Blog Archives

An interview with the cast of Elf

Photo submitted by The Rep

Photo submitted by The Rep

Elf continues through Jan. 4 at Arkansas Repertory Theatre. Read our preview of the show here and our review here. Visit therep.org for ticket and showtime information.

On the best part of being in a Christmas musical:

“It’s always great to do a Christmas show because it’s full of fun and joy, it’s a great time of year and people are coming to the show to be excited … I think the biggest thing that’s exciting to me is it’s a fun time of year and it’s a fun show, so people come with a lot of joy.”

— David Hess (Walter Hobbs)

On the musical qualities of this production:

“It has a contemporary kind of pop sort of tuneful catchiness, but the orchestrations are a real throwback — it’s what excited our musical director for sure because he loves that old-school sound. [The music] also creates opportunities for the story to be a little different, in terms of the way these people who wrote the adaptation choose to use music to forward the story. It changes relationships and dynamics. All of this stuff you want to see from the movie is in there, … Read more >

Hockadoo! Memphis is maybe The Rep’s best yet

Photo by Stephen Thornton for the Arkansas Repertory Theatre

Photo by Stephen Thornton for the Arkansas Repertory Theatre

There’s a laundry list of reasons you should see Memphis, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s opening show of its 2014-15 season: the musical won four Tonys, including Best Musical, in 2010. Music and lyrics are by David Bryan, keyboardist for Bon Jovi (!). The Little Rock cast boasts incredible talent assembled from all of the country.

But with the musical’s setting in Memphis, Tennessee, less than a two-hour drive from Little Rock, much of the show’s music, lyrics and themes will hit closer to home for Arkansas audiences than those who have never been to Beale. To sit in the audience at The Rep’s Memphis is to witness a show about an old friend, or a relative you once met. Sure, he has a shady past and some truly deplorable habits, but man, could he sing!

Memphis delves into the role music played in racial divisions in the 1950s Bible Belt. One Huey Calhoun (Brent DiRoma), a lovable dope who can’t get enough of “that underground sound” despite his bigoted mother’s better judgement, is an unlikely hero. He and his mother are poor, and without an education or conventional work ethic, … Read more >

Get your fill of performing arts this weekend

Feeling like you haven’t seen enough onstage this summer? How about you take the rest of the week to catch up — after all, this is your last chance for several of these performances, including those by the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, The Rep and Armadillo Rodeo.

Follow links to find out more about each performance.

Garrett Whitehead (left) as Pippin and Evan Tyrone Martin as Leading Player

Garrett Whitehead (left) as Pippin and Evan Tyrone Martin as Leading Player in Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre’s Pippin

Read more >

Because of Winn Dixie a heartfelt holiday musical

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From left: Danny Philips, Riley Costello, Julia Landfair, Imari Harden and Sydni Whitfield

Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s production of Because of Winn Dixie is a must-see this holiday season. Directed by John Tartaglia (Tony-nominated for Avenue Q), the show made its world premiere at The Rep on Dec. 5, but because of icy weather opening weekend and demand for the show, the show’s run has been extended to Jan. 5. If your family has a Christmas tradition of seeing a movie together over the holidays, switch it up this year and head to The Rep for an emotional and  captivating musical that is as well suited for adults as it is for kids.… Read more >

Robinson Center welcomes Beauty and the Beast

This Scene was originally published in the Nov. 27, 2013 issue of Sync

Young or old, chances are you know the story of Beauty and the Beast: A magic spell has trapped a handsome, albeit selfish, prince in the body of a beast until he proves he can love and be loved in return. A young, bright and curious girl named Belle winds up in his captivity, and the two begin an unlikely romance — breaking the spell in the nick of time.… Read more >

Pal Joey at The Rep

The Rep opened its 2013–2014 season last Friday with a production of Pal Joey, directed by Tony Award-winning Peter Schneider. The show is a derivative of the 1940 musical by Rodgers and Hart about Joey Evans, an ambitious young entertainer who will do whatever it takes, including hurt the people close to him, to open his own nightclub.

But that Pal Joey and this Pal Joey aren’t the same — not entirely, at least. The Rep’s is a significantly different Pal, one re-written by Patrick Pacheco which adds the layer of race to a story that already looks at the power of those of a certain class or sex. In Pacheco’s Pal, Joey (Clifton Oliver) is black (as is his love interest Linda, played by Stephanie Umoh), and the setting is the ever-so-slightly more recent Chicago of 1948.… 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.