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©

Life Could Be A Dream!!

Hello Readers!!

Well it is that time of year when the birds start singing, the sun starts shinning and the 50’s music is in full swing! Our next show is Life Could Be a Dream and it is going to be a fun filled show with many favorites from the 50’s including “Sh-Boom.” Did you know that song was originally recorded by the Chords! It was a top ten chart topper in 1959, recorded both by The Chords and The Crew-Cuts!

Here are some fun facts about the 50’s!

  • In 1951 CBS Broadcast it’s first baseball game in color: Brooklyn Dodgers vs. Boston Braves
  • In 1951 the cost of a first class stamp was 3 cents.
  • In 1952 Mr. Potato Head was the first toy to be advertised on TV.
  • In 1954 Elvis Presley made is first recording called “That’s All Right.”
  • In 1955 Disneyland opened in Anaheim, CA.
  • In 1956 Norma Jean Mortenson changed her name to Marilyn Monroe.
  • In 1957 Wham-O began production of Pluto Platters, also known as the Frisbee.
  • In 1957 the Detroit Lions defeated the Cleveland Browns (59-14).
  • In 1958 the Wham-O company trademarked “Hula Hoop” and within 6 months, they sold 20 million.
  • In 1959 Ruth Handler introduced “Barbie” at the New York City Toy Fair.

So there you have it a look back on the 50’s! Full of poodle skirts and chocolate malts! You don’t want to miss this show, it will leave you singing, dancing and smiling all the way out the door! Visit mbtheatre.com for more information or call the box office at 248.370.3300 for tickets. Get them now because they are going fast!

Stay tuned….

-Casey S. Hibbert©

She’s Here!!!

Hello Readers!!

She has arrived! Tomorrow is Sister Robert Anne’s Cabaret Class and you don’t want to miss it! It is a fun, hilarity filled night with plenty of singing, laughing and who knows maybe even you can be part of the show! So if you say to yourself this weekend, “Wow I am really bored. I need to get out!.” Well I am here to tell you “Sister Robert Anne is here to help you out!!” So come to Meadow Brook Theatre Thursday at 2pm or 8pm, Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 8pm or Sunday at 2pm. See what all the fuss is about! To purchase tickets call the box office at 248.377.3300 or visit ticketmaster.com! See you this weekend! Stay tuned…

Christine Mild as Sister Robert Anne

Casey S. Hibbert©

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

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

Preparing THE 39 STEPS workout

The Meadow Brook Theatre Guild prepares for THE 39 STEPS meet and greet

If you’ve already seen THE 39 STEPS at Meadow Brook Theatre, then you know what kind of exhilarating workout performing and running the show must be.  However, before the show makes it to the stage, before rehearsals begin, we hold what is called a Meet and Greet, hosted by The Meadow Brook Theatre Guild.

The 39 Steps Meet and Greet

A meet and greet generally begins with a festive spread of show themed food and beverages.  For The 39 Steps, the Meadow Brook Theatre Guild (a group of volunteers that help support the theatre) prepared Scottish sandwiches, chesse plates, Scottish eggs and awesome cider.  As there is a Scottish theme in The 39 Steps, the Guild dressed up in their best Scottish attire to make the event extremely festive.

The 39 Steps Meet and Greet

The cast and crew of The 39 Steps was invited to attend and partake in the delicious goodies along with the staff of the theatre.  This is always a good opportunity to welcome newcomers and get to know the ‘who’s who’ of the show, the staff and the guild.   After we partake of the food we gather in a circle and introduce ourselves to everyone else.

 

Staff, cast and crew enjoying the meet and greet

Once the festivities die down, it is time for the first rehearsal to begin.  The Guild is always invited to stay and watch design presentations and the first read-through of the show.

Design presentations consist of the designers of the show presenting the audience with renderings/models of what their finished designs will look like.  Kristen Gribbin, our scenic designer for The 39 Steps showed off her wonderful set model for example.

 

 

Kristen Gribbin talks about her set design
Liz Moore describes The 39 Steps costumes

Liz Moore, the costume designer, showed colored renderings while she explained her designs.

After the design presentations are finished, we have a read-through of the show with the cast.  This is always my favorite part of starting rehearsals, because although the cast has been chosen though a rigorous audition process, this is the first time that I get to hear the show come to life.  It is a very exciting first step because all of the actors come in with their own ideas of the characters… who they are… what they want… how they will get it… etc.  For this production in particular it was extremely fun because many of the actors play several characters and it was fun listening to them change so quickly from one voice to another.

The whole rehearsal process was amazing for this show… but it all starts with the Meet and Greet hosted by that wonderful group of volunteers, The Meadow Brook Theatre Guild!  The guild is always looking for new members… if you like volunteering for a good cause and meeting the actors of upcoming Meadow Brook Theatre productions, consider joining this awesome group!  For more information on the Meadow Brook Theatre Guild, please visit their website at www.meadowbrooktheatreguild.com

DON’T FORGET TO SEE THE 39 STEPS BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!

Opening weekend we had almost 500 people in the Sunday matinee and tickets are selling quickly.  Don’t be left out of the “Must-See” event of the season.  Call the box office for tickets today at 248.377.3300 or for groups of 8 or more contact group sales at 248.370.3316.  For more information on this and all shows at Meadow Brook Theatre visit our website at www.mbtheatre.com

See you at the theatre!

~Travis W. Walter, Artistic Director

 

The cast of The 39 Steps gather around for a first read-through of the show.

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.”

A Cup of Cheer with Tobin Hissong of A Christmas Carol

In today’s Cup of Cheer I have the distinct pleasure of chatting with Tobin Hissong.  Audiences will remember him as the loveable jokester Harvey from Breaking Up is Hard to Do last season as well as playing the title role in Murder by Poe. Tobin is a wonderfully honest actor.  His portrayal of Bob Chratchit in A Christmas Carol has almost brought me to tears on several occasions.  We are so lucky to have him back with us celebrating his 3rd year in A Christmas Carol. Many thanks to his wife Chris, the sweetest woman on earth, for allowing us to share him during the holiday season.

Come see Tobin’s performance.  Tickets for A Christmas Carol are on sale now and going quickly!  Get yours today!  Call the box office at 248-377-3300 or purchase tickets online at ticketmaster.com or through our website at www.mbtheatre.com

See you at the theatre!

~Travis W. Walter, Artistic Director


Tobin Hissong returns to the role of Bob Cratchit for his 3rd year!

A Cup of Cheer with Tobin Hissong


How many years have you been in A Christmas Carol? This will be my 3rd year as  Bob Cratchit.

What is your favorite part of the holiday season? Seeing all of  the lights and decorations!

What is your favorite part of the story A Christmas Carol? All of it!  It is such a spectacular adaptation and it’s just a pleasure to see it all come together again!

There are many school matinees for A Christmas Carol, what is fun/special about performing for children? Seeing and hearing the kids react to all of the great scenes in the show!

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”? I like it “as warm as toast!”  (with a little egg nog thrown in for good measure!)

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? I delivered paper for a while, but I really didn’t work until after I graduated from high school.

Favorite Christmas Drink.. Egg Nog or Wassail? Egg Nog!

Scrooge loves money… When you get a present, do you prefer money or a gift? I like being surprised, so either works for me!

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? The two charities that I regularly support are Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids and WEMU Public Radio  at Eastern Michigan University .

Scrooge is visited by four ghosts… do you believe in ghosts? Not in the traditional sense of the word, but I do believe that what some people call “spirit” remains with us  or with a place for many years.

If you were visited by the spirit of Christmas past how would you welcome looking back on your life? I’d like to hope that most of my Christmas memories would be happy!

Next project after A Christmas Carol? REUNION, here at Meadow Brook in February!

The Fezziwigs host the best parties. Any memorable moments from holiday parties you’d like to share? We have a family tradition where we all meet at my Mom’s house on the Sunday between Christmas and New Years.  It’s always packed, hot, and noisy, and invariably a euchre game breaks out!

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

Other favorite Charles Dickens novels? A Tale of Two Cities

Why do you think so many families come to see this show year after year? It’s become a tradition!

What is your favorite holiday? New Year’s Eve, because it’s also my wedding anniversary!

Baking is huge during the holidays, do you bake? if so what do you like to bake? I’ve been relegated to Deviled Eggs – my wife is the baker of the family!

What message do you hope the audience takes with them about A Christmas Carol? The hope that the story is filled with!

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

…Seeing my son’s smile on Christmas morning!”

A Cup of Cheer with Alex Pedica of A Christmas Carol

In today’s Cup of Cheer I talk with Alex Pedica, who many will remember from Dracula, A Rock Opera.  Alex joined us last season as an Acting Intern and returns again this season to the role of Dick Wilkins in A Christmas Carol.  We are thrilled to have Alex back on the stage and we know you’re going to love him as much as we do.  Enjoy the ‘Cup of Cheer’ and then get your tickets to see Alex in A Christmas Carol!!!

Tickets are on sale now and range from $25 – $40 depending on day/time.  Call the box office for tickets at 248-377-3300.  A Christmas Carol is celebrating its 29th year this season.  Don’t miss this special occasion!

~Travis W. Walter, Artistic Director

 

Alex Pedica returns to the role of Dick Wilkins for the second year in A Christmas Carol at MBT.

 

 

A Cup of Cheer with Alex Pedica

 

How many years have you been in A Christmas Carol? This is my second year.

What is your favorite part of the holiday season? Getting together with family and eating a lot of good food.

What is your favorite part of the story A Christmas Carol? The Fezziwig Party!

There are many school matinees for A Christmas Carol, what is fun/special about performing for children? They respond! Adult audiences sometimes seem a bit jaded, but to children live theatre is still magical.

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”? I actually like my house to be a bit chilly. I can always throw on a blanket if it gets too cold.

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? The first job I had was working at Chuck E. Cheese…as Chuck E. Cheese.

Favorite Christmas Drink.. Egg Nog or Wassail? Egg Nog! Although I tried Wassail for the first time last year, and it’s definitely a close second.

Scrooge loves money… When you get a present, do you prefer money or a gift? A gift. It doesn’t matter what it is, it will always mean more to me because there was some thought put into it.

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? I went on a few work missions when I was younger.

Scrooge is visited by four ghosts… do you believe in ghosts? I lived in the attic of a 180 year old farm house. Too many spooky things happened there for me not to believe.

If you were visited by the spirit of Christmas past how would you welcome looking back on your life? I’d be fine with it if I could pick and choose when.

Next project after A Christmas Carol? Nothing lined up yet.

The Fezziwigs host the best parties. Any memorable moments from holiday parties you’d like to share? When I was really young my cousins hosted a Christmas Tree party out in Chelsea. We would all get together and pick out Christmas trees, and then head back to the house for food and games. I looked forward to it every year.

The spread at the Fezziwig’s party is unbelievable…. what is your favorite holiday food? Every Christmas morning my aunt would make Italian donuts and my cousins and I would fight over them.

Other favorite Charles Dickens novels? Oliver Twist. ‘Oliver!’ was the first show I ever performed in so the story has been one of my favorites.

Why do you think so many families come to see this show year after year? It’s a beautiful show and for some families it has become a tradition.

What is your favorite holiday? Christmas!

Baking is huge during the holidays, do you bake? if so what do you like to bake? I do bake, in fact it is my job to make bon-bons for my family every Christmas.

What message do you hope the audience takes with them about A Christmas Carol? Never pass up an opportunity for happiness!

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

“…A music box in the shape of a gingerbread house. My godfather gave it to me when I was really young and for years I kept it on display on my bookshelf.”

A Cup of Cheer with Jean Lyle Lepard of A Christmas Carol

Jean Lyle Lepard casts a spell every time she graces the stage in A Christmas Carol …or any show for that matter.  Many will remember her from last season’s Enchanted April as Rose.  She plays Mrs. Cratchit and does an extraordinary job in her role!  Enjoy her Cup of Cheer!

Don’t forget to get your tickets to Meadow Brook Theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol running Nov 20 – Dec 23, 2010.  Call the box office at 248-377-3300 for tickets!

~Travis W. Walter, Artistic Director

 

 

Jean Lyle Lepard captivates audiences as Mrs. Cratchit

 

A Cup of Cheer with Jean Lyle Lepard

 

How many years have you been in A Christmas Carol? This is my fourth: 3 as Mrs. C and once as a caroler.

What is your favorite part of the holiday season? The music–it seems to be the one time Americans sing together outside of sporting events.

What is your favorite part of the story A Christmas Carol? Scrooge’s redemption, and other people’s willingness to accept him back into their society.

There are many school matinees for A Christmas Carol, what is fun/special about performing for children? The wonder they have and how willing they are to go for the ride. Hearing the early audiences exclaim over the snow is so much fun!

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 is just fine with me.

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? I learned to assist my dad in his dental practice, then went to work with my older sister (she could drive) at a bird store.  My first job not working with family was at a drive-in up north. I learned to do a mean soft serve cone dipped in chocolate shell.

Favorite Christmas Drink.. Egg Nog or Wassail? Do I have to choose?

Scrooge loves money… When you get a present, do you prefer money or a gift? Gifts, but there are times when money has certainly been a welcome gift!

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? Yes, to both.

Scrooge is visited by four ghosts… do you believe in ghosts? I don’t know; I like ghost stories, so I must to a degree.

If you were visited by the spirit of Christmas past how would you welcome looking back on your life? I hope I would enjoy it. It would be interesting to visit some scenes with my siblings to see how our early memories jive.

Next project after A Christmas Carol? My den: it is rather like a bear pit, to borrow from Mary Poppins.

The Fezziwigs host the best parties. Any memorable moments from holiday parties you’d like to share? There are so many fond memories of family gatherings all through my life. I loved Grandpa going to the piano to make us sing for our supper–after the fact, of course. And we sang every verse.

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

Why do you think so many families come to see this show year after year? It’s a happy tradition.  People like to visit friends at the holidays, and the show has become a dear friend to so many. I think the company feels the same good will toward this beautiful production that the audience does; so at the end of every performance, we’re a family of several hundred. And we have to come back the next year to see how the kids have grown…

What message do you hope the audience takes with them about A Christmas Carol? That faith in the innate goodness of human nature is never misplaced, and joy is always waiting for us to learn to see it.

What is your favorite holiday? Easter

Baking is huge during the holidays, do you bake? If so what do you like to bake? Cinnamon rolls have become a recent tradition, but I love to bake the pies, the sweet potato biscuits –and I even have a really great recipe for fruit cake that Grandma Lyle gave me (the trick is folding in whipped egg whites to lighten the cake batter, and leaving out the citron- just because).

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

…—As a kid, a doll I got when I was 5 and the baking mixes that led from the tree to the chimney every year. As a teenager, the rocking chair I still have in my room. As a parent, every gift my daughter has made for me.”