Kalamazoo Civic Theatre

"Theatre is not dead!" is Gordon Bolar's emphatic answer to the question posed by Paul Simon in the Simon & Garfunkle song, "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme." The WMUK theater reviewer and Cara Lieurance highlight some of the upcoming productions, Jan - Jun 2020, offered by the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre, Farmers Alley Theatre, WMU Theatre, Kalamazoo College, Queer Theatre Kalamazoo, and Miller Auditorium.


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. 


Theater Review: Kalamazoo Civic's War Paint

May 15, 2019
Brian Wolfe / Kalamazoo Civic Theatre

The Kalamazoo Civic Theatre’s production of “War Paint” runs through May 19th. WMUK’s Gordon Bolar has this review.


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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