Got Albert Cummings? You’d Better “Believe” It! — Sunday, March 22, 2020 at 7pm — #LiveAtTheLyric!

NEW Blues from and for the Working Man: Albert Cummings Returns to the Lyric—Believe!
Sunday, March 22 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 22 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, March 22 at 7:00PM Tickets are now available.

 

tickets

Nunsense II: The Second Coming, March 14 & 21 at 7pm, 15 & 22 at 2pm! #LiveAtTheLyric!

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

Nunsense II:
The Second Coming!

Saturdays, March 14 & 21, 7:00PM
Sundays, March 15 & 22, 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 middle two weekends of March (March 14–15. & 21–22)! 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 March 14, 15, 21, &22. 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

12 Angry Jurors, Thursday & Saturday, November 14 & 16 at 6pm, Friday, Nov. 15 at 5pm, and Sunday Nov. 17 at 2pm! #HHSTheatre!

The Ozark Arts Council
is pleased to announce the
Harrison High School Theatre Department’s
production of
12 Angry Jurors

Thursday & Saturday, November 14 & 16, 6:00PM; Friday, November 15, 5:00PM; and
Sunday, November 17, 2:00PM

Harrison High School Theatre Dept. proudly presents 12 Angry Jurors, sponsored by Sprott, Golden & Bardwell. This play will be held in the black box theatre in the Theatre Room at HHS. Tickets are limited as it will be theatre-in-the-round, and are available at TheLyric.org. Note the difference in Friday’s showtime to allow you to see the play and cheer on the Goblins as the state football tournament begins.

Please Note: This play will take place at Harrison High School; many thanks to the Ozark Arts Council for the use of their ticketing software!

12 Angry Jurors is based on the Emmy-Award winning TV movie 12 Angry Men, and students ranging from freshman to senior will present this intense play November 14–17. Our cast includes: Ashlee Piske, Lena Rocole, Natalie Sims, Zach Jimerson, Addie Jones, Mysteri Cotton, Faith Nix, Candace Lambert, Kinder Hinrichs, Jenna Wilson, Serena Bolonsky, Tyler Madison, Liam Dupre, Caleb Lord, Dakota Furr, Chasity Price.

A 19-year-old man has just stood trial for the fatal stabbing of his father. “He doesn’t stand a chance,” mutters the guard as the 12 jurors are taken into the bleak jury room. It looks like an open-and-shut case…until one of the jurors begins opening the others’ eyes to the facts.

12 Angry Jurors featured on GobTV News

“This is a remarkable thing about democracy,” says the foreign-born juror, “that we are noticed by mail to come down to this place and decide the guilt or innocence of a man; of a man we have not known before. We have nothing to gain or lose by our verdict. We should not make it a personal thing.” But personal it does become, with each juror revealing his or her own character as the various testimonies are re-examined, the murder is re-enacted, and a new murder threat is born before their eyes. Tempers get short. Arguments get heated. And the jurors become 12 angry men and women. The jurors’ final verdict and how they reach it will electrify you and keep you on the edge of your seat.

12 Angry Jurors
presented by the HHS Theatre Dept. and sponsored by Sprott, Golden & Bardwell will be performed November 14 and 16 at

Many thanks to our sponsors for their constant support of the Arts in our area!

6:00pm, November 15 at 5:00pm (to allow you to see the play and cheer on the Goblin Football team as the state tournament begins in F. S. Garrison Stadium at 7:00!), and November 17 at 2:00pm.

 

All performances will be at HHS in the black box theatre in the Theatre classroom. Tickets are available at TheLyric.org.

OAC Ticketing Link

The Outsiders, December 2–7 at 7pm, December 8 at 2pm, plus school matinees! #LiveAtTheLyric!

Northark Drama and the
Ozark Arts Council
present:
The Outsiders

Tuesday–Saturday, December 3–7, 7:00PM
and Sunday, December 8, 2:00PM
with School Matinees Monday & Tuesday, December 2 & 3 at 10:00AM

The Ozark Arts Council and NorthArk Drama present The Outsiders #LiveAtTheLyric Theater in Harrison, Arkansas, December 2–8. Tuesday through Saturday will feature evening performances, which start at 7:00pm, and Sunday’s performance will begin at 2:00pm. Monday and Tuesday will feature matinee performances for area schools (and homeschools). Tickets for the evenings and Sunday 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.

Matinee tickets must be purchased through the OAC office; please call (870) 391-3504 and leave a message and send an email to our Executive Director.

In the midst of urban warfare, somehow Ponyboy (Karson Deatherage) can’t forget a short poem that speaks of the teens’ fragile young lives:

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
so dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

“Robert Frost wrote it,” Ponyboy tells Johnny (Wyatt Mahoney/US Ella Domino). “I always remembered it because I never quite got what he meant by it.”

Cherry (Chyler Caraway/US Lena Rocole), a beautiful Soc, comes to share a special sensitivity with Ponyboy as she discovers that he remembers poems and needs to watch sunsets. At the same time, Cherry is attracted to the older, tougher Dallas (Gavin Wilson/US Isaac Stevens), and in a sense she’s caught in the violent space between the Greasers (Darry: Andrew Coble/US Daniel Seay; Two-Bit: Laine Hilliard; Sodapop: Nathan Edwards/US Nicholas Allen) and the Socs (Marcia: GiGi Crenshaw/US Jennafer Wilson; Sandy: Eden Wilson/US Faith Nix). While the Socs appear to have everything, the only thing a Greaser has is his friends.

As these young people try to find themselves and each other, as the sadness of sophistication begins to reach them and their battles and relationships reach a resolution, Ponyboy’s friend, Johnny, sends him a message: “I’ve been thinking about the poem that guy wrote. He meant you’re gold when you’re a kid, like green. When you’re a kid everything’s new, dawn. It’s just when you get used to everything that it’s day. Like the way you dig sunsets, Pony. That’s gold. Keep it that way. It’s a good way to be.”

This is a play about young people who are not yet hopeless, about latent decency in the midst of struggle.

Both veteran and novice actors round out this stellar cast, including: Devin O’Brien and US Caleb Lord as Bob/Paul; Kinder Hinrichs and US Daniel Hart as Randy; Joshua Mann as Jerry; Kaleigh Billings as Mrs. O’Bryant; Abi Coble as the Doctor; Lexi Knight as the Nurse; Lexi Sprenger as Mrs. Syme; Laken Steiner, Kaci Flower, Laken Rudelis, Bannon Jones, Zoe Arthur, Brinkley Brewer, Donovan Walters, Sophia Wilson, Callie Caraway, Wynn Mahoney, Lenora Domino, Zachary Linn, Emma Pruitt, Ivan Hanschu, Xavier Hanschu, Kalysta Douglas as Ensemble.

This a story that you won’t soon forget.

Says Co-Director and Head of NorthArk Drama, Michael Mahoney:

“I have truly enjoyed working with the cast, crew, and especially my co-director Bekah Wilson on [this play]. Finding a vision and through line for these characters has been a challenging, yet rewarding task. S.E. Hinton’s novel is timeless in the powerful and enlightening story about the hard battles fought during adolescence, the search for true belonging to a family, brotherhood, and, most of all, love. The Outsiders is an extremely dramatic piece. I believe it conveys a powerful message about real social issues that arise in so many American homes and social groups today. I hope our production enlightens and educates people about human compassion and love.” 

The Outsiders will be performed December 3–7 at 7:00PM and December 8 at 2:00PM, with 2 special school-only performances December 2 and 3 at 10:00AM.

(If your school has not been contacted about these special school performances, contact Executive Director, Julianna Hamblin by clicking this link to email her and leaving a message at (870) 391-3504 [in case your email ends up in a spam folder].)

Tickets are on sale now.

Note: US denotes Understudy

OAC Ticketing Link

Romeo and Juliet, ONE Day Only! November 1 at 7pm #LiveAtTheLyric!

Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre and the Ozark Arts Council Present:
Romeo and Juliet!
Friday, November 1, 7:00PM

The Ozark Arts Council is thrilled to welcome Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre for a special November 1 7:00pm performance of their Family Theatre production of Romeo and Juliet #LiveAtTheLyric! Tickets are only $10 and are available through TheLyric.org .

Tickets at the door—in the unlikely event that any are available—will be $15.

Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre is Arkansas’s Only professional Shakespeare Company. Each year it produces a selection of the Bard’s plays (along with other productions) in its summer festival in Conway.

Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, which has been featured in The New York Times, is also a major educational force in Arkansas. This professional company brings respected and experienced Shakespearean actors to Arkansas for each season, producing vibrant, engaging, lively and provocative performances for all Arkansans.

With a mission to entertain, engage, and enrich the community by creating professional and accessible productions of Shakespeare and other works that promote educational opportunities, community 

involvement, and the highest artistic standards, Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre works with the Arkansas Arts Council as a part of its “Artists on Tour” program to help small venues keep these performances affordable.

In Romeo and Juliet, the fighting families of Montague and Capulet put their feud before their children’s happiness in Shakespeare’s classic tale of “star-crossed” young love, reimagined for audiences of all ages in this one-hour adaptation.

Note from AST: This adaptation is intended for audiences of all ages, and has been shortened to approximately one hour. There are songs and comedy, but also intense emotional situations and some violence. The original story is intact, including Romeo and Juliet’s tragic ending. 

“Our play begins in Italy in the city of fair Verona with a vendetta as old as time. The Capulets and the Montagues have been enemies for as long as either side can remember. Romeo Montague and his friends crash an ancient ball held by Lord and Lady Capulet, risking their lives and the continuation of the feud. Romeo first sees the enchanting Juliet here and immediately falls in love with her. At the end of the ball, Romeo meets Juliet at her balcony, where they express their undying love for each other. The two, with the help of Friar Lawrence and Juliet’s Nurse, marry secretly, despite their feuding families. Blissfully newlywed for just a short while, Juliet is soon shocked to discover that her father plans to force her to marry Count Paris only three days later.

“Romeo walks the streets of fair Verona and stumbles upon his friends Mercutio and Benvolio fighting Tybalt, Juliet’s cousin, who he learns has challenged him to a fight. In Romeo’s attempt to halt that fight, Tybalt meets his end at the hand of Romeo, resulting in Romeo’s banishment from Verona. When Juliet learns of this, her desperation to remain with Romeo leads her to Friar Lawrence and he arranges a plot for Juliet to fake her own death. However, the message carrying the information of the plot never reaches Romeo in Mantua and he truly believes that his beloved has died. Because of this, Romeo arranges his own plan to end his life and travels back to Verona to be with Juliet. Upon his return, Romeo enters the Capulet tomb, and sees his Juliet who appears to be dead.”

The above is taken from AST’s excellent and accessible (barely 20 pages) introduction to the play, to Shakespeare, and to live theatre in general, which you may read online (or download and print, by right-clicking/Command-clicking on this link and saving).

This is the first time we have had the honor of hosting AST at the Lyric, and we hope it is just the beginning of a long relationship with them for the enrichment of our community—and the first of many partnerships with those from our larger region to bring us the richness of professional theatre and theatre education, such as we have been so pleased to have from our member organization, Northark Drama.

Tickets to AST Family Theatre’s November 1 production of Romeo and Juliet 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

Dracula, October 24–26 at 7pm, 27 at 2pm & 31 at 7pm! #LiveAtTheLyric!

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

Thursday–Saturday, October 24–26, 7:00PM Sunday, October 27, 2:00PM
Thursday, October 31, 7:00PM

The Theatre Company of the Ozarks and The Ozark Arts Council, under license from Playscripts, Inc., will present Dracula, as adapted from Bram Stoker’s novel by William McNulty in the 1920s,  #LiveAtTheLyric the last weekend of October (Thursday–Sunday, October 24–27) and on Halloween! 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.

(Parents: you know your children and if you don’t know the story, please check your usual parental advisory sources to see whether the content of this play will be appropriate for your child.)

Trouble is brewing from the very first moment of William McNulty’s adaptation of Dracula. Dr. Abram Van Helsing has arrived at the estate of his old friend, Dr. Seward, who is desperate for help. Seward’s beloved Mina has recently died of a sudden and mysterious illness. Her horrific symptoms have proved baffling to the bereaved doctor: sudden loss of blood, bouts of sleepwalking in the cemetery, and strange puncture wounds on the neck. To make matters worse, Mina’s friend, Lucy, has begun to display the same symptoms! Seward hopes that Van Helsing, a noted expert in exotic medicine, will be able to uncover the cause of Lucy’s illness and save her before it’s too late.

Meanwhile, Count Dracula, a strange and imposing man from Transylvania, has taken up residence in nearby Carfax Abbey. And Lucy’s fiancé, Jonathan Harker, has mysteriously vanished. A solicitor who helped arrange the sale of the Abbey, Harker traveled to Transylvania a few months ago to finalize business matters with the Count…and never returned home.

At Seward’s estate, Renfield, a mental patient, is becoming more wild and unruly by the day, almost as though he were possessed. Lucy’s symptoms continue to grow worse. And what could be causing the sudden onslaught of howls coming by night from up the hill?

Van Helsing believes the problem they face is a grave one: “My diagnosis is there is no disease! The symptoms are real. But the cause is not internal.” Could it be that Mina, and now Lucy, have suffered at the hands of a vampire? To save Lucy’s life, Van Helsing and Dr. Seward will have to uncover the identity of the life-sucking demon, and destroy him. But the endeavor is a dangerous one.

A vampire is a fearsome enemy, and the risks are greater than death. Should the doctors perish in their pursuit, they too will become vampires, doomed to spend eternity preying upon the bodies and souls of those they once dearly loved. Will Seward and Van Helsing find the vampire and save Lucy’s life—or is the monster about to claim yet another victim?

Join us at The Lyric for this heartwarming tale of the transformative power of love on October 24–27 & 31. Tickets for Dracula 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

Over the Hills and Far Away: A Tribute to Led Zeppelin — Saturday, September 14, 2019 at 7:00 — #LiveAtTheLyric!

Fifty Years Later, the Music of
Led Zeppelin Still Holds Up…
Especially, when It’s…
LIVE at the Lyric!
Saturday, September 14 at 7:00PM

Join us September 14 at 7:00pm for the rock you’ve loved your whole life! When Tim Taylor, Billy Youngblood, and Will Youngblood won the OAC’s 2018 Battle of the Bands, they decided not to use the concert opportunity that was part of their prize simply to put their band on the stage for a full-length show, but to gather other musicians to pay tribute with them to the most influential rock band in history.  Tickets are available now…for only $5, if you buy now!

LZ_Trib_Poster
Poster courtesy of Susan Boone of SR Graphics, (870) 204-3316. Click image to see more.

All seats are just $5 in advance or $10 at the door and may be purchased online, by visiting the Ozark Arts Council office at 115 W. Rush Ave. (one door to the left of the theater) Thursday–Friday 9:00–1:30, or calling (870) 391-3504.OAC Ticketing Link

Blues Matters Top International Solo Artist, Eli Cook! — Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 7:00 — #LiveAtTheLyric!

Top Solo Blues Artist Eli Cook Heads to The Lyric for a Class and a Concert!
Saturday, October 5 at 7:00PM

Join us on October 5 at 7:00pm, for the guitar mastery and rich baritone voice that brought the writers of Blues Matters magazine to rank him as a “top international solo artist” above Devon Allman and Elvin Bishop…before he had reached his 30th birthday: Eli Cook’s busy hands and feet (resonator and 12-string, plus tambourine and stompbox) are coming to the Lyric this Fall!

PLUS: Eli Cook’s Acoustic Blues Guitar Workshop October 5 from 3:00–5:00! Ages 13 and up with moderate to advanced skill levels and an interest in “Blues based music.” You must bring an acoustic guitar (no electric instruments will be allowed this time). If you know basic chords and want to play the Blues or incorporate its influences into your playing, there will be something here for you; if you know more than that, there will be something here for you, too! BUT: Get your concert tickets first, so that you save $10 on this class! (More info below!)

AllMusic noted that Eli Cook “has what it takes to be the best blues singer of his generation.” Blues Matters! stated that Cook is “among the top 3 solo blues artists world-wide.” Arnie Goodman’s words in Elmore Magazine immediately make sense when you consider Eli’s main influences—John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Soundgarden, and Rage Against the Machine—

What Eli is doing is giving an authenticity to the blues, but giving it the energy a modern rock band would give it. That’s the key to it.

As Eli himself says, “Everything I do is always deeply rooted in classic blues—meaning the feeling of it and the music theory aspect of it. It’s especially rooted in what they call pre-war blues, the more acoustic, rootsy stuff.” Joe McSpadden, writing in the roots music quarterly No Depression sums it up this way:

On the seventh album of his career the phenom from Nelson County, Virginia reins in his inner guitar god and makes his most focused roots blues album yet. High-Dollar Gospel finds Cook showcasing his acoustic mojo and the result is the most satisfying record of his career.

That album—released to universally rave reviews in 2017—was a blend of Cook’s love of country pickers to blues rockers and included covers from Muddy Waters and Roosevelt Sykes that have been in his live shows for years, as well as an outstanding cover of Bob Dylan’s “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight.”

Through the years, Cook has performed and recorded both acoustic and electric blues, and his Primitive Son album (2014), contained guest appearances by Vinny Appice and Artimus Pyle (drums); Tinsley Ellis, Eric Gales, Leslie West, Pat Travers and Harvey Mandel (guitar); Sonny Landreth (slide guitar); Rod Piazza (harmonica); and Reese Wynans (Hammond B3 organ). He has shared the stage with B. B. King and other greats from Johnny Winter, Robert Cray, and Robin Trower to Shemekia Copeland and Parliament-Funkadelic, appearing every where from the Kennedy Center to the South by Southwest festival…and now we are pleased to welcome him to The Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks, Harrison’s historic Lyric Theater!

“Everybody knows the story of the crossroads, where blues guitarists go at midnight to trade their souls to the devil for musical prowess. It’s just a myth, of course, but if it were true, firebrand Eli Cook could have bragging rights, as his scarifying solo-country blues chill like a hellhound on your trail.” –  Guitar Player (2007)

Eli Cook is a mystifying soul. He’s a keen observer and a provoking thinker…but with swagger!

Under the messy blonde hair is a passionate heart with fingers of silver and gold that recalls John Lee Hooker, Chris Smither, and Chet Atkins, mixed in with a dirty, grungy sound. It’s clean playing mind you; it’s just his fingers are covered in the dirt left over from the crossroads.

Coming from Albemarle County in Virginia at the Foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Eli Cook grew up listening to the blues, country, classic rock and alternative rock. He grew up with no TV and radio shows like Prairie Home Companion were his Saturday night entertainment. Life moves slowly in this rural area of the world giving him time to hone his skills with his voice and guitar chops. At 18 he was opening up for B.B. King—a few years later he’s playing in Canada the one week and then the next week he’s blending in with his hometown locals.

“It’s what was around me, and I just tried to pick up on everything and everybody, including Doc Watson and Chet Atkins. In fact, hearing Chet fingerpick made me realize I didn’t need a band.” –  Guitar Player (2007)

Tickets are available now for Eli Cook’s Saturday, October 5 performance at Harrison’s historic Lyric Theater, now celebrating its 90th year. This is a venue perfectly constructed for a performer like Eli, with the maximized ‘live’ acoustics that were necessary for the first generation of talking motion pictures—and the dedicated Lyric fans that consistently fill our seats for blues concerts will make for the sort of electric environment this acoustic blues concert deserves, so choose your seats early for what promises to be an outstanding evening!

All seats are $15 in advance or $20 at the door and may be purchased online, by visiting the Ozark Arts Council office at 115 W. Rush Ave. (one door to the left of the theater) Thursday–Friday 9:00–1:30, or calling (870) 391-3504.

Acoustic Blues Guitar Workshop tuition is $45—but only $35 if you have a concert ticket and use the code on it when you register! In this class, we will discuss the key elements of Blues based guitar playing. This entails crucial rhythmic and melodic concepts and touches on both acoustic and electric styles as well as various finger- and thumb-picking techniques and provides an overview of what makes good Blues guitar.

Classic turnarounds, walking patterns, tricks for transitioning between chords, and signature riffs and licks will all be included and discussed from both a player’s technical standpoint and from a historical perspective, using examples from players such as Robert Johnson, Son House, Albert King, and Stevie Ray Vaughn. This class will have something for anyone who wants to play Blues guitar or just enjoys the music and wants to learn more about it.

OAC Ticketing Link

Steel Magnolias, August 16, 17, 18! Raising Money for #JDRF — #LiveAtTheLyric!

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

Friday & Saturday, August 16 & 17, 7:00PM
Saturday, August 18, 2:00PM

Have a little slice of Southern life and visit the elegant ladies of Chinquapin, Louisiana, a lovely bouquet of Steel Magnolias! Discount tickets are on sale now for Steel Magnolias LIVE at The Lyric Theater in Harrison, Arkansas, on August 16, 17, & 18. Friday and Saturday performances will be at 7:00 pm, and the Sunday performance will be at 2:00 pm. 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.

Tickets to the Friday performance will support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation!

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.

Steel Magnolias will be performed #LiveAtTheLyric August 16 and 17 at 7:00pm, and August 18 at 2:00pm. Proceeds from the August 16 show will go to the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). Tickets on sale NOW at TheLyric.org, by calling 870-391-3504, or visiting the office T–F 9:00am–1:00pm. 

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