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A&E news, June 5



The Arkansas Repertory Theatre has announced a $6 million capital campaign to renovate its home at 601 Main, provide off-site space for storage and set construction, and renovate its apartments for guest actors on Sixth Street. Some $3.4 million has been committed. The Rep promises a new “state-of-the-art” main stage theater, expanded educational facilities, new public spaces, expanded restrooms and new heat and air.

The work will mean a move of some of the 2008-09 season to alternative venues — the UALR theater and Wildwood. The first three shows —“Les Miserables,” “If You Sing It, They Will Come” and “It's a Wonderful Life” — will be staged at the Rep.


Following Jim Dickinson's triumphant performance in Riverfest's Arkansas Tent, there comes word that three of the musicians who played in support at that gig (Dickinson dubbed them the Rackensackers, an early synonym for Arkansans) are at work on a documentary on the famed producer, session man, singer/songwriter and Little Rock native. Their roles, at this point, remain somewhat ill-defined, but the principals include Greg Spradlin (guitar), Dylan Turner (drums) and Jason Weinheimer (bass). No release date has been set, but according to Weinheimer, the group will release a trailer shortly.


More good news for fans of criminally unknown Arkansas musicians: musician and artist Jerry Colburn is teaming with Donovan Suitt, one half of RURAL WAR ROOM, the local radio show, record label and “cyber band,” to put out an album of unreleased material from cult favorites Elton and Betty White. No release date has been set. In the meantime, whet your appetite for multi-generational sexually explicit jams by visiting myspace.com/eltonandbetty. The pictures! The story (too rich and convoluted to get into here)! The music! Especially, “I'm in Love With Your Behind.”


Erstwhile indie hero and Little Rock native David Gordon Green will follow August's “Pineapple Express” with another subversive studio comedy. Variety reports that Green is set to direct “Your Highness,” a comedy about “an arrogant, lazy prince who must complete a quest to save his father's kingdom.” Jody Hill (soon to be famous for his role in “Foot Fist Way”) plays the lead. He also co-wrote the script.


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