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Stories by Jocelyn Murphy

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Secrets Are No Fun

Unless you share with everyone

Subscriber onlySecrets are the currency of intimacy. Continue reading...

Review: "RENT"

RENT’s heart, music still accessible 20 years later

Subscriber onlyLast night, with a nearly sold out house at Fayetteville's Walton Arts Center, I saw Jonathan Larson's "RENT" for the very first time. It still surprises even myself I've gone this long without ever seeing a staging, missing out on the movie, not even hearing any more of the music than "Seasons of Love" at Christmas time. So as a theater fan, I've been looking forward to this since the WAC announced their Broadway season last spring -- if for absolutely no other reason than to finally experience the significance of the art form's former "Hamilton." Continue reading...

All On The Same Team

Sports historian offers deeper look at Arkansas history

Subscriber onlyEvin Demirel knew even before he finished writing his book that the significance of its content extended so far beyond sports -- a notion that has only crystallized with the reception "African-American Athletes in Arkansas: Muhammad Ali's Tour, Black Razorbacks & Other Forgotten Stories" has received since its release last year. Continue reading...

Poetic Possibilities

UAFS production an ode to one day in 60 lives

Subscriber onlyTo begin at the beginning: Continue reading...

Flights Of Fancy

Production takes imagination on adventure

Subscriber onlyCahoots NI returns to the Walton Arts Center Feb. 25 with a visual treat for families. The Northern Ireland children's theater company first visited in 2016 with its production of "Egg," and now the actors are back with a fresh tale of silliness, adventure and empathy -- all non-verbal. Continue reading...

REVIEW -- Moon Taxi at George's

Subscriber onlyNashville alt-rockers Moon Taxi brought their "Let The Record Play Tour" to George's Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville on Wednesday for a sold out Valentine's Day show. Lead singer Trevor Terndrup gave a short introduction as the band took the stage a few minutes after 10 p.m. for one of the few times he addressed the crowd. The room didn't seem to mind, though -- they were ready for the inspiring, guitar-driven indie-pop they came for. Continue reading...

Positive Growth

Band’s new album hopeful, spirited

Subscriber onlyJust days after the Jan. 19 release of the band's fifth studio album, Moon Taxi bass player Tommy Putnam was preparing for a trip to Tampa Bay, Fla., where the Nashville alt-rockers would perform at the NHL All Star game with fellow arena-ready rising musicians Fitz and the Tantrums. "Let the Record Play," Moon Taxi's debut with RCA Records, sees the five-piece exploring new ground in their writing, while simultaneously returning to the familiarity of an internal producer. Continue reading...

Break Up With Boring At Museum's Alt V-Day Party

Subscriber onlyFor AJ Haynes, lead singer/guitarist of Shreveport band Seratones, performing is all about "animating a space." Drawing inspiration at the same time from artists like punk rocker Kathleen Hanna and soul singer St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Haynes says you never know what's going to happen at a Seratones show: Whether engaging with her fellow musicians on stage or with the audience, she likes to test her boundaries. Continue reading...

Experimental Endeavor

Musician goes beyond genre conventions

Subscriber onlyWhen you and your band are asked to back up icon David Bowie on what would become his final album, it stands to reason the encounter will affect you for the rest of your career. Continue reading...

Home Is Where ...

peace of mind is

Subscriber only"I think each of these songs has a theme of being at peace with what is." Continue reading...

REVIEW: ‘At the Illusionist’s Table’

“We’ve all heard of dinner theater, but I thought that this was a way of pushing it further — by integrating illusion and mentalism, and by making the audience the crux of the experience.” Continue reading...

Deeper Discussion

Artists converge on Crystal Bridges

Subscriber onlyCrystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville presents its first temporary exhibition of the year starting Feb. 3, and with it, a momentous symposium featuring artists represented in the exhibition. Continue reading...

Love Prevails

‘American in Paris’ dances its way to WAC

Subscriber onlyOne of the stars of the musical "An American in Paris," dancer and actor Allison Walsh, has a few key phrases she uses to describe the touring production: visually captivating, melding the best of ballet and theater, fresh and contemporary. Though the musical does have a vintage feel in its homage to the film of the same name, Walsh assures the story is more than just nostalgia. Continue reading...

Comedy, Curiosity

Funny guys seek to connect, not divide

Subscriber onlyIt's easy these days for comedy to be political -- to make jokes attacking perceived inaccuracies or failings on the other side of the party line. And just as it can be for other areas of life, comedy is an effective coping mechanism for addressing frustrations about today's political climate. But Krish Mohan and Andrew Frank aren't interested in liberal or conservative labels for their material. The two stand-up comedians performing Feb. 3 at Nomad's in Fayetteville are more focused on taking a deeper look at cultural systems from a socially conscious viewpoint. Continue reading...

Connection Is Key

Conversation explores artists as assets

Subscriber onlyWhat does it take to maintain a creative life? There are so many facets that affect and inspire and drive and strengthen an arts community and those working within it. Artist and educator Sharon Louden's book "The Artist as Culture Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life" comprises personal essays of 40 different visual artists exploring what it's like to be an artist today and the ways in which they contribute beyond a creative economy. Continue reading...