Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area


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ROCKing the TONYs – Tallulah Bankhead

Rock the TonysTallulah MidgieTallulah Bankhead

Little Rock connection: Appeared at Robinson Auditorium in 1941 and 1950.

Tony Awards connection: Received a Tony nomination for Actress in a Play for her performance in Midgie Purvis.  A play about her, entitled Looped netted Valerie Harper a Tony nomination for her portrayal of Bankhead.


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ROCKing the TONYs – David Auburn (who also Rocked the Pulitzers too)

Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

Rock the TonysDavid Auburn

Little Rock connection: Graduated from Hall High School. Participated in Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre.

Tony Awards connection: Won a Tony for writing Proof, 2001 Best Play. The play also won Tony’s for Actress in a Play (Mary-Louise Parker) and Director of a Play (Daniel Sullivan) and received three other nominations for the other members of the cast: Larry Bryggman, Ben Shenkman and Johanna Day. His 2013 play The Columnist netted a Tony nomination for John Lithgow.  His next play, Lost Lake, premieres Off Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club later this year.

Auburn also won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Proof. This year’s Pulitzer prizes are to be announced today.


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ROCKing the TONYS – Bernadette Peters

Rock the TonysBernadette_Peters_a_pBernadette Peters

Little Rock connection: In February 1997, appeared with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra at Robinson Center Music Hall.

Tony Awards connection: Winner of two Tony Awards for Actress in a Musical (Song & Dance – 1986 and Annie Get Your Gun – 1999), in 2013 she received the Isabelle Stevenson Award recognizing her philanthropic efforts as a co-founder of “Broadway Barks.” She has hosted the Tony Awards ceremony and appeared as a presenter and entertainer on several other occasions.  Peters has also been nominated for Tonys for Featured Actress in a Musical (On the Town – 1972) and Actress in a Musical (Mack & Mabel – 1975; Sunday in the Park with George – 1984; The Goodbye Girl – 1993; and Gypsy – 2003). She has also starred in the Tony winning productions of George M!, Into the Woods, A Little Night Music and Follies.


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ROCKing the TONYS – Ann Miller

Rock the TonysAnn-Miller-minkAnn Miller

Little Rock connection: Starred in national tour of Sugar Babies in Little Rock in April 1986.  Celebrated her 63rd birthday while in Little Rock (today is her birthday)

Tony Awards connection: Received a Tony nomination for her starring role in Sugar Babies and appeared on the Tony Awards. She also succeeded Angela Lansbury’s Tony winning turn in Mame on Broadway.


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ROCKing the TONYS – Bill Berloni

Rock the TonysBerloniBill Berloni

Little Rock connection: Conceived the Arkansas Rep world premiere of Because of Winn Dixie and was the animal trainer and animal director for the production.

Tony Awards connection: Received a Tony Honors in 2011 for his career of training animals for Broadway productions. His first project was the original production of of 1977 Best Musical winner Annie. Tonight his 16th Broadway credit opens (Bullets over Broadway) and Sunday his 17th Broadway show opens (Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill).


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ROCKing the TONYS – Carol Channing

Rock the TonysCarol C2Carol Channing

Little Rock connection: Played fictional Little Rock girl Lorelei Lee and introduced song “A Little Girl from Little Rock” in original Broadway production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Later made an honorary Little Rock citizen when she visited Robinson Auditorium in Little Rock with national tour of Hello, Dolly!

Tony Awards connection: Won a Tony Award in 1964 for Actress in a Musical for Hello, Dolly! Received two special Tonys: one in 1968 when Hello, Dolly! became longest-running musical in Broadway history (at the time) and a lifetime achievement award in 1995.  Nominated for her return to role of Lorelei Lee in 1974 for Lorelei, also nominated in 1956 (The Vamp) and 1961 (Show Girl). Has appeared as a presenter and performer on numerous Tony Award ceremonies.

Sam W


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ROCKing the TONYS – Sam Waterston

Sam WRock the TonysSam Waterston

Little Rock connection: Spoke at the Clinton Presidential Center under the auspices of the Clinton School of Public Service in February 2008 reading excerpts from various addresses and writings of Abraham Lincoln.

Tony Awards connection: Nominated for Actor in a Play for his performance in revival of Abe Lincoln in Illinois. Made various other Tony Awards appearances including performing a scene from A Walk in the Woods in 1988.

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