Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area


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20 years of THE LION KING

On November 13, 1997, THE LION KING opened on Broadway.  It would go on to win six 1998 Tony Awards including Best Musical.  Today it celebrates its 20th Birthday!  It has played 8,325 performances on Broadway.

This coming April the entire Serengeti will come to life inside the newly renovated Robinson Performance Hall when Celebrity Attractions brings this Disney production to Little Rock!

More than 90 million people around the world have experienced the awe-inspiring visual artistry, the unforgettable music, and the uniquely theatrical storytelling of this Broadway spectacular “one of the most breathtaking and beloved productions ever to grace the stage.

THE LION KING brings together one of the most imaginative creative teams on Broadway.  Tony Award®-winning director Julie Taymor brings to life a story filled with hope and adventure set against an amazing backdrop of stunning visuals.  THE LION KING also features the extraordinary work of Tony Award®-winning choreographer Garth Fagan and some of Broadway’s most recognizable music, crafted by Tony Award®-winning artists Elton John and Tim Rice.

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This month at The Studio Theatre – BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

tst-batb-11x17The Studio Theatre invites audiences to be their guest at the musical Beauty and the Beast this December.

The production opened last night ant runs through December 18.

Beauty and the Beast is directed by Mark Burbank, with music direction by Jeannie Cross, and choreography by Stacy Hawking. Beauty and the Beast was Disney Theatrical’s first Broadway production. It won a 1994 Tony Award for costume design and a 1998 Olivier for Best New Musical.

With music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, and book by Linda Woolverton, it was adapted from Walt Disney Pictures’ Academy Award-winning 1991 animated musical film of the same name – which in turn had been based on the classic French fairy tale by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont.  Beauty and the Beast tells the story of a cold-hearted prince who has been magically transformed into an unsightly creature as punishment for his selfish ways. To revert back into his true human form, the Beast must first earn the love of a bright, beautiful young woman whom he has imprisoned in his enchanted castle before it is too late.

Performances are Thursdays through Sundays.  Thursday, Friday, and Saturday performances (December 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17) will begin at 7:30pm and Sunday matinees (December 4, 11, 18) will begin at 2:30pm.  Tickets are $25.00 for general admission, $20.00 for Seniors (65+), Military, and Students. Tickets are $15.00 for children 12 and under.   There are no assigned seats at The Studio Theatre.


Enjoy Winter Blast today at the Museum of Discovery with Anna & Elsa from FROZEN and Little Rock Zoo Penguins!

Meet the penguins from Little Rock Zoo along with Anna and Elsa for the Winter Blast on Saturday, January 2!
Penguin Show 10 – 11 a.m. (First 125 visitors who arrive to the museum will receive complimentary tickets to the show)
Penguin Show 11 a.m. – noon (Next 125 visitors who arrive to the museum will receive complimentary tickets to the show)
During the penguin show, Little Rock Zookeepers will give a 5-10 talk about the penguins and then guests can take individual photos with a penguin
Alligator Show 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Alligator Show 2 – 3 p.m.
Meet and pet the museum’s alligator
Frozen Characters:
Meet and take a photo with Elsa from 9:30 a.m. – noon
Meet and take a photo with Anna from 12:30 – 3 p.m.
Create snow, explore thermal conductivity, cut through ice and more!
Enjoy Repicci’s Italian ice (for purchase)


THE LITTLE MERMAID swims into Ark Rep for holiday season

LittleMermaidFrom the creators of Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Little Shop of Horrors, the Arkansas Rep presents Disney’s The Little Mermaid, an enchanting musical features an infectious score that includes the popular songs “Part of Your World,” “Under the Sea” and “Kiss the Girl.”

Adapted from the beloved fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen into one of Disney’s most popular animated films of all time, The Little Mermaid is now a lavish theatrical spectacle you won’t want to miss. Plunge into the colorful depths of an undersea wonderland as The Rep’s stage is transformed into an aquatic playground underscored by a funky Calypso beat. The musical features a book by Pulitzer Prize winner Douglas Wright and a score by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater.

“A heart warming musical for the entire family,” said Bob Hupp. “From Hans Christian Anderson to Disney to The Rep, generations have fallen in love with the young mermaid who dreams of love and life on land. This musical has it all: a great story, lush designs and all the songs you sang with your kids. You’ll certainly want to make The Little Mermaid part of your world this holiday season.”

The show opens tonight and runs through Sunday, January 3.  Performances are at 7pm with Sunday matinees at 2pm.

The production is directed by Melissa Rain Anderson in her Arkansas Rep debut. Other members of the creative team are Adam Cates (choreography), Mark Binns (music director), Shoko Kambara (scenery), Rafael Colon Castanera (costumes), Robert Denton (lighting), Allan Branson (sound), Lynda J. Kwallek (properties), Robert Pickens (wigs) and 2 Ring Circus (aerial and circus direction).

Katie Emerson plays the title character and Shayne Kennon is her prince. Others in the cast include Cornelius Davis (Sebastian), Jack Doyle (Grimsby), Jared Green (Flotsam), Zach Green (Jetsam), Amy Jo Jackson (Ursula), Ben Liebert (Scuttle), Evan Tyrone Martin (King Triton) and DJ Plunkett (Flounder). Rounding out the cast are Anthony D. Bryant, Kacie Burns, Taylor Collins, Lani Corson, Audra Cramer, Joshua Dean, Ben Franklin, Luke Grooms, Samantha L. Harrington, Sydney Ippolito, Shaun Repetto and Molly Rosenthal.

Some of the performances are already sold out, so act quickly on buying tickets.

 


Single Tickets On Sale at Ark Rep on Monday

ScottishPlayThe 2015-2016 season is the 40th one for the Arkansas Repertory Theatre. The audience gets the gifts.  It is not too late to subscribe, but for those wanting single tickets, the wait is almost over.  Single tickets go on sale on Monday, August 17.

The season kicks off with William Shakespeare’s Scottish play about the Thane of Cawdor and his wife Lady M. The cauldron the witches stir is not the only toil and trouble on the heaths and moors of Scotland.  It will run September 11-27.

SpellingBeeNext up is the Tony winning musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. This tuneful, witty musical with book by Rachel Sheinkin and songs by William Finn, will play from October 16 to November 8.

TheLittleMermaidDisney’s The Little Mermaid will be the holiday show running from December 4 to January 3.  It will be a regional premiere of this musical featuring a book by Pulitzer and Tony winner Doug Wright and a score by the Oscar winning team of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, with additional lyrics by Glenn Slater.

Starcatcher2016 will start off with another regional premiere–Peter and the Starcatcher.  This prequel to the Peter Pan stories is by Rick Elice. Though a play, it does have some songs by Wayne Barker and Elice.  This winner of  five Tony Awards will be on stage from January 15 to February 7.

BridgesThe regional theatre premiere of The Bridges of Madison County will take place on the Arkansas Rep stage from April 8 to May 1.  This musical has a Tony winning score by Jason Robert Brown and a book by Pulitzer and Tony winner Marsha Norman.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 11.49.51 AMThe main stage season will conclude with a world premiere play Windfall.  Directed by Tony winner Jason Alexander, this comedy by Scooter Pietsch looks at greed among a group of office workers.  It will run from June 10 to 26.

The artwork for the shows for the 40th anniversary season was created by Marty Baragiola of Baragiola Creative.


This weekend – Ashley Brown bring Broadway to the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

POPS5 PhotoThe Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor, presents the fifth and final concert in the 2014-2015 Acxiom Pops Live! Series: Ashley Brown’s Broadway. Fresh from her run as Mary Poppins on Broadway, Ashley Brown and the ASO take over the stage with thrilling renditions of Broadway favorites. All ages will enjoy this special performance featuring music from Wicked, Fiddler on the Roof, The Sound of Music and more familiar hits from Broadway musicals and beloved Disney films.

Concerts are Saturday, May 9, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. & Sunday, May 10, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. and take place at the Pulaski Academy Connor Performing Arts Center, 12701 Hinson Road, Little Rock, AR.

Tickets are $19, $35, $49, and $58; active duty military and student tickets are $10 are can be purchased online at www.ArkansasSymphony.org; at the Connor Performing Arts Center box office beginning 90 minutes prior to a concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 100. All Arkansas students grades K-12 are admitted to Sunday’s matinee free of charge with the purchase of an adult ticket using the Entergy Kids’ Ticket, downloadable at the ASO website.

Ashley Brown, soprano, originated the title role in Mary Poppins on Broadway for which she received Outer Critics, Drama League and Drama Desk nominations for Best Actress. Ms. Brown also starred as Mary Poppins in the national tour of Mary Poppins where she garnered a 2010 Garland award for “Best Performance in a Musical.” Ms. Brown’s other Broadway credits include Belle in Beauty and the Beast, and she has starred in the national tour of Disney’s “On The Record.” Ashley recently returned to the Lyric Opera of Chicago to star in the role of Laurey in Oklahoma! She previously played Magnolia opposite Nathan Gunn in Francesca Zembello’s Show Boat at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Ashley has performed with virtually all of the top orchestras in North America.

The Pops Live! Series is sponsored by Acxiom.

The program will include:

ACT ONE

  • Overture: Broadway Tonight  (ASO only)
  • Almost Like Being in Love/This Can’t be Love
  • So In Love
  • Le Jazz Hot
  • Jesus Christ Superstar (arr. Mancini) (ASO only)
  • Feed the Birds from Mary Poppins
  • Disney Medley

INTERMISSION

ACT TWO

  • The Sound of Music Selection (ASO only)
  • Ring Them Bells
  • Grateful
  • The Man I Love
  • Fiddler on the Roof  (arr. John Williams) (ASO only)
  • Defying Gravity
  • Our Time/Children Will Listen (with chorus)
  • I’ll Be Seeing You

(Selections subject to change)


A Year Long Party for Arkansas Rep 40th Season

The 2015-2016 season is the 40th one for the Arkansas Repertory Theatre. The audience gets the gifts.

The season kicks off with William Shakespeare’s Scottish play about the Thane of Cawdor and his wife Lady M. It will run September 11-27.

Next up is the Tony winning musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. This tuneful, witty musical with book by Rachek Sheinkin and songs by William Finn, will play from October 16 to November 8.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid will be the holiday show running from December 4 to January 3.  It will be a regional premiere of this musical featuring a book by Pulitzer and Tony winner Doug Wright and a score by the Oscar winning team of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, with additional lyrics by Glenn Slater.

2016 will start off with another regional premiere–Peter and the Starcatcher.  This prequel to the Peter Pan stories is by Rick Elice. Though a play, it does have some songs by Wayne Barker and Elice.  This winner of  five Tony Awards will be on stage from January 15 to February 7.

The regional theatre premiere of The Bridges of Madison County will take place on the Arkansas Rep stage from April 8 to May 1.  This musical has a Tony winning score by Jason Robert Brown and a book by Pulitzer and Tony winner Marsha Norman.

The main stage season will conclude with a world premiere play Windfall.  Directed by Tony winner Jason Alexander, this comedy by Scooter Pietsch looks at greed among a group of office workers.  It will run from June 10 to 26.

The Rep also has three special offerings during the 2015-2016 year.

From February 11-14, Rebecca Wells, author of the “Ya-Ya Sisterhood” novels will present a one-woman show about the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.

The Summer Musical Theatre Intensive production will be called Broken Wings and will play from March 1-12 of 2016.

From May 3-15 the Second City will return to Little Rock for Second City: Hooking Up. 

The Rep’s 40th season features comedy, tragedy and musicals spanning from Elizabethan times to world premieres.  It truly is a showcase of the Rep’s mission and the breadth and depth of the Rep’s commitment to bringing great stories to life for Little Rock audiences.