Monthly Archives: August 2015

Escape Rooms Now Open in Northwest Arkansas

Have you heard of or played the new trend sweeping the nation? Modeled after online escape rooms, live escape rooms are interactive games designed for small groups, where you and your team are “locked” in a room and must use clues to escape within one hour. The challenge also requires your group to work together for success.

While young kids may find it boring, pre-teens and up are likely to enjoy becoming a detective for an hour. Rooms change after a few months so that you can do it all over again. Designed for groups of two to 10 people, these live escape rooms are popping up across the nation and now in Northwest Arkansas.

Fayetteville_Ozark_Escape_Cold_CaseIn Fayetteville, the first venue of this kind to open was Ozark Escape in mid-July. It has three rooms of various sizes, each with its own theme, and a Game Master tracking your progress. You must find hidden objects or special compartments, solve puzzles, figure out clues, and other challenging, hands-on experiences.  There might be math, music, or logic puzzles but more importantly, you must work together.  It’s located just off Dickson Street in the Metro District.  509 W. Spring Street, Suite 140; 479-841-0013;

Fayetteville_NWA_Escape_Room_SherlockedOpening Aug. 1, the NWA Escape Room offers two different rooms, each with a different scenario. It’s a place to free your inner sleuth and come face to face with a plethora of clues that will lead you on a live action adventure like no other. Your detective side will be activated as you solve intellectual puzzles, piece together small tidbits of intelligence, uncover secret mysteries, and race against the hourglass. 2140 N. College Ave; 479-466-3555;

by Jill Rohrbach

TheatresSquared Launches Season 10 with Five-time Tony Winner


Don’t underestimate the powerful drama and star performances offered at theater productions in Northwest Arkansas. The upcoming TheatreSquared production of the modern classic “Amadeus” by legendary playwright Peter Shaffer is the perfect example.

Winner of five Tony Awards—including Best Play—and the Oscar for Best Picture, “Amadeus” is a modern classic, weaving intrigue, comedy, suspense, and music into a tale of breathtaking dramatic power.

TheatreSquared will launch its 10th anniversary season with this production that’s co-directed by Broadway veteran Sean Patrick Reilly and Amy Herzberg, T2 co-founder and associate artistic director. Performances are scheduled Aug. 27 through Sept. 20, Wednesdays through Sundays, at Walton Arts Center’s Nadine Baum Studios, located at 505 W. Spring St. in Fayetteville.

The production will feature T2’s largest ensemble cast to date. In Amadeus, composer Antonio Salieri schemes to discredit a foul-mouthed former child prodigy that threatens his legacy. But genius, it seems, is not easily obscured, and Salieri must ask himself how far he will go to destroy the young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, according to a press release description.

“Amadeus is the perfect play to open our 10th anniversary season—an undisputed modern masterpiece that reaches the heights of human drama,” said T2 Artistic Director Robert Ford. “It’s brilliant, risky and ridiculously fun, with a soundtrack that’s pure genius.”

The record-size cast of Amadeus includes James Belcher (Baron Gottfried van Swieten), Bob Hart (Count Johann Kilian von Strack), Bryce Kemph (Major-Domo), Steven Marzolf (Emperor Joseph II), James Taylor Odom (Venticello), Denna Reilly (Katherina Cavalieri), Sean Patrick Reilly (Antonio Salieri), Bill Rogers (Count Franz Orsini-Rosenberg), Warren Rosenaur (Guiseppe Bonno), Courtneay Sanders (Costanze Weber), Laura Shatkus (Teresa Salieri), Nate Stahlke (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart), Mark Landon Smith (Valet), Justin Walker (Venticello), and Britney Walker-Merritte (Cook). The intern ensemble includes Jalen Bell, Landon Calhoun, Guadalupe Campos, and EJ Ogbeide.

The performance will run two hours and thirty minutes, including an intermission, and contains occasional adult language and themes. Tickets are on sale now at 479-443-5600 or at To mark the play’s opening, a string quartet by SoNA will perform at 7:30 p.m. in the lobby on the opening Friday and Saturday night performances.

by Jill Rohrbach