This past Friday finally felt like summer has arrived. However, with the cold weather we've had some wonderful arts events keeping us warm and the sold out productions of the first week of Lake Superior Youth Theatre's "Narnia" prove that Marquette audiences support their theatrical events.
August continues to bring us a variety of theatrical offerings in the Marquette area from, white witches to fairy tale princesses to bees to a king.
This week "Narnia" will continue at the Lake Superior Theatre, Wednesday through Saturday. This production is produced by the Lake Superior Youth Theatre and sold out each evening last week so I highly recommend that you purchase tickets in advance through the Northern Michigan University EZ Tickets Outlet.
The Westwood Shakespeare Company will be producing one of the most difficult Shakespearean productions by premiering "King Lear" Tuesday through Saturday at the Westwood High School Auditorium and August 19-22 at Lake Superior Theatre.
This production has been rehearsing in a unique way over the past year with open rehearsals to the public throughout Marquette County. The production stars some of the area's most talented and seasoned actors led by B.G. Bradley, who is playing the title role and Denise Clark, who is directing. Be sure the catch the blood, guts and gore with "King Lear."
For those seeking a lighter musical, The Peninsula Arts Appreciation Council will be presenting the award winning musical, Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Cinderella," the enchanted edition at The Vista Theater in downtown Negaunee. Show times are Thursday through Sunday and August 21-24.
PAAC serves as a community theater from the area and draws actors, crew and artistic staff of all ages and levels. Many performers that you'll see at the Vista are "old pro's" who've done more shows than most of us are years old, along with outstanding first area debuts.
"Cinderella" is the perfect family show for all ages.
Due to the crazy weather that we had previously this summer, "Becky Saves the Bees" was postponed and will debut for a one time performance this coming Sunday at 5 p.m. at the Presque Isle Bandshell. This original children's play teaches the global importance of pollinators with singing, dancing, flying bees and butterflies! The interactive performance also invites attendees dressed as pollinators to have the opportunity to bee in act two.
This production is produced by the city of Marquette Arts and Culture Center.
The variety of theatrical offerings in August for a community of our size is amazing. Along with this month, we have several shows to look forward to this fall and upcoming year. The Forest Roberts Theatre at NMU has recently announced their season and it includes two popular musicals along with two interesting and unique plays.
Their season starts with "A Paper Tiger In The Rain," running Sept. 30-Oct. 4 and Oct. 7-11, the musical "Chicago," running Nov. 19-22, along with "Tribes" and "Little Shop of Horrors."
Along with wonderful MainStage offerings at the Forest Roberts Theatre, they now offer a Studio Season as well, which includes Haunted Theatre, "The Collector," "The 10 Minute Play Festival," "A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking" and the "NMU Dance Concert."
Other area falls productions include "Willpower" an original play produced by the Marquette Regional History Center, playing Sept. 18-19, "The Music Man Jr." produced by the Lake Superior Youth Theatre playing Oct. 17-18, the annual "Rocky Horror Picture Show"at the Vista Theatre, "Annie Get Your Gun," performed in early November by the Marquette Senior High School and a community production of "The Nutcracker" and "Scrooge."
We've had a great year of sell out productions that have the county buzzing each weekend they are performed. Mark your calendars early, as many shows have had to turn people away. One thing that we can't complain about in Marquette is the amount of theatrical offerings.
Editor's note: Nikke Nason is the artistic/executive director of the Lake Superior Youth Theatre and business manager of the Lake Superior Theatre. She is also the former director of the Marquette Arts and Culture Center and currently serves as a council member for the State of Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.