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 sarah@rochestermedia.com.

REVIEW: Oakland University’s ‘Lysistrata Remix’ is Rooted in History and More Relevant Than Ever

After the season-opening success of Into the Woods, the Oakland University School of Music, Dance and Theatre closes out 2018 with another philosophical tale: the Greek comedy Lysistrata—with a few modern enhancements. Originally written by the Greek playwright Aristophanes in 411 BCE, Lysistrata takes the war Athens and Sparta are waging with each other and gives it a comedic tenor. The women want peace and their men back home on a full-time basis. Using salacious wit and a bit of … [Read more...]

REVIEW: ‘Into the Woods’ Takes the Audience on a Magical Journey Filled with Laughter and Introspection

  Before heading to the opening night production of Into the Woods presented by the Oakland University School of Music, Theatre and Dance, I learned the entire opening weekend is sold out. And I want to assure you, after the performance I saw, the hype is well justified. Actually, this is not my first viewing of Into the Woods this year. Earlier in the spring another local college performed it on a massive stage with wonderful costumes and props. But in all honesty, I barely remember … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Meadow Brook Theatre’s ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ Concocts the Right Blend of Mayhem and Merriment for a Killer Show

Elaine Harper: Have you gone crazy? Mortimer Brewster: No. But it’s only a matter of time. As Michigan’s Answer to Broadway, Meadow Brook Theatre opens its 53rd season by infusing high-energy hilarity into the 80-year-old classic, Arsenic and Old Lace. And judging by the reaction of the well-heeled crowd on Thursday night, this production is in for a crazy good run. When you mention Arsenic and Old Lace to most people, they are likely to recall the 1944 movie starring Cary Grant and Peter … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Avon Players’ ‘Steel Magnolias’ Dishes Up Sass and Southern Hospitality

  When it comes to southern women, there’s either the notion they are overly genteel (sipping sweet tea on their porches) or like Scarlett O’Hara (prone to theatrical hysterics). But those who have spent any amount of time living in the south know that while the women certainly do have a penchant for manners, they can also be tough as nails and are not to be crossed; like Leigh Anne Tuohy in the movie The Blindside. And it’s this juxtaposition that perfectly describes the ladies of Steel … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Avon Players’ ‘The Bridges of Madison County’ Transcends a Typical Love Story

From real-life tragedy to comedy and even murder, Avon Players has taken audiences on an exciting journey during its 2017-2018 season. Now, for their curtain call it’s time for one final road trip that leads to The Bridges of Madison County. Over 25 years ago, readers fell in love with the book and soon after came the movie starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood. While both these versions were wildly popular when they were released, I confess I never read the book or saw the movie. In … [Read more...]

REVIEW: ‘The Three Little Pigs’ is Great Family-Friendly Fun

Perfect for kids and kids at heart, the Oakland University School of Music, Theatre and Dance’s latest production, The Three Little Pigs, A Very Curly Musical Tale is pure joy to watch. Under the direction of Lynnae Lehfeldt, with musical direction by Jamie Reed, and choreography by Rachel Constantino, the talented cast brings the music by George Stiles and book and lyrics by Anthony Drewe (Mary Poppins and HONK!) delightfully to life. The Three Little Pigs is a story we all know well, but … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Pick Up and Go See ‘Hands on a Hardbody’ at Oakland University

Timing is everything. When Hands on a Hardbody arrived on Broadway in 2013, it ran for just 28 shows before the curtain came down. Many probably mused at how a musical about 10 down-on-their-luck Texans trying to win a truck was even relevant. Well, a lot can change in three years, and the Oakland University School of Music, Theatre and Dance couldn’t have picked a timelier subject to bring back to the stage. Based on true events and a 1997 documentary of the same name, the story centers … [Read more...]

Enter for a Chance to Win Tickets to See ‘Hands on a Hardbody’

In Oakland University School of Music, Theatre and Dance’s latest production, Hands on Hardbody, ten hard-luck Texans, armed with nothing but hope, humor and ambition, fight to keep at least one hand on a brand-new truck in order to win it. Based on true events and a 1997 documentary of the same name, the New York Times said, “You can hear America singing,” in the show’s country-rock melodies and soulful lyrics. We want to send two people to enjoy this musical production. Tell us: … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Motives Abound in Avon Players’ ‘Dial M for Murder’

Fear. Jealousy. Money. Revenge. Protecting someone you love. When it comes to murder, these are the five examples Max Haliday (Chris Stepnitz) gives as justifiable motives. And each one plays a pivotal role in Avon Players’ latest production, Dial M for Murder. In many ways, Haliday is the smartest character on the stage—even if he’s not always aware of that fact. His job as an American television crime writer gives his imagination access into the deepest corners of human nature. And this … [Read more...]

REVIEW: There’s Nothing Fake About How Funny You’ll Find ‘The School for Scandal’

Fakes news. Slanderous accusations. Alternative facts. Playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan originally wrote The School for Scandal in the 18th century about pretentious London society. However, its tenets still ring true today in our tech-saturated 21st century as the Oakland University School of Music, Theatre and Dance’s latest production proves. Director David Gram deftly guides his actors through the quirks and intricacies of this biting comedy, which blends together the specific time … [Read more...]