For many of us in Southwest Michigan, it’s simply not summer until The Barn Theatre in Augusta kicks off its season. And Michigan’s oldest resident summer stock theater’s 72nd season was shot out of a canon Tuesday with “The Civil War,” a wonderfully well-chosen and poignant vehicle for the talent in this year’s company that’s surprisingly relevant.
Broadway Grand Rapids presented opening night of “The King and I” at Devos Performance Hall Tuesday night. The full crowd was laughing and smiling all night at this hilarious musical with an exceptionally talented cast.
Southwest Michigan is host to a variety of wonderful theater — professional light-hearted summer fare, often of the musical variety, and edgy, boundary-pushing new work from small, pop-up new companies abounds. However, it’s rare to find new, deeply relevant work of a professional quality, and to come upon such a production is to realize one’s hunger for it.
Actors’ Theatre’s Living on the Edge playwriting festival is wrapping up this month with a final showcase of the top five scripts, written by local playwrights here in West Michigan. Each play, once fully staged, will last 8-15 minutes and they’re all written under one theme: (un)breakable.
Golden Girls, Mary Tyler Moore, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Cheers, The Jeffersons — if you’re suddenly feeling nostalgic, Olive and the Bitter Herbs is the show for you.
A new performing arts company has manifested in Grand Rapids, with a mission to bring entertainment as well as empowerment to the people and performers of West Michigan.
If there is something inherently funny about women’s breasts and the seemingly endless quest for the sexual capital that comes from an augmented female form, then “Gay Deceivers” capitalizes on it — with a pseudo-feminist twist. The humor in this almost-farce also relies on the audience’s delight in seeing ostensibly straight men dressed (badly) as women.
If there’s one thing the New Vic Theatre in Kalamazoo does exceptionally well, it’s down-home folksy storytelling with music. And that’s exactly what they have with “Radio Gals,” by Mike Carver and Mark Hardwick, which takes us into a delightfully kooky sort of Americana by way of retired music teacher Hazel Hunt’s front parlor where the Hazelnuts, a motley crew of local Arkansans, put on a radio variety show for the fun of it with a Western Electric 100-watt radio transmitter on their very own WGAL.
Perhaps what’s most striking about Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play “Angels In America” is how quickly it has become an American classic.
In Oscar Wilde’s triumphant Victorian novel "The Picture of Dorian Gray," the character Basil Hallward offers the critique that “(w)e live in an age when men treat art as if it were meant to be a form of autobiography.” It was, no doubt, a jab at his critics, who couldn’t help but see his own story emerging in many of his literary works. Wilde also offered that “(t)he true artist is known by the use he makes of what he annexes, and he annexes everything.”
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