Monthly Archives: March 2014

10 more performances of a stunning Les Mis at The Rep

Douglas Webster as Jean Valjean and Sydni Whitfield as Young Cosette

Douglas Webster as Jean Valjean and Sydni Whitfield as Young Cosette

As we settled in our seats for opening night of Les Miserables at The Rep earlier this month, the people filling the theater were visibly excited. It didn’t seem to matter if they’d seen the musical a thousand times or this was their first, the enthusiasm in the room was apparent.

And whether a devotee or a newbie to the show, I think it’s safe to say everyone’s expectations for the performance were exceeded. Mine were, at least. Having seen a production of Les Mis only once before (in high school, and possibly put on by a neighboring school) and never any movie version, my prior knowledge of the musical came mostly from what I could remember from the book — scenes of love and loss and French Revolution — as well as a vague familiarity with some of the more popular numbers (Susan Boyle, anyone?).

I’d always heard that for all Les Mis’ spectacle — set pieces, costumes and love triangles — it’s the music that makes the show come alive, and from the opening soliloquy by Jean Valjean (played by Douglas Webster), I had chills. In a … Read more >

Weekend of screenings, celeb appearance at Ron Robinson Theater

Still photo from Stripes: (from left) Bill Murry, Judge Reinhold, Harold Ramis and Warren Oates. Arkansas Democrat Gazette file photo

Still photo from Stripes: (from left) Bill Murry, Judge Reinhold, Harold Ramis and Warren Oates. Arkansas Democrat Gazette file photo

In honor of actor, writer and comedian Harold Ramis, who passed away Feb. 24, Little Rock Film Festival and Central Arkansas Library System hold a screening of Stripes on Friday at Ron Robinson Theater. Ramis wrote and starred in the 1981 film that also starred Bill Murray and John Candy. Other well-known works of Ramis’ include Caddyshack and Groundhog Day, which he co-wrote and directed, and Ghostbusters, which he co-wrote and starred in.… Read more >

High school students with sights on art

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Little Rock Eye Clinic celebrates the opening of its new location with the Vision Art Show and Exhibition on March 6. Central Arkansas high school students have submitted almost 100 works, all with the theme of vision, to be judged by a panel of four judges. Winning artists will be announced at the opening reception; the winner will receive a $200 prize and those who place in the top five will receive smaller prizes.… Read more >

Les Mis back on The Rep stage

This Scene was originally published in the March 5, 2014, issue of Sync

When Les Miserables opens at Arkansas Repertory Theatre this week, don’t expect the same show you saw five years ago at the downtown Little Rock theater.

The musical features new costumes, a new set design, a fresh cast and even a slight change in score, made by the musical’s creators in 2010. “We’re not looking to recreate that production, but we are certainly building upon it,” says Bob Hupp, producing artistic director for The Rep and director of Les Mis.

If you didn’t see Les Mis during The Rep’s 2008-09 season, there’s a good chance you’ve seen the 2012 blockbuster version. Or read Victor Hugo’s novel, even if it was decades ago in a high school English class. The story is one that many are familiar with, though each interpretation provides a different experience.

And while Hupp and cast members say the movie has its merits — beautiful cinematography, for one — there are elements of the show that can’t be recreated onscreen. “It’s a different medium, and we have to accept that,” says Karenssa LeGear, who plays Cosette. “But we did miss the voices.”… Read more >

The Rep’s 39th season includes Elf, August: Osage County, Mary Poppins

REP logoArkansas Repertory Theatre has announced its 2014-2015 season will include Memphis, Wait Until Dark, Elf, The Whipping Man, Mary Poppins and August: Osage County. Below are dates and a short synopsis of each of the theater’s mainstage productions from a statement released by The Rep.

Memphis: Sept. 5-28

A regional theater premiere at Arkansas Rep, Memphis is a new musical with music and lyrics by David Bryan and lyrics and book by Joe DiPietro loosely based on Memphis disc jockey Dewey Phillips, one of the first white DJs to play black music in the 1950s.

Appearing on Broadway from October 19, 2009 to August 5, 2012, Memphis garnered eight 2010 Tony Award nominations, and won four 2010 Tony Awards, including Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Orchestrations and Best Musical.

Set in the 1950s in the musically-rich Tennessee city, Memphis tells the story of a local DJ with a passion for R&B music and an up-and-coming singer that he meets one fateful night on Beale Street. As their careers rise, their relationship is challenged by personal ambition and the pressures and prejudice of the outside world.

Wait Until Dark: Oct. Read more >

Syd Hayman is a beauty, entertainment and pop culture fanatic who enjoys trying different metro restaurants that satisfy picky eaters. Tweet her at @TheSydRichi.