Music, theater offerings plentiful in coming weeks
Whether music or theater is your thing, your choices over the next two weeks are plentiful in the Greater Lansing area.
Local theaters offer classic drama, documentary, behanding and beauty pageant. Organizations ranging from the Michigan State University College of Music to the Wharton Center to the Lansing Symphony Orchestra host several concerts featuring everything from symphonies and chamber music to jazz and soloists.
Four theaters present various offers
John Lepard, the theater’s executive director and frequently appearing actor on their stage, directs a classic that won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1978, DL Coburn’s “The Gin Game.”
It officially opens on Friday March 29 and will run until April 20. Two-handed tragicomedy, it takes place in a dilapidated retirement home. Weller Martin and Fonsia Dorsey, two unfortunate, friendless residents, start playing gin rummy on the front porch of the house. Weller teaches Fonsia how to play and, much to her dismay, she always wins.
The two increasingly engage in cruel conversations, belittling and trying to humiliate the other. Williamston’s production includes Ruth Crawford (previously seen in Williamston in “A Painted Window” and “The Miracle on South Division”) and Hugh Maguire (“Leaving Iowa”).
Peppermint Creek Theater. Peppermint Creek first hosted The Telling Project in 2016, where they told the stories of local veterans. The organization is back, this time creating an original documentary about the immigrant and refugee experience of Lansing.
Directed by Blake Bowen, “The Same Moon: Lansing” is based on interviews with local residents that are turned into a theatrical production designed to be honest, personal and informative.
The show runs from April 11-14 and April 18-21.
Heath Sartorius has been directing and performing on Lansing area stages for 13 years, appearing in 50 different productions. Now, as he prepares to move to New York, he’s leading his final show at the Riverwalk black box from March 28 to April 7.
The show is Martin McDonagh’s black comedy, “A Behanding in Spokane,” in which Carmichael searches for his missing left hand of 27 years. Played by John Lerma, Carmichael meets three dumb villains played by Hunter Folleth, Ndegwa McCloud and Rebecca MacCreery.
This show is for adults only.
Lansing Community College.
In another play for mature audiences, LCC students take a look at the terrifying world of beauty pageants and mothers who would do anything to have their little angels crowned “Supreme Queen.”
In “Pageant Play” by Matthew Wilkas and Mark Setlock and directed by Paige Tufford, Pinky Coringfield turns to his minions Bob and Bobby to make sure his sweetheart Chevrolet wins the supreme title. Expect lots of glitz and glamor mixed with kidnappings, cash and tiny fake teeth.
The show runs March 29-30 and April 5-7 at the Black Box Theater in room 1422 of the Gannon Building.
Let yourself be carried away by great music
Lansing Symphony Orchestra. The LSO wants visions of cellos dancing in your head as you attend their next Masterworks concert.
On Saturday March 30, at the Cobb Great Hall of the Wharton Center, the LSO will perform three pieces, modern and classic: “Visions and Miracles” by Christopher Theofandis, “Cello Concerto” by Robert Schumann and “Symphony No. 6, the Pathetique” by Tchaikovsky. .”
The former is a joyful and uplifting piece from a composer who was nominated for a Grammy in 2007 for best composition for his work for chorus and orchestra, ‘The Here and Now’ and in 2017 for his bassoon concerto.
Schumann’s concerto is performed by Nicholas Canellakis, cellist. A renowned cellist, he has performed worldwide at leading music festivals and has been in residence at Carnegie Hall and was an Artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. The concerto is in three movements that take the audience on a romantic adventure.
The final piece is hailed as one of the most personal statements in the symphonic repertoire, an autobiographical work written at the end of Tchaikovsky’s life that reflects his personal struggles.
MSU College of Music. With the end of the semester in sight, the MSU College of Music is rolling out concert after concert, all designed to delight its audience.
On Monday, April 1, they will close the West Circle series with the first of two concerts featuring Franz Schubert. Schubert composed over 600 works, but saw only one. Then, two days later, on Wednesday April 3, the first in the Cello Plus Chamber Music series will be ‘Treasure Troves of Schubert’. This concert will feature guest artists Nils Neubert, tenor and Yuri Kim, pianist, performing 24 movements from Schubert’s song cycle Winterreise op. 89, D 911.
Other concerts in the Cello Plus series will take place on Friday, April 5 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 7 at 3 p.m. The Friday concert is “A Blend of Classical and Contemporary Works for Strings,” featuring guest artists from Camerata Michigan under the direction of Tigran Shiganvan. The Sunday concert features two Johannes Brahams quintets and is performed by MSU faculty artists and guests from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
All concerts are held at the Fairchild Theater in the MSU Auditorium.
Haven’t had your fill of chamber music yet? Return to the Fairchild on Wednesday, April 10 to witness a band pushing the boundaries of contemporary chamber music with vibrant, adventurous music. Eighth Blackbird, the inaugural artist of the college’s Entrepreneurial Musical Artist in Residence program, will perform a public concert at 7:30 p.m.
Founded in 1996 by six students from the Oberlin Conservatory, they have become known for their innovative and unique stage presence by combining choreography, elements of theater and special lighting in their concerts.
Wharton Center. Two musical events are coming to East Lansing courtesy of the Wharton Center over the next two weeks.
Yefim Bronfman is a pianist who has taken the classical music world by storm. On April 2 at 7:30 p.m. at Cobb Great Hall, Bronfman, born in Russia, raised in Israel and influenced by the United States, will perform excerpts from Debussy’s “Suite Bergamasque”, Robert Schumann’s “Humoreske” and Schubert’s Piano Sonata No. 19. Bronfman has been nominated for six Grammy Awards, winning in 1997.
Then on April 10 at 7:30 p.m., two iconic groups meet in “The Summit”, a concert featuring Manhattan Transfer and Take 6. The two groups have 20 Grammy Awards between them and have performed nearly a dozen songs together. . Manhattan Transfer has jazzy hits such as 1975’s “Operator” and 1981’s “The Boy From New York City” and 1995’s “Too Busy Thinking About My Baby”. Take 6 is an a cappella gospel group specializing in soul music. Their hits include “A Quiet Place”, “Biggest Part of Me” and “O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion”.
• The Ten Pound Fiddle presents Red Tail Ring & the Matchsellers at the Robin Theater at 7.30pm on Friday April 5th.