Hope Summer Repertory Theatre excels at producing high-quality theater for young audiences that also appeals to adults. This season alone, their productions of Annie and Curious George have been delightful, and Schoolhouse Rock Live! falls right in line.
When Robert Newman takes the stage as King Henry II in “Lion in Winter,” the audience spontaneously applauses before he even utters a word.
Summer in Southwest Michigan is when and where folks come to play, and in the world of live entertainment, a land of musical theater where one is hard pressed to find stage drama of the classic variety, much less a tragedy — perhaps for good reason.
Sam Callahan is having a very bad day. It’s not long before Christmas, and the generally cheerful Midwesterner, ever hopeful that he’ll catch a break in his floundering acting career, has been forced to return to his stressful and disappointing day job managing reservations in the dingy basement of an uber-hip molecular gastronomy restaurant in New York.
To walk out of the Little Theatre on a balmy summer night after the curtain closes on the expertly crafted production of “Peter and the Starcatcher" is to have spent two and a half delightful hours in the hands of master storytellers. Moreover, it is to know “all the joy you’ll find when you leave the world behind,” as Peter Pan himself said through J.M. Barrie’s pen.
“You’re too good for the chorus, Cassie,” says the director from the back of the house to the lone woman in a leotard, standing on a stark stage and pleading for work.
Curious George — the playful, enthusiastic, lovable monkey who has been amusing children for more than 75 years — just never gets old.
A review of In the Blood, performed by The Kalamazoo Black Arts and Cultural Center’s Face Off Theatre as part of the 2017 Black Arts Festival. "Cedric Russell’s fairly simple yet deeply symbolic set and Chris Riley’s dramatic lights, make this harsh critique of capitalism, misogyny, Christian hypocrisy, the welfare state, and systemic racism truly vibrant."
Earlier this month, a crowd of 65,000 at Hyde Park in London awaiting the start of a Green Day concert spontaneously united in a singalong to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” as it was piped over the loudspeakers. Captured on video, the five-minute clip has gotten nearly four million views on YouTube in a little over a week. In so many ways, this anecdote embodies the power of Queen, the enduring British rock band originally led by inimitable frontman Freddie Mercury, who died in 1991. The band boasts 18 number one albums, and its progressive anthem rock is recognizable to anyone who has witnessed a sporting event live or on television, or has spun through the FM dial anytime after 1973.
The story of Little Orphan Annie has been a part of popular American culture for nearly 100 years, from comic strips to radio programs, Broadway and the Silver Screen. Practically anyone alive who grew up in this culture has been exposed to the eternally optimistic little girl who, though penniless and parentless with a hard-drinking child-hating orphanage den mother and an awfully tough cohort of orphans as her posse, insists the sun will come out tomorrow.
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