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Memphis

Monty Python’s Spamalot
Aug. 31 – Oct. 2, 2016
Opening Night on Friday, Sept. 2, 2016 

Book & lyrics by Eric Idle  |  Music by John Du Prez & Eric Idle   |  A new musical lovingly ripped off from the motion picture “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”  |  From the original screenplay by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Pain  |  Directed by Melissa Rain Anderson

 

From the deliciously twisted minds of Monty Python’s Flying Circus comes the irreverent, sidesplitting Broadway smash musical that proves that you should always look on the bright side of life, especially if you’re not yet dead.


Witches, wizards, killer bunny rabbits with big pointy teeth and the French (naturally!) are just a few of the epic obstacles that Arthur and his brave knights (and Sir Robin) must vanquish on their eternal quest to find the Holy Grail; and create a hit stage show in the process.


Blending the most quotable parts of the cult comedy classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail with a lovingly savage satire of the entertainment industry, Spamalot will have you rolling in the aisles and buying shrubberies in the gift shop on your way out of the theatre.


“I'm always compelled and inspired to work on great comedy,” said Director Melissa Rain Anderson. “I think the tag line says it best: ‘Lovingly ripped from the motion picture Monty Python and the Holy Grail.’ The Pythons are famous for their silly, quirky comedy and I'm a big fan of their style. Though the humor is irreverent, the tone is still very buoyant. There's a sweet spot with delivering that type of humor. The key is committing to that zone and playing within that very specific zany realm.

 

“And it’s all on the page,” Anderson continues. “There’s no need to comment or call attention to the jokes. It's a wonderful tight rope to walk, and I am committed to maintaining that honesty. It's a joyous event of a show, and I'm thrilled to be working on Spamalot, again!”


One of the wackiest musicals to ever win three Tony Awards, including “Best Musical,” Spamalot will delight even the most jaded theatregoer!

 


The Crucible

Oct. 26 – Nov. 13, 2016

Opening Night on Friday, Oct. 28, 2016

Play by Arthur Miller  |  Directed by Paul Barnes

 

Since its premiere in 1953, master playwright Arthur Miller’s chilling portrayal of the historic Salem Witch Trials has become an American stage classic as well as a terrifying metaphor for modern times. The Crucible explores the insidious dangers of paranoia, mass hysteria and prejudice, all potent issues which could be ripped from today’s headlines.


Amid a rash of mysterious illnesses and rumors of strange behavior among the young girls of Salem, Mass., suspicions of malevolent forces at work begin to cloud the judgment of the town’s citizens and they pledge to root out the evil in their colony.


But children’s games soon turn deadly as the people of Salem are whipped into a bloodthirsty frenzy by fear and distrust. Neighbor turns against neighbor, whispers become testimony and lies become truth.


As the minds of the townsfolk become poisoned by anxiety and doubt, even upright farmer and family man John Proctor is falsely accused of witchcraft and must fight a corrupt court to protect the virtue of his name.


“Arthur Miller, one of the great American moralists, wrote The Crucible, a play about the 17th Century Salem, Mass. witch hunts and trials, during another period of witch hunts and trials in America: the mid-20th Century Joseph McCarthy-led HUAC Congressional hearings,” said Director Paul Barnes. “It is fascinating to view our new century through the probing moral questions that permeate Miller’s work: How do we define manhood? What does it mean to have a conscience and to let it guide us? How can we be better human beings?  I'm thrilled to revisit Miller's great play at this tumultuous time in our country's history and continuing evolution, and in this centenary anniversary year in which Arthur Miller is being so widely honored and remembered.”

Inspired by the “McCarthy Red Scare” of the 1950s, Miller’s white-hot play is a powerful testament to the injustices that can be committed in the name of patriotism and to the self-destructive nature of intolerance.
 

A Christmas Story
Nov. 30 – Dec. 24, 2016

Opening Night on Friday, Dec. 2, 2016

 

Play by Philip Grecian  |  Based on the motional picture A Christmas Story, 1983 Turner Entertainment Co.

Directed by Mark Shanahan

 

All Ralphie Parker wants for Christmas is an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle with a compass in the stock, and this thing which tells time. All his parents can say in response? “You’ll shoot your eye out!”


Based upon the memoirs of Jean Shepherd, the 1983 film A Christmas Story has become a modern holiday classic. This winter, relive your favorite moments from the movie as they come to life onstage at The Rep!

 

Enjoy Ralphie’s hilarious misadventures as his family struggles to enjoy an All-American Christmas on the brink of World War II. Armed with an overactive imagination and the wide-eyed optimism of childhood, he creates fantastic schemes to guarantee that he will find a BB gun under the tree, which backfire with hysterical results.


Bullies, his salty Old Man, even a store Santa, all conspire to prevent Ralphie from attaining his heart’s desire in this bittersweet, quirky slice of life from a more innocent time. In the end, nothing can defeat the spirit of Christmas when you are surrounded by a family who loves you, warts and all.


We’ve got a wonderful present to wrap up and put under the tree this year at The Rep,” said Director Mark Shanahan. “Audiences will be delighted as this classic Christmas tale comes to life in a uniquely theatrical way. A Christmas Story transports us to the bygone era of the 1940s and the recollections of a family Christmas like no other. Full of wit, imagination and heartfelt nostalgia, A Christmas Story is a holiday gift you’ll remember all year-round.”

We triple-dog dare you to keep a straight face at A Christmas Story. This raucous, heartwarming yuletide favorite will have the whole family rolling in the aisles. It is not for the fra-gee-lay of heart!

 


Sister Act
Jan. 25 – Feb. 26, 2017

Opening Night on Friday, Jan. 27, 2017

 

Music by Alan Menken  |  Lyrics by Glenn Slater  |  Book by Cheri Steinkellner, Bill Steinkellner

Additional Book Material by Douglas Carter Beane  |  Based on the Touchstone Pictures Motion Picture Sister Act written by Joseph Howard  |  Directed by Cliff Baker

 

Raise your voice with The Holy Order of the Little Sisters of Our Mother of Perpetual Faith in this rapturous new musical based on the 1992 hit movie starring Whoopi Goldberg!


After witnessing a violent crime committed by her mobster boyfriend, flamboyant lounge singer Deloris Van Cartier is placed deep undercover in the witness protection program. Posing as a young nun in a convent, she struggles to fit in with the Mother Superior’s strict rules and regulations.


Sharing her love for music, she injects modern panache into the choir’s stodgy performances. This soon turns their struggling church on its head and teaches the sisters the meaning of soul, and in return, they teach her the meaning of community.


A hilarious fish-out-of-water story with an infectious score by Alan Menken, the composer of Little Shop of Horrors and The Little Mermaid, Sister Act was nominated for five Tony Awards in 2011, including “Best Musical.”


Shake off those post-holiday blues and jump into 2017 with me as I direct Sister Act the Musical,” said Cliff Baker, Sister Act Director and The Rep’s founding Artistic Director. “A good number of years ago I saw this show when it was still in previews in London. I immediately thought Rep audiences would love this! The show joyfully celebrates our foibles and follies. It is suitable for the whole family, but it's not Disney, it's Whoopi!”

The Rep promises to raise the roof with this effervescent production that is sure to move your feet and your heart.


Can we get an “Amen”?

Jar the Floor
March 29 – April 16, 2017

Opening Night on Friday, March 31, 2017
 

Play by Cheryl L. West  |  Directed by Gilbert McCauley

 

Four generations of African-American women gather to celebrate their beloved, outrageous matriarch’s 90th birthday. The trouble is, recently widowed MaDear would rather watch her soap operas and read her Bible than blow out the candles on her cake.


Tempers flare and ugly secrets are revealed in this furiously fractured family portrait. Yet, even in the midst of so much turmoil, rollicking humor bites its way through the cycles of guilt and blame passed on from mothers to daughters.


Fierce and funny, Jar the Floor is a heartfelt comedy that proves blood is thicker than water and the ghosts of the past should not rob us of the moments we have together in the here and now.


In addition to the thrill of returning to direct my eighth production at The Rep, it's always exciting to work on a good play,” said Director Gilbert McCauley. “It's even more fun to return to a good play more than once; this is the case for me with Jar the Floor.  Each time I come back to this piece, I am pleasantly surprised by the appreciation and delight that audiences express as they peek into this special day-in-the-life of these four generations of women. I get the sense that audiences enjoy it because the writing reflects an admiration for human resilience coupled with a compassion for human frailty. While it is filled with raucous and often poignant humor, the playwright, Cheryl West, says her play is also about "making peace--with one's scars, with one's history and...one's mother."

From Cheryl L. West, the award-winning playwright of Before It Hits Home, Pullman Porter Blues and Holiday Heart, Jar the Floor is a turbulent celebration of the ties that bind the family, no matter how dysfunctional it may be.

 


Godspell

May 31– June 25, 2017

Opening Night on Friday, June 2, 2017

Book by John Michael Tebelak  |  Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Conceived and Originally Directed by John Michael Tebelak  |  Based on the Gospel According to St. Matthew
Created in partnership with 2 Ring Circus  |  Directed by Donna Drake 

Prepare ye the way for this irresistible, groundbreaking rock musical that blends the Gospel According to St. Matthew with an unbridled sense of joyous play. Timeless, haunting and full of humor and heart, Godspell is a celebration of the best of our humanity and shines a beacon of light in a dark and weary world.

 

Reimagined by visionary director Donna Drake as a Southern parable set in a down-on-its-luck circus during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, Godspell will transform your spirit and inspire you to journey out into the world and build a more Beautiful City. A hunted prophet and peacemaker are taken in by a traveling family of entertainers lost in a world of political and religious unrest. Over the course of their brief time with this miraculous man, they rediscover new hope in a simple song and salvation in basic acts of kindness and brotherhood.

 

The production team is joined by the aerial wizards of 2 Ring Circus, who created the spellbinding effects for last season’s family favorite The Little Mermaid. This talented team will transform The Rep’s stage into a wondrous big top where your wildest dreams will come true.

 

I am overjoyed to be returning to The Rep next season as director of the newly conceived cirque/aerial version of Godspell, a new and thought-provoking spin on an age-old story,” said Director Donna Drake. “I wanted to develop and work on this production at The Rep because I know I will be surrounded by extraordinary talent, brilliant design, a supportive team and dear friends; all the tools needed to create magic. From Mary Poppins to Godspell, each production is a unique story of humankind being transformed by the teachings of love and compassion.”

Buy Tickets
Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday Evenings at 7:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday Evenings at 8:00 p.m.
Sunday Matinee Performances at 2:00 p.m.
September 03, 2014 - September 28, 2014

Music and lyrics by David Bryan
Lyrics and book by Joe DiPietro 



A regional theatre 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.


From the first notes of its opening number “Underground” right up to a rousing finale called “Steal Your Rock ‘n’ Roll,” Memphis delivers one energetic song after the next, with electrifying singing and dancing along the way.



Cast

Courtney Blackmun ... Ensemble /“Someday” Backup Singer
Michele May Clark ... Ensemble/Clara/White Mother/US Gladys
Brent DiRoma* ... Huey
Katie Emerson* ... Ensemble/Teen Girl 1/Double Dutch Girl
Ryan Farnsworth* ... Ensemble/Perry Como/US Huey
Tatiana H. Green ... Ensemble/“Someday” Backup Singer
DeCarl Jones ... Ensemble/Black DJ/Wailin Joe/Reverend Hobson/US De
Marisa Kirby* ... Ensemble/Dance Captain/Teen Girl 2/US Clara/US Whi
Ann-Ngaire Martin* ... Gladys
Daniel McDonald* ... White DJ/Mr. Collins/White Father/Gordon Grant/US
Chris McNiff ... Ensemble/Buck Wiley/Martin Holton
Bill Newhall* ... Mr. Simmons
Gregory Omar Osborne ... Ensemble /"Be Black" Trio
Tony Perry* ... Delray
J Nycole Ralph* ... Ethel/"Someday" Backup Singer/Ensemble /US Felicia
Shaun Repetto ... Ensemble/ Frank Dryer/ US Perry Como
Jasmin Richardson* ... Felicia
James Roberts ... Ensemble/”Be Black Trio/US Gator
Arthur L. Ross* ... Bobby
Kyron Turner ... Ensemble/”Be Black” Trio
Laura Leigh Turner ... Ensemble
Gregory L. Williams* ... Gator

Crew

Music Director: Mark Binns
Sound Designer: Allan Branson
Director/Choreographer: Lynne Kurdziel-Formato
Properties Designer: Lynda J. Kwallek
Resident Set Designer/Technical Director: Mike Nichols
Wig Designer: Robert Pickens
Lighting Designer: Bill Webb
AEA Assistant Stage Manager: Katie M. Dayley*
AEA Assistant Stage Manager: Phillip T. Perez*
Production Manager/Co-Costume Designer: Rafael Colon Castanera
Co-Costume Designer: Mark Nagle
Music and Lyrics by: David Bryan
Book and Lyrics by: Joe DiPietro

Additional Info


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ERFORMANCES & SPECIAL EVENTS

PAY WHAT YOU CAN NIGHT

Wednesday, September 3 | 7 p.m.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette presents The Rep’s “Pay What You Can Night” on Wed., Sept. 3. Patrons can pay any amount they wish for their ticket. Tickets must be purchased in person at the Box Office at 601 Main Street the day of the performance. The Box Office will be open from 9 a.m. until curtain. Tickets are limited to (2) two per person. Offer is based on seating availability.

PRESHOW DIRECTOR TALKS
Wednesday, September 3 and Thursday, September 4 | 6:15 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.  
A preshow talk will take place on the set of Memphis with Director Lynn Kurdziel-Formato, Producing Artistic Director Bob Hupp and members of the creative team.

CLINTON SCHOOL OF PUBLIC SERVICE Distinguished Speaker Series
Thursday, September 4 | 12 – 1 p.m.
Clinton School of Public Service, 1200 President Clinton Avenue, Little Rock

Join Rep Producing Artistic Director Bob Hupp as he hosts the cast from The Rep’s production of Memphis for a panel discussion on this high-energy musical!

Arkansas Repertory Theatre works in partnership with the Clinton School of Public Service to participate in their Distinguished Speaker Series, hosting educational panel discussions on various Rep productions. The panel discussions are led by Producing Artistic Director Bob Hupp and include insights from guest directors, actors and Bob himself on bringing compelling stories to The Rep stage. Call the Clinton School at (501) 683-5239(501) 683-5239 for reservations.


OPENING NIGHT
Friday, September 5 | 8 p.m.
Opening Night for Memphis will include a post-show reception with the cast immediately following the show. Complimentary champagne and light hors d'oeuvres will be provided.

The After-Party
Sponsored by Heartbeat 106.7
Saturday, September 13 | 10:30 p.m.
Stick around after the Saturday performance of Memphis for drinks and look for members of the cast to make an appearance at The Rep's lounge Foster's.

Girls Night Out with Beehive
Sponsored by Inviting Arkansas
Thursday, September 18 | 6 - 7 p.m.
Shop 'til you drop with Little Rock boutique Beehive in Foster's before showtime. A cash bar will be available.

Live From Foster's with Christopher Keys Cash
Friday, September 19 | 6:30 p.m.
Get your evening started early with live pre-show music from Christopher Keys Cash at Foster's.

Beer Night with O'Fallon Brewery
Sponsored by Arkansas Times

Thursday, September 25 | 5:30 p.m.
Join the Arkansas Times and Golden Eagle before the show to enjoy samples of O'Fallon Brewery beer in Foster's.


Learn more with our special Study Guide here. Information for study guide provided by Robert Neblett.

SIGN INTERPRETATION
Performance interpreted for the hearing impaired on Wednesday, September 17


PERFORMANCE RUN
Memphis will run for four weeks with performances from September 3-September 28, 2014, Wednesday through Sunday.

SHOW TIMES
Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday evening performances 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday evening performances 8 p.m.  Sunday Matinees performances 2 p.m.


Sponsors


Buy Tickets 501-378-0405