IN LOVE'S GRASP: Octopi Ellis, Fortenberry and Doering.

The local sketch comedy troupe Red Octopus skewers Valentine’s Day, romance, blind dates, cruises, lounge acts, loveologists and more with “Heartburn, A Red Octopus Valentine,” its newest show, starting Wednesday, Feb. 7. What better date night than some laughs for adults at the Easy Street Cabaret, Seventh and Center streets.

This seasonal holiday attack features Sandy Baskin, Josh Doering, Drew Ellis, Michael Henderson, Glenda Fortenbury and Jason Willey. Showtimes are at 8 p.m. and the doors open at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors, and all shows are non-smoking. The show runs through Saturday, Feb. 10. Call 372-3530 or 626-0153.


Coming opera stars

Recent graduates of the Wildwood Young Artist Program and other youthful performers will be featured in Wildwood Park’s After Dinner Opera Series event “Opera Stars of Tomorrow” on Friday, Feb. 2, starting at 8 p.m.


Katherine Altobello, Melissa Radbill and Gerald Bernard Yarbray II will sing selections from “Porgy and Bess” and “The Marriage of Figaro”; UCA students from Martha Antolik’s studio will perform “Lenski’s Aria” by Tchaikovsky; Shannah Cummings will perform “Vilja Lied” by Johann Strauss and “Steal Me, Sweet Thief” from “Old Maid and the Thief” by Menotti; and Amanda Woodward will sing “I Want to Be a Prima Donna” by Victor Herbert.

The Wildwood Young Artist Program alumni include Mary Wynston-Smith, Lawrence Hamilton, Gerald Thompson and many more.


Tickets are $20. Call 821-7275, ext. 232. Dinner is available for an additional charge before all shows, beginning at 7 p.m. Wildwood is 20 minutes from downtown Little Rock on Denny Road, just off Kanis Road and Chenal Parkway. Parking is free.

Studies on ‘Lost Year’

Two events that examine “The Lost Year,” the 1958-59 Little Rock School District year following the integration of Little Rock Central High in 1957, are planned for next week by the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies and the Main Library.

Wednesday’s “Legacies and Lunch” will feature Dr. Katherine Mitchell and Maud Woods in the program “After the Crisis: The ‘Lost Year’ Remembered.” The program, with Mitchell and Woods recounting the “Lost Year” from their first-hand experience, runs from noon to 1 p.m. in the Darragh Center and is free; Mitchell was a student and Woods was a teacher. Bring a sack lunch; drinks are provided.


The documentary “The Lost Year,” by Sandra Hubbard and Dr. Sondra Gordy, will be screened Saturday, Feb. 10, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Darragh Center. The film includes individual stories of students and teachers juxtaposed with the political and behind-the-scenes maneuvering during the period. Admission is free.

Call 918-3049.

Climbing a beanstalk

“Jack and the Beanstalk,” part of the Wildwood Young Artist Tour and scheduled to visit 36 towns throughout the state over four months, will be staged at Wildwood’s Lucy Lockett Cabe Theatre at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3. The tour kicks off in Fort Smith on Feb. 1.

The 45-minute production, suitable for the entire family, is based on a fairy tale adaptation by John Davies with music by Sir Arthur Sullivan. Mezzo-soprano Katherine Altobello, who recently received her master’s degree in music and voice at Indiana University, stars as Jack; Melissa Radbill, who has performed with the Pittsburgh Pops and received her master’s from Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, is Jack’s mother and the giant’s wife; and Gerald Bernard Yarbray II, who has toured with the Atlanta Opera and is pursuing a doctorate in musical arts at the University of Wisconsin, is the giant. Susan Belcher is directing.

Tickets are $15. Call 821-7275, ext. 232.