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: Classical Opera Gets the Slapstick Treatment in Avon Players’ Uproarious Production of ‘Lend Me a Tenor’

Mention the word ‘opera’ and likely the first image that springs to mind is a woman in a Viking hat with blond braids, wearing a breastplate, and hitting an impossibly high note that can shatter any nearby glass objects. Or perhaps it’s the 1957 Bugs Bunny cartoon “What’s Opera, Doc?” spoofing Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen. And while there is such a thing as opera comedies, I find it hard to believe that any opera attendee would ever leave a performance with their sides aching from … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Meadow Brook Theatre’s ‘Working’ Celebrates the Hope and Heart that Built America

America was built by men and women who displayed tremendous ingenuity and grit. A new country didn’t happen overnight, so they rolled up their sleeves and put in the work — a lot of hard work. This past Saturday, Meadow Brook Theatre (MBT) paid homage to the plight of the American worker with the musical Working, now playing until March 8 on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester, MI. Based off the 1974 best-selling book by Studs Terkel, Working shines a spotlight on 26 average … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Oakland University’s ‘Macbeth’ Delivers a Powerful Examination of the Carnage Caused by Desire and Deception

A little over five years ago I went to the Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada to see a production of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Once there I quickly learned through the grapevine that people either loved it or hated it; during some performances, people actually walked out. That is when it dawned on me there are two types of Shakespeare enthusiasts. First, the purists. Those who want only traditional costumes, settings, and no interpretation of the script. Second, are … [Read more...]

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...]