Tony and Grammy winner Heather Headley performs with the ASO tonight

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The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra presents A Broadway Evening with Heather Headley, Saturday, October 5th at 7:30 p.m. in the Robinson Center. The ASO is proud to collaborate with Headley and her special guest, NBC’s The Voice finalist, Chris Mann. Headley and Mann will be joined on stage by the Parkview High School Lab Singers and Madrigals in Little Rock for one night only.

From her role as Broadway’s original Nala in The Lion King and her Tony Award-winning role as Aida in Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida to her recurring role as Gwen Garrett on NBC’s Chicago Med, Headley is one of the most talented artists of this generation. In 2016 she returned to the Broadway stage as Shug Avery in the Tony Award-winning revival of The Color Purple.

Headley will perform selections from The Lion King and Aida as well as selections from Broadway favorites like “For Good” from the award-winning musical, Wicked and “My House” from Matilda. Headley will also perform selections from classic hits like “Amazing Grace” and Elton John’s “Your Song” for a well-rounded musical evening.

Tickets are $19, $39, $59, and $79 and can be purchased online at www.ArkansasSymphony.org; at the Robinson Center street-level box office beginning 90 minutes prior to the concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 1.

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The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra welcomes Tony and Grammy winner Heather Headley in one night only concert in October

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra presents An Evening with Heather Headley, a special concert featuring vocalist Heather Headley 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 5, 2019. The concert will feature Ms. Headley performing selections from Tony-winning musicals The Lion King and EAida, and other songs from Broadway’s most popular musicals, under the baton of conductor Ron Colvard.

Heather Headley was born and spent most of her childhood in Trinidad. In the 90’s, her family moved to the United States where her love for the arts flourished and grew into an incredible and multi-faceted career.

Headley is known for her GRAMMY Award for Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album, winning the prestigious Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her title role in Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida, and originating the role of Nala in Time Rice’s hit Tony-winning musical, The Lion King. Her stage and music career also includes GRAMMY Award nominations for Best New Artist and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, starring as Shug Avery in the Tony Award-winning The Color Purple, and for winning the coveted Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical. M

This special concert is only available to Arkansas Symphony Orchestra subscribers until single ticket sales are opened to the general public in August. Subscriptions are available by calling the ASO Box Office at 501-666-1761, ext. 1 or by visiting www.ArkansasSymphony.org/subscribe.

18 Cultural Events from 2018 – THE LION KING rules Robinson Center

On April 19, 2018, THE LION KING opened a twenty-three (23) performance run at Robinson Center Performance Hall in the show’s first-ever production in Little Rock.  Celebrity Attractions brought the show to the Rock.

The twenty-three performances over eighteen days is the longest run a Broadway touring production has ever had in Little Rock.  It eclipses the record of twelve days held by Wicked and The Phantom of the Opera.  More people saw The Lion King in Little Rock than had ever seen a stage production of a single show in the history of Arkansas.

More than 90 million people around the world have experienced the awe-inspiring visual artistry, the unforgettable music, and the uniquely theatrical storytelling of this Broadway spectacular “one of the most breathtaking and beloved productions ever to grace the stage.

THE LION KING brings together one of the most imaginative creative teams on Broadway.  Tony Award®-winning director Julie Taymor brings to life a story filled with hope and adventure set against an amazing backdrop of stunning visuals.  THE LION KING also features the extraordinary work of Tony Award®-winning choreographer Garth Fagan and some of Broadway’s most recognizable music, crafted by Tony Award®-winning artists Elton John and Tim Rice.

The Lion is King of Little Rock through May 6

lion-king-ca-logoOn November 13, 1997, THE LION KING opened on Broadway.  It would go on to win six 1998 Tony Awards including Best Musical.  Today it celebrates its 20th Birthday!  It has played 8,325 performances on Broadway.

On April 19, 2018, THE LION KING opens a twenty-three (23) performance run at Robinson Center Performance Hall in the show’s first-ever production in Little Rock.  Celebrity Attractions has brought the show to the Rock.

The twenty-three performances over eighteen days is the longest run a Broadway touring production has ever had in Little Rock.  It eclipses the record of twelve days held by Wicked and The Phantom of the Opera.

More than 90 million people around the world have experienced the awe-inspiring visual artistry, the unforgettable music, and the uniquely theatrical storytelling of this Broadway spectacular “one of the most breathtaking and beloved productions ever to grace the stage.

THE LION KING brings together one of the most imaginative creative teams on Broadway.  Tony Award®-winning director Julie Taymor brings to life a story filled with hope and adventure set against an amazing backdrop of stunning visuals.  THE LION KING also features the extraordinary work of Tony Award®-winning choreographer Garth Fagan and some of Broadway’s most recognizable music, crafted by Tony Award®-winning artists Elton John and Tim Rice.

20 years of THE LION KING

On November 13, 1997, THE LION KING opened on Broadway.  It would go on to win six 1998 Tony Awards including Best Musical.  Today it celebrates its 20th Birthday!  It has played 8,325 performances on Broadway.

This coming April the entire Serengeti will come to life inside the newly renovated Robinson Performance Hall when Celebrity Attractions brings this Disney production to Little Rock!

More than 90 million people around the world have experienced the awe-inspiring visual artistry, the unforgettable music, and the uniquely theatrical storytelling of this Broadway spectacular “one of the most breathtaking and beloved productions ever to grace the stage.

THE LION KING brings together one of the most imaginative creative teams on Broadway.  Tony Award®-winning director Julie Taymor brings to life a story filled with hope and adventure set against an amazing backdrop of stunning visuals.  THE LION KING also features the extraordinary work of Tony Award®-winning choreographer Garth Fagan and some of Broadway’s most recognizable music, crafted by Tony Award®-winning artists Elton John and Tim Rice.

Four other musicals join THE LION KING in 2017-2018 Celebrity Attractions lineup

lion-king-ca-logoIn 2016, it was announced that Celebrity Attractions would bring The Lion King to Little Rock’s Robinson Center Performance Hall during the 2017-2018 season.

Now the dates for that show have been announced, as have the names and dates for four other musicals.

The Lion King, winner of the 1998 Tony Award for Best Musical, will play in Little Rock from April 18 through May 6, 2018.

The season will kick off with Kinky Boots, which won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Musical (playing October 13-15, 2017).  The 1987 Tony winning Best Musical Les Miserables returns to Little Rock from November 29 through December 3, 2017.

The stage version of Dirty Dancing will not be put in a corner, but it will be put on Robinson’s stage from March 16 to 18, 2018.  The season will conclude with Tony winning Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.  It will play from May 29 through June 3, 2018.

The remaining shows of the 2016-2017 are The Phantom of the OperaRiverdance, and Motown-The Musical.  Phantom, the 1988 Tony winner for Best Musical, plays March 8 through 19.  Riverdance‘s 20th anniversary tour plays in Little Rock from April 14 through 16.  Motown will rock Little Rock from June 21 through 25.

Creative Class 2016: Gretchen Hall

cc16-hallA hardhat and reflective vest have been part of Gretchen Hall‘s work wardrobe almost every day for the past 30 months.  As the President and CEO of the Little Rock Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, she has been actively overseeing the deconstruction and reconstruction of Robinson Center Music Hall. Taking a New Deal era assembly hall and making it into a state-of-the-art performance facility is not an easy task. Gretchen and her team have worked with the architects, engineers, designers and consultants to make it happen.

Gretchen joined LRCVB in 2001 and has worked her way up through the organization.  In May 2011, she was named to her current position.  Since that time, the LRCVB has undertaken numerous efforts to enhance Little Rock’s cultural life including a new amphitheatre in Riverfront Park, enhanced programming at the River Market, and increased financial support of cultural organizations.  In addition, she helped lead the effort to see the additional penny of the hotel tax be dedicated to support the Arkansas Arts Center and MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History. That tax was approved by voters earlier in 2016.

The new Robinson Center will feature seats that are closer to the stage and acoustics that can be adjusted to maximize the different needs of a symphony performance and a Broadway musical.  The changes in the facility have already attracted bookings by the national tours of The Phantom of the Opera (in 2017) and The Lion King (in 2018).  In addition, there will be new special event space including a ballroom and meeting rooms.  The historic lobby at the top of the iconic front steps is being restored to its original appearance — much of which was stripped away or covered up in the early 1970s.

After the November 10 ribbon cutting, Robinson Center will be re-opened.  As Hall points out, almost all residents of Central Arkansas have a connection to Robinson Center. She notes in her family alone, her mother played basketball there, her own high school graduation was there, and her niece has appeared in Ballet Arkansas’ The Nutcracker there.