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Spring 2008 Events

January • February • March • April • May • June

Unless noted otherwise, call the Playhouse at the number above for additional information.

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January

Saturday January 12

7:30 pm

Tickets $15 in advance

Vance Gilbert Concert

Vance GilbertQuiet Faith Productions continues to bring the best in acoustic music

Vance Gilbert will appear one night only at the playhouse. Gilbert is known for “the voice of an angel, the wit of a devil, and the guitar playing of a god.” "Gilbert's burnished voice poured over one purling, liquid melody after another, over an accompaniment of tender arpeggios and supple chord progressions." (The Chicago Tribune) "He does not duck hard truths and never succumbs to the temptation to tie his points up in neat platitudes or truisms." (The Boston Globe)

February

Saturday February 2

7:30 pm

Tickets $10.00

Doug Deming & the Jewel Tones with Hank Mowery

A Mardi Gras Celebration

Doug Deming & the Jewel TonesBoogie the night away as Ambient Productions brings another great concert (Alice Peacock, Fonn Mohr) to the playhouse. These West Michigan and Motor City artists specialize in swinging jump blues, gritty shuffles, and driving boogies: Doug Deming’s rocking guitar jamming with Hank “The Hawk” Mowery’s vocals and harmonica. Mowery has been compared in his “old school” style to Little Walter and Big Walter Horton, mixing traditional Chicago/Texas/Louisiana Blues, West Coast Swing & Jump. Deming has been called a “throwback to a bygone era,” with his original compositions that mix Chicago and Texas guitar styles.

Thursday & Friday

February 14, 15 & 22, 23

7:30 pm

Tickets $14 and $10

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare

presented by the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company

Pigeon Creek Shakespeare CompanyHowmet Playhouse presents PCSC for a midwinter-warm-up with the Bard’s most well-known romantic comedy, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Four young Athenian lovers, a group of amateur actors, the Duke and Duchess of Athens, and a variety of fairies that all inhabit a magical moonlit forest will take over the playhouse. Experience traditional “original practice,” Elizabethan-style theatre with PCSC’s open, accessible style of performance. A perfect romantic night out for you and your valentine.

Saturday February 16

7:30 pm

Tickets $16 in advance

Peter Ostroushko in Concert

Peter OstroushkoQuiet Faith Productions brings this master of the fiddle & mandolin to the intimacy of the playhouse for one show only, accompanied by “Newgrass” guitarist Danny Gotham. As a solo performer, Peter Ostroushko has produced a number of recordings, including Down the Streets of My Old Neighborhood, Slüz Düz Music, and the three albums that make up his Heartland Trilogy: Heart of the Heartland, Pilgrims of the Heartroad and Sacred Heart. His latest is Meeting on Southern Soil; a collaboration with longtime friend Norman Blake. Ostroushko has spent more than 25 years as a frequent performer on A Prairie Home Companion, and for a few seasons, he did a stint as Music Director for the popular radio show. You may have caught him on TV, too. He's appeared on Austin City Limits, Late Night with David Letterman, even Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.

March

Saturday March 8

7:30 pm

Suggested donation of $5.00.

The Quiet Man             

The Quiet ManMotion pictures return to the Howmet Playhouse as the Arts Council of White Lake presents a special pre-St. Patrick’s Day showing of John Ford’s great Irish romance, The Quiet Man the 1952 film starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. An American, Sean Thornton (John Wayne), arrives in Ireland and plans to settle in Innisfree, where he was born. He wants to buy the Thornton cottage from well-to-do widow, Sarah Tillane (Mildred Natwick), and finds himself in a squabble with "Red" Will Danaher (Victor McLaglen), a neighbor and would-be suitor of the Widow Tillane. The rest unfolds with the beauty of Ireland as its backdrop.

Wednesday March 12

7:30 pm

Tickets $14.00

The April Verch Band in Concert

April VerchA beguiling blend of folk, jazz, old-time, bluegrass and roots music woven together with precision, intensity, and soul. April Verch is pure energy that infuses fiddle playing and stepdancing. The subtlety of her pure voice mixes with the finely detailed elegance of her fiddle phrasing and the depth of a repertoire that ranges through material from bluegrass to Brazilian to Celtic, from a jaunty Canadian folksong to a poignant contemporary ballad. April is world-class fiddler, a champion Ottawa Valley stepdancer, an acclaimed composer, and a vocalist whose voice has been hailed as “absolutely captivating” by the Toronto Star. The April Verch Band features world-class musicians Marc Bru on percussion, Lincoln Meyers on guitar, and Cody Walters on upright-electric bass. Don’t miss April’s return to West Michigan.

Thursday March 13

7:00 pm

Hemingway on Stage: The Stories of Ernest Hemingway

Presented by the White Lake Area Library

In conjunction with Reading along the Lakeshore and their selected book, “The Nick Adams Stories.”

Hemingway on StageBrian Gordon Sinclair, is the author and solo performer of Hemingway On Stage. He is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada and holds a Master of Arts degree in Theatre from the University of Denver. A recipient of the Sir Tyrone Guthrie Award for acting at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, Mr. Sinclair has performed in Cuba, Denmark, Holland, Poland and the Moscow Art Theatre in Russia. This will be a performance not to be missed!

Saturday March 15

7:30 pm

Tickets $10.00

Truth in Jazz Orchestra in Concert

Truth in JazzThe playhouse is pleased to partner with and present West Michigan’s premier big band! Fronted by West Michigan's legendary drummer, Tim Froncek, this group of 16 of the area's top musicians plays charts from the classic era of the big bands of Ellington, Basie, and Buddy Rich, up to today's best charts from the hottest writers. The band was organized by Dave Collee, Ed Spier, and Matt Lintula, who wanted a group able to play pro-level big band literature, and have fun doing it! They have assembled a great bunch of area musicians who enjoy the challenge of playing great charts in a large ensemble.

It will also be a special “Jazz Night” at the Local Pub; join them for dinner before the show with catering by Steve Mayberry and music by “Down By One” after the show. Call the pub, 231-894-8269, for dinner reservations.

April

Saturday April 12

7:30 pm

Tickets $10.00

Greensky Bluegrass in Concert

Greensky BluegrassWinners of the 2006 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Competition, Michigan's own Greensky Bluegrass is earning recognition nationwide as a growing force in acoustic roots music. Performing at festivals, theaters, clubs and listening rooms all over the US, their rare traditional sound is piquing the interests of not only bluegrass enthusiasts, but lovers of music of all genres. It is their unique "fusion of tradition and enthusiasm for improvisation" that has come to define the band's creative and tangible compositional style. With Michael Arlen Bont (banjo), Dave Bruzza (guitar), Paul Hoffman (mandolin), Anders Beck (dobro), and Michael Devol (upright bass), Greensky has undergone a musical evolution as unique as the music it has produced.

Thursday, Friday & Saturday

April 17, 18, & 19

7:30 pm

Tickets $14.00 & $10.00

“Macbeth” by William Shakespeare

presented by the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company

Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company“Fair is foul and foul is fair” as PCSC returns to the playhouse stage with Shakespeare’s famous tragedy of character, lust for power, betrayal and the supernatural. Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s later plays, and his shortest tragedy. Long regarded with fear and superstition by theatre professionals, PCSC will recreate the Thane and his wife, along with the wicked sisters and the drunken porter, at their own peril. Thought to be one of the Bard’s plays designed for indoor viewing, the “Scottish Play” is rife with unseen sounds, dark night scenes, murder, regicide and madness.

Friday April 25

7:30 pm

Tickets $14.00 & $10.00

Like Water Drum & Dance Ensemble

Presented by White Lake Performing Arts Company

Like Water DrumLike Water Drum & Dance is a Michigan-based percussion and dance troupe, showcasing authentic traditional West African drumming and dancing, original compositions, as well as cover songs. Audiences are entertained and excited with complex and rapid drum figures, as well as energetic dance choreographies. Like Water Drum & Dance plays traditional West African instruments including djembes (goblet-shaped hand drum), dununs (bass drums), balafons (wooden xylophone), krin (log drum), as well as shakers and vocals. First appearing on the playhouse stage as a part of this year’s “Tellabration,” the shows are not only a blast, but also inspirational, as the group raises African and World cultural awareness, social consciousness, as well as the ideals of unity and community.

Saturday April 26

7:30 pm

Tickets $10.00

Garrison Starr in Concert

Garrison StarrAmbient Productions brings the alternative/folk/rock sounds of Garrison Starr to the playhouse. A fearless performer, her audience always leaves reluctantly after getting a taste of her humor and humility. A native of Hernando, Mississippi, Garrison’s southern background subtly peeks through her songs as she blends a pop/rock/alternative sound with her country vocal curl.  First time listeners fall hard for her voice. “Garrison Starr’s greatest gift is her gorgeous, full, rough, passionate voice that can be ultimately pensive, intimate, hurt, consoling, libidinous, or scornful—sometimes during the same verse. Her raw phrasing would take Sarah McLachlan and Neko Case’s lunch money.” (MSNBC)

May

Saturday May 3

Show Begins 7:30 pm

Doors open at 6:30 pm

Tickets:
$10 in advance
$12 at the door

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Killer BluesKiller Blues Presents
the White Lake Blues Festival

featuring the Vincent Hayes Project and Tomas Esparza’s Blues Experience

Killer Blues announces the first ever White Lake Blues Festival featuring the semi-finalists in the 2006 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee.

Vincent Hayes ProjectIn just under two years, The Vincent Hayes Project has evolved into one of Michigan's most respected blues ensembles. The VHP is a "cross-genre" blues band made up of Vincent Hayes, guitar, slide guitar and vocals; David Alves, bass guitar, backing vocals and Donny Hugley, percussion.

Tomas Esparza's Blues Experience

Tomas Esparza’s Blues Experience features Esparza on harmonica, Rick Belkofer on guitar, Steve McLean, drums and Brad Tripp on Bass. A great blues night for the White Lake area.

Friday May 9

7:30 pm

Tickets:
$10.00 in advance
$12.00 at the door

Steppin’ In It ~ in concert

Steppin' In ItThe playhouse welcomes back to West Michigan the vintage instruments and a sound that brings listeners back to the days of old-time radio. Steppin’ In It pounds out their own brand of roots music combining old-time country, swing and blues playing what Performing Songwriter Magazine calls "some of the liveliest and most rocking acoustic roots music around." Upright Bassist Dominic Suchyta and multi-instrumentalist brothers Andy & Joe Wilson compliment the strong songwriting talents of singer/songwriter Josh Davis, who's haunting vocals paint a picture of rural and urban Michigan breaking its blue-collar back under troubled times.

June

Friday & Saturday
June 6-7
7:30 pm

Sunday June 8
3:00 pm

Tickets:
$10.00 students
$14.00 adult

Tru by Jay Presson Allen

featuring Stephen Schmidt

Truman CapoteMr. Schmidt reprises his original Muskegon production of Tru, a one-man tour de force performance abouit the life of Truman Capote. Jay Presson Allen was reluctant to write about Capote at first, but she found the last ten years of his life compelling: "Capote had a kind of Gallantry in the face of a devastating situation." Friends of Capote were amazed at her accuracy portraying a man she had only met but not known. There was much question about how many of the lines are Capote's and how much is Allen; she maintains that at least 70% of the dialogue is Capote's own. A bittersweet look at one of our most provocative personalities.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday

June 12, 13, 14

7:30 pm

Tickets $5.00

Not A Baby Anymore

by Alice L. Gambel and Ellen Carmichael

Arts Council of White LakeThe Nuveen Community Center for the Arts is excited to present its first ever musical theatre production! “Not a Baby Anymore,” directed by author Alice L. Gambel, is a musical featuring middle and high school students from the White Lake area. The show takes place on a young girl’s 13th birthday, as she comes to the realization that growing up is best taken in small steps, not giant leaps. This is a fantastic show for the whole family, and is made possible in part by a grant from the White Lake Community Fund of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County.

Wednesday June 18

7:30 pm

Tickets $10.00

Amaryllis: A Reunion

featuring Ruth Bloomquist, Max Bloomquist, Sue Kittredge & Steve Reeths

AmaryllisThe playhouse is proud to present the reunion of West Michigan’s premier acoustic band. This is the ONLY TIME this summer that Ruth and Max Bloomquist,will be re-united with dear friends, multi-instrumentalist Steve Reeths and fiddler Sue Kittredge. You’ll hear a bit of what they’ve been playing lately and get a good, strong dose of Amaryllis favorites; folky, bluegrassy, poppy, eclectic, and always fun. Don’t miss it!

Saturday June 21

7:30 pm

Tickets:
$10.00 students
$14.00 adult

An Evening with Dorothy Parker

written & performed by Sherri Slater

Dorothy ParkerSpend an evening with one of America’s great “wisecrackers” and renowned for her caustic criticism. Sherri Slater brings us into the Algonquin boudoir of this author, poet and screenwriter. Parker survived three marriages (two to the same man) and several suicide attempts, but grew increasingly dependent on alcohol. Although she would come to dismiss her own talents and deplore her reputation as a "wisecracker," her literary output and her sparkling wit have endured long past her death. Slater’s performance captures Parker’s wit and humor, bringing great comic timing to the role, while creating a compelling and complex character.