A night of live music, history and skits featuring University of Arkansas – Fort Smith faculty and alumni will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, at the King Opera House in Van Buren, located at 427 Main St., with proceeds being donated to local historical institutions.
Described as being similar to the radio show “A Prairie Home Companion,” the “Local Color Radio Hour” highlights local culture and history and includes audience participation. The show is written, directed and narrated by Dr. Kevin Jones, associate professor of English.
The Van Buren High School Choir, Maggie Janes Jones, and The Numskulls! – featuring UAFS faculty members Daniel Maher, Steven Kite and Matt McCoy, along with Gary Udouj – will perform, followed by storytelling by local author and historian Marcus Woodward and UAFS faculty member Tom Wing. Tom and Caroline Speir and Leisa Gramlich with the Fort Smith Museum of History will also discuss what’s currently on display at the museum.
Rounding out the show is a performance from Cody Faber from the Fort Smith National Historic Site, who will recount stories about Van Buren citizens and the site itself. The night also includes the return of a radio drama first presented in March 2018 written by local author Terence Dean called “Hanged at Logtown,” based on true events in Van Buren.
Jones said this is the third iteration of “Local Color Radio Hour,” which seeks to educate residents on local history and culture while raising money for a good cause. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Drennen-Scott Historic Site and the Fort Smith Museum of History.
“This particular show has more of a focus on Van Buren history, as we like to do with each of our shows, which are centered along a season, a theme, or focus on a region to showcase the culture, history and fun of a community,” Jones said. “We hope that our audiences have fun, laugh, but also learn more about their area.”
“There are so many events happening all over the region that it is difficult to experience everything, and so the ‘Local Color Radio Hour’ in part seeks to share some of these details from local historians, groups, musicians, storytellers and special guests to highlight the people, places, and events that make this region special,” Jones continued. “Each show is similar, with returning segments or characters in certain parts we write, or lineup of musicians, but we also try to add something unique to the region or audience we play for each time.”
Jones added that each show is also archived as a podcast and can be viewed by visiting https://differentkjones.wixsite.com/spinninroundprod.
Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 and are available at the door. For more information contact Jones at 479-788-7429 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.facebook.com/SpinninRoundProductions.