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...]

Dear Crabby, Has Hollywood Run Out of Original Ideas?

Dear Crabby, When I was watching the Tony Awards®, I noticed a number of the musicals are based off movies. For example, “Mean Girls,” “Pretty Woman,” and “Tootsie.” That got me thinking about how it seems recently there are more and more remakes happening in TV and movies. It seems to be everywhere. So, are the folks in Hollywood just lazy or have they run out of original ideas? Thanks! Chanel Changer Dear Chanel Changer, I was asked something similar last year and at the time I … [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...]

Witness History Aboard Avon Players’ ‘Titanic’

More than a century after the disaster, the story of the “unsinkable” Titanic continues to capture the public’s imagination. With lush music and gripping drama, Avon Players kicks off its 71st season with the musical depiction of the tragedy, Titanic running Friday, September 8 through Saturday, September 23. Based on the infamous 1912 maritime disaster in which a large passenger liner struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sank, resulting in more than 1500 casualties, Titanic chronicles … [Read more...]

Go Behind the Scenes with Oakland University’s Production of ‘A Chorus Line’

A Chorus Line, perhaps the ultimate backstage musical, winner of nine Tony Awards including Best Musical, will open at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 23, in Varner Studio Theatre at Oakland University. A Chorus Line, which is a stunning musical-vérité about dancers auditioning for the chorus of a Broadway show, is a powerful metaphor for all human aspiration. It highlights the achingly poignant ambitions of professional Broadway ‘gypsies’ to land a job. When it opened, the show’s … [Read more...]

Dear Crabby, When Will Women Be on Money?

Dear Crabby, I was in Starbucks the other day and pulled out a $10 bill to pay when I remembered, weren’t they going to replace Alexander Hamilton with a woman’s picture? And if so, when will it happen? Thanks, Diana Diez Dear Diana Diez, That’s right. I had forgotten about the proposed switch-a-roo myself. I love history. In fact, I earned a medal in sixth grade for memorizing all the presidents and their bios and reciting it in front of the whole school, so I’m very qualified to … [Read more...]

Mystery and Murder on Stage in Avon Players’ ‘Witness for the Prosecution’

Audiences will delight in this puzzle box play that could only come from the mind of Agatha Christie Mystery lovers will be riveted by the courtroom drama from master of the genre, Agatha Christie, as Avon Players presents Witness for the Prosecution February 12-20. When the wealthy Miss French is murdered, the primary suspect is Leonard Vole (Brandon Johnson), a young man whom she has befriended. Vole, newly returned from war with his German bride, Romaine (Joy Oetjens), is charming … [Read more...]

Avon Players Presents: ‘Next to Normal’

An electrifying Pulitzer Prize-winning musical explores mental illness and its profound impact on families Avon Players is proud to present the intimate and emotional Next to Normal opening Friday, May 23, 2014 running through June 7. The Pulitzer Prize-winning musical explores how one suburban household copes with effects of prolonged mental illness. Wife and mother Diana Goodman’s struggle with bipolar disorder reverberates through her family, including her steadfast but … [Read more...]