Final Days to see MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET at Arkansas Rep

Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s production of Million Dollar Quartet will wrap up its extended this Sunday, October 13. Tickets are available online at TheRep.org or by calling the Box Office at (501) 378-0405.

Million Dollar Quartet, a Tony Award-winning smash hit Broadway musical, is the current production in The Rep’s 2019 Season.

Based on the book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux, Million Dollar Quartet chronicles the epic 1956 recording session of young rock ‘n roll stars Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins.

“It’s more than just a jukebox musical,” said Director Hunter Foster. “It’s a dramatic play. But, the music is still the star and by the end people are usually dancing in the aisles.”

Showcased hit songs include “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “Walk the Line,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Who Do You Love?,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “Hound Dog,” and more.

“All the music that audiences will hear is actually being played by the actors,” Foster said. “Most audiences can’t believe they are playing because they are so good! We’re bringing some of the best actor/musicians in the country to Arkansas.”

The Arkansas Rep cast includes Trent Rowland (Elvis Presley), Bill Scott Sheets (Johnny Cash), Skye Scott (Carl Perkins), Brandyn Day (Jerry Lee Lewis), Karack Osborn (Sam Phillips), Alyssa Gardner (Dyanne), Brian Wolverton (Jay Perkins) and David W. Lincoln (W.S. “Fluke” Holland).

The design and creative team includes Lauren T. Roark, costume designer; Erin Reed, associate costume designer; Adam Koch, set designer; Steven Royal, associate set designer; James Barry, music supervisor; Kirk Bookman, original lighting designer; Steve O’Shea, lighting designer; and Luke Mitchell, sound designer. The stage manager is Colin JB and Merit Glover is the assistant stage manager.

Tickets start at $20. Discounts are available for full-time students, season subscribers, seniors and military personnel. For complete information, visit TheRep.org.

Tickets
May be purchased online at TheRep.org, by phone at (501) 378-0405 or by visiting the Box Office at 601 Main Street in Little Rock. Performances run now through Oct. 13.

Even MORE Shakin’ going on as Arkansas Rep extends MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET!

Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s production of Million Dollar Quartet will extend its run now through Oct. 13. Tickets are available online at TheRep.org or by calling the Box Office at (501) 378-0405.

Million Dollar Quartet, a Tony Award-winning smash hit Broadway musical, is the current production in The Rep’s 2019 Season.

Based on the book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux, Million Dollar Quartet chronicles the epic 1956 recording session of young rock ‘n roll stars Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins.

“It’s more than just a jukebox musical,” said Director Hunter Foster. “It’s a dramatic play. But, the music is still the star and by the end people are usually dancing in the aisles.”

Showcased hit songs include “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “Walk the Line,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Who Do You Love?,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “Hound Dog,” and more.

“All the music that audiences will hear is actually being played by the actors,” Foster said. “Most audiences can’t believe they are playing because they are so good! We’re bringing some of the best actor/musicians in the country to Arkansas.”

The Arkansas Rep cast includes Trent Rowland (Elvis Presley), Bill Scott Sheets (Johnny Cash), Skye Scott (Carl Perkins), Brandyn Day (Jerry Lee Lewis), Karack Osborn (Sam Phillips), Alyssa Gardner (Dyanne), Brian Wolverton (Jay Perkins) and David W. Lincoln (W.S. “Fluke” Holland).

The design and creative team includes Lauren T. Roark, costume designer; Erin Reed, associate costume designer; Adam Koch, set designer; Steven Royal, associate set designer; James Barry, music supervisor; Kirk Bookman, original lighting designer; Steve O’Shea, lighting designer; and Luke Mitchell, sound designer. The stage manager is Colin JB and Merit Glover is the assistant stage manager.

Tickets start at $20. Discounts are available for full-time students, season subscribers, seniors and military personnel. For complete information, visit TheRep.org.

Tickets
May be purchased online at TheRep.org, by phone at (501) 378-0405 or by visiting the Box Office at 601 Main Street in Little Rock. Performances run now through Oct. 13.

Performance Dates, Times for Million Dollar Quartet

Regular Performances

  • Wednesdays-Thursdays at 7 p.m., Sept. 18-19, 25-26, Oct. 2-3, and Oct. 10
  • Fridays at 8 p.m., Sept. 13, 20, 27, Oct. 4, and 11
  • Saturdays at 2 p.m., Sept. 28, Oct. 5, and 12
  • Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sept. 14, 21, 28, Oct. 5, and 12
  • Sundays at 2 p.m., Sept. 15, 22, 29, Oct. 6, and 13

Special Performances
Wednesday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m., is an American Sign Language-interpreted performance.

Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On as Arkansas Rep presents MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET

Million Dollar Quartet, a Tony Award-winning smash hit Broadway musical, is the next production in The Rep’s 2019 Season. Tickets for the production, which runs Sept. 4-Oct. 6, are available at TheRep.org.

Based on the book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux, Million Dollar Quartet chronicles the epic 1956 recording session of young rock ‘n roll stars Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins.

“It’s more than just a jukebox musical,” said Director Hunter Foster. “It’s a dramatic play. But, the music is still the star and by the end people are usually dancing in the aisles.”  Foster was an original cast member on Broadway.

Showcased hit songs include “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “Walk the Line,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Who Do You Love?,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “Hound Dog,” and more.

“All the music that audiences will hear is actually being played by the actors,” Foster said. “Most audiences can’t believe they are playing because they are so good! We’re bringing some of the best actor/musicians in the country to Arkansas.”

The Arkansas Rep cast includes Trent Rowland (Elvis Presley), Bill Scott Sheets (Johnny Cash), Skye Scott (Carl Perkins), Brandyn Day (Jerry Lee Lewis), Karack Osborn (Sam Phillips), Alyssa Gardner (Dyanne), Brian Wolverton (Jay Perkins) and David W. Lincoln (W.S. “Fluke” Holland).

The design and creative team includes Lauren T. Roark, costume designer; Erin Reed, associate costume designer; Adam Koch, set designer; Steven Royal, associate set designer; James Barry, music supervisor; Kirk Bookman, original lighting designer; Steve O’Shea, lighting designer; and Luke Mitchell, sound designer. The stage manager is Colin JB and Merit Glover is the assistant stage manager.

Tickets start at $20. Discounts are available for full-time students, season subscribers, seniors and military personnel. For complete information, visit TheRep.org.

Mark and Erin Reunited – tonight at the Lobby Bar

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Join Mark Binns & Erin Martinez Warner at the Lobby Bar as they reunite for an intimate evening of friendship, love, and MUSIC!

The Lobby Bar is a cover-free, family-friendly environment. Just come out and enjoy the tunes!

Mark & Erin will be joined by longtime friends and collaborators Pat Lindsey on drums, Brian Wolverton on bass, and Barry McVinney on reeds.

A Charmed Two Hours at THE LAST FIVE YEARS

L5Y TST setWith The Last Five Years, the fledgling Studio Theatre has staked its claim as a force in Little Rock’s community theatre scene.  This production of Jason Robert Brown’s time-bending, two character musical highlights not only the talents Little Rock offers, but also the virtues of the space in which it was performed.

The musical tells of the rise and fall of the relationship of budding novelist Jamie and struggling actress Cathy.  The audience sees his perspective moving forward and her’s moving backwards with the two intersecting only momentarily at their wedding.  Because of this conceit, there is very little chance for interaction between actors Jeremy Hall and Erin Martinez. But what the show does offer is ample opportunities for each to shine as they thoroughly inhabit the characters.

As Cathy, Martinez uses her expressive features and wide vocal range (notes and styles) to move from pathos to frustration to love and excitement.  From his first entrance to his final exit, Hall is full of energy. It moves from nerves to joy to confidence to guilt and finally resignation. His pace may vary, but there is ever-present force in his trajectory.

This is a small show full of quiet moments. Hall and Martinez are both able to maximize these moments with a change in posture, a small gesture, a tilt of the head or a raised eyebrow.  They also each have moments of joyous ebullience where they let go – while staying in character. For Martinez it was “A Summer in Ohio” which joyfully recounts a hellish summer. Hall had several lively songs but his highlight was probably “The Schmuel Song” where he channels a bit of Tevye in a dopey romantic way.

Director Ryan Whitfield kept the action fluid as it shifted between the two perspectives and time frames.  He ensured honest portrayals and created an atmosphere where the audience was more eavesdropping than “watching a performance.” He also kept the continuity so that the two halves of the same scene (played at different times in the show) gelled properly.

Musical Director Mark Binns not only maximized the vocal talents of the two performers, he led the live band through the score’s varied musical styles. (It was a pleasure to walk in to the theatre and hear an orchestra warming up – a joy one misses with pre-recorded music or only a synthesizer or keyboard.)  Musicians Bob Bidewell, Charlie Friedman, Brian Wolverton, Sam Clark and Binns displayed their own musical talents while also supporting the singers.

With a proscenium stage, tiered seating in comfortable chairs, and a balcony for orchestra and technicians, the Studio Theatre provides a “traditional” theatre setting. It, however, has enough flexibility to incorporate a blackbox-like setting as needed.  While theatre can be performed any where, too often community theatre tries to do “proscenium” shows in a blackbox setting for economic and not artistic reasons.  The Studio Theatre space allows for both types of settings which means that decisions can be made based on artistic reasons.

While this production could have been done on a completely blank space, the set (by Whitfield and Matthew Mentgen) features levels and a variety of distinct playing areas that enhanced the production.  The giant clock on the back wall served not only as a visually interesting element, but the changing hands were an added touch as the story moved back and forth.

The Last Five Years tells a tale that is both humorous and heartbreaking, woeful and wistful. These are not heroes and heroines – they are two humans caught up in this thing known as living and loving.  By the end of the performance, Martinez and Hall have taken the audience on a journey full of faults, flaws, fascination, fondness, first-dates, first novels and a snake named Wayne. What more could you want?

 

 

The Last Five Years continues Friday and Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 2pm at The Studio Theatre.