Two native Arkansans who have gone on to great success musically outside the state have a “Souvenir” to bring home to the Arkansas Repertory Theatre beginning Friday, June 10.
Lawrence Hamilton, who has starred on Broadway and in national tours of such Broadway shows as “Ragtime,” will present a show of hit songs and other compositions by Randy Goodrum, whose most famous songs might be Steve Perry’s “Oh, Sherry” and Anne Murray’s
”You Needed Me” but who has written dozens of other hits.
“Souvenir: An Evening With Lawrence Hamilton, Featuring the Music of Randy Goodrum” will be performed at The Rep Friday, June 10 through Sunday, June 19. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 7 p.m. Wednesday and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday.
Hamilton grew up near Foreman and attended Henderson State University in Arkadelphia. Goodrum is from Hot Springs and now calls Nashville home. Goodrum will be attendance on opening night, Hamilton says.
A recent meeting with Goodrum at a benefit show here with Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen was serendipitous, as it resulted in combining efforts for this show.
“I first met Randy when we were part of a benefit a while back for Mark Pryor’s senate campaign, and back then I said, ‘I want to do a whole evening of your music for a show.’ Then, when we were together six weeks ago at the THEA benefit, I said, ‘We’ve got to do this,’ ” Hamilton said. “Randy’s written five or six songs for me to record as well, and after this show is over, I’m going to Nashville to record these songs, hopefully for a new record. Three of these songs are No. 1 hits.”
Along with assorted Goodrum songs, Hamilton said he’ll also include some songs from Broadway shows and from his personal life, promising to dedicate a song to his ailing 108-year-old grandmother as well as his late father.
Franks Owens, a Hamilton friend from New York, will serve as musical director of a five-piece band. Hamilton also plans to feature several female singers, including protege Twanna Campbell.
Hamilton, who directs the Philander Smith College choirs, will sing many of Goodrum’s well-known songs, and plans to incorporate three songs — “A Lesson in Leaving,” “It’s Sad to Belong to Someone Else” and “Foolish Heart” — into a pop medley.
“When I met him the first time, I said, ‘You wrote all these songs?’” Hamilton mused. “Some of them I’ll do in a more soulful way, not because I’m black but because it will be coming from the heart.”
Opening night is special benefit performance for the Arkansas Hospice and includes a pre-show cocktail and buffet reception and post-show champagne and dessert celebration in the lobby. Tickets are $75 for orchestra seating and $50 for first and second mezzanine seating.
Tickets to all other performances are $30. Call 378-0405.