Mini Maker Faire on North Shore Riverwalk

click to enlarge FRYERS FORD BRIDGE: Maxine Payne's photograph of the 1890 bridge in Conway County is part of the "Bridges of Arkansas" show at the Butler Center Galleries.

  • FRYERS FORD BRIDGE: Maxine Payne’s photograph of the 1890 bridge in Conway County is part of the “Bridges of Arkansas” show at the Butler Center Galleries.



5-8 p.m. Downtown galleries. Free.

Possibly the most diverse 2nd Friday Art Night ever is nigh: Jugglers. Photographs of historic icons. Images on paper made with the artist’s own cotton. Porcelain snuggled up to concrete. Sewing. Prints. The Historic Arkansas Museum opens “Traces Remain,” an exhibition by installation artist/ceramist Dawn Holder and painter/paper-maker Melissa Cowper-Smith, and “Portraits of Friends” by Dani Ives, while serving up Superior Bathhouse Brewery beer and live music. The Old State House is hosting Arkansas Circus Arts — with aerialists, stilt walkers, acrobats and the aforementioned jugglers — and the Butler Center Galleries open an exhibition of photographs, “Historic Bridges of Arkansas,” by Maxine Payne. There will be music by BantuNauts Raydio there, too. The Cox Creative Center features oil paintings by Amily Miori in a show called “Phenomenal Anomaly Amily,” and the Arkansas Capital Corp. hosts the Arkansas Society of Printmakers show “Print Make!” McLeod Fine Art is showing “Just the Way Things Are,” figurative drawings and paintings by Jeremy Couch. Those who like to wield scissors will want to head over to Bella Vita (523 S. Louisiana St.) for a “Cut & Stitch Workshop” with Erin Lorenzen (register That’s a lot to cram into three hours, so start promptly at 5 p.m. Get a lift on the rubber-wheeled trolley for free. LNP

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8 p.m. The Joint Theater & Coffeehouse, Argenta. $5.

The Big Dam Horns, a winds and percussion collective formed in 2012 by students at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, is especially skilled at luring wallflowers onto the dance floor. If you’ve ever heard the Horns at a wedding reception or a festival, you’ve seen this in action. Sam and Dave purists shove their too-cool-for-school attitudes into their pockets and pipe in on “Hold on! I’m comin’!” People discover they know more words to The Ides of March’s “Vehicle” than they thought. People discover their moms and aunties know the words to Ginuwine’s “Pony.” The Big Dam Horns is a party band that can actually throw a party, and it will do just that at The Joint this Friday night. Atlanta’s Sweetwater Brewery wages a “tap takeover,” featuring the brewery’s Sweetwater Blue, a blueberry wheat; a pineapple IPA called “Goin’ Coastal”; and the second release from the brewery’s small-batch Hatchery Series, a Mexican lager brewed with El Dorado hops. SS

click to enlarge Suzan-Lori Parks - MELODIE JENG

  • Melodie Jeng
  • Suzan-Lori Parks



7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 2:30 p.m. Sun. The Weekend Theater. $12-$16.

In an essay called “Possession,” playwright Suzan-Lori Parks (“Topdog/Underdog”) gives a sort of artist statement. “Since history is a recorded or remembered event, theatre, for me, is the perfect place to ‘make’ history,” she wrote. “That is, because so much of African-American history has been unrecorded, disremembered, washed out, one of my tasks as a playwright is to — through literature and the special strange relationship between theatre and real life — locate the ancestral burial ground, dig for bones, find bones, hear the bones sing, write it down.” Presumably, that was her guiding light with “In the Blood,” a take on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter,” set in New York, where our Hester Prynne — now “Hester, La Negrita” — is a mother of five trying to raise her children under a bridge. Parks doesn’t sugarcoat the effects of poverty, racism and misogyny on Hester’s declining prospects — the play was originally titled “Fucking A” and calls for the word “SLUT” to appear scrawled across the play’s backdrop or floor, an insult meant for Hester, but lost on her because she can’t read. She’d probably balk, though, at the implication that the play is bound to a single message about social justice or problematic notions about upward mobility in contemporary America. “It’s insulting when people say my plays are about what it’s about to be black — as if that’s all we think about, as if our life is about that,” she said in an interview with Alisa Solomon. “My life is not about race. It’s about being alive. … Why does everyone think that white artists make art and black artists make statements?” The Weekend Theater’s production of the play stars Shamber Uzah as Hester; Braxton O. Johnson as both Hester’s oldest son, Jabber, and her former lover, Chilli; Chad Fulmer as Reverend D. and Baby; Zelenka Hurts Gibson as The Welfare Lady and Bully; Aaron Harris as The Doctor and Trouble; and Charmaine Foster as Amiga Gringa and Beauty. In partnership with The Weekend Theater, Three Fold Dumplings at 215 Center St. offers a pre-theater, prix fixe meal of two noodle bowls, a dumpling bowl, choice of slaw, a bag of sesame balls and two drinks for $29.79 to patrons who can show their same-day ticket stub. SS

click to enlarge BRAND NEW KNIFE: Bubblegum-punk rockers Shonen Knife stop at Low Key Arts in Hot Springs as part of the 36-year-old trio's 2017 USA Ramen Adventure Tour.

  • BRAND NEW KNIFE: Bubblegum-punk rockers Shonen Knife stop at Low Key Arts in Hot Springs as part of the 36-year-old trio’s 2017 USA Ramen Adventure Tour.



8 p.m. Low Key Arts. $12-$15.

“Let’s all get up and dance to a song. It gets you feelin’ very nice. You can have a strange hair cut. There’ll be something different in your life.” Shonen Knife is back, and the trio’s three members are wearing shiny silver Pantsuits of the Future and encouraging you to “jump into a new world, challenge yourself, yeah, yeah.” They are also, in the spirit of their 2017 U.S. Ramen Adventure Tour, taking some of their down time to review ramen in the cities they visit. (Fingers crossed they try the $5.55 ramen bowl at Coby’s in the Arkansas Heart Hospital — maybe it’ll inspire them to come back here soon.) The band, which famously inspired Kurt Cobain to sign it on as Nirvana’s opening act after hearing it in L.A. in 1991, has made it its business to celebrate the cheerier things in life with songs about mushroom hunting, cats, rockets, popcorn, rubber bands, imagined battles between a cobra and a mongoose, cotton candy clouds, paper clips, mayonnaise addictions and neon zebras. It does it with solid pop, Shangri-La-style backup vocals and a firm belief that happy music is punk rock, as founding member Naoko Yamano told Orange County Weekly: “I’d like to be different from other bands. Doing [things] different is rock, isn’t it? … I want people to be happy through our music. That’s why I write songs about our favorite things, like food or animals.” Naoko and her sister, Atsuko, have been part of the band’s lineup since 1981, and they’re joined by a new drummer, Risa Kawano. This concert, opened by a set from St. Louis’ Bruiser Queen, benefits Garland County students traveling to Hanamaki, Japan, Hot Springs’ Sister City, as part of the Sister City Educational Exchange. SS

click to enlarge JOHN KUSHMAUL

  • John Kushmaul



4:30 p.m. tour, 6:45 p.m. dinner, Arkansas Governor’s Mansion. $125.

The QQA’s 53rd Spring Tour of Homes, the preservation organization’s spring fundraiser, opens six historic homes, all west of Broadway, to the public this year: the Redding House (1716 S. Gaines St.), the Theo Sanders House (1907 S. Gaines), the Samuel Scull House (2300 State St.), the Xenophon Overton Pindall House (2000 Arch St.), the Martin-Tunnah-Fulk House (1910 Arch St.) and the Hemingway House (1720 Arch St.). A couple stops will have champagne and appetizers, as will the Turner Mann House domicile of Chuck Cliett and Jay Barth at 1711 Center St., next to the Governor’s Mansion. The dinner includes a silent auction of works by Little Rock artist John Kushmaul; Cliett and Barth will host an afterparty “digestif.” Dinner dress is business casual or cocktail party, but the QQA asks that ladies leave the high heels at home to protect the floors of the historic homes. (Maybe you can whip them out just for the event at the mansion, which has surely supported a heel or two.) Buy tickets at Eventbrite or call 371-0075, ext. 4, for more information. LNP

click to enlarge TO MAKE IS TO BE HUMAN: The Bryant Middle School Robotics Teams are among the vendors at this year's North Little Rock Mini Maker Faire, to be held on the North Shore Riverwalk.

  • TO MAKE IS TO BE HUMAN: The Bryant Middle School Robotics Teams are among the vendors at this year’s North Little Rock Mini Maker Faire, to be held on the North Shore Riverwalk.



10 a.m. North Shore Riverwalk. Free.

Dubbed “The Greatest Show [& Tell] On Earth” by its Bay Area creators, the Mini Maker Faire is essentially a show & tell — a chance for inventive types to show other people what they do and why they care about it, whether that’s an Android app or a jar of fermented kohlrabi. To make is to be human, the Faire’s ethos goes. As Maker Movement crusader and former “Mythbusters” star Adam Savage states eloquently on the Faire’s website: “Humans do two things that make us unique from all other animals; we use tools and we tell stories. And when you make something, you’re doing both at once.” As a satellite to the three flagship Maker Faires in Chicago, the Bay Area and New York City, North Little Rock’s creative convening is happening on the North Shore Riverwalk and, so far, includes an open source video game called “Coldest: Absolute Zero”; Rock City Thumps, a guy who makes audio speakers and equipment out of things like guitars and suitcases; Viva Vegan, a 100 percent vegan Mexican kitchen; Sock Monster Problems, Christina Massingill’s sock creature creations; a build area with loose Legos from ArkLUG, the Arkansas Lego Users Group; a 3D printer pen station from NWA3D; an interactive robotics display from the Bryant Middle School Robotics Teams; a giant version of the game Settlers of Catan; and food and beverages from The WunderBus, Blackhound B-B-Q, Fork in the Road, Kona Ice, Bragg’s Big Bites, Flyway Brewing Co., Loblolly Creamery, Katmandu Momo, Diamond Bear Brewery and Stone’s Throw Brewery. Everything is organized into different “worlds” — “Tech World,” “Education World,” “Flying World,” “Awesome World,” “Beer World” — for easy perusing. Check the full lineup at SS



6 p.m. The Bernice Garden. Free.

For those in the Central Arkansas immigrant community, the volunteers at El Zocalo Immigrant Resource Center meet needs that social services programs are often too overextended or ill-equipped to do. They connect clients with English language classes at Dee Brown Public Library and elsewhere, hold workshops on nutrition and wellness and household finances, operate a pantry for those who need immediate access to food or household supplies and answer a hotline to connect callers with legal resources. El Zocalo means “town square” and tianguis (pronounced ti-AN-geese) means “open-air market” in Spanish. For this tianguis, there will be crafts like jewelry and handbags as well as henna tattoos and art for a family-friendly day in the garden. You’ll be able to sample some of what El Zocalo co-founder and director Kelsey Lam says always “steals the show” — the food. Taco plates will be available for around $10, with tamales and sweets to try. All proceeds go to support El Zocalo’s programs and the clients the nonprofit serves. SS

click to enlarge 'IT'S CALLED A DANCE FLOOR': Lucie's Place screens the 2016 documentary "Strike a Pose," which follows the lives of the dancers from Madonna's 1990 "Blond Ambition" Tour.

  • ‘IT’S CALLED A DANCE FLOOR’: Lucie’s Place screens the 2016 documentary “Strike a Pose,” which follows the lives of the dancers from Madonna’s 1990 “Blond Ambition” Tour.



6:30 p.m. The Public Theatre. $15.

In a late ’80s audition announcement from the DeMann Entertainment Co., a call was made for dancers to accompany Madonna on her 1990 “Blond Ambition” tour, famously chronicled in the documentary “Truth or Dare.” “Open audition for FIERCE male dancers,” it read, “who know the meaning of TROOP STYLE, BEAT BOY and VOGUE. Wimps and Wanna-Bes need not apply!” This movie, “Strike a Pose” (2016), is about the seven dancers who made the cut: Kevin Stea, Carlton Wilborn, Luis Xtravaganza Camacho, Jose Gutierez Xtravaganza, Salim Gauwloos, Oliver S Crumes III and Gabriel Trupin. The film, directed by Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaan, premiered last year at the Berlin International Film Festival. It follows six of those seven men through the 25 years that have elapsed since the tour. (Trupin died in 1995 of complications from AIDS and is represented in the movie by his mother, Sue.) No doubt because of legal chaos surrounding the release of “Truth or Dare” (Trupin begged Madonna not to use a scene in which he kisses Gauwloos on a dare, and sued her when the scene made it into the film), Madonna is present only in archival footage. This story’s about the troupe and their struggle to maintain balance in their personal lives as suddenly famous gay men (except Crumes III, who’s straight) during the post-Reagan, AIDS-epidemic era. The screening will benefit Lucie’s Place, a nonprofit that provides shelter and resources for LGBTQ young adults in Central Arkansas, and is sponsored by Stone’s Throw Brewing and the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History. SS

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7:30 p.m. Fri., 3 p.m. Sun. Robinson Center. $14-$67.

Robert Zemeckis’ 1985 film inserted the phrases “flux capacitor” and “Great Scott!” into the popular lexicon, made the DeLorean the most coveted ride of 1985, and managed to become a family favorite despite some occasional profanity and a plot that hinged on a near-Oedipal pretext. Along with it, the grandiose score from Alan Silvestri (“Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” and “Forrest Gump”) raced through the heads of kids atop Schwinns everywhere, helping them mentally transform their bikes into renegade time machines. The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra is playing that score in its entirety, live and in synch with a screening of the film, which will be projected behind the orchestra on a high-definition screen in the Robinson Center Performance Hall. Silvestri’s added 20 minutes of new music especially for these live orchestral performances, and notes his excitement about his score’s revival in a quote excerpted on the ASO’s program notes: “Unlike Doc Brown, I could never have dreamed that I would have the opportunity to set the time circuits back to 1985 and have the chance to relive the excitement of the arrival of ‘Back To The Future.’ ” SS

click to enlarge LAST SEVEN DAYS: The next film in the Arkansas Times Film Series is David Lynch's "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me."

  • LAST SEVEN DAYS: The next film in the Arkansas Times Film Series is David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.”



7 p.m. Riverdale 10 Cinema. $8.50.

Some things are probably better left to the imagination: what happens to a compact disc when you microwave it for 10 seconds (looks cool, smells awful), what McCall’s recipe for Ham and Bananas Hollandaise tastes like, what might happen if Obamacare were replaced by Trump’s American Health Care Act. For many fans of David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks,” this list would also include the events of the last seven days of Laura Palmer’s life, as detailed in the 1992 prequel to the television series. The film got Lynch booed at Cannes and elicited critical commentary like “It’s not the worst movie ever made. It just seems to be,” from Vincent Canby of The New York Times. In an interview with Jurgen Muller, Lynch confessed his reasons for making it. “I couldn’t get myself to leave the world of Twin Peaks,” he said. “I was in love with the character of Laura Palmer and her contradictions: radiant on the surface but dying inside. I wanted to see her live, move and talk.” Perceptions have changed, though, and “Fire Walk With Me” has come to be appreciated for its memorable imagery and composer Angelo Badalamenti’s score, as well as for the all-or-nothing performances Sheryl Lee and Ray Wise turned in. If you’ve been catching up on or revisiting Lynch’s original series on Netflix lately in anticipation of the show’s return on Showtime, this is required viewing. “Fire Walk With Me” is the next movie in the Arkansas Times Film Series, curated by Film Quotes Film and in partnership with Riverdale 10 Cinema. SS


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