Final Weekend of AVENUE Q at Ark Rep

Avenue-QThe Arkansas Repertory Theatre closes out the 2012-2013 season with the Tony winning musical Avenue Q.  The production runs through June 30

Avenue Q is an adult, laugh-out-loud puppet musical that tells the timeless story of a recent college grad named Princeton who moves into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q. There, he meets Kate (the girl next door), Christmas Eve, Trekkie Monster, Gary Coleman and other colorful types who help Princeton finally discover his purpose in life.

The cast includes Will Holly, Bailey Means, Kathleen Choe, Jimmy Kieffer, Ethan Paulini, Shaleah Adkisson, Chad Burris and Leah Monzillo.  Lauren McClendon, Henry Melhorn and Mary Katelin Ward are understudies.

The production is directed by Robert Kolby Harper.  Rick Lyon, who worked on and starred in the original production of Avenue Q is the puppet designer and puppet coach.  The other members of the design team include Christopher Pickart (scenery), Shelly Hall (costumes), Daniel Davisson (lighting), Allan Branson (sound), Lynda J. Kwallek (properties) and Mike Nichols (technical director).  Michael Rice is the music director.

Avenue Q features a Tony winning book by Jeff Whitty and a Tony winning score by Jeff Marx and Robert Lopez.  It was originally directed by Fayetteville native Jason Moore (who received a Tony nomination for his direction).

AVENUE Q at Arkansas Rep

Avenue-QThe Arkansas Repertory Theatre closes out the 2012-2013 season with the Tony winning musical Avenue Q which begins performances this week.  Avenue Q, which won three 2004 Tony Awards including Best Musical, opens on Friday, June 7 following previews on June 5 & 6.  The production runs through June 30

Avenue Q is an adult, laugh-out-loud puppet musical that tells the timeless story of a recent college grad named Princeton who moves into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q. There, he meets Kate (the girl next door), Christmas Eve, Trekkie Monster, Gary Coleman and other colorful types who help Princeton finally discover his purpose in life.

The cast includes Will Holly, Bailey Means, Kathleen Choe, Jimmy Kieffer, Ethan Paulini, Shaleah Adkisson, Chad Burris and Leah Monzillo.  Lauren McClendon, Henry Melhorn and Mary Katelin Ward are understudies.

The production is directed by Robert Kolby Harper.  Rick Lyon, who worked on and starred in the original production of Avenue Q is the puppet designer and puppet coach.  The other members of the design team include Christopher Pickart (scenery), Shelly Hall (costumes), Daniel Davisson (lighting), Allan Branson (sound), Lynda J. Kwallek (properties) and Mike Nichols (technical director).  Michael Rice is the music director.

Avenue Q features a Tony winning book by Jeff Whitty and a Tony winning score by Jeff Marx and Robert Lopez.  It was originally directed by Fayetteville native Jason Moore (who received a Tony nomination for his direction).

Final Weekend to go SINGIN’ ON A STAR

Tonight at 7 and tomorrow at 2 and 7 are the final three times to catch the Arkansas Rep Young Artist production of Singin’ on a Star. The show is all about the actor’s journey from stardust to stardom, set to a toe-tapping soundtrack of modern song selections from the top pop charts and the Great White Way.

The production is directed by Nicole Capri, who is the Rep’s Resident Director and Director of Education.  Karen Q. Clark serves as Music Director.  Choreography is provided by Capri, Stacy Hawking, Marisa Kirby and Stephen K. Stone.  The design team includes Mike Nichols (sets), Shelly Hall (costumes), Dan Kimble (lighting), Lynda J. Kwallek (props) and Allan Branson (sound).

The cast is composed of of over 50 junior high and high school students who will literally fill the stage with their acting, singing and dancing.  They include: Skylar Bartlett, Cross Brandon, Matthew Carey, Calvin Chester, Cayla Christian, Jacob Clanton, Drew Clark, Andrew Curzon, Drew Dame, Spencer Davis, Anna Bliss Dean, C.J. Fowler, Jennifer Fuller, Melody Garrett, Zach Graham, Kayla Gray, Katie Greer, Christian Hickingbotham, Matthew Hugg, Sydney Ippolito, Mary Kate Jackson, Grace Jackson, Nia Jackson, Jackson James and Dalton Johnson.

Others in the cast include Riley Knight, Bailey Lamb, Julia Landfair, Maddie Lentz, Malik Marshall, Cass Martin, Annie McCurdy, Damon McKinnis, Elena McKinnis, Helen Melhorn, Henry Melhorn, Ella Moody, Angela  Morgan, Michael Myers, Annie Niswanger, Yasmin Newman, Caroline Osborn, Adrianne Owings, Cassidy Ratliff, Marina Redlich, Molly Russ, Kennedy Sample, Sterling Saul, Allie Scott, Jake Scott, Abby Shourd, Heidi Sohl, Alyssa Sowers, Sheffield Spence, Shelby Spooner, Mary Katelin Ward, Mia Waymack, Jhonika Wright and Charl Young.

For some observations from one of the summer performances of this production, click here.

Four Reps Farewell tomorrow night

THE FOUR REPS: Askew, Melhorn, Morley, Dowden

Fittingly, the farewell will take place where it all began.

Since their introduction in the 2009 SMTI production of Follie HolidaysThe Four Reps have been entertaining audiences with their  accappella/rock/doo-wop/barbershop group sounds.  For those who don’t know, The Four Reps are Charlie Askew, Henry Melhorn, Jack Dowden and Matt Morley.

Since 2009, they have representing The Reps’ young artists program and the Arkansas Repertory Theatre as they have performed all over Central Arkansas including the Clinton Library, the Governor’s Mansion, Little Rock City Hall, Barton Coliseum and The Rep’s Saints and Sinners Ball.

The Four Reps have also spent time cutting two albums, winning the Arkansas Democrat Gazette’s Pops on the River competition to sing the National Anthem with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and recently opening for the nationally recognized Yale University Whiffenpoofs.

But all good things must come to an end.  The Four Reps will give their farewell concert on Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s MainStage on Sunday, July 29 at 7 p.m. 

Produced by Nicole Capri, Karen Q. Clark and Arkansas Repertory Theatre, The Four Reps will entertain with audience favorites from their repertoire as we say goodbye to two of their members, Jack Dowden and Matt Morley, who recently graduated from high school.

Following the concert will be a screening of the film “Cain and Abel” (mentioned on yesterday’s Culture Vulture entry).
A few tickets still remain, but they are going fast.  Call the Arkansas Rep box office at 501-378-0405 or visit www.therep.org.

The Weekend Theater presents THE MIRACLE WORKER

Nicholson and Sawyer (photo by Byron Taylor)

William Gibson’s Pulitzer and Tony winning play The Miracle Worker opened last weekend at the Weekend Theater.  It continues tonight and tomorrow as well as March 23 and 24.

Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through March 24; there is also one matinee scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 18. Tickets, $16 for general admission and $12 for students and seniors age 65 and older, can be ordered online at the theater’s Web site, www.weekendtheater.org, or purchased at the door before each performance, based on availability.

Though the play is the story of Helen Keller (Sarah Nicholson) at the start of her remarkable life, it is also the story of her family and the indomitable Annie Sullivan (Hannah M. Sawyer).

The cast includes Byron Taylor and Patti Airoldi as Helen’s parents, Captain Arthur and Kate Keller, along with Drew Ellis, Zoe Dickerson, Diondre Wright, Patty German, Henry Melhorn, Donna Singleton, Patty Landry, Adrianne Owings, and Colin Boyd.

Andy Hall directs the production.