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 ‘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...]

REVIEW: Life, Love, and the ‘Company’ You Keep is at the Heart of Avon Players’ Latest Production

How do you solve a problem like Bobby’s? That’s the question on the minds of his married friends and the women in his life. And what is Bobby’s problem? He’s 35 and still single (gasp!). Welcome to composer Stephen Sondheim’s Company; an eccentric look at modern love in 1970's Manhattan and the closing production of Avon Players’ diverse 2018-2019 season, running now through June 1. When Company debuted on Broadway in 1970, it earned a record-setting 14 Tony Awards® nominations, of which … [Read more...]

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...]

Meadow Brook Theatre Announces Children’s Series

Tickets are on sale now for Meadow Brook Theatre’s (MBT) 12th annual Children’s Series, kicking off in February 2020 “These shows are a great chance for families to come and experience a live show in an intimate setting that’s close to home,” says Cheryl Marshall, MBT managing director. “We love seeing the kids enjoying and interacting with what’s going on onstage.” First is Rosie Revere, Engineer & Friends on Saturday February, 29, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. This Theatreworks USA … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Meadow Brook Theatre’s ‘Stick Fly’ Dissects the Complexities of Families and Class Privilege

Life is inconvenient. It is also quite messy – especially in families where years of secrets and snubs that have been simmering under the surface come gushing topside like a geyser. Who cleans up the mess others make? What happens when we don’t like ourselves – when we’re too focused on other’s opinions of us? Meadow Brook Theatre’s current production Stick Fly endeavors to answer these questions through humor, powerful interactions, and by allowing the characters space to have frank … [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...]