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...]

Laugh Along with the Avon Players’ ‘Lend Me a Tenor’

An impresario’s desperation leads to comedic confusion    Metro Detroit audiences will get a humorous view of the world of opera as Avon Players presents the classic farce Lend Me a Tenor, running March 6-21 in Rochester Hills, MI. Henry Saunders (Joe Colosi), the general manager of a Midwestern opera company, is primed to welcome the world-famous Tito Morelli (Jonathan Farrell) for his one-night-only appearance as Pagliacci. The star arrives late and is accidentally given a double dose of … [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...]

Avon Players Presents Taut Thriller ‘Deathtrap’

There is no escaping the wicked charms of this play’s twists and turns Greed and desperation lead to a sinister plot in Avon Players’ surprise-filled thriller Deathtrap, running January 17-February 1 in Rochester Hills, MI. Living a seemingly comfortable life in his charming Connecticut home, playwright Sidney Bruhl (Jeff Stillman) is struggling to overcome a string of failures that have left him hurting for money. His luck seems on the verge of turning around when he receives a script … [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...]

Ring in the Holidays with Avon Players’ ‘Forever Christmas’

Enjoy the music of the season and laugh alongside your loved ones at this original variety show Avon Players celebrates the sounds and sentiment of the holiday season with the newest installment of its very own Christmas variety show, Forever Christmas, running November 29 - December 14 in Rochester Hills, MI. Do you remember gathering with the family, freshly popped popcorn in hand, around the 19-inch color television set to watch Christmas specials from the likes of Bob Hope, Perry … [Read more...]

Avon Players Invites Theatre-goers to the Party of the Season with ‘Mamma Mia!’

The Hits of Super-Group ABBA will have Audience Members of all Ages Dancing in their Seats The end may be in sight for the summer travel season, but Avon Players’ upcoming musical will whisk theatre-goers away to an idyllic setting for infectious pop tunes, sun-drenched romance, and nonstop fun with Benny Andersson and  Björn Ulvaeus’ Mamma Mia!, running September 6-21. On a small Greek island, Sophie (Mackenzie McIlroy) is soon to marry Sky (Salvatore Sbrocca). She dreams of a perfect … [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...]

Avon Players Presents Stephen Sondheim’s Company

All-Time Classic Songs Explore the Promise and Pitfalls of Love and Marriage Avon Players closes its 2018-2019 season with the groundbreaking musical examination of modern love from master composer Stephen Sondheim, Company running May 17-June 1. Bobby (Matt Cason) has a full social calendar but avoids romantic commitments. On the night of his thirty-fifth birthday, he reassesses his life by reviewing his relationships with his married friends and girlfriends. Bobby’s friends include … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Avon Players’ ‘Marvin’s Room’ Embodies Hope and Healing

After ending 2018 on a high note with the musical The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Avon Players Theatre kicks off the second half of their season with the emotional Marvin’s Room. Written by Scott McPherson and inspired by his own experiences as a caregiver, most people are probably more familiar with the 1996 film adaptation by John Guare starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Diane Keaton, and Meryl Streep. While I never saw the movie, I had a vague notion of what the story was about, and as I sat in the … [Read more...]