The Culturalist

A month’s worth of Politicos, Phantom of the Opera and porcelain blades of grass



FAYETTEVILLE | These ballerinos show us that the ballet world is not just about tutus and pointe shoes—because, let’s face it, that’s typically what comes to mind when we hear the word “ballet.” This troupe of dancers is a particular breed of superhuman with its brilliant coordination, supernatural muscularity and strength. (We’re talking lifts, falls, windmilling arms, athletic jumps, etc.) See them at the Walton Arts Center this month. (

ASO POPS! Live: BROADWAY ROCKS! | Feb. 13-14

LITTLE ROCK | One or two perky songs from Hairspray? Sounds great. But all 10? Not so much. Broadway Rocks! is a celebration of the most popular Broadway musicals—a collection of our favorites in small doses. With an ensemble of Broadway-veteran vocalists accompanied by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, the show brings hits from Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera, The Wiz and more to the stage of the Connor Performing Arts Center. (

Lange-MigrantMother-(large)DOROTHEA LANGE’S AMERICA | Feb. 26 – May 8

LITTLE ROCK | Florence Owen Thompson would  have almost certainly remained in obscurity had it not been for Dorothea Lange, a photographer who captured Thompson in Nipomo, California, during the height of the Great Depression in a series of now-iconic photographs. Instead, Thompson’s photo, titled Migrant Mother, is an image that’s come to define a significant chapter in our collective history. In the gritty and raw photo, Thompson’s weary eyes stare into the distance, her children cowering behind her, their faces buried in her neck. This month, that and other stirring images shot by Lange and her colleagues go on display at the Arkansas Arts Center. (


FAYETTEVILLE | Ari Fleischer and David Axelrod have more than just brushed shoulders with D.C. politicos—they’ve done major handiwork for and alongside the two most recent commanders in chief. Fleischer, former President George W. Bush’s White House press secretary, and Axelrod, who was chief strategist for President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, visit the University of Arkansas to talk all things politics just in time for Arkansas’ presidential primary March 1. (

FAULT | Feb. 4-28

FAYETTEVILLE | A government-issued quarantine in the wake of an Arkansas River Valley nuclear catastrophe just isn’t the same without former Razorback Gabe resisting orders to head back to the family farm. Naturally, a scientist named Molly is captivated by this rebellion—and it turns out she has her own reasons for being in the off-limits area. Sound unbelievable? Visit the Walton Arts Center, where such things happen in this world premiere thriller penned by TheatreSquared artistic director Robert Ford. (


DAWN HOLDER EXHIBITION | Feb. 11 – Apr. 21  

PINE BLUFF | Nature and lifestyle collide in ceramicist Dawn Holder’s meticulously constructed work. Seventy-five thousand celery-stalklike porcelain blades of grass depict fixation with lawn care. Copper-stemmed sprouts bud from light switch plates in a portrayal on electricity’s relationship with the home. It’s this kind of expression that landed her work in the Washington, D.C.-based National Museum of Women in the Arts’ biennial exhibition, Women to Watch, last year. Expect nothing less when Holder presents A Flower’s Shade—a site-specific, sculptural installation using discarded items such as branches and weeds—beginning this month at the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas. (