Culturalist: December 2018

Where to be this month
Photo by Kendall Bailey

… that North Carolina Americana/folk duo Mandolin Orange—whose music has been described as “wistful and contemplative without being somber, and always firmly grounded in the South” by New York Public Radio—is taking the stage at UA’s Faulkner Performing Arts Center on Dec. 5, and at Little Rock’s South on Main on Dec. 6? Cause you should be. (;

It takes more work than you’d expect to update a full-scale production like The Nutcracker—new choreography, new costumes, new everything—but the folks at Ballet Arkansas are sparing no expense for their 40th anniversary season. While Robinson Center’s Second Act saw a refresh last year, this year’s performance completes the renovation, while still drawing on traditions like the 200-member community cast (the cutest little angels and mice you ever did see), live music by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and local chorus appearances. (

Far, far, far from Barnum & Bailey, the brooding clown crooner with the golden voice known as Puddles Pity Party—you’ll want to Google his cover of “Royals,” like, now—makes an unexpected stop at UA-Pulaski Tech’s CHARTS this month. Clown royal-ty, indeed. (

11.28 – 12.30

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley at TheatreSquared in Fayetteville

11.30 – 12.16

Jack Frost in Santa Land at Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre in Little Rock


Van Cliburn Concert Series: Philip Glass: Works for Piano with Maki Namekawa, Aaron Diehl and Jenny Lin at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art


Wampus Wonderland and Nerd Prom at Hilton Garden Inn in Fayetteville


Todd Snider at George’s Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville


It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) at Riverdale VIP Cinema in Little Rock


Placemaking Panel: an Architecture and Design Network lecture at Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock


14th Ever Nog-Off at Historic Arkansas Museum in Little Rock


The Legendary Temptations at First Financial Music Hall in El Dorado


Arkansas Symphony Orchestra presents Home for the Holidays at Robinson Center in Little Rock


Finding Neverland at Robinson Center in Little Rock

Photo Courtesy of Film First

Between the dream interpreters, tai chi lessons and relaxation sessions—to say nothing of the in-gallery massages (!!), live-music lounges and flowing Champagne—we can’t think of a better way to greet 2019 than at Crystal Bridges’ New Year’s Eve slumber-themed spectacular. Just don’t blame us if we’re catnapping under the Calder when it’s time for the countdown. (