As Christmas traditions go, watching Frank Capra’s classic 1946 film “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a pretty beautiful one. The story of George Bailey, the small-town kid who longed to escape his humble beginnings only to remain in Bedford Falls and face the near-loss of everything, including his life — until a desperate prayer is dramatically answered by a modest angel, is a pleasing one to the religious and non-religious alike, and tugs at the heartstrings in a most universal way.

Cori Terry, Founder and Artistic Director of Wellspring/Cori Terry & Dancers, described her philosophy on choreographic intent by quoting celebrated modern dance innovator Mark Morris: “I make it up and you watch it.”

Review: ‘eLLe’ is a night of high-quality, totally original theater

Written by Marin Heinritz | Friday, 15 November 2019 10:18 |

Detroit-based, Western Michigan University educated playwright Shawntai Brown has been providing installments of “eLLe”, her episodic stage series loosely based on Showtime’s “The L Word”, for 10 years, and Kalamazoo audiences have been privy to the unfolding dramas and comedy of this localized cast of queer women through productions from different theaters.

Review: ‘Les Misérables’ at Wharton Center is the best of the best

Written by Dana Casadei | Wednesday, 13 November 2019 15:32 |

In 2019, basically 2020 at this point, can a musical about 19th century Frenchmen (and women) keep the attention of audiences for nearly three hours?

When pianist Charlie Albright isn’t on a stage performing, his go-to attire is blue jeans. He also enjoys taking the stuffiness out of classical music, so signing on for West Michigan Symphony’s Beethoven & Blue Jeans concert was a perfect fit.

“Chicken wings and beer,” Wu Han said. “I remember it vividly.”

Most exhibitions enforce a strict NO TOUCHING policy. Saugatuck Center for the Arts is challenging the idea with Luminescence, an interactive installation that encourages viewers to become active participants.

If Nick Cartell could let audiences know anything about the upcoming production of Les Misérables, it’s this: Fully read the details in your program.

Opera Overhaul: Bringing ‘The Mikado’ into the 21st century

Written by John Kissane | Monday, 28 October 2019 10:25 |

The Mikado debuted in March of 1885 and never really left the stage. Popular at the time, it remains popular now, as beloved for its smart humor as its beautiful music.

After almost a decade, the ever-popular Bodies Revealed exhibit returns to the Grand Rapids Public Museum. The exhibit, opening Nov. 16, gives viewers an inside look at the human body — a look both mesmerizing and uncanny. With 10 full body specimens and hundreds of organs, the display tells the story of each system within the body and provides information usually found only in textbooks.

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