Artspocalypse Now: Performing, visual arts groups to battle for audiences over packed weekend

Last Updated by Chip Chandler on
Brandon Bellar and Marley Hoggatt face puppet-y death in "Little Shop"
Courtesy Amarillo Little Theatre

By Chip Chandler — Producer

Arts lovers have a cornucopia of choices ahead: In a massive scheduling pile-up, nine performing and visual arts events are to take place over the weekend.  

These productions are in addition to the always packed calendar for the weekend before Halloween. For a full roundup of those seasonal options, check here.

Though a trio of performances appear to be directly piggybacking off the Halloween mood, several others are not — which perhaps could be considered counter-programming for those not interested in spooks and scares. A less charitable view might indicate the need for better communication between the major (and minor) arts groups when season planning is underway.

Regardless, you've got choices to make. Here's a primer on what's being offered:


Little Shop of Horrors

ALT's "Little Shop of Horrors"

Amarillo Little Theatre will stage the cult-classic musical Little Shop of Horrors beginning Thursday.

The rock musical, which tells the story of a nerd's blossoming after the discovery of a killer plant, will be staged for two weekends on the ALT Mainstage, 2019 Civic Circle. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Nov. 1; 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Nov. 2 and 3; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday and Nov. 4.

"This summer, for the first time, I saw the 1960 sci-fi movie The Little Shop of Horrors (which inspired the stage and, later, movie musical versions), and it was so cool seeing it in the black-and-white element," director Jason Crespin said. "I thought if I ever do this show, I'd want to do it in a black-and-white element with just having the plant be the color."

Tickets are $22 for adults, $19 for seniors and students, and $16 for children Thursdays and Sundays, and $25 for adults, $22 for seniors and students, and $18 for children Fridays and Saturdays.

Call 806-355-9991.


Burning Ring of Fire

Tom Joyce's "Northeast By Southwest V" is among the works to be on view in Amarillo Museum of Art's "Burning Ring of Fire" exhibition opening Friday.
Courtesy Tom Joyce

Celebrate the 20th anniversary of the popular, annual iron pour at Mesalands Community College in Tucumcari, N.M., with this special Amarillo Museum of Art exhibition and event.

Burning Ring of Fire will open with a 6:30 p.m. Friday reception at the museum, 2200 S. Van Buren St., featuring a speech by MacArthur Fellow and blacksmith Tom Joyce at 7:30 p.m. 

The exhibition will spotlight the labor-intensive Mesalands workshop, which engages an entire community of artists in building patterns, constructing molds, and breaking down and melting several tons of recycled scrap iron in handmade cupola furnaces, according to an AMoA news release. The culminating activity is the Iron Pour; a visually exciting, open-to-the-public event where glowing molten metal is dispensed into large ladles and poured into molds to create cast iron sculptures. Artworks created in Tucumcari have been exhibited in museums and galleries from New Mexico to Japan.

The opening weekend also will include an Amarillo iron pour. Artists can carve molds from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, with the pour beginning at 3 p.m. A limited number of molds can be purchased for $20.

The reception and pour are free.

Call 806-371-5050.


The Scarlet Cord

Dance troupe Ballet Magnificat will stage The Scarlet Cord in a one-night-only performance Friday.

The story of Christian missionaries in the Soviet Union will be told through dance at 7 p.m. Friday at Paramount Baptist Church, 3801 S. Western St. 

Tickets are $10.

Call 806-355-3396.


Speed Dating Tonight

Amarillo Opera will open its season with another round of meet-cutes.

Composer Michael Ching's flexible operatic revue Speed Dating Tonight will be staged at 7 and 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the Concert Hall Theatre on Amarillo College's Washington Street campus.

Tickets are $25 for adults or $15 for students and children.

Call 806-372-7464.


Alice in Wonderland

Head down the rabbit hole in a new adaptation of the classic story Alice in Wonderland.

Student actors from Amarillo College Conservatory will stage a theatrical version adapted by director and new program coordinator Matthew Payne.

Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday in Ordway Hall on the Amarillo College Washington Street campus.

Tickets are $16.

Call 806-371-5909.



Lone Star Ballet's "Frankenstein"

The Creature will walk — and jeté — in Lone Star Ballet's new original production Frankenstein

"The story is marvelous and it lends itself to being a very romantic stroy as well as a very strong story about losing someone you love," LSB artistic director Vicki McLean said.

And this Frankenstein is a little different, she said. 

"He's not the Boris Karloff (monster) with things in his neck and 100-pound shoes on," McLean said. "He's going to be stitched and so forth, but he's not going to be that bizarre green color and walk (funny)."

Performances are set for 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts, 500 S. Buchanan St.

Tickets are $14 to $44, plus fees.

Call 806-372-2463 or 806-378-3096.


Jazz on 6th

Chamber Music Amarillo's jazz series will continue with a concert featuring the Jim Laughlin Quartet.

The combo will jam at 8 p.m. Friday in the Fibonacci Space, 3306 S.W. Sixth Ave.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students.

Call 806-236-3545.


Carrie the Musical

One of the most infamous musicals ever written will get its debut staging in Amarillo.

RR Bar will stage Carrie the Musical at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m. Wednesday (that's Halloween night) and again at 8 p.m. Nov. 2 and 3 in the bar's back room, 701 S. Georgia St.

Based on Stephen King's breakthrough novel, the rock-edged musical tells of Carrie White's burgeoning psychic powers and one killer prom night.

The Nov. 2 and 3 performances will be followed by an Off Like a Prom Dress burlesque show at 10:30 p.m.

Tickets are $15.

Text 806-341-5141.


Movie Music Pops Concert

Celebrate the sounds of the movies in this concert special from the West Texas A&M University Orchestra.

The Movie Music Pops Concert will begin at 3 p.m. Sunday in WT's Mary Moody Northen Recital Hall in Canyon.

The student orchestra will perform with pianist Denise Parr-Scanlin, soprano Cloyce Kuhnert, violinist Evgeny Zvonnikov, saxophonist James Barger and the Amarillo Youth Choirs.

Tickets are free.

Call 806-651-2840.



Chip Chandler is a producer for Panhandle PBS. He can be contacted at, at @chipchandler1 on Twitter and on Facebook.

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