To Do: A ‘Kool’ Gala and animal art

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 123 views 

The next several weeks in Northwest Arkansas set the pace for what is likely to be a busy arts and events scene for all of 2013. The Rogers Little Theater delivers a classic Broadway hit, a “Celebration” is planned by the Washington Regional Foundation, numerous events help support the humane treatment of animals and there will be bed races down Dickson.

The Broadway hit turned movie “Goodbye Charlie,” by George Axelrod and directed by Charles Riedmueller, is the next production at the Victory Theater, with performances set for March 29-31 and April 4-7.

The theater is located at 116 S. Second St., in Rogers.

Charlie was a womanizer with a foul mouth and taste for booze. Caught in the act and killed by his lover’s husband, Charlie “returns” as a woman and gets a second chance at life and love. Lauren Bacall on Broadway and Debbie Reynolds onscreen took on the title role in this farce by the author of “The Seven Year Itch.”

Fayetteville local Jasmine Shea, takes on the lead role of Charlie Sorel.

Director Charles Riedmeuller is looking forward to audience reaction to this RLT-stage production.

“I think my favorite aspect of this show is that, unlike many comedies, it does not rely on ‘jokes’ in the usual way. Most of this production’s comedy comes from the performances which showcase the actors. It isn't so much what is said, but how it is said and received that breathes life into the script,” Riedmeuller said.
“Goodbye Charlie” is presented by Title Partner Great Southern Bank. Tickets are available online at the Rogers Little Theater website, or by calling the box office at (479) 631-8988.

Prices for the dinner seating are $45/person and balcony seating is $16/person. Thursday-Saturday dinner begins by 7 p.m. and ends at 7:30 p.m.; balcony seating begins at 7:30 p.m. and ends at 7:55 p.m. Sunday matinee dinner begins by 1 p.m. and ends at 1:30 p.m.; balcony seating begins at 1:30 p.m. and ends at 1:55 p.m. Children under age 5 will not be admitted.

Housed at the historic Victory Theater in downtown Rogers for the past 26 years, RLT produces a wide variety of plays, musicals and special events each year. Over 20,000 audience members have attended RLT productions in the past two seasons. The theater relies on more than 700 volunteers, including approximately 125 volunteer actors. Their donations of time, talent and financial resources bring vitality and strength to RLT.

Tickets are on sale for the 20th annual Washington Regional Foundation Gala set for Tuesday, April 2, at Walton Arts Center.

The Gala performer will be rhythm and blues legend Kool & the Gang. Balcony seating tickets, which include performance and reception, are $75. To order tickets, call (479) 443-5600, or order online at the Walton Arts Center website.

Kool & the Gang’s signature hit, “Celebration,” will set the tone for the evening, with the Foundation marking its 25th year and the Gala its 20th year of providing important funding for a variety of community healthcare needs. With 31 albums certified gold or platinum, two Grammy Awards and seven American Music Awards, Kool & the Gang is the longest continuously performing R&B group in history.

“During this very special year, we gratefully acknowledge and thank our generous donors and volunteers who have made the Gala so successful over the past 19 years,” Amy Linimon Mason, Washington Regional Foundation special events director, said in a statement.

This year’s Gala proceeds will benefit Washington Regional’s Critical Care Unit (CCU), which provides care for the most seriously ill and injured patients.

The Humane Society of the Ozarks is proud to partner with Walton Arts Center for the first ever, “Arts for Animals” program designed to raise money and educate the community about services for the humane treatment of animals.

For the month of March, when patrons purchase a ticket to any of the five animal-themed performances, Walton Arts Center will donate $1 to the Humane Society of the Ozarks.

Over the next few months, Walton Arts Center has a variety of family-friendly programming for theater and animal-lovers alike. “Arts for Animals” shows start with Popovich Comedy Pet Theater in April, a unique pet performance with rescue animals, and ends with the musical mystery, Scooby-Doo Live at the end of May.

“Arts for Animals” performance includes:
• Popovich Pet Comedy Theater – two performances, April 6, $16-28

• Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild Live! Part of Artosphere, one performance May 3, $18-28

• We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Part of Artosphere, one performance May 12, $5

• War Horse, seven performances, May 22-26, $49-73

• Scooby-Doo Live! three performances, May 28-29, $19-76

To order tickets to these and other performances, call (479) 443-5600 or visit the website and use the code GERBIL.

Springfest will return to Fayetteville on Saturday, May 4, and will feature the popular pancake breakfast, bed races, live music and craft vendors, among other activities on Dickson Street.

Fayetteville Springfest began in 1983 by merchants on Dickson Street as a way to celebrate the history, culture, and flavor of Fayetteville. The festival quickly became a late-April staple each year featuring a pancake breakfast, lots of live music, kid-friendly activities, local arts and crafts vendors and the annual “bed races” where teams of participants put together their own racing beds and race them down Dickson Street. Springfest was not held in 2012.

Doug Allen, this year’s festival organizer and owner of Jose’s Restaurant, believes that with the help of new board members and programming, Springfest can once again become the highly successful event it was in its prime.

“I’m excited to bring Springfest back and keep such a strong Dickson Street tradition alive,” Allen said. “We’ve got a great group of people involved, and I think this year’s festival will be bigger and better than ever.”

Springfest will partner with the Walton Arts Center’s Artosphere Trail Mix Series along Frisco Trail. Concerts will take place at various locations along the trail on the day of the event between Wilson Park and Greenhouse Grille, including performances by 3 Penny Acre and Earth Dinosaur Petting Zoo.

Link here for more info about the festival, including vendor and volunteer applications.