Review: You’ll fall in love with ‘Shakespeare in Love’

Written by Marin Heinritz | Sunday, 21 July 2019 13:48 |

The turn of the 21st Century brought, among other things, a proliferation of stage adaptations from film, and the trend has continued, to varying degrees of success. “Shakespeare In Love,” the 2014 adaptation based on the Oscar-winning 1998 romantic comedy, is one of the rare examples of a movie-turned-play that actually works better on stage, and the current production directed by Cameron Knight at Hope Summer Repertory Theatre glorifies its many successes with a brilliant cast so good, they’re not even upstaged by their gorgeous period costumes and impressive set.

Review: Farmers Alley’s ‘Avenue Q’ is delightfully twisted and smart

Written by Marin Heinritz | Saturday, 20 July 2019 12:32 |

The wickedly funny and smart “R-rated puppet show” “Avenue Q” closed in New York last May after multiple runs off and on Broadway, delighting audiences and winning Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Original Score Tony Awards in 2004. Considered by critics a “breakthrough musical” with long-term influence, the show remains shockingly fun, even for those among us who have seen it in various iterations over the years.

Review: ‘Big’ is larger-than-life fun for all

Written by Marin Heinritz | Wednesday, 17 July 2019 15:03 |

Children long to be grown before their time, yet adults wish to be young again is the truism at the heart of the beloved 1988 film “Big,” starring Tom Hanks, and its themes, characters and story are just as delightful 31 years later translated into the 1996 musical adaptation at The Barn Theatre where children get a peek at what it is to be grown and adults get to be children again — both on and off stage.

Review: ‘Old Man and The Old Moon’ is a pleasant, whimsical adventure

Written by Marin Heinritz | Friday, 12 July 2019 15:09 |

“The Old Man and The Old Moon” is an imaginative quest tale about, yes, an old man who has tasked himself with filling up the moon with liquid light when it begins to wane. When one night his wife tries to cash in on his promise to take her dancing and he curmudgeonly refuses, she takes off. Of course he follows, through adventures rife with storms, civil war, strange encounters in the belly of a whale, ghosts and memory, only to discover truths even larger than that which makes his wife happy.

Review: ‘Sweeney Todd’ makes great theater look easy as pie

Written by Marin Heinritz | Saturday, 06 July 2019 02:27 |

If ever there were a terrifying piece of musical theater, it’s Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” Terrifying for its gruesome storyline about murder, revenge and cannibalism, yes; and terrifying for its sheer magnitude for the artists who put it together.

In the canon of American musical theater, “West Side Story,” utterly groundbreaking in its time, remains close to perfection. And the opportunity to see a truly excellent production, such as the one currently running at Hope Summer Repertory Theatre, should not be missed.

Intensely Prepared: GR Civic readies teens for a life on the stage

Written by Kayla Sosa | Wednesday, 26 June 2019 15:01 |

This summer, teens at the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre are taking the lead in putting on two very different, but equally challenging productions.

Backstage Heroes: Lakeshore Museum Center is shining the spotlight offstage

Written by Kayla Sosa | Wednesday, 26 June 2019 14:44 |

An interactive exhibit at the Lakeshore Museum Center in Muskegon is highlighting all the parts of a theater that make a production happen, especially the “backstage” roles like lighting, costuming and set design.

Review: ‘In the Heights’ soars with incredible vibrancy and talent

Written by Marin Heinritz | Saturday, 22 June 2019 08:42 |

In the second act of Grammy- and multiple Tony-award winning Broadway musical “In The Heights” (the show that launched Lin-Manuel Miranda, star creator of “Hamilton”) the Spanish word “alabanza” is introduced as a song.

Having the ability to look back on adolescence — because somehow we survived it — can be a tremendous joy, though one we may avoid to save us from reliving utterly cringe-worthy moments we’d prefer to forget.

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