Review: THE PHILADELPHIA STORY At Fort Smith Little Theatre Proves Why They Have Been Around For 75 Years

This production plays through October 1st

By: Sep. 28, 2022
Review: THE PHILADELPHIA STORY At Fort Smith Little Theatre Proves Why They Have Been Around For 75 Years
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Review: THE PHILADELPHIA STORY At Fort Smith Little Theatre Proves Why They Have Been Around For 75 Years

For 75 years, the Fort Smith Little Theatre has been bringing live shows to western Arkansas. I had the privilege of getting a personal tour of the theatre, 401 N. 6th Street in Fort Smith, before watching THE PHILADELPHIA STORY, and both were amazing. Directed by Tina Dale, this play runs through this weekend, so grab your tickets.

The troupe originally formed the Young Ladies Guild of Sparks Hospital with Flo Pattee leading the way in 1947, due to the population boom from the people remaining in the area after serving time at nearby Fort Chaffee. Mrs. Pattee had aReview: THE PHILADELPHIA STORY At Fort Smith Little Theatre Proves Why They Have Been Around For 75 Years dramatics degree from Northwestern University and performed in New York before settling in the Fort Smith area. She thought it would be a great idea to have a Little Theatre to entertain the community and raise money for the hospital. Over the years the Little Theatre has changed addresses and finally settled in its current location in 1986. Through planning and fundraising, they have managed to stay out of debt, expand their performance space, and successfully bring quality entertainment to the western portion of the river valley.

THE PHILADELPHIA STORY has been presented twice before this production here at FSLT-1957 and again in 1981. It is a crowd favorite, and it is easy to see why. Written by Philip Barry, most people will remember the movie starring Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant and Jimmie Stewart. Upper class Tracy Lord (Grace Andrews) and family are preparing for her wedding Review: THE PHILADELPHIA STORY At Fort Smith Little Theatre Proves Why They Have Been Around For 75 Years to fiancé number two George Kitteridge (Ian Miller). However, due to her father's (Charles Belt) indiscretions, her brother Sandy (Brandon Bolin) brings in reporter Mike (Eric Wells) and photographer Liz (Jamie Lambdin-Bolin) to capture society life to distract them from the scandal. Little sister Dinah (Isabella Ree) is not fond of the new fiancé and invites husband number one Dexter (Christian Meurer) over to join in on the fun. Their mother Margaret (Jill Ledbetter) tries to keep everything running smoothly, but with three guys vying for Tracy's affections, the nuptials do not go asReview: THE PHILADELPHIA STORY At Fort Smith Little Theatre Proves Why They Have Been Around For 75 Years planned.

This was my first visit to FSLT, but it is clear to see that the theatre family is close nit and works well together. There were several sets of people to watch in this play. The women of the family (Andrews, Ree, and Ledbetter) did a great job setting the stage for what was to come. They really blended well like a family, and young Ree was a star as the mischievous, attention-seeking younger sister. Another fun mix of people were Tracy (Andrews) with her three leading men (Meurer, Miller, and Wells). Each had a protective hold on her but in their own characteristic way. Watching them fight over her was amusing. Uncle Willie (Brett D. Short) was comical, and I Review: THE PHILADELPHIA STORY At Fort Smith Little Theatre Proves Why They Have Been Around For 75 Years loved how everyone would pause from speaking to take a picture. It was all very charming. Several people mentioned how wonderful the set looked, so I would like to give a special shout out to Set Designer Gary Cameron and his construction crew.

This show has one more weekend, so don't miss your chance to see this classic. Visit fslt.org or call 479-783-2966 for tickets.

Review: THE PHILADELPHIA STORY At Fort Smith Little Theatre Proves Why They Have Been Around For 75 Years




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