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Bringing Music to the Ouachita Little Theatre

By Larry Block

 There are several ways that music comes to the Polk County community via the Ouachita Little Theatre (OLT). Every year, in April, the OLT presents its annual musical, like The Sound of Music, in 2012, or Annie Get Your Gun, this year. There are also four quarterly musical events each year called Saturday Night at the Lyric (SNL) usually in January, April, August and November. SNL brings local talent to the stage of the OLT, including The OLT Goes Dancing, a dance show featuring local dancers, and The OLT Community Praise & Worship Concert, which features three or four local church Praise and Worship Teams. This year, this show will occur on August 17th. The other two shows will present a variety of local talent.

 Both the annual musical and the four SNLs are a part of the OLT’s own program, and season ticket holders can use their pre-purchased tickets to attend any of these events. The third way that the OLT brings music to its stage is via theater rentals. Performers can rent the theater for $250.00, or work out a free-rental/revenue sharing arrangement with Larry Block, the OLT’s Communications Director, responsible for all theater rentals.

Shows from outside the community, like A Tribute to Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline, Neil Diamond, John Denver, Stevie Ray Vaughan, or Hank Williams are prime examples of shows that have graced the stage of the OLT in recent years. The group of young a cappella singers, BLEND, the 50s and ‘60s doo-wop group, were just here, as last year was show-tunes crooner, Ken Goodman, of Hot Springs’ Vienna Theatre. Local hoteliers Rosie Winchester of Dreamland Resort put up BLEND for free, as did Edith Hebert of A-Bear’s Den for Ken Goodman, in return for sponsorship mentions in publicity for the shows.

Local performers like Richie Owens and Six Mile Creek, or David B. Lindy and Friends, both featured over the last two weeks at The Crystal Music Festival in Board Camp have also visited the OLT as theater renters. As all of these shows are rented from the OLT, and the renter controls the box office, OLT season tickets are not honored.

Over the coming months and years, a number of rental shows are in the works, like a Country Review coming out of Texarkana in November, and the possible return of Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline, John Denver, Hank Williams, and Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute shows.  For more information about theater rentals visit the OLT website www.oltmena.com, or call the OLT Info Line at (479) 243-0186.