Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area


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ROCKing the TONYS – On the Bard’s birthday, Shakespearean actor Maurice Evans

Rock the Tonys

Maurice Evans as Shakespeare's Richard II

Maurice Evans as Shakespeare’s Richard II

Maurice Evans

Little Rock connection: Appeared at Robinson Auditorium in 1947 and 1949.

Tony Awards connection: Though primarily known for his classical roles, usually in the plays of Shakespeare, his two Tony nominations came for non-classical roles. The first was in 1957 for a revival of Shaw’s The Apple Cart and the second came in 1961 for the musical Tenderloin. He did receive two Tony Awards, but not for his acting. In 1950, he received a special Tony for producing a successful season of theatre at New York’s City Center. In 1954, he received a Tony as producer of The Teahouse of the August Moon, which was named Best Play.

(Evans’ claim to fame for wide acclaim was his role as Samantha’s father on “Bewitched” on TV.)

 


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450 Years of the Bard

SHakes450Today is the traditionally observed birthday of William Shakespeare. It is known he was born in 1564, which makes this the 450th birthday.

The Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre earlier announced the lineup for the 2014 season.   The dates have now been announced.

Two Gentlemen of Verona by William Shakespeare – June 5, 6, 7, 13, 15, 19, 21, 22
Enjoy a romantic evening under the stars with Shakespeare’s comedy of best friends divided by love, featuring wise-cracking servants and a playful pup.  This will be performed outdoors at the Hendrix Village in Conway and in North Little Rock.  One of Shakespeare’s early plays, it features romantic mixups, disguises, deception and a happy ending, all of which would become hallmarks of Shakespeare’s comedies.

Pippin featuring libretto by Robert O. Hirson and score by Stephen Schwartz – June 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 22, 25, 27
Based loosely on the lives of Charlemagne and Pepin, it tells the story of a young prince named Pippin who undertakes a musical journey of self-discovery that celebrates the magic of theatre. The current Broadway production was the winner of the 2013 Tony Award for Best Revival.  This will be presented in the Reynolds Center on the UCA campus.

Hamlet by William Shakespeare – June 20, 21, 24, 26, 28
Perhaps Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy, Prince Hamlet seeks to revenge his father’s death.  Directed by Robert Quinlan, who helmed the acclaimed 2012 production of Richard III, it will be presented in an intimate on-stage setting at the Reynolds Center.

The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare – June 24, 26, 28
This will be the touring production in a pared down special adaptation of Shakespeare’s rip-roaring farce, perfect for kids of all ages.

 

The Arkansas Repertory Theatre will be presenting The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged) June 4 through 29.

A parody of the plays of William Shakespeare, this comic romp features all of the Bard’s plays being performed in shortened, and side-splitting, form.

Written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield (former founding members of the Reduced Shakespeare Company) and first performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1987, The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged) later played at the Criterion Theatre in London, where it ran for nine record-breaking years.

It has become one of the world’s most popular shows, playing frequently in a variety of languages, and is most notable for holding the (self- proclaimed) world record for the shortest- ever performance of Hamlet, clocking in at just 43 seconds.

You don’t have to be a fan of Shakespeare, or even familiar with his plays, to enjoy this inventive, fast-paced comedy!

a parody of the plays of William Shakespeare, with all of them being performed in shortened, and side- splitting, form.

Written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield (former founding members of the Reduced Shakespeare Company) and first performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1987, The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged) later played at the Criterion Theatre in London, where it ran for nine record-breaking years.

Rep Resident Director Nicole Capri

It has become one of the world’s most popular shows, playing frequently in a variety of languages, and is most notable for holding the (self- proclaimed) world record for the shortest- ever performance of Hamlet, clocking in at just 43 seconds.

You don’t have to be a fan of Shakespeare, or even familiar with his plays, to enjoy this inventive, fast-paced comedy!
– See more at: http://www.therep.org/attend/productions/CompleatWrksofWlmShkspr/#sthash.0dYAjSpc.dpuf

The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged)
The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged)
The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged)


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ROCKing the TONYS – John Lithgow

Rock the TonysLithgowJohn Lithgow

Little Rock connection: As an author, spoke to a packed house as part of the Clinton School of Public Service speaker series.

Tony Awards connection: Won a Featured Actor in a Play Tony in 1973 for The Changing Room and an Actor in a Musical Tony in 2002 for Sweet Smell of Success.  Has received four other Tony nominations – most recently for The Columnist by former Little Rock resident David Auburn.  Lithgow has also appeared in numerous Tony ceremonies as a presenter and performer.


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Beethoven, Wagner, Ghosts and Tangos tonight at Ark Symphony’s River Rhapsodies

ASO_revTonight at 7pm, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s final 2013-2014 concert of the Parker Lexus River Rhapsodies Chamber Music Series will feature ASO Musicians playing Wagner, Beethoven, Theofanidis and Piazzolla. The concert will be held at the Clinton Presidential Center.

The program is an intimate showcase of the ASO’s musicians.

General Admission tickets for River Rhapsodies concerts are $23, and Student tickets are available for $10. Tickets can be purchased online at www.ArkansasSymphony.org, over the phone at (501) 666-1761 or at the door.

The program will include:

THEOFANIDIS                    O Vis Aeternitatis for String Quartet and Piano
(Quapaw Quartet, Tatiana Roitman, piano)

BEETHOVEN                      Piano Trio No. 5 in D Major, Op. 70, No. 1, “Ghost”
I.          Allegro vivace e con brio
II.         Largo assai ed espressivo
III.        Presto
(Geoffrey Robson, violin, David Gerstein, cello, Julie Cheek, piano)

INTERMISSION

PIAZZOLLA                         Histoire du Tango
I. Bordello 1900
II.        Café 1930
III.       Night Club 1960
IV. Concert d’Aujourd’hui (Modern Day Concert)
(Kelly Johnson, Karla Fournier, Carina Washington, clarinet; Lyle Wong, bass clarinet)

WAGNER                              Siegfried Idyll
(Diane McVinney, flute; Leanna Booze, oboe; Kelly Johnson, Karla Fournier, clarinet; Susan Bell Leon, bassoon; David Renfro, Brent Shires, French horn; Richard Jorgensen, trumpet; Kiril Laskarov, Andrew Irvin, violin; Katherine Reynolds, viola; Daniel Cline, cello; Barron Weir, contrabass)

 

PROGRAM NOTES
Beethoven’s “Ghost” Trio is so-called because of its eerie slow movement. It is speculated that the ghostly sound may have been influenced by Beethoven’s thoughts of  composing a Macbeth opera.

Originally written for flute and guitar, Histoire du Tango is one of Piazzolla’s most famous compositions. It has been arranged for many ensembles and is presented here as a demonstration of the lush sound of a clarinet quartet. The work attempts to demonstrate the evolution of the Tango, and the composer provided these notes:

Bordello, 1900: The tango originated in Buenos Aires in 1882. It was first played on the guitar and flute. Arrangements then came to include the piano, and later, the concertina. This music is full of grace and liveliness. It paints a picture of the good natured chatter of the French, Italian, and Spanish women who peopled those bordellos as they teased the policemen, thieves, sailors, and riffraff who came to see them. This is a high-spirited tango.

Café, 1930: This is another age of the tango. People stopped dancing it as they did in 1900, preferring instead simply to listen to it. It became more musical, and more romantic. This tango has undergone total transformation: the movements are slower, with new and often melancholy harmonies. Tango orchestras come to consist of two violins, two concertinas, a piano, and a bass. The tango is sometimes sung as well.

Night Club, 1960: This is a time of rapidly expanding international exchange, and the tango evolves again as Brazil and Argentina come together in Buenos Aires. The bossa nova and the new tango are moving to the same beat. Audiences rush to the night clubs to listen earnestly to the new tango. This marks a revolution and a profound alteration in some of the original tango forms.

Modern-Day Concert: Certain concepts in tango music become intertwined with modern music. Bartok, Stravinsky, and other composers reminisce to the tune of tango music. This is today’s tango, and the tango of the future as well.

Wagner composed Siegfried Idyll  - in honor of his son – for his wife, Cosima. The piece was very private and filled with references of personal significance to the composer and his wife, many of which went unknown to the public for a long time.

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 48th season in 2013-2014.  Under the leadership of Music Director Philip Mann, the ASO performs more than thirty concerts each year for more than 42,000 people through its Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks Series, ACXIOM Pops LIVE! Series and River Rhapsodies Chamber Series, in addition to serving central Arkansas through numerous community outreach programs and bringing live symphonic music education to over 24,000 school children and over 200 schools.


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ROCKing the TONYS – Robert Goulet

Rock the TonysGouletRobert Goulet

Little Rock connection: Appeared in Little Rock on several national tours of shows including South Pacific and Camelot.

Tony Awards connection: Won the 1968 Tony Award for his performance in the musical The Happy Time. Appeared at Tony Awards ceremonies in 1961, 1962, 1981, 1982, 1984 and 1996.  In 2005, made his final Tony appearance introducing revival of La Cage aux Folles in which he was appearing.

Another Tony connection is that he is referenced in a song lyric in the Tony winning score of A Chorus Line.


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ARTISTRY IN THE ROCK this week – Little Rock School District showcases student creativity

Artistry In the Rock BannerThe Little Rock School District celebrates the creativity and talent of its students this week with Artistry in the Rock.

Tonight, April 21, there is a scholarship fundraiser featuring I J Routen and MUSED at the Afterthought.  Tickets are $10.  Showtimes are 7:30pm and 9:30pm.

Wednesday through Friday at the Metroplex Event Center, there will be performances.

Wednesday – April 23

  • 10:00 a.m. Jazz Central
  • 10:30 a.m. Mallory Baker, piano solo
  • 10:40 a.m. Central Choir
  • 11:00 a.m. Jefferson Orff Ensemble
  • 11:20 a.m. McDermott Choir
  • 11:40 a.m. Mabelvale Choir
  • 12:00 noon Parkview Dance
  • 12:20 p.m. Pulaski Heights Middle School Band

 

Thursday – April 24

  • 10:00 a.m. Chicot Stars
  • 10:30 a.m. Western Hills Eagle Band
  • 11:00 a.m. Romine Choir
  • 11:20 a.m. Booker Drama
  • 11:40 a.m. Meadowcliff Choir and Percussion Ensemble
  • 12:00 noon Forest Heights Band

 

Friday – April 25

  • 10:00 a.m. Parkview Musical Collaboration
  • 11:10 a.m. Watson Capercita Roja-Orff Ensemble
  • 11:30 a.m. Rockefeller Orff and Percussion Ensembles
  • 11:50 a.m. Pulaski Heights Elementary
  • 12:10 p.m. Dunbar Band Band

 

Wednesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., there will be a Student Art Gallery .

 

On Friday, April 25 at 5:30 p.m., there will be a Jazz R US Reception and Silent Auction.

This free jazz reception for adults at the Metroplex Event Center will feature a performance by Dr. Danny Fletcher and Jazz R US.  Refreshments and heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served.  Teh silent auction will feature faculty and student artwork.  Proceeds will benefit the Dr. Morris Holmes Artistry Scholarship fund.


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ROCKing the TONYS – Jane Alexander and James Earl Jones

Rock the Tonys

Jones and Alexander in 2012. Photo by Bruce Gilkas

Jones and Alexander in 2012. Photo by Bruce Gilkas

Jane Alexander and James Earl Jones

Little Rock connection: Alexander visited Little Rock when she was head of the National Endowment for the Arts in the Clinton Administration. Jones has appeared with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and at UCA’s Public Appearance Series.

Alexander and Jones in THE GREAT WHITE HOPE. Photo by Fletcher Drake, courtesy of Arena Stage

Alexander and Jones in THE GREAT WHITE HOPE. Photo by Fletcher Drake, courtesy of Arena Stage

Tony Awards connection: Alexander and Jones both received Tony Awards on April 20, 1969 (45 years ago today) for their performances in The Great White Hope. Jones also received a 1987 Tony for his performance in Fences. Both have received numerous other Tony nominations. Alexander served as co-host of the 1979 Tony Awards ceremony. She and Jones have each made several appearances as presenters at Tony ceremonies.

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