The phrase "If I knew then what I know now..." comes to mind after my first experience at the Rogers Little Theater this past weekend. I'm a little embarrassed it took me so long to attend a show considering how long I have lived in northwest Arkansas. I knew immediately what I had to do so others wouldn't make that same mistake, so here it is... assignment #3 in the 100 Things to Do in Rogers series: go to a production at the Rogers Little Theater. You will thank me later for this fun and affordable date night idea!
If you are a regular reader of this blog (Hi Mom!), then you know I love to throw in a little history. You can't talk about the Rogers Little Theater without mentioning the actual theater. This community theater program, which is currently in its 27th season, offers a variety of plays, dinner theaters, musicals and other special events in the historic Victory Theater building in downtown Rogers. The Victory Theater opened as the first motion picture theater in northwest Arkansas in December 1927. It's quite amazing to think that after nine decades, the theater has stayed true to its original concept of being a place to offer entertainment and promote culture.
Rogers Little Theater
I admit, I am a googler. I research things like nobody's business, but I decided not to do much research ahead of time on the theater or the play Goodbye Charlie. I wanted to be surprised by my experience, and I certainly wasn't let down. From the moment we arrived and caught our first glimpse of the glowing lights from the beautifully lit, welcoming theater, I was awe-struck. How could I have not known about this little treasure before now? Walking up to the Will Call booth to retrieve our tickets took me back to my childhood when we used to actually watch movies in my hometown's historic theater instead of in the huge megaplexes of today. Your walk inside the theater is met by friendly faces and great scenery of the beautifully restored theater. Downstairs is filled with dining tables where people who took part in the dinner theater ticket option are happily finishing up their after-dinner coffee and drinks, while newcomers are making their way to the balcony to enjoy the show. A delicious dinner is offered before every show for those wanting to take full advantage of this dinner theater or you can just purchase regular tickets for seats in the balcony. The theater offers a cash bar where patrons can purchase drinks before finding their seats. Once we were seated the show began. The theater relies on more than 500 volunteers, including approximately 100 volunteer actors and I can not say enough good things about them. From the set design, to the scripting, to the acting, everything was top-notch and made for a very fun evening!
You can catch Goodbye Charlie April 4-7. Click here for more information or to purchase your tickets! If you can't make it this weekend, don't worry, the RLT does a great job aligning its season and shows with upcoming holidays or events. I really want to go back with my mom for Love, Loss, and What I Wore, which is a collection of monologues and ensemble pieces about women, clothes and memory covering all the important subjects--mothers, prom dresses, mothers, buying bras, mothers, hating purses and why we only wear black. It's perfect for Mother's Day! For Father's Day, the RLT will be bringing to theatrical life Hall of Fame football coach Vince Lombardi in the production of Lombardi. For more information or to purchase tickets for these shows or other upcoming productions, visit the Rogers Little Theater website. Also, make sure to check out what is planned for season 28, which was just announced. I already know my family will be attending The Wizard of Oz in September!
What you Need to Know
Rogers Little Theater is located downtown at 116 S. Second St. in Rogers. For more information call 479-631-8988 or visit their website www.RogersLittleTheater.org. Tickets range from $10-$16 for balcony seating (told you it was an affordable and fun date night idea!). For dinner theater tickets, it costs $45 for the meal and and premium seating downstairs at your own table! The menu changes for each show and is catered by The Main Event. Check out the current show's menu here.
After the Show
If you still aren't ready to head home after the evening show, make sure to stop by Lucy's Diner, which is open 24 hours. You can grab some coffee, a bite to eat or even run into part of the cast from the show like we did. If you'd rather grab an after-show drink, head over to nearby Club Frisco, which has a cool little entrance down an alley off of Poplar Street. Very cool place with lots of seating for you and friends! Make sure to check out some of these other downtown restaurants if you are looking for pre-show dining options in that area.
Let me know what shows you've been to at the Rogers Little Theater or what upcoming shows you want to see! Jenn