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Sarah Zimmer, special events development director at Tibbits Opera House, accepts a gift certificate for a flight for three around Branch County and a $100 Century Bank and Trust Visa Gift Card from Donna Hobday, vice president at Century Bank and Trust.
Posted: Oct. 19, 2014 at 9:49 a.m.; updated Oct. 19, 2014 at 10:57 a.m.
COLDWATER – A scenic flight for three around Branch County and a $100 Century Bank &Trust Visa gift card, which may be used for a post-flight dinner of your choosing, will be auctioned off at Tibbits 35th Annual Auction on Saturday, Nov. 1. You will have your chance to bid on this adventure – courtesy of Century Bank and Trust.
"Grab that boarding pass and get ready for first class treatment as we bring back the romance of flying at this year's annual auction, Tibbits Takes Flight," Sarah Zimmer, special events development director at Tibbits Opera House, said. "I love when donations reflect the theme and Century Bank and Trust hit the nail on the head. It's always fun to see what people in the community come up with."
Doors open at 6 p.m. The silent auction begins at 6:15 p.m., and the live auction, where you will see Century's donation and many other items, dinners, trips and parties begins promptly at 8 p.m.
Century Bank and Trust, founded in 1890 as an independent community bank, donates annually to the Tibbits auction and other fundraisers hosted by Tibbits. Century Bank and Trust provides a comprehensive range of corporate, trust and retail products and services through Branch, St. Joseph and Hillsdale counties. To learn more about Century Bank and Trust visit www.CenturyBankandTrust.com to learn more about how Century supports the community.
Save the date and show your support at Tibbits largest fundraising event of the year!
Tibbits Opera House located at 14 S. Hanchett St in Coldwater.
For more information on the auction, to purchasing raffle tickets, or ways you can donate, please call Tibbits at 517-278-6029 or go to www.Tibbits.org.
Matt Cameron and Roy Sexton
Posted: Oct. 18, 2014 at 10:25 a.m.
ANN ARBOR – Through the month of October, The Penny Seats enjoyed a sold-out run of the musical revue "Tomfoolery," celebrating the words and music of satirist, mathematician and cult favorite, Tom Lehrer, at Ann Arbor's Conor O'Neill's Irish Pub and Restaurant. The two companies have partnered to offer this cabaret-style show, with dinner seatings available starting around 6 p.m., and performances at 8 p.m. Due to high demand, a performance on Nov. 9 has been added to the schedule.
Featured performers are Matt Cameron, Laura Sagolla and R. Brent Stansfield, and Roy Sexton. Lauren London directs the show, with musical direction and accompaniment by Rebecca Biber. Victoria Gilbert oversees choreography, and Stephen Hankes designed the set and will stage manage the show.
With the announcement of the additional performance, music director Rebecca Biber notes, "I am excited for this encore show, as I never grow tired of the material. Lehrer is a master satirist, not only of cultural tropes and historical moments, but of music itself. He will pair a romantic parlor waltz with ghoulish lyrics, or use a peppy march to skewer jingoism and lockstep thinking. He always picks his musical forms for maximum humor and maximum discomfiture, and that funny/squirmy quality keeps us performers as engaged as our audience."
Cast member Brent Stansfield, a faculty member at the University of Michigan, echoes this sentiment. "The show combines all my favorite things in life: satire, science, jest, education, politics, math, irony and, of course, music," he said. "Better yet, it does it in a smart, sassy, gleeful and naughty way. The Penny Seats cast and crew is also smart, sassy, gleeful and naughty, and they bring an ocean of joy and verve to these songs. Best of all, 'Tomfoolery' is tailor-made for an Ann Arbor audience who, as I have now learned, can be relied upon to bring their own smarts, sass, glee and naughtiness! Each show has been raucous, and I have had so much fun performing in it."
Director Lauren London, who was recently interviewed about the production alongside Conor O'Neill's Caroline Kaganov for "The Lucy Ann Lance Show," adds, "This show has been a pure delight, from the first rehearsal through every single performance. It plays to our strengths as a company and fits perfectly with the jovial tone at Conor O'Neill's. It's a comfortable, fabulously funny night, and we're ecstatic that so many people want to experience it. This is one of those lightening-in-a-bottle moments for us. We couldn't be happier with Conor's as a partner, and I hope we have the chance to do this again, soon!"
Tickets for the dinner-and-show package are just $20, or $10 for the show only. Advance tickets (which are encouraged) are available online at www.pennyseats.org or by phone at 734-926-5346.
The Phantom of the Opera
April 1-12, 2015
Posted: Oct. 18, 2014 at 9:31 a.m.
EAST LANSING - Tickets to Cameron Mackintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group's spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "The Phantom of the Opera" will go on sale Monday, Oct. 20 at 10 a.m. for the premiere East Lansing engagement at Wharton Center's Cobb Great Hall April 1-12, 2015. With newly reinvented staging and stunning scenic design, this new version of "Phantom," one of the most successful musicals of all-time, will be performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this one of the largest productions on tour in North America.
Based on the classic novel "Le Fantome de L'Opera" by Gaston Leroux, "The Phantom of the Opera" tells the story of a masked figure who lurks beneath the catacombs of the Paris Opera House, exercising a reign of terror over all who inhabit it. He falls madly in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine, and devotes himself to creating a new star by nurturing her extraordinary talents and by employing all of the devious methods at his command.
Andrew Lloyd Webber said, "It's wonderful to have a new production of 'Phantom' touring America now that the show has celebrated over 26 years on Broadway. Director Laurence Connor has done an amazing job and this production has received huge critical acclaim in the UK."
This new production of "The Phantom of the Opera" is directed by Laurence Connor (the 25th Anniversary production of "Les Miserables" now on Broadway) with choreography by Scott Ambler, set design by Paul Brown, Tony Award-winning original costume design by Maria Bjornson, lighting design by Tony Award-winner Paule Constable, sound design by Mick Potter and musical supervision by John Rigby. The production is overseen by Matthew Bourne and Cameron Mackintosh. "The Phantom of the Opera" has music by Andrew Lloyd Webber; lyrics are by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe) and the book is by Richard Stilgoe and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Orchestrations are by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Cameron Mackintosh said, "After a glorious celebration of 26 phenomenal years on Broadway with no end in sight, I'm delighted that this dazzling new production of 'Phantom' has been phenomenally well-received by both audiences and critics alike in the U.K. and now the U.S. With an exciting new design and staging, retaining Maria Bjornson's amazing costumes, I am confident North American audiences will fall in love with the 'Phantom' in his new guise - for the first time or all over again."
There are currently eight productions of "The Phantom of the Opera" around the world: the flagship London production (approaching 28 years and counting), New York (26½ years and counting), Sapporo (Japan, 25 years and counting, in repertory), Budapest (Hungary), Hamburg (Germany), the Asian Pacific Tour (now in Taipei, Taiwan), Moscow (Russia, which had its official opening on Oct. 4) and Cameron Mackintosh's spectacular new production now on North American tour. Following Moscow, the next international openings will be in Hong Kong in December 2014 and Istanbul (Turkey) in April 2015.
"The Phantom of the Opera" became the first stage production to reach worldwide grosses of $6 billion, which it did this summer. Revenues far surpass the world's highest-grossing film Avatar (at $2.8 billion), as well as such other blockbusters as "Titanic," "The Lord of the Rings," "Jurassic Park" and "Star Wars."
Worldwide, "The Phantom of the Opera" has played over 65,000 performances that have been seen by 130 million people in 30 countries and 151 cities in 14 languages. The show has won more than 70 major theater awards.
There have been three previous U.S. National Tours of "The Phantom of the Opera" that grossed over $1.5 billion in combined box office sales and played 216 engagements in 77 cities for an unprecedented total of 36 years and over 14,500 performances to 31 million people.
Performances of "The Phantom of the Opera," appearing April 1-12, 2015 at Wharton Center's Cobb Great Hall, are as follows:
To purchase tickets, visit www.whartoncenter.com, call 800-WHARTON or visit the Auto-Owners Ticket Office at Wharton Center. Ticket prices start at $35.
Alan H. Harrison. Photo courtesy of MOT
Posted: Oct. 16, 2014 at 7:09 p.m.
DETROIT - Michigan Opera Theatre President and CEO Wayne S. Brown has announced the appointment of Alan H. Harrison to the newly-created position of chief patron officer. Effective Oct. 16, Harrison is responsible for building a patron-centered strategy to develop broad and diverse audiences, raise donor awareness and contributions, and focus on the image of Michigan Opera Theatre, long known for its uncompromisingly superb productions of opera and presentations of dance. The new Patron Services Department integrates both earned and contributed revenue streams, and Harrison will have executive oversight of sales, messaging and fundraising. Harrison has relocated to Detroit from Seattle, Washington.
In this key leadership role, Harrison will have strategic oversight of all external campaigns, as well as direct patron relationships, engaging with MOT donors, patrons, prospects and supporters to help secure a vibrant and sustainable artistic future for MOT.
"I am delighted that Alan has agreed to join our leadership team at this pivotal time in the history of MOT," said Brown. "He brings a breadth of experience and a keen understanding of the patron-centric arts model that will allow MOT to better serve as a major cultural resource to the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan."
Brown added, "We are extremely excited to have someone with Mr. Harrison's strong leadership background and passion for the performing arts join our team. His enthusiasm, wealth of knowledge, development experience and powerful marketing background is exactly what MOT needs to take our community engagement efforts to the next level."
The newly created position reflects the organization's renewed commitment to engaging and developing audiences, donors, supporters and lovers of opera and dance throughout the region. The company returns to a five-opera season in 2014-15 and plans to expand the reach of its main stage with a production of "Frida," an opera based on the life of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, which will be performed at three arts organizations in the metro Detroit community: The Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, Detroit Institute of Arts' Detroit Film Theatre, and the Berman Center for the Performing Arts.
MOT continues to offer a world-class dance series, including a full-length production of "Giselle" from the Houston Ballet and the return of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
"I am thrilled to represent Michigan Opera Theatre," said Harrison. "We have the capacity and the duty to make Detroit an even better place to live and work. That is our number one goal as an organization. I have the pleasure of leading a gifted and motivated team of people to make sure that happens. In addition, joining a leadership group that includes Wayne Brown and David DiChiera, founder and artistic director, is truly an honor."
About Alan H. Harrison
With more than 20 years' experience in nonprofit arts leadership, Alan H. Harrison has helped produce more than 300 plays at theaters across America, including Seattle Repertory Theatre; Lincoln Center Theater; The Pasadena Playhouse; Pittsburgh Public Theater, and dozens of plays on and off-Broadway. He was the executive director for ArtsWest (Seattle), named 2011's Theatre of the Year in the region, and the managing director for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. In addition, he served as the chair of the University of Alabama M.F.A. program in Theatre Management and Arts Administration. Harrison invented and led the first company to implement the enormously successful "Under 25? Only $10!" program (a program that has now been adopted by theaters all over the world), a venture that continues to add tens of thousands of young people to the audiences of arts organizations every year. For the last several years, he has been a leader in the field of nonprofit arts management consulting through his company, Voice of Reason Enterprises.
About Michigan Opera Theatre
Michigan Opera Theatre (Wayne S. Brown, president and CEO; Dr. David DiChiera, artistic director), one of the nation's most vibrant nonprofit arts organizations, is committed to presenting opera and dance of the highest artistic caliber. Founded in 1971 by Dr. David DiChiera, the company's mission is to serve as a major cultural resource to the state of Michigan and the city of Detroit. Visit the MOT website at www.michiganopera.org.
Artist in 'Residence' Emilio Rodriguez. Photo: Courtesy of UMS
Posted: Oct. 16, 2014 at 6:48 p.m.
ANN ARBOR - The University Musical Society is proud to announce the 2014-15 UMS Artists in "Residence."
The UMS Artists in "Residence" program is a public engagement project whereby applications were solicited from regional artists wanting to take "residence" at UMS performances. Out of a pool of over 50 applicants, five artists were selected to use UMS experiences as a resource to support the creation of new work or to fuel an artistic journey.
Residents will receive complimentary tickets to select UMS performances; a $250 stipend; gatherings with fellow residents; and behind-the-scenes access to UMS staff and artists, when available.
In return, the 2014-15 residents will share their artistic journeys via residency entrance and exit interviews; participate in select UMS Education & Community Engagement events; and have the chance to share artistic work generated during the residency at the UMS 2015-16 Season Announcement Party in late April 2015. Rights to all artistic work produced as a result of the residency will remain entirely with the artists.
The 2014-15 UMS Artists in "Residence" are:
"While UMS brings incredible performing artists from around the globe to Ann Arbor, we're also deeply committed to the creative community right here in Michigan," said Ken Fischer, UMS president. "UMS Artists in 'Residence' ensures that artists creating work right here in our own backyard have access to everything they need to inspire, fuel, and inform their projects. Artists play a vital role in our communities — they inspire us, they challenge us, they provide alternate perspectives. We're just doing our part to ensure that Ann Arbor and Southeast Michigan continues to be a place where artists are supported and can happily call home."
The University Musical Society is an independent non-profit affiliated with the University of Michigan, presenting over 70 music, theater and dance performances by professional touring artists each season. One of the oldest performing arts presenters in the country, UMS is committed to connecting audiences with performing artists from around the world in uncommon and engaging experiences. With a program steeped in music, dance and theater, UMS contributes to a vibrant cultural community by presenting approximately 60-75 performances and over 100 free educational activities each season. UMS also commissions new work, sponsors artist residencies, and organizes collaborative projects with local, national, and international partners.
About the 2014-15 UMS Artists in 'Residence'
Carolyn Reed Barritt – Visual Art
Carolyn Reed Barritt exhibits her work in group shows throughout the nation, including the recent Works on Paper exhibition at the Jeffery Leder Gallery in New York. She also gives private drawing lessons and is an art mentor. She lives and works in Ann Arbor. Learn more at carolynreedbarritt.wordpress.com.
Nicholas Gable – Performing Arts
Nicholas Gable was born and raised in Ann Arbor. In 2011, he graduated from the University of Michigan Honors Program with a degree in Ancient History. He received a full-ride scholarship to the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, from which he graduated this year after having spent a semester of his final year as an exchange student at the Universite Pantheon-Assas in Paris. Aside from his interest in music and the piano, Gable has continued to pursue his interest in ancient languages, especially Greek and Latin, and he enjoys participating in amateur boxing. Gable has been studying the piano with Waleed Howrani for six years and will be playing Sergei Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto with the Grosse Pointe Symphony Orchestra on Oct. 26. Learn more at www.linkedin.com/pub/nick-gable/46/aa/83a
Leslie Rogers – Performing Arts
Leslie Rogers is an interdisciplinary artist working in sculpture, performance and video beginning a three year appointment as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Michigan Society of Fellows. She holds an M.F.A. in Sculpture & Extended Media from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a B.F.A. in Fine Art from the Maryland institute College of Art. Over four years in Philadelphia, she organized and curated gallery shows and touring performances as a member of Little Berlin Art Gallery and Puppet Uprising, and founded PuppeTyranny, a touring DIY theater troupe. She has exhibited at the Institute for Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, Vox Populi, Extra Extra, Bodega, International House, and Little Berlin. In New York, she has been exhibited at Monkeytown, Secret Project Robot, and St. Anne's Warehouse as part of Great Small Works' bi-annual Temporary Toy Theater Museum, in Baltimore at Current Gallery and the Trans Modern performance art festival, and at Black Iris in Richmond, VA. Learn more at www.leslierogers.net.
Emilio Rodriquez – Performing Arts/Literature
Emilio Rodriguez is a playwright, actor, director and teaching artist living in Detroit. His plays "Awake!" and "Fairy Tale Family Vacation" have been fully produced in Southeast Michigan, and he has also had several readings of his other plays. He seeks to create roles for actors of color to showcase their underrepresented voices in a non-stereotypical manner with the goal of ultimately bridging the gap between what is defined as "Urban Theater" and what is defined as simply "Good Theater." Learn more at www.playscripts.com/playwrights/bios/1409
Robert James Russel – Literature
Robert James Russell is a Pushcart Prize-nominated author and founding editor of the literary journals Midwestern Gothic and CHEAP POP. He is the author of "Don't Ask Me to Spell It Out" (A Fifth of WhiskeyPaper Press, 2015) and "Sea of Trees" (Winter Goose Publishing, 2012). His work has appeared in a range of journals, both print and online. Learn more at www.robertjamesrussell.com
Posted: Oct. 16, 2014 at 9 a.m.
DETROIT - Matrix Theatre Company's original play "Do You See It Coming?" will be featured at the 10th Annual Great Lakes Bioneers Conference on Saturday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.
Written collaboratively by the Matrix Theatre Company's Writers Circle, "Do You See It Coming?" highlights issues faced by individuals living in the city, such as quality of education, access to transportation, clean water and challenges related to housing. The play challenges members of the audience to not only observe the performance, but to participate in a thought-provoking discussion on where the community is headed and where it should be headed.
Before the performance, patrons have the option to eat dinner at Marygrove before the show. Dinner is provided by Edibles Rex and diners will eat in Alumni Hall.
"Do You See It Coming?" was born out of a collaboration with SEMCOG to help local leaders and their constituents understand and discuss quality of life issues and discover ways to improve our communities. Over the past two years, it has been performed for the public as well as at conferences and organizational meetings. Excerpts of the play were performed this past summer in New York City as a part of the Detroit, NY play-writing festival.
Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit promotes collaboration and networking among Southeast Michigan individuals and organizations working on sustainability and eco-justice issues. GLBD is a regional chapter of the national organization Bioneers. Founded in 1990, Bioneers seeks to highlight innovative approaches to environmental and social challenges. The organization believes that building connections between people who share a commitment to solving these issues can transform communities. For more information on GLBD and to register for the conference, go to www.glbd.org.
"Do You See It Coming?" will be performed at the Liberal Arts Theatre on the campus of Marygrove College, 8425 McNichols Detroit, MI 48221.
Ticket prices are $12 for general admission, or $20 with dinner and show. Call the Matrix box office at 313-967-0599 or go to www.matrixtheatre.org to purchase tickets. Dinner and show reservations must be received by Wednesday, Oct. 22. All tickets must be ordered in advance and will not be sold at the door.
Posted: Oct. 15, 2014 at 9:02 a.m.
WEST BLOOMFIELD - More than 100,000 guests have attended events at The Berman Center for the Performing Arts since it opened its doors in 2011. Inspired by an extraordinary gift from Madeleine and Mandell Berman, this beautiful, world-class, 600-seat theater has since welcomed performances by the late Marvin Hamlish, David Broza, Patti LuPone, Noa, Mandy Patinkin, Bebe Neuwirth, Molly Ringwald, Patrick O'Connor Cronin, Midori and Barbara Cook.
And now, The Berman announces its upcoming 2014-15 season, a schedule that offers a diverse collection of classical music, drama and comedy, outstanding children's programming, events on film and Broadway. Each and every month The Berman will offer the audience the sounds of the most extraordinary music, theater and programs for every taste. Additional performances will be added in 2015.
Tickets range in price and are available online at theberman.org, by calling the box office at 248-661-1900 or in person at The Berman Center for the Performing Arts, located at 6600 West Maple Road in West Bloomfield.
2014-15 Live Events at The Berman Center for the Performing Arts:
Chita Rivera featuring Seth Rudetsky
Produced by Mark Cortale
Sunday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m.
What becomes a legend? Broadway's Chita Rivera deservedly earned her status with a limitless talent, an incredible endurance and longevity, long and gorgeous gams, lots of pizzazz, and that certain something that has made her a crowd favorite for five decades. Rivera has earned nine Tony Award nominations (with two wins), the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2009), and she is also the first Latina American to receive a Kenny Center Honors award (2002). The event is hosted by pianist Seth Rudetsky of Sirius XM Radio fame!
Pinkalicious, The Musical!
Performed by Vital Theatre Company
Sunday, March 8, 2015 at 1 p.m. & 3 p.m.
Pinkalicious will extol the virtues of the color pink. She even goes so far as to add extra pink to her mother's cupcakes, a move she regrets when, after eating too many cupcakes, she wakes up to find herself pink from head to toe. Vital Theatre Company is dedicated to producing entertaining and educational theater for young audiences.
The Michigan Five
Saturday, March 14 at 8 p.m.
For the fourth consecutive year, The Michigan Five brings together Michigan's premier dancers from five universities and colleges choreographed by the industry's top choreographer, and organized by Oakland University's Greg Patterson.
Frida, The Opera
Michigan Opera Theatre
Saturday, March 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 22 at 2:30 p.m.
Robert Xavier Rodriguez's "Frida" is a musical portrait of Frida Kahlo. At age 18, Kahlo was badly injured in a traffic accident, which necessitated many medical procedures. Her recovery in isolation, as well as a lifetime in physical pain, profoundly influenced her paintings - some of the most compelling of the 20th century. Kahlo's two marriages to famed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera (creator of "Detroit Industry" for the Detroit Institute of Arts) was another source of inspiration and heartache. The opera celebrates Kahlo's vivacious spirit, talent, sexuality and fragility, with splashes of music as colorful as her artwork. Sung in English and Spanish with English translation projections.
Posted: Oct. 14, 2014 at 12:20 p.m.
EAST LANSING - American actress, playwright and professor Anna Deavere Smith is coming to Wharton Center's Cobb Great Hall on Monday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the World View Lecture Series, in partnership with Michigan State University's College of Arts & Letters Leading Voices Series.
Smith has created a new theater form through her interview-based solo shows. "Fires in the Mirror" earned a Pulitzer Prize nomination, and her piece on "Let Me Down Easy" was broadcast on "Great Performances" after a national tour. She has appeared in "West Wing," "Nurse Jackie" and other TV shows.
Smith is the 2012 National Humanities Medal winner and founding director of Anna Deavere Smith Works. Her presentation coincides with MSU's 60/50 Project, a community conversation on civil and human rights. Smith has received plenty of awards for her social and political efforts, including the Fletcher Foundation Fellowship for her contribution to civil rights issues. She also received the prestigious National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama in 2012.
Smith's unique artistic perspective can be summed up in one sentence: "Do you want to be an artist so the whole world would look at you, or do you want to be an artist because you want to use your ability to attract attention, to have the world see itself through you differently?" Her lecture is sure to be a thought-provoking evening to remember.
Tickets to see Anna Deavere Smith are $20 (plus applicable fees) and are available online at www.whartoncenter.com, at the Auto-Owners Insurance Ticket Office at Wharton Center, or by calling 800-WHARTON.
Wharton Center is located on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing.
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