Backstage Bios: Lighting the Way

Written by John Kissane | Tuesday, 28 July 2020 15:18 |

Michael Baumgarten, the second star of our Backstage Bios series, has provided lighting design for many Opera Grand Rapids productions, including The Magic Flute, The Mikado and this year’s Scalia/Ginsburg.

Backstage Bios: Propping Up Community

Written by John Kissane | Monday, 20 July 2020 09:37 |

Don’t blame her; theater was in the family. Liz Merriman’s grandfather painted sets. Her grandmother helped with the painting and did props too. Liz’s father and sisters were all actors and her mother did costumes.

Making Home Work

Written by John Kissane | Monday, 29 June 2020 15:24 |

How performers are adjusting to the lack of a stage

Backstage Bios: Setting the Stage

Written by John Kissane | Monday, 29 June 2020 15:21 |

The talent onstage shouldn’t get all the love. Without the people working behind the scenes, they wouldn’t have a stage to stand on, much less a show to perform. 

Remembering Ted Kistler

Written by John Kissane | Thursday, 30 April 2020 12:45 |

A look back on the co-founder of The New Vic Theatre

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In an unpublished chapter of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, candy magnate Willy Wonka leads a group of wide-eyed children into the alarmingly named Pounding and Cutting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.

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