It will be shown this evening at 7pm at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater.

This 1964 film both satirizes and foreshadows Cold War mentality and decisions.  It stars George C. Scott and Peter Sellers (who essays three roles including the title Edward Teller-inspired character).  Others in the cast include Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynne, Peter Bull, James Earl Jones and Slim Pickens – who has the ride of his life.

The film was produced and directed by Kubrick from a script he wrote with Terry Southern and Peter George.  Kubrick was nominated for three Oscars (producer, director and adapted screenplay).  The film’s fourth Oscar nomination went to Sellers as Best Actor.

In 1989, the United States Library of Congress included it in the first group of films selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

Admission is $5, with refreshments available for purchase.


Have late night fun with BEETLEJUICE at 10pm tonight at the Ron Robinson Theater

RRT BeetleBefore he was Birdman, Michael Keaton was Beetlejuice (or technically Betelgeuse).  Tonight the CALS Ron Robinson Theater gives you the opportunity to again experience this film on the big screen.

In the 1988 Tim Burton comedy, Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis star as a pair of recently deceased homeowners who contract the services of a “bio-exorcist” played by Keaton in order to remove the obnoxious new owners of their house.  Jeffery Jones and Catherine O’Hara play the homeowners and Wynona Ryder stars as their sympathetic daughter.  The cast also includes Glenn Shadix, Robert Goulet, Susan Kellerman and Dick Cavett.

Earlier this week, plans for a sequel with Ryder were confirmed.

Beetlejuice starts at 10pm.  Admission is $5, and refreshments will be available for purchase.

Youth Artists on display at Butler Center Galleries

cals youth_art_2015School will be starting back soon in Arkansas.  Through the end of this month, there is a chance to see artwork produced by students prior to this school year.

The Butler Center Galleries are showcasing the State Youth Art Show 2015: An Exhibition by the Arkansas Art Educators.  The exhibit is on display through August 29 in the Butler Center Underground Gallery.

This show features dynamic works of art by talented students across Arkansas, from kindergarten through twelfth grade. The works featured are the Best of Show winners from seven regions of the state. The Arkansas Art Educators is a group of art teachers from around the state who work with the Arkansas Department of Education to provide high quality in-service training and to promote student art.

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August 9 is National Book Lover’s Day

bldAugust 9 is National Book Lover’s Day (or Book Lovers Day or Book Lovers’ Day — take your pick).

However you punctuate it, today is a day for those who love to read.  It is set aside to encourage you to kick back and relax with a great book. From shaded spots under arching trees to being tucked up warm in bed, there’s no better way to celebrate today than to while the hours away lost in a book.

A few years ago Huffington Post offered these suggestions as activities for this “holiday.” I’ve annotated them with thoughts of my own.

1) Visit your local library (bonus points if you hum “A Trip to the Library” or “Marian, Madame Librarian” when you do)

2) Reread an old favorite (CliffsNotes don’t count-except for Faulkner because Mala Rogers said it was okay.)

3) Drop some literary references (commiserate a sports loss with a “there is no joy in Mudville;” describe something tiny as Lilliputian; express frustration with “Fiddle dee dee”)

4) Get a new bookshelf (or build one.  or get a book about how to build one.)

5) Give the gift of reading (read to someone — just make sure it is age appropriate — the original Grimm Folk Tales are not intended for pre-school audiences)

6) Hit up a literary haunt (Jay Jennings can probably suggest several Arkansas locations, or you can go to the Capital Bar–many journalists have scribbled notes on napkins there which have made there ways into political books)

7) Host your own book club (or crash your neighbor’s)

8) Host a book lovers party (or tell people you went to one dressed as the Invisible Man–either Wells or Ellison version)

9) Contact your favorite living author (just make sure there isn’t a restraining order because you already have tried this.  repeatedly. at inappropriate locations and times)

10) Donate (it does seem a sin to throw away a book. so pass it on)


So visit the Central Arkansas Library System or WordsWorth Books.  Make a pilgrimage to Piggott to see where Hemingway wrote part of A Farewell to Arms (which my classmates and I dubbed A Farewell to Leg because of the line, “I put my hand on my knee, it wasn’t there.”).  Crack open that book at home.  Go down a rabbit hole in search of your Green Light, your Dulcinea, or your Holy Grail.

For younger audiences, chew on a board book, marvel at a pop-up book, experience a scratch ‘n’ sniff book.

Whatever you do today, don’t let it go by without touching a book!  (Episcopalians have it covered with the BCP.)

The John Bush Quintet play at the Ron Robinson Theater tonight as part of Arkansas Sounds

john_bushTonight at 7pm at the Ron Robinson Theater, saxophonist John Bush and his quintet will play vocal and instrumental jazz favorites.  Seating is General Admission, and tickets are $10.

Jazz saxophonist John Bush’s musical upbringing occurred in Little Rock in the late 1950s and early 1960s, along with jazz enthusiasts John Stubblefield, James Leary, and Claudine Meyers. While Bush’s contemporaries pursued professional careers playing jazz music, he took another direction in that he came back to music later in life.

His aspiration is to uphold the original edict that drove all of the players he grew up with, as well as recognize the same Arkansas jazz traditions and honor the paths taken by musicians like The Original Yellow Jackets, Louis Jordan, Al Hibbler, and Pharaoh Sanders.

Bush is dedicated to playing in the same spirit of those who helped lay the foundations for this rich and beloved genre. The John Bush Quintet includes vocalist Kelley Hurt, bassist Bill Huntington, keyboardist Chris Parker, and drummer Bryan Withers.

Arkansas Sounds is a project of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, a department of the Central Arkansas Library System. Focused on Arkansas music and musicians both past and present, Arkansas Sounds presents concerts, workshops, and other events to showcase Arkansas’s musical culture.

Marcie Cohen Ferris will discuss THE EDIBLE SOUTH at special Legacies & Lunch at noon today

Marcie Ferris at her home in Chapel Hill, NC. Photo by Kate Medley

Marcie Ferris at her home in Chapel Hill, NC. Photo by Kate Medley

Marcie Cohen Ferris, author of The Edible South, is a professor of American studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ferris’ research and teaching interests include the history of the Jewish South and the foodways and material culture of the American South. The Edible South: The Power of Food and the Making of an American Regionexamines the visceral connection between Southern food and the politics of power from the colonial period to the present.

At this special Legacies & Lunch, co-hosted by the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies and the Clinton School of Public Service, Ferris will talk about the power of food to nourish cultures as well as people’s bodies and the way it helps people understand the South – from scholars and chefs to casual consumers and hardcore foodies. Books will be available for purchase, and Ferris will sign copies after her talk.

The Butler Center’s Legacies & Lunch program is free and open to the public and supported in part by the Arkansas Humanities Council. Attendees are invited to bring a sack lunch; drinks and dessert will be provided.

The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies is a department of the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS). It was founded in 1997 to promote the study and appreciation of Arkansas history and culture. The Butler Center’s research collections, art galleries, and offices are located in the Arkansas Studies Institute building at 401 President Clinton Ave. on the campus of the CALS Main Library.


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