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.
Thirty five years after its West End premier, it remains clear why Les Misérables is the second-longest running musical in the world and continues to attract swarms of fans on a new, transformed national tour. Its run at Miller Auditorium in Kalamazoo is a hit.
As Kahlil Ashanti ended his first performance of Basic Training, the audience’s reaction wasn’t quite what he had been expecting.
In a New Yorker profile published soon after the Public Theater’s premiere of Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda discussed early theatrical influences, including Les Miserables, Cats and Phantom of the Opera. Of the latter, he said, “I saw Phantom and I was like, ‘Oh, shit!’ Because it’s about an ugly songwriter who wants to impose his will on the world. I related to that.”
The Kalamazoo Civic’s production of “Tick, Tick . . . Boom!” is a blast from the past, a rocking homage to Generation X through one artist’s fear of turning 30 — entailing fears of failure, commitment, selling out, death. You know, the little things.
“If you want Disney,” said Daina Robins, “you should go to Disney. This isn’t some saccharine fairy tale. This play is truthful.”
Late in the year 1992, a theatrical group in Springfield put on a show called Oh, Streetcar! The show, a musical version of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, opened with a warning about New Orleans (“If you want to go to Hell, you should take a trip/To the Sodom and Gomorrah of the Mississippi”) and ended with a rousing, upbeat number about the kindness of strangers.
After a nearly two-year hiatus, Jersey Boys once again hits the road to share the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The Tony- and Grammy-winning musical visits Miller Auditorium this month, bringing New Jersey rock ‘n’ roll all the way to West Michigan.
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