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The Purple Rose Theatre
Sept. 18 - Dec. 20, 2014
Posted: Sept. 2, 2014 at 7:17 a.m.
CHELSEA - The Purple Rose Theatre Company is thrilled to bring the bittersweet comedy "Annapurna" by Sharr White to Michigan for the first production of its 24th season.
What if you had experienced the defining moment of your life but couldn't remember it? Sharr White's heartfelt and remarkable play deals with that dilemma and the unpredictable eccentricities of love. Named for the Himalayan Mountain, marriage can be just that kind of peak; we are compelled to make the climb, but not all of us survive the journey intact. Join us for this bittersweet comedy by one of America's most vibrant and lyrical new playwrights.
"Annapurna" contains adult language and themes.
Directed by PRTC artistic director Guy Sanville, the cast includes Richard McWilliams and Michelle Mountain.
"Annapurna" will enjoy a 14-week engagement at The Purple Rose Theatre Company from Thursday, Sept. 18 Saturday, Dec. 20. Seven low-priced previews will be performed Thursday, Sept. 18 Wednesday, Sept. 24, with press opening on Friday, Sept. 26. Regular performances for the duration of the run are Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., with Saturday matinees at 3 p.m. and Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Please note the new times and low prices for Wednesday and Thursday performances this season!
Underwriting support for the season comes from The Ford Motor Company Fund, The Hamp Family Fund, and the Matilda R. Wilson Fund. Production sponsorship for "Annapurna" comes from Chelsea State Bank. Media Sponsors include Michigan Radio, ChelseaMich.com, Detroit Public Television, and Applied Storytelling.
All performances will be held at The Purple Rose Theatre Company, 137 Park Street, Chelsea, Michigan 48118.
Tickets are available for purchase today. Ticket reservations can be made by calling The Purple Rose Theatre Company Box Office at 734-433-7673 or online at www.purplerosetheatre.org.
Posted: Sept. 1, 2014 at 8:30 a.m.
So you might be wondering: What's happening with EncoreMichigan.com? Does it have a future? Or is the end near?
Well, it's now September and we're still here. But for how much longer depends on ideas presented recently by concerned members of the theater community. "Since the announcement of our owner's closure this past June 30th, we've been offered a handful of ideas on what we might do to raise funds to stay alive," said Donald V. Calamia, editorial director of EncoreMichigan.com. "While those suggestions were certainly helpful, only one was a concrete, long-term solution with the potential to accomplish several objectives of ours that have been discussed at various times over the past seven or eight years. The problem, though, is time there's simply not enough of it to fully develop this plan as quickly as we need it to be."
While Calamia was vague on details "there are still plenty of details to work out before we can begin to talk about it in public," he said one thing is for sure: "We'll continue publishing as we always have through the end of September, which will buy us time to continue exploring the plan that's been presented to us."
How is Calamia able to do this? "You can thank The Wilde Awards," he said. "Under the ownership of the Michigan Equity Theatre Alliance, The Wilde Awards were used as an annual fundraiser for EncoreMichigan.com, and this year will be no different. The ticket income the show generates will be enough to pay the bills, plus continue to fund Encore through the end of September. But after that, that money's gone which means we'd better get busy on getting what I'm calling Encore 2.0 underway!"
Encore 2.0, Calamia teased, is a comprehensive plan that should not only keep EncoreMichigan.com alive and publishing, but the breadth of its scope should be of great interest and value to both theatergoers and the state's professional theater community. "But we're going to need help from a variety of sources to pull it off, and I'm not referring to just money. To make this work, we're going to need energy and passion from a cross-section of people from within and without the theater community, and after we have a few 'technicalities' taken care of, we'll be reaching out to everyone rather quickly to ask for their help."
The bottom line, Calamia said, is this: "My goal is for EncoreMichigan.com to once again cover every professional theater in the state without requiring membership fees and we're implementing that effective this month. But in the long-term, we want to be a major player in helping to grow and expand the market for theater, to assist our theaters with their own development and marketing efforts, and to develop partnerships to make all this happen. And by working together in a collaborative effort by tapping into the diversity of talent and skills we have in this state, I think we can make this happen!"
Keep watching EncoreMichigan.com for future updates.
A 'don't miss' episode!
Posted: Aug. 31, 2014 at 9:10 a.m.
The sixth season of our popular podcast series opens with a wide-ranging discussion about the recently concluded 2013-14 professional theater season. And what a season it was! Jokingly subtitled "What the F**k is Happening in Michigan Theater," co-hosts Barton Bund and Donald V. Calamia discuss the good, the bad, the ugly and pretty much everything in-between - and not necessarily in that order.
From inclement weather to The 2014 Wilde Awards and from Team Tony to the news that shocked the industry, this wide-ranging and frank examination into the major stories of the season not only recalls the best and the worst of the year, it also sets up future podcasts that will dig deeper into some of the topics presented here. Plus, Bart and Don peer into the future - including what's to come of EncoreMichigan.com and The Wilde Awards - and introduce a new theme song! All in all, this season-opener is a podcast not to be missed!
Encore LIVE! - it's like radio, but over the internet! A production of EncoreMichigan.com. Produced for EncoreMichigan.com by Barton Bund and Tony Caselli. Theme music by the World Famous Love Machine.
Click here to comment on this podcast
Sept. 6-7, 2014
Greg Grimes, Bruce Hammond, Eric Tsuchiyama and Eric Parker. Photo: Barn Theatre
Posted: Aug. 30, 2014 at 8:12 a.m.
AUGUSTA - For the first time anywhere, The Barn Theatre School for Advanced Theatre Training proudly presents two benefit performances of "Nonstop Doo-Wop" Saturday, Sept. 6 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 7 at 2 p.m.
"Nonstop Doo-Wop" is a fast-paced, fully synchronized, four-man extravaganza featuring over 40 of the greatest hits of all time. Eric Parker, Bruce Hammond, Eric Tsuchiyama, and Greg Grimes are the stars of the evening. Spanning a decade of music from 1953 1965, these world class vocalists play tribute to the smooth sounds from The Drifters, Dion and the Belmonts, The Coasters, The Platters and more.
Barn star Bruce Hammond has spent two years working and reworking this doo-wop revue. "I've performed in similar types of shows in Las Vegas and elsewhere, but I realized that there isn't a true doo-wop show out there anywhere. This show gives a lot of the history of doo-wop and so many of the wonderful chart toppers that everyone loves. It's going to be a great, toe tapping night for the whole family." Don't miss this pre-Las Vegas, fun-filled, musical evening!
Adding to the night's charm, Barn star Charlie King will open the evening, warming up the audience with his special brand of humor and song. The Rehearsal Shed will also feature a bar show after the benefit performance.
"Nonstop Doo-Wop" is conceived by Bruce Hammond, directed by Penelope Alex and choreographed by Jamey Grisham. Musical direction is by Kevin Robert White. Bruce Hammond designed the scenery, and Nettie Fischer designed costumes. Properties are designed by Bethany Edlund, and lights are designed by Corey Boughton. Sam Silva is sound designer. Technical direction is by Nick Hoovler.
Check out the renovated Rehearsal Shed Lounge: Stop in before the main stage show, at intermission, and after the show for refreshments, snacks, wings, nachos and Plainwell ice cream, as well as free, after-the-show entertainment.
The Barn Theatre is located on 13351 West M-96, west of Augusta.
Suggested donation is $25 for this benefit performance. Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express are accepted. The Box Office is open daily 10 a.m. - 10 pm. To reserve tickets at the Box Office, call 269-731-4121.
For more information about the Barn Theatre, log on to www.barntheatre.com.
Posted: Aug. 29, 2014 at 8:29 a.m.
ANN ARBOR - The Michigan Theater just got a little greener - and a little brighter. Workers from Ann Arbor-based Park Avenue Lighting changed out nearly 1500 bulbs in the theater's marquee on Aug. 28, replacing them with long-lasting LED ("light-emitting diode") bulbs. These bulbs emit light in a specific direction, unlike incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs that emit light - and heat - in all directions. For this reason, LED lighting is able to use light and energy more efficiently in many applications.
The change has been a long time in the making, according to executive director Russ Collins. "We've been considering this for a decade, but were waiting for the technology to improve and costs to go down," Collins explains. "The return on investment is practical now - instead of lasting only six months, these bulbs will last six years."
Another benefit is this: Due to lower costs and higher energy efficiency, the theater will be able to keep its marquee lights shining later into the evening for the community to enjoy. "After a request from citizens on the Ann Arbor Townies ONLY Facebook page, we've decided to keep the marquee lights burning every night until 11 p.m." Collins said. "We would not have been able to do that before the LED bulbs."
The change comes a little less than a year after XSeed Energy and Clean Energy Coalition contracted Homeland Builders to install solar panels on the theater's roof. The theater also recently made improvements to the building's perimeter lighting. "The majority of our non-theatrical lighting is now LED or compact fluorescent bulbs," said facilities manager Brian Hunter. "With solar panels and energy-efficient light bulbs, the Michigan is doing its best to implement 'green' technologies whenever it's possible."
About the Michigan Theater
Now celebrating its 87th year, the Michigan Theater is Ann Arbor's award-winning non-profit historic center for fine film and performing arts. The Michigan Theater welcomes more than 250,000 visitors each year to its art house films, concerts, lectures, live theater and special programs such as Sundance Film Festival USA and Cinetopia International Film Festival. The Michigan Theater is located in downtown Ann Arbor at 603 East Liberty Street. Visit www.michtheater.org or call the 24-hour information line at 734-668-TIME for schedule and ticket information.
Catalina Cuervo, who will play the title role in "Frida."
Posted: Aug. 28, 2014 at 8:46 a.m.
CLINTON TOWNSHIP - Michigan Opera Theatre announced that DTE Energy Foundation is the title sponsor for its March 2015 co-production with the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts of the opera "Frida." The Foundation's support is enabling MOT's first main stage opera production outside the Detroit Opera House, bringing world-class opera experiences directly to audiences in Macomb and Oakland counties for the first time.
"With this presenting sponsorship, the DTE Energy Foundation is able to provide a great opportunity to share Frida's story through the beautiful storytelling art of opera," said Faye Alexander Nelson, vice president of public affairs for DTE Energy and president of the DTE Energy Foundation. "Through these performances, communities of young and old - from wealthy communities to challenging ones - will hear about the life of this great Latina artist, her struggles, and her triumphs through her art."
This co-production marks the beginning of an annual collaboration between MOT and Macomb Center, which is a community enrichment program of Macomb Community College. The opera will open with performances on Saturday, March 7, and Sunday, March 8, 2015, at the Macomb Center. First State Bank, headquartered in St. Clair Shores, is sponsoring a pre-opening gala before the Saturday performance and afterglows following both performances at the Macomb Center.
"Macomb Community College's new partnership with MOT is a unique opportunity to amplify the impact of one of our region's cultural treasures," said Dr. James Jacobs, president of Macomb Community College. "Collaboration is a key facet of Macomb's philosophy in realizing our mission of education, enrichment and economic development, and we value the chance to provide this special cultural experience to our community members."
Subsequent performances of "Frida" are scheduled for The Berman Center for the Performing Arts in West Bloomfield March 21-22, made possible by the generosity of the Mandell and Madeleine Berman Foundation, and the Detroit Institute of Art's Detroit Film Theatre March 28. This series of performances is also supported by a grant from Karen and Rick Williams.
"Community engagement is a principal theme for Michigan Opera Theatre. Through the opera, 'Frida,' three new partnerships reflect a new era for artistic collaboration in Southeastern Michigan," said Wayne S. Brown MOT's president and CEO.
The opera is one of a series of regional events scheduled to complement the DIA's special exhibition, "Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit," March 12 - July 12. Macomb College's Lorenzo Cultural Center, which is adjacent to the Macomb Center and provides multi-faceted programs to explore the influences and experiences that shape our community's heritage through presentations, activities and exhibits, will also be featuring Rivera and Kahlo in its program series Feb. 28 - May 9, "101 People, Places and Things that Made Michigan."
At a special preview held Aug. 26, Columbian soprano Catalina Cuervo, who will sing the title role of Frida Kahlo in all performances, sang an excerpt from the opera. It was announced that Mexican-born bass-baritone Ricardo Herrera, who was present at the preview, will sing the role of Diego in all performances. Representatives of the community partners involved in the collaboration also shared perspective on the project. In addition to Nelson, Jacobs and Brown, speakers included Juan Manuel Solana Morales, Detroit's Consul of Mexico; Dr. David DiChiera, founder and artistic director of MOT; Annmarie Erickson, chief operating officer of the DIA; and Christine Guarino, director of cultural affairs and community engagement, Macomb Community College.
Robert Xavier Rodriguez's "Frida" focuses completely on the tumultuous life of its title character, Frida Kahlo. At the age of 18, Kahlo was on a bus that collided with a trolley car, causing her injuries that would lead to a lifetime of medical procedures and pain, and would inspire her to create some of the most compelling paintings of the 20th century. Kahlo's marriage to famed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, the artist who created Detroit Industry for the DIA, was a source of both inspiration and heartache. The opera celebrates Kahlo's vivacious spirit, talent, sexuality, and fragility in scenes filled with wide-ranging music as complex and colorful as Kahlo's artwork.
Tickets to all performances are available for purchase at the Michigan Opera Theatre box office by phone at 313-237-SING, or online at www.michiganopera.org. Tickets to the performances at the Macomb Center are available by calling (586) 286-2222 or at www.MacombCenter.com
Laundry and Bourbon and Lone Star
The Snug Theatre
Sept. 5-21, 2015
Posted: Aug. 27, 2014 at 7:40 a.m.
MARINE CITY - The Snug takes you to good ol' Maynard, Texas! Get immersed in the culture of small-town Texas gals and guys with "Laundry and Bourbon" and "Lone Star" written by James McClure. These two one-act companion pieces center around three discontented wives whose marriages have turned out to be less than what they hoped for and three male counterparts who find themselves drunk behind Angel's Bar one starry summer night.
Not quite the usual Snug fare, these plays provide a touching, funny and sometimes tough look at the effects of war on love, marriage, friendship, loyalty and the attempt to cope with a life that is forever changed.
"Laundry and Bourbon" is set on Elizabeth's porch. Elizabeth (Belinda Hellebuyck) is a housewife whose Vietnam veteran husband has been missing for two days. She is visited by her two gossiping pals, Hattie (Kelly Kennedy), whose rambunctious children wreak havoc wherever they go, and Amy Lee (Krista Haney), born into poverty but now married to money. Drinks are imbibed, and secrets are revealed.
Meanwhile, "Lone Star," named after the beer brand, follows Roy (Matt Siadek), a macho type who had once been a local high-school hero. He is back in town after a hitch in Vietnam and trying to reestablish his position in the community. Joined by his younger brother, Ray (Matt Boucher), Roy sets about consuming a case of beer while regaling Ray with tales of his military and amorous exploits. With the arrival of Cletis (Sean May), the newlywed son of the local hardware store owner, the underpinnings of Roy's world begin to collapse.
Performances dates are Sept. 5 21:
Tickets are $20 and are available at www.thesnugtheatre.com or by phone 810-278-1749. Follow the Snug Theatre at www.facebook.com/thesnugtheatre
The Snug Theatre is located at 160 S. Water Street, Marine City, MI 48039
Posted: Aug. 26, 2014 at 6:29 a.m.; updated Sept. 2, 2014 at 7:14 p.m.
Best Original One-Act or Solo Performance
Best of The Bard
Best Theater for Young Audiences
Best Performance Opera
Best Performance The Bard
Best Performance, Actor Comedy
Best Performance, Actor Drama
Best Performance, Actor Musical
Best Performance, Actor - Original One-Act or Solo Performance
Best Performance, Actress Comedy
Best Performance, Actress Drama
Best Performance, Actress Musical
Best Performance, Actress - Original One-Act or Solo Performance
Best Design Costumes
Best Design Lights
Best Design Props
Best Design Sets
Best Design Sound or Video
Best Music Direction
Best New Script
Angels in America
The Ringwald Theatre
Sept. 5-29, 2014
Posted: Aug. 25, 2014 at 8:39 a.m.
FERNDALE - After a highly successful run of Tony Kushner's "Angels in America Part One: Millennium Approaches," The Ringwald Theatre is thrilled to open its eighth season with both parts of this epic play, "Millennium Approaches" and "Perestroika" in repertory.
Opening in February, 2014, the original production of "Millennium Approaches" was met with rapturous reviews. And now comes "Perestroika!" Working from a newly-revised script that includes new material from Kushner, Jamie Warrow assumes directing duties to bring the story to a thrilling conclusion.
Winner of the Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, "Angels in America" is one of the most outstanding plays of the American theater. Prior is a man living with AIDS, whose lover, Louis, has left him and become involved with Joe, an ex-Mormon and political conservative whose wife, Harper, is slowly having a nervous breakdown. These stories are contrasted with that of Roy Cohn (a fictional re-creation of the infamous American conservative ideologue who died of AIDS in 1986) and his attempts to remain in the closet while trying to find some sort of personal salvation in his beliefs.
For "Millennium Approaches," Joe Bailey will direct a cast that includes Bailey Boudreau, Meredith Deighton, Brenton Herwat, Chris Jakob, Dennis Kleinsmith, Matthew Turner Shelton, Cara Trautman, and Jamie Warrow.
Jamie Warrow directs "Perestroika" with the same cast.
"Angels in America" will begin with performances of "Perestroika" on Friday, Sept. 5 and will play all Saturday evenings, Sunday matinees, and Monday evenings. "Millennium Approaches" will begin the subsequent Friday, Sept. 12, and continue for all following Fridays. There will be two Saturdays in which both parts will play the same day.
Tickets for the all-day marathon will be $29. Ticket prices for all other performances are $20 for Friday and Saturday performances, $15 for Saturday and Sunday matinees, and Monday nights are only $10 a ticket. All students can now receive a $5 discount off the normal ticket price on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday performances (available at the box office the day of the show with valid student ID).
Tickets can be purchased at www.TheRingwald.com or at the theatre box office. The Ringwald box office opens 45 minutes before performances and tickets can be purchased with cash or Visa/Mastercard.
The Ringwald Theatre is located at 22742 Woodward Avenue in the Times Square of Ferndale.
Performance schedule: 'Angels in America'
Friday, Sept. 5 at 8 p.m. ($20): Perestroika
Saturday, Sept. 6 at 8 p.m. ($20): Perestroika
Sunday, Sept. 7 at 3 p.m. ($15): Perestroika
Monday, Sept. 8 at 8 p.m. ($10): Perestroika
Friday, Sept. 12 at 8 p.m. ($20): Millennium Approaches
Saturday, Sept. 13 at 3 p.m. ($15): Millennium Approaches
Saturday, Sept. 13 at 8 p.m. ($20): Perestroika
Sunday, Sept. 14 at 3 p.m. ($15): Perestroika
Monday, Sept. 15 at 8 p.m. ($10): Perestroika
Friday, Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. ($20): Millennium Approaches
Saturday, Sept. 20 at 8 p.m. ($20): Perestroika
Sunday, Sept. 21 at 3 p.m. ($15): Perestroika
Monday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. ($10): Perestroika
Friday, Sept. 26 at 8 p.m. ($20): Millennium Approaches
Saturday, Sept. 27 at 3 p.m. ($15): Millennium Approaches
Saturday, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. ($20): Perestroika
Sunday, Sept. 28 at 3 p.m. ($15): Perestroika
Monday, Sept. 29 at 8 p.m. ($10): Perestroika
Posted: June 30, 2014 at 12:55 p.m.
So what's a new-fangled internet-based arts-oriented media company supposed to do when its parent organization decides to go out of business? That's the question being discussed at EncoreMichigan.com these days, following the unexpected news that the Michigan Equity Theatre Alliance would close down operations effective July 1.
META, a membership-based non-profit service organization created to promote and advocate for Michigan's unionized professional theaters, was formed in 2010 through a partnership between the Cultural Alliance for Southeast Michigan and the Michigan Non-Profit Association, with funding provided by the Kresge Foundation and the Ford Foundation. It acquired EncoreMichigan.com as an independent affiliate in fall 2012 from Pride Source Media Group. The decision to close META was made at its June 25 board meeting.
"Both META and Pride Source have pledged to assist us in keeping EncoreMichigan.com alive," said co-founder and executive director Donald V. Calamia, who was notified of the closure shortly after the board meeting. "Our conversations so far have led to temporary, stop-gap solutions to keep us fully functioning and funded through at least the end of July. But after that? We haven't a clue."
EncoreMichigan.com is the premier source for free, up-to-the-minute news and information about the state's professional theaters, with original content created by a dedicated team of veteran freelance journalists. Established in 2008, EncoreMichigan.com switched to a membership-funded financial model upon its acquisition by META which has been a source of contention within the professional theater community ever since.
"While a handful of theaters chose not to become a member, which means they lost their coverage on the site, that was the best way we could come up with to fund the site, given the fact that over the previous few years pretty much every funding source we approached said they loved us, but had no way to fit our uniqueness into their existing programs," Calamia said. "None of them knew what to do with us."
And while the membership model worked for the most part Calamia acknowledged it's not a long-term solution. "So that's where we are now without much time to come up with an answer: What IS the best possible solution? Or is this the universe's way of telling us there's no demand or need for what we do?"
With less than 48 hours since he was informed of the board's decision, Calamia said there are three options currently being looked at. "The first is to find one, two or three major supporters and sponsors to underwrite EncoreMichigan.com, hopefully for the long-term. (The budget is between $30,000 and $50,000 per year.) The second is to find another non-profit to adopt us under a similar plan to which we operated under META. Or if that's not possible, the third and most time consuming, costly and difficult is to create a new non-profit for EncoreMichigan.com, complete with a small working board, whose job it would be to fundraise and manage the financial operations of the company."
With that said, however, "We'll listen to any and all suggestions and offers from anyone interested in helping us solve this puzzle."
Despite META's closure, users and members of EncoreMichigan.com will see no difference when they log onto the website throughout the month of July, Calamia said. "The site will still be updated daily, our critics will still be out reviewing shows throughout the state, and the calendar listings will still be current. From all external appearances, it will be business as usual."
But behind the scenes? "It will be a madhouse," he laughed.
And after July 31? "That's unknown territory at this point. But as of right now barring any unforeseen circumstances, of course my plan is to keep updating the site daily with press releases and calendar listings through the month of August. Luckily our membership year ends August 31 and we hadn't begun soliciting for the new season. But with no budget to work with, the few commitments we have for August and beyond are on hold for now, and so we ask that our member theaters bear with us as we work through resolving this unexpected situation." Calamia said.
The only exception to the timeline, Calamia noted, pertains to the 13th Annual Wilde Awards, scheduled for Sept. 22 at The Berman Center for Performing Arts in West Bloomfield and sponsored by Pride Source Media Group. "As of right now, that's still on the schedule. Keep watching EncoreMichigan.com for complete details."
Although the road ahead seems bumpy, Calamia is confident that somehow EncoreMichigan.com will remain online and fully serving ALL of the state's professional theaters while continuing to expand its readership. "There's nothing like us out there, and so to lose us would mean a valuable resource would be gone for good. We thank our member theaters, the theater community as a whole, and our readers for their continued support these past six years. And with their help, we can continue to provide a much-needed service for many years to come."
EncoreMichigan.com is a web-based media company focused on Michigan's professional theater industry. Established in 2008, it is the state's premier source for free, up-to-the-minute news and information about this often-ignored segment of the arts community. Designed as a one-stop shop for consumers, industry professionals and others with an interest in the performing arts, EncoreMichigan.com is updated daily and packed with informative interviews, insightful reviews, comprehensive show listings, thoughtful commentary, audition notices, podcasts and much, much more. Original content is created by a dedicated team of veteran freelance journalists and theater professionals. In addition to material created exclusively for EncoreMichigan.com, links are also provided to reviews and stories of interest that appear in other local and national online publications. Together, this makes EncoreMichigan.com the most complete source for professional theater news anywhere in Michigan. EncoreMichigan.com is media partners with CBS Detroit, IXITI, MLive, New Monitor, and Pride Source Media Group.
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