Washington, D.C. attorney Keith Stroup, who founded the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) in 1970, will speak on why marijuana should be legalized at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Union Ballroom in the Arkansas Union on the University of Arkansas campus. Free.
Arts Live, the Fayetteville theater company that teaches wee-ones and teens how to become ready for primetime performers, will showcase some of their finest young actors Friday, Saturday and Sunday when the company stages the Disney musical “Aladdin” at the Continuing Education Auditorium at 2 E. Center St. in downtown Fayetteville. Performances at 7 p.m. all three days, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday. Tickets $7 by calling 521-4932 or at the door.
“For Colored Girls who have Considered Suicide when the Rainbow is Enuf” the 1974 choreopoem by Ntozake Shange, will be staged by the University of Arkansas African-American studies department at 8 p.m. Friday at the UA Union Theater in the Arkansas Union and at 8 p.m. Saturday in Giffels Auditorium in Old Main on the UA campus. The Obie award winning performance piece was praised by The New Yorker magazine as “encompassing…every feeling and experience a woman has ever had.” The cast of seven women will read 20 poems as monologues or in chorus. The work is a powerful piece that addresses the struggles and difficulties of being a black female in the 20th century. Terrence T. Tucker and C. Patrick Tyndall direct the production. Cast members are: Mallory Barker, Natasha Burroughs, Avery Cato, Amber Dorsey, Chamika Ellis, Jokeda Nelson, Betty Turner and Quantrell Willis. Both performances are free.
Pluck-The Specialists, will visit the Walton Arts Center on Friday for one show only. The group of three string musicians camp it up to bring classical music to a new level of entertainment. Think classical music ala the Marx Brothers. Performance at 8 p.m. Tickets $14-$22.
In the clubs
Those who caught the super show by Darlene and Luna Tart last week at GoodFolk got a preview what’s coming up this week at the downtown Fayetteville venue. Darlene did a song written by New Orleans songwriter Mike West, who is one half of the duo Truckstop Honeymoon who will be playing Goodfolk this Friday night. Truckstop Honeymoon play tough, funny, hi-octane songs about interstates, pinball arcades and true love. Katie Euliss, the other half of the duo, pounds a doghouse bass while West plucks the banjo for some New Orleans’ infused hillbilly skiffle. West has earned a Big Easy Entertainment award for Best Country/Folk Artist and a Best Album and Best Artist award from New Orleans’ Off Beat magazine. Show at 8 p.m. Tickets $10 by calling 521-1812 or at the door.
A few block away on Dickson Street, another duo, the Sugar Free Allstars, will be bringing a bit of funk to Tony C’s off Dickson. If you haven’t picked up a copy of the band’s latest CD “Return of Dos Machos” you’ll probably want to. The Hammond B3 brings to mind a touch of Morris Day and The Time, while at the same time delivers a tight instrumentation that sometimes is a bit reminiscent of The Cate Brothers. The new album also features a guest performance by Arkansas’ own Fred Tackett of Little Feat.
On Monday night head to the Dickson Theater for a really big show with Aqueduct, Annuals, HolyGhost Children and Counterlife. David Terry, the driving force behind Aquaduct, who has been praised by pubs like Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly and Spin— relocated to Seattle a few years ago and this will be his first trip to NWA since the big move. Wade Ogle of the Dickson Theater calls him a “pop genius.” Also on the bill is the hot, hot, hot Annuals who too, have caught the ear of the major music press and have scored performance slots on Conan O’Brien and NPR. Opening the show will be two relatively new Fayetteville acts, HolyGhost Children and Counterlife, which is made up of some of the refugees of the former Kings of New England. An 18 and up show. Doors at 8 with a 9 p.m. start.
Finally, on March 17, you may want to check out Detroit native and New York transplant Derek Lee Bronston at 9 p.m. at Arsaga’s Crossover. The singer songwriter plays Dobro, harmonica and guitar and is touring to promote his debut release “Empty River” that came out in January. His music has been called a soulful infusion of country folk with a swinging groove and bluesy nuance that gives a nod to songwriting greats like Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark.