Elvis at 85

Photo by Wayne Cranford

Eighty-five years ago today, Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi. He would, of course, grow up to become a cultural phenomenon.

Elvis performed in Little Rock throughout his career. In April 1972, he played at Barton Coliseum (with tickets on the arena floor going for a whopping $10!). In the 1950s, he played three at Robinson Auditorium. His first appearance was as his career was just starting to take off. The final appearance on that stage, a mere 15 months later, was when he had become a national icon.

His first appearance at Robinson was on February 20, 1955. Billed as the “WSM Grand Ole Opry” show, Elvis Presley was third on the bill behind the Duke of Paducah and Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters as he began week long tour of Arkansas and Louisiana. On this date there were a pair of shows, at 3:00 and 8:15 p.m., at Robinson Auditorium. Tickets were 75-cents in advance, $1.00 at the box office and 50-cents for kids. It is believed that Gladys and Vernon Presley attended this performance, invited by Elvis who wanted to introduce them to the Colonel. Gladys was a big fan of the Duke of Paducah. Elvis Presley, Scotty Moore, and Bill Black receive $350 for these two shows instead of their usual $200 per day. In August 1955, he returned and played Robinson as part of the All-Star Jamboree.

His third and final appearance at Robinson Auditorium was on May 16, 1956. This time, the Auditorium was packed. The tickets were $1.50 in advance at Walgreens and $2.00 at the box office. The ads featured 8 great acts in “his” variety show which consisted of the Jordonaires; Rick and Emil Flaim and their orchestra; vocalists Frankie Conners and Jackie Little and comedian-magician Phil Maraquin. A second show was added to accommodate the ticket demand.

About 30 minutes late, due to a missed flight, Elvis appeared on stage in a purple blazer and started singing “Heartbreak Hotel.” The crowd rushed the stage. Little Rock police officers were able to control them eventually and get the teenagers back to their seats. While the crowd was impressed, the police officers were less so. One of the patrolmen told the Arkansas Gazette reporter: “I wouldn’t know him if I saw him. And I wouldn’t be here unless I was being paid.”

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.

Upcoming Arkansas Rep production of MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET focus of Clinton School program at noon today

The new Arkansas Repertory Theatre production of Million Dollar Quartet. will be the focus of a noontime Clinton School program today (September 5).

On December 4, 1956, in the studios of Sun Records in Memphis, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis gathered to meet with legendary producer Sam Philips. What happened next was pure rock and roll magic.

With a collection of hit songs that includes “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Great Balls of Fire,” and “Hound Dog,” this Tony Award-winning musical is guaranteed to blow the roof off!

Join the Clinton School today at noon for a discussion with the cast and crew.

The production opens tomorrow night and runs through October 6.

All Clinton School Speaker Series events are free and open to the public. Reserve your seats by emailing publicprograms@clintonschool.uasys.edu or by calling (501) 683-5239

Join Arkansas Rep supporters at a Jailhouse Rock Party tonight at Rocktown Distillery

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Four musical legends are coming to Arkansas Rep – Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins – and what better way to celebrate than a with a rock ‘n roll-themed party?

It will take place at Rocktown Distillery located at 1201 Main Street. The party will run from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.

Come out to support The Rep and meet others who are excited to see Million Dollar Quartet this fall!

*Enjoy a special performance by cast member Trent Rowland as Elvis.

*Taste Rock Town’s special $5 cocktail, “The Jailbird.”

*Members of The Rep’s young professionals group, The 601 Club, will receive a coupon for a free tour and tasting at Rock Town.