Friday September 29: Reza, The Edge of Illusion 6pm & 8pm
Reza is recognized as one of today’s most highly sought-after entertainers in the touring illusion industry, delivering innovative, engaging and spectacular performances worldwide.
Reza’s recent tour and television appearances have astounded over 30 million viewers from across the World on networks such as MTV, A&E, The CW, PBS, Reelz, CX, Fuji, and Telemundo as well as live venues including the Alamodome (San Antonio), Philips Arena (Atlanta), Villanova Pavilion (Philadelphia), and Mundo Imperial Forum (Acapulco), to name a few. Reza’s new show “Edge of Illusion,” is a ground-breaking grand scale production which Reza simultaneously designed to connect with the audience.
September 30, The Blackwood Quartet 7PM
Mark Blackwood joined his family in the Blackwood Brothers Quartet in 1986, where he sang lead for many years alongside his dad, Cecil, and many other talented singers. Mark also worked as a producer on the Grammy-award winning Blackwood Brothers albums of the early 1980s. The group tours regularly and brings the word of Christ through song, to both believers and non-believers alike. The quartet has had the privilege of performing with Willie Nelson and many other great artists. Recently, we have seen our popularity grow among Elvis tribute artist fans, as well.
October 6, Star Spangled Banter Comedy Tour
Prepare yourself for an unforgettable evening of comedic brilliance. Our talented lineup of comedians will have you in stitches with their witty jokes and hilarious anecdotes. From clever one-liners to side-splitting stories, this event promises to keep you entertained from start to finish.
Whether you’re a fan of stand-up comedy or just looking for a fun night out, the Comedy Night – Star Spangled Banter Tour is the perfect choice. Gather your friends, grab a drink, and get ready to laugh until your cheeks hurt!
Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to witness some of the best comedians in the industry. Mark your calendars and join us for a night of laughter, camaraderie, and unforgettable memories.
October 7: Movies at the Opera House – “Hunger” “The Lucid Cure” and World Premiere of “Labor Day” 6 pm. Suggested $5 donation.
The River Valley Film Society is overjoyed to announce the World Premiere of Pastor Julio Gomez’s Labor Day at the King Opera House in Van Buren. The movie features local River Valley talent. “I love showing off the creativity that the people of Fort Smith have to offer,” director Julio Gomez explains. “Making this movie was fun, exciting and a lot of hard work, film is art, and we found the talent here and we can’t wait to show off a totally local production.” Labor Day tells the story of two men, two motives, one purpose – get out alive and with lots of money. Mark and Jerry, with two different problems, have the same solution: rob the local bank to pay their debts. Mark needs to pay his debt to Uriel, a gangster who has threatened to kill him if he doesn’t pay. Jerry daughter is dying in the hospital, and he needs to pay off her medical debt to save her life. Labor Day will keep you in suspense until the end.
The doors open at 6pm, with one local short film, Lucid Cure, and a thriller from Mexico, Hunger, showing at 6:15, followed by the World Premiere of Labor Day at 7pm.A $5 donation is suggested. “It is an honor to be able to feature Pastor Gomez’s work along with other local artists,” says Brandon Chase Goldsmith, president of River Valley Film Society. “The goal of the film society is to highlight all the amazing talent we have in our area, and you won’t want to miss this event!”
The King Opera House movie series in Van Buren helps us fulfil our mission to bring cinematic experiences to our region, as we extend our outreach across the bridge, truly putting the river valley into the River Valley Film Society. “Arts On Main and King Opera House are thrilled to be partnering with the River Valley Film Society to present great independent films to the area,” declares Bill Ratcliff, Arts on Main Executive Director. “We invite everyone to come to the Opera House and experience not only a great venue but great art and film, and at a great price!” Our overall goal is to cultivate a culture of independent and foreign film lovers in our area. The best way to grow our audience is to increase access to exciting filmic experiences and the King Opera House movie series achieves those aspirations.
About Director Julio Gomez
Pastor Julio Gomez was born in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico and immigrated to the United States in 1984 at the age of 11. He grew up in the Houston area, where he directed his first movie, Where was God, about his life in 2011. Gomez moved to Arkansas and started his Baptist church, Joy of my Soul. He filmed his 2013 movie in Fort Smith, Scars from the Hood. In 2016, Gomes founded Fort Smith’s second Spanish speaking radio station, 102.3 FM. And in 2021 finished the production on Back to my Roots and started working on Labor Day in 2022.
About Lucid Cure
Directed by Brett Douglas Helms. A widower dream therapist grieves over his wife’s death that he caused accidentally through dream therapy (in this world, if you die in your dream, you die in real life). Now he is battling his own demons and must come to terms with her death or else he’ll meet the same fate. “The Lucid Cure is based on a personal experience where I was dealing with a bad breakup. I never felt like I had closure until I had a dream about my ex and finally got to say my peace. This film features dreams that I’ve actually had and problems that I’ve personally dealt with.”
Directed by Carlos Meléndez from Mexico. A child is being tormented by a voracious well demanding food from him. But as he proves unable to satisfy its hunger, he drags himself to find another way of feeding it. “Hunger was influenced by Fairy Tales and became a tale of magic realism. An allegory about misery, hunger and the actual state of our civilization. I want to break the barrier of language by making a film with no dialogue that recalls the origins of cinema and the power of telling a story.” – Carlos Meléndez
October 13-14: Into the Woods Junior – An Arts On Main, Arts-In-Education presentation
Into the Woods JR is an Arts On Main production performed by a talented local cast of students in grades 3rd through 12th.
Be careful what you wish for, as Stephen Sondheim’s and James Lapine’s cockeyed fairytale comes to life in this adaptation of their groundbreaking, Tony Award-winning musical. Into the Woods JR. features all of your favorite characters — Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack (and his beanstalk) and the Witch — in this lyrically rich retelling of classic Brothers Grimm fables.
October 21, 2023: TROUT FISHING IN AMERICA! 7pm.
Keith Grimwood and Ezra Idlet formed Trout Fishing in America in 1979 as a means of survival. They traveled to California as a part of the Texas-based five-piece band St. Elmo’s Fire with hopes of being discovered and signed by a major record label. When no such opportunity arose, and the promising tour dissolved, Keith and Ezra peeled off from their bandmates to fend for themselves. Busking on the streets of Santa Cruz with an acoustic guitar, and an upright bass, the pair quickly learned that engaging listeners instantly was the only path towards dollars and coins in the open guitar case. When entry in a music contest required them to have a name for their act, they chose Trout Fishing in America as an homage to Keith’s love of writer Richard Brautigan and Ezra’s love of fishing.
They returned to Texas and continued performing as a duo, landing gigs in the southeast United States. For a band comprised only of a guitar, a bass, and two vocalists, Keith and Ezra could sonically fill whatever space they played. Trout’s genre-defying musical style and unique stage presence did not lend itself to standard marketing strategies so their following developed through word-of-mouth recommendations from fans and club owners. No one could explain what kind of music Trout played but would also tell you that theirs was not a show to miss.
Rather than waiting for a record label’s attention, they formed their own Trout Records label in the 1980s and released two vinyl albums and two cassettes. Drawing inspiration from childhoods spent listening to top-40 AM radio, the two songwriters seasoned their music with stylings from rock and roll, blues, folk, country, bluegrass, funk, Latin, and reggae…whatever sound would best bring out the flavor of the lyrics they wrote. From the beginning, they were a song writing team with Keith typically being the lyrical generator while Ezra developed the music. Their collaborative natures allowed them to edit each other’s contributions without egos clashing.
Through hard work, strong musicianship, solid friendship, supportive families, and a genuine ability to connect with their audience, Trout’s homegrown success and appeal exploded in the 1990s. This led to regular touring throughout the US and Canada in their infamous red truck, Robert RedFord. They retired The Red Truck in 1997 after accumulating over half a million miles. The 1990s ushered in the era of compact discs and Trout released 9 more albums from 1990 – 1999 on their label. They were nominated for Grammy awards in 2001, 2004, 2006, and 2008.
Keith and Ezra have always been road dogs, driving tens of thousands of miles throughout the United States every year. In March 2020, years of touring came to a halt. After a month apart, they reunited at the Trout House Studio and did what they do best: they wrote songs together. With live gigs disappearing, Keith and Ezra had lots of time to experiment and create. The studio became their safe house. They wrote over a dozen new songs and performed monthly live streams to stay connected with their fans. The result is Trout’s 25th album, “Safe House”.
It is not unusual for three or four generations of a family to show up at a Trout performance and this is a point of pride for both Keith and Ezra. It may still be impossible to tell you what kind of music Trout plays, but after attending a show, you’ll know exactly what you’ve witnessed: two guys who still love what they do and are excited to share it with you.
October 29: Miss & Mr. Van Buren Pageant – 5pm
November 4: Movies at the Opera House – Hideout
2 & 6 pm. Suggested $5 donation.
November 30 – December 3: A Christmas Carol – Earthen Vessels Drama Company
TICKETS ON SALE NOVEMBER 1
This Christmas tradition returns to the King Opera House stage for the 10th time, as Earthen VesselsDrama Company, a ministry of Shady Grove Baptist Church, Van Buren, presents their adaptation of Dickens’ classic tale. With stirring performances, period costumes, and uniquely arranged Christmas carols, all the elements of a classic Christmas celebration weave together to tell this beautiful story of one fateful night when a miser named Scrooge finds hope, redemption, and the true spirit of Christmas that transforms his life. Join us for this heartwarming tale that is perfect for the whole family!
December 8 – 9: The 39 Steps
An Arts On Main Theater production
Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python and you have The 39 Steps, a fast-paced whodunit for anyone who loves the magic of theatre! This two-time Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning treat is packed with nonstop laughs, over 150 zany characters (played by a ridiculously talented cast of four), an onstage plane crash, handcuffs, missing fingers, and some good old-fashioned romance!
December 23: Movies at the Opera House – The Penitent Thief
2 & 6 pm, $5 Suggested Donation