On Father’s Day, a look at Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre’s production of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF

AST FiddlerFiddler on the Roof is about a father to five daughters. Since today is Father’s Day, and Fiddler is being produced by Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre this summer, today seems a good day to discuss it.

This classic beloved musical tells the story of Tevye the dairyman who takes ultimate joy in his family and traditions. He works to raise his five daughters and see them married well, but must struggle against modern ideas and the rising tide of anti-Semitism in 1900s Russia that threaten to destroy his family and their way of life.

The cast is led by Peter Kevoian, Jo Blackstone, Stacy Pendergraft, Mark Fox, Jocelyn Vammer, Hunter Ringsmith, Hannah Moulder, Garret Whitehead, Sydney Ippolito, Matthew Holcomb, Mattie Bogoslavsky, David Bauman, Holly Ruth Gale, Dan Matisa, Jess Prichard, Ricky Pope, David Weatherly, Josie Ghormley, Claire Gillaspy, Tanner Berry, Charlie Friedman, Taylor Galloway, Garrett Houston, Moriah Patterson, Harrison Trigg, Jackson Karl, Rebecca Kuo, Amanda Kuo, Zoe Russell, Kendall Watson, Joey Whisenhunt and Maggie Whisenhunt.

Originally produced in 1964, Fiddler went on to win nine Tony Awards in 1965 including Best Musical.  

The production opened on June 10 and continues today at 2pm and 7:30, Wednesday at 2pm and 7:30 and Saturday at 7:30.

A Pound of Flesh and Unstrained Mercy – MERCHANT OF VENICE at Ark Shakes

AST 2015 MoVComedy and tragedy collide in this story of lovers united and families torn apart.  At the center is Shylock, the Jewish moneylender. When the Venetian merchant Antonio is forced to seek a loan from Shylock, a man he despises for his religion and profession, he is asked to enter into an impossible contract: he must give a pound of flesh if unable to pay back the borrowed sum. What follows is a complex and challenging exploration of love, mercy, integrity, and justice that reminds us that, “all that glisters is not gold.”

The Merchant of Venice continues the 2015 season of the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre.  Performances are at 7:30 tonight, Saturday, June 20 and Tuesday, June 23.  Matinees are at 2pm on June 20, June 27 and June 28.  All performances take place in the Reynolds Theatre on the UCA campus.

The cast is led by Chad Bradford, Peter Kevoian, Paul Kiernan and Jocelyn Vammer.  Others in the cast are Jordy Neill, Taylor Galloway, Jeff Gonzalez, Hannah Moulder, Ferginho Philippe-Auguste, Hunter Ringsmith, Matthew Schmidli, Tanner Berry, Mattie Bogoslavsky, Mark Fox and Harrison Trigg.  Members of the Youth Ensemble are Anna Caroline Greg, Ethan Marotte and Olivia Marotte.

THE COMEDY OF ERRORS at Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre

PrintFor the past several years, the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre has created a condensed version of one of the Bard’s tales geared specifically for younger audiences.  This production tours the state as well as playing at the AST home on the UCA campus.

In this gleeful adaptation especially for young audiences, The Comedy of Errors offers double the fun as two sets of of long-lost twins cause chaos and comedy by ending up in the same place at thesame time.  Their grossly mistaken identities lead to trouble in love and with the law.  This hour-long production will be great fun for the family to enjoy together.

The cast for this comic romp includes: Adam Frank (Aegeon, a merchant from Syracuse looking for his sons; Dr. Pinch, a schoolmaster engaged as an exorcist);  Matthew Kyle Holcomb (Antipholus of Syracuse, traveler in search of his mother and his twin brother; Antipholus of Ephesus, a citizen of Ephesus);  Hannah Moulder (Luciana, Sister to Adriana; Lady Abbess Aemelia, head of a priory in Ephesus);  Jordy Neil (Dromio of Syracuse, servant to Antipholus of Syracuse; Dromio of Ephesus, servant to Antipholus of Ephesus) and  Jessica Dean Turner (Solinus, Duke of Ephesus; Adriana, Wife to Antipholus of Ephesus; Angelo, goldsmith in Ephesus).

Performances are at 2:30pm today, Thursday the 26th and Saturday the 28th.

PIPPIN to do, just for you at Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre

PrintThe Broadway smash hit Pippin is coming to central Arkansas!  This winner of the 2013 Tony for “Best Musical Revival” is the story of a young man (who happens to be the son of the great King Charlemagne) and his  journey to find where he belongs in the world, his “Corner of the Sky.”  With a cast of colorful characters, lively dancing, soulful tunes from Stephen Schwartz (Wicked), and direction and choreography by North Little Rock-native Jeremy Williams, this musical will have you mesmerized from beginning to end.

Performances started earlier this month and continue today at 2pm, at 2pm & 7:30pm on Wednesday, June 25 and 2pm & 7:30pm on Friday, June 27. It is performed at the Reynolds Center on the UCA campus.

Garrett Whitehead plays the title role. Others in the cast are Evan Tyrone Martin, Dan Matisa, Matthew Holcomb, Holly Ruth Gale, Laurie Pascale, Kelly Karcher, Drew Price, Jonathan Altman, Rebecca Kuo, Hannah Moulder, Moriah Patterson, Fernando Quinones, and Benjamin Stidham.