25+ YEARS EXPERIENCE
Features & arts reviewer
Journalism credits: Detroit News & Free Press, Oakland Press, Metro Times, Between the Lines, C & G News, The Morning Sun, Macomb Daily, patch.com, EncoreMichigan.
WALLED LAKE, Mich.-When you're already familiar with Cabaret , but haven't seen it recently, you forget how much of the story seems to be simply about a few people sharing a boarding house, and two couple falling in love. Yes, it is Berlin in the early 1930's, so we have the foreknowledge the characters don't have.
DETROIT, Mich. - In an old home with a rotary phone, a woman is confusing the past and the present, and losing bits of herself and her daily life skills. (Go to the cupboard for salt, and come back with Oreo cookies.
NORTHVILLE, Mich.-Playwrights taking source material from a previous work and looking at it from a new perspective has often led to great success. This includes plays Tom Stoppard's backstage-at-"Hamlet," "Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" or Bruce Norris' 2010 play "Clybourne Park," which explores the integration of a lily-white 1950s Chicago suburb, the very place the Youngers of Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun" were moving.
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ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich.-When I was a child I was fascinated by enormous sunflowers planted in my grandparents' backyard, tall botanical beasts which towered over me. There is something magical about these plants, which look to me like abstract faces framed by spiky yellow hair.
Hard Love , by Motti Lerner, now playing in a fascinating, compelling production at the Jewish Ensemble Theatre, pulls us into the lives of two vivid characters, whose very specific story will resonate with anyone on some level. On the surface, the play is about the sometimes impossibility of achieving love, even with the one you think you love the most.
FERNDALE, Mich.-So, EncoreMichigan readers, what is not to love about a show that ruthlessly skewers everything in show business-including reviewers. (Says one character of another: "She hates theater-she's a critic.") That critic -coincidentally named Lita Encore(!) -takes the form of a dippy, mean woman who'll even pan her own granddaughter's school performance.
In the Michigan Opera Theatre program handed out at "Madame Butterfly," there is an interview with 93-year-old John Fleming, WWII veteran, retired teacher and MOT volunteer. He recalls being enthralled by opera as a child listening to the Victrola. When Fleming was born, "Madame Butterfly" was an almost-new piece, having premiered in 1904.
DETROIT-Last month I saw a musical, Sistas, set entirely in a family matriarch's attic. Dominique Morisseau's Detroit '67 takes us to the opposite end of a home, another space filled with emotional memories and ripe for intense confrontations.
FERNDALE, Mich.-It's hard to believe this is the Fjord Twins 50th musical revue. It seems like yesterday we were just enjoying their 49th revue. Or maybe that was yesterday. At any rate, Harmony and Simon are back, with their Greatest Glitz , an evening of song, dance, biographical tidbits, unexpected guest stars, and the sharing of TMI ( way too much info) at Go Comedy!
HAMTRAMCK, Mich.-For anyone who's ever tried to write fiction, Margaret Edwartowski's new play-Alone with Friends , now playing at Planet Ant- will ring a bell the size of Big Ben. The writer's life is all there, right down to searching for just the right "Thing to Call Your Protagonist" on www.babynames.com.