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©

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20 Questions with Tim Dolan of Lysistrata Jones

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.?

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

2013-14 Season is Here!!

Hello Readers!!

Welcome to a new season! The first rehearsal of the season started yesterday, I got a chance to look in on the process and let me tell you this is going to be a fantastic show! You are all in for a real treat.

So here is some fun information about William Gillette –

  • William Gillette was an actor, playwright, inventor, and stage manager.
  • Best known for portrayal of Sherlock Holmes
  • The first play he wrote and produced was The Professor
  • In 1882 Gillette married Helen Nichols of Detroit. She died in 1888 from peritonitis, caused by a ruptured appendix. He never remarried.
  • Born in 1853, his father was U.S. Sen. Francis Gillette. His mother, Elizabeth Daggett Hooker Gillette, is a descendant of Thomas Hooker, the founder of Hartford.
  • Gillette was friends with Mark Twain.
  • Gillette was a “personality” actor, always playing himself onstage, earning him the sobriquet “the aristocrat of the stage.”
  • He played starring parts in most of his own plays, including “The Professor,” which ran for 151 performances, earning Gillette a salary of $50 a week.
  • Gillette wrote two Civil War pieces, “Held by the Enemy” (1866) and “Secret Service” (1895). The London cast of “Secret Service” included a young Ethel Barrymore.
  • He created a number of starring roles in plays by “Peter Pan” author James M. Barrie, including “The Admirable Crichton” (1903) and “Dear Brutus” (1918) with a young Helen Hayes.
  • Gillette delivered a famous address called “The Illusion of the First Time in Acting” in 1913 to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. As a playwright and director, he pioneered “realism of action,” avoiding unnecessary dialogue for telling physical action, an important precursor of film.
  • In 1899, Gillette adapted “Sherlock Holmes” for Broadway. Many characteristics of the great detective, which we still associate with him, were created by Gillette, not Conan Doyle.
  • Gillette played Holmes more than 1,000 times on stages across the country and worldwide. He added a deerstalker cap and calabash pipe, which became an iconic look for Holmes.
  • From his major successes, Gillette became a wealthy man. While sailing on the Connecticut River in 1913, Gillette spotted land in East Haddam where he wanted to build his home. The Norman-style castle on a hill above the river is the setting for Ludwig’s comedic whodunit, “The Game’s Afoot.”
  • Gillette designed the grounds and the castle himself, with 24 rooms and walls that taper from five feet at the base to three feet at the top.
  • After five years of construction, the castle was completed in 1919, at a cost of $1 million. It includes built-in sofas, wood carvings, tables on trackways and many doors with puzzle locks Gillette designed. A grand wooden staircase leads to the upper floors, and the entire castle is filled with unique architecture. As a character in “The Game’s Afoot” states, “A perfect place for a murder.”
  • Gillette died in 1937, and his will gave specific directions to see that the property did not fall into the hands “of some blithering saphead who has no conception of where he is or with what surrounded.”
  • In 1943, Gillette’s executors sold the estate to the state of Connecticut, which made Gillette’s home a state park in 1944. Gillette Castle State Park has 148 acres, a picnic area, garden, gift shop and museum. The state added a train that goes through a nearby forest and around the lake on the property.

Some fun facts for the day! The box office is now open for ticket sales! Don’t forget to call and get your tickets. 248.377.3300 or you can purchase your tickets at ticketmaster.com.

Stay Tuned….

Casey S. Hibbert©

And today….

Hello Everyone,

Today we have another intern for you all to meet her name is Mary Gietzen. But before we meet her I wanted to put in the plug about Nunset Boulevard. This show is hilarious. I went and saw it on Friday last week and I couldn’t stop laughing. For those of you who don’t know this is the last installment of the Nunsense Series by Dan Goggin. The sister of Hoboken New Jersey travel to LA to play what they think is going to be the Hollywood Bowl, but when they arrive they find out they are playing at the Hollywood-Bowl-A-Rama. A Cabaret lounge and bowling alley! If you have not had a chance to see this show you must come and see it! Tickets are on sale at ticketmaster.com, or you can call the Box Office at 248.377.3300. So back to the task at hand, here is Mary Gietzen.

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

My name is Mary Gietzen and I am the Wardrobe intern.

Are you from the area? If not, where?

I am originally from Warren MI but currently live in Rochester Mi.

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

I recently graduated from Oakland University in Rochester, MI, where I was a Theatre Design and Technology Major. I worked in the theatre’s costume shop for five years, partaking in many of their productions whether in the capacity of design, construction or running shows. In the summer of 2009 I had the chance to work at the West Virginia Public Theatre where I was the Assistant Wardrobe Coordinator. I love working with people and clothing, which the costume area allows me to do both. I love designing, crewing and stitching and hopefully one day I can say that I have done them all professionally.

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

My favorite place to eat at is Chipotle, simply because it is good food that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to fill you up.

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

When I am not at Meadowbrook doing my intern duties I enjoy being around my friends and family just hanging out, whether it’s doing karaoke, the movies or even the theatre, just having fun is what makes my time away from the theatre more special.

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

I found out about this internship while I attended Oakland University, I had heard about it not only from the friends I had that were interns themselves but from people at Meadow Brook. In order to apply for the job I had to send in my resume and a cover letter, once that was done I waited until I got an interview in which I showed my portfolio.  I knew they were adding the position of Wardrobe intern so I applied for both of the costume positions that were available.

What was the interview like?

The interview was at first a bit scary while I was waiting for my turn, but once I sat down to talk with Sarah Warren it wasn’t so bad. I showed her my portfolio and talked about the work I had done in my undergrad. She asked me a few questions and we talked about what the job was looking for and if I would be a good fit. It was an interesting process and in the end I am glad that I was able to do something that allowed me to receive a position.

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

I love being able to spend time in my area and concentrating on being the best I can be has allowed me to learn more about it and expand. Being able to be efficient and helpful have always been important to me and learning how to do this on a new level is very satisfying. It is very rewarding to be able to help someone and make them feel like they are in good hands backstage. In addition I like knowing that an actor can concentrate on the show if they know that their costumes are taken care of. Theatre is truly a collaboration and the more you can work together the better each and every show will be, which is why I am truly glad that I have a great supervisor that I can learn from and eventually my experiences here will shape me into being a better supervisor in the future.

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

The coolest thing I have done so far in my internship was make new friends and be apart of memories that will last for a lifetime.

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

I have learned more about working with people and about tag teaming to make sure the job gets done. This goes for all areas of theatre because being part of a team makes the job ten times better than having to do it alone. I really want to learn as much as I can about the costume field, whether its about sewing or wardrobe, I just want to be the best I can be through out my costume career.

What is your favorite part about being an intern?

I don’t really have a favorite part simply because I am still learning and growing as a theatre artist and there are things that I haven’t experienced yet. I do enjoy getting to work in the different fields because in the end it will make me a stronger person.

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

In the next 5 years I see myself either in grad school or working on Broadway. When this internship is over I want to do something that will allow me to get closer to my goals, exactly what that is I am not sure yet.

Thanks Mary! I hope that you continue to follow your dreams! You will go far. Remember never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about! Stay tuned…

Casey S. Hibbert© – Guest Blogger

“I”, I Don’t See It.

Have you walked into a theatre and noticed that the rows go from H to J? Have you wondered why there is no I? Well simply put, I looks like the number one.

Many theatres across the country have no row I, however some do have row I. In the Broadway and the Jacobs theatres there is a Row I in the orchestra section, but Row I is skipped in the mezzanine.

There are some theatres that skip other rows as well. Some skip Row Q and Row O. Due to the fact that Row O can be confused for a zero and Row Q can be confused for Row O. There are some that skip not just Row I, but they skip Row O, Q and I. For example, The Neil Simon theatre in New York skips Row I and Row Q.

Now in London theatres things get a little more confusing. Some skip Rows I, Q and N. Probably because N sound and looks like M. Some also skip Rows I, Q and V. Others have Row I, but skips Rows Q and U. Due to the fact that Row V and U look much alike. Now not only do theatres skip these rows, but Sports stadiums also skip rows. For example, the Yankees Stadium skips Rows I, O and Q.

So there you have it! Many of the letters look alike so simply theatres just leave them out. Who knows what other kinds of quirks happen with the theatres that go to the far ends of the alphabet to include AA-ZZ rows!

Stay tuned next week for…

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