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.
There are some peculiar films in Disney’s back-catalog, but one of the most offbeat was the company’s 1996 animated adaptation of Victor Hugo’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”
On Thursday night, the Spectrum Theater was filling up for the opening night of “Hit the Wall” by Actors’ Theatre Grand Rapids. Everyone took their seats, the lights still on, cast members chatting in groups around the stage, the band playing music in the background. Without introduction, the lights only dimming slightly, the cast took places and a woman — the character of Carson played by Darius Colquitt — began to sing. The audience was instantly engaged, some even singing along in their seats.
© 2021 Serendipity Media, LLC