Next Season is Our Anniversary!!!

PrintHello Readers!!!

Well the islands have floated away here at MBT, but that doesn’t mean that we are done! Oh no! We have many other shows that you don’t want to miss. Up next is the drama Luce, about a star student who has something very disconcerting in his locker. How far would you go to protect your child?

Now, as many of you know next season marks our 50th Anniversary and boy do we have thing in store for you!! Here is just some information on next season.

Meadow Brook Theatre’s 2015-2016 season promises to please with Michigan Premieres, a hilarious comedy, and a nostalgic musical sure to take you on a trip back in time! “This is going to be an amazing season.” said Cheryl Marshall, Managing Director. “We’re so excited to kick off our 50th Anniversary with a great event this summer and such a wonderful line-up of shows!” The summer event Marshall is referring to is the 50th Anniversary Kick-off and Benefit, Black Tie on the Blacktop. Tickets for the benefit event, which will take place July 18, 2015 and feature strolling dinner, cocktails, raffle and one-night-only concert by Tommy James and the Shondells are on sale now! But Black Tie on the Blacktop isn’t all MBT has to offer for their Golden Anniversary season. The regular season gets underway in October and features a sure-to-please line-up of Seven productions four of which are Michigan Premieres!

2015-2016 Season Regular Season:

Explorer'sClub webThe Explorers Club
By Nell Benjamin
Michigan Premiere
October 7 – November 1, 2015

Legends! Legends web
By James Kirkwood
January 6 – January 31, 2016

 

 

 

Atomic webATOMIC
Book and Lyrics by Danny Ginges
& Gregory Bonsignore
Music & Lyrics by Phillip Foxman
Created by Danny Ginges
Michigan Premiere
February 10 – March 6, 2016

Calendar GirlsCalendarGirls web
By Tim Firth
Michigan Premiere
March 16 – April 10, 2016

 

Sistas webSistas the Musical
By Dorothy Marcic
Michigan Premiere
April 20 – May 15, 2016

 

 

Forever PlaidForeverPlaid web
Written and Originally Directed and
Choreographed by Stuart Ross
Musical Continuity Supervision
and Arrangements by James Raitt
Originally Produced by Gene Wolsk
May 25 – June 19, 2016

Special Engagements:

Black Tie on the Blacktop Benefit Concert Features strolling dinner, cocktails, raffle and concert by Tommy James & The Shondells July 18 – 2015

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, adapted by Charles Nolte – November 15 – December 24, 2015
Children’s Series to be announced soon! Tickets for A Christmas Carol and Children’s Series vary in price.

(TBA) Pre-Broadway tryout performance June 29 – July 24. More information about this production is coming soon to http://www.mbtheatre.com.

Tickets:

Season tickets: $138 – $211, currently available
Individual tickets: $26 – $41, available September 7, 2015
Tickets for Black Tie on the Blacktop Range from $85 – $125 and are on sale now.
Tickets for A Christmas Carol and Children’s Series vary in price.

 

So as you can see next season is going to be a great one! There is something for everyone next year. I hope that you will take advantage of our shows! You won’t be disappointed.

Until next time….Stay Tuned…

Casey S. Hibbert©

Come to the Islands!

Island Banner

Hello Readers!

Some time has gone by since the Holidays, but here we are! If you are looking for a little get away from that cold, dreary weather outside; come on by the theatre to see this beautiful show! It will take you are a journey in the Caribbean and it is a wonderful story. I walked into the theatre the other day and all I can tell you is WOW!! (notice all caps). The set is gorgeous, the costumes are gorgeous, the music is phenomenal and the actors are incredible. This is going to be one of the best show this season, which means that you need to get your tickets soon.

Just to show you how beautiful the set is here are a couple of pictures taken by our Managing Director Cheryl Marshall.

OOTI set 2

OOTI set 1

Trust me when I say you want to see this show! It is full of beauty, so get your tickets soon. Call the box office at 248.377.3300 or visit ticketmaster.com.

Stay Tuned…

Casey S. Hibbert©

 

Tis the Season!

Hello Readers!!

Well you know what time it is! Tis the season for our 33rd annual production of A Christmas Carol! We have been hearing lots of carols these last couple of weeks. It is already feeling a little like the holidays around here! Speaking of holidays another one is coming quickly! Thanksgiving is just around the corner, so in leu of the holidays fast approach here is a recipes that hopefully we can all try this year!

 

 

Beet-Pickled Deviled Eggs

Yield – Makes 24               Active Time – 40 min.                   Total Time – 50 min, plus pickling time

beet deviled eggsThese vibrant, savory, and slightly spicy deviled eggs are perfect for parties, but easy enough to make as a snack, too.

ingredients

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar, plus 3 tablespoons, divided
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, plus a pinch, divided
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus a pinch, divided
  • 1 small red beet, peeled and halved
  • 12 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, tarragon, chives, plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 hot chiles, thinly sliced

preparation

In a medium pot, mix 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, and 3 cups water. Add the beet and bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let cool slightly. Pour into a large heat-safe jar or bowl (including beet). Add eggs, stir, and refrigerate at least 3 hours (stirring occasionally) or overnight for a darker shade of pink.

Remove eggs from liquid. Halve eggs (reserving the whites) and gently transfer the yolks to a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon vinegar, mayonnaise, herbs, and anchovy paste to the yolks. Season with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, then spoon or pipe the filling into the egg whites.

Place the chiles, remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, the remaining pinch each of sugar and salt in a bowl and let stand 15 minutes. Drain the chiles, then sprinkle over the deviled eggs. Sprinkle with additional herbs, if desired. Serve.

Stay tuned for another holiday recipe!

Casey S. Hibbert©

 

Hello Dedicated Readers!

First off thank you for being patient and waiting for this post to come. A while ago here at the theatre we had a video the Christmas Carol set being constructed. As many of you know we do A Christmas Carol every year and it is a family favorite! We look forward to this show every season and so do the patrons. If you have not seen it yet, now is the time to start a family tradition! This is a classic story and everyone knows it. Anyway…this year I really wanted to bring back that video, so over the last week I have been putting together a timelapse video of the set being constructed. It took a while to get it edited and to the finished product. We are so happy with this video we are planning on doing them for every show for the rest of this season and next. So keep your eyes peeled for more videos to come! So come see A Christmas Carol here at MBT running Nov 16 – Dec 23 for ticket information call our box office at 248.370.3300! And without further ado….I give to you A Christmas Carol construction in 1:30!

Turn on your speakers and listen to our carollers! Also don’t be afraid to watch in full screen!

Stay tuned…

Casey S. Hibbert©

This week…

Hello everyone!

So how about his weather! Wow. It is January and it feels a little like spring. What is going on? Anyway, today we are going to meet another intern, this week it is Theresa McKenzie.

What is your name? What department are you interning in?

Theresa McKenzie, Prop intern

Are you from the area? If not, where?

I’m from Virginia

Tell us a little bit about yourself. (You don’t have to write a novel)

I grew up in Virginia where I also went to school, Lynchburg College. There I gained a degree in technical theatre with a minor in elementary ed. After graduation, I spent a year in Memphis, TN as the scenic charge intern for Playhouse on the Square where we did 21 in one season. When my contract ended, I came to Michigan to work for Meadow Brook Theatre to be the prop intern.

Where is your favorite place to eat in Michigan? What about it is your favorite?

Buddy’s pizza. It’s possibly some the best pizza I’ve ever had and the people are really nice and attentive.

What are some of your favorite things to do? When not being an intern.

I like to watch movies, knit different projects, and read.

How did you find out about this internship? What did you do to apply for the job?

I found out about the job through Backstagejobs.com and sent an email with my resume and digital portfolio to the company.

What was the interview like?

The interview was two parts, first with Sarah Warren and then with Kristen Gribbin. The asked my about my interest in the company, told me what I could expect if I was to be hired, and then asked me about me experience and history. I told them about the different tools and techniques I’d worked with. The rest is history.

What has been your favorite part about this season so far?

I’m going to have to say running Christmas Carol because it was nice to be able to see all the other interns every day. I work in a different building so I only see them for meetings and special projects.

What has been the coolest thing you have done since you started your internship?

Getting to make the new Christmas goose for a Christmas Carol. It was something I got to make by myself and it’s neat to know that it will be in the show for the next 10-15 years.

What are some things that you have learned so far? What else would you like to learn?

So far I’ve learned how to work a patch board during light focus, been exposed to different adhesives, and have learned how to gold leaf. I’m looking forward to this week because I’m getting the chance to work with a finish carpenter on making some fine furniture, which will be a new experience for me.

What is your favorite part about being an intern?

Getting to learn and be exposed to different skills.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What do you want to do when your internship is over?

In 5 years I would like to be established enough to start my own children’s theatre both financially and in my career. After my internship is over I want to go on tour with either a national or international touring company.

Thanks Theresa! Don’t forget to get tickets to see Nunset Boulevard by Dan Goggin! It is a great show! Stay tuned…

Casey S. Hibbert© – Guest Blogger

Another Year…

Ho-Ho-Hollo Readers!

It has officially been a few weeks since I have posted anything! So, here is another year almost come to a close. Can you believe it, Christmas is just around the corner! It is weird to think that 2012 is almost here. So what is your New Years Resolution? Mine, I am going to go to the gym more often and get back into shape!

So for this week’s blog I have decided that I am going to share with you a little about the different Christmas traditions around the world. I don’t think we have time for everywhere around the world, so I am going to choose about 2 or 3 different countries.

Our first country is China. For the small number of Christians in China, Christmas is called Sheng Dan Jieh, which means Holy Birth Festival. People decorate their home with poster, bright paper chains, and evergreens. They put up the “tree of light,” or the Christmas Tree, they decorate it with flower, lanterns, and red paper chains that symbolize happiness.

Many Chinese people enjoy the fun and color of the Christmas season. The bigger cities in China are gaily decorated and many shops sell plastic trees and Christmas decorations. Believe it or not, Santa Claus is a popular good-luck figure, he is also called Lan Khoong-Khoong, “Nice Old Father.” There are many fireworks, jugglers (Yay!) and Acrobats that entertain. Also at this time of year, the people of Hong Kong celebrate Ta Chiu, a festival of peace and renewal, by making offerings to saints and reading the names of everyone who live in the area.

On Christmas Eve, Christian children in China hang up their stockings that are specially mad so Christmas Old Men or “Dun Che Lao Ren,” can fill them with wonderful gifts.

Our next visit takes us to Ethiopia, which is the one of the oldest nations in Africa. Because Ethiopians still follow the ancient Julian calendar they celebrate Christmas on January 7. This is called Ganna.

On “Ganna Eve,” people fast all day. On Ganna at dawn, most Ethiopians don a traditional shamma, a thin, white cotton wrap with brightly colored stripes across the ends. It is basically worn like a toga. Then they head to the early mass which starts at 4am.

The foods during the Ganna season include wat, a thick, spicy stew of meat, vegetables, and sometimes eggs as well. The wat is served on a injera, which is a flat sourdough bread.

Twelve day after Ganna, on January 19, Ethiopians begin the three-day celebration call Timkat, which commemorates the baptism of Christ. Ganna and Timkat are not occasions for giving gifts in Ethiopia. If a child receives any gift at all, it is usually a small gift of clothing. Religious observances, feasting, and games are the focus of the season.

Most other countries celebrate the Christmas we know. With presents and lots of good food. If you would like to read a little bit more about different traditions around the world please visit http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/christmas-traditions-around-the-world-ga.htm. So there you have it! What is the best and/or worst Christmas present you ever received? I have always received really great Christmas presents so I can’t just pick one.

Stay tuned…

Casey S. Hibbert© – Guest Blogger

Up and Running!

Well A Christmas Carol is up and running! We had our first show on November 19th to a sold out audience! And again we had another sold out show on Nov 20th! If it keeps up like this, it will be a fantastic season for A Christmas Carol. To top it all off Thanksgiving is just 4 days away! This is one of my favorite times of the season because two of the biggest food days are so close to one another. I love the smell of turkey baking in the oven. I remember the days when we would go to my grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving, we would walk in the door and you could just smell the turkey with cranberry sauce, the smell of stuffing and sweet potatoes it was like walking into wall of food. It was the best! What is your favorite part about Thanksgiving and/or Christmas?

Also don’t forget to buy your tickets to A Christmas Carol it is running now until Dec. 23rd. Don’t miss out and have a Happy Turkey Day! Gobble Gobble!

Casey S. Hibbert© – Guest Blogger

Celebrating 30 Years of A Christmas Carol!

Hello Readers!

Wow! It is almost Thanksgiving, and soon it will be Christmas! Where did the time go? I think it is crazy that every time I walk into Meijer or Walmart, or pretty much any other store for that matter, they have had Christmas things on the shelves since before Halloween. Anyway here we are at yet another Christmas Carol. The season has come upon us, the leaves are falling, the smell of frost in the air and snow soon to fall. Well this is the 30th year of our popular show. Families come from all over Michigan to see this show, it is family fun for everyone! I have with me a cast list from the very first production of this famous tale. I am going to share that with you. See how many people you remember.

Who do you remember as the very first miser? If you guessed Booth Colman you are correct!
Bob Cratchit was played by Thom Haneline
Fred was played by Andrew Barnicle
First Charity Man was played by Phillip Locker
Second Charity Man was played by Henson Keys
Jacob Marley was played by Wil Love
Spirit of Christmas Past was played by Grace Aiello
Scrooge as a Boy was played by Raphael Aiello
Fan was played by Mary Bruin
Fezziwig was played by  Phillip Locker
Mrs. Fezziwig was played by Jane MacIver
Scrooge as a Young Man was played by Terrence Sherman
Belle was played by Sara Morrison
Belle’s Husband was played by Carl Schurr
Spirit of Christmas Present was played by Graham Pollock
Mrs Cratchit was played by  Jane MacIver
Peter Cratchit was played by Eric Bruggemann
Martha Cratchit was played by Grace Aiello
Tiny Tim was played by Kevin Skiles
Belinda Cratchit was played by Mary Bruin
Matthew Cratchit was played by Raphael Aiello
Fred’s Wife was played by Sara Morrison
Spirit of Christmas Future was played by Carl Schurr
Old Joe was played by Henson Keys
Char Woman was played by Sara Morrison
Laundress was played by Grace Aiello
Undertaker was played by Phillip Locker
Turkey Boy was played by Joshua Dawson
Londoners were Judi Ammar-Parker, George Bufford, J. Luke Huber, Sarah Jayne Huber, Jane Shaffmaster, Jan Semelroth Elliott, Rebecca Watts.

The Director was Carl Schurr
Set Designer was Barry Griffith
Lighting Designer was and is currently Reid G. Johnson
Costumes Designed by Mary Lynn Crum
Musical Direction by Terrence Sherman
Stage Managers were (and one of them still is) Thomas Spence & Terry W. Carpenter.

So there you have it. The cast and crew of the 1982 production of A Christmas Carol. How many people do you remember? Were you in the cast that year? Please tell us your stories of the times you had backstage. On behalf of MBT I would like to thank the first cast and crew for making this production a holiday favorite! Stay tuned…

Casey S. Hibbert© – Guest Blogger



Feet for Seats: A Reminder

With the 3rd annual ‘Feet for Seats 5K Fun Run/Walk‘ just a couple days away, I thought it might be a good idea to let everyone know where this idea came from!

Let’s start at the very beginning… (Julie Andrews taught me that this is always a good idea)  A few years ago when the economic downturn started to affect the whole nation, money became tight for families, businesses and Non-Profit Organizations.  While the theatre continued to produce Broadway quality productions under tight budgets, the audience was finding it hard to afford theatre.  We knew we needed to act quickly and to rethink our fundraising efforts as we knew that contributions would also be affected by the economy.  What was there to do?

Feet for Seats Chair Krista Reszewski with her sons Ethan and Alex

The administration of the theatre turned to the Board of Directors for guidance through what we knew would be a hard time and started brainstorming new ways to fundraise…  It was then that Krista Reszewski stepped up to the plate with a great idea…  an idea that had never been tried by the theatre…  an idea that just might work… a 5K fun run/walk.

Krista was not new to the theatre by any means.  She visited the theatre when she was a student in high school thanks to her long-time subscriber parents.  She again went to the theatre when she was in college attending Oakland University… AND she is the daughter of one of our Board Members.  She knew the power of the theatre to educate, entertain and to inspire all that comes through its doors.  What a great way to introduce people to the theatre by hosting a 5K and get the whole community involved… and that’s just what happened.

A committee was formed immediately to plan the first ever Feet for Seats event and volunteers started lining up to help.  Many long days/nights went into the planning and we could start to see by the community’s excitement that this was going to be a great event.  We knew that we needed to make this event something special… we needed to show of the arts and have a great time doing it.

Jill Jack performs at the first Feet for Seats and invites the children on stage

Well Jill Jack came to the rescue. For those of you not familiar with Jill, she is one of the foremost singer/songwriters that Michigan has to offer (click her name in the previous sentence to visit her website).   She donated a live performance and entertained all of the participants when they crossed the finish lines.  Tables were set up by the entertainment stage so that people would encouraged to spend sometime watching the concert and enjoy the community experience.  The Lion’s Club of Rochester donated a vending truck, GFS donated food and we served FREE food for the afternoon to all participants/volunteers.  Also as a perk on the day of the event… participants could purchase tickets to the new season that day (one month before they went on sale to the general public).

The Event Site

After all was said and done, the first ever Feet for Seats was a qualified success!  With approximately 80 volunteers and 300 Participants, corporate sponsorships and pledges from participants… the theatre raised around $18,000.

We were all very excited with the success of this new event and vowed that we would make it annual.  We have made some fabulous changes this year that we know you will love! The Mike Duncan Band will perform as well as

The Start of the Race

the Peanut Gallery Players.

The race this year will also be TIMED thanks to our friends at Hanson’s Running Shop

The committee is working feverishly to make this year’s event even better than last year’s…  Now all we need is YOU!!!

HAVE YOU SIGNED UP TO PARTICIPATE OR VOLUNTEER YET???

There is still time. The 2nd annual Feet for Seats 5k Fun Run/Walk will be held, rain or shine, on August 21, 2011 at 9:00 am. Registration begins at 8:00 am.  Come out and run/walk for the cause.  Pre -register online to participate or volunteer at our website www.mbtheatre.com today!  We want to make this year’s event even bigger than last year so tell all of your friends about it!

A donation of $25 will get you a commemorative race day  shirt and even better… as Meadow Brook Theatre is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization… your donation is tax-deductible!  Participants can also gather pledges for the race day by downloading your pledge form here.  There are also prize levels for participants who gather pledges. Free Tickets, Back Stage Tours, a Walk on Role in Christmas Carol and more can be yours.  (See all Prize Levels) Remember that while gathering pledges, you are an ambassabor of Meadow Brook Theatre. Be sure to thank them and tell everyone who donates that their donation is tax-deductible and that they are helping to ensure that Meadow Brook Theatre remains the cultural gem of Oakland County… most importantly thank YOU for helping us to remain Michigan’s largest producing professional theatre.

This year we are also proud to announce that Feet for Seats has also been endorsed by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports.  We can’t think of a better way to kick off our 45th Anniversary Season than a great community building event.

Bring the whole family and we’ll see you there!

~Travis W. Walter, Artistic Director

A Cup of Cheer with Judy Dery of A Christmas Carol

Today Judy Dery joined me for A Cup of Cheer.  She is playing Mrs. Fezziwig and other roles in A Christmas Carol. Judy was in the cast the first year that I joined the A Christmas Carol family.  She has a wonderful smile and such a warm heart that it draws you in.  I am so pleased that she continues to share the holidays with us.  Please come see her in the show… she is truly something special!

A Christmas Carol is open to the public now!!!  Get tickets by calling the box office at 248-377-3300 and remember to check our website at www.mbtheatre.com for more information!

~Travis W. Walter, Artistic Director

 

Judy Dery portrays Mrs. Fezziwig and others in A Christmas Carol

 

A Cup of Cheer with Judy Dery

 

How many years have you been in A Christmas Carol?

This is my 10th year.  I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Christmas!  I’ve had 5 Mr. Fezziwigs (4 “1 or 2-nighters” with understudies), and 8 Fezziwig daughters.  I have so enjoyed watching the young actors grow up in the cast.  I’d love to see one of them who “graduated” at 14 (per our agreement with Actors’ Equity) come back at 18 and be a caroler.

What is your favorite part of the holiday season?

The lights.  I go a little crazy at my house – something different in front every year.  I start them on Thanksgiving and keep them up till January 6 for Epiphany/Twelfth Night.  I like to drive through neighborhoods looking at what others do.  They just make me feel good.

What is your favorite part of the story A Christmas Carol?

The happy ending.  “God bless us, every one.”

There are many school matinees for A Christmas Carol, what is fun/special about performing for children?

Their reactions are so honest.  Many of them are happy to be coming to see the show.  Some of them are just happy to be out of school for the morning.

Bob Cratchit asks Scrooge for “one more piece of coal” do you prefer your house to be “warm as toast”, “just right”, or “cold enough to hang meat”?

“Just right” for me; which might be “warm as toast” to someone else.

Scrooge promises to find Peter Cratchit a job and Martha almost misses Christmas dinner because she has to work … what kind of jobs did you have when you were young like Peter and Martha?

Mostly I babysat.  Living in a neighborhood where there was an elementary school and a public park with a swimming pool, there were lots of children.

Favorite Christmas Drink.. Egg Nog or Wassail?

Wassail.  I have a great recipe.

Scrooge loves money… When you get a present, do you prefer money or a gift?

I like a gift – preferably something small, personal and inexpensive.

Scrooge is visited by two charity men early in the show… have you done any charity work or are there charity organizations that you support?

Let’s see…  I’ve answered phones at, and donated to, public television.  I was chair of our local fund-raising group, Equity & Friends Fight AIDS.  And I’m a member of the Meadow Brook Theatre Guild.

Scrooge is visited by four ghosts… do you believe in ghosts?

Yes.  (insert sly smile)

If you were visited by the spirit of Christmas past how would you welcome looking back on your life?

I’d love it!  Memory Lane is one of my favorite places to stroll.  I’ve been blessed.  There are so many times I’d like to recollect; and people.  I’d love to see my high-school drama and music teachers; my first audition for Terry Kilburn (I got the part!  Guys and Dolls – my first Equity contract.)…  And my grandmother.  I think I miss her most at Christmas.

Next project after A Christmas Carol?

Costuming at Detroit Repertory Theatre.  I’ve been doing costumes there for about eight years.

The Fezziwigs host the best parties. Any memorable moments from holiday parties you’d like to share?

Oh, my!  I used to throw a Fezziwig-worthy party on the Sunday after New Year’s – sorta the last party of the holiday season.  Did it for years.  Took the tradition with me when I moved to California (1978-83).  They went away when I started getting acting work around the holidays, sometimes, even, out of town.

The spread at the Fezziwig’s party is unbelievable…. what is your favorite holiday food?

Mom’s kielbasa and chrzan (horseradish with beets) served with her fried onions and potatoes and two kinds of kapusta.

Other favorite Charles Dickens novels?

A Tale of Two Cities.  “’Tis a far, far better thing I do….”

Why do you think so many families come to see this show year after year?

Tradition.  Ours is so faithful to the novel in Charles Nolte’s script and the set and costume designs.  I like to tell people our show looks like a Victorian pop-up book.

What is your favorite holiday?

Oh…   Christmas!

Baking is huge during the holidays, do you bake? if so what do you like to bake?

I don’t.  But I enjoy what others bake.

What message do you hope the audience takes with them about A Christmas Carol?

Kindness wins.  We need more kindness in the world.

Finish this sentence: “My favorite gift that I ever received during the holiday season was_________”

“… my first typewriter.  I was 11 and wanted a toy typewriter like the one my best friend had.  You turned a wheel to the desired letter, pressed down on it and the letter was printed on the paper in the roller.  Santa brought me a Remington Rand.  I cried happy tears.  I still have it.”