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ENTERTAINMENT: Pulaski County Fair kicks off on North Little Rock riverfront | Arkansas Democrat Gazette




The fourth annual Pulaski County Fair takes place Friday-May 27 at North Little Rock’s Riverfront Park, 120 Riverfront Drive, on the banks of the Arkansas River. (The fair will be closed Monday and Tuesday.) It will feature the P.B.J. Happee Days Shows carnival midway, rides, fun-filled games, a petting zoo and novelty vendors, with food options ranging from traditional fair favorites to gourmet treats. The fair will debut a new BMX sports feature and a beer tent offering live music and adult beverages.

Presenter/sponsor is Oaklawn Hot Springs. Admission is $5, free for children 10 and younger. Single-ride tickets are $1; an all-day wristband — $22 until Friday at the Little Rock Tourism office, 600 Main St., North Little Rock, $30 thereafter — provides unlimited rides. A portion of fair proceeds goes to North Little Rock Parks & Recreation. Visit or


Chamber ‘HEARTbeats’

The Close Up! Steinway Salon Chamber Series closes out its 2023-24 season with a concert titled “HEARTbeats,” 3 p.m. Sunday at the Steinway Piano Gallery Little Rock, 657 Arkansas 365, Mayflower. Timothy MacDuff, viola, and Jaeyeon Park, piano, play “Passacaglia on an Old English Tune” by Rebecca Clarke. Leanne Day-Simpson, violin, and Haeshin Shin, piano, perform the Suite for Violin and Piano by William Grant Still. Shin and David Gerstein, cello, play “Orion” for Cello and Piano by Toru Takemitsu. And violinist Meredith Maddox Hicks joins Day-Simpson, MacDuff, Gerstein and Park for the Piano Quintet No. 2 in A major, op.81, by Antonin Dvorák. Tickets are $25, $10 for students. Call (501) 940-1562 or visit

    Keith Harper and Miki Gaynor are onstage in “Breaking the Box,” today and Friday May 16-17 at the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts in Little Rock. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette/Dylan Pojar-Weatherly)


‘Breaking the Box’

“Breaking the Box,” a live performance that combines documentary theater with fiction, video footage and music to examine race, education and the “school-to-prison pipeline” in America, is onstage at 6:30 p.m. today-Friday in the Amerine/Calhoun Glass Box at the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, 501 E. Ninth St., Little Rock. Producer/actor Keith Harper and moderator Alexandria Brown will lead a discussion following each performance. Due to the subject matter, the show’s producers are recommending it for audiences of high school students to adults. It’s part of a series by Sparking Dialogue Through Drama, which presents socially themed theater experiences for teen audiences, with support from the Alice L. Walton Foundation. Admission is free. Visit

  photo  “Daughter of the American West, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor” and “Bea Kirian: Champion Relay and Roman Rider” by Katherine Strause are part of the “Fierce Women” exhibition at North Little Rock’s Argenta Library. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)


‘Fierce Women’

“Fierce Women,” paintings by Katherine Strause that explore themes of racism, gender partiality and societal contradictions, goes on display with a 5-8 p.m. Argenta Art District Third Friday Art Walk reception Friday at the Argenta Library Gallery, 420 Main St., North Little Rock. The exhibition remains up through June 7. Library hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday Admission is free. Call (501) 687-1061 or visit


‘Butterflies and Bees’

Leslie Fowler Cooper of QuailForever gives a talk titled “Butterflies and Bees,” 9 a.m. Saturday at the Bell House in the center of Mount Holly Cemetery, 1200 Broadway, Little Rock, part of the 2024 Mount Holly Garden Series. The session also includes coffee and door prizes. Admission is by suggested $5 donation; proceeds benefit the cemetery. Provide your own lawn chair. Call (501) 372-3372 or email


Two-show auditions

Actors Theatre of Little Rock is holding auditions for two productions, by appointment, May 25, starting at 10 a.m., at Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church, 1601 Louisiana St., Little Rock:

◼ “What the Constitution Means to Me” by Heidi Shreck. Auditions will consist of readings from the script; the theater will provide “sides” once an audition appointment has been made. Those auditioning must be 14 or older by July 1. No roles have been precast. All roles are paid. Laura Grimes directs. Production dates are Sept. 11-21; rehearsals will begin on or around July 29.

◼ Clare Barron’s “Dance Nation.” Those auditioning must be 18 or older by Aug. 1. No roles have been precast. All roles are paid. Auditions will consist of readings from the script; “sides” will be available once an appointment has been made. The play involves dancers age 11-14, but performers of any age are welcome regardless of resemblance to teenagers and dancers and non-dancers of all experience levels are encouraged to audition. This show contains coarse language, depictions of self-harm and sexual situations; “characters also display moments of getting ready onstage, which may require actors to get dressed or undressed onstage,” according to the website, Lauren Carlton directs. Production dates are Oct. 30-Nov. 9; rehearsals will begin around mid-August.

Character breakdowns, plot summaries and more information are available at Email to book an appointment.


Martin Lawrence

Comedian Martin Lawrence, headlining his first comedy tour since 2016, brings his “Y’all Know What It Is!” tour to North Little Rock’s Simmons Bank Arena for a show at 8 p.m. April 5. Guest comedians will be Deon Cole and Benji Brown. Tickets — $49.50-$129.50 — go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at the arena box office or online at or

  photo  Comedian Martin Lawrence brings his “Y’all Know What It Is!” tour April 5 to North Little Rock’s Simmons Bank Arena. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)
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