Tag Archives: Grand Rapids Civic Theatre

Two Great Pieces of Classical Theatre Happening in GR Right Now

Les Miserables

LES MISÉRABLES at Grand Rapids Civic Theatre

February 28 – March 30, 2014

Book by Alan Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, Music By Claude-Michel Schönberg and Lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer

This multiple Tony Award winning musical phenomenon follows the story of former prisoner Jean Val Jean, who is on the run from police officer Javert, rescues Fantine’s daughter, Cosette, and sets out to begin a new life. Set post-French revolution, Les Misérables, is the story of love, loss, and the hope of a better tomorrow.

Show Description: After 19 years on the chain gang, Jean Valjean finds that the ticket-of-leave he must display condemns him to be an outcast. Only the Bishop of Digne treats him kindly and Valjean, embittered by years of hardship, repays him by stealing some silver. Valjean is caught and brought back by the police and is astonished when the Bishop lies to the police to save him. Valjean decides to start his life anew.

See a preview video, get information about the cast, and reserve tickets at Grand Rapids Civic’s website.

Driving Miss Daisy


DRIVING MISS DAISY at Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids

March 20, 22, 23, 27, 29, 30, 2014 

Written by Alfred Uhry, Directed by Lewis Richards and Len Robinson and starring Nancy Wagner, Jerome Richards, Patrick Hendren and Ruth Ann Molenaar, “Driving Miss Daisy” is a timeless classic. It explores themes of friendship, prejudice, racism and the fluctuating atmosphere in the second half of the 20th century. A charming “Must See”

Appropriate for all audiences, Thursday and Saturday evening curtain times are 8:00 PM and Sunday at 3:00 PM

Go online for tickets after March 10th or call the Box Office at 616-234-3946. www.jtgr.org

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“The Sound of Music” at Grand Rapids Civic Theatre

The Sound of MusicNovember 15 – December 15, 2013

Music by Richard Rodgers; Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II; Book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse Suggested by “The Trapp Family Singers” by Maria Augusta Trapp

The beloved Rodgers and Hammerstein family musical returns! A young woman who leaves a convent and becomes the governess to the Von Trapp family, falls in love with Captain Von Trapp and his family as the dawn of World War II approaches.

To get more information and to order your tickets, go to Grand Rapids Civic Theatre’s website at: grct.org

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Announcing the Grand Award Winners…

The following article can be found on www.mlive.com

Actors’ Theatre leads Grand Award winners with outstanding musical, play

Henry, played by Duncan McCarger, listens to Natalie, played by Maggie Nye, in a scene from Next to Normal by Actors' Theatre. (Jon M. Brouwer|MLIVE.COM)

Henry, played by Duncan McCarger, listens to Natalie, played by Maggie Nye, in a scene from Next to Normal by Actors’ Theatre. (Jon M. Brouwer|MLIVE.COM)

By Sue Merrell | grentertainment@mlive.com

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Racking up awards is next to normal for Actors’ Theatre, which won a total of 11 Grand Awards Sunday night including Outstanding Musical for “Next to Normal” and Outstanding Play for “A Steady Rain.” Circle Theatre productions won seven awards including four for the season’s final show, “Sweeney Todd.”

“It’s just been a really good year for theatre,” said Larry Young, who won the lead actor award for “Sweeney Todd.” Young also was nominated as the lead actor in “Next to Normal.” Both shows were favorites for Young, who said he felt more of a connection to “Next to Normal” which deals with mental illness in a realistic, sympathetic manner.

Grand Awards, which raises money for the Combined Theater Scholarships, filled Civic Theatre with a rowdy crowd of dressed up performers, ranging from an oversized female impersonator to child actress nominee Zoe Meyering. In honor of the 17th annual event, the evening opened with a snazzy dance routine by a group of 17-year-olds, who then ran the rest of the show by announcing the nominees and winners.

A highlight of the three-hour program was a tribute to Paul Dreher, longtime managing director of Civic Theatre, who died in June. The tribute featured many area performers, including Actors’ Theatre founder Fred Sebulske, coloratura pops artist Diane Penning-Koperski, Circle managing director Lynne Brown-Tepper and Chicago actor Kirk Swenk, all performing songs they learned at Civic Theatre under the direction of Dreher.

Dreher also received posthumous Grand Awards for his direction of “Amadeus” at Aquinas College and for his lighting design, with daughter Catherine Marlett Dreher, for “Wait Until Dark.”

Duane Davis, longtime director of choral music for Grand Rapids Community College, received the Norma Brink Lifetime Achievement award. Lou Vanderhave received a special award for his volunteer commitment. The stage crew of “Legally Blonde” won the new techie award for collecting the most additional contributions for Combined Theatre Scholarships.

This year’s scholarship recipients are Brook Bruce Purnell, Daniel Orris Jr. and Will Vicari.

After the presentations ended, and people were starting to leave, a flash mob dance routine snowballed on the stage, starting with one dancer, then three, five, more. Local actress Ellie Frances was brought onto the stage and given roses by many more performers who filed onto the stage. Then her friend, local actress Tracey Walker, took a microphone, got down on one knee and proposed before the assembled friends and family. The acceptance was sealed with a kiss and a ring.

Here’s a list of this year’s Grand Award winners:

• Outstanding Musical: “Next to Normal” (Actors’)
Lead Actor: Larry Young, “Sweeney Todd” (Circle)
• Lead Actress: Kelly Carey, “Next to Normal” (Actors’)
• Supporting Actor: Stephen Grey, “ Sweeney Todd”
• Supporting Actress: Maggie Nye, “Next to Normal”
• Director: Fred Sebulske, “Next to Normal” (Actors’)
• Musical Direction: Wright McCargar, “Sweeney Todd” (Circle)
• Choreography: Mary Lohman, “The Wedding Singer” (Circle)

• Outstanding Play: “A Steady Rain” (Actors’)
• Lead Actor : (Actors’); Todd Lewis, “A Steady Rain” (Actors’)
• Lead Actress: Samantha Rena Dam, “Nadia”(Actors’)
• Supporting Actor: Andrew McClelland, “Looking for Normal” (Actors’)
• Supporting Actress: Kitty Carrico Carpenter, “Looking for Normal” (Actors’)
Director :Jeralyn Pinsky, “A Steady Rain” (Actors’)

• Scenic Design: Christian Poquette, “Next to Normal” (Actors’)
• Lighting Design: Catherine Marlett Dreher, “Sweeney Todd” (Circle); Paul A. Dreher and Catherine Marlett Dreher, “Wait Until Dark” (Circle)
• Costume Design: Robert Fowle “Boeing-Boeing” (Circle)

• Outstanding Production: “Amadeus” (Aquinas)
• Lead Actor: Micah Hazel, “The Ladies Man” (GRCC)
• Lead Actress: Rachel Varley, “Reckless” (Aquinas)
• Supporting Actor: Christopher VanderArk, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” (Cornerstone)
• Supporting Actress: Meeka Postman, “Crooked” (GRCC)
• Direction: Paul A Dreher, “Amadeus” (Aquinas)

• Outstanding production: “The Mystic Tale of Aladdin” (Circle).

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“The Giver” Opens at Grand Rapids Civic Theatre Oct. 18

The Giver

The Giver

October 18-27, 2013

Jonas’ world is perfect. Everything is under control and safe. There is no war or fear or pain. There are also no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. But when Jonas turns 12, he is chosen for special training from The Giver—to receive and keep the memories of the community. The Giver is the only person who holds the memories of real pain and real joy. Now Jonas will learn the truth about life—and the hypocrisy of his utopian world. Through this astonishing and moving adaptation, discover what it means to grow up, to grow wise, and to take control of your own destiny.

Performance Information:

The show runs from Weds – Sunday, October 18-27, 2013

Tickets prices for The Giver range from $10 – $16

Get more information and order your tickets at grct.org

Grand Rapids Civic Theatre

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Great Fall Theatre in September

Here are a few of the great shows opening up this month in our fair city:

Sweeney Todd at Circle

Sweeney Todd

When: TONIGHT – September 21

Where: Circle Theatre

Reserve Your Seats: www.circletheatre.org

About the show:  The rare instance of a musical thriller, Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s chilling, suspenseful, heart-pounding masterpiece of murderous barber-ism and culinary crime tells the infamous tale of the unjustly exiled barber who returns to 19th century London seeking revenge against the lecherous judge who framed him and ravaged his young wife. His thirst for blood soon expands to include his unfortunate customers, and the resourceful proprietress of the pie shop downstairs soon has the people of London lining up in droves with her mysterious new meat pie recipe!

Sophisticated, macabre, visceral and uncompromising, SWEENEY TODD nevertheless has a great sense of fun, mixing intense drama with howlingly funny moments of dark humor. You’ll find yourself laughing hysterically one moment and gasping in surprise the next!

grct1314sherlock9Sherlock Holmes Final Adventure

When: TOMORROW – September 28

Where: Grand Rapids Civic Theatre

Reserve Your Seats: www.grct.org

About the show:  The world’s greatest detective has seemingly reached the end of his remarkable career when a case presents itself that is too tempting to ignore: The King of Bohemia is about to be blackmailed by a notorious photograph, and the woman at the heart of this crime is the famous opera singer, Irene Adler. With his trusted companion, Doctor Watson, at his side, Sherlock Holmes pursues first the case, and then the affections of Miss Adler—and in doing so, marches right into the lair of his longtime adversary, that malevolent genius of crime: Professor Moriarty. In this spirited, fast-moving and thoroughly theatrical adaptation, Steven Dietz presents Holmes at the height of his powers—surrounded by all the elements that fans of his exploits have come to expect: danger, intrigue, wit, humor and surprise. “The game is afoot, Watson—and it is a dangerous one!”

Pillowman-231x300The Pillowman

When: September 19 – September 28

Where: Dog Story Theatre, Presented by SouthSide Theatre Company

Reserve Your Seats: www.dogstorytheater.com/2013/09/01/the-pillowman-presented-by-southside-sept-19-28/

About the show:  With echoes of Stoppard, Kafka, and the Brothers Grimm, THE PILLOWMAN centers on a writer in an unnamed totalitarian state who is being interrogated about the gruesome content of his short stories and their similarities to a series of child murders. The result is an urgent work of theatrical bravura and an unflinching examination of the very nature and purpose of art.

Love! Valour! Compassion!Love! Valour! Compassion

When: September 19 – September 28

Where: Actors’ Theatre

Reserve Your Seats: actorstheatregrandrapids.org/love-valour-compassion

About the show:

In Duchess County, New York eight friends gather over the course of three summer weekends in a house belonging to aging Broadway choreographer Gregory and his younger partner Bobby, who is blind.

The guests gather, some possibly for the last time, as friendship, love, life and death take center stage in the award-winning contemporary classic by renowned playwright Terrance McNally, author of Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, ‘Lips Together, Teeth Apart’, and Corpus Christi.

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