Pulitzers Play Little Rock: CTLR’s production of RENT

CTLR RentJonathan Larson’s through-sung updated La Boheme was an instant success from its first Off Broadway preview.  Unfortunately with his death that day, Larson never enjoyed the success.  After a long Broadway run, the rights were made available for other productions.

Though not the first to present Rent in Little Rock, the Community Theatre of Little Rock closed out its 58th season in 2014 with a production of this winner of the 1996 Pulitzer Prize in Drama.

The cast included Michael Goodbar, Ryan Whitfield, Charles Holloway, Jeremiah Herman, Angel Monroe, Brittany Sparkles, Kelsey Padilla, Jess Carson, David Weatherly, Courtney Williams, Douglas Hammon, Elijah Ash, Manny Urban, Brian Christopher Roberson, Robert Warner, Claudia Moskova-Cremeens, Ashley McPhearson, Vivian Murray-Colyer, Nichole Henry, Allison Bode, Courtney Speyer, Makayla Ealy, and Beth Ross.

The production was directed by Frank O. Butler.  Matthew Tatus was the Music Director, while the producers were Liz Clark and Jerry Woods.

2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the first Pulitzer Prize for Drama being given. To pay tribute to 100 years of the Pulitzer for Drama, each day this month a different Little Rock production of a Pulitzer Prize winning play will be highlighted.  Many of these titles have been produced numerous times.  This look will veer from high school to national tours in an attempt to give a glimpse into Little Rock’s breadth and depth of theatrical history.

Pagans on Bobsleds XXIV: One More Splash! pays tribute to late, great Sandy Baskin

ROT Pagans SandyPagans on Bobsleds XXIV: One More Splash! is newest installment in the long running holiday tradition for Red Octopus Theater. Pagans on Bobsleds XXIV: One More Splash! will run December 10-12, 2015 at The PUBLIC Theatre, located at 616 Center Street, in downtown Little Rock, AR.  Doors will open at 7:30PM and the show will start at 8:00PM. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for senior citizens, military and students.  Tickets are general admission, no reservations and there will be refreshments available.  The show is recommended for mature audiences, child tickets are $490.

Pagans on Bobsleds XXIV: One More Splash! a memorial to Sandy Baskin, long time head writer and director of Red Octopus Theater, who passed away earlier this year.  There is no adequate way to measure the influence Sandy Baskin had on the central Arkansas performing arts community and countless actors in her 3 decades of performing, writing and directing.  Sandy Baskin performed with Red Octopus theater for over 20 years and for much of that time was the head writer and director of countless live sketch comedy shows, short films and other performances.  Ms. Baskin may have left this plane of existence, but she will always be the head redhead in Red Octopus.

This year, Pagans on Bobsleds, the long running Red Octopu holiday tradition, will be a greatest hits of Sandy’s  favorites including Fauzio’s, The Nutcracker Suite, Elves What Woo, The Old Lady, They’re Having Eggnog, Devil Hound, Santaman, Fruitcake and many more. Unfortunately, due to her passing, Sandy really left the other Octopi in a lurch for a funny lady with a red bouffant that can cuss like a sailor.  That role is in a lot of these sketches, but  Red Octopus thought, the only thing to do without Sandy Baskin, was to make everyone try to fill her comedy shoes.  It will take a cast of 12 including Frank Butler, Alli Clark, Brian Chambers, Sarah Cunningham, Lesley Dancer, Michael Goodbar, Jeremiah Herman, Nichole Henry, Anderson Penix, Luke Rowlan, Brittany Sparkles, Evan Tanner, Jason Thompson and Jason Willey

Current Executive Director of Red Octopus, Jason Willey said, “Sandy loved hanging out with her people and often she’d say she was just going to have “one more splash” before we called it a night. That usually turned into another hour and a lot of laughs. Everyone in Red Octopus will miss having one more splash with Baskin.  We thought, that’s what this show should be for Red Octopus and our fans, one last splash, for Baskin.”

Red Octopus Theater looks forward to seeing all our friends and fans for Pagans on Bobsleds XXIV: One More Splash, a tribute to the one and only Sandy Baskin.

For more information please contact Jason Willey, Executive Director, Red Octopus Theater at (501) 291-3896, or RedOctopusTheater@gmail.com. Red Octopus is also online atwww.redoctopustheater.com.

To contact The PUBLIC Theatre, call 374-PLAY.

 

AMERICAN IDIOT rocks into Weekend Theater

American Idiot at The Weekend Theater in Little Rock, ARFirst there was the album and the tour, then Billie Joe Armstrong and Tony winner Michael Mayer collaborated to create the stage musical.  Now Green Day’s American Idiot is coming to the Weekend Theater stage for four weeks.

The two-time Tony Award-winning hit musical American Idiot is based on Green Day’s Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum album. This energy-fueled rock opera, which includes every song from the album, as well as several songs from follow-up release, 21st Century Breakdown, brings us face-to-face with the perils of war, drug addiction, and escapism, and the power of true friendship.

The story centers on Will, Johnny, and Tunny, who struggle to find meaning in a post-9/11 world. When the three disgruntled young men flee the constraints of their hometown for the thrills of city life, their paths are quickly estranged when Tunny enters the armed forces, Michael is called back home to attend familial responsibilities, and Johnny’s attention becomes divided by a seductive love interest and a hazardous new friendship. We follow the three as they try to find themselves and learn that, with acceptance, comes the possibility of hope.

The cast features Robert Warner, Peyton Hooks, Courtney Williams, Luke Johnson, Brittany Sparkles, Charmaine Foster, Mackenzie Holtzclaw, Xavier Jones, Adam Smith, Jordan Lott, Nichole Henry, Angel Monroe, Angela Morgan, Anna Darr, and Simmery Branch.

The production is directed by Frank Butler with music direction by Lori Isner.  The show runs through August 9.  Performances are at 7:30pm on Friday and Saturday and at 2:30 on Sunday afternoons.  On Friday, August 7, the curtain time is 8pm.

THE GHOU-SUAL SUSPECTS will be interrogated by Red Octopus Theater this weekend

UsualSuspects3The Ghoul-sual Suspects, the new sketch comedy show by Red Octopus Theater, runs October 16-18, 2014 at The PUBLIC Theatre, located at 616 Center Street, in downtown Little Rock, AR.  Doors will open at 7:30PM and the show will start at 8:00PM.  Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for senior citizens, military, students and anyone in costume.  No reservations are necessary and there will be refreshments available.  The show is recommended for mature audiences, child tickets are $666.

Red Octopus Theater, Arkansas’s oldest sketch comedy troupe, is proud to present their new, original Halloween extravaganza, by rounding up The Ghoul-sual Suspects!

Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney and Boris Karloff will be homaged in “They’re All Still Dead, They’re All Still Messed Up.”  The new game show, “The Manson Family Feud” pits the Bates against the Voorhees in a deadly battle of wits. “The Witches of West Little Rock” are back featuring local eateries where the ladies lunch and learn about amazing new things.  Meanwhile, local fashion icon Fauzio is back to tout his wares in “I Have A Clown Suite Just For You!”

The new dance troupe Stomps! will perform an candy inspired routine using pumpkins and brooms in “Chocolate One! Nougat Two!”  They will be accompanied by the vocal stylists, Le Sweets, dropping their new hit single, “Creamy Candy-Corn.”  Rosemary, from “Rosemary’s Baby” will finally get her day in court in a new sketch based on the classic horror story and the sexual charisma of Transylvania will haunt you long after you witness “Vampires What Woo!”

There will be treats, possible hauntings and tricks a plenty in Red Octopus’s celebration of their favorite time of year in Red Octopus Theater presents The Ghoul-sual Suspects!

The cast includes Sandy Baskin, Krystal Berry, Alli Clark, Lesley Dancer, Drew Ellis, Michael Goodbar, Christi Seatts, Brittany Sparkles, David Weatherly and Jason Willey with special guest, Luke “Ramthor” Rowlan and a cameo by Fred Thompan. Performances are open to all ages, but recommended for mature audiences because of adult language and situations, again, child tickets are $666.

For more information please contact Red Octopus Theater at (501) 291-3896, or RedOctopusTheater@gmail.com. Red Octopus is also online at www.redoctopustheater.com.

To contact The PUBLIC Theatre, call 374-PLAY.

Red Octopus back with KOCT-O News this weekend and next

Red Octopus Theater cast members Jason Willey, Sandy Baskin, David Weatherly and Krystal Berry are part of the KOCT-O 8 News Team in KOCT-O News!

Red Octopus Theater cast members Jason Willey, Sandy Baskin, David Weatherly and Krystal Berry are part of the KOCT-O 8 News Team in KOCT-O News!

KOCT-O News!, a new sketch comedy show by Red Octopus Theater, opened this week, continues tonight and plays next weekend August 14-16, 2014 at The PUBLIC Theatre, located at 616 Center Street, in downtown Little Rock, AR.  Doors will open at 7:30PM and the show will start at 8:00PM.  Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for senior citizens, military and students.  No reservations are accepted and there will be refreshments available.  The show is recommended for mature audiences.

Red Octopus Theater will take on politics, current events, social issues and entertainment (the important topic real people care about) in their end of summer original sketch comedy production, KOCT-O News!

News anchors Holly Newday (Sandy Baskin) and Brock Brockington (Jason Willey) will focus on local political mudslinging campaigns in “Now Who’s The One I Like?” as well as the 2016 Presidential race in, “If Only Hillary Wasn’t A Woman.”  Weather will be in the local forefront in “Maybe Ned Perme Is A God?” and local interest story “Is Hillcrest Better Than The Heights?” will be seen during the journalism themed comedy show.  In sports news, a recap of the World Cup comes in the form of “Soccer Players Are Really Pretty” and a special editorial concerning what the city limits of Little Rock should be, “Little Rock: Where Does It End?”

All will be rounded out when the news team at KOCT-O News, channel 8, talks about the pressing issues: Celebrities, Summer Blockbusters and the Clooney Report, live coverage of what George Clooney is doing currently, at this moment, now.

There may not be Peabodys or Regional Emmys adorning the set, but there will be “soft hitting news!”  Blazers, ties and sock puppet field reporters are in store for audiences in the newest sketch comedy show from Arkansas’s oldest comedy troupe.  So join Red Octopus Theater for KOCT-O News! and their coverage of all the important stuff you didn’t need to know.

The cast features Sandy Baskin, Krystal Berry, Alli Clark, Michael Goodbar, Brittany Sparkles, David Weatherly and Jason Willey with special correspondent, Luke Rowlan. Performances are open to all ages, but recommended for mature audiences because of adult language and situations.  No reservations are needed, first come, first sit.

For more information please contact Red Octopus Theater at (501) 291-3896, or RedOctopusTheater@gmail.com.

To contact The PUBLIC Theatre, call 374-PLAY.

 

Red Octopus SPRING SHOWMANCE! kicks off tonight

showmanceThe unofficial start of summer may have taken place this past Monday, but Red Octopus Theater reminds us that it is still technically spring – so it is time for a Spring Showmance. The latest production from Arkansas’ oldest sketch live comedy troupe will run May 29-31, 2014 at The PUBLIC Theatre, located at 616 Center Street, in downtown Little Rock, AR.  Doors will open at 7:30PM and the show will start at 8:00PM.  Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students, senior citizens and all military personnel.  Red Octopus Theater does not take reservations and tickets are available at the theater.  The theater is smoke-free.

The cast includes Sandy Baskin, Allyson Bode, Drew Ellis, Michael Goodbar, Brittany Sparkles and Jason Willey with cameos by Luke Rowlan and Christi Seatts.

Theatre involves long hours, hard work, character study, dueling egos and often sorted romance! Passion on and off the stage or screen is the inspiration for Red Octopus’s latest show, Spring Showmance! 

Spring Showmance will look at the inherent romance of the audition in “The Casting Couch” and “Whattaya Have to do in Little Rock to Make It Big?!” Soap opera actors will lament the cancellation of their show and maybe their families in “They Sold All The Children in All My Children.” “Saved By The Smell” harkens back to the rise of the 1990’s teen actor heartthrob.  And no show about theater and romance would be complete without a trip to Broadway in “Porky’s: The Musical!”

The show is full of struggling actors just trying to make it in the big bad entertainment industry. Some actors finding love along the way, and others, discovering heartbreak.  From headshots to auditions, dance class to opening night, the silver screen to the unemployment line, Red Octopus will weave them all together into a twisted tale of sketch comedy and showbiz!

So join us May 29-31, 2014 for “Spring Showmance!” The cast is hoping they won’t get snowed out this time around.

For more information please contact Red Octopus Theater at (501) 291-3896 , or RedOctopusTheater@gmail.com. To contact The PUBLIC Theatre, call 374-PLAY.

Rocky Horror in the Rock

A production of The Rocky Horror Show opens tonight and runs through Halloween.  Performances are at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Reservoir Rd and begin at 7pm from October 24 – 27 and again from October 29 – 31.  There will also be a 10:30pm performance on Halloween.

The cast features Patty Miller-Marshall (Narrator), Jonathan Tatus (Dr. Frank-N-Furter), Jason Willey (Brad Majors), Brittany Sparkles (Janet Weiss), Danette Perry (Rif Raf), Kelani Campbell (Magenta), Rachel Warnick Hampton (Columbia), Anthony James Gerard (Eddie), Duane Jackson (Dr. Scott), Erin Murphey Martinez (Usherette) and Kyle Wigginton (Rocky).  Rounding out the cast are Beth Ross and Libby A. Smith as Phantoms.

The production is co-directed and designed by Liz Clarke, Justin Pike and Danette Perry.  It is choreographed by Lisa Luyet.

Absolutely NO outside items may be brought in to Rocky Horror. This includes, but is not limited to: hotdogs, waterguns, rice, toilet paper, newspaper, noise makers, feathers, lighters, etc.  Prop participation bags will be available at the door.

The show, written by Richard O’Brien, premiered in London in 1973.  A production was mounted on Broadway in 1975 and ran less than a month.  The movie version became a cult classic and kept the show in the public’s eye.  In 2000, a Broadway revival opened and ran for over 400 performances.