IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE – A Live Radio Play opens tonight as Arkansas Rep’s final show of 2019

George Bailey, Clarence, and Mr. Potter all make an appearance as the Arkansas Repertory Theatre presents It’s a Wonderful Life – A Live Radio Play.

After two days of previews, the production opens tonight (December 6) and runs through December 29.

Back by popular demand, this holiday classic returns to The Rep’s stage to close the 2019 season. (It was last on the Rep’s stage in 2008.)

Ring in the holidays with an entertaining spin on a familiar holiday favorite. Set in a 1940s radio station on Christmas Eve, enjoy a live radio version of Frank Capra’s classic 1946 film as the actors on stage transform into dozens of characters from Bedford Falls. Faced with the threat of scandal and financial ruin, George Bailey experiences a crisis of faith and wishes he had never been born. Divine intervention arrives in the form of Clarence (Angel Second Class), who is on a mission to restore George’s will to live… and earn his own wings in the process. Every life impacts countless others, whether we know it or not.

The production is directed by Giovanna Sardelli (whose most recent Arkansas Rep production was The School for Lies). The design team includes Jo Winiarski (set), Sarah Nietfeld (costumes), Jamie Roderick (lighting), and Jane Shaw (sound). The cast includes the return of Larry Daggett and Patrick Halley along with Alan Dronek, Larissa Klinger and Mary Murphy making their Arkansas Rep debuts.

 

Today at noon – Arkansas Rep production of IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE is Clinton School topic

The Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s holiday play – It’s a Wonderful Life is the topic of today’s Clinton School program. It will take place at 12 noon in Sturgis Hall.

Ring in the holidays with an entertaining spin on a familiar holiday favorite. Set in a 1940s radio station on Christmas Eve, enjoy a live radio version of Frank Capra’s classic 1946 film as the actors on stage transform into dozens of characters from Bedford Falls.

Faced with the threat of scandal and financial ruin, George Bailey experiences a crisis of faith and wishes he had never been born. Divine intervention arrives in the form of Clarence (Angel Second Class), who is on a mission to restore George’s will to live and earn his own wings in the process. Every life impacts countless others, whether we know it or not.

Join the Clinton School for a discussion with the cast and crew.

All Clinton School Speaker Series events are free and open to the public. Reserve your seats by emailing publicprograms@clintonschool.uasys.edu or by calling (501) 683-5239.

43 years ago, Arkansas Rep opened first show: THE THREEPENNY OPERA

On November 11, 1976, the curtain went up on the first Arkansas Repertory Theatre production.  It was the Kurt Weill-Bertolt Brecht musical The Threepenny Opera.  Rep founder Cliff Baker directed the show and played the leading role of Macheath aka Mack the Knife.

Others in the cast included local attorney Herb Rule, Jean Lind, Theresa Glasscock, Connie Gordon and Guy Couch.  Byl Harriell was the technical director and production designer while Donia Crofton was the costume designer.

The production took place in the Rep’s home which was the converted former home of Hunter United Methodist Church on the eastern edge of MacArthur Park.  (Harriell’s business Bylites is now in that location.)

Baker had previously worked at the Arkansas Arts Center theatre when it was attached to a degree granting MFA program. He had also directed shows in other parts of Arkansas.  He returned to Little Rock and founded the Arkansas Philharmonic Theatre which performed in Hillcrest.  The Arkansas Repertory Theatre was a step forward with the establishment of a professional repertory company.

The first season of the Rep would include Company, Suddenly Last Summer, Marat/Sade, and Stop the World–I Want to Get Off. Season tickets for a total of seven shows were $30.

Baker served as Artistic Director of Arkansas Rep from 1976 until 1999.

Painting Party in an Alley today in Downtown Little Rock

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Make your mark on Downtown Little Rock.  Literally.

Help the Downtown Little Rock Partnership make downtown a little brighter! Join them for a painting party behind The Rep in Baker’s Alley (running from Sixth to Seventh Streets between Main and Scott Streets) as they add some color to a brand new gathering space.

They will have all the supplies ready.  All you need to do is show up — but wear a pair of old shoes and clothes and see what a few hours of hard work and fun fellowship can do for our home.

The fun runs today (November 9) from 9am until 1pm.

Live music, coffee, snacks and materials provided. Wear your old clothes and shoes!

5×5 ArtWorks event tonight at Arkansas Rep

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ArtWorks presents a one-night exhibit featuring the work of 120 local artists.

Experience Second Friday Art Night in a new way by attending Little Rock’s first 5×5 Event! 120 local artists have produced 120 unique, 5-inch square canvases priced at $55 each.

The Rep’s lobby bar will be open, featuring Little Rock’s own DJ Mario Luna. Plus, the delicious Katmandu Momo Food Truck will be outside. The event is free (but a $5 donation would be appreciated) so be sure to get here early and secure your favorite piece to purchase!

Doors open at 5pm with art sales beginning at 5:55 p.m.

One final chance to see SOUVENIR with Christine Donahue and Timothy Smith presented by Opera in the Rock

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Opera in the Rock presents the Tony-nominated play Souvenir: a Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins as a one-night only benefit encore performance of their smash hit!

The performance starts at 7:30pm on the Arkansas Repertory Theatre stage.

1964: Greenwich Village. Cosmé McMoon flashes back to the musical career of Florence Foster Jenkins, a wealthy New York socialite with an infamous prestige for singing out of tune. In 1932, she met McMoon and the two teamed up to foster Jenkins’ love for singing in the hopes of achieving success. Over the next dozen years, their bizarre partnership yielded hilariously off-key recitals that became the talk of the town and earned them cultish fame.

Christine Donahue and Timothy Smith take on these two spectacular characters for the last time one night only as a benefit performance for Opera In The Rock at The Rep.

Christine Donahue, soprano, has performed with numerous opera companies throughout the United States, Canada and abroad including New York City Opera, Cleveland Opera and Houston Grand Opera. She is presently Assistant Professor of Voice at University of Central Arkansas.

Mr. Smith is a professor of piano and music theory at Arkansas Tech University and has performed in numerous community musicals throughout the country. As an accomplished pianist, he has also played in orchestras for shows including Anything Goes, West Side Story, The King and I, and South Pacific.