Farce of Habit, August 14–15 & 21–22 at 7pm, 16 & 23 at 2pm! #LiveAtTheLyric!

The Theatre Company of the Ozarks and
the Ozark Arts Council Present a
Jones Hope Wooten Comedy:

Farce of Habit

Friday–Saturday, August 14–15 & 21–22, 7:00PM
Sunday, August 16 & 23, 2:00PM

The Theatre Company of the Ozarks and The Ozark Arts Council, will present Farce of Habit, a typically raucous Jones Hope Wooten comedy, #LiveAtTheLyric the middle two weekends of August, 2020 (August 14–16 & 21–23)! Tickets are available through The Lyric’s ticketing page with Advance Tickets priced at $8 children, $10 seniors, $12 adults. Ticket prices at the door will be $11 children, $13 seniors, $15 adults.

Just when you thought it was safe to fish in the Ozarks…

Kay Arthur

Comic fireworks explode in Farce of Habit (the sequel to 2016’s Farce of Nature), an absurdly funny Southern-fried romp that takes us back to the Reel ’Em Inn, the finest little fishing lodge in the Ozarks. The proprietor, D. Gene Wilburn (Preston Garrison), is looking forward to a peaceful weekend on the lake. But there are only two chances of that happening: slim and none!

Why, for example, has his wife, Wanelle (Michelle Dees), picked these three days to white-knuckle her way through caffeine withdrawal? Why is his son Ty’s (Shade Roberts) marriage to Jenna (Shelby Waters) falling apart so fast? Could it have something to do with the French can-can costume Ty is wearing? How on earth would D. Gene’s feisty sister, Maxie (Kay Arthur), allow herself to get caught up in such a bizarre undercover police assignment?

L-R: Emily Still, Carl Palmer, Michelle Dees

And that’s just his family. If this isn’t enough to thwart D. Gene’s weekend plans, he’s got a gaggle of nuns who’ve converged on the Inn, hell-bent on experiencing a nature retreat—which might be tolerable if D. Gene didn’t have a chronic fear of anything in a habit. Add to this the presence of Jock McNair (Carl Palmer), a nationally known relationship guru whose colossal ego threatens everyone’s sanity; a shy retiree, Huddle Fisk (Joseph Cotton), anxious to cut loose and embrace his “inner caveman,” and a couple of wild women, Barb Stratton (Emily Still) and Sister Myrtle Agnes (Emily Perkins), who may or may not be who they claim to be. Throw in the storm of the century that’s fast bearing down on Mayhew, Arkansas, and D. Gene has no prayer of baiting a hook any time soon. Oh, and did we mention there’s an ax murderer on the loose?

L-R: Shade Roberts, Joseph Cotton, Michelle Dees

If you enjoy gloriously preposterous hilarity, then laughing your way through the take-no-prisoners lunacy of a Jones Hope Wooten comedy is one habit you’ll never want to break! Tickets on sale right here on our websiteand don’t forget to check out our new Theatre Company Season Passes!  When you become an Ozark Arts Council member, you become eligible for these exclusive passes, which will save you money on our upcoming season, including Farce of Habit, Nunsense II, Freaky Friday, and…Arsenic and Old Lace! Visit the ticketing page or call 870-391-3504 for more info!

In trying times, what could be better than a healthy dose of Jones Hope Wooten comedy? Three of the most popular and widely-produced playwrights in the country, with Broadway, film, and TV credits (e.g., The Golden Girls and Disney’s Teacher’s Pet), Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten specialize in laugh-out-loud comedies, and this will be a great one!

Please Note for Your Safety and Comfort: We have our patrons’ health and well-being first and foremost in our minds as the Covid-19 numbers rise but we’re all learning to work around it, so please make sure you read the guidelines below that we have put into place (per the Arkansas Department of Health’s directives) to keep you protected. Please read carefully, as we are required to abide strictly by these guidelines—and please note that, as we’ve seen these past several months, these guidelines may change at any moment. If they do, we will be sure to update you. We are doing everything we can in our cleaning procedures and following of the ADH guidelines to keep you safe, and we appreciate your doing the same for our volunteers and performers.

The ADH Requirements

  • Patrons must be required to wear a mask if over 10 years of age.
  • Every patron’s temperature must be checked upon entrance and will be asked several questions pertaining to travel and health. Patrons will not be able to enter if:
    • They have fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell.
    • They have had known exposure to someone with Covid-19 in the past 14 days.
  • A 6-foot gap must be maintained between patrons who do not “shelter together,” so only groups with family members should get tickets with adjoining seats. If you plan on going with anyone who does not live in the same household with you, please call 870-391-3504 for our help on getting you seats as close together as possible, while still allowing for the “social distancing” regulations.
  • We are allowed to serve refreshments, so our concession stand and the upstairs Immortal BarD will be open. However, we will have signs posted reminding patrons to keep a 6 foot distance, and we will not be able to accommodate clustering of groups at the counters.
  • Though it is a tradition at the Lyric to allow audience members to come up and greet the cast at the end of plays, we will forego this for now to keep the required 12 feet of distance between those on stage and those in the audience. If you wish to tell the cast “good job!” you can leave comments right here on this page!

If you have any questions about how we are protecting our volunteers, or about any of the guidelines, please don’t hesitate to call 870-391-3504 or send an email here.

Join us at The Lyric for great southern comedy August 14–16 & 21–23. Tickets for Farce of Habit are available now here at TheLyric.org by clicking any “Get Tickets” link or by calling (870) 391-3504 (please leave a detailed message if you get our voicemail).

OAC Ticketing Link

Always a Bridesmaid, June 25-27 at 7pm, 28 at 2pm! #LiveAtTheLyric!

The Theatre Company of the Ozarks and
the Ozark Arts Council Present a
Jones Hope Wooten Comedy:

Always a Bridesmaid

Thursday-Saturday, June 25–27, 7:00PM
Sunday, June 28, 2:00PM

The Theatre Company of the Ozarks and The Ozark Arts Council, will present Always a Bridesmaid  #LiveAtTheLyric the last weekend of June, 2020 (June 25–28)! Tickets are available through TheLyric.org with Advance Tickets priced at $8 children, $10 seniors, $12 adults. Ticket prices at the door will be $11 children, $13 seniors, $15 adults.

In trying times, what could be better than a healthy does of Jones Hope Wooten comedy? Three of the most popular and widely-produced playwrights in the country, with Broadway, film, and TV credits (e.g., The Golden Girls and Disney’s Teacher’s Pet), Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten specialize in laugh-out-loud comedies, and this will be a great one!

Please Note for Your Safety and Comfort: We have our patrons’ health and well-being first and foremost in our minds as the Covid-19 numbers rise but we’re all learning to work around it, so please make sure you read the guidelines below that we have put into place (per the Arkansas Department of Health’s directives) to keep you protected. Please read carefully, as we are required to abide strictly by these guidelines—and please note that, because the play is still a month away, these guidelines may change. If they do, we will be sure to update you. We are doing everything we can in our cleaning procedures and following of the ADH guidelines to keep you safe, and we appreciate your doing the same for our volunteers and performers.

Wedding Season is just around the corner…

…and we can’t wait to see our darling Southern Belles marry their soulmates this month (June 25-27 at 7:00pm and June 28 at 2:00pm) at our own beautiful and historic “wedding venue,” The Lyric Theater! More about the story will follow the ADH guidelines for attending plays this Summer.

The ADH Requirements

  • Patrons must be required to wear a mask if over 10 years of age.
  • Every patron’s temperature must be checked upon entrance and will be asked several questions pertaining to travel and health. Patrons will not be able to enter if:
    • They have fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell.
    • They have had known exposure to someone with Covid-19 in the past 14 days.
  • A 6-foot gap must be maintained between patrons who do not “shelter together,” so only groups with family members should get tickets with adjoining seats. If you plan on going with anyone who does not live in the same household with you, please call 870-391-3504 for our help on getting you seats as close together as possible, while still allowing for the “social distancing” regulations.
  • We are allowed to serve refreshments, so our concession stand and the upstairs Immortal BarD will be open. However, we will have signs posted reminding patrons to keep a 6 foot distance, and we will not be able to accommodate clustering of groups at the counters.
  • Though it is a tradition at the Lyric to allow audience members to come up and greet the cast at the end of plays, we will forego this for now to keep the required 12 feet of distance between those on stage and those in the audience. If you wish to tell the cast “good job!” we will have a digital guestbook set up where you can leave your well wishes!

If you have any questions about how we are protecting our volunteers, or about any of the guidelines, please don’t hesitate to call 870-391-3504 or send an email here.

The Story

Always a Bridesmaid is a Jones Hope Wooten Southern Comedy.

If you’ve ever elbowed a stranger out of the way to catch a brideís bouquet, seriously questioned the mental stability of the duo saying “I do” or been forced to wear the world’s ugliest bridesmaid dress, this deliriously funny Jones Hope Wooten comedy is definitely for you—and your dearly beloved!

In this hilarious comedic romp, four friends have sworn to keep the promise they made on the night of their Senior Prom: to be in each other’s weddings—no matter what. More than thirty years later, these Southern friends-for-life are still making “the long walk” for each other, determined to honor that vow. Libby Ruth (Julianna Hamblin), the hopeful romantic with the perfect marriage, believes—in spite of all evidence to the contrary—that her friends can find the very same happiness. Headstrong Deedra’s (Spree Hilliard) “rock-solid” union hangs by a thread when she discovers her husband of many years not only has a wandering eye, but the hands to match. Monette (Kirstyn Walker), flashy, high-spirited and self-involved, continues to test her friends’ love and patience with all-too-frequent trips down the aisle. And salt-of-the-earth, tree-hugging Charlie (Emily Akins) discovers—the hard way—that marital bliss is not the end of her rainbow and panics in outrageous style when the opportunity presents itself.

Narrated hilariously by blushing bride Kari (Callie Johnson) and with energetic life-force Sedalia (Linda Henson) running the show, this is sure to make you believe in what friendship can do. Libby Ruth, Deedra, Monette and Charlie are committed to the notion that careers, waistlines and even marriages may disappear, but real friendships last a lifetime. Forsaking all others, in sickness and in health, they repeatedly struggle to stage the perfect wedding in spite of fistfights at the altar, runaway brides and the mistaken, and unfortunate, release of a flock of white doves on the first day of hunting season.

Hop on this marriage-go-round for a laugh-out-loud journey with these beleaguered bridesmaids as they navigate the choppy waters of love and matrimony. Always a Bridesmaid is the rollicking tale of four loyal and determined women who definitively answer the question, “Just how far are you willing to go to keep a promise to a friend?”

Join us at The Lyric for great southern comedy June 25–28. Tickets for Always a Bridesmaid are available now here at TheLyric.org by clicking any “Get Tickets” link, by stopping by the OAC office at 115 W. Rush Ave. between 9 & 1 Tuesday through Friday, or by calling (870) 391-3504 (please leave a detailed message if you get our voicemail).

OAC Ticketing Link

Got Albert Cummings? You’d Better “Believe” It! — RE-RESCHEDULED to April/May 2021 at 7pm — #LiveAtTheLyric!

NEW Blues from and for the Working Man: Albert Cummings Returns to the Lyric—Believe!
Re-Rescheduled to April/May at 7PM 

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

Hard-edged and mellow-without-being-prissy, Blues-rock guitar with lyrical mastery is headed back,  in all its glory, to the historic Lyric Theater, as Harrison, Arkansas enjoys “An Evening with Albert Cummings” on Sunday, September 20 at 7:00 PM, for which tickets are now available.

Entertaining audiences from his phenomenal guitar work to his incredibly impassioned lyrics and overall songwriting prowess – one thing has certainly become clear about Albert Cummings’s music: he is far more than simply just the guitarist or the bluesman he’s often painted as by fans and the media alike. He offers the complete package.

Albert Cummings
Albert Cummings, Live at the Lyric, 3/22/20 @ 7pm

Though undoubtedly a masterful guitar player who burst onto the blues-rock scene in the early 2000s and almost immediately began gaining praise in that realm, his latest live release “Live at the ‘62 Center” and his new studio album, “Believe,” further portray not only his versatility as singer/songwriter and live performer but as an artist first and foremost.

While generally performing live as a trio, the true spontaneity and creative spirit of these albums show Albert’s mastery of the whole art form, as he put together a newly formed version of his usual trio that afternoon of the October 2016 recording, along with keyboards and backing vocals that hint at just how massive Albert’s talent for composition and improvisation really is. With longtime friend and Grammy Winner Jim Gaines behind the soundboard, what comes through in both sight and sound is an incredible journey into the live performance world and true artistry of one of today’s most seasoned musicians.

“His muscular guitar work is simply outstanding. He’s a great blues singer as well, with passion for the tunes inherent in his full-throttle approach.”

– Rock and Blues Muse on Live at the ‘62 Center

Like many greats before him who’ve been painted into a corner as merely great blues players, or guitar players, or singers, Cummings seeks to rise above these labels and be praised for the devotion to his overall craft as a true musician. In artist terms, he’s sought to be known for ‘the overall pallet of his music’, rather than one specific color. From greats like Eric Clapton to the more recent stylings of John Mayer, his artistic integrity has allowed him to focus on the big picture, writing songs from the heart rather than catering to his specifics strengths as a singer, guitarist, or bandleader (all of which he does impeccably, however!).

His musical journey began when young Albert first picked up a guitar – learning the requisite three chords from his father, but later switched over to banjo at the age of 12 after becoming a bluegrass fan. After hearing the early recordings of Stevie Ray Vaughan, he was impressed by the sheer virtuosity of the artist, and following his first chance to see him live while in college in Boston he returned to the guitar with a new outlook and resolve.

“He attacks his axe with unbridled ferocity and deep soulfulness… his depth and expression are matched only by his terrifying technique and tone.”

– Guitar One

The whiz-kid carpenter began his ascent to masterful blues rock guitarist at age 27, with his first public performance on guitar. As he continued to grow in his newfound passion, he landed on the Northeast blues circuit with his first band Swamp Yankee. Then, in 1998, after walking into a Northeast Blues Society open jam, Cummings won the right to compete in the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge the following year. By 2000, his debut single “The Long Way” was released to rave reviews, and began opening new doors for the artist. 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, March 22, 2020, 7pm

His first big opportunity came in the form of a chance 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. Having begun his musical journey in part due to Vaughan’s inspiration, it seemed Cummings’ passion had brought him full-circle.

Cummings’ soulful and explosive approach to blues and rock then caught the attention of Blind Pig Records (Muddy Waters, Jimmy Vivino, Elvin Bishop), 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 all-original release showcased Albert’s rapidly developing songwriting chops and deeply emotional vocals as well as stunning guitar pyrotechnics, fully showcasing his well-rounded talents.

 “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, furthered a growing focus and maturity both in Albert’s stinging, incisive guitar work as well as in his fluently idiomatic songwriting, leading Billboard Magazine to exclaim “This recording is the calling card of a star who has arrived”

2008 saw Albert’s first live album “Feel So Good,” recorded at the historic Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts which has 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.” Music Connection also called it “one of the best live albums recorded in a long time.”

Albert Cummings
Albert Cummings, Live at the Lyric, 3/22/20 @ 7pm

As he continued to grow, playing with the likes of legends from B.B. King (who called dubbed him “a great guitarist”), Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy, and many more – Cummings built on not only his all-around songwriting and musicianship but his guitar playing skill as well. Using his knowledge to give back to fellow guitarists wanting to advance in their craft, he released the instructional DVD “Working Man Blues Guitar” in 2011. His next album, 2012’s self-released “No Regrets” followed as a return to his true musical roots, poignantly capturing the core of his influences and 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.

Now, as he continues writing and performing, relentlessly devoting effort to his craft, Cummings is ready to continue on his ever expansive musical journey. “An Evening with Albert Cummings” in support of his new album, “Believe,” is scheduled at the historic Lyric Theater on the Harrison, Arkansas square for Sunday, September 20 at 7:00PM Tickets are now available.

tickets

RESCHEDULED: Nunsense II: The Second Coming, September 10-12 at 7pm, 13 at 2pm! #LiveAtTheLyric!

The Theatre Company of the Ozarks and the Ozark Arts Council Present:

Nunsense II:
The Second Coming!

Thursday-Saturday, September 10–12, 7:00PM
Sunday, September 13, 2:00PM

The Theatre Company of the Ozarks and The Ozark Arts Council, will present the raucous comedy, Nunsense II: The Second Coming  #LiveAtTheLyric the second weekend of September (September 10–13)! Tickets are available through TheLyric.org with Advance Tickets priced at $8 children, $10 seniors, $12 adults. Ticket prices at the door will be $11 children, $13 seniors, $15 adults.

Nunsense II: The Second Coming takes place six weeks after the convent has staged its first benefit. The sisters are back presenting a “thank-you” show for all the people who supported them in the past. They’re a bit slicker, now, though, having been “bitten by the theater bug”…

Things get to off to a rousing start as the sisters sing Nunsense, the Magic Word, but before long. chaos erupts. Two Franciscans come to claim Sister Mary Amnesia (who has won the Publishers’ Clearing House Sweepstakes) as one of their own. At the same time, the nuns hear that a talent scout is in the audience to see them strut their stuff. From the riotous bingo game run by Sister Amnesia to the hilarious duet, “What Would Elvis Do?”, to the rousing finale (“There’s Only One Way to End Your Prayers and That’s to Say Amen!”, this show will have you rolling in the aisles!

Join us at The Lyric for music and laughter September 10–13. Tickets for Nunsense II are available now here at TheLyric.org by clicking any “Get Tickets” link, by stopping by the OAC office at 115 W. Rush Ave. between 9 & 1 Tuesday through Friday, or by calling (870) 391-3504 (please leave a detailed message if you get our voicemail).

OAC Ticketing Link

Beauty & the Beast, Jr., July 20, 25, 27! #LiveAtTheLyric!

The Theatre Company of the Ozarks and the Ozark Arts Council Present:
Beauty & The Beast, Jr.

Saturdays, July 20 & 27, 2:00PM & 7:00PM
Thursday, July 25, 10:00AM

What you’ve been waiting for all summer is almost here: the enchanting and exciting story of Beauty and the Beast! The Theatre Company of the Ozarks and The Ozark Arts Council, under license from Music Theatre International, will present Beauty and the Beast, Jr. LIVE at The Lyric Theater in Harrison, Arkansas, on July 20, 25, and 27. Saturday performances will be at 2:00pm and 7:00pm, and the Thursday performance will be at 10:00am. Tickets are available through TheLyric.org with Advance Tickets priced at $8 children, $10 seniors, $12 adults. Ticket prices at the door will be $11 children, $13 seniors, $15 adults.

Shade Roberts and Liani Cash

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:

Caleb Lord and Liani Cash

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

Director: Debbie Waters
Assistant Directors: Courtney Lantis, Yaffah Lewis, Michele Reynolds

Back: Caleb Lord & Emily Still
Front: Avery Skinner & Brinkley Brewer

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).

OAC Ticketing Link

Winona Wilde — Thursday May 17 at 7pm — #LiveAtTheLyric!

“Just your
run of the mill,
post-structuralist
cowgirl Americana…”
Crooked Creek presents Winona Wilde!
Thursday, May 17 at 7:00PM

Photo by Brandon Albert, Flare Magazine

“Over simple, well-worn chords, Wilde’s voice sounds weary and wise, and yet still full of life…Her storytelling binds together personal experience and political ideas in relatable ways, the way only the best songwriting can.”

–  Peter Ellman, Exclaim

Crooked Creek Concert Association presents 2017 Kerrville NewFolk Songwriting Award winner Winona Wilde, who will perform at the Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks, Harrison, Arkansas’s historic Lyric Theater, on May 17 at 7:00PM, with special guest opener Fayetteville’s Elizabeth Scott. Tickets are available in advance for $10; at the door, they will be $15. 

Karl Magi recently profiled Winona Wilde for Spinditty, so we’re going to borrow some quotes from his excellent article there. He shows her love for the Roots Music fans and culture: “If I had known all of these people and festivals existed when I started law school, I probably would have quit instead of suffering through it. The sense of community I have felt from the folkies is unlike anything on this earth. It has made me a better person.”

It’s not having gone to law school that makes people wonder most at her rise to prominence in the Americana scene—nor even her being Canadian, since that’s “North Americana,” at least—but the fact that she is a Canadian of Iraqi descent

Photo by Sim Al-Surraj

who has so embraced—and been embraced by—Western “Roots Music”/Americana and its fans.

Wilde (whose non-stage name is Noosa Al-Sarraj) says that music was a part of her life from her earliest days. “I do not come from a musical family, but opportunities for making music always came into my life at the right time. As a little tiny baby, I used to sing my mother’s lullabies back to her, and as a toddler, I was really good at clapping back rhythms and freakishly repeating back entire verses from the Koran, so my mother suspected there was something at play there.”

Her musical influences are wide-ranging. “I grew up on classical music. My faves were the moody, dense composers like Beethoven and Schumann. I spent hours every day alone with the piano, deciphering the language. To this day, I can still recognize a composer from just a few bars of music. Nobody generally cares when it happens, but it always feels like a little bit of a fist-pump moment.”

“When I hit my teens I got all the way into older blues artists like Ray Charles and Nat King Cole and then started to experiment with the edgier stuff like Tool and Nine Inch Nails. I loved the melodic metal my younger brother Sim listened to, he got me into Opeth, Dream Theatre and stuff like that. The heaviness of my lyrical content might have something to do with that.”

Magi writes: “Her transformation into a country/folk artist is something for which Noosa has an interesting explanation. She says, ‘My parents both worked a ton so we had a nanny whom we affectionately called Nana. She may have had country music radio on all day, so my young brain had the country music of the 80’s hammered into it without my even noticing. When I eventually heard John Prine and Loretta Lynn as an adult, all of this country music came pouring out of me.’”

Photo by Mary Matheson, BC Musician Magazine

 

Eleni Armenakis makes it clear in her review of the Wilnona Wilde album “Wasted Time” that as much as her music can reach the heights and depths of introspection and social commentary, her music is not one dimensional: “‘Buy a Round’ marks a change in the album, as Al-Sarraj laughs into a pure country number that fittingly rolls in and around itself. There’s more of a folk sound to ‘Black Forest Black Forest’ before ‘To The Corner’ finds a balance between the two to quietly see out the album.” Armenakis concludes, “Al-Sarraj knows what she wants to say and how she wants to say it. Despite the title, she’s clearly not wasting any time.”

“The best introduction to troubadour songwriter Winona Wilde’s wry sensibilities is through her delivered-with-a-wink song, ‘Chick Singer’…She sings with both exasperation and good humour, because, as we all know, sometimes the truth is so bleak, it’s hilarious. The same autobiographical song also references the blank stares she gets from people surprised to see an Iraqi-Canadian woman singing country songs. Wilde, whose real name is Noosa Al-Sarraj, fell in love with country music thanks to a nanny she had as a kid. Her kickass songwriting abilities led to win an award at the Kerrville Folk Festival’s New Folk competition this year—one of few Canadians to do so, and certainly the first of Iraqi descent.”

– Sarah Boesveld, Flare Magazine, 2017-10-18

Winona Wilde will perform at the Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks, Harrison, Arkansas’s historic Lyric Theater, on May 17 at 7:00PM,with special guest opener Fayetteville’s Elizabeth Scott. Tickets are available in advance for $10; at the door, they will be $15.

Can you recall the first song you ever wrote?

From age 11-17, my subjects were mainly animals — for example, “Everything tastes like chicken when you’re not around,” a musical adaptation of Dr. Seuss’s One Fish, Two Fish, and a mini-opera about a donkey who eats spaghetti. Although one early song I remember went something like “darkness into darkness” and had some complex chord changes and a heavy subject. I gave it to my teacher and I never got it back, so I am really curious about what was going on in that song. Perhaps she passed it along to a psychiatrist.

– Interview in BC Musician Magazine, 2015-11-07

 tickets

David Church RFD TV Star with Terri Lisa and their band — Saturday, January 6, 2018 at 2pm — #LiveAtTheLyric!

RFD TV Star David Church with Terri Lisa
Saturday, January 6 at 2:00PM 

 

Steeped in the music of Hank Williams Jr., David Church brings classic country and his own roots music compositions to the Lyric stage.

From the iconic “Hank Williams” to his own “roots/retro” country music, David Church has made a huge impact on music enthusiasts all over the world. David & Terri Lisa have reignited a passion for traditional “RETRO” country music. They have made a connection that has crossed generations, from college students to great grandparents.

The “Star” of RFD-TV’s MIDWEST COUNTRY for over 10 years, David Church, along with his wife, Terri Lisa, has been lighting up TV sets throughout the US. Midwest Country is featured on prime time Saturday night. With Nielson ratings in the top 3 on the RFD-TV network, David Church is the “most requested and most popular” artist! They have captured the hearts of millions, from baby boomers to college students. With their dazzling rhinestone suits, this dynamic couple has thrilled audiences around the world. David Church is recognized for his authentic rendition of “Hank Williams,” and  recognized by music historians, celebrities, and family members as the “#1 tribute to Hank.”

David Church carries the torch for traditional Country music! His voice and music touches the soul of millions around the globe! The true fans of traditional Country music need a standard-bearer to help keep this sound alive. Luckily, they don’t need to look any further than David Church.

The RFD-TV network has grown by leaps and bounds and is now broadcast to over 65 Million viewers throughout the US. Church has been featured as a regular on the popular show “Midwest Country.” It is easy to understand why he is RFD-TV’s “most requested” artist. Amazingly, without a major hit on mainstream radio, Church has millions of fans all over the world. Bruce Maier, the editor of a major music magazine, Damn Good Tunes called David, “a rare entertainment entity”. He went on to say “he creates a visual presentation that is absolutely dazzling to witness. He does something that 99% of all other artists cannot do and that is stand on their own with their own music.”

A strong advocate for American made products, David and Terri Lisa made the decision a few years ago to only sell American manufactured products on their merchandise table. In April, 2014, The Church’s joined forced with “American Made Matters®” organization as members and ambassadors. The mission is, “to educate consumers that buying US-made products strengthens the American dream,” and to bring awareness of American made products and manufacturers to consumers and strengthen the economy.

David Church can be mesmerizing when performing, as you close your eyes and go back years listening to Hank’s songs. His presentation is done with style, integrity of the music, and from the heart. David has some songs of his own that I believe are some of the very best country music has had in many a year. Catch his performances live and I’ll guarantee you’ll come away totally satisfied and waiting to tell your friends about it and ready for another show.

Minnesota Times, Larry Rose 5/2013

David has been featured in numerous major country music magazines including, Country Weekly, Country Music Report, Nashville, Music Guide, Dreamwest, Damn Good Tunes, Furious, and many others.
Church attributes his success in the music business to the millions of “true country fans” that are tired of what they hear on the radio. “The success that I have had has come from the fans that so long for the traditional sound of country that they have heard in the past, but no longer find in mainstream country music. Those are the fans that have been forgotten. I also feel that a lot of RFD-TV’s success can be attributed to the country music shows that they have been airing, which go along with the country and farm lifestyle. We are proud to be a part of this family oriented TV network.”

David performs throughout the world along with his talented wife, Terri Lisa Church. Terri Lisa is also a recording artist/songwriter. She sings lead and backup vocals. Terri Lisa is a published journalist.

David Church is a rare entertainment entity. David performs the songs and creates a visual presentation that is absolutely dazzling to witness! And, if that were all that David could do in this music business, one would think that’s quite an accomplishment, but David stands on his own with his original music. And that, my friends, makes for a very powerful package! My Rising Star pick: David Church.” 

– Bruce Maier, Editor, Damn Good Tunes Magazine, 3/12/11 www.damngoodtunes.com

RFD’s most requested artist, David Church and Terri Lisa will perform at downtown Harrison’s historic Lyric Theater on Saturday, January 6, at 2:00. Tickets available now at our ticketing page or by calling (870) 391-3504.

 

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

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