Wednesday, 26 April 2017 14:33

Best Bets: May staff picks for the cultural arts

Written by  Revue Staff
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Opera Grand Rapids ends its 49th season this month with a story that features everyone’s favorite barber-turned-wingman. If The Barber of Selville sounds familiar to you, that’s probably because you remember Bugs Bunny torturing Elmer Fudd to the zany sounds of the opera’s overture. The plot is equally silly: Count Almaviva falls in love with the charming Rosina and enlists the help of Figaro to steal her away from her creepy guardian. Musical bedlam and vocal gymnastics ensue. Distinguished director Bernard Uzan returns for his 17th production with Opera GR to present this comic masterpiece.

— Reported by Samara Napolitan

The Barber of Seville
DeVos Performance Hall
303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
May 12-13, 7:30 p.m., $25+, (616) 451-2741


The casual observances of a bodega owner in Manhattan will be brought to the stage with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights at Kalamazoo College’s Festival Playhouse. Miranda, who gained worldwide acclaim for his title role in Hamilton: The Musical, created and originally starred in this tale of a young storeowner in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, watching the daily goings-on of the community. The musical was nominated for 13 Tony awards in 2008 and won Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Choreography and Best Orchestrations, along with a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album.

— Reported by Jane Simons

In the Heights
Festival Playhouse of Kalamazoo
129 Thompson St., Kalamazoo
May 11-14, $15 adults, $5 students


A simple, well-liked retiree returns from her grandson’s wedding in Israel with a souvenir she bought at an outdoor market. She soon finds out the old teapot she bought houses an arthritic, geriatric genie named Eugene. Sylvia Goldberg struggles to keep the genie a secret from her friends in the retirement community, while protecting herself from Eugene’s former master. This romantic comedy brings humor to the life of a retiree, set on Sylvia’s beachfront condo complex in New Jersey.

— Reported by Kayla Tucker

Seniors of the Sahara
Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids
Spectrum Theater
160 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids
May 18-28, $22, (616) 234-3595

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