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.
When aging widow and retired school teacher Daisy Werthan — a stubborn, wealthy Jewish woman in 1948 Atlanta brought up to take care of herself — can no longer drive, her son Boolie hires “colored man” Hoke Coleburn to be her chauffeur, and what quietly unfolds could only be born of that particular time and place.
Entertaining tourists and locals for a century, the historic Howmet Playhouse in Whitehall lights up with live theater every Thursday, Friday and Saturday for eight weeks during the summer.
Deavondre Jones just wants to do two things: Dance and inspire others. With DanceSpire, the 23-year-old is doing just that, combining motivational speaking and dance routines to reach high-school and college students around the state.
Nearly 60 years after Buddy Holly’s tragic plane crash death Don McLean proclaimed “the day the music died” in his pervasive ’70s hit “American Pie,” The Barn Theatre has magnificently brought both Holly and his music back to life in “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story.
In “All in the Timing,” David Ives’ 90-minute collection of six comic sketches, time circles back on itself, language is meaningless, monkeys as would-be Shakespeares overcome the death stare of the blank page, and the entire enterprise of human communication, not to mention the meaning of life and death, are called into question.
The word “magic” often gets thrown around in the theatre world, and rightfully so. When the right script and talent come together in the right time and place to positively transfix the right audience, there’s no doubt an extraordinary amount of work; but there’s also an indescribable element of magic. And when all those conditions collide at once it is a rare event indeed.
In 1974, America was post-Watergate; Nixon was out, and the disastrous economy under Carter was yet to come. The Vietnam War was over. Civil Rights had been won in the courts and the legislature, if not in the culture at large. Working class people had a political party that served their interests, and they could earn a living wage and be proud of the lives they could make from their labor.
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