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...]

‘The Who’s Tommy’ is Ready to Rock at Oakland University

The Oakland University School of Music, Theatre and Dance will present the thrilling rock opera Tommy by legendary British rock icons The Who at Varner Studio Theatre from March 21 – 24 and March 27 – 31, 2019. Winner of five Tony Awards, the story is set over a period of 25 years. Tommy is a story about hope, healing and the human spirit; while also exploring issues of mental health, abuse, and celebrity. The Who’s Tommy is fast-paced, exhilarating rock opera featuring music and lyrics … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Oakland University’s ‘Seagull’ Dives Deep Into Human Nature

I am sure at one point on my journey to obtain my English degree years ago that the works of Anton Chekhov (1860 - 1904) and I crossed paths. To be honest, I really don’t remember, which is why I welcomed the opportunity to attend the opening night performance of the Oakland University School of Music, Theatre and Dance’s production of one of his seminal works, Seagull, under the direction of Lynnae Lehfeldt and translated by Curt Columbus. Divided into four acts, the story unfolds in the … [Read more...]

REVIEW: ‘Into the Woods’ Takes the Audience on a Magical Journey Filled with Laughter and Introspection

  Before heading to the opening night production of Into the Woods presented by the Oakland University School of Music, Theatre and Dance, I learned the entire opening weekend is sold out. And I want to assure you, after the performance I saw, the hype is well justified. Actually, this is not my first viewing of Into the Woods this year. Earlier in the spring another local college performed it on a massive stage with wonderful costumes and props. But in all honesty, I barely remember … [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...]

REVIEW: ‘Rumors’ Delivers Farce at its Finest

It is a new year, but it’s business as usual for Oakland University’s Department of Music, Theatre and Dance as they open the semester with another high-caliber production: Neil Simon’s farce, Rumors. Set during the mid-1980s, the play begins in a state of panic. It is the eve of the 10th anniversary celebration for the Deputy Mayor of New York Charlie Brock and his wife Myra. Problem is, Charlie has been shot (just a flesh wound) and Myra is missing. Guests Chris (Kayla Pingerelli) and her … [Read more...]

Rumors and Fun Run Amok at Oakland University

At 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 2, the Theatre Program at Oakland University will open its production of Neil Simon’s comedy Rumors, which is a classic madcap farce, complete with slamming doors. The action is set in in a large home just outside of New York City. As the guests arrive to celebrate the tenth wedding anniversary of the deputy mayor and his wife, they find he is in bed with a gunshot wound and she is missing, and so is the kitchen staff. The show is a frothy mix of cover-ups, … [Read more...]

Oakland University Theatre Program brings The Scarlet Pimpernel to the Stage

The theatre program at Oakland University has opened its performance season with the musical The Scarlet Pimpernel, a powerful and passionate story of love and heroism, with music by Frank Wildhorn, book and lyrics by Nan Knighton, all based on the novel by Baroness Orczy. The Scarlet Pimpernel is set against the backdrop of the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror. Hero Sir Percy Blakeney and his league of English aristocrats have created a secret society, which is engaged in … [Read more...]