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the TO-DO list ‘NATIVE GARDENS’

THROUGH SATURDAY 5/5. ARKANSAS REPERTORY THEATRE. Celebrated Latina playwright Karen Zacarías’ comedy “Native Gardens” may appeal to you if you are interested in witty cultural commentary, art that critics call “woke,” Latinx art or eavesdropping on neighborhood dramas on Nextdoor. Here, bad fences make bad neighbors, and a dubious property line calls into question the ownership of a prize-winning flowerbed. Zacarías, one of the most produced playwrights in the U.S., is also founder of the Young Playwrights’ Theater — hailed as one of the best arts education programs in the U.S. — and was selected to receive the 2019 Lee Reynolds Award that recognizes women in theater who “help to illuminate the possibilities for social, cultural or political change.” MM

PATRICK MCKELVEY: By Patrick McFarlin.

BEA TROXEL

FRIDAY 5/3. 6 P.M. THE UNDERCROFT, CHRIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 509 SCOTT ST. $10. Nashville, Tenn., native Bea Troxel’s “The Way That It Feels” is a tender little universe of an album: delicate without being saccharine, lovely without losing its element of surprise. “Talc,” for one, is enough to permanently restore faith in the power of an arresting, dead simple bridge. Just when the song’s sweeping guitar arpeggios and pillowy harmonies have your ear under their spell, Troxel takes a hard left, blurting out the question the song’s narrator has been meticulously avoiding: “Love, do you have use for me?” Titles like “Delta” and “Whiskey and Wine,” not to mention Troxel’s inimitable vocal mannerisms, bind the record to a Southern landscape, but if it’s a “Southern” record, it’s unpredictably so — Southern in the way, say, that Adia Victoria’s music is “the blues.” In that way, file this one between Bonnie Montgomery’s “Forever” and Melissa Carper/Rebecca Patek’s “Brand New Old-Time Songs.” For this intimate listening room concert in the basement of a 180-year old church, Troxel is joined by Hannah Dorfman on cello and Austin Gray on guitar. SS

‘FIFTY YEARS OF MCFARLIN OIL’

FRIDAY 5/10, 2ND FRIDAY ART NIGHT. 5-8 P.M. BOBBY L. ROBERTS LIBRARY OF ARKANSAS HISTORY AND ART. Patrick McFarlin is an expat Arkansas artist whose travels took him west to New Mexico and California and whose talents took him farther, into pop sculpture; “manic- expressionist” painting; landscape; sometimes naive, sometimes neo-Munchean portraiture; surreal narrative. He’s back in Arkansas with a “lifetime of work,” as he puts it, in an exhibition in Concordia Hall at the Roberts Library (formerly the Arkansas Studies Institute) May 10-Aug. 23. McFarlin, who shared a studio with abstract expressionist Sammy Peters in the 1980s and now lives in Santa Fe, N.M., says in the artist’s statement he’s prepared for the exhibition that he’s “pulled a deep tangle of history and memory thick as Delta kudzu through New Mexico to the Bay Area, then back to New Mexico, juggling the light and dark along the way.” His detour habit has taken him today to the serious, comic “circus on the streets.” Also at the Butler Center: The volume “Picture It Painted — Fifty Years of McFarlin Oil,” 275 images of McFarlin’s work and essays by art writers. LNP

20 MAY 2019

ARKANSAS TIMES

ALLIE HORICK

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