Happy Birthday to PHANTOM – 6 weeks until it arrives in Little Rock

The-Phantom-of-the-Opera-North-American-Tour (1)29 years ago today, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA opened on Broadway.  It is still going strong at the Majestic Theatre.

Of course, Little Rock theatregoers will not have to wait much longer to see PHANTOM at the new Robinson Center Performance Hall.  It will be here from March 8-19. Producer Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s phenomenal musical success, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, will come to Little Rock as part of a brand new North American Tour.

The production will be the largest musical to play in the building ever.  It will eclipse Beauty and the Beast and Wicked, which both have played at Robinson twice.

The musical, based on a novel by Gaston Leroux, features music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and book & lyrics by Charles Hart, Richard Stilgoe and Mr. Lloyd Webber.  The production was produced by Cameron Mackintosh and directed by Harold Prince.

After opening in London in 1986, The Phantom of the Opera opened on Broadway in January 1988. It is still running over 27 years later. Phantom is the longest running show in Broadway history.  Nominated for 10 Tony Awards in 1988, it won seven: Best Musical, Actor in a Musical (Michael Crawford), Featured Actress in a Musical (Judy Kaye), Director of a Musical (Harold Prince), Scenic Design (Maria Bjornson), Costume Design (Bjornson) and Lighting Design (Andrew Bridge).

Hailed by critics as “bigger and better than ever before,” this production boasts many exciting special effects including the show’s legendary chandelier, new scenic and lighting designs, new staging and choreography. The beloved story and thrilling score will be performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this PHANTOM one of the largest productions now on tour.

Celebrity Attractions is bringing PHANTOM to Little Rock.  Ticket information can be found here.

Broadway Rocks the Arkansas Symphony this weekend

ASO NewThe Arkansas Symphony Orchestra welcomes Christiane Noll, Capathia Jenkins and Rob Evan for a weekend of Broadway music backed by the ASO.

Under the direction of Associate Conductor Geoffrey Robson, this high energy show brings together exciting vocalists from the Broadway stage performing selections from rock and contemporary Broadway hits. Wicked, The Lion King, Mamma Mia, Rent, The Wiz, The Phantom of the Opera – and many more of your favorites from the stage are featured on this exciting show for all ages!

Act I

  • Rocks Overture (arr. Fleischer)
  • Everybody Rejoice (The Wiz/Smalls)
  • This Is The Moment (Jekyll and Hyde/Wildhorn)
  • Good Morning Baltimore (Hairspray/Shaiman)
  • Jersey Boys Medley
  • Total Eclipse Circle of Life (Lion King/John)
  • Proud Mary (Fogerty)
  • Jesus Christ Superstar Overture (Lloyd Webber)
  • Seasons of Love (Rent/Larsen)
  • You Can’t Stop the Beat (Hairspray/Shaiman)

INTERMISSION

Act II

  • Come Sail Away
  • For Good (Wicked/Schwartz)
  • Anthem (Chess/Andersson/Ulvaeus)
  • I Will Survive
  • Defying Gravity (Wicked/Schwartz)
  • Mamma Mia Medley (Andersson/Ulvaeus)
  • And I Am Tellin’ You (Dreamgirls/Krieger)            
  • Phantom of the Opera (Phantom/Lloyd Webber)
  • Music of the Night (Phantom/Lloyd Webber)

All programs, dates and guest artists subject to change.

Capathia Jenkins, created the role of ‘Medda’ in the hit Disney production of Newsies on Broadway. She made her Broadway debut in The Civil War. She then starred in the Off-Broadway 2000 revival of Godspell. She returned to Broadway in The Look of Love and was critically acclaimed for her performances of the Bacharach/David hits. Ms. Jenkins then created the roles of ‘The Washing Machine’ in Caroline, Or Change and ‘Frieda May’ in Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me, where she sang ‘Stop the Show’ and brought the house down every night.

Christiane Noll was nominated for both the 2010 Tony Award and Drama Desk Award and won a Helen Hayes Award for her portrayal of Mother on Broadway in the Kennedy Center Revival of Ragtime. She made her Broadway debut starring in Jekyll & Hyde, creating the role of Emma. Ms. Noll received an Ovation Award for her comedic turn as Hope Cladwell in the National Tour of Urinetown, wowed audiences again as Vanna Vane in the new musical The Mambo Kings, soared as Jane Smart in the American premiere of The Witches of Eastwick, and most recently received another Drama Desk nomination for her work in Chaplin.

Rob Evan has performed in seven leading roles on the New York Stage including the original Broadway cast of Jekyll & Hyde, playing the title roles for three years and over 1,000 performances worldwide. He also appeared on Broadway as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, Kerchak in Disney’s Tarzan, “The Dentist” in Little Shop of Horrors, and Count von Krolock in Jim Steinman’s Dance of the Vampires. Off-Broadway, Rob created the roles of The Dancin’ Kid in Johnny Guitar and the hero Miles Hendon in Neil Berg’s m.

Robinson Center to welcome PHANTOM OF THE OPERA to Little Rock in March 2017

The-Phantom-of-the-Opera-North-American-Tour (1)Celebrity Attractions announced today that the U.S. national tour of The Phantom of the Opera will play at the newly reopened Robinson Center Music Hall during the 2016-2017 season. It will be here from March 8 to 19 in 2017.

The production will be the largest musical to play in the building ever.  It will eclipse Beauty and the Beast and Wicked, which both have played at Robinson twice.

The musical, based on a novel by Gaston Leroux, features music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and book & lyrics by Charles Hart, Richard Stilgoe and Lloyd Webber.  The production was produced by Cameron Mackintosh and directed by Harold Prince.

After opening in London in 1986, The Phantom of the Opera opened on Broadway in January 1988. It is still running over 27 years later. Phantom is the longest running show in Broadway history.  Nominated for 10 Tony Awards in 1988, it won seven: Best Musical, Actor in a Musical (Michael Crawford), Featured Actress in a Musical (Judy Kaye), Director of a Musical (Harold Prince), Scenic Design (Maria Bjornson), Costume Design (Bjornson) and Lighting Design (Andrew Bridge).

More details about other bookings at Robinson Center in 2016-2017 will be announced in the coming months.

2015-16 ASO Pops includes Cirque, Broadway, Movies and Holiday Favorites

aso_2-colorThe Arkansas Symphony Orchestra returns to the Connor Performing Arts Center on the Pulaski Academy campus for the 2015-2016 season.  There is still time to order your tickets.

Things get started on October 24 & 25 with “Cirque Musical.” Debuting this summer at the Hollywood Bowl, this evening will feature contortionists, balances and jugglers providing a visual feast for the eyes while the ASO will play classical and contemporary music.

From December 18 to 20, it will be “Holiday Pops with the ASO.” This long-running tradition will feature Christmas carols and other holiday songs

February 13 & 14 will be “Broadway Rocks!” Featuring Broadway stars Christiane Noll, Carpathia Jenkins and Rob Evans, this evening will feature songs from such Broadway shows as Rent, Wicked, Mamma Mia, The Lion King, The Wiz and The Phantom of the Opera.  A lot of people throw around the term “Broadway stars” but these three deserve it.  If they are in a show, they steal it!

The Pops season will conclude with “The Movie Music of John Williams” on May 7&8.  The ASO will play selections from some of Williams’ mist famous movies. He has win 5 Oscars, 6 Emmys, 25 Golden Globes and 22 Grammys.

This weekend – Ashley Brown bring Broadway to the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

POPS5 PhotoThe Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor, presents the fifth and final concert in the 2014-2015 Acxiom Pops Live! Series: Ashley Brown’s Broadway. Fresh from her run as Mary Poppins on Broadway, Ashley Brown and the ASO take over the stage with thrilling renditions of Broadway favorites. All ages will enjoy this special performance featuring music from Wicked, Fiddler on the Roof, The Sound of Music and more familiar hits from Broadway musicals and beloved Disney films.

Concerts are Saturday, May 9, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. & Sunday, May 10, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. and take place at the Pulaski Academy Connor Performing Arts Center, 12701 Hinson Road, Little Rock, AR.

Tickets are $19, $35, $49, and $58; active duty military and student tickets are $10 are can be purchased online at www.ArkansasSymphony.org; at the Connor Performing Arts Center box office beginning 90 minutes prior to a concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 100. All Arkansas students grades K-12 are admitted to Sunday’s matinee free of charge with the purchase of an adult ticket using the Entergy Kids’ Ticket, downloadable at the ASO website.

Ashley Brown, soprano, originated the title role in Mary Poppins on Broadway for which she received Outer Critics, Drama League and Drama Desk nominations for Best Actress. Ms. Brown also starred as Mary Poppins in the national tour of Mary Poppins where she garnered a 2010 Garland award for “Best Performance in a Musical.” Ms. Brown’s other Broadway credits include Belle in Beauty and the Beast, and she has starred in the national tour of Disney’s “On The Record.” Ashley recently returned to the Lyric Opera of Chicago to star in the role of Laurey in Oklahoma! She previously played Magnolia opposite Nathan Gunn in Francesca Zembello’s Show Boat at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Ashley has performed with virtually all of the top orchestras in North America.

The Pops Live! Series is sponsored by Acxiom.

The program will include:

ACT ONE

  • Overture: Broadway Tonight  (ASO only)
  • Almost Like Being in Love/This Can’t be Love
  • So In Love
  • Le Jazz Hot
  • Jesus Christ Superstar (arr. Mancini) (ASO only)
  • Feed the Birds from Mary Poppins
  • Disney Medley

INTERMISSION

ACT TWO

  • The Sound of Music Selection (ASO only)
  • Ring Them Bells
  • Grateful
  • The Man I Love
  • Fiddler on the Roof  (arr. John Williams) (ASO only)
  • Defying Gravity
  • Our Time/Children Will Listen (with chorus)
  • I’ll Be Seeing You

(Selections subject to change)

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.

Broadway on Broadway with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

ASO_revThis weekend, the music of New York City’s Broadway will be heard along Little Rock’s Broadway as the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra presents the next pop concert of the season — “Best of Broadway.”

Get ready for a walk down the Great White Way in an evening of hits from Broadway’s most beloved show tunes! Join the ASO in a selection of music that crosses all genres and brings a smile to all faces.  The concerts are tonight at 8pm and tomorrow afternoon at 3pm.

The ASO musicians will be under the baton of Associate Conductor Geoffrey Robson. One number will be led by special guest conductor Dr. Richard Wheeler.

The soloists for the concerts are Mandy Gonzales and Destan Owens.

Miss Gonzales has recently completed her run as Elphaba in Wicked on Broadway.  She was awarded Broadway.com’s Favorite Female Replacement Award for this performance. She created the role of Nina in the musical In the Heights.  She has appeared in Aida, Lennon and Dance of the Vampires (in which she starred opposite Michael Crawford and Max Von Essen).  She is perhaps best known for her Obie winning performance in the Off-Broadway musical Eli’s Comin’.

Mr. Owens is an Oklahoma native with a B.A. in Musical Theater from Oklahoma City University. His stage appearances have included Rent, Chicago, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, The Who’s Tommy, Dreamgirls, Jesus Christ Superstar and Sisterella. He appeared at Arkansas Rep in 2007 in It Happened in Little Rock.  He has been a soloist with several symphony orchestras across the country.