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Musicals

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In Michigan, it’s not just students who mark the start of a new year in September.

Encore Michigan Editor-in-Chief David Kiley said local theaters will roll out the upcoming season’s programming this fall. He joined Stateside today for Theater Talk.

The Detroit Repertory Theatre is wrapping up its 60th year with a production of "Countdown to the Happy Day" by Thomas W Stephens
EncoreMichigan.com

As part of our ongoing series Theater Talk,  David Kiley from Encore Michigan joined Stateside for a look at what's on stage from professional theater companies around Michigan right now.

Michigan Opera Theatre will present Cyrano de Bergerac with music by David DiChiera and a libretto by Bernard Uzan, after Edmond Rostand’s play, from May 13 through May 21.
EncoreMichigan.com

There are plenty of shows to see this time of year from professional theater companies across the state. David Kiley from Encore Michigan joined Stateside to talk about a few of the highlights.  

Silence: The Musical is showing at The Ringwald Theatre in Ferndale through June 5.
Jennifer Maiseloff / The Ringwald Theatre

For this edition of Theater Talk on Stateside, David Kiley of Encore Michigan joins the show to talk about four productions currently on stage across Michigan. Two are Academy Award-nominated films adapted into musicals (and only one of them is authorized), one is a drama about a single mom's intimate encounter with a U.S. Senator, and another is a Tennessee Williams classic that's making a rare appearance in the state. 

"Motown: The Musical" will be at the Fisher Theatre through April 30.
EncoreMichigan.com

There's a lively professional theater scene happening in Michigan.

With that being the case, Stateside is launching a new regular segment on the show called Theater Talk. It will turn the spotlight on different companies, keeping you up to speed on productions.

Conor Ryan plays Christopher McCandless in the new musical "Into The Wild"
Michele Anliker Photography

25 years ago this month, a recent college graduate named Christopher McCandless hitchhiked to Alaska. He then hiked into the wilderness, using an old mountain road called the Stampede Trail.

A few months later, on Sept. 6, a hunter found him dead inside an old bus.

Writer Jon Krakauer told this puzzling story in his book Into the Wild which was later adapted into a 2007 film directed by Sean Penn and starring Emile Hirsch.

Now, the story of the young man who called himself "Alexander Supertramp" has been turned into a stage musical.

Into The Wild opens tomorrow night (Friday, April 14) at the Encore Musical Theatre Company in Dexter.

©Disney. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

The Lion King opened on Broadway in November 1997. Nearly 20 years later it’s still going strong. The musical returns to the Detroit Opera House this month and for one of the show’s actors, it’s a bit of a homecoming.

Oak Park native John Sloan III attended University of Michigan and performs this month as a member of Lion King’s ensemble. He spoke to Stateside about his journey to the performing arts and why he believes the arts are critical to any education.

Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II
Public Domain

 

Broadway musicals have covered a dizzying array of subjects. It may be hard to believe, but that list includes the life and trials of a young physician.

On this evening, 69 years ago, the medical musical "Allegro" opened on Broadway.

Although it’s long been forgotten, University of Michigan medical historian Dr. Howard Markel believes the lessons taught by "Allegro" are worth remembering today.

Cara AnnMarie and Jacléne Wilk in a scene from the film "Liberty's Secret"
Tripp Greene Press

Take a presidential campaign. Mix in a large serving of old-fashioned musicals, and top it off with two women realizing they are in love, and you've got the new film Liberty's Secret.

Andy Kirshner is the writer, composer, director, producer and he has a role in the film, which is having its premiere this Thursday at the Michigan Theatre in Ann Arbor. Kirshner is also an associate professor of both music and art & design at the University of Michigan.

The film, which the website describes as "the all-American lesbian movie-musical," tells the story of a struggling presidential campaign fronted by moderate Republican Kenny Weston, who recruits the charismatic Liberty Smith to be his running mate. This singing and dancing preacher's daughter is just what the campaign needs to get back into the race to the White House. That is, until she falls in love with one of the campaign's political consultants, who is a woman.

Aladar Nesser

Ice arenas and fights are among the first images to come to mind when someone thinks about hockey. When author and playwright Mitch Albom thinks about hockey, he has one thing on his mind: musicals.

"Hockey - The Musical!" will be making its opening debut tonight for a month-long run at Detroit's City Theatre, and Albom hopes it will bring together theater geeks and sports fans alike.