Musical Theater

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 Bête, 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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In Funny Girl, Katerina McCrimmon Blazes

by (John Kissane)

Submitted 09-21-2023 under OPINION

Funny Girl (onstage until Sept. 24 via Broadway Grand Rapids) rises or falls on Fanny Brice. Even more so than most musicals, its star is its star — the body around which everything else orbits. If she doesn...

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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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Hadestown Sings It Again

by (John Kissane)

Submitted 05-10-2023 under OPINION

"It's an old song, but we're gonna sing it again." That's the promise of Hadestown, the Tony Award-winning musical that retells the story of Orpheus and Eurydice. By moving the action from ancient Greece to a lightly...

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My Fair Lady, Lightly Updated, Graces The Stage

by (John Kissane)

Submitted 04-13-2023 under OPINION

Ovid writes of a sculptor who, "offended by the failings that nature gave the female heart," shunned the company of women until, having carved a beautiful statue, he found himself in love. A statue isn't a woman, of course. Still, he...

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STOMP Brings Imagination and Noise to DeVos Performance Hall

by (John Kissane)

Submitted 03-21-2023 under OPINION

As a toddler, one of my greatest joys was to take a pot or pan, lift it, and let it crash to the floor. What could be better than that? Imagine this: your grandfather is stretched out on the couch, face hidden behind a newspaper. Carefully, with...

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Broadway Grand Rapids Announces 35th Anniversary Season

by (John Kissane)

Submitted 03-01-2023 under NEWS

On Monday, February 27th, Broadway Grand Rapids announced its 35th anniversary season, which will run from September of this year through June of 2024. Featuring seven shows, it's the organization's biggest season yet. The shows' broad...

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SIX: The Musical Brings The Tudors To The TikTok Era

by (John Kissane)

Submitted 01-13-2023 under OPINION

“Divorced, beheaded, died. Divorced, beheaded, survived”: the centuries-old nursery rhyme capturing the fates of Henry VIII’s wives is memorable, but flattening. It tells us nothing of the women themselves, nothing of what they...

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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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Broadway Grand Rapids Returns After Nearly Two-Year Hiatus With Hairspray

by (John Kissane)

Submitted 01-13-2022 under OPINION

On January 12th, 2022, Broadway Grand Rapids returned in the best way possible: with a fast-paced, streamer-shooting, dance-filled show that offered, above all else, fun. It was a long time coming. Thanks to the pandemic, nearly two years have...

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