Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area

8 THE PLAY tonight at Argenta Community Theatre

8 The Play“8” The Play is not a prequel to the musical Nine.  It is a documentary play written by Academy Award winner Dustin Lance Black which chronicles the federal Proposition 8 court case in California.

Since premiering in a one-night only all-star reading on Broadway in 2011, “8” The Play has been performed all over the country to wide acclaim.  It speaks to issues which are not just about California or about gay rights.  It discusses human rights and equality.  The play is written in the style of  verbatim theatre using transcripts from the federal trial, journalist records and media interviews from the plaintiffs, defendancts and proponents involved.

This reading of “8” The Play features community leaders, professional and local actors and is directed by Arkansas Repertory Theatre Producing Artistic Director Bob Hupp.

There will be a pre-show reception at 6:30pm. The performance starts at 7pm.  Following the performance, there will be a post-show discussion led by Just Communities of Arkansas.

Tickets are $20 and are available at the Arkansas Rep box office in person, by phone (501-378-0405) or online at

The performance will be at the Argenta Community Theatre on Main Street in North Little Rock.  The presenting sponsor is the Tenenbaum Foundation.  Judy Tenanbaum and Vincent Insalaco are producers of this production of “8” The Play.

Start Celebrating with CABARET

Argenta Community Theater's CabaretThe Argenta Community Theatre is inaugurating producing its own productions with the Tony winning Cabaret.  Unfortunately, if you don’t already have a ticket, you won’t be able to “come to the Cabaret” because this production has been sold out for over a week.

Cabaret, which won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1967, is a musical adaptation of Christopher Isherwood’s “Berlin Stories” and John van Druten’s I Am a Camera.  It features a book by Joe Masteroff and score by John Kander and Fred Ebb.

Producer Vince Insalaco and director Robert Hupp have assembled a cast and creative team to transform the Argenta Community Theatre into the Kit Kat Klub.  The choreographers are Marisa Kirby and Christen Burke Pitts with Kurt Kennedy serving as musical director.

Kirby leads the cast as tragic heroine Sally Bowles. Cipher-like scribe Cliff Bradshaw is played by Michael Klucher.  Brandon Higdem is the leering MC of the Kit Kat Klub.  Also starring are Tricia Spione and Alan Rackley as a mismatched pair of older Germans struggling with their relationship in the midst of the onset of the Third Reich.

Others in the cast are David Weatherly, Jessica Smith, Carl Carter, Matt Morley, Kris Waltermire, Dylan Dugger, Sydney Ippolito, Emily Karnes, Bailey Lamb, RaeLeigh Narisi, Rachel Powell and Brittany “Sparkles” Rorie.

Insalaco hopes to produce a musical and a play at the Argenta Community Theatre each year.

Arts & Humanities Month: Governor’s Arts Awards

Governor Mike Beebe and the Arkansas Arts Council are presenting the Governor’s Arts Awards at a ceremony and luncheon today in Little Rock. The recipients include:

  • LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Vincent Insalaco – North Little Rock
  • ARTS COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AWARD: John Gaudin – North Little Rock
  • ARTS IN EDUCATION AWARD: Nicole Capri – Little Rock
  • FOLKLIFE AWARD: Mike Shirkey – Fayetteville
  • INDIVIDUAL ARTIST AWARD: Larry Foley – Fayetteville
  • PATRON AWARD: Hershey and Denise Garner – Fayetteville
  • JUDGES’ SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD: Claire Haun – North Little Rock

The awards are sponsored by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.  The Governor’s Arts Awards recognize individuals and corporations for their outstanding contributions to the arts in Arkansas. The recipients were nominated by the public and then selected by an independent panel of arts professionals from around the state. Each recipient will receive an original work of art created by Arkansas artist Winston Taylor of Russellville, recipient of the 2011 Arkansas Living Treasure award.

Also at the luncheon, the recipients of the Individual Artist Fellowships will be recognized.  This year’s recipients are:


  • Richard Salonen – Farmington
  • Rena Wren – Hot Springs
  • Shannon Wurst – Fayetteville


  • Mary Angelino – Fayetteville
  • J. Camp Brown – Fort Smith
  • Cynthia King – Fayetteville


  • Ty Brunson – Russellville
  • John Rankine – Eureka Springs
  • Cary Voss – Conway

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