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©





20 Questions with Michael De Souza of Lysistrata Jones

27 02 2014
Michael De Souza ('Urado Cortez)

Michael De Souza (‘Urado Cortez)

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Dearborn Heights, Michigan.

Where did you go to school?

I attended Divine Child High School in Dearborn, and then went on to college at The University of Michigan.

What/Who was your inspiration to become an actor?

Growing up and doing youth theater I really enjoyed the sense of community that goes along with putting on a show, as well as a sense of pride in getting together and telling a story. For me, having those experiences was very inspiring.

What is your biggest fear as an actor?

I can be very scary looking at a script on the first day not knowing any of the lines or any of the music and thinking “will we have enough time to get through all of this?” I guess specifically it is the fear of being unprepared.

What is your dream role?

I would love to play Fabrizio in The Light in the Piazza at some point.

What is your best/favorite role you have played?

I just finished up working on a new musical version of A Little Princess. I played Ram Dass, the narrator, and I really enjoyed breaking the fourth wall and being able to interact with the audience. My costume was also really comfortable, so that was a bonus.

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

I don’t have any special routines, I feel like I should though.

Funniest stage blooper?

My funniest stage blooper didn’t exactly happen to me, but I was a part of the aftermath. I was playing Prince Dauntless in a production of Once Upon a Mattress. In one scene, The Spanish Panic, we were supposed to dance all night and tire out the princess. Our dance was so hectic that my partner’s top fell off. Being the mature 14 year old that I was, I just blankly stared at Winifred and forgot any and all lines that I had in that scene.

What was your first impression of this show?

Lysistrata had just opened on Broadway when I moved to NYC. Though I did not catch that production, I vividly remember seeing the posters plastered all over the New York subway. Those orange and blue posters are one of my first memories from the City.

Dancing with a basketball, easy or hard?

Dancing with a basketball is easier than trying to play a pick-up game at the Y.

How do you feel about pranks?

Love a good prank.

What is the best prank you have ever pulled?

In college, we gift wrapped my roommate’s entire bedroom. And I do mean entire bedroom. We covered the walls, ceiling, picture frames, even his bed and pillows in bright red wrapping paper. We had a lot of time on our hands.

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?

There is a really great scene in A Goofy Movie in which Bigfoot dances to a walk-man. So, yes I do believe in Bigfoot.

Favorite snack food?

Favorite snack food would have to be cereal.

Favorite actor?

Raul Esparza, a really interesting career.

Favorite movie?

Shawshank Redemption.

Dream vacation?

A cabin up in the mountains. I like to stay active, so it would be great to go skiing during the day and sit in one of those hot tubs with the snow all around to unwind at night.

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

I have sort of been obsessed with Top Chef recently. So, I would love to be a guest on that show and have a meal with the host Padma Lakshmi.

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

I would matches and a good book.

Stay Tuned…

Casey S. Hibbert©





20 Questions with Tim Dolan of Lysistrata Jones

25 02 2014
Tim Dolan - Todd "Cinesias" Stein

Tim Dolan  (Todd “Cinesias” Stein)

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Shelby Township, Michigan near 22 mile and Van Dyke.

Where did you go to school?

I went to high school at Utica High School and college in NYC at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy.

What/Who was your inspiration to become an actor?

A major influence in my performing life was my high school theatre teacher: Ms. Martha Kent. She fostered all my earliest memories of performing in musicals at a young age.

What is your biggest fear as an actor?

I still have that age old fear of forgetting my lines or lyrics. I am constantly going through lyrics backstage every night even when I’ve performed the show many times before!

What is your dream role?

I have always wanted to play Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors. The first production of the show I actually saw here at Meadow Brook when I was in high school. It was one of the best things I’ve seen to this day and I still think of that specific production often.

What is your biggest dream?

My biggest dream is to be performing in a Broadway show, teaching children during the day and having a successful walking tour business ALL AT THE SAME TIME! I currently teach children for Rosie O’Donnell’s charity: Rosie’s TheatreKids. I love my time in the classroom spreading arts appreciation to those children. I also own a walking tour business called Broadway Up Close Walking Tours that is the second highest rated walking tour in NYC. It would be a dream to have all of these careers full-time at the same time!

Tim Dolan (Todd "Cinesias" Stein)

Foreground: Tim Dolan (Todd “Cinesias” Stein), Background: Kathryn Terza (Cleonice Sanchez)

What is your best/favorite role you have played?

A show and role that is near and dear to my heart is Abraham in the musical Altar

Boyz. It is the show that I’ve done the longest having performed on the tour for a year, in California and then the Off-Broadway cast in NYC. It was an absolute blast!

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

I usually stick to some basic vocal exercises and I like to listen to music to get my energy up. I also like to connect briefly with all the members of the cast before seeing them onstage.

Funniest stage blooper?

I was performing as the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz a number of years ago. In this specific production they utilized lots of flying and special effects. “If I Only Had a Brain” was choreographed with all types of flying stunts…until the one performance where I wasn’t hooked up properly and had to make up the entire three and a half minute number on the spot in front of 700 people. It was a disaster!

What was your first impression of this show?

I was lucky enough to have seen the off-Broadway production starring our very own Teddy Toye. I thought it was incredibly funny and exactly what it intended to be: a hilarious, feel-good musical!

Dancing with a basketball, easy or hard?

My two older brothers would kill me for saying this since they are incredible at basketball…HARD. I’m coordinated until I have to make a lay-up in front of 300 people.

How do you feel about pranks?

As long as they are all in good fun I’m all for it. I like to think I have a pretty healthy sense of humor!

What is the best prank you have ever pulled?

Ask the other cast members and they’ll tell you I am “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” daily…with so many to pick from it’s hard to narrow it down!

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?

With all the potholes here in Michigan I can only assume they are telling the truth. How else would all these Bigfoot sized holes have appeared on Walton Road?!

Favorite snack food?

Goldfish cheddar snack crackers. It’s an unhealthy obsession.

boys

Jason Williams, Tim Dolan, Teddy Toye, Michael De Souza, Jake Wood

Favorite actor?

I have always loved Tom Hanks and Gene Wilder.

Favorite movie?

I love the original Sister Act movie.

Dream Vacation?

I have always wanted to visit Hawaii or Australia.

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

I would love to sit down with Stephen Sondheim and pick his brain about his theatre experiences. A very close second would be David Belasco. He was a theatre producer and owner in the early 1900’s who lived a very interesting life. We talk about him a lot on my walking tour and I’ve always said I’d love to have met him. If you don’t know anything about him you’ll have to come to NYC to talk a Broadway Up Close Walking Tour!

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

Pizza and beer. The perfect combo to get me through any situation!

Stay tuned…

Casey S. Hibbert©





What’s the 411…B.C.?

20 02 2014

Γεια σας αναγνώστες!

^ Wondering what that says? It says “hello readers” in Greek! Thanks for always checking on our blogs. I know this is the first post in a while and I wanted to say thanks for hanging with us. Now on with the show! Speaking of show we have a very exciting musical going on right now. I had the pleasure of watching the show last night and let me tell you, Lysistrata Jones, is by far one of the best shows we have done here! And I’m not just saying that. If you have not read the reviews yet, you probably should! We received a 4 out of 4 stars from the Detroit Free Press. It is such a great story and everyone needs to see this show! The talent is top notch!

For those of you who don’t know, our show, Lysistrata Jones is  based on a play from 411 BC by Aristophanes. Here is a little history on Aristophanes.

“Little is known about the life of Aristophanes, and most of the known facts are derived from references in his own plays. Born c. 450 bc, he was an Athenian citizen belonging to the deme, or clan, named Pandionis, but his actual birthplace is uncertain. (The fact that he or his father, Philippus, owned property on the island of Aegina may have been the cause of an accusation by his fellow citizens that he was not of Athenian birth.) He began his dramatic career in 427 bc with a play, the Daitaleis (The Banqueters), which appears, from surviving fragments, to have been a satire on his contemporaries’ educational and moral theories. He is thought to have written about 40 plays in all. A large part of his work is concerned with the social, literary, and philosophical life of Athens itself and with themes provoked by the great Peloponnesian War (431–404 bc). This war was essentially a conflict between imperialist Athens and conservative Sparta and so was long the dominant issue in Athenian politics. Aristophanes was naturally an opponent of the more or less bellicose statesmen who controlled the government of Athens throughout the better part of his maturity. Aristophanes lived to see the revival of Athens after its defeat by Sparta. He died in about 388 bc.”*

There you have it! Aristophanes was considered one of, if not thee, greatest comedic playwright of his time. I had the pleasure of performing in Aristophanes’ original play Lysistrata in college. Man it was a fun show! Here is a little history on the original play.

“Lysistrata was written not long after the catastrophic defeat of the Athenian expedition to Sicily (413 bc) and not long before the revolt of the Four Hundred in Athens, whereby an oligarchic regime ready to make peace with Sparta was set up (411 bc). Lysistrata (411 bc; Greek Lysistratē) depicts the seizure of the Acropolis and of the treasury of Athens by the city’s women who, at Lysistrata’s instigation, have, together with all the women of Greece, declared a sex strike until such time as the men will make peace. The women defy their menfolk until the peace is arranged, after which both the Athenian and Spartan wives are reunited with their husbands. The play is a strange mixture of humour, indecency, gravity, and farce.”**

Lysistrata Jones at Meadow Brook theatre will not disappoint. This show will leave you tapping your feet and singing out loud when you walk out those doors. Here is a couple excerpts from our review in the Free Press.

“…this underachieving 2011 musical reboot of Aristophanes’ 2,400-year-old comedy “Lysistrata” arrives in a Broadway-caliber production that has its tongue planted firmly in cheek and its heart in the right place.”John Monaghan Detroit Free Press
“It turns the trick so well that even the most prudish of theatergoers will likely walk out wearing a smile.” - John Monaghan Detroit Free Press

So with that being said…get your tickets now before they’re gone! Call the box office today at 248.377.3300 or go to ticketmaster.com. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Stay tuned…

Casey S. Hibbert©

*http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/34467/Aristophanes
**http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/34467/Aristophanes/30189/Peace








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