Monthly Archives: January 2010

Don’t Miss “If They’d Only Let Me” This Sunday!

This Sunday come join Actors’ Theatre for If They’d Only Let Me – the show with your favorite performers taking the stage to do the the show stopping numbers they have always wanted to do, but never could before!  For this one night only see actors do the songs they’d love to perform… if they weren’t just so wrong for the part.

After all, could you imagine the twins from SideShow as two men!?!

January 31, 2010 7:00 PM at the Spectrum Theater
$20 general admission
Call the box office today for tickets at (616)234-3946.

Featuring …
Lynne Brown Tepper, Aubry Talbott Van Antwerp, Larry Young, Ellie Gramer, Barbara Osburn, Maureen Kirkwood, Rob Karel, Craig Hammerlind, and many more…

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Mr. Marmalade Preview on YouTube

Check it out: A video preview of Mr. Marmalade at Actor’s Theatre!

Mr. Marmalade by Grand Rapids, Michigan native Noah Haidle opens TONIGHT!

Call the Box Office today at: (616) 234-3946 or go here for ticking information.

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Mr. Marmalade Final Dress Rehearsal to Benefit GRCC Hatian Relief Fund…

For immediate release:

Actors’ Theatre is teaming with GRCC students to donate all proceed from our final dress rehearsal of Mr. Marmalade to the GRCC Haitian Relief Fund.

Wednesday, January 27th
Box office opens at 7:00 PM
Show begins at 8:00 PM

$5 – general admission – all proceeds collected will go directly to the Red Cross.

* Mr. Marmalade contains graphic language and adult situations. May not be suitable for younger audiences.

Here is what the GRCC students, and faculty, have put into action – so far…

• Today, students and faculty in GRCC’s Secchia Institute of Culinary Education will donate all their tips from The Heritage Restaurant, a working classroom, to the cause.

• Theatre students are dedicating their Wednesday , January 24, performance of Art of Murder. This comedy is being produced by the GRCC Players student group and directed by GRCC alumnus Chris Grooms.

• All students and faculty in GRCC’s health programs, including Dental, Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assistant and Radiological Tech, will bring in fruit donations next week which will be sold on campus for $1 a piece. They also hope to raise awareness of healthy eating habits while selling.

Director of Student Life Eric Mullen, who oversees student organizations on GRCC’s campus says ideas are still percolating. In a campus-wide e-mail, GRCC President Steve Ender, congratulated students on their passion to help the people of Haiti and encouraged everyone at the college to participate in any way they are able.

All funds collected will be contributed directly to the Red Cross.

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Mr. Marmalade: Kids Grow Up Fast These Days

Grand Rapids Native Playwright Noah Haidle

You’re bound for a tough life when even your imaginary friend doesn’t have time for you.

Of course, you might not realize that when you’re only four years old, as is Lucy, the pint-size protagonist of Mr. Marmalade. Played by an adult actress in pigtails and a tutu, Lucy is definitely wise beyond her years – but she doesn’t quite get that the behavior of her imaginary friend reflects the failures and vices of the adults in her world.

A Dark Comedy
Lucy spends a lot of time alone in her apartment or in the care of a disinterested babysitter while her single mother attends to her own life – which seems to consist primarily of going out and bringing home strange men to stay the night. In search of connection and companionship, Lucy invents Mr. Marmalade, a Type A businessman who often sends his assistant to visit Lucy while he’s preoccupied elsewhere. When he does drop by, Mr. M exhibits an unfortunate penchant for cocaine and pornography over tea parties and dress-up games. Things go from bad to worse when Lucy meets Larry, the youngest suicide attempt in the history of New Jersey, whose own imaginary playmates are a bit of a handful.

Shocking and profane, blisteringly funny yet deeply poignant, Mr. Marmalade is not remotely appropriate for children. It does, however, have a lot to say about the way children process the trauma of a dysfunctional family life in the light of an ever-coarsening popular culture and the often inappropriate behaviors on display in their own living rooms. The irreverent tone may remind you of TV’s South Park, but there’s much more there, as the playwright asks the audience to wrestle with some seriously heavy questions in between the belly laughs.

From E.G.R to N.Y.C.
Mr. Marmalade was written by Noah Haidle, who graduated from East Grand Rapids High School in 1997. Haidle left West Michigan for Princeton University, the Julliard School and a career as “one of the most consistently thought-provoking young playwrights working in this country,” according to one West Coast critic.

Mr. Marmalade premiered off-Broadway at the Roundabout Theatre in November 2005. The title role was played by Michael C. Hall, whose HBO series Six Feet Under, had just ended its acclaimed run. The role of Lucy was played by Mamie Gummer, the daughter of Meryl Streep, in her professional stage debut. Gummer won a 2006 Theatre World Award as Best Supporting Actress for the role.

Alas, this star power did not fill seats. Mr. Marmalade closed less than three months after its New York debut. Nonetheless, it has proven a robust performer in progressive regional theatres across the country. It also served as quite the calling card for Haidle.

After Marmalade
Haidle’s Vigils – a warm-hearted exploration of human memory and grief – premiered at Chicago’s Goodman Theater in October 2006. His Persephone – in which the heroine, a statue of the Greek goddess Demeter, never moves an inch – debuted in Boston in 2007. This production moved The New Yorker magazine to pronounce the then 28-year-old Haidle “formidably talented.”

In November 2008, Haidle’s Saturn Returns premiered at New York’s Lincoln Center. The play involves three actors interpreting one character  – Gustin Novak – at momentous turning points, each 30 years apart. The entire production takes place in Gustin’s Grand Rapids, Michigan living room.

Haidle has also ventured into film. In 2004, he co-wrote, co-produced and co-directed Blood in the Sand, a comic samurai epic. Shot for $15,000 in 24 days, Haidle has called it both a “complete failure” and “a very good learning experience.” Presumably, he put the experience to good use scripting the film “Old Timers,” a comedy about two retired hit men. The film was slated for production in the latter half of 2009.

Still, Haidle’s heart seems firmly set in the theatrical world. In November 2009, he told the Orange County Register that, “I’m very much a student of history, and although film is entering its sixth generation, theater has been around for about 3,000 years. To be part of that lineage and sit down in that (playwright’s) chair is a place that I don’t take lightly.”

Giving a platform to daring, imaginative, unconventional theatrical voices is something Actors’ Theatre doesn’t take lightly. Please help us continue our mission by attending Mr. Marmalade.

Imaginary friends get in free!

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Actors’ Theatre Annual Gala

Actors’ Theatre is proud to be hosting their sixth annual gala event on April 17, 2010 at the St. George Banquet and Conference Center. The goal of this event is to raise funding so that Actors’ Theatre can continue to bring our community the best in entertaining, innovative, challenging and thought-provoking theatre. We believe in the inclusion of all.
This wonderful evening will give Actors’ Theatre a chance to socialize with our patrons, showcase the amazing vocal talents of our performers and pay tribute to our first recipient of the Actors’ Theatre Standing Ovation stewardship award being presented to Dr. Chet and Elaine Maternowski. Guests will have a chance to win fantastic grab bag prizes, bid on high end auction items, enjoy wonderful food provided by West Michigan Catering, and delight in performance and dancing.

When:  Saturday, April 17, 2010
, 7:00 PM

Where:  St. George Banquet and Conference Center – 334 Lagrave Ave SE

Attire:  Cocktail attire

For More Information and Tickets:
Business Office (616)234-3817
Box Office (616)234-3946

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