← Back to issues
Jason Moore goes from Broadway to Hollywood

Jason Moore goes from Broadway to Hollywood

July 18, 2013

Vol 39 • No 46

Read the print version

Jason Moore talks directing 'Avenue Q,' 'Pitch Perfect' and 'Archie'

The Fayetteville native scored big wins directing 'Avenue Q' on Broadway and the musical cult fave 'Pitch Perfect' for Universal Pictures. Up next: 'Archie' on the big screen, a TV show, a movie with Tina Fey and a newfound sense of inner peace.

Raises for Arts Center staff

Board OKs 2014 "conservative" budget.

Coming to Thea: Eric Forstmann

The New York realist will have a five-day show in August.

Photographer Seamans: Lifetime Achievement Award winner

One of the Arkansas Arts Council's 2013 Governors Awards for artists and art supporters.

Jumper survives leap from I-430 bridge

River rescue workers are searching around the Interstate 430 bridge for a woman who jumped from the bridge this morning, Fox 16/Channel 4 reports.

Thursday: Pallbearer at White Water Tavern and more

Pallbearer plays at White Water Tavern Thursday night.

Either Exxon cut corners, or we've got a national pipeline problem

Our partners at InsideClimate News surveyed pipeline industry experts in a new article that boils down the importance of getting to the bottom of what caused the Mayflower oil spill.

Beebe appointees include Fayetteville lawyer to ABC Board

Gov. Mike Beebe made several dozen appointments today. Most notable was Jeff Mitchell, a Fayetteville lawyer, to the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

FOI lawsuit challenges Mark Martin's hiring of outside counsel

Matt Campbell, who was forced to sue Secretary of State Mark Martin because his office wouldn't supply documents as required by the state Freedom of Information Act about the office's heavy use of outside legal counsel, has now filed a motion in that lawsuit contending that Martin's use of outside counsel in the FOI case is not allowed by law.

Political Animals Club sets gubernatorial candidate talks

Never has so much political wisdom been gathered for lunch at one table since .......

The Quapaw Quarter fence height rule at issue again

They're not through fighting over fences in the Quapaw Quarter. You'll remember that unhappy fence builders very nearly destroyed the Capitol Zoning District Commission in the 2013 legislative session because House Speaker Davy Carter's right-hand man, Gabe Holmstrom, got PO'ed about the commission's 40-inch limit on frontyard fences.

The dog day open line

Hot enough for you? It is for me. The line is open.

Time for tomatoes at Willow Springs Market Garden

At Willow Springs Market Garden, tomatoes are king.

A first look at Big Orange Midtown, now open for business!

The Big Orange folks have been stringing us along for a while now, teasing us with pictures and promises of a “coming soon” opening date. And now they have finally opened their doors to the public.

Trouble for "Private Option"? Health centers object to waiver

With the draft waivers for the “Private Option” plan for Medicaid expansion open for public comment, we’ve heard from the usual suspects opposed to the policy, but the loudest complaints have come from a group strongly in favor of the Private Option: the state’s community health centers.

Pure gold

Williams-Smith, Smith in silverpoint.

'Duh' moments in the news

The painfully obvious commanded attention as this week began.

A Q&A with chemist and MacArthur 'Genius Grant' recipient Wilma Subra, on the Mayflower oil spill

On health concerns and the clean-up process.

Natural Child at Stickyz

Also, Cruz Way at Juanita's; Reproacher and Primitive Man at Downtown Music Hall; Little Rock Fashion Week's Big Night at Robinson; Anthony Hamilton, The Whispers and Doug E. Fresh at First Security Amphitheater, and The Dangerous Idiots at White Water Tavern.

Pallbearer at White Water Tavern

Also, The Trey Hawkins Band at Revolution.

A hard rain

It rained last week, a brief, enticing shower that was just enough to wet the parking lot and spatter the window of The Observer's office with diamonds.

Fast casual Cajun at J. Gumbo's

Tasty fare served (mostly) in a bowl.

The 'Welfare Queen' lives on in food-stamp myth

To appreciate the Republican triumph over America's poor last week, when the party's majority in the House of Representatives stripped food aid from the nation's farm bill, you must go back to Ronald Reagan's speeches about the Welfare Queen in his 1976 campaign for president against Gerald Ford.

Fab Four

That all four U.S. representatives of a state with half a million food stamp recipients would vote against food stamps is a little startling, unless you know these fellows.

Onward, upward

Every once in a great while, one gets the feeling that Arkansas has turned an important corner.

Peaceful observance

Hundreds of people turned out at the Capitol on Monday for a vigil sponsored by the Arkansas Black Legislative Caucus as a response to the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case.

'Jesus Christ Superstar' at ACT

Argenta Community Theater's annual summer musical returns.

Police shooting inspires instant protest in Little Rock

Frustration over the Trayvon Martin case boils into a protest at 12th and Jefferson.

Stereotypical junkie

Thank you for your story entitled, "Heroin Addict" (July 4). I really appreciated the way it avoided negative stereotypes and presented such a factual picture of addicts and addiction. Oh, it was wonderful. The photo was a great start.

Monster mash

'Pacific Rim' is visually stunning.

Tech park board to seek input from new consultant, schools

The Little Rock Technology Park Authority Board will seek input from tech park development and management firm Wexford Science and Technology to assist in getting the Little Rock park off the ground, chair Mary Good said Monday.

Covenant v. traditional marriage in Arkansas

The state's covenant marriage statute, which requires premarital counseling and makes it somewhat harder for couples to divorce, was popularized in 2005 by Gov. Mike Huckabee and his wife, Janet, whose Baptist vows apparently didn't suffice. The first couple, after many years of marriage and three children, decided it would make their union stronger if they got remarried under a new secular law on stage at Verizon Arena, the first lady famously decked out in red velvet.

Over and out

"Have you noticed recently the use of the phrase 'run him over,' which I believe is a misuse of 'run over him'? I've heard it on the television news, and read it in the paper."

'You'll grow out of it'

It was a good week for Muckraking the Mayflower Oil Spill

It was also a good week for Mike Ross, a lawsuit seeking equality and Attorney General Dustin McDaniel. It was a bad week for Baptist Health, transparency and judicial activism.

Barth: McDaniel, the comeback kid?

A clear political trend of 2013 has been the coming back to electoral life of candidates scarred by sexual scandals in a manner unprecedented in modern American politics.

Lyons: Zimmerman trial: tragic, but correct verdict

No sooner had the jury's verdict in the George Zimmerman murder trial been announced than a journalist friend posted on my Facebook page: "If it weren't such a tragic case, I'd forgive you for feeling smug."

UPDATE: Here we go again — the 38th time for House on anti-Obamacare vote

Mission accomplished for congressional Republicans. Meaningless votes in the House yesterday commanded lead-the-newspaper treatment in Little Rock and, undoubtedly, elsewhere.

Tom Cotton's cash — Bush, Stephens, Club for Growth kick in

I've been breezing through U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton's latest campaign filing this morning. Some things jump out: * CLUB FOR GROWTH: Lots of out-of-state money bundled up by what Mike Huckabee famously called the Club for Greed, the billionaire-backed outfit that has never met a tax — except maybe on poor people's food — that it likes.

Saturday To-Do: Little Rock Fashion Week's Big Night

Little Rock Fashion Week's Big Night is Saturday at Robinson Center Music Hall.

Friday: Trey Hawkins Band, Dirty Streets and more

The Trey Hawkins Band plays an album release show at Revolution Friday.

Friday To-Do: Reproacher, Primitive Man

Reproacher performs at Downtown Music Hall Friday night.

The Republican fringe

A back-bench legislator's support for an extremist gubernatorial candidate isn't big news, but I'll mention anyway that Republican Rep. Richard Womack of Arkadelphia has endorsed Curtis Coleman for governor.

Lewis Black messes with Texas

Not suitable for some places of employment, but time was you could get a cheer from most Arkansans at anything that so robustly put down the Lone Star state.

Playing arithmetic with Lt. Gov. Mark Darr

Lt. Gov. Mark Darr popped off a bit on Twitter yesterday and I think his comments are worth more than 140 characters.

Police search for missing man, friend of man found dead at UALR

The Little Rock Police Department issued a missing person report today on Jonathan Eiland, pictured here.

Extended hours tonight for "Rembrandt"

And a lecture by Cleveland Museum of Art curator of European paintings.

Democratic Party rips Mark Martin for wasting tax money on outside lawyers

The Arkansas Democratic Party follows up today on Blue Hog Report's research that indicaters 1) Mark Martin is the first secretary of state to rely on outside legal counsel (costing more than $100,000, on top of a stuff full of lawyers) rather than the attorney general and 2) law seems to prohibit what Martin is doing.

Good food, good music at 2-year-old Root

The Root cafe reached its two-year milestone June 14 and will celebrate the anniversary with a potluck from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Asa Hutchinson at 35

Check out a profile of a 35-year-old Asa Hutchinson at the start of his Senate campaign against Dale Bumpers. It was a loooong time ago.

ExxonMobil unit settles fracking pollution case with EPA

The subject is ExxonMobil, actually a subsidiary, XTO. The subject is also fracking.

The cheesekeeper open line

Kind of a boring day. So I open the line.

One happy hour at The Packet House

Recently, The Packet House “unveiled” their new happy hour menu and I saw this as a perfect opportunity to finally get a taste of what the place was serving up.

Judge Leon Holmes recuses from challenge of Arkansas same-sex marriage ban

Federal Judge Leon Holmes has recused from hearing the federal civil rights lawsuit filed this week challenging the Arkansas ban on same-sex marriage.

State Police officer arrested on cocaine charge

A State Police lieutenant, Sedrick Reed, 43, of Hope was arrested yesterday by federal marshals and held in the county jail pending arraignment today.

Caution: Vanity license plate editors at work

Thanks to Rob Moritz of Stephens Media for coverage of a legislative discussion yesterday of evolving law on vanity license plates.

Saturday To-Do: Anthony Hamilton, The Whispers, Doug E. Fresh

Anthony Hamilton performs at First Security Amphitheatre Saturday.

Saturday: Ralphie May, Four on the Floor and more

Comic Ralphie May will perform at The Brick Room Saturday night.

Saturday To-Do: The Dangerous Idiots

The Dangerous Idiots play at White Water Tavern Saturday.

Stone's Throw Brewing taproom to open August 1

New brewery and taproom announces an official opening date of August 1.

Sunday: Fletcher C. Johnson at Stickyz

Fletcher C. Johnson plays at Stickyz Sunday night.

GOP official says voter ID worked to suppress Democratic vote

Republicans keep insisting in Arkansas that Voter ID laws are about preventing vote fraud, though they've yet to dig up an Arkansas case where that's true.

Arkansas unemployment rate unchanged in June

Arkansas rate stays at 7.3 percent, state reports.

Securities Department responds to GOP pressure for more investigation of Shoffner case; evidence insufficient so far

Arkansas Republicans aren't through milking the opportunity given by federal charges against former Treasurer Martha Shoffner, a Democrat, for taking cash payments from a securities dealer who did a huge amount of business with Shoffner's office.

Fracking: The good, the bad, the ugly

* ONE-YEAR STUDY FINDS FRACKING CHEMICALS DID NOT SPREAD INTO DRINKING WATER: That's the verdict so far in a federal test of migration of fluids in western Pennsylvania.

Obama speaks on Trayvon Martin case: 'Could have been me'

This is a rush transcript, so full of typos, on President Obama's unexpected remarks today on the Trayvon Martin case.

Bobby Rush to Oxford American's South on Main

Bobby Rush will perform at South on Main Oct. 11.

Bumgarner, Kirkpatrick, Mitchell, Phillips

It's not even 90 degrees outside, so you need not fear that you'll sweat on the artwork tonight at the Argenta ArtWalk from 5-8 p.m.

The remedial Arkansas history open line

The line is open. I apologize for a haphazard day.

The Mike Ross' Big Haul Edition

Mike Ross’s big haul and what it means for the governor’s race, a Little Rock police shooting that nearly spawns a riot, Dustin McDaniel’s call for a statewide discussion of our “broken” death penalty system, Grant Tennille's sensible call for equality and Mark Martin's FOIA troubles — all covered on this week's podcast.

Football cometh: Remembering Nutt, Malzahn, Mustain

With football season six weeks or so away, the sports pages of the SEC are ginning out reams of copy to sate fans.

An update on 'The Broom Man,' Melvin Pickens

Friends ask that I say a word about a familiar Little Rock person — Melvin Pickens, the Broom Man. He's walked the streets of Little Rock selling brooms and mops since I came to town 40 years ago.

Accused state cop taints unrelated criminal case

In reporting today on the arrest of Sedrick Reed, a former State Police lieutenant, for stealing cocaine from the State Police evidence room for sale, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette noticed his important role in a criminal conviction last week in Circuit Court.

Kushmaul, Lang, McDonald: Tonight at Gallery 26

Reception is 7-10 p.m.

The climate change open line

A national bus tour to support measures that address climate change passed through Little Rock today and speakers included Mayor Mark Stodola.

Food Feedback ... Sunday?

Food feedback loop initiated. Friday has become Sunday. You know what to do.

So much for the death penalty discussion

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said recently that the death penalty in Arkansas is broken — currently because of ongoing challenges to the lethal injection procedure — and a political discussions is necessary on what to do.

Where are the pro-life liberals?

Ross Douthat, the conservative columnist for the New York Times, writes today that Texas' effort to severely limit abortion availability — Arkansas, too, currently has a 20-week limit thanks to the 2013 legislature — if allowed to take effect could provide a case study of the effects of severe restrictions.

Waffle Wagon earns a "wow"

Little Rock's newest food truck is slinging waffles — and doing it well.

Sleepy Sunday

The line is now open.

The dynasty report: The duck variety and a royal birth

The morning report: * ROYAL PAIN AS DUCK DYNASTY STAR VISITS CONWAY: Uncle Si from the reality show "Duck Dynasty" was a headline attraction at at Outdoors Expo at the Conway Expo Center over the weekend.

Sen. Bookout appears in deep ethical trouble

Thanks to Durango for summarizing an article Saturday in the Jonesboro Sun, open only to subscribers, about Democratic Sen. Paul Bookout's appearance before the state Ethics Commission.

Tuesday: Bubba Sparxxx at Juanita's

Bubba Sparxxx performs at Juanita's Tuesday.

Tuesday: What Cheer? Marching Brigade, Skeptics in the Pub

What Cheer? Marching Brigade performs at CALS Children's Library Tuesday.

"Reflections in Silver": This week's Artnotes column

Last Saturday, I attended a silverpoint talk at Hearne Fine Art by Marjorie Williams-Smith and Aj Smith. Here's a link to a story about their show at Hearne Fine Art.

Faulkner, Saline, 'hyper-humans' lead Little Rock metro area growth

Metroplan, the publicly supported regional planning agency, has released its 2013 reporton demographics and workforce in Central Arkansas.

David Shuster: From Little Rock to the world

Remember David Shuster? He did a reporting stint for KATV, some of it during the Whitewater heat, before moving on to cable networks, MSNBC and Fox.

Hot Springs college teacher files papers to run for 4th District Congress

Janis Percefull, 61, who teaches history at National Park Community College in Hot Springs, called me to say she had filed papers today with the Federal Election Commission today as a Democratic candidate for 4th District Congress, a seat currently held by Rep. Tom Cotton.

State Capitol exhibit on the Korean War

Photographs and other material from the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies.

First the Blueway: Now the Common Core school standards

The legislature's education committees are meeting today and tomorrow and a hot topic is the Common Core standards, a bipartisan effort that arose from the state's governors and school officials to devise a unified set of goals for American education.

State moves to vacate conviction because of tainted State Police witness

The Pulaski prosecuting attorney's office today moved to vacate the 42-year-sentence given Devinn Deshwan Sheppard in Circuit Court last week.

Traveler with loaded pistol arrested at Little Rock Airport

Channel 4 reports that a traveler bound for Denver was arrested at the Clinton National Airport in Little Rock today after a loaded 9-mm pistol was found in his carryon bag.

50-50-50: Aj Smith

The 50th anniversary pick of the week.

The ExxonMobil open line

The line is open. Final note: * MAYFLOWER OIL SPILL VICTIMS: WHO GETS HELPED?: U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin has gotten a lot of mileage today on his news release about filing legislation to exempt payments by ExxonMobil to Mayflower oil spill victims from the federal income tax, a benefit given in some other disaster circumstances.

Folk art at Rogers Historical Museum

Carvings by "ol whittler" Roy Harris and other artists.

Public education under attack

Tea Party influence drove the national show trial held yesterday and today in the Arkansas legislature over national educational standards adopted by 45 states known as the Common Core.

Where are the 'good, ole' Arkansas men?

I get mail. Last night, it included this letter from a woman in Arizona.

Amended complaint filed in challenge of Arkansas gay marriage ban

For the record, here's the amended complaint filed yesterday by Searcy attorney Cheryl Maples in the lawsuit challenging Arkansas's ban on same-sex marriages.

A decision for marriage equality in a federal court in Ohio

An Ohio federal judge has legally recognized the Maryland marriage of an Ohio gay couple, one terminally ill, in a Cincinnati lawsuit.

Little Rock homicide reported this morning

LRPD says a man with a fatal gunshot wound was found on the porch of 10000 block of Bradley Lane, off Chicot Road in Southwest Little Rock, about 2 a.m. today.

Tim Griffin and other House Republicans call for slashes in environmental protection programs

U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin has been caught in a bit of a pickle. He ran for election in 2012 almost solely on the wonders of building a big Canadian tar sands pipeline through the heart of America, right through a sensitive Nebraska aquifer.

Asa Hutchinson speaks, calls for the tort reform his nephew killed

Fox 16 has a full report on Asa Hutchinson's appearance today before the Political Animals Club.

Va. candidate favors criminalizing adultery, oral sex

Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate for governor of Virginia, is about as extreme as they come.

Mosaic Templars closed July 27


William Shatner to remind us all that it's 'Shatner's World: We Just Live in It'

William Shatner comes to the Walton Arts Center Jan. 11.

CALS to begin offering free digital magazines starting Aug. 5

CALS will begin offering free access to digital magazines Aug. 5.

Table 28, soon to be seating

Chef Scott Rains’ idea of modern American cuisine is this: A quail lollipop served with Tobasco butter and gorgonzola fondue.

Leadership change at Public Defender Commission

Didi Sallings stepped down today as executive director of the Public Defender Commission, but will continue to work as an appellate attorney for the agency.

50-50-50: Alexander Calder

Calder in the atrium.

The 3 Best: Pizza

Pizza is a wondrous canvas for creation and there’s a whole host of things going on in the world that have not yet reached Little Rock. But if you’d like to know where the best is in Little Rock right now, here they be.

The British are coming: "Crossing Borders" at OA

An exhibition of work by six artists opens July 31 at "South on Main."

The line is open

Flail away. Final words: * REFORM SCHOOL: The great Common Core debate ground on for a second day today at the Capitol, with more speakers this time around from the pro-side of the coin.

The Party of No: Is it a winning strategy?

I was struck last night and again this morning by the lead on the New York Times' account of House Republicans' implacable strategy — to vote again and again against the Affordable Care Act and to otherwise insist on enormous budget cuts, with the option perhaps being a government shutdown.

If you see Tim Griffin pumping gas, it's from this script

Funny story in Roll Call. It's about a Republican political strategy document telling congressmen like Tiny Tim Griffin how to come home on break and run against a broken Congress.

And speaking of the Party of No

What does it tell you about Arkansas Republican orthodoxy when Sen. Jason Rapert utters a quote such as he uttered yesterday during discussion of Common Core education standards?

Thursday To-Do: The Almost

The Almost plays at Juanita's Thursday night.

Little Rock reports 21st homicide

Sgt. Cassandra Davis of the Little Rock Police Department reports: On 6/30/13 officers were flagged down at 12th & Woodrow by an individual who said that he had just been robbed and shot.

Silence continues on UAMS-St. Vincent combine

Our frequent correspondent Joann Coleman reports that a discussion of the proposed UAMS-St. Vincent combination, which had appeared on an early agenda for today's meeting of the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees, didn't happen.

Mark Darr does it again; puts Cotton in mouth

Lt. Gov. Mark Darr does nothing as lieutenant governor. No foul.

Cover guy: Stephen Cefalo

Artist's profile in July 25 issue.

Mike Huckabee rips the Club for Growth

It's not the shortest book in the world, but I'm still happy to add a chapter to the fairly slender volume: "When Mike Huckabee is Right He's Right" Here it's for a subject he's worked out on before: A denunciation of the Club for Growth, a tiny group of zillionaires financed over the years heavily by Jackson T. Stephens Jr. of Little Rock.

Charge filed in SWLR slaying of 17-year-old

The LRPD said Darryl Lea, 33, of 1000 Bradley Drive, has been charged with capital murder, robbery and theft in the early Tuesday morning slaying at Lea's home of Jason Foster, 17, of Altheimer.

Thursday: Nick Moss at Stickyz

Nick Moss performs at Stickyz Thursday night.

Friday To-Do: Jason Boland & The Stragglers

Jason Boland & The Stragglers perform at Revolution Friday night.

Saturday To-Do: Chanel West Coast

Chanel West Coast performs at Discovery Saturday night.

Saturday To-Do: Theory of a Deadman

Theory of a Deadman plays at Magic Springs Saturday night.

Saturday To-Do: Wiz Khalifa, Trinidad Jame$, Joey Bada$$

Wiz Khalifa performs at First Security Amphitheatre Saturday.

Wednesday To-Do: 'The Identity Theft of Mitch Mustain'

White Water Tavern screens "The Identity Theft of Mitch Mustain" Wednesday night.