Looking for something to do to help you forget about the stress of exams and assignments this weekend? Violet is the perfect musical to do just that! The University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre, & Dance brought to life this story that has hilarious, beautiful, and heartbreaking moments interwoven in. Even on a Thursday night, the audience was completely standing at the end after being left speechless.
Violet is about a young woman (Natalie Duncan) whose face was disfigured when her dad (Jamie Colburn) accidentally hit her with an axe. She grew up her whole life with people staring at her scar, or even worse, refusing to look her in the face. She finally decides to travel to meet a television preacher (Ben Ahlers) who she hopes will heal her scar. Along the way she meets Flick (Justin Showell) and Monty (Charlie Patterson), two soldiers on the road.
Natalie’s voice couldn’t have been any more fitting for the role of Violet. One must have a decent Southern accent and some killer vocal chords to captivate the audience; and she did just that. The audience was laughing while she was singing “All to Pieces”, about how she wants her physical features changed up like those of celebrities. They got chills during the strong performance of “On My Way” done by the cast. And they sobbed during Violet’s solo of “Look at Me”.
I typically recommend shows here and there to see, but this one cannot be missed. It is such a beautiful story with a cast who did not disappoint. The expected, but still shocking, amount of talent in this show blew the audience away.
There are still three shows left at the Arthur Miller Theatre: 12/9 at 2pm and 8pm, and 12/10 at 2pm. Tickets are $20 for General Admission and $12 for Students with ID. More information can be found at http://tickets.smtd.umich.edu/single/EventDetail.aspx?p=3355.
The University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre, and Dance is bringing the breathtaking musical Violet to the stage this weekend! Violet is a beautiful story about the journey to healing for a young woman whose face was disfigured in an accident. It’s a relatable tale of friendships, hardships, and finding beauty and hope in difficult situations.
On her journey from North Carolina to Oklahoma, Violet meets Monty and Flick, two soldiers heading to Arkansas. Throughout the musical there are some of the most beautiful musical numbers that help tie the story together. When Violet finally makes it to Oklahoma, she meets the preacher that she hopes will heal her disfigured face. Will she return home healed by the preacher, or as the same person as before?
Violet will be performed at the Arthur Miller Theatre on Thursday 12/7 at 7:30pm, Friday 12/8 at 8pm, Saturday 12/9 at 2pm and 8pm, and Sunday 12/10 at 2pm. Tickets are $20 for General Admission and $12 for Students with a valid ID.
More information can be found at: http://tickets.smtd.umich.edu/single/EventDetail.aspx?p=3355
“Leave your troubles outside. So… life is disappointing? Forget it! We have no troubles here! Here life is beautiful…” And that’s just what the show of Cabaret was. The second the Emcee (Trish Fountain) walked onstage, the audience was captivated. Captivated by the orchestra, captivated by the talented Kit Kat Club boys and girls, and captivated by the hauntingly beautiful storyline.
Cabaret, done by the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre, is a musical that captures a time in Berlin when Nazis were coming into power. The story revolves around American writer Cliff Bradshaw (Chris Grimm) who travels to Germany to find inspiration for his novel. That’s where he meets “mysterious and fascinating” cabaret performer Sally Bowles (Laura Dysarczyk) from England. Along the way, we meet lovable characters such as Fraulein Schneider (Jessica Ryder) and Herr Schultz (Edmond Reynolds).
The Ann Arbor Civic Theatre did this show justice. So many emotions were felt throughout. Love for newly formed relationships, uncomfortableness for moments that left the audience in silence, and pain for the decline of characters and political situations. Moments left the audience with their mouths wide open, shocked. And at the end, the Emcee reminds them of the troubles that they have left behind… Is it because the troubles have actually disappeared? Or is it because they realized that their troubles are so small compared to the one’s of the characters’ onstage? Just something to think about while leaving the theatre, not knowing what emotions to feel.
This sold out show was performed beautifully. Unfortunately it is over now, but I highly recommend seeing more shows done by the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre. Information and tickets can be found at: http://www.a2ct.org/.
Reading the synopsis of this play online had done little to prepare me and my friend for the powerful, and emotional journey into the US’s dark history of slavery that awaited us in the intimate space of the Arthur Miller theater. This interpretation of Robert O’Hara’s 1995 play was brilliantly adapted by the Department of Theater and Drama into a nearly three-hour long production filled with twists and turns. O’Hara’s play is a time-traveling look into Nat Turner’s 1831 slave insurrection, from the point of view of Ron, a modern-day college student completing his thesis on slavery, and his 189 year-old grandfather, T.J., who was a part of the rebellion himself.
Before the play even began, I noted how intimate the Arthur Miller theater was, and that proved to only add to the emotional impact of the play itself. The set was minimal and yet entirely sufficient to capture the feeling and multiple locations of the play.
One of my major takeaways was that every single actor had their intensity dialed up to the very top for the majority of the play’s runtime. There were moments that left me breathless, as the actors went through emotions of extreme fear, anger, sadness in quick succession. In the second act this was particularly noticeable, as the few moments that were quieter in nature were even more impactful, soft whispers standing in drastic contrast with the high energy shouts and cries of other scenes. Most of the actors also played multiple characters, and I was shocked at how easily they seemed to switch from one to the other.
Additionally, the actors were clearly working hard physically, with a large portion of the play being heavily choreographed or strenuous to do. I noticed that many of the actors would be sweating by the end of a short monologue, which only added to the emotional intensity. While I know little about stage direction, it was an extremely lively play with never a dull moment, as the actors tripped, danced, and ran around not only the stage, but the entire theater.
I wasn’t expecting there to be the amount or level of comedy in this play as there ended up being. Almost every other minute the actors sent the audience into a load roar of laughter. Considering the dark themes of the play, the comedy felt uncomfortable at times, but I assume that was part of the point.
I highly recommend attending future shows put on by the Department of Theater and Drama. I couldn’t have imagined a more entertaining or engaging weekend.
This weekend join the Department of Theater & Drama for a poignant production of the award winning Insurrection: Holding History. The play dives into a time-traveling exploration of black history as a young grad student who shares a mental bond with his 189-year old grandfather travel through eras of US history, gaining new perspective in each one..
The show will be running from April 6th to the 9th in the Arthur Miller Theater on North Campus. You can purchase tickets for all the upcoming show times online here. General admission is $28 with students only paying $12 with their M-card. As a warning the play contains very mature films, so think carefully about who you bring.
When: Friday Oct. 14 at 8:00 pm, Saturday October 15 at 8:00 pm, Sunday October 16 at 2:00 pm
Where: Arthur Miller Theatre
How Much: $12 student tickets, $28 general admission
Come see the Department of Theatre and Drama perform a wildly funny performance of Ah, Wilderness!, written by Eugene O’Neill. The play is a coming-of-age story filled family values and romance. It’s bound to be a good show!
by Kim Sinclair