“Loesser is Morer” – Learn more about GUYS & DOLLS composer Frank Loesser at Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre

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Frank Loesser, a composer most well-known for Guys and Dolls and How To Succeed in Business without Really Trying, penned a large body of work that spanned many styles and genres. He wrote for the stage, the screen, and singers.

AST Music Director Robert Frost takes a look at his most popular material, while also delving into his lesser-known works, pieces which signal a significant departure from his commercial hits.

The program is at McAlister Hall’s Mirror Room, UCA and starts at 5pm.

GUYS AND DOLLS rolls in to Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre this summer

Logo.jpgGuys and Dolls is the musical in the 2019 season of the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre.

This self-described “Musical Fable of Broadway” is based on Damon Runyon’s stories. With a score by Frank Loesser, it has a book by Abe Burrows. (Contractual obligations required that Jo Swerling get credit as a co-author, though none of his original draft ended up in the final product.)

Telling the story of a pair of gamblers and their romantic entanglements, it features memorable characters who frequent nightclubs, a storefront mission, Cuba, and a floating crap game in a sewer.  The original production won the 1951 Tony Award for Best Musical.

Performances started last night (June 15) and continue today, June 16 (2:00pm), June 23 (2:00pm), June 25 (7:30pm), June 28 (7:30pm), June 30 (2:00pm AND 7:30pm), July 2 (7:30pm), July 4 (2:00pm), and July 6 (2:00pm AND 7:30pm). The musical is performed on the stage of the Reynolds Performance Hall.

The cast includes Chad Bradford, Emily Wold, Benjamin Reed, Chris Fritzges, Rebecca Brudner, Nick Narcisi, Patrice Phillips, Ben Grimes, Will Stotts, Barry Clifton, Cody Walls, Augustine Nguyen, Braxton Johnson, Kevin Alan Brown, Maureen Toomey, Mikala Hicks, Regean Allen, Stephanie Craven, Dylan Blackwood, Ashley Mahan, Anthony Bryant, Brian Earles, and Moriah Patterson.

The production is directed by Jenna Elser.  A native of Searcy, she is the Artistic Director of Glow Lyric Theatre in South Carolina. She also is Director of Converse Opera Theatre at Converse College.

Rebekah Scallet is the Producing Artistic Director and Mary Ruth Marotte is the Executive Director.

Shake a Spear, or What You Will on Shakespeare’s Birthday

Today is the traditional birthday of William Shakespeare. It seems a good chance to preview the 2019 Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre season.

The lineup includes: The Comedy of Errors (the first Shakespeare play I ever read), The Scottish Play (sorry, but I don’t want to invoke the curse so I won’t write or say the title), as well as a streamlined version of Romeo and Juliet for families.  Also on tap, in the non-Shakespeare musical slot is Guys and Dolls.

Here is more about each show.
The Comedy of Errors
A tragic shipwreck, two sets of twins divided at birth, mistaken identities, and unrequited love provide the perfect recipe for fun in this Shakespearean farce. The fates bring the brothers and their long-lost father Aegeon together in the land of Ephesus with hilarious results.
Outside on the lawn at UCA – Performances June 7, 8, 9, 23, 26, 29, and July 4

Guys and Dolls
A Musical Fable of Broadway
Based on a Story and Characters of Damon Runyon
Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows
High-rolling gambler Sky Masterson never took a bet he couldn’t win, until he met the no-nonsense Sarah Brown, a mission worker set on redeeming the sinners of Broadway. While fellow gambler Nathan Detroit has his own hands full with his fourteen year engagement to Miss Adelaide. It’s the audience who wins in this delightful musical of love and luck!
On-stage in Reynolds Performance Hall – Performances June 15, 16, 23, 25, 28, 30 (twice), and July 2, 4, and 6.

[The Scottish Play]
Brave warrior The Thane of Cawdor emerges victorious from battle to be greeted by three witches who hail him as the future king of Scotland. What follows is a dizzying descent into political machinations, murder, and madness.
On-stage in Reynolds Performance Hall.  Performances are June 21, 22, 27, 29 and July 3, 5, and 7.

Family Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet
The fighting families of Montague and Capulet put their feud before their children’s happiness in Shakespeare’s classic tale of “star-crossed” young love, reimagined for audiences of all ages in this one-hour adaptation.
On-stage in Reynolds Performance Hall.  Also available to tour.  Performances are June 26, 28, 29 and July 2 and 4.

Mary Ruth Marotte is the Executive Director and Rebekah Scallet is the Producing Artistic Director.

Selections from GUYS AND DOLLS tonight at South on Main for Local Live

llsom guysanddollsLuck will be a Lady tonight as songs from Frank Loesser’s Tony winning Guys and Dolls are highlighted!

This week’s installment of our Local Live concert series features The Muses! Presented by the Oxford American magazine, Local Live showcases the best of local and regional music talent and is always free and open to the public. Call ahead to South on Main to make your reservations and ensure a table: (501) 244-9660. Local Live is made possible by the generous sponsorship of Ben and Jane Hunt Meade.

Join The Muses for a special evening of tunes from the classic musical Guys and Dolls. Featuring a combination of local and national artists, including singers Daleen Davidson, Jeanne Bennett, Scott Lindroth, and Stacey Murdock, with pianist Gloria Kim.

This is a special preview show for the full staged production of Guys and Dolls, by Frank Loesser, June 12, 13, and 14 at the Muses Cultural Arts Center in Hot Springs (428 Orange Street). For more information, visit www.themusesproject.org.

Fall in Love with New York City at Arkansas Symphony Orchestra concert

Music from the Big Apple dominates the “Valentines in New York” Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Pops performance. Hear beloved hits from the stage with featured soloists Tony nominated Melissa Errico (My Fair Lady, Amour, High Society, Finian’s Rainbow) and Ryan Silverman (The Phantom of the Opera, West Side Story, Cry-Baby, Music in the Air). The orchestra will be under the baton of associate conductor Geoffrey Robson.

Saturday is the the 281st birthday of the City that Never Sleeps.  What better way to celebrate it Gotham than by hearing tunes by Frank Loesser, Jerry Herman, Burton Lane & Yip Harburg, George and Ira Gershwin, John Kander and Fred Ebb, Stephen Sondheim, Charles Strouse & Lee Adams among others? Joining these great songs and talented singers will be the talented musicians of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.

The concert is at 8pm tonight and 3pm tomorrow afternoon at Robinson Center Music Hall.