Beach Party!

Hello Readers!!

Well another show has closed, but we have one left and this one will ring in summertime! Up next is The Bikinis a Musical Beach Party. Get your swim suits on and spend time on Meadow Brook Beach! This show will get you dancing in the aisles to songs like “Yellow Polka Dot Bikini”, “Heat Wave”, “These Boots are Made for Walking” and many more! Call the box office at 248.377.3300 or visit ticketmaster.com.

In honor of the Bikinis this week we will be doing the top 5 beaches in the world. Just in case you decide that you want to visit one.

 
  1. Baia do Sancho in Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
    Baia do Sancho (122416924)
  2. Grace Bay in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
    club med (90866912)
  3. Rabbit Beach in Lampedusa, Islands of Sicily
    Rabbit Beach (91649366)
  4. Playa Paraiso in Cayo Largo, Cuba
    Playa Paraiso Beach (91649516)
  5. Playa de Ses Illetes in Formentera, Balearic Islands
    Yachten im Hintergrund (32733292) 

Does this make you want to visit these beaches? I know I do! Don’t miss out on getting your tickets to see The Bikinis. It will be a on heck of a party! Until next time…

Stay Tuned…

Casey S. Hibbert©

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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

Good Morning!

Good Morning!!

Well here we are at the end of another show! It is hard to believe, it feels like just yesterday we started our 47th season. Well if you haven’t seen White’s Lies you are missing out. This is one of the funniest shows that we have had here! It has gotten great response from our audiences! We have had some people come back for their 2nd and even 3rd time! Trust me when I say that you do not want to miss out on this opportunity! Call the box office to get tickets now! 248.370.3300.

Now we have a fantastic show coming up next! I got to sneak down and listen to some of the rehearsal and let me tell you this is going to be an amazing show! I have always liked the music to this show and the cast is incredible! For those of you who don’t know we are doing Next to Normal the 2010 Pulitzer Prize winner for Drama. It is a musical about a family dealing with some serious issues.

Diana Goodman, a suburban housewife, struggles through life as she battles mental demons in the form of bipolar disorder coupled with hallucinations that stem from a trauma sixteen years earlier. Her husband Dan, an architect, fight to keep her mind and his family stable but that fight becomes increasingly problematic as Diana decides to stop taking the piss given to her by her doctor. After several failed attempts to stem the tide by means of talk therapy with a different doctor, she eventually falls into an even darker place and attempts suicide. At the suggestion of her new doctor, Diana is convinced by her husband to submit to electroconvulsive therapy that causes her to have short-term amnesia. Throughout her struggles, Diana’s relationship with her daughter Natalie becomes strained because Natalie feels invisible in the eyes of her mother, who prefers the superhero-like image she has created for her son.

So there you have it! It is going to be an amazing show that you will never forget! Trust me when I say that you don’t want to miss this so either! Call the box office now for you tickets 248.370.3300.

Stay Tuned…

Casey S. Hibbert©

Upcoming Events!!!

Hello Readers!!

As we wind down toward the end of another great season, we still have quite a few events coming to the theatre! This Saturday June 9 at 1pm Jason Huneke, juggler/comedian, will be performing on our stage. He was featured on America’s Got Talent. Tickets are $10. Also this Saturday following the 6pm performance of Xanadu will be our Cabaret Fundraiser. See a variety of acts from MBT Alum. This is a free event.

We will be hold our first ever talent show. Want to be a part of it? Auditions will take place on June 15 from 10am to 5pm. With a performance on July 21st at 7pm. Visit our website for audition forms and guidelines or click here.

It is also that time again for our Andes Awards Celebration! The ceremony will be held June 29th at 7pm with hors d’oeuvers being served prior to the event at 6:30.

And last but not least…don’t forget about Sister Robert Anne’s Cabaret Class July 12-15. Tickets are still available call our box office at 248.370.3300.

On behalf of the entire staff at Meadow Brook Theatre, I want to thank all of you who have helped us through the years! Your donations do not go unnoticed and no donation is too small. It is because of your generous support that we are able to produce such wonderful productions. Thank you and Stay Tuned…

Casey S. Hibbert© – Guest Blogger

Xanadu is here!

Hello Dedicated Readers!

The time has come for our last show. Xanadu’s first preview is tonight at 8pm. Wow what a great season it has been, from scary literary classic to boogie musicals, we are sad that this is the final show! But don’t think it is over yet, come see Xanadu running May 23-June 17. Want to get in on the action? Well there is onstage seating! For only $15 YOU can be part of the show!

Also coming in July is Sister Robert Anne’s Cabaret Class! This funny one woman musical, from the creator of the entire Nunsense series, comes to our stage July 12-15 for 5 performances only. Tickets are $15 and you can purchase them today! Just call the box office at 248.377.3300 or visit ticketmaster.com. The same goes for Xanadu tickets! Don’t miss out on these great shows!

I want to see who is reading the blog…so here are a couple of trivia questions. What do you remember from the 80’s.

Which Bob who founded Band Aid received an honorary knighthood in 1986?

Which spin-off from The Cosby Show premiered in 1987?

Do you remember? Stay tuned…

Casey S. Hibbert© – Guest Blogger

Them in a Musical?

Hello Readers,

Today I am excited to share some information about a famous sideshow that actually has a musical loosely based on their life. They are known as the Hilton Sisters. In 1997, a broadway musical loosely based on their life received 4 Tony nominations. The lyrics by Bill Russell and the music by Henry Krieger. A couple of fun facts Henry Krieger is the same person who wrote music for Dreamgirls and Bill Russell is from my hometown of Spearfish South Dakota! So yes people can make it big from my little town!! He comes back to Spearfish every summer to put on a caberet fundraiser. I had the amazing opportunity to be in a premiere of one of his shows called Lucky Duck.  Anyway I digress read on…

Contrary to popular belief, outright exploitation was not very common in sideshow. The majority of human marvels displayed themselves for their own reasons and quite often reaped massive financial and personal rewards for doing so. However, of the few performers who were exploited against their will, the tale of Daisy and Violet Hilton ranks as one of the worst.

Daisy and Violet were conjoined twins born in Brighton, England on February 5, 1908. The sisters were born pygopagi, joined at the posterior. The sisters shared no internal organs and all that was truly uniting them was bone, muscle and skin.

Their birth name was Skinner however their impoverished and unmarried mother, Kate, could not fathom the responsibilities involved in raising a pair of girls joined. She sold the twins to her boss and midwife Mary Hilton.

Williams instantly saw potential profit in the twins. According to many sources, including the autobiography written by the Hilton sisters in 1942, Mary Hilton was a strict, physically abusive, exploitive and corrupt human being. The twins were ‘trained’ and ‘groomed’ to sing and dance in the vaudeville tradition. While this training was in progress the horrific abuse and dehumanizing continued. When the girls finally began touring, they were seen as little more than possessions by the Hiltons.

The twins proved to be hugely successful and the toured extensively beginning at the age of three. On stage, the pair likely looked like dolls, their blond hair in curls and bows on their shoes. Violet played the piano while Daisy played the violin. Billed as ‘The United Twins’, their tours of Germany, Australia and the USA often saw record crowds. The twin brought in enormous amounts of money. Mary Hilton kept every penny.

When Mary finally died in Birmingham, Alabama, the guardianship of the twins fell to Mary’s daughter Edith and Edith’s husband, Meyer Meyers. They were even worse than Mary as they controlled every movement the twins made. They also proved to be poor agents as they insisted on keeping the girls ‘dolled up’ as little girl well past the age it was acceptable. Critics took notice and the twins were allowed to grow up, but only a little.

The mistreatment and corruption continued under the dictatorship of Edith. Edith purchased a mansion in San Antonio with the money the twins earned as a headquarters as the twins spent much of the 1920’s touring the United States on vaudeville circuits. It was on these circuits that they met Bob Hope and their dear friend Harry Houdini. Their popularity, at this point was near its peak and as a result they became subject to scandal.

The twins had befriended their advance agent, William Oliver. Oliver’s wife Mildred was suspicious of the relationship and accused William of improper acts. A postcard from the twins signed to William ‘with love’ prompted Mildred to file for divorce and sue the twins for $250,000. Oddly enough, this frivolous lawsuit was the catalyst for the Hilton’s freedom.

During a visit to San Antonio lawyer, Martin J. Arnold, the truth came out. As the Meyer’s were out of the room the Hilton sisters told the lawyer of their life of abuse and captivity. The lawyer was flabbergasted and immediately took on the twins’ case. He took the twins into protective custody. In April of 1931 Judge W.W. McCrory awarded a large sum of money – some reports say as much as $100,000, to the sisters and granted the pair their freedom. The girls had spent 21 years in abject slavery.

Daisy and Violet became citizens of the United States and returned to show business. They hosted their own show, ‘The Hilton Sisters’ Revue’, and stared in the 1932 film Freaks.

Everything seemed to be perfect in the life of the Hilton sisters; however the pair soon began to self destruct. Due to too many years of solitude, suppression and deprivation the girl wallowed in excess. They had numerous affairs, legal problems, clashes with that media and a couple of short publicity marriages. Their popularity nosedived. In 1950, the sisters appeared in their final film Chained for Life. It flopped and the pair further failed in an attempted food franchise. By the 1960’s the pair were nearly penniless.

The Hiltons’ last public appearance was at a drive-in movie theater in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1962. Their tour manager abandoned them there, as the tour was a failure and he was tired of losing money. He left them without any money or transportation and the twins simply decided to settle in Charlotte. A kind grocery store manager hired the sisters to work in his shop, where they checked and bagged groceries. On January 6, 1969, the twins failed to report for work and were found dead in their pious home. They had no surviving family. Despite the sad end to their lives, the memory of the Hilton sisters still lives on. In 1997, a Broadway musical loosely based on the sisters’ lives, Side Show, with lyrics by Bill Russell and music by Henry Krieger, received four Tony nominations.

So there you have it. Stay tuned…

Casey S. Hibbert© – Guest Blogger

Information from http://thehumanmarvels.com/?p=50