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ENTERTAINMENT NOTES: Argenta Theater goes live as 'Pippin' opens in North Little Rock

by Eric E. Harrison | August 17, 2021 at 1:46 a.m.
Noah Warford (left) plays the title role, with Frederick Webb Jr. as the Leading Player, in the Argenta Community Theater’s production of the musical “Pippin,” opening this week. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette/Warren McCullough)

Elsewhere in entertainment, events and the arts:

'Pippin' production

Argenta Community Theater will resume live performances with the musical "Pippin" (music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, book by Roger O. Hirson with additional material by Bob Fosse), with friends-and-family previews 7 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, opening night at 7:30 p.m. Friday and running 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday through Aug. 28 (with a 2 p.m. Aug. 22 matinee).

The show focuses on a mysterious performance troupe and its Leading Player (Frederick Webb Jr.) telling the story of a young prince (Noah Warford in the title role,) searching for meaning and significance.

Kayren Baker plays Berthe, with Jessica Lauren Mylonas as Catherine, P. Jay Clark as Charles, Allison Stodola Wilson as Fastrada, Brandon Nichols as Louis and Walt Wenger as Theo. The ensemble includes Caleb Allen, Valerie Arnold, Michael Bartholomey, Jenn Hartman, Adriana Napolitano, Cory Olson, Moriah Patterson, Caroline Perry and Sarah Tennille. Producing Artistic Director Vincent Insalaco directs, with music direction by Bob Bidewell and choreography by Stodola Wilson.

The theater is requiring audience members to show proof of vaccination upon arrival (with exceptions made for those with a medical or religious exemption) and to remain masked unless actively eating or drinking during the performance; masks and hand sanitizer will be readily available. The theater's cast, crew and staff members are fully vaccinated. The theater is using a contactless ticketing process and is reducing the audience capacity.

Opening night coincides with the Argenta Arts District's 3rd Weekend "Argenta Dogtown Throwdown," with Main Street blocked off for several blocks for outdoor dining and live music.

Tickets are $25-$35. Call or visit argentacommunitytheater.org.

Festival of Senses

Keely Futterer sings arias and lieder by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Richard Strauss, Gioachino Rossini and others Sept. 7 at North Little Rock’s St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)
Keely Futterer sings arias and lieder by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Richard Strauss, Gioachino Rossini and others Sept. 7 at North Little Rock’s St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)

The 10th season of the Festival of the Senses at St. Luke 's Episcopal Church, 4106 John F. Kennedy Blvd., North Little Rock, opens at 7 p.m. Sept. 7 with violinist Drew Irvin, soprano Keely Futterer and pianist Tim Smith in a concert of arias and chamber music titled "On the High C's: A Royal Serenade."

The program: "L'amero sarp costante" (from "Il Re Pastore") and "No, no, che non sei capace" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; "Fantaisie sur la flute enchantee de Mozart" by Pablo de Sarasate; "Apree un reve" from "Trois melodies," op.7, No. 1 by Gabriel Faure; "Chere nuit" by Alfred Bachelet; "Villanelle" by Eva Dell'Acqua; two lieder by Richard Strauss -- "Beim schlafengehn," the third of the "Four Last Songs," and "Morgen!" op.27, No. 4 -- and "Improvisation: Andante cantabile," the second movement of Strauss' "Violin Sonata" in E-flat major, op.18; and the aria "Deh! Per me non v'affliggete" from "Ciro in Babilonia" by Gioachino Rossini.

The concert will also be livestreamed on video and available on the church's Facebook page.

The rest of the lineup (except as noted, all concerts at 7 p.m.):

◼️ Nov. 16: "Cheek to Cheek," sister/brother piano duo Julie and John Cheek

◼️ Dec. 9: "Tapping Out the Holidays," the dancers of Untapped Inc.

◼️ Jan. 18: "Violin Virtuosos," violinist Kiril Laskarov and pianist Carl Anthony playing music composed for and dedicated to famous violinists

◼️ Feb. 17: "Falling in Love," the Praeclara Ringers playing "Valentines for bells"

◼️ March 15: "Written by Women," organist Rees Roberts celebrating International Women's History Month

◼️ April 24: "Caribe," the Episcopal Collegiate Steel Drum Band performing music of the Caribbean (6 p.m.)

◼️ May 24: "South of the Border: The Other America," ARmusica (Irvin and Julie Cheek) playing music by South American composers.

Admission to all concerts is free. Visit stlukeepiscopal.org.

Arts Council fellows

The Arkansas Arts Council has announced the recipients of its $4,000 Individual Artist Fellowship awards:

◼️ Cinematic Arts: Rontaye Miquan Butler, Fayetteville; Thomas James Deeter, Little Rock (Writers Guild of America winner for Season 3 of "True Detective"); Lisa Marie Evans, Fayetteville

◼️ Poetry: Kaveh Bassiri, Hiba Tahir and Karstin Johnson, all of Fayetteville

◼️ Painting, except for works on paper: Susan Chambers, Little Rock, and Jody Travis Thompson and Ray Allen Parker, Fayetteville.

The Fellowship Awards Recognition will take place virtually Oct. 6.

'Seasonal' choreographers

Ballet Arkansas has announced the four choreographers who will set Antonio Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons," one per season, for the company's "Four Seasons," April 21-24 at the Center for Humanities and Arts Theater, University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College main campus, 3000 W. Scenic Drive, North Little Rock.

Each of the four Vivaldi violin concertos represent a season of the year. Xin Ying, a principal dancer for the Martha Graham Dance Company, will choreograph "Spring." Ashley Green, a dancer for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and 2021 Princess Grace Award winner for Dance, takes "Winter." "Autumn" will be the work of freelance choreographer Mariana Oliveira, founder of Union Project Dance Company. And freelance choreographer Maddy Falconer, a Youth America Grand Prix Outstanding Choreographer, will handle "Summer."

The program, presented by the Stella Boyle Smith Trust, will also include "Confetti," which Gerald Arpino created for the Joffrey Ballet in 1970.

"I selected these choreographers because I was enamored with their movement styles," says Ballet Arkansas' executive and artistic director Michael Fothergill. "Each is unique and will both compliment and contrast the others.

"I wanted to use this production as a vessel to honor the creative expression of today's female dancemakers, and I am in awe of the passion and talent of each of the women we've selected to debut a new work."

Each choreographer will create her work digitally, with rehearsals streamed from Ballet Arkansas' downtown dance studio. Visit balletarkansas.org.

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