HMS PINAFORE at Wildwood Park this weekend

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Wildwood Park for the Arts and Praeclara have joined forces once again to bring Gilbert & Sullivan’s rollicking operetta, H.M.S. Pinafore to the Cabe Theatre Stage this weekend. Come enjoy this vibrant and exciting update of one of theatre’s most beloved stage productions with us before seats run out!
Ralph and Josephine are star-crossed lovers bent on marriage whether or not Josephine’s father – or her current suitor, none other than the Admiral of the Royal Navy – approve or not. The crew and the Admiral’s retinue of sisters, cousins, and aunts help Ralph and Josephine with their plans even as the nefarious Dick Dead-Eye plots to sabotage the happy couple. But not all is as it seems, and the officers and crew of the H.M.S. Pinafore are in for a number of surprises – as are our audiences!
Performances are at 7:30pm tonight (April 12) and Saturday (April 13) as well as at 3pm on Sunday, April 14.
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21st Wine & Food Feastival tonight at Wildwood Park

FEASTival 2019 features wine, spirits, beers, and artful edibles from central Arkansas’ best culinary creators, a silent auction and raffle.

The band Greasy Greens will join the party to provide music for onstage dancing!

The fun starts at 6:30pm tonight at Wildwood Park.  Ticket information is here.  Proceeds go to support Wildwood’s gardens, art exhibitions, the Wildwood Academy of Music and the Arts and Wildwood’s educational programs.

Join Wildwood Park as it celebrates a diversity of culinary delights from central Arkansas, including:

Arthur’s Prime Steakhouse / Oceans at Arthur’s

Bonefish Grill

Blue Cake Company

The Capital Hotel

Diamond Bear Brewing Company

The Faded Rose

Moe’s Southwest Grill

Red Lobster

Bravo

Nothing Bundt Cakes

Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe

Petit and Keet

YaYa’s Euro Bistro

Table 28

The Vintage Kitchen

The Rusty Tractor Vineyards

Rock the Oscars 2019: Hal Holbrook

(Photo by Joseph Harris for the AP)

Oscar nominated actor Hal Holbrook’s visits to Little Rock have been fairly regular over the decades.  In the 1980s and 1990s, he came several times in conjunction with the TV shows “Designing Women” and “Evening Shade.”  He also made an appearance at Wildwood in his one man play Mark Twain Tonight.

His first visit to Little Rock was in the mid-1950s.  He was just out of college and on a national tour of schools and small towns performing scenes from Shakespeare opposite his then-wife.

In a lengthy essay reflecting on his early career, Holbrook speaks fondly of his visit to Little Rock and of the grandiose stage and auditorium at Little Rock Central High School.

LANTERNS! 2019 this weekend at Wildwood Park

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Wildwood’s annual deep-winter festival celebrates the first full moon of the lunar new year. Held over three magical evenings, guests are transported to far away lands and times as they stroll through the beautifully lit pathways of Wildwood’s gardens. Cultural vistas feature live entertainment, food, drink, games and more throughout the Park’s Butler Arboretum and inside the Lucy Lockett Cabe Festival Theatre.

This year’s vistas include Germany, Mexico, China, Scotland, and the rest of the United Kingdom. Our American vista is Prohibition Chicago. As always, a trip to the Moon is a must, but this year be sure to stop by Area 51 as you just might find some aliens at our Moon vista.

Once you’re inside the gate, purchase your WildBucks at any of four locations and enjoy food and beverages at every vista. Prices range from $1 to $8. (ATM available inside the Park.) All proceeds support Wildwood Park for the Arts’ programs, gardens and operations.

TICKETS:

Tickets to the event are available online: $10 for adults, $5 for children age 6 – 12, Admission to LANTERNS! is FREE for children 5 and younger. At noon on each day of the festival, admission for that evening will increase to $12 for adults and $7 for children. Tickets at the gate are $12 for adults and $7 for children. Admission to LANTERNS! for children 5 and younger is FREE.

If you choose to purchase your ticket at the gate, we recommend bringing cash to avoid credit card fees and ticket lines!

Shuttles will run between The Promenade at Chenal and Wildwood Park beginning at 6 pm nightly until 30 minutes past the Festival’s closing. The festival closes at 10 pm on Friday & Saturday, 9 pm on Sunday. Arkansas Destinations shuttles will pick up passengers in the mall’s Courtyard located on the west side of the mall. Parking is ample. 

Off-street parking is also available along Denny Road in front of Wildwood Park. Guests enter the park on foot through two gates; no festival patron automobiles are allowed inside the park.

Rock the Oscars: Marvin Hamlisch

Composer-conductor-arranger-pianist Marvin Hamlisch was a multi-hyphenate.  He also was an early EGOT winner (back when it was more difficult to accomplish this feat because there were fewer categories in all four awards).

Hamlisch visited Little Rock numerous times throughout his careers.  In 1996, he performed at Wildwood Park during the first season of the Lucy Lockett Cabe Festival Theatre.  He soloed with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra in January 2000 performing many of his works for film and a few for stage.

In 2006, he returned to the ASO to perform with Robert Klein and Lucie Arnaz and the latter duo recreated their roles from the Hamlisch-Neil Simon-Carole Bayer Sager musical They’re Playing Our Song.  His final visit to Little Rock was in 2011. He was performing in Conway but shopped in Little Rock for clothes when his luggage stayed in Chicago.

Over his career, Hamlisch was nominated for twelve Oscars.  He won three at the 1974 ceremony. They were Best Song for “The Way We Were” from the film of the same name (shared with Alan and Marilyn Bergman), Best Score for The Way We Were and Best Adaptation Score for The Sting.  The latter heavily featured music by former Little Rock resident Scott Joplin.

31 Days of Arkansas Rep: THE ELEPHANT MAN in 2009

Thirty years after it opened on Broadway, Arkansas Rep presented The Elephant Man.  Due to anticipated renovations at the Rep’s main stage, it was performed at Wildwood Park in the Cabe Festival Theatre.

Rep founder Cliff Fannin Baker directed this production which starred Rep veteran Steve Wilkerson in the title role. Wilkerson, who had previously shown his skill and versatility in such varied roles as Peter Pan and Prior Walter, displayed his talents and physicality in portraying the deformed John Merrick.

Another Rep veteran, Joe Graves, played the doctor who befriended Merrick.  Others in the cast were Matt Walker, Nathan Klau, Val Landrum, Alanna Hammill Newton, and Wesley Mann.

The creative team included Mike Nichols (scenery), Marianne Custer (costumes), Matthew Webb (lighting), M. Jason Pruzin (sound), and Lynda J. Kwallek (props). The original score was composed by Buddy Habig, a Little Rock musician who died in December 2008.

LR Culture Vulture turns 7

The Little Rock Culture Vulture debuted on Saturday, October 1, 2011, to kick off Arts & Humanities Month.

The first feature was on the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, which was kicking off its 2011-2012 season that evening.  The program consisted of Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 in A, Op. 90, Rossini’s, Overture to The Italian Girl in Algiers, Puccini’s Chrysanthemums and Respighi’s Pines of Rome.  In addition to the orchestra musicians, there was an organ on stage for this concert.

Since then, there have been 10,107 persons/places/things “tagged” in the blog.  This is the 3,773rd entry. (The symmetry to the number is purely coincidental–or is it?)  It has been viewed over 288,600 times, and over 400 readers have made comments.  It is apparently also a reference on Wikipedia.

The most popular pieces have been about Little Rock history and about people in Little Rock.