Brick Fields: Blues Therapy – April 5 @ 7:00 – #LiveAtTheLyric!

Rough Winter?
The Mother of Ozark Gospel Blues is Bringing the Cure:
Brick Fields is Coming to the Lyric!
Friday, April 5 at 7:00PM

If the ‘official’ end of winter on March 20 finds you not quite recovered from it all, join us at ‘The Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks’ on April 5 at 7:00, because Brick Fields is coming to provide you with the Blues Therapy you need to have a healthy outlook for Spring—and the rest of the year! “An unleashed cleansing of the soul” is how the Nashville Blues Society described Brick Fields’ music, and the New Classic Music of Tomorrow music review blog makes it clear why: “Brick Fields is by far the most soulful artist I’ve heard in years!” 

Brick Fields is an Arkansas original musical group fronted by the ambrosial voice of Rachel Fields. With her husband, Larry Brick, who has spent over 40 years in the music business as a guitar player and songwriter (and was a worship leader during the California Calvary movement of the 1970s), there is a ‘two talents expressing one flesh’ vibe throughout the music—a unity of purpose in music and vocals that is neither forced nor self-conscious, but just is. Rachel cut her musical teeth first in the Arkansas River valley, by way of her Uncle Mike “Burger” Scoggins, then in the jam band circuit touring in the late ’90s east and west coast festivals, opening for acts like Government Mule and later singing on a tour with the Jerry Garcia Band. Together, they bring a true Americana Soul feel—weaving Folk, Gospel, and Blues together in such a way that former Buffalo River Concert Association president Rick Hinterheuer told Rachel, “You’re going to have a good time playing at the Lyric!”…because Rick knows what we like!

Brick Fields’ current core band is a treasure of solid creativity including Ben Sass, Kevin Bonner, Hoobie Daniels, and Chris Parker.

  • Ben Sass of Jerusalem, Israel is the vibrant enthusiastic steed on and off stage, possibly one of the world’s finest up-and-coming harmonica players on the scene.
  • Kevin Bonner is from Northwest Arkansas and honed his drumming chops in the Cate Bro’s garage; he has been the backbone for numerous of NWA’s most loved bands.
  • Bass player, Hoobie Daniels, of Southern Mississippi (via Austin Texas), joined Brick Fields in 2016 after retiring to the Ozark Mountains where he is continuing his musical journey.
  • Chris Parker adds his Tulsa guitar stylings with influences that largely play themselves out between Chet Atkins and BB King.

Comfortable with themselves and numerous surprise guests, it’s not unusual at a Brick Fields show for the night to end with a few or as many as 20 players on stage. As musicians’ musicians, Brick Fields has been called a magnet for other musicians and music lovers alike.  Ever evolving, this couple’s original music can charm venues in an intimate relaxed setting with the acoustic duo telling stories of musical roots or bring a full-on band experience that brings the house to its feet.

The Ozark Arts Council is pleased to welcome Brick Fields to The Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks, Harrison’s historic Lyric Theater, on Friday, April 5 at 7:00. Tickets are just $10 in advance, but $15 at the door; just click any of the ‘Get Tickets’ links here on our website and you’ll be taken to our ticketing page, or call Jules or Dill at (870) 391-3504 or visit Dill at the OAC office M-W-F 8:00–2:00 (or Jules by appointment).

OAC Ticketing Link

Black Stone Cherry – February 15 @ 7:00 – #LiveAtTheLyric!

Fewer than 25 Tickets Remaining…

Roots Rock: Black Stone Cherry Celebrates Their “Family Tree” Live at The Lyric!
Friday, February 15 at 7:00PM

Join us on February 15 at 7:00pm, as Black Stone Cherry returns to the Lyric! If you know their songs White Trash Millionaire, In My Blood, or Please Come In, you won’t want to miss the driving southern rock of Black Stone Cherry live in support of their new album, Family Tree.

For 17 years, Black Stone Cherry has put forth a new, vicious breed of Southern rock, injecting youthful vitality and a myriad of fresh new influences into the beloved American rock tradition. To date, the band has released five critically-acclaimed studio albums and one well-received blues EP. Black Stone Cherry has also rocked 12,000-cap arena shows, topped the UK charts, and shared the stage with a diverse roster of superstars, including Def Leppard, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bad Company, Motörhead, and ZZ Top.

Family Tree is the much-anticipated follow up to 2016’s Kentucky, which debuted at #5 on the Official UK Album Chart and went to #1 on the Billboard Album

Anya Svirskaya for Antihero Magazine

Chart. Drummer John Fred Young says, “Family Tree showcases all of our collective musical influences and how we have taken those to create something that is truly our own unique Southern American rock ’n’ roll sound.” Two special guests appear, one bringing the concept of family full circle: lead guitarist/vocalist Chris Robertson’s 5-year-old-old son contributes backup vocals on the swaggering You Got The Blues, while the other, revered jam-band musician Warren Haynes (Allman Bros/Gov’t Mule) offers a guitar cameo and vocals on the delta stomp of Dancing In The Rain. “I remember coming to New York when we first were signed, and hearing Warren’s voice behind me the minute my feet hit the street,” recalls bassist Jon Lawhon. “Hearing him play on this track all these years later gave me chills.”

We grew up in the Kentucky Headhunters’ rehearsal space, looking up at posters of Cream, Led Zeppelin, Uriah Heep, the Stones, Montrose, and the Faces. We were like kids someone took in a time capsule and put in the woods.

— John Fred Young

Family Tree rocks hard with the immediacy and spontaneity of in-the-moment takes, and Chris Robertson mixing perfectly fits the loose, creative process that birthed the album—and makes it so easily translate to the ever-evolving jams of their incredible live show.

The concept of family looms large in the world of Black Stone Cherry’s four band members. John Fred Young’s father Richard and his uncle Fred, are founding members of the Grammy Award-winning country rock n’ roots band, The Kentucky HeadHunters. BSC’s four high school-aged friends—Young, plus frontman/guitarist Chris Robertson, guitarist Ben Wells and bassist Jon Lawhon—grew up honing their craft in the Headhunters’ practice house, an abandoned property on the Young family’s farmland. John Fred says, “We grew up in the Kentucky Headhunters’ rehearsal space, looking up at posters of Cream, Led Zeppelin, Uriah Heep, the Stones, Montrose, and the Faces. We were like kids someone took in a time capsule and put in the woods.”

It’s a great time for Black Stone Cherry to return to the Lyric, “The Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks,” as they have recently moved to Mascot Label Group, home of some of the finest blues icons of this generation, such as Joe Bonamassa, Beth Hart, Walter Trout, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Eric Gales, Jonny Lang, Robben Ford, Bernie Marsden, Ronnie Baker Brooks, and Sonny Landreth. The move came with the release of their EP of blues covers, Black to Blues, which shows both the foundation and the progress of music through the past century. The band selected 6 of their favorite tunes by Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Freddie King, and Albert King, and reimagined them with the meaty moxie of classic BSC.

“It’s amazing to me how four good old boys from nowhere Kentucky can still be around 17 years later,” singer/guitarist Chris Robertson says. Guitarist Ben Wells concludes: “I don’t remember how life was outside of Black Stone Cherry. The four of us are family.” Every album, every concert, is a family reunion, and Black Stone Cherry is happy to have you join the family this October.

With the support of a great team of sponsors—including the “Boulder Bankers” at Stone Bank, the Harrison Convention and Visitors Bureau, and media sponsors ESPN Arkansas 104.3 (“Hit That Line!”), KHOZ 102.9 (“102.9 the Z”), and the Harrison Daily Times—the Ozark Arts Council is pleased to welcome Black Stone Cherry back to the historic Lyric Theater on Friday, February 15 at 7:00. Tickets are just $25 in advance, but $30 at the door (in the unlikely event that any are available); just click any of the ‘Get Tickets’ links here on our website and you’ll be taken to our ticketing page, or call Jules or Dill at (870) 391-3504 or visit Dill at the OAC office M-W-F 8:00–2:00 (or Jules by appointment).

OAC Ticketing Link

Multi-level Guitar Workshop with Laurence Juber — Saturday, September 22, 2018 at 2:00 — #LiveAtTheLyric!

Two-Time Grammy Winner Laurence Juber to Hold Guitar Workshop!
Saturday, September 22 at @:00PM

Guitarists, join us on September 22 at 2:00pm, for a special class from two-time Grammy winner, Laurence Juber!

Laurence JuberNowhere else in Arkansas can you get this opportunity to study under guitar virtuoso Laurence Juber. LJ will hold a two hour class in the afternoon before his 7:00pm concert at Harrison’s “Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks,” the historic 1929 Lyric Theater! The price for this class is $50—but, if you have a ticket to the concert at the Lyric on Saturday evening (or to Friday’s concert at Sunrise Guitars adjoining venue Sunrise Stage in Fayetteville), you only pay $40!

James White (local guitarist and vocalist and columnist for the Harrison Daily Times) writes, “Although some people refer to ‘Up Close with LJ’ as a master class, he thinks of it as a workshop. He says it’s multi-level and addresses a range of fundamental concepts, some advanced musical information and general guitaristic ‘tune-ups.’ There is a component he calls ‘guitarology,’ in which he explores differing finger style patterns that go back to the beginning of the instrument.

LJ has released 17 critically acclaimed solo albums which feature his celebrated arrangements of popular tunes and genre-crossing compositions. In Fall 2010, he released the highly anticipated LJ Plays the Beatles Vol. 2. He was voted “Guitarist of the Year” by the readers of Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine and named one of the top acoustic guitar players of all time by Acoustic Guitar Magazine—and he is on its cover again for the October, 2018 issue, as he releases his new album, which traces the roots of fingerstyle guitar. From classical to the Beatles and Hendrix, LJ is a master of it all, and is coming to share his insights with you!

To sign up for “Up Close with LJ,” simply go to our ticketing page! Enroll now, as space is limited!

OAC Ticketing Link

Grease! — Tuesday through Saturday, November 27–December 1 @ 7:00 & Sundays, December 2 & 9 @ 2:00 — #LiveAtTheLyric!

 

What’s the word that you heard…that you heard…
that you heard?  If it’s got a groove, if it’s got meaning…
if it is the time…is the place…is the motion…then…

Grease
is the way you are feeling!

Performances: Tuesday through Saturday, November 26–December 1 at 7:00PM
Sundays, December 2 & 9 at 2:00PM

It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it’s what you do with your dancin’ shoes.
 – “Vince Fontaine”

If Grease is the way you are feeling, the end of November and beginning of December are your time of the year this year, because…yes, Grease the Musical is coming to the Lyric Theater LIVE for your viewing pleasure!

As Executive Director Hamblin was excited to announce, this is a play everyone can enjoy, whether you have nostalgia for the 1950s, for the play and film of the 1970s, or just for young people blasting energy from the stage to invigorate you in the midst of all your holiday preparations!

Join Greased Lightning, the Burger Palace Boys, and the Pink Ladies as they tell one of the most lasting love stories of all time. The 1950s high school dream is about to explode in this rollicking musical that is both an homage to the idealism of the fifties and a satire of high schoolers’ age-old desire to be rebellious, provocative and…rebellious! It’s 1959, and Rydell High School’s senior class is in rare form. The too-cool-for-school “Burger Palace Boys” (Andrew Coble, Gavin Wilson, Daniel Seay, Nathan Edwards) are stealing hub-caps and acting tough, and their gum-snapping, chain-smoking “Pink Ladies” (Katie Blessing, Eden Wilson, Ella Rush, Callie Johnson) are looking hot in bobby sox and pedal pushers.

At the heart of the story is the romance between hot-rodding gangster Danny Zuko (Laine Hilliard) and the sweet new girl in town, Sandy Dumbrowski (GiGi Crenshaw). They had a secret romance in summer, but now back in the context of school, peer-pressure and cliques make their love a bit more complicated. Can Danny maintain his “cool dude” status and still make demure Sandy his girl? The whole gang (Ann Lemley, Rowen Bolonsky, Nic Prpich, David Wilson, Preston Garrison, Serena Bolonsky, Candace Lambert, Abby Potter, Lena Rocole, Lexi Knight, Spree Hilliard, Haley Bright, Sky Blue Keen, Dylan Newby, Kinder Hinrichs, Jaxon Whitney, Zoe Arthur, Daniel Hart, Wesley Sanders, Liam Dupre, Julian Moehr) sings and dances around Danny and Sandy’s romance, through such hit songs as “Greased Lightnin,” “We Go Together,” and “Mooning,” recalling the music of Buddy Holly, Little Richard and Elvis Presley that became the soundtrack of a generation.

Hamblin adds: “With an absolutely rockin’ 50s band (Steve Richards, Christopher Dees, Chris LaFata, Tony Foster, Jake Woolston, Eli Barrett, and led by Leisa Phillips) you won’t want to miss it! Not only do they play the classic soundtrack to perfection, but for those who arrive before the 7:00 curtain time, they will be performing a mini-concert of songs from ‘back in the day’…so boogie, bunny hop, and hand jive your way at least a half-hour early out to Grease, a NorthArk Drama and Ozark Arts Council production, LIVE at the Lyric Theater, November 27-30, Dec 1 at 7:00 PM, December 2 & 9 at 2:00PM.” Tickets available at TheLyric.org. Special discount if bought online!

Tickets are available by clicking any “Get Tickets” link on this site or by calling (870) 391-3504. Advance Tickets are $12 Adults, $11 Seniors, $10 Students; tickets purchased at the door are $15 Adults, $14 Seniors, $13 Students.

OAC Ticketing Link

Two-Time Grammy Winner Laurence Juber Returns! — Saturday, September 22, 2018 at 7:00 — #LiveAtTheLyric!

Two-Time Grammy Winner Laurence Juber Returns to The Lyric!
Saturday, September 22 at 7:00PM

Join us on September 22 at 7:00pm, for universally acknowledged master of the guitar, Laurence Juber!

Breaking News! LJ to teach multi-level guitar workshop #OnlyAtTheLyric! Follow this link to page for workshop info and signup!

Laurence JuberThis two-time Grammy-winner (once with Sir Paul McCartney’s “Wings” and once as a solo artist) thrilled the Lyric audience in 2015, and is returning to continue to dazzle us with his wit, which is as evident in his playing as his absolute mastery of his instrument—not only in its standard implementation, but through a variety of tunings that allow him to express far more than one normally associates with the playing of a single acoustic guitar.

As an award-winning fingerstyle acoustic guitarist also known for his electric work as lead guitarist in Wings, LJ has a large following among guitar fans and Beatles/classic rock fans. His shows feature his original compositions along with amazing covers of Beatles and classic rock songs like “Layla” and “Little Wingwhere he literally plays every melody of the song on just one guitar!

Seriously, How Good Is He?

Well, let’s put it this way…when C.F. Martin & Co. make a series of signature guitars named after you, you’re a bit beyond “pretty good.”

Pete Townsend of The Who simply exclaims, “A master!”

As a studio musician, LJ can be heard on recordings from artists as diverse as Dan Hicks & the Hot Licks to Seal to Barry Manilow, plus he is featured on the soundtracks to hundreds of TV shows such as Home Improvement and movies including the academy award-winning Dirty Dancing, Good Will Hunting, and Pocahontas.

You like video games? LJ co-composed the soundtrack of the award-winning video game Diablo III.

You watch the news? LJ crafted the score to the NBC Dateline documentary Children Of The Harvest. His music is also featured in the Ken Burns’ documentary The Tenth Inning.

In other words: You’ve Heard Him Even if You Haven’t Heard of Him!

LJ has released 17 critically acclaimed solo albums which feature his celebrated arrangements of popular tunes and genre-crossing compositions. In Fall 2010, he released the highly anticipated LJ Plays the Beatles Vol. 2. He was voted “Guitarist of the Year” by the readers of Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine and named one of the top acoustic guitar players of all time by Acoustic Guitar Magazine.

A dynamic, entertaining performer and an accomplished clinician, LJ brings his passion for the guitar to venues around the world, creating a multi-faceted performance that belies the use of only one instrument. In Spring 2013 Laurence Juber released Under an Indigo Sky on Solid Air Records with a special limited edition vinyl for Record Store Day, and has just released LJ Can’t Stop Playing the Beatles.

At the heart of LJ’s sound and style breathes a near-flawless technique where a fiercely emotional underbelly, alternate tunings, and keen sense of melody and rhythm coalesce into something uniquely his own……you don’t have to be a solo-happy guitar worshipper to appreciate his talents.
– Inland Empire Weekly

OAC Ticketing Link

Cult Classic Alert: “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” on the Big Screen…and Prop Bags Available! — Friday, October 27, 2017 at 9pm!

The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Friday, October 27 at 9:00PM 

Let’s do the Time Warp again!

Some people like “prop comics” and some people don’t…but everybody loves a whole theater full of happy people adding to a movie’s hilarity because they all have the right props!

On October 27th at 9:00 pm, join your fellow Time Warp enthusiasts for The Rocky Horror Picture Show! In this cult classic, sweethearts Brad and Janet, stuck with a flat tire during a storm, discover the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a scientist. Brad and Janet meet a houseful of wild characters, including a rocking biker and a creepy butler. Through elaborate dances and rock songs, Frank-N-Furter unveils his latest creation: a muscular man named “Rocky.”

If you have yet to see this cult classic, now is the time! Costumes and props are encouraged! Don’t have a clue? You’re just a click away from the official guide for first time attendees! And if you don’t know what to bring (or don’t have the time to gather the materials), don’t worry: Prop Bags will be available for $5 to the first 100 people through the door OR by reservation onlineNO water or fire (or hotdogs or prunes!) permitted in our historic building. Advance tickets are $10 online or by calling (870) 391-3504, and tickets at the door are $15.

OAC Ticketing Link

POSTPONED: Máire Ní Chathasaigh and Chris Newman: Traditional Celtic Music, Baroque, Bluegrass, and Swing with Harp and Guitar — Thursday, November 2, 2017 at 7pm — #LiveAtTheLyric!

Máire Ní Chathasaigh and Chris Newman:
Celtic Traditional, Baroque, Bluegrass, Swing
with Harp and Guitar
POSTPONED Due to Visa Problems Thursday, November 2 at 7:00PM 

The celebrated virtuoso partnership of “the doyenne of Irish harpers” (Scotland on Sunday) and “one of the UK’s most staggering and influential acoustic guitarists” (fRoots) is coming to “The Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks,” Harrison, Arkansas’s historic Lyric Theater, Thursday, November 2, at 7:00! Their performances—described by The Irish Times as “music of fire and brilliance from the high-wire act in traditional music”—are rooted but eclectic, emotional but adventurous: a breathtaking blend of traditional Irish music, hot jazz, bluegrass and baroque, coupled with striking new compositions and Chris’s delightfully subversive wit.

The children of the neighborhood teased Máire Ní Chathasaigh and her sister as they walked down the street. Her family in Brandon, West Cork, Ireland was the only one playing traditional music, so they would be teased for being out of step with the times. “We used to be laughed at by other kids because they thought we were being old hat, she says. But that first Planxty album let people see that traditional music could be modern and sophisticated, that it wasn’t some sort of hick music.” (Quoted from “Harping in the Traditions,” by Rob Adams.)

Not only her name (pronounced, Moyruh Nee Kha-huuh-sig), but her upbringing was in keeping with the traditional ways of the Gaelic-speaking Irish, her family featuring generations of musicians and poets carrying forward the folklore of her heritage. She and her sister, fiddler Nollaig Casey (Casey being the Anglicised version of Chathasaigh), were trained in both classical and folk music, both instrumental and vocal. While many worked at bringing forward the old music in new forms for pipes and fiddle, Máire revitalized the harp tradition virtually all by herself. “Since then, there’ve been lots of young people playing traditional music on the harp but there wasn’t anybody else playing when I was coming up,” she says. “If you played the pipes there were loads of recordings and a whole tradition to learn from. But I had nobody, just my ears, and I created techniques and ornaments, ways of doing things, and it was all done by trial and error, by myself. So if I got a lot of attention, it was because I was the first to do it.” (Quotes from “Harping in the Traditions.”)

Having become the first harpist to record an album primarily off Irish dance music in 1985, Máire first teamed up with English guitarist Chris Newman two years later. Celebrating their thirtieth anniversary of collaboration with their current tour of the United States, Máire and Chris will bring their internationally-heralded mastery of styles from traditional Celtic to Baroque to Swing along with a penchant for inventive soloing and challenging interaction between the artists to Harrison’s Lyric Theater for a 7:00 performance on Thursday, November 2.

“When I met Chris, he liked, but didn’t know that much about, traditional music, so he spent a lot of time learning from me,” says Maire. “Then we started experimenting with things he was proficient in, like swing, which he played with Stephane Grappelli as a teenager. We’re completely open, if we hear something nice, we’ll just say, ‘let’s play that.’ It’s extremely enjoyable to experiment and see just what your instruments can do, and we never run out of things to play.” (Quotes from “Harping in the Traditions.”)

Máire won the Senior All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil Harp Competition three times in succession, in 1975, 1976 and 1977—a record that is still unsurpassed. More recently, she was Female Musician of the Year in the Live Ireland Music Awards 2016, where she was described in the citation as “the greatest Celtic harper of our age”. This recognition is not confined to Ireland, though, as she also was named Female Musician of the Year in the Chicago Irish American News Top TIR Awards 2016.

She is the best harp player in Irish music. There are several great Irish harpists—we think of Michelle Mulcahy, Catriona McDonald, Ailie Robertson, and Emer Mallon. There are more. They are all uber-fab. But, then there is Maire. Her new album is called Sibling Revelry. Really, there are no words. Just know this.

– , writing for Live Ireland about
the 2016 Live Ireland Female Artist of the Year Award

Máire has also won awards with Chris Newman, including “Album of the Year” (Live Ireland) and also the “Best Celtic Instrumental Album” (JUST PLAIN FOLKS AWARDS Nashville, Tennessee), 2009 for their album FireWire, as well as “Folk Album of the Year” (The Daily Telegraph) for their 1987 album The Living Wood.

Traditional Celtic music, along with Baroque, Bluegrass, and Swing will be performed by Máire Ní Chathasaigh and Chris Newman at downtown Harrison’s historic Lyric Theater, Thursday, November 2, at 7:00. Tickets available now at our ticketing page or by calling (870) 319-3504.

 

OAC Ticketing Link

Two-Time Grammy Winner Laurence Juber Returns! — Saturday, September 22, 2018 at 7:00 — #LiveAtTheLyric!

Two-Time Grammy Winner Laurence Juber Returns to The Lyric!
Saturday, September 22 at 7:00PM

Join us on September 22 at 7:00pm, for universally acknowledged master of the guitar, Laurence Juber!

Laurence JuberThis two-time Grammy-winner (once with Sir Paul McCartney’s “Wings” and once as a solo artist) thrilled the Lyric audience in 2015, and is returning to continue to dazzle us with his wit, which is as evident in his playing as his absolute mastery of his instrument—not only in its standard implementation, but through a variety of tunings that allow him to express far more than one normally associates with the playing of a single acoustic guitar.

As an award-winning fingerstyle acoustic guitarist also known for his electric work as lead guitarist in Wings, LJ has a large following among guitar fans and Beatles/classic rock fans. His shows feature his original compositions along with amazing covers of Beatles and classic rock songs like “Layla” and “Little Wingwhere he literally plays every melody of the song on just one guitar!

Seriously, How Good Is He?

Well, let’s put it this way…when C.F. Martin & Co. make a series of signature guitars named after you, you’re a bit beyond “pretty good.”

Pete Townsend of The Who simply exclaims, “A master!”

As a studio musician, LJ can be heard on recordings from artists as diverse as Dan Hicks & the Hot Licks to Seal to Barry Manilow, plus he is featured on the soundtracks to hundreds of TV shows such as Home Improvement and movies including the academy award-winning Dirty Dancing, Good Will Hunting, and Pocahontas.

You like video games? LJ co-composed the soundtrack of the award-winning video game Diablo III.

You watch the news? LJ crafted the score to the NBC Dateline documentary Children Of The Harvest. His music is also featured in the Ken Burns’ documentary The Tenth Inning.

In other words: You’ve Heard Him Even if You Haven’t Heard of Him!

LJ has released 17 critically acclaimed solo albums which feature his celebrated arrangements of popular tunes and genre-crossing compositions. In Fall 2010, he released the highly anticipated LJ Plays the Beatles Vol. 2. He was voted “Guitarist of the Year” by the readers of Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine and named one of the top acoustic guitar players of all time by Acoustic Guitar Magazine. A dynamic, entertaining performer and an accomplished clinician, LJ brings his passion for the guitar to venues around the world, creating a multi-faceted performance that belies the use of only one instrument. In Spring 2013 Laurence Juber released Under an Indigo Sky on Solid Air Records with a special limited edition vinyl for Record Store Day, and has just released LJ Can’t Stop Playing the Beatles.

At the heart of LJ’s sound and style breathes a near-flawless technique where a fiercely emotional underbelly, alternate tunings, and keen sense of melody and rhythm coalesce into something uniquely his own……you don’t have to be a solo-happy guitar worshipper to appreciate his talents.
– Inland Empire Weekly

OAC Ticketing Link

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.

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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.

Hamlet

 

 

The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
November 17–23, 2015

[Source: November 17, 2015 OAC eNews]

The main floor of the historic Lyric Theater has a few seats left in the center section for opening night, plus many great seats 9right, left, and balcony…and looking at the names on the tickets, we can tell you that there are a bunch of folks whose place in the audience almost serves as ‘extra cast’, because they add to the atmosphere of the production. (There’s no good way to explain this…but come tonight and you will see!)

These wonderful photos from Tavi Photography of NWA (and our own OAC files) just scratch the surface in conveying how dynamic this cast is in its presentation of Shakespeare’s timeless tragedy.hamletpromo_med-files_13wm

Directors Michael Mahoney and Rebekah Wilson manage to extract every ounce of energy from their cast in every performance. Their rehearsals for Hamlet have been so intense and entertaining that they should have been selling tickets to the rehearsals, as well!

hamletpromo_med-files_44wm hamletpromo_med-files_40wm hamletpromo_med-files_02wmThis is no stiff and boring “class assignment” that you will be viewing. Hamlet is a tale of lies and of love—both romance and 6platonic devotion—of injustice and of action…with just enough merriment sprinkled in to break up the tension…only so that even more tension may be created by the next scene!

If this is your first time seeing Hamlet, come to opening night tonight so that you’re able to fit in another viewing, as you will want to come back during 7this
brief run!

For you who have known and loved this play for years, you will not be disappointed by this production! Michael and Bekah, along with their hamletpromo_med-files_22wmassistant director, Mary Crosley, and their whole crew have done an amazing job of giving their cast a fitting atmosphere for excellence, and the cast has risen to their every challenge and demand! The growth from the first day until now is nearly unfathomable, as the growth just in the past month is itself massively impressive.

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The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, a joint 15production of Northark Drama and The Theatre Company of the Ozarks, opens tonight at 7:00 at the historic Lyric Theater on the Harrison, Arkansas square and will also be performed this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings (November 18–21) at 7:00 p.m., Sunday, November 22, at 2:00 p.m., and Monday, November 23, at 10:00 a.m.

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