Comedian Bill Engvall laughed for the last time during his farewell tour

Elsewhere in entertainment, events and the arts this weekend:

COMEDY: Engvall’s Farewell

Comedian Bill Engvall, on his “Here’s Your Sign, It’s Finally Time” farewell tour, performs at 7 and 9 p.m. Friday at the Oaklawn Event Center, 2705 Central Ave, Hot Springs. Tickets cost between $40 and $55 for the first show, between $40 and $65 for the last; there is a limit of six tickets. To visit Masks are encouraged for unvaccinated customers.

THEATER: ‘Little Mermaid Jr.’

The Studio Theater, 320 W. Seventh St., Little Rock, Stages “Disney The Little Mermaid Jr.” a 60-minute stage adaptation of the Broadway musical (music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater, book by Doug Wright), 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and March 17-19 and 2:30 p.m. Sunday and March 20. tickets are $25 in advance at, $30 at the door; for more information, call (501) 374-2615 or visit The theater will have 85 seats per performance and will require face coverings for all.

Blakely White (left) and Berkeley Courtney-Moore share the role of Ariel in ‘The Little Mermaid Jr.’ at Studio Theater. (Special for the Democrat-Gazette/Matthew Sewell)
True “Robin Hood”?

A self-absorbed hero tries his best to navigate his way through an endless quest to help the needy while encountering a host of unusual characters in “The True Story of Robin Hood” by Mary Lynn Dobson, onstage at 7:30 p.m. Friday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Southeast Arkansas Arts and Science Center, 701 S. Main St., Pine Bluff. Tickets are $18, $13 for center members and seniors, $10 for students. The sponsor is Relyance Bank. Call (870) 536-3375 or visit

Wonka ‘bars’

Jonesboro Foundation of Arts Scenes “Willy Wonka Jr.” (music and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse & Anthony Newley, adapted for the stage by Bricusse and Timothy Allen McDonald from the 1971 film “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and Roald Dahl’s book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”), 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Saturday and 2:00 p.m. Sunday at the Forum Theater, 115 E. Monroe Ave., Jonesboro. The presenting sponsor is the Eastern Arkansas Insurance Agency. Tickets are $15, $10 for seniors, children, military, and Arkansas State University students, faculty, and staff; pay what you can for Sunday morning. Call (870) 935-2726 or visit

MUSIC: Concert Coterie

Little Rock Musical Coterie Scholarship Winners play for the coterie meeting, Sunday at 2 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church, 1101 N. Mississippi St., Little Rock. Clarinetist Alan Sun, winner of the Prix Wang de la Coterie, joins pianist Cesar Blass for selections from Gioachino Rossini’s “Introduction, Theme, and Variations”. Coterie Prize-winning pianist Stephen Graham plays the second and third movements of Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Piano Sonata No. 8” in C minor, Op.13 (“Pathetique”), and Robert Schuman. And pianist Holly Farrah, winner of the Virginia Queen Piano Award, will perform Scene No. 2 from “Romeo and Juliet” by Sergei Prokofiev; “Prelude” in C sharp minor, op.3 n° 2, by Sergei Rachmaninoff; “The Girl with Linen Hair” by Claude Debussy; “Nocturne”, Op.9 No. 1 by Frédéric Chopin; and “Prelude No. 3” by Kent Kennan. Free entry.

Community group

The North Little Rock Community Concert Band opens its 2022 season at 3 p.m. Sunday with a concert bandleader Rico Belotti calls “The Empire Strikes Back,” with tunes tied to the British Empire, at the Patrick Henry Hays Senior Center, 401 Pershing Blvd. , North Little Rock. Free entry. Call (501) 758-2576 or visit

Six string trio

Photo The 6-Wire Piano Trio — (left to right) Cathy Yang, erhu; Xiang Gao, violin; and Matthew Brower, piano — performs Saturday at Arkansas State University’s Fowler Center. (Special at the Democrat-Gazette)
6 sons, an unusual piano trio — Xiang Gao, violin; Cathy Yang, erhu (two-stringed Chinese fiddle) and Matthew Brower, piano — perform Saturday at 7 p.m. at Riceland Hall at Arkansas State University’s Fowler Center, 201 Olympic Drive, Jonesboro. On the program: “Sunshine over Tashikuergan” by Gang Chen; “Meridian Flux” by Mark Hagerty; “Funk Attack” by Adam Baumol; and 6-Wire arrangements of works by JS Bach, Claude Debussy, William Bolcom and George Gershwin. Tickets cost between $18 and $33. Call (870) 972-2781 or visit

OBU band

The Ouachita Baptist University Symphony Group with conductor Jim Lloyd performs at 7:30 p.m. today at the OBU’s Jones Performing Arts Center, 409 Ouachita St., Arkadelphia. The program includes “Gabriel’s Oboe” by Ennio Morricone from the score of the 1986 film “The Mission” with Brock Wade, a young specialist in teaching instrumental music from Plano, Texas, as oboe soloist and works by Frank Ticheli, John Mackey, David Holsinger and AJ Weidt. Free entry; the concert will also be broadcast live on Call (870) 245-4197 or email [email protected]

ETC. : Sale of CALS books

The Central Arkansas Library System returns to the basement for the first of three 2022 Friends of CALS Used Book Auction, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Main System Library, 100 Rock St., Little Rock. (Friends of CALS members can shop early, 5-7 p.m. today.)

Most books are priced at $1 for paperbacks and $2 for hardbacks. Book boxes will also be on sale. Proceeds go to the Friends of CALS fund to support the Six Bridges Book Festival, book club kits, Arkansas Sounds concerts, branch programs, summer reading club, youth programs and miscellaneous library activities. Masks will be required for shoppers and volunteers.

By the way, members also get 50% off soft-read books at Library Square galleries and bookstores today during regular business hours, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Buy Subscriptions anytime online at person at the book sale or at any CALS branch.

Summer and fall book sales are tentatively set for July 7-9 and November 17-19. Call (501) 918-3000 or visit

Magic couple

Photo Illusionist Jonathan Hawley performs today in Heber Springs. (Special at the Democrat-Gazette)
Jonathan and Trisha Hawley, husband and wife of the illusion team, present “Jonathan Hawley of Hawley Magic – The Man of Magic Show,” 7:30 p.m. today at the Heber Springs Performing Arts Center, 1100 W. Pine St., Heber Springs. It is part of the 2021-22 Arkansas State University-Beebe Lecture-Concert Series. Admission is by free ticket; to visit The Hawleys were finalists on the television show “America’s Got Talent.” To visit


Live music, chili cooking, a cornhole tournament, crawfish, inflatables, kids’ activities and a vendor’s market are planned for Main Street El Dorado’s “Shamrockin’ on the square,” 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, centered on Washington and Elm streets in downtown El Dorado.

The “Grill Wars Chili Cook-Off” begins at 9 a.m.; judging begins at noon for over $2,000 in cash and prizes in three categories (Traditional Red, Green and Homestyle) and an invitation for the top three cooks to the World Championship Chili Cook-Off in Myrtle Beach, SC The public can eat the results, 1-3 p.m., $10, and vote for your favorites.

The event also includes a vendor’s market from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., an entertainment area with games and contests for children and adults, a beer garden, music, and food from downtown restaurants. town. The event is a partnership with Ken’s Discount and Blackmon’s Furniture. Free entry; some activities are chargeable. Call (870) 862-4747 or visit

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