The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas’s (ASC) biennial variety show is back and with a renewed focus on fundraising.
“Razzle Dazzle” benefits ASC’s youth theater program while showcasing Southeast Arkansas’s brightest singing and dancing talent. Each “Razzle Dazzle” has a different theme; this year’s theme is “The Show Must Go On” and features Broadway showstoppers and songs from the movies. The production is sponsored by Relyance Bank.
Performances are 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19, and Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 21. The show will be held in the Catherine M. Bellamy Theater at ASC’s main building, 701 S. Main St. Attendees are required to wear masks and the seats will be socially distanced between parties.
Tickets are available at asc701.org or by calling 870-536-3375. The price is $25 for the performance only, or $50 for the performance plus admission to a pre-show cocktail hour event.
The cocktail hour is a new feature for 2021. It allows “Razzle Dazzle” audience members to enjoy a relaxed, intimate gathering in ASC’s new facilities, The ARTSpace on Main and ART WORKS on Main. The cocktail hour begins at 6 p.m. and includes hors d’oeuvres and a signature cocktail, “The Razzle Dazzle.” The cocktail hour event is only for the Friday and Saturday shows, and tickets are limited.
This year, Lindsey Collins directs with Joel Anderson alongside her as co-director. Tana Soto Cook — owner/instructor of Mrs. Tana’s Dance Factory in White Hall — returns as choreographer. Melody Gere is the music assistant, and Kayla Earnest is the stage manager.
Longtime “Razzle Dazzle” director and cast member Matt Soto will emcee the event.
The cast is Celeste Alexander, Lindsey Collins, Angelica Glass, Hayley Moorehead, Travis Mosler, and Kasey Rowland, all of Pine Bluff; Paige Boast, Bethany Gere, Harlie Hipp, Tonya Lane, Caleb Menard, Katelyn Price, Jenna Smart, Matt Soto, and Tracy Sutherland, all of White Hall; Joel Anderson and Taylor Oates of Redfield; Haley Conner Lane of Monticello; Ryan Allen, Tyler Lewis, and Gabrielle Vernor, all of Little Rock.
“Razzle Dazzle” is different from ASC’s other theatrical productions. It brings local talented volunteers to the forefront of a production in which they are not pretending to be anyone other than themselves, and allows audiences to see firsthand the talent that Southeast Arkansas has to offer, Collins explained.
“The singing and dancing by talented volunteers are still a staple for this show,” Collins said, “but we’re adding elements such as moments dedicated to focusing on other parts of our theater programming and announcing the 2022 theater season throughout the show, to keep people in the fundraising frame of mind in hopes that they will continue to support ASC.”
The new pre-show event is another opportunity for the community to both support ASC and see changes at the center.
Collins said, “Since we have switched gears into fundraising mode, we are offering a pre-show cocktail hour in hopes of raising more funds for the theater program, as well as offer a chance for patrons to see, in person, all of the amazing changes and opportunities available at The ARTSpace and ART WORKS, including the beautiful Adam B. Robinson Jr. Black Box Theater.”
The fundraising efforts come as arts organizations across the country work to recover from financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There is a beautiful arrangement of The Beatles’ ‘Let It Be,’ from the ‘Across the Universe’ motion picture soundtrack that, in addition to being absolutely beautiful, I think really resonates with the current times that we are facing,” Collins said.
The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas (ASC), 701 S. Main St. in Pine Bluff, is accredited with the American Alliance of Museums. ASC presents programming in the visual arts, performing arts, and the sciences through exhibits, performances, classes and local partnerships. Gallery admission is free. ASC is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday–Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. In 2021, ASC opened two new facilities as part of its “ARTx3” campus — The ARTSpace on Main and ART WORKS on Main, located at 623 and 627 S. Main St.
Support for ASC is provided in part by the ASC Endowment Fund; the City of Pine Bluff; the Pine Bluff Advertising & Promotion Commission; and the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Division of Arkansas Heritage and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional operating support is provided in part by the Ben J. Altheimer Foundation; Kline Family Foundation; Relyance Bank; and Simmons Bank.