Wednesday, Jan 17, 2018
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WEEKENDER | THEATER

Croswell announces Special Events Series

The Croswell Opera House’s 2017-2018 Special Events Series includes a trio of musicals, the local premiere of a film with Lenawee County connections, and lots of music from country to disco.

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The Wizards of Winter, founded by former members of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, will bring the rock sounds of holiday favorites to the Croswell Opera House in Adrian.

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Meet Me in St. Louis, to be presented Nov. 25 to Dec. 10, is the Adrian theater’s annual holiday musical. Based on the 1944 film of the same name about a family looking forward to  the 1904 World’s Fair, the score includes “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and “The Boy Next Door.”

Godspell, a musical by lyricist and composer Stephen Schwartz, who also wrote Wicked, will be the Croswell’s annual all-area high school production Jan. 27 to Feb. 3. The Big Meal, a dramatic comedy that follows 80 years in the life of one American family, will be presented Feb. 23 to March 4, and in Disenchanted, a  comedy musical for adults, such  fairy-tale princesses as Snow White and Cinderella tell what really can happen in “happily ever after” from April 13-22.

A musical for children, Stellaluna and Other Tales, based on the book series by Janell Cannon, will be presented March 23-31. 

Jere Righter, the Croswell’s artistic director, describes the series as “something for everyone,” giving audiences shows that will bring them back.

The film All or Nothin will have its local premiere  at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 4. Laura Haviland, a local icon, is among the characters in this new film about a group of slaves who escaped in 1853. The movie is by Ann Arbor filmmaker Charles Campbell and partly filmed in Lenawee County.

In “Fun Pianos by 176 Keys,” the Dueling Pianos return at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in an adult-oriented show. Some on-stage table seating is offered.

The holiday musical entertainment in the series begins with “Carols and Candlelight” starring  Broadway veteran Michael Lackey performing Christmas favorites at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21 in the James E. Van Doren Studio. 

“The Van Doren studio, a new space at the theater, gives us a chance to do things in a much more intimate setting,” Righter said. 

The Wizards of Winter, founded by former members of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, will present rock-style holiday favorites at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22. 

You Rock, Valentine!, with rock ‘n’ roll hits performed by Dave Rains, and dinner catered by the Hathaway House, is set for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14 in the Van Doren Studio.

Branson on the Road, at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 11, brings a classic-country musical salute to American history and heroes for Veterans Day.

The band Your Generation presents a tribute show that covers five decades of pop, rock, dance, and R&B at 7:30 p.m. March 10.

In Disco Night at the Croswell at 7:30 p.m. April 7, singer Tatiana Owens, who was seen in Memphis and Million Dollar Quartet, returns for a concert featuring hits from such performers as  Donna Summer, Sister Sledge, the Bee Gees, and more — expect  to see the audience dancing in the aisles.

The Michigan-based Ben Daniels Band, which has appeared in concert halls around the United States and has become a favorite at such area venues as the Ark and the Blind Pig, appears at 7:30 p.m. April 28.

Tickets for the Special Events Series are available from croswell.org and 517-264-7469.

New company

Mary Boyer and Mary F. Aufman, until recently residents of New York City, have relocated to Toledo to set the stage for a new professional theater company, the Lakes Theatre Company. They will focus on classic American theater with comedies and dramas by major American playwrights, said Boyer, co-artistic director with Aufman.

Their first season begins with The Heiress by Ruth and Augustus Goetz, to be presented at the Maumee Indoor Theatre Feb. 22-25 and March 1-4. They plan to present You Can’t Take it With You by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart in June.

They will hold general auditions for Actors Equity and non-Equity members for both productions from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in Room 203 of the Common Space Center for Creativity, 1700 N. Reynolds Rd. Those auditioning should prepare two contrasting monologues that total three minutes. For more information, call 917-885-7450.

Boyer, who grew up in Toledo, headed for New York after college graduation for a career as an actor and director. Her resume includes a continuing role in the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black, portraying Pat Warren, the adoptive mother of Suzanne Warren, also known as Crazy Eyes. She also has appeared in Woody Allen’s film You Don’t Know Jack and his TV series Unforgettable

Aufman, who met Boyer when they were students at University of Detroit, has been a member of the Perkasie Theatre Company for 25 years and has worked in theater, film, and TV, including roles in All My Children and The Bedford Diaries.

Contact Sue Brickey at sbrickey@theblade.com.

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