Taste & Tunes, an Evening of Music and Food, Features Vocalist and Musician Dave Bennett

Audiences won’t find many musicians who are equally conversant with the music of Benny Goodman (the “King of Swing”) and Roy Orbison (“The Soul of Rock and Roll”). An annual fixture at several American music festivals, Dave Bennett is a clarinet virtuoso who plays electric guitar, piano, drums, and vocalizes. He will be featured at “Taste & Tunes,” the Rochester Symphony Guild’s benefit for the Rochester Symphony Orchestra, on Saturday, November 13. Plan now for an evening of fun and … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Insightful and Intriguing, Oakland University’s ‘Passage’ is a Powerful Journey Worth Taking

An attentive and appreciative crowd welcomed back live theatre to Oakland University (OU) for the opening night of Passage. Written by Chinese-American playwright Christopher Chen, this gripping and enigmatic play runs until Oct. 17 in the Varner Studio Theatre on the OU campus in Rochester, MI. The last time I sat inside Varner Studio Theatre was to review Macbeth on February 6, 2020, and it was a little sad thinking about those seniors who I never got to see take their final bow before … [Read more...]

Who did it? Where? And with what? Find out in the ‘Clue: On Stage’ at Meadow Brook Theater

Running October 13 through November 7, 2021 Six strangers, all with aliases – Colonel Mustard, Mrs. White, Mrs. Peacock, Mr. Green, Professor Plum, and Miss Scarlet – gather for a mysterious dinner party at a remote mansion. When their host winds up dead, they race to find the killer. Led by the butler, Wadsworth, they must band together to solve the mystery in a hysterical fashion. But can they find out who did it, where, and with what before more bodies show up? Based on the cult classic … [Read more...]

Christopher Chen’s ‘Passage’ Coming to Oakland University Stage

Play leads audiences on a journey of self-exploration Oakland University’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance will present Passage, a gripping and enigmatic play by Chinese-American playwright Christopher Chen, on Oct. 7-10 and Oct. 14-17 in the Varner Studio Theatre on the OU campus. Set in the fictional “Country X,” Passage engages audiences in an ideological debate about the precarious nature of political borders and the social divides that emerge in times of strife. Inspired by E.M. … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Avon Players’ ‘Night of January 16th’ Delivers Courtroom Drama and a Surprise Ending

Avon Players welcomed eager theatergoers back for the opening night of Ayn Rand’s courtroom drama, Night of January 16th, running now until Saturday, October 9, 2021, in Rochester, MI. This moment is important because it marks the first live production since the shutdown in March 2020 when Lend Me a Tenor had to abruptly ends its run. And it is also a season of celebration as Avon Players commemorates 75 years of bringing creative and crowd-pleasing theatre to the area. Before the start of … [Read more...]

Meadow Brook Theatre to Hold Auditions for Children in ‘A Christmas Carol’

Auditions are on September 27 on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester, Mich. A favorite holiday tradition returns to Meadow Brook Theatre for the 39th year: A Christmas Carol. Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and a handful of ghosts will once again grace the streets of London to deliver a message of unity. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, original adaptation and staging by Charles Nolte, will run at Meadow Brook Theatre (MBT) on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester, MI … [Read more...]

REVIEW: ‘FANCY, a Country Jukebox Musical’ Sends a Strong Message of Moxie and Self-Sufficiency in World Premiere at MBT

Ladies and gentlemen, intermission is officially over! After 19 long months, Meadow Brook Theatre (MBT) came to life Wednesday evening for the delayed world premiere of FANCY, a Country Jukebox Musical, which runs September 8 through October 3, 2021, on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester, MI. Wednesday night was the first preview performance, and you could feel the enthusiasm rippling through the audience and radiating from the actors. L to R: Larissa Klinger as "Fancy" and … [Read more...]

The Verdict Remains a Surprise to All in Avon Players’ ‘Night of January 16th’

Avon commences a landmark season with interactive drama    Live theatre returns to Avon Players in time for its 75th season as the company presents Night of January 16th running Friday, September 24 - Saturday, October 9, 2021.  Night of January 16th is a courtroom drama by Ayn Rand. The play depicts the trial of Karen Andre (Hosanna Phillips of Hazel Park), who is accused of murdering Bjorn Faulkner, her boss, and secret lover. Faulkner, a disgraced international … [Read more...]

Avon Players Celebrates 75 Years

The year was 1947. On the world stage, Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in his experimental jet airplane and Jackie Robinson became the first African American to take the field in a Major League baseball game. On the local stage in Rochester, Michigan, a community theatre group known as the Avon Players was born. An early Avon Players production (Courtesy of Avon Players) The Rev. Robert J. Burgess of Rochester’s First Congregational Church was a leading advocate for the formation of a … [Read more...]

Meadow Brook Theatre Reopens with World Premiere of ‘FANCY, a Country Jukebox Musical’

Inspired by Reba McEntire’s hit recording, FANCY is the story of a young girl turned out of her mother’s house with nothing but her guitar and the clothes on her back. Her dreams come true as she rises to country music superstardom, but at what cost? Originally scheduled to end the 2019-2020 season, the world premiere of FANCY kicks off Meadow Brook Theatre’s (MBT) return to live theatre. The chart-topping, crossover hits include “Mama, He’s Crazy,” “Before He Cheats,” “Take This Job and … [Read more...]