‘Saigon’ starter 

SMITTEN: Kim (Drahaim) and Chris (Haman).
  • SMITTEN: Kim (Drahaim) and Chris (Haman).

The Weekend Theater opens its 2006-07 season with the Broadway musical “Miss Saigon,” starting Friday and running for three consecutive weekends. The theater introduces new start times to its Friday and Saturday shows: 7:30 p.m., instead of the previous 8 p.m. time. Sunday matinees will still be at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $18 for adults and $14 for students and seniors. Call 374-3761 for reservations.

Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil, the writers of “Les Miserables,” created “Miss Saigon,” setting the tragic tale in 1975 as the Vietnam War was ending. Kim (played by Kim Drahaim) works as a bar girl and meets American G.I. Chris (John Haman). He fathers a child with her, but doesn’t find out until three years later, after marrying another woman (Sarah Bragg), which leads to an important decision. Ralph Hyman plays the conniving Engineer, the boss of the girls at the Saigon bar and who can get anything done, for the right price, but who also wants something from the Americans.

John Isner will direct the show.

The theater is at Seventh and Chester streets, across from Vino’s.

CTLR makes pitch

The Community Theatre of Little Rock wraps up its 50th anniversary season with the musical comedy classic “Damn Yankees,” the George Abbott and Douglas Wallop play with music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross. It’s the tale of an aging Washington Senators fan, Joe Boyd, who sells his soul to the devil so his team can beat the Yankees, and he’s transformed into a handsome young ballplayer. “Damn Yankees” won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, when it opened on Broadway in 1955, and features such songs as “You Gotta Have Heart” and “Whatever Lola Wants.”

Rita Westbrook-McPherson will direct, with Jeannie Smith handling the musical direction. Rachel Small is Lola and Rusty Wyrick is Joe, and the cast numbers 21.

Performances are Friday through Sunday, July 21-23 and July 28-30, at the Arkansas School for the Blind’s Woolly Auditorium off West Markham Street. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors.

For reservations or more information call 663-9494 or 838-7037.

Young actors to perform

Some talented young actors are front and center on Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s Main Stage this month in the second annual Summer Musical Theatre Intensive Program. Earlier this month, students in the program ages 15 to 21 performed; on Saturday, July 22, actors ages 10 to 14 will be featured at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. performing selections from “Fosse,” “Chicago,” “Wicked,” “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” and more.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for students and are available the day of show at the box office.

Next week, the Rep will stage readings of the top three finishers in its Kaufman and Hart Prize for New American Comedy. The readings on the Second Stage are July 28-30, starting at 7:30 p.m. Ian Cohen’s winning “Bertrand Priest” will be read on Sunday, July 30. Cohen received $10,000 and his play will be produced and fully staged by the Rep in 2007.

Tickets are $10 each night for the readings. Call 378-0405 for reservations or more information.



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