AN ARTISTIC JEWEL

Lake Superior Theatre in midst of busy summer

Lake Superior Theatre is located at 270 N. Lakeshore Boulevard in Marquette. (Journal photo by Corey Kelly)

MARQUETTE — Lake Superior Theatre is located in a working boathouse filled with marine artifacts at 270 N. Lakeshore Boulevard in Marquette between the Lower Harbor marina and Coast Guard breakwall on the shores of Lake Superior: an artistic jewel you don’t want to miss this summer!

We have an amazing season lined up for you this summer, one that began with the return of “Beacon on the Rock” July 17-21. That is being will be followed by “Superior Adventures,” then Superior Arts Youth Theatre’s production of “High School Musical Jr.,” followed by “Godspell,” and “Broadway at the Boathouse.”

We are also doing something new this year to commemorate our celebration of Lake Superior Theatre history. At 7:30 p.m. July 24-27 we will be presenting a week of unique shows called Superior Adventures,” featuring presentations by Jack Deo and Orion Couling and the Couling family! We invite you to check out these unique shows.

On Tuesday, we have “Shipwrecks, Sunburns and Snowstorms!” Jack Deo and Karl Bohnak are combining their stories and images to illustrate the wide range of weather extremes we experience living in the Upper Peninsula. There’s shipwrecks, car wrecks, train wrecks and all sorts of mayhem caused by weather including as the Great Seiche that affected the Lake Superior region during mid June 1939. It’s a meteorological masterpiece you won’t want to miss.

On Wednesday, we present “Shanties and Sea Songs.” Join licensed Captain Orion Couling for an interactive sea song sing-along. Hear how these songs were used in the maritime and the history that formed the musical tradition used to this day!

Jack Deo returns on Thursday with “Deer Camps to Grand Camps,” which will feature a slideshow by the photo historian sharing some of the greatest and funniest photos from his 40-year collection of regional classic deer camps. The latter part of the show will highlight the “Grand Camps” of Marquette County, including Cyrus McCormick’s White Deer Lake, cabins at the Huron Mountain Club and color photos of Granot Loma Lodge never before shown.

It’s a family affair on Friday when the Couling family takes the stage for “Tales of the Northwoods.” veteran storytellers Jim and Mary Couling (Twilight Walking Tours) join their son Orion as they tell their favorite stories of the UP, featuring folk music and history. This night by the lake will leave you even more enamored of the U.P.’s unique charms.

Aug. 1-11 brings us the SAYT collaboration of “High School Musical, Jr.” Director Jill Vermeulen tells us that she is thrilled that her first post-graduation job will be spent as the director of “High School Musical, Jr.”

“I’m honored to direct this production for the very organization that taught my youthful self about theater and provided me with countless theatrical opportunities while growing up. In 2007, I performed in High School Musical with this organization and now direct that very show as a young adult,” Vermeulen said.

Aug. 14-26, LST is presenting “Godspell,” a musical foray into the Book of Matthew, but it delivers a message of love and acceptance and hope to all regardless of faith. Full of memorable songs and important parables, it will delight audiences of all ages. Over the years, “Godspell” has been set in playgrounds, junkyards, prisons, cathedrals — just about anywhere that real people live and work. It is ideal in an intimate setting like LST’s boathouse where the audience can feel as though they are as much a part of the magic on stage as the cast portraying it is. Under the direction of Broadway veteran Amy Malaney it is sure to shine. It is a timeless musical that is especially suited to our times. This is what theater is about — connecting us to our humanity, raising issues and entertaining us. The cast is awesome, the stage is inventive, the music rocks and the story is timeless.

Sunday matinees of this show at 3 p.m. are a new adventure for LST in response to requests from our patrons for shows during the day.

“Broadway at the Boathouse” Aug. 29-31 will be a magical musical event celebrating our last 20 years and we are dedicating it to James Panowski, lovingly known as Dr. P., who made his final curtain bow this year. He was the former artistic director of Forest Roberts Theatre and many of our LST cast and crew were supported by Dr. P. In honor of his years of service to the theatre community and the lasting legacy he gave all of us we celebrate the life of this dedicated educator. We know his spirit will continue to inspire us all. With Monica Nordeen producing and Jeff Bruning as the music director, these LST favorites are back on stage to sing their way into your heart while you are dancing in your seat!

Complete schedules are available at lakesuperiortheatre.com, Facebook, the theatre and the former ticket office in the lower harbor rack cards holders. You can visit the Berry Events Center for your tickets, call NMU’s ticket system at 906-227-1032 or book your reserved seat online directly at tickets.nmu.edu

All shows begin at 7:30 p.m with the exception of the two Sunday matinees for “Godspell” at 3 p.m. Allow some extra time to enjoy the short walk to the theatre as parking is in the lower harbor so you can soak in the Superior vistas that are our domain. If you have need special accommodations for seating or parking be sure to let our staff know and they will make sure you are taken care of. We have limited disability parking and always have drop offs available.

Most of you who return to LST annually know all this of course but we are always amazed at how many people are unaware of the theatre gem that is hidden from view as you bike or drive down Lake Shore Boulevard. Make time during your busy summer to let us entertain you … as well as inspire, educate, and enlighten you!

See you at the boathouse with the million dollar lobby view!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Peggy Frazier is a founder of the Lake Superior Theatre and is one of its producers.