Review: ‘Newsies’ goes leaps and bounds beyond its source material

Written by Marin Heinritz | Thursday, 17 August 2017 15:57 |

The Barn Theatre’s Newsies is everything a musical should be — and more than one might expect. It’s a wonderful vehicle for the very talented ensemble cast who’ve been hard at work all summer long, and yet they enthusiastically leap, twirl, tap, sing their hearts out, and otherwise powerfully tell a fictionalized account of the newsboy strike of 1899 — a tale very much worth telling.

Staging a Change: The life of Fred Sebulske, Grand Rapids’ godfather of theater

Written by Kayla Tucker | Thursday, 03 August 2017 15:02 |

Hate letters. State government threats. Mayoral involvement. Armed police in the theater. Fred Sebulske had no idea what he would one day be getting himself into when he founded Actors’ Theatre Grand Rapids in 1980, or even when the group decided to stage one specific show in 2003.

Two Grand Rapids natives are returning to their roots, telling the story of their city’s theatrical history and the power of community theater.

Corrupt business practices and unions may not be the subject matter most audiences expect from a Disney production, but that’s exactly what they’ll witness during the Barn Theatre’s performances of Disney’s Newsies.

Acting Up: Actors’ Theatre Grand Rapids announces 36th season

Written by Kayla Tucker | Thursday, 03 August 2017 14:48 |

This fall, Actors’ Theatre Grand Rapids will kick off its 2017-18 season with The Nether, the first of five shows running through May 2018.

This month, Heritage Theater is serving up Hamlet with a twist. “It tells the rest of the story, if you will,” said Director Krista Pennington.

Review: ‘Schoolhouse Rock Live!’ is a cross-generational joy

Written by Marin Heinritz | Tuesday, 01 August 2017 17:06 |

Hope Summer Repertory Theatre excels at producing high-quality theater for young audiences that also appeals to adults. This season alone, their productions of Annie and Curious George have been delightful, and Schoolhouse Rock Live! falls right in line.

Review: Powerful performances make ‘Lion in Winter’ a hit

Written by Marin Heinritz | Friday, 28 July 2017 14:48 |

When Robert Newman takes the stage as King Henry II in “Lion in Winter,” the audience spontaneously applauses before he even utters a word.

Review: ‘A View from the Bridge’ is a beautiful, dark change of scenery

Written by Marin Heinritz | Thursday, 27 July 2017 14:06 |

Summer in Southwest Michigan is when and where folks come to play, and in the world of live entertainment, a land of musical theater where one is hard pressed to find stage drama of the classic variety, much less a tragedy — perhaps for good reason.

Review: ‘Fully Committed’ impresses and delights

Written by Marin Heinritz | Monday, 24 July 2017 10:23 |

Sam Callahan is having a very bad day. It’s not long before Christmas, and the generally cheerful Midwesterner, ever hopeful that he’ll catch a break in his floundering acting career, has been forced to return to his stressful and disappointing day job managing reservations in the dingy basement of an uber-hip molecular gastronomy restaurant in New York.

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