Rock the Oscars 2019: Robinson Center Performance Hall

Over the years, Robinson Center Performance Hall has played host to numerous Oscar winners and Oscar nominees.

Stage actors Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne made only one movie, but each were Oscar nominated for their performances in The Guardsman.  Over the years, they made several appearances in Little Rock in plays.  Their first visits were to the Little Rock High School auditorium. Once Robinson opened, they appeared on that stage. In There Shall Be No Night, they shared the stage with future Oscar nominee Montgomery Clift.

Two time Oscar winner Helen Hayes appeared on stage at Robinson.  At the time, she was only a single Oscar winner (Best Actress for The Sin of Madelon Claudet).  Later she would pick up her second statuette for Supporting Actress in Airport.

Four time winner Katharine Hepburn graced the stage of Robinson in the 1940s.  Her first Oscar was for Morning Glory.  By the time she appeared at Robinson she had that award.  Later she would pick up Oscars for The Lion in Winter, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and On Golden Pond.

Charles Boyer never won an Oscar in a competitive category (though he was nominated).  He did however win an Honorary Oscar in the 1940s for his promotiono of French culture during World War II.  He appeared on stage at Robinson in the early 1950s as part of the tour of Don Juan in Hell (written by Oscar winner George Bernard Shaw — yes Shaw won an Oscar for the screenplay of Pygmalion.)

Multiple Oscar nominee, and special Oscar recipient, Mickey Rooney appeared on stage at Robinson in 1986 in the national tour of Sugar Babies.

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Rock the Oscars: Robinson Center Music Hall

Over the years, Robinson Center Music Hall has played host to numerous Oscar winners and Oscar nominees.

Stage actors Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne made only one movie, but each were Oscar nominated for their performances in The Guardsman.  Over the years, they made several appearances in Little Rock in plays.  Their first visits were to the Little Rock High School auditorium. Once Robinson opened, they appeared on that stage.

Two time Oscar winner Helen Hayes appeared on stage at Robinson.  At the time, she was only a single Oscar winner (Best Actress for The Sin of Madelon Claudet).  Later she would pick up her second statuette for Supporting Actress in Airport.

Four time winner Katharine Hepburn graced the stage of Robinson in the 1940s.  Her first Oscar was for Morning Glory.  By the time she appeared at Robinson she had that award.  Later she would pick up Oscars for The Lion in Winter, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and On Golden Pond.

Charles Boyer never won an Oscar in a competitive category (though he was nominated).  He did however win an Honorary Oscar in the 1940s for his promotiono of French culture during World War II.  He appeared on stage at Robinson in the early 1950s as part of the tour of Don Juan in Hell (written by Oscar winner George Bernard Shaw — yes Shaw won an Oscar for the screenplay of Pygmalion.)

Multiple Oscar nominee, and special Oscar recipient, Mickey Rooney appeared on stage at Robinson in 1986 in the national tour of Sugar Babies.

ROCKing the TONY AWARDS – Charles Boyer & Cedric Hardwicke

Rock the Tonys

Hardwicke & Boyer

Hardwicke & Boyer

Charles Boyer and Cedric Hardwicke

Little Rock connection: The pair were part of a touring cast of Don Juan in Hell which is adapted from Shaw’s Man and Superman.  It played at Robinson Auditorium in 1951.

Tony Awards connection: Boyer received a Special Tony in 1952 for creating and directing Don Juan in Hell.  He also received a Tony nomination in 1963 for starring in the play Lord Pengo.  Hardwicke received a 1959 Tony nomination for Actor in a Play for his performance in A Majority of One.

ROCKing the TONYS – On the Bard’s birthday, Shakespearean actor Maurice Evans

Rock the Tonys

Maurice Evans as Shakespeare's Richard II

Maurice Evans as Shakespeare’s Richard II

Maurice Evans

Little Rock connection: Appeared at Robinson Auditorium in 1947 and 1949.

Tony Awards connection: Though primarily known for his classical roles, usually in the plays of Shakespeare, his two Tony nominations came for non-classical roles. The first was in 1957 for a revival of Shaw’s The Apple Cart and the second came in 1961 for the musical Tenderloin. He did receive two Tony Awards, but not for his acting. In 1950, he received a special Tony for producing a successful season of theatre at New York’s City Center. In 1954, he received a Tony as producer of The Teahouse of the August Moon, which was named Best Play.

(Evans’ claim to fame for wide acclaim was his role as Samantha’s father on “Bewitched” on TV.)