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‘Pajama’ to ‘Spamalot’

A theater season for everyone.



You couldn't dream of plays more different than “The Pajama Game” (a musical comedy set in a pajama factory) and “The Pillowman” (a dark comedy set in a police state), so Robinson Center Music Hall and the Weekend Theater should satisfy all comers in the theater-going public this fall. Somewhere in the middle — or maybe in a world of its own — is Monty Python's huge hit “Spamalot,” coming to the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville.

Celebrity Attractions brings the Tony Award-winning “Pajama Game,” scored by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, to Robinson Sept. 23-25. English playwright Martin McDonagh's play — winner of the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award — opens Sept. 26 at Weekend Theater for a three-weekend run. Alan Douglas will direct.

Leaps and bounds come to the stage when the Golden Dragon Acrobats perform at the University of Central Arkansas's Reynolds Performance Hall (Sept. 19-20) and combine with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra in “Cirque de la Symphonie” (Oct. 3 and 4, Robinson), the latter featuring both classical and contemporary music.

Weekend sobers things up again with the 1970s sensation “for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf” by African-American feminist Ntozake Shange (opens Oct. 17). Its remaining fall productions: the song-cycle about lives lost to AIDS “Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens” (opens Nov. 7), and the comic-tragic boys' school play (and later movie) “The History Boys” by Alan Bennett of “Beyond the Fringe Fame” (opens Dec. 5).

Children's theater kicks off at the Arkansas Arts Center with “Treasure Island” (Sept. 19); Pooh, Tigger, Kanga and Roo a la Disney come to town Nov. 7 when Alltel stages the sing-along/dance-along production “Disney Live! Winnie the Pooh.”

Things get bloody in Fayetteville when “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” which combines Stephen Sondheim's songs with slashing, comes to the Walton Nov. 17 and 18.

In Conway, the Grand Ballets Canadien de Montreal presents “Minus One” by Ohad Naharin on UCA's Reynolds Performance Hall stage (Nov. 11). Robinson ushers in the Christmas season with its annual presentation of the Moscow Ballet's “Great Russian Nutcracker” (Nov. 28). Alltel follows with more high-kicking gams, with Radio City Music Hall's Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes (Dec. 17-18). 

“Spamalot,” which producers say is “ripped off” from the hilarious cult movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” runs Dec. 16-21 at the Walton.

For ticket information, see the calendar that begins on page 15.


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