Autumn is upon us, Little Rock, which means it’s time to lift the curtains and shine the stage lights on another unforgettable season of art, dance, music and theater in the metro.
From Broadway productions to holiday specials, there will be performing arts acts of all types taking place across the city, so it’s a good idea to keep your calendar clear during the upcoming months.
Here’s what’s on the lineup this fall:
Argenta Community Theater
From Oct. 18-22, Argenta Community Theater will be showing "One Ninth," an exploration of human dignity and racial conflict as seen through the eyes of one of the Little Rock Nine, Minnijean Brown, an ordinary 16-year-old girl. "One Ninth" is written by Brown’s daughter, Spirit (Trickey) Tawfiq. The play deals with universal themes of systematic racism, bullying, silent witnesses, non-violence, peer pressure, social responsibility, community and family.
“Miracle on 34th Street” is a heartwarming holiday story about Kris Kringle, an old man in a retirement home who gets a job working as Santa for Macy’s, and one little girl’s belief in Santa. Based upon the Twentieth Century Fox motion picture "Miracle on 34th Street,” the play is adapted by Mountain Community Theater from the novel by Valentine Davies. Catch a showing from Dec. 6-16.
ACT II will host a special piano concert with Little Rock native John Cheek on Oct. 27-29. "Give Me A Minute" will feature guest pianist Julie Cheek and visual art by North Carolina artist Kendra Williford. All proceeds raised from the performances will benefit the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute.
For more information on Argenta Community Theater performances and to buy tickets, click here.
The Weekend Theater
“Wait Until Dark” will be at The Weekend Theater from Oct. 13-29. The story follows a blind woman who finds herself in the middle of a con and a murder. While thieves believe the woman is in possession of their big score and attempts to manipulate her, the woman plunges herself and the audience into the dark and begins to use it to her advantage.
Instead of performing Charles Dickens’ beloved holiday classic once again, three actors have decided to perform “Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some More!)” This madcap romp through the holiday season is by Michael Carleton, James FitzGerald and John K. Alvarez.
For more information on The Weekend Theater performances and to buy tickets, click here.
The Studio Theatre
The Studio Theatre will perform “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” Oct. 26 - Nov. 12. This fantastic Broadway show features the incredible music of Carole King and chronicles the first 15 years of her career from songwriter to musical superstar.
Back again for the fifth exciting year is “Who’s Holiday,” a wildly funny and heartfelt adults-only, one-woman comedy that tells the story of Cindy Lou Who as she recalls that Christmas Eve she first met the Grinch. Catch it at the theater Dec. 21-23.
For more information on The Studio Theatre performances and to buy tickets, click here.
Murry’s Dinner Playhouse
Enjoy dinner and a show this fall at Murry’s Dinner Playhouse. From Oct. 11 - Nov. 11, America’s darkest family comes to life in “The Addams Family,” an original musical comedy about love, family, honesty and growing up.
One of the most popular Broadway musicals of all time, “Beauty and The Beast,” is coming to Murry’s Nov. 15 - Dec. 31. Based on the award-winning Disney animated feature, this breathtaking musical is the story of Belle and the beast, who happens to be a handsome prince cursed by a beautiful enchantress.
For more information on Murry’s Dinner Playhouse performances and to buy tickets, click here.
On Sept. 30, Ballet Arkansas will celebrate the opening of its 45th anniversary season at The Rep with a reception and performance preview of "Wonderland: Alice’s Epic Adventure." Guests will also learn about updates to the organization’s beloved holiday classic "The Nutcracker Spectacular" and enjoy wine, passed hors d'oeuvres and a small auction.
"Wonderland: Alice’s Epic Adventure" will be performed at UA-PTC Charts from Oct. 12-15. A bold reimagining of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll, this multimedia infused production will feature dynamic projection and 360-degree sound, elaborate costumes and sets, world premiere choreography by Michael Fothergill and the talents of community performers. The production is filled with humor and hijinks for the whole family and is presented in partnership with Cranford Co.
"The Nutcracker Spectacular" is the largest and longest-running holiday production in Arkansas, featuring live music by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and a cast and crew of nearly 400. Featuring the professional dancers of Ballet Arkansas and a community cast of children and adults, the production is an unforgettable celebration of the season. Catch a performance at the Robinson Center Dec. 8-10.
Also taking place Dec. 8-10 at the Robinson Center is the Land of the Sweets Nutcracker Tea. Be transported to the Land of the Sweets with tea and an exclusive performance from Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy and characters from the 45th anniversary "Nutcracker Spectacular."
For more information on Ballet Arkansas performances and to buy tickets, click here.
Arkansas Symphony Orchestra
The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra is bringing a wide variety of genres and experiences for all audiences this season, including the tentpole series Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks, Acxiom Pops! Live and River Rhapsodies. It will also mark the first season with Geoffrey Robson in the role of music director. Here’s a quick look at what to expect this fall:
- Sept. 30 - Oct. 1: "Pines of Rome"
- Oct. 3: Beethoven, Poulenc, Seiber, Greenstein
- Oct. 21-22: "Star Wars: A New Hope" in Concert
- Nov. 11-12: Conrad Tao Plays Rachmaninoff
- Nov. 14: Artist of Distinction Conrad Tao, Brahms
- Dec. 15-17: "Home for the Holidays"
For more information on ASO performances and to buy tickets, click here.
Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts
Since opening in April, AMFA has hosted many memorable performing arts events, and the fun continues this fall. For families and younger audiences, “Leonardo! A Wonderful Show About a Terrible Monster” will be shown from Sept. 29 through Oct. 1. Hundreds of illustrated paper puppets, two-dimensional props, furry monster puppets, live actors and songs will bring Mo Willems's books to life in this unique experience by the Emmy Award-winning production company Manual Cinema.
The Fourth Wall Ensemble will bringing its high-flying show “Without a Net” to the museum Nov. 3-4. All ages will enjoy this hybrid art experience that blends music, theater, dance and acrobatics.
Also for the kids, AMFA’s Children’s Theatre company will produce the heartwarming play “Corduroy” this coming season. This beloved picture book by Don Freeman will vibrantly come to life in this fun and highly physical adaptation. It will run from Nov. 25 through Dec. 23, with special school performances, weekend shows and daily matinees during its final week.
Don’t forget to check out the museum’s inaugural concert series featuring jazz, soul, R&B, indie folk, Americana music and more. Here’s what’s on the upcoming concert lineup:
- Oct. 12: Magos Herrera
- Nov. 9: The Secret Sisters
- Dec. 7: John Fullbright
For more information on AMFA performances and to buy tickets, click here.
Celebrity Attractions is bringing the hit Broadway show “Six” to the Robinson Center stage Oct. 24-29. From Tudor queens to pop icons, the six wives of Henry VIII will take the microphone to remix 500 years of historical heartbreak into a celebration of 21st century girl power.
Celebrate the spooky season by listening to some of the most iconic horror movie soundtracks and horror-themed songs as part of the Candlelight Halloween Special. On Friday, Oct. 27, revisit your favorite spine-chilling moments on screen in a dimly lit room by candlelight.
“Johnny Cash – The Official Concert Experience” will take the stage on Saturday, Nov. 4. In this never-before-seen concert experience, videos of Cash’s iconic performances from “The Johnny Cash TV Show” will be projected on a screen above the stage alongside a live band and singers. The concert will showcase his talents from the TV show and highlight the spirit of the legend by revisiting some of his memorable words and stories.
On Nov. 25, "Cirque Dreams Holidaze" will dazzle audiences with a brilliant and whimsical family holiday spectacular. This annual tradition wraps a Broadway-style production around an infusion of contemporary circus arts. As lights dim and the music swells, audiences will have visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads as a fantastical cast of holiday storybook characters come to life on stage.
For more information on performances at the Robinson Center and to buy tickets, click here.
Actors Theatre of Little Rock
This year marks the inaugural season of programming for the Actors Theatre of Little Rock. This fall, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” will be shown Sept. 28 - Oct. 8. A Stephen Sondheim classic, "Sweeney Todd" is the chill-inducing story of Benjamin Barker, an unjustly exiled man who returns to London under the name "Sweeney Todd" to seek vengeance against the corrupt judge who framed him and destroyed his family.
Closing out the first season is the return of last year’s fan favorite, "Black Nativity." "Black Nativity" is a celebration of the nativity story through gospel music imbued with the Black experience. A generational story that is given life through words, music, narrative, movement and the connection found in fellowship. Catch the performance Dec. 7-17.
For more information on performances at the Actors Theatre of Little Rock and to buy tickets, click here.
Wildwood Park for the Arts
If you can't get enough of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s landmark musical about the resourceful pie shop owner and vengeful barber out for blood, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” will also be showing at Wildwood Park for the Arts in the Cabe Festival Theatre on Oct. 26-29.
On Dec. 7-10, catch a special holiday performance of “All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914.” "All is Calm" is a collaboration between director Ben Grimes’s Riverside Actors Theatre and music director Bevan Keating’s Praeclara vocal company presented at Wildwood Park for the Arts.
For more information on performances at Wildwood Park for the Arts and to buy tickets, click here.
Arkansas Chamber Singers
The Arkansas Chamber Singers are bringing a new season of “How Sweet the Sound” concerts to the metro this fall. Marc-André Bougie will direct the fall concert "Musical Essence" at St. James United Methodist Church on Oct. 13 and 15, while Dr. Cliff Ganus will direct the annual "Christmas at the Old State House" concert Dec. 8-10.
For more information on performances by the Arkansas Chamber Singers and to buy tickets, click here.
Little Rock Wind Symphony
The Little Rock Wind Symphony will host two performances this fall. The first is "Kilts and Crown," which will take place at the Second Presbyterian Church of Little Rock on Oct. 12. The second is "A Merry Big Christmas!" and it will take place at UA-PTC CHARTS on Dec. 7.
For more information on performances by the Little Rock Wind Symphony and to buy tickets, click here.
River City Men’s Chorus
This holiday season, the River City Men’s Chorus will present “Holiday! 2023”as part of the group’s long-standing holiday tradition. The group will perform traditional and new pieces celebrating the joy and beauty of the Yuletide. The free performances will take place on Dec. 3 at 3 p.m., Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. at St. James United Methodist Church.
For more information on performances by the River City Men’s Chorus and to buy tickets, click here.
Arkansas Choral Society
The Arkansas Choral Society will be performing Handel’s "Messiah" once again this holiday season. They will share performance details closer to showtime, so be sure to follow them on Facebook to stay in the know. For more information, visit their website.
In addition to all of the fall performances and events happening in the metro, there are many great galleries to explore and immerse yourself in. Find it all in our comprehensive guide to Little Rock art galleries and public art.