Don Giovanni

Don Giovanni

A perfect start to your Halloween weekend, Don Giovanni (the Italian for Don
Juan) is the story of the great lover Don Juan, the wealthy nobleman who spends his life seducing women…and ultimately is pulled into hell.  Don Giovanni will be performed at the historic Lyric Theater on Fridaydon-1 and Saturday, October 28 &
29
, at 7:00 and on Sunday, October 30 at
2:00; tickets are now available through the OAC’s ticketing web site or by calling our office at (870) 391-3504.

With music composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and words by Lorenzo Da Ponte, Don Giovanni is a thrilling musical ride of a traditional morality play, from the tantalizing rush of lust and pride in which the young may be so easily engulfed to the ‘engulfed’ end of one whose debauchery goes unrepented.

The setting is mid-18th century Seville. Leporella (Lisa Marie Gerstenkorn), servant to the nobleman Don Giovanni (Marvin Murphree), keeps watch outside the Commendatore’s (Norman Cochran) home at night. Suddenly, the Commendatore’s daughter, Donna Anna (Jennifer White), rushes out, struggling with the masked Giovanni and followed by her father. The Commendatore challenges Giovanni to a duel and is killed…but Anna is unaware of who has marvinmkilled him. Giovanni and Leporella thus escape, but Anna asks her fiancé, Don Ottavio (Andrew Etherington), to find the ‘unknown’ killer and avenge her father’s death.

In the morning, Giovanni and Leporella encounter one of Giovanni’s former conquests, Donna Elvira (Rebecca Claborn), who is devastated by his betrayal. Leporella tells her she is neither the first nor the last woman to fall victim to Giovanni and shows her his catalogue with the name of every woman Giovanni has seduced.

When peasants celebrate the marriage of Masetto (Seth Dylan Hunt) and Zerlina (Lisa Murphy), Giovanni flirts with the bride, telling her she is destined for a better life, but Elvira warns Zerlina to flee her suitor. Anna, who is still unawareof the identity of her father’s murderer, has asked Giovanni for help in finding the man, and Elvira tries to warn her, as well. Giovanni, of course, insists that Elvira is mad, and Anna and Ottavio wonder what to believe…until Anna recognizes his voice as that of the murderer!

In our production, Giovanni’s servant will be female (Leporella), while that character was originally written as a male (Leporello). This change adds a different dynamic to the relationship between Giovanni and his servant. The sexual appetite of Giovanni is what is generally pointed out, but it is a much deeper story than that—truth, not simply titillation: in the song “O Come to the Window,” Giovanni reveals, through subtext, his feelings of abandonment by his mother as a child. It is this sense of abandonment that has led him to seek to conquer all the women with whom he comes in contact.

Backed by a fantastic piano score and translated to modern English, our singers are from around the United States and have sung nationally and internationally.

Don Giovanni will be performed at the historic Lyric Theater on Friday October 28 and Saturday October 29 at 7:00PM and on Sunday, October 30 at 2:00PM; tickets are now available through the OAC’s ticketing web site or by calling our office at (870) 391-3504.

Because of the adult themes, parental guidance is suggested.

Bios of Featured Cast

Don Giovanni – Marvin Murphree, baritone, has appeared in opera, oratorio, song recital and musical theatre throughout the United States and Central America and is a National Association of Teachers of mmheadshot-1-2014Singing Award winner.

Among his operatic roles are Don Alfonzo in Cosi fan Tutte, Sgt. Belcore in L’elisir D’ Amore, Sonora in La Fanciulla del West, Morales in Carmen, Baron Duphol in La Traviata, Count Almaviva in Nozze de Figaro, Silvio in Pagliacci, Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte, Pirate King in Pirates of Penzance, Father in Hansel und Gretel, Usher in Trial By Jury, Uberto in La Serva Pedrona, Signor Deluso in Signor Deluso and others. His musical theatre credits include Tommy Albright-Brigadoon, Fred Graham/Petruchio- Kiss Me Kate, Lancelot-Camelot and Curly-Oklahoma. He has been featured soloist for oratorios such as Messiah-Handel, Creation-Haydn, Stabat Mater dolorosa-Pergolesi, Christmas Oratorio-Saint-Saenz, Seven Last Words-Dubois. Some of the organizations with which he has appeared are: Springfield Regional Opera, Lyric Artists of the West in Denver, Heart of Atlanta Network, Radio Kansas NPR Network, The Modern Music Festival in Boulder, CO, Trinity Concerts, Central Oklahoma Concert Series, The Kansas City Bach Festival, Jubilate Concerts in St. Louis and colleges and universities throughout the Midwest.  Critics have called his singing “passionate” and “especially vivid” and he continues to be in demand as both an operatic and concert performer.

As a teacher of singing, his students have consistently been awarded “I” ratings at district and state music contest at the high school level and his collegiate students have won multiple awards by the National Association of Teachers of Singing.  Additionally, select students have appeared on the stages of professional opera companies, on international radio programs and on television.  He has coached performers who have gone on to appear in leading roles on Broadway and major opera companies around the world.

As a conductor he has worked with both professional and amateur choirs and orchestras, directing a wide variety of music from contemporary small works, to major classical works with full orchestra including Mendelssohn’s Elijah and St. Paul, Haydn’s Creation, Handel’s Messiah, Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio and many others.

Mr. Murphree holds both Bachelor and Master of music degrees and has studied voice with Edwin Quistorff, Harry Morrison and Vernon Yenne. He studied voice pedagogy with the late James McKinney.  Conducting mentors have been Conan Castle, C. David Keith and Robert Burton.

Murphree is the founder and artistic director of The Mosaic Vocal Ensemble, a professional vocal quartet, is in great demand as a Missouri State High School Activities Association vocal music judge, and presents frequent workshops and master classes in high schools and universities.  He has served on the voice faculties of Missouri Southern State University, Missouri State University, and The Missouri Fine Arts Academy. He has been Chorus Master for the Springfield Regional Opera.  Additionally, he has provided music ministry leadership in churches in Missouri, Texas, Arkansas and Kansas.

Leporella – Lisa Marie Gerstenkorn, contralto, is a frequent performer of varied musical styles, including opera, art song, musical theatre, jazz and sacred music.  Lisa recently performed with the Ozark Family Opera Company in Bentonville, AR as Ms. Denari in a new production titled Opera Idol.  In lisagSpring 2017 she will perform as Marquise de Birkenfeld in Donizetti’s Daugher of the Regiment with the Heartland Opera Theatre in Joplin, MO.  She is also singing in her tenth season as a member of the professional chorus for the Tulsa Opera, with whom she made her solo debut as Sister Lillianne in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking.

Lisa has been a Resident Artist with the Ohio Light Opera and the College Light Opera Company in Falmouth, MA.  She has also performed with the American Opera Studio, Mosaic Vocal Ensemble, Shawnee Mission Theatre in the ParkSpringfield Regional Opera, Pittsburg Community Theatre, and with her alma mater, Pittsburg State University.  Favorite roles include La Principessa in Suor Angelica, Zita in Gianni Schicchi, Third Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Little Buttercup in HMS Pinafore, and Glinda in The Wizard of Oz.

In addition to her busy performing schedule, Ms. Gerstenkorn is an Adjunct Voice Instructor at both Pittsburg State University and Missouri Southern State University, and also teaches through her private Voice Studio.

Donna Anna – Dr. Jennifer White , soprano, enjoys an active performing and teaching career. Teaching now in the Kansas City area, she has performed as a soloist for the William Baker Festival Singers, the St. Joseph Community Chorus, the Sacred Arts Chorale, Lawrence Opera Theatre, KC VITAs Chamber Choir, and the Kansas City Philharmonia.

jennifer-white

Previously, she spent a summer Italy, where she performed in concerts at Piobicco and Urbania with the Si parla, si canta program and later returned to Modena, Italy to spend time studying with world-famous soprano Mirella Freni. As a student at the University of Kansas, she was heard as La Ciesca in KU Opera’s Gianni Schicchi, and the Mother in Menotti’s beloved opera Amahl and the Night Visitors. Other roles include Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Nella in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, which she performed with the Kansas City Puccini Fest, Marcellina in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Flora in Verdi’s La Traviata and Gertrude in Humperdinck’s opera Hansel and Gretel. She has sung with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City in their productions of Les Pêcheurs de Perles, Aïda, Lucia di Lammermoor, and Carmen.

She completed her undergraduate studies at Roberts Wesleyan College and then received her Masters degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. Currently she teaches at Missouri Western State University, Rockhurst University, and Meyer Music Studio. She received her DMA in voice in 2014 from the University of Kansas.

Don Ottavio – Andrew Etherington, tenor, hails from Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City.  His interest in singing began at his high school, where three musicals were produced a year.  Seeking to break him out of the chorus,
andrew-etherington-tenorAndrew’s mother took the initiative to sign up, the then aspiring baseball player, for voice lessons. After being dragged kicking and screaming to his initial voice consultation, Andrew quickly realized his voice had an affinity for the classical technique and, as they say, the opera bug bit.

Andrew received his undergraduate at Ole Miss and honed his singing and stage skills with Dr. Bill Hall’s American Opera Studio, performing small roles in European and American tours of The Dialogues of the Carmelites, The Ballad of Baby Doe, and Albert Herring as well as various concerts containing operatic, Broadway, and sacred repertoire. In 2010, Andrew moved to Baltimore to attend The Peabody Institute.  While there, Andrew expanded his skills beyond that of a performer by receiving mentorship in vocal pedagogy in addition to conducting a volunteer choir at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.  He also performed regularly in the professional choruses of Lyric Opera of Baltimore, Baltimore Concert Opera, and Washington National Opera.

Andrew and his wife relocated to Silverdale, Washington for her career in 2015.  Recently, Andrew performed the lead role of Ralph Rackstraw in the Bremerton Symphony’s production of HMS Pinafore and attended Pacific Lutheran University’s Summer Opera Workshop, directed by Dr. James Brown.  He also has been hired as an adjunct voice instructor at Olympic College in Bremerton, Washington. Andrew currently studies with Barry Johnson and coaches with Phillip Kelse

Donna Elvira – Rebecca Claborn, Mezzo-Soprano, recently finished her Master’s Degree in Voice Performance at Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Before CCM, Ms. Claborn received her Bachelor’s Degree from Simpson College in Indianola, IA.claborn-rebecca-headshot2

She has had the great privilege to work with companies such as Wolf Trap Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera and Cedar Rapids Opera Theater. This past spring she played the role of Rooster in Leoš Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen with CCM Opera. This past summer, Rebecca returned to Wolf Trap Opera as a studio artist to cover the role of Stonatrilla in the U.S. premier of Florian Gassmann’s L’Opera Seria. While there, she also had the great honor to perform selections from Sondheim’s A Little Night Music with the National Symphony Orchestra.

Some other noted performances include Mrs, Mitchell in Meet John Doe, Anna Maurrant in Street Scene, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte and the title role in Cendrillon.

Commendatoren – Norman Cochran, a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was active in theater there throughout his school years, with roles of Pooh Bahnormanc in The Mikado, Marco the Magnificent in Carnival, and parts in Brigadoon, My Fair Lady, and numerous other musicals and plays.  During his adult years, he was involved in multiple musical ensembles, choirs, and solo performances in churches in several states.

As a great lover of Gilbert and Sullivan, Norman decided to return to public performance in recent years when he learned that Tri-Lakes Community Theatre in Branson was staging The Pirates of Penzance, and was awarded the role of Major General Stanley.  He returned to feature with TLC as Horace Vandergelder in Hello, Dolly, and as Sir Danvers Carew in Jekyll and Hyde, the Musical.

Norman’s first appearance in a Springfield production was as part of the ensemble in Evita, with Springfield Contemporary Theatre.  He also appeared at  SCT in The Threepenny Opera, as Bob the Saw, and other small roles and in the chorus.  Norman has been in the chorus of several operas with Springfield Regional Opera, including La Traviata, The Barber of Seville, The Elixir of Love, and The Marriage of Figaro, and was cast as Abraham Kaplan in Street Scene with SRO.

Norman lives in Springfield with his wife of 38 years, Terri, and has two children and four grandchildren.  He is employed with Mercy Health Systems and has the privilege of working from home! Their daughter, Rachel, was in several productions with her dad with TLC, SCT, and SRO.  He is thrilled to be part of this production as The Commander!

Zerlina – Lisa Murphy, soprano, is originally from Ireland and graduated from the Cork School of Music (CSM) with a BMus, after training as a classical soprano under Robert Craig & Mary lisa-murphyMacSweeney. While there she performed with the CSM Jazz Big Band, accompanying them on their tour to Chicago, Illinois.

During this time, Lisa took her first professional job in the role of Lucy Brown in Kurt Weill’s Threepenny Opera, directed by Kevin Mallon & Mary Curtin. Other roles include Mrs. Sherman in FAME and Diana Morales in Chorus Line.

Lisa’s first American role was as Martha Jefferson in 1776 at Joplin Little Theater, directed by Lisa Olliges-Green. Following this she took roles at Springfield Contemporary Theater as Annie in Evil Dead: The Musical and R.C. in BUG, both directed by Nathan Shelton. She also played the three wonderful roles of Annabella Schmidt, Pamela, and Margaret in The 39 Steps, directed by Rick Dines

Lisa is excited to be returning to opera as Mozart’s Zerlina.

Massetto – Seth Dylan Hunt is thrilled to be a member of this project!
With talent ranging from Shakespearean tragedy to grand opera to Musical theatre, Seth has been privileged with sdhheadshotsome amazing experiences. 

Seth’s operatic debut was La Boheme fallowed shortly by Tosca and La Traviata. Seth’s true passion is opera but his love will always be the musical theatre. Starting at an early age Seth would ape accents, learn songs, and even memorize dialogue from films or albums. Recent musical credits include Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, Chris in Hand on a Hard Body, and Balladeer in Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins. Other credits include Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde in Jekyll and Hyde, Giuseppe Naccarelli in The Light in the Piazza starring Kim Crosby, and Les Miserables—twice, once directed by Tony-nominated actor Robert Westenberg, and the second directed by Broadway director Richard Jay-Alexander.

Don Giovanni will be performed at the historic Lyric Theater on Friday and Saturday, October 28 & 29, at 7:00 and on Sunday, October 30 at 2:00; tickets are now available through the OAC’s ticketing web site or by calling our office at (870) 391-3504.

Because of the adult themes, parental guidance is suggested.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

October 8 & 15 at 7:00 pm; October 9 & 16 at 2:00 pm
The Historic Lyric Theater – Harrison, Arkansas

In a plantation home, on a single summer evening, a family gathers for a boisterous celebration the 65th birthday of baron of the Delta’s biggest cotton
plantation, Big Daddy Pollitt (Bill catweb-jjEdwards). In spite of the festivities, the mood is somber as the news that Big Daddy is dying spreads throughout the family and they must prepare to tell his wife, Big Mama (Mary Bishop).

Upstairs, Big Daddy’s son, Brick (Marrick O’Quin), is laid up in his room after the preceding night’s ‘outing’ has left him with a broken ankle; he’s decided that staying in a mild alcoholic haze will solve his inner turmoil and get him through both the evening and his wife’s machinations. His wife, Maggie (Julianna Stefanski), catweb-famis more concerned with making sure that their position in Big Daddy’s will is secured, and that Brick forgives her for a past indiscretion…because, meanwhile, on the lawn, Brick’s brother and sister-in-law, Gooper (Michael Amburn) and Mae (Kelly Raynor) have begun their own crusade to win Big Daddy’s favor, by using their children to impress upon Big Daddy and Big Mama how well they are passing on the family name while Maggie and Brick still have not.

By evening’s end, will Maggie’s ingenuity, fortitude, and passion, and Brick’s love for his father, never before expressed, be able to retrieve Brick from his path of destruction?catweb-croq

The Ozark Arts Council and The Theatre Company of the Ozarks are proud to present the most famous of Tennessee Williams’ plays (the winner of his second Pulitzer Prize), a stunning and heart-rending tale about a family that is caught in the grip of multiple evils: lying; greed; the sins of the past; a desperate, clawing hope for the future; and the ever-present feeling of being a cat on a hot tin roof.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof will be performed the second and third weekends of October, 2016: Saturdays October  & 15 at 7:00 pm and Sundays October 9 & 16 at 2:00 pm Tickets on sale now through our ticketing web site or by calling the OAC office at (870) 391-3504.

Please Note: While considered a modern classic, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof contains mature subject matter and coarse language, so parental guidance is suggested.

catweb-brimagstandcatweb-castOAC Ticketing Link

The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra RETURNS 7/8/17! #LiveAtTheLyric! #OnlyAtTheLyric!

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The World Famous
Glenn Miller Orchestra!
July 8 at 6:00PM 

The world famous Glenn Miller Orchestra will be swinging back into the historic Lyric Theater on the Harrison, Arkansas square at 6:00 on July 8, 2017! After an initial pre-sale period to Ozark Arts Council members, ticket sales are now open to the public. (To be eligible for our ticket pre-sales—which for some events include ticket discounts—join the OAC today, and to be always up to date on OAC news, Be watching this site and subscribe to our OAC eNews.)

The first Glenn Miller Orchestra did not make it at all. It was a total and absolute economic failure. But Glenn knew what he wanted, held to that dedication and relentlessly worked to succeed. He launched his second band–the one that lives on today–in March of 1938. The Glenn Miller Orchestra has been a “hit” ever since.

The legendary Glenn Miller was one of the most successful of all dance bandleaders back in the Swing Era of the 1930’s and 40’s. A matchless string of hit records, the constant impact of radio broadcasts and the drawing power at theatres, hotels and dance pavilion, built and sustained the momentum of popularity.

Glenn disbanded his musical organization in 1942 at the height of its popularity to volunteer for the Army. There, he organized and led the famous Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band. It went to Europe to entertain servicemen performing numerous live and radio shows. On December 15, 1944, Major Miller took off in a single engine plane from Europe to precede his band to France, disappearing over the English Channel, never to be seen again. The army declared him officially dead a year later.

With the release of the major motion movie “The Glenn Miller Story” featuring Jimmy Stewart and June Allyson in 1954, interest and popular demand led the Miller Estate to authorize the formation of the present Glenn Miller Orchestra. On June 6, 1956, and under the direction of drummer Ray McKinley who had become the unofficial leader of the Army Air Force Band after Glenn’s disappearance, the reformed Glenn Miller Orchestra performed its first concert and has been on the road ever since. Other leaders have followed Ray including clarinetists Buddy DeFranco and Peanuts Hucko, trombonists Buddy Morrow, Jimmy Henderson, Larry O’Brien and Gary Tole, and tenor saxophonist Dick Gerhart. Since January 2012, vocalist Nick Hilscher leads the band.

Today, the 18 member ensemble continues to play many of the original Miller arrangements both from the civilian band and the AAFB libraries. Additionally, it also plays some more modern selections arranged and performed in the Miller style and sound. The Glenn Miller Orchestra is owned and operated by Glenn Miller Productions, Inc., under license from the Miller Estate. Glenn Miller Productions, Inc., has the sole and exclusive right to use the Glenn Miller Orchestra name—so, this is not a “tribute to the Glenn Miller Orchestra,” but the orchestra that is in official and unbroken succession to the original.

The big-band business today requires almost constant travel as a result of an arduous schedule of one-night stands. The Glenn Miller Orchestra is “on the road” longer and more continuously than any other in the whole world, having celebrated its 60th year anniversary on June 6. It covers over a hundred thousand miles a year, working most every night for 48 weeks out of every 52-nearly 300 playing dates, performing for an “in person” audience that adds up to more than a half million people annually.

Just as it was in Glenn’s day, the Glenn Miller Orchestra today is still the most sought after big band in the world. But when it comes to seeing the Glenn Miller Orchestra in Arkansas in 2017, there is exactly ONE place to do it: #OnlyAtTheLyric!
After the overwhelming response to the special appearance of the world famous Glenn Miller Orchestra on June 26, 2016, the band will be returning to Harrison for it’s only Arkansas performance of 2017, 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 8!

Todd Oliver & Friends

 

Todd Oliver & Friends

Todd Oliver and Irving—the World's First Talking Dog!
Todd Oliver and Irving—the World’s First Talking Dog!

Have you ever met a talking dog, a real talking dog, not a puppet? Get ready, folks, because this September 17 you’re going to meet the funniest character on 4 legs: Irving (with a little help from his friend Todd Oliver) is going to talk up a storm!

If you’ve ever wondered how a dog looks at life, this little home-raised companion is going to give it to you straight from the dog’s mouth. He won’t mince words—and if he does it’s Todd’s fault anyway!

Todd Oliver grew up loving dogs and ventriloquism. As a young boy he studied piano, guitar, voice, and ventriloquism. Along the way he created some wooden-headed characters and performed around the world.

Todd Oliver & Friends, September 17, 2016 @ 7pm
Todd Oliver & Friends, September 17, 2016 @ 7pm

Todd Oliver and Friends have been a feature on Late Show With David Letterman, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, The Today Show, a couple episodes of Walker, Texas Ranger…and in 2012 they were a semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent. For a little taste of what Todd’s shows are like, check out his videos on YouTube.

A major draw for entertainment venues everywhere, Todd is now touring, bringing his brand of family fun to towns across America, and he’ll be here at the historic Lyric Theater on Saturday evening, September 17! So sit back and get ready, because you’re going to have a doggone, rockin’ good time with Todd Oliver And Irving!

Tickets on sale now through our ticketing web site or by calling the OAC office at (870) 391-3504!

Todd Oliver & Friends, September 17, 2016 @ 7pm
Todd Oliver & Friends, September 17, 2016 @ 7pm

OAC Ticketing Link

 

An Evening with Albert Cummings

 

The blues is best served up live, with an enthusiastic audience and a killin’ band, and that’s exactly what guitarist Albert Cummings does[…]. Cummings effortlessly shifts from chimney subdued stylings to raucous roadhouse raunch to soaring yet stinging lead lines, driving his audience to frenzy in all the right places.” – Guitar Edge Magazine

Blues-rock guitar in all its glory is headed to historic Lyric Theater, as Harrison, Arkansas enjoys “An Evening with Albert Cummings” on Friday, September 23 at 7:00 PM, for which tickets are now available.

Albert Cummings writes, plays and sings the blues like nobody else. He has played with blues legends B.B. King, Johnny Winter, and Buddy Guy.  Taken with Albert’s fire and passion bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton, of the band Double Trouble, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan’s rhythm section, volunteered to play on and produce his solo debut recording, 2003’s self-released From the Heart.

Albert Cummings
Albert Cummings, Live at the Lyric, 9/23/16 @ 7pm

From these blues greats to Merle Haggard to Led Zeppelin, Albert’s influences coalesce in lyrics that display a country/working man’s sensibility and the guitar virtuosity that rock fans love—a style that covers the best of hard-driving blues, slides comfortably over to intricate ballads, and comes charging right back again “with unbridled ferocity and deep soulfulness…his depth and expression are matched only by his terrifying technique and tone.”

The Massachusetts native learned the requisite three chords on the guitar from his father, but then switched to playing banjo at age 12 and became a fan of bluegrass music. In his late teens he encountered the early recordings of Stevie Ray Vaughan and was floored by the virtuosity. While in college in 1987 he saw Vaughan perform and he returned to the guitar with a new outlook and resolve.

The whiz-kid carpenter began his ascent to masterful blues rock guitarist at age 27, with his first public performance on guitar. Soon he was on the Northeast blues circuit with his band, Swamp Yankee. In 1998 he walked into a Northeast Blues Society open jam, which led to Cummings’ winning the right to compete in the Blues Foundation’s 1999 International Blues Challenge. The following year Albert released his debut recording, The Long Way. Bluesprint magazine said it was “a barrage of guitar pyrotechnics that calls to mind a grand mix of the styles of past masters like Albert King, Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmie Hendrix.”

Albert Cummings
Albert Cummings, Live at the Lyric, September 23, 2016, 7pm

That in turn opened up an opportunity for him to work with Double Trouble, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan’s rhythm section. So taken with Albert’s fire and passion were bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton that they volunteered to play on and produce his solo debut recording, 2003’s self-released From the Heart. Recorded in Austin, Texas, it featured Cummings fronting Double Trouble (including Reese Winans) in their first recording project since Stevie Ray’s passing. No less a giant of the blues than B.B. King dubbed Cummings “a great guitarist.”

Cummings’ soulful and explosive approach to blues and rock caught the attention of Blind Pig Records, which signed him to a multi-album deal. On his label debut, True to Yourself, released in 2004, Cummings was again joined by bassist Tommy Shannon. Recorded by producer extraordinaire Jim Gaines (Santana, Stevie Ray, Buddy Guy), the album rocks hard from start to finish. The all-original release showcased Albert’s rapidly developing songwriting chops and deeply emotional vocals as well as stunning guitar pyrotechnics, leading Guitar One to exclaim, “He attacks his axe with unbridled ferocity and deep soulfulness… his depth and expression are matched only by his terrifying technique and tone.”

 “a barrage of guitar pyrotechnics that calls to mind a grand mix of the styles of past masters like Albert King, Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmie Hendrix. – Bluesprint Magazine

Soon tours and shows with blues legends B.B. King, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy and others brought Albert’s music to a much larger audience.

His second release, Working Man (2006), also produced by Jim Gaines, betrays a growing focus and maturity both in Albert’s stinging, incisive guitar work as well as in his fluently idiomatic songwriting. From the punchy, stomping cover of Merle Haggard’s blue collar standard “Working Man Blues” to the deeply emotive ballad “Last Dance” that closes the disc, Albert’s songs are always concise and direct, driven by his uniquely muscular yet polished guitar wizardry. Billboard said, “This recording is the calling card of a blues star who has arrived. Cummings’ guitar work is sizzling. This is one of the top blues albums of 2006.”

In 2008 Albert recorded his first live album, Feel So Good, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts at the historic Colonial Theatre, a 95-year-old “little jewel box” – that’s what James Taylor calls it – that’s hosted everyone from Will Rogers to Al Jolson. The audience was so enthralled and supportive they became part of the performance in a way that’s rarely heard. As AllMusic put it, “It sounds like it was one hell of a party that night.”

Albert Cummings
Albert Cummings, Live at the Lyric, 9/23/16 @ 7pm

Albert and his band responded with a blistering set of great originals and killer covers of Zeppelin, Little Feat and Muddy Waters tunes. With producer Jim Gaines again at the controls and Albert’s incredible display of guitar virtuosity and deep emotion, this is one live performance that is bound to become a blues rock classic.

Guitar Edge magazine said, “The blues is best served up live, with an enthusiastic audience and a killin’ band, and that’s exactly what guitarist Albert Cummings does on his new Feel So Good. Cummings effortlessly shifts from chimney subdued stylings to raucous roadhouse raunch to soaring yet stinging lead lines, driving his audience to frenzy in all the right places.”

Music Connection called it “one of the best live albums recorded in a long time” and Blurt added, “Cummings’ first live album provides the perfect showcase for the fiery guitarist’s axe-handling skills and enormous onstage charisma.”

In 2011 Albert released an instructional DVD for the Hal Leonard Corporation entitled Working Man Blues Guitar. Cummings’ next CD, No Regrets, was self-released in 2012. It was a return to his true musical roots for the six-string virtuoso, poignantly capturing the core of his influences, displaying the impact that R&B, Rock, Soul, Country and the Blues have had on both his playing and writing. It debuted at #1 on iTunes music charts in the USA, Canada and France.

“An Evening with Albert Cummings” is scheduled at the historic Lyric Theater on the Harrison, Arkansas square for Friday, September 23 at 7:00 PM. Tickets are now available.

 

tickets

Farce of Nature

facepalmWhere’s the best fishin’ in the Ozarks? Right here in
Boone County—at the Reel ’Em Inn, a little fishing lodge right on the Harrison square! It has all the amenities: fishin’, huntin’, a maid packin’ heat, rampagin’ animals…and some gangsters from Chicago thrown in just for kicks!

The Ozark Arts Council and The Theatre Co. of the Ozarks invite you to the great outdoors of the historic Lyric Theater—where the summer is always cooler!—for Farce of Nature, a side-splitting comedy, THIS Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, August 4–6 at 7:00 PM and this Sunday, August 7 at 2:00 PM. Tickets are available for purchase through our ticketing web site or by calling (870) 391-3504.

Meet D. Gene Wilburn (Nate Jordon), the owner and proprietor of The Reel ‘Em Inn, the finest little fishing lodge in the Ozarks. Well, it used to be, but lately business is down, tourists are few, and the lone guest who’s just checked in – an extremely jittery Carmine DeLuca (Cameron Carlton) from Chicago – is only there due to a location shift in the Witness Protection Program. Doesn’t anybody just want to fish anymore?!?

fallingCertainly not D. Gene’s frustrated wife, Wanelle (Shellie Renner), who’s fed up with their lackluster romantic life! She’s taken drastic steps to improve it through hypnotic suggestion and for the life of him, D. Gene cannot understand why his pants keep falling down. D. Gene’s feisty sister, Maxie (Dana O’Quin), has her own problems, chief among them battling ageism to resume her career in law enforcement. She’ s determined to prove her worth by keeping Carmine DeLuca alive through the weekend—a task that’s going to prove to be much harder than she bargained for since she keeps losing both her gun and her bullets. And she never anticipated that the gangster Camine’s been dodging for the last five years, Sonny Barbosa (Michael Amburn), is about to walk through the door, in hot pursuit of his sexy wife, Lola (Julianna Stefanski). Seems the headstong Lola has driven hundreds of miles to the lodge to follow her boytoy, Ty (Preston Garrison), D. Gene and Wanelle’s son. But Lola meets her match in Ty’s seemingly innocent girlfriend, Jenna (Sara Davidson), whose patience has reached the breaking point after months of waiting for Ty to come home. And when Roxanne Thorne (Roz Slavik) comes running into their lives, they must all make a decision that could change their lives forever.

In the deliciously funny romp that ensues, they all hide, lie, disguise themselves, cross-dress, and slam doors chasing one another while trying to figure out the source of an increasingly awful stench. But by then it’s too late and the lodge is surrounded by vicious critters and hungry varmints that have followed the odor down from the hills and are looking for some fresh meat…

This hilarious and fast-paced comedy is guaranteed to win y’all over, hook, line, and sinker! So we invite you to kick back, relax, do a little “Woo Pig Sooie”-ing, and, finally, grab ’hold of your belt and shut up and fish!

All photos courtesy Beth Crenshaw Photography.

 tickets

Jack Broadbent: Hip Flask Blues – March 17, 2017, 7:00

 

Jack Broadbent in Concert
March 17, 2017 – 7:00PM

Jack Broadbent is an incredible singer/songwriter who started his career with busking (performing in the street, sitting on a small amp with the public throwing coins into his open guitar case) and has been leaving audiences Processed with VSCOcam with p9 presetspellbound from the very first. His live shows and unique style of slide guitar (take a look at that ‘slide’ up close!) are a demonstration of what real music is: not the tools, but the musician—what the heart and hands of the artist can do with whatever media life has set before him. The key to his performance on stage is that he never forgets the need to draw a crowd on the street and he treats his ticketed-in-advance audiences today as deserving that same “I have to prove myself worthy to them” attitude that drew the crowds on the street and the millions of YouTube viewers.

The Blues has not seen such Good News in quite some time
~ Bootsy Collins

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Raised in rural England and with a musician father, Jack was brought up on a diet of music that would later be evident as his main influences, including acts such as John Lee Hooker, Peter Green, Jimi Hendrix, Robert Johnson and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

With feet planted firmly in an authentic blues style, Jack Broadbent in now making waves globally as one of the most exciting modern bluesmen of our time. Jack’s slide performances are attracting millions of views online and a rapidly expanding fan base.

Experiencing Jack Broadbent live is an opportunity not to be missed!

Tickets for Jack Broadbent’s March 17 performance at the historic Lyric Theater in Harrison, Arkansas are on sale now through the Ozark Arts Council’s ticketing web site or by calling (870) 391-3504.

Many thanks to our concert sponsors, including:

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 OAC Ticketing Link