Dressing Room Chats – Episode 4 – Ron Williams

Meadow Brook Theatre’s Artistic Director Travis W. Walter is back at it again… this time he interviews Ron Williams backstage in his dressing room.  Ron plays Detective Fix and many other characters in AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS which runs from Oct 1 – 26, 2014.

For tickets and information visit our website at www.mbtheatre.com, call the box office at 248-377-3300, or visit ticketmaster.com

Watch the interview on our youtube channel here.

Dressing Room Chats – Episode 3 – Rusty Mewha

Meadow Brook Theatre’s Artistic Director Travis W. Walter is back at it again… this time he interviews Rusty Mewha backstage in his dressing room.  Rusty plays Phileas Fogg in AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS which runs from Oct 1 – 26, 2014.

For tickets and information visit our website at www.mbtheatre.com, call the box office at 248-377-3300, or visit ticketmaster.com

Watch the interview on our youtube channel here.

Kick Off!

Hello Readers!

So as many of you know this year marks our 49th season. We have had many great shows in the past. With that being said next year is going to be BIG! To kick off our 50th Anniversary season we are having….

 

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wait for it…..

 

I know that you are getting excited…

 

by now you can’t wait for me to tell you what is happening….

 

okay I am really going to tell you…
splash-book

Meadow Brook Theatre will host Tommy James and The Shondells on July 18, 2015 for the Theatre’s fundraising event Black Tie on the Black Top. The event includes a pre-glow reception, strolling dinner and one-night-only concert with the band. The fundraiser will kick-off Meadow Brook Theatre’s 50th Anniversary celebration and all proceeds will benefit the theatre. The event is black tie optional or black tie creative! Audiences can enjoy a pre-concert reception with strolling food and wine beginning at 6:00 PM with the concert performance at 8 PM.

Tommy James and the Shondells have sold over 100 million records and have been awarded 23 gold singles and nine gold and platinum albums. The group will be performing such hits as “Crimson And Clover,” “Mony Mony,” “Hanky Panky,” “Crystal Blue Persuasion,” “I Think We’re Alone Now,” and “Draggin’ The Line.”

Tickets are not on sale quite yet, but you can call the box office at 248.370.3300 to reserve your spot so you won’t miss out! Tickets Range from $85 to $125, with exclusive early sponsorship opportunities available. For sponsorship opportunities please contact Katy Olsen Development Director at 248-370-4991 or kolsen@mbtheatre.com. Check out the flyer for more information.

Tommy James Sponsor info poster(1)

This is an exciting event and you do not want to miss it!

Stay Tuned…

Casey S. Hibbert©

Dressing Room Chats – Episode 2 – Mathew Schwartz

Meadow Brook Theatre’s Artistic Director Travis W. Walter just interviewed Mathew Schwartz backstage in his dressing room.  Mathew plays Passepartout in AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS which runs from Oct 1 – 26, 2014.

For tickets and information visit our website at www.mbtheatre.com, call the box office at 248-377-3300, or visit ticketmaster.com

Watch the interview on our youtube channel here.

Dressing Room Chats Begin

Meadow Brook Theatre’s new web series “Dressing Room Chats” has just begun. This season, Artistic Director Travis W. Walter will be interviewing actors backstage in their dressing rooms to offer more insight into the shows that we produce.

In this episode Travis W. Walter interviews actor Peter C. Prouty from AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS which runs from Oct 1 – 26, 2014

For tickets and information visit our website at www.mbtheatre.com, call the box office at 248-377-3300, or visit ticketmaster.com

Watch the interview on our youtube channel here.

‘Around the World in 80 Days’ is a steampunk laugh fest

Meadow Brook Theatre’s first review for Around the World in 80 Days came in with a rating of 4 out of 5 Stars from Patty Nolan at the Examiner.com.
On October 5th, 2014 the Examiner.com published Nolan’s review which states:

“Start with a classic Jules Verne story of adventure. Add ingenious steampunk scenic and costume design to frame the action inside the ubiquity of cool scientific confidence. Bring it to life in the stylized manner of a Victorian melodrama. Place it in the hands of an ensemble cast that understands that physical comedy is a team sport. The result is a hilarious show that is full of clever surprises – fully earning the standing ovation it received on opening night.”

“The thrill for the audience is watching these five actors play almost 40 characters as they create a world that includes travel by steam ship, typhoon-worthy sail boats, trains that jump rivers, and elephants that storm through the jungle. (The stylized elephant is worth the price of admission.) The omnipresent clockwork gears and occasional puffs of steam remind us that human ingenuity, fortified by pure scientific reason, is bound to prevail in the end.”

Nolan goes on to say, “This show is visually spectacular and one of the most entertaining family-friendly productions you are likely to see.”

To read the rest of Nolan’s review… follow this link.

We are so proud of our production and we’d love for you to come and see it.  It runs at Meadow Brook Theatre until October 26, 2014. Tickets range from $26 to $41 and are available by calling the Meadow Brook Theatre box office at 248-377-3300 or going online through Ticketmaster.com. Student discounts are available at the box office. Groups of eight or more should call 248-370-3316 for group pricing. Meadow Brook Theatre is located on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester.

Here We Are!!!

Hello Readers!

Hope everyone is ready for another season! I hope that you all are as excited about this season as we are. We have some many

great shows coming up! First up is Around the World in 80 Days! It is a fast-paced comedy with 5 actors playing 39 different roles! In keeping with that, here are some interesting facts about Jules Verne.

Did you know:

  • Jules Verne began writing for operas!
  • His father did not like him working in the theatre, so to please his father he became a stockbroker! Although he hated this, he was quite good at it.
  • He spent a lot of time with Alexander Dumas and Victor Hugo to gain writing advise.
  • Around the World in 80 Days was based on the true story of George Francs. George however, did the journey in double that.
  • The first electric submarine was created in 1886. It was named after Verne’s submarine in his book 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. It was called The Nautilus.
  • Verne wrote a book entitled Paris in the 20th Century. It feature high-speed trains, glass skyscrapers, and calculators. It was weirdly accurate. However it was never published. Until 1989,  when Verne’s great-grandson found it in a safe.
  • Verne wrote and had published 1 book a year for 40 years.
  • In 1886 he was shot in the leg by his mentally-ill nephew, Gaston. This left him with limp for the rest of his life. Jules Verne died in 1905 of diabetes.

 

So there you have it! Thanks for reading!

STAY TUNED FOR SOME EXCITING NEWS…

Casey S. Hibbert©

The Challenge!

Hello Readers!!

Well the summer is winding down and we are winding up for our 49th season! It is going to be one heck of a season. Season tickets are on sale now and individual tickets go on sale Sept. 8th at 10am. Go to mbtheatre.com for more details or call our box office at 248.377.3300. As they say “On with the show!”

So there is this challenge going around social media. The “Ice Bucket Challenge.” This is to support and raise awareness of ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. This disease is fatal and currently there is no cure.  Celebrities, athletes, families, and people across the nation have done this challenge in support. Someone else has been added to the list! Our very own Artistic Director Travis Walter has accepted the challenge! Let me tell you this is the highlight of my week. Not only did myself, and fellow MBTer Paige, get to pour ice water over Travis’ head, we got to do it 3 times! We really like to go big here at MBT so we thought why not go all the way. Check out his challenge below!

Thank you to Travis for accepting the challenge and raising awareness for some many of those people who are suffering with ALS. To those he has challenged, you have 24hrs to complete it. Keep fighting! Hope to see you all in October for Around the World in 80 Days.

Stay Tuned…

Casey S. Hibbert©

World War What!?

Hello Readers!!

I hope that you all enjoyed the Andrews Sisters. This week I thought that I would give you some interesting facts about WWII. Some of these are quite interesting. On to…

WORLD WAR WHAT!?

  • The country with the largest number of WWII causalities was Russia, with over 21 million.
  • Max Heiliger was the fictitious name the SS used to establish a bank account in which they deposited money, gold, and world_war2_kissingjewels taken from European Jews.
  • The original abbreviation of the National Socialist Party was Nasos. The word “Nazi” derives from a Bavarian word that means “simple minded” and was first used as a term of derision by journalist Konrad Heiden (1901-1966).
  • The swastika is an ancient religious symbol. It derives from the Sanskrit name for a hooked cross, which was used by ancient civilizations as a symbol of fertility and good fortune. It has been found in the ruins of Greece, Egypt, China, India, and Hindu temples.
  • In 1935, British engineer Robert Watson-Watt was working on a “death ray” that would destroy enemy aircraft using radio waves. His “death ray” instead evolved into radar—or “radio detection and ranging.”
  • In addition to Jews and gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses were also persecuted and murdered in German concentration camps.
  • In 1941, a private earned $21 a month. In 1942, a private earned $50 a month.
  • The SS ran a brothel named “The Kitty Salon” for foreign diplomats and other VIPs in Berlin. It was wiretapped, and 20 prostitutes underwent several weeks of intense indoctrination and training. They were specifically trained to glean information from clients through seemingly innocuous conversations.
  • During WWII, hamburgers in the U.S. were dubbed “Liberty Steaks” to avoid the German-sounding name.
  • The Nazis pirated the Harvard “fight song” to compose their Sieg Heil march.
  • Members of Adolf Hitler’s inner circle allegedly called Rudolf Hess “Fraulein Anna” because he was reportedly a homosexual. He was also known as the “Brown Mouse.”
  • William Hitler, a nephew of Adolf Hitler, was in the U.S. Navy during WWII. He changed his name after the war.
  • Several famous actors were decorated during WWII. For example, Henry Fonda won a Bronze Star in the Pacific, Walter Matthau was awarded six battle stars while serving on a B-17, and David Niven was awarded the U.S. Legion of Merit. Christopher Lee was a pilot in the Royal Air Force and also won a number of awards.
  • Hitler kept a framed photo of Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, on his desk. Henry Ford also kept a framed photo of the Nazi leader on his desk in Dearborn, Michigan. In Mein Kampf, Hitler included some anti-Semitic views attributed to Ford.
  • Norvell Gillespie, the garden editor of Better Homes and Gardens, designed the camouflage print for U.S. service uniformsww2_soldier_kissing_daughter_tin_hat in WWII.
  • Calvin Graham was only 12 years old when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He won a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart before the Navy found out how old he was.

 

Well there you have it! Those are your Fun Facts for today! Hope you learned something today, and I want to know why Mr. Henry Ford had a picture of Hitler on his desk? Interesting…

Well…

Stay Tuned…

 

Casey S. Hibbert©

 

 

 

http://facts.randomhistory.com/world-war-ii-facts.html

The Andrews Sisters

Hello Readers!

Here is probably what you were waiting for! The Andrews Sisters had an amazing career that spanned many years. Here is a little history and some fun facts about the Andrews Sisters.

PattyMaxeneLaVerne

 

 

 

 

They started their career as imitators of an earlier successful singing group, the Boswell Sisters. After singing with various dance bands and touring in vaudeville with the likes of Ted Mack, Leon Belasco, and comic bandleader Larry Rich, they first came to national attention with their recordings and radio broadcasts in 1937, most notably via their major Decca record hit, “Bei Mir Bist Du Schön” (translation: “To Me, You Are Beautiful”), originally a Yiddish tune, the lyrics of which Sammy Cahn had translated to English and “which the girls harmonized to perfection.” They followed this success with a string of best-selling records over the next two years and they became a household name by the 1940s.

220px-Apple_Tree_Andrews_SistersDuring World War II they entertained the Allied forces extensively in America, Africa and Italy, visiting Army, Navy, Marine and Coast Guard bases, war zones, hospitals, and munitions factories. They encouraged U.S. citizens to purchase war bonds with their rendition of Irving Berlin’s song Any Bonds Today?. They also helped actress Bette Davis and actor John Garfield found California’s famous Hollywood Canteen, a welcome retreat for servicemen where the trio often performed, volunteering their personal time to sing and dance for the soldiers, sailors and Marines (they did the same at New York City’s Stage Door Canteen during the war). While touring, they often treated three random servicemen to dinner when they were dining out. They recorded a series of Victory Discs (V-Discs) for distribution to Allied fighting forces only, again volunteering their time for studio sessions for the Music Branch, Special Service Division of the Army Service Forces, and they were dubbed the “Sweethearts of the Armed Forces Radio Service” for their many appearances on shows such as “Command Performance”, “Mail Call”, and “G.I. Journal.”

andrews3The Andrews Sisters broke up in 1951 when Patty joined another group, with her husband acting as her agent. Patty traces the breakup to the deaths of their parents: “We had been together nearly all our lives,” Patty explained in 1971. “Then in one year our dream world ended. Our mother died (in 1948) and then our father (in 1949). All three of us were upset, and we were at each other’s throats all the time.”

When Maxene and LaVerne learned of Patty’s decision from newspaper gossip columns rather than from their own sister, it caused a bitter two-year separation, especially when Patty decided to worsen matters by suing LaVerne for a larger share of their parents’ estate. Maxene and LaVerne tried to continue the act as a duo and met with good press during a 10-day tour of Australia, but a reported suicide attempt by Maxene in December 1954 put a halt to any further tours (Maxene spent a short time in the hospital after swallowing 18 sleeping pills, an occurrence that LaVerne told reporters was an accident). The sisters’ private relationship was often troubled and Patty blamed it on Maxene: “Ever since I was born, Maxene has been a problem,” she said. The trio reunited in 1956 and signed a new recording deal with Capitol Records, for whom Patty was already a featured soloist.

the-andrews-sisters-9After LaVerne died, Maxene and Patty continued to perform as a duo until 1968, when Maxene announced she would become the Dean of Women at Tahoe Paradise College, teaching acting, drama and speech at a Lake Tahoe college and working with troubled teens, and Patty was once again eager to be a soloist. The two sisters did reunite, albeit briefly, on October 1, 1987, when they received a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, even singing a few bars of “Beer Barrel Polka” for the Entertainment Tonight cameras. An earthquake shook the area that very morning and the ceremony was nearly cancelled, which caused Patty to joke, “Some people said that earthquake this morning was LaVerne because she couldn’t be here, but really it was just Maxene and me on the telephone.” Besides this, and a few brief private encounters, they remained somewhat estranged for the last few years.

Maxene suffered a heart attack and died at Cape Cod Hospital on October 21, 1995, making Patty the last surviving Andrews Sister. Patty died of natural causes at her home in Northridge, California, on January 30, 2013 at the age of 94.

So there you have it!! They were quite the trio and they sure did have their ups and downs. If you have not yet purchased your tickets to see The Andrews Brothers, you should before they are all gone. The tickets have been selling fast and you don’t want to miss this show! To get you tickets visit ticketmaster.com or call the Box Office at 248.377.3300. In case you missed the videos last time check them out now!

Stay Tuned…

Casey S. Hibbert©

 

 

 

Information from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Andrews_Sisters