Professional Theater News from Around Town:
Half Price Saturday matinees at the Rep
DETROIT – The Detroit Repertory Theatre announced a partnership with Target for sponsorship of Half Price Saturday Matinees for the run of the Repertory production, “Between Men and Cattle.” The show runs every Thursday through Sunday until March 18. All Saturday Matinee general admission tickets for the run are half price courtesy of a grant to the Repertory from the Target Corporation.
Artistic Director, Bruce Millan commented, “The partnership between the Rep and Target has been a long and fruitful one. Both of us share the desire to make the educational benefits of live professional theater experiences affordable and family friendly. Target’s willingness to share costs with us has made the Half Price Saturday Matinees possible. Now, there will be a lot of very appreciative individuals and families who will come to see a performance of ‘Between Men and Cattle’ who would not have been able to do so otherwise.”
This sponsorship is part of the ongoing support Target provides to local communities throughout the country. Every week Target gives more than $2 million to strengthen families and communities across the nation, with a focus on education, the arts, social services and other vital community partnerships.
“At Target, we are making a real difference every day through our sponsorship program,” said Laysha Ward, vice president, community relations for Target. “We’re proud to partner with the Detroit Repertory Theatre as part of our ongoing commitment to give back to the communities where our guests and team members live and work.”
The Detroit Repertory Theatre is in its 50th anniversary season. The Theatre began as an impossible dream in a dilapidated storefront but by grim determination and good work managed to win support despite its humble beginnings. Now after 50 years the Detroit Repertory Theatre has risen to become a vital and dynamic part of the cultural legacy of Detroit – one to be cherished, preserved and expanded for the generations ahead.
For more information about the Rep, log on to http://www.detroitreptheatre.com.
‘Man of La Mancha set to inspire audiences at the Macomb Center
CLINTON TWP. – A powerful blend of tragedy, romance, comedy, and adventure, “Man of La Mancha” is an inspiring musical tribute to Don Quixote’s romantic idealism. The five-time Tony Award-winner plays Friday, Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 27 at 2 and 8 p.m. at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts.
Based on “The Adventures of Don Quixote” by Miguel de Cervantes, “Man of La Mancha” is the epic story of knight-errant Don Quixote, his servant Sancho and the woman of his dreams, the lovely Dulcinea. The tale – set during the Spanish Inquisition – tells the romantic and noble journey of a man who sets out to right all wrongs and win the heart of a good woman as he duels windmills along the way. The impeccable score includes “The Impossible Dream,” “Dulcinea” and the title song, also known as “I, Don Quixote.”
Michael McFadden, artistic producer for Phoenix Entertainment, offers this insight: ” We really focused on the heart-touching story of Don Quixote, the ultimate maverick hero. He is a man who was able to face corruption with courage and dared to dream the impossible. His quest is humorous, joyous and is surrounded with amazing musical moments like ‘The Impossible Dream.’ This sweeping epic of musical theater allows for visually stunning sets and costumes, but at its core is an intimate and inclusive story. There’s a connection the audience makes with the characters on stage, and that connection has been enhanced in this production to create a memorable evening all around.”
The original production played on Broadway from 1965 to 1971, starring Richard Kiley as Quixote, and garnered five Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Subsequent Broadway revivals included Raul Julia as Quixote and Sheena Easton as Dulcinea in 1992, and Brian Stokes Mitchell with Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio in those same roles 10 years later.
“Man of La Mancha” is produced by Phoenix Entertainment. The director is Sam Viverito, with Michael Borth as musical director. The creative team includes Michael Hotopp (scenic design), Mike Baldassari (lighting design) and Craig Cassidy (sound design).
Now entering its eighth year of operations, Phoenix Entertainment is an international theatrical producing and management enterprise founded by long time colleagues Stephen Kane and Michael McFadden. Over two decades of theatrical success and industry partnership have resulted in the Phoenix team delivering thousands of performances of more than 50 live productions on four continents.
Ticket prices range from $40-$50 with discounts available for students, senior citizens and groups of 20 or more.
For additional information call 586-286-2222 or browse the web at http://www.MacombCenter.com.
Stratford Festival News:
Stratford Festival box office opens for general public
STRATFORD, ONTARIO – Tickets for the 2007 season of the Stratford Festival of Canada are now on sale. Patrons can buy tickets in person at the Festival box office, by phone, email, fax, mail or online.
General Director Antoni Cimolino said Festival Members have responded enthusiastically to the 2007 playbill. “This is Richard Monette’s 14th and last year as artistic director,” Cimolino noted. “During his tenure, Richard has consistently designed seasons that entertain, enlighten and challenge. Audiences have responded enthusiastically to his choices by traveling from far and wide to visit the Stratford Festival. The attendance over the past 14 seasons has been the highest in the Festival’s history, and we already see early indications of a strong response to the 2007 season.”
Sales are up by more than 7,200 tickets over the same period in 2006 and have reached 34% of the sales goal for the 2007 season.
The 2007 Stratford Festival season has 14 plays: “King Lear,” “Oklahoma!,” “The Merchant of Venice,” “An Ideal Husband,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “My One and Only,” “The Comedy of Errors,” “Othello,” “Of Mice and Men,” “A Delicate Balance,” “The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead,” “Shakespeare’s Will,” “The Odyssey” and “Pentecost.”
Patrons can also book tickets to concerts, lectures and tours, as well as accommodation in Stratford, through the Festival’s toll-free number or on the website.
The Stratford Festival Call Centre number is 1-800-567-1600. It is open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The box office is also open for in-person sales at the Festival Theatre, 55 Queen Street, Stratford, during Call Centre hours.
Faxed orders should be sent to 519-273-3731, and mail orders to The Stratford Festival, P.O. Box 520, Stratford, Ontario, Canada, N5A 6V2.
E-mail orders can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Patrons wishing to book online are encouraged to call in advance to confirm their log-in name and password.
From Our Hallowed Halls of Learning:
Comedy and catfights tear up the stage as the Bonstelle presents ‘The Women’
DETROIT – Glamorous 1930s New York City comes to life on the Bonstelle stage when “The Women” opens at 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 26. Written by noted feminist and former Vanity Fair editor Clare Boothe Luce, this screwball comedy follows the scandalous life of Mary Haines as she journeys from an innocent stockbroker’s wife to an enlightened single woman. “The Women” plays at the Bonstelle Theatre from Jan. 26 – Feb. 4.
Mary Haines’ seemingly perfect world is ripped apart when she discovers her husband is having an affair with an ambitious shop girl. Thanks to the gossip and scheming of her not-so-best friends, news of Mary’s troubles soon spreads to all of Park Avenue. Despite her mother’s advice to ignore the affair and continue on with her wealthy lifestyle, Mary makes the bold move of abandoning her glamorous NYC life to get a Reno divorce. Ultimately, the claws come out as these women prepare to battle for their men.
“The Women” was inspired by Luce’s own experiences as a divorcee and by spiteful conversations she overheard between women in Park Avenue powder rooms. These conversations led to a Vanity Fair column depicting the antics and gossip of these women, which later led to “The Women.” The play premiered in 1936 and shocked many with its scandalous depiction of New York City women. The Roundabout Theatre revived the production in 2001, starring Cynthia Nixon of “Sex and the City” fame as protagonist Mary Haines.
“The Women” is directed by WSU assistant professor of theatre James Luse, stage managed by undergraduate student Emily Bowyer and includes the following cast: Ashlee Armstrong (Lucy, Ensemble); LeAnn Casey Bjornrud (Jane, Ensemble); Jessica Cermak (Edith Potter, Ensemble); Jozefa Alice Chmielewski (Little Mary, Ensemble); Katie Clark (Miriam Aarons, Ensemble); Alaina Fleming (Princess Tamara, Ensemble); Kira Amanda Frabutt (Ensemble); Bethany Hedden (Ensemble); Kristina Nicole Johnson (Crystal Allen); Kennikki H. Jones (Peggy Day); Catherine Kurth (Ensemble); Ramona Lucius (Sylvia Fowler); Jennifer Martin (Nancy Blake, Ensemble); Holly Portman (The Countess de Lage, Ensemble); Lauren Mae Shafer (Mrs. Morehead, Ensemble); and Jaclyn Strez (Mary Morehead Haines).
Designers for the production include WSU faculty member Mary Copenhagen (costume designer); members of WSU’s Bonstelle undergraduate company Kevin Beltz (scenic designer); Adrienne Brady (lighting designer); Patrick Field (sound designer) and Alan Batkiewicz (properties).
“The Women” plays at the Bonstelle Theatre Jan. 26 – 28 and Feb. 2 – 4.
Advance tickets are available in person through the Wayne State Theatre Box Office, located at 4743 Cass Ave. on the corner of Cass and Hancock in Detroit, or by phone at 313-577-2960. The box office is open Tuesday – Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the door at the Bonstelle Theatre, located at 3424 Woodward Ave.,beginning one hour prior to each performance.
Regular tickets are available for $14, with $11 discount tickets available for students with ID, seniors 62+, and Wayne State University faculty, staff and Alumni Association Members. Group discounts are also available.
For more information, please visit the theatre’s website at http://www.bonstelle.com.
Community Theater Corner:
‘Frozen’ opens at Whole Art
KALAMAZOO – The Whole Art Theater is proud to present Bryony Lavery’s poignant new play “Frozen” at the Epic Theatre Friday and Saturday nights, Jan. 12 through 27 at 8 p.m. Under the direction of Mychelle Hopkins, “Frozen” features a cast that includes local favorites Sharon Williams, Penelope Alex and Randy Wolfe.
Angry, humane and compassionate, “Frozen” is an extraordinary play that entwines the lives of a murderer, the mother of one of his victims and his psychologist to explore our capacity for forgiveness, remorse and change after an act that would seem to rule them out entirely.
“Frozen” is a big, brave compassionate play about grief, revenge, forgiveness and bearing the unbearable.
Tickets for “Frozen” are $20 general admission, $14 for seniors and $10 for students.
For tickets and information, call the Whole Art at 269-345-7529 or log on to www..
Kazoo Civic to present ‘Ruthless! The Musical’
KALAMAZOO – The Kalamazoo Civic Theatre will present the musical spoof, “Ruthless! The Musical,” Jan. 26 through Feb. 10 in Parish Theatre, 426 South Park, in Kalamazoo.
What do you get when you take the classic thriller “The Bad Seed,” add a touch of “Gypsy,” a dash of “All about Eve” and throw them all into a blender? One of the funniest musical spoofs ever written, that’s what.
Sweet little Tina Denmark was born to entertain. And when you’re born with talent in your blood, stardom is your destiny. So, it’s no wonder that this darling little tot would kill to play Pippi Longstocking in her school play, “Pippi in Tahiti.” With a cast of recognizable characters and a laugh-out-loud musical score, “Ruthless!” is an over-the-top, hilariously skewed look at what it takes to make it big in showbiz. “Annie” it ain’t!
“Ruthless! The Musical” is directed by Morrie Enders, with musical direction by Aaron J. Cassette, and choreography by Kathryn S. Williams. The talented cast features Janine Black as Judy/Ginger, Roger W. Burleigh as Sylvia, Kristin A. Fiore as Eve/Louise, CeCe Weeks as Thorn/Block, Emily F. Chateau as Lita and appearing for the first time on a Civic stage, Audrey Whitby as Tina.
For ticket information, call the box office at 269-343-1313 or visit us on line at http://www.kazoocivic.com.
Whole Art’s Late Night Series continues with ‘The Car Plays’
KALAMAZOO – Opening this weekend at Kalamazoo’s Whole Art Theatre is “The Car Plays,” a series of one-acts written by Arnie Johnston and Debra Percy, Steve Feffe, Ron Reikki, and Maryann Lesert, and directed by Steve C. Smith, Angela Gundrum, Trevor Stefanick and Tara Sytsma.
These four plays are all set in, or around, cars. From sexual perversity, to trunk stuffing, to illegal activities, these four plays will entertain you, as well as make you scream!
“The Car Plays” perform Jan. 19, 20, 26 and 27 at 11 p.m. in the Studio 246 N. Kalamazoo Mall space.
Tickets are $5 and include complimentary coffee, and donuts supplied by Sweetwater’s Donut Mill!
For further information, log on to http://www.wholeart.org/latenight.html.