MARQUETTE - The Forest Roberts Theatre at Northern Michigan University has announced its 2014-15 theatre season, which will feature two fantastic musicals, a gritty original work and a British-born comic drama.
The season opens with "A Paper Tiger in the Rain," written by David J. Swanson, Sept.30 to Oct.r 11. This is the current winner of the Mildred and Albert Panowski Playwriting Award Competition. The show is about Nathan who has just been promoted to his dream job, editor-in-chief of the Willow Falls Beacon Telegraph. He soon learns that the newspaper is in financial trouble. His predecessor hires Ben, a young blogger with a lack of reverence for the newspaper industry. As the newspaper's financial picture worsens, Nathan is faced with saving impossible dreams and depending on false promises. This is David's first full length play. He visited early in the summer for a week-long workshop with the director, several students and a dramaturg to read-thru and give the playwright an opportunity to make revisions.
The second offering in the season is "Chicago," book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, Music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, Nov. 19-22. A true musical institution, Chicago has everything that makes theatre great: a universal tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz; one show-stopping song after another; and the most astonishing dancing you've ever seen. After shooting her husband, Roxie Hart must prove her innocence in Chicago where the biggest celebrities are those with the heftiest crime careers. With the help - and lack thereof - from sexy murderesses, big shot lawyers, sexy, and a nearly invisible husband, Roxie discovers what it means to kill for fame. Whether you're looking to see your first big musical, whether you've seen the Academy Award winning film and want to experience the show live on stage or whether you've seen it before and want to recapture the magic, "Chicago" always delivers.
The second half of the season begins with "Tribes" by Nina Raine running Fe. 10-21. This smart, lively play asks us to hear how we hear, in silence as well as in speech. Tribes follows Billy, a deaf man raised inside the fiercely politically incorrect cocoon of his parent's house.
He has adapted to his hearing family's unconventional ways, but they've never bothered to return the favor. It's not until he meets Sylvia, a young woman on the brink of deafness, that he finally understands what it means to be understood.
The season wraps with "Little Shop of Horrors," book and lyrics by Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken, April 15-18. A deviously delicious Broadway and Hollywood sci-fi smash musical, "Little Shop of Horrors" has devoured the hearts of theatre goers for over 30 years.
A gleefully gruesome musical spoof of the 1960 Roger Corman Film, this monster musical is about a hapless florist shop worker, Seymour, who offers his tender love and care to a plant that feeds on human blood. This plant, Audrey II, named after Seymour's secret love, quickly becomes a fascinating attraction in neighborhood called Skid Row.
One of the longest-running Off-Broadway shows, "Little Shop of Horrors" the charmingly tongue in cheek comedy has been produced worldwide to incredible success.
A theatre spokesperson reminds patrons that in addition to our Mainstage productions there is also a Studio Series of shows. Come celebrate Halloween at the FRT in the Haunted Theatre, Oct. 30-Nov.1. Designed for all ages with a child-friendly and PG-13 version. One Studio show will be presented: A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking, March 13-14 in the Black Box Theatre. The NMU Dance Concert takes place on March 29 in the Forest Roberts Theatre. Come see dance performances choreographed and performed by students and faculty of the NMU Dance Minor.
Season tickets are available to the public and will remain on sale depending on availability. To request a brochure, stop by the Forest Roberts Theatre weekdays between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., or call 227-2082. Season tickets are available from "EZ Tickets" in the Superior Dome. First Nighters Club memberships also are available.
The public is invited to join Northern Michigan University faculty, staff and students for the annual Theatre Interest Night at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 28 in Forest Roberts Theatre.
There will be refreshments, courtesy of the First Nighters Club Advisory Board, along with theatrical displays in the lobby. Folks can sign up to become involved in various FRT activities throughout the year.
Bobby Glenn Brown, president of the First Nighters Club, will provide the official welcome. He also will explain the goals of the group and share some of the activities planned for the year.
Director of Theatre, Ansley Valentine will introduce the theatre faculty, who will talk about the season and how people can become involved in the Forest Roberts Theatre training program. The graduate interns, FRT production staff, and returning theatre students also will be presented. The evening will conclude with a tour of theatre facilities, including the Black Box Theatre.
Theatre Interest Night provides an opportunity for students to learn how to become involved in the many theatrical activities this upcoming season both onstage and backstage. They also have the chance to mingle with current theatre students, and learn more about the various majors and minors offered in the training program.
This is a chance for the general public to have a sneak peek into the upcoming theatre season, and to find out how to become involved with the First Nighters Club.