Catch Opening Night of Every ArtsWest Season Show Plus Afterparty
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All offers for Opening Night Celebration Series have expired.
The last date listed for Opening Night Celebration Series was Wednesday September 19, 2012 / 7:30pm (Opening Night -- Plus 4 Add'l. Dates).
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Winner of London's Olivier Award for Best New Play, this gripping and poetic drama envisions the events that might have taken place the evening before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination. The fictional reimagining begins on April 3, 1968, as King finishes delivering his impassioned "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech. Exhausted, he retires to room 306 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where he encounters a spirited young maid with whom he forges an unexpected relationship. During a conversation that ranges from the personal to the political, King finds himself confronting his own destiny and the fate of the very nation he's devoted his life to. Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from Oakley
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I don't know what the definition of "emo rock" is, but I found the music pleasant enough if you discount, in music and dialog, the constant use of the f-word, sexual references and bodily-function innuendo. There was a story to tell and some clever uses of dry humor and irony, but overall the play came off as a puerile indulgence. I think the cast was having fun trying to shock while the audience (at least myself) was struggling to stay awake by the end. Overuse of profanity is boring itself, and it surely won't save a plot that drags on its own. If I had had easy access to a door, I probably would have left halfway through -- but I am glad I didn't because the Opening Night Celebration with cupcakes and champagne afterwards was worth staying for.
September 19, 2012 at 7:30pm: *_Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson*
_By Alex Timbers & Michael Friedman
Fresh from its Tony Award-nominated 2011 run on Broadway, this comedic audacious mix of historical fact and fiction surrounding America’s controversial seventh president — the man who invented the Democratic Party, drove the Indians west, and ultimately doubled the size of our nation — with a blend of outrageous comedy, anarchic theatricality and a rock score. “Bloody entertaining” (New York Daily News_); “Insanely funny!”(Time Out_); “A wildly exhilarating theatrical ride.” (Backstage). Appropriate for ages 16 and older.
November 23, 2012 at 7:30pm: The Winter Wonderettes
By Rodger Bean
It’s Christmas, 1968 — get ready for songs, songs, and more songs, on a nostalgia trip of late 50’s & early 60’s musical style when the Marvelous Wonderettes, Betty Jean, Cindy Lou, Missy and Suzy, are asked to entertain at the Holiday Party for Harper’s Hardware. While the girls decorate the hardware store, turning it into a winter wonderland, Mr. Harper, dressed as Santa Claus, goes missing, and the employees’ holiday bonus envelopes may bring surprises. “The perfect Christmas revue! Crackles with energy and joy!” (LA Weekly). Appropriate for all ages.
January 23, 2013 at 7:30pm: *_*Shirley Valentine*_
By Willy Russell
A Laurence Olivier Award winner for Best New Comedy in 1988 and Tony Award nominee for Best Play. This one-woman show is filled with gems of wisdom, a good dose of laughter and a lot of poignancy. The story follows a middle-aged Liverpool housewife who finds herself in the rut of her dull daily life and in a loveless relationship. When her best friend wins a trip for two to Greece, she packs her bags, leaves a note on the kitchen table, and sets off on a _M__amma Mia_-style adventure in search of her own life and soul. Heather Hawkins will return to ArtsWest to play the title role. Appropriate for ages 14 and older.
March 13, 2012 at 7:30pm: Next Fall
By Geoffrey Nauffts
Ben Brantley (New York Times) called Next Fall an “artful, thoughtful and very moving story.” Luke believes in God. Adam believes in everything else. It’s an examination of faith and love, and the ups and downs of a couple’s five-years together — with sharp humor and unflinching honesty. And when an accident changes everything, Adam must turn to Luke’s family and friends for support … and answers. “It contains the kind of quips that prompt not one but two waves of laughter. This is rare.” (David Finkle, Huffington Post). 2010 Tony Award nominee. Appropriate for ages 16 and older.
May 1, 2013 at 7:30pm: *_*33 Variations*_
By Moises Kaufman
“Not to be missed,” said New York Magazine. A mother coming to terms with her daughter. A composer coming to terms with his genius. And even though they’re separated by 200 years, these two people share an obsession that might, even just for a moment, make time stand still. Drama, memory and music combine to transport you from present-day New York to nineteenth-century Austria in this extraordinary American play about passion, parenthood and the moments of beauty that can transform a life. Nominated for 5 Tony Awards. Appropriate for ages 16 and older.