To live in the present you have to imagine a future that is better than the past. And that is a definition of hope.
As a boy, Neil Simon would sometimes cover his ears with a pillow, hoping to drown out the sounds of his parents fighting. When the fights got bad enough, his father would take off; he’d be gone for months at a time—not an easy thing for a family to deal with, especially during the Depression.
It’s extraordinary that live theatre has survived. Because of the pandemic, yes, and also thanks to technological advances that have created seemingly infinite entertainment options at our fingertips at any given moment.
Two hundred years after the premiere of Puccini’s La Bohéme, Rent debuted. A loose adaptation of the former, Rent centered its action in the East Village neighborhood of Alphabet City. It’s startling to realize that the musical, with its Doc Marten-clad women and answering machine messages, has itself become a period piece; these days, no one can afford to starve in Manhattan.
In Kinky Boots, on stage at Grand Rapids Civic Theatre through May 22nd, the answer is never really in doubt: this is a comedy, after all. And it’s a bold, brash, celebratory comedy, as sparking as the red boots of its title.
From the moment Alexis J Roston opens her mouth to sing her first note as Billie Holiday in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” at Farmers Alley Theatre, you can’t help but feel as if you’re in the presence of Lady Day herself, a lucky audience member at one of her last performances.
The final offering in Grand Rapids Ballet’s 50th anniversary season has been a long time coming.
What is the role of art and artists amid times of violent political upheaval? And how might women play a part in writing history, thus changing the ways it’s told, and in turn, how they are remembered?
For the Farmers Alley Theatre of Kalamazoo, their new production of The Revolutionists by Lauren Gunderson hits in all the right places; Heart, mind and soul.
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