Review: Kalamazoo College makes an impression with ‘In the Heights’

Written by James Sanford | Friday, 12 May 2017 11:29 |

To close out its “Outsider”-themed season, Kalamazoo College has picked the Pulitzer-nominated, Tony-winning musical In the Heights, conceived by future Hamilton star/creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, with a book by Quiara Alegria Hudes and a score by Miranda.

“Largo al factotum” is perhaps one of the most recognizable arias in opera. The boastful tongue twister (try saying “-issimo” ten times fast) is the quintessential display of operatic bravura as Figaro explains why he’s the most popular guy in Seville.

Review: Kalamazoo Civic Theatre goes above and beyond with ‘Sister Act’

Written by Marin Heinritz | Monday, 08 May 2017 12:49 |

Of the seemingly infinite binaries into which the world can be divided, a telling one for theater-going audiences is those who are drawn to musicals that feature singing nuns and those who must be dragged kicking and screaming to such shows. This critic falls squarely in the latter camp.

Not long after the 1955 play “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” earned renowned 20th Century American playwright Tennessee Williams his second Pulitzer Prize and the Drama Critics Circle Award, he published an essay in Playbill magazine about the playwright’s relationship to the director of his plays.

Review: 'Motown the Musical' performances transcend tangled script

Written by James Sanford | Wednesday, 03 May 2017 09:52 |

The songs outshine the script — how could it be otherwise? — in “Motown the Musical,” written by none other than Motown founder Berry Gordy (adapting his autobiography, “To Be Loved: The Music, The Magic, The Memories of Motown”) and scored with more than 50 of the immortal tunes his record label issued between 1958 and 1983.

Review: Grand Rapids Ballet’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ is a modern masterpiece

Written by Marin Heinritz | Saturday, 29 April 2017 13:45 |

“Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality,” the Cheshire Cat purrs in “Alice in Wonderland.” In today’s post postmodern cultural landscape of the information age, in which “alternative facts” litter our news and going “down the rabbit hole” is a central and daily metaphor in our individual and collective lives, there is perhaps no more appropriate story.

Celebrating Failure

Written by Kayla Tucker | Monday, 01 May 2017 09:00 |

Failure is not a word that many people take lightly. It's certainly not something many would like to admit they are dealing with or have experienced. And yet, a local business-turned-movement is celebrating five years of failure this month.

Featuring a 42-member cast, singing, dancing and high-flying effects, Muskegon Civic Theatre hopes to fill Frauenthal Theater and wow audiences with its spring musical, Mary Poppins.

Lizzy Stone, a music theatre major at Western Michigan University, said her parents enrolled her at Portage Northern High School specifically for its esteemed drama program.

Devin Price was prepared to live the life of a struggling actor in New York City, but it didn’t take the Lansing native long to land a plum role in Motown: The Musical.

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