Encore Michigan

The Brass Tacks Ensemble announces 2018 season

PreviewSeason Announcement March 25, 2018 Encore Staff

ANN ARBOR—The Brass Tacks Ensemble (artistic director James Ingagiola and executive director Isaac Ellis) has announced its 2018 season. Thought-provoking drama, thrilling suspense, and fast-paced comedy highlight a series of productions in which seemingly ordinary individuals are thrust into extraordinary situations. Who will survive, who will thrive, and how will they be changed? There’s only one way to find out: enjoy The Brass Tacks Ensemble’s signature less-is-more approach.

The first production is Patrick Barlow’s suspenseful The 39 Steps, directed by Ethan Gibney. When a mysterious woman is killed in his London home, Richard Hannay finds himself framed for her murder. To prove his innocence and expose a sinister espionage network known as “The 39 Steps,” Hannay must race across the country to find the only man that can help him. Inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s film and John Buchan’s classic novel, The 39 Steps is a fast-paced comic adventure full of spies, murder, and romance—all with a vaudeville twist!

“The comedies that stick with us have more than just good jokes,” commented Gibney. “Sometimes it’s an enticing mystery, sometimes a high-stakes adventure, lasting themes, or characters that you want to see succeed. Or maybe it really is just good jokes. The 39 Steps has all this and more, on top of being a lovingly-crafted homage to the works of Alfred Hitchcock.”

The cast of The 39 Steps includes: Daniel Bizer-Cox, Isaac Ellis, Dory Mead, and Maegan Murphy. The show plays for two weekends, April 20-22 and April 27-29, 2018; Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm, Sundays at 2:00 pm at the CCC, 1600 Pauline Blvd. in Ann Arbor. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $5 for students (with ID). For reservations, visit The Brass Tacks Ensemble website or call or text (734) 926-5376.

Over the summer, BTE will present The Hairy Ape by Eugene O’Neill, directed by Isaac Ellis. The world of the superior, confident Yank, a brute of a coal shoveler aboard a steamliner, is shaken when he meets Mildred, the well-intentioned daughter of a rich steel magnate. Seeking to prove his place in the world, Yank squares off against a society where men are replaced by machines and separated by class. How does the worth of a single person measure up against the prosperity of a society? This expressionist masterpiece, by the Nobel-prize winning author of Long Day’s Journey Into Night and The Iceman Cometh, chronicles the journey of individualism in the age of the assembly line. The Hairy Ape plays for one weekend, August 2-4, 2018; Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8:00 pm, Saturday afternoon at 2:00 pm at the Kerrytown Concert House, 415 N 4th Ave in Ann Arbor. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $5 for students (with ID). For reservations, visit www.kerrytownconcerthouse.com or call (734) 769-2999.

Noëel Coward’s Blithe Spirit, directed by Aaron C. Wade, rounds out the 2018 Season in the fall. When a socialite novelist curious about the occult hires a medium to gain inspiration for his next book, he gets more than he ever bargained for; the ghost of his first wife returns spreading tragically hilarious consequences in her wake. Noël Coward’s enduring play explores the dark repercussions of blissful ignorance, and with the help of the supernatural creates marital turmoil like no one has ever seen. Blithe Spirit plays for two weekends, November 2-4 and November 9-11, 2018; Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm, Sundays at 2:00 pm at the CCC, 1600 Pauline Blvd. in Ann Arbor. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $5 for students (with ID). For reservations, visit The Brass Tacks Ensemble website or call or text (734) 926-5376.

Since 1999, with their inaugural production of King Lear, The Brass Tacks Ensemble has been dedicated to producing shows that strip away the excess and focus on the essentials of theater: Actor. Text. Audience. The Brass Tacks Ensemble is devoted to connecting to the audience through the essential elements of theater to spark the imagination; presenting established and original works with a focus on clarity, universality, and entertainment; and providing actors, directors, designers, and writers the opportunity to develop as artists.

Week of 8/15/2022

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