It feels like months since my last post… or wait maybe it has been. Many things have happened at the theatre since then. Breaking Up is Hard to Do became the highest grossing show the theatre has had in 7 years, the first ever Andes Awards were held at the theatre honoring the excellent work done on and off the stage last season and I (Travis W. Walter) was appointed to the position of Artistic Director of MBT! I can not tell you have grateful I am to be working at MBT and to be allowed to create great theatre. However, I do not do it alone… our entire staff from box office to designers should get credit for this success. It is the spirit of collaboration that makes great art that really reaches into your soul. Also, I have to thank you, the audience, for being the greatest audience in Michigan. This community has truly been wonderful… I have loved meeting you all and I hope that those of you that I have yet to meet will come up and say hello next season. You are the reason MBT exists and I thank you! With that in mind, I would like to showcase our 45th Anniversary Season and I hope your are as excited about it as I am!!!
The 2010-2011 Season opens in October 2010 with Dracula: A Rock Opera… a classic tale ‘revamped’ (sorry, I had to get one bad pun in here). This new adaptation is a Michigan Premiere and was written by John R. Briggs and Dennis West. Mr. Briggs is currently the Producing Artistic Director of Off Square Theatre Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. More info on Mr. Briggs and Off Square Theatre Company can be found here. I have been working closely with Mr. Briggs and in fact audiences will get a real treat when he arrives in Rochester to see our production! Don’t miss history being made at Michigan’s largest producing professional theatre!
Our annual holiday favorite follows in November/December of 2010. A Christmas Carol, adapted from the Charles Dickens novel by Charles Nolte, has been playing at MBT for 27 of the last 29 years. This year Thomas D. Mahard again graces the stage as the mean-spirited miser Ebenezer Scrooge. This production is not included in the season ticket package of the theatre, but season ticket holders get 20% off tickets. Also, this year we started selling individual tickets early and they are on sale now! Go to Ticketmaster.com or call 248-377-3300 to purchase yours today!
The January 2011 offering is another Michigan Premiere that was lauded with 2 Tony Awards and quickly became the longest running comedy on Broadway… Mystery Buffs and Comedy buffs alike will enjoy The 39 Steps. Adapted by Patrick Barlow and based on the novel and Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name, The 39 Steps is often described as a show where Hitchcock meets Hilarious! In the show a man with a boring life meets a woman with a thick accent who says she’s a spy. When he takes her home, she is murdered. Soon, a mysterious organization called “The 39 Steps” is hot on the man’s trail in a manhunt that climaxes in a death-defying finale! Four Actors play numerous roles to retell a story of love, secrets and international espionage.
In February/March of 2011 another Michigan Premiere will move you to tears and fill you with hope… Reunion! This retelling of the Civil War was adapted from letters, diaries, memoirs and newspapers, all written by the men and women who were there. It examines the struggle of the North to mobilize politically, militarily and emotionally, to decide, even as soldiers are dying, just what it is fighting for… and against. The entire production is set to the traditional music of the time period making it look and feel like a living documentary. This will be a production not to miss for any history fan! Take a look at the artwork to the right. Chet Johnson who has designed our logos for the last three years has created a beautiful representation of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln without actually showing it. This rendering is complimented by the red, white and blue colors that make up the American flag and if you look closely you’ll notice three distinct columns the first Blue, then Red then white. This is my personal favorite logo of the season. Also note the gentleman on the stage… that is Mr. Harry Hawk who has the distinction of being the only man who was onstage during the assassination. He will be your host during the show.
Next up in March/April of 2011 is Ding Dong a brand new comedy written by Marc Camoletti, author of Boeing-Boeing, adapted by Tudor Gates. This hysterical show is a North American Premiere! Having only just completed a successful tour of England under the title Just Desserts, Ding Dong has yet to be performed anywhere but England. When I contacted the author’s agent, with a little help from a few friends at Samuel French in New York, the agent said that they had already heard and read the reviews of our successful production of Boeing-Boeing and would love Meadow Brook Theatre to host the North American Premiere!
The summary of the show is as follows: Bernard has discovered that Robert is having an affair with his wife, Jacqueline. When he invites Robert’s wife to dinner unbeknownst to Jacqueline hilarity ensues. Add in a put-upon maid and a call-girl and the stage is set for a whirlwind comedy. You never know who will walk through the door in this hilarious farce. Ding Dong is another episode in the Boeing-Boeing Saga.
The season ends in April/May of 2011 with the groovy new musical Shout! The Mod Musical. This Off Broadway hit celebrates the music and fashion of the 1960’s. Music from legendary artists, Petula Clark, Dusty Springfield, Lulu and more help pave the way back in time with hits such as “Shout”, “Downtown”, “To Sir with Love,” “These Boots are Made for Walking” and more.
So as you can see this season truly offers something for everyone. I hope that you have renewed your season tickets by now, or that you have purchased a brand new subscription because you are not going to want to miss out on the laughs, screams, tears and the drama that comes with our 45th anniversary season. Come see why Meadow Brook Theatre is considered the cultural gem of Oakland county. Subscriptions start at $105 and can be purchased by contacting the box office at 248-377-3300.
See you at the theatre!!!
~ Travis W. Walter, Artistic Director