SHOCKED SOLO: Unitarian show.

Folk rocker Michelle Shocked is leaving her band at home and returning to her solo acoustic roots for a show at Thomson Hall on Friday, Feb. 23. The Little Rock Folk Club is presenting Shocked, easily one of the biggest names to ever adorn the LRFC lineup.

Shocked, based out of Dallas, has toured as a rocker and played funk rock and blues, but the cozy Thomson Hall venue will allow fans to get an up-close-and-personal view of the singer-songwriter as she celebrates her 45th birthday on Friday. Shocked gained critics’ attention back 1988 with the album “Short Sharp Shocked.”


Showtime is 7 p.m., and tickets are $15 for adults and $7.50 for students (with ID). Children under 12 are admitted free with an adult. Thomson Hall is in the Unitarian Universalist Church, at 1818 Reservoir Road.


ASO turns to Tchaikovsky


The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s annual orchestra showcase on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 24-25, will feature Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 4.”

Performances are at 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at Robinson Center Music Hall. Tickets range from $16 to $55. Call 666-1761.

Other pieces in the show are Antonin Dvorak’s “Symphonic Variations, Op. 78,” and Frank Martin’s contemporary “Concerto for Seven Wind Instruments.”

Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36” is said to reflect the great personal turmoil he was feeling at the time, beginning in May 1877. Tchaikovsky entered into two influential relationships at the time with women — the music patron Nadezhad von Meck and the emotionally unstable music student Antonina Milyukova, who was in his composition class at the Moscow Conservatory. His subsequent marriage to Milyukova led him to attempt suicide, before he fled to France, Italy and Austria and continued working on the symphony. He dedicated it to his “best friend,” von Meck. A brassy fanfare opens the work, while the second movement shows another phase of melancholy. It moves into a playful scherzo before finishing with a flourishing full orchestra.


Theater watch

New plays start up at the Phoenix Theater and the Weekend Theater in Little Rock, while Benton’s Royal Players continue with the final weekend of “Smoke on the Mountain.”

“Boy Gets Girl,” directed by Helene Rush, opens for the Phoenix troupe at the Public Theatre, 616 Center St., on Friday. It will run Feb. 23-24 and March 2-3. Time magazine called “Boy Gets Girl” “the finest, most disturbing American play in years.” The Phoenix production stars Felicia Richardson as Theresa Bedell, a writer who goes on a blind date that turns nightmarish. John Smith also stars. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Call 663-3641.

John Olive’s “Standing on My Knees” is the newest production of the Weekend Theater, opening Friday and playing Fridays and Saturdays through March 10. It examines the effects of mental illness on a gifted young poet. Julie Atkins directs. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $14 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Call 374-3761 for reservations. The theater is at Seventh and Chester streets.

Lively depression-era gospel music makes “Smoke on the Mountain” a fun musical for fans of the Royal Players. The show, which originated off-Broadway and made it to the Great White Way in 1988, will be performed Thursday through Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Royal Theatre. Rich Pratchard directs. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 60 and over, and $5 for students. Call 315-5483.

Quick hits

Brides, listen up. The 20th annual Conway Bridal Fair is Sunday, Feb. 25, at the Conway Sports Center (401 Lower Ridge Road, off Highway 65 North) from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. “Enchanting Memories,” the day’s theme, will offer the newest fashions and trends for bridal, formal and special events, with professionals on hand to offer advice. KTHV’s Craig O’Neill will emcee the live auction. The fair benefits the Youth Advocate and Resources Network. Call 975-7480 or 888-553-8480 for more information … The Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame will induct eight former athletes on Saturday, Feb. 24, at the Alltel Arena, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Call 663-4428 … Wildwood’s Jazz Supper Club Series features Butch Thompson and Friends on Friday, Feb. 23, at Wildwood Park on Denny Road. Tickets are $35 and the concert begins at 8 p.m.; dinner is at 7 p.m. … Toss out the records when UALR and Arkansas State play basketball. The women will tip off at Jack Stephens Center at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, and the men follow. Tickets, if any are left, start at $8. Call 565-8257 … The ImprovLittleRock comedy troupe returns to the Public Theater for fun and games on Friday and Saturday beginning at 10:30 p.m. Admission is $7. Call 374-7529 … Take the kids to the Clinton Presidential Center’s Great Hall from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday for “Strike Up the Drums,” a children’s drumming event. There will be percussion exhibits, workshops conducted by Stephin Booth, drum circles and more for kids from preschool to high school. Admission is free but doesn’t include a tour of the library. Call 374-4242.