AIDA The epic and classic tale of love, loyalty, betrayal and courage has an exhilarating score by Elton John and Tim Rice. Presented at Stranahan Theater, Toledo, April 21 – 24 only. Tickets: $30.50 – $39.50. 419-381-8851. http://www.stranahantheater.com.
Beauty and the Beast Belle, the Beast and all of the beloved Disney characters return in the Tony Award-winning hit musical. Presented Tuesday through Sunday at the fabulous Fox Theatre, Detroit, through April 17. Tickets: $28 – $78. 313-471-6611. http://www.olympiaentertainment.com.
Boomtown 1925 An original drama about southwest Detroit’s early days and five women from five cultures who help forge a city. Presented Friday through Sunday at Matrix Theatre, Detroit, through May 1. Tickets: $15. 313-967-0999. http://www.matrixtheatre.org.
Bus Stop A howling snowstorm drives a busload of weary travelers to take shelter in a roadside diner. Presented Wednesday through Sunday at Purple Rose Theatre, Chelsea, through June 4. Tickets: $17.50 – $32.50. 734-433-7673. http://www.purplerosetheatre.org.
Byrd’s Boy A touching tale of two misfits bonded together by name and loneliness trying to belong in a fatherless world. Presented Thursday through Sunday at the Detroit Repertory Theatre, Detroit, through May 22. Tickets: $17. 313-868-1347. http://www.detroitreptheatre.com.
Comedy of Errors Mistaken identities create farcical confusion in one of Shakespeare’s most hysterical comedies. Presented Wednesday through Sunday at BoarsHead Theatre, Lansing, through April 17. Tickets: $20 – $33. 517-484-7805. http://www.boarshead.org.
The Frontier An empowering and moving tale of American Pioneer women inspired by the life and writings of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Rose Wilder Lane. Staged Thursday through Sunday by BlackBag Productions at The Blackbird Theatre, Ann Arbor, April 14 – 30. Tickets: $5 – $17. 734-332-3848. http://www.blackbirdtheatre.biz.
Grease Fast cars, teenage love and some memorable music are combined in this much beloved tale of the cool fifties. Presented at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, Dearborn, April 14 only. Tickets: $40 – $45. 313-923-2354. http://www.dearbornfordcenter.com.
Henry IV, Part I The recently-crowned king faces challenges that threaten his territory and the future of the throne. Performed in Repertory at the Hilberry Theatre, Detroit, through May 5. Tickets: $15 – $22. (313) 577-2960. http://www.theatre.wayne.edu/t”hilberry.html.
The Last Yankee & 74 Georgia Avenue Two one-act plays, one by Arthur Miller and the other by Murray Schisgal, continue the celebration of plays written by great Jewish authors. Staged Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday by the Jewish Ensemble Theatre Company at the Aaron DeRoy Theater, West Bloomfield, through April 17. Tickets: $25 – $37. 248-788-2900. http://www.jettheatre.org.
Manny and the Mirror: A Rock Opera The Detroit-style merging of music, theater and psychodellia returns with a fresh interpretation by director York R. Griffith. Staged Thursday through Sunday by Planet Ant Theatre at Hastings Street Ballroom, Detroit, April 15 – May 8. Tickets: $10 – $15. 313-365-4948. http://www.planetant.com.
Menopause The Musical A joyful musical parody about four women who have nothing in common except a certain shared experience! Presented Tuesday through Sunday at the Gem Theatre, Detroit, for an open run. Tickets: $39.50. 313-963-9800. http://www.gemtheatre.com.
The Metamorphosis Kafka’s dark yet humorous tale about an overworked man who awakens to discover he has been turned into a giant bug. Presented Friday and Saturday at The Abreact Performance Space, Detroit, April 22 – May 15, plus Sunday May 8 & 15. Tickets: By donation. 313-378-5404.
Misalliance A gun-toting socialist and an adventurous female acrobat are loose at the home of an underwear tycoon in a giddy clash of generations and gender roles. Performed in Repertory at the Hilberry Theatre, Detroit, through May 14. Tickets: $15 – $22. (313) 577-2960. http://www.theatre.wayne.edu/t”hilberry.html.
Savage in Limbo An arresting play that moves from comedy to near tragedy as it explores the hopes and dreams of a group of rootless young “losers” who hang out at a Bronx bar. Performed Friday & Saturday at Detroit Ensemble Theatre, Roseville, April 15 – 30, plus Sunday, April 24. Tickets: $15. 888-220-8471. http://www.detroitensembletheatre.com.
The Stillness Between Breaths The death of their father threatens to tear apart three tightly knit Irish siblings. A World Premiere production presented Thursday through Sunday at Performance Network Theatre, Ann Arbor, through April 10. Tickets: $20 – $34.50. 734-663-0681. http://www.performancenetwork.org.
The Story An African American journalist breaks the story of the murder of a white inner-city school teacher, but when her credentials come under scrutiny, the plot takes a ripped-from-the-headlines turn. Staged Thursday through Sunday by Plowshares Theatre Company at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit, through April 24. Tickets: $12.50 – $30. 313-872-0279. http://www.plowshares.org.
Summer and Smoke The Tennessee Williams’ story that asks: Where can passion be found – in the spirit or in the flesh? Presented Thursday through Sunday at Performance Network Theatre, Ann Arbor, April 21 – May 29. Tickets: $20 – $34.50. 734-663-0681. http://www.performancenetwork.org.
Tosca Giacomo Puccini’s intense thriller about obsessive love, manipulation, betrayal and a ravishing diva who can’t decide between two men. Staged by Michigan Opera Theatre and the Detroit Opera House, Detroit, April 13, 15 – 17. Tickets: $28 – $98. 313-237-7464. http://www.michiganopera.org.
Twilight & The Trip An evening of two one-acts opens with a documentary-style production that examines the 1992 Los Angeles riot and concludes with a comedy about four middle-aged girlfriends who take a cross-country drive. Staged Friday through Sunday by the African Renaissance Theater at 1515 Broadway, Detroit, through April 17. Tickets: $17.50 – $20. 313-965-1515.
The World Goes ‘Round Forty years of music by John Kander and Fred Ebb is celebrated, including songs from “Cabaret” to “Kiss of the Spider Woman.” Presented Wednesday through Sunday at Meadow Brook Theatre, Rochester Hills, April 20 – May 15. Tickets: $20 – $36. 248-377-3300. http://www.mbtheatre.com.
University / College Theater:
Evita The life of legendary Eva Peron is told through the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Presented Friday through Sunday at the Bonstelle Theatre, Detroit, April 22 – May 1. Tickets: $15. 313-577-2960. http://www.theatre.wayne.edu/t”bonstelle.html.
‘night Mother A mother has an hour and a half to convince her troubled daughter not to commit suicide. Presented Thursday through Saturday in the WSU Hilberry Studio Theatre, Detroit, April 14 – 23. Tickets: $9. 313-577-2972. http://www.theatre.wayne.edu/t”studio.html.
Elizabeth Rex A fictional encounter between Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth I offers poignant reflections on grief, love, the nature of friendship and the power of art. Staged by the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre at Parish Theater, Kalamazoo, April 14 – 17 & 22 – 23. Tickets: $13 – $18. 269-343-1313. http://www.kazoocivic.com.
Lysistrata fed up with their war-torn world, the feisty women of ancient Athens take political action through sexual abstinence. Presented Friday and Saturday at Whole Art Theater, Kalamazoo, through April 23. Tickets: $18. 269-345-7529. http://www.wholeart.org.
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s A Grand Night for Singing A revue that includes some of the most beloved songs from the world of musical theater. Presented Thursday through Sunday at Hamilton Theatre, Hamilton, Ontario, through April 23. Tickets: $20 CAD. 905-522-3032. http://www.hamiltontheatre.com.
Run For Your Wife A London cabbie has two lives and two wives – a balancing act that falls apart when he tries to help an old lady in distress! Staged Thursday through Sunday by Stagecrafters at the historic Baldwin Theatre, Royal Oak, through April 17. Tickets: $14 & $16. 248-541-6430. http://www.stagecrafters.org.
The Way of the World A Restoration Comedy that celebrates and lampoons the excesses of the fops and the rakes, the witty and the witless and Lady Wishfort who swoons for anything in breeches. Staged Thursday through Sunday by the Michigan Classical Repertory Theatre at Riverside Arts Center, Ypsilanti, through April 17. Tickets: $18. 734-214-6600. http://www.mcrt.org.
Theater for Young Audiences:
Charlotte’s Web When a young pig finds he’s on a one-way trip to the butcher, his desperate conditions touches the heart of an extraordinary spider. Staged Friday & Saturday by Flint Youth Theatre at Bower Theater, Flint, through April 23. Tickets: $8/children, $10/adults. 810-237-1530. http://www.flintyouththeatre.org.
Coyote Tales A cultural fiesta of music, dance and puppetry based on folklore from Mexico and the American Southwest. Staged by the Dallas Children’s Theater on Tour at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, Clinton Twp., April 16 only. Tickets: $10. 586-286-2222. http://www.macombcenter.com.
With Grace An original exploration of the issues surrounding the end of life and how some individuals take charge of their destinies. An Off the Press staged reading by Flint Youth Theatre at Elgood Theater, Flint, April 17 only. Tickets: $5. 810-237-1530. www.flintyouththeatre.com. Recommended for older teens and adults.
Maureen Schiffman – Puppeteer Maureen and her puppet friend CoCo present a show to delight young people of all ages. Presented at Performance Network Theatre, Ann Arbor, April 23 only. Tickets: $7/children; $10/adults. 734-663-0681. http://www.performancenetwork.org.
6th Annual Puppetry Month Celebrate Puppetry Month with Applesauce and Johnson’s Marrionettes who are celebrating their 65th anniversary of entertaining families. Presented every Saturday in April at PuppetART, Detroit. Tickets: $5/children, $7/adults. 313-961-7777. http://www.puppetart.org.
Improvisation/Late Night/Interactive/Dinner Theater:
Improv A new comedy lounge in Downtown Ann Arbor with five nights of fun: “The Ladies Show: The Breast Show in Town” hits the stage on Wednesday nights; Thursday hosts “Catfight” & “High Octane”; Friday and Saturday features “The Damnation Game,” and at Midnight, “The X Show”; and open mike night rules on Sunday with “Get Up Stand Up.” Tickets: $5 – $10. 734-214-7080. http://www.improvinferno.com.
Monday Night @ Planet Ant The Ant’s resident improvisational troupe, the Improv Colony, is joined each week by a Guest Team that performs the evening’s first act. Presented every Monday night (except holidays) at Planet Ant, Hamtramck. Tickets: $5. 313-365-4948. http://www.planetant.com.
The Reality Buffet Short plays selected by the audience are based upon the lives, perspectives and experiences of Detroit’s acting and improv communities. Staged every Sunday evening by Motoprism at the Matrix Theatre, Detroit. Tickets: $10. 313-967-0999. http://www.matrixtheatre.org.
Smell of the Kill A trio of dissatisfied suburban housewives must consider how desperate they are when their three miserable husbands become locked in a freezer. Staged Friday and Saturday by StarBrite Dinner Theater at the 14th Street Grille and Bar, Madison Heights, extended through April 30. Tickets: $39.50, includes three-course dinner. 248-589-9900. http://www.starbriteprod.com.
Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding How many times can these two young lovers get married, you might be asking yourselfÉand the answer is as often as people keep showing up at their fun-filled reception! Staged by Detroit Actors Guild at Freedom Hill’s Ralph A. Liberato Hall, Sterling Heights, April 23 only. Tickets: $63. 586-268-7820. http://www.freedomhill.net.
AUDITIONS & CLASSES:
SUNSETS WITH SHAKESPEARE – auditions for summer 2005 season, April 18, 23 & 24, whttp://ww.sunsetswithshakespeare.com; AVON PLAYERS YOUTH THEATER – “Huckleberry Finn,” April 17, 248-608-9077.