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June Theatre Preview

Written by Dana Casadei | Tuesday, 07 June 2016 17:46 |

With summer in full swing, the air-conditioned confines of a local theatre house makes for an artsy escape from the humid heat. Check out some productions happening this month and mark your calendar. 

Shortly after rising Motown star Little Stevie Wonder found stardom in 1963, he discovered early on that hitting the textbooks was just as important as hitting the stage.

Amidst a string of now classic R&B singles, a teenage Wonder was enrolled at the Michigan School for the Blind in Lansing. While he graduated from the now defunct school in 1968, Wonder would pen some of his biggest hits while earning his diploma.

My Complex Romance: Tony Winner Once Tugs at Heartstrings

Written by Amanda Denomme | Tuesday, 29 December 2015 12:25 |

ONCE is the epitome of a true complex romance, as a Dublin street musician, debating on giving up his singing dreams, meets a beautiful young woman who takes strong interest in his haunting love songs. As the chemistry between them grows, his music soars to powerful new heights, but their unlikely connection turns out to be much deeper and more complicated than expected.

“What’s Your Damage, Heather?” Heathers the Musical comes to Grand Rapids

Written by Shelby Pendowski | Monday, 12 October 2015 12:43 |

Ah, yes, the glory days. Life as a high-school teen was all about cliques, young love, pimple-ridden faces and the drive to fit in with the snide popular kids at any cost. Sounds abysmal, doesn’t it? Film director Michael Lehmann dramatized this confused chunk of life in the black-comedy tale of Heathers.

Actors’ Theatre Concentrates on ‘Impacting Works'

Written by Shelby Pendowski | Wednesday, 30 September 2015 13:20 |

Since its genesis in 1980, the Actors’ Theatre in Grand Rapids has not only spotlighted local talent, it’s also used its productions to highlight timely, crucial topics. Past Actors’ Theatre productions include: The Stories of Gay Christians, Angels in America, Corpus Christi and Intimate Apparel — each show is selected in hopes of raising dialogues in the community.

Absolutely Fabulous: Kinky Boots is ‘Changing Lives’

Written by Allison Parker | Tuesday, 02 June 2015 13:22 |

Kinky Boots seems to have it all. It’s got Broadway dazzle with a modern edge, joyous drag queens and outrageous footwear — it also champions a message of hope and acceptance.

The production, a six-time 
Tony Award-winner, centers on protagonist Charlie Price as he inherits a floundering shoe factory after his father’s death. The cause seems hopeless until Charlie runs into drag queen Lola and her glamorous backup troupe, the Angels. The queens introduce Charlie to the niche market of drag boots and create a fabulous new line. 

Costume Storytelling at Opera Grand Rapids

Written by Allison Parker | Wednesday, 06 May 2015 10:56 |

Strangers to opera might say it’s about singing, but anyone who has actually watched one will tell you it’s about so much more. The piercingly high notes and booming bass tones take audiences on a journey — both to a specific time and place and to the particular emotions of individuals.

A Less Ghostly Phantom: Phantom of the Opera comes to Michigan

Written by Allison Parker | Friday, 27 March 2015 18:22 |

From its thunderous opening chords to its plummeting chandelier, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera doesn’t run short on spectacle. Dazzling stage effects, sensuous costumes and an imposing score have made this the longest-running Broadway musical.

Grand Rapids Ballet's MOVEMEDIA’s Got the Moves

Written by Allison Parker | Monday, 02 March 2015 00:00 |

 If you aren’t proud of West Michigan’s performing arts, Grand Rapids Ballet’s MOVEMEDIA is a darn good reason why you should be. A tradition now four years in the running, MOVEMEDIA has earned the company a standout name in the dance community and attracted choreography submissions from five different continents.

A Lucy Valentine

Written by Allison Parker | Tuesday, 27 January 2015 14:17 |

Audiences for I Love Lucy Live on Stage expect to enter an auditorium and watch. What they actually do is enter a time machine and join. Presenting Lucy for the first time live and in color, this special production whisks audiences back to the ‘50s, where they become the studio audience for the filming of two "I Love Lucy" episodes.

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