Historical entertainment planned for joint celebration of three Southwest Arkansas milestone anniversaries
Picking up where it left off last year, the Weekend Theater presents more of Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning work with “Angels in America: Perestroika” beginning Friday, Feb. 17, and running for three weekends.
High school students and their parents, however, can get a free look at the show on Thursday, Feb. 16, at 8 p.m. No reservations are required and seating at the theater, at 7th and Chester streets, will be first-come, first-served. The free performance, according to a Weekend Theater release, is in response to “Angels in America: Millennium Approaches” being removed from the Arkansas Governor’s School reading list last year.
Tickets for the regular run Feb. 17-18, Feb. 24-25 and March 3-4 are $14 for adults and $10 for students and seniors age 65 and over. Showtimes each night are 8 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling 374-3761. Opening night will include a “First Friday Social Hour” from 7-8 p.m. for ticket holders, featuring complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.
“Perestroika,” set in the 1980s in New York and “elsewhere,” is the second part of the story begun in “Millennium Approaches,” in which a diverse group of characters deals with the early days of the AIDS epidemic. The play mixes realistic situations and fantasy in a show that ranges from humorous to tragic to riveting. It begins where “Millennium Approaches” concluded, with a young man on the verge of death seeing a bright angelic visitor.
The Weekend Theater is a non-profit community performance group whose mission is to produce socially significant plays promoting local understanding.
Duane Jackson directs “Perestroika.” He says that while the play was written in the 1990s and focuses on AIDS’ early days, it is still relevant today even as research and drugs are helping AIDS patients live longer and healthier lives. “It’s time to focus again -– people are becoming more complacent and there’s always danger in that,” Jackson said.
The cast includes Regi Ott, Tim Huffmaster, Seth Kinney, Tim Womble, Patti German, Alan Douglas and Jason Willey.