GUYS AND DOLLS rolls in to Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre this summer

Logo.jpgGuys and Dolls is the musical in the 2019 season of the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre.

This self-described “Musical Fable of Broadway” is based on Damon Runyon’s stories. With a score by Frank Loesser, it has a book by Abe Burrows. (Contractual obligations required that Jo Swerling get credit as a co-author, though none of his original draft ended up in the final product.)

Telling the story of a pair of gamblers and their romantic entanglements, it features memorable characters who frequent nightclubs, a storefront mission, Cuba, and a floating crap game in a sewer.  The original production won the 1951 Tony Award for Best Musical.

Performances started last night (June 15) and continue today, June 16 (2:00pm), June 23 (2:00pm), June 25 (7:30pm), June 28 (7:30pm), June 30 (2:00pm AND 7:30pm), July 2 (7:30pm), July 4 (2:00pm), and July 6 (2:00pm AND 7:30pm). The musical is performed on the stage of the Reynolds Performance Hall.

The cast includes Chad Bradford, Emily Wold, Benjamin Reed, Chris Fritzges, Rebecca Brudner, Nick Narcisi, Patrice Phillips, Ben Grimes, Will Stotts, Barry Clifton, Cody Walls, Augustine Nguyen, Braxton Johnson, Kevin Alan Brown, Maureen Toomey, Mikala Hicks, Regean Allen, Stephanie Craven, Dylan Blackwood, Ashley Mahan, Anthony Bryant, Brian Earles, and Moriah Patterson.

The production is directed by Jenna Elser.  A native of Searcy, she is the Artistic Director of Glow Lyric Theatre in South Carolina. She also is Director of Converse Opera Theatre at Converse College.

Rebekah Scallet is the Producing Artistic Director and Mary Ruth Marotte is the Executive Director.

Award winning THE MEMBER OF THE WEDDING at Weekend Theater

TWT Member WedNext at the Weekend Theater is The Member of the Wedding, Carson McCullers unflinching yet heart-warming look back at the transition from childhood to adulthood.

Winner of the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award and the Donaldson Award in 1950 for best play, The Member of the Wedding is based on the Carson McCullers multi-award winning novel by the same name. The play set during World War II takes place over a few days in late August, 1945.

It tells the poignant story of 12-year-old tomboy, Frankie Addams, who, like many prepubescents, feels disconnected from everything in the world; in her words, an “unjoined person.” Frankie’s mother has died in childbirth, and her widowed father is a distant, vacuous figure who has no idea of the anxiety his daughter is experiencing. Her closest companions in her small racially divided hometown are the family’s African American housekeeper and surrogate mother to Frankie, Berenice Sadie Brown, and her six-year-old pesky cousin, John Henry West. She has no other friends in her deeply southern birthplace and dreams of going away with her soldier brother and his bride-to-be on their honeymoon in the Alaskan wilderness. Frankie Addams desperately wants to become “joined” with the newlyweds in The Member of the Wedding.

Directed by Margaret Pierson Bates, the production opens tonight and runs through May 30 on Friday and Saturday evenings.

The cast includes Danette Scott Perry, Ellis Golden, Alex Harkins, Barry Clifton, Elizabeth Bartyzal, Peter Emery, Amanda Oxford, Stacy Williams Jr., Eric Tate, Akasha Hull, Allison Filbert, Claire Green, Jeffrey Oakley, Hannah Smith, Nikolai Gordeev, Drew Ellis, Keith Harper, Tommie Tinker, Alexander White, Terry White and Ryan Whitfield.

 

World premiere of Phillip McMath’s play KARSKI’S MESSAGE next at Weekend Theater

Karaskis-Message-Poster_LgThe latest offering of the Weekend Theater is a world premiere of Phillip McMath’s new play, Karski’s Message.

A local playwright, lawyer and historian, McMath based the play on the true story of Jan Karski, a Polish World War II resistance fighter and later professor at Georgetown University. In 1942 and 1943, Karski escaped capture and near death to report to the Western Allies — Britain and the United States — on the situation in German-occupied Poland, especially the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto and the secretive German-Nazi extermination camps. Karski personally met with world leaders, telling them about the situation in Poland, becoming the first eyewitness to try to convince the world that the Jewish Holocaust was a reality.

The cast includes Ryan Whitfield, Jeff Lewellen, Terry White, Brice Ward, Madison Wolfe, Barry Clifton, Tommie Tinker, Ann Norris, Deb Lewis, Bill Jones, Alexander White, Elijah White, Lauren Lasseigne and Justin Wolfe.  It is directed by Matthew Mentgen.

The play opened last night and continues its run tonight, April 17 & 18 and April 24 & 25. Curtain times are 7:30.