REVIEW: Family and Love are the Heart of Meadow Brook Theatre’s ‘A Christmas Carol’

A Christmas Carol was my dad’s favorite holiday movie. In fact, he owned nearly every version, so I grew up appreciating the different spin each one put on the story. But no matter the adaptation, the common thread that ran through them all was love, hope, and redemption. But it wasn’t until watching Meadow Brook Theatre’s (MBT) seminal production that I was struck with how the heart of the story is really about family. Running through December 22 at MBT on the campus of Oakland University in … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Oakland University’s ‘Blue Stockings’ is a Brilliant Study of the Fight for Education and Owning One’s Knowledge

Part of the excitement of seeing an Oakland University School of Music, Theatre and Dance production is the anticipation of finding out what is waiting as you round the corner and enter the transformed space. This time it is Blue Stockings – a beautiful, funny, and thought-provoking piece of theatre directed by Karen Sheridan and running now through November 24 in the Varner Studio Theatre. Written by Jessica Swale, Blue Stockings is set in 1896 at the all-female Girton College, Cambridge. … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Oakland University’s ‘Urinetown’ Merges Merriment and Misery into One Mind-Blowing Musical Production

Urinetown is a musical I’ve heard a lot about over the years but never found the time to see — until now. Oakland University School of Music, Theatre and Dance get their 2019-20 season off to a phenomenal start with their production of this Tony Award-winning musical running now through Oct. 20 in the Varner Studio Theatre. Have you ever thought about paying for the privilege to pee? Probably not, but this concept served as the inspiration for Urinetown. In the mid-90s, Greg Kotis (Lyrics and … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Meadow Brook Theatre Takes Audiences for a Thrilling Ride on ‘Murder on the Orient Express’

Last year, Meadow Brook Theatre (MBT) opened its season with murder and mayhem with the classic, Arsenic and Old Lace. As they begin their 54th season, they revisit that theme with Agatha Christie’s famed Murder on the Orient Express; playing now through October 27, 2019 on the campus of Oakland University (OU). Originally published in 1934, Murder on the Orient Express continues to delight audiences in all its formats. Which says a lot about the longevity of Christie’s works considering … [Read more...]

A Weekend in Philadelphia: Exploring the City’s Hip and Historic Culture with Pack Up + Go!

Like nearly 100 million Americans, I planned a summer vacation. Well, technically I let someone else plan it. And while using a travel agency is nothing new, giving said agency carte blanche to choose the travel destination is a bit unorthodox. But before I get into that, let me give you some background about how my friends and I made the decision to go this route. Fifteen years ago, Cari, Lynn, Viviane, and I started celebrating our collective birthdays by taking a trip. Some years we’ve … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Come Have the Time of Your Life at Avon Players’ ‘Mamma Mia!’

There is good news and bad news regarding Avon Players Theatre’s 2019-20 season-opening production of Mamma Mia! the smash-hit musical. First the good news: if you have tickets to see this show, you’re in for a fun time. The bad news? The entire run is completely sold out.* Last season I was extremely impressed with Avon Players musical production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. And I’ll be honest when I saw Mamma Mia! was on this season’s schedule, I wondered how it would compare. … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Come Experience Joie de Vivre at Meadow Brook Theatre’s Charismatic Production of ‘The IT Girl’

Frequently, people go to the movies to escape their real-life woes. Whereas as theatre tends to bring people together for a shared experience. As Meadow Brook Theatre (MBT) closes out its 2018-2019 season it gives audiences the best of both worlds with The IT Girl—a creative hybrid of musical and movie magic running now until June 23 on the campus of Oakland University (OU) in Rochester. With book by Michael Small and BT McNicholl, music by Paul McKibbins, and lyrics by BT McNicholl, The IT … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Life, Love, and the ‘Company’ You Keep is at the Heart of Avon Players’ Latest Production

How do you solve a problem like Bobby’s? That’s the question on the minds of his married friends and the women in his life. And what is Bobby’s problem? He’s 35 and still single (gasp!). Welcome to composer Stephen Sondheim’s Company; an eccentric look at modern love in 1970's Manhattan and the closing production of Avon Players’ diverse 2018-2019 season, running now through June 1. When Company debuted on Broadway in 1970, it earned a record-setting 14 Tony Awards® nominations, of which … [Read more...]

REVIEW: ‘James and the Giant Peach’ Is an Enchanting Odyssey Sure to Enthrall Audiences

Tassels have been turned, but the Oakland University School of Music, Theatre and Dance is busy putting the finishing touches on their latest production — a delightful adaptation by Richard George of Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach coming to the Varner Recital Hall stage on the campus of Oakland University (OU) on Friday, May 17, Sunday, May 19, and Friday, June 7. This particular telling of the tale is directed by Lynnae Lehfeldt, along with recent OU theatre grad Mannon McIntosh … [Read more...]

Meadow Brook Theatre Announces Children’s Series

Tickets are on sale now for Meadow Brook Theatre’s (MBT) 12th annual Children’s Series, kicking off in February 2020 “These shows are a great chance for families to come and experience a live show in an intimate setting that’s close to home,” says Cheryl Marshall, MBT managing director. “We love seeing the kids enjoying and interacting with what’s going on onstage.” First is Rosie Revere, Engineer & Friends on Saturday February, 29, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. This Theatreworks USA … [Read more...]