REVIEW: ‘James and the Giant Peach’ Is an Enchanting Odyssey Sure to Enthrall Audiences

Tassels have been turned, but the Oakland University School of Music, Theatre and Dance is busy putting the finishing touches on their latest production — a delightful adaptation by Richard George of Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach coming to the Varner Recital Hall stage on the campus of Oakland University (OU) on Friday, May 17, Sunday, May 19, and Friday, June 7. This particular telling of the tale is directed by Lynnae Lehfeldt, along with recent OU theatre grad Mannon McIntosh … [Read more...]

Oakland University to Present ‘James and the Giant Peach’

James Henry Trotter cannot escape his mean Aunts Spiker and Sponge — or can he? A magical peach may be his answer. Join James and the creatures that he meets on his incredible journey as Oakland University’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance present James and the Giant Peach on May 17, May 19, June 7 in Varner Recital Hall on the Oakland University (OU) campus. Directed by Lynnae Lehfeldt and based on Richard George’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s fantastical tale, James and the Giant Peach is … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Equal Parts Rock Concert and Theatre, Oakland University’s ‘Tommy’ Takes the Audience on an Emotional and Rewarding Aural Adventure

This year marks the 50th anniversary of The Who’s original concept album Tommy – an album that became the catalyst for the 1993 Tony Award®-winning rock opera of the same name. Next month it’s playing at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. with a bunch of big-name stars. But why wait when you can see it now thanks to the Oakland University School of Music, Theatre and Dance? And I highly recommend you take advantage of this opportunity – especially since … [Read more...]

‘The Who’s Tommy’ is Ready to Rock at Oakland University

The Oakland University School of Music, Theatre and Dance will present the thrilling rock opera Tommy by legendary British rock icons The Who at Varner Studio Theatre from March 21 – 24 and March 27 – 31, 2019. Winner of five Tony Awards, the story is set over a period of 25 years. Tommy is a story about hope, healing and the human spirit; while also exploring issues of mental health, abuse, and celebrity. The Who’s Tommy is fast-paced, exhilarating rock opera featuring music and lyrics … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Oakland University’s ‘Seagull’ Dives Deep Into Human Nature

I am sure at one point on my journey to obtain my English degree years ago that the works of Anton Chekhov (1860 - 1904) and I crossed paths. To be honest, I really don’t remember, which is why I welcomed the opportunity to attend the opening night performance of the Oakland University School of Music, Theatre and Dance’s production of one of his seminal works, Seagull, under the direction of Lynnae Lehfeldt and translated by Curt Columbus. Divided into four acts, the story unfolds in the … [Read more...]

Oakland University Brings Chekhov’s Drama ‘Seagull’ to the Stage

The Oakland University School of Music, Theatre and Dance will present Anton Chekhov's Seagull at Varner Studio Theatre from February 7 - 10 and February 13 - 15, 2019. Translated by Curt Columbus and directed by Lynnae Lehfeldt, the action in this slice-of-life drama set in the Russian countryside at the end of the 19th century revolves around the play’s dissatisfied characters’ romantic and artistic conflicts. Some desire love. Some desire success. Some desire artistic genius. No one, … [Read more...]

OU’s World Music, Latin Jazz Concerts to Feature Renowned Violinist Regina Carter

Renowned jazz violinist Regina Carter will be performing as a special guest on Friday, November 30 during the World Music Concert and Saturday, December 1 during the Latin Jazz Concert in Varner Recital Hall on the Oakland University (OU) campus. “When I was a student at OU, the big band director, Marvin ‘Doc’ Holladay, brought in guest musicians including Marcus Belgrave, Lyman Woodard, Ken Cox and Wendell Harrison, to work and perform with us,” said Carter, Oakland University’s … [Read more...]

OU Brass Band to Welcome Acclaimed Euphonium Virtuoso Steven Mead on Dec. 2

  Internationally acclaimed euphonium virtuoso Steven Mead will join the Oakland University (OU) Brass Band for a memorable afternoon of brass music artistry beginning at 3:00 p.m.  on Sunday, December 2 in Varner Recital Hall. “Steve’s appearance with the OU Brass Band is a result of conversations we had during his two-day residence here at OU last March,” said Dr. Kenneth Kroesche, an associate professor of music and coordinator of the OU Brass Band. “Having just adjudicated … [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: 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...]