Elsewhere in entertainment, events and the arts this weekend:
FUN: Christmas Cirque
“A Magical Cirque Christmas,” a combination of cirque, comedy, music and magic, takes the stage for two shows in Arkansas: 7:30 pm today at Little Rock’s Robinson Center Performance Hall, 426 W. Markham St. – tickets cost $45-$67.50; call (501) 244-8800 or visit ticketmaster.com; and 7 p.m. Friday at First Financial Music Hall, 101 E. Locust St., El Dorado. – tickets are $39-$84; call (870) 444-3007 or visit eldomad.com.
‘MAD on Ice’
El Dorado’s Murphy Arts District is turning its outdoor amphitheater stage into a rink and giving back “MAD on Ice” Saturday – January. 2. Tickets are $14 for unlimited skating per day. Skate rentals, $3, are available in kids’ sizes 8 to men’s sizes 15. Season passes, which provide unlimited skate time and skate rentals, are $85, $145 for two. A pay-as-you-go postcard offers a free 10th skate after nine paid trips to the ice. The cost to hire skaters/”helpers” Bobby the Seal and Tommy the Reindeer is $5 for a 90-minute cycle. Helmets will be available at no extra charge on a first come, first served basis.
All skaters and spectators must fill out a waiver, which is available in advance online, along with skating hours, at eldomad.com/madonice.
LIGHT: Argentina show
Food trucks and a holiday market with local vendors will be the focus of the North Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau, the City of North Little Rock and a fifth of the Argenta Downtown Council. Northern Lights Holiday Celebration, 4-8:30pm Saturday at Argenta Plaza, 510 Main St., North Little Rock. Chris Kennedy, owner of Black Santa ARK LLC, appears as Santa Claus; “Santa’s Workshop” will have free children’s holiday activities from 4-7:30 p.m.; families can take photos with Santa and the 38-foot Christmas tree. A fireworks display will begin at 7:30 p.m., followed by live music. Visit tinyurl.com/24rm8bjf.
The Sherwood Way
Local musicians and Santa Claus will be on hand for the 5:30pm lighting ceremony, and Sherwood’s 2022 Enchanted Forest Light Trail opens at 6pm on Friday. The entrance is in the Sherwood Sports Complex parking lot, just past the Henson Tennis Center driveway, at 420 Dee Jay Hudson Drive at Arkansas 107. The drive-through will be open, 6-9:30 p.m. , through December 30. Admission is free; monetary donations help provide new and updated exhibits each year. Call (501) 835-6893 or visit cityofsherwood.net.
Garvan Forest Gardens, 550 Arkridge Road, Hot Springs, on their nightly holiday light display, 4-9 p.m. Sat.-Dec. 31 (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas). Tickets must be purchased in advance – $20, $5 for children 4-12, free for children 3 and under and members. No dogs, vehicles or alcohol. Visit garvangardens.org or tinyurl.com/y2suc86t.
Light up, El Dorado
El Dorado’s annual Holiday Light Ceremony takes place at 5:30 p.m. today on the east side of the Union County Courthouse, 101 N. Washington Ave., with dance and music performances and Santa, who will be the honorary switch thrower and get for pictures. The Salvation Army will provide free cookies and hot chocolate. Call (870) 862-4747 or visit MainStreetElDorado.org.
THEATER: Voyage of ‘Anastasia’
A touring company provides the music “Anastasia” (music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, book by Terrence McNally, inspired by the animated film) to Reynolds Performance Hall at the University of Central Arkansas, 201 Donaghey Ave., Conway, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $30-$40, $10 for students. Call (501) 450-3265 or (866) 810-0012 or visit uca.edu/reynolds.
MUSIC: A collection of UALR music
University of Arkansas at Little Rock Wind Ensemble, with the UALR Jazz Ensemble and Concert Choir, performs at 6:30 pm today in the Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall, Fine Arts Building, UALR, 2801 S. University Ave., Little Rock. The Wind Ensemble will perform the “English Folk Song Suite” by Ralph Vaughn Williams. The Jazz Ensemble will play “Nostalgia in Times Square” by Charles Mingus; student Christian Waldren solos with the band in “Sway.” The Concert Choir joins the Wind Ensemble for conductor Michael Underwood’s arrangement of “Jupiter” from Gustav Holst’s “The Planets.” Entry is free. Call (501) 916-3291 or email [email protected]
ART: A pastel display
Pastel works by more than two dozen area artists will be on display as the Arkansas Pastel Society Juried Membership Exhibition, which opens with a Third Friday Art Tour performance, 5-8pm Friday in the gallery at the Argenta Library, 420 Main Street, North Little Rock. The exhibition is still up until December 9. Gallery hours are 9am-6pm Monday-Friday. Entry to the gallery and reception is free. Call (501) 687-1061 or visit NLRLibrary.org.
Acansa Gallery, 413A Main St., North Little Rock, presents artists who are members of Birch Tree Communities across the state living with severe mental illness in an exhibition presented by the Argenta Third Friday festival Art Walk, 5-8pm Friday. The exhibition is still up until December 10. All proceeds from the sale of art pieces will go directly to the artist. Birch Tree Communities use painting, drawing, creative writing and music in the recovery process for members to build self-confidence and self-esteem and provide an outlet for expressing and communicating feelings “in a safe way.” and powerful,” according to her press release. Call (501) 529-7390 or (501) 315-3344 or email [email protected] or [email protected]
Dance: Jonesboro ‘Nutcracker’
The Jonesboro Arts Foundation is on the Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky stage “The Nutcracker,” 7:30pm Friday, 6pm Saturday, Monday and Tuesday and 2pm Sunday at the Forum Theatre, 115 East Monroe Ave., Jonesboro. The sponsor is NEA Baptist. Tickets are $16-$20, $15-$19 for seniors, children, military and Arkansas State University students, faculty and staff. The Sunday matinee is “pay what you can.” Call (870) 935-2726 or visit foajonesboro.org.
ETC.: Use of book sales
The Central Arkansas Library System will hold its last in 2022 Friends of CALS used to sell books, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, in the basement of the system’s Main Library, 100 Rock St., Little Rock. Friends of CALS members can shop early. 5-7pm today and also get 50% off “gently read” books at the Galleries & Bookstore at Library Square, 10am-5pm today. Purchase a Friends membership online at cals.org/about-friends, in person at the book sale or at any CALS branch.
Most books are priced at $1 for paperback, $2 for hardback. Book tickets will be available for sale. Proceeds from the book sale support library programs, including the Six Bridges Book Festival, book club facilities, Arkansas Sounds concerts, branch programs, Summer Reading Club and youth programs. Call (501) 918-3000 or visit cals.org.