ENTERTAINMENT NOTES: Ballet Arkansas goes ‘live’; singer, symphonies perform

Ballet Arkansas dancers perform at Argenta Plaza in 2022. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)

Elsewhere in entertainment, events and the arts:


'Live at the Plaza'

Ballet Arkansas will put on a series of public outdoor performances, 7 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 6 p.m. Sept. 10, at Argenta Plaza, 510 Main St. in North Little Rock. Inclement weather in April forced the postponement of "Ballet Arkansas Presents Live at the Plaza: Culture in Community." The five performances of classical and contemporary dance pieces, which make use of the plaza's stage, water features and open spaces, kick off the ballet company's 45th anniversary season. Admission is free. Sponsors are North Little Rock Tourism and the City of North Little Rock. Visit balletarkansas.org or facebook.com/events/234076309313294.



Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Smittle joins five musicians from the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra -- Kiril Laskarov, violin; Katherine Williamson, viola; David Gerstein, cello; Russell Thompson, bass; and Carl Anthony, piano -- for "An Evening of Schubert," 7 p.m. Tuesday at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 4106 John F. Kennedy Blvd., North Little Rock. The program includes Franz Schubert's "Trout Quintet" (Piano Quintet in A major, D.667) and the song, "Die Forelle" ("The Trout") on which it is based. It's part of the church's Festival of the Senses performing arts series. Admission is free; a reception will follow in the church's Parish Hall. The concert is dedicated to the memory of E. Lee Ronnel (1936-2022), philanthropist and community leader and longtime supporter of the Arkansas Symphony, of which he was both board and foundation chairman. Call (501) 753-3578 or email [email protected].


'Striking Back' in concert

Members of the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas perform John Williams' score as "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back" plays on the screen for "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in Concert," 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Walmart AMP, 5079 W. Northgate Road, Rogers. Gates open at 6:30. Tickets are $22-$65 plus fees. Call (479) 443-5600 or visit amptickets.com.


Extremism expert

Author and journalist Jeffrey Toobin will discuss his latest book, "Homegrown: Timothy McVeigh and the Rise of Right Wing Extremism," 6 p.m. Thursday in the Great Hall at the Clinton Presidential Center, 1200 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock. It's part of the Clinton Presidential Center Presents series, a partnership between the Clinton Foundation, Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas and Clinton Presidential Library, in partnership for this program with the Central Arkansas Library System. The talk will also stream live online. Register to attend either way at tinyurl.com/n5mbttwp. Toobin will sign copies of the book following the talk; copies will be available at the Clinton Museum Store at the event (order for delivery at tinyurl.com/b4fuz3r7).

Slavery's destruction

John C. Rodrigue will discuss his book "Freedom's Crescent," which examines the destruction of slavery in the four states of the lower Mississippi River valley -- Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee -- during and just after the Civil War, in a talk titled "The Destruction of Slavery in Arkansas" for the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies' Legacies & Lunch, via Zoom, noon-1 p.m. Wednesday. It's free to attend; register at tinyurl.com/pw8vrkht. For more information, visit cals.org/event/john-c-rodrigue or fb.me/e/1ps3d1Ygi.


Six Bridges lineup

More than 40 authors will participate in sessions, panels and events for the Central Arkansas Library System's 2023 Six Bridges Book Festival, Sept. 25-Oct. 1. The list includes:

◼️ David Grann, whose most recent book is "The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder." He is also the author of "Killers of the Flower Moon," which director Martin Scorsese plans to film with Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro.

◼️ Christian Cooper, author of "Better Living Through Birding: Notes from a Black Man in the Natural World," which includes a description of his encounter while bird watching in New York's Central Park that subsequently went viral

◼️ Jermaine Fowler, author of "The Humanity Archive: Recovering the Soul of Black History From a Whitewashed American Myth"

◼️ Andrew Sean Greer, author of six works of fiction, including "The Confessions of Max Tivoli" and "Less"

◼️ Maureen Corrigan, who will focus on book banning in the United States and Great Britain in a presentation titled "Banned Books, Burned Books: Forbidden Literary Works"

◼️ Stacey Mei Yan Fong, author of "50 Pies, 50 States"

◼️ Susan Gravely, author of "Italy on a Plate"

◼️ Sandra A. Gutierrez, author of "Latinisimo: Home Recipes from the Twenty-One Countries of Latin America"

◼️ Illustrator Laura Freeman

Most of the festival will be "in-person" with some virtual presentations. The library system will release the full schedule in September.

  photo  The confrontation between Darth Vader (left) and Luke Skywalker is the culmination of "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back." Members of the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas will play John Williams' score live for a screening Friday at the Walmart AMP in Rogers. (Democrat-Gazette file photo/Lucasfilm, Ltd.)