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Weekend Entertainment Roundup for May 9, 2024

City of Little Rock

Here's the latest Weekend Entertainment Roundup from Eric E. Harrison, culture reporter at the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

The six finalists in the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s inaugural “Arkansas Talent” singing conpetition perform in a pair of season-ending pops concerts, 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at Little Rock’s Robinson Center Performance Hall, 426 W. Markham St. at Broadway. Each finalist performs individually with the orchestra while vying for audience and judges’ votes. The three all-star judges — “American Idol” season eight winner Kris Allen, singer Bonnie Montgomery and jazz trumpeter Rodney Block — will also perform. Two winners, one from each concert, will collaborate with the Arkansas Symphony in various ways, including taking part in the “Home for the Holidays” pops concerts in December. ArkansasSymphony.org.

The Argenta Arts District hosts its May Dogtown Throwdown block party, 4-10 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday along North Little Rock’s Main Street between Broadway and Fifth Street.

The Friday night entertainment lineup, starting at 6 p.m., features Roper Romp Happy Hour and a ’70s/’80s Dance Party with DJ Drip Funk; at 7 p.m., Just Cuz performs covers of ’80s,’90s and current hits live on the steps of the Argenta Library.

On Saturday, animals from the North Little Rock Animal Shelter will be available for adoption, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. From noon-2 p.m., various Argenta restaurants serve up mimosas and champagne specials for a “Sparkling Saturday” toast. At 2 p.m., Four Quarter Bar hosts a crawfish boil. At 5 p.m., Chris “Bucket” Shelton performs acoustic music live outside Blackberry Market. And at 7 p.m., Nik Parr & The Selfless Lovers perform on the main stage next to the Argenta Library. Admission is free; food and drink cost money. argentaartsdistrict.org.

Elsewhere in North Little Rock on Saturday, you can compete in video game tournaments and board games, test your knowledge in geeky trivia sessions, groove to K-Pop tunes, showcase your cosplay skills in a costume contest and patronize local vendors and artists at the North Little Rock Public Library System’s Laman Con 2024, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the William F. Laman Public Library, 2801 Orange St., North Little Rock. The event also offers food trucks, face painting and other family-friendly activities for kids, a screening of Studio Ghibli’s “Howl’s Moving Castle,” a panel featuring local Dungeons and Dragons Dungeon Masters. Admission is free. NLRlibrary.org/lamancon.

In a rare two-night musical sit-down, Zach Bryan, with The Middle East and Levi Turner, performs at 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at North Little Rock’s Simmons Bank Arena. simmonsbankarena.com

And soprano Asmik Grigorian sings the role of Japanese geisha girl Cio-Cio-San with tenor Jonathan Tetelman as her faithless lover, an American sailor named Pinkerton, in the Metropolitan Opera’s current production of Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, on screens as part of “The Met: Live in HD,” 11:55 a.m. Saturday, May 11, at the Movie Tavern in Little Rock and the Central City 10 in Hot Springs. Mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong sings the role of Suzuki, with baritone Lucas Meachem as Sharpless. Xian Zhang conducts. It reprises Anthony Minghella’s 2006 production which, among other things, employs a bunraku puppet as Cio-Cio San’s son, Sorrow. metopera.org.

Tune in every Thursday at 4:44pm to hear Eric’s roundup for arts and culture events in Central Arkansas during All Things Considered on Little Rock Public Radio.

Maggie Ryan is a reporter and local host of All Things Considered for Little Rock Public Radio.