Theater begins busting out all over this month, as troupes throughout the state unlock their doors and dust off the seats in preparation of the fall season. Although the 2009-10 fall season officially launched Aug. 20 with “A Sleeping Country” at Northville’s Tipping Point Theatre, 35 or more companies will open their doors throughout September, offering theatergoers a wide variety of entertainment options to choose from.
So we here at Curtain Calls thought we’d offer some highlights of what you can expect this month at theaters across Michigan.
Since the Mitten State is home to more amateur theaters than any of its 49 siblings, it’s not surprising that more than a dozen will open their doors this month.
And musical-lovers will have plenty to sing about!
Stagecrafters (Royal Oak) gets the jump Sept. 4 with the musical “Little Women,” while Riverwalk Theatre (Lansing) goes “Into the Woods” Sept. 10. “The Producers” look to make a killing at the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre Sept. 10, whereas Spotlight Players (Canton) will prove it’s a fine life with “Oliver” Sept. 11. Meanwhile, West Michigan will hum along with the Actors’ Theatre (Grand Rapids) in “Broadway Our Way” Sept. 11, Whole Art Theatre’s “Evil Dead: The Musical” in Kalamazoo Sept. 18 and Kalamazoo Civic Theatre’s “Fiddler on the Roof” Sept. 25. And on Sept. 11, it will be “A Grand Night for Singing,” thanks to Dramatic Action and the Marshall Civic Players.
Comedy and drama lovers shouldn’t despair, however.
The Village Players (Birmingham) will build a better “Mousetrap” beginning Sept. 11, while The Emergent Arts Company (Ypsilanti) will be “Waiting for Godot” Sept. 17. Then Peppermint Creek Theatre Company (Lansing) will explain the “Things You Shouldn’t Say After Midnight” Sept. 24, while the adventurous Actors’ Theatre returns with “Topdog/Underdog” Sept. 24.
And improv lovers will celebrate the return of Crawlspace Eviction (Kalamazoo) Sept. 18 with a “Red Bull Without a Cause.”
Most educational theaters don’t return until October. But the exception this year is Western Michigan’s University Theatre (Kalamazoo) that tackles the challenging “9 Parts of Desire” by Heather Raffo Sept. 24.
From the Equity theaters to the giant road houses and every permutation in between, Michigan’s professional theaters are revving up to do business this month.
The Acorn Theater (Three Oaks) is “Visiting Mr. Green” beginning Sept. 4, while Broadway Onstage Live Theatre (Eastpointe) investigates a “Murder at the Howard Johnson’s” Sept. 11. And “Ethel Merman’s Broadway” does double duty: First at the Gem Theatre (Detroit) beginning Sept. 9, and then a short run courtesy of Broadway Grand Rapids Sept. 29 before returning to Motown.
Families are explored beginning Sept. 13 by Shawn P. Entertainment’s gospel play “Like Father Like Son” (Detroit) and Flint Youth Theatre’s “All My Sons.”
New for 2009 is The Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit’s first-ever Stephen Gottlieb Festival of the Arts. Two events of interest are “Miracle of Miracles,” a concert in celebration of Jewish musical theater starring Danny Gurwin, with guest appearance by Erin Dilly Sept. 10, and “Jewtopia,” an off-Broadway hit offering an irreverent look at Jewish life, starring Bryan Fogel and Sam Wolfson Sept. 12 and 13.
Finally, Curtain Calls’ intrepid critics will make the rounds of at least 10 professional theaters this month, beginning this weekend at Matrix Theatre (Detroit) for “Confessions of Women from East LA” and ending – also in Detroit – with Breathe Art Theatre Project’s “Lonely Planet” at The Furniture Factory.
Check out our weekly Theater Events listings for details, or log on to https://www.pridesource.com/happenings.phtml at any time of the day or night. Or for complete information about the state’s professional theaters, go to http://www.EncoreMichigan.com.