About Sarah Hovis

Word manipulator, arts appreciator, sports spectator, and world traveler, Sarah charts her own course as the owner of saliho creative. She uses her creative mind and engaging dialogue to fearlessly bring the written word to life in print and online… all while keeping a watchful eye out for the next literary adventure. You can reach her at editor@rochestermedia.com.

REVIEW: Enjoy a DysFUNctional Evening with the Avon Players’ ‘A Christmas Story’

‘Tis the season for holiday favorites. Many are familiar with, and love the movie A Christmas Story. But did you know when the film was released in 1983, it didn’t make much of a splash? However, over the years, gathering the family around the television to cheer on Ralphie as he schemes and dreams for a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model Air Rifle with a compass in the stock and a sundial, has become as highly anticipated as a visit from Santa Claus. This weekend, Avon Players joined … [Read more...]

Storms and Soul-Searching Set the Stage for ‘Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet’

In case you missed it, this summer the Oakland University Board of Trustees promoted Music, Theatre and Dance from department to school status. With the new distinction, OU hopes to attract high-caliber talent to their programs. The good news is we don’t have to wait for results because the Theatre Department already is teeming with amazing talent as the cast of Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet proves. Set in the fictional town of San Pere during a hot Louisiana summer, the play focuses around … [Read more...]

Avon Players Christens Their 2017-2018 Season with ‘Titanic: The Musical’

Over a hundred years after the RMS Titanic’s fateful voyage, its story still resonates with audiences. Wait a minute. Arguably the worst maritime disaster in history … as a musical? Yes. But if you’re expecting something overly sentimental, or along the lines of the 1997 movie, you’ll be disappointed. And that’s a good thing. Instead this play focuses more on the human experience of its passengers through two attitudes: hubris and hope. Hubris rears its ugly head early on in the form … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Join ‘The Addams Family’ for an Evening of Laughs

Avon Players began their 2016-2017 season with the musical drama Assassins and ends it on another high note with The Addams Family, a New Musical Comedy. That’s right. The Addams Family as a… musical. I was skeptical at first. What sorts of songs would be used—different variations of the theme song? Admittedly, I knew nothing about the play other than theatre legends Bebe Neuwirth and Nathan Lane originated the roles of Morticia and Gomez Addams on Broadway. So, as I joined the rest of the … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Oakland University’s ‘A Chorus Line’ Hits the Mark with Hope, Heart, and High Kicks

When I first learned the next production from the Oakland University Department of Music, Theatre and Dance would be A Chorus Line, my interest was piqued. Since the Varner Studio Theatre is such an intimate setting, I was curious to see how they were going to pull off such an ambitious piece of American musical theatre. The answer? Sensationally! Upon entering the Theatre, you can’t help but be struck by the massive size of the stage. The usual side stage seating is gone, which creates a … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Avon Players’ ‘The Mousetrap’ Will Catch Audiences by Surprise

Three blind mice. Three blind mice. See how they run. See how they run. The thespians at Avon Players Theatre are no strangers to the work of Agatha Christie, having staged her Witness for the Prosecution during their 2016 season. This time around they chose her murder mystery—The Mousetrap. Full disclosure: I love Agatha Christie and her astute sleuths. The unassuming Miss Marple and the methodical Hercule Poirot. However, The Mousetrap has neither. But that doesn’t mean it’s not vintage … [Read more...]

REVIEW: ‘Rumors’ Delivers Farce at its Finest

It is a new year, but it’s business as usual for Oakland University’s Department of Music, Theatre and Dance as they open the semester with another high-caliber production: Neil Simon’s farce, Rumors. Set during the mid-1980s, the play begins in a state of panic. It is the eve of the 10th anniversary celebration for the Deputy Mayor of New York Charlie Brock and his wife Myra. Problem is, Charlie has been shot (just a flesh wound) and Myra is missing. Guests Chris (Kayla Pingerelli) and her … [Read more...]

REVIEW: ‘Trolls’ are Sure to Love Avon Players’ Production of ‘Escanaba in Da Moonlight’

Back in the early 2000s, Michigan’s own Jeff Daniels penned an homage to the Upper Peninsula (the Superior State) — the comedy Escanaba in Da Moonlight. First shown at The Purple Rose Theatre Company in Chelsea, MI, Avon Players brought the hilarity to its stage Friday night and had the full house roaring with laughter. And for those of you who didn’t know, ‘trolls’ are folks who live below the Mackinac Bridge. As the play opens, we’re introduced to Albert Soady (Mark Palmer) patriarch of the … [Read more...]

REVIEW: ‘Forever Christmas’ Sings Hope Into the Holidays

Settling into my seat at opening night of Avon Players’ holiday revue ‘Forever Christmas,’ I looked around and wondered if any of the other patrons at the packed performance felt like I did: tired. This has just been a long, strange year; a year where beloved cultural icons have been leaving us at a dizzying pace, not to mention the recent election. It just seems like 2016 has been one curve ball after another and I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m ready for it to be over. I guess I was … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Tyranny Rules in Oakland University’s ‘The House of Bernarda Alba’

You are probably familiar with the saying (or the country song by Tracy Byrd), ‘If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.’ And make no mistake, Bernarda Alba (Stefanie Sambrano) is one unhappy woman. The House of Bernarda Alba is set in 1936 in a small Spanish mountain town, and opens on the day Bernarda is dealing with her second husband’s funeral. Mourning his loss would explain Bernarda’s dour mood, but we quickly learn she also has contempt for her village and the people in it. However, … [Read more...]