‘LOVE NEVER DIES’
7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sun., 2 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Robinson Performance Hall. $33-$87.
Fans of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic musical “The Phantom of the Opera” will be able to step back into the star-crossed drama of Christine Daae and the illusive Phantom in the musical’s sequel, the aggressively titled “Love Never Dies.” The sequel picks up 10 years after the Phantom’s disappearance from the Paris Opera House and finds him in his new home among the freak shows and carnival rides of New York’s Coney Island. Christine is now a world-renowned soprano thanks to the Phantom’s overbearing tutelage, and she accepts an invitation to perform at a New York opera house because the drinking and gambling problems of her husband, Raoul (wow, the original musical really buried the lead on these troubling habits), have left the couple and their young son, Gustave, financially crippled. Upon Christine’s arrival in New York, the Phantom takes this as his final opportunity to woo Christine, and he lures Christine and her son away from the esteem of Manhattan and into the glittering underbelly of Coney Island. This is the musical’s first North American tour, and it’s directed by Simon Phillips, of “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: The Musical.” Tickets can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, by calling 501-244-8800, or by visiting the Robinson Performance Hall Box Office. RH
9 p.m. Rev Room. $20.
Rodney Block, the crowned monarch of trumpet grooves, has a new album, and he’s calling in some serious reserves to celebrate its release. R&B crooner Tony Terry steams up the windows, jazz/soul vocalist Bijoux commands the room (and leads the sing-along), and DJ AJB Showtime spins beats. Block’s latest, “Fantastic Beatz,” will be on hand for purchase, too, so gift your friends and fam some future house music and call your Black Friday shopping done. Need to shore up that retail decision? Head to Rodney Block’s Facebook page and check out a preview of Bijoux in the studio with producer Eugene Whitmore, reviewing progress on a tune called “Next Level Love.” Then, check the list of artists who performed on it alongside Bijoux, Whitmore and The Rodney Block Collective: Damarcus Pettus, Ky Whitmore, Adrian Tillman, Dre Franklin, Jonathan Burks, Joel ‘Jammin JC and Quincy “Qnote” Watson – the latter of whom you can catch at South on Main this same evening. SS
DYLAN EARL & THE REASONS WHY
9 p.m. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack. $10.
Dylan Earl sings country music without the saccharine sheen that seems unshakeable in much of the genre’s current pop offerings. Earl’s honest, honeyed baritone, coupled with the warm stylings of The Reasons Why, result in tunes reminiscent of dance halls, humid night drives on dirt roads and dances in the kitchen to the radio. Before he began his solo career in 2014, Earl co-founded and toured with swamp rock band Swampbird. Earl and The Reasons Why have toured Earl’s debut LP, “New Country To Be,” across the United States, and they’ve even made appearances in Canada, the U.K. and parts of Western Europe and Scandinavia. They’ll be stopping in Little Rock next, and the cowboy hats and belt buckles favored by The Reasons Why will make them easy to spot at Stickyz on Friday night. Earl’s signature mustache and mullet combination will also be hard to miss. Tickets are $10 for some true boot scootin’. RH
9:30 p.m. White Water Tavern. $10.
‘Tis the season for brass and woodwinds — lots of them — and I can’t think of any better place to add to your post-Thanksgiving revelry than an hour or two in this beloved dive bar listening to funk at its most thoughtful. Core members from Amasa Hines make up the Funkanites, but the evening isn’t entirely without that frontman; Joshua Asante spins records at Friday night’s show, too. Head to YouTube and check out the Funkanites’ “Light in the Dark” for an idea of how the ensemble can float through a dreamy nine-minute groove with commendable patience and cohesion. SS
TRAP JAZZ GIANTS
10 p.m. South on Main. $10-$15.
To equate trap with low art and jazz with high art is, no doubt, to miss the point of both sounds entirely. Each has been a medium for conveying struggle and celebration, adversity and elation, power and powerlessness. At their intersection, though, is what producer/pianist Quincy Watson (known to some as QNote) and saxophonist Phillip Mouton (known to some as Philli Moo, a student of the late, great Clark Terry) call “a hybrid — a cultural bridge between the old and the new of hip-hop and jazz with a rich Southern roots feel.” For a primer, check out the preview track at the download link here: iamtrapjazz.com. SS
THINK BIG SHOP SMALL
10 a.m.-3 p.m. 300 and 400 blocks of President Clinton Ave.
The Big Box stores aren’t selling mimosas, which is one good reason you shop at this second annual pop-up shopping event in the River Market district. Another good reason is that it’s Small Business Saturday. Not only will there be mimosas, there will be 60-plus Arkansas vendors, beer and wine in that mimosa tent, and music by violinist Mike Walters. Lining the blocks will be crafts and fine art for sale along with foods and stocking stuffers, and the retail shops and restaurants along Clinton will be taking part, too. LNP
HOLIDAY ART MARKET
3-6 p.m. Boulevard Bread Co. 1920 N. Grant St.
Once you’ve exhausted all the opportunities in the River Market district, head for the hills. Boulevard Bread Co.’s Heights location will be taken over by local artists and vendors, including printmakers Danielle Napolitano, Allie Thompson and Miranda Young, ceramicist Beth Lambert, jewelry-maker Bang Up Betty, illustrator Katie McBride, Crying Weasel Vintage, vinyl records from Control (see the A&E feature from Nov. 15 at arktimes.com) and more. Boulevard will offer happy hour drink specials to shoppers. Connect with your fellow Arkansans instead of Jeff Bezos for a merrier holiday season. LNP
COLOUR DESIGN, R.I.O.T.S., SCRAP RAT, SA SOLO ACT
9 p.m. White Water Tavern.
As far as I’m concerned, this lineup is a primo chance to catch up on local bands you might have missed out on thus far, and it’s eclectic as hell. SA Solo Act is one of the fiercest and most thrilling rappers in the city right now; I dare you to listen to her “Free Thought” on Soundcloud and not decree it the most cutthroat, poetic takedown of Trumpian gaslighting you’ve heard in any medium this year. Colour Design’s sprawling, layered guitar is punctuated by percussion and by vocalist Shawn Hood’s urgency and vitality, and if you’ve yet to hear it live, let this be the remedy. R.I.O.T.S. is both skate punk-with-precision and an extended exercise in acronyms (Really It’s Only Ten Songs, R.I.O.T.S. Is Over Trump’s Shit, Ramen Is Our Treasured Sustenance). Scrap Rat is new to me; let’s check it out. SS
7 p.m. Rev Room. $35-$40.
PJ Morton and his six-piece band are bringing the artist’s contemporary Southern-style soul music to the Rev Room in a show that Offbeat magazine says will have audiences “twerkin’ for Jesus.” The newborn king comes into play with the recent release of Morton’s Christmas album, “Christmas with PJ Morton.” But you don’t have to get down with the little child of Bethlehem to get down with Morton’s New Orleans bounce and reggae tunes. You may have caught him in his 15-piece “Tiny Desk Concert,” or seen his live cover of the Bee Gee’s “How Deep Is Your Love” with West Memphis native YEBBA. Morton is also the keyboardist for Maroon Five, and he was nominated for two Grammys last year for his self-produced solo album, “Gumbo.” The soulful Grace Weber, who’s worked with Chance the Rapper and Kanye West on Chance’s “Coloring Book,” is opening. Tickets are available at arkansaslivemusic.com. RH
EARL AND THEM
9 p.m. Cajun’s Wharf.
From within the ranks of The Cate Brothers — the Fayetteville twins who dominated mid-South dance clubs in the ’70s and ’80s — comes Earl and Them, a quartet made up of frontman/blues guitarist Earl Cate; fellow guitar guru Jason Davis; Terry Cagle, a drummer and singer whose mannerisms and style bear a damned-near-uncanny resemblance to those of his uncle, Levon Helm; and John Davies, one of the most lyrical, inventive bass players in the state. Cajun’s Wharf is familiar territory for Earl and Them, and wallflowers tend not to remain so, particularly when the rhythm section (and the Play De Do you ordered from the bar) kicks in. SS