In Truvy’s (Trish Lockridge), beauty salon in Chinquapin, Louisiana, where all the ladies who are anybody come to have their hair done, the shop is abuzz with gossip and coffee and hairspray. Helped by her eager new assistant, Annelle (Katie Blessing), who may or may not be married, the wise-cracking Truvy dispenses shampoo and free advice to the town’s rich curmudgeon, Ouiser (Mary Bishop), whose 40-year-old bad mood has only sharpened her wit; an eccentric millionaire, Miss Clairee (Gwen Gresham), who has a sweet tooth for football teams; and the local social leader, M’Lynn (Lisa Johnson) and her vivacious daughter, Shelby (Callie Johnson), who is about to marry a “good ol’ boy.” Filled with hilarious repartee and not a few acerbic but humorously revealing verbal collisions between the five ladies, the play moves toward tragedy when the spunky Shelby (who has Type I Diabetes) risks pregnancy. Though we see how it much it affects them, we are also shown the strength and love of these women who are delicate as flowers, and tough as steel.
Don’t let the “Jr.” in the title lead you to expect a watered-down production missing your favorite songs: when Disney commissions an adaptation for young performers, it’s name is still on the line! Based on the original Broadway production that ran for over thirteen years and was nominated for nine Tony Awards, and the Academy Award-winning motion picture, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Jr. is a fantastic adaptation of the story of transformation and tolerance. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Jr. features some of the most popular songs ever written by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, along with new songs by Mr. Menken and Tim Rice.
As with many of our children’s plays, rehearsals were preceded by a two-week-long workshop, which focused on vocals, acting, and choreography, as well as the proper etiquette for being in a play and attending a play, all of which culminated in a short performance for the family and friends of the children—many of whom are gracing the Lyric stage for the first time ever. Only then was attention turned fully to this play, where those new or refined acting, singing, and dancing skills could be put into practice for the sellout performances this July will bring.
Beauty and the Beast tells the story of an arrogant young prince and his castle’s servants who fall under the spell of a wicked enchantress when he turns her away from his door. The enchantress turns the prince into the hideous “Beast” until he can learn to love and to be loved in return. The spirited, headstrong village girl Belle enters Beast’s castle after he imprisons her father, Maurice. With the help of his enchanted servants, including the matronly Mrs. Potts, Belle begins to draw the cold-hearted Beast out of his isolation. But when the similarly cold-hearted Gaston and his henchman Lefou decide to destroy the Beast, will Belle be able to save the Beast from eternal doom?
We hope you will join us both for the entertainment and lesson imparted by this classic story and for the building of our community that attendance at Arts events—especially at young people’s theatre—always brings. The OAC and its Member Organizations are committed to having children of all ages learn about the Arts and develop a love for them that reaches beyond their early years, so that they grow up to be well-rounded, empathetic adults. These “Jr.” plays, and the directors who bless us by giving up a portion of their summers, are a huge first step in that direction.
Says Director Debbie Waters:
“I have been blessed with the best cast of young people between the ages of 6-18 who are a joy to work with. We have a cast of 30 who are working hard and excited to ask everyone to ‘Be Our Guest’ at the Historic Lyric Theater during our 90th Birthday Celebration season.”
Our Cast and Crew include:
Belle: Liani Cash Beast: Shade Roberts Gaston: Caleb Lord LeFou: Jacob Cothran Maurice: Logan Cole Mrs. Potts: Alayna Davis Chip: Ivan Hanschu Lumiere: Nicholas Prpich Babette: Chyler Caraway Cogsworth: Bannon Jones Madame de la Grande Bouche: Lexi Sprenger Silly Girls: Brinkley Brewer, Avery Skinner, Emily Still Enchantress: AnneJanette Cole
Ensemble: Kaden Allen, Zoë Arthur, Laura Bracken, Callie Caraway, Ethan Causey, Landon Clements, Joshua Cothran, Ella Domino, Dierdra Goldman, Jadah Gregory, Kalel Lewis, Tarron Lewis, Mia Ostberg, Emma Claire Pruitt, Natalie Sims, Jerome Sweatman, Jenna Wilson
Join us at The Lyric for this heartwarming tale of the transformative power of love on July 20, 25, and 27. Tickets for Beauty and the Beast, Jr. are available now through TheLyric.org by clicking any “Get Tickets” link, by stopping by the OAC office at 115 W. Rush
Ave. between 8 & 2 Tuesday through Friday, or by calling (870) 391-3504 (please leave a detailed message if you get our voicemail).
The Ozark Arts Council is hosting a barn-raising that will make any farmer proud, as E. B. White’s beloved ‘Wilbur’ moves into the Lyric! The favorite little piggie of children everywhere has taken up residence as he prepares to entertain us in the NorthArk Drama/OAC production of the beloved classic, Charlotte’s Web! With an amazing cast of both veterans and newcomers, audiences of all ages will delight in this heartwarming story of a spider’s becoming the advocate of the little guy that she declares is “Some Pig.” Performances are May 5, 6, 12, 13 at 2pm and tickets are on sale now and going fast!
After her father, John Arable (Jacob Kolb) spares the life of a piglet from slaughter, his daughter, Fern (Gigi Crenshaw), nurtures the piglet lovingly, naming him Wilbur (Preston Garrison), even though her mother, Martha (Kayla Smith), thinks she already spends too much time with the animals, and her brother, Avery (Wyatt Mahoney) is too busy with his frogs to take much notice. When he’s older, Wilbur is sold to Fern’s aunt and uncle, Edith and Homer Zuckeman (Abigail Kops, Landon Helsel), and cared for by their farmhand, Lurvy (Matthew Brown), in whose barnyard he is left yearning for companionship but is snubbed by the other animals (Emily Akins, Laine Hilliard, Shelby Stracner, Elizabeth Smith), until he is befriended by a spider named Charlotte (Callie Johnson), living on a web overlooking Wilbur’s enclosure. Upon Wilbur’s discovery that he is once again intended for slaughter, she promises to hatch a plan guaranteed to spare his life, with a little help from the local barn rat, Templeton (Daniel Seay). As fans already know, and as those new to this beloved tale shall soon find out: “No one had ever had such a friend. So affectionate, so loyal, and so skillful,” as Charlotte.
With a cast of colorful characters ranging from adults to small children, and narrated by a skilled trio (Brinkley Brewer, Lexi Sprenger, Ella Domino), don’t miss this heartwarming (and sometimes heartbreaking) tale that proves friendship can come in the most unlikely of packages and that words have the power to save anyone, even the sweetest of little pigs.
I would like to say “Thank You” to all the cast and community members that have worked on this production. It is a joy working with a cast of all ages. Children from six years of age, middle school, and young college students are making this production thrive. What a wonderful story to be able to share with all of our community. See you at the Lyric!
— Michael Mahoney
Also included in this stunning cast are: Kinley Bray, Maci Bright, Regan Bright, Zoey DeChambre, Lenora Domino, Liam Dupre, Joey Jones, Caden Lambert, Zachary Linn, Shyanne Lusk, Wynn Mahoney, Annaleigh Mitchell, Dylan Newby, Emmalynn Parker, Raelynn Pendergrass, Emma Pruitt, Jessica Wheeler.
Charlotte’s Web was one of my all-time favorite books and movies as a child, so when Michael asked me to help out with the show, I could hardly say no. The show is a challenging one for sure! Asking actors to portray animals and humans all at the same time…well, that gets tricky; but we have an extraordinary cast who is both dedicated and fearless in this adventure and I couldn’t be prouder of them. I am thrilled we were able to get some area schools to attend and I look forward to future projects where we can also involve our local school children. That is what it is all about, right? We are bringing the Arts to our community and we are having so much fun doing it. As always, I am grateful for the opportunity to work with Michael Mahoney and North Arkansas College, as well as the Ozark Arts Council. Charlotte’s Web is fun entertainment for the whole family that also provides some amazing life lessons and heartfelt human emotions to which we can all relate. I hope to see everyone in our community come out and support the children and adults who have worked so hard to bring this show to life!
— Bekah Wilson
Area schools were invited to four special matinee performances and will be filling the theater with their laughter. We weren’t able to fit all of the students from all of the schools into the theater, though, (and those who get to see it with their classmates will want to come back and share it with Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, and their siblings!), so make sure not to miss yourchance to once again delight in this story of friendship: get your tickets while seats still remain!
Theatre of the Kids, by the Kids, for the Kids (and, well, for everyone else, too): James and the Giant Peach, Jr.!
Saturdays, August 5 & 12 at 2:00PM AND 7:00PM
Sundays, August 6 & 13 at 2:00PM
It’s going to be a “peach” of an August! Join us at The Lyric Theater for an outstanding play OF the kids, BY the kids, and FOR the kids: Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach, Jr.! Based on one of Roald Dahl’s most poignantly quirky stories, James and the Giant Peach, the play is a brand new take on this “masterpeach” of a tale. Featuring a wickedly tuneful score and a witty and charming script, this adventurous musical about courage and self-discovery is destined to be a classic.
When James (Jerome Sweatman) is sent by his
conniving and dastardly aunts, Spiker and Sponge (Brinkley Brewer and Anastazja Stewart) to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion that grows a tremendous peach, rolls into the ocean, and launches a journey of enormous peach-portions. James befriends a collection of singing creatures—Ladybug (Annejanette Cole), Grasshopper (Chyler Caraway), Spider (Gabriella Balmer), Earthworm (Logan Cole)—that ride the giant piece of fruit across the ocean, facing hunger, sharks and plenty of disagreements along the way.
Narrated by Ladahlord (Jaxon Whitney), a mysterious creature, this musical contains an ensemble of wild, wacky, wonderful characters, from 5 years old to 18 years old! From Willy Wonka and his Oompa-Loompas, to Bitsy Botana and her Ladies Garden Guild, there is sure to be a colorful character that you will love! The ensemble includes children from previous productions, and quite a few new ones too, all lending their time and talent to make this production abso-fruit-ly fantastic: Serena Bolonsky, Zoey Bolonsky, Callie Caraway, Jocelyn Green, Lorelai Green, Declan Jenkins, Kyran Jenkins, Candace Lambert, Zachary Linn, Cammie Linscott, Shyanne Lusk, Chloe Monk, Faith Nix, Emma Pruitt, Sadie Sharp, Elizabeth Smith, Kayla Smith, Lexi Sprenger.
James and the Giant Peach, Jr. will run 2 shows on August 5 & 12 at 2:00 pm AND 7:00 pm, and matinees on August 6 & 13 at 2:00 pm. Tickets may be purchased at TheLyric.org or by calling (870) 391-3504.
Early bird ticket prices (online or over the phone): $12 Adult, $10 Senior/Student, $8 Children.
At the door ticket prices: $15 Adult, $13 Senior/Student, $11 Children.
“Give Peach a chance,” and don’t miss this fantastic production!