With Douglas Carter Beane's Off-Broadway hit, As Bees in Honey Drown, running Sept. 16-Oct. 10, Arkansas Rep kicks off their 1999 2000 season, which will also include the new musical revue, The Blackbirds of Broadway, a return visit from Second City, Frank Ferrante's Groucho and revivals of A Streetcar Named Desire and Blues in the Night.
The Blackbirds of Broadway, the second Rep production, recalls a time when "Blackbird" troupes, that included greats like Josephine Baker, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Ethel Waters and Lena Horne, performed jazz and blues in London, Paris and New York City. Featuring such songs as "Minnie the Moocher," "St. Louis Blues," "Stormy Weather" and "The Shim Sham Shimmy Dance." Langston Hughes' "Jazz Poems" are also woven into the mix. Blackbirds runs Oct. 21-Nov. 7. Marion J. Caffey (Street Corner Symphony) conceived and directs the piece.
Winter brings the holiday tradition, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (Dec. 2-Jan. 2), along with a visit from Chicago's famous Second City improv troupe and Groucho Marx (in the person of Ferrante). Second City takes the Rep stage Jan. 6-16 in an all-new production with An Evening With Groucho following Feb. 10-March 5.
Two revivals close out the Rep's season with Tennessee Williams' classic, A Streetcar Named Desire, March 23-April 16, 2000. Blues in the Night, the Rep's 2000 touring production, will make a stop at home from April 20-May 14. The Rep's last touring show, Idols of the King, traveled across the country in 1999.
For tickets ($24-$12), contact the Rep Box Office at (501) 378-0405. Arkansas Repertory Theater is located at 601 Main Street in Little Rock and on the web at http://www.therep.org. -- By Christine Ehren