Losing Paradise, Finding Experience

Written by John Kissane | Wednesday, 01 April 2020 17:33 |

Actors’ Theatre retells ‘Paradise Lost’ with a modern edge

Review: Despite everything, 'Lost in Yonkers' finds joy

Written by Marin Heinritz | Friday, 13 March 2020 12:48 |

Neil Simon is one of the most prolific and enduring American playwrights, beloved for his nostalgia, humor and witty one-liners, even winning a Pulitzer in 1991 for “Lost in Yonkers,” arguably his finest work. Farmers Alley Theatre chose that finest work as their first foray in Neil Simon material, and it’s a wonder to behold.

In an unpublished chapter of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, candy magnate Willy Wonka leads a group of wide-eyed children into the alarmingly named Pounding and Cutting Room. There, a machine slices fudge into small squares. A wire strainer serves to catch any children who might slip, preventing them from being similarly chopped up. “It always catches them,” he reassures the children. “At least it always has up to now.”

Review: GR Ballet's Jumpstart 2020 lets dancers spread their wings

Written by Marin Heinritz | Monday, 09 March 2020 10:14 |

Jumpstart 2020 is an eclectic showcase of world premiere dances created and danced entirely by Grand Rapids Ballet dancers. It offers an eclectic mix of themes, moods, and styles, and the show is a hit among the company’s fans, judging by the spontaneous standing ovations opening night after several of the 10 pieces in this two-hour show.

Review: 'Race' is a rare play offering uncomfortably real conversations

Written by Marin Heinritz | Sunday, 01 March 2020 15:20 |

At the beginning of David Mamet’s fascinating 2009 drama “Race,” a black lawyer poses a bold question to a potential client, a wealthy white man accused of raping a black woman.

Review: 'Crowns' is a magnificent, rich celebration of endurance and expression

Written by Marin Heinritz | Friday, 28 February 2020 16:40 |

The great American writer James Baldwin’s quote “Your crown has been bought and paid for. All you must do is put it on” is interpreted in a biblical light, an acknowledgement of the suffering people of color endure.

Operatic Honors

Written by John Kissane | Tuesday, 25 February 2020 10:31 |

‘Scalia/Ginsburg’ sings the comedic story of an unlikely friendship

Complex Conversations

Written by Megan Sarnacki | Tuesday, 25 February 2020 10:26 |

‘Race’ asks the tough questions to build a stronger community

Review: With 'Eternal Desire,' GR Ballet transcends the expected

Written by Marin Heinritz | Saturday, 15 February 2020 16:47 |

The sold-out opening night crowd at Grand Rapids Ballet’s “Eternal Desire” received so much more than the grace and beauty of classical ballet that extols the virtues of romantic love more overtly than perhaps any other art form.

Review: 'The Cake' is a delightful dive into life's tough choices

Written by Marin Heinritz | Sunday, 09 February 2020 13:46 |

Among the seemingly infinite heartbreaking (for liberals) news stories since the last presidential election was the 2018 Supreme Court decision in favor of a Colorado baker who refused on religious grounds to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple.

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