Heads Will Roll: Theatre Nova's "The Revolutionists" is equal parts comedy and tragedy


Theatre Nova's The Revolutionists

Hilarious freedom: Theatre Nova's The Revolutionists explores feminism and insurrection with quick wit.

The Revolutionists takes place in 1793, during the French Revolution and the start of the Reign of Terror. But Theatre Nova's production of Lauren Gunderson’s play is remarkably fresh and relevant today. The characters’ language and mannerisms are entirely present-day, and the four strong women the play portrays are fighting for freedoms that many women, racial minorities, and the disenfranchised still do not enjoy even today.

Even though The Revolutionists is set during one of the most horrifying periods in history, and it’s clear that not enough has changed about these issues since then, the play is far from a downer.

It is, in fact, mostly a comedy.

And what a premise for a comedy.

READ MORE  

Partners in Rhyme: Katie Geddes and David Vaughn at The Ark


Katie Geddes and David Vaughn at The Ark

Katie Geddes and David Vaughn's musical partnership extends from the Green Wood Coffee House to The Ark.

Katie Geddes' warm voice and inviting onstage personality make you feel like you are getting a virtual hug at her concerts. And maybe that feeling will make you want to hug someone, too.

Her voice is a cross between Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt, and her music selections hark back to gospel and country stars of old, but there is a contemporary edge to her presence and vocal stylings. The result is a sound that makes her sound simultaneously modern and timeless.

READ MORE  

Backyard Dreaming: Penny Seats' "Peter and the Starcatcher"


Penny Seats, Peter and the Starcatcher

Rarely has an Ann Arbor stage been so uniquely suited to a play as West Park is to Peter and the Starcatcher, Rick Elice’s Tony-winning prequel to Peter Pan, based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson.

West Park, which serves as the summer home of The Penny Seats Theatre Company, is versatile and adaptable to a wide variety of theatrical experiences. When I saw Peter and the Starcatcher last weekend, a friend turned to me at intermission and said, “This set looks like it would if I were a kid playing pirates and make-believe out in my backyard.” And it does. Many of the imaginatively used props consist of mismatched, cobbled-together items like grocery shopping carts, kitchen timers, a plastic pineapple, coconut shells, and more.

READ MORE  

Talent Show: "Shakespeare Unplugg’d" at The Ark

Ann Arbor theatergoers usually have to travel to Jackson to see performances by the critically acclaimed Michigan Shakespeare Festival (MSF). But on Monday, July 31, MSF company members will come to The Ark in Ann Arbor to perform. Granted, it's not a play; it's MSF's seventh annual Shakespeare Unplugg’d, a no-holds-barred variety show.

READ MORE  

Cry of Joy: The Sea The Sea at The Ark


The Sea The Sea

Sea-faring couple: Mira Stanley and Chuck E. Costa make beautiful music together.

Sometimes the best way to describe a band is to let the musicians do it themselves.

"Indie folk/pop duo band! Harmony-based, lyric-driven, simple and true," the married couple Mira Stanley and Chuck E. Costa wrote in an email about their duo, The Sea The Sea. "But the best way for us to describe it is to just say, come to a show! We’d love to sing for you."

You'll have a chance to be sung to by The Sea The Sea on Wednesday, June 7, when the duo returns to The Ark.

The ambiance and intimacy of the upstate New York couple's music evokes old-time folk, the mellow side of modern pop, and the technical precision of something not quite classical but not far from it. When you add in their thoughtful, intricate lyrics and their impeccably blended vocal harmonies, you’ve got music and musicians that are engaging on many levels.

I reached out to The Sea The Sea to ask them about the couple's union, the source of the band's name, and Stanley's time in Ann Arbor as a U-M student.

READ MORE