“Largo al factotum” is perhaps one of the most recognizable arias in opera. The boastful tongue twister (try saying “-issimo” ten times fast) is the quintessential display of operatic bravura as Figaro explains why he’s the most popular guy in Seville.
Of the seemingly infinite binaries into which the world can be divided, a telling one for theater-going audiences is those who are drawn to musicals that feature singing nuns and those who must be dragged kicking and screaming to such shows. This critic falls squarely in the latter camp.
Not long after the 1955 play “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” earned renowned 20th Century American playwright Tennessee Williams his second Pulitzer Prize and the Drama Critics Circle Award, he published an essay in Playbill magazine about the playwright’s relationship to the director of his plays.
The songs outshine the script — how could it be otherwise? — in “Motown the Musical,” written by none other than Motown founder Berry Gordy (adapting his autobiography, “To Be Loved: The Music, The Magic, The Memories of Motown”) and scored with more than 50 of the immortal tunes his record label issued between 1958 and 1983.
“Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality,” the Cheshire Cat purrs in “Alice in Wonderland.” In today’s post postmodern cultural landscape of the information age, in which “alternative facts” litter our news and going “down the rabbit hole” is a central and daily metaphor in our individual and collective lives, there is perhaps no more appropriate story.
Peter Perez has been a magnet for uncommon musical experiences his entire life. From conducting his youth festival orchestra as a youngster to requesting that his upstairs neighbor, Placido Domingo, “please rehearse louder,” such experiences have led him to his new role as the Grand Rapids Symphony CEO.
Failure is not a word that many people take lightly. It's certainly not something many would like to admit they are dealing with or have experienced. And yet, a local business-turned-movement is celebrating five years of failure this month.
Colorful paintings line the halls of the K-12 building at the Grand Rapids Ellington Academy of Arts and Technology. Each work exists as an individual expression, made even more powerful in abundance.
Featuring a 42-member cast, singing, dancing and high-flying effects, Muskegon Civic Theatre hopes to fill Frauenthal Theater and wow audiences with its spring musical, Mary Poppins.
A new children’s book, The Dance of the Violin, is based on superstar violinist Joshua Bell’s first competition at the age of 12.
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