The Challenge!

19 08 2014

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!?

5 05 2014

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

25 04 2014

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

 

 

 

 

 





Welcome to the USO!

22 04 2014

Hello Readers!

Well another show is here and this time it takes place at the USO! In keeping with the theme of the show here is some history about the USO.bob3Six decades ago, President Franklin Roosevelt conceived an organization–the USO–for the singular, but enduring purpose of reaching out directly from the American people to those in military uniforms who serve them. Non-governmental, but civilian and voluntary in make-up, the organization would serve as a link of compassion and reassurance from the ordinary citizen, that America cares, remembers, and supports the service and sacrifice of those who defend her. It would deliver morale enhancing programs and services around the world. Put simply, through its unique and selfless personality and character, the USO would deliver “America” to those far from home.

USO programs were as varied as the places that housed them. While most aimed to provide off-duty recreation for the mostly male and fairly young service personnel, some were designed for women in uniform, while others provided child care for military wives. USO’s could be many things to many people: a lively place to dance and meet people; a place to see movies or find religious counsel; a quiet place to talk or write letters; or, of course, the place to go for free coffee and doughnuts. bob5

The USO currently operates more than 160 centers worldwide; 77 overseas and 83 stateside. USOs in 10 countries and 22 states utilize the services of some 12,000 volunteers, from those who serve on the World Board of Governors, the USO’s governing body, to those who dish up Thanksgiving dinners to USO guests.

So there is a little bit of history about the USO. To find out more information you can visit http://www.uso.org.

Stay tuned later this week for The Andrews Sisters! In the meantime check out these videos of the Andrews Sisters.

 

Casey S. Hibbert©

 

 





Catch Me.

21 03 2014

Hello Readers!

I just wanted to take a minute and let you know that everyone should come and see Falling. It is one of the most beautiful plays I have seen. I got a chance to watch the show on Wednesday night, this being the first preview, I have never seen and audience stand from their seat so fast. The entire cast is incredible!

OUCARES will be having their fundraiser here at the theatre on Saturday night. So get your tickets and help this wonderful organization. If you want to help other organizations like this one; please visit any for the links below for more information.

OU CARES – Oakland University’s Center for Autism- (248) 370-2424
http://www.oakland.edu/OUCARES

Homes for Autism – (586) 477-0493
http://www.homesforautism.org/contact.html

Autism Society of Oakland County – (248) 393-3131
http://autismsocietyoaklandcounty.org/

Macomb/Saint Clair Autism Society – (586) 445-4915
http://macombasa.org/

Community Living Services of Oakland County – (248) 547-2668
http://www.comlivserv.com/OaklandCty-WWD.html

Common Ground – (800) 231-1127
http://commongroundhelps.org/

Judson Center Oakland County – (248) 549-4339
http://www.judsoncenter.org/get-involved

The Arc of Oakland County – (248) 816-1900
http://thearcoakland.org/about/general-information/

Autism Speaks of Michigan – (810) 689-8426
http://communities.autismspeaks.org/site/c.ihLPK1PDLoF/b.7512557/k.D6B7/Contacts.htm

Please, if you can, help any one of these organizations come see Falling. It is not just a show about Autism, but it is also about family relationships. For tickets visit ticketmaster.com or call the Box Office at 248.377.3300. You will be glad you did!

Stay Tuned…

Casey S. Hibbert©





20 Questions with Dave Roy of Lysistrata Jones

6 03 2014
Dave Roy (Understudy)

Dave Roy (Understudy)

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Windsor, Ontario and moved to Livonia, Michigan in the early 00’s.

Where did you go to school?

I attended Public Schools in Livonia and got my BFA in Musical Theatre from Oakland University.

What/Who was your inspiration to become an actor?

I’ve always been inspired by comic actors like Chris Farley, Will Ferrell, Dana Carvey, Jim Carrey. Once I got more into acting I fell in love with “Chameleon”actors, (actors who could play anything and everything). People like Phillip Seymour
Hoffman, Gary Oldman, Daniel Day Lewis, Cate Blanchett.

What is your biggest fear as an actor?

My biggest fear as an actor is to not do justice to the work that I am presenting; to be fake or unbelievable to the audience. I want them to believe everything I do and be true and natural in my art.

What is your dream role?

I would love to be someone larger than life, like Shrek or something ridiculous like that. Anything that would require a lot of hard work and research on my part would be really rewarding to perform every night.

What is your biggest dream?

My biggest dream is to work for the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago. Really, I just want to be able to spend my life performing and telling important stories to people.

What is your best/favorite role you have played?

This past summer, I played Enjolras in Spiro Productions’ Les Miserables at MBT. I had so much fun being a tough guy and fighting and singing loudly on the barricade.

Do you have a special prep routine before going on stage?

I like to do things that really relax me and put my mind in a focused and excited place. I listen to music or talk with friends in the cast and try to put my mind in a prepared place to go on and do the best I can every night.

Funniest stage blooper?

I played Jud Fry in my high school’s production of Oklahoma! when I was a junior. During the dream ballet, my mind drew a blank and instead of doing a slow motion, choreographed fight scene, I right hooked our Curley and got him right in the nose…real time. He ended up being okay and we laughed a lot about it later on, but I was never more embarrassed.

What was your first impression of this show?

Lysistrata Jones just has infectious music. It’s almost impossible to not bop your head along or bounce your knee when you listen to some of these songs. I’ve loved the energy of the show since day one.

Dancing with a basketball, easy or hard?

As the understudy, I don’t get a lot of opportunity to work with the basketball, but while learning the choreo, it was very difficult keeping the basketball under you while focusing on doing the steps. Props to the guys on the team!

How do you feel about pranks?

I love pulling pranks during shows as long as they don’t go too far. I think it keeps the energy up and keeps everyone on their feet. When you get somebody almost to the point of breaking on stage during a performance, it feels like you’ve just hit the jackpot.

What is the best prank you have ever pulled?

During A Christmas Carol this past December, I decided one day that I was going to put a mole right in the center of my cheek. A big fat one. I didn’t tell anybody about it and when I went on stage to dance during the Fezziwig scene, the look on everybody’s face was priceless. I continued adding more moles throughout the rest of the run every day and it was a blast. If they bottled up that feeling, I would buy all of it.

So there is a story floating around about a family driving through a neighborhood in downtown Detroit. The family spotted Bigfoot coming out of an abandoned house carrying a stick. Do you believe in Bigfoot?

If Bigfoot exists, there is a high chance that he is hanging out in Detroit somewhere. Sure I believe. It’s just a matter of time before we find some concrete evidence. People didn’t believe that there were dinosaurs before we found their bones.

Favorite snack food?

I’m a sucker for Swedish Fish and Chicago Style Popcorn.

Favorite actor?

Definitely either Kevin Spacey or John Malkovich. They’re both the type of guys you either love to love or love to hate. They can play anything and have a very intense focus that demands attention.

Favorite movie?

Tommy Boy is and always will be my favorite. I’ve seen it hundreds of times; own 3 copies of the DVD and the soundtrack. It’s a classic and I would be more than happy to quote any part of the movie.

Dream vacation?

I’d love to experience Europe and go out there without a plan. Just a bag of clothes, my passport and an open mind. There are so many landmarks and cultures of the world that I feel like I need to see.

If you could have dinner with anyone in the world living or dead who would it be and why?

I would love to have dinner with my parents when they were my age. Just to see what they were like and what sort of things they were curious about or going through when they were fresh out of school too.

If you were trapped on a desert island and you could only take two things, what would they be?

I would want to bring a good friend to talk to me and keep my sanity and an inflatable raft so I could attempt to make a getaway.

Stay Tuned…

Casey S. Hibbert©





20 Questions with Jake Wood of Lysistrata Jones

4 03 2014
JakeW

Jake Wood (Harold Lacedaemonian)

 

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Farmington Hills.

Where did you go to school?

For high school, I went to Brother Rice in Birmingham and then for college, I went to Oakland University.

What/Who was your inspiration to become an actor?

The Wizard of Oz. My parents showed me that as a kid, as most of our parents did, and I’m pretty sure that just sparked the fire. I also saw a lot of live entertainment as a kid (like Disney on Ice or Sesame Street Live or even touring shows at the Fisher) and that had a big influence on me as well.

What is your biggest fear as an actor?

One of my biggest fears would have to be not being able to perform. This career is so uncertain and not knowing when your next show/performance will be is scary.

What is your dream role?

Now my mom would like me to say the Phantom in the Phantom of the Opera. It was the first stage musical I saw (in Toronto when I was 9) and I was mesmerized. I would really love to get a chance to play the role. But for me, my dream role hasn’t been written yet. I would love to have a role written for me and catered to my talents as well as a chance to work with the creative team on a new character.

What is your biggest dream?

It used to be winning a Tony. Don’t get me wrong, that still is at the top of my list and the ultimate goal but as I’ve gotten older things have changed a bit when you see how difficult this career can be. My biggest dream is to keep performing and just make myself happy. I’m a huge family person, so eventually having a family one day while continuing to perform is my biggest dream. Later in life, hopefully after a few Tonys and a successful career, I would love to run a college theatre program and train young performers.

What is your best/favorite role you have played?

Foreground: Jake Wood (Harold Lacedaemonian) Background: Kathryn Terza (Cleonice Sanchez)

Foreground: Jake Wood (Harold Lacedaemonian)
Background: Kathryn Terza (Cleonice Sanchez)

OOO! Tough question. Now it feels like every show I do just tops the last one in some way. I’d have to go with Lt. Cioffi in Curtains. I did it my senior year of high school and was way too young for the role. I’d love to play it again when I’m age appropriate. The show is a theatre lover’s dream. It’s a throwback to Golden Age musicals and it’s so witty and the music is so fun. The role almost never leaves the stage. He holds the show together. He gets an amazing dance number in the second act. Definitely my favorite role, but I would like to play him again.

Do you have a special prep routine before going on stage?

It varies from show to show. Some shows I like “me” time, just 15 minutes before the show laying down with my iPod in. I almost always have throat coat (tea) with honey, just to get the chords ready to go. Although, most of the time, I just like to
talk and visit with the cast. I think it’s important to have a good relationship with everyone you’re onstage with. It makes me feel comfortable onstage and you have more fun when you’re performing with friends.

Funniest stage blooper?

I’ve been lucky enough not to have a lot of stage bloopers, but one happened yesterday during Lysistrata Jones. We were in the middle of You Go Your Way and I just lost complete control of the basketball and it went flying across the stage.

What was your first impression of this show?

I LOVED the music. I thought it was a lot of fun. It’s like Legally Blonde meets Bring It On meets High School Musical. It felt like a feel-good musical and that’s exactly what it is.

Dancing with a basketball, easy or hard?

Hah! Well, if you scroll up two questions, I guess there is your answer. No, but really, I consider myself a decent basketball player and I’ve played almost every sport in the book but dancing with a basketball was certainly challenging.

How do you feel about pranks?

I think there is a time and place for them, but I really do find them funny.

What is the best prank you have ever pulled?

I’m so good at hiding around a corner and jumping out when someone walks by. Old school, I know, but everyone loves a classic.

So there is a story floating around about a family driving through a neighborhood in downtown Detroit. The family spotted Bigfoot coming out of an abandoned house carrying a stick. Do you believe in Bigfoot?

YES!

Favorite snack food?

Chips and Salsa

Favorite actor?

There are way too many to pick. There are a few that are just givens (Like Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks) but lately, I’ve been on an Emma Thompson kick.

Favorite movie?

The Wizard of Oz

Dream vacation?

Europe. I’ve never been overseas, I don’t even have my passport. My dream vacation would be to visit multiple countries in Europe for an entire summer.

If you could have dinner with anyone in the world living or dead who would it be and why?

Frank Sinatra. He is my idol and my inspiration. I love that whole 60s era of booze and great music. I would love to sit down and have drinks and dinner with him and hang out. And of course, Dean Martin would be at the restaurant bar and
eventually join us for a nitecap…or two.

If you were trapped on a desert island and you could only take two things, what would they be?

A pencil and a sketchpad. I love writing and drawing.

Stay Tuned…

Casey S. Hibbert©








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