Puppets, Music and WOE

Today, I am indulging myself. Yes, I’m still on the diet — oh, sorry, that’s “way of eating,” sometimes appropriately called a WOE. But there’s a smorgasbord of theater in Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley this weekend, and I want to share all of it!

“Avenue Q,” the 2004 Tony Award winner for Best Musical that opens at the University Theatre this weekend, begins with a sunny song that introduces the audience to an urban block of row houses, populated by puppets and humans alike. Fans of classic episodes of PBS educational television shows of the 1970s and 1980s will find the scene familiar — until Princeton, a puppet who is a recent college graduate, launches into “What Do You Do with a B.A. in English?”, which, in turn, segues into “It Sucks to be Me”, a song that features puppets and humans arguing about who is the biggest failure.

“It sucks to be broke and unemployed/And turning 33, it sucks to be me,” sings a character.

At that point, it’s clear we took a wrong turn on the way to Sesame Street, wrotes reporter Lara Hightower.

“These puppets are fun and funny, but they are dealing with decidedly adult concepts, like finding rewarding employment, navigating romantic relationships and exploring their sexuality,” says director Morgan Hicks.

“Avenue Q” — Winner of three Tonys — including Best Musical — in 2003, the lively, puppet-driven musical satirizes the transition of childhood to adulthood, 7:30 p.m. today & Saturday; 2 & 7:30 p.m. Sunday; again Nov. 15-17 & Nov. 19, University Theatre in Fayetteville. $5-$20. 575-4752.

History Comes Alive

Artist’s Laboratory Theatre and the Fayetteville Evergreen Cemetery Association will present the second annual “History Comes Alive,” a theater experience set in Fayetteville’s oldest cemetery. Actors will portray the parts of six notable historical Fayetteville residents, including Archibald Yell, Roberta Fulbright, William McIlroy, A.A. Byrnes, Lessie Stringfellow, and Lafayette Gregg.

“Archibald Yell and Roberta Fulbright are the only two figures who will be returning to this year’s performances, not only because of the significance in the shaping of Fayetteville, but also because of efforts on the part of the Evergreen Cemetery Association to help restore Yell’s monument,” says The Artist’s Laboratory Marketing Director, Haley Smith. “This performance series is partly a fundraiser for the Association in attempts to maintain this cemetery that is such a rich part of Fayetteville’s history.”


‘History Comes Alive’

WHEN — 2 p.m. Saturday & Sunday

WHERE — Evergreen Cemetery, corner of Whiteside St. and University Ave., Fayetteville

COST — $10

INFO — 439-6046

And also in theater:

“Footloose” — With Michael Myers as Ren & Taylor Edwards as Ariel, 7 p.m. today; 2 & 7 p.m. Saturday, Arkansas Air and Military Museum at Drake Field in Fayetteville. A Pilot Arts production. $10-$15. There will be a 1980s after-party Nov. 10 at an additional cost of $20. PilotArts.com.

“Krapp’s Last Tape” — Presented by Block St Theatre Co, starring Bill Rogers, 7:30 p.m. today-Sunday, The Nines, 546 W. Center St. in Fayetteville. $10-$15. www.facebook.com/BlockStTheatreCo.

“The Odd Couple: Female Version” — In Neil Simon’s female version of his comic classic, we follow the lives of Olive Madison, a slobbish divorcee, and Florence Unger, a stickler for neatness, 7:30 p.m. today & Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, again Nov. 15-18, Fort Smith Little Theatre. $12. 783-2966.

“White Christmas” — One of the most iconic Christmas songs — and films — of all time, 8 p.m. today, 2 & 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville. $36-$75. 443-5600.

“Every Day a Visitor” — A story of hope, friendship and loss at the Schwabacker Home for the Aged in the Bronx, 8 p.m. today & Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, Arkansas Public Theatre in Rogers. $22.50-$25. 631-8988.

Fall Performance Series — Six original, 10-minute plays presented by the Five and Dime Drama Collective, 8 p.m. Saturday & 2 p.m. Sunday, Main Stage Creative Community Center, 67 N. Main St., Eureka Springs. $10. www.facebook.com/fiveanddimedrama.

Oh, but there’s more:

Friendraiser — With food, music by Squirrel Jam & more, 5-9 p.m. Saturday, Ozark Folkways in Winslow. Free but donations encouraged. 634-3791.

Main Street Music Night — With Bayard Blain, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Arts Center of the Ozarks in Springdale. Free. 751-5441.

Humor in Music — The Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra with Jeffrey Biegel, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Arend Arts Center in Bentonville. $5-$45. 841-4644.

Categories: As Heard on KUAF