Is a Summer full of theater people, get out there and see some!
First off, Man of No Importance (musical) will have it's final weekend of performances this weekend at The Weekend Theater! If you haven't gone to this show, get to it before it closes. This is not a spectacle musical and it's not tons of classical, operectic love songs, it's a good ole fashion funny, sweet, good natured two hours of theater. You will laugh and laugh and laugh and maybe cry a little, but then laugh and laugh and leave with a good feeling in your soul that's it's better to be who you are than to never be. For more information and to make reservations, go to www.weekendtheater.org.
The Weekend Theater will follow up Man of No Importance with Working (musical) which will be presented "in the round", something they've been toying with off an on in the small space on Chester for sometime. Usually it works pretty well and word around the campfire is John Thompson (who also directed and will again helm the revival of last year's Rocky Horror Show) has been waiting to do this show since it's debut in the 70's so the bar will be set pretty high, look for this to another quality summer of musicals at The Weekend Theater.
Murry's Dinner Playhouse closes up shop on Charlie's Aunt, through June 3rd. Described as: "A rib-tickling comedy of mistaken identities involves a pair of Yale college gentlemen and their mad scheme to marry the girls they love. A debonair classmate of theirs is talked into assuming the role of an old and rich aunt from Brazil where the nuts come from. The real aunt then shows up and the fun begins. This world famous farce has brought millions to tears of laughter."
This is probably the usual Murry's fare, which has it's place and is usually pretty enjoyable. An inside source tells me this show is "pretty good", so if you are looking for an all inclusive night out, hit up this Little Rock landmark. And book your tickets now for Murry's next show, A Tuna Christmas, June 5 - June 24, it will be funny, it will sell out, you will like it. They are printing money on this one. Here's the description from their site if you have never heard of this regional theater staple:"It's Christmas in the third smallest town in Texas. Radio station OKKK news personalities Thurston Wheelis and Arles Stuvie report on various yuletide activities, including hot competition in the annual lawn display contest. In other news, voracious Joe Bob Lipsey's production of "A Christmas Carol" is jeopardized by unpaid electric bills. Join us for a laugh filled evening that is sure todelight audiences of all ages, as two multi-talented men play all the citizens of Tuna, Texas."
I'm going to try to make out for that one, you can't go wrong with A Tuna Christmas.
Arkansas Repertory Theater (The REP) is getting ready to stage The Full Monty, which will sell out, less because it's a good musical and more because the actors will be naked, for a brief moment in time, on stage. OOOO, Scandalous....before the bible beaters come out in droves to protest it, and major sponsors pull their donations and sponsorships (ala the REP's productions of Angels in America) be warned that even sitting in the first row, the lighting effect at the during "the full monty" will obscure your view of the performers assetts. And anyway, if you are that hard up to see wedding tackle, it's called the internet and it's cheaper and I won't have to listen to you whisper through the whole show about "when's it gonna happen?". NOTE: Most of the ensemble/ understudies are comprised of LOCAL Actors and Actresses that you may work with or have seen in local comm. theater so come out and support them. I for one applaud the REP for finally finding a show in which they can use some of the local talent that is of the age to vote. Let's hope they continue to try to find more in-roads for the local acting community.
Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre's Inaugural Summer Festival runs June 14-24, at the Reynolds Performance Hall, on the UCA campus in Conway. This year Man of La Mancha (musical), A Mid-Summer's Night's Dream (Shakespeare) and The Complete Works of Shakespeare - Abriged (comedy based on the bard) will make up the bill. The shows will run in "repertory" which means a different show each night/day during the run, sorta.... Knowing the limitations of the Central Arkansas theater community, the shows run Wed - Sun for two weeks and unfortunately are not scheduled complete opposite, meaning Man of La Mancha will run at 2PM on both Sundays, and thus, yours truly will have to miss it since that's the only free time I have in my busy schedule this summer. Bollocks! I'm very jealous though, this should be a great experience for actors and audience alike. All three shows are solid and you can't go wrong with any of them, get out to Conway and take part! More information and reservations at http://www.arkshakes.com/
And while Conway Community Arts Association (that's the community theater in Conway) doesn't have anything on the schedule for the summer (I imagine they are helping out witht the Shakespeare Theater Fest), they do have a top notch website, KUDOS, check it out at http://www.conwayarts.org. It does look like they will have "Greater Tuna" on tap in September, so you can see two of the Tuna productions this year! And unconfirmed, but shown on their website as part of the 2007 season is...Theater of Blood, the stage play, I will try to confirm this, but if it's true, I cannot wait, a play based on a 70's mock-horror film, hysterical. Wow, Conway is really going to be giving Little Rock a run for it's money pretty soon, huh?
Community Theater of Little Rock is staging School House Rock: LIVE! at some point, but I have no idea who to contact for that information, more digging, more digging, but my bet is it will be sometime in mid-summer, it will be tons of fun and it will be at the Blind School, which may or may not decide it's time to turn on the air.
The Royal Players, in downtown Benton, will be greasing up their lightning (what is wrong with me today, I'm all about the copy for some reason) as the present GREASE, July 12-15 & 19-22. It will be a hit, lots of kids, lots of families coming to see them, and a show everyone likes. Get information, directions and reservations at www.royalplayers.com. Also, rumor has it the old timey marquee out front will once again be lighting up the streets, I know they have been working hard on making improvements and renovations to that space, congratulations Royal Players, do send pictures if you have them!
Schools out for summer and so is the Arkansas Children's Theater, [again I apologize, I don't know how the 50's beat reporter got out today] which always has the summer off, with resident actors usually doing summer stock somewhere or popping up over at the Public Theater doing some improv. Not to worry, they return in the fall with more child-friendly theater, check out the 2007-2008 schedule at their site.
Well, I don't think I missed anything, but if I did, I'm sure someone out there will let me know. If someone has any information on the CTLR schedule, let us know, thanks.
Go see live theater, it's like nothing else, confidentially sitting next to you, Mr. Rickey.