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ENTERTAINMENT NOTES: 'Birdhouse' cirque lands at Reynolds

by Eric E. Harrison | November 14, 2021 at 2:49 a.m.
Cirque Mechanics' "Birdhouse Factory" is onstage this week at the University of Central Arkansas' Reynolds Performance Hall in Conway. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)


Happenings in Arkansas entertainment, events and the arts:

FUN: 'Birdhouse' Cirque

Cirque Mechanics' "Birdhouse Factory," inspired in part by the industry murals of Diego Rivera, the cartoons of Rube Goldberg and Charlie Chaplin's film "Modern Times," is onstage at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Reynolds Performance Hall, University of Central Arkansas, 201 Donaghey Ave., Conway.

The show focuses on a bird accidentally injured by the main steam boiler in a "widgets" factory circa 1935, where the workers (acrobats, contortionists, unicyclists, trapeze artists, etc.) subsequently are inspired to use their bodies and machines to build birdhouses in a joyful and soulful, though admittedly less efficient, way.

Tickets are $30-$40, $10 for children and students, with discounts for senior citizens and UCA students, faculty, staff and alumni. Call (501) 450-3265 or (866) 810-0012 or visit uca.edu/Reynolds.

THEATER: Farewell to 'Rent'

Jonathan Larson's musical "Rent" marks its 25th anniversary and bids audiences across the country farewell with the "Rent 25th Anniversary Farewell Season of Love Tour," onstage 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Robinson Center Performance Hall, 426 W. Markham St., Little Rock. Tickets are $29-$74. Call (501) 244-8800 or visit Ticketmaster.com.

The Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning show, loosely based on Giacomo Puccini's opera "La Boheme," focuses on a year in the lives of artists and friends struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. It premiered off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop on Feb. 13, 1996, and transferred to Broadway on April 29, 1996.

TheatreSquared trio

TheatreSquared, 477 W. Spring St., Fayetteville, is offering three shows to close out the year:

◼️ "Marie and Rosetta" by George Brant, opening Wednesday, running 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday (no performance on Thanksgiving Day; additional performance 7 p.m. Nov. 28). Following a summer run at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre in Little Rock, Miche Braden plays gospel-rock legend Sister Rosetta Tharpe with Johnique Mitchell as her protege, Marie Knight, directed by Steve Broadnax III. Streaming digitally Nov. 30-Dec. 12.

◼️ "A Christmas Carol," adapted by TheatreSquared's Amy Herzberg and Robert Ford from the novel by Charles Dickens, 7 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3-26 at the Fayetteville Public Library Event Center, 401 W. Mountain St., Fayetteville. Additional performances: 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 23, 2 p.m. Dec. 24; no performance Dec. 25; streaming Dec. 14-26.

◼️ "The Heart of Christmas: Songs and Stories of the Season," written and performed by Rob Sutton, an Arkansas native, a graduate of the University of Arkansas and a TheatreSquared alumnus, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 6 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11-26 (no performance Christmas Day).

Tickets for each show are $18-58. Call (479) 777-7477 or visit theatre2.org.

MUSIC: Cheek to Cheek to ...

The sister-brother duo of pianists Julie and John Cheek and pianist Johan Botes will perform at 7 p.m. Tuesday at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 4106 John F. Kennedy Blvd., North Little Rock.

The Cheek siblings will play the "Suite No. 2" for two pianos in c minor by Sergei Rachmaninoff. John Cheek will play "Dances of Marosszek" by Zoltan Kodaly and one of his own compositions. Julie Cheek will play "Widmung" ("Dedication") by Robert Schumann, arranged by Franz Liszt, and Botes will play the "Schatz" ("Treasure") Waltz by Johann Strauss Jr., arranged by Ernst von Dohnanyi.

The concert is part of the church's Festival of the Senses. Admission is free. Attendees are requested to wear masks and observe social distancing. Call (501) 753-3578, email baxternan@aol.com or visit stlukeepiscopal.org.

OBU Jazz Band

Ouachita Baptist University's Jazz Band will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Jones Performing Arts Center at OBU, 410 Ouachita St., Arkadelphia.

The program includes "Garaje Gato" by Gordon Goodwin, "Pharaoh's Funk" by Erik Sherburne and arrangements of "Artistry in Rhythm" by Stan Kenton, "Besame Mucho" by Consuelo Velazquez, "Theme from 'The Summer of '42' " by Michel Legrand, "Spain" by Chick Corea, "Opus De Funk" by Horace Silver, "The Days of Wine and Roses" by Henry Mancini, "You've Got a Friend in Me" by Randy Newman and "Africa" by David Paich and Jeff Porcaro. Jim Lloyd conducts.

Admission is free; masks are required inside the auditorium. The concert also will be livestreamed at obu.edu/band. Call (870) 245-4197 or email lloydj@obu.edu.

FILM: D-Day documentary

The MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, 503 E. Ninth St., in Little Rock's MacArthur Park, will screen the documentary "D-Day 360" as part of its "Movies at MacArthur" series, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The documentary, produced for the 70th anniversary of D-Day, focuses on the invasion of Omaha Beach by the American forces under Gen. Omar Bradley, using raw data gathered through forensic laser scanning, 3D computer modeling and eyewitness accounts. Admission is free. Call (501) 376-4602 or email MacArthur@littlerock.gov.

TICKETS: Salonga @ Pulaski Tech

Tickets — $20-$65 — are on sale for a performance by actress and singer Lea Salonga, who won a Tony Award for her leading role in "Miss Saigon" on Broadway, 7:30 p.m. April 25 at the Center for Humanities and Arts Theater at the University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College, 3000 W. Scenic Drive, North Little Rock. Visit uaptc.edu/charts.


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