In Farmers Alley’s crowd-pleasing, high-energy production of 1940s-era musical revue The Andrews Brothers, straight men dress up as women, white Americans dress up as indigenous Pacific Islanders, and a middle-aged woman dresses up as an ingenue.
By now, most people are familiar with Rosie the Riveter, the symbol representing the legions of women who filed into the workplace during World War II to take over the jobs of men sent overseas. Often, they were working to aid the war effort.
For some theaters, celebrating an anniversary like a 35th season could add extra pressure to selecting upcoming performances. Not for the Wharton Center, who tries to outdo itself every year.
Thursday’s opening night of Disgraced by Actors’ Theatre Grand Rapids provoked the audience to address current issues in society, and look in the mirror at their own biases or preconceived judgements.
More than 40 years after it landed on Broadway, there’s still a whole lot of magic left in The Wiz. Behold and believe: Director Jay Berkow’s buoyant, utterly delightful Western Michigan University Theatre production of this African-American revamp of The Wizard of Oz conclusively proves Wicked does not have the market cornered when it comes to Oz-centric musicals.
In the theater, timing is everything, and it’s difficult to imagine a better week than this one for the Kalamazoo Civic to open “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark,” Lynn Nottage’s bittersweet look at the so-called golden age of Hollywood, when African-American actors frequently found themselves with two kinds of parts to choose from.
“Golf is nothing but a good walk. Spoiled.” This paraphrased Mark Twainism opens “The Fox on the Fairway,” the most recent slamming doors farce from playwright Ken Ludwig, now playing at The New Vic Theatre in Kalamazoo.
The Spectrum Theater, located on Fountain Street in Grand Rapids Community College’s campus, houses four theater troupes and is always bustling with activity. Managing all that activity is Michelle Urbane, theater manager. On top of managing the box office, Urbane directs and performs in shows and can always be seen running from one place to the next, always with a big smile on her face.
Four years ago, when Edye Evans Hyde started the Ebony Road Players, she didn’t know it would turn into a catalyst for social justice.
© 2017 Revue and Revue Holding Company