GOLDFINGER at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater as part of the 2019 Arkansas Literary Festival

Sean Connery, Honor Blackman, and Shirley Eaton in Goldfinger (1964)Before Goldfinger was an iconic film (with a great song sung by Shirley Bassey), it was a novel by Ian Fleming.

Kick off the 2019 Arkansas Literary Festival with a screening of the 1964 film Goldfinger, the third in the franchise.

The screening starts tonight at 7pm at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater.

Directed by Guy Hamilton from a screenplay adapted by Richard Maibaum and Paul Dehn, this is considered by many to be the best classic Bond film.

Goldfinger is stockpiling gold reserves. Bond investigates and uncovers an audacious plan to commit the heist of the century.

Sean Connery returned as the suave spy. Joining him in this outing were Gert Frobe, Honor Blackman, Harold Sakata, Bernard Lee, Martin Benson, and Lois Maxwell.

The film won the Oscar for Best Sound Effects, which went to Norman Wanstall.

 

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Shake a Spear, or What You Will on Shakespeare’s Birthday

Today is the traditional birthday of William Shakespeare. It seems a good chance to preview the 2019 Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre season.

The lineup includes: The Comedy of Errors (the first Shakespeare play I ever read), The Scottish Play (sorry, but I don’t want to invoke the curse so I won’t write or say the title), as well as a streamlined version of Romeo and Juliet for families.  Also on tap, in the non-Shakespeare musical slot is Guys and Dolls.

Here is more about each show.
The Comedy of Errors
A tragic shipwreck, two sets of twins divided at birth, mistaken identities, and unrequited love provide the perfect recipe for fun in this Shakespearean farce. The fates bring the brothers and their long-lost father Aegeon together in the land of Ephesus with hilarious results.
Outside on the lawn at UCA – Performances June 7, 8, 9, 23, 26, 29, and July 4

Guys and Dolls
A Musical Fable of Broadway
Based on a Story and Characters of Damon Runyon
Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows
High-rolling gambler Sky Masterson never took a bet he couldn’t win, until he met the no-nonsense Sarah Brown, a mission worker set on redeeming the sinners of Broadway. While fellow gambler Nathan Detroit has his own hands full with his fourteen year engagement to Miss Adelaide. It’s the audience who wins in this delightful musical of love and luck!
On-stage in Reynolds Performance Hall – Performances June 15, 16, 23, 25, 28, 30 (twice), and July 2, 4, and 6.

[The Scottish Play]
Brave warrior The Thane of Cawdor emerges victorious from battle to be greeted by three witches who hail him as the future king of Scotland. What follows is a dizzying descent into political machinations, murder, and madness.
On-stage in Reynolds Performance Hall.  Performances are June 21, 22, 27, 29 and July 3, 5, and 7.

Family Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet
The fighting families of Montague and Capulet put their feud before their children’s happiness in Shakespeare’s classic tale of “star-crossed” young love, reimagined for audiences of all ages in this one-hour adaptation.
On-stage in Reynolds Performance Hall.  Also available to tour.  Performances are June 26, 28, 29 and July 2 and 4.

Mary Ruth Marotte is the Executive Director and Rebekah Scallet is the Producing Artistic Director.

Enjoy Lit Feast in preparation for Arkansas Literary Festival.

The Arkansas Literary Festival is April 25-28 and they’ve added some new activities and promotions…one being Lit Feast.

From April 18 to 28, five area restaurants will offer specials inspired by four of the fest authors’ books.

The list of menu items is below. Try one or all!

Visit arkansasliteraryfestival.org for full festival details.

Share with your friends, fellow book lovers, and those who enjoy a night out. I hope to see you at Lit Fest next week!

Allsopp & Chapple Restaurant + Bar
Barbecued Pork Chops and Ham Slices served with Deviled Eggs, Baked Beans with Thick Cut Bacon and Jalapeno Cornbread
Inspired by Rick Bragg’s memoir, The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma’s Table

Capers
German Chocolate Cake
Inspired by Jeff Henderson’s book, If You Can See It, You Can Be It

Ciao Baci
Small plates of Polpettine Fritte (Fried Meatballs), Mortadella e Peperoni, Uova con Acciughe (Egg with Anchovy)
Inspired by Elizabeth Minchilli’s book, The Italian Table

Copper Grill
Red Beans and Rice
Inspired by Jeff Henderson’s book, If You Can See It, You Can Be It

The Root Café
Tomato Tart with Mustard and ricotta (breakfast only)
Lettuce Soup (lunch and dinner)
Soy-Sauce Egg with Sticky Rice (dinner only)
Apple Custard Crisp (dinner only)
Inspired by Dorie Greenspan’s book, Everyday Dorie.

You cannot spell Pulitzer without LIT

The 2019 Pulitzer Prizes are announced later today.  Over the years, there have been several Pulitzer winners with connections to Little Rock.

In 1939,  Little Rock native John Gould Fletcher, a scion of a politically prominent family, won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for his work Selected Poems.  He appears to be the first Pulitzer Prize winner with Little Rock connections.

The 1950 Pulitzer Prize for Drama went to South Pacific. With a leading lady who is from Little Rock, this Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, and Joshua Logan musical explores race against the backdrop of World War II.  It is based on James Michener’s Tales of the South Pacific, which won the 1948 Pulitzer for Fiction. (Because it was a collection of interrelated short stories, the category was changed from Novel to Fiction from that year onward.)  But in the Michener book, Forbush is not from Little Rock.

The Arkansas Gazette made Pulitzer history in 1958 by winning both the Public Service and Editorial prizes in the same year. This was the first time that one organization had received both awards in the same year.  These were for the coverage of and response to the 1957 integration of Central High School by the Little Rock Nine.  J. N. Heiskell was the paper’s owner and editor, while Harry Ashmore led the editorial page.  Relman Morin of the Associated Press received the Pulitzer for National Reporting for his coverage of the events at Central.  Apparently Will Counts of the Arkansas Democrat was the jurors’ choice to receive the Pulitzer for Photography. But the Board opted to give the prize to another photographer.  Some speculate that the Pulitzer Board did not want to give four prizes in the same year for the same story.

Current Little Rock resident Paul Greenberg won the 1969 Pulitzer for Editorial Writing.  at the time, he worked for the Pine Bluff Commercial.   In 1986, he was a finalist in the same category.  Greenberg moved to Little Rock to join the staff of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in 1992.  While no longer the Editorial Page Editor, Greenberg continues to write columns for the newspaper.

Former Little Rock resident Richard Ford received the 1996 Pulitzer for Fiction for his novel Independence Day.  As a young boy of eight, and for several years after, Ford spent much time at Little Rock’s Marion Hotel with his grandparents.  In making the presentation, the Pulitzer Board noted it was, “A visionary account of American life, Independence Day reveals a man and country with unflinching comedy and the specter of hope and even permanence…”

The Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2001 went to David Auburn.  A 1987 graduate of Hall High School, Auburn was recognized for his play Proof.  The Pulitzer Board described Proof thus: “This poignant drama about love and reconciliation unfolds on the back porch of a house settled in a suburban university town, that is, like David Auburn’s writing, both simple and elegant.”  Auburn also served as a 2014 juror for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.  While a student in Little Rock, Auburn participated in theatre at the Arkansas Arts Center.

A Pulitzer Preview – Prizing Mount Holly Cemetery

The Pulitzer Prizes are to be announced tomorrow (Monday, April 15).  This year marks the 102nd anniversary of the prizes, though not all of the current categories have been around since 1917.

Mount Holly Cemetery not only touts that it is the site of a whole host of elected officials, it is also the only place in Arkansas where two Pulitzer Prize recipients are buried.

The cemetery is open every day, but a special visit to these two prize winner gravesites can be made on Sunday, April 28, during the Mount Holly Cemetery Association’s annual “Restore in Perpetuity” fundraiser picnic.

In 1939, John Gould Fletcher became the first Southern poet to win the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.  He was born into a prominent Little Rock family in 1886.  Fletcher was awarded the prize for his collection Selected Poems which was published by Farrar in 1938.  Two years earlier, he had been commissioned by the Arkansas Gazette to compose an epic poem about the history of Arkansas in conjunction with the state’s centennial.

Fletcher is buried next to his wife, author Charlie May Simon and his parents (his father was former Little Rock Mayor John Gould Fletcher).  Other relatives are buried nearby in the cemetery.

The other Pulitzer Prize winner buried in Mount Holly is J. N. Heiskell, the longtime editor of the Arkansas Gazette.  It was Heiskell, in fact, who asked Fletcher to compose the poem about Arkansas.  Heiskell served as editor of the Gazette from 1902 through 1972.  He died at the age of 100 in 1972.

Under his leadership, the Gazette earned two Pulitzer Prizes for its coverage of the 1957 desegregation of Little Rock Central High.  One was for Harry Ashmore’s editorial writing and the other was for Public Service.

Heiskell remained in charge of the Gazette until his death in 1972.  He is buried alongside his wife with other relatives nearby.  Also not too far from Mr. Heiskell are two of his nemeses, proving that death and cemeteries can be the great equalizer. In the early days of his Gazette stewardship, he often locked horns with Senator (and former Governor) Jeff Davis. Later in Mr. Heiskell’s career, he vehemently disagreed with Dr. Dale Alford, who had been elected to Congress on a segregationist platform.

“Winning Westeros: How GAME OF THRONES Explains Modern Military Conflict” is topic of Clinton School discussion today

Image result for winning westerosWho will claim the Iron Throne and why? On the eve of the premiere of the final season of Game of Thrones, M.L. Cavanaugh’s new book brings together 30 expert strategists to answer that question and engage in questions surrounding the most popular television series of our time.

As characters battle for power and control, there is magic and witchcraft, fiery dragons, frozen zombies, chaotic combat, swordplay and brutal intrigue, creating one of the most intense worldwide strategy plotlines in contemporary television.

By applying the theories of our actual world to the examples in fictional Westeros, including Tyrion Lannister’s unlikely success, Daenerys Targaryen’s fire-strafing dragons and Jon Snow’s abilities as a leader, Cavanaugh will discern the fascinating connections between George R. R. Martin’s fantasy world and real war and politics.

Cavanaugh is an active duty Army Strategist with experience in 11 countries and assignments ranging from the Pentagon to Strategic Command and Iraq to West Point. He is the youngest recipient of the U.S. Military Strategists Association’s professional award, the Order of Saint Gabriel the Archangel (2015), in addition to earning West Point’s faculty-wide Apgar Award for Excellence in Teaching (2014), and being named the U.S. Army’s Athlete of the Year (2009).

A Founding Member of the Military Writers Guild, Cavanaugh is a Non-Resident Fellow and co-founder of the Modern War Institute at West Point.

All Clinton School Speaker Series events are free and open to the public. Reserve your seats by emailing publicprograms@clintonschool.uasys.edu or by calling (501) 683-5239.