Janet Gover

Image: Janet Gover; finished by Tamara Diamond

With a cast of 32 on-stage performers and two dozen in the support crew, the Kalamazoo Civic's Youth Theatre production of Frozen Jr will begin its run on Friday, Mar 13 (continuing through Mar 22). Cara Lieurance speaks with the creative team about putting the running of a stage musical into the hands of young people by using the themes from the musical itself to foster connection and support. Director Sandy Davis, music director Julie Davis (co-directing with Brent Decker), choreographer Kris Allemang-Stahl, and the Civic's director of marketing, Janet Gover talk about the experience.


Kalamazoo Civic

The Kalamazoo Civic Theatre's production of Tick, Tick...Boom! opens Jan 10 at the Parrish Theatre. It's the autobiographical musical of the late Jonathan Larson, who died at the age of 35 in 1996, just as his groundbreaking rock musical Rent began its first public performances. 

In Tick, Tick...Boom! the character "Jonathan" is an artist who has yet to find success, but isn't ready to give up his dream, explains director Michael P. Martin. In an interview with Cara Lieurance, Martin, actor Josh White, music director Lori Hatfield, assistant stage manager Val Glasscock and Civic marketing director Janet Gover each add their perspectives on the aspects of the show that involve them, from Hatfield "rocking out" with the band, to Glasscock staying 10 minutes ahead of  the action at all times, to White's character "Michael" putting Jonathan's decisions into stark relief.

Performances will run through Jan 26 at the Parrish Theatre.


Jack Pinto ("Buddy the Elf"), director Tony Humrichouser, choreographer Lesa Denklau, actress Kathleen Weissert ("Deb") and marketing director Janet Gover each contribute behind-the-scenes stories about the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre's production of Elf The Musical, in a live interview with Cara Lieurance. This stage adaptation of the 2003 film starring Will Ferrell will run from Friday, Nov 22 - Sunday, Dec 8.


Kalamazoo Civic

The 91st season of the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre opens with Matilda The Musical, an adaptation of the classic children's book by Roald Dahl. Cara Lieurance talks to guest director Mychelle Hopkins (Old Town Playhouse, Traverse City, MI) about her history with Roald Dahl stage productions. Joining them are resident choreographer Lesa Dencklau, marketing director Janet Gover, and actor James Ilsley, who will take on the role of the outrageous and wicked headmistress Miss Trunchbull. 


Kalamazoo Civic

War Paint is a musical fresh off its Broadway run ( where it starred Patti Lupone and Christine Ebersole) coming to the Kalamazoo Civic in a new production led by artist director Tony Humrichouser May 3-19. It will be the regional premiere of this jazzy, true-life show about the rivalry between two self-made women: cosmetic titans Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein, who battled for domination of the global makeup market from the 1920-60s.

In a conversation with Humrichouser, actress Gina Chimner (Elizabeth Arden), and marketing director Janet Gover, the extraordinary details of Arden and Rubinstein's careers and personal lives are revealed. One small example: when Arden first introduced her clients to mascara, Rubinstein upped the ante by inventing the mascara wand. Both women feared losing control of their companies to their right-hand men - and ended up losing the men to each other's companies.

Music and lyrics are by Grey Gardens team Scott Frankel and Michael Korie. Humrichouser says War Paint will feature the debut of new technology at the Civic - a "Cyc," or digital cyclorama, which projects  detailed backgrounds onto a rear screen. Looking ahead, Humrichouser and Gover preview the shows the Civic will present in season 91, starting with Matilda next September.


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