Preview: Bonnie & Clyde, Encore Musical Theatre Company



Mahalia Greenway and Adam Woolsey are Bonnie & Clyde at the Encore Musical Theatre Company / Michele Anliker Photography

Bonnie & Clyde opened the Dexter-based Encore Musical Theatre Company’s eighth season on Friday, October 2, and will continue through October 25.

The musical follows star-crossed lovers, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, as they fall in love, rob banks, and kill a few people on their way to notoriety in Depression-era Texas. Frank Wildhorn’s compelling score - a mix of rollicking gospel, blues, and ballads - accompanies the outlaws’ reckless thrill-ride.

The musical Bonnie & Clyde has a special connection to Encore’s co-founder, Dan Cooney, one of the original cast members of the Broadway production. Director Ron Baumanis, and music director Tyler Driskill, reprise their work following Ann Arbor Civic Theater’s excellent Bonnie & Clyde production last year. This time around they’re accompanied by Wilde Award Winner Mahalia Greenway (Bonnie) and American Idol contestant Adam Woolsey (Clyde), with Peter Crist (Buck Barrow) and Elizabeth Jaffe (Blanche Barrow).


Amy Cantú is a Production Librarian at the Ann Arbor District Library.


Bonnie & Clyde runs through Sunday, October 25. For tickets, call The Encore Theatre Box Office at 734.268.6200 or visit the website.

READ MORE  

Preview: Casting Session, Purple Rose Theatre



David Daoust and Tom Whalen star in Casting Session at the Purple Rose Theatre Company / Sean Carter Photography

It is hard to believe, but true. Purple Rose Theatre Company in Chelsea is 25 years old.

The Theatre began in 1991 and its inaugural season included a play called Shoe Man by a new playwright: Purple Rose’s famous founder Jeff Daniels. The play won The Detroit News’ Best New Play Award; Purple Rose went on to become a leader in American regional theater and Jeff Daniels continued to write many more plays that premiered at the Chelsea theatre.

Local audiences should be excited! To celebrate its silver anniversary, Purple Rose kicks off its season with a brand new Jeff Daniels world-premiere comedy. Casting Session takes place in the world of professional theatre, as middle-aged rival actors Frank (Tom Whalen) and Ron (David Daoust) hilariously compete for the same New York City roles.

The play, directed by Guy Sanville, explores the humorous lengths actors will go to to get a part. Erika Matchie Thiede, a past Purple Rose apprentice who is making her professional debut in this production, rounds out the talented cast.


Tim Grimes is manager of Community Relations & Marketing at the Ann Arbor District Library and co-founder of Redbud Productions.


Casting Session performances run Wednesday - ­Sunday, through December 19. For information, visit www.purplerosetheatre.org or call 734-433-7673. Purple Rose Theatre Company is located at 137 Park Street in Chelsea.

READ MORE  

Preview: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Performance Network



John Seibert and Sandra Birch star in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the Performance Network

George and Martha, the battle-weary duo made famous by Richard Burton and Liz Taylor in Mike Nichol’s classic Oscar-winning film, pay a month-long visit to Ann Arbor as Performance Network Theatre opens its season with Edward Albee’s Tony-winning play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? This fascinatingly intelligent play, which also won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, will be directed by Suzi Regan.

Reviewing the 1962 premiere, the New York Times stated "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is possessed by raging demons. It is punctuated by comedy, and its laughter is shot through with savage irony.” Performance Network Executive Director John Manfredi states, “It’s a perfect start to our season. The dialogue, the games, the wit­ it’s writing at its best.”

Network veterans John Seibert and Sandra Birch play the disenchanted college professor and his unhappy wife who plan an intimate evening of cocktails, fun, and games with a naïve new couple on campus (Nick Yocum and Victoria Walters Gilbert). What begins with witty wordplay ends with a climax that still shocks modern audiences.


Tim Grimes is manager of Community Relations & Marketing at the Ann Arbor District Library and co-founder of Redbud Productions.


Performances of ​Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? ​run Thursday - ­Sunday, October 1­ - November 1, with previews October 1­-8 and Opening Night on Friday, October 9. For information, visit www.pntheatre.org​ or call 734-­663-­0681. Performance Network Theatre is located at 120 E Huron St in Ann Arbor.

READ MORE  

Preview: Antigone, University Musical Society



Juliette Binoche in Anne Carson's new translation of Antigone at the Power Center / Jan Versweyveld

This upcoming weekend, the University Musical Society (UMS) presents Antigone, starring Academy Award-winning actress Juliette Binoche in a contemporary version of Sophokles’ timeless tragedy of familial love caught in conflict with political obligation.

Directed by Ivo van Hove and translated by Canadian poet Anne Carson--a former U-M professor of classics and comparative literature (as well as MacArthur “Genius” grant winner)--this modern adaptation tells the story of a young woman, Antigone, who defies her uncle Creon, head of state in Thebes, when he refuses her brother burial on the grounds that he is a traitor.

In his review in the New York Times, theater reviewer Ben Brantley notes, “Ms. Binoche glows with the fever of fanatical, fixed purpose. She brings to mind the great Maria Falconetti in Carl Dreyer’s silent Passion of Joan of Arc, a film Ms. Binoche has cited as a major influence on her acting.” Check out a copy of Antigone.


Amy Cantú is a Production Librarian at the Ann Arbor District Library.


Antigone runs Wednesday, October 14 - Saturday October 17, 2015 at The Power Center, 121 Fletcher St., Ann Arbor. Learn more and purchase tickets online.

READ MORE  

Preview: All My Sons, U-M Department of Theatre & Drama



All My Sons at the University of Michigan Department of Theatre & Drama

In honor of Arthur Miller’s centenary and the University of Michigan Department of Theatre & Drama’s 100th Anniversary, director Wendy C. Goldberg and other alumni of the Department of Theatre & Drama will present All My Sons, Miller’s first major success after graduating from U-M, a Tony Award-winner for Best Author, and winner of the 1947 Drama Critics Award for Best Play.

The New York Times called it “the most talented work by a new author in some time….To judge by the intellectual content and the dramatic workmanship of “All My Sons," Mr. Miller is here to stay….”

Like Death of a Salesman written two years later, the story follows a flawed everyman wrestling with the American Dream: Joe Keller is a successful businessman who may have knowingly sold faulty cylinder heads for aircraft engines in World War II that caused the deaths of 21 pilots. The play takes place over the course of a weekend three and a half years later when his youngest son, Chris, hopes to marry his deceased older brother's fiancee, Ann, the daughter of Keller's best friend Steve (his partner who was jailed for the crime).

The University of Michigan Department of Theatre & Drama will also present the Arthur Miller Symposium, a series of free talks and panel discussions occurring October 14-16. They include: “Miller into the Future” (7pm, October 14, Stamps Auditorium); “Miller as Touchstone” (4:30pm, October 15, Arthur Miller Theater); and “Miller in Production” (6:30pm, October 16, Stamps Auditorium).


Amy Cantú is a Production Librarian at the Ann Arbor District Library.


Performances of All My Sons run October 10-11, and 15-18, in the Arthur Miller Theatre on U-M’s North Campus. For tickets call (734) 764-2538 or purchase online.

READ MORE