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Summer Theatre Roundup

Mary Bevans Gillett - June 15th, 2006
New ventures, familiar scenes and reminiscences of playhouses past are on tap as regional stages light up their summer slates.  Here’s a preview:
Promising to marry the power of the page with the power of the stage, Stage Turner stepped into the Northern Michigan spotlight last February with a delightful evening of staged readings by some of the region’s top talent.  The group returns with a summer series featuring contemporary and classic short stories by such authors as Jim Harrison, Ernest Hemingway, Anne-Marie Oomen, T. C. Boyle, M.F.K. Fisher and E. Annie Proulx.  Performance are held on Sunday evenings at the Old Art Building in Leland.  The line-up includes The Year of the Dog featuring animal stories on June 25, Up North and Personal featuring Michigan stories on July 23, and Half Baked and Hard Boiled featuring food stories on August 20.  For more information, call 231-256-9299.
Lovers of theatre, pop culture and an earlier Traverse City will enjoy Summer Stock and the Cherry County Playhouse on exhibit in the Museum of History at the Grand Traverse Heritage Center.  The exhibit showcases the stars and story of Traverse City’s legendary summer stock theatre. Programs, performances and lectures will compliment the exhibition including a lecture and performance on American Musical Theatre on June 15, a lecture on American Summer Stock Theatre on August 10, performances by Riverside Shakespeare and the Traverse City Children’s Theatre, and a Cherry County Playhouse reunion and roundtable discussion with former cast, crew members, staff and families. For more information, call 231-995-0313.
Miracle Productions debuted in 2005 with an acclaimed rendition of Godspell.  The ensemble returns to Milliken Auditorium at the Dennos Museum Center with three musical productions filling its summer slate.  Beginning with an encore run of Godspell June 16-July 1, followed by Nunsense July 13-29 and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat August 3-19. Showtimes are 7:30 pm, Thursdays-Saturdays. For more information, call 231-995-1553.
Old Town Playhouse will join forces with Encore Wind Symphony for summer concerts of Broadway favorites on July 27-30 at the City Opera House in Downtown Traverse City.  Look for some of OTP’s most memorable showstoppers and favorite performers to share the stage with Encore’s talented musicians under the direction of Joe Rice.  Playhouse performers will also be showcased at OTP’s annual Black & White Gala fundraiser, at the City Opera House, on June 24.  For more information, call 231-941-2210.
The City Opera House is also the venue for I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, presented by Theatre North and the City Opera House Heritage Association.  This musical comedy will run Thursdays through Saturdays in July, Wednesdays through Sundays in August and Labor Day Weekend.  For more information, call
The Traverse City Children’s Theatre, the educational arm of Old Town Playhouse plans an ambitious slate of youth performances including:  The Wind in the Willows on June 16-17, Doctor Doolittle on July 21-22, A Rose for Emily on August 11-12, The Journey Before Lunch on August 12 and Cinderella on August 19.  TCCT performs outdoors with the Pied Piper of Hamelin at Hannah Park on August 7. 
Riverside Shakespeare takes a comedic turn this summer with The Winter’s Tale.  The outdoor troupe performs the weekends of July 23-24 and 30-31 in scenic Hannah Park, tucked between the trees, the Boardman River and the Grand Traverse Heritage Center in Traverse City as well as July 26 at the Michigan Legacy Art Park on the grounds of Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville.  Bring a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy Shakespeare under the summer sky.     
At Interlochen Center for the Arts, its summer arts camp students will be presenting productions ranging from the Bard to Broadway.  Watch for Honk! a musical adaptation of The Ugly Duckling on August 3-5 in the Phoenix Theatre and the acclaimed musical Jekyll and Hyde in Corson Auditorium on August 3-6.  The high school repertory theatre presents Shakespeare’s Pericles in Harvey Theatre on August 1-2, while the intermediate rep performs Still Life With Iris in the Phoenix Theatre on August 3-5.
In Leelanau County, Northport Vacation Theatre is presenting Cherry’s Jubilee at the Northport Community Arts Center on July 21-23 and 28-30. For information, call 231-386-5001.
Historic Bay View is one of the country’s original Chautauquas, presenting cultural programming each summer since the 1880’s.  The 2006 Bay View Music Festival feature several theatrical presentations including Noel Coward’s Private Lives on July 13-15 and the opera La Traviata on August 10-11, both at Voorhies Hall while the musical Kiss Me Kate takes center stage on July 27-29 at John M. Hall Auditorium.  Many musical concerts and guest performances are also available to the public throughout the summer.  For more information, call
In Petoskey, Little Traverse Civic Theatre leads Second Sunday Improv on June 11, July 9 and August 13 at the City Park Grill while Concord Academy & Petoskey High School are staging Newsies, the Musical on June 6-8 at Crooked Tree Arts Center.
Ragamuffin Theatre is planning Monday night dinner theatre performances at Castle Farms. Love American Style is slated for June 19, 26 and July 3 at Knight’s Great Hall on this very unique property in Charlevoix.  Dinner will be catered by The Grey Gables Inn.  For more information call 231-237-9686.
The Manistee Civic Players are staging several summer musicals at the historic Ramsdell Theatre beginning with Snoopy on June 2-3 and 8-10.  Fiddler on the Roof runs June 23-24, 29 and July 1-2 followed by Leader of the Pack on August 4-5 and 10-12. This beautifully restored 1903 theatre is worth a stop whether or not a production is underway.  Informal, guided tours are available throughout the summer, providing a wonderful look at its Victorian murals and detailing as well as a great peek backstage.  Call 231-723-7188.
The Cadillac Footliters pay a musical tribute to the silver screen songs of yesterday and today with its production of Blame it on the Movies.  Performances are June 9-11 and 16-17 at the Cadillac High School Auditorium.  For more information, call 231-775-7336.
Mackinaw Crossings is home to “Live at the Mack” entertainment at the 821-seat Mackinaw Theatre.  Summer tributes to past musical legends fill the summer line-up with   Heroes of Rock and Roll performing through June 18 followed by Long Live the Beatles and Jukebox Heroe’s running concurrently June 20-July 2, Stephen Sorrentino in Voices in My Head on July 4-16, the Ultimate Elvis Elvis Tribute on July 18-23, Golden Dragon Chinese Acrobats on July 25-August 13, British Invasion on August 15-27, and Go Greased Lightening on August 29-September 10.  Performances are held daily except Mondays. For information, call 877-43-STAGE.
The historic Cheboygan Opera House will host the Northland Players in the youth theatre production Under the Oak Tree and Things Are Not Always as They Seem on June 23-25.  The Bayview Opera is onstage at the Opera House with La Traviata on August 12-13.  For information, call
231-627-5841 or 800-357-9408.
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