Live Theater

Clyde's dramatizes the hopes and struggles of post-prison life

by (John Kissane)

Submitted 01-21-2024 under OPINION

You made a mistake. And it's a big mistake – the kind they could throw you in prison for. So that's what they do. You grind your sentence out, keeping your head down, dreaming of freedom. Then, finally, you get that freedom. But here...

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Grand Rapids Civic Theatre Stages Disney's Beauty and the Beast

by (John Kissane)

Submitted 11-27-2023 under OPINION

Jean Cocteau's La Belle et la BĂȘte, released in 1946, was some kind of miracle. It expanded on the 1757 fairy tale of the same name, telling a story both enchanting and, at times, a little scary. In one typically surreal touch, real arms,...

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Sweeney Todd Cuts As Sharply As Ever

by (John Kissane)

Submitted 09-13-2023 under OPINION

At first, you don’t see him. You see others, though: the citizens of long-ago London. Horror-struck, they sing operatically of Sweeney Todd, a man they call “the demon barber of Fleet Street.” Todd shaved his customers, yes, shaved...

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Pippin Comes Of Age

by (John Kissane)

Submitted 07-13-2023 under OPINION

A woman in the audience turned to her companion and said, not disapprovingly: “It’s borderline nudity!” From the next row over, a man responded: “Have you been to the beach lately?” It’s true: the cast of Pippin (...

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Come From Away Tells Heartfelt, Life-Affirming Stories In The Wake Of 9/11

by (John Kissane)

Submitted 11-10-2022 under OPINION

It's a sobering thought: that there are people born after September 11th who are now old enough to drink. The tragedy defined a generation, and not only in the United States. On September 12th, 2001, the main headline of France's Le...

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Pirates of Penzance Charms, Entertains

by (John Kissane)

Submitted 10-31-2022 under OPINION

Gilbert and Sullivan, those swashbuckling Victorian showmen, had a gift for creating shows so entertaining that you could easily miss how well they were made. Ostensibly serious theater, with its obvious gestures toward importance, often has a...

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The Music Man Charms Old And Young Alike

by (John Kissane)

Submitted 07-15-2022 under OPINION

The Music Man premiered sixty-five years ago (1957) and was set forty-five years before that (1912). Math-oriented readers have already deduced that 110 years separate us from the events of the play. That's a long time, longer than most of...

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