Precipice Theatre presents Tony winning farce LEND ME A TENOR this month

No photo description available.Winner of three Tony Awards and four Drama Desk Awards, Ken Ludwig’s farce LEND ME A TENOR is set in September 1934. Saunders, the general manager of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company, is primed to welcome world-famous Tito Merelli, known as Il Stupendo, the greatest tenor of his generation, to appear for one night only as Otello.

When Merelli is unexpectedly incapacitated, Max, the Opera Director’s meek assistant, is given the daunting task of finding a last-minute replacement. Chaos ensues — including a scheming soprano, a tenor-struck ingenue, a jealous wife, an intrusive Opera Guild chairwoman, and an over-zealous bellhop!

Performances are at The Studio Theatre on 10-13 and 17-20. The theatre strongly recommends purchasing tickets in advance at https://centralarkansastickets.com/organizations/precipice-theatre

The production is directed by Heather Norris and assistant directed by Paul Seminara.  The cast includes Case Dillard, James Norris, Ricco Ardemagni, Beth Ross, Amy Young, Jennifer Walker, Anthony Nguyen and Heather Norris.

31 Days of Arkansas Rep: 2006’s A CHORUS LINE

The Arkansas Repertory Theatre put it all on the line — the chorus line when they presented the 1976 Pulitzer Prize winning A CHORUS LINE in 2006. Directed by Cliff Fannin Baker, this was one of the last productions allowed before a Broadway revival.

The musical, set in an audition for an unnamed musical, featured a cast of 25 triple threats.  Bob Gaynor and Kathryn Mowat Murphy played the leading roles of Zach and Cassie. The latter had played the role three times previously, each directed by a member of the original Broadway production of the show.

Others in the cast were Joi Chen, Case Dillard, Allison Stodola, Steven Baker, Darryl Calmese Jr., DJ Chase, Tony Falcon, Matt Gibson, Colleen Hawks, Hollie Howard, Kolina Janneck, Christina LaDuca, Deborah Leamy, Miguel A. Romero, Michael Susko and Melanie Waldron.

Rounding out the cast were Dennis Glasscock, Matthew D. Brooks, Lauren Farrell, Joey Murray, Cameron Wade, Eric T. Mann and Kim Scott.

The creative team included choreographer Lynne Kurdziel Formato (in her second collaboration with Baker at the Rep), Kristy Nicholson (musical director), Mike Nichols (scenery), Yslan Hicks (costumes), M. Jason Pruzin (sound) and Ken White (lighting).

The production played from June 2 through July 2 of 2006.

31 Days of Arkansas Rep: ANYTHING GOES in 2001

The Arkansas Rep concluded its 25th season with the Cole Porter musical Anything Goes. Directed by Rep founder Cliff Fannin Baker, it featured an onstage orchestra led by then-Arkansas Symphony maestro David Itkin.  (Rep Producing Artistic Director Bob Hupp and Itkin had been trying for a while to find a project for collaboration.)

This shipboard romantic farce featured a book by Guy Bolton & P. G. Wodehouse which was revised before the 1934 opening by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse in their first collaboration. In 1987, Timothy Crouse (son of Russel) and John Weidman updated the script for a Lincoln Center Theatre production. It was that version which the Rep presented.

The cast was led by Rep newcomers Heather Ayers and Pat McRoberts. Kelly Vivian, Thomas-David McDonald, Rick Cox, Julie Conners, Marlene Toth and Steve Wilkerson also were featured.

Others in the cast included Bob Hulsey, Amy Curnow, Annie Mistak, Allison Stodola, Sarah Squire, Miranda Vannoy, Pamela Crane, Buddy Reeder, Case Dillard, Christopher Brown, Don Hill, Daryl Minefee, Matt Crowle, Christopher Crane, Scott Duquette and Joe Terry.

Ron Hutchens was the choreographer. Others on the creative team included Mike Nichols (set), Yslan Hicks (costumes), Japhy Weideman (sound), and Leland Jones (lighting).

The production proved so successful that even before its June 1, 2001, opening night, the run was extended a week. It closed on June 24, instead of the original June 17.

ROCKing the Tonys – Case Dillard

Rock the Tonys

Photo by Deen Van Meer

Photo by Deen Van Meer

Case Dillard

Little Rock connection – Little Rock native; grew up appearing at Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre and Weekend Theater

 Tony Awards connection – Was in original Broadway cast of Mary Poppins and appeared on Tony Awards segment

Case has appeared on Broadway and the national tour of Mary Poppins as well as dancing with Ballet Arkansas and acting at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre.  He is currently back in Little Rock. He has recently appeared in Baby at Community Theatre of Little Rock and The Water Children at Weekend Theater.

Acclaimed musical BABY is latest offering of CTLR

Baby CTLRThe latest offering of the Community Theatre of Little Rock (now in its 58th season) is BABY.  This Tony nominated musical from acclaimed duo Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire, examines how parents-to-be experience the emotional stresses and triumphs, as well as the desperate lows and the comic highs that accompany the anticipation and arrival of a baby.

BABY tells the story of three couples on a university campus as they deal with the painful, rewarding and agonizingly funny consequences of this universal experience. There are the college students, barely at the beginning of their adult lives; the thirtysomethings, having trouble conceiving but determined to try; and the middle aged parents, looking forward to seeing their last child graduate from college when a night of unexpected passion lands them back where they started.

The cast is led by Miki Thompson, Jeremy Elliot, Elizabeth Reha, Bob Bidewell, Erin Murphey Martinez and Justin Pike.  Others in the cast are Pammi Fabert, Mary Ann Hansen Cheryl Troillett, Duane Jackson, Danny Troillett, Case Dillard, Libby Smith and Doug Robillard.  The production was directed by Michael Henderson with music direction by Matthew Mentgen.  Jerry Woods is the executive producer.

The show opened last weekend and continues through March 2.  Show times are 7:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays; Sunday matinees are at 2pm.