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Rep gets ‘Intimate’

Riverfront gets the Blues.


Kellie Turner as Esther and Margot Ebling as Mrs. Van Buren in a scene from The Rep's 'Intimate Apparel.'
  • Kellie Turner as Esther and Margot Ebling as Mrs. Van Buren in a scene from The Rep's 'Intimate Apparel.'

“Intimate Apparel,” Lynn Nottage’s play that won the 2004 New York Drama Critics award for Best New Play, opens on the Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s Main Stage Friday, April 21.

Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj, who directed the Rep’s version of “Dreamgirls” two years ago, is back to lead “Intimate Apparel,” which American Theatre magazine said is the most produced play in American professional theaters this year. The story of love, hope and redemption is set in 1905 and focuses on Esther, who sews while trying to lift herself up from an earlier betrayal.

Maharaj, the producing artistic director of the Rebel Theater in New York City, said, “Intimate Apparel is a beautiful American play that represents the power of the human spirit to survive … and Lynn Nottage, a dear friend, is one of our most gifted American playwrights.”

Cast members include Kellie Turner as Esther and Hisham Tawfiq as Esther’s love interest, George. Turner’s credits include Queenie in the Broadway production of “Showboat,” while Tawfiq, who works as a New York firefighter while pursuing an acting career, has performed with the Negro Ensemble Company, Live Theatre Gang, African Globe and the American Theater of Harlem. Other cast members include Sherry Boone, Margot Ebling, Michael Kaplan and Sandra Mills Scott.

Performances are 8 p.m. Thursday through Friday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday and 7 p.m. Wednesday through May 7. Maharaj will appear at sneak preview and discussion on Thursday, April 20, starting at 7:15 (some half-priced tickets are available for the sneak preview). Regular prices are $30 for orchestra seating, $28 for first mezzanine and $20 for second mezz. Call 378-0405 or 866-684-3737. Opening night includes a post-show reception with the cast. The play contains adult language and situations.

The show Wednesday, April 26, will be signed for the hearing impaired.

A special Monday performance with a runway show of spring fashions will serve as a benefit for the Rep and will be hosted by Barbara Graves Intimate Fashions and Shirley Davis. The event, starting at 6:30 p.m., also includes a martini bar, cocktail buffet and post-show champagne and chocolates. Tickets are $75 for orchestra seating and $50 for mezz. Call 378-0445, ext. 203, for tickets to the benefit.

River Blues
Such big names in blues as Dennis LaSalle and Bobby Rush are scheduled to perform at the annual Blues on the River Saturday, April 22, at North Little Rock’s North Shore Riverwalk.

Along with LaSalle and Pine Bluff native Rush, other performers include Willie Clayton and TK Soul, plus a number of area blues and R&B performers.

Gates open at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance (call sponsor KOKY-FM at 401-0236) or $35 at the gate. VIP seating is also available.

Travs stay home
The Arkansas Travelers continue a 10-game home stand, the first of the season in their last year at Ray Winder Field, with five games against the Wichita Wranglers beginning Friday, April 21. Game times are 7:10 p.m. Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday, with a 2 p.m. game Sunday. Kids can run the bases after Sunday’s game, and discount tickets are available for some of the home stand.

The Travs conclude their five-game series with the Tulsa Drillers on Thursday, April 20, at 7:10 p.m.

Regular prices are $6 for adults and $3 for children; a box-seat upgrade is $2.

Call 664-1555 for more information.

Fun with Chorus
The River City Men’s Chorus wraps up its season with a pair of shows Sunday and Monday, April 23-24, at Trinity United Methodist Church. “Just for the Fun of It” will be a performance full of humor and tongue-in-cheek songs by the 40-plus member singing group, led by David Glaze. Sunday’s show is at 3 p.m., and Monday’s performance begins at 7 p.m. There is no charge for either show.

Trinity UMC is at Mississippi and Evergreen.

Circus comes to town
The annual visit of the Scimitar Shrine Circus is Friday and Saturday, April 21-22, at Barton Coliseum, where kids of all ages can enjoy clowns, animals, daredevils and more. Showtimes are 7 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Box seats are available for $12, and parking in the fairgrounds is $5.

For more information, call 565-5992 or the coliseum box office at 372-8341.

Theater watch
“Arsenic and Old Lace,” the newest production of the Community Theatre of Little Rock, will continue with shows Friday through Sunday at Woolly Auditorium on the Arkansas School for the Blind campus.

Showtimes are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors.

Meanwhile, regular performers at the Weekend Theater will perform a variety of hit showtunes and offer peeks at the 2006-2007 season with the theater’s New Season Gala on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. The theater is at Seventh and Chester streets, across from Vino’s. The party includes wine and hors d’oeuvres in the lobby, as well as a silent auction and music by Steve Whaley and Friends. Tickets are $30; call 374-3761 for reservations. Check out www.weekendtheater.org for more information.

Get rugged
Experience life of the early explorers and trappers of America circa the 1840s at Mountain Man Rendezvous at Woolly Hollow State Park near Greenbrier Saturday and Sunday, April 22-23.

The event features camping in authentic lodges, tents and teepees, while reenactors demonstrate crafts, games and survival skills used in the era of fur trappers. See an authentic reproduction of a keelboat built by the reenactors.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Call 501-679-2098.

Earth Day in Conway
The Conway Earth Day Foundation has a full schedule of events planned around the third annual Conway Earth Day Festival on Saturday, April 22, at the Faulkner County Fair Grounds. This year’s theme is global warming.

Admission is free, and events will be geared to all ages, with vendors, information booths, crafts, games, a dunking booth, food and drink, pony rides, live auction, speakers and live entertainment with music and dancers. The “Kid’s Planet” will include face painting and pony rides.

The fun on the Sun Stage begins at 10 a.m. with the Boomers, a local band. Other performers include the Midnight Flame Belly Dance Troupe, Conway Women’s Chorus, Arkansas Tai Chi Chuan, singer-songwriter Lisa Horan, Little Rock jam band Free Verse, St. Louis funk-jam band Jupiter Jazz, and Conway Full Moon Drum Circle, which wraps up the party at 6 p.m.

Saturday will mark the last day the event is held in Conway. It will be renamed Arkansas Earth Day next year and held at Little Rock’s Riverfest Amphitheatre. Call 501-733-9996.

Scottish festival in Batesville
Bagpipers, dancers, drummers, games and exhibits will be part of a kilted weekend as the 27th annual Arkansas Scottish Festival is held in Batesville Friday through Sunday, April 21-23. The festival drew more than 8,000 last year and organizers promise a bigger and better event this weekend at Lyon College and other Batesville locales. It kicks off with a kilted golf scramble at the Course at Eagle Mountain, starting at 1:30 p.m. (Call 870-698-4211 to enter). A student talent competition begins at 8 p.m. at Lyon College’s Brown Chapel Auditorium.

A dinner and Ceilidh will be held Saturday beginning at 6 p.m. at Becknell Gym, with Scottish dishes and music.

Highland games will be held all day Saturday and Sunday, starting at 8 a.m. Opening ceremonies for the clans and pipe band competition begin at 1 p.m. on the parade field. Alex Beaton, a Scottish folk artist, and the folk group the Boatrights will perform at various times both days.

A two-day pass is $16 for adults and $10 for students ages 12 to 17. Saturday admission is $10 for adults in advance and $12 at the gate. Sunday admission is $6 in advance and $7 at the gate for adults, and $3 for students in advance and $5 at the gate. Call 870-698-4382.

More to do
Jenelle Robinson, the author of “February’s Diary: 28 Days of Lies,” will appear for two shows Friday, April 21, at Mediums, the art gallery at 3000 Kavanaugh. Robinson’s book covers five years of thoughts and experiences centering around relationship issues with friends, family, the opposite sex and God. Shows are at 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., and admission is $5. Call 612-7914 … Winners of the 2005 IBLA Grand Prix, an international music competition held in Ragusa, Sicily (Little Rock’s sister city), will perform Saturday, April 22, at Philander Smith College’s M.L. Harris Auditorium. The free show, “Direct From Carnegie Hall,” starts at 7 p.m.


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