Experience Life on AVENUE Q at The Weekend Theater

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The Weekend Theater kicks off its 2019-2020 season with the Tony Award-winning musical AVENUE Q, with music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx and book by Jeff Whitty.  The original production was directed by Fayetteville native Jason Moore, who received a Tony nomination for his work on the show.

Avenue Q runs June 14-30 at the theater, 1001 W. 7th St. Show dates are June 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, and 30. Sunday matinees starts at 2:30 p.m. All other shows start at 7:30 p.m.

Often described as Sesame Street-meets-South Park, “Avenue Q” conveys life’s tough lessons through the trials and tribulations of Princeton, a bright-eyed college graduate, who moves into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q, where he and his new friends struggle to find jobs, dates and their ever-elusive purpose in life.

Due to language and adult situations, like full-puppet nudity, “Avenue Q” may be inappropriate for children under 17.

Tickets are $22 for adults and $18 for students, seniors and military. To reserve online, visit centralarkansastickets.com

For more information, visit weekendtheater.org or call 501-374-3761.

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Laugh. Cry. Think. Act. with 2019-2020 season of The Weekend Theater.

The Weekend Theater’s 27th season kicks off with AVENUE Q (June 14-30).  The winner of the 2004 Tony Award for Best Musical (as well as Tonys for Book of a Musical and Score), tells of life on Avenue Q for a group of twenty something humans and puppets.This is definitely NOT like puppet shows from childhood.

Next is the Arkansas premiere of Stephen Adley Guirgis’ Pulitzer Prize winning play BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY (July 26 to August 11).   Ex-cop and recent widower Walter “Pops” Washington and his newly paroled son Junior have spent a lifetime living between Riverside and crazy.

Anthony Mariani’s THE ROOSTER REBELLION (August 30 to September 8) is up next.  The story takes place in fall 2015 and summer 2016 in London. Reese Anne, a London teenager, runs away from home to help her ex-history teacher, Shell, who is homeless. They busk by day and at night seek to create a utopian homeless society, which falls apart on the eve of the Brexit vote.​​​​​

Cult classic SIDE SHOW (October 11 – 27) tells the story of Daisy and Violet. Conjoined twins, they are forced to be entertainers in a side show. As they struggle with very human emotions, they also must grapple with the fact that people see them as freaks.  With a lush score and colorful characters, it is a show that stays with audiences long after the lights come up.

2019 marks the 60th anniversary of Lorraine Hansberry’s A RAISIN IN THE SUN (December 5-21). It tells the story of the Younger family as they make decisions about the best way to use money left to them.  Each member of the three generations has their own dreams, and sometimes they clash with the wishes of others.    This moving, explosive, and often humorous play seeks to answer the question, “what happens when a dream is deferred.”

2020 gets going with GOOD KIDS. by Naomi Iizuka (January 9 – 26).  Something happened to Chloe after that party last Saturday night. Something she says she can’t remember. Something everybody is talking about. Set at a Midwestern high school, in a world of Facebook and Twitter, smartphones and YouTube,It explores a casual sexual encounter gone wrong and its very public aftermath.

Lynn Nottage’s SWEAT (Feb 14 – 29) won the Pulitzer Prize in 2017. It looks at the toll a factory closure has on a town and the friendships of the people who once worked in it.  Filial and familial bonds are tested as loyalties come into question and long-held beliefs are questioned. This gritty and compelling play has been described as one of the best ways to understand the different views voters held in the 2016 elections.

Regina Taylor’s CROWNS (March 20 – April 5) is a celebration of hats and the women who wear them.  Each hat holds a story of a wedding, funeral, baptism as a group of women share their stories of how they moved through life’s struggles. The hats aren’t just a fashion statement – they are testimonies of sisterhood – they are hard earned Crowns.

Paul Rudnick’s hilarious comedy of manners REGRETS ONLY (APril 24 to May 3) explores the latest topics in marriage, friendships and squandered riches. The setting: a Park Avenue penthouse. The players: a powerhouse attorney, his deliriously social wife and their closest friend, one of the world’s most staggeringly successful fashion designers. Add a daughter’s engagement, some major gowns, the president of the United States, and stir.

David Mamet’s RACE (May 15 – 24) explores and explodes various perspectives on race and justice.   Two lawyers find themselves defending a wealthy white executive charged with raping a black woman. When a new legal assistant gets involved in the case, the opinions that boil beneath explode to the surface. Mamet turns the spotlight on what we think but can’t say, dangerous truths are revealed, and no punches are spared.

More informaiton can be found at the Weekend Theater website.

Rocking the Tony Awards – Past Tony nominees at Arkansas Rep

Photo by Peter Kramer/ Getty Images Entertainment

The 72nd Tony Awards take place on Sunday, June 10 at Radio City Music Hall (broadcast on CBS).

Over the years, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre has had several Tony nominees work on stage and backstage.

Among these are:

Julie Andrews, who headlined a 2002 fundraiser for Arkansas Rep.  That evening she shared stories about her life and career.  A two-time Tony Award host, she has been nominated three times for Actress in a Musical: My Fair Lady (1957), Camelot (1961) and Victor/Victoria (1996).

Jane Lanier, who choreographed Ring of Fire at Arkansas Rep.  In 1989, she was nominated as Featured Actress in a Musical for her work in Jerome Robbins’ Broadway.  

Mercedes McCambridge, who appeared in ‘night, Mother at the Rep in the spring of 1986.  She was nominated as Featured Actress in a Play for The Love Suicide at Schofield Barracks for the 1972 awards.

Austin Pendleton, who directed A Loss of Roses at Arkansas Rep.  After appearing in the original cast of Tony winning Best Musical Fiddler on the Roof, he later received a Tony nomination for directing the 1981 revival of The Little Foxes which starred Elizabeth Taylor and Maureen Stapleton.

Jane Summerhays, who starred in the Arkansas Rep production of A Loss of Roses.  In 1987, she was nominated for Featured Actress in a Musical for Me and My Girl.

John Tartaglia, who directed 2013’s Because of Winn Dixie.  He was nominated for the 2004 Tony for Actor in a Musical for his performance in Avenue Q.

Japhy Weideman, who was the Rep’s lighting designer in the early 2000’s.  While he was at the Rep, he lit several shows including The Grapes of Wrath, All My Sons and God’s Man in Texas.  He has received Tony nominations for lighting design for his work on The Nance (2013), Of Mice and Men (2014), Airline Highway (2015), The Visit (2015), and Dear Evan Hansen (2017).

The fact that the Arkansas Repertory Theatre has been able to work with theatre artists of this calibre is a testament to the quality of work it has produced.  Giving the opportunity for Arkansas audiences to have this interaction without leaving the state is one of the values of the Rep.

Repertorium Praeter Theatrum

Tony Awards Week – Tony Titles at Arkansas Rep

ark repNext year the Arkansas Repertory Theatre celebrates its 40th anniversary season.  Since its first season, the Rep has often programmed plays and musicals which have been recognized with the Tony for Best Play or Best Musical of the season.

Many other Rep productions have been titles which have also won Tony Awards in some Broadway production.  But this list only looks at those which won or were nominated for the Tony for Best Play and Best Musical.

The first Rep production was The Threepenny Opera.  While it did not win the Tony for Best Musical, it goes on this list because it received a Special Tony in 1956 for its production.  The original production in the 1930s ran for just a few performances. So this production was not eligible for the Best Musical award. But it was so outstanding, it received a Special Tony.

That 1976-77 season also included a Best Play winner – The Persecution and Assassination of Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade, which took home the silver medallion for Best Play in 1966.

Rep SalesmanOther Tony Best Play winners produced by the Rep have been:

(Tony Year; Title; Rep season)

  • 1949 – Death of a Salesman – 2012-13
  • 1955 – The Diary of Anne Frank – 1977-78; 1981-82
  • 1960 – The Miracle Worker – 2004-05
  • 1963 – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? – 1978-79
  • 1965 – The Subject Was Roses – 1981-82
  • 1973 – That Championship Season – 1984-85
  • 1979 – The Elephant Man – 2008-09
  • 1981 – Amadeus – 1995-96
  • 1984 – The Real Thing – 1986-87
  • 1985 – Biloxi Blues – 1987-88
  • 1986 – I’m Not Rappaport – 1989-90
  • 1987 – Fences – 2006-07
  • 1990 – The Grapes of Wrath – 2000-01
  • 1991 – Lost in Yonkers – 1994-95 (featuring future Tony winner Will Trice in the cast)
  • 1993 – Angels in America: Millennium Approaches – 1995-96; 1996-97
  • 1994 – Angels in America: Perestroika – 1996-97
  • 1997 – The Last Night of Ballyhoo – 1998-99
  • 1998 – Art – 2001-02
  • 2001 – Proof – 2002-03 (written by LR Hall graduate David Auburn)
  • 2005 – Doubt – 2007-08
  • 2008 – August: Osage County – 2014-15
  • 2010 – Red – 2013-14
  • 2012 – Clybourne Park – 2013-14

 

Next season the Rep will produce Peter and the Starcatcher which was nominated for Best Play in 2012.  Other Best Play nominees produced by the Rep include: Barefoot in the Park; Broadway Bound; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; Crimes of the Heart; Frost/Nixon; The Gin Game; Glengarry Glen Ross; Having Our Say; Home; Lend Me a Tenor; A Lesson from Aloes; ‘Night, Mother; The Night of the Iguana; Noises Off; The Piano Lesson; The Rainmaker; A Raisin in the Sun; The Retreat from Moscow; Talley’s Folly; The 39 Steps; and A Walk in the Woods.

The Rep also produced House of Blue Leaves six years before it was nominated for Best Play at the Tonys. In addition, it produced All My Sons which received a Special Tony for playwright Arthur Miller at the first ceremony and is sometimes erroneously listed as being the Best Play of 1947. There was none that year.

 

THEREP_MEMPHIS (no credits)-page-001The 1971 Best Musical Company was part of the Rep’s inaugural season in 1976-77.  Other Tony Best Musicals winners produced by the Rep have been:

(Tony Year; Title; Rep season)

  • 1951 – Guys and Dolls – 1989-90
  • 1952 – The King and I – 2006-07
  • 1956 – Damn Yankees – 1999-2000
  • 1957 – My Fair Lady – 2004-05
  • 1960 – The Sound of Music – 2001-02
  • 1964 – Hello, Dolly! – 2007-08
  • 1967 – Cabaret – 2001-02
  • 1975 – The Wiz – 2011-12
  • 1976 – A Chorus Line – 2005-06
  • 1977 – Annie – 2002-03
  • 1978 – Ain’t Misbehavin’ – 1984-85; 2004-05
  • 1980 – Evita – 1989-90; 2010-11
  • 1986 – The Mystery of Edwin Drood – 1988-89
  • 1987 – Les Miserables – 2008-09; 2013-14
  • 2003 – Hairspray – 2010-11
  • 2004 – Avenue Q – 2012-13
  • 2010 – Memphis – 2014-15 (produced at Rep and on Broadway by LR native Remmel T. Dickinson)

In addition, the Rep has produced staged concert versions of 1958 Best Musical The Music Man and 1973 Best Musical A Little Night Music in collaboration with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.

Next season the Rep will produce The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee which was nominated for Best Musical in 2005.  Other Best Musical nominees produced by the Rep include: The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas; Blues in the Night; Chicago; Dreamgirls; Five Guys Named Moe; The Full Monty; Gypsy; Into The Woods; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; Mary Poppins;  Next to Normal; Oh What A Lovely War; Once On This Island; Peter Pan; Pump Boys and Dinettes; Quilters; Side by Side by Sondheim; Smokey Joe’s Café; Stop the World, I Want To Get Off; Sweet Charity; West Side Story; and The Who’s Tommy.

While downtown for Race & Foodtrucks – Stop by Rep for Costume sale

Rep Costume saleA lot is happening downtown this Saturday. Race for the Cure, Food Truck Festival, and also the Arkansas Rep’s annual costume sale.

This is a chance to pick up a well-made, hand-crafted costume or prop or decoration for prices as low as $2.  You’ve seen it on stage at the Rep, and now you can wear it.

Halloween is around the corner.  Mardi Gras will be here in a few months.  Or maybe you just like escaping the woes of everyday life by throwing on a costume.  The Rep doesn’t question or judge.  Just be sure to stop by.  Among the shows whose clothes will be up for sale are Avenue Q, The Wiz, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, A Chorus Line and White Christmas.  (And since Christmas will be here soon, this is a good chance to pick up things for holiday entertaining!)

All proceeds benefit the Rep’s production office.

So stop by the Rep from 10am to 1pm.  You’ll be in the neighborhood anyway enjoying post-race foodtruck food!

What Dreams Are Made Of – COMPLEAT WRKS OF WLLM SHKSPR ends run at Ark Rep today

WllmShksprToday is the final chance to experience what Shakespeare has in common with football, cooking shows, rap and psychology.  The Arkansas Repertory Theatre production of The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged) plays at 2pm and 7pm today.

Life is short. The complete works of Shakespeare are long. Now all of the bard’s most familiar pieces are condensed into one hilarious rollercoaster spoof! Ending The Rep’s season is an entertaining romp where audiences will see all of Shakespeare’s plays, reduced in madcap fashion, in less than two hours.

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.

The cast includes Rep favorites Avery Clark (Hamlet, Henry V, Death of a Salesman, The 39 Steps) and Ethan Paulini (The Full Monty, Avenue Q, White Christmas, Tommy) and Rep newcomer Patrick Halley.  The show is directed by Resident Director Nicole Capri. The design team includes Costume Designer: Shelly Hall, Set Designer: Chris Pickart, Lighting Designer: Dan Kimble, Sound Designer: Allan Branson and Properties Designer: Lynda J. Kwallek.

The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged) is a parody of the plays of William Shakespeare, with all of them being performed in shortened and sidesplitting form.

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!

 

 Avery Clark, Patrick Halley and Ethan Paulini. Photography by John David Pittman.

Bond with the Bard – Enjoy Arkansas Rep rip-roaring production of The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged)

WllmShksprWhat does Shakespeare have in common with football, cooking shows, rap and psychology?  You can find out when the Arkansas Repertory Theatre presents The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged).

Life is short. The complete works of Shakespeare are long. Now all of the bard’s most familiar pieces are condensed into one hilarious rollercoaster spoof! Ending The Rep’s season is an entertaining romp on stage June 4 – June 29, 2014, as audiences will see all of Shakespeare’s plays, reduced in madcap fashion, in less than two hours.

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.

The cast includes Rep favorites Avery Clark (Hamlet, Henry V, The 39 Steps) and Ethan Paulini (The Full Monty, Avenue Q, White Christmas, Tommy) and Rep newcomer Patrick Halley.  The show is directed by Resident Director Nicole Capri. The design team includes Costume Designer: Shelly Hall, Set Designer: Chris Pickart, Lighting Designer: Dan Kimble, Sound Designer: Allan Branson and Properties Designer: Lynda J. Kwallek.

The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged) is a parody of the plays of William Shakespeare, with all of them being performed in shortened and sidesplitting form.

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!

 

 Avery Clark, Patrick Halley and Ethan Paulini. Photography by John David Pittman.