Elvis Lives – or at least he will be on stage of Arkansas Rep in September with MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET

August 16 marks the 42nd anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley.  (Or did he die?  Is he actually living in seclusion with JFK and others?)

In September, Elvis will come back to life as the Arkansas Repertory Theatre presents MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET.

Four musical legends. A one-in-a-million recording session.
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.

A casual introduction of Lewis to Perkins unexpectedly evolved into an epic jam session of country, gospel and rock classics, captured on tape but not released until 1981.

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!

The show, which won a Tony Award and was nominated for Best Musical, was written by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux.  The Rep’s production is directed by Hunter Foster who played Sam Phillips in the original Broadway cast.
The production opens on September 6 and plays through October 6.

2018-19 Arkansas Rep Season includes MENAGERIE, Alcott, Shakespeare, and Rock & Roll History

ark repEarlier this evening (2/19) the Arkansas Repertory Theatre announced its 2018-19 Season. Beginning in September, the new season exemplifies The Rep’s mission of producing diversified work of the highest artistic standards. “Variety is, once again, the watchword at The Rep,” said Producing Artistic Director John Miller-Stephany.

The Rep’s 2018-19 Season opens with one of the most beloved American plays of the 20th Century. Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie is a delicate memory play about family life set in a Depression-era St. Louis tenement. While rebellious Tom Wingfield dreams of running away from his tedious existence, his stubborn mother Amanda elegizes romantically about her Southern debutante past. And in the midst of their disputes, Tom’s timid sister Laura escapes from the cruelty of the world by retracting into an imaginary realm populated by her collection of fragile glass animals.  Directed by John Miller-Stephany, it runs September 5 to 23 with opening night on September 7.

Next is the stage adaptation of the classic film Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?  When Joanna decides to surprise her parents with an impromptu introduction to her new fiancé John, she overlooks one small detail – he’s Black. Despite their self-professed liberal political leanings, Mr. and Mrs. Drayton find themselves scrambling when their beliefs are put to the test. But Joanna has yet another bombshell in store – she has invited John’s parents over for the evening as well. The script is by Todd Kreidler, adapted from the screenplay by William Rose. Directed by Arkansas Rep founder Cliff Fannin Baker, it runs from October 24 to November 11 with an opening night of October 26.

Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women has been a beloved novel since it was first published.  Every generation it seems to inspire a classic movie, and in the mid 2000s, it became a Tony-nominated musical on Broadway.  While the Civil War rages far away from their humble New England home, tomboy Jo refuses to conform to the demands made upon her by “polite society.” As her mother and sisters patiently await the return of their father from the battlefield, Jo’s contagious optimism endures in the face of romantic confusion and personal tragedy.  With the opening scene set at Christmas, it is fitting that Little Women is the Rep’s holiday musical.  The book is by Allan Knee with a score by Mindi Dickstein and Jason Howland.  Directed by John Miller-Stephany, it runs from December 5 to 30, with opening night of December 7.

Containing some of Shakespeare’s most famous speeches, As You Like It is a comedy about love, exile, wit, and disguises all set in the Forest of Arden.  Orlando loves Rosalind. Rosalind loves Orlando. But Rosalind is disguised as Ganymede – who’s a boy! And Phebe loves Ganymede – who’s really Rosalind. Yet Silvius loves Phebe. And Rosalind’s best friend Celia loves Orlando’s brother Oliver. But Oliver hates Orlando. And Touchstone lusts after Audrey. Unfortunately, no one much cares for Jacques. Celebrate romance as Shakespeare’s timeless comedy takes center stage at The Rep!  Directed by Giovanna Sardelli, it runs from February 6 to 24, 2019, with an opening night of February 8, 2019.

 

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 Phillips. What happened next was pure rock and roll magic. Million Dollar Quartet shows what happens when a casual introduction of Lewis to Perkins unexpectedly evolved into an epic jam session of country, gospel and rock classics, captured on tape but not released until 1981. The show has a collection of hit songs that includes “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Great Balls of Fire,” and “Hound Dog.”  The show is written by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux from an original idea by Mutrux.  Directed by original cast member Hunter Foster (a Tony-nominated actor), the musical runs from March 27 to April 21, 2019 with opening night on March 29, 2019.

The season ends with the comedy Women in Jeopardy! Wendy MacLeod’s play tells the story of Liz who starts seeing a new man and throws caution (and her book club selections) to the wind. However, her friends can’t get over the fact that Liz’s latest beau is just plain creepy. What else are they supposed to think about a dentist with a Hannibal Lecter obsession and a bizarre collection of “antique” orthodontic contraptions in his basement? And then there’s the recent disappearance of his dental hygienist…  Directed by John Miller-Stephany, it runs from June 5 to 23, 2019. Opening night will be June 7, 2019.

Season Subscriptions are on sale now and start at $132. . For more information about Season Subscriptions, call The Rep’s Box Office at (501) 378-0405, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., or visit www.TheRep.org.

Founded in 1976, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre is the state’s largest nonprofit professional theatre company. A member of the League of Resident Theatres, The Rep has produced more than 350 productions including 40 world premieres in its 377-seat theatre located in its historic building in downtown Little Rock.

A MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET is in town this weekend

MDQMillion Dollar Quartet, the Tony winning musical, has been brought to Central Arkansas by Celebrity Attractions this weekend.

It is inspired by the electrifying true story of the famed recording session that brought together rock ‘n’ roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the first and only time.

Featuring  timeless hits including “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Ring of Fire,” “That’s All Right,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “I Walk the Line,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “See Ya Later, Alligator,” “Fever,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Hound Dog” and more, this thrilling musical brings you inside the recording studio with four major talents who came together as a red-hot rock ‘n’ roll band for one unforgettable night. Rock and Roll’s best kept secret… revealed, MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET!

Performances are at 8pm on Friday (4/24) and Saturday (4/25) and 2pm matinees on Saturday (4/25) and Sunday (4/26). Though all four of the legendary singers played at Robinson Auditorium, due to that facility’s renovation, this production will be held at the Maumelle Performing Arts Center.

The Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau is the presenting sponsor of Million Dollar Quartet in Little Rock.

ROCKing the TONYS – Million Dollar Quartet

Rock the Tonys

Lewis, Perkins, Presley, Cash

Lewis, Perkins, Presley, Cash

Million Dollar Quartet – Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley

Little Rock connection: Though they never appeared onstage in Little Rock together, each of these four made various appearances in Little Rock throughout their careers – usually at Robinson Auditorium. Presley also appeared at Barton Coliseum, while one of Cash’s last appearances in Little Rock was at Wildwood Park for the Arts.

Tony Awards connection: A musical was written based on this quartet’s famous December 4, 1956 impromptu recording session at Memphis’ Sun Records. It opened on this date (April 11) in 2010 and ran for 489 performances. The show received three Tony nominations including one for Best Musical. Levi Kreis won the Featured Actor in a Musical Tony for his portrayal of Jerry Lee Lewis.

Celebrity Attractions will be bringing the national tour of Million Dollar Quartet to Central Arkansas next spring.