Tuesday, July 8, 2014

What's on Stage - July 6th Edition

This week's calendar of live performances!

Professional Theatre:

Stratford Theatre Festival continues its season in full swing with several productions beginning this week.

Crazy for You continues its run through October 12th.  Performances run throughout the week, with evening and matinee tickets available.

Synopsis: Sent to Deadrock, Nevada, to foreclose on a derelict theatre, banker Bobby Child falls for its owner’s daughter, Polly Baker. Can he reconcile the demands of duty and love – and his own dreams of dancing? “I Got Rhythm,” “Nice Work if You Can Get It” and “Someone to Watch Over Me” are just some of the gems in this dynamic musical’s dazzling score.

Alice Through the Looking-Glass opens on April 30th and runs through October 12th with evening and matinee tickets available.

Synopsis:  Climbing through her living-room mirror, Alice enters a world of wonders populated by such fantastical characters as Humpty Dumpty, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the Walrus and the Carpenter – and the fearsome Jabberwock. Children and adults alike will be delighted by this spectacular journey into the topsy-turvy realm of the dreaming mind.

King Lear opens on May 6th and runs through October 10th with evening and matinee tickets available.

Synopsis:  An aging monarch resolves to divide his kingdom among his three daughters, with consequences he little expects. His reason shattered in the storm of violent emotion that ensues, with his very life hanging in the balance, Lear loses everything that has defined him as a king – and thereby discovers the essence of his own humanity.

Man of la Mancha opens May 8th and runs through October 10th with evening and matinee tickets available.

Synopsis:  Awaiting trial by the Inquisition, poet and playwright Miguel de Cervantes is assailed by his fellow prisoners, who try to seize the manuscript of his masterpiece, Don Quixote. His inspired response: a challenge to join him in staging his stirring tale of Quixote’s obsessive quest to attain an impossible dream.

A Midsummer Night's Dream opened May 31st and runs through October 11th with evening and matinee tickets available.

Synopsis: Threatened with death if she marries against her father’s wishes, Hermia elopes with her lover, Lysander, pursued by rival suitor Demetrius and his spurned admirer, Helena. In the enchanted woods, love’s lunacy reaches its giddiest heights – both for the bewildered couples and for an aspiring actor transformed into the unlikely consort of a fairy queen.

Midsummer Night's Dream: A Chamber Play opens July 11th and runs through September 24th with evening and matinee tickets available.

Synopsis: Two couples become gods, animals, demons, monsters, children, playthings and, finally, gradually, compassionate, honest, loving adults. Across one intense night of confusion, delusion, repression, permission, forgiveness and release, Shakespeare’s masterpiece moves right into the open heart of our multiple selves and conflicted identities – the only thing that we know for certain in this life is that, along with the climate, we are changing.

King John opened May 28th and runs through September 20th with evening and matinee tickets available.

Synopsis: War is the inevitable result when the King of France demands that John relinquish his crown in favour of his nephew, the young Prince Arthur. Excommunication, attempted atrocity, rebellion and assassination all contribute to a political and personal turmoil that finds devastating expression in an anguished mother’s grief for her son.

Mother Courage and Her Children opened May 30th and runs through September 21st with evening and matinee tickets available.

Synopsis: As the Thirty Years’ War swirls around her, Mother Courage scrapes together a living for herself and her three children by selling provisions to Protestant and Catholic combatants alike. But as she hauls her wagon across the battlefields of Europe, she discovers that the very chaos that sustains her will eventually cost her everything she holds most dear.

Hay Fever opened on May 28th and runs through October 11th with evening and matinee tickets available.

Synopsis: Stage star Judith Bliss, her novelist husband and their two grown children have each invited houseguests for the weekend. But as the Blisses indulge their artistic eccentricities in a hilarious whirlwind of flirtation and histrionics, the guests begin to wonder if they’ve landed in a madhouse – and if they can survive the weekend with their own wits intact. 

Festival Friday Chats begins in the month of June, giving patrons an ability to peer inside the playbill and participate in chats revolving around the shows being performed this season.

Stratford's Food for Thought series kicks off this week with discussions on various shows that can be enjoyed along with brunch or lunch.

Stratford's Peer into the Playbill discussion series with directors begins this week, with varying times available throughout the summer season. 

Stratford's Night Music series, which allows you to hear music in the evenings at different venues around the festival kicks off on May 4th

For ticket info, dates and times, and full show details, please visit the Stratford website

The Purple Rose Theatre begins their production of The Last Romance on June 12th, running through August 30th with evening and matinee tickets available.

Synopsis: A crush can make anyone feel young again – even a widower named Ralph. On an ordinary day in a routine life, Ralph decides to take a different path on his daily walk – one that leads him to an unexpected second chance at love. Despite the misgivings of family and the initial reluctance of Carol, the object of his affections, Ralph embarks on the trip of a lifetime and regains a happiness that seemed all but lost. The Last Romance is a heart-warming comedy about the transformative power of love.

The Encore Theater begins their production of Carousel on July 10th, running through August 10th with evening and matinee tickets available.

Synopsis: In a Maine coastal village toward the end of the 19th century, the swaggering, carefree carnival barker, Billy Bigelow, captivates and marries the naive millworker, Julie Jordan. Billy loses his job just as he learns that Julie is pregnant and, desperately intent upon providing a decent life for his family, he is coerced into being an accomplice to a robbery. Caught in the act and facing the certainty of prison, he takes his own life and is sent 'up there.' Billy is allowed to return to earth for one day fifteen years later, and he encounters the daughter he never knew. She is a lonely, friendless teenager, her father's reputation as a thief and bully having haunted her throughout her young life. How Billy instills in both the child and her mother a sense of hope and dignity is a dramatic testimony to the power of love. It's easy to understand why, of all the shows they created, CAROUSEL was Rodgers & Hammerstein's personal favorite.

College Theatre:

Central Michigan University opens its production of Murder by Natural Causes on June 25th with additional performances on June 28th and July 11th.

Synopsis: A greedy wife’s “fool-proof” plan to murder her husband, a famous psychic, puts the ultimate test to his abilities in this wildly clever, edge-of-the-seat thriller. Twists and turns abound through the final scene!

Community Theatre:

Spotlight Players open their production of Aladdin and his Wonderful, Magical Lamp running from July 10th through the 13th.

Synopsis: Aladdin and His Wonderful, Magical Lamp travels through time to the ancient streets of Shammar in Old Arabia. Aladdin, our mischievous and charming hero, is lured into a mysterious cave by the villainous Jammal and his evil sister, Halima, to obtain a magical lamp that will bring Jammal untold wealth and power. And to make matters worse, Aladdin and his trusty monkey, Alakazam, are on the run from the royal executioner, Chop-Chop, who protects Princess Jasmine, her mother – Queen Sultana — and her father, the Sultan. When Aladdin and Jasmine have a chance meeting in the crowded marketplace, it’s love at first sight and Aladdin vows to one day marry the princess. Pursuing his true love, he’s also juggling to keep the peace with his weary mother, sister and angry merchants, all of whom are tired of Aladdin’s antics. And as Aladdin gets embroiled in Jammal’s scheming, we’re introduced to not one, but three powerful genies, and a fire-breathing dragon as well as a bevy of colorful characters who assemble in this fast-paced, high-energy main stage musical.

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