‘Basic Training’ is a profound one-man tour de force

Written by Dana Casadei | Friday, 24 January 2020 15:23 |

As Kahlil Ashanti ended his first performance of Basic Training, the audience’s reaction wasn’t quite what he had been expecting.

Review: ‘Hamilton’ in Grand Rapids goes above and beyond expectations

Written by John Kissane | Friday, 24 January 2020 10:02 |

In a New Yorker profile published soon after the Public Theater’s premiere of Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda discussed early theatrical influences, including Les Miserables, Cats and Phantom of the Opera. Of the latter, he said, “I saw Phantom and I was like, ‘Oh, shit!’ Because it’s about an ugly songwriter who wants to impose his will on the world. I related to that.”

Review: ‘Tick, Tick … Boom!’ explosively explores the time bomb of life

Written by Marin Heinritz | Monday, 13 January 2020 13:47 |

The Kalamazoo Civic’s production of “Tick, Tick . . . Boom!” is a blast from the past, a rocking homage to Generation X through one artist’s fear of turning 30 — entailing fears of failure, commitment, selling out, death. You know, the little things.

In the dead of winter, your soul may be yearning for some early springtime weather; with Michigan, you never know what will come. So instead of shutting yourself in and binge-watching the latest television series, join the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra for a special pint-sized concert at Bell’s Eccentric Café on January 15.

Two guitar virtuosos who first performed at The Block in Muskegon return to warm up a January weekend and play a lively and recognizable pops program with West Michigan Symphony. 

While glass is often described as a delicate property, its metamorphic nature allows artists to explore not only fragility and transparency through their work, but also resiliency and strength. Examining the innovative ways glass can be styled is A New State of Matter: Contemporary Glass, Grand Rapids Art Museum’s latest exhibition. 

“If you want Disney,” said Daina Robins, “you should go to Disney. This isn’t some saccharine fairy tale. This play is truthful.”

Late in the year 1992, a theatrical group in Springfield put on a show called Oh, Streetcar! The show, a musical version of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, opened with a warning about New Orleans (“If you want to go to Hell, you should take a trip/To the Sodom and Gomorrah of the Mississippi”) and ended with a rousing, upbeat number about the kindness of strangers. 

Peaks & Valli's: 'Jersey Boys' celebrates the journey of the Four Seasons

Written by Amy McNeel | Friday, 27 December 2019 13:38 |

After a nearly two-year hiatus, Jersey Boys once again hits the road to share the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The Tony- and Grammy-winning musical visits Miller Auditorium this month, bringing New Jersey rock ‘n’ roll all the way to West Michigan. 

At the top of the show, before the curtain even rose, an orchestra featuring nine local musicians played an overture of songs from Aladdin, bringing to life the notes familiar to so many in Wharton Center’s audience.

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© 2019 Serendipity Media, LLC

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