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Lara Hightower

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John Tolleson

Love wins out over rock ‘n’ roll

In the Fayetteville home of John and Gail Tolleson, a Rowe AMI R-90 jukebox stands in the dining room. Tolleson guesses it to be around 35 or 40 years old, and it holds 100 45 rpm records and six CDs. He has carefully chosen the music that's available for selection -- an avid collector, he has more than 18,000 singles to choose from -- and the artists and genres are wide ranging but classic: Frank Sinatra. Chuck Berry. Mario Lanza. Conway Twitty.

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Grieving parents help baby leave legacy long after short life

Patrick and Meredith Woodruff were proud parents of a beautiful newborn baby boy. It was 2011, and Miller McNeil Woodruff had been home with them and his big brother, 3-year-old Cole, for just three weeks when the couple noticed he had some worrisome symptoms. A trip to the pediatrician turned into an overnight stay at Mercy Hospital and then a week of tests at Arkansas Children's Hospital, where Patrick and Meredith were faced with the unthinkable: Miller was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a terminal genetic disease.

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As Smooth As Silk

‘Intimate Apparel’ glides lyrically across heart

At a recent rehearsal for Lynn Nottage's "Intimate Apparel" at TheatreSquared, director, actors and assorted designers are preoccupied with the minute, technical details that must be ironed out in any production so close to opening. The beautifully detailed set by scenic designer Jean Kim, which fills the T2 auditorium and offers patrons a startlingly intimate view of the performances, embodies four different spaces -- all bedrooms. Actor Britney Walker-Merritte must exit one side of the set and enter another in a short amount of time, requiring practice. The musical recording of ragtime piano music must be matched to the hand movements of the piano-playing actor on stage, and sound designer Sinan Zafar starts and stops the recording of piano playing until the coordination is perfect.

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Two Languages Better Than One

Trike Theatre creates new telling of ‘Cinderella’ tale

The inspiration for the upcoming bilingual production of "Adalita y Su Caballo: A Rodeo Cinderella" was born from a bilingual production of "The Odyssey Experience," adapted and directed by Christopher Parks four years ago, says Trike Theatre's artistic director, Kassie Misiewicz.

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Let There Be Light

‘Retrograde’ starts from different perspective

Director Cole Wimpee says the concept for his show, "Retrograde," premiering at Backspace (541 W. Meadow St.) at 8 p.m. Sunday and Monday, came out of a collaboration with University of Arkansas lighting designer Emily Clarkson.

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Break Out Into Fun

Students spring out of school next week

Keeping kids entertained during spring break can be a real headache -- until you look around Northwest Arkansas and realize that a wide variety of activities exist for kids of all ages and all interests. Sports, arts and crafts, theater -- we've got you covered in our spring break guide.

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Benton County Boys and Girls Club announces 'Youth of the Year'

The Benton County Boys & Girls Club boasts some pretty impressive statistics on the front page of its website: Seventy-five percent of Boys & Girls Club members report finding valuable adult connections at the club. Eighty-two percent of teen members volunteer in the community at least once per year. Ninety-five percent of members report being on grade level. Eighty-six percent report plans to go to college after graduation.

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John Mack

Building a sense of place

My life is pretty simple," says John Mack. "It's pretty linear. Doesn't have a lot of bends in it."

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Tots To Teens

Theater troupes share stories for youngsters

There have been an abundance of studies over the past 10 years that demonstrate the benefits of exposing children and teens to theater, including higher grades, improved literacy skills, higher graduation rates, lowered disciplinary and attendance issues and greater community engagement. Northwest Arkansas parents might count themselves lucky, then, to be in an area that offers plentiful theater opportunities. This weekend, two of the area's most established youth-centered companies are offering stimulating options for tots to teens.

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Sunshine School hosts hair-raising fund raiser

"We're so excited about it -- it's one of the newer and more different things in this area," says Chelle Phillips, events and communications coordinator of the Sunshine School and Development Center in Bentonville, of the organization's event Saturday.

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