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: Avon Players’ ‘Deathtrap’ Thrills Audiences with Shocking Betrayals, Mistrust, and Misdirection

It is rare these days to be truly surprised at the theatre. Especially by a play that is over 40 years old. And it’s also pretty rare for everything to come together in such a spectacular fashion on opening night. But that’s exactly what happens with Avon Players’ latest production Deathtrap. A heart-pounding thriller now playing until February 1. A thriller in two acts. One set, five characters. A juicy murder in act one, terror in act two, and an ironic and astonishing resolution. This is … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Mirth, Mischief, and Marriage Cast a Spell in ‘Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit’ at Meadow Brook Theatre

Later this year, Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit will once again occupy space in London’s West End. But the good news is you don’t have book a flight to see this comedic masterpiece. Just head over to Meadow Brook Theatre (MBT) on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester where it is playing through February 2, 2020. Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit begins on what seems to be a typical English evening. Unfortunately for dandy Charles Condomine (Timothy C. Goodwin), this is the night when his life … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Give Yourself the Gift of Avon Players’ Holiday Variety Show ‘Forever Christmas’

Three years ago as I sat waiting for this show to start, I was worn out and my Christmas spirit was nearly nonexistent. I had doubts if a holiday variety show would be able to change the way I felt, but it did. And I’m happy to say this year’s production, playing until December 14 in Rochester Hills, MI, sent my spirits soaring once again! In an age where you start to wonder if anyone has anything new or relevant to say, Avon Players President John (JD) Deierlein gifts us with his original … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Family and Love are the Heart of Meadow Brook Theatre’s ‘A Christmas Carol’

A Christmas Carol was my dad’s favorite holiday movie. In fact, he owned nearly every version, so I grew up appreciating the different spin each one put on the story. But no matter the adaptation, the common thread that ran through them all was love, hope, and redemption. But it wasn’t until watching Meadow Brook Theatre’s (MBT) seminal production that I was struck with how the heart of the story is really about family. Running through December 22 at MBT on the campus of Oakland University in … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Oakland University’s ‘Blue Stockings’ is a Brilliant Study of the Fight for Education and Owning One’s Knowledge

Part of the excitement of seeing an Oakland University School of Music, Theatre and Dance production is the anticipation of finding out what is waiting as you round the corner and enter the transformed space. This time it is Blue Stockings – a beautiful, funny, and thought-provoking piece of theatre directed by Karen Sheridan and running now through November 24 in the Varner Studio Theatre. Written by Jessica Swale, Blue Stockings is set in 1896 at the all-female Girton College, Cambridge. … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Oakland University’s ‘Urinetown’ Merges Merriment and Misery into One Mind-Blowing Musical Production

Urinetown is a musical I’ve heard a lot about over the years but never found the time to see — until now. Oakland University School of Music, Theatre and Dance get their 2019-20 season off to a phenomenal start with their production of this Tony Award-winning musical running now through Oct. 20 in the Varner Studio Theatre. Have you ever thought about paying for the privilege to pee? Probably not, but this concept served as the inspiration for Urinetown. In the mid-90s, Greg Kotis (Lyrics and … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Meadow Brook Theatre Takes Audiences for a Thrilling Ride on ‘Murder on the Orient Express’

Last year, Meadow Brook Theatre (MBT) opened its season with murder and mayhem with the classic, Arsenic and Old Lace. As they begin their 54th season, they revisit that theme with Agatha Christie’s famed Murder on the Orient Express; playing now through October 27, 2019 on the campus of Oakland University (OU). Originally published in 1934, Murder on the Orient Express continues to delight audiences in all its formats. Which says a lot about the longevity of Christie’s works considering … [Read more...]

A Weekend in Philadelphia: Exploring the City’s Hip and Historic Culture with Pack Up + Go!

Like nearly 100 million Americans, I planned a summer vacation. Well, technically I let someone else plan it. And while using a travel agency is nothing new, giving said agency carte blanche to choose the travel destination is a bit unorthodox. But before I get into that, let me give you some background about how my friends and I made the decision to go this route. Fifteen years ago, Cari, Lynn, Viviane, and I started celebrating our collective birthdays by taking a trip. Some years we’ve … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Come Have the Time of Your Life at Avon Players’ ‘Mamma Mia!’

There is good news and bad news regarding Avon Players Theatre’s 2019-20 season-opening production of Mamma Mia! the smash-hit musical. First the good news: if you have tickets to see this show, you’re in for a fun time. The bad news? The entire run is completely sold out.* Last season I was extremely impressed with Avon Players musical production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. And I’ll be honest when I saw Mamma Mia! was on this season’s schedule, I wondered how it would compare. … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Come Experience Joie de Vivre at Meadow Brook Theatre’s Charismatic Production of ‘The IT Girl’

Frequently, people go to the movies to escape their real-life woes. Whereas as theatre tends to bring people together for a shared experience. As Meadow Brook Theatre (MBT) closes out its 2018-2019 season it gives audiences the best of both worlds with The IT Girl—a creative hybrid of musical and movie magic running now until June 23 on the campus of Oakland University (OU) in Rochester. With book by Michael Small and BT McNicholl, music by Paul McKibbins, and lyrics by BT McNicholl, The IT … [Read more...]