From food festivals and plays to art shows and concerts, there is a smörgåsbord of events for you to go-and-do this weekend around the metro.
Here is a rundown of what is lined up for this weekend:
Thursday (March 6)
Diamond Chef Arkansas Preliminary Competition at Pulaski Tech Culinary Arts & Hospitality Institute, 13000 Interstate 30, Little Rock: Six chefs from Central Arkansas will battle it out Thursday for a spot in the Diamond Chef Arkansas finale. The competition follows the format of “Chopped,” the popular cooking show on Food Network. Chefs are given a mystery basket of ingredients and 40 minutes to prepare a dish using the ingredients, which will then be judged. The preliminary winner will face reigning champion Chef Daniel Cappello, of the Chenal Country Club. The contest begins at 2 p.m. Thursday and is free to the public. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 501-812-2324.
VISION Art Show & Exhibition at the Little Rock Eye Clinic, 201 Executive Court, Little Rock: VISION, both internal and external, is the theme of this exhibit that will feature 16 pieces of submitted artwork from Central Arkansas high school students. In all, 98 artworks were submitted from students from Sylvan Hillis, Episcopal Collegiate, Mout St. Mary’s, Arkansas School for the Blind, Pulaski Academy and Jacksonville High School. The event is set to start at 6:30 p.m. at the Little Rock Eye Clinic. For more information call Neil Pennington at 501-352-0342.
Friday (March 7)
2014 Bard Ball at Junior League Building, 401 Scott St., Little Rock: At this year’s Bard Ball, the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre asks you to don your cocktail attire as it takes you back to the Big Band era for a night of swing music, deletable snacks and a look-ahead to the theatrical season. In the same evening, you can dance your socks off to the melodies of Sinatra, performed by John Willis, all while bidding on live- and silent-auction items and devouring hors d’oeuvres, wine and beer. Jordan Coughtry, slated to be to play Hamlet this summer, will play original music he is composing for performances of Two Gentleman of Verona. Tickets are $75 in advance or $650 for a table of 10, and can be purchased here. Proceeds go to the AST’s 2014 summer season. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Junior League Building. For more information call Liz Parker at 501-450-5092 or email her at email@example.com.
Opening night of “Les Misérables’”The Arkansas Repertory Theatre, 601 Main St., Little Rock: The world’s longest-running musical, enjoyed by more than 60 million people in 42 countries that was adapted into an Academy Award-winning movie, is coming to The Rep, and opening night is this Friday. The illustrious musical, originally produced by Boublil and Schönberg, tells the narrative of passion and destruction in 19th century France. This co-production with the the Phoenix Theatre, directed by Rep Producing Artistic Director Robert Hupp, is set to run from Friday through April 6 in Little Rock. The opening night event includes a post-show reception with the cast. Complimentary champagne and light hors d’oeuvres will be provided. The show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets prices vary, and can be purchased here. Seats are limited. Call the box office at 501-378-0405 for more information. Check out more on the return of “Les Misérables” to The Rep in our story here.
Saturday (March 8)
Billy Currington “We Are Tonight” Tour at Verizon Arena, One Verizon Way, North Little Rock: Academy of Country Music- and Grammy Award-nominated artist Billy Currington is bringing his high-flying, “We Are Tonight” Tour to Verizon Arena this weekend. The first album in three years for the country artist brought Currington the seventh No. 1 hit of his career with “Hey Girl.” Along with Currington are fellow country artists Brett Eldredge and Chase Rice. The show kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are available for $45 and $49, and can be purchased here.
River City Comic Expo at Clear Channel Metroplex, 10800 Colonel Glenn Road, Little Rock: The River City Comic Expo’s March event will include James O’Barr, creator of The Crow, Dennis Calero, artist for X-Factor, X-Men: Noir, The Dark Tower, and Ash and the Army of Darkness. Many others are scheduled to be at the event, including Arkansans Tommy Hancock, Brad Carter and Kayla Larson. Comics, art, books, jewelry and toys are all a part of the fun. Admission is $5 for individuals and $10 per family. The event starts at 10 a.m. For more information call Brent Douglass at 501-492-9007 or email RiverCityComicExpo@gmail.com.
Sunday (March 9)
Girl Scout Cookies and Diamond Bear Beer at Diamond Bear Brewing Company, 323 C Cross St., Little Rock: Diamond Bear Brewing Company has decided to bring always-tempting and -tasty Girl Scout cookies together with a glass of its beer. This Sunday, patrons will get four 6 oz. samples of Diamond Bear beer for $12, paired with two Girl Scout cookies with each beer. The afternoon will continue with a tour of the brewery before it moves to a new location. The fun starts at 1 p.m. in downtown Little Rock.
Friends of Contemporary Craft Conversation featuring glass artist Ed Pennebaker at Arkansas Arts Center, Ninth & Commerce streets, Little Rock: The creator of exceptional art glass and sculpture, Ed Pennebaker, is the subject of the FOCC’s third Conversation of the 2013-14 season. Pennebaker, of Red Fern Glass in Osage, says his work, made from traditional offhand glassblowing techniques, metal fabrication and bronze casting, is of the contemporary line of the decorative arts. He acquired his inspiration from rich and varied Arkansas landscape. He’s represented in numerous public and private collections and has regularly exhibited in regional and national juried exhibitions. The Conversation begins at 5 p.m. with an illustrated talk in the Lecture Hall. That is followed by a casual reception with Pennebaker in the Lower Lobby. Entry is $5 for FOCC members and $10 for non-members. Students get in free with ID. Tickets are required. For more information, call 501-372-4000 or visit www.ArkansasArtsCenter.org.
Friday - Sunday (March 7-9)
Whole Foods Street Food Festival at Whole Foods Market, 10700 N. Rodney Parham Little Rock: Stop by the Whole Foods Market on Rodney Parham this weekend to enjoy flavors from across the world at the company’s annual international street food festival. While there you can donate to the Whole Planet Foundation’s Prosperity Campaign. Store hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. For more information call 501-221-2331.
Saturday - Sunday (March 8-9)
The Wizard of Oz with Orchestra at Robinson Center Music Hall, 414 W. Markham St., Little Rock: The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra invites you and your family to put on your ruby slippers and come see The Wizard of Oz like never before this weekend in a series presented by “Acxiom Pops Live!” The classic film from 1939 will be shown at the Robinson Center Music Hall, accompanied by a live symphonic orchestra performance from the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. It’s promised to be an Oz experience like you’ve never encountered before. Tickets range from $18 to $59, and can be purchased here. Kids from kindergarten to 12th grade get in free on Sunday with Entergy Kids Ticekts. Call 501-666-1761, ext. 100 to get your free tickets or for more information. You can also visit www.ArkansasSymphony.org. The show begins at 8 p.m. Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday.