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Saturday, June 13, 2015

Taffeta's smooth as silk at the Five Star Dinner Theatre in Hot Springs

If you enjoyed girl singing groups in the 50's or currently enjoy listening to the music of that era, The Taffeta's are making their last two appearances at the Five Star Theatre in Hot Springs and you don't want to miss them.There is a show on Saturday at 7 p.m. and a matinee Sunday at 3.

This fun romp into the past is skillfully directed by the Village's Elaine Bankston. The concept of a one set musical adventure featuring a baby grand piano and five artful women singers with their male accompanist was created by Rick Lewis. The show features non-stop music.  I was amazed at how many hits from the 50's are included in whole or in part.

The cast is delightful. Doug Lackey is the accompanist and boy singer lending support to many of the songs is superb.  He was tireless and made me want to get up there and join in the fun.

The female cast included Janice Maddox, Ersella Hughes, Miranda Hood Brewer, Marcie Danae Acker, Sherry Rowlett.

Miranda Hood Brewer plays Taffeta sister Kaye, the one with the light brown hair.  She has an unusual contralto voice with lots of power.  It is a shock the first time this big voice booms out of this slender figure.  Miranda kept the show moving at a good pace as the most used moderator.

Marcie Danae Acker is the tall sister with lots of rock and roll attitude, Peggy. She's the sister with auburn hair. Marcie did a good job with her solos and added a little pizzazz with each of her featured numbers.

Sherry Rowlett plays the mom and is a delight.  Her voice is lush and warm and she doesn't hesitate to take the stage and show her four daughters how a song is sold.

Ersella Hughes is the youngest sister in the cast, the blonde, Cheryl. She plays the boy-crazy sister to perfection.  Her songs are giggly and over-dramatic. Ersella has loads of stage presence.

Janice Maddox plays the kookie sister with the brown hair and glasses, Donna. She has the best voice of the four sisters and I would have enjoyed hearing even more from her.

The costumes are just perfect, the music is stylized and the cast is a delight. This is a do-see show with a few opportunities this weekend.  Call 318-1600 for reservations at the Five Star Theatre.

Triathlon will stop traffic in the Village today

The TritheVillage triathlon will impact traffic in the Village this morning starting at 7 a.m.  No roads are closed, but drivers must use caution while travelling in the area of the biking portion of the triathlon.

Cars will be stopped on DeSoto Boulevard when the bikers cross the road at Ponce de Leon Drive and Andorra.  Bikers will also travel on Sacedon, Balboa and Balearic Roads.

The participants will start with the swimming portion at the Balboa boat ramp, then jump on bikes and head north on Ponce de Leon Road.  Once the biking portion of the triathlon is complete, the running section will take place on Village trails.  The TritheVillage triathlon is sponsored by Lefler Dental.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Buffalo sighted in Whispering Hills neighborhood

HOT SPRINGS – Following the sighting by a neighbor of a buffalo in the 300 block of Whispering Hills at around 6 p.m. last night, the public’s continued vigilance is requested. The buffalo disappeared into the woods again after being startled by a passing car. It is one of two buffalo still at large after six escaped on April 16 from a farm on Shady Grove Road. Anyone sighting one of the animals is urged to keep their distance and call 9-1-1 immediately.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Celebrating Dave Major's life

The Hot Springs Village Community has lost a great voice! Two weeks after David Major (JoAnn) arrived in HSV in 1998, he was cast as Tevye in the Village Players’ “ Fiddler on the Roof”. The rest is history! Dave went on to capture the hearts of Village audiences as Emile in “South Pacific" and Don Quixote, the “Man of LaMancha”. His “Impossible Dream” will not be forgotten. He was a star in “Just Cole Porter”, “The Gift of Gershwin” and “Broadway in Review”.
His theater talents also included Producer of The Young People’s Theater productions of 2001,’03, ‘05 and again in 2012. He appeared many times in Village Variety Shows, always wowing the audiences.

Everywhere Dave went in the Village, he was recognized for his beautiful baritone voice. He was the “Boy” Singer with the Big Band for many years and a main stay in the Village Chorale since its inception. He was frequently asked to narrate.

Dave was also very active in the HS/HSV Symphony Guild, serving on the Board in various positions. He and daughter Pam were presented in a joint concert sponsored by the Guild.
A Memorial Service honoring Dave’s memory will be held at Gross Funeral Home on Higdon Ferry Rd. in Hot Springs, on Monday, March 23,2015, at 10:30 AM. His beloved Village Chorale will sing and a former Player, Rabbi Sheldon Kleinman, will officiate.

Child abuse arrest in Village

On March 18, 2015 at about 6:30 PM, officers with the Hot Springs Village Police Department were notified of a injuries to a minor child that were consistent with abuse. The Hot Springs Village Police contacted the Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children Division and the Garland County Sheriff’s Office for assistance.

Subsequent to an investigation, arrest warrants were obtained for Amber Victoria Rose, 18, of Hot Springs Village for Domestic Battery 2nd Degree (Class C Felony) and Endangering the Welfare of a Minor 1st Degree (Class D Felony).

On March 20, 2015, Rose was arrested on those warrants by the Hot Springs Village Police and Garland County Sheriff’s Office.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Loved 101 Years of Broadway

The threat of bad weather this week swelled the size of the audience at the Hot Springs Village Concerts’ Association opening night of 101 Years of Broadway at the Woodlands Auditorium.  It was a crowd ready for a good show and it was a crowd that was well rewarded.  101 Years of Broadway is the final installment of the 2014/2015 season.

Organization president Ed Pittman took to the stage to remind members to sign up for next season, 2015/2016.  He told his obligatory Fort Worth brother-in-law tale and we were off to Broadway.

Last night’s concert-style show featured five Broadway show veterans, Richard Todd Adams, Carter Calvert, Chuck Wagner, Rebecca Pitcher and Natalie Toro.  All five were well-pedigreed and well-worth the high price tickets standard in the Manhattan venue they were honoring.

The show began with Carter Calvert strutting her voice in All That Jazz.  She belted out the number and charmed the audience.  Calvert also gave a powerful rendition of Don’t Rain on My Parade from Funny Girl. She was peppy, gorgeous and had a golden throat. She kept up the beat in Act 2 with I Feel The Earth Move from the musical Beautiful celebrating the life of Carole King. The song is upbeat, driving and hard to sell unless you bring it all the energy it deserves, and she did.  Calvert’s stunner of the evening was her dead on rendition of Crazy.  She was Patsy Cline.  Calvert showed diversity of character throughout the evening.

Calvert’s belting was the perfect counterpoint to the tender singing of Rebecca Pitcher.  Pitcher has a more classical sound and she was prefect in Think of Me from Phantom of the Opera. Throughout the night she showed off her top notes, her trills and her mastery of her repertoire.  She brought laughter as the very proper nanny from Mary Poppins singing Supercalafragelisticexpialidotious.  She was crisp and fresh and invited the audience to join her in a romping sing-a-long. It was fun.  She was featured in other solos and several ensemble pieces and she sparkled in every one.

The last female rounding out the cast was Natalie Toro. Toro had the more sultry selections of the evening and she burned her way through them.  It was easy to imagine her as Evita in Don’t Cry for Me Argentina. She stunned the audience with her emotional interpretation of Memories from Cats.  She flooded sensory pathways when she emoted I Don’t Know How To Love Him from Jesus Christ Superstar.  All three women were featured as soloists and in ensemble numbers.  They were so different and yet blended so well together.  Each a treat in a box of assorted goodies.

And then there were the men, just as talented and even more blatantly charming.  Chuck Wagner was the male counterpoint of Carter Calvert, he could belt out a number or he could finesse as needed.  He brought us more traditional solos such as If Ever I Would Leave You from Camelot, and If I Can’t Lover Her from Beauty and the Beast. I was unfamiliar with the musical Jekyll & Hyde, he sang This is the Moment and I enjoyed every note.  The high point of his performance for my husband was his Impossible Dream from Man of La Mancha.  My husband, Lee Beach, was the original drummer for Man of La Mancha on Broadway featuring Richard Kiley.  Wagner couldn’t wait to have his picture taken with Lee after the show.  He said Lee was walking Broadway history.

The counterpoint to Rebecca Pitcher’s more elegant and refined operatic bent was Richard Todd Adams, Rick.  His selections showed off his raw power and smooth tenor. He wooed us with Stars from Les Miserables.  He was absolutely perfect in Music of the Night from Phantom of the Opera.  He wowed us with other solos, duets and ensemble pieces.  He was the more no-nonsense cast member, he emanated, "I am here to sing and dazzle you" and that is just what he did.

The evening was a delight, the audience was receptive and the show was a success.  What a wonderful season, I am sorry to see it end.  Because of expected ice and snow tonight’s show has been moved to a matinee on Friday.  Hopefully, Thursday and Friday night’s shows will go off without a hitch.  If you can get out you won’t regret attending 101 Years of Broadway, it is a stunner.

Don’t forget to renew your membership for next season or if you don’t belong to the Concerts Association, join now.  Next season will feature Piano Battle, Ricky Skaggs, The Hit Men, Surf’s Up and Live From Nashville.  Sounds like a season that will stretch me out of my familiar and will not disappoint.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Closings, Monday February 16

Jessieville School District is closed today.

Shelters on standby if power outages

The Red Cross is currently coordinating three shelters to be placed on standby in the event they are needed. The locations of the shelters are the Coronado Center and the Christ of the Hills United Methodist Church in Hot Springs Village. In Hot Springs the shelter is located at the First United Methodist Church on Central Avenue. These shelters will be operational in the event that there are power outages.

Harlem Ambassadors still a go for tonight

According to Amanda Kennedy, "We are having lots of folks ask about the HARLEM AMBASSADORS game tomorrow evening. For now, we will wait and see what the weather does, and will make a call tomorrow around noon. Stay tuned..."