Tuesday, 07 June 2016 17:46

June Theatre Preview

Written by  Dana Casadei
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'Caroline or Change' at Grand Rapids Civic Theatre 'Caroline or Change' at Grand Rapids Civic Theatre

With summer in full swing, the air-conditioned confines of a local theatre house makes for an artsy escape from the humid heat. Check out some productions happening this month and mark your calendar. 

 

Perfect Wedding
Circle Theatre, 1607 Robinson Rd. SE, Grand Rapids
June 2-12, $25
circletheatre.org, (616) 456-6656
Have you ever had one of those mornings where you wake up and don’t remember the night before? (We’ve all been there – don’t lie.) Well, the groom in Perfect Wedding is having one of those kinds of mornings…on his wedding day. He wakes up in his bridal suite with a mystery woman next to him who he doesn’t remember meeting. Shenanigans and chaos ensue.
 
Boardwalk Blues
Dog Story Theater, 7 Jefferson Ave. SE, Grand Rapids
June 3-5, $16
It’s 1978 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the old ways of the Mafia are crumbling and gambling has recently been legalized. Follow Steven Harker as he goes toe-to-toe with the whole Philly Mob and Nicky Bruno to get ownership of the first legit gambling operation on the East Coast in the last stand of the old Mafia. Anyone else feel like going to the casino?
 
Caroline, Or Change
Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, 30 Division Ave. N
June 3-19, $18-$35
grct.org, (616) 222-6650
Follow Caroline Thibodeaux, a divorced mother of four and a middle-aged African-American maid, as she works for a Jewish family in 1963 Louisiana. Caroline, who is resistant to change and conflict, finds herself in the middle of not only family drama but a country going through some major changes.
 
The Student Prince
Opera Grand Rapids, 1320 Fulton St. E, Grand Rapids
June 9, 10, and 12, $28-$42
operagr.org, (616) 451-2741
The only operetta on the list follows a prince who is destined to marry a princess (naturally) but finds himself falling in love with a barmaid on his university campus. So what’s he going to do? Drink, probably — the story is set in a Heidelberg biergarten in Beer City, USA — but also, you know, find love.
 
A Man of No Importance
Farmers Alley Theatre, 221 Farmers Alley, Kalamazoo
June 10-19, $30-$35
farmersalleytheatre.com, (269) 343-2727
Farmers Alley Theatre has been shining its light on lesser-known works with its June show for years, and this season they continue that trend. Set in 1964 Dublin comes the musical about Alfie Byrne, a bus driver with a secret he can only share with one person, his imagined confidante Oscar Wilde. 
 
The Book of Mormon
Wharton Center, 750 E Shaw Ln., East Lansing
June 14-19, $38+
whartoncenter.com, (517) 353-1982
Say “Hello!” to Elder Kevin Price and Elder Arnold Cunningham in this satirical musical about two Mormon missionaries as they attempt to spread the gospel in a remote Ugandan village. The multi Tony-Award winning show was written by the two guys who created South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and an EGOT winner, Robert Lopez. While the musical is one of the most offensive to hit the stage, it’s also one of the funniest.
 
Hairspray
Hope Summer Repertory Theatre, 141 E 12th St., Holland
June 17-Aug. 13, $30
Hairspray, the John Waters-penned classic, tells the story of Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with a big heart and even bigger hair in 1962. Tracy has one passion, dancing to rock ‘n’ roll, and when she wins a spot on a local TV dance program she becomes a teen sensation. But she’ll do more than just dance: She’ll launch a campaign to integrate the show.
 
Million Dollar Quartet
Saugatuck Center for the Arts, 400 Culver St., Saugatuck
June 24-July 10, $25-$46
sc4a.org, (269) 857-2399
Put musical legends Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins in one room and you have the story of one of the greatest jam sessions, well, ever. The jukebox musical dramatizes the actual Million Dollar Quartet recording session of Dec. 4, 1956 that brought the four legends together at Sun Record Studios in Memphis. Hopefully, no one steps on Elvis’ “Blue Suede Shoes.” 
 
Oedipus
Hope Summer Repertory Theatre, 141 E 12th St., Holland
June 24-Aug. 10, $30
The classic tragedy follows Oedipus as he arrives in Thebes, a town under the curse of a Sphinx who will not free the city until someone solves her riddle. Oedipus solves it and becomes King, but not before unintentionally fulfilling a demented, violent prophecy.
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