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Posted: June 19, 2013 at 6:25 a.m.
ANN ARBOR - Performance Network Theatre has accepted the challenge to raise $4,000 in 30 days to acquire new sound equipment for its Children's Theatre Network.
The campaign video, in the style of a silent film, shows a beautiful young lady sitting alone on a park bench. When a mini-sized Chaplin impersonator, Inaudible Ichabod, approaches her with the biggest of frowns, the young girl mimes, "Why are you so sad?" Inaudible Ichabod explains via title screen, "Without sound equipment, no one can hear me." Then, with a flash of sound and color a group of children proclaim, "Let our voices be heard."
The fundraiser is available for viewing on the crowdsourcing website, Indiegogo at by CLICKING HERE now through July 12.
Children's Theatre Network is a part of Performance Network Theatre, a leading theater in Southeastern Michigan since 1981. The addition of sound equipment will help CTN reach more children and provide the following:
All donations will be used toward the purchase of sound equipment for the Children's Theatre Network's touring programs and shows. The campaign's contributions will be applied to five sound cables, two transportation cases, two microphone stands, one sound mixer, four wireless microphones, and two speakers.
According to the American Alliance for Theatre Education, drama activities improve reading comprehension, both verbal and non-verbal communication skills, and can help youth recognize their potential for success and improve their confidence. Support theatre for children and support their overall well-being!
All donation amounts are accepted and appreciated for the campaign. Every donation level has specialized perks for the donors and their children:
For more information about the fundraiser or the Children's Theatre Network, visit performancenetwork.org or e-mail Children's Theatre Network Director, Becky Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Shook Up
Hope Summer Repertory
June 21 - Aug. 10, 2013
Joseph Bigelow as Chad in "All Shook Up."
Posted: June 16, 2013 at 2:33 p.m.
HOLLAND - The legendary Elvis Presley wisely stated, "Sad thing is, you can still love someone and be wrong for them." This adage perfectly portrays the plot of the rock 'n' roll musical "All Shook Up," inspired by the legendary songs of Elvis Presley such as "Heartbreak Hotel," "Love Me Tender," "Don't Be Cruel," "Can't Help Falling in Love," and, of course, the title tune, "All Shook Up." Secret crushes and fiery passion are awakened in a small town when a mysterious leather-jacketed, guitar-playing stranger arrives to spread the magic of romance and the power of rock 'n' roll. With the book by Joe DiPietro, Hope Summer Repertory Theatre's production of "All Shook Up" runs at the DeWitt Theatre beginning June 21.
The musical centers around the romantic misadventures of Natalie, a young mechanic stuck in middle America searching for love and adventure. When Chad, a mysterious roustabout, drives into town on his motorcycle, Natalie is immediately smitten. However, the course of love never does run smooth, as Natalie attempts to win the affections of her rebellious heartthrob. Although whirlwind romances and deception sweep the town into frenzy, true love ultimately emerges for all.
Playing the role of Natalie is Grace Stockdale, a current senior B.F.A. musical theater major from Ithaca College who is making her HSRT debut. Also making his debut is her leading man Joseph Bigelow, a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota/Guthrie B.F.A. actor training program.
Supporting cast includes Michael Williams as Dennis, Michael Hanna as Dean, Chip Duford as Jim, Joseph Byrd as Sheriff, Allison Morse as Miss Sandra, Sierra White as Silvia, Olivia Puckett as Lorraine, and Anita Jo Lenhart as Mayor Matilda.
The ensemble includes Celeste Rose, Kate Colburn, Lydia Blickley, Bernell Lassai, Darnell Pierre Benjamin, Alyssa Magarian, Chris Alexey Diaz, Nick Selting, and Matt Madden.
"All Shook Up" will be directed by David Colacci, who is also serving as HSRT's artistic director. This year marks his 28th season with the company and 22nd as artistic director.
Returning for his 20th season at HSRT, Fred Tessler is the music director for "All Shook Up" and "I Am Woman." He has worked on over 40 productions at HSRT, including directing "Suds," "Honk!," and "Dames At Sea," and music directing "Kiss Me Kate," "Babes In Arms," and "Two Gents." When he isn't at HSRT, Fred is in New York City where he is on faculty for Wagner College.
Brad Landers returns to HSRT this summer as the choreographer for "All Shook Up" and "I Am Woman." A graduate of Wagner College on Staten Island, Brad has worked as a choreographer and a performer regionally, touring, and in NYC. Brad draws on many influences including Fosse, Robbins, Bourne, in addition to the many experiences, travels, and stories his life has presented him.
The production team for "All Shook Up" includes stage manager Allyson Namishia, scenic designer Kristin Ellert, lighting designer Stephen Sakowski, costume designer and costume shop manager Jessica Leslie, sound designer Amanda Werre, props master Wyatt Heatherington Tilka, charge artist Aaron ONeill, and master electrician Krystal Martinez.
"All Shook Up" runs at the DeWitt Theatre (141 E. 12th Street) at 8 p.m. June 21, 22, 28, July 10, 11, 17, 22, 25, 30, Aug. 2, 7, 10.
Individual tickets are now on sale at the DeWitt Ticket Office (141 E. 12th Street) Monday through Friday 10 a.m. 5 .p.m and Saturdays from noon intermission. HSRT's new 8th Street Ticket Office (100 E. 8th Street Main Level) is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. 5 p.m. Prices range from $12 - $28 for "All Shook Up." Patrons can purchase individual tickets online by visiting hope.edu/hsrt or calling 616-395-7890.
Miles & Ellie
The Purple Rose Theatre
June 20 - Aug. 31, 2013
Posted: June 16, 2013 at 3:12 p.m.
CHELSEA - The Purple Rose Theatre Company is delighted to present the world premiere comedy "Miles & Ellie" by Don Zolidis for the final production of the 2012-13 season.
Miles and Ellie are two teenagers in love when a youthful misunderstanding breaks them apart. Flash forward 20 years and a disenchanted Ellie has come home for what she expects to be a typical dysfunctional family Thanksgiving. Not long into the family shenanigans, however, Ellie learns that Miles is still in town and carrying a torch for her. Is it possible to get a second chance at your first love? This charming romantic comedy will make you wonder "what if?"
"Miles & Ellie" will enjoy an 11-week engagement at The Purple Rose Theatre Company from Thursday, June 20 Saturday, Aug. 31.
Directed by Guy Sanville, the cast includes Rusty Mewha, Michelle Mountain, Rhiannon Ragland, Bill Simmons, and Cheryl Turski.
Eight low-priced previews will be performed Thursday, June 20 Thursday, June 27, with press opening on Friday, June 28. Regular performances for the duration of the run are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., with Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 3 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.
Tickets are available for purchase now. Ticket reservations can be made by calling The Purple Rose Theatre Company Box Office at 734-433-7673 or online at www.purplerosetheatre.org.
All performances will be held at The Purple Rose Theatre Company, 137 Park Street, Chelsea, Michigan 48118.
Mason Street Warehouse
June 21 - July 14, 2013
Posted: June 16, 2013 at 10:25 a.m.
SAUGATUCK Get ready for the "feel good" show of the summer, as the Tony-nominated musical "Xanadu" rolls onto the Mason Street Warehouse stage at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts on June 21.
"With only 21 performances, don't wait to order your tickets for this hilarious romp," says SCA executive director Kristin Armstrong. "The show has it all: a fantastic musical score, wonderful costumes, a marvelous set, and yes big roller skating numbers you don't want to miss!"
The critically acclaimed musical was developed after the release of the 1980s film starring Olivia Newton John. SCA artistic director Kurt Stamm says, "Noted playwright Douglas Carter Beane took the original story and expanded it for the stage, creating new characters and plotlines, giving the musical tension, drama, romance and humor I am thrilled to produce this fabulous musical for our community."
"Xanadu" follows the journey of a magical Greek muse, Kira, who descends from Mt. Olympus to Venice Beach, California to help a struggling artist named Sonny achieve his greatest artistic creation of all time: the first ever roller disco! But, when Kira falls into forbidden love with the mortal Sonny, chaos abounds as her jealous sisters from the heavens get in the way.
Stamm serves as both the director and choreographer of the SCA's "Xanadu," selecting the cast from more than 1,000 actors and actresses in New York City, Chicago, Ann Arbor and West Michigan.
"It was an interesting casting component: Not only do we need people who can dance, act and sing, they also need to be able to skate on stage," he shares. "One of our cast members struck a deal with a rink close to her home so that she could practice whenever her schedule allowed."
Several members of the cast are Mason Street Warehouse alumni: Nick Dalton, who performed in MSW's production of "Wicked City"; Kayla Peabody, who was in last year's "Boeing-Boeing" cast; Trisha Rapier, who performed in "Evita"; and Gina Milo, who had roles in MSW's "Lucky Stiff," "Das Barbecu," "Marvelous Wonderettes," and recently performed at the 2013 "Stargaze" benefit.
"What makes our Mason Street productions so special is that we are able to bring the best talent available many actors and actresses straight from Broadway to our stage," says Armstrong. "It's a wonderful opportunity for our West Michigan community to experience the best of the best in our own backyard as Kurt builds the cast person by person for our production."
The production will run through July 14, with performances Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 7 p.m., with the final Sunday show at 2 p.m.
Tickets range from $29-$42, and may be purchase by calling 269-857-2399 or visiting www.sc4a.org. Same day tickets are generally available, but early purchases are encouraged
Mason Street Warehouse and Saugatuck Center for the Arts are located at 400 Culver Street, Saugatuck.
Sara Catheryn Wolf will appear in "Shakespeare Duets" during Water Works Theatre Company's annual Shakespeare in the Park fundraiser.
Posted: June 13, 2013 at 6:18 p.m.
ROYAL OAK - Water Works Theatre Company proudly announces its annual Shakespeare in the Park fundraiser event will be held Friday, June 28 at the Royal Oak Historical Society Museum. The evening will include a world premiere performance of "Shakespeare Duets." Tickets ($25) are on sale now.
On Friday, June 28, Water Works Theatre Company will host its annual Shakespeare in the Park fundraiser at the Royal Oak Historical Society Museum, located at 1411 Webster Road, Royal Oak 48073. The evening will feature "Shakespeare Duets," an original work of the Bard's classic scenes, starring Water Works' artistic director Sara Catheryn Wolf and Water Works veteran Brian Ogden who appeared as Henry in last year's production of "Henry V." In addition to the performance of "Shakespeare Duets," guests will enjoy light refreshments, a cash bar and have access to the Historical Society's exhibits and museum located in the impeccable Northwood Fire Station.
Doors to the Historical Society Museum open at 6:30 p.m. on June 28, with the "Shakespeare Duets" performance at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets (will-call only) are $25 per person and are on sale online at www.waterworkstheatre.com. Pay-at-the-door reservations can also be made by calling 248-399-3727.
Theatre lovers and supporters of Water Works Theatre Company who are unable to attend this fundraising event can still support this summer's Shakespeare in the Park by making a donation on line at www.waterworkstheatre.com or by mail to Water Works Theatre Company 320 W. 7th Street, Suite 200 Royal Oak, MI 48067.
Posted: June 13, 2013 at 8:00 p.m.
Nominations are now open for three new categories at the 2013 Wilde Awards. Have you always wanted to nominate an amazing stage manager? Want to let the world know the best person to be on stage with when you forget a line? And isn't it time your mentor or teacher gets his/her due?
The time is now - and we want to know! Here's how it works:
Nominations are open to the general public starting at 7 a.m. Friday, June 14. You may nominate one person in one or all three categories. All nominations must be received by no later than noon Sunday, June 30. The top five nominations in each category will be announced on EncoreMichigan.com on Friday, July 5 at 9 a.m. - and then the voting begins!
But there's more: This is where we raise money for EncoreMichigan.com! Votes are $2 each to vote for your favorite nominees. Vote as much as you'd like. Heck, vote every day!
Winners will be announced at The 2013 Wilde Awards, scheduled for Monday, Aug.19 at The Berman Center for the Performing Arts in West Bloomfield. Complete details will be announced soon.
All proceeds will benefit EncoreMichigan.com, the only website in Michigan that gives you free, up-to-the minute news and information about Michigan's professional theater community. A one-stop shop for consumers, industry professionals and others with an interest in the performing arts, EncoreMichigan.com is packed with interviews, reviews, show listings, thoughtful commentary, audition notices, original podcasts, special offers and much more.
What readers and fans may not realize is this: EncoreMichigan.com memberships cover less than half the costs associated with the website, including maintenance, reviewers' wages, and administrative costs. To continue to offer all of the services readers and the community have come to expect and depend on, The Wilde Awards are now EncoreMichigan.com's major fundraiser. All proceeds raised benefit EncoreMichigan.com, an independent affiliate of The Michigan Equity Theatre Alliance, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit service organization.
With your nominations and votes, three people from Michigan will receive a Wilde Award in the following categories:
Best Stage Manager: Sure, they create the schedule, run rehearsals, call cues, communicate with directors and oversee the entire show each time it's performed. But your nominee for Best Stage Manager stands out because he/she makes sure everyone is taken care of. Fashion a new tape ball for the cast? Check. Make the lousy theater coffee seem fresh? Check. Knows your lines better than you? Check. Nominate your favorite stage manager by sending your name, the name of your nominee, the name of the theater where you worked with them, and 150 words to describe why they should win the Wilde Award for Best Stage Manager!
Best Stage Partner: Nominees in this category helped you get back on track when you dropped a line. They know how to stop you before you break on stage. He/she casually helped you get the prop you needed without letting the audience know you'd forgotten it. Plain and simple, they have your back. Nominate the Best Stage Partner by sending your name, the name of your nominee, the name of the theater where you worked with them, and 150 words to describe why they should win the Wilde Award for Best Stage Partner!
Best Mentor: When you think about your theater career, this person immediately comes to mind. The Best Mentor award will go to someone who taught you everything you know about theater. Maybe they are still teaching you. The Best Mentor can be a teacher, director, theater owner, producer or inspiration to the theater community. To nominate your mentor, send your name, their name and 150 words why they should win a Wilde Award for Best Mentor!
How to submit your nominations:
Posted: June 12, 2013 at 8:42 p.m.
ANN ARBOR - Performance Network Theatre is proud to announce multiple options for theatre lovers living on a budget for the run of the Michigan premiere of the Pulitzer Prize finalist "Becky Shaw" by Gina Gionfriddo. Options include an entirely Pay-What-You-Can performance on June 20, Pay-What-You-Can tickets for students and members of the Actors' Equity Association during the entire open-to-the-public preview weekend (June 20-27), and 10 Pay-What-You-Can tickets for every Thursday performance of all future productions.
"Becky Shaw," which runs at Performance Network from June 20 - July 28, is a frank and hilarious story about a previously opulent family suffering from the loss of their male monarch and the debt they inherited from his inadequate investments and lavish lifestyle. When their financial advisor (and adopted son) is set up on a blind date with Becky Shaw, chaos ensues and leads to the worst first date ever. How does Becky Shaw manage a second date with the charismatic, emotionally unavailable courter? Find out by getting the best ticket price in town.
Open-to-the-public previews, which begin June 20 and run through June 27, give the creative team an opportunity to present the show in front of an audience before critics view the show. Comment cards are handed out after every preview performance, which are then reviewed by the director, cast and designers for the final week of rehearsals.
The theater will celebrate opening night on June 28 that will include a complimentary champagne toast and hors d'oeuvres buffet with the actors, designers, and staff of the theater. Traditional performances of the hot new play will take place June 29 - July 28.
Performance Network Theatre allows audiences to enjoy this smart, witty, and sexy comedy without burning holes in their patrons pockets. It has been a long-standing tradition to host a Pay-What-You-Can performance for the first preview, which consistently sells out. The theater suggests a $15 admission fee, but it is ultimately the patron's decision to name the price of their ticket. The theater will accept $1 tickets to $100 tickets and everywhere in between. The point of this offer is to find the right ticket price for every individual patron.
The theater has listened to the demand from its loyal Pay-What-You-Can patrons and has extended the offer throughout the entire duration of open-to-the-public preview performances for students and members of the Actors' Equity Association. (These tickets may only be reserved over the phone at 734-663-0681 or by e-mailing email@example.com. Box office hours are listed below).
Additionally, Performance Network now offers a flat rate of $20 tickets to all performances for members of the Actors' Equity Association for the entire run of a performance. Students receive a $10 discount on advance ticket sales and 50-percent off rush tickets one hour before each performance. (The theater also offers discounts for members, veterans and military families, seniors, and groups. Visit the website for more information.)
Ten Pay-What-You-Can tickets are also available for every Thursday performance. These tickets go on sale the day of the performance. Audiences may reserve these tickets over the phone only by calling the box office at 734-663-0681. This has turned into a popular feature at the theater, and the Thursday Pay-What-You-Can Thursday tickets sell out very quickly. Audiences are advised to call the theater when the box office opens at 10 a.m. on Thursdays.
Ticket reservations to "Becky Shaw" can be made by calling the Performance Network Box Office at 734-663-0681, online at www.performancenetwork.org, or at Performance Network Theatre (120 East Huron St., Ann Arbor, 48104) Monday Friday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., and Saturday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Posted: June 12, 2013 at 8:06 p.m.
WIXOM Detroit Public Television has announced its new television series "Detroit Performs" - developed to celebrate and inspire arts, culture and creativity in Southeast Michigan - to connect people with art experiences. DPTV also is seeking story submissions from artists and arts and cultural organizations throughout Southeast Michigan for future episodes.
The series premieres Tuesday, June 18 at 7:30 p.m. Each 30-minute episode of "Detroit Performs" will tell the stories of artists working in a variety of disciplines and arts organizations throughout the region to reveal the artistic process and how it might inspire others to pick up a paintbrush, see a performance, or discover a personal muse. Detroit actor D.J. Oliver will host the series.
DPTV is encouraging cultural organizations and individuals to submit story ideas, photography or pre-produced videos, four to six minutes in length, which showcase art being made in Southeast Michigan. Additional submission guidelines are available at www.detroitperforms.org. Submissions should be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the first episode, viewers will meet Detroit multi-media artist Scott Hocking, discover the citizen-journalists roaming the city for CriticCar Detroit, and learn how the work of Detroit artist Asukile Saffell is influenced by his parents.
Subsequent episodes profile an art collaboration inspired by the Dequindre Cut Greenway; Arab-American poet Dunya Makhail; The Moanin' Frogs saxophone band; jazz drummer and educator Sean Dobbins; and many other Detroit-area artists and arts organizations. The series also will include profiles of innovative artists throughout America.
Major funding for Detroit Performs is provided The McGregor Fund. Additional funding is provided by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts and by individual contributions to viewer-supported Detroit Public Television.
About Detroit Public Television
Detroit Public Television is the non-commercial, viewer-supported PBS-member station watched by more than 1.5 million people in Detroit and Southeast Michigan and another 1.2 million people throughout Canada. Information is available at www.dptv.org.
Broadway veterans Michelle Duffy and Trey Ellett star as Diana and Dan Goodman in Farmers Alley Theatre's production of "Next to Normal."
Posted: June 12, 2013 at 8:48 a.m.
KALAMAZOO - Farmers Alley Theatre's latest musical production, "Next to Normal," is a bonafide smash hit!
Due to high ticket sales, sold out houses and standing ovations, Farmers Alley is extending the run of "Next to Normal" for one additional weekend, June 2830. Now even more people will have the chance to see this "deeply affecting" rock musical with "a dynamic cast!"
"Next to Normal" stars Broadway performer Michelle Duffy as Diana Goodman, wife and mother, who is coping with bipolar disorder. On her emotional journey she encounters humor, pain, confusion, and, ultimately, healing and hope. Trey Ellett, formerly of Broadway's "Rent," portrays Diana's huband, Dan. Kathy Mulay directs with music direction by Catherine Walker Adams.
The specific holdover dates and times for "Next to Normal" are as follows:
"Next to Normal" also still has full ticket availability for the weekend of June 20-23, as well as the holdover weekend, June 28-30. Don't miss this moving and powerful Pulitzer Prize-winning musical that is "guaranteed to make you feel more alive by the end." (EncoreMichigan.com)
Tickets can be ordered by calling the Farmers Alley Theatre Box Office at 269-343-2727 or by visiting www.farmersalleytheatre.com.
Elina Garanca in the title role of Bizet's "Carmen." Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera
Posted: June 10, 2013 at 12:30 p.m.
NEW YORK and CENTENNIAL, Colo. Beginning Wednesday, June 19, the Metropolitan Opera and NCM Fathom Events will once again present Summer HD Encores, a series of encore performances from the groundbreaking Live in HD series, in nearly 400 select U.S. cinemas nationwide through NCM's exclusive Digital Broadcast Network. This summer's encore series offers four popular Live in HD events, including the most-attended event in the program's history, Bizet's "Carmen" (June 19), followed by Verdi's "Il Trovatore" (June 26), Rossini's "Armida" (July 10), and Verdi's "La Traviata" (July 17).
This will be the fifth series of Summer HD Encores, following a successful seventh season of The Met: Live in HD series, which featured 12 live operas including five new productions.
"This summer's Encore series features four passionate and romantic opera performances that are sure to heat up cinemas across the country," said Shelly Maxwell, executive vice president of NCM Fathom Events. "The series kicks off with the sizzling fan favorite 'Carmen' which was last featured in the Met: Live in HD series in 2010. Definitely a must-see for anyone who experienced or missed any of these performances during their first run."
Tickets for The Met: Live in HD Summer 2013 Encores, shown in cinemas Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. in all time zones, are available at www.FathomEvents.com or at participating theater box offices.
The Met: Live in HD Summer 2013 Encores Schedule
Carmen Wednesday, June 19 (originally broadcast live on Jan. 16, 2010)
Called "a gripping and brilliant production" by The New York Times, "Carmen" stars Elina Garanca as the seductive gypsy, opposite Roberto Alagna as the obsessed soldier Don Jose. Acclaimed rising Canadian conductor Yannick Nezet-Seguin leads the Met's production by Olivier Award-winning British director Richard Eyre, which features Barbara Frittoli as Micaela and Teddy Tahu Rhodes as the toreador Escamillo. Christopher Wheeldon, artistic director and founder of Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, created the choreography for what remains the Met's most popular HD presentation to date.
Il Trovatore Wednesday, June 26 (originally broadcast live on April 30, 2011)
Starring four of the world's most celebrated interpreters of the leading roles, David McVicar's critically acclaimed production stars Marcelo Alvarez as the heroic troubadour of the title. In the role of Leonora, Sondra Radvanovsky is "remarkable ... a spirited, feisty heroine" (Variety); Dolora Zajick is "a force of nature" (The New York Times) as Azucena, the gypsy with a dark secret; and Dmitri Hvorostovsky's "vivid presence and rich baritone emphasize Count di Luna's swings between hell-bent vengeance and romantic obsession" (Variety). Marco Armiliato conducts.
Armida Wednesday, July 10 (originally broadcast live on May 1, 2010)
Directed by Tony Award winner Mary Zimmerman, "Armida" stars celebrated American soprano Renee Fleming as the mystical sorceress in one of the greatest virtuoso roles from the bel canto repertory. Fleming is joined by Lawrence Brownlee, who sings Armida's chief love interest, Rinaldo, and four more tenors in the roles of the crusader knights. Barry Banks portrays Rinaldo's rival Gernando. John Osborn sings Goffredo, and Banks, Kobie van Rensburg, and Yegishe Manucharyan are the knights Carlo, Ubaldo, and Eustazio, respectively. Riccardo Frizza conducts.
La Traviata Wednesday, July 17 (originally broadcast live on April 14, 2012)
Natalie Dessay stars as the tragic courtesan Violetta Valery in Willy Decker's innovative modern-dress staging of "La Traviata," which "delivers style, sparkle, and stirring drama" (Los Angeles Times). Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi leads the tragic love story, which also stars Matthew Polenzani as the lovesick Alfredo and Dmitri Hvorostovsky as his disapproving father, Giorgio Germont.
Tortoise & the Hair
Tibbits Summer Theatre
June 21-29, 2013
Posted: June 10, 2013 at 12:54 p.m.
COLDWATER Tibbits Summer Theatre prepares for its 2013 season of Popcorn Theatre offering a brand new musical, a collection of familiar children's stories, a kid-friendly music concert, and a weekend of magic all geared towards youth and families.
Tibbits Popcorn Theatre has been entertaining generations of families with live professional performances since 1988. Featuring the company members from the main stage shows, the goal is to present favorites of children's literature and other performing artists.
The shows run Friday and Saturday mornings from June 21 to Aug. 10 at 10 a.m. Tickets are $7 and include popcorn and juice at intermission and an opportunity to meet the actors and get autographs following the shows.
The Popcorn Theatre season opens with "The Tortoise and the Hare & Other Fables by Aesop." This collection of fables includes many favorites including that of the fast talking, fast moving Hare who learns from his friend the Tortoise that "slow and sure wins the race." Sponsored by Great Lakes Chiropractic, the play is full of fun and lively action involving the entire audience. It runs June 21, 22, 28, 29.
The next show premieres the musical "Magic Rocks," written by members of the 2012 acting company. A student finds a rock on the playground that inspires him to believe in himself. With a contemporary rock score, it's sure to appeal to kids of all ages. The show is presented in loving memory of Macy and Sydney Donay by their sister, Kaia Brooke Donay. It runs July 5, 6, 12, 13. The July 13 performance also features a special "backstage pass," with an in depth look behind-the-scenes and special time with the professional actors. The $25 ticket includes the performance, a T-shirt and lunch.
The enchanting characters created by Beatrix Potter come to life in "Peter Rabbit and Friends," which runs July 19, 20, 26, 27. The inquisitive, fun loving Peter cannot resist Mr. McGregor's garden. The excitement builds as Peter's friends get him out of trouble. The show is sponsored by Honor Credit Union.
Real music for real kids: That's the concept behind "Madeline's Toybox" on Aug. 2 and 3. The seasoned professional musicians came together to make great music for families.
Then magic fills the theatre with the "Abracadabra Popcorn Magic Show." Friday, Aug. 9 features Rick Fisher with Riley Rabbit, and Doug Gancer, The Magic Man. Saturday Aug. 10 features "The Magic of Trino" and magician Trent James. "Madeline's Toybox" and the magic shows are sponsored by Coldwater Exchange Club.
Popcorn Theatre is made possible through the generosity of Dr. Jon & Seibra Herbener and Dr. Nichole Ellis. Popcorn is sponsored by Dr. Ed Lake and Dr. Young Yoon. Juice is donated by McDonalds's of Branch and Hillsdale counties, White Pigeon, Centreville, Tekonsha and Marshall.
Tibbits Opera House is located at 14 S. Hanchett St, Coldwater.
Tickets are available on line at www.Tibbits.org, at the theater box office, or by calling 517-278-6029.
Posted: June 10, 2013 at 4:05 p.m.
WEST BLOOMFIELD - Two Muses Theatre, a nonprofit, professional theater based in West Bloomfield, will produce six shows beginning in September with something for everyone: a musical comedy, two holiday shows one geared for family, one a bit more unconventional - a theater for the young series, a contemporary comedy and a serio-comedy. Two of the shows have exclusively female casts, in fitting with Two Muses' mission to provide opportunities for female professionals in theater.
The season opens with "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," (music and lyrics by William Finn, book by Rachel Sheinkin), a hilarious musical comedy about six young people in the throes of puberty participating in a spelling bee, overseen by adults who barely managed to escape childhood themselves. Director Barbie Weisserman said, "I fell in love with the characters of this show, and I know our theater patrons will enjoy the audience participation aspect." Performances will be Sept. 27 - Oct. 20.
In December, Two Muses will take on the daunting task of presenting two holiday shows in repertory. Matinees are for families: "'Twas The Night Before Christmas," written by popular Broadway playwright Ken Ludwig, uses the famous poem as a springboard to tell the story of a mouse, an elf and a little girl who get together and save Christmas. Evening performances will be a bit more edgy, with "Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)" by Michael Carleton, Jim FitzGerald and John K. Alvarez, which is a madcap romp covering the usual holiday stories in an unusual way. Performances will be Dec. 622.
In February, Two Muses will present its Fairy Tale Theatre series. Every weekend, a different fairy tale will be presented, sometimes the classic way, sometimes the "fractured" way, with interactive fun for all. Families will want to see all three! Performances will be Feb. 7-23, 2014.
The fifth production of the season will be the contemporary comedy written by local playwright Sean Paraventi. "The Current" centers around a bachelorette party that takes an interesting turn when the bride-to-be and bridesmaids visit a psychic on the way to the bar and realize that, although they have been friends since high school, there is still more to learn more about each other and themselves. Director Diane Hill said, "I chose the play because of its witty and realistic dialogue and its relatable subject matter. Of course, the fact that it's an all-female cast didn't hurt either." Performances will be March 28 - April 19.
Two Muses Theatre will end its season with a production of the beautiful script written by famous movie writer Nora Ephron and her sister Delia. Every weekend, Two Muses will feature different local celebrities in this lighthearted look into five women's lives. "Love, Loss and What I Wore" is a series of monologues and scenes in which the women use their wardrobes as a time capsule of events, with odes to black clothing, cowboy boots and outfits that make mothers cringe. Performances will be May 30-June 15.
Performances this season will be on Friday and Saturday evenings, as well as Sunday afternoons, with varying times for the December and February family shows. Detailed performance schedules are available on the Two Muses Theatre website.
Two Muses Theatre performs in the 150-seat theater inside the Barnes & Noble Booksellers, located at 6800 Orchard Lake Road in West Bloomfield (south of Maple). There is ample free parking and handicap accessibility.
Individual tickets range from $15 to $25, with discounts for seniors and students. For tickets and information, please call 248-850-9919 or visit www.twomusestheatre.org.
Posted: June 10, 2013 at 8:24 p.m.
EASTPOINTE - The final season of Dennis Wickline Productions Inc. and the 20th season of Broadway Onstage Theatre begins July 19 with Alan Ball's comedy "Five Women Wearing the Same Dress." Running through Saturday, Aug. 19, "Five Women Wearing the Same Dress" and is the story of an ostentatious wedding reception where five reluctant bridesmaids hide out in an upstairs bedroom, each with her own reason to avoid the reception going on in the backyard of the home below. Alan Ball, the author, is also the creative force behind the television series "Six Feet Under" and the Academy Award-winning film "American Beauty." "Five Women Wearing the Same Dress" was originally produced at Broadway Onstage in 2004. "Five Women" and "Breaking Legs," also part of this finale season, were the most successful non-Christmas productions ever presented at the Eastpointe Theatre. Producer Dennis Wickline, who will be retiring from theatrical production at the end of this season, will direct the first two productions.
The season continues Friday, Sept. 13 with the Caroline Smith comedy "The Kitchen Witches," which tells the story of two cable-access cooking show hostesses who have hated each other for 30 years, ever since Larry Biddle dated one and married the other. When circumstances put them together on a TV show called "The Kitchen Witches," the insults are flung harder than the food! The Kitchen Witchens runs through Saturday, Oct. 12 and features Olivia Wickline (Dolly) and Donna DiSante (Isobel), two Broadway Onstage favorites as the Kitchen Witches. John McClure, another Broadway Onstage regular, takes on the role of Stephen, Dolly's son.
"The Hound Of The Baskervilles," a new and exciting version of the classic Sherlock Holmes mystery, is the third offering of the season. Opening Friday, Oct. 25 and running through Saturday, Nov. 23, this Sherlock Holmes mystery tells the gripping tale of the curse of the Baskerville family and the killer-hound that stalks its members. Sir Charles Baskerville has died under mysterious circumstances, and his nephew and heir, the young Sir Henry, has enlisted the aid of Sherlock Holmes. Traveling to his ancestral home on the Devon moor in the company of Dr. Watson, the journey brings them all into danger, mystery and a series of events which build steadily into menace and suspense.
Arriving for the Holidays is a Broadway Onstage reprise of the Christmas comedy "Christmas Belles" by Jessie Stone, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten when it opens Friday, Dec. 6. With two special 2 p.m. matinees on Sunday, Dec. 8 and Sunday, Dec. 15, this crazy Texas comedy runs through Saturday Dec. 21. "Christmas Belles" tells the story of Christmas-time in Fayro, Texas and the Futrelle sisters; Frankie, Twink and Honey Ray. Frankie is weeks overdue with her second set of twins, Twink is in jail for inadvertently burning down half the town, and hot-flash-suffering Honey Raye is desperately trying to keep the Tabernackle of the Lamb's Christmas Program from spiraling into chaos.
2014 begins Friday, Jan. 10 with the world premiere comedy "You Just Have No Idea" by Cecelia Reuter Lesner. Running through Saturday, Feb. 8, "You Just Have No Idea" introduces us to Annabelle, who tells her therapist she is insecure about almost everything in her life. Her therapist tells her to "listen to her inner voices" to gain confidence, and to Annabelle's surprise, all of her "inner voices" come to life and manifest themselves as real, and sometimes very odd, characters that begin inhabiting her apartment.
The New Year continues with the Neil Simon classic "The Sunshine Boys," which runs Friday, Feb. 21 through Saturday, March 22. "The Sunshine Boys" tells the story of Al Lewis and Willie Clarke, a top-billed vaudevillian comedy act from years ago known as The Sunshine Boys. A CBS request for them to appear together on a history of comedy retrospective brings the two grudgingly back together, since they have hated each other for over 40 years. The old feelings come out almost immediately as the two are reunited, and the reasons that they separated many years ago become painfully obvious in hilarious fashion. Dennis Wickline, producer of all shows at Broadway Onstage, takes on the role of Willie. Rick Mason, most recently seen in the 2012 production of "Christmas Belles" at Broadway Onstage as Dub, will portray Al.
This final season of Dennis Wickline Productions Inc. concludes with the Tom Dulack comedy "Breaking Legs," which opens Friday, April 11 and runs through Saturday, May 10. "Breaking Legs" occurs in an Italian restaurant owned by a successful mobster and managed by his beautiful unmarried daughter. When the daughter's former college professor arrives to ask for financial backing for a play he's written about a murder, the fun begins. The three main Mafiosi are intrigued with the idea of producing a play. The daughter becomes enamored of the playwright, but his excitement wanes when he realizes that his backers are actual gangsters. "The Family" in "Breaking Legs" will be played by Sal DeMercurio, Tony Amato, Olivia Wickline and Sal Rubino, who originated their roles in the 2003 production of "Breaking Legs" at Broadway Onstage Live Theatre.
All productions at Broadway Onstage Live Theatre run Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m., with Select Sundays at 2 p.m. Select Sunday performances are only held at Broadway Onstage when a prearranged group of 30 or more is scheduled to attend.
Tickets for all opening nights at Broadway Onstage are $15. Tickets for all other performances are $18. Season Ticket Packages are still available. Ticket reservations are strongly recommended by calling 586-771-6333.
Broadway Onstage is located at 21517 Kelly Rd. at Toepfer (8 1/2 Mile Rd.) in Eastpointe.
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