Musicals and Plays on schedule for 23rd Season at Weekend Theater

WeekendTheaterThe Weekend Theater has recently announced their 2015-2016 season.  The 23rd season for this volunteer theatre includes seven plays, three musicals and a one-man show.

The Addams Family
By Marshall Brickman, Rick Elice and Andrew Lippa.  Based on characters created by Charles Addams.
June 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28, 2015
Directed by Tom Crone; Music Direction by Lori Isner

Two families with vastly divergent cultures, mores, and expectations collide when the Addams hosts a dinner for Wednesday Addams’ “normal” boyfriend and his parents. Trust and fear, love and truth, acceptance and forgiveness are just a few things on the menu in this magnificently macabre new musical comedy created by Jersey Boys authors, Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice and Drama Desk Award winner, Andrew Lippa (The Wild Party).

 

American Idiot
By Billie Joe Armstrong, Green Day and Michael Mayer
July 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, 31, August 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 2015
Directed by Frank O. Butler; Music Direction by Lori Isner

The two-time Tony Award-winning hit musical — based on Green Day’s Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum album – is an energy-fueled rock opera that brings us face-to-face with the perils of war, drug addiction, escapism, and the power of true friendship, as Will, Johnny, and Tunny struggle to find meaning in a post-9/11 world.

Contains adult language and situations.

 

Two Trains Running
By August Wilson
August 21, 22, 28, 29, September 4, 5, 2015
Directed by Jamie Scott Blakey and Margaret Parker

This is the 1960s chapter of the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright’s decade-by-decade saga of ordinary African Americans in this turbulent century. In Memphis Lee’s Coffee Shop we meet a local sage, an ex con, a numbers runner, a laconic waitress, and a mentally handicapped man through which, with Chekhovian obliqueness, Wilson reveals simple truths, hopes and dreams, creating a microcosm of an era and a community on the brink of change.

 

The Shape of Things
By Neil LaBute
September 25, 26, October 2, 3, 9, 10, 2015
Directed by Byron Taylor

This modern day retelling of the fall of man challenges our most deeply entrenched ideas about art and love. In The Shape of Things, Evelyn, a sexy, aggressive artist, and Adam, a shy, insecure student, become embroiled in an affair after meeting in a museum. Before long, Adam, under Evelyn’s steady influence, goes to unimaginable lengths to meet her approval, and the show veers into the kind of dangerous, seductive territory that LaBute does best.

 

God’s Man in Texas
By David Rambo
November 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 2015
Directed by Allison Pace

Faith and egos collide in the age of mass-market religion at Houston’s Rock Baptist Church. A search committee has been secretly formed to find a successor to Rock’s legendary pastor, and a young up-and-comer is asked to audition for the job. The Biblical struggle climaxes during Rock’s spectacular annual electrical Christmas parade.

 

The Foreigner
By Larry Shue
December 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 2014
Directed by Matthew Mentgen
Winner of two Obie Awards and two Outer Critics Circle Awards as Best New American Play and Best Off- Broadway Production, this off-beat comedy demonstrates what can happen when a group of devious and bigoted characters, including a two-faced minister and his bigoted associate, must deal with a stranger who (they think) knows no English but who has heard more than he should of their unscrupulous plans.

 

Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays
By Mo Gaffney, Jordan Harrison, Moisés Kaufman, Neil LaBute, Wendy MacLeod, José Rivera, Paul Rudnick, and Doug Wright; Conceived by Brian Shnipper
January 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30, 2016
Directed by Duane Jackson

This collection of monologues and short stories celebrates the recent advances in winning marital rights for gay and lesbian couples, and how the changing laws are changing lives. This mostly genial and often funny omnibus holds a magnifying glass to the highs and lows, joys and fears, courage and silliness, of people bucking trends and making history.

 

Once on This Island: A Musical
By Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty
February 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26 , 27, 28, 2016
Directed by Monica Clark-Robinson; Music Direction by Greg Robinson

From the Tony Award-winning songwriting team that brought you Ragtime, comes this Tony nominated, Olivier Award-winning musical set in the Caribbean Sea concerning a peasant girl on a tropical island, who uses the power of love to bring together people of different social classes. From the first song you will be enthralled by the music and engaging lyrics of this magical story which includees hints of Romeo and Juliet and the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, The Little Mermaid.

 

Vincent
By Leonard Nimoy; Based on the play “Van Gogh” by Phillip Stephens
March 18 and 19, 2016
Directed by Alan Douglas

In van Gogh’s lifetime, he sold only one painting and critics labeled his work madness. His story, however, is so much more than that of the misunderstood genius who cut off his own ear. In this play, Vincent’s brother, Theo, movingly reveals Vincent as few knew him, arguing the bigger meaning and significance of his brother’s life to all humankind. As seen through the eyes of Theo, Vincent van Gogh lives on as a symbol of inspiration, courage, passion, and the lust for life that art kindles in all of us.

This is a special presentation, not part of the regular season.

 

Driving Miss Daisy
By Alfred Uhrey
April 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10 15, 16, 17, 2016
Directed by Andy Hall

The place is the Deep South, 1948, just prior to the civil rights movement, where Daisy Werthan, a rich, sharp- tongued Jewish widow of seventy-two learns that she must rely on the services of a chauffeur, a thoughtful, unemployed black man. In a series of absorbing scenes spanning twenty-five years, the two, despite their mutual differences, grow ever closer, realizing they have more in common than they ever believed possible.

 

A Piece of My Heart
By Shirley Lauro
May 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 2016
Directed by Betty Fernau

This is a powerful, true drama of six women who went to Vietnam: five nurses and a country western singer booked by an unscrupulous agent to entertain the troops. The play which was recently been named “The most enduring play on Vietnam in the nation,” by The Vietnam Vets Association, portrays each young woman before, during, and after her tour in the war-torn nation, drawing attention to the largely unsung American women who served in Vietnam.

OTHER DESERT CITIES at the Weekend Theater

Other_Desert_Cities-PosterChristmas in California.  Snow may not be on the ground. A fire may not be needed in the fireplace. But the Wyeth family has plenty of frostiness and heat when the prodigal daughter returns.

A finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities involves a family with differing political views and a long-held family secret. Brooke Wyeth returns home to Palm Springs after a six-year absence to celebrate Christmas with her parents, her brother, and her aunt. Brooke announces that she is about to publish a memoir dredging up a pivotal and tragic event in the family’s history—a wound they don’t want reopened. In effect, she draws a line in the sand and dares them all to cross it.

The cast includes Judy Trice, Alan Douglas, Deb Lewis, Drew Ellis and Samantha Porter.  The production is directed by Ralph Hyman.

The show opened last night and continues tonight. It also plays at 7:30 pm on Fridays and Saturdays through December 20.  Tickets are $16 for adults and $12 for students and seniors.

COMPANY comes in to the Weekend Theater

20130307-232808.jpgThose good and crazy people of George Furth and Stephen Sondheim’s Company come to Little Rock at the Weekend Theatre during the month of March. The production opened last night and runs through Sunday, March 24.

Craig Wilson stars as the central character Bobby who is celebrating his 35th birthday. Bobby is surrounded by five married couples and three single women as he travels through time and space. Company is a musical journey into what makes a marriage but also modern living.

The production is directed by Andy Hall. Joining Wilson in the cast are Kathryn Pryor and Ralph Hyman, Alan Douglas and Patti Airoldi, Jeremiah James Herman and Kate East, Duane Jackson and Erin Martinez, and Gabriel Washam and Julie Atkins. The women in Bobby’s life are played by Hannah M. Sawyer, Moriah Patterson and Jessica L. Hendricks.

The Weekend Theater production of the musical opens Friday, March 8, at the performance space at Seventh and Chester streets in downtown Little Rock. Curtain times are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays through March 24. Tickets are $20 for adults and $16 for seniors age 65 and older and students.

To make pre-paid reservations, visit the theater’s Web site, http://www.weekendtheater.org; tickets can also be purchased at the door. (As seating is currently limited due to reconstruction at the building, advance purchase is encouraged.) For information only, call (501) 374-3761.

RAFT OF THE MEDUSA continues at Weekend Theater

The Weekend Theater’s production of Joe Pintauro’s Raft of the Medusa opened last weekend.  It is scheduled to continue this weekend and next on Friday and Saturdays at 7:30pm.  However, due to a car crashing into the Weekend Theatre building, further performances may be postponed.  Please check the Weekend Theatre’s website for updates.

Joe Pintauro’s drama presents a microcosm of those affected by AIDS in the earlier days of the crisis through the device of a diverse therapy group clashing, confronting, and comforting each other as they work through their emotions about their devastating diagnosis.

The cast includes Alan Douglas, Ryan Whitfield, Jimmy Walker, Brad Burleson, Rachel Bland, Dale Ellis,  Drew Ellis, Madison Hannahs, Morgan Henard, Grace Lytle, Josh Peace, Byron Taylor and Manny Urban.  Ralph Hyman directs, marking his 50th production at the theater.
Tickets, $16 for general admission and $12 for students and seniors age 65 and older, can be purchased on-line at http://www.weekendtheater.org or, based on availability, at the door. For information only, call 501-374-3761; reservations are not taken by phone.

Weekend Theater: LARAMIE PROJECT, TEN YEARS LATER

In the wake of the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, playwright/director Moises Kaufman and several colleagues visited the site of the crime.  The outcome of their interviews was the performance piece The Laramie Project, which the Weekend Theater presented a few seasons back.

In 2008, Kaufman and colleagues revisited Laramie and revisited some of the interviewees. They also conducted interviews with new people who had been involved in the 1998 incident, including two of young men who attacked and killed Shepard. The result of these interviews was The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later.

Duane Jackson, who directed the Weekend Theater’s production of the previous play, helms this production.  The cast includes David Anderson, Johnnie Brannon, Alan Douglas, Jeremy Estill, Julie Atkins, Sally Graham, Regi Ott, and Roben Sullivant.  Each actor portrays a variety of characters in this tale of a town and an entire nation.

The production opens on Friday, January 13 and plays the next three weekends.  Showtimes are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Jan. 28. Tickets, $16 for general admission and $12 for students and seniors age 65 and over can be reserved by calling (501) 374-3761 or online at www.weekendtheater.org.

Sponsors for this production are Canvas Community Church, Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church, Open Door Community Church, and New Beginnings Church of Central Arkansas.

Weekend Theatre: Judgment at Nuremberg

The Weekend Theatre’s production of Abby Mann’s Judgment at Nuremberg concludes this weekend.  Ralph Hyman directs this tale of honor, humanity, justice, and duty.

The cast is led by Alan Douglas and Tom Crone as opposing forces in this tug of war between different aspects of the justice system.  Also in the cast are matt Maguire, Frank Butler, Ebon Jones, Tucker Steinmetz, Chris Biagini, Thomas Sullivan, Wyatt Jones, Ovid Lamb, David Anderson, Byron Taylor, Jenifer Hamel, Deb Lewis, Johnnie Brannon, Drew Ellis, Samantha Porter and Patti German.

The show plays at 7:30pm tonight and tomorrow.  To reserve tickets, $16 for general admission and $12 for students and seniors age 65 and older, call (501) 374-3761 or visit the Web site at www.weekendtheater.org.

Weekend Theatre explores THE QUALITY OF LIFE

This weekend is the final chance to catch the latest show at the Weekend Theater.  Jane Martin’s The Quality of Life plays Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm.

Directed by Allison Pace, this play explores two couples who are at once polar opposites and facing similar situations.  The cast includes Stephanie Gunderman, Scott Minor, Fran Jameson and Alan Douglas.

The play has been described as “this magnetic work of theater, filled with compassion, honesty and humor” which “explores a myriad of ethical, religious, and moral beliefs, as well as personal rights issues concerning life and death.”